left biblioblography: March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Zombie Day!

Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis

“Sweet Zombie Jesus!” – Professor Farnsworth, Futuramajesuszombie

Yes, that time of year has rolled around again (how the time flies) – where I point out (for the umpteenth time), that yes, Jesus is a zombie, by the purest technical definition, and then several people post responses insisting that no their favorite imaginary friend is in no uncertain terms not a zombie (but this time I won’t waste my effort trying to educate them…because delusional is as delusion does). Go look it up for yourself – but by all means keep your re-interpretation of reality to yourself.

So just for kicks and giggles, here's an old favorite of mine Sam Kinison (although at the time, I didn’t realize how misogynistic he sounds):


And the all time classic Robot Chicken short, Kill Bunny:


So have a funny bunny day, and try not to stuff your faces with too much chocolate (because we all know holiday chocolates are part of some vague shadowy ambiguous dentist conspiracy? Or is the internet lying to me yet again?).

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oh, The Nothingness Of It All…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

nothingnessNothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin'
If you wanna be with me
Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin'
If you wanna be with me – Billy Preston, "Nothing From Nothing"

Nothing will come of nothing, speak again. – King Lear

Here’s a bit o’ nonsense you’ve likely run into more than once in a real time conversation with a religious person:

“You don’t believe in gawd? Then you believe in nothing then.”

I’ve had a number of responses to this over the years.

One of the first things I point out, is that I ‘believe’ in reality – I then point out that I believe in me, I believe in the person making this (stupid) statement, I believe that I live on the planet earth, that the sun will rise in the morning, etc.

My answer is usually contingent on context – I’m a lot politer, for instance, if the person in question is a roommate or a pretty girl (oops sorry, did I just void my ‘I am a feminist’ card?). I’m usually a lot ruder to bible-toting bicycle-riding godbots.

But usually, I respond with ‘There’s no such thing as nothing’. Use this next time, and watch the eyes glaze over and the jaw drop as the speaker receives what I like to call a ‘conclussion’ (that’s a portmanteau of ‘conclusion’ and ‘concussion’). It’s truly a joy to watch the WTF? moment wash over their vacuous minds.

Carry this further: ask the questioner what the word ‘nothing’ means. After they fum-fah several times, explain that the definition of the word means:

Nothing is no thing, denoting the absence of something. Nothing is a pronoun associated with nothingness.

I usually like to go a little further with it, and tell them that nothing usually means ‘a complete or utter absence of anything’, and that by calling something nothing, technically it becomes something, thus violating the very concept of the definition. Then I stand back and watch the listener become completely boggled.

Usually, I side with Parmenides:

He argued that "nothing" cannot exist by the following line of reasoning: To speak of a thing, one has to speak of a thing that exists. Since we can speak of a thing in the past, it must still exist (in some sense) now and from this concludes that there is no such thing as change. As a corollary, there can be no such things as coming-into-being, passing-out-of-being, or not-being.

But I’m an old school salt-of-the-earth kind of guy: I find these sort of discussion vastly amusing (particularly when I’m around stoned musicians: the pseudo-philosophy tends to amuse me greatly) – and most Western martial artists don’t understand that it’s an entirely different concept in Eastern philosophy (as to attaining a state of mind). And once in a great while, someone trots out the concept from the physicists’ point of view, without understanding the context (recall the creationists and their abuse of the word ‘theory’?) – but even physics has this to say:

In physics, the word nothing is not used in any technical sense. A region of space is called a vacuum if it does not contain any matter, though it can contain physical fields. In fact, it is practically impossible to construct a region of space that contains no matter or fields, since gravity cannot be blocked and all objects at a non-zero temperature radiate electromagnetically. However, even if such a region existed, it could still not be referred to as "nothing", since it has properties and a measurable existence as part of the quantum-mechanical vacuum. Where there is supposedly empty space there are constant quantum fluctuations with virtual particles continually popping into and out of existence. It had long been theorized that space is distinct from a void of nothingness in that space consists of some kind of aether, with luminiferous aether postulated as the transmission medium for propagating light waves (whose existence has been disproven in the now famous Michelson-Morley experiment).

So the next time some pseudo-philosopher pulls ex nihilo, nihil fit out of their ponderous arse, feel free to pull these factoids out of your wallet in response.

And enjoy.

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day–Yet Another Senseless Holiday

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasisblinddatestpatrick

Tomorrow bein’ the only truly Irish holiday there be, tis time to do our livers some serious damage!

But seriously folks: a holiday commemorating a guy who chased non-existent serpents out of Ireland?  Really?

It actually commemorates the arrival of Christianity in the Emerald Isle – why, the very thought of that makes me Irish soide want to down as much whiskey as is humanly possible, so as I can perish the thought.

And as history shows, the Holy Cee has done some sorry arse garbage while they had their grubby paws into the mix:

Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996

What a horrific story.  The Irish Prime Minister gave a partial apology today for the government’s role in a 74-year scandal in which, a new official government report says, over 10,000 women were forced to work without pay at commercial laundries called Magdalene Laundries, operated by the Catholic Church for “crimes” as small as not paying a train ticket.

Wikipedia notes that the estimate of the number of women who were used as forced slave labor by the Catholic Church in Ireland alone goes as high as 30,000 over the entire time the Magdalene laundries were in operation.

