Monday, 24 November 2014

Jesus running interference

At the moment I am dealing with some pretty heavy stuff and hope to be back blogging regularly at the end of the week. As the cause behind this delay is theists I thought it would be apt to just let everyone know that this is on of the reasons atheists want to see the demise of religion.

Really, all it does is interfere and get under your skin. Jesus should really be playing sports as he seems to be pretty good at running interference.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Polio vaccines dont kill

Anti-Vaccers like to deny the evidence supporting vaccines, so I am sure some must have read the headline to the article "Polio killed the vaccinated" (subscription only) with glee. However, when they finally reached the second paragraph of this short review of the real manuscript entitled "Robustness against serum neutralization of a poliovirus type 1 from a lethal epidemic of poliomyelitis in the Republic of Congo in 2010" they must have been crying again with darn science destroying their views.

So it turns out that some Polio virus strains have mutated so much that if you have been vaccinated before you can still get infected and suffer the consequences of contracting the disease which can range from no effect to mild paralysis to death. However, here is the kick in the teeth for the anti vaccine movement, it turns out that those people who have been recently re-vaccinated or vaccinated before coming in contact with the polio virus have a far greater chance of not getting infected. This means more vaccine is helping you rather than harming you.

As I have mentioned before if you do not get vaccinated you are an idiot. The facts are if you (or your child) gets sick from an  illness that could have been prevented by a vaccine you denied,  then it is your fault and your fault only. I do not have sympathy for you and no else should. I would feel bad for a child who had such dumb parents, but I would feel zero sympathy for the parents.

In fact I have only ever heard one good reason for not wanting to get kids or others vaccinated. This reason is based in science and is explained very well in the cartoon below.
Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Where did the outrage go?

We all have seen the video of a lady walking around New York city and getting catcalled and what is termed "sexual abuse". Granted, I did not watch all ten hours so I did not see the sexual abuse and I am glad they kept it out of the video. To be honest there was probably zero sexual abuse though. If you have not seen the edited video then here it is and where have you been for the last month?



Needless to say there was complete outrage from the feminist movement, social justice warriors and pundits trying to say all the right things. On the other hand there were a lot of rational men and women alike that said this movie is utter rubbish and the people for this campaign should grow up. At first, I wanted to avoid this topic as I didn't want to give further attention to what seems to me to be not as severe as it is claimed to be. Another reason I didn't want to say something until now was I trust the world at times and I knew this would happen. So here I present a man getting catcalled.




Where is the outrage now? I guess its not going to come. Proves the point that either the first video was not harrasment or that equality is getting skewed.

Maybe here is some more food for thought, that is also getting overlooked. Dressing in a Hijab will not get you cat called?



Seems like there is a lot going on here in these movies and some seem to be loaded with agendas. Lets use our brains and not jump on the bandwagon. Sexual harassment is a real thing, its not just whatever you want it to be. The fact is that if the original video is sexual harassment then so is the second video. The case is shut, equality is equal for all and if you don't realize that go back to school.

Monday, 17 November 2014

The atheistic side-effect

My search towards atheism took me through many detours, many different "so-called" spiritual journeys. These journeys were sprinkled with forays into various religions and the reading of the various texts associated with these religions or life styles. The one thing this journey did do for me though was to create a lot of thinking and trying to justify various positions which do not fit well with positions that society holds in general. Now, while I am sad my atheism took so long to get too, I am also glad. I missed out on a large portion of my life when I was young that could have been employed more beneficially than going to church or prayer groups etc. But through this all, I learned a very important lesson.

The thing this process did teach me, is skepticism. This is something I believe some atheists never actually go through and its scary to think about, as there is no justification why they hold their atheistic beliefs. Its the same as theists born into the wrong religion?

In essence my atheism as I was explaining to a very good friend of mine the other day is what I like to term a side-effect. Sometimes you have side-effects in medicine. In the same way my atheism is a side effect of thinking. Atheism should not be our only goal, it should be to promote skeptical thinking.

Friday, 14 November 2014

A hard look at biblical slavery

Slavery in the Bible is for some Christians is an issue they either do not know about, or its an issue that they use all the apologetic answers for such as its not slavery its indentured servitude. I think the only way to understand this issue, is to actually look at the Bible and follow the logic. But, first lets start off and look at the common English definitions for the words slave and indentured servant

Indentured servant: a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance.

