17 November 2011

Break from Blogs

I haven't posted lately on my blogs.  For several months, I've been blogging about Asperger's/autism and atheism/ex-christian.  I could say a lot more on the former.  I think I've purged most of what's bothering me about the latter for now.

Have some other projects I'm working on at present. Not sure if/when I'll post more.

More details here.


25 October 2011

Bible Rescue

I unzipped Xavier's school bag to discard his half-eaten lunch (as per usual).  A thick book was in his bag, much thicker than he is used to reading.  I could see the words 'Big Rescue' in large font.  I pulled it out and flicked through the pages.  It was a bible.  I checked the front.  Yes, it had 'Bible' in small letters - The Big Rescue Bible.   There was a rectangular white label with Xavier's name stuck on the cover.

'Why have you got a bible?' I asked Xavier.  
'The religious ed teacher gave it to us,' he replied.  We didn't pull him out of religious ed, because we thought he might as well learn that some people are religious, including his extended family.  

I examined the bible closer.  It was brand new.  The cover had little cartoon pictures of bible stories - Jesus on a donkey with people waving palm leaves, a big green fish spewing Jonah onto land, Goliath aiming a spear at boy David, a big fireball from heaven barbecuing a stone altar, armies with chariots, swords and spears.

Xavier might have been familiar with some stories from religious ed.  I didn't go out of my way to tell him details of bible mythology.  

The front pages of the bible was several colour pages with cartoons appealing to kids.  It was promoted as a big adventure story where God saves the day.  There were glossy pages of brightly coloured cartoons dispersed at intervals. A big step up from the black and white cartoons on the thin pages of a Good New's Bible I had as a child.  The rest of the bible was typical small, dense black text on white paper. 

Leo got home from work.  'Why has Xavier got a bible?' he asked.  'Sell it on eBay' he said.
'No, I'd rather not be responsible for indoctrinating someone else's children,' I said.  

Apparently the bible was to be returned the following week.  

'Oh, so you don't get to keep it?' said Leo.
'Just as well it didn't end up in the rubbish,' I added.  'Would you like me to highlight the bits where they kill each other and eat children?' I asked.  'Then you can ask what's up with those bits.'
'Nope.  Don't bother,' said Xavier.  Awww!

24 October 2011

Creationist Pseudoscience Fraud

Creationism is pseudoscience - that is false science.  It uses scientific sounding words and masquerades as science, yet is contradictory, dishonest garbage.

From Wikipedia:

"Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.  Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openess to evaluation by other experts, and a general absense of systematic processes to rationally develop theories."
Creation 'science' is listed as an example of pseudoscience.

That's creationism for you.  Creationist websites and books and all their followers spout unscientific claims, blinkered by their religious beliefs, ignoring scientific evidence.  Even more absurd, is they steal scientific words, change the meaning to suit themselves and come up with an outrageous fairy tale they then have the audacity to call science.

I read several creationists websites looking for silly quotes.  It was akin to trawling through sewage.

As a person that has studied science in depth, I can see how one that doesn't know much about science could be confused by these websites.  They're very bold in their claim that evolution scientists are liars.  Add to that any other branch of science that has findings that conflicts with the bible including dating of ancient civilisations by archaeology, radioisotope dating (physics and chemistry), genome ancestory (using genetics) and rock layers (geology).

Succession of fossils in rock layers

Anything that doesn't fit their narrow black and white beliefs gets dismissed as a lie, or otherwise 'interpreted' in a completely unscientific manner to suit themselves.  They misconstrue science - twisting it to present it dishonestly.  They come up with a story and which someone with any real science knowledge is laughing too hard to try to swallow.  Then they reaffirm that they are right and scientists are wrong when they haven't even proven a thing!

Evolution is not stepwise with humans as the pinnacle

All About Science is a creationist website fraudulently posing as science.
Young Earth Creationists like Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis are the most hilarious.

They say the dates for early civilizations that existed before biblical times couldn't possibly be right, so they come up with some concoction to put the civilisations and pyramids after Noah's flood (and there is no geological evidence for a single worldwide flood).

