Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guess who is saying "don't leave comments"

     That's right. It's Ray. You must have seen his blog. He makes an excuse about a "glitch" in blogger which I'm not buying for a second. He wants to say that non-christians have nothing to say against his lies. He wants to say that they could post but didn't. If he were sincere, he could turn off moderation. Then he wouldn't be looking at "1000+ comments to be moderated." But I doubt he is, anyway.


     He has since deleted the post. Hey, maybe his motto is "hide the evidence."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It seems to me...

     Christianity is often portrayed as a selfless religion of loving and giving. But it seems to me that it is set up only to appeal only to self-centered interests. It doesn't actually call on its adherents to try to be better people (that whole "saved by faith, not by works" bit.) It only calls on people to "trust Jesus as their lord and savior."
     Now, most religions encourage good behavior. Furthermore, most belief system consider any "rewards for good behavior" to apply equally well to outsiders. Not so with christianity. I have heard christians say that their "god" only sees good deeds as an attempt to bribe him. Seriously, what kiind of god does not want to see people treating each other with kindness and does want to see people falling at his feet worshipping him? What kind of person dedicates his life to that?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Excerpts from a guy who called me a "militant agnostic."

     "You know, I like to think that I'm a fairly open-minded guy. I can accept that people have different viewpoints, but I also reserve the right to tell you when you're being an idiot, and why."
     And I like to think that the rich will stop trying to keep the poor in a state of desperation so that they can rely on slave labor. Unfortunately, liking to think something does not make it true. And my experience suggests that he thinks that anyone who has a different viewpoint is an idiot.
     "I was actually polite for once - just used the phrase 'Ihre papieren, bitte,' and the Old Vet got all testy)."
     Imagine my shock. Actually, you'll have to imagine it because it's not really there. Given that World War II is not entirely forgotten, I can see where saying "your papers, please" in German might elicit an adverse reaction. And this is what he calls polite. (It should be noted that I didn't see the original. I'm going by his own description, which is likely to cast himself in a more favorable light.)

     At any rate, I probably wouldn't have seen his self-description here had he not linked to it in a warning about possible stalkers (on another blog.) And I realize this isn't very important; but I got a chuckle out of it.

Friday, July 09, 2010

This was cute.

     I saw one christian claiming the bible to be infallible say that the genealogy in Luke was actually traced through Mary. Okay, that's nothing new (even though it says "son of Joseph, son of....") The interesting part was that this person tried to justify the idea with a claim that people in those times used the same word for "father-in-law" (socer) as they did for "father" (pater.) Now, my readers may notice that I used two very different words. That's because the Latin words are very different. (The Latin words are derived from the corresponding Greek words; so those are also very different.) I am left to wonder. Did this person bother to check whether his claim was true? (It's not like it was hard to check.) Did he somehow think that I would not bother to check? And even if it had been true that the same word was used for both, it was not conventional at the time to list father-in-laws in genealogies. So it looks like an excuse.
     Seriously, the bible has mistakes and contradictions in it, much like we would expect if it was written by men who had aggreed on a main theme but who hadn't gotten together to hammer out the details. Why do people try to present it as a work of perfection? Why do they jump through such ridiculous hoops to try to maintain the illusion when it has already been discovered?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Feelings of persecution.

     There is one blogger that I have noticed (and the three of you that actually read this might have noticed too) who is complaining about the resistance he gets to his message. I'm not going to name him here because, one, I am not interested in engaging in a personal attack, I am criticizing methodology, and two, there are probably many others just like him with varying messages. However, to hear him tell it, he thinks he is being persecuted for his beliefs.
     He claims that people refuse to listen to him because they hate the truth of his message. Leaving aside the fact that I have found no truth to his message, I would like to suggest that it may be his delivery that people find so objectionable. This is a guy who pretends to allow comments on his blog (there is a link for "leave a comment") but blocks them all pre-emptively (if you click on that link, you find that you are not allowed to leave a comment.) When he makes comments on other blogs, he admits that he doesn't bother to read any responses but calls people cowards if they don't read every word he has to say and follow every link he provides.
     Now, don't get me wrong. There really are people out there who will harass anyone who says something they don't like to hear. I think the person in question is one of them. But it is completely unreasonable to expect others to follow a standard that you refuse to meet yourself. It is not fair to tell people they should listen to everything you want to say while not letting them say word one.
     He says he can run his blog the way he wants. That's certainly true; he can. But people are not going to want to listen while he lectures them and lies about them. Add in the fact that he does not allow reply and he has created a recipe for no one listening to his message.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Is atheism an organized religion?

     I would say that atheism (the belief that there is no god) is not organized. But I would also say that the collection of people who want to insist that it means "lack of belief" are becoming increasingly organized. So, there is an organized group that consists exclusively of atheists. I can see where some people might confuse that group with atheism in general.
     So why are these people trying to impose a dishonest definition? Not being a mindreader, I can't say for certain. However, I can make an educated guess based on the circumstances in which it first cropped up. The phoney definition was used to say "oh yeah, even babies?" when a negative statement was made about atheists. The existing, standard definition was accepted for positive statements. It would appear that the purpose of the redifinition is to deny a simple term to describe those who believe there is no god (a category people actually want to use at times) to critics and claim that any statement made by critics must be applying to a useless catch-all category of which no general statement can be made about the members.
     How do I know they are being dishonest with their definition? The inherently useless nature of catch-all categories is highly suggestive. But these people will slip up. In making positive statements about atheists, they need a term. And that term is "atheist." Their statements cannot meaningfully be applied to infants either.