Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Another TrueChristian(tm) steps up, part 2

(Since I had it done, here it is. Part 1 is here.)

Part 2

I had not heard about the “dane’s kings list going back to Noah”.  I wonder do you know of the list of Japanese emperors that goes back to the goddess Amaterasu and further back to Izanagi and Inzanami?  I didn’t think so.  So you see, anyone can make up a list that declares that they came from magical divine origins and by your “reasoning” those list simply must be true with no further thought put to the problem.  There is a list of kings from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that says that one of the germanic kings, Sceafa (also spelled Scef or Sceaf) was one of Noah’s sons, but golly the bible doesn’t mention it.  We also have other versions of these northern tribal geneaologies that claim decent from Woden/Odin/Gautr.  Why then Thor must exist! 

The only X-O3b that I know of is an extrasolar planet that is in orbit around a star in the constellation Camelopardalis (in the Southern Hemisphere) You see, I rather like astronomy too.  It’s quite a bright star and the planet may indeed be more a brown dwarf star than planet like Jupiter, but the distinction between the brown dwarfs and Jovian planets are fairly small.

Bible codes are all just some of the funniest nonsense I’ve seen. There even better than the rants about a flat earth and Queen Elizabeth being a reptiloid.  It’s kind of sad but hilarious to watch Christians try to declare that they are such special snowflakes, by declaring that they’ve found a “code” in their bible, the same bibles that they pick and choose from, declare translations are bad when convenient, etc.  What’s even better is that none of  their claims of predictions from this bible have ever been presented before an actual event and were proven accurate. Nope, all of them come out after an event, with the desperate theist saying “see, see, I found it”  after the fact.  It’s just poor people trying to revise history and a rather pitiful way to do it when it’s so obvious they are cheating.  Why, Woody, I can do the same thing with any book if I make up a method and claim to predict an event that already happened in the most  vague way possible. Here’s your special method right here.  It’s just as silly as the rest.

As you said, Woody, most of these are typical; typical nonsense spread by believers created in their desperate attempts to find *any* evidence, any at all for their god since these believers are not satisfied with simple faith.  They need to claim that their beliefs are rooted in reality, but in their desperation, they cease to think critically and we see the result.

I do reject religion because they are all much the same and they all have no evidence for their gods or essential events.  If you might recall, there are Christians who do accept evolutionary theory, but as always I’m sure you will claim they are not TrueChristianstm.  I do not give other religions a pass and Woody, claiming that I do shows that you lie willingly and you lie from a base of willful ignorance.  Any short internet search will find the same criticism leveled at Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Jainism (by myself) etc. At Jesus and Mo, we have ridicule of both Christianity and Islam at once! I know that these facts do damage your need to believe you are some kind of a martyr, but alas for you, it isn’t true and only makes you look like you have no interest in following your god when it commands “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness.”   I have looked truth in the eye, and a scholar and as a lady (really, “gentleman”? OH yes, you can’t possibly think a woman would tell you that you are wrong, eh?)  and I have seen that your claims of truth are built on lies, willful ignorance and using long superseded information.   I seek the truth and it does not mean one man’s version of one god from one sect of one religion that has nothing to support it.  You don’t even agree with your fellow Christians and you have no more evidence you are right than the next theist.  Studying myths for 4 years, or 400 will not make them true if you cannot present any evidence that they are true.  Oh and the word “proven” isn’t “broad” at all. Sorry, Woody, but trying to redefine a word is just one more Christian tactic to try to excuse their failings.  To prove something isn’t hard, if one has the evidence.  If you are indeed taking economics, one might assume that you are in either high school or college.  That means at some point you will be required to think critically or you’ll fail.  Now, I ask you to apply that critical thinking to your religion.  Don’t fall victim to the desire to compartmentalize your religion from everything else you doubt and think about.

As for the “Armory”, no, Woody, I don’t watch videos gathered up and repeated by Christians unless I’m really really bored because they say nothing more than what I’ve read.  I see you’ve used a typical weasel word, “seriously”, so you can make up more excuses if you want by claiming I didn’t watch them “seriously enough” e.g. came to the same conclusions you did.  In case you need more of those weasel words, others often used are “humbly”, “honestly”, “sincerely”.  They’re all equally amusing.

