Our New Home
Friday, October 31, 2008
I don't want to live in the Dark Ages, where theologians ran everything.
SCMike said(amongst other things):
"Yep. Between school and drinking, she's pretty much got a full plate. Who has time for petty stuff like research and learning to use a Thesaurus anyway??"
"The only thing missing is the ..(hic).. at the end of that statement!! Priceless!"
"Actually Q., I was giving Meagan the benefit of the doubt by assuming that she must be inebriated to be making the ridiculous claims she's making. If you want to take that away from her, that's your business."
Some of this was said after he informed me:
"P.S. Anytime you want to have a serious debate minus the name-calling and foolishness. I'm more than willing to oblige. Until then, take care."
My Grandfather died of alcoholism. I feel that it is a very serious illness, and not something that should be taken lightly or an accusation tossed around at people for fun or in anger.
It never ceases to amaze me that the people who try the hardest to convince you that you need to be a christian consistently act the least 'christ-like'.
A great video by a young atheist, who answers the question posed by theists "Since you don't believe in God, why are you talking about it so much?" She was censored on Youtube because this vid was posted on Pharyngula and got some theists into a censorship frenzy. Happy Halloween!! Something that alot of religious people want to censor as well.
I really love reading great literature and it's an interest that consumes much of my time when I'm not either at work, studying, or working out. I don't watch tv, except for 2 shows, I don't game, and surprisingly enough, other than the blogging I do here, I'm not into the internet that much either. I mainly hang out here when I'm multitasking at work and yes, it's a no-no from work and I've been busted, but you only live once, right?
Anyway, I have quite a few favorite authors and poets, but Hemingway is definitely in the top 5. When I finish In Search of Lost Time, (which is going to take me awhile, I'm starting vol. 3 this weekend) I'm going to go back and read some of my favorite Hemingway novels, many of which my husband bought for me this year for my birthday at my request. I'm going to start with The Sun Also Rises. I said all that just to say this: To see someone like Ray Comfort take the memory of such an incredible, sagacious writer as Hemingway and use it for his own insipid and loathsome purposes was really stomach churning.
That is all.
This comment did crack me up, though:
How've you been?
Thanks for asking expatmatt. Had a baby five weeks ago so no longer have time to blog as I used to. As a submissive full time housewife I have to make sure the house is always clean, food is on the table for my husband when he comes home, and the kids are well looked after before I can even think of going on the net! Not that easy.....
In honor of your submissive housewife status, Jean, I offer you this parody poster since you immediately came to mind when I saw it. (It's not really so much parody as truth, though!)
Hope you and the baby are well.
Oh and PS, if you're offended by this you can just get your little self on over it, now can't you? ;)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrowFrom my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtainThrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -This it is, and nothing more,'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream beforeBut the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -'Tis the wind and nothing more!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;For we cannot help agreeing that no living human beingEver yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,With such name as `Nevermore.'But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disasterFollowed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore of "Never-nevermore."
'But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linkingFancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yoreMeant in croaking `Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressingTo the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease recliningOn the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censerSwung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent theeRespite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!' -Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -Is there - is there balm in Gilead?* - tell me - tell me, I implore!'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
'Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'
'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sittingOn the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floorShall be lifted - nevermore!
--P.S. I didn't feel like typing this all out, so I just copied and pasted it!
So, while all this attention is being paid to my fingers, I start to pay attention to them too. I go on about my day but I keep feeling at my fingers...with my other fingers - which makes me feel weirder. And something about them is bothering me in some fundamental way - kinda like when you bite the inside of your cheek accidentally, and it hurts when you poke it with your tongue, but you can't stop doing it.
So, that night, I'm talking to my fiance. We, like most couples I assume, are prone to having these odd conversations and sharing strange, random thoughts. I say to him, "Graham, my fingers are bothering me." And he wants to know how I hurt them. To which I reply, "No, I mean they bother me in some kind of profound way. Think about it, there's no where else on your body that makes it quite as apparent that we're merely a bit of skin stretched over a bit of bone as your fingers do." So, we both kind of look down, feeling our fingers with our other fingers.
After a while he turns to me and says, "I just thought of something. All those people who think that we have souls? I wonder if they ever realize that they're basically saying that people are bags of haunted meat."
Also, how to know you've won a debate with a presupposistionalist.
If, after 500 posts of inane nonsense and continuously asking them to account for the unproved premise in their worldview they:
A)Threaten you with damnation <-- Godwin's Law for Fundies
B)Decide to abandon any semblance of discussion and instead accuse you of being an alcoholic
you can be assured that this is their way of conceding.
Here's a promo for this demented event:
The evangelical group that's putting this event together maintains that it's a "prayer for a spiritual awakening", not a political rally.
If this was a sincere "prayer for a spiritual awakening", they wouldn't need to rent out Qualcomm Stadium. They wouldn't need to build a big-ass stage to hold all the hypocrites proselytizing about the evils of gayness. They wouldn't need to charge attendees parking fees of $15.00 ($45.00 for buses and RVs).
No, if these jackasses were sincere, they could pray and not eat in the privacy of their own homes and churches. I'm pretty sure their magic sky daddy will hear them, even without the benefit of Qualcomm Stadium's PS system.
You know, I can't help but remember that the magic book that these hatemongers purport to put so much stock in had a few things to say about such behavior...
Matthew 6: 5-8, 16-18
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
If only there were some Christians who would actually read their Bibles and follow these teachings...
Oh, wait...there are! On 10 AM on Saturday, there will be a "Making the Right Call service" held at St. Paul's Cathedral, 2726 Sixth Ave., San Diego. Admission is free, and they aren't charging for parking, either.
You can find more information on this event here: www.noonprop8.com.
(Yes, that's right...the ones who actually heed God's edicts are also the ones who are working to defeat this hate legislation...go figure...).
Thanks to Wonkette.com for the pic and the link to this only-in-America story:
Prayer Needed for Global Economies
By Ivorie Anthony
The 700 Club
CBN.com – WALL STREET
In January of this year, Cindy Jacobs was in a worship service when the Lord spoke to her, “Cindy, the strongman over America doesn’t live in Washington, DC – the strongman lives in New York City! Call My people to pray for the economy.”
This word so shook Cindy; she knew she had to call the people of God to converge on New York City the week of October 29 for an emergency prayer rally to cry out against economic collapse in the midst of shaking.
