April 28, 2008

Edward Current Takes No Chances: He Converts To All Religions

This is just really really funny:

The next time a Christian (usually) presents you with Pascal's Wager, it might be best to refer him or her to the above video.

Of course, there is also the Atheist's Wager:

(1) It is possible that God exists and it is possible that God does not exist.
(2) If one believes in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one loses little or nothing.
(3) If one does not believe in God then if he exists then one either receives an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment and if he does not exist then one gains little or nothing.
(4) It is better to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or gain little or nothing than it is to either receive an infinitely great reward or an infinitely great punishment or lose little or nothing.
(5) It is better not to believe in God than it is to believe in God.
(6) If one course of action is better than another then it is rational to follow that course of action and irrational to follow the other.
(7) It is rational not to believe in God and irrational to believe in God.

April 24, 2008

A Few More Questions For Theists and Especially Creationists

I love trying to get creationists to think. My experience though, is that they really don't want to think that much. All their answers are in a little book written a long long time ago by people who didn't understand electricity, amongst many other things.

Alrighty, first I'm not aiming this question at only creationist Christians, I'm aiming it at any religious person:

Lets assume that you believe your religion is the "right religion." Have you ever pondered if your religion is in fact the right religion?, and do you believe it to be the right religion 100%?

The second question pertains to those who answered the last half of the first question "YES," and it also assumes that you are still a member of the same religion you were raised in.

If your parents gave you up for adoption at birth, and your new parents were a different religion, do you think you would be a believer in your new parents religion? Be honest. Ok, try to be honest.

Now, a question to those of you who do not accept evolution.

If evolution was proven to you, and I know this is a hard stretch for the wilfully ignorant creationists, but still, if it finally clicked in that science is not a vast conspiracy to disprove God, but is in fact a study of empirical facts, that includes rigorously tested theories that explain facts, would you have to give up on your current religion?

I've had a recent discussion on Youtube with a Muslim who accepts that life came about around the Pre-Cambrian explosion, but doesn't believe in evolution of man. He believes (wrongly) that Pre-Cambrian life didn't have ancestors. I asked him if he thinks man was created during the Pre-Cambrian timeline. He has yet to answer me.

For those who accept the earth is ancient, but still don't accept evolution of man.

When did God poof life on earth? And when approximately did God poof man into existence?

I don't expect many comments from theists. I rarely get them when I ask for them. I'd really like to see real answers though.

In the meantime, I'm starting to get tired of the "atheists have no basis for morality" garbage. So I will fight back again, with a video I made and posted last year. It includes quite a few questions for creationists:

Bonus question to theists: Did I make your brain hurt from having to think so much?

April 18, 2008

Peanut Butter Evolution Revisited

This maddening 2 minute video, Peanut Butter, The Atheists Nightmare! is definitely worth watching again:

The reason I'm bringing it back is because recently I've been getting quite a few comments by creationists the satire video I did in response to the one you just viewed. Besides the video I did is freakin hilarious (I'm a legend in my own mind!), and it needs to be viewed by more and more people.

Amazingly, many atheists and other science minded individuals took my video seriously. If you expand the comments (and there are over 300 of them), you'll see what I mean. I understand, because my portrayal of a homeschooled creationist isn't too far off the mark. Even though in the video description, I clearly label the video as comedy and satire....oh well.

But now it looks like I got linked to a creationist site. And the comments I've been getting are the usual "evolution isn't science" bull crap.

April 12, 2008

How About Some Separation Of Church And American Idol

I've admitted here before that I am an American Idol fan. But this year for some reason I'm noticing way too many Jesus songs.

There are two possibilities here. One, the Christian Right has something major to do with the advertising that goes on with the show, or American Idol has a very large Christian Right audience. I'm not sure which is true. But I do know one thing, this Jesus crap is getting annoying. And yes, I know I can always change the channel. I did that on Wednesday night for the Idol Gives Back show. No matter how great a cause is, my brain just melts down when I see multi-multi-multi millionaires asking me to donate. This makes it very hard for me to enjoy the entertainment that goes with it.

