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Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Fundies!

Here's a great one from a question on Yahoo Answers 2 years ago.

Quote# 36536

Atheists are completely illogical because they only know to use reasoning and logic.

That's not logical. Should use the bible instead.


Source

I don't think this requires an explanation, as it is quite obvious that the person who wrote this doesn't have a functional brain. I have suspicions that they may in fact be a Poe, but I wouldn't put it past a mentally deficient fundy to say something like this.

Here's another quote from the same Yahoo Answers thread

"Atheists do not read the Bible. They don't believe in God. Every atheist believes we evolved from apes...Darwin's theory. We came from Adam and Eve...not Adam and Steve."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anti-Vaxxers are at it again.

What is it with some people? These anti-vaccination people are as deceitful as creationists, quote-mining, lying and pretending that they are the ones promoting honest inquiry.
New Scientist has an article about how the Australian Health Care Complaints Commission had to issue a warning about the misleading information being promoted by the Australian Vaccination Network. Apparently the AVN have been saying some rather absurd things, like measles is a "non-threatening illness" and "vaccines have never been tested". They try to give the impression that they just want parents to make informed decisions about whether to vaccinate their children, while simultaneously feeding them lies. The more that people speak out against their anti-science quackery the less people will be influenced by these charlatans. (hopefully)

Anti-Choice Ideology in the Confectionery Aisle

Perhaps I'm just picking a fight over nothing, but I couldn't help notice the name of one particular product in the supermarket today. It was a particular brand of Jelly Babies.

So you may be wondering what the brand name was, and you may be shocked to find out they were called "Pro-life Jelly Babies". There was one other product there from this brand, which were also jelly confectionery, "Pro-life Jelly Snakes", but I suspect they may have been making the snakes just to cover their asses. Please keep your religious ideology out of my fricken candy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blog Search

I added a Google custom search bar on the top right of my blog. So if you want to find something on my blog go ahead and try it out. It searches through comments too. At the moment it only returns results for exact matches, because it hasn't been used much. The more it gets used the better it will function though.

Scientologist Relativism

So I thought I'd take another look at Scientology again, and dissect one single thing on their website.

This time, it's a video called "What Scientologists say about Scientology"

The video is fairly generic and consists mostly of headshots of smiling people talking about helping people. No specific details about Scientology besides "helping you" are mentioned in this video, so on an intellectual level it isn't very convincing at all. It is quite obvious that they are playing the emotional card here, ambient background music in a major key and smiling people saying motivational things in very colloquial language, to relate to the average viewer... I think you get the point. Oh yeah I almost forgot to mention that there are a lot of good looking people in the video. I think it's time we looked at a quote from the video.
"Once they see it they can actually be like 'Oh Scientology that's... oh I didn't know it was like that I thought it was something else' and you're like yah, it's not it just helps you that's all it does that's what it's there for."
You can see what I mean by the colloquial language.. The young man quoted here has a giant smile on his face while he's saying this, and is talking enthusiastically in a very friendly-sounding voice.

 Many of the people in the video talk about aid-work in places like New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, and ground zero in New York, saying "Scientologists were there", as if that is some kind of reason to become a Scientologist. Great, some Scientologists helped some people. There are millions of Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus every day that help people too, should we join all of those religions too?

What really grinded my gears was when these quotes started popping up all over the place "What you believe is what you believe", "Whatever is true for you is true for you", "Whether you're Christian, Baptist, Buddhist, Scientologist" and "I think everybody has the right to decide for themselves, and believe what makes sense and helps them through life". This kind of modern religious relativism is not just an innocuous fad. It seems to be spreading like a plague, and needs to be gutted like a fish.

"True for you" or "True to me" is an abhorrent application of the word 'true' and it should be plainly obvious to anyone that has a functioning brain. Here is the first definition offered on dictionary.com
true
adverb, verb

1.being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false: a true story.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but contradictory claims can NOT both be true. Religions that present contradictory world-views can NOT both be true. How do religious relativists not realise this? You can't have it both ways, either your religion is true and theirs isn't or vice versa. Perhaps these people are missing an important part of their brain that allows people to smell bullshit. Maybe they missed some important lessons growing up, when you teach a child the difference between blue and red, yes and no, black and white etc.

