Friday, May 1, 2009

Holy Bile - Christians prefer torture

Hmmm... seems like we may not be far from a new Inquisition based on the new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life:
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

As Andrew Sullivan says:
So Christian devotion correlates with approval for absolute evil in America. And people wonder why atheism is gaining in this country.

Glenn Greenwald has - as always - great things to say on this topic as well.

So who wants to debate that religious folks are more ethical, or have higher morals than non-Believers?

Side note: It seems there are only a handful of sane people in the media speaking responsibly, and more importantly, substantively, on this matter of torture. The most notable are Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Keith Olbermann, Dan Froomkin, and Joan Walsh. I haven't heard where Rachel Maddow actually lands on the subject, but she seems at least to be taking an objective position. I'd like to see her as fired up about this as she was when Sen. Burr was blocking Duckworths' nomination to Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

It is a sad state that there are so few voices fighting for values we thought all Americans once held dear, enough that Reagan would sign a treaty declaring it so.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do you have swine flu?

You can check for yourself:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For the record...

Just IMO...

Sebelius sworn in = Awesome!
Johnsen shy of 1 vote = Awesome!
Specter as a Dem = WTF? (See Lieberman, and screw both Republiscums)

Run a strong centrist Dem against Specter and give him his just deserves for back-flipping on EFCA. He's no more useful as a Blue Dog Dem than he was as a centrist Republiscum. Bottom line: his sudden reversal on unions is indicative enough that he's a consummate politician easily capable of lying to whatever extent necessary to stay in office.

Specter is garbage. Treat him as such.

P.S.Scalia is still a dick (if 2" erect still qualifies)

Obama's been pissin' me off!

But damn if he ain't the coolest president we've ever had!


If you have ever believed the printed word from the Associated Press was worth anything more than lining the bottom of bird cages with, I present you with this bit of electronic text that - if it were in print - would sully said bird cages.

Read it, but don't lose bowel control (unless it's on top of whatever publication was stupid enough to print it).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Holy Bile - Terry Eagleton's stupid book

Terry Eagleton - and Andrew O'Hehir - are shockingly ill-informed about atheists, as evidenced by O'Hehir's inane review of Eagleton's hackneyed book, "Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate".

As always, I must first state that "atheist" and "atheism" should no more be considered words than "aSanta Claus" or "aEaster Bunny".

Any book that serves as a defense of Jesus Christ should be automatically discarded, instantly. The only exception would be if that book first incorporated all preceding Christ-like figures. Simply put, Christ - and Christianity - are completely unoriginal, plagiarist works, as are most of the Abrahamic works. So without having read Terry Eagleton's book, I feel completely comfortable dismissing it as ignorant drivel. But Salon's Andrew O'Hehir's insipid review has motivated me to speak up, simply for the reason that in his review, he - as does Eagleton - makes the claim that Dawkins and Hitchens and us modern atheists don't understand Christianity as it truly is. I must first ask why Smugleton - and O'Hehir - think they understand Christianity better than nearly every practitioner of the faith? I wonder if either of them have read and thoroughly studied the bible - in various translations - as well as other religious texts.

Eagleton's fundamental mistake, which is so readily co-opted by a sycophantic O'Hehir, is that the [childishly named] Ditchkinsian brand of atheism is a direct response to the brand of worshipping in Abrahamic faiths that are being practiced today. Smugleton (my childish name for Smugleton) calls that discount-store atheism, which is classic, considering Ditchkinsian atheism is a response to third-rate theology. Abrahamic religions are bargain basement rehashed works from far superior works that either preceded them (Upanishads), or were contemporaneous works of the period (Buddhism). The easiest way to say it is that Abrahamic religions are the "Religion For Dummies" for those who need to believe. They have succeeded merely for the same reason pseudoscience, mysticism, and Ghost Hunters have been so successful. It's just easier for people to believe in magic than it is for them to expend energy taking advantage of the real power of their brains.

I may have to buy the book just so I can take apart Smugleton's work, which O'Hehir's review makes it seem easy enough. But for now I'll just focus on what I've gleaned from the review. Below are some specific outtakes and my response to them:

Smugleton and O'Hehir attack Dawkins, Hitchens, et al., and their "brand of atheism" as being a useful straw man, and then go on using their own straw men.

"Many secular intellectuals, for instance, have claimed as Christian doctrine..."

I'll stop there since anyone with a modicum of intelligence can smell the fresh cut hay in this straw man. Everything that follows is but pieces and parts of this straw man, worthy of nothing but flame.

"Christian theology cannot explain the workings of the universe and was never meant to, Eagleton says."

This is a straw man of epic proportions. That any human alive can say that with a straight face deserves to have that face slapped. Of course it wasn't, and no one other than nearly every "believer" in America (who all accept that as the truth) has said that. Dawkins and others have merely taken a position on this in direct response to the Jewists, Christianists and Islamists who do believe that their religious books are in fact science books.

Indeed, the Bible, and nearly every book of faith, mysticism, and superstition that preceded it was a collection of morality tales and stories written for the purpose of instructing others in society in particular ways live for the benefit of the greater said society. Dawkins and others know this, but most "Believers" seem to not.

"why there is anything in the first place, or why what we do have is actually intelligible to us."

Is Smugleton a child? There is NO WHY! Maybe he and O'Hehir can meditate on that for a bit.

There are plenty of theories abound that seek to address these concepts from non-religious perspectives, and they make a lot more sense and are a lot more interesting than anything any religion has ever offered. Yes, it is very possible that our ability to question our very existence is a sort of great cosmological joke.

"Heidegger, Wittgenstein and Fichte have all observed in different ways that unspoken assumptions about the world around us (that is, faith) are the precondition of all knowledge in the first place."

A canard. Scientists might make assumptions, and then seek to prove those assumptions, and may "believe" their assumptions are correct, but that is not faith. While there is a similarity to that and the broad definition of faith, that is merely due to a weakness of language. That's the same as saying someone who merely has an appetite is starving in the same way someone who hasn't eaten is days is starving.

"Enlightenment narrative of steady upward progress from superstition to reason..."

There is no upward progression from superstition to reason, just as there is no upward progression in human morality and ethics. To this, I refer you to the recent US practice of torture.

Just as Smugleton has accused Dawkins, Hitchens, and other folks who think like me as not having a thorough understanding of the "real" Christianity, whatever the hell that means, he has proven beyond a doubt that he does not understand most atheists - or non-Believers - at all. If he did, he would know that most of us know religions better than those who practice.