Friday, 31 July 2015

Talking to theists leading to new directions

I really have been having problems coming across as an obnoxious asshole when talking to theists. Granted sometimes I have been the obnoxious asshole, but generally I try my best not to be.

Through this process I have tried multiple approaches from the sledge hammer approach of demanding proof for any claim, to the inquisitive approach of asking many questions to show the errors in the belief system, and all those in between. However, all these approached fail usually when I point out that said person has committed a huge logic error which in turn leads to a great deal of anger directed in my direction. Granted this is entirely understandable as preconceptions of important beliefs are being challenged and humans are not great at change. But through all of this, I have discovered that pretty much nothing works in my opinion when challenging theistic beliefs. The only time it works is when you are speaking to a person that actually embraces rational thought and is honestly engaging in debate to test if their belief system is true.

The one core point that I find annoying when talking to theists is that they are quick to point out that I do not understand the Bible/Koran/(insert holy one and only true book here) as I have never read it. Now, I have read these books. In fact more often than not I understand their holy texts better than most theists however they refuse to believe this, which ironically comes from the logical reason that they cannot see the evidence. For this reason, and to help my sanity, I have decided to start reading the Koran and Bible in tandem, from cover to cover, and blog about what I find once a week. However, have no fear this will not be another Bible blog going chapter for chapter. It will just be my thoughts on general ideas of parts of the books and highlighting of verses that I think are important. For this reason there will probably not be a lot of focus on some of the more boring books in the Bible like Kings, while at the same time spending way to much time in Genesis and Revelations.

So what do I get out of this? Well, I get a link to say to theists "hey guess what, I have read the Bible and studied it well." Also, I get to put a buffer on my blogging which is necessary as I am getting busier at work these days. Of course my blood pressure will drop to a relatively normal range as well. Additionally, I was thinking that when I finish these books I can move on to the more fun books like the book of Moron Mormon, Dianetics etc. Lastly, this may actually increase the amount of posts per week at times, so its a win all round.

So that is a new direction on this blog. I hope you enjoy it and stick around and who knows maybe I even get more theist readers.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Homophobes supporting slavery aka Biblical marriage proponents

The legalization of gay marriage in the USA really did a good job of bringing out the worst in a lot of Christian believers. As my friends over at the Bitchspot Report have said multiple times America is amazingly still standing after the decision, despite all the prophetic messages of doom and hellfire from the pulpit. Interestingly, when gay marriage was getting legalized in South Africa the same doom was getting preached there and 10 years later the country has not descended into gay Gestapo camps. The worst part about these rabid Christians and their stance on marriage is that they support their homophobia using the Bible and what it says about marriage.

So, what does the Bible say about marriage?

Firstly, marriage is not legislated as being between only man and women as much as they would like you to believe. It very clearly states in the Bible that polygamy is acceptable.
2 Samuel 12:7-8 "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom," As such, if you support bibilical marriage you also support polygamy.

Secondly, if a women has a slave then you are allowed to have sex with her slave and in essence be married to her again in a polygamous way. After all Abraham banged Haga, who was Sarai's slave and God was adamant that this was okay.
Genesis 16:9 "And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." As such if you support biblical marriage you support polygamy and slavery.

Lastly, its okay to have sex with concubines even if you are not married to them. This comes form the story of David and Absalom, where Absalom had a whole lot of sex with daddy's non-wives.
2 Samuel 16:22 "So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel." Now a concubine can be many things, but basically she is a mistress. As such if you support biblical marriage you support multiple sex partners who you are not married too. Now, if that does not make sense its okay as the Bible does not make sense.


So in a nutshell, if you do not support gay marriage as it is not biblical then what do you support? You support the idea of multiple sex partners who may or not be married to you while at the same time supporting slavery. I am not sure about you, but in most civilized countries people would think you are very disturbed person if you embraced slavery never mind making someone marry their own rapist (Deuteronomy 22: 23-30).

Monday, 27 July 2015

Why a creationist theory would actually be brilliant

Yes, you heard me right a creationist theory would actually be brilliant. I would go so far as to say they would have to make a new Nobel prize for this theory as it would genuinely be worthy of accepting every Nobel prize in one single year as well as the Fields medal, Abel Prize, etc. etc. Let me be forthright here, this is not sarcasm this is hard cold fact and let me explain to you why I say this.