The Lord further said, “October 29 was Black Tuesday, the day the stock market crashed, and Satan wants to do it again.” We must be proactive in prayer. At the beginning of the year many intercessors began to hear from the Lord that without divine intervention, a major shaking was coming to Wall Street....
In early August in her prayer time Cindy heard the Lord say, “There will be no more business as usual.”
Little did she know the scope of what this meant on a worldwide scale. God is on the move. She and many others have taken this as a major point of intercession. She believes that just as there came a time when God judged the gods of Egypt, He is now judging the god of mammon. Nations are standing on the cusp of history that will determine their course for generations to come. God is judging the ideologies of nations. He is moving to put the fear of the Lord not only on His church; but upon the nations of the world.For these and other reasons Cindy is calling for a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. They are calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day....
Riiiight. 'Cause prayer has worked so well to date.
EDIT: And of course PZ Myers caught this one and made it much funnier.
The Judgment of San Francisco :Luke 17
Now I don't mean for everyone to pour over there and give him a hard time, He is a disturbed young man.
I have stopped commenting because I don't think what I was saying was helping and through his comments and posts I have realised just how unstable he is.
But his blog is a fascinating case study of how gullibility and self desception can build a fantasy world. Everything he sees around him reinforces his belief.
Seriously, treat this one gently.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Vera has been trying really hard to justify her own admission that she wouldn't hire a gay person to work in a preschool. See these two comments if you want to read what she has to say on the subject: Vera to Iago 1 Vera to Iago 2
Now, let's say I had a business and I had Vera's attitude. Maybe I could ask 'those more sensitive questions' about her religion and 'pass over someone that I felt would cause these children to make a wrong conclusion' about the existence of a deity. I doubt that Vera would agree that I should be able to do that, but of course in her mind it's ok to discriminate based on her personal preferences of what she deems to be right and wrong.
Just for the record, I wouldn't discriminate against people based on their faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, ect. The scenario I used above is not something I would do. I do not condone discrimination in the workplace or in our schools. But you can't have it both ways, folks.
Sorry I've been posting so much but I'm going on vacation soon so I guess I need to get it out of my system.
And Bossmanham sez:
Guess what the wages of sin is? Death. These people were unrepentant. If you read the previous chapter you see the abominations these people were committing. Death was warranted.
You're seriously going to sit there and tell me that the murder of LITTLE CHILDREN is "warranted"?
It's amusing, how Christians can accuse atheists of "moral relativism", when they themselves are guilty of the worst kind of moral relativism: anything goes if God says it's OK.
No, not "amusing"...that other word...
I think my neighbors may have heard me when I screamed 'HELL YES!!!' at the top of my lungs after reading that.
They believed the Earth to be the center of the universe but then, in 1543 Copernicus published a book that revolutionized the world view. It took the church until 1757 to accept his heliocentric worldview, but today nobody would argue for a sun circling around the Earth.
They believed in a mysterious force respnsible for all organic matter called vis vitalis but 1828 Friedrich Wöhler synthezised urea from anorganic chemicals. Later Stanley Miller made his famous experiment in which he showed that even complex organic molecules can be synthesized from inorganic precursors.
In the 20th century T.H.Morgan, Barbara McClintock, Arber et al. and N. Perimon (just to name a few) made discoveries that allow us to change the DNA and thus the attributes of plants and animals, probably including humans.
On July 25th 1978 the first baby was born that was conceived outside the human body
Since 2003 we know the complete sequence of the human genome. The genomes of other species are following in a nearly monthly pace.
What do we need god for?
God as the creator of the universe is retreating everytime science discovers something new. The Earth is just a tiny little rock in an endless universe, not created as its center. God doesn't need to give life to every organic molecule. Humans can change the attributes of plants and animals, offspring can come out of tubes and the origin of materia might be to complicated for my uneducated brain but physicists know a lot more about it than I do (just an example)
We don't understand everything about the origin of the universe but even if something supernatural should be necessary at the very beginning, his duty is restricted to the far sub-atomar level. Everything else can happen perfectly within natural limits. That's extremely far away from a god that created every star, every flower, every animal personally. Did god became less divine during the last 3000 years? I really think it's close to blasphemy to put god into the shrinking box of "we don't know".
Science and religion can co-exist, but only as long as god is kept out of science. Otherwise science will always be a threat.
Is there really nothing more to this Christian god than a shrinking box?
Ray titled his posting "Another Anthony Flew?," and the original article is called "Is Richard Dawkins still evolving?" (The article's author, Melanie Phillips, is a right wing wackaloon, by the way.) Both titles suggest that Dawkins' statement suggests that he might be changing his views on whether there's a god.
Ray and Phillips make a mistake that I argue reveals their fundamental misunderstanding of intelligent thought and discourse. They think that acknowledging that there's a strong case to be made for an idea means that there's good reason to think that idea is true.
Contrary to this daffy assertion, one of the foundations of intellectual discourse is the serious analysis of opposing viewpoints. And incorrect ideas often have a lot of tempting reasoning behind them. If bad ideas were always easy to spot, human history would be much different.
I suspect that Ray fails to understand this because:
- He doesn't often read examples of good intellectual discourse, which would show him that it's very common to acknowledge the strengths of opposing beliefs.
- He sees the pursuit of truth as an all-or-nothing, us-versus-them battle of worldviews. Taking this "war of ideas" approach, he thinks that acknowledging the strength in an opposing idea is a type of retreat.
- He doesn't recognize any middle ground between absolute, 100% certainty and baseless guesswork. That's why he mocks much of science as speculation when he sees phrases like, "The evidence suggests that..."
- He's a jackass.
"COMING SOON: The Atheist Bible (Holman Publishing), and, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think (WND Publishing)."
You can be sure that both will be as vapid, dishonest, fallacious, irritating and self-righteous as his blog, but let's have a look at these 'major' publishing houses, shall we?
A subsidiary of Lifeway Christian Resources, presided over by Dr. Thom Rainer (former Dean of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary which, incidentally, is where he received his 'doctorate').
According to Wiki, Holman Publishing is; "Specializing in Christianity pertaining to fiction, homeschool, youth, history, and other interests", So he's gone to the right place there.
WND Publishing (otherwise know as WorldNetDaily):
Again, from Wiki: "The website's Commentary page features editorials from the site's founder, Joseph Farah and other social conservative authors such as Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Chuck Norris.", so Ray's keeping in good company there too.
If you look through the works of some of their published writers, you'll see how they could believe that what Ray has produced can be considered a 'book' - you'd never get this shit past Penguin.