Slave: someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay

 (Source)



Now I will be the first to admit, that according to  some sections of Deuteronomy and Leviticus this really does seem like indentured servitude. In fact Deutoronomy 15:12-14 states "12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you."


As such we could be forgiven if we thought this was indentured servitude. I should also not, this concept of indentured servitude is built on the false pretext that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Deuteronomy 15:15 "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today."

This is also the point where the line between slavery and indentured servitude disappears. As a slave is life long as it is a purchase, or a legal possession. So how are we to think about the following lines which relate to laws of indentured servants/slaves and treatment of indentured servants/slaves.
Deuteronomy 15: 17 "then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant."
Exodus 21:4, 7 and 20-21 "If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free."
"If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do."
"If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."
Leviticus 25:46 " You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." By ruthlessly they mean, beat but don't kill.
(Source)

Now stop and think.

If you have read these texts, and you still think the Bible is not supportive of slavery in all its barbaric form, then you need a head exam. Slavery was supported by the Bible and by the Christian faith until it became evident that people of other races were also people and not animals.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Creationist who got fired

The title of this post is what I think Mark Armitage should call his personal diary of the events that ended in his dismissal from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). This is a cash cow waiting to happen after all, he can get the sympathy from all the poor persecuted Christians and then we can never learn the real story as to why he got fired even though CSUN is pretty clear on the fact that his employment was only temporary and not permanent.

So Mark if you read this post ever and you like the title "The Creationist who got fired" just throw a link to my blog in your book. I think this title would fit well next to the title of your other book "Jesus is like my Scanning Electron Microscope". On a side-note, if you think scientists lack a sense of humor and you know anything about scanning electron microscopes go read the reviews at Amazon. Top class reviews with massive amounts of irony.

It should be noted, that the one issue that lawyers defending Mark Armitage are very adamant in pointing out in this case is that Armitage is a published scientist in a accredited scientific journal with a publication entitled "Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus." (link, subscription only). Other than this article, I cant find much about him publishing in any other journals, so I think its just this one article. Although, he does now work for the Institute for Creation Research, so he may have manuscripts in the Journal of Creation.

So, what does this paper say? I mean it seems there is a horrible misunderstanding by creationists about this. In the manuscript their is ZERO mention that the Earth is only 6 thousand years old, there is ZERO mention of god, there is in fact ZERO mention of anything creationist. As such there is no reason to reject this paper according to peer review as it is scientifically sound. I will add, I have only briefly glanced through the manuscript so I could be wrong about the soundness of the article. However, even if it is faulty. There is no creationism, it is written from an evolutionary perspective.

With this in mind, then we see that this is the reason it was published. This is when we need to realize this is not creationist science. This is real science. Granted, he holds absurd views on how old the earth is and this makes him lacks credibility, but his article does not support a creationist view at all.

So why he got fired? Well, that is still unknown but I am sure the court case will get to the bottom of that. To point out one thing though, he did freely express his opinion on the age of the Earth with students, and this is in direct conflict with the  CSUN biology curriculum. Teach the Controversy?


Monday, 10 November 2014

Non-consensus science and what it means

I have written about about non consensus in science before, in fact just recently I referred to in my climate change posts. However, I think there is a big misunderstanding regarding scientific consensus that conspiracy theorists, pseudo scientists and theists alike seem to not understand.

In a nutshell "non-consensus does not make the alternative view correct."

Its really something that should seem simple, but which does not seem to be this way with people that follow illogical thinking patterns. Non-consensus means that the scientists that disagree with a certain way something is interpreted, have reasons and valid proofs to show that there interpretation could be or is correct. The thing is these scientists have evidence to back them. This is what non-consensus is, its an opposing view backed by facts. Non-consensus does not mean, I don't like this fact as it does not seem right to me in my personal opinion.

For example, when we consider creationism versus evolution. Creationists do not hold a non-consensus opinion as they have no facts to back up their claims. Creationists in fact support a false claim, as there is no proof to back what they say. In fact, some of their claims have been shown to be false, such as the flagellum.

