After a while of debating or arguing with creationists its inevitable to start hearing the same old tired arguments, and the same old tired questions, the only thing they prove is ignorance towards the opposition's set of beliefs or arguments. I'm writing up this small list of 10 questions i hear the most, they are in no particular order, they are all equally annoying.
Atheism is just like religion, don't you guys worship Darwin (or science)?
No, atheism is not an organized group of people that promotes false hope, asks for money, doesn't pay taxes, advertises door to door, pushes their beliefs into others, wears funny clothes and hats, kills in the name of god or flies planes into buildings thinking they'll get virgins after they die.
So i had a birthday party for a cousin on my house yesterday and things are kinda tight so i'm gonna have to bump the article till tomorrow, on the meantime i'll leave you with Richard Dawkin's latest documentary about Faith Schools, its divided in 4 parts, enjoy!.
Why isn't she saluting the flag?, why isn't she singing the anthemn?, -she's a witness- A witness?, like from the government?, -no you idiot, a Jehovah's witness-
I recall having that short conversation with a friend when i was around 9 years of age, i knew about Witnesses before i knew about atheists, a few blocks south of my house there was a Mormon temple and a Jehovah's witnesses kingdom hall. I have a troubled cousin that had drug problems who got converted to JW and she is heavily criticized by my mostly Christian family because she can't come to birthday parties because she isn't allowed to do so by her church, and by that i mean, if she's spotted by a fellow witness, she could be denounced and brought up to her church's elder to face some form of punishment, but my family doesn't understand that, because they know very little about the whole religion, so to make it easy for them, i'll show you what Witnesses actually believe...
Irreducible complexity is the term creationists use to point out that something as complex as the human eye could not have come from natural selection, but only from a designer, they ignore the fact that in the animal kingdom there are eyes far more developed that the human eye, and a lot of underdeveloped eyes. In the UK there's a TV show called "Bang Goes the Theory" and they featured Richard Dawkins on one of their episodes, he explains the different types of eyes, how they work and how they easily evolved, it really is something worth watching.
On a little side note, i realize there's a lot of new viewers on the blog who might be wondering why i just wrote something very short and posted a video, i write a new article every monday, wednesday and friday, every other day i post news or videos that i find interesting, with that being said, here's Dawkins explaining the eye...
profiting members of the church of Scientology. Why?, what is scientology?.
I have a couple of news you might be interested in, currently i'm working on tomorrow's article, one that everyone can enjoy, it's about a certain celebrity cult that believes in aliens and god like powers, here's an article from the BBC about it...
In 2007, while investigating the Church of Scientology for Panorama, reporter John Sweeney had a dramatic on-camera confrontation with a church spokesman named Tommy Davis. The church was accusing the reporter of bias and it attempted to stop the documentary from being broadcast - a campaign backed by Scientology A-lister John Travolta. Sweeney has returned to investigate the church again.
Tomorrow you'll read my take on Scientology and why i believe there should be more documentaries and more public demonstrations against it and why i think there aren't. There's just something about Scientology that makes me think when people stop believing in Jesus, they'll turn to Scientology, lets hope i don't get abducted between today and tomorrow.
Here's an interesting article, according to a recent study, atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable about religion than muslims, christians and jews...
A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.
And also...For comparison purposes, the survey also asked some questions about general knowledge, which yielded the scariest finding: 4% of Americans believe that Stephen King, not Herman Melville, wrote "Moby Dick."
God Bless America!
Thanks to the awesome comments on the last entry, Gambling For Salvation, it came to me that i had to give out an explanation of what atheism and being and atheist means to me, of course the word atheism means "without gods" and any atheist is considered someone who rejects the idea of a creator god. But it isn't a religion or an organization, it doesn't have a set of rules, you don't need to go somewhere once a week to reinforce your atheism, there are no atheist pastors that guide you whenever you are having problems.