What I find particularly ironic is the part of that last quote "believe what makes sense", considering Scientology makes absolutely no sense at all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ask and you shall be given. Sounds like Santa

I was browsing through the Cectic archive and found this gem.

 

I find it rather comedic that some Christians will protest rather loudly when atheists compare their belief in god to a child's belief in Santa Claus, but the harsh reality is that there are a lot of similarities. I hadn't actually thought of this specific comparison before, so the next time I feel like making fun of someone's religion I'll pull this on them.

The 10 Atheist Recommendations

I stumbled upon this rather humorous rendition of the 10 commandments.

THE 10 ATHEIST RECOMMENDATIONS
1 – Do not have any God
2 – Do not worship a false idol
3 – Worship no God before knowledge of him
4 – Make no wrongful claim to mislead others
5 – Observe the 7th day to recover from the 6th night
6 – Honour your Father and Mother, unless they are neglectful or abusive, in which case you shall call Social Services.
7 – You shall not murder
8 – You shall not commit adultery – without adequate protection
9 – Don’t take shit
10 – Don’t hassle your neighbour. Unless he’s a dick.

I think number 5 should be changed to "Observe the 7th and 1st day to recover from the 6th and 7th nights". It is a little more wordy but I like to relax on the weekends!

Source



I Finally Caved in.....

I got a twitter account.

Follow me here.

Hope to see some of you on there.

Monday, July 26, 2010

People are too Credulous

This issue relates directly to two things I've posted about recently, conspiracy theories, and my Christian Deception post. This fact is very obvious, and can be demonstrated simply by the existence of a website like Snopes. If people weren't so damned gullible then Snopes wouldn't exist. If you are unfamiliar with Snopes, they're basically in the business of debunking urban myths, particularly ones that get spread around the internet.

A reader called Jamie posted a comment asking me to do a post about this, here's what he said.
Can you do a post on why some Christians send those forwarded emails that that are obviously hoaxes or are blatant lies? Or maybe who makes them up? (Its modern day dishonesty) Some that I have seen include: claiming that the remains of the red sea chariots have been found thus proving the bible, giants have been found (you posted that one lol), Albert Einstein didn't believe in evolution - you get the picture :)
 This reminded me of a whole bunch of these kinds of religious rumours that propagate so freely on the internet. With a brief search on Snopes I found 3 common Christian chain-mail rumours that I had seen before.
Einstein humiliates atheist professor - False
Nasa Discovers Joshua's lost day - False
Airlines will not pair a Christian pilot and co-pilot in case they are taken by the Rapture - False

With regard to the chariot wheels from the exodus, that idea originated with Fundie "archaeologist" Ron Wyatt who claims to have found Noah's ark, the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, the location of Sodom And Gomorrah, the Tower of Babel, the true site of Mt. Sinai, the true site of the crucifixion of Jesus, and the original stones of the Ten Commandments (from truthorfiction.com). His ideas were never independently verified by any actual archaeologists, and many of the pictures of 'chariot parts' that he claimed were real turned out to be nothing more than coral formations.

What I think it all comes down to in the end is really just a willingness to believe fantastical stories, especially when they claim to confirm some aspect of a person's belief system as a fact. It most certainly isn't unique to Christians, or even to religion at all (though it is common within religious groups). You'll see similar behaviour relating to conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and even just general urban myths. People simply seem to have a strange attraction to believing the unbelievable. I can't think of any other explanation for it.

On the other hand you have the people who actually make this stuff up. I suspect many of the myths that float around the internet have very boring origins, for example some teenager thinks it'd be funny to go around claiming that Mountain Dew makes your testicles shrink, or something similar, and before long the story has make its way onto the internet and people are spreading it like gospel. Other myth origins are simply a result of a misunderstanding, as was the case with the claim that some hair-ties are made from used condoms, which was not quite true. The reality was that a chinese condom company was using condoms that didn't pass quality control to make hair-ties. When it comes to people like Ron Wyatt, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, the Discovery Institute, all creationists, Fundamentalists in general, political propaganda and religion at large I am quite baffled at the lengths they go to in order to spread their lies. To call it anything else would be dishonest, they are clear-cut lies. Creationists are liars.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Conspiracy Mentality

For some reason or another, while inebriated at a party, the topic came around to discussing a movie called Zeitgeist and other various assorted conspiracy theories. I have come up with a hypothesis of my own, although it isn't a conspiracy, it does relate to the people that formulate and believe in conspiracies.