Read the entire article. It’s enough to curl the toe hairs. Sickening. The Catholic Church should make reparations for each person abused so horrifically – and that would bankrupt the pedophiliac slaver mongers.

I know that curses are manure, but here’s one I wish I could wish upon the bleedin’ papists:

May you find the bees but not the honey.


Till the next post then.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mormons And The Racist Mentality

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
Various-stages-of-accepting-Mormon-JesusOf the top twenty craziest bullshit religions, the Church Of Latter Day Saints has got to be in at least the top ten. They wear holy underwear: they baptize the dead; they think that each and every one of them is going to inherit their very own planet and become some sort of deity (of course none of them ever inquire whose deity they’re going to be. That’s rather implied, right?).

One of the more loathsome anachronisms that religion has perpetrated, is the lie of racial inequality. In the Western world, this concept of a ‘holy race’ can be traced directly to the ancient Israelites and their penchant for narcissistic self-loathing. The ‘mark of Cain’ has directly contributed more to racism than any other Occidental ideology to date.

And of course, the top craziest of the crazy cults that old whore Christianity has spewed out into our world, Mormonism, was right up there throwing gasoline on the brushfire of xenophobia:

Mormons can finally say 'we got it wrong' over black priest ban

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced the publication of a new edition of the scriptures on 1 March. What matters here are the changes made to several headings introducing the text. The changes to Official Declaration 2 – the section lifting the priesthood ban for black men – have implications that are staggering.

Chapter headings are considered to be a study guide rather than sacred, canonised text, so there are no concerns about alterations changing holy writ. But included alongside the scriptures and produced by the leaders of the church, they still carry the unmistakable imprimatur of authority. Many of these changed chapter headings, a side-by-side comparison of which can be seen here, bring the historical context included more in line with current understanding of questions such as where Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, lived when he wrote one section or another, or the year certain revelations were received.

What is extraordinary is the admission that in the earliest days of the church, black men were ordained to the priesthood just as white men were. Elijah Abel, a black man, even served in some of the highest governing bodies of the church. Over the years that practice not only ceased, but the history of it was largely forgotten. It wasn't until 1978 that black men were again allowed to receive the priesthood and black women were allowed to attend the temple. Most members were unaware that there was ever a time when black people were allowed equal participation in the gospel. Trying to explain or defend the racist practice introduced toxic folk doctrines that perpetuated racism into our present day, more than 30 years after the ban was lifted. Even the recent Broadway musical Book of Mormon alludes to this with the statement that "In 1978 God changed his mind about black people"."

Oh really?

Some famous commentary from a historically famous Mormon, old ‘Brigand’ Young:

"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother.  Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.  This was not to be, and the Lord put a  mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).
"In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).
"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

There’s plenty more to back that up, here.

The truth of the matter isn’t that their religion is better or worse than others (they’re all bad) – it’s that religious leaders take advantage of their cultic status to pass along their own ignorant opinions, and this just ends up polluting the meme stream.

When religion is laid to its final dusty rest, we will al be the better for it – it perpetuates ignorance and rewards stubborn stupidity.

And just like all the other crazies, these nut jobs make me tres nervous.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, March 02, 2013

More On The Madness Of Muslim: Misogynistic Mentalities

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
Female Genital Mutilation3There is perhaps no more sharper criticism of any culture, than how a woman is treated in that culture. It speaks to the inequality of the sexes when there should be none: it propagates the lie of patriarchy; and it is a cause for weeping.

Maldives girl, 15, sentenced to 100 lashes for 'fornication'

A 15-year-old girl sentenced to 100 lashes for "fornication" on a remote part of the Maldives is at the centre of a new row between moderates and religious conservatives in the Indian Ocean luxury tourist destination.

A court in the tiny island of Feydhoo last week sentenced the girl to a public flogging after she admitted to having sex out of wedlock, court officials have said.

The reportedly consensual sexual relations only came to light during an investigation into the murder of a baby which revealed that the girl had also been repeatedly raped by her stepfather and another man.

Such punishments are relatively commonplace in the Muslim country, visited by more than 750,000 tourists last year but increasingly hit by serious social problems such as gang violence and drug abuse as well as growing political instability.

Though they appear to have initially backed the decision to prosecute the girl, Maldivian authorities are now working with the country's ministry of Islamic affairs and judiciary to cancel or suspend the punishment, a government official said.

Masood Imad, a spokesman for the current president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan, told the Guardian that the government considered her a victim "who should not now become a victim of the law as well".

"The law is there to protect her. It will take its course but we are fully engaged and we have some levers and we are hopeful that she will not be lashed. Let's see who wins the day," Imad said.

Conservatives, however, are calling for the sentence to be carried out.

Recent years have seen tensions between Muslims practising a traditional, relatively tolerant type of Islam and supporters of a more rigorous, puritanical style heavily influenced by that practised in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.

It’s that any country in this day and age would even have something as ridiculous as a ‘ministry of Islamic affairs’ or indeed, a ‘ministry’ of any sort as part of the government whatsoever. 

It’s time that these ‘ideologies’ were called for what they truly are: sad twisted anachronistic fantasies that have no place in this century. The bigger problem, is that if you call this out to the parties in question, you’re more likely to be lynched than listened to.

Till the next post, then.