Thursday, January 26, 2006 

We used to burn witches too

L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein is in the unfortunate position of having two very powerful things in this day and age: a brain and a soap box. Joel wrote an op-ed piece in which he stated that he does not support the troops because he does not the support the war. On this issue, I happen to feel exactly the same way as Joel does, though, perhaps he wouldn't take his disdain of statist concepts as far I do. Supporting the troops while being against the war is a chicken-shit, contradictory position which should be ridiculed at any chance. This is the same sort of rationale, and I use that term loosely here, that allows moderate Christianity to exist(hedonistic, pick and choose types). Don't get me wrong, fundies and moderates are both equally devoid of morality.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

Which segement of the population do all of the people who are against the war, but support the troops, think is pulling the triggers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and pretty soon Iran or Syria? Politians aren't. You and I aren't. Granted, politians send the soldiers on their way, but those same soldiers volunteered to be in the state sponsored murder business. Their morals are just as corrupt as those politians. Support is the last thing they would receive from me.

And what sort of treatment do those who dissent receive? Well, Joel is presently being bombarded with hate mail, threatened with physical violence by e-thugs, and having his name sullied by statist pigs; all because he shared a coherent opinion.

These days truths are no longer backed by free speech and not supporting the troops is the new witchcraft.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Iran's pseudoscience to the rescue!

Guess what? Iran is going to have a conference to closely examine the Holocaust on their terms. Even going so far as to examine the "scientific evidence" of the Holocaust. Those dutiful bastards. How nice of them to leave no stone unturned so they can reaffirm our undestanding that neo-Nazism is despicable.

What's that you say?

That's not why they're holding this conference?

Iran is fucking insane and I should read this article to further understand why they're complete asshats?

I swear the news gets funnier, and scarier, everyday regarding Iran and Israel. There's three or four stories crossing the wire daily that defy any and all forms of sanity and morality. The only thing that can come of the attitudes that the peoples of these two nations currently hold is murder. And you know Christians, and the U.S., never pass on a chance to get their hands bloodied when there is even a hint of religious overtones present. Well, that's not entirely true seeing as the ruling class of this country seems to effectively skirt around getting themsevles physically involved when situations like these arise.

Anyway, blah.

Monday, January 23, 2006 

I don't get Protestants.

To be more specific, I don't understand why any people are religious other than hedonistic impulses and a lack of objective philosophical education. Okay, maybe I do understand but a lack of education may have more to do with early religious indoctrination these days. Either way, I guess it's a lack of 'edumacation', as Stephen Colbert would put it.

Anyway, one of the tenets of Protestantism is Solus Christus , or Christ alone, which states that Jesus Christ is the only person who could be a mediator between God and man. In other words, they disregard any and all papal works(i.e. the Pope has no authority).

Buuuuuuut, they also adhere to the New Testament. What is conveniently forgotten by Protestants, and their many reformed fragments, is that the New Testament's books were chosen by a Pope. That's right, Pope Saint Damasus I had the Greek/Latin translations altered, as well as omitting some books in this new version of God's word, during the first formal canonization process(around 350 to 400ish A.D.) of the New Testament.

I'm sure I could post a giant list of contradictions about Protestantism specifically, but I really don't want to waste any more of my time today pondering why people imagine things exist outside of material reality and how said morons irrationalize it all.

Friday, January 20, 2006 

The Godless Splinter


One of the least known things about Ted Williams is that he was atheist through and through. Regardless, Ted wasn't anywhere near perfect in his assessments of the world. The downside of his views was a devotion to the state. He fought in wars, and is widely recognized for his 'bravery' in combat. It's that same devotion which also drove him to become the greatest hitter baseball has ever known.

If only i'd had been able to meet someone of his stature when I was younger, and know that he held no beleif in the undefined. Sure, he was a human being just like you or I, but he'd been so distinguished by baseball - which all but encapsulated much of my childhood and teenage years, that i'd have simply stood there in awe and absorbed whatever he had to say. After all, there was .406, the walk-off home run in the 1941 All-Star game, the home run he hit in the final at bat of his career, and so much more. We depend on our elders to guide us with truth as children and even though I could not have been sure that what he believed was true at the time, due to my undeveloped mind, I would have been the better for it.