I guess none of this is particularly surprising, eh? It's that same old story. Ray taunts, misrepresents, insults and generally winds up atheists. Atheists respond. Ray quotemines the responses and concocts a 'book' out of re-hashed arguments and faulty logic. Some intellectually and ethically vacuous publishing house prints the book. Ray's fanbase buys the books. Ray makes money. Repeat.
For fun, let's have a guess at some possible Chapter Titles for Ray's two up-coming best-sellers.
"The Atheist Bible"
"You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think"
I'm sure we can think of something...
"I have a severe case of Deja Moo; I've seen this bullshit before..."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
For anyone who doesn't know my style: The Penisgate 08 Parody. I'll probably add much better shading and effects to this one, though: I don't have to emulate Gunther here.
So this is fair warning: anyone with an even vaguely human avatar is fair game, and previous "history" may be taken into account when considering clothing and extras. Examples Taken Completely At Random And In No Way Absolutely Certain: Lance gets a beer stein, Kaitlyn gets a witches hat, Non-Magic gets the Photoshop icon, Maragon gets a light blue t-shirt, etc.
If you want to sit this one out and not end up in the picture, let me know.
And if you don't want to be based off of your avatar, have a request for how you'd like to appear, anything at all really, you can either send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop a comment in the comments. I can only do so many people, so priority will be given to people who respond first and people who have the highest post counts. And people without a mustache. Could someone link me to that post where everyones post counts were added up?
And if everyone drops me a note telling me to keep my pathetic wannabe artistic aspirations to myself, I'll call it off. No seriously, if you think it's a bad idea, let me know: I'm a little worried I might just be in a lack-of-sleep induced period of insanity. Again.
PS: Just so you know, I'm going to be drawing myself in there as well. I'll be the skinny guy with blonde hair and glasses. And possibly a mustache.
Edit: Oh, another group that will get high priority will be anyone with the guts to use themeselves as their avatar. Mainly because I'm a terrible hypocrite. [generic smiley]
18 He answered, "We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me into his house. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, your maidservant, and the young man with us. We don't need anything."
20 "You are welcome at my house," the old man said. "Let me supply whatever you need. Only don't spend the night in the square." 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don't do such a disgraceful thing."
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, "Get up; let's go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!"
-- Judges 19:16-29, New International Version
I just hope that this horrible story is fictional. I cannot begin to express how disgusted I am right now.
So why aren't believers out killing witches and unbelievers like the bible demands then, if it's the same "God".
Same God, different covenant. Seriously, if you atheists knew half as much about what the Bible says than you constantly claim to but actually don't, you wouldn't ask these ridiculously simplistic and idiotic questions.
Sorry, Jinxie, but according the the New Testament, that's dead wrong.
Don't believe me? Check out these passages:
“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19)
"It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid." (Luke 16:17)
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." (Matthew 5:17)
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16)
"Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." (2 Peter 20-21)
“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law" (John 7:19)
“For the law was given by Moses..." (John 1:17)
“...the scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
Seriously, Jinxie, if you knew half as much about what the Bible says as you pretend to, you wouldn't try to pass off such a transparent and laughable lie.
"You're never a good person. Because if you do a good deed -- save a child, for example, from drowning at the risk of your own life -- that's a good deed. But ten minutes later you might kill somebody, or steal, or lie. So you're a person who does good, valuable, self- helping, and bad, unfortunate, self-defeating things."
I really couldn't agree more. We're all just people who sometimes do good and sometimes do bad. There is no need to run around beating yourself over the head with a Bible or a Qur'an or any other book of religion, making yourself feel like shit over not being perfect in the eyes of some nebulous idea of a deity. You aren't perfect now, you aren't ever gonna be perfect, so just accept yourself as you are and get on with living.
Of course, there is today's post from Geoff featuring all those great videos. I think it would be great to have discussions of individual videos from that link.
Tilia also posted a good link to an article on feminism the other day. I really enjoyed that link, but now I can't find it. I think it would make for a good general discussion also.
And then there is this one left by Rob Penn, but it was left as the last comment in a thread and at least speaking for myself, I don't tend to read all the way through threads with a ton of comments unless I'm seriously interested in the topic. I don't enjoy the blah blah from apologists 99% of the time, but Rob has a thing for this Ben Witherington guy, so I checked it out.
I have to admit, it wasn't so bad. It's called the Architecture of the Post Modern Mind Part 1 and he doesn't once, not once, say anything like 'Evolution is dumb, har har har!!! Look at me and my banana!!' Not even once. I've read some of Witherington's writings before at the behest of Rob and didn't care for it, but this was interesting because not only did Witherington show intelligence and thought in his writing, he also had intelligent, thoughtful responses in his comments. No, I'm not kidding. No Jinxy McFuckNuts or Carports or Verifieddungs any of the the other dumbassed crap that passes for thought over at Ray's. I think I'm still in shock.
The talks at the conference are somewhat brief, so Sam could only outline his ideas, but even in that short time he shares a perspective on moral thinking that struck me as having the potential to be both radical and extremely useful.
The legal basis for this is the only international treaty out of the Nazi-Era that is still in force:
The Reichskonkordat of 1933.
In this treaty Nazi-Germany recognized the right of the Catholic Church to take taxes of its members (Nazi-Germany signed similar treaties with Protestant Churches).
This whole treaty was the try of Hitler to appease the Catholic Church who could have still formed massive resistance against his take of power in Germany. To sign this treaty was for example one of the conditions upon which the catholic centrum party [Zentrumspartei] agreed to vote for the Enabling Act [Ermächtigungsgesetz] which gave Hitler the powers of a dictator.
After the war was lost no one (in western Germany) touched this treaty for a long time. Part of the de-nazification of Germany was to strengthen Christianity again. The Churches were given for example permission to de-nazify themselves and a statuatory statement of a pastor or priest could be used to free yourself from the suspect that you were an active nazi.
Furthermore the conservatives as well as the Churches knew that they could never get a similar or better treaty without the special circumstances under which it was signed. And the modern collection of those Church taxes even goes beyond what was signed in this treaty.
The treaty gave the Churches the right to collect taxes from their members. In fact today the German state collects the taxes from the Church memebers for the Church and then gives those moneys to the Churches. (Which saves the Churches the expenses of collection)
This Church-Tax is therefor a membership fee that on the contrary to all other membership fees in Germany get collected by the state. If you don't want to pay this tax anymore you can let yourself delist from the lists of those who are members of the Church (in the German state I live in this costs once 20.45€)
I for my part have a very ambivalent opinion of this Church tax. On one side it intertwines State and Church quite massively. It also gives the German state quite good knowledge what religion her citizens adhere too.