I noticed a rash of Jesus songs during the ridiculous Dolly Parton week. To get the contestants to do Dolly Parton songs was sadistic at best. Many of her songs contains praises for that guy who probably never existed (Jesus Christ). We got a good dose of Jesus that week, capped off by Dolly's new single: JESUS and GRAVITY. I actually laughed at that song. I was thinking of the article from the Onion: Intelligent Falling: Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity.

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University...

Some evangelical physicists propose that Intelligent Falling provides an elegant solution to the central problem of modern physics.

"Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the 'electromagnetic force,' the 'weak nuclear force,' the 'strong nuclear force,' and so-called 'force of gravity,'" Burdett said. "And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus."

The past week, the theme was Inspirational Songs, and of course this led to more Jesus or Lordy type songs. They probably wanted to appeal to the Jesus freaks to open up their wallets and give. I get it, but what I don't get is forcing the group of singers to sing a Jesus song. Actually a controversy arose. In the telethon show at the end, the contestants all sang an evangelical Christian song called "Shout The Lord." The first line of the song is "My Jesus, my Savior." This line was replaced with "My Shepherd, my Savior." Thanks to complaints by the Christian Right, the song became the opener on the elimination show on Thursday, and they changed the lyrics back to the original.

Michael Giltz sums it up way better than I can:

1. It's unfair to the performers who want to win -- Pressuring them to sing an evangelical number is wrong. Who wants to be revealed as the Idol who refused to sing a song about Jesus? Think that might hurt their chances with Middle America? They should never have been put in that position.

2. It's unfair to the performers of conscience -- I'm a Catholic and that's a tune we would never sing in Church, though none of its lyrics are of the sort that conflict with my faith. (Though many evangelical tunes, in fact, do and entire trends in Christian music are embraced by liberal evangelicals, rejected by conservative evangelicals and vice versa.) But what about the Idols who aren't Christian? Maybe some of them are Buddhist or agnostic or Jewish or Muslim or god forbid, atheist.

3. It's offensive to the viewers -- I'm a Catholic and I was offended. I don't turn on Idol to be converted or evangelized to by the show -- and that's exactly what a group sing-along is. It's a statement by the show, not individual kids. America is the most religiously diverse country in the world (and I live in Queens, New York -- the most religiously and ethnically diverse corner of the world). That's something to celebrate and it also means respecting other faiths and people of no faith. You don't do that by hijacking Idol to make all the kids sing about Jesus. Even if each and every one of them is born again and dying to sing the praises of the Lord, you don't alienate the viewers like me -- and most Americans are not evangelicals -- who don't identity with that particular strand of Christianity.

Dropping the "Jesus" from "Shout to the Lord" was a big mistake. Making all the Idol contestants sing it together in the first place was an even bigger one. If any individual Idol wanted to sing it, fine. But a group sing-along? Wrong.

Aside from all that, I couldn't believe the very talented Michael Johns was eliminated. I know that his choice of inspirational songs, Dream On, was not what the producers were looking for, and this probably led to him not getting a reprise like what happened during Idol Gives Back Week last year when they didn't dismiss anyone. I still don't know why Ryan Seacrest actually teased him by stating it as if they were going to let him stay on and then abruptly told him "this year, you will be leaving," or something like that. Maybe he was rubbing it in his face for his choice of song that could have been written about drugs (some say it was a song about cocaine), and at the very least has agnostic overtones. The song is about living for today because you might die tomorrow, and death MAY not be all the great, or why care if you die tomorrow? At least we know we can sing today. Anyway, if the Christian Right had a huge influence on the voting and voted those who sang more Lordy Lordy Christian type songs the past week, "The good Lord" really did take him away...at least from the show.

A few other things, since this is probably going to be my only Idol post this year. First, I still laugh to myself when I think of the line that Kristy Lee Cook said to Simon Cowell weeks ago, after Simon said some bad things about her singing. Kristy said "I'm going to BLOW YOU out of your socks." Everyone on Idol was uncomfortably grinning after that one.
Jordin Sparks (last years Idol) new single was the worst song I think I've heard in years (was it really a song?). I would have rather heard nails screeching on a chalkboard.
I think Simon Cowell has to be atheist or agnostic. He is just too clever to be a theist.
Paula and Randy though, they are believers. Nothing is holding them back.
David Archuleta is going to win this year. He has a great voice, and being so young, he has a great future.