Only after he died did I learn of Ted's non-belief. Perhaps, the same desire to beat the game of baseball into submission also carried over into his views about god(s). Nothing could be Ted's master, I suspect. Alas, the irony of him being 'the great American hero' and a non-believer shouldn't go unnoticed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 

Sound the amoral Xtian alarm!

Judges rule state has power to remove 11 year old girl from life support.

Shiavo had a throng wackos trying to make a positive claim on her life. Where are those of that ilk now? Is this little girl not worthy of their Christian dogmas? What about the 'stepfather'? Or the state? Quick, find as many carefully plucked bible passages to reaffirm whatever stance you take on this one, Christians!

Fucking psychos.

I guess this case isn't dignified enough for them to get all riled up.
______________________________________________________________________

Upon further review:

I cannot see how Christians could pass this one up. It involves two of their favorite things to rally for and against in one fell swoop. Putting people to death for crimes and saving those in vegetative states.

Then again, this might cause the Christian's pea-brain to overheat and stop rattling around in their hollowed skulls.
______________________________________________________________________
Update:

In a strange twist, according to her doctors at least, the little girl is apparently breathing on her own after being taken off life support. Hopefully she has enough faculties left to resume a normal life.

 

Hasidic Homeboy dot dot dot WTF

I've seen and heard it all now (figuratively of course). Twenty minutes later I still sit in bewilderment.

About this time every morning I turn on the TV, switch to one of a plethora of music stations - usually which ever station has something that least offends my senses at the time - and do some chores around the house. Well, I was about to put down the remote after hearing what I thought to be a catchy reggae song. After listening to what I determed were religion inspired lyrics for a few seconds, I was drawn back to the TV. What did I see? Well it took me a few seconds to process it but it turned out be a rapping Jew in full orthodox garb: beard, hat, and all. This threw me for an even further loop as he sounded as though he were one of Bob Marley's 38 sons.

All i'm saying is WTF.

Anyway, I finally pieced that together and have now concluded that atheists could use a good dose of poetic representation. Maybe we can get a chuckle out of folks if we send an uncaring, emotionless, monotone robot onto a stage to rap about non-belief, quantum theory, and the anti-virtues of Christian dogma. But seriously, Dawkins said it is scientists whom must point out the wonders that science can inspire to poets for them to reach their full potential. Perhaps atheism could use more of poets touch as well. After all, atheism appreciates the value of life far more than any theistic faith does.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

It's conspiracy time!

Something seemed a bit too coincidental over the last two days and I got to thinking about it well into the early morning hours.

Following Al Gore's speech he gave on Monday, you'd expect there to be some harsh words thrown back at Democrats from the right. Well, there is the best they could muster up: Al Gore is a hypocrite. Seems to me it's as though Republicans aren't able to attack his message so they make a weak attempt on his character. Quite unlike their usual party tact or isn't it?

The last time a voice this loud spoke against the current administration, it was around or just after the last election. And what started popping up on television as major news? What was the big thing that caused outrage, anger, fear, and disgust in Americans? Televised beheadings. Remember Nicholas Berg? There are two excellent threads on that incident here and here.


So, we have this scathing, clear cut speech lobbed at one side, which really has no answer because they've brazenly admitted to it in front of the American people. There's a minor attack on the speech giver's character and no real addressing of the message he delivered. Mind you, this speech was BARELY picked up by the major news agencies. No CNN, Fox, NBC, CBS, or ABC. So, what's the breaking news the following day?

Iraqi Captors Threaten Life of Reporter!
Al Jazeera airs video of kidnapped journalist!
Captors threaten to kill U.S. journalist!

That's right. A female journalist is to be executed if the captures demands are not met within 3 days.

Now either I read too much into things or it's the same old fear mongering tactic being used over and over and over again. Who wants to see a woman beheaded on television? I most certainly do not. So that means we must somehow give away even more of our dwindling liberties in order to ensure that this won't happen? Look, i'm sure there are some extremely evil people in the Mid-East, but when you look at the Nick Berg beheading, there are too much questions that arise.