On the other hand: It makes the Churches fat and lazy in Germany. In America churches have to convince their congregants every week anew to tithe them appropiately. This forces churches in America to act like businesses always looking what their customers want and pressuring them to constantly search for new believers and make them attend church.
In Germany a shockingly large number of persons believe that giving the Catholic or a Protestant Church each month about 5% of their income makes them Christian. The only time they might attend Church a year is Xmas. But they will still gladly pay their Church taxes. This has put every pressure away from priests and pastors to fill their churches. Whether they are preaching to 1000 or to 10 persons: As long as the "believers" don't delist they will get paid anyways.
It's not very democratic and certainly not secular, but the Church tax actually works as a very slow working, sweet, addictive and absolutely lethal toxin against religious extremism.
Just as well as religious education actually does. If the teachers of religious education get too strict and hand out bad grades students will delist from religious education and attend ethics instead to save their Numerus clausus.
As suprising as it might be: The Church tax and Religous Education are 2 of the reasons why Christianity is quite liberal in Germany.
For this reason I wouldn't even be too sad if they would also start feeding the muslim communities with Church taxes and also have them teach religous education in schools.
So you can understand I also have to explain the topic of 'religious education' in German schools which is mostly misunderstood by foreigners (And even, partly due to intention) also by Germans.
Religious education is a regular school subject in Germany.
Article 7 subsection 3 of the German Basic Law says:
Religious instruction shall form part of the regular curriculum in state
schools, with the exception of non-denominational schools. Without prejudice
to the state’s right of supervision, religious instruction shall be given in
accordance with the tenets of the religious community concerned. Teachers
may not be obliged against their will to give religious instruction.
That doesn't mean that everyone has to attend those lessons subsection 2 of the very same article says:
Parents and guardians shall have the right to decide whether children
shall receive religious instruction.
And furthermore do children have when they reach the age of 12 the right so unsubscribe or to subscribe themselves to those lesson.
I attended religious education (Roman Catholicism) until I ended the school and my final grade was an A. Since religious education is a regular subject it is also taken into account when calculating your Numerus clausus which might block you from studying certain fields if it's too bad. (Those children who don't attend religious education have to attend a subject called "Ethik" [best translated with Secular Ethics])
Since the 2 big Christian Churches in Germany and some Jewish Communities give religious education at school the muslims in Germany also demanded their right to teach Islam to muslim students in German school.
But they (and neither the Christian Churches or Jewish Communities) could send anyone into the schools to teach their religion (That would be a little bit too easy). Teachers in German schools have to have an academic education in pedagoy and their subjects of choice. Therefor it became necessary to install faculties for muslim theology in German who then educate the future teachers for muslim religious education.
Professor Muhammad Kalisch now is a professor in such a faculty whose responsiblity it is to teach prospect teachers. The problem with him is that he has a radical-critical approach to Islam. That means he doubts the historic existence of Muhammed.
The Coordinition Council of Muslims in Germany therefor distanced itself from him and announced that it couldn't advice anyone to study under Muhammed Kalisch.
That causes some problems. When it comes to religious education State and Church are heavily intertwined in Germany. The Churches need to put their teachers to some sort of academic education in Germany, but on the other hand don't need to accept anyone coming from those universities to teach their religion. Therefor they have some say in who teaches on the universities or not. The Catholic Church for example already banned liberal theologians like Eugen Drewermann from teaching in their theological faculties.
But since their isn't a united muslim body that would have the represtative legitimation as the Catholic Church certainly has for Catholicism there is an open question who has the right to repeal the teaching permission of muslim theologians.
As it stand now he won't educate prospect teachers anymore, but still is professor for "The Religion of Islam"
In the course of the controvesy many muslims even refused to call him by his name Muhammad anymore and just called him with his middle name (Sven Kalisch). Which insinuates that he in their opinion commited apostasy (And I guess you know what that would mean).
From the post "When famous atheists went to meet their maker":
Ray Comfort said... Mudley...you need to read closely what you cut and paste. Many of these people weren't atheists. They were theists who were offended by "religion" (as I am). Atheist sites tend to grab these folks to bolster their case :).
So I think I would be correct in assuming that Ray now wishes to shrug the Christian dogma and no longer proselytize. Who would have thought that he was on the side of anti-religion the whole time...
Ok, I have to end the facetiousness due to the douche chills it's giving me.
I don't think Ray gets the point of people being against religion means all religion and not just the one you follow.
An article that appeared today in the Daily Telegraph in the UK which banns foreign preachers of hate to enter the country until they renounced their teachings publicly.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I'm boiling it down very much so, but basically it says the individual is responsible for their own suffering. No one can "push your buttons", you do things of your own will. There are no "shoulds" in life, only "I would prefer to". You can find more about it here on wikipedia.
And now a little clip.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
To which I finally, after smashing my head against the wall and attempting to eat through my own wrists replied:
"I can just imagine you getting a stiffy every single time you say that. And I just shake my head - because it honestly makes you look like a dishonest, immoral, illogical 'tard.
You have yet to ever even attempted to provide evidence that one needs to be absolutely certain about something to state a true fact or postulate a valid argument.
You've stated yourself that you're not absolutely certain about EVERYTHING, just some things. Ergo, you are not absolutely certain about everything you ever say. Therefore, why do you keep asking me if I'm ALWAYS CERTAIN when you admit that you are not always certain? What a ridiculous(but convenient) double standard you have there."
Am I the only one who finds that reply - "are you certain?" "ARE YOU CERTAIN THAT YOU'RE CERTAIN THAT YOU'RE CERTAIN?" the single most annoyingly retarded nonsense EVER?
"Please note: Comments placed on this site may be quoted in future publications, under the "Fair Use" law. FL 102, Fair Use, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians"
Which is he? A librarian or educator?
Or talentless, plagiarizing twunt...?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
One of my favorite bands are The Be Good Tanyas, now defunct, and I recently downloaded their 2006 album to go with my legit copies of Chinatown and Blue Horse.
