Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – more inept lies and intentional deceit from TrueChristians™ , Natural Disaster edition

(note to my readers: if you followed this blog for food and travel, you may want to skip this post.  It is my unvarnished views on politics and religion)

I believe in contesting the lies of bullies and cowards at every turn. Susan Stamper Brown is a conservative Christian opinion writer. In that, we can expect her to be as deceitful as possible in her writings and her attempts to have her very own “facts”. In her recent opinion piece “Global Warning Alarmist Need to Lose the Arrogance”, she has tried to claim that one shouldn’t assign blame to humanity for natural disasters and complains when comedians point out that the theists, who have repeatedly threatened anyone who didn’t do as they wanted, suffer from these disasters too.  She whines about how dare they make natural disasters “leftwing attack dogs”.   (she also is a coward on Facebook, inventing her own echo chamber, but she can be reached at writestamper@gmail.com as per the link above)

Now, how many times have we heard threats about natural disasters from TrueChristians™?

Many Christians have made these threats often, with a local example of how Pat Robertson claiming that Dover, PA would have “problems” after removing creationism from its schools: “God is tolerant and loving, but we can’t keep sticking our finger in his eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”  

Pat also claimed that the Haiti earthquake in 2010 was a result of this god of his getting rather late revenge on Haitians since they rebelled against slavery. Jerry Falwell is famous for claiming that the 9/11 attacks were the fault of people not obeying his god, and once called on it apologized for his false claims. Since he said similar things after this, his apology was not something to take seriously. Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham, claimed that Hurricane Katrina was punishment. The American Family Association claimed that Hurricane Isaac was punishment.

Of course, the best in irony is that Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT group, had his house flooded in a hurricane after claiming that natural disasters were punishment for non-Christians. He claimed that natural disasters were “God is trying to send us a message.” When he was agreeing with Jonathan Cahn who claimed that Hurricane Joaquin would hit Washington DC. Let’s see what exactly was said (transcript from http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/jonathan-cahn-hurricane-joaquin-may-hit-dc-as-punishment-for-gay-marriage/) Continue reading

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – No, many conservatives really are this ignorant

I haven’t had a Pennsylvania politician post for a while.  But oh this one deserves it in spades.  Scott Wagner, a Republican (what else?) state representative from the district to the south of me, has said the following about climate change:

I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year–you know the rotation of the earth. We’re moving closer to the sun.” [WITF-FM, Harrisburg, 3/28/17]

And not satisfied with this, he also said:

“We have more people…you know, humans have warm bodies. So, is heat coming off?”

No, despite the date, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.

Keystone Progress is looking to send this pathetically ignorant man to school to learn the basics about reality.   Hmmm, I wonder if I still have college books for astronomy, meteorology, geology, etc. If so, someone’s getting a package!  Indeed this man is a great example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, as is that clown Trump.

This is why everyone who can should attend the March for Science, write your legislators, and always *always* counter the ignorance and outright lies of those who would try to ignore science in favor of their ignorant ideology.  No one has the right to take away the ability of people to make an informed decision.

This stupidity makes the kitty angry. 

What the Boss Likes – you need this app: NASA’s Eyes on the Earth

http://eyes.jpl.nasa.gov/eyes-on-the-earth.html

real time satellite stuff.   Once downloaded, you can change among what you view.  If you go to the “missions” tab at the right, you can look a certain sat’s stuff.  I recommend GRACE, which does gravity.

I’m going to guess that the f*cktards now in power will try to kill it.

 

 

What the Boss likes – or what she thinks is mildly interesting

sick smilyArrgh, I have a cold. What tedious misery. The following is pretty much stream of consciousness nattering. Treat it as you will.

Apple Pie moonshine from Old Republic Distillery is very good mixed about half and half with boiling water and with a bit of hot buttered rum “batter” aka equal parts of butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to your taste all mixed together.

Pat Robertson is making more prophecies,, when all of the others have failed: failed prophecies. Now, when will the TrueChristians demand he be stoned to death as their god supposedly requires?

Odd Squad on PBS is great. The humor is far more sophisticated than I would have guessed for a children’s show, much more of the absurd situational humor and word play similar to what you would see on a movie like Airplane! Yep, this because I was stuck watching daytime tv suffering with my cold.