I expect Christians to make their own arguments, not hide behind the skirts of someone else in their cowardice.  I have found that many Christians don’t even understand the arguments they claim are so “very good”, just like I’ve found that many *many* Christians have never read their own bible in its entirety.  Your website is a font of KJV onlyists, something that none of you have been able to prove as true, that your favorite bible and only that bible is the “true” one.  So again, make your own arguments if you think they are valid.

This has to be one of the most quote-worthy bits I’ve seen in a long time from a creationist:

 “And if you get to concerned with INFORMATION you will become spiritually worthless and bitter.”

Also known as an attempt to frighten and bully people by trying to get them to obey. It’s pretty much: “If you think about this, you’ll realize that Woody is a liar.  So better to remain willfully ignorant and allow him his delusions.”  You also claim that one needs to pray to your god to get answers. Well, I did when I was a believer and when I was losing my faith.  Since I got bupkis, we have only a few possibilities, your god likes me just like I am, your god isn’t anything like you claim or your god doesn’t exist.  Now, cue the claims that I didn’t pray in the “right” way.  I do also like how you insist that you need to defend your god.  Poor thing, it can’t defend itself and has to rely on someone like you?  Oy, I see its problems already.

Saving the best until last, I see you cite Kent Hovind.  It’s so amusing when Christians claim that people who have never even tried to get a degree in something are now experts in it.  I wonder, do you take your car to a pediatrician or yourself to car mechanic for medical treatment.  And Kent is such a good Christian, lying and cheating about his taxes.  Hmmm, seems that he doesn’t remember these bits from the bible: Matthew 22:17-22, Romans 13:1-7, Exodus 20:16  Hovind seems to think he can pick and choose from his bible too, unsurprisingly.  You can see his very entertaining but utterly false claims addressed here.  Poor Kent, has no idea how hydrology and hydrogeology work. Poor guy, even other creationists think he’s nuts when it comes to the flood and his version of creation.

Now, I’m still waiting for that one thing I’ve asked you for, Woody. 

Postscript – to all of the theists who are going “geez, at least I’m not that crazy”, I’d agree, you probably aren’t. But you do have some of the same beliefs all without evidence like Woody.  Don’t feel too smug.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Another TrueChristian(tm) steps up, Part 1

king james posterJoseph “Woody” Armstrong has visited my website recently to comment on it.  I don’t know much about him other than he is another example of a TrueChristiantm though with different characteristics then someone like Caroline.  He is a KJV onlyist, someone who is certain that the only “true” bible is the Authorized King James Version.  Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry are very bad and feminism is a sin (this explains why he wants to make believe I’m a guy). This is, of course, something that not all Christians believe.  He thinks that the Bible is completely accurate and he also thinks that Kent “Jailbird” Hovind is believable.  With these stated beliefs and the questionable taste of his website, one might think him a poe, out to get a rise out of fellow atheists.  I do not think he is and always find that Poes should be replied too in any case.  You can find the post I am replying to here

Why, no one called you a fool here, Woody.  I do like seeing you call yourself one because that does speak to you suffering from a bit of projection.  You are woefully and willfully ignorant, not necessarily a fool.  Ignorance can be fixed if you are willing to learn.  From your mention of taking an economics course, I can assume that you are in either high school or college. You have plenty of time to learn no matter how old you are. However, if you keep on repeating false information, you will simply fail, only having a very narrow bunch of people who nod their heads when you come up with yet more nonsense. I can guess that I probably can’t offer you anything better than your self-created religion. It certainly does feel good to think that you are a special snowflake and some big powerful thing agrees with everything you do, doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, reality will show you are wrong and you’ll have to adjust that myth of yours to excuse your imaginary god’s impotence. 