To me being an atheist doesn't just mean i don't believe in god, it is much more than that, even though the correct term would be a critical thinker, i rather say that i'm atheist, its a stronger word, stigmatized maybe by popular misconceptions, hell, atheists are the least trusted people in america. Whenever i say i'm an atheist, i mean i don't believe in god, demons, ghosts, exorcisms, homeopathy, and pretty much every other unfounded belief in the world, a true skeptic, a doubter, a non-believer, a naturalist, a rationalist. Anyone that spends more than 30 minutes with me during the day can easily notice it, i'm the guy that doesn't go with the flow whenever someone makes an unbelievable claim, of course to be like that you need a bit of a sense of humor so you don't come out as a complete ass, people are very touchy when you call them out on their bullshit.
To create a feedburner account simply go to http://feedburner.google.com, accsess with the same email you have your blog registered on, and the system will automatically detect your blog, follow the instructions and you are done, now, here's when the tricky part begins, you now need to utilize every tool FeedBurner gives you, when you are done setting up FB for your blog, you'll see this screen:
You are at a table playing blackjack with a king and a nine on your hand, chances are that if you ask for another card, you will go over and lose it all, so your best bet is to keep what you have and play it smart, stay safe, no need to risk it, you don't even have to think about it, to ask the dealer to hit you would be stupid, suicidal, you would lose it all, so, you do what's best for you. Blaise Pascal understood this perfectly.
Pascal's wager is the idea that even though the existence of god can not be proven, a person should wager for his existence because there's a lot to win from it, doing otherwise would mean damnation in the fires of hell. Pascal thought the safest bet would be to believe in the Judeo-Christian god of the bible, as if an omnipotent being couldn't tell if your belief was sincere or not. I'm not sure how god would react if he finds out you just had faith out of convenience, if you want to be serious about it, thats it for the wager, its over, but if you really want to bury Pascal's gambit, then what if Pascal was waging on the wrong god?.
Thanks to the fantastic response on my last column titled Why Do You Care?, tomorrow i'll be writing something about Agnosticism, my views on it, and why i think it's not the right posture to take on this subject. Today i'm gonna leave you with a couple of news that i thought were interesting.
Italian authorities seized euro23 million ($30 million) from a Vatican bank account Tuesday and said they have begun investigating top officials of the Vatican bank in connection with a money-laundering probe. Yes people, the vatican might be involved in money laundering, so now our good friend Pope Ratzinger not only has to deal with pedophile priests and nazi atheists but now mobster activities inside the church, is the catholic church really going down?, are we close to seeing the end of Catholicism?.
Mother Earth could have parted the Red Sea, hatching the great escape described in the biblical book of Exodus, a new study finds. Carl Drews of the National Center for Atmospheric Research made a study that shows strong winds could easily make the effect that the sea is being parted, of course the study does not pretend to show the bible is true, it shows how it could have happened, it's not saying that it did happen at all, there's absolutely zero evidence for that, no archeological evidence, nothing, already i've seen a couple of article titles that say "SCIENCE PROVES BIBLICAL MIRACLE".
To wrap this thing up, i'll leave you with an awesome video that i just saw last night, it's funny, it's well done, it gets the point across, enjoy it and be sure to come back tomorrow for the article about Agnosticism.
If you've ever dared to express your atheism in any public place, even if its just on a message board, chances are, someone has told you something around the lines of why do you care about what people believe?, live and let die man. Seems a very neutral, logical point of view, it's almost something i would agree with...if the religious weren't out there shoving their beliefs down everyone's throat, claiming that anyone that doesn't believe in what they believe is either a fool or has a "hole" in their life, threatening people left and right with hellfire, damnation and eternal torture in the lake of fire.
Socially, the table is tilted on the religious's favor, they are the good guys, the ones that promote morality, atheists are the godless beings that care for nobody but themselves, take social networks for example, on my personal Facebook as i've stated before, 100% of my family are balls out Christians, most of them don't believe in evolution because all they know about it is that popular image of the monkey to human scale, so constantly i have to read their posts asking for prayers for another family member or friend who is sick or is going through some tough times, some just love posting bible passages, or the occasional warning about how the end of times is near.
