Monday, November 30, 2009

Strange Phenomenon

I wanted to discuss what I consider to be a rather strange phenomenon today. This isn't a controversial post at all but rather just a curiosity with the mindset of some people.

Every person on this planet (the civilised part) trusts science. I'll take that statement further and say that every person trusts science with their life in fact. Why then do some people after trusting science with their life and using modern luxuries that would not exist without science, turn around and bash science when it comes to matters that concern their faith? Some religious people have no qualms with science at all, but there is a very broad spectrum of people that fall under the label 'religious' and they range from liberal intelligent people all the way to the other side of ignorant creationists. Creationists in particular suffer from this strange phenomenon more than all others, especially the young-earthers. They trust science with their life and with their technology, but when it comes to: astronomy, biology, quantum physics, geology, palaeontology, chemistry, physics... and the list goes on, they obviously do not trust science because every single field of science refutes their position on the age of the earth or some other aspect of their creation myth.
I myself was in this mindset when I was a creationist, but the cognitive dissonance of holding such a position eventually allowed me to change my mind about some things.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Genocide is Never Okay.

This is something that I may repeat several times in this post, because it is a very very important point. Genocide is never ever acceptable. The reason I'm writing about this topic is because every so often I encounter a Christian who tries to justify multiple genocides. I'm not talking about World War 2 or anything else in recent history. I'm talking specifically about the genocides in the Old Testament. All of the genocides in the bible are committed, assisted or commanded by god, and there are too many to list here so I'll just mention a few so you get the idea.
Genocide of Amalek: Deuteronomy 25:19; 1 Samuel 15; Global Genocide: "All flesh died that moved upon the earth." Genesis 7; Genocide of the Canaanites: "And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities." Numbers 21:3.
I have just mentioned a mere 3 of probably around 100 or more acts of genocide in the bible. Now I've heard every excuse under the sun from Christians trying to explain how these genocides are justified. The most common excuse is probably "Oh, but it was okay back in that culture". The people who use this as a justification for genocide probably do not realise how stupid that sounds. Genocide is never acceptable, ever. It doesn't matter if it was a different culture in a different age that was exterminated, because genocide is never okay. You can not tell me one day that biblical genocide is okay because it was a different culture, and then go and tell me that same book that glorifies mass-murder is relevant today.
The second most common excuse is equally pathetic and it is the one that says "Oh but those people were evil and deserved to die". There are a dozen things wrong with this excuse and I'll try my best to cover them. First off, you have no idea that they were 'evil' people. Secondly, the book that says they were evil was written by the same people that conquered and killed those people. Do you really think that the Israelites would go and slaughter an entire nation of people, and then write about the genocide in their holy book by saying "they were righteous people who deserved to live"? Another problem with the 'evil' excuse is that children and infants were brutally murdered along with all the adults. Do you really think that an infant can be so evil that it does not deserve life?
The last excuse is probably the most contemptible because it shows the proponents complete lack of conscience and demonstrates that they have no critical thinking skills. This is the excuse that says "Anything that god commands is morally right, because it is god that said it, therefore the genocides in the Bible are justified." By admitting that god committed and commanded genocide you are accepting that the god of the bible is a murderous tyrant. A murderous tyrant is not worthy of worship or praise of any kind. A murderous tyrant who commits multiple genocides and then tells other people that they are evil and do not deserve to live is a hypocrite. A murderous tyrant who exterminates entire nations on a regular basis and then gloats about how righteous, holy, just, good and loving he is, is only worthy of contempt and hatred.
Genocide is never acceptable, EVER.

This is why I find your religion so despicable, and why I find your notion god to be so absurd that it baffles me when you continue to trot out these half-baked justifications for the most horrific crime one can commit, genocide. I challenge every Christian that reads this to give a reason why they think genocide is okay or to stop defending it all together.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Virgin Birth

It may (or may not) surprise you to hear that many liberal christians have already purged this from their theology, and for good reason. Not only is the virgin birth blatantly miraculous, it is also very weakly supported by the bible and to top it all off it was not unique to christianity but rather the result of many centuries of mingling belief systems around the mediterranean. The greek speaking author of the gospel of Matthew referenced a passage in Isaiah from the Septuagint, which had been influenced by the cult of Ishtar and had replaced the hebrew word for young woman (almah) with the greek word for virgin (parthenos). As you can see this mistranslation of this magnitude could have devastating effects on theology and doctrine. This also provides some explanation as to why only 2 out of the 4 gospels mention the virgin birth, something that isn't exactly a passing matter. The earliest gospel (Mark) doesn't mention the childhood or birth of Jesus at all and the author of John (the last of the 4 gospels) wouldn't dream of reducing his beloved divine 'Logos' to mere flesh and blood by implying Jesus was human and born of a human.
Back to the 'prophecy'....
The verse from Isaiah that Matthew quoted was Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

As I already pointed out virgin is a mistranslation of the hebrew as a result of the Hellenic pagan influence on the Septuagint, but besides the mistranslation this verse was taken grossly out of context by none other than the author of Matthew himself. Isaiah refers specifically to when and where this prophecy happened, he was speaking to King Ahaz about current events telling him that Syria and Ephraim would not go to war with him. Isaiah was telling Ahaz that a woman who is currently a virgin would soon become pregnant (thus no longer being a virgin) and when this happens political tensions will cease. It is worthy to note that the prophecy never came true, and the wars did occur. So not only is the doctrine of virgin birth based on a mistranslation, but it is also based on a completely unrelated prophecy that never even came true.