These people - the government - will seemingly stop at nothing to keep their religious strangle-hold over this country. Liberty, free-thought, and personal values are all being choked out of the West. More and more Christian sponsored schools are popping up in place of public schools. And public schools are being invaded by religious dogmatics. It's as though a Christian manifest destiny is under way; spreading from the West, accross the Atlantic, into the Middle East.

Again, maybe I read too much into things, but does this sound all that impossible? Moreover, if this is the case, why don't people care enough to do anything about it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Plainly speaking

Some call being 'plain spoken' a virtue. It's something i've been accused of more than once. As for it being a virtue, well, that depends. If the intent of speaking plainly is to 'dumb down' your audience, then no, it is not a virtue by any means. And certainly not my intention at all.

However, I feel that it can be a virtue if the intent is allowing someone to know that mastery of a form is possible, which, to me, enables a mind to wonder. Be it in regard to philosophy, science, or even the arts. I do not purport to be masterful in one, or any, of those things, but i'd like think that speaking 'plainly' about them gives a mind, my mind, your mind, a chance to roam freely through reality (the universe) if it is so inclined.

Understanding philosophical jargon or mathematical formulas might seem akin to learning Esperanto or hearing staccato clicks and beeps. Surely, there is a great deal to be said for earning one's ability to understand these things. Though, I happen to be one for leaving a crack in the door so inquiring minds can see what all of the fuss is about. After all, wonder and amazement allowed me to become who I am today.

When it comes to children, it's a travesty that so many minds are poisoned before they really have a chance to ask complex questions; giving the world more Christians, Jews, Muslims, and the like. If only atheism were more of a recognized foundation for thought in today's scoeity. If only...

Monday, January 16, 2006 

Required reading

Please read this speech. I know it's long but free-thinkers and statists alike should realize the problem we face.

Al Gore delivered an interesting speech a few hours ago which attempts to reallign statism. He points out that the nearing alternative is much, much more unpleasant. And to be quite honest, i'd rather depise our current state than live under tyrannical unilateral executive whose moral compass is guided by fairy-tales. We're not at the latter....yet.

The choice this speech leaves me weighing is whether i'd rather see a slow decaying collapse of the state which gives libertarians a greater chance to spread the message or a swifter collapse with a much more treacherous, albeit unstable, state in it's place. After I looked at it in that manner, the choice is relatively easy. While any sane, free-thinking individual wants to be unshackled from the restraints and ultimatums of the state as soon as possible, taking the risk of falling into even more cumbersome shackles should be avoided if possible.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 

The Blame Game

There was a recent 60 Minutes edition which was devoted entirely to the West Virginia mining tragedy. Now, my view on aspects of this event might seem cold and uncaring. Guess what though? Read on or leave. The deaths of the miners is terribly sad. No human being should ever meet such an end, in my view. However, these are the pitfalls of civilization as currently constituted.

In the immediate aftermath, once the miners' deaths had been confirmed, there was a fascinating study in religion's effect on the human psyche. Raw emotion flowed freely, as would be expected.

The eye-opening thing happened right after the news was announced that the they were indeed dead. Families were enfuriated with the mining company and vocally blamed the incident on the mining company. Swearing them down on church steps no less. Mind you, there were cameras stuck in the face of every relative to one of these poor men who were killed. Doesn't sound all that out of the ordinary, I know.

We'll have to backtrack just a tiny bit to where the families of these miners were told that their loved ones were alive. What were the first things out of their mouths? "Thank GOD!" or "thank the lord" or "praise Jesus" - along with numerous other 'accreditations'. All of which is perfectly normal; the Christian, Muslim, or Jew thanking God for a perceived miracle. Of course, this doesn't sit well with me.

Now, when we put the reactions in their proper order - I stated them in reverse - it ends up as: "Thank you, God, for saving our husbands and fathers!" to "I hate you, mining company, for killing our husbands and fathers!". The reactions people were giving were honest and heart felt but if God is responsible for saving these people then, based upon what I am told of God, God should also be responsible for putting them in that situation and, ultimately, their deaths. Again, all according to the Christian god-concept. So, why then, is there an inconsistency in blame?