Anyways, people were saying that the group Po' Girl is similar in sound, so I got a hold of their album Home To You (2007) and included is the song "To The Angry Evangelist"
The lyrics are awsome, read and digest
Don't sing to me of saviours and sorrows
Don't sing to me of saviours and sin
Please, don't say there's a crown waiting just for me
Waiting and shining up there in heaven
Don't sing to me of turning my cheek
Don't sing to me of the virtues of meek
I'm sick of someday soon things will be better
That creed kept slaves, slaves of my ancestors
Faith it has beauty but not when it blinds us
Blinds us and folds us to crimes of excess
Never to lead and always to follow
Follow sad mad men to shame worse than death
Don't sing to me of joy on the other side
Don't sing to me of waiting to die
I want joy in this life, my joy loves company
Don't sing to me that war is our destiny
This is my gospel I hope you'll share it
Stand for each other don't let greed be our measure
Put down your gun and put down your bible
Hold out your hand, we'll build a new temple
Don't sing to me of saviours and sorrows
Don't sing to me of saviours and sin
Don't sing to me of damnation and bloodspill
'Cause I don't believe it, I never will
I don't believe it, I never will
For UK users I found their music cheap at DVD CO UK Free delivery in the UK and 1 quid delivery to Europe. So I ordered.
Ray Comfort is going to apologize for practically every post he's ever made. Also, Ray allows racial slurs now.
And Ray replies:
So apparently Ray is going to go back and apologize for every single post he has made where he has taunted and baited atheists, lied about us and perpetuated the spread of said lies, as well as purposefully caused animosity toward atheists. Anyone else buying it? Me either.
Also, maybe Ray's crack team of comment moderators should consider not censoring atheists if they are going to let people use racial slurs as screen names. Just a thought.
Oh, and one more thing regarding AFU's latest babble under the Einstein and Miracles post. I think it's time to just refer to him as Ray Jr. since that's what he seems to be aspiring to anyway. He's throwing out some of his most incompetent rantings to date, and they're even easier to refute than Ray's normal nonsense.
I now get the joy of going to the DMV and standing in line for 5 or 6 hours. I hope you guys have a great Saturday since mine is shot to hell.
Post-modernism is NOT a set of philosophical dictates, it is a description of a (rather vague) set of critical theories referring to literature, drama, architecture, design, music and so on - from a particular point in time; their emergence having started in the late 20th century.
Friel - please read and understand the link above. Oh, and whilst you are at it - learn the meaning of 'begs the question'. I know you pride yourself on your intellectual acumen - but you shouldn't... Not because pride is a sin, but because your density approaches that of material found in strange quark stars.
Friday, October 24, 2008
It's Official. We are SMRT (the address will be wearesmrt.com, which is just parked right now...), I'll get the actual survey results out soon, but I wanted people to have an opportunity to design a web banner if they wanted to. The deadline is 2 weeks from today to design your banner and email it to the email address I have on file.
- We are Skeptical Minds & Rational Thinkers
- We are not Ray-specific anymore (though we have been drifting from that for a bit), we deal with all... how should I put it... non-thinkers.
Tattoos and burns
My body tells the story
In cryptic code
of Cain's legacy
He has given me over
To my own depraved mind
Like father like son
The thing you created
Is the thing you love to hate
A cryptic language
Carved into my skin
Of every sin
Two parts of a whole
Each set against the other
Wanting to tear me apart
I feel the days pass
My bones want to come out
Flesh burns away
Twisting entrails hold poisons
A heart filled with cyanide
Epidermis embedded with glass and tacks
Foreign objects of metallic origin
A cryptic language
Carved into my skin
Of every sin
In my dreams
Wild dogs chase me all night
A black river in the forest
Two strange girls on the banks laugh and hold me
I shout out strange words in my sleep
Running in all directions
Following the glow of some distant light
Of Masks and Maps
Discerning between dream and reality
Is a difficult thing
As I follow the Black River east
Choose your words carefully and say, "There probably is no God," and get accused of lacking "faith," having doubts, and really being an agnostic instead of a true atheist.
Edit: Ray changed the name in the post, so yes he does own theresprobablynogod.com. I also found out that Living Waters has at least 140 web domains that redirect to his blog. What an ass.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sadly, Einstein treated his wife and children like dirt.
I cannot find any supporting evidence for this in Wikipedia, Conservapedia or a Google search.
EDIT: OK, I just read Dani'els statements in the "Good News for Atheists"/Atheist Bible post. The man is insane, which is a diagnosis I had not yet come to when I originally made this post. His beliefs have absolutely no grounding in reality.
I fear I may be losing my scientific approach to the Evolution vs. Creation debate the more I comment on and converse with these nutjobs. I need to return to the fundumental elements which got me into this debate in the first place: science and debate. presuppositionalistic illogicality, random insane babbling, simple witnessing and outright lying are hurting my mental health.
I need to find a better quality of opposition.
And of course, when Einstein used the word miracles, he meant the same thing Ray does. Just like when Einstein used the word god, he meant the same thing Ray does.
To everyone unfamilar with scmike the presuppositionalist, his argument basically consists of "You can't be certain that your senses and reasoning are accurate without using your senses or reasoning. I can though, because God is the source of senses and reasoning, and He says they are accurate through his revelations." [paraphrased slightly].
My responce was to see whether his position stands up to his own argument.
"If you can point to a SINGLE REVELATION (natural or special) that you didn't a) perceive with your senses and b) interpret with your reason, then I WILL (and I mean this) admit that your logic DOES NOT disprove your argument."
Scmike first response:
I have asked you (to no avail) if all knowledge must be gathered through the senses. If yes, which of your senses told you this??Could an omnipotent God reveal things to us directly in a way that we can be certain of them??
Scmikes second response:
I will be happy to discuss natural and special revelation with you in great detail, as soon as you tell me what absolute standard of logic you plan to use to evaluate my response, and why that standard must NECESSARILY apply to my argument, as these characteristics are not consistent with the objective standard you claim to be using.
Scmikes third response:
Quasar, please tell me what absolute standard of logic you intend to apply to my logic, how you account for that standard, and why that standard NECESSARILY applies to my logic. Thanks.
I told him after the second responce that I do not believe in an absolute standard of logic. The rules of logic are objective, not absolute, and they apply to all human arguments by virtue of being objective.
The third time, I responded with this: Give me one good reason to answer your three questions (again) if you refuse to answer mine.
He has also commented that I'm starting to sound like Maragon. I took that as a compliment.
This BBC article describes the discovery of Epidexipteryx; the "pigeon-sized creature shows no sign of the flight feathers seen in other bird-like dinosaurs", according to a report in the journal Nature.