I have heard many false claims that the bible is historically accurate.  I also understand the desire to believe people because you think they share your beliefs and that you think you should trust them.  However, that can be a very bad thing to do because they can and do lie to people. Your blind acceptance of such ridiculous claims speaks to your naivety. There is nothing in Acts that is any more accurate than what one would find in any other myth or modern political thriller. If you think there is a good part to show me, then present it, rather than making vague claims.  It makes you seem that you have no idea what you are talking about.   For example, Greek myths mention people and places that either could have or did exist e.g. Poseidon and Athena competed for the honor of having Athens (a city that does indeed exist and has existed for a long time) named after them.  If we go with any mention of a real thing in a myth makes it true, then Athena and Poseidon are as real as your god.  Do you agree with that? I would assume not and that you would use special pleading in attempt to declare your god the only “real” one.   Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Bad logic and even worse “science”

noahRecently, I’ve seen the usual flood myth claims on one more theist blog. This has been done to death but I do love the subject since I’m a geologist. 

The initial blog post was the usual claim by a theist that atheists don’t have enough proof for their position and at best they “really” should be agnostics. This is the usual tactic to cling to their god by implicitly claiming “But you can’t prove my god doesn’t exist, so I can still make believe he does.”  Alas for the theist who make this claim, they forget that their god has very defined characteristics and those characteristics can be analyzed and be tested by the evidence supporting or contradicting them.  The theist in question has insisted that he doesn’t need to define this god, and it’s simply “logic” that argues that agnosticism is the right position.  He invokes the argument from ignorance: 

1.There is no evidence against p.
2. Therefore, p.
3.There is no evidence for p.
4.Therefore, not-p. 

and has accused me of that, but again forgets that there is not this overwhelming ignorance he would hope for; we have plenty of positive evidence against the claims of his religion and his bible.  If there is no evidence for a magical flood, then there is no reason to think that there was one. If there is no evidence for a God, or Santa Clause, then there is no reason to think there is one.  Could there be a probability of something undefined hiding under a rock on Alpha Centauri and that be the Christian god?  No, not if the Christian god is as claimed by the bible and Christians. Logic is a powerful tool but it isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, many Christians find it’s their last hope in finding a gap for their god but don’t understand that. 

There is evidence for geology showing that this flood did not occur ever and could not have.  One has to invoke magic to somehow evaporate all of the evidence that this god did anything ever.  That’s worth a chuckle but that’s all.  One may as well invoke “Last Thursdayism” where we only *think* we remember our lives and some god made us up last Thursday.

(This Christian is also sure that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  He claims he needs no “evidence” but has “good reasons” to be sure about this.  Of course, I have yet to see the “good reasons”.  It’s just more special pleading.)  

Another Christian has claimed that SCIENCE supports his religion and makes some very typical and very willfully ignorant claims.  He claims that genetics “proves” that there was a population bottleneck and his flood is the source.  First, it is always a treat to see a theist who wants to invoke science and the scientific method when they think that it supports their religious claims.  They demonstrate their hypocrisy when they decide that some science is just peachy but when a bit of that science shows their religion’s claims to be wrong, they will do their best to ignore it.  Quite a bit of trying to have their cake and eat it too goes on in creationist nonsense.  They depend on willful ignorance, outright lies, attacking strawmen created from superseded ideas, etc.  It’s really quite a shame.  AT this point, I cannot accept Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  In this age of information, it takes real effort to be this ignorant.  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – God made in man’s image – very very dumb

“I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God. “ – HB 2467, ArizonaState Legislature 

Some Christians want to force every student to say this before they are allowed to graduate.  Which I have to laugh at.  Oooh, do you think atheist will burst into flame if we do say such a thing?  That we’ll finally see God because you’ve brought it by the figurative sword at our throats whilst you hold our diploma hostage?  I’m sure these Republican twits would scream if anyone else wasted the state’s time and money with this joke but they are so desperate that they have no problem doing the same.

It’s also just great to see some Christians swearing oaths when their bible says they shouldn’t.  Matthew 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

As always, it’s hard to find a better argument against Christianity, and religion in general than the believers themselves.  They pick and choose what they want to believe in, and they certainly go out of their way to bother other theists and atheists.  Jehovah’s Witnesses are not going to give an oath.  I might if I had to (gun to my head sort of thing) but I certainly wouldn’t mean it and just how stupid do these 8 TrueChristianstm think their god is?  That anyone can say “So help me God” and it’ll believe it?  It seems that  Christians want to force people to lie just to get a little external validation, in the delusion that if they hear enough people say “So help me God” that means their god exists and they are the special snowflakes they so long to be. 