I'll tell you why. Hedonism. Plain and simple. The masses of Christianity don't seem fully capable of reconciling their beliefs when something bad happens to them. It's never God's fault. Why would it be? After all, their God is benevolent. Scratch that, their God is omnibenevolent. The Christians' wires get crossed somewhere in the process of assessing who is at fault for whatever. "God can't be to blame for these horrible deaths because everything God does is good" is what I imagine runs through their subconscious nanoseconds after the aforementioned deaths had been substantiated. That doesn't appear to be uncommon when you realize that throughout their religious indoctrination, I mean "lives", God is painted in a positive light while evil is left for nonbelievers to deal with. Though when looking at Christian scriptures, their God is to blame for every single thing that's ever happened, yet the initial reaction is to blame something other than God in situations like this.

But how could all of that be? Either their concept of God is applied to all occurrences in life or it can't even be considered as remotely viable. The fact that inconsistencies of this magnitude plague religions across the world should be an indicator that these are the views equivalent of a child choosing one flavor of ice cream over another. Completely subjective bullshit. Picking and choosing what makes one feel good is hedonism and Christiantity is just that; a giant hedonistic orgy.

In closing, I would like to say that these types of people - yes, the family members of the miners included - are mentally ill.

That is all.

 

Atheism means

As Richard Dawkins said at the close of his excellent British TV special, The Root of all Evil, earlier in the week "We are all atheists about most of the gods that society has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."

I've often used variations of this quote when in conversations with theists. It's rather charming and momentarily disarms them sometimes, I find.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 

Update: Pat Robertson apologizes to Israel

Story

To say i'm disappointed would imply that I actually thought highly of Pat Roberston in the first place. Rather, this just adds to my disdain for Christains in general.

I had given Pat Robertson a backhanded compliment in regard to his literal following of biblical writings, as opposed to the hedonistic masses of Christianity. Oh well, Pat is just like the rest of them, I guess; lacking conviction when it comes down to it.

If only I could be out of this country yesterday.

Friday, January 13, 2006 

Islam stomps the weak from it's herd

Story: Muslims squished to death

An enormous gathering of i-fundies slowly moves torward a giant stone pillar. Once there, they have to pick up a rock while moving and hurl it at the pillar because the devil appeared there a long, long time ago. However, if someone happens to trip and fall while trying to move and pick up a rock, they more than likely get trampled to death. I guess this is just Allah's way of weeding out the weak, eh?

Alas, there can't be much else expected from strict Islamic theocracies. It's not like people living under them have much of a choice when it comes to openly criticizing their own traditions. Still, it boggles the mind the lengths people will go in order to maintain the facade of their fairy-tale views.

None the less, they are fucking insane, violent, hate mongers.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 

Christians and ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle)

Are these two things actually compatible? I'm not so sure. ZAP is as follows: No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to threaten or delegate its initiation.

Knowing plenty of Christians myself, it's hard to think that such a thing could coexist with their dominant god-concept. First, they're constantly under threat from god. If they deviate from god's teachings, well, in their minds the end result isn't too pretty. God isn't even complying with the ZAP. So, if man is made in god's image, then why would they even agree to go along with ZAP in the first place? And this only questions their internal conflict on the subject.

How exactly would they be able to maintain their ZAPness to others without violating either of their philosophical view points? There are many things that call for the Christian to directly use force or attempt coercion. Eternal damnation, wars(see: George Bush Jr.), and general hostility to name a few. This can apply to other religions too, I suppose.

One could say that all of this is meaningless as well. Why couldn't the Christian adhere to ZAP due to the god-concept being meaningless? I mean, their fairy-tale world has never caused anyone any harm. Right?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 

Agnosticism + stupidity = Nihilism

This notion of people who can't make up their mind about anything, due to certainty being impossible, is monumentally indigent. The lengths that these would-be-atheists go to in order to maintain some sort of "centrist" position on the philosophical landscape shows a clear deficiency.

Let's look at a few commonly diagnosed, and oft true, reasons why people claim to be only agnostic:

  • to appease closed-minded family members who maintain religious leanings
  • scared of the atheist label and the harsh stereotypes that are entailed
  • is genuinely a moron
  • truly has a belief in god that he/she is ashamed of
There are probably a few more reasons but that covers the most important, I think. Now, before you go off saying this is some arbitrary list from a miserable atheist, know that I speak from experience as I used to be one of these mental dwarves.