Michael Johns "Dream On":

April 9, 2008

King Heathen's Transitions Video: Creationists Should Give It A View

Here is a simple and logical way for just about anyone to understand evolution. A bit of a warning. If you are a creationist and you view this video, you may have problems refuting evolution from here on in:

I've seen one video response to King Heathen's video by one who considers himself to be a Fundamentalist. King Theist23 is probably the most rational Fundamentalist you will find though. His response is for his Fundamentalist brothers and sisters:

He makes excellent points. However, I have to take exception to his line "I don't know, I wasn't there." This is a complete 180 from his stating "I love science."
Also, saying "it doesn't matter if evolution is true or if the world is ancient" is also an ignorant statement. It completely matters if you are in the field of science. It also matters in many cases in how one views things like homosexuality, for example.

Interestingly, he concedes that it is a possibility that God put all the evidence for evolution on this planet, as well as the evidence for the deception that the earth and universe is 4.5 billion and 13.5 billion years old, when he possibly created everything 6,000 years ago. Mind blowing how far people will go, even rational ones.

April 6, 2008

Tagged: The Six Word Short Story

Lex from Gripes of Wrath has tagged me.

The Six-Words Meme was originally started by Smith Magazine. The history is thus:

Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).

I'll give this one a try.

"She lied, I was the best."

I tag no one. No pressure.

There! Two stories for the price of one.

April 4, 2008

Another Question For Fundies: Where Does My Morality Come From

I'd like to hear from Fundies. Now I realize that I haven't attracted too many Fundies to comment on my blog recently, but I'm asking for feedback here.
A couple of days ago, I saw a stray dog roaming from backyard to backyard on the street of my backyard neighbours. One neighbour, a Christian told the dog to get out of his backyard, not in an evil way, but just the same, he just turned the other cheek at the plight of this lost doggy.
I was thinking of going around to the other street with a leash, but before I could even get my coat on, Daisy, my border collie, started barking as if the mailman was at my front door. It was the stray dog.
I checked to see if there was any ID on his collar. Nope.
I opened the gate to let the dog into my confined large backyard.
I got him some water, and a couple of dog treat bones.
Daisy was curious, so I hesitantly let Daisy out back with him. They were fine together.
But then my wife got too comfortable with the dog and let him into the house. I said three words to her: "are you crazy." And just as I finished saying those words, the dog had spotted Otto, my "temporary" cat. He wound up viciously chasing Otto around the living room, causing Otto tremendous trauma, but luckily no physical damage. I think it is the first time that Otto found out a valuable lesson: that he is part of the food chain.
We quickly got the dog out of the house, and knew right there that adopting the poor old guy was out of the question.
I phoned the local SPCA to see if an older black lab male had been reported lost. No luck. I told them I would walk the dog for a bit to see if anyone recognizes him.

I started walking the dog saying "go home" and letting him lead. The few people I asked about recognition came up empty for me.

I had noticed I walked about 25 minutes when it dawned on me. Why am I doing this? I'm supposed to be a heartless atheist void of morals. What was driving me to walk this mutt? I'm not out to impress my God, because God is non existent to me. Was I out to impress my wife? I don't think so. I'm way beyond that these days.

Even after this realization, I continued walking with the dog for another 25 minutes.
No luck still.

But my question remains Fundies, why did I do this? And don't give me the "it doesn't matter because dogs don't go to heaven so they don't count as morality stuff."

I finally phoned the SPCA and they sent someone to pick him up (I was pretty sure that they don't put stray dogs down in my area). The SPCA dude was a flaming gay. I felt like saying, "if you want to get married to another guy, it is OK with me," but I held back. But man was he gay. He referred to the dog as "honey." And yes, he knew the dog was male. While putting him into the truck he said, "looks like you are neutered, honey."

Anyway, I asked if there was a chance he would be put down, and I was relieved to hear that they don't put stray dogs down in my area.