Tag Archives: wtf

“Sophisticated” theology isn’t all that sophisticated.

In fact, it sort of pisses me off.

I was recently engaged in a debate on Reddit’s ‘DebateAnAtheist’ forum with a person who defined God in a way that made God an incoherent concept. When I pointed this out to him, he actually agreed, saying that God would have to be incoherent to humans. I don’t think he got my point, which is that the concept was logically incoherent; he was describing a god that (by his own words) didn’t exist and wasn’t a thing, but that he still believed in.

If you’d like to read the thread yourself, it’s right here. You may have to search for me (MikeTheInfidel), but if the scores of the various comments are any indication, I’m not alone in my frustration.

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I get… WTF?? – UPDATE: The WTF continues.

While browsing Reddit today, I came across a person claiming to have an unbiased source in the ‘fracking’ debate – a YouTube video with a rather hyperbolic description about how fracking was going to poison everyone and that companies that did it have blood on their hands. I pointed out this comment to the person linking to the video, saying it was hardly unbiased, and linking to the Skeptoid episode on fracking. This is the response I got (copied in case he deletes it later):

Clever Holmes. I didn’t even read that comment as I was interested in the vid – not in the up-loader. I only found the vid after searching for an alternate account of Fracking history. The comment’s full vitriolic content (perhaps deserved now that you shine a light for me to reflect on) is not immediately available unless you click to fully view it. Nice way to distract from the actual accounts in the vid and deflect any real accountability for facts by instead fanning opinions. I mean you can do that – but don’t fool yourself into thinking that it isn’t obvious.

Yeah – I can see you better now…how internal fears motivate to excuse you from owning up to a deadly game…which is my principle compliant here – the desire to promote a questionable practice by hyping status indulgent virtues at the expense of an honest interest in clarifying the cost of safety history or any dialog of compassionate accountability to human beings.

Are you the sham…or at least as complacent as you seem to be?

But let’s pause and take a step back for a moment and explore…if you are game…what is happening as I write and as you read this through the bridge of time’s arrow. Let’s do a thought experiment. I will type two letters below:

b a

Which one represents you and which one represents me? Since I will refrain from choosing it could be either. You might choose b because it comes first? However a comes before b in the alpha-bet so you might choose that one. a could also represent “Alpha” – as in “Alpha Male” or perhaps the significance of “Acropolis”. Still – b appears first in this case so it could represent “Better” or “”Brave” or “Baring Sea” for that matter – a multitude of possibilities!

All that can be said is that at this moment as you read this both letters are pairing to represent you and I as a suggestion in both of our minds.

So what is the significance of that? It is a suggestion that for these moments as your eyes transfer electrical signals from your computer to your brain and then form potential meaning in your psyche we share a tentative point of sameness. A swirling uncertainly perhaps akin to a psychic (classical definition – not necessarily “clairvoyance”) zero-point.

Now here is where it gets really interesting – as these two letters tell a peculiar story:

One of these letters has seen astonishing beauty – the kind that that reaches into your soul and could make you nearly weep for love and gratitude in the dead of a hollow night or even in the light of a warm sun. However so has the other letter – just not quite in the same way…a different assortment of contexts, elements and people create a different yet comparable story.

One of these letters has seen tragedy…horror in fact. Human beings lain waist due to greed, lies and ignorance. So has the other though – just not in the same way – different players and different faces in a haunting gallery of sorrowful remembrance. They both deal with these things as best as they can in ways that they can only hope are reliable.

Both letters are survivors…sitting there bold in a quantum state of electronic and human interface. They share similarities…coming from a common origin – yet also in truth are distinctly different and given to quite different accomplishments in potential and realized meaning. Is one better than the other? What an absurd notion – yet truly at times one is in fact distinctly better than the other to perform a specific task and accomplish a specific meaning.

One of these letters harbors…fear. Fear of going down the wrong road and making the wrong turn at the wrong time – the potential for catastrophic disaster as events and issues compound in a would of uncertainty and the possibility of new or revisited horror. And the other letter? Does it have greater or less fear? Hard to say as fear comes and goes sometimes unbidden following natural laws that echo the poetry of an indifferent cruel Fukushima tide.