With that out of the way, let's now look at what agnostic actually means in terms of atheism and theism. I'm going to borrow the explanation from an article at Inquisitive Atheists as it aptly describes what I know. It shows that agnosticism is not a third option to atheism/theism but merely an epistemic descriptor.

Theists:

The gnostic theist believes there is a god, but it doesn't stop there. The GT, usually just referred to as a theist, sees whatever data is present (i.e. the bible and supernatural events) and adds to that belief the claim to know that god exists.

The agnostic theist believes there is a god but doesn't claim to know based upon the evidence.


Atheists:

The gnostic atheist - the strong atheist - lacks a belief in god and knows there is no god based upon contradictions with god and material reality. Amongst other things.

The agnostic atheist - weak atheist - lacks a belief in god as well, but doesn't know if god(s) exist from a lack of evidence.

A person can't be just agnostic. To say that is the equivalent of saying you're a human being who uses critical thought to evaluate things in life. Everyone uses agnostic thought processes, even Christians. It's time for undecideds to grow a pair, even the women, and realize that they either have a belief in god or they don't. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, not belief. It's a completely different aspect of the whole god-concept.

Now here is where my redundant equation in the title of this post comes into play. If the person then claims to not know whether he or she has a belief in god, well you'd probably do best to just stop your interaction with this person and walk away slowly. It's a good bet that this person is a nihilist; whether they know so or not. There is no reasoning with this sort. Nihilists will shout their idiocy, I mean 'lack of knowledge', from hilltops as long as you are willing to listen and then some.

As for agnosticism, hopefully this post explains well enough that it is not a third option to atheism and theism.

Monday, January 09, 2006 

All aboard the famine express!

Demented little-man Kim Jong-Il hopped on his special armored train, which is powered by famine and murder, to pay a visit to China. I suppose this despicable turd is putting on his best platform shoes, dressing up real munchkin-like - in an effort to finally get his hands on a civilian nuclear reactor. At least our statist 'leaders' haven't given in to him yet. I'm sure someone eventually will though. Greed knows no bounds in our civilization these days.

Oh, and how come Christians can't differentiate the evil, tyrannical ways of a midget from a lack of belief in neon green unicorns. I'm tired of hearing them throw North Korea out there as an example of what atheism does to a country. It's coercive atheism within that nation and there is no way to tell if the people there indeed hold it as a truth; even though they'd be wiser for doing so on their own accord. And you see where that coercion North Korea don't you? No where. So blame the evil bastards whom perpetuate all of the immorality in that part of the world. Leave atheism out of it. Besides, look at some of the largest atheistic populations and tell me if all of those countries are genocidal and economically dysfunctional due to their disbelief.

Anyway, here is the story about this pint-sized asshole: Click Me...

Sunday, January 08, 2006 

They say "god'. I say WTF?

This word, god, is used so often around me. People are constantly thanking "god" for things that they perceive as good, but never giving "god" the same amount of blame for things that they perceive as evil. It's some sort of sick mechanism that religions have instilled in it's masses.

That's not the point of this post though. The actual word - god - makes no sense to me at all; as with most atheists who are honest with themselves. God comes out of their mouth and i'm legitimately at a loss as to what the person is talking about. Sometimes i'll ask an innocuous question to see if the person even knows what they mean by that word.

Here's a list of things that i've heard in describing what "god" is:

the Creator
all powerful - omnipotent
all knowing - omniscient
perfectly good - omnibenevolent
infinite
immortal
everything
immaterial
ethereal
invisible
unknowable
infinitely loving - caring - merciful - patient - fogiving - fill in the blank
infallible
master of the universe
supernatural
supreme being
father

I'll stop there before this post takes up the whole front page. So, go back and review that list and tell me if any of it actually describes what "god" is. Seriously, see for yourself.

Done? Do you have an idea of what "god" looks like in your head now? The nature of god's existence? It all makes sense now right? Well, if it does make sense then you've got some extremely honed perceptive skills that dwarf 99.9% of the human species. In other words, you're a liar.