Creationists are adept at criticizing evolution as it cannot explain how life started through the different scientific field of abiogenesis. They are also able to point out the "flaws" in radio dating techniques, speed of light, quantum mechanics and showing that these fields of science are incoherent with other scientific advancements. This is frustrating for scientists, as we look at their explanations and see that they do not fit the models and the data. Yet, the creationists have a point as they are essentially pointing out that the theories we deal with are not unified. This is something scientists would agree with as the classic example of reconciling gravity and quantum mechanics is a problem that physicists have been working on for years. Additionally, even if we unified quantum mechanics and gravity this, would only be the first step towards unifying physics with chemistry to biology and only then would we have a unified theory that would satisfy creationists. Ok, probably not satisfy creationists but I think you get my point.

(Source)

On the other hand we have the creationist theory of the Universe. This theory encompasses everything! It explains the pre-Universe and how the universe came into being, it unites gravity and its version of the quantum theory, it shows how life can start and how evolution is not necessary while at the same time allowing for adaptation or what is termed micro-evolution. At the same time it explains how we orbit the sun and how Noah got all the animals onto a wood boat and fed them for a year. Additionally, it explains how the kangaroos got to Australia after the flood when the world was undergoing major seismic shifts. Essentially, this theory combines every scientific field and flows from one field to the other without any hiccups. Additionally, it does all of this without contradicting the Bible. Lest we forget also that this theory could save governments and research institutions like CERN billions and billions of dollars by doing away with redundant research. It truly is deserving of all the scientific prizes in any single year for a major leap forward in mans scientific understanding.

Unfortunately, such a unifying creationist theory explaining all the math, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, replication, adaptation etc. does not exist. Until it exists, then surely it should not be taken seriously? If your focus is attacking other theories without presenting a working theory of your own then you have nothing. This is just not the way science works.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Podcasts that I listen to - The second coming

So this is the second edition of podcasts I listen to, the first edition can be found here. I thought it was time to update my list and give a new category or two. Also I decided not to give numbers, as I think all the podcasts mentioned here are great and its not meant to be taken as a priority listening list.

My regular Atheism Podcasts

The Bitchspot Report
After a hiatus the Bitchspot Report is now back with Charles and Cephus. This podcast is different to most other atheist podcasts as it comes from a conservative perspective. It covers relevant news items as well as delving into core issues relating to atheism and/or conservatism.

The Thinking Atheist
Seth Andrews is still producing a regular podcast and gaining listeners. Seth likes to refer to himself as a storyteller and that is what he is. He has a background in talk radio which probably gives this podcast that special feel, as he says "I was a broadcaster for 20 years. Ironically, much of it was Christian radio. Ain’t life strange?"

TheImaginaryFriendsShow.com Podcast
The anchor of this podcast is Jake, who has a number of guests that come around and make for a very entertaining podcast. There is a lot of humor in this podcast, and it is generally (not always) edited for profanity. Unfortunately, to get all the content (the regular show is one hour long) you need to be a Patreon of the show.


A Podcast on its own?

Geologic Podcast
George Hrab really is in a league of his own, so much so that I am not even sure what category his podcast could fall under. Its brilliant, funny, educational, musical, atheistic, a little crazy and I love it, but I really have no idea where to put it.

My regular Science/Skepticism Podcasts

Inquiring Minds
I like this podcast, the only problem is that like many science podcasts they can be a little too sporadic. Its almost as if they are defunct at times and then pop back up for multiple weeks. Still very worth the listen.
(Update August 04 2015: The reason I thought this podcast was defunct at times, was due to me going to the wrong page. The actual website is here. Apologies)

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe 
If you like science you will like this show. I think on a political and social level me and the hosts could probably disagree for hours, luckily this is about science and that I can get behind. 

Podcast for the newbie atheist, and the inquiring theist.

The Atheist Experience (Show and Podcast)
This is a staple for most atheists and should be for new atheists. I personally do not listen frequently anymore as I get frustrated enough with theists in my normal life to entertain them in leisure time. If you are a newbie atheists I would recommend this show.

Other Atheist based Podcasts worth a listen
These are podcasts that I listen to sometimes and I really enjoy. However, they are not podcasts that I diligently listen to, also they may be for a more mature audience.