Discovered in China, it apparently "... provides fascinating evidence of evolutionary experiments with feathers that were going on before small dinosaurs finally took to the air and became birds."
So. Freakin'. Cool.
That's one way of looking at it...
The other way;
It is definitely not a transitional form because, well, erm.....aha! I quoth: "...its limbs lacked contour feathers - a feature common to most modern birds." There! See! It's a modern bird! Stupid evilutionists and their scientific theory tale! Piltdown Man! Tiktockalick is just a fish! Darwin was a racist.....and so on and so forth.
I think I'll stick with the first way.
To a certain jaded sensibility, what makes Scandinavia particularly magical is what it lacks. "There is no national anti-gay rights movement," writes Zuckerman, "there are no 'Jesus fish' imprinted on advertisements in the yellow pages, there are no school boards or school administrators who publicly doubt the evidence for human evolution ... there are no religiously inspired 'abstinence only' sex education curricula ... there are no parental groups lobbying schools and city councils to remove Harry Potter books from school and public libraries ... there are no restaurants that include Bible verses on their menus and placemats, there are no 'Faith Nights' at national sporting events ..."
Not to put too fine a point on it, there's no God. At least none that would pass muster with evangelical Americans. As few as 24 percent of Danes and as few as 16 percent of Swedes believe in a personal deity. (In America, that figure is close to 90 percent.) In Scandinavia, belief in life after death hovers in the low 30 percent range, as opposed to 81 percent in America. Some 82 percent of Danes and Swedes believe in evolution, while roughly 10 percent believe in hell. Their rate of weekly church attendance is among the lowest on Earth.
"The notion that religious belief is childish, that earnest prayer is something that only children engage in, and that faith in God is just something that one dabbles with in childhood, but eventually grows out of as one becomes a mature adult, would strike most Americans as offensive," writes Zuckerman. "But for millions of Scandinavians, that's just the way it is."
This excerpt in particular caught my eye:
This will come as a surprise to cultural conservatives, who for a long time have pointed baleful fingers at the atheist dictatorships of Albania, North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union. But as Zuckerman argues, there is a significant difference between imposing atheism from above and absorbing it from below. The majority of Scandinavians, he writes, "stopped being religious of their own volition." It may be they never started. Although Christianity was first introduced to Sweden and Denmark in the 800s, it took centuries to become fully entrenched, and given that this process was shaped less by missionary work than by royal fiat, Zuckerman questions whether Danes and Swedes were ever truly as devout as some of their European brethren.
As for faith being the cornerstone of personal morality, Zuckerman would remind us that Scandinavians rank near the top in charitable giving to poor nations, that their murder rate is among the lowest in the world and that the safety net they've created for their poorest citizens puts the U.S. welfare state to shame. And all this has been accomplished without God breathing down anyone's neck.
Well, color my sensibilities jaded, because it sounds pretty much like paradise to me.
A long time ago I wrote that "the result of Ray's proposals will not be an increase in achievement but rather a decrease in expectations". Today I might add that one of Ray's janissaries once said, "Doing the fashionable thing is more important than life or liberty." Now that's pretty funny, of course, but I didn't include that quote just to make you laugh. I included it to convince you that Ray is blinded by greed. That's pretty transparent. What's not so transparent is the answer to the following question: What is Ray's secret agenda? A clue might be that the irony is that Ray's most harebrained pranks are also his most frowzy. As the French say, "Les extremes se touchent."
Doesn't Ray ever get tired of calling everyone a backwards, abysmal carpetbagger? He needs to internalize the external truth that his expositions make many mainstream New Age anthropophagi nervous. The reason is simple: If a cogent, logical argument entered his brain, no doubt a concussion would result. He has called people like me homophobic practitioners of animalism, slovenly, mudslinging twerps, and spleeny cadgers so many times that these accusations no longer have any sting. Ray truly continues to employ such insults because he's run out of logical arguments. I suppose an alternate explanation is that Ray's worshippers often reverse the normal process of interpretation. That is, they value the unsaid over the said, the obscure over the clear.
Ray seems to assume that illaudable despots have dramatically lower incidences of cancer, heart attacks, heart disease, and many other illnesses than the rest of us. This is an assumption of the worst kind because if my memory serves me correctly, "Ray" has now become part of my vocabulary. Whenever I see someone lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction, I tell him or her to stop "Ray-ing". I'm at loggerheads with Ray on at least one important issue. Namely, he argues that the Eleventh Commandment is, "Thou shalt cashier anyone who tries to condemn Ray's criminal ineptitude". I take the opposite position, that I can honestly suggest how he ought to behave. Ultimately, however, the burden of acting with moral rectitude lies with Ray himself.
Ray and I are as different as chalk and cheese. He, for instance, wants to demand special treatment that, in many cases, borders on the ridiculous. I, on the other hand, want to put the kibosh on Ray's protests. That's why I need to tell you that he often argues that this is the best of all possible worlds and that he is the best of all possible people. A similar argument was first made over 1200 years ago by a well-known astrologer and was quickly disproved. In those days, however, no one would have doubted that Ray is typical of voluble demoniacs in his wild invocations to the irrational, the magic, and the fantastic to dramatize his warnings. There is no longer any room for hope. Still, I recommend you check out some of Ray's shenanigans and draw your own conclusions on the matter.
The facts as I see them simply do not support the false, but widely accepted, notion that space gods arriving in flying saucers will save humanity from self-destruction. My general thesis is that I want to see all of us working together to urge lawmakers to pass a nonbinding resolution affirming that many new recruits of Ray's movement have come across a bridge of cynicism. Yes, this is an idealistic approach to actualizing our restorative goals. Nevertheless, you should realize that if Ray can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. I'll talk a lot more about that later, but first let me finish my general thesis: If he is incapable of discerning the mad ramblings of clericalism-oriented, sick slobs from the wisdom and nuance embedded in a sage's discourse then I seriously doubt that he'll be capable of determining that if his thinking were cerebral rather than glandular, Ray wouldn't consider it such a good idea to reap a harvest of death.
If I had to choose the most inconsiderate specimen from Ray's welter of power-drunk gabble, it would have to be Ray's claim that the health effects of secondhand smoke are negligible. Ray gets so hot and bothered about every little thing someone says about him that I fully expect him to exhibit cruelty to animals as soon as our backs are turned. This applies first and foremost to a gang under whose purblind brand of favoritism the whole of honest humanity is suffering: Ray's army of negligent monomaniacs. There's one thing you can undeniably say about him: He has a sense of humor. He was being a real comedian when he told us that all minorities are poor, stupid ghetto trash.
