Monday, September 15, 2008

Altar Boy To Atheist

I saw this and thought it was pretty interesting. It's about someone's conversion to atheism. There are a lot of interesting thoughts in there. Some of it reminds me of myself....

Particularly this part:

Simultaneously during my studies, I kept going to church with my family. I started to realize that the place was full of robotic, inflectionless voices. During the Nicene Creed (you know, “We Believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, etc. It’s the Christian manifesto), everybody said it, but you could see it in their eyes — nobody listened to what they were saying.


From Altar Boy To Atheist

Check it out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Hope

Barack Obama might just be able to bring rationality back to this country.

The Science Debate 2008 organization recently asked the candidates to answer some questions regarding their policy on some science issue. So far only Obama has answered, but McCain plans to as well. Obama has essentially stated that he plans to improve our education system, lift the ban on stem cell research, and address global warming. These are good things. Things a responsible society ought to do.

Hit the link to see his full answers or check out the summary from Bad Astronomy.

Today

Happy 9/11 everyone. A day when religious extremism and nationalism caused the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people. It also marks a point of opportunity for our government, who used this tragedy to begin fear tactics. They scared all of us into relinquishing some of our basic rights and pushed a war mentality on to us.

So cheers, and poor one out for the lost! This is the day that marks America's decline, both in world image and economy.

They See Me Rollin, They Hatin

This is for all you haters out there who thought I was making up the word "strumpet". Dictionary.com defines the word as a prostitute or harlot. Harlot is another one of those words I've been using frequently...

Other fun words that serve to degrade women include trollop and hussy. A trollop is an immoral or promiscuous woman, and a hussy is a saucy or impudent girl.

Now kids, as your project for the week, I'd like you to try to use each one of these words in casual conversation! Impress your friends and family with your advanced knowledge of the English language!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Srsly

I saw this over at Enemy Combatant Trailmix Appreciation Club:


Apparently it's from one of Failblog's sister sites, Pundit Kitchen.

Scooby-Doo Skeptics

So, I was watching Scooby-Doo the other day. I truly hate that show, but I wanted some background noise and it was the best option. I may have found something to like about it though. They're skeptics! Well at least Fred, Daphne, and Velma are. Shaggy and Scooby are a bit more credulous.

Shaggy and Scooby tend to exclaim "Ghost!" at the slightest unexplained event. The rest of the gang is inclined to get to the bottom of it though. They investigate and figure out the real cause. They unmask the villain and present their evidence.

What an excellent lesson for children. Teach the kids how to question the unexplained. Show them that there is always a rational explanation.

One of these days we're going to hear the Pope say, "...and we would have gotten away with it too! If it wasn't for you meddling kids!"

Large Hadron Collider

Here's a helpful website:

Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Praying = Wishing

What exactly is Prayer? Wikipedia defines prayer as an attempt to commune with a deity. The main reason you pray to your deity of choice is to ask for something, such as assistance or guidance. Beyond that you might confess something. Or you could just be calling to chit-chat.

How do you pray? Praying is really a pretty simple procedure. You can address a particular deity just by speaking silently in your head. You can also do this aloud, if you're so inclined. It can be done alone or in a group. Since your deity is omniscient, they will know that you are praying to them. Pretty sweet, huh?

My favorite part of the Wikipedia description of prayer, is that it says that prayer can be used as an alternative to "hope". This is precisely the point I wanted to make. What praying really boils down to is wishing.

Oh, a hurricane hit some town? I'll pray for them. Your friend has been diagnosed with cancer? I'll pray for them. I cheated on my wife. I'll pray for God's forgiveness.

But what are you really doing when you pray? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. What is my justification for this? The scientific method of course. This link shows a study that found no overall effect of prayer on heart-surgery patients. The methods of this study are (of course) debated, but it's not hard to see that people's prayers rarely go answered. I would go so far as to say that prayers are answered no more often than chance would allow.

Prayer is an avoidance of your humanitarian responsibilities, simple as that. It's saying your going to do something to help somebody, when all you're really doing is wishing really hard. It's a feel good act. You make yourself feel better about doing nothing. Praying is a conscience clearer.