I was planning on writing something for the blog today, but i saw a documentary on one of the facebook pages i'm subscribed to and i was outraged to say the least, it's unimaginable that on this day and age, children are being tortured and burned to death because of religious belief. Please take the time to at least watch the first minutes of the video i'll embed i guarantee you will be as outraged as i am, i'll have the other videos linked below. i will leave you with the intro made by The Atheist Advocate, be sure to check him out.
Christians say they no longer commit acts of violence in the name of their religion. Children in Africa's Niger Delta were being denounced by Christian pastors as witches and wizards, and then killed, tortured or abandoned by their own families. Following the introduction of the Child Rights legislation and an increase in financial support for a British charity providing a refuge for affected youngsters, the program returns to find out what happened to some of the people featured in the first film. This is one of five, if you can stomach it!!!
Part 5 (Final)
As you may know, the pope was in the UK this weekend, and he made some very serious comments comparing the nazi movement with the "extremist" modern atheist movement, he warned the crowd saying that godlessness can lead to very terrible things like those done by the nazis. Of course the whole atheist community was outraged by the pope's uneducated claims and this Saturday Richard Dawkins delivered this wonderful speech, a real smack in the back of the head to the whole Vatican. There is no need for me to mention that Hitler referred to god in almost every speech, and that his whole Jew hatred was mostly based on his belief that the Jews had killed Jesus. Just watch the video.
The following is one of my favorite videos on the net, it basically explains why the popular concept of a fiery hell doesn't work because of a few very basic physical and chemical laws, it also discusses why many scientists appear as god believers on surveys and explains why a lot of the old scientists like Newton or Faraday are always shown as believers by the religious apologists. Scroll further down for the whole transcript. This video is not my work.
You all know the story, Satan is supposed to be the bad guy, a castaway from god's angels, even though the only reference for this story is a vague bible passage that was, when placed in context, a message for a king, it is interpreted by scholars as the story of how Lucifer was cast away from the heavens and from then on began to wage war against god's creations. So, the question is always there, if god is omnipotent, why doesn't he get rid of Satan?, and therefore gets rid of most evil in the world, if he can't do it, then he isn't omnipotent, if he doesn't want to, then he is condoning evil.
Note: It happens on both firefox and chrome, sometimes it'll even open just fine on one of them but won't open on the other.
Update (11:19 am): Im now getting the infamous 502 error, so it might be a problem on their side from a few specific servers, i'm not sure.
As i watched Stephen Hawking's interview on Larry King Live i couldn't help it but to nod my head in disapproval not only at the fact that Deepak Chopra was being taken seriously, but mostly because i was watching a man, a catholic priest, saying that it was silly to believe something could've been created out of nothing, but at the same time, holding the belief that an omnipotent god could've come out of nothing.
The proposition that something came out of nothing isn't as crazy or stupid as it sounds, if you think about it, in order for anything to exist, at some point, it had to come out of nothing, if it came from something else, then the eternal question would be, where did that come from? and so on. At one point, there had to be nothing,
What to me really is a bit crazy or out of proportion is that, out of that nothingness, the first thing
ever created was an omnipotent being, just because some humans feel their complex noises or silly drawings
are too wonderful to have come out of nothing. And all that stuff about people having the need to "fulfill" their life with a magical entity is plain bullshit, people don't need that, i surely don't, i don't enjoy paintings, or classic music, i'm not impressed by big trees or mountains, i hate camping, but i love architecture and i love the way computers are built, i love how big cities are arranged, and i'm very grateful about electricity, antiseptics and drinking water, just because i have different tastes doesn't mean i have a hole in my life or that i need Jesus to better appreciate my existence.
Here's a video before my next article, it's the 3 part interview about Hawking's new book The Grand Design, be sure to check out all of them, the first part is the Hawking interview and the rest is just a debate with some priest.
- To check out my opinion on the subject click here.
- To read my latest blog entry click here.
- My next entry will be up by Monday.
The most repeated argument by a creationist trying to refute evolution is hands down the overused phrase "there are no transitional fossils, show them to me." Creationists seem to believe that there is some heavy lack of transitional fossils to support evolution theory and therefore, god created us. In reality, as you can see from the picture above, there are plenty transitional fossils, in that picture, A is a modern chimp, and H is a modern human, all with their respective ancestors, showing a smooth transition, isn't that evidence enough?.