I thought I’d tell a silly story from my youth thanks to Mr. Merveilleux showing us some pics of handsome fellows in the military. Back when I was young, the song Age of Aquarius was on the radio. I really liked it (was really into astrology) and got the album it was on with money I got for a birthday. Yes indeed, I got the album of the musical “Hair” when I was hmmm, probably somewhere in the 8-10 age range. Now, I was often singing all of the songs at the top of my lungs in my room. And if you know the album, some of the songs are a tad “interesting” for a little girl to be singing. I have no idea if my parents just didn’t hear me, didn’t want to deal with me or didn’t know what the words I was singing actually meant (I did eventually look up those words and found out why some of those words were “so nasty”…). Now, add to this that I never saw the musical until maybe five years ago, and had no idea what visuals were going with the songs. I watched it with my husband who found it hilarious to see my reactions to what I had been singing with such vigor in my youth. White boys and black boys are so pretty indeed 🙂

Ah, see what trouble you can get into being far too precocious in reading but not quite so precocious in comprehension…

Well, that’s it for today. I need some more cold medicine. It’s a sign when it took me a good three tries to type medicine correctly…

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – science proves Chrisitanity is true? Oh do tell.

096-not-once-is-the-answer-magicI’ve recently run into a Christian named Diana Lesperance. She is the classic evangelical Christian, creationist, and sure that her version of Christian is the only “right” one. She’s written a book “The Narrow Way: biblical and historical proof that God is Great” as a response to Chris Hitchens’s book.

That book must be quite a train wreck.  I suppose I could get a copy for a penny on Amazon but then I’d still have to spend $3 getting the silly thing.  Luckily, we can see some of Diana’s evidence and logic in her blog and it’s a great demonstration of how a religion needs to rely on fear, ignorance and lies to keep going. Her blog is also a fascinating lesson on how Christians create their religion to fit them.

I’ll address one of her recent blog posts in its entirety but the most interesting points in it is that Diana wants to focus on what evidence we have now and not what we might discover or what we have discovered that she ignores through willful ignorance. This is the only way a creationist, conservative Christian can function, to deny anything and grudgingly move forward as their god is squeezed to nothing in gaps that are ceasing to exist. It is only by saying that we can’t find something out that they cling to what they have left for a little longer. Her post also points out the hypocrisy since we have no evidence of the essential events in her bible and she requires that we accept those claims. She also conveniently forgets that her creationist compatriots have been promising evidence for creationism for decades now and still haven’t produced one bit. The Discovery Institute, the Institute for Creation Research, etc not one dribble of fact that their god created anything.

In her one blog post “The false religion of naturalism”, we can see that it starts out with quite a bang, the good ol’ accusation that atheists are practicing a religion. Naturalism is, well, let’s let the OED say it “the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.”   Nothing in it about religion, which is the “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious (“relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity”) attitudes, beliefs, and practices “. In this definition (from merriam Webster), it talks about faith, which is the belief in something without evidence. It also shows that no matter how a theist may claim that their god hates religion and that they have a “relationship”, they indeed have a religion. It always seems that the best argument that theists have is that atheists aren’t any better than they are, not that they are actually correct.

god and modern medicineIn this, there is no conflict between those who believe in the basis of naturalism and in experimental evidence that indicates that this is how the universe works. Diana, and some of the folks she quotes, do their best to gin up some conflict between the two, and all it boils down to is that humans don’t know everything, so their gods must exist.   There is no “war between science and naturalism”.

Diana claims that the following are evidence which supports her claims of war:

  1. The origin of the universe
  2. The cosmic fine-tuning
  3. The origin of life (biological information)
  4. The sudden origin of the Cambrian phyla
  5. The habitability/observability correlation

The short version is Diana is depending on the god of the gaps argument, that if we don’t’ know everything, then her god simply must exist. She also depends on ignorance of what she claims. If she was truthful about being concerned about understanding science, she’d already know that her claims fail in basic ways.

In number 1, the evidence we have now supports the conclusion that physical laws can explain the origin of the universe. We may not know all of the details *yet*, but we working towards knowing. Theistic belief depends on the idea that we don’t look any further than what the theist wants us to.   We also know that there is no evidence for a supernatural e.g. outside of physical laws and the universe, source for the universe’s creation, especially not for one version of one god of one religion.

sun gives you cancerThere is no evidence for “fine-tuning”, #2. This is the usual creationist nonsense that the universe was built for humans and nothing else. There is evidence that we fit in quite well with a universe that has these physical laws and arose because of them; they did not arise because of us or because of a magical being liked us a lot. Another problem with the “fine-tuning” argument is that much of the earth and the universe is entirely inimical to human life. This is the usual creationist “goldilocks” earth argument that depends on utter ignorance of the cosmos. What we usually get is “golly, the earth is perfect for us, the orbit is perfect, the sun is perfect, etc.” which ignores that people regularly die because of normal physical action on this earth, that the sun is not stable and can really screw up our lives, etc. I mean, really, what kind of a god creates a supposedly perfect world where the primary source of light causes a lot of cancer? (and no, I certainly didn’t come up with that pithy observation).

