Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote NO on Prop H8.

- Beliefnet Forums:

"Bad Christians need Christ, and the rest of Paul to justify their evil.

This is not an academic issue.

Christians are promoting Proposition H8 in California as we write."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Palin - The mighty hunter

First the moose, then wolves, now elephants.

Tom Toles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The gay marriage wedge.

Why are Christians so obsessed with homosexuality and gay marriage? - Beliefnet Forums:

"I think homosexuality and gay marriage are simply the politically correct whipping boys for those Christians that accept the Pauline principle that sex is for procreation only and any other expression of sexuality is sin. It would be hard to generate a political movement against recreational sex in general but homosexuality and gay marriage are wedge issues that can establish the legitimacy of political regulation of sexual activities.

First the gays, then the fornicators, and pretty soon cameras in the bedrooms to insure no contraception and the missionary position only."

Forrest Church -Link to personal website.

Forrest Church, Theologian and Author:

"Available now from Beacon Press:

Forrest Church's highly praised new book,
Love and Death

'The story of the Rev. Forrest Church of the All Soul's Church in Manhattan is a profile in courage. Not just for his lifelong work helping those less fortunate, but for his perseverance in the face of a fatal illness.'"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Atheism's roots.

Expelled discussion - Beliefnet Forums:

"My atheism is firmly rooted in the dysfunctional morality and meaning promoted by theists and especially by the Abrahamic tradition in the Talmud and derivatives and by Pauline Christianity. The fact that they also promote bad science of all kinds is sort of the stem on the cherry. There are so many more important issues that if someone sees me sucking on the stem they shouldn't think it is the only thing I care about."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Heinlein the atheist's philosopher?

Is Heinlein the atheist's philosopher? - Beliefnet Forums:

"I have been reading Heinlein most of my life, and have always appreciated how he manages to create interesting, meaningful, purposeful and moral societies in his stories without God. I don't necessarily agree with all of the details in all of them, but in general I can say that Heinlein speaks for me as an atheist exposing the lie that meaning, purpose and morality come only from God.

I appreciate the fact that Heinlein preferred the liveliness of the market place rather than the halls of academia for his philosophical musings. Maybe all the best philosophers are good story tellers.

He was, and is, an influential social arbitrator, in spite of all the efforts to ban his books from our libraries and schools. The God Squad recognizes the danger. But the books still sell and are discussed in intelligent circles."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Freethought Halls of the Internet

Atheist Activism - Beliefnet Forums:

"Perhaps it is time to devote more effort to establishing a global network of Freethought Halls to serve as an alternative to faith-based outreach programs.

You are in it. It is called the Internet.

This is one of the halls. There are many others.

Even the thought police of the theocracies cannot block the satellite internet signals, although they can make the computers that receive them contraband. But book burning and computer banning cannot work, because the freethought underground will hand copy the important tracts if necessary."

Goldwater, Obama and American Politics.

Libertarianism: - Beliefnet Forums:

"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Barry Goldwater

Our last great attempt to elect a Libertarian.

Unfortunately, also the last election where it was not necessary to choose between two nutcases. At least this election only two of the four are nutcases. I still think Hillary was the best president we ever had, too bad she had to marry a nutcase to get elected, but American politics has always been like that. At least Obama is overqualified as is necessary for a minority in this country.

Ah, American Politics. Maybe the internet will change that finally, so that an intelligent, qualified and maybe some time even an atheist candidate would have a chance at being elected."

Humanity's fall away from God is our salvation

Human Dignity, Good and Evil - Beliefnet Forums:

"If opposing those like Hitler are reflections of man's fallen nature, thank you, I will fall back on my basic humanity, and my social morality associated with it of opposing leaders of all stripes using hatred, bigotry and fear to motivate 'their people.' If some of these leaders claim to be motivated by God, they get no pass from those motivated by the basic human morality of respect and tolerance for all who reciprocate in kind.

Unfortunately, some little Christian tinhorns in fancy dresses in the overdecorated balconies, use these tactics in the image of God and must be opposed. Those of us who must fall back on our basic human morality, will try to use non-violent opposition where possible, which sometimes gets us in trouble, but the examples of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, both dark skinned you may note, unlike the white skin in the depictions of God in most Christian churches, give us hope that our basic human morality will ultimately prevail."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Historical Jesus

The Historical Christ non-existant? - Beliefnet Forums:

"If you strip the obvious miracles, especially the resurrection, which Christians cannot do of course without destroying their faith, you find a charismatic itinerant preacher, who integrated a consistent message of radical humanism and independence from the god mediators, priests, and shamans. It was a theistic culture so it is not surprising that he would believe in God. The core of his message was to develop a personal relationship with God directly, no priests necessary or even desirable, and treat all humans as neighbors to be respected, aided when necessary even at considerable cost to yourself, and loved as one loves oneself....

Cults are not started by committees, which for me argues strongly that there was a historical person that was the basis for the Jesus cult for which there is some historical evidence, Paul's Christian Cult. for which there is ample historical support, the Gnostic cults, for which historical documentation has recently been discovered, and other cults rumored but for which no documentation exists.

It is clear to me that this historical person was a human that lived and died in the usual human fashion. He believed in God, but was not one himself. He was the earliest documented humanist, and I think all humanists, theistic and atheistic are indebted to him, if not obligated to worship him.