I was planning on making a blog entry about the Florida Quran burning event that will be held this saturday by a christian pastor, but, this morning on my youtube subscription box, i saw the latest video from The Amazing Atheist, and he just took the words out of my mind, so ill leave you with his video, i couldn't agree more with it, its the most sense i've heard about the whole thing.
I've said all that i had to say about ghost hunters, so i'll leave you with a two part episode from the professionals themselves, the great magic and debunking duo, Penn and Teller. (videos after the jump)
Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Night vision, the ghost hunter's favorite tool, every paranormal investigator has it, they can't leave the house without a night vision camera or equipment, why is it so popular?, well, because it has helped capture over 2000 ghosts on camera, all hard, cold, evidence that has been approved by scientific research. Oh, wait, no it's not!, it hasn't helped at all, if anything, it makes things more blurry and confusing than they already are.
Yesterday we talked about how popular ghost hunting has become, today, i'm gonna go through some of the things paranormal investigators fail to realize when they are doing their research, how science is different from pseudoscience and how personal feelings or belief influences all the investigation done by ghost hunters.
Coincidences happen, they happen a lot, if you've ever seen one of these TV shows about paranormal activity, you might have noticed that on every episode the phrase "what the hell was that???" is mentioned at least 5 times per episode, has it ever occurred to these people that maybe, just maybe, they are being influenced by their own expectations?, if you go to a house who is supposed to be haunted, normally a big house, an old house, a wooden house, a house that you've never been to for more than the few hours that takes you to shoot a show, wouldn't you have to expect a few cranky noises or light coming into the house from some unexpected places?, wouldn't it be fair to think that "cold spots" on the house, are just like any other cold spot on any other house?, the only difference is that you wouldn't know, because you've never lived on the supposed haunted house!.
With the rise of the internet and sites like youtube, there has been an inevitable uprise on these freelance, amateur, so called, ghost hunters, or paranormal investigators, the phenomenon has been extended even to mainstream television with shows like "Ghost Hunters" or "Ghost Adventures". Despite the lack of acceptance among the scientific community, ghost hunters shamelessly misuse technology like night vision, motion sensors or EMF meters to facilitate their job. Ghost hunting is such an easy job, that most shows have probably influenced the average viewer into doing some investigation of their own, after all, who hasn't heard a ghost story during a gathering or reunion?.
According to this article, 34% of Americans believe in ghosts, that's a pretty big number, enough for a bunch of charlatans to make a living thanks to ignorance. Ghost hunting is a multi million dollar industry, its not just about going into some abandoned hospital or some creepy house, it has plenty limes to squeeze, there are many stores and websites that advertise and sell ghost hunting equipment, there's ghost counseling, books, a ton of books, DVDs, websites, advertising and tours of supposed haunted mansions or hotels.
Stephen Hawking to me is one of the most inspiring human beings on the planet today, he's our Newton, he's our Einstein, he became one of the smartest scientists alive, while almost being completely paralyzed, he developed theories, he did incredibly complex equations, not in a computer, or in a drawing board, but on his brain. Today, he is about to release the latest and most likely the last book in his life. After years of working, he can finally give us the theory, that hopefully will eventually put the god argument, to rest.
Yet today, after reading the comments on all of the articles, the most ignorant creationists never seize to amaze me, some even attribute his disease to his lack of faith, others think that he has finally lost his mind, like his motor disorder affects his intellect. All because of this small excerpt, taken out of context from his new book.
"Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist....It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going,"
The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:
1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!
2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.
3. All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. There is no sense in advertising weapons of mass-destruction anymore. Instead, talk about ways to disassemble civilization and concentrate the message in finding SOLUTIONS to solving global military mechanized conflict. Again, solutions solutions instead of just repeating the same old wars with newer weapons. Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars. ALL OF THEM ARE FAKE! On one hand, they claim they want the wars to end, on the other, they are demanding the human population increase. World War II had 2 Billion humans and after that war, the people decided that tripling the population would assure peace. WTF??? STUPIDITY! MORE HUMANS EQUALS MORE WAR!