They believe Earth was created only 6000 years ago.   Apparently, God wasn't happy with his creation, so destroyed most of it in a global flood 2000 years later (which is the reason for fossils and mountains, they say).  Everyone was supposedly speaking the same language until a hundred years later when God confused their languages at the tower of Babel.

After realising that all the species of animals could not have possibly fitted on Noah's ark, they've come up with a story of 'created kinds' where animals evolve partially.   All species of cats from a cat pair that stepped of the ark (there are around 36 living species of wild cats), but cats are not related to dogs.  Some creationists claim that baby dinosaurs and unicorns (mythical creatures) went on the ark.  It's interesting how creationists are using partial evolution (although incorrectly) now in their bid to 'disprove' evolution.

Carnivore Evolution showing how closely related dogs and cats are

They use deception (lying for Jesus).  Creationists point out each other's lies.  Old Earth Creationists pointed out the deception of Young Earth Creationist's radioactive dating project.  They claim that genetics contradicts with evolution, citing Mendel's early studies with peas - another lie.  Mendel and Darwin's early works complement each other and led to the developments in modern genetics. Genome studies and a huge fossil record confirm evolution.

Simplified evolution tree

More detailed evolution tree

Creationists are easily fooled by external appearances.  They see humans as being the pinnacle of creation and very complex.  They are hung up on how something more 'complex' could evolve from something more 'simple'.  Genome studies have shown their thinking to be erroneous, as many 'simpler' looking animals and  plants have genomes (genetic information) far larger than humans.  The amoeba has the biggest genome so far, so looking like a 'simple' blob has fooled creationists.

Don't be fooled by appearances - Amoeba has bigger genome than us

Jeremy Wells, a Moonie who set out to get his PhD so he could 'destroy Darwinism' uses deception.  He confuses social 'Darwinism' (social 'science') with evolution (science).  He claims that Haeckel's fraudulent drawings of embryos are to teach evolution (meanwhile side-stepping how similar embryos of different animals really are).  How Wells got awarded a PhD, I cannot fathom.

Dolphin embryo showing hind limb buds (not much different from human)

Wells and other creationists use Darwin as a scapegoat for Hitler's racism and eugenics, but twisting his quotes for their dishonest means.  Meanwhile, they ignore that the 'great' Christian reformist Martin Luther and his anti-Jew writings inspired Hitler to murder.  Creationists also ignore the way slavery and racism was justified with the bible for centuries.  It was believed (and some still believe) that black people have the cursed skin of Cain.


Echidna - only other known monotreme & closest relative to platypus

Creationists like to claim that animals like the platypus present a problem for evolution.  They make out the playtpus is part-duck, part-reptile and part-beaver - a chimera as a joke from God.  This is another lie.  The platypus and its cousin, the echidna (spiny anteater) are monotremes - they poo, wee and lay eggs out of the same hole like reptiles.  The platypus genome reveals that it is a mammal that split earlier than placental mammals and marsupials (pouched animals) from reptiles.  The bill and venom are chemically, genetically and physiologically nothing like a duck's bill or snake's venom - these evolved independently.

Monotremes (platypus and echidna) branched off earlier than other mammals

Vertebrate Evolution showing monotremes (playtpus). 

Creationists have no good answer to how monotremes and marsupials (140 species) came to be almost exclusively in Australia.  A few marsupial possums are found in South America.  Again, so they can disagree with evolution and because they are fooled by appearances, they claim that reproduction is a 'minor issue' and that marsupial animals have a placental pair and are of the same 'kind' that converted to marsupials in Australia after they moved their after Noah's flood.  They ignore the scientific evidence that marsupial mammals are not closely related to placental mammals that might look similar at first glance.

Evolution of marsupials started when South America and Australia were joined

Creationists are easily fooled by external appearances
Creationists like to call their stories 'theories' while dismissing evolution as 'just a theory.'  Creationists are dishonest in that they twist the meaning of scientific definitions of words like theory and mutation.  They treat evolution like an unproven hypothesis.  A hypothesis, when proved by a huge body of evidence, gets called a theory.  A scientific theory is pretty much accepted as fact, but it is continued to be called a theory, as it must always be open to be proven wrong.  Creationist's 'theories' (crackpot 'hypotheses') is no challenge to real science, that's why most scientists can't even be bothered dialoguing with creationists.