As such dear theists, if science disagrees on something, it does not imply your opinion i.e god is correct. Its just that the non-consensus view are scientifically interpreting the results in a different way. However, the conclusions are still backed and as such it is rational. Your belief is not backed, as such it is irrational.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The dangers of religion - some links

The dangers of religion are well documented on blogs I read. In particular there is the Horror Show Sunday over at the Bitchspot by Cephus. What makes this segment special in my opinion is that there is no religion spared, and no religion focused on. Its just the facts about the dangers that all religions give to the world.

Today I really want to highlight a newish post over at the Republic of Gilead by Ahab. It has to do with the dropped charges against Micah Moore who was previously charged with murder. Turns out that religion may have had a big role to play in his confession of a crime he did not commit.

So even when it seems religion is not doing anything wrong, it is in fact creating huge problems by making people do really stupid things. I applaud Cephus and Ahab and all the other bloggers that report the crimes of religion. Its through these efforts that hopefully we can (and are) expose religion for the farce it is.


Friday, 7 November 2014

7 Things I learnt from Left Behind

 

1) There is a cut off age for kids to be an innocent, not sure what the age is but its there. So, as a concerned Christian parent it may be better just to off your kids before that age?

2) God does not care if someones cognition is gone and they cannot accept god as there Saviour. You are going to burn! Perhaps, this is a sick little joke by god for all the people that are not really wanted in heaven.

3) You are going to be butt ass naked in Heaven. Little bit of exhibitionism never hurt anyone....well except maybe if you are not to keen on seeing mum in her full glory it will.

4) If you were born into a family that had another faith, you are not getting raptured and its all your fault.

5) There is going to be a lot of unguided fast moving metal objects around. Should we be using this as evidence that Christians should not be allowed to drive or pilot anything, ever, for our safety.

6) If you are rich the chances of getting raptured are a lot higher than if you are middle or low income. Not sure why, after all this kind of goes against the whole Camel threading through the needles eye thing.

7) Lastly, Nicholas Cage is still not a great actor.

It has been a great year for Christian movies and my reviews of them he says modestly (Noah, God is not dead, Heaven is real), but the big one is still coming. Christian Bale aka Batman as that other superhero Moses, can't wait for December.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Debating irrational thought

There is a tendency among theists to rage when atheists tell them there arguments are horrible. There is an even larger tendency for theists to rage when they are in a debate which gets voted on and they subsequently lose. They then blame atheists for voting against them as atheists are ignorant and do not understand their arguments. Those same argument which I already said above are horrible and have been pointed out as being horrible by so many people at so many different times. In fact debating theists can be extremely tiring as there really seems to be no point. It really is more like smashing your head against a wall, than an informative discussion in most cases.

Now I still believe debating theists is worth it, even though it can be is frustrating. But I wonder how many theists realize this small but interesting fact.

If you believe in a god, but not Santa or that aliens abduct humans you are dumb.

Its really not that remarkable thing to say. In fact you believe in your god for reasons that you purport to be true. Now, I can take these arguments and insert Santa or alien abductions and these also become true. If this is not the case, then the arguments which you say are true are no longer true. Remember, that these arguments you provided have to be true for your arguments to work.

That is all there is to it, you either believe in Santa and alien abductions too, or you are dumb.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Who or what is God?

The question "who or what is god?" is a question that in my opinion gets a lot of thought and complex answers. However, why does it have to be this difficult, I think the answer to this question is immensely simple and wish to illustrate this below with three questions. Each question will have two responses, which I think shows why this question is so easy to answer.

Importantly, I am assuming these questions could be asked anytime in history, when people did not necessarily know all the answers.

What came before the big bang?
a) I don't know.
b) God.

Why does an apple fall towards the Earth?
a) I don't know.
b) God.

Why are there thunderstorms?
a) I don't know.
b) God.

When you look at these answers and the questions, it is really simple to see that god means "I don't know". Thats all God is, its the answer to a question when we don't want to say "I don't know". Its the great get out of jail and seem smart card.

I am proud to be able to say "I don't know", are you?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Seeing what you want to see (funny)

People believe/see what they want to believe/see. Sometimes this even gets called faith.

This is a common effect that is observed in theists faith and UFO sightings among other examples. With this in mind enjoy this cartoon from Cyanide and Happiness.


Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net