Now, we do have one of the bill’s sponsors saying this

“As written, the bill does not exempt atheist students or those of different faiths from the requirement, though Thorpe has pledged to amend the measure. “In that we had a tight deadline for dropping our bills, I was not able to update the language,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Arizona Republic. “Even though I want to encourage all of our students to understand and respect our Constitution and constitutional form of government, I do not want to create a requirement that students or parents may feel uncomfortable with.”

So he’ was caught and now has to make up an excuse just like every other wannabe theocrat.  I don’t buy this deadline excuse for one single second.  It’s just more lies and bullshit from the religous right.  Seems like Mr. Thorpe thinks we’re as blind about lies as he would have his god be.

Postscript (01/29/13) – I have seen where at least one person in the “atheosphere” says this isn’t wasn’t aimed against atheists (Skepchick for one).  I do believe it is and this is why:  can anyone imagine that these Republican men would have put out this legislation *without* the “So help me God” part?   I can just imagine the uproar if it had been left out.  We can know what kind of uproar would be likely from the Democratic convention in 2012 when they left out the sycophantic supplication to this god.

From the Kitchen and Bar – This American’s Burger

BurgerFew things are as tasty as a good burger.  But those are so very hard to find.  Through the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, we have been taught that a good burger must be too thick to bite easily and half-raw to simulate succulence.  They are piled with every conceivable thing in the name of “foodie-ism” and are placed on stiff breads which either disintegrates from the watery burger or shatters upon biting.

I will have to give kudos to Guy Fieri since his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, often goes to places who often aren’t corrupted by such madness. 🙂   When I first saw him on tv, I didn’t like him much, with his in your face frat boy attitude.  He’s grown on me.

My husband makes me my ideal burger which we call “messy burgers”.  You don’t need much equipment, just one good skillet, preferably cast iron, a lid and a wide flipper.  Oh, and napkins, lots of napkins. 

Most important, start with the right meat.  We use, if we can find it, 73% lean / 27% fat hamburger.  If we can’t find that, we use 80%-20%.  I have nothing against 90% lean ground meat but that is for steak tartare, not a hamburger. Yes, Vel likes raw meat and would happily share a fresh kill with her beloved snow leopards.  My husband makes wide, thin patties, about 7 inches wide and about a half-inch thick. Dusted with salt and pepper, they go into a hot cast-iron skillet for a good browning on both sides. With this fat content, they don’t dry out when cooked to well-done.  This thin, they don’t need squished with the flipper. They do shrink so they will fit on a bun.

Next, get buns.  Not ciabatta, not some frou-frou fig and feta artisan sourdough.  You want a soft bun, right out of a bag from the grocery store. If you are lucky, you’ll have a local commercial bakery that makes toasted onion buns, with the bits of brown onions on top. Sometimes I grill them in a bit of butter, sometimes not.

Cheese is to be meltable, after a minute or two under a lid.  Favorites are regular old American and blue cheese.  The blue cheese does have to be a certain kind.  It cannot be little crumbles that shoot everywhere off the burger and it does not need to be Roquefort or Maytag. For my burger, it must be Rosenborg/Castello Extra-creamy Blue Cheese Slices.  I suppose you could get a chunk and slice your own but I like the convenience here.  I like it since it is strongly flavored with a very nice funk.  It also melts well.  

Now for the other toppings.  I chop everything into a medium-small dice.  My teeth don’t shear as well as they could, so rather than having every bite a contest between me and a recalcitrant onion, tomato or bacon slice, I can just chomp right down.  We make two kinds of onions, carmelized until soft and fresh diced. I’m a bit of an onion addict.

You’ll also see a pile of red on my burger.  That’s the diced Campari tomatoes. I love these little guys, not as big as a regular tomato, but bigger than a cherry one. They have had excellent flavor since I’ve been getting them and they are easier to find than my favorite Ugly Ripes.  I leave the seeds and goo intact though I think if I removed it, the bun might retain its integrity longer.

Finally, I love mayo (aka I love fat). We make our own (easy with a stick blender or regular blender) and both sides of the bun get a schmear, with a small squirt of ketchup on the bottom half for a little sweetness and piquancy.  A shake of salt and pepper and I’m done.