Unfortunately, the evolution is not taught correctly in schools, particularly in the Bible Belt of the US.  If taught correctly, evolution is easy to understand.  Instead, schools in the Bible Belt are backwards like this:

17 October 2011

Christians Divided

Christianity is the most fragmented religion in history.  It borrowed heavily from Judaism and pagan religions.  The different sects and denominations of Christianity evolved from disagreements over the centuries. Christianity replaced polytheistic religions in much of Europe.  It split into Catholics and Orthodox, before Martin Luther and other heretics split from the Catholics to form Protestants ('protestors').

Further splits from disagreement about doctrine resulted in thousands of different denominations from groups such as Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Anglicans splitting into further independent groups (many of which claim to be 'non-denominational').

Another division in Christianity in modern times is with regard to science.  Creationism and evolution can be thought of as opposite ends of a spectrum. There are groups of Christians all the way along the continuum.

Starting from the 'creation' end, we have the Young Earth Creationists.  YEC's believe in a literal interpretation of the bible and adhere to the beliefs of people hundreds of years ago, before modern science.  They insist Earth is only 6,000 years old, and that God created the universe and life in 6 days.  They fiercely oppose evolution and  and all science that conflicts with a literal interpretation of the Bible, so reject geology, archaeology and much of chemistry, physics and biology.

They reject the findings of archaeology and linguistics that there were civilisations and languages older than the bible.  They claim that dating methods are unreliable.  They adhere to old unscientific beliefs, such as fossils and rock layers coming from Noah's flood.  They insist dinosaurs walked with humans and that all humans spoke the same language until the tower of Babel.

They claim that animals went onto Noah's Ark in their own  'kinds' (roughly equivalent to scientific families) and then kinds changed into species (ie evolved within limits).  It appears they started coming up with their evolved from 'created kinds' after it was pointed out that millions of species could not possibly fit on Noah's Ark.

Creation 'orchard' - evolution within created 'kinds'

Their supporters have shrunk, just like supporters of a flat Earth and Earth in the centre of the solar system (geocentrism) are near extinction.  Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis is an example of a YEC.  I've written a post with that includes silly creationist quotes in my post, Stupid and Ignorant Christian Quotes.

Moving along the continuum, we encounter the Old Earth Creationists.   There are different groups of OEC's including Gap, Day-Age and Progressives. The main feature is they accept the scientific findings of geology and other sciences that Earth is very old (billions of years rather than thousands).  They reject biological evolution, but accept that dinosaurs died out way before humans lived.

Intelligent Design is creationism in not so good disguise (for political reasons), appealing to people to believe in an unidentified creator because of apparent design in nature.   A common tactic of anti-evolutionists such as ID is to badmouth Darwin by distorting the truth (ie telling lies).

Theistic Evolutionists are Christians accept all modern science, including an old Earth and evolution but say God did it.  They take a liberal view of the bible and don't see science as a threat to their faith.

None of the above are scientific theories.  They are religious interpretations.

Each group disagrees with other groups.

Young Earth Creationists accuse Old Earth Creationists of compromising the bible.

Old Earth Creationists point out that YEC's have used deception to make their claims that scientific radiometric dating is unreliable.

Theistic Evolutionists see YEC's as blinkered as flat-earthers dismissing science.  

YECs and OECs say TEs accept death and destruction before Adam and Eve.

This sums up the OEC's best

Personally, I see problems with all of these views.  I've read information on creationists websites, and my conclusion is that the YECs use the most deception to defend their literal view of the bible.  They're the most deceptive and most deluded bunch.  The lengths they go to with their highly unscientific 'explanations' is actually quite humorous.  They are horrified that humans are considered animals by scientists.

Intelligent Design supporters also use plenty of deception. They are contradictory, as they claim 'design' proves a supernatural designer (not