Posts Tagged ‘God’

Dr. Dyer is Not Sexy

“Dr. Dyer… Dr. Dyer… To the sanctuary stat.”

-Josh

There’s a difference between PBS and DayStar. There used to be a difference between PBS and DayStar.

PBS: Public television which usually broadcasts thought-provoking, intelligent programming, contrary to the shit you see on other television shows.

DayStar: A Christian television network which broadcasts preaching preachers who ask for your money.

Whenever their splendid friend Dr. Dyer comes on PBS, I have to wonder if poltergeists are screwing with my remote.

“This program is not based on any particular religion… we all have to agree that we come from the same ‘source’, even quantum physics says that we come from the same ‘source’.”

Of course. Quantum physics. New Age philosophers love it to death. They certainly don’t love science to death, though. They just love twisting it to their half-baked philosophies. If you really want to look to physics for meaning, you will find an unconscious, indifferent universe, operating only on its own laws. But honestly, just because he doesn’t jump the gun and say that this “source” is Yahweh, Quetzlcoatl, or the Great JuJu doesn’t mean that his program isn’t a period of preaching and asking for money.

Later, he makes an analogy of a pie and a slice of pie. “What are you” says the larger pie. “I must be like what I came from” says the slice. I don’t have to be in elementary school to get that he’s saying we came from God… and of course he says that we came from something kind and sensitive and yadda and yadda and yadda. Again, no. We came from unconscious, indifferent forces. Just getting that clear because he tried to say quantum physics proves we have a source.

He says that our ego is what keeps us from believing that we are a “divine, infinite being” and causes us to ignore our source. Personally, I would not want to be like my source. My source, though fun to study, would cease to be fun to study if I weren’t conscious as I wouldn’t be able to study it. Besides, my source is uncaring, and natural selection is a rather violent, death-filled process. I hope you don’t mind if I prefer to be an individual and define myself. The philosophy that this is all a punishment for believing we were individuals in the first place has got to be one of the evilest of them all.

He rambles about how if you wake up between the hours of 3:00 am and 4:00 am, that’s when God can give you inspiration best. Boring…

He returns to distorting science, talking about how Relativity is an analogy (I wish that Albert Einstein could rise from the dead and slap him upside his bald head for screwing with his elegant theory). Somehow, from some confused further ramblings about energy, he comes to the conclusion that we attract things we don’t want because we have negative thoughts. He says that what we attract is because of what kind of “energies” we have in us. He tells us that our universe opperates on a “Law of Attraction”. In other words, he has shifted to his “Power of Intention” shit.

What’s that phrase our parents should have taught us? Wanting does not make it so.

Granted, certain thoughts will lead to action which can lead to change but…

“I don’t need to be fussing about it because what I’m intending to create is on its way.”

“By believing passionately in that which does not exist, we create it.”

I’m too pissed right now to guffaw.

And… of course… they cut to fund raising…

“Public television to me, represents energy…”

I’m reminded of what he said the last time they had his shit on for fundraising.

“Whenever you have public television on in your home, you’re raising the energy level in your home.”

If I hear this man ramble about energy one more time…

If you want a meaningless example of PBS raising the energy in your home, PBS is carried in by radio waves which are translated into sound and light energy. Again, that’s meaningless. The energy itself is unconscious.

Later, he begins talking about a woman who discovered God during the Rwandan massacre. He says that she was astounded that she had survived through her mere belief in God. Typical of the religious… Millions died, but I survived. It’s a miracle! How many other Christians who had as strong, or stronger, faith did not have the fortune to survive?

At this point, I was tired of watching him eat people’s brains. I think I’ll send an angry letter to PBS and ask them to put Cosmos back on.

I love everything on PBS except for this… and if it weren’t for this, I would be donating quite a bit of money to them. I need to make that clear to them. The first thing I do if/when I get rich is build a giant atrium filled with dinosaur fossils, and become a major donor to PBS so that I can pull funding whenever they put this guy back on.

This Spam Filter Isn’t Really Working Out For Me

No, it’s not. A few comments have been blocked by it just because they contained links, which really is such a shame because if I start getting real spam and don’t have the time to sort through it all, a lot of lovely comments will be lost forever to cyberspace oblivion. Sorry if this happens to you.

Billy struck again recently, and got caught in the spam filter.

“Hi you’re some nice people out there, you really need to come to Jesus soon, I’m sure you know how to, first repent, you certainly know you have done wrong.
Since when have you been afraid of blood, don’t you watch tv.
You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.
The Bible says only a fool says there is no God, so you do not have any excuse
“Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. St. Mark 1:15”.

Apparently it considers trying to convert people over the internet spam… maybe Billy can take a hint? Alright. Yeah. Fine. I did approve it so that would make me a hypocrite for saying that. You’re free to try to convert me whenever you want, s’long as you use arguments of a bit more substance, eh?

