Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Answers in Genesis Ads

Somebody explain this to me…

Is the kid giving me a death threat for being a non-Christian, or is the kid killing people because he’s a non-Christian?

The latter would make more sense. Answers in Genesis can’t be stupid enough to put out a mass death threat to all non-Christians. Then again, it’s Answers in Genesis we’re talking about. I should probably go with the interpretation that makes the least sense.

And someone explain this other one to me…

Forcibly converting everybody to fundie Christianity = stopping prejudice?

God damn it. What happened to the Answers in Genesis I used to love where I could just laugh at them uncontrollably? Now they’re just confusing.

I want my old Answers in Genesis back!

Duuuuuuuddddeee

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more about “Duuuuuuuddddeee“, posted with vodpod

We’re part of this information field… consciousness… it’s like a property of the continuum… it’s like the old physical physicist’s concept of the ether. It permeates everything.

Dennis McKenna

Because that’s how science is done!

Nobody can really say but that model in some ways appeals more to me.

Dennis McKenna

Because that’s how science is done!

Points I can’t disagree with even though I’ve as of yet never done drugs:

  1. Drugs can sometimes enhance creative ability.
  2. We are all, in a sense, “one” with the universe.
  3. Psychedelics = subjective super happy fun time!

I’ll leave you guys to think whatever you want about their shamanism and their relativism.

I Wrote a Poem!

So, for an extra-credit assignment after reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in my humanities class, we were told to write something in the style of Chaucer, couplets and all. After showing it to the Atheist Blogger he told me that he loved it and to put it on my blog…so I am.

Oh, and I totally stole the character name of Mary Malone from His Dark Materials because I’m just that uncreative.

And, after you’re done reading, you might want to check out the segment with me on the new Mindcore podcast. You know you want to because Rodrigo is awesome and I once cited him in a paper I wrote for world history. Continue reading

In Which I Over-Analyze a Potential Poe

This morning I was having lunch in my school cafeteria. I took a seat at a sunny table by two students, a boy and a girl, who I didn’t know.

I started up a conversation which somehow involved talking about Wicca. Some playful things were said about “Wiccan curses” when the girl mentioned that her mother was a Wiccan, although she only worshipped “The Elements”.

“You mean like the Periodic Table?” (of SCIENCE!) I inquired in the manner which you use when you want to sound stupid because you have just realised that the person you’re talking to is probably not-all-there and you don’t want to be a jerk and just say that you don’t think they’re all there.

“No,” the girl responded, looking at me as if I were quite silly (I was being quite silly), “I mean the true elements which make up the universe.”

“Oh? And what would those elements be?” knowing full well that the answer would involve concepts I had learned in philosophy, not chemistry.

“Oh, like… water, fire, earth, spirit which makes up living things…”

“Carbon?”

“No, spirit. But an amoeba doesn’t have spirit because they’re not intelligent. Spirit is only in intelligent things,” she started saying.

“Oh. And how do you know this?” I interjected.

“Because we sense it.”

I found that the rate at which I was sticking french fries in my mouth was beginning to quicken. This act was interrupted, three fries short of a completed meal, by the boy speaking up.

“I just threw an energy ball at your face. You twitched but you didn’t notice it.”

This made me stop and think for a moment while I chewed the fried potato-bits. My first instinct was to think that the boy didn’t know what he was talking about as if I were to ask him what energy meant he probably wouldn’t have said “the potential to do work” but if you replace what he said with “I just threw a ‘potential to do work’ ball at your face and you twitched” it wouldn’t have been entirely nonsensical. Causing my face to twitch would involve doing work and would therefore require energy…

But when you think about it some more it’s still complete rubbish. What sort of energy would it take and how would it have been transferred? The only medium between me and him was the air which can transfer kinetic energy in the form of wind, heat energy, or sound energy. Sound energy probably can’t make my face twitch unless the sound was particularly offensive, however no such sound was uttered from him. The stimulus of heat or wind could have potential triggered a reflexive twitch-like response in my face, and although I should think I would have noticed feeling it it’s entirely possible that I didn’t feel it.

But that would still make this whole thing complete rubbish anyway as kinetic or heat energy could have been sent through the air any number of ways that do not contradict our current understanding of physical reality and is therefore entirely unimpressive.

But there isn’t any verification that my face did indeed twitch. There were at least four other students at the table and none of them reported noticing the event occuring. Not that it would have done any good as only the boy would have known the time at which he cast the alleged energy ball so there would be no way of telling if the event really was a direct result of an energy ball or if the boy was just saying that he had caused it after the fact.

Given the fact that these were high-school aged students it’s also more than entirely possible that they simply weren’t being serious, thus rendering this blog post entirely pointless as well as over-analyzed.

Well, hey, it’s my blog.