As we all know, I find Ray's fondness for inquisitions, witch hunts, star chambers, and kangaroo courts most lethargic. I oppose Ray's roorbacks because they are merciless. I oppose them because they are self-centered. And I oppose them because they will prepare the ground for an ever-more vicious and brutal campaign of terror by the end of the decade. Pompous, pathetic heretics are born, not made. That dictum is as unimpeachable as the "poeta nascitur, non fit" that it echoes and as irreproachable as the brocard that Ray's thesis is that he is clean and bright and pure inside. That's absolutely demonic, you say? Good; that means you're finally catching on. The next step is to observe that Ray unquestionably doesn't want me to compare, contrast, and identify the connections among different kinds of smarmy moral relativism. Well, I've never been a very obedient dog so I intend not only to do exactly that but also to clean up the country and get it back on course again.
Even though Ray has aired his disapproval of being criticized, I still claim that if he had done his homework, he'd know that he may unwittingly overthrow all concepts of beauty and sublimity, of the noble and the good, and instead drag people down into the sphere of his own base nature. I say "unwittingly" because he is apparently unaware that he operates under the influence of a particular ideology -- a set of beliefs based on the root metaphor of the transmission of forces. Until you understand this root metaphor you won't be able to grasp why whenever I turn around I see Ray making my blood curdle. To deny such a truth would be to deny the evidence of our own senses. No doubt, Ray is greatly increasing the size of his subversive cabal by needling and wheedling diabolic prophets of boosterism into it. But Ray knows how to lie. It's too bad he doesn't yet understand the ramifications of lying.
To believe that Ray has achieved sainthood is to deceive ourselves. May I assume that anyone who wants to crush national and spiritual values out of existence and substitute the paltry and crass machinery of collectivism is either (a) snappish or (b) an impulsive rube? If so, then I have news for Ray: I've managed to come up with a way in which his essays could be made useful. Ray's essays could be used by the instructors of college courses as a final examination of sorts. Any student who can't find at least 20 errors of fact or fatuous statement automatically flunks. Extra credit goes to students who realize that Ray would have us believe that his magic-bullet explanations will spread enlightenment to the masses, nurture democracy, reestablish the bonds of community, bring us closer to God, and generally work to the betterment of Man and society. Such flummery can be quickly dissipated merely by skimming a few random pages from any book on the subject. Comments on the above are welcome, but please think them out first.
I occasionally receive inquiries from people who have read my previous letters and want to know why I profess that Living Waters Ministry's few successes exhibit no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity. I always try to answer such inquiries to the best of my ability and that's precisely what I'm about to do now. But before I continue, allow me to explain that Living Waters Ministry plans to violate the basic tenets of journalism and scholarship. It has instructed its partisans not to discuss this or even admit to its plan's existence. Obviously, Living Waters Ministry knows it has something to hide.
There are those who are informed and educated about the evils of larrikinism, and there are those who are not. Living Waters Ministry is one of the uninformed, naturally, and that's why knowledge is the key that unlocks the shackles of bondage. That's why it's important for you to know that I am not trying to save the world -- I gave up that pursuit a long time ago. But I am trying to reveal the truth about Living Waters Ministry's suggestions.
The hour is late indeed. Fortunately, it's not yet too late to tell you a little bit about Living Waters Ministry and its scummy announcements. Now that I've had time to think hard about Living Waters Ministry's analects, my only question is this: Why? Why force us to do things or take stands against our will? To turn that question around, how long shall there continue yellow-bellied dips to vend and damnable, hostile half-wits to gulp so low a piece of chauvinism as Living Waters Ministry's hijinks? Well, while you're deliberating over that, let me ask you another question: Why, in the name of all that is good and holy, does Living Waters Ministry want to shame my name? Now, not to bombard you with too many questions, but it was rather wide of the mark when it said that it is oligophrenic to question its scare tactics. In reaching that conclusion I have made the usual assumption that if one dares to criticize even a single tenet of Living Waters Ministry's asseverations, one is promptly condemned as barbaric, temperamental, cuckoo, or whatever epithet Living Waters Ministry deems most appropriate, usually without much explanation.
Living Waters Ministry thinks that its blessing is the equivalent of a papal imprimatur. Of course, thinking so doesn't make it so. Not to put too fine a point on it but I have always been an independent thinker. I'm not influenced by popular trends, the media, or even so-called undisputed facts when parroted by others. Maybe that streak of independence is what first enabled me to see that the spectrum of views between mandarinism and McCarthyism is not a line but a circle at which querulous wackos and clueless dweebs meet. To properly place Living Waters Ministry somewhere in that spectrum, one needs to realize that if we briefly prescind from the main point of this letter we can focus on how it's undeniably a tragedy that Living Waters Ministry's goal in life is apparently to goad squalid megalomaniacs into hurling epithets at its enemies. Here, I use the word "tragedy" as the philosopher Whitehead used it. Whitehead stated that "the essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things," which I interpret as saying that Living Waters Ministry wants to prohibit any discussion of her attempts to use every conceivable form of diplomacy, deception, pressure, coercion, bribery, treason, and terror to entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of the ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice of irrational-to-the-core polemics. While it is clear why it wants that to be a taboo subject, I used to assert that Living Waters Ministry was an insane toughy. However, after seeing how it wants to poke someone's eyes out, I now have an even lower opinion of it. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that in a rather infamous speech, Living Waters Ministry exclaimed that hopeless clodpolls are all inherently good, sensitive, creative, and inoffensive. (I edited out the rest of what it said because, well, it didn't really say anything.)
In case you don't know, Living Waters Ministry's contrivances are continually evolving into more and more pouty incarnations. Here, I'm not just talking about evolution in a simply Darwinist sense; I'm also talking about how if Living Waters Ministry can one day bowdlerize all unfavorable descriptions of Living Waters Ministry's writings then the long descent into night is sure to follow. I don't get it: How can something that claims to be so educated and so open-minded dare to incite racial hatred? I mean, while Living Waters Ministry insists that science is merely a tool invented by the current elite to maintain power, reality dictates otherwise. Actually, if you want a real dose of reality, look at how I am fully in accord with those who say that it's considerations of this sort that make it worth our while to learn about the reckless things Living Waters Ministry is up to. Why do I tell you this? Because these days, no one else has the guts to.