My hypothesis is very simple, so I'll do my best to explain it as such.

Conspiracy theorists and believers of conspiracies always tend to accept a whole battalion of conspiracy theories. I have never met a person who thinks 9/11 was an inside job that doesn't also believe in multiple other conspiracies. Other common conspiracies that they tend to believe in are New World Order conspiracies, Illuminati, Moon Landing Hoax, World Bank conspiracies and even some conspiracies dating back hundreds of years. So with this in mind, I propose that perhaps some people are more prone to conspiratorial thinking than others. I'm not a neuroscience expert, but I suspect that it is a result of brain conditioning or that critical thinking skills aren't being applied consistently that causes some people to be more susceptible to believing grandiose conspiracies.

I hope that made sense...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Atheist Fundies

So far my Friday Fundies posts have only been from Christians, so in the interest of balance I'll do an atheist one. I definitely wouldn't call this person a fundamentalist atheist, but most certainly would call them arrogant/militant/angry/bigoted. The person I'm talking about is 'Human Ape' who commented on my post about Theistic Evolution. I removed his comments from the page, since he primarily came here to promote his blog, and is now censoring all dissenting comments on his own blog.

Here are some quotes from him.
"Most definitely Christianity is a mental illness, and unfortunately this disease is usually incurable. If a brainwashed child is still a Christian retard at age 21, he or she will always be a retard."
"By the way Christian morons, how does this heaven business work?
If I understand your cowardly belief correctly, your soul (whatever that is) magically flies up to the clouds (or who knows where) and then magically transforms itself into your disgusting dead body, except that now you're alive again, living in some magical place infested with other Christian idiots like yourselves. Jeebus must be waving his magic wand like crazy to make this bullshit work. And your magical selves live forever in this fantasy land, for trillions and trillions of years. Long after the entire universe goes extinct, you're still alive playing with your harp, bored out of your fucking mind."
From my experience trying to dialogue with him over the last day it is quite obvious that he's not interested in any kind of discussion about anything. He's not open to any new ideas and instead of taking criticism like an adult, he resorts to ad-hom attacks like this
"Wait a fucking minute. You call yourself an atheist and you think atheists have beliefs? You're worse than an atheist wimp. You're a fake atheist."
 Instead of listening to my reply to that, he just censored my comments and called me a wimp again. Bravo 'Human Ape'... You just proved that you're exactly what you claim everyone else is. He's so afraid of opposing views that he censors them and then insults them.

Not only is his insult vocabulary incredibly small (so it gets very tedious very fast) but his blog is an eye-sore. It's nearly as bad as jesus-is-savior.

So, if you are mildly interested in seeing the obnoxious rants of a self professed asshole atheist, be my guest. Here's a link to his blog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christian Deception

A reader asked me to do a post about someone called Dionysius (not the greek god). The reader was informed by someone at his church that this fellow Dionysius apparently wrote about an eclipse at the time Jesus died on the cross. I decided to have a quick look at what I was getting myself into, and the first thing I discovered was that Dionysius was someone mentioned in the book of Acts who was converted to Christianity by Paul. When I went searching for the claim about the eclipse...

The writing mentioning the eclipse was written by an anonymous author in the 5th-6th century pretending to be the Dionysius mentioned in Acts. This is yet another case of middle-ages Christians fabricating documents to try and lend some credibility to their religion. Much the same as the forged passage in Josephus' 'Antiquities'. What angers me even more than these hypocritical Christians back in history trying to make their religion more appealing, is the people who go around spreading this intellectual faeces in the 21st century. The information explaining that it is a forgery is just as readily available as the document itself. You can find it by using Google. So either the Christian telling my reader about it was a liar, or the person who told them was a liar. It all comes down to Christians spreading lies to promote their religion, nothing we haven't seen before.

