Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On the subject of gay marriage

     I have seen a lot of things from people who say they want to "protect marriage" by barring homosexual marriage. Seriously, I cannot make out what they perceive as a threat. Your wife is not going to leave you because two men in love can have their union recognized by the government. If your wife leaves you, it will be for other reasons.
     Now, I have no interest in protecting marriage at all. It is a religious institution. And the government should not be giving special privileges to married couples. The only reason gay marriage is an issue is that people want equal rights. (What a concept.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

What do people mean when they say they support freethought?

     Intuitively, I would think that meant that they accepted that people held their own beliefs without trying to coerce them into following some group. Perhaps they would try to understand the perspectives of other people to see how they came to different conclusions. (That would be without calling them stupid or shunning them.) However, this has not been my experience. In actual fact, advocates of "freethought" apply their own coercive techniques to make dissenters follow the crowd (in my own limited experience.) So what do they really mean? Is the claim only a collection of words that sound pretty? Are they expressing an ideal of non-coersion that they only apply to others? I am interested in learning the perspective.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is abortion about the freedom not to reproduce?

     I have seen claims by abortion-rights advocates that abortion rights are necessary because women should have the right to decide not to reproduce. Now, I will certainly agree that women (as well as men) should have the right to decide not to reproduce. However, this does not mean that I endorse a means to escape the consequences of voluntary actions. For example, if someone buys a car, he should have the right to expect that car to work. But if he decides to use the engine for target practice and then it fails to work, he no longer has the right of expectation. I support the right of people to remain celibate. I support birth control whole-heartedly. I even support the "morning after pill" because of the possibility of rape.
     Once someone has voluntarily taken a chance on an event, he no longer has the right to be excused from the event. So (with the exception of interpreting the "morning after pill" as a type of abortion) abortion is unnecessary to the right to decide not to reproduce. The particular argument (and, unfortunately, it seems to be a common one) is a complete red herring. The question most fitting is that of what rights/protections the zygot/blastocyte/embryo/fetus should have at each stage of development. Few people seem to want to address that except by decree.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Several christians say...

     Several christians say that the influence of christian ideas on culture is proof of the "truth" of christianity, that christianity is being divinely preserved. To hold this idea, they refer to expressions and various cultural tidbits that can be traced back to a christian, even if the wording has since been changed.
     This raises an interesting issue. The old Greek beliefs are also preserved -- with less modification. Of course, we have the Olympics, which were a deliberate restoration. (Why did unbelievers restore the Greek tradition?) It requires little effort to find things named for the elements of the belief. Google any of the Greek gods. (Okay, I didn't do an exhaustive search. But come on, you can find a book publisher named Persephone.) The christian has actual followers; but I would venture that it is the one more likely to be forgotten someday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It seems Ray Comfort has banned "Christ Follower (No Longer)"

     Now, why would this be? Has he been abusive. It would not seem so. Has he engaged in foul language? If he has, I have missed it. No, Ray says it's because of the guy's handle. Maybe Ray thinks it contains a foul word or something. (I admit that first word is normally representative of the profane.)

Yeah, it's been a while.

     I will just make a few brief comments to some replies that I got. My analogy regarding the sun coming from the west is not flawed. It exactly the correct impression. When strong believers in evolution give a "potential falsifier," they give something that is impossible. They do not give something that one might expect in a hypothethical world in which evolution is false but we have our existing observations. They believe that it is impossible for evolution to be false and they pick an impossible observation. Now, one might consider my perception to be in error. But my analogy correctly states it.
     Yes, you have all told me that the authority figures have decided evolution is true. But that is about the extent of your showing me my idea is wrong. I have stated before what would convince me otherwise. No one has stepped up with such evidence. I have gotten "we say so," "scientists say so," "who do you think you are?" and "conspiracy theory." All of these are designed to distract from the idea of mine (which you insist is not only wrong, but stupid.) And none of these actually address it.
     No comments to this post. I am tired of the personal attacks and have no reason to believe anything else will be given. I can accept that people disagree with me. I am quite happy to read arguments against my position. I do not care for the personal attacks and distractions.