The virgin birth of Jesus is based on a mistranslated false prophecy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Layout

I was getting a bit tired of the old one, and how even on a widescreen monitor it could only be viewed as a strip down the middle of the screen, so I opted for a fluid layout which will adjust to your screen resolution, which I hope makes it easier to read.


Friday, November 6, 2009


This is one of my major gripes with the Christian religion. Their concept of punishment. Granted though this concept of punishment I will be blaspheming is not held by all types of Christians, but most from the conservative, evangelical persuasion do. I've probably briefly mentioned this in a previous post, or perhaps in the comments section, but this is an expansion of that point.

To put it bluntly, hell is horrendously horrific. The belief that a being known as god, loves people and condemns many to burn forever in an unending flame shocks me to my core. Many Christians believe that god is omnipotent and can know future events before they happen, we'll ignore the omni-max logical contradictions and focus on the ethical issues for now. You may have heard it said that 'why would a loving god create someone knowing they would go to hell?' and to answer that, a loving god wouldn't send anyone to hell to begin with. It is quite frankly immoral and unethical to torture anyone at all, let alone for eternity.

There are many problems with the concept of hell, one being that Jewish theology does not believe in hell as the Christians conceive it. Hell in Jewish tradition was known as Sheol, which is viewed as the resting place for ALL of the dead, the good and the bad. In fact believe in the afterlife didn't arise until quite late in the history of Judaism. Within Judaism today there are many divergent views on the afterlife, ranging from no afterlife to concepts of heaven which is sometimes referred to as Olam Ha-Ba.
Another problem is the ethical issue I have already raised. Is it right to torture for eternity? Is it right to torture at all? ever?
One serious problem in my mind is the schism of belief between Jesus' teachings on how to treat others and gods treatment of humans in the afterlife. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Does that sound familiar? If god expects us to follow that rule, and then goes off and tortures people for eternity, he would be a hypocrite, a sadistic hypocrite at that.
On top of all of that, what I cannot fathom is how god would create humans (read: allow humans to evolve) with the ability to sin, write laws knowing that they would be broken by all (because they are impractical and moronic), then establish punishments for those 'sins' that end in eternal torment. It's not only that god would create humans knowing they would go to hell, it's like he created them so they would go to hell.
If you purchased a robot that occasionally went and murdered people and committed crimes, you wouldn't blame the robot, you would blame the programmer. Likewise, if humans break laws and kill people, (assuming we were intelligently designed lol) would you blame the person or the programmer? Many humans are genetically predisposed to certain activities, their brains are wired in certain ways. For example, some people are wired up to be analytical thinkers, some people are wired up to be homosexual, some people are wired up to be sociopathic killers, some people are wired up to be unquestioning followers, some people are wired up to be compulsive sex-addicts. Can you spot which of the previously mentioned 'wirings' will not result in punishment in hell? If you picked 'unquestioning follower' you were correct and you deserve a cookie (I'm not giving you one though, buy it yourself). All of the other wirings will land you in hell, which doesn't seem just to me. Just like it wasn't the robots fault that it committed crimes, it was the fault of the programmer, and in this case it is the fault of whatever caused them to be that way.

I applaud the more liberal christians who do not believe in the masochistic hell of the evangelicals for taking a step forward in ethics. Even the Jehovahs Witnesses do not believe in hell, they believe that the wicked are 'annihilated'. This detestable doctrine has been used by many gleeful fundy's to try and scare people into believing. Unfortunately for them, the only effect it has on most people is to pity their pathetic attempts at trodding all over other people. Among other things, this is one of the beliefs that simply has to go. It isn't even well supported in the bible, yet it is so widely held by fundamentalists and many other christians.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Unintelligently designed

Have you have ever seen a house that was designed as it was built? Sort of a "we'll make that decision when we get to it" kind of attitude. These kinds of houses tend to have all sorts of compromises, stairwells placed inconveniently, windows at the wrongs heights unable to see through them, doors coming in on funny angles or opening the wrong way. These design flaws are smoothed over by ad hoc decisions to try and make the best of what is already there. This is quite contrary to a house that was built by design from scratch. Unless the designer overlooked these things, many of the problems aforementioned would not arise in a well designed house.
The same analogy can be applied to living organisms. If they had been designed from scratch, by a good designer you wouldn't expect to find inexplicable compromises. On the other hand, if an organism had evolved, making the best out of what was availiable with small changes over time design flaws and compromises are not a problem at all.

Nature has many examples of these inherent 'design flaws' which not only are no problem at all for evolution to explain, but in fact are strong evidence for evolution in themselves.
Here is a list of a few 'design flaws' found in modern animals.
-The Human eye has a blind spot due to very poor design.
-The recurrent laryngeal nerve backtracks and makes a loop around the Aortic arch, in the case of the giraffe this results in an extra 20 feet of nerve that is produced for no reason.
- The human jaw is too small for our teeth, hence why many people have problems with wisdom teeth.
-Useless wings on flightless birds.
-The existence of the pharynx, used for breathing and eating, often leading to choking.

There are many more we know about, and no doubt many many more we havn't discovered yet. These 'design flaws' are strong evidence that evolution has occurred, and are very problematic for people who propose that life was created by an 'intelligent designer'. Their 'designer' should be relabelled as the 'inept designer' or the 'unintelligent designer' instead.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Demonic Candy

A few days before Halloween, the 'Christian Broadcasting Network' issued a warning to parents that Halloween candy had been prayed over by witches and inhabited by demons. Now as you can imagine, a press release this hilarious caused many pundits and bloggers to have a good ol' chuckle away at the fundies over at CBN. Unfortunately the original article has since been removed from CBN's website because of the torrential ridicule they received as a result of it.

Lucky for us Google keeps a cache, so you can still read the article HERE.