Hellbound Christmas 2006 Part 2
Enjoy! -- Hellbound Alleee
We promote rational individualism, and are opposed to those who assert incoherent supernatural claims.
Who doesn't love a little xenophobia once in a while?
My old atheist buddy Drunkentune has joined forces with Soulster, a friendly and intelligent Christian, to make a new blog, Philaletheia.
Watch out for them mussels: "Mussels Evolve Quickly To Defend Against Invasive Crabs".
Scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that invasive crab species may precipitate evolutionary change in blue mussels in as little as 15 years. The study, by UNH graduate student Aaren Freeman with associate professor of zoology James Byers and published in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Science, indicates that such a response can evolve in an evolutionary nanosecond compared to the thousands of years previously assumed.
While this sort of rapid evolutionary response to predators has been exhibited in some other species, all have been vertebrates. The blue mussel, which Freeman describes as the lab rat of marine biologists, is an invertebrate "that people assume is not very bright," he says. Yet his findings indicate that within the brief span of 15 years, it has evolved an inducible response to a new predator.
4:5 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Here Satan exposes the same truth again by asking Jesus to prove that he is a god-man by throwing himself off a cliff. If he were a god-man angels would come to his rescue or something magical would happen that defies the laws of gravity. Jesus again counters this same kind of rationalism typically used in exposing people who claim to be psychic - he does this by extoling the false virtue of power. God is an authority figure and he is evil, he will punish you for testing him by causing gravity to do what it would already do anyways. How convenient. So you shouldn't test your beliefs and expose truth is the lesson here, but rather believe in a fantasy while ignoring the possibility of observing the evidence.
Read about my Thanksgiving.
The Rational Response Squad recently published an article called "The Irrationality of Theism," by Samuel Thomas Poling. Some extracts:
But then again, why should they doubt the existence of God? It’s easier to believe? Isn’t it more comforting to believe? Isn’t a loving God that will take care of you, even after death, what you want to be true? Maybe it is. And when a human wants something to be true they tend to not question it that much.
People of the religious creeds of the world separate their worlds of reason and faith -faith for their doctrine, reason for everything else. Why is it that all of God’s great reality relies on thinking and evidence, where as he, himself, is somehow above that? Being the intelligent, loving God that he is, why doesn’t he hold reason highest of all? He expects the ultimate, final form of stupidity from his greatest of subjects. And they do it. They surrender their minds to what could not exist. In every other aspect of their lives they can be helpful, loving, intelligent people but where religions black, cold hand reaches, and it does indeed reach far into the deeply faithful’s lives, it continues to sever the ties of reason and put on a highest pedestal sheer idiocy. Where this hand reaches, reason vanishes.
What good is Pascal’s Wager then? You are purchasing, if anything, a greater chance at hell for the definite cost of your mind. Are you willing to pay?
And when you die, if you are an atheist, you will be damned to hell. Would it pay to be an atheist then? As a further and final refute to Pascal’s bullshit, I say yes it does pay to be an atheist then. If there is a God who will damn a human being who has the courage and intelligence to think and doubt then he, most definitely, is no God of mine.
Hi ho! It's just me, stealing Brucker's duties again. I actually found this question by accident on one of Dawson's old posts. He said I should post it.
The Marine Reserves Toys for Tots program recently rejected a donation of talking Jesus dolls. From CNN.com:
A Los Angeles company offered to donate 4,000 of the 1 foot-tall dolls, which quote Bible verses, for distribution to needy children this holiday season. The battery-powered Jesus is one of several dolls manufactured by one2believe, a division of the Valencia-based Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co., based on biblical figures.
But the charity balked because of the dolls' religious nature.
Toys are donated to kids based on financial need and "we don't know anything about their background, their religious affiliations," said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Virginia.
As a government entity, Marines "don't profess one religion over another," Grein said Tuesday. "We can't take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family."
"The idea was for them to be three-dimensional teaching tools for kids," La Roe said. "I believe as a churchgoing person, anyone can benefit from hearing the words of the Bible."
According to the company's Web site, the button-activated, bearded Jesus, dressed in hand-sewn cloth outfits and sandals, recites Scripture such as "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" and "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Elton John has a bone to pick with organized religion. From CNN.com:
Organized religion fuels anti-gay discrimination and other forms of bias, pop star Elton John said in an interview published Saturday.
"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," John said in the Observer newspaper's Music Monthly Magazine. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."
"But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion," he said. "From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."
Obviously, a real Christian wouldn't have died from handling snakes:
LONDON, Ky. (Nov. 8) - A woman has died after being bitten by a snake at a Kentucky church that people say practices serpent handling.
The Lexington Herald-Leader says 48-year-old Linda Long was bitten Sunday at East London Holiness Church and died at a hospital about four hours after being bitten.
The new study shows a significant divide between the nation’s young adults and its older residents. The project analyzed 16 different areas of moral and sexual behavior and found that Busters’ lifestyles took a less traditional – some would say less moral – path on 12 of those 16 areas. The study also explored 16 different perspectives regarding morality and sexuality, finding that Busters’ views are less conventional than that of their predecessors in 13 areas. In none of the 32 facets of lifestyle or attitude were Busters more likely to possess a conventional moral position when compared with the older crowd of “pre-Busters.”
Richard Carrier appeared recently with Reggie on the Infidel Guy show to interview Dr. Gary Habermas and Mike Licona about the resurrection of Jesus. There has been a flurry of criticism about that appearance, with both James Lazarus and David Wood offering lengthy criticisms of Carrier, prompting Carrier himself to provide some explanation on his own blog. Since I came to these reviews naive of the show, I thought that I would read each review, then listen to the show, and give my thoughts.
There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.I feel like such a fool for arguing that it should be acceptable for someone like Ted Haggard to explore his sexuality, when the man himself can't even understand it as anything but "repulsive." And yet, I still can't shake the feeling that Haggard is a victim here too, albeit a perpetrator as well. I find it just so unfortunate and tragic that for Haggard to maintain any semblance of a relationship with his church, he has to condemn an innate aspect of himself, one that if given free exercise, wouldn't hurt anyone. I also feel terrible for his wife, for being an unwilling participant in his efforts to combat his innate homosexuality by adopting the trappings of "normal" life.
Boy do I have conflicting emotions right now. A jury just found Kent Hovind, a.k.a. Dr. Dino, guilty of 44 counts of tax evasion.
Mr Jones, 49, said that he had been prompted to make public his claims because of Mr Haggard’s stance on same-sex marriage.
He told local media: "It made me angry that here’s someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," he said.
"I just want people to step back and take a look and say, ’Look, we’re all sinners, we all have faults, but if two people want to get married, just let them, and let them have a happy life.’
Some of the letters are comical (a man asking God to let him win the lottery, twice), others are heartbreaking (a distraught teen asking forgiveness for an abortion, an unwed mother pleading with God to make the baby's father marry her).
The letters -- about 300 in all, sent to a New Jersey minister -- ended up dumped in the ocean, most of them unopened.
Many of the letters were addressed to the Rev. Grady Cooper, though many more simply said "Altar." According to the text of several of them, they were intended to be placed on a church's altar and prayed over by the minister, the congregation or both.
"I guess rather than just throw them in the garbage, maybe they thought they'd set them out to sea to bless these people," he said. "So they made a trip to Atlantic City, maybe went to a casino, and put the letters in the water."
I love getting these emails:
God's Pumpkin Pa†ch
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes off all the dirt you may have gotten from other pumpkins. Then He cuts the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Last, He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.
Attention theists! There are currently two recent challenges available in the atheist blog-o-sphere for you to prove your faith.