My favorite sides are potato chips (with or without sour cream onion dip) and a cold beer.  Pennsylvania is one of the largest producers and consumers of chips (a local brand I like, Martin’s.)  We even have chips cooked in lard!  I do like fries but they are a pain to make at home.  We got a case of Sam Adams with Alpine Spring, Maple Pecan Porter, Double Agent IPL (yep, a lager), and I think their flagship.  The IPL is good, the lager seems to tone down the intensity of the west coast hops, though it still has a very strong grapefruit aroma/taste.  The Alpine Spring is also hoppy but from Tettnanger, so it’s quite a bit tamer in taste.  Haven’t tried the porter yet.

No wonder it’s so hard losing weight with such things around.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Judging the judge, or lessons in hypocrisy and excuse

scalesChristians (and most theists) do love to make excuses for their god, why we shouldn’t ever dare attempt to judge its actions and excuses on why its so pathetically impotent.  Caroline, a Christian who has been a lovely example for this blog, now continues with her attempts, part 1 and part 2. As promised, and as expected, she’s ignoring me and of course unable to provide any actual answers to the questions I’ve already asked.  For someone who claims she’s so reasonable and so strong with faith, we see that she is neither.  She does do a most excellent job of using all of the flawed “reasoning” that I have seen Christians use in the last 10+ years of rebutting them.   This post will likely have some repeats of ther things.  That’s the nature of the tedium of rebutting religion and my apologies for the task I’ve set before you.

I debated on splitting this up into two posts because of the length.  If leaving it one large post does give anyone hives, let me know.   

“Is God a moral monster because he commanded the slaughter of whole groups of people, including children?”

Yes, the Judeo-Christo-Islamic God, supposedly described accurately by the Torah, Bible and Qu’ran, is a moral monster because he commanded genocide including children.  I mean, really, that anyone thinks it’s ever acceptable just shows how heinous religion can be when it makes people think such things are *ever* okay.  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Miracles

Miracles and the actions of the divine are another source of debate between believers and non-believers.  Most religions depend on them since without magical action, their gods are merely figureheads.  Thus, we have divine interference e.g. miracles, in just about any religion you would care to name.  And this causes some problems since evidence for these miracles is quite hard to come by for any religion. Rabbi Gellman from the God Squad attempts to address this in the latest God Squad column. You can see the original question he’s answering there.

“I believe in miracles and I believe in science, and I don’t think there’s a contradiction. The key spiritual move here is to divide miracles into several types. Some things are impossible even for God because they’re a contradiction in terms. God cannot make a married bachelor or a square circle because this is an impossible contradiction. A bachelor must be unmarried and a circle cannot be square.” 

Gellman’s opening gambit is the usual depowering of the supposedly omnipotent and omniscient Judeo-Christian God and the attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too when Gellman says he believes in science.  When a religious leader has to say that one must make a “spiritual move” aka an excuse, one should wonder what they are trying to hide.  In this case, Rabbi Gellman is saying that there are “types” of miracles, all done to excuse his god’s incompetence and evidence non-existence.

Gellman appeals to logic, that a square cannot be round, that a bachelor can’t be married.  It is akin to the “Can God make a stone so big he cannot lift it?”, the omnipotence paradox.  Omnipotence is a problem for many theists.  They want to claim it because it makes their religion seem the most important and its god the most powerful.  However, when the paradoxes start mounting up, they often run from it, coming up with reasons why a being that is supposedly all-powerful (omni-all, potence- power) can’t do something that it should be able to. It becomes only “sort of omnipotent”, an attempt to redefine “omnipotence” into a “limited omnipotence” or “limited omniscience (omni-all, science – knowing), quite an oxymoron.  In his statement, Gellman makes his god obedient to the laws of logic.  Some theists don’t, insisting that their god is above logic, and that it can indeed do anything. How do we know which are the “right” believers?  This appeal to logic is also similar to another theist excuse where their god cannot do anything other than according to its “nature”, which demands that the believer knows this nature to know what this god can and can’t do, or it becomes just another baseless claim, rather like the claim of “mysterious ways”.  It usually degenerates into “god is good since good is god” or “god is not a liar because a liar is not god”. Continue reading