Geeks without God
Molly, Nick and Tim create a dynamic that is very listenable. If you are a geek, then this podcast is definitely for you. If you are not a geek, the show is still very enjoyable although you should probably avoid the geeky boners episodes.

Cognitive dissonance
Cecil and Tom are a riot of laughs with their atheism. I will say though that maybe you should not listen to this one at work. Theists like to talk about angry atheists, and while I would not describe the hosts as angry, this show would certainly appeal to an angry atheist.


So, some podcasts are gone from the original list either as I got disenchanted, or they are defunct, or they are too sporadic. But, I feel this list is a good start for new and old atheists alike to get some listening entertainment.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Islamic first world problems

The other day I was talking to one of my female colleagues who is a highly cited and published researcher. In fact, she is  a rather remarkable scientist who is highly respected and so when she told me her story of a recent encounter I could not believe what I was hearing.

In her new job, as a senior researcher she has a position of authority (almost like a manager although that's a crude description) which among many other responsibilities includes training of new recruits. This training is in important areas such as laboratory protocols, instruction of novel techniques and basically anything else that is asked of her. As such, it is beneficial for the recruits to listen as they are getting training from one of the best. Anyone that has been involved in receiving training knows what an advantage having a a trainer/boss with experience in relevant fields is. Now that I have created the scenario of he laboratory environment lets get onto the encounter.

Two recent male recruits to the laboratory come from the Middle East and are Muslims. As such it was my friends duty to introduce the laboratory etc. It was during this time that the one of these ignoramuses asked "Do, I have to listen to you?" She, was a bit taken aback after all she was giving instruction, so she answered in the affirmative. Now, one would think that would be the end of it, but it went further as he then asked "So, you are my boss?" Turns out that this guy and the other, although he is not so outspoken, do not want a women boss. In fact it is such a problem for this lunatic that he does not even want to greet her at work.The sad part of this situtation is that she does not have the power to get rid of the ignorant idiot.The good part is that the ignorant chauvinist twat does not have a choice and so he has to listen and respond to her on work issues.

This is an Islamic first world problem and what is to be expected when you take the Koran as Allah's message. After all we all know that Muslim men believe women are only half people, or worth half a man.
Surah 2:282 "O ye who....... And call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women .......Observe your duty to Allah. Allah is teaching you. And Allah is knower of all things."


My advice to this guy, get over it dickhead! You are living in a civilized society now, so start acting like a civilized person or go back to the hell hole you came from.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Keller explains Hell to us, and its a lot worse than expected apparently


The Hell concept is interesting to atheists and skeptics for a variety of reasons, as it (1) demonstrates something about God's nature and (2) it actually is not described in the Bible as it is sold by Christian groups. As such, there is a lot of reasons to doubt the ideas of hell and realize that these concepts were designed by theists to use as a stick to beat followers into submission to anything they want. For this reason, I was watching a video (see below) by Christian apologist Dr Timothy Keller about Hell, and whether God sends people to Hell.

Dr Keller is quick to distance himself from the traditional view of a sulfur hell fire with flames. He points out that the God image of people getting sent to hell by him is not what Hell is, as God is not kicking any non-believer anywhere. In fact, Dr Keller gives you some hope that finally there is an apologist that actually believes the Hell concept is pure evil and as such is in sharp contrast with the God of love that Christians love to promote. However, that feeling of hope as always with apologists is not held for a very long time when he says "Hell is in fact much worse". So what is worse than the Christian hell flaunted by ministers around the world to instill fear and make you give appropriate amounts of money to their coffers? According to Dr Keller, hell is being left alone by God for an eternity. Now while this may not seem like such a bad thing, what it translates to is no way to redeem yourself and heal the pain of certain ailments that may affect you. In this way you basically waste away forever, as God is the only person that can heal you if you are suffering emotional or physical distress.

In my opinion both versions of hell presented are shocking for a loving God to adopt. All Dr Keller is doing is showing that there is more than one way to instill fear and take money from the sheep.