It is an unsettling world these letters occupy – but not without hope or wonder. Which letter has the greater responsibility in affecting the other? Well that certainly seems like a very odd mystery of uncertain depth.

One of the letters hopes that the beauty of humanity will shine through and illuminate the other (well in this little play anyway) and that some truth will bring both letters to a better world. How does the other letter feel? Is fear too dominant in the other? The memory of delusion, pain and ungodly hubris too powerful?

I don’t choose a letter. I am content to let you ponder this – assuming you have read this far. If it makes us to briefly occupy common ground for a few moments I find it interesting – as an improvised thought experiment.

Choose your letter dear Infidel. Choose wisely – whether fueled by the forces of economically beneficial fact or whimsy drunk fiction…might it be the most pivotal choice of your life?

a link b?

b link a?

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I get e-mail, too

Early last month, PZ Myers over at Pharyngula posted a link to a survey by a radical anti-gay group (maybe it’s just a single person? I can’t tell) asking silly questions about whether the government should force companies to hire gay people, and things like that. To fill out the survey, you had to enter an e-mail address, so I put in one of my throwaway ones in the hope that I’d get some entertainment out of the things they send to their mailing list.

I was not disappointed. Here are a few samples of the rantings and delusions of Eugene Delgaudio, probable closet case and founder of a group called Public Advocate of the United States.

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Utterly irrelevant (?): Harry Potter fanfiction

(This is what happens when you promise to blog about the next subject someone mentions to you on Twitter…)

Some people take Harry Potter entirely too seriously.

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a ridiculously large number of fan-written Harry Potter stories on the internet. Most of them are innocent; some of them, not so much.

Briefly browsing through them, they remind me of something – namely, that humanity is generally a sucker for a good story about a super-powered, virtuous hero who uses his magical abilities to overcome a seemingly insurmountable evil force.

Too obscure? Fine – I’ll come right out and say it. Harry Potter is Jesus.

Harry Potter, a young man who always knew, deep down, that he was different from everyone else… a young man from lowly beginnings… discovers that he has a grand destiny, and that he’s the only chance the world has to destroy an evil so overwhelming that most people fear to mention it.

Jesus Christ, a young man who always knew, deep down, that he was different from everyone else… a young man from lowly beginnings… discovers that he has a grand destiny, and that he’s the only chance the world has to destroy an evil so overwhelming that most people fear to mention it.

DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?

Probably not. The idea of a superhuman savior is a ridiculously common fictional trope. So popular, in fact, that once such a character is established, pretty much anybody who knows about him is eager to tell a new story featuring him as the main character.

Officially, Harry Potter only exists in seven books. His life story, in its entirety, is told to us by J. K. Rowling, in her writing. And yet, Rowling’s fans seem almost obligated to write further fictional accounts of Harry’s life, adding to the canon in ways she never thought possible.

This is just about the same way I view the writing of Paul in the New Testament of the Bible. Paul never actually met Jesus, but he was so amazed by the oral traditions surrounding Jesus that he took it upon himself to invent an entire religious system based on Jesus’ teachings.

And somehow, this tradition has expanded around the world, into tens of thousands of denominations. I look at them, and I picture a bunch of people squabbling over things like whether Han shot first.

It’s meaningless, really. Whether you’re a Preterist, a Premillennialist, a Postmillenialist, or an Amillennialist, you’re basically arguing about the finer points of fan fiction. The gospels are the only things containing the words of Jesus, and even those are largely in question. And just like the fact that the seven canonical Books of Rowling don’t prevent the fans from creating works of their own, the four gospels haven’t prevented people throughout the ages from molding Christian doctrine as they saw fit.

A moral system based on willful misinformation is not worth having

On Slashdot today, a conversation about how people on the internet tend to dismiss news sources they don’t agree with and gravitate toward those they do somehow managed to transform into an argument about religion and morality. Someone actually tried to argue that even if there is no god, it’s best to promote organized religion, because without it we’d be a bunch of murderous, rapacious, thieving beasts and society would fall apart, since most people are too intellectually lazy (read: inept) to figure out morality for themselves.

I’ll lay it out for you…

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