37...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38This is the first and great commandment.
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:37-40 (King James Version)

I find the first optional, clearly an artifact of his culture. All of humanism hangs on the second."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama's negative ad

As I was leaving the debate midway, McCain complained about Obama's attack ad on his medical care proposal. If attacking an idiotic centerpiece of an opponent's campaign is negative campaigning, I would like to hear a clue from McCain on a reasonable debate. But then, that would assume McCain has an clue.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God and Evil Cont.

Why Athism? - Beliefnet Forums:

"Almost all Gods that are at the root of evil are believed to be supernatural. Frankly, I don't think the secular gods like money, power, prestige etc. carry enough belief intensity to compel evil. If a person cannot believe the claim 'God made me do it,' I don't think any sane human is capable of evil.

Disclaimer to our respectful guests: God is also capable of motivating much that is exceptionally good for believers and the world. And also that which is good for believers and their societies. Unfortunately, much of it depends on that little tinhorn in the fancy dress in the overdecorated balcony who interprets the will of God."

God - The Root of Evil

Why Athism? :

I would probably say selfishness is the root of all evil more than fear.


God is the root of all evil. I don't care what God it is. Evil done by people is always in the service of their God."

Trickle down economics

Finally we really get to see what they mean.

Tom Toles.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Make the good people nice. Meg Barnhouse: the church and the unicorn:
"We know we are supposed to be kind and loving and not jump down each other’s throats for not getting the right kind of free-trade coffee or greeting visitors too enthusiastically. I heard a poem on the radio the other day, part of which was a prayer: “Ye Gods…make the bad people good—and the good people nice.”

Honey, we’re trying."

Make the good people nice. If God could do that I might even believe in Herm.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life After Death?

Life After Death? - Beliefnet Forums:

...does it also mean that you don't believe in some sort of existence beyond this one? Or are those two totally separate things--so would you find some who do and some who don't?

I would suspect that a person that does not put herm faith in God would have first resolved the Pascal Wager and arranged their life so that an afterlife is irrelevant. That is if there is one all participate, doing pretty much what they did in observable life with no sorting, hence no placating an alleged sorter. But in my experience most atheists think it is such a long shot that they don't think about it at all."

For me it is simply a pleasant fantasy to assist in remembering and celebrating those who are dead. As in: it would be nice to ask Beethoven what he was thinking about in the third movements of the first and third piano concertos. Was it really a children's playground? The chances of it happening after I die? Nil. But it happened just now, and in a real sense this might be Beethoven's afterlife.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On pricks, dicks and cunts.

the gods: "
We hear all the four letter words on TV at 7:30 every night. No big deal.
Funny how some find the C-word offensive but don't mind people being called 'dicks' or 'pricks'. Reverse sexism, perhaps?

As Tom Lehrer noted in the release of his remains, 25 years ago there were certain words you couldn't use around girls. Today you can use them all, you just can't call them girls.

As for dicks and pricks the best insult I ever heard was a NYC Cab driver: 'Hey, lady, you don't have to have one to be one!' The crowded intersection at 8th St and 5th Ave dissolved into laughter with of course one exception."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin - Debate performance.

McCain - Beliefnet Forums: "There is something to be said for setting expectations so low that just getting down the track without tripping over the lines marking the places for the hurdles is considered a brilliant performance."

Is God just spiritual experience?

Why Athism? - Beliefnet Forums: "I don't think spiritual experience is supernatural at all. I think it is a basic, indeed primitive human need. But I also see no reason not to strip God of all of Herm supernatural accretions, and use God as a referent for spiritual experience.

I will admit that disambiguation from the supernatural omnipotent alpha humanoid may be a greater challenge than I am up to, but I have come to the conclusion that God and that spiritual experience are one and the same. I also think it is what theists are trying to convey with their blather about God being the beauty of the cosmos, or a pretty sunset, or a butterfly."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can believer Bob make up his God?

Why Athism? - Beliefnet Forums: "
There's no such thing as external charters from God since it's all made up internally by humans.

This is a strong assertion and needs strong support.

Are you saying that each believer makes up herm own God out of herm own mind? Where does the background information come from? Why is the God each believer makes up nearly identical with the God of everybody else in herm church or synagogue? Frankly, I don't think most believers are intelligent enough to create a God internally that has all the attributes of most modern Gods."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Musical Transcendence

Why Athism? - Beliefnet Forums: There are certain circumstances other than religious groups where a transcendent consciousness may be experienced. On rare occasions as a musician I have felt a resonance with the audience, and as an audience member a resonance with the musician(s) in which I feel I am sharing in the experience of the music in a way that transcends my own limited capability to understand the music. My own background in music is of course part of the greater whole, but only a small part when everything works right."

Collective God.

Why Athism? - Beliefnet Forums:
"I am convinced that a material brain can be part of a greater consciousness composed of other material brains with a similar background of myths, mores, and beliefs. I think this greater consciousness is quite natural, and quite local. The myths especially may contain supernatural beings, but the supernatural components are simply mnemonics and focusing devices for the local group to tune into. I also have no issue with calling this greater consciousness God, with the understanding that God exists naturally, only within the local group, and has no influence, for lack of a better word, outside of that local group. At this stage of my understanding I think the group is small, on the order of a few tens or hundreds of people, but it would not be inconceivable to me that the group could be larger. As an atheist I do not participate in any of these God groups, nor have I seen any advantage to trying to do so. "