Friday, 17 July 2015

The desire to remove personal responsibility

One problem I see in society is this desire to remove personal responsibility when it suits  one. For example, it is much easier for the Greek citizens to want other countries to pay for their early retirements while at the same time not wanting to increase their taxes to get their country out of financial debt. The Greek people voting no to the austerity measures (and other citizens from other countries backing them) is a prime example of removing responsibility. To put it another way, you cannot have free money when their is no money, you actually need to get the money first and that takes responsibility. But lets leave the example of Greece alone as one could argue that this responsibility should lie with the government and not the individual.  Unfortunatelly, this drive to remove personal responsibility is particularity prevalent when social justice warriors want to promote an idea that is not backed by facts over hard cold truths. SJW's are not alone though, it is a tactic that gets used by almost everyone. But, as always an example is better at driving a point home and so let me elaborate on the removal of personal responsibility.

I was having a discussion recently about my view that we should openly mock and criticize Bristol Palin in view of her newest pregnancy. To be clear she holds views that got her pregnant for the second time while not being married as she adheres to Christian values of abstinence only. This ridiculous views got her pregnant, as if she actually used contraception and enjoyed sex in a normal way she would not have two illegitimate children. I will be honest the first pregnancy was still when she was a teen, so while drunk and stupid I have some sympathy for her. Additionally, Bristol Palin is going out promoting and making money off an abstinence program that she does not adhere too. As such, I believe she deserves every bit of criticism aimed at her, as she is a danger to society with her backward views and she is in fact engaging in fraudulent behavior. However, some people believe we should not criticize her as it is not her fault.

Another example floated was that we should not blame Lance Armstrong for his actions. This is ridiculous he is a prime example of a horrific human that deserves all the contempt leveled at him. He made other team mates take narcotics, he lied openly multiple times about the use of narcotics, he played on peoples sensibilities by playing the cancer card, and he defrauded millions. The actions being taken against Armstrong are deserved. Yet, there are some people who believe we should not criticize him.

Or how about those people that feel thieves who steal are not to blame for their actions as they come from a bad environment. Now while I will agree that environment is a major player in the life a person may lead, a person is still responsible for their personal actions otherwise we would live in anarchy. Also, if you are going to use this line of argument you need to be consistent. This is what I find lacking, as many of these same people were quick to point and claim Josh Duggar was a pedophile and sex abuser but not a product of his environment. Interestingly what many of these SJWs forget is that Josh Duggar was a young teen and Bristol Palin was a much older teen during her first pregnancy, yet they only want to remove responsibility for one.

Personal responsibility is necessary as it is what keeps our societies around the world in order, truthfully without it we will descend into chaos. This is applicable to politics, social issues, economics, religion and every other facet of life. Perhaps this is why some people who do not believe in gods favor objective morality as it removes personal responsibility.

Now, for the first time I can use this parody picture on my blog. Yes, I know its dark so don't be a hater.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Playing the Jihad numbers

When I initially posted "My why do people hate Muslims?" post I expected some valid and invalid criticisms. Happily I got both, and I found that the valid criticisms and my views actually fit well together. I gather these valid criticism misunderstanding can come down to two factors 1) it was just misinterpretation or 2) it was my horrific writing style. This follow up post is here to address a ridiculous claim made that Islam is the most violent religion to grace the Earth yet. Also, do not read into this post as me defending Islam, I just want to point out that these claims are flawed, as Islam while extremely violent is not the most violent religion ever. I think that honor still falls to Christianity with Islam following in second place.

The claim that "Islam has the highest kill rate" was backed by two self citing blog posts which is never a good way to start with statistics. From these blog posts a figure of 270 or 590 million dead is attributed to Islam. If you are wondering why there is such a difference between the numbers, its due to the fact that a wild estimate of 320 million is included in the second estimate. However, even if we exclude this wild estimate and take the number if 270 million world wide there are major flaws with this data. The flaws range from deaths due to slavery (120 million) not being completely attributable to Islam, after all the Christian West was the biggest buyer of slaves. Then their are facts like the Bubonic Plague being attributable to Islamic biological warfare, or that all African Christians are killed by Muslims.When I pointed out what the problem with this line of argumentation is, I was summarily told that it is attributing any deaths by a country that had an Islamic leader or government as Jihad numbers. At this point, I decided to have some fun and applied the same statistics to Christian leaders/wars and this is what I found:

World War 1: 17 million
World War 2: about 70 million
Crusades:  about 1.7 million
Inquisition: unknown (30 thousand to 7 million)
Napoleonic Wars: about 4 million
Thirty Year War: about 7.5 million
French Wars of Religion: 3 million
Hundred Years War: about 1.5 million
Genocide deaths attributable to colonization: Americas (48 million) Africa (8 million, probably more?).
Russian Civil War: 6.7 million
Holocaust: 8.4 million (number not included in WW2)
First and Second Congo War: 4 million
Nigerian Civil War: 1.7 million
Total: About 180.8 million dead

Everyone's favorite Christian enjoying a day out.