Wiki page on Pseudo-Dionysius

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Catholicism = Ancestor Worship

I was sent a link to a video on Fox about a woman claiming that prayer cured her cancer. Here's the thing though, she wasn't praying to god. She was praying to a French priest who died nearly 200 years ago. It seems pretty obvious to me that there was no miracle involved here at all. She recovered from a tumor, great news for her. She prayed to a dead priest to heal her? WTF! Nowhere in the bible are believers instructed to pray to dead humans. Catholicism is stupid.

Source

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Fundies

Quote# 27429

Any smart scientist would tell you carbon dating can only reach back 50,000 years or so, after that they are guessing. We really have no idea how long the Earth has existed or the universe. But ending it, like they say in this video, "A building must have a builder." Bye!

 Source

 Strawman!!!! No scientist claims to use CARBON DATING to go back beyond 50,000 years. Dumb fundies.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

S.E. Cupp is the Worst Atheist Ever

If you haven't heard of S.E. Cupp, you're missing out on some epic facepalm action. She's what you get when you cross Glenn Beck with Sarah Palin, wave a magic wand and turn it into an atheist.
Here's a picture of her.

Anyway. She's written this book called 'Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity' and has been seen all over the news promoting it. Here's a clip of her on Bill Maher's show making a fool of herself. Here's her being interviewed over the phone on The Young Turks sounding like a complete ignoramus. So S.E. Cupp is a dipshit and I'm going to make fun of her.

Basically her whole deal is that she thinks that the 'liberal media' is making a concerted effort to ridicule and destroy religion, particularly Christianity in America. She provides a small number of very weak examples of this, including things like religious people protesting against gay rights. She seems so incredibly fake that it doesn't seem unlikely that this whole atheist fa├žade is just a ploy she's using so that in 10 years time she can turn around and say "Hey look atheism is wrong, I was one, and now I'm a fundamentalist Christian!". This is an elaboration on the evangelism technique employed by Kirk Cameron when he says "I used to be an atheist". The only difference is that S.E. Cupp seems to actually know what an atheist is. Kirk Cameron just seems to use it to refer to his irreligious childhood (he became a fundy when he was a young teenager). Kirk Cameron isn't the only fundy who uses this as some kind of argument for his position being correct, the infamous YouTube fundy 'shockofgod' mentions it every time he talks to an atheist.

So besides Ms. Cupp's very weak assertion that the liberal media is attacking Christianity she doesn't make a very convincing atheist. Here's some quotes from this interview with S.E. Cupp.


"I haven't closed the door on faith, it just hasn't found me yet"
"I'm an evolutionary believer, I believe that science has answered that question adequately enough. For me."
"I really aspire to be a person of faith one day"
"I am, but I'm not a militant atheist, I've never really understood the angry atheist"
"I'm envious of the faithful, so I defend the faithful, especially the Christian-Right in America at every opportunity I get"
"I have a great respect for the religious right ... and a great respect for people of faith"
"I'm a fan of George Bush, I think he had a conviction, personal principles that require him to answer someone else when he went to bed at night... I don't see the same kind of reverence in some of our other recent presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton included. That gives me comfort as a citizen, knowing that my president is going to bed answering to a higher power ... I really respect that"

In conclusion, I'm giving Ms. Cupp an award.


**Most Unconvincing and Worst Atheist Ever!**

Monday, July 12, 2010

Video: God's Laws, Moral?

 One of the Youtube channels that I'm subscribed to uploaded this video today that contains a rather shocking list of some of the Old Testament laws. It's nothing that I havn't seen before but the presentation of it is rather appropriate considering the content.
He also made a blog post to go along with it Here.

On the Origin of Jesus Part 1: Paul

I have recently learned that the man largely responsible for the spread of Christianity in the first century, Paul, had no idea about the details of the Jesus story.
Paul was writing between the period of  50-60C.E.. The gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were not written till after Paul had died. The only accounts of Christianity during this period come from Paul. He never refers to Jesus as a literal human being who walked on the earth, which is strange to say the least. It seems that if someone called Jesus Christ (or of Nazareth etc.) had lived and walked on earth only a short while before Paul was writing, it seems that Paul didn't know about him. Paul never mentions Joseph or Mary, Bethlehem, Jesus' Baptism, Herod, the Census, Jesus going to Egypt, never quotes anything Jesus apparently said, doesn't reference any of the purported miracles Jesus performed, he never mentions that Jesus was ever a teacher, or that he had a ministry or had disciples. Paul doesn't mention the entrance into Jerusalem riding a donkey, the last supper, raising Lazarus from the dead, or the woman by the well. Paul doesn't even know about the betrayal of Judas, the trial before the Jewish high priest and Pilate, the beating inflicted upon Jesus by the Romans or even what Jesus said while on the cross.
Doesn't that seem a little strange?