Number 3 is another attempt at the god of the gaps argument. We do not yet know how life originated, but that doesn’t mean “goddidit”. Nor does this mean that Diana’s version of a god did it. Again, we are getting closer and closer and the gaps are getting smaller and smaller.

The origin of Cambrian phyla, ala the “Cambrian Explosion” trotted out in #4 is another one of those creationist claims that requires a willful ignorance of the subject. It seems that so many creationists seem to think that scientific research into these things stopped with Darwin. Alas for their arguments, it hasn’t. This “explosion” has been noted to have taken from between 5 million to around 40 million years, quite a slow-motion bang. Fossils from the Ediacarian period show evolution, and multicelled critters and evolution just seems to just keep on going. (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html) There is evidence that there was a massive glaciation event that may have killed off most of the Ediacarian critters and then left plenty of niches for others to fill, and fill them they did just like evolutionary theory predicts. And in any case, these fossils show that the creationist claim of man appearing by magic fully formed and woman made from a rib is still hilariously wrong. Of course, even creationists can’t agree on what the bible is “really” saying, and they have no evidence to prove any one of their nonsense hypotheses. Young earthers think old earthers are wrong. We have a bunch of different guesses on what a “day” means in Genesis. It’s like watching fans of Star Trek try to work up excuses for why the series’ stories don’t make much sense in shared universe. (and I am one of those fans)

Now, Diana does mention something called “The habitability/observability correlation” in #5. Now this idea is often claimed by creationists but is Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – again, why speak out?

in case anyone might think that any of these haven't already been addressed...

in case anyone might think that any of these haven’t already been addressed…

First, I’d like to welcome my new blog followers. We have some new Christians of some type or other (some quite sure that they are the only TrueChristians), so I invite you to ask questions of me, a real live atheist.  🙂   I’ve addressed a lot of common theist claims on this forum so you can use the search function if you’d like to see if I’ve commented on something you find important.   I have no problem with you using my blog for fodder, but if you do think you can rebut my points, please do have the courage to let me know.

The following is a bit of a rewrite of a couple comments I posted on another person’s blog. (a similar post to this is here (back in March 2013), some points the same, some different, some expanded on, some not).

A question I’ve seen many theists and agnostics ask atheists is: don’t you think that religion has at least some merits?  Even if no religion is true, that they present only human stories and myths, don’t you think that they can serve any positive purpose?  Now, most theists will try to broadly frame this question, so their particular religion’s failures can’t be mentioned.  So, I’ll try to answer the question considering all religions that I know about, and even the ever-so vague versions of god and religion that modern theists have invented to avoid the problems of their religions, rather like how Oprah Winfrey has just recently declared that all religions are wrong, and how atheists simply can’t be atheists (a couple of good posts on that particular bit of silliness here and here.)

I think there is some truth that humans are inclined to believe in nonsense.  Our brains love to see agency behind action e.g. for something to happen, something else must make it happen, and to take it one step further, must *intend* on making it happen.  That likely helped us to know to watch out for shaking bushes that had tigers in them. So, we have the ideas of gods, demons, genius loci, angels, devas, efreet, etc, invented.  These beings are powerful, powerful enough to cause and control things like hurricanes, but very identifiable as humans writ large.  They are just as proud, petty and stupid as humans can be, often even more so.

However, this tendency to see agency is just that, a tendency, and one easily ignored when facts are involved (willful ignorance, as always, will counteract this).  Yes, millions of people believe in supernatural beings, but they believe in millions of different ones that have millions of varied and contradictory attributes (and they disbelieve in millions too).  There is nothing that shows that any of them are even remotely correct in their baseless assumptions. And, of course, there is the simple existence of atheists and there are plenty of  happy decent people who were raised without believing in anything fanciful and who never came up with their own gods.  It seems that, rather than humans being all inclined to believe in the supernatural, humans are inclined to believe in what they are told by those who they trust.  Then it comes down to what evidence can support either concept.  There are a lot of theists, but that does not mean that anything that they believe is true.  It just shows that they learn what they are taught and have reasons to keep believing in such things. Continue reading