Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: An article “Complex societies gave birth to big gods, not the other way around: study”

from an article on phys.org (one of my favorite science article compiling sites)

“An international research team, including a member of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, investigated the role of “big gods” in the rise of complex large-scale societies. Big gods are defined as moralizing deities who punish ethical transgressions. Contrary to prevailing theories, the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause, of the evolution of complex societies. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-03-complex-societies-gave-birth-big.html#jCp

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Anti-Israel isn’t anti-Semitic

While I’m still dealing with influenza (I always forget just how horrible it makes you feel (and to see why you do feel horrible see here)) , I thought I’d do a post about the current religious nonsense here in the US.

We have conservative Christians having a tizzy that a US representative criticizes the country of Israel. They lie, of course, and try to claim being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic. That the government of Israel continues to flirt with acting exactly like their historical persecutors, makes it a target for just criticism. When these same conservatives have no problem with worshipping a orange nitwit who says that wannabee nazis are “fine people” and the vice president is of a strain of Christianity that desperately wants the events in Revelation to come true and needs the state of Israel to be on the stage to be destroyed, this concern about anti-Semitism is nothing but poorly hidden hypocrisy.

Then we have Trump signing bibles for conservative Christians. It’s rather silly to see them acting like teens at a rock concert wanting some bit of trash signed by someone they idolize. Other presidents have signed bibles, at the request of families for a certain purpose, but it does seem to be an unusual practice, noted by a Christian professor from near where I live. This article notes the Washington Post article, which in turn notes that Trump does love to quote bible verses when convenient, and that “two Corinthians” verse is quite an interesting one, especially in context:

Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! 10 Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; 11 for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that[c] was being set aside. 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Except for the Book of Hebrews itself, one can’t find much more of an anti-Jewish screed in the bible. Paul is still the persecutor, he just changed his colors and his horse. And that is what these ever so concerned Christians want to have Trump sign and cite. What I discovered that I didn’t know before is that some Muslims find that Paul to be a corruptor of JC’s word too. What a mess of imaginary claims, who hates who for what reason and all of it nonsense.

Of course, it’s these conservative Christians who insist that it was a “miracle” they *personally* weren’t killed (evidently 23 deaths were their god’s will) and how it’s just great that they get special attention from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for help but who cheered when that jackass Trump threatened the help received by people they don’t agree with in California.

What a foul tangle human invention makes to validate ignorance and selfish nonsense.

What the Boss Likes – more of my alcohol ink art

Hello from under Winter Storm Petra!   We have about 5 inches of snow and we’re supposed to get ice on top of that.

If you’ve been following my blog, you may know that I dabble in art, specific alcohol inks.  Here are two pieces. The top is a lap / bed tray (the kind with little legs) that I found at a thrift store.  It was originally a pale blonde wood, which I painted black.  The bottom was white melamine, a nice slick surface for the inks to flow around on.  After they dried, I sealed it and then put a layer of resin on top of it for durability.

The second is a lazy susan I found on the same thrift store adventure.  It is also ink and protected with resin.  My one cat, Tezcatlipoca, is investigating it.

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a handful of quick dismantlements of common theist claims

This was bouncing around in my head while I couldn’t sleep last night.

The claim that atheists *must* be nihilists or aren’t being atheists “correctly” – this fails since “dude”, and WLC (William Lane Craig, a very inept conservative Christian apologist and philosopher), have yet to show that subjective morality or meaning in life is somehow not as good as claims of “objective” morality. It also fails since Christianity has no objective morality either. The idea of good and bad is not separate from their god, which it should be to be objective. They only have might equals right.

The claim that Jesus Christ must be historical – There is no evidence for magic/supernatural/divine events or beings. WLC fails hilariously at this when his entire basis for his claims is that an empty tomb existed. He can’t show that the tomb exists nor that it was ever magically empty. The possible itinerant deluded rabbi is not the being that Christians claim to worship. “dude” and conservative Christians are so desperate for any evidence that their magic friend exists, “dude” et al accept claims that do a fair job in showing that their magic being never existed at all. Something else entirely did, like every other supposed magic event in the bible.

The claim that complex things must have creators but that this god doesn’t need a creator – this one is great since it’s again nothing more than special pleading. “dude” and his fellow believers have to claim that this god is intelligent, can affect this world, has to exist outside this world, cares about each and every believer, controls the universe in detail, but somehow this being is “simple” to fit the definition conservative christians invented in their need to have a job for their god (Plantinga’s argument that God is simple because his god has no “parts” and is a ghost is one of the most ridiculous). This is why Dawkin’s ultimate 747 works; it shows the utter contradiction in what theists claim. This is where claims that Dawkins and other atheists don’t study the “sophisticated theology” correctly fail so well. Those claims are nothing more than the desperate moving of goalposts by Christians who fancy themselves more intelligent and intellectual than their fellow Christians and anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

The claim that philosophy, aka a baseless opinion usually started as “what if people were like this, then “x” should be true”, reflects reality – This is a belief that a lot of freshmen in college fall into when they find someone who agrees with them and they seem to be an authority figure. Occasionally a philosophy does get something right. However, how many philosophies have died because reality doesn’t reflect them? Most, and new ones keep being invented, like that anti-natalist nonsense. And what evidence do the philosophers have that their claims are true, for instance WLC’s philosophy about atheists must be nihilists? Very little if any at all; but they sure hope that people will agree with them and give them the external validation they crave. There are atheists who are nihilists but there is nothing to show that atheism causes nihilism or requires nihilism.