Paul only ever mentions three details of what we consider to be the 'Jesus story'. The Crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. Even then, Paul never mentions them in reference to being on earth, specifically in Israel. Paul's Jesus seemed to exist only in the spiritual realm, as he never writes about Jesus as ever existing as a human being on earth. This is an awfully dire situation to be in, considering Paul is the only link between the supposed life of Jesus, and the appearance of the first accounts of the life of Jesus.


EDIT: See comments below for the error I made (which has now been stuck-through). Pretty dumb mistake actually.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Changing Unchanging Beliefs, Perfection and Problems

I don't know about you, but if I was a perfect unchanging god, I would ensure that when I conveyed my message of perfect truth about my unchanging nature to my people, it would retain that state. I would make sure that no contradictions or mistruths arose in anything in the text. I would make sure my people understood the doctrines that I dictated to them. I would take measures to ensure that their beliefs remained in stasis.

However, this is not what we find when we examine the various religions of the world at all, in fact quite contrary to it. Tracing human history and the history of religion back as far as we can go is very interesting indeed. Along with culture and knowledge, beliefs and superstitions evolved as the ages went by. The first superstitious beliefs and practices were mostly comprised of rituals to try and cause the weather to change. This isn't particularly surprising as those early civilisations were very much at the mercy of mother nature. In fact today we are still at the mercy of the weather, just look at how much we get hurt when tsunami's hit, not to mention hurricanes and tornadoes too. Those early cultures did not have any of the knowledge we have today, or the ability to recover from disasters as much. A prolonged drought could force entire villages to choose between leaving their homeland and dying of starvation. In some places there was too much rain, and they would perform rituals to try make the rain go away.

For the most part, as culture and knowledge evolved magical superstitions and rituals declined in popularity per se. It is only honest to say that those prior beliefs and practices were at the very least misguided, and in all seriousness were simply wrong. They had misjudged the nature of the 'gods'. I find this similar in many respects to the decline of religious superstition. Until the advent of modern science, all functions of the natural world were typically attributed to gods, and religious belief and practices reflected this. Pagan cultures had various gods that were in control of each function of their environment. Sea gods, Storm gods, Love gods, War gods etc. Each step in the religious evolution of humanity was not necessarily developed out of previous belief as seems to be the case with the pagan religions. Monotheism seemed to have developed separately to polytheism, though the god concept itself must surely have had a common origin in ancient Mesopotamia.

Now does this view of the development of religion seem to reflect anything that would be postulated by an unchanging, omnipotent, perfect deity? Absolutely not in my mind. If you can think of a reason why human belief would evolve in such a way other than a simple heuristic desire to know more about the world around them.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

100 Seems Like Yesterday

This will be my 200th post on this blog, and yet it only seems like yesterday when I made this post.
100 Posts

Clarifying Something About the 'Story' Post

The only point I had in the previous post was to criticise the claim often made by Christians that the bible contains just a single main storyline. That is all.
My intention in that post was not to belittle the value of the cultural insight we get from reading it.

But It's All One Story!

Now this is something which I never quite understood when I was a believer, the claim that the bible is all one big story, or that as a whole it conveys one unified message. If there were only 1 message in a book that size, it would be the king of boring books, nothing would ever be able to touch it in boring-ness.
I think that the reason this 'argument' has risen to popularity lately is perhaps because many Christians can see the blatant discrepancies between biblical texts, so they unconsciously concede the point that the bible is full of contradictions. They retreat to the position that "It's all one story", as if that is some kind of argument for its validity (which it most certainly isn't). The only possible way I can see of linking up all the books of the bible together would be the following summary "God does some things". In Genesis he's creating things, sending snakes to lie to people, promoting incest, committing genocide and giving boring genealogies. In Exodus he's talking through trees, sending plagues, murdering children, turning rivers into blood, turning sticks into snakes, drowning entire armies and kicking people out of their homelands. I think you get the point by now. The 'story' can only be unified by the line "God does things", and to suggest otherwise would be dishonest.
You could possibly elaborate on that by saying "God flaunts his power, and might makes right" or something like that, but I can't imagine the overall plot line would get any more complicated than that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Fundies

It's been a while since I've done a Friday Fundies post, so here's one!