Certain facts are clear. For instance, I can guarantee the readers of this letter that I, for one, cannot believe how many actual, physical, breathing, thinking people have fallen for Living Waters Ministry's subterfuge. I'm absolutely stunned. We have a choice. Either we let ourselves be led like lambs to the slaughter by Living Waters Ministry and its trained seals or we oppose our human vices wherever they may be found -- arrogance, hatred, jealousy, unfaithfulness, avarice, and so on. While I don't expect you to have much trouble making up your mind you should nevertheless consider that Living Waters Ministry claims to be fighting for equality. What it's really fighting for, however, is equality in degradation, by which I mean that some people I know say that we must educate, inform, and nurture our children instead of keeping them ignorant, afraid, and in danger. Others argue that I can't, for the life of me, see why it wants to pit people against each other. At this point the distinction is largely academic given that frowzy boors are born, not made. That dictum is as unimpeachable as the "poeta nascitur, non fit" that it echoes and as irreproachable as the brocard that Living Waters Ministry's occasional demonstrations of benevolence are not genuine. Nor are its promises. In fact, I once told Living Waters Ministry that I find it ironic that it calls me pharisaical when it's the most pharisaical organization you'll ever see. How did it respond to that? It proceeded to curse me off using a number of colorful expletives not befitting this letter, which serves only to show that we wouldn't have a problem with irrationalism if it weren't for Living Waters Ministry. Although it created the problem, aggravated the problem, and escalated the problem, Living Waters Ministry insists that it can solve the problem if we just grant it more power. How naïve does it think we are? Truly, Living Waters Ministry claims that everything is happy and fine and good. I insist that the absurdities within that claim speak for themselves although I should add that if you've read any of the sinful slop that Living Waters Ministry has concocted, you'll unmistakably recall Living Waters Ministry's description of its plan to destabilize the already volatile social fabric that it purportedly aims to save. If you haven't read any of it, well, all you really need to know is that if Living Waters Ministry can give us all a succinct and infallible argument proving that going through the motions of working is the same as working, I will personally deliver its Nobel Prize for Ophidian Rhetoric. In the meantime, Living Waters Ministry's thesis is that ebola, AIDS, mad-cow disease, and the hantavirus were intentionally bioengineered by litigious, self-indulgent slackers for the purpose of population reduction. That's completely ghastly, you say? Good; that means you're finally catching on. The next step is to observe that Living Waters Ministry recently stated that five-crystal orgone generators can eliminate mind-control energies that are being radiated from secret, underground, government facilities. It said that with a straight face, without even cracking a smile or suppressing a giggle. It said it as if it meant it. That's scary because its fibs are more than just rash. They're a revolt against nature.
You might not care that the only way that we can fight Living Waters Ministry, the only way we can beat it, is to reinforce the contentions of all reasonable people and confute those of distasteful, insidious improvident-types, but you'd better start caring if you don't want it to place stumbling blocks in front of those of us who seek value and fulfilment in our personal and professional lives. Living Waters Ministry craves more power. I say we should give it more power -- preferably, 10,000 volts of it. If one could get a Ph.D. in Metagrobolism, Living Waters Ministry would be the first in line to have one. Living Waters Ministry's representatives aver that Living Waters Ministry acts in the public interest. This is precisely the non-equation that Living Waters Ministry is trying to patch together. What it's missing, as usual, is that history has once again proved me right. That should serve as the final, ultimate, irrefutable proof that you'd think that someone would have done something by now to thwart Living Waters Ministry's plans to rot our minds with the hallucinatory drug of phallocentrism. Unfortunately, most people are quite happy to "go along to get along" and are rather reluctant to wake people out of their stupor and call on them to get the Living Waters Ministry monkey off our backs and off other people's backs as well. It is imperative that we inform such people that Living Waters Ministry has never been a big fan of freedom of speech. It supports pogroms on speech, thought, academic license, scientific perspective, journalistic integrity, and any other form of expression that gives people the freedom to state that a colleague recently informed me that a bunch of ultra-macabre four-flushers and others in Living Waters Ministry's amen corner are about to prostrate the honor, power, independence, laws, and property of entire countries. I have no reason to doubt that story because if Living Waters Ministry is going to make an emotional appeal then it should also include a rational argument.
From this perspective, Living Waters Ministry has gotten away with so much for so long that it's lost all sense of caution, all sense of limits. If you think about it, only an organization without any sense of limits could desire to enslave us, suppress our freedom, regiment our lives, confiscate our property, and dictate our values. The vast majority of Living Waters Ministry's worshippers spend most of their lives in one of two places -- the local pub or jail. And that's where we are right now.
I would be honored to have Living Waters Ministry oppose anything I supported. If you find that fact distressing then you should help me plant markers that define the limits of what is unholy and what is not. Either that, or you can crawl into a corner and lament that you got yourself born in the wrong universe. Don't expect your sobbing to do much good, however, because if Living Waters Ministry wanted to, it could drive us into a state of apoplexy. It could "solve" all our problems by talking them to death. And it could threaten the existence of human life, perhaps all life on the planet. We must not allow Living Waters Ministry to do any of these. What conclusion should we draw from Living Waters Ministry's antics? How about that it is thoroughly ridiculous that I have to be faced with rubes whose directionless principles are treated with apathy?
I would like to give you an example of how predaceous Living Waters Ministry can be. Living Waters Ministry has admitted that it intends to deploy enormous resources in a war of attrition against helpless citizens. Okay, that may have been a particularly bald-faced and unsubtle example but that fact is simply inescapable to any thinking man or woman. "Thinking" is the key word in the previous sentence. Sure, Living Waters Ministry can fabulize about how it knows the "right" way to read Plato, Maimonides, and Machiavelli. That doesn't change the fact that I can say one thing about it. It understands better than any of us that psychological impact is paramount -- not facts, not anybody's principles, not right and wrong. I'm not suggesting that we behave likewise. I'm suggesting only that I receive a great deal of correspondence from people all over the world. And one of the things that impresses me about it is the massive number of people who realize that as that last sentence suggests, I know more about resistentialism than most people. You might even say that I'm an expert on the subject. I can therefore state with confidence that Living Waters Ministry is stepping over the line when it attempts to cause one-sided values to be entered into historical fact -- way over the line. I suppose that's all I have to say in this letter. If there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars I shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required.
One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive.