Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


Why I Know There Are No Gods

March 22, 2017

Background:

Formally, I classify myself as a gnostic atheist, meaning I know there are no gods. Most atheists (from what I read online) appear to be agnostic atheists, people who are without gods but who do not claim to know there are no gods. Some people who fit this description simply call themselves agnostic. But, on formal forums, like reddit’s atheism subreddit, all who are without gods are atheists and agnostic or gnostic is a statement of whether they know or have doubt. Similarly, they allow for agnostic theists, those who believe in god(s) but have some doubt.

Regarding knowledge:

In no other area of discussion do we expect certainty or proof when we speak of knowledge. Nearly all knowledge, outside of mathematics, is empirical knowledge, gained by empirical evidence.

Empirical evidence, also known as sensory experience, is the knowledge received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία (empeiría).

After Immanuel Kant, in philosophy, it is common to call the knowledge gained a posteriori knowledge (in contrast to a priori knowledge).

This is the type of knowledge we use when we say that we know that if we drop a ball on the surface of the earth, it will fall. I don’t hear a whole lot of people telling me, you can’t claim to know that because you can’t prove it. But, indeed we cannot. We know the ball will fall because it has done so the last gazillion times we performed the experiment.

For some reason, most people expect that if you say that you know there are no gods, that this one case of knowledge requires certainty. We do not require certainty from any other type of knowledge. Why do we demand certainty to state knowledge only when we are discussing knowledge of the existence or non-existence of gods?

Why this one?

Nowhere in the definition of knowledge does it ever specify that we must have 100% certainty.

So, when I say I know there are no gods, I mean it the same way that I know the ball will drop or that I know the planet on which we live will continue to rotate through the night causing the appearance of a sunrise in the morning, even if it is blocked by clouds. Night will become day as the earth rotates. I know it. You know it. We cannot prove it to 100% certainty. We only know that it has always done so before.

Classifying gods:

To begin our discussion, we have to classify gods. This way we can address different claims of gods individually.

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Proof of Evolution in our Vestiges

March 20, 2016

I doubt I get many readers who doubt evolution. But, some of these are kind of cool and might help if you end up debating nutjobs who think we were created by God in our present state sometime after the actual human invention of agriculture.


New England Journal of Medicine Makes a Powerful Statement about Planned Parenthood

August 15, 2015

This article should be the end of this whole discussion.

Fetal Tissue Fallout

Unfortunately, I doubt that a write-up in a medical journal will get as much airplay as the guy with the dead orange tribble on his head or even as much air play as Jeb “my brother didn’t do it” Bush. Would this be called “hot air play”?

Anyway, The New England Journal of Medicine is solidly and squarely on the side of Planned Parenthood.

So am I.

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Political Messages From Churches Void Tax-Free Status

August 10, 2015

I don’t often post pages from the IRS website. In fact, this is my first. The title basically says it all. Any church that espouses a political opinion loses its tax exempt status. Actually, it’s not just churches. This is the reason that contributions to the ACLU are not tax deductible and never have been.

Any 501(c)(3) organization that gets involved in politics is perfectly free to do so, at the expense of their tax-free status. So, the next time you hear some preacher going on about Obamacare or Democrats or anything else that advocates a particular political position, report them to the IRS.

This is not new. This has been the law for a very long time.

Here’s the link directly to the IRS site that talks about this issue.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/The-Restriction-of-Political-Campaign-Intervention-by-Section-501%28c%29%283%29-Tax-Exempt-Organizations

If we all make the call whenever we hear about it, perhaps word will get around that churches have free speech regarding politics, but it’s not free. (Meaning they are within their rights to say it. But, it could cost them tax dollars.)


Holy Shit!! Literally. How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian. Yeah. Right.

April 15, 2015

I can’t believe people actually think like this. What a load of horseshit! Holy horseshit, that is. This is actually a serious page with step-by-step instructions for trying to convince atheists to become Christian.

This will convince no one! <== Click this for laughs.

How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian: Provide evidence. Hard scientific evidence.

Then, when you’re done with that, be prepared to convince that former atheist that your god is worthy of worship rather than contempt.

Good luck!