Quote # 30307

Evolution is merely a religious belief posing as science about the origin of things. There isn't even a microbe piece of evidence to support the existence of evolution or that it has happened at any given time.

I challenge you to disprove the previous statement and find and present actual evidence that supports the existence of evolution. If you cannot prove it wrong by presenting actual evidence then by that very thing you have proven the statement to be true. That evolution is only a religious belief system not Science.

The following have already been proven false or fraudulent.

Bacteria in a lab test (False)
Life in a test tube (False)
The Pepper Moth (fraudulent)

Do not refer to websites as your answer but put it in your own words. Any one can refer to websites.

Source

This kind of statement/challenge is fairly common among creationists/fundies. They'll ask you to provide evidence for something and when you do they'll start spouting phrases like "Evolution is a religion!", "Atheists have no morals!", "Why do you hate god so much?". They don't seem to care about real evidence, and I really don't know why.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Theistic Evolution

I am really not sure where to stand with regard to theistic evolutionists. In many respects, I feel that they are on the side of science, but sometimes it seems like the last stand of a god-of-the-gaps. I personally went through a transition from young earth creationist, to old earth creationist, to theistic evolutionist and finally relinquished the theos altogether and embraced a naturalistic explanation for the biodiversity on earth.
Theistic evolutionists are probably the best solution to solving the problem of creationism/ID, as they can show the creationists that it is possible to be a believer and also acknowledge real science. The problem that I see is that it is driving a rather impervious wedge between religion and science, allowing people to get away with placing an intellectual barrier between their critical thinking and their religion.



C.S. Lewis and Creation Science

It may boggle the minds of some evangelicals, but the famous apologist C.S. Lewis was himself a theistic evolutionist. Lewis did make some arguments against naturalistic evolution though and some deceitful YEC's have quoted those arguments to support their nonsense.

Vaccines, Do We Need Them? Yes!

Watch this video and see what vaccines have saved us from.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wikipedia Crashed!

Just yesterday Wikipedia was offline for several hours after one of their servers went down. Wikipedia is one of the largest websites and most used on the internet, so to see a giant like that crash is pretty serious. Luckily though, their technical teams resolved the issue fairly quickly. I can't imagine the chaos that would be caused if the Google network went down for several hours. Considering that Google consists of: The most popular search engine, The most popular video sharing site, one of the most popular blogging sites, online advertising, news, Gmail, Image search, and more....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Biblical Blasphemy by Thomas Paine

I've decided to post this work in its entirety and let it speak for itself, since it is rather short and is also in the public domain as far as I know. Thomas Paine was a very outspoken critic of Christianity, arguing from the Deist position that the Christian scriptures depict a god that blasphemes his concept of god. If I am allowed to speculate about this, I would say that had Paine known what we know now about the nature of life and its origin, and of the universe itself, that he would not be a deist, but rather a naturalist/humanist/atheist. But anyway, here is Biblical Blasphemy.