Indeed, my very existence and the existence of happy atheists all over the world, shows that these Christians’ philosophical navel gazing is simply wrong. It seems that since many theists try to claim that anything that can be imagined has to exist e.g. the ontological argument that if their version of a creator god can be imagined it must exist, that they believe that their thoughts *all* have to be true. That they don’t seem to understand that human can imagine many things that are not real is rather bizarre version of solipsism aka anything I can think of is real and everyone else has to be wrong.

In the end, all theists like “dude” has is that he wants to believe something. He’ll accept anything he thinks supports the idea that he has the secret to how the universe works, and he is best friends with its creator.

From the Kitchen – Cake, bread and bad tv

This weekend was another cooking weekend. Here in the US, we have a three day weekend this weekend for President’s Day, a holiday that was to cover both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays.

In addition to beef stew (our recipe can be found here), I made a lemon chiffon cake and also tried a new bread recipe.

Chiffon cakes should get more attention. They are essentially a cake with a lot of eggs, similar to angel food cakes, but they have oil and egg yolks in them. They are richer than angelfood, and moister. For a comparison that seems like damning with faint praise, they have the texture of a fresh Twinkie (a snack cake here in the States), with a moist spongy texture. The recipe I used was from The Cake and Pie Bible Rose by Rose Beranbaum. I am generally loath to publish recipes in books, but if a friend asks me for it, I can share.

You’ll see that it was made in an angelfood cake pan, one with the center post and bottom that is separate. I hadn’t even known that those existed until my husband told me his mother had one. I found one at a flea market. The batter is a little looser than angelfood batter so you can see the cake stalagmites that formed on the bottom from the batter seeping out a bit.  This type of cake, like angelfood, has to be cooled inverted.  Of course a chunk stuck to the pan.  Oh well.

The bread was this, Tuscan Bread with Herbs. It is a fairly wet dough, and it took about ten minutes of mixing/kneading in my kitchenaid. The dough got a silky sheen to it once done. For some reason, it took forever to get any color to it on the crust. The crust was a little hard on the bottom, since I baked it on a pizza stone. But it went very well with the stew to soften the crust in the broth.

We watched Priest last night on the SYFY channel. Not a bad movie and I really like Paul Bettany (I first saw him in A Knight’s Tale, which I love) and Karl Urban ( I saw him first in the Xena series). Plot holes that one could drive a star destroyer through, but so many fantasy movies do that. Also watched a part of an episode of Riverdale, this bizarre Buffy like version of the old Archie comics. They had a role-playing game called “Griffins and Gargoyles” that was taking over people’s minds. It was like watching a Chick tract (a very dumb conservative Christian who wrote lies as religious tracts). Of course, this world has real demons so it makes a little more sense.

Two possums are now visiting our yard.  That’s what I get for making a box for feral kitties to sleep in.  🙂

Well, that’s it. Eat and drink well!

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – And we still haven’t heard a “clear logical defense of Christianity”

(as always, if you follow me for food, wine and art posts, you may want to skip this post.  Any “not polite dinner conversation” posts are about politics and religion)

I haven’t poked fun at Christian attacking their fellows as being wrong in a while.   It’s such a good way to know that Christianity is nonsense, I’m going to indulge myself.

I’ve been crossing swords with “dude” who is a classic Christian who is quite sure that he and only he has the right version of Christianity.  This whole thing started when he made the usual claim that atheists simply must be nihilists.  I found his post on one of my common tours around the WordPress community looking at posts that mention atheism or atheists.  He used no more than William Lane Craig’s argument, which fails as soon as you know that there are atheists who aren’t nihilists e.g. most of us.   It ends up that this claim is nothing more than a baseless assertion, since neither WLC or “dude” can show why the lack of belief in a god must require people to think that life has no meaning.  And yes, they of course try to excuse their failure by saying that there is somehow a difference between “subjective” meaning and one given by their version of their god.  To watch a conservative Christian insist that they and they alone know how an atheist should “really” act is rather pitiable.  It’s such a need for making up reasons why said Christian is ever so better than anyone else.  Alas, a happy content atheist is all that is needed to know that their claims are wrong.  A glass of wine, a good meal with friends is all that is needed to show that at least some Christians lie.

We ended up with him trying to insult me and then when called on it, he offered just the cutest excuses on how he didn’t “necessarily” insult me.  It’s always fun when it seems that these Christians think that their god is dumber than the average human to believe that.  I’m happily paying out as much rope as he wants to hang himself with it (figuratively of course).

Now, here, I’m going to treat myself with looking at one of his more recent posts.  It’s called “low hanging fruit” in response to my post here.   Now can you guess what his very first argument against this post is?    Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – And we still haven’t heard a “clear logical defense of Christianity””