Perhaps I should note that this list is not even comprehensive. Yet, I still end with a conservative total of 180 million without making numbers up and attributing things like plagues and slavery as is done in the blogposts.These kinds of tactics in these blogposts are just fear mongering and what I label Islamophobic views. As I said in my original post, there are valid reasons to fear the rise of Islam. However, to make up lies to back your claims is dishonest and creating a trust problem which undermines the effort to draw attention to the religious Islamic plague.

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Peoples Pragmatic Pointless Pathetic Pope

 

This morning I was watching CNN (don't judge) and the anchors were fawning over the Pope again. After all the Pope was going to the poorest countries in South America to promote his special brand of faith, compassion, love, as well as economic and political ideas. It seems however that all news outlets just do not get that shaking hands with some poor people does not translate into a great peoples person. A great person or a peoples person is someone who goes out and makes a difference if they really want. To be frank the Peoples Pope is in fact the Pointless Pope. If you want a simple comparison I like to think of the Pope in the same way I remember King Abdullah and how he was hailed as a beacon of hope in the Middle East. Remember, this was the same Saudi Arabian King who had authority (just like the Pope) but did not give women rights and decided to label me and every other atheist as a terrorist.

So how could this Pope actually becomes the Peoples Pope and drop his label as Pointless? Here are some simple and easy to do things.
1) Hand over all information regarding sex offenders in the Church to national authorities so these criminals can get prosecuted.
2) Do not harbor criminals in the Vatican, hand them over to the relevant authorities.
3) Allow women to be part of the organization as priests. This is not ideal as I don't want more priests, but it would be a good progressive move.
4) Allow priests to get married.
If you do all of this, I will call you the Peoples Pope. Until then you are Pointless and Pathetic.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Korean Christians hatred of LGBT gets smashed

This year in Seoul the LBGT Pride Parade was cancelled due to the inane reason of being a traffic hazard. However, after fifteen years and a wise judge the event is back on, I should add it also helped that the cancellation was given international exposure and this resulted in international pressure. But do not be fooled into believing the tripe reason of "traffic hazard" put forward is legitimate. This all arose for one reason and that is the ever growing threat of Christianity and the inherent homophobia promoted in the Bible. Naturally it also does not help that many views held by people in positions with a wide audience are just wrong and uneducated i.e. "Homosexuality only aimed at pursuing carnal pleasures must be denied flatly. If love is accompanied, the will of the gays must be respected." I mean seriously, why do you need love to enjoy sex? And why the hell would you engage in homosexual activities if you only desired carnal pleasure, if you are not homosexual?

(Source)

Christians at last years Seoul Pride Festival (Korea Queer Culture Festival) lay down in the street forming a human barrier as well as chanting that homosexuals have no place in society. Needless to say some of the protesters were arrested and for that we can see the law is working in protecting peoples right to their sexuality. However, as we have seen in other parts of the world allowing these people to dictate policies, as happened with the attempted ban, they will try oppress others. The rhetoric by these homophobes this year has got even more insane with claims that MERS (which has recently plagued the country) and HIV will mix together to form a deadly virus that will sweep the nation. I wish I could say I am making this up, but these people are actually that intellectually challenged that they believe this tripe.


If you live in Korea and anywhere near Seoul Plaza on the 28th of June 2015, please feel free to attend and enjoy the Pride parade. The higher turnout will go a long way in showing that Christianity sponsored Homophobia will not be tolerated.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Vaccine safety in the face of narcolepsy

Last week in Science Translational Medicine their was an interesting article that showed how the H1N1 vaccine Pandemrix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline in 2009 may have caused narcolepsy in some people that received the vaccine. The reason that this is believed to have happened is due to some people being susceptible to an auto-immune response (when you immune system attacks your own body) which got triggered by the vaccine. This trigger in the vaccine was caused by the inclusion of a nucleoprotein in the vaccine. I should point out that the researchers do say they need a larger data set to confirm this finding, however I think they are probably on the right track with their analysis due to other findings discussed below.