The Church tells us that the books of the Old and New Testament are divine revelation, and without this revelation we could not have true ideas of God.
The Deist, on the contrary, says that those books are not divine revelation; and that were it not for the light of reason and the religion of Deism, those books, instead of teaching us true ideas of God, would teach us not only false but blasphemous ideas of Him.
Deism teaches us that God is a God of truth and justice. Does the Bible teach the same doctrine? It does not.
The Bible says (Jeremiah xx, 7) that God is a deceiver. "O Lord (says Jeremiah) thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed."
Jeremiah not only upbraids God with deceiving him, but, in iv, 10, he upbraids God with deceiving the people of Jerusalem. "Ah! Lord God (says he), surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ye shall have peace, whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul."
In xv, 18, the Bible becomes more impudent, and calls God in plain language, a liar. "Wilt thou (says Jeremiah to God) be altogether unto me as a liar and as waters that fail?"
Ezekiel xiv, 9, makes God to say - "If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet." All this is downright blasphemy.
The prophet Micaiah, as he is called, II Chron. xviii, 18-21, tells another blasphemous story of God. "I saw," says he, "the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the hosts of Heaven standing on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, who shall entice Ahab, King of Israel, to go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And one spoke after this manner, and another after that manner.
"Then there came out a spirit [Micaiah does not tell us where he came from] and stood before the Lord [what an impudent fellow this spirit was] and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, wherewith? And he said, I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail; go out, and do even so."
We often hear of a gang of thieves plotting to rob and murder a man, and laying a plan to entice him out that they may execute their design, and we always feel shocked at the wickedness of such wretches; but what must we think of a book that describes the Almighty acting in the same manner, and laying plans in heaven to entrap and ruin mankind? Our ideas of His justice and goodness forbid us to believe such stories, and therefore we say that a lying spirit has been in the mouth of the writers of the books of the Bible.
-Thomas Paine

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hilarious Hypothetical Discussion Between God and the Jews

I found this post over at Heaving Dead Cats, another atheist/skeptic blog. It highlights the huge differences in beliefs between the Old Testament Jew and the New Testament beliefs of the Christians.

Here's the link to the post.

How the New Testament Came About

Defining God Out of Existence

This is a problem that arises mostly out of the liberal side of religion, that religious people are redefining their own personal gods to the point that A) for all practical purposes, their god doesn't exist, and B) there are so many different definitions that it could be said that they are no longer functioning as a single cohesive religion. I find this quite interesting, as these kinds of theists in a sense are doing my work for me.

For the most part this mainly encompasses those who have redefined god into some kind of deistic being that doesn't interfere with the earth. This includes those people who give incredibly weak reasons for why god allows suffering to happen without interfering. A weak answer would be something like "god doesn't interfere with free will". The new testament, and in fact the bible as a whole is filled with examples of god interfering with free will, the two most memorable examples would be in the exodus, where god hardens the Pharaoh's heart just so god can murder all the firstborn of Egypt and cause many more to suffer and die from pestilence and plagues, and Paul's dramatic roadside conversion. I'm not quite sure how far some Christians would be willing to take the free will argument, but if you take it to its inevitable conclusion interfering with a disease that is taking over a person's body would also be interfering with the free will of the disease. Even though the disease itself is not a conscious entity, its primary purpose is to propagate, and stopping the disease dead in its tracks is most certainly interfering with that purpose. Even without taking the argument to that conclusion, the theist has effectively routed their god to the point where he is unable to act without interfering with someones free will, so their god serves no practical purpose, and as far as I'm concerned, has then been defined out of existence.

Now for B)..
Religious faith has become such a personal thing that people have almost created their own sub-religions. This would be very unlikely to happen if a given religion were actually true. If we look at this from the assumption that all religions are untrue, this is exactly what you would expect to find. Since the religion is not true, and the god of the religion doesn't exist, there is no unifying force to give people consistent revelation of the true god and of the true religion. If it were true, the god would be able to 'reveal' to people his nature. Surely this would be a violation of free will though, so there is a slight contradiction there.

That's all I have to say on the matter, feedback is appreciated.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

UK Homeopathy Funding Cut

The Homeopathy ban I talked about has just made the news again. It's not very accurate to call it a ban, so I'll just refer to it as a funding cut. The British Medical Association has voted to stop providing homeopathic treatments on the National Health Service. The BMA has also said that all homeopathic products should be labelled as 'placebo' when sold in pharmacies. The post on the funding cut from the Telegraph has an excellent way of describing how homeopathy works.

Without wanting to go into it in too much detail here, it is based on:
• a) a mistaken idea that substances that cause a symptom can cure that symptom (e.g. poison ivy causes skin rash so it can cure eczema, or onion causes running eyes so it can cure hay fever) and
• b) that the more dilute a remedy is, the more potent it is – without limit. So – with not a trace of irony – homeopaths offer “remedies” diluted so far that you could reasonably expect to find one molecule in a sphere of water several times larger than the Sun. I am not exaggerating, incidentally.
They also mention an incident in Australia last year where a couple were jailed after they treated their 9 month old daughter's eczema with homeopathic remedies rather than taking her to a doctor. Needless to say, placebo's do not work at all for some conditions and most certainly do not work on 9 month old children who aren't aware they're being treated for anything. Their daughter died of septicaemia as a result of the non-treatment of her condition.

Anyway, here is the link to the post on the Telegraph.

Doctors vote to drop homeopathy on the NHS – and about time

Friday, July 2, 2010

Potential Homeopathy Ban in the UK

Hat Tip: Humanist in Canada

So this is incredibly good news,  medical practitioners are calling for the UK government to stop funding homeopathic remedies saying that they have "no place in the modern health service" which I couldn't agree with more. The suggestion to cut them from funding comes from the fact that the British National Health Service is being forced to make £20 billion worth of budget cuts in the next few years. So proven ineffectual sugar pills and water bottles that cost just as much as real medicine are naturally the first thing to go.

Unfortunately homeopathy has some support from within their government, which I hope doesn't affect the outcome of the ban. Homeopathy supporters were supposedly protesting the ban this past tuesday.

If you have a look down at the comments section on the Telegraph website, some homeopathy supporters are on the brink of claiming that this ban is all a big conspiracy and that the pharmaceutical companies are trying to eliminate the competition. This notion, even if true wouldn't change the fact that homeopathy is a steaming pile of crap that has no effect except the placebo.

Comic: God Prefers Atheists

I saw this comic posted over on the blog Atheist Physics Teacher and had to share it with everyone. It's basically a funny comic version of the Marcus Aurelius quote that I posted a few weeks ago.


The Scientology Creed

I was just having a read through the Creed of the Church of Scientology, much of which is actually quite honourable, but some statements were absurd, and others were dangerous.

Here are some examples from the creed, which starts out saying "We of the Church believe"

- That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.
- That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.
- That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity.
Enough with the decent statements, lets have a look at something humorous.

-That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

So let me get this straight, the same organization that is famous for filing lawsuits against anyone that sheds unfavourable light onto them, states in their own creed that free speech is an inalienable right? Oh that is just far too ironic to be a coincidence.
Scientology vs. the Internet


-That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind.

This is probably just strangely worded, but it sounds to me like Scientology is in the business of 'creating' artificial people. They should have just avoided any confusion and said something like "all men have inalienable rights to sex". They would probably run into problems there, as sex is not a right recognised by any real human rights manifesto. In fact, with that wording it actually sounds quite misogynistic.

-That the souls of men have the rights of men.

Uhh.. What??? This is rather ridiculous, even if the soul could be proven to exist, does this mean that Scientology would have us give rights to the souls of the deceased?

-That the study of the Mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in nonreligious fields.

This is where they step away from being a fairly innocuous religion to being something dangerous. They are suggesting that mental health care should only be provided by religion. Any science-based mental health care  should be abolished in their belief system, because the E-meter solves everything. As long as you have several million dollars to give to the Church of Scientology, they'll fix all your mental health problems! Yeah right. This kind of medical quackery is dangerous and should always be regarded as so, it is in the same vein as alternative medicine and praying for cures. We all know how effective those are.... So effective that children die, and then their parents are charged with negligent homicide.

-And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

What gives 'god' the right to suspend our rights anyway? Is Scientology unknowingly teaching that Might = Right?

To finish off their creed they end with this statement.

And we of the Church believe
That the spirit can be saved.
And that the spirit alone may save or heal the body.

It is quite obvious that Scientology is an enemy of modern medicine and an enemy of science reading a statement like that. The spirit alone may heal the body? What spirit are they talking about? The one that has never been shown to exist?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blocked Dennis' Primary IP

I've used a free internet service called Toolator  IP Address Blocker, and I've redirected Dennis' traffic from his main IP to www.shutupwomangetonmyhorse.com.


EDIT: It seems I can't redirect to custom URL's unless I use the paid service, so he's just going to see a nice website selling some clocks for now.

Shocking News

I've found a website with scientific evidence of evolution being a hoax and for the existence of god!!!1!!!!?!?!!11!11!

Check it out.

Creationist Astronomy Propaganda Debunked

Youtube user AndromedasWake has made an excellent video taking apart the creationist "fine tuning" argument. Here it is.