As Thrawn would say, “that argument is more circular than a 12-dimensional sphere.”

Er… At least something along the lines of that. Let’s take this comment apart bit by bit, shall we?

“Hi you’re some nice people out there…”

Started out great.

“… you really need to come to Jesus soon..”

Wait… I thought that I was supposed to build weapons of war and tell myself that I am strong so that he could slaughter me… unless by Lord you actually meant Yahweh. I’ll jump ahead for a second here…

You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.”

So which God exactly do you mean? I thought that Christianity was a monotheistic religion… Either way, if Jesus wants me to come to Israel so that he can slaughter me, no thanks. I’m not suicidal, and I enjoy life and chocolate, and cookies, and rainbows, and stuff. Can’t enjoy those things once you’ve been slaughtered.

Back to where we were…

I’m sure you know how to, first repent, you certainly know you have done wrong.”

Maybe by your standards, but I prefer to do things that are moral because they are moral, not because they’re in the Bible. For some reason, it just doesn’t seem right to stone people for having gay sex, or for blasphemy (I have a bit of bias in that regard, being a blasphemer), and I could go on, but I won’t. Let’s see… is there anything besides being a non-believer that I have done wrong?

Hm… I don’t think I’ve killed anybody. I might’ve lied to my parents about grades a few times… But I’ve never stolen, or coveted my neighbor’s wife, ass, ox, etc. Ok, yeah… I’ve said God damn it a few times…

But short of going down the entire ten commandments and everything in the Bible, have I done anything that by today’s moral standards is really all that terrible? Nothing that I can recall.

Since when have you been afraid of blood, don’t you watch tv”

Hell yes, I watch TV. No, I’m not afraid of blood. I’m not obsessed with spilling other people’s blood, though. I live a calm, non-violent life. I like to try to be moral. However, if you tried to kill me, I would defend myself… I don’t know how… but I would. I’d like to try to avoid that, though, so just don’t think about it.

You say you do not believe in God, well I mean Jesus, the only true God.
The Bible says only a fool says there is no God, so you do not have any excuse
“Jesus said, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel. St. Mark 1:15”.”

A book called me a fool. I am so offended!

Here’s where the circularity comes in. You are operating under the assumption that since the Bible says it’s telling the truth, it’s telling the truth about telling the truth. I’m also surprised by your assumption that us Atheists would assume that the Bible is telling the truth, as well. If you’re going to convert a non-believer, you’re probably going to want… I don’t know… actual evidence?

I know y’all think that we’re just people who believe in God but deny it because we hate him (look, if God wants to come to my place for tea sometime, I’ d be happy to) but God is just not part of my reality. I don’t believe in God, I believe in the natural order of things. Cause and effect, with causes that aren’t necessarily God. I think that science can explain the occurrences (didn’t know that had two R’s in it) of the world quite nicely, and even if there are gaps, it’s highly illogical to assume that God just did it. I’ve never had a good reason to believe in God that didn’t involve fallacies and circularity.

Anyway, have a nice day Billy, and good look getting the Book of Billy stuck in after Revelation…

Intelligent Dark Age Ideas

I was looking forward to Darwin Day this 2008… Until… Until I visited the website for a documentary coming out on Darwin Day called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

http://www.expelledthemovie.com/

In the intro, the slogan “Big Science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom” fades in and out of my screen.

You might have guessed it… It’s a documentary about “Intelligent Design.” In the slogan, Intelligent Design = Creationism a smart new idea. It’s the “theory” that God an “Intelligent Designer” put all life on the planet in its present form. Doesn’t sound like Creationism to me…

Anyway… it’s the part where they call Intelligent Design a “smart new idea” that bothers me. Basically, Intelligent Design’s argument is that things in nature are irreducibly complex and they can not imagine how it could possibly have evolved through natural processes. So, instead of trying to find evidence of how things like the flagellum might have evolved, they gave up, and said that God an Intelligent Designer did it. What sets this apart from Creationism is that they don’t jump the gun and say that the Intelligent Designer was God. In fact, it could have been as equally likely that it was an alien!

And how could an alien complex enough to design life have come about?

I always love it when they say that since the universe exists, it had to have a causal agent, but even though God exists, “God just is”… That’s seriously what they say. Oh, but ID isn’t about God! Bad example.

But despite the fundamental problems with it…

The main argument of the movie is that “Big Science” is suppressing Intelligent Design because it challenges Evolution. While it is true that scientists are adamently opposed to teaching ID in the schools, there’s a good reason for it.

Scientific theories require evidence.

What has Evolution got?

Fossil records. I even had the pleasure of walking through a pretty damn complete fossil record when I walked through an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science today.

What evidence does ID have?

