Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

so sue me

September 24, 2011

Religious belief is a personal matter. I cringe at those who don’t act from that fact.

if

August 29, 2011

If this Holy Man is correct, I have a confession to make as Nanmadol closes in on Taiwan. I support same-sex marriage and have contributed to this supernatural disaster. I have visited New York before but in my defense, I haven’t spent much time there. Probably others are more to blame than me for that.

one difference

February 24, 2010

Used from here without permission from Calamities of Nature.

when DIY shouldn’t cut it

October 28, 2009

Botched:

The man’s lawyer, Doug Christie, tr[ied] to have the case tossed out on constitutional grounds, saying his religious motive negated any criminal intent.

Thrown out? A legal system has failed if “religious motive” can excuse such an act. I can buy the lack of criminal intent, but that’s only through an insanity defence. At the very least, the man needs to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

On a related but inconsequential note, I don’t understand why (especially in this day and age) some parents have their sons circumcised. I have heard several arguments but don’t find any of them compelling. Perhaps a medical condition could set in necessitating the procedure, but I’m referring to an otherwise healthy child.

“spread”?! what the Heck is that about?

April 9, 2009

Peter Heck at OneNewsNow takes issue with Frank Barney and his use of the term “homophobia”. Heck argues that “moral objections” to homosexuality are mistakenly classified as fear. He lists “physical”, “psychological”, and “spiritual” reasons why he views homosexuality as immoral. The physical/psychological reality is clearly connected to the fictitious “moral objections”. One who is socially marginalized and treated like a pariah is more likely to suffer from depression/anger and engage in physically risky behavior. Heck’s error is in connecting sexual orientation to statistics without regard to factors evident in societal situations. In fact, Heck writes off any suggestion that how society at large views homosexuality affects the mental well-being of those stigmatized. Heck’s view is that homosexuality is some sort of contagious disease that causes suicidal tendencies, a drive toward drugs and an incapacity for monogamy. He sees this as an illness, that if left unchecked by The Defenders of Morality, is bound to ooze its way into the greater population, bringing untold death and destruction to humanity.

“No, he’s not that extreme. He just has moral objections to homosexuality”, you say? But in one simple sentence, Heck makes his homophobia (and Barney’s point) crystal clear:

In Frank’s warped worldview, anyone who opposes the spread of homosexuality in our culture is a homophobe.

Yes, the spread of homosexuality.

i’m agnostic regarding leprechauns and santa claus, but i’m sure god doesn’t exist

February 15, 2009

Einstein: smarter than he let on

May 15, 2008

Albert Einstein:

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

and…

For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

I relate to and consider Einstein’s “cosmic religious feeling” (see article) sensible. It’s a tremendous fact that we’re connected to all that is, ever was, and ever will be (how can it be otherwise?). This fact alone is more than enough impetus to give serious consideration toward the question of living morally. It’s sane and sensible to deny the outrageous idea that any particular group of people are “chosen” by a personal “god” to play a privileged role in human history. Such nonsense, like other childish religious beliefs, can only stir trouble.

on “God” and reason

May 5, 2008

Comments on Clay Burell’s “sermon” got me thinking:

One could hold a belief in “God” yet remain adequately critical. If one does not claim to “know God” or use “God” to explain phenomena, then the belief on its own poses no difficulties. However, it’s clear that most don’t tread with reservation. Most speculate. The instant any speculation as to the nature of “God” occurs, the speculator rejects reason. Unfortunately, most people who believe in “God” speculate. Whether abstractly (e.g. “God’s will” or “God watches” or “Designer”) or more concretely (e.g. “God had a Son who He sent”), conjecture is common. Such unsubstantiated conjecture is self-gratification often cloaked in piety.

Theists should stop speculating while atheists are best not debating the existence of “God” at all. To keep theists in check, we all (theists especially) should question the absurd claims often uttered from the supposition. After all, it’s the absurdities that stir mischief, not an indescribable belief.

Vicki Davis on Science and Intelligent Design

May 1, 2008

Tweeting Vicki Davis to ask if she planned on seeing “Expelled” led to challenging her conflation of belief and theory, which led to this:

@petrock – Theory is not a synonym for belief, however, we may choose which theory that we believe ourselves, scientists do it all the time.

Scientists discern (i.e. “choose”) based upon evidence. To equate discernment between scientific theories with choosing between supernatural beliefs is an insult to science.

@petrock When you start judging the “legitimacy” of a theory — you are by definition interjecting your personal belief system.

When a theory is supported by evidence and one continues to test that evidence to see where it leads, this is not a “personal” journey. There’s a reason why scientific communities come together, and it isn’t because they share an “interjected”, “personal” belief. They simply share the urge to discover.

On Twitter, I was so taken aback by Vicki’s remarks that I made a rather useless retort wondering if she had been watching too much FOX (one of her favorite sources that has a reputation of having “news” anchors who often use similar reasoning). My apologies. I hope this post helps Vicki see where my thinking is at.

god delusion index

February 2, 2008

I scored zero on the humorous GDI continuum, though question #5 had me considering 5 points if not for its disagreeable meaning of “meditation”. Meditation is neither extraordinary thought (as implied by the question) nor an act of “contemplation”. Therefore, I answered “no”.