Now while this side-effect is certainly very sad, it is important to realize that the data still shows the extreme safety of vaccines in general. Of the 30 million people in Europe that received the vaccine, only 1300 people developed narcolepsy. This is a side effect ratio of 0.003 % which is not bad for a medical preventative when you consider the side effects that are associated with simple drugs like Ibuprofen that get used everyday. Additionally, this means that researchers have garnered important information to make vaccines even safer. This was a perchance discovery as the vaccine Focetria produced by Novartis, which was also produced to fight H1N1 in 2009, did not have this side effect as it did not include the nucleoprotein which caused this auto-immune response. Additionally, the
Arepanrix vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline as a H1N1 vaccine included less nucleoprotein and had a much smaller chance of a narcoleptic side effect.

So there you have it, just more evidence that vaccines are safe even in the face of a very serious side effect. What happened was sad, but it is no reason to not protect yourself after all the effect of getting the flu virus is a death rate which can be as high as 5% when pneumonia is included in the mortality rate.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Islam takes on evolution

Well according to the people at scienceislam.com, the Koran in Surah 24:45 is a firm adherent of the theory of evolution. It says after all very clearly that Allah created all life forms from the ocean which is the prevailing theory of where life started on planet Earth. Granted it does leave out all the important parts but you are meant to read between the lines and fill in all the scientific information as required to make it work.

The only problem is that the Koran is also a firm believer in creation. Its as if Islam wants to give you a treat you with science and then grabs it away from you like the bully at school. So its a buy one get one free in the Koran, where you can get both the intelligent and the ridiculous. That is they follow the same yarn proposed by many Christian theists of yes evolution happened, but Homo Sapiens are different they did not evolve but were created specially in the form of God. Or in the words of the fools who wrote this page of pseudoscience Allah "created humans from earth (not monkeys) and there is no need to attempt fabrications of "links" to the animal world in Islam." This obviously makes perfect sense as it is much easier for an animal to be made from dirt than it is for an animal to evolve from another species.

Homo Sapien trampling all over Homo Sapien Dirtius?
(Source)

Then of course the Koran denies all speciation when they make those ridiculous crocoduck comparisons by saying "However, there is no concrete evidence to support a cross over in development from one type to another, such as reptiles turning into birds or alligators turning into cows". Of course that is ignoring the evidence(subscription only)that there is for the transition(subscription only) from dinosaurs (reptiles) into birds.


Also they want you to know that their is no DNA evidence showing the link between the great apes i.e. between Homo-Sapiens and Bonobos. Again completely dismissing the evidence that there is a very well verified link between Chimpanzees, Bonobos, HomoSapiens and other great apes. Oh an Darwin was an "armature naturalist" who gets completely misrepresented in their write up of his work. Of course it is easier to misrepresent than actually go through the word and dismiss it in a logical manner.

This really makes me wonder how the people at scienceislam are correct in their claim that the Koran supports both evolution and creation as they literally dismiss every single thread of evidence of evolution.

And now for the fun.........

Islam gets way more exciting than Christianity, as they tell you awesome things like Adam and Eve were in fact created in Heaven and then only got sent to Earth after they sinned.

Also, did you know that the soul only enters the human 40 days after conception. So I gather abortion is acceptable in Islam until 39 days after conception as you are not killing a human if there is no soul. Additionally, the soul leaves the body when you sleep according to the Koran in Surah 39:42. Naturally this must mean that if you kill someone in their sleep it is not murder as their is no soul right?

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Christian God created evil

I was reading a blogpost at Annalects of an Atheist about original sin, and tumbled upon the following verse from the book of Isaiah.

Isiah 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

I would not be lying to say that I did a double take when I first read this. After all, I have read the Bible more than once, so to come upon a verse that explicitly states that God created evil was interesting for me. But, I thought "hey maybe the King James Bible is just a rubbish translation" (as I know will be an apologetics answer) and so I decided to look at some other translations and this is what I found: create evil (12 times), create doom (1 time), create woe (9 time), create sorrow (1 time), creating evil (1 time), cause trouble (5 times), create calamity (7 times), create disaster (7 times), send bad (1 time), create discord (1 time), create hard times (1 time), create bad times (1 time), and my personal favorite create rah, the Hebrew word for evil (1 time).