They like to point to things like the bacterial flagellum, a mechanism bacteria use to propel themselves, saying that it’s so complex that take any part away and it won’t work… Well… they debunked that… Take a few of the proteins that allow the rotary movement in the flagellum, and you get the exact mechanism other species of bacteria use to inject toxins into cells. With enough evidence, irreducible complexity fails. And what evidence do they have that the Intelligent Designer actually exists?

ID is not accepted in the scientific community because… here’s the shocker… it’s not scientific!

But look. The last time science worked the way ID works was in the Dark Ages. Back then, all the gaps in knowledge were explained by “God did it, God did it, God did it.” Why were people dying from the Black Death? Because witches were doing it of course! As a result, hundreds of cats were slaughtered, and as a result of Dark Age science, the only means of controlling the spread of the plague was eliminated. Then, something wonderful happened, and science no longer had to go to supernatural explanations to explain phenomena. Of course if you fill in all the gaps with “God did it, God did it, God did it” you’re going to make yourself look like an idiot and your reputation as a scientist won’t be all that great. Would you hire a doctor who thought disease was caused by demons?

Intelligent Design is not smart. It’s not new. It’s Dark Age thinking with a new name.

But, I’m going to go see the movie anyway. But here’s the thing, I’m going to buy a ticket for another movie to get in, and go to another theater so that I see it and the bastards don’t get my money. I can think of better ways to spend my Darwin Day… but to debunk, you must know. I’ll post my review so remember to check back…

Thankfulness

Mm… Thanksgiving. One of the best times of the year. No school, large meals, friends, family… and thankfulness.

So, I take it upon myself to share the short list of things that I’m thankful for.

1. Richard Dawkins

No, seriously. I know the man is hated, but he spontaneously offered to get me in touch with a speaker from his foundation to come speak to my CFI-On Campus group. I’ve been thinking about bringing one in for some time but I didn’t think we’d have the funds to do so. That’s a random act of kindness right there. Dawkins > Falwell. That, and his books have really helped me appreciate life and science even more than I used to. I’ve always liked science, and I’ve never been emo, so that’s saying something.

2. Living in a non-third-world country

I get to spend my time reading, watching TV, and doing fun stuff… Other people have to sit on a street corner and beg all day. Not only do I live in the States, I also have parents who provide me with food, a roof, and all the other comforts…

3. Living now, as opposed to in the Dark Ages

Technically, if I were living in the Dark Ages, they couldn’t kill me for being an Atheist for another two years until I turned sixteen, but I’m still glad that I live in a time when I don’t necessarily have to worry about someone trotting out an antiquated blasphemy law. Well, at least I hope they don’t. All I have to put up with is the awkward silences and the dirty looks… not the angry mobs with torches and pitchforks. Also, I have the benefit of living in a time when the scientific method has been developed. Not only are my living conditions greatly improved, but I also understand the world and get to experience the reality of it without having to fill in every blank with “God did it, God did it, God did it.” Most people don’t take advantage of this… *cough* Creationists *cough*

In addition:

4. Ice Cream

5. Chocolate, especially in the form of brownies and cookies.

6. Rainbows, and other pretty things.

7. Being alive.

I think that that covers it in a nut shell…

The last thing I want to talk about is this…

The definition of thankfulness if not only to express gratitude, but to hold responsible for. What the dictionary means by that is like… when you say “thank you” or something… What I’d like to point out is that I often hear people say “I thank God for saving me from cancer” or “thank God for ______.” What I see especially often is people saying grace before eating their food. They used to make me do it in Girl Scouts and often overreacted whenever I started eating before they said it…

“OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? THEY HAVEN’T SAID IT YET! BAD BAD BAD!”

I eventually learned to restrain myself from picking up little crumbs and eating them just to be amused by their reactions, but the main issue I had with saying grace was that it seemed to take the credit away from the person who actually brought the snack. The grace we most commonly said went along the lines of this…

“We thank you for our food, Lord. Our family, friends, and you, Lord. We thank you for our food, Lord, to get us through the day.”

Of course, God did not just put everything in front of you. Normally, some organism (plant, or animal) had to be grown for a long period of time, before it was killed, and shipped off to your store. Somebody had to work for x amount of time to gain the money necessary to purchase the food, and then possibly had to work for x amount of time to prepare it so that it would be edible and tasty. You can thank your family for being kind and caring (at least, I hope that yours are), and your friends for being your friends.

The point is, to be truly thankful, I think you have to thank the right people and right things… and sometimes there isn’t really a reason why you have something to be thankful for except luck. Instead of thanking God for the vaccine that kept you from getting polio, thank medical science. Instead of thanking God for your food, thank your parents or food provider, or yourself if you provided the food. If you have something to be thankful for, there often is a person directly responsible for it. Don’t deprive them of credit.