That list is full of negative definitions, abilities, and general nonsense. There wasn't a primary attribute given. If this is still lost on you, scroll down and read the stupid "Woogiforkus" post. All anyone is saying when they offer up any of those descriptors for the word "god" is "I have no clue what i'm talking about so i'll just use some authoritative words here".

If this still isn't making sense, i'll break it down further. Someone says that god is the creator of the universe. That's only describing the relation of "god" to man and the universe. Another person says that god is omnipotent. This is an ability of "god" and nothing more. If someone says the word "table", we know what they are referring to based on the primary attributes of a table. Unlike god, table has meaning. Nevermind that this "god" is supposed to exist in an immaterial reality! Seriously, wtf is that?

You can use this as a way to make the entire concept of god null and void, as I do, but that's not necessary. Though I can't see how you wouldn't come to that conclusion.

Theists will sometimes claim, after pointing this out to them, that it's impossible to know anything about god other than that it exists. Wow, just wow. How did all of these mentally indigent asshats manage to come up with the crap on the list above then? And if you try to point out things on the list which contradict each other, these people just... I'll save that for another post.

WTF are you guys talking about?!?!

Saturday, January 07, 2006 

What's your world view?

Click here to take the test.

Here are my results:

You are a

Social Liberal
(88% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(88% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Anarchist




Link: The Politics Test

Friday, January 06, 2006 

Christians, Christians, Christians...

This just in: Pat Robertson is a fuckwad. Here is the latest case of his oratorical diarrhea. Gotta love that tolerance the bible preaches, eh? Oh, that only applies to people who believe what you believe? Hmm, seems like a contradiction to me.

I will say one thing for Pat Robertson though. He at least follows the complete and utter fairy-tail biblical nonsense more consistently than most Christians. I guess that is what makes him so much more fun to despise. Fucking asshole.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 

Staying State-free

First, let's make it understood that a state is doomed to fail from it's inception. It's power and penchant for violently enslaving the masses can only exist for so long until any number of things force it to die a necessarily painful death.

Now, i've been pondering the various circumstances in which a state might finally implode under it's violently enforced ways. It seems to me there are foreign and domestic influences which would aid to a state's demise.

Let's start with the latter. What types of domestic catalysts could cause a state to fold?

  • Economic collapse
  • Civil unrest/upheaval
How about foreign catalysts?

  • Economic success (i.e. rendering the U.S. dollar obsolete)
  • Nuclear war
  • Military invasion
Surely there are many more specfic influences, perhaps broader ones as well, that could bring about the death of a state. My question is, once a state is over and done with, how do we ensure success in terms of allowing freedom to prosper under a unversal morality? Well, the obvious answer, as Stefan Molyneux pointed out to me, is to keep a generation of children safe from the affects of Statism. That's absolutely true, but it seems to me that just stopping there would be a woeful lack of thought as to how we see this through. One could say: "the state is unlikely to fall within our lifetime" or "we're still in the early stages of trying to make a dent in the armor which is the state". However, it seems all but impossible to predict when a state, our state, will fall. So purporting it to be something that will happen off in the distance holds no more value than if I say the straw that breaks the state's back is going to do it's thing 48 seconds from now.

This, to me, makes the lack of thought into other state's, or semblance of a state, imposing their will on us during a period of time where we'd be vulernable to such influences. After all, any societal infrastructure would be absent. We'd be unorganized if such a threat arose; albeit revelling in our newfound notion of freedom.

I think it's irresponsible for those of us who actively seek freedom under a universal morality to shrug our shoulders and say "that's for the next generation of Libertarians to sort out." If we're waiting for our numbers to increase to the point where a dissenting voice would be a small minority, well, I find that highly unlikely until a Libertarian-inspired, universally moral, free society is actually above the intial stages of growth. People are dumb animals to whom shiny objects have great appeal. They're set in their ways and will more than likely wade in the water where the state has sunk for some time; latching onto a 'lost comfort'. So, how do we combat such things while maintaining our morality?