Atheist Ticket-Holders Turned Away at Hitchens/D’Souza Debate

Last Monday, Christopher Hitchens was up in Boulder debating Dinesh D’Souza. I didn’t go because it was a school night and tickets were sold out before I could change my mind, but it seems from this e-mail I just received that it’s possible I wouldn’t have gotten in anyway. Listen to this:

Neither of the organizers of DAFT are in any big hurry to drive all the way up to Boulder for an event at Macky Auditorium after we were so recently turned away from the Hitchens/d’Souza debate even though we had tickets in hand. (Note that the upcoming event has a completely different sponsor who was in no way involved in the debacle at the Hitchens debate.)

For those who don’t know, the Hitchens/d’Souza debate was sponsored by the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, at the Catholic Student Center at CU Boulder. To guarantee a Catholic majority in the audience they gave away free tickets at masses and prior to the debate, resulting in such a large crowd that the Macky Center turned away a number of people (including DAFT organizers) who had paid for their seats at the debate, even though there were actually plenty of seats available.

If you or anyone you know had tickets and could not get in, refunds should be sought from the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. TicketWest was not responsible, but they say they are working with the St. Thomas (etc.) Church to ensure that nothing like that happens again.

Wow. Just wow.

Is Twilight-Fandom a Problem?

we’ve been blogging about abortion, politics, religion and boobs. turns out, people want to read about Twilight and guys wearing headsets

Elyse

I honestly don’t care about Twilight anymore. I never really continued after chapter 14. The best way to describe the book’s plot is the Douglas Adams quote “For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen,” except nothing continued to happen for 300 pages.

Given the commenters on my post I wrote on Teen Skepchick, and MasalaSkeptic’s post on Old Skepchick I’ve since given up on doing what I had originally set out to do: Get people to think critically about a popular cultural phenomenon.

The key thing is I never advocated banning the book, nor did I truly ever say that there was a problem.
To quote myself in my post…

The way a girl reacts to a fictional novel is most likely not the same way she would react in real life. To be perfectly honest, I don’t actually think there’s much to worry about, but I do think that it can only be healthy to point out more often that the level of stalkerishness in Twilight might be on par with the level of stalkerishness in Lolita.

All I ever really sought to promote was not to get teenagers all across America to drop Twilight and begin reading Demon Haunted World (although I would like to promote reading Demon Haunted World), but to just use that as a way to stimulate some discussion of the book.

What do I get? A bunch of angry comments with poor grammatical skills and a lot of ad hom.

Special commendation is to be given to this commenter for what I found to be a rather polite, well-reasoned dissenting comment, although I do disagree with her. The issue about Edward’s stalkerishness that I find potentially worrisome is not that he’s unaware of his stalkerishness but that Bella, and the droves of readers are. Also, even if Edward is hormonally a teenage boy, he still has quite a lot of experience which should have given him a fair amount more wisdom.

Truly, I’d like to say it’s just a minor annoyance, but it’s not. It would seem to me that these people follow Twilight more religiously than religious people follow their religions. I’ve seen civilized conversations between religious people and people critical of religion. I’ve yet to see civilized conversations between Twilight fans and those critical of Twilight.

Perhaps it is far too extreme to say that Twilight fans follow Twilight religiously, but they get offended in the same way as religious people do to the point of saying…

You have no right to say that and u ought to keep ur opinions to yourself!

One blogger suggested that Maria would have angry mobs go after her if she didn’t take down her post. I really doubt that anybody would really kill for Twilight, and I really doubt that they are offended enough to do any sort of violent action. Let me make this clear: There is no evidence to suggest that Twilighters are offended to the point of forming violent mobs.

But they certainly get offended enough that they seem to want to leave behind all civilized, reasoned discussion.

Forget the stalkerishness, the creationism, the Mormonism. The readers are obviously not going to face any problems because that sort of thing is idealized as long as they’re thinking. The real reason why Twilight is  a problem is because people are so fervent about it that they stop all rational discourse.

On the other hand, I’m going to say that in the real world the vast majority of the Twilight fans are perfectly reasonable. They know that the things being idealized in Twilight are silly, but they just read it for entertainment and that is wholely, perfectly fine. But we may want to keep an eye on the rabid Internet fangirls.

I want to say that there isn’t much of a problem, but I think there does seem to be some encouragement of not using intelligence going on here in the phenomenon of Twilight fandom. It would be idiocy to suggest that there is a causal relationship between reading Twilight and having YouTube-quality comments. I don’t think that Twilight makes people stupid. But there seems to be something going on here.

I’d like to open this up to the readers:

Is Twilight-fandom a problem or is it just an extension of the general Internet discourse expected from the masses? Should we do anything about it?

Personally, I just want them to go away, for my posts to sink into oblivion, but then, maybe I will do what I set out to do and get just one or two of those Twilight fans to think about what they’re doing for a little while.

Cue the angry Internet Twilightites.

Mormons Celebrate Pastafarian Holiday

Look at this Facebook ad:

mormonholidaySo what? Anybody trying to sell stuff uses “for the holidays”. But what does LDS stand for?

Latter Day Saints.

The Latter Day Saints worship Pastafarian Holiday everybody!

Er… actually when you click on the ad they say “Merry Christmas” on their website. Still found the ad sort of amusing… kind of…

Carry on.