Secular Jews: Time to Speak Out Against Haredi Practices (the Ultra-Orthodox Jews)

February 11, 2015

We secular Jews do know that Jews have a long history of persecution. As such, we as a group are hypersensitive to the merest hint of antisemitism, regardless of how religious we are. This is why this message must come from Jews, so there can be no hint of antisemitism.

As an side, I also prefer when criticism of the Westboro Batshit Crazies and other Christian extremists comes from within Christianity. Though, clearly I’ll do my part criticizing them as well.

I should state that I fully believe that everyone, including Haredi Jews, is entitled to their own mishigas. I do not hate Haredi Jews. I hate what they are doing. There is a difference. This is about their actions, not about their right to believe, not about hatred for any human beings.

It’s about being moral and decent human beings in a modern world.

What I believe Haredis are not entitled to do is to be bad neighbors. When they leave their homes, they need to be members of modern society in the modern world. They must not expect others to give them special privileges. Nor can they require that others dress according to their standards. Nor can they take over public land. Nor can they vandalize public or private property.

What many of today’s Haredi Jews are doing in the modern world is unconscionable.

I hope that some Haredi Jews will read this and will not hate me for these opinions. I do not hate them for their opinions. I do not hate Haredi Jews at all. I do hate a lot of the actions of the Haredi community, especially the ones that make the news. These actions make me embarrassed to be a Jew.

I also hope that if non-Jews read this, that this will not be a cause of antisemitism. Remember as you read this, even if you find some of these actions as abhorrent as I do that not only are the people committing these actions Jewish, so is the author of this article. There are also many other actions taken by these same people that may be quite beautiful. I am merely criticizing a subset of the Jewish community for a particular type of interaction with the outside world.

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Of Purpose and Penis-Religion vs Science Debate Rages On

January 2, 2015

I love the graphic. Click the link below to read the article.

http://madmikesamerica.com/2015/01/of-purpose-and-penis-religion-vs-science-debate-rages-on/


Clickhole Says: All Religions Are Beautiful — Satire

December 4, 2014

For any who are unaware, Clickhole is a recent spinoff from The Onion.

http://www.clickhole.com/video/embed?id=222


Why Does God Kill So Many Children in Idaho?

November 17, 2014

As someone with type 1 diabetes, I can assure anyone who thinks otherwise that the effects of undiagnosed and untreated type 1 diabetes are beyond unpleasant. I ripped a hole in a lung and a hole in my esophagus from extreme vomiting.

These have healed, though my doctor still checks carefully 26 years later.

Once diagnosed, it took some time to get under control. I was on nothing by mouth for 2 more days after vomiting my guts out for a day or two prior to the hospital. I got motion sickness in a wheel chair on my way to radiology. I passed out quite thoroughly on a cold, hard, metal x-ray table.

26 years later, I am a healthy diabetic in tight control with no complications.

Children of the Followers of Christ, Christian Scientists, and other psychotic morons who believe they should prey on pray for their children rather than actually doing something to help them regularly allow children (yes children) to suffer far more than I did at age 25. It makes me physically ill to think that such people exist and worse, reproduce.

https://www.vocativ.com/culture/religion/faith-healing-deaths/?page=all

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No One Should Have The Right To Die Until God Is Done Toying With Them

November 11, 2014

A new classic from The Onion. Yes. I know I said new classic.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-should-have-the-right-to-die-until-god-is-d,37418/


Bible has Recipe for Abortion

October 19, 2014

For years, I’ve been saying that the Bible says nothing about abortion. Since abortion predates the Bible by centuries and was commonplace in the area where the Bible was written, I used this as an argument that there is no Biblical foundation for any religious objection to abortion.

However, someone just pointed me at a section of the Bible I’ve missed.

Numbers 5:11-31 actually mandates that women who are unfaithful to their husbands undergo abortion and even gives the recipe for making the Biblical version of RU-486. So, the next time some wacko religious freak who thinks that the government has more to say about a woman’s vagina than she does because … Jesus/God/Bible, point them at Numbers chapter 5. Read it for yourself here. It’s quite amusing.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0405.htm

Here’s the New International Version if you prefer.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+5

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Gilded on Reddit: A Christian Asks Atheists 4 Questions

October 19, 2014

This isn’t really a big deal. But, I thought it was kind of cool. I had been on reddit for about 10 months and had just broken the 1000 mark in my karma. Then I happened to respond to a Christian’s questions on the atheism subreddit. That thread got a lot of traffic. My single response more than doubled my karma. And, someone gave me reddit gold, which I had never had before.

So, I’m kind of pleased with the external validation and thought I’d share the post here.

http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueAtheism/comments/2iiexs/questions_for_atheists_from_a_christian/cl2g4nv?context=3

[edit] For any who are unaware, reddit gold actually costs money. So, when someone threw gold at me, they were actually putting their money where their mouth was … so to speak. The thousand plus karma points are a big compliment to me, but clicking upvote on a post costs nothing. The gold was a real thrill. A month of reddit gold is $2.50 by the year or $4 by the month.


Theists: Do You Fear Eternity in Heaven? (Seriously. Please read.)

September 12, 2014

Background for people new to my blog: I am an atheist and antitheist. But, I ask this question seriously and am hoping for a real discussion on the subject.

It occurred to me recently when thinking about eternity just how long we’re talking about and that even in heaven, were I to believe in heaven, I think I would end up so incredibly bored by the monotony of it that oblivion would be very welcome indeed.

Sure the first million years would be a blast!

Nearly all of us would like more time than we get on this planet. But, how long?

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Reversible Male Birth Control Without Condoms by 2017

September 11, 2014

I had to add reversible to my title because I’ve been using condomless male birth control since 2001.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/09/we-ll-have-male-birth-control-by-2017.html

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Lot and his Daughters Cartoon for Children??!!? NSFW (not safe for your brain either)

September 4, 2014

Yes, it’s true that the cartoon is not truly accurate to the bible verse in question. The authors embellished a bit. And, the fucking took place on two different nights, not the same night. Here’s a link to the original text.

As you read Gen 19:30-38, keep in mind that these are the same two daughters from Gen 19:8, just a few paragraphs earlier, whom Lot offered to sell into sexual slavery to the men from Gen 19:4 “the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter.”

Isn’t it nice to know the daughters, even after this attempt to sell them into sexual slavery to a whole city full of men, still loved their father and wanted to “preserve seed of [their] father.”

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0119.htm

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Woo Hoo!! Westboro Batshit Crazies Commit Suicide

August 23, 2014

Who ever thought that getting rid of the Westboro Batshits would be as simple as offering them a free ride to Iraq to protest against ISIS? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of inDUHviduals! Can you say “natural selection”?

This Should Go Well: Westboro Baptist Church Says It’s Going To Iraq To Protest ISIS


Why is there someting rather than nothing?

July 14, 2014

This is probably the best explanation of this going around. It is lengthy but highly worth watching.

“God is unnecessary or at best redundant.” Great quote and well demonstrated in the more than an hour lead up.


Katie Goodman — Homophobic == Probably Gay

June 8, 2014

Sorry if it bothers anyone that I’m posting two Katie Goodman videos on the same day. I had never heard of her before, but heard her live last night.

She does a bit too much on mom & kids for my taste, being child-free myself. But, most of her audience is likely doing the parent thing. And, so is she. So, it makes sense.

Some of her songs are really priceless. Check out this one regarding homophobia. She even manages to cite an actual scientific study in the song. Then she gets into all of the anti-gay politicians who are actually gay, or at least bisexual.

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Creationist Gives Huge Grant to Science University; What Does This Mean For the Future?

May 30, 2014

Lately we seem to be constantly confronted with examples of religion creeping in and trying to infringe on our science education. The latest I have come across is a young earth creationist donating a huge grant to a technical and scientific university. What’s more worrisome is that this university is a leading educator of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers. Will this donation influence the curriculum of this university is the big question. And, what does accepting this money say about the university and their commitment to real science? I guess for organizations that accept grants, money is always taken no matter what the source or any potential consequences may be.

I personally find this very disturbing.

Greg Gianforte is an alumnus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is also a presumed young earth creationist who helped fund a creationist museum in Glendive Montana. And, now he’s funding Stevens Institute of Technology, among other things, a leading educator of our STEM educators.

So, what does it mean when the largest donation by a living donor in the history of Stevens Institute of Technology, $10 million, is being given to the institution by a presumed young earth creationist who also funded a museum that teaches that humans and non-avian dinosaurs coexisted in a world that is less than 10,000 years old?

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