____________________________________________

After a short discussion about the above with someone, perhaps my fears are a bit overstated. Educating the masses should be the main focus since we're in a very small minority. I'll have to work through my issues then. Never the less, I decided to go ahead and post this - obviously - as it might help other libertarians who have the same paranoid thoughts running through their minds at times. (If anyone actually reads this, hah!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Further MIddle East instability likely now

This is breaking news as I post: The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and has subsequently transferred his powers to the vice primier.

Now, it doesn't take some geopolitical wizard to understand that this is bad for stability in that region. Some nations might see it as an opportunity to advance their ideals and so on.

This becomes increasingly frustrating, to me at least, due to the nature of the media in this country. We aren't really given any tangible information as to the actual situation in that region. All we get are a bunch of throw away one-liners which are more than likely released by the current administration.

Perhaps all of the religious nut-jobs running this country are going to manufacture some sort of apocalypse scenario. Argh, my paranoia is increasing by the day. I don't know what to think anymore. Everyday I read two more stories about Iran developing nukes at an increasing rate, Israel attempting to thwart Iran, Russia and China playing roles in this whole mess, etc, etc. All the while, we have this massive idiot in the white house who is taking direction from the bible.

"Son of the bitch!", as my Russian friend exclaimed once.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 

Judges orders priest to prove Christ existed.

What?! Not something a judiciary entity does everyday, eh?. An Italian priest is being held accountable for spewing nonsense purported to be truth? Well, not exactly but the priest is being taken to task for publically casting aspersions on an atheist who simply put our case forth. Now the priest must produce evidence that Jesus Christ existed. I wonder if he'll go digging through the Vatican's library of fairy tales to produce some "evidence".

Click me to read the story

Monday, January 02, 2006 

U.N. to establish "Decade of Contact"

This odd little press release came across the wire yesterday:

U.N to hold General Assembly to discuss exopolitics.

For the first time in 27 years, the United Nations General Assembly will be debating the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with advanced Extraterrestrial Civilizations that may now be visiting Earth. On December 16, 2005, a Resolution to establish a United Nations Decade of Contact was formally transmitted to the incoming President of the General Assembly, H.E. Jan Eliasson of Sweden by the Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS), a Non-Governmental Organization. Almost to the day twenty-seven years ago, on December 18, 1978, the United Nations General Assembly voted to approve decision 33/426, inviting U.N. Member States "to take appropriate steps to coordinate on a national level scientific research and investigation into extraterrestrial life, including unidentified flying objects, and to inform the Secretary-General of the observations, research and evaluation of such activities."...

Is there something we're supposed to be bracing for or is this just a discussion that is had by the U.N. every 30 years? Just what I needed, something else to read up on all through the night. Bah.

Sunday, January 01, 2006 

Why Atheism?

After replying to a post on a message board today, which was about short quotes that ring true, I got to thinking about "the" change during my teenage years after posting a quote from Thomas Jefferson. No, not puberty. Rather, when my eyes first began to view the world without the hindrance of Christian beer-goggles. Needless to say, it brought up some unpleasant memories as well.

I was given a book in one of my high school English classes, a compilation of letters that Thomas Jefferson had written to good friends and various acquaintances. Now, I didn't exactly understand everything in the book; Jefferson was speaking mostly of complex issues of his time, which I couldn't interpret back then. Nor did the book drive me to Atheism overnight. No, that process took several years, and it was only recently that I began to feel perfectly comfortable living the rest of my life with this as part of my world-view. As for back then, it was a turning point where agnostic thought processes seeped into my mind. God wasn't my instant answer for everything unexplainable anymore.

Next came the predictable backlash from a Christian family - just my mother and I, really - and an unforeseen tragedy which set my progression back a few years. It had felt like the full weight of Christian dogmatics was being forced into mind from almost everyone I had contact with in my daily life during those times. None of it seemed to stick anymore though. The door was ajar and all I had to do was keep pushing no matter what events had unfolded. I couldn't go back, and I never will.

Fast forward to today, and here I am, confident in my knowledge and understanding of my insignificance in a vast universe. At the core, that is the beauty of life; to mean so little but see so much.

The point of this post being to share a letter from that book which has stuck with me. So, uhh, here: Jefferson's letter to John Adams, from Monticello, August 15, 1820

The good stuff is about 2/3 into the letter.

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