So for a moment lets forget the slight problem that there are so many translations and as such the omnipotent God is unable to get a handle on one simple word getting mistranslated. All of these words imply that God created evil in one form or another. It is also particularly interesting that many translations had adapted some fancy footwork to avoid using the Hebrew word rah. It is almost as if the translators of these versions knew that saying "God created evil" creates massive problems for the existence of an all loving and caring God.

If you still do not or cannot believe that God created evil, I would implore you to read what the Hebrew translation of "rah" means. There is no way you can look at this word and still deny that your all loving good god is in fact an evil twisted sicko. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Are we inherently dumb?

I love humans, I think we have done amazing things like go to the moon, run the 100 meters under 10 seconds, developed vaccines which have saved multiple lives, and the list goes on and on. Yet, I have to wonder if we are all inherently a little dumb, and yes I include myself in this category.

I added this video as I think it shows what we are capable off. Check out the RedBull channel for some more crazy and awesome human behavior.

But before I anger anyone let me point out a simple yet wonderful example of our stupidity. The use of Botulinum toxin as a medical treatment is well documented, and while it is not a treatment that should be discarded it does exemplify our stupidity. We all know someone that has used Botox to remove wrinkles and look better, but what does Botox actually do? This toxin is injected into the problematic area to cause paralysis of the muscles. It is this paralysis of the muscles that removes the wrinkles, and give vain people that superficial smile which is more like the grin of the ghost of Christmas past.

But seriously, why would anyone in  their right mind want to remove wrinkles using a toxin that can be used as a biological weapon due to its toxicity to humans. To put it in perspective the median lethal dose for Botulinium toxin by injection is 1.3 to 2.1 nanogram/kg which is a way lot more than that of Sarin gas which has a median lethal dose of  550 microgram/kg. That is the median lethal dose for Botox is 260 000 times more lethal than Sarin gas. To put this in context Sarin gas was used in the Tokyo Subway Terrorism Attacks which killed 12 people and injured 1000.

This is just one reason that makes me wonder if humans are inherently dumb. Then of course their is our beliefs in things which have no evidence.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Stopping spanking is complicating an already complicated problem

I was watching a TEDxBellingham talk by Robbyn Peters Bennett about spanking the other day and it got me a little riled up.Now, I will put the video here, and I am sure some of you if you watch it before you read the post will be riled up as well. But, maybe not for the same reason.


So spanking is something that I have given serious consideration to, as I was spanked pretty darn hard when I was young and at school. This spanking was absolutely justified, and honestly it did not bother me as I knew it was justified. So when I hear that spanking is a discipline that does not work and is harmful to children, I call bullshit. Truthfully, it was not a deterrent to my naughtiness as a child, in fact there was no punishment that put me off being naughty. I would just say that I preferred spanking over things like detention. But to say it was harmful is just absurd, if anything I would say it kept a lot of children honest in school as they feared the repercussions of their actions.

Perhaps, I should add a disclaimer here that there are certainly parents and other authority figures that abuse spanking. But these people are going to abuse children regardless, so by stopping spanking we truly are achieving nothing and yes I know spanking is banned in most places yet still happens in most places.

So why, do I feel it necessary to address this issue. In one word "Ritalin". Working as a teacher I can remember multiple teachers wanting to put every child that would act up on some type of ADHD drug. The truth is that many times these students were acting up as either the teachers were rubbish, or that the children had no disciplinary action that made them actually suffer consequences without affecting their education. Probation is great, but the kid has effectively achieved what the want, so is it achieving anything?

Let me address the ADHD question as well here briefly. There are certainly children that have ADHD, and for these children the effects of ADHD drugs are a fantastic way to get them to focus and achieve what they normally would be unable too. However, not every child needs an ADHD drug, sometime they just need a diet change to get them off all the sugar and caffeine that they or their parents are forcing down their throat. These dietary problems start with the parents and they need to explore these options if they are in fact good parents.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are many ways to raise a child. But the one reality in life is that actions have consequences and that is probably the biggest lesson we should be teaching children. I am not saying you have to spank your children, but do not be so quick to dismiss something that has worked for multiple children in the past.

Perhaps the comedian Russel Peters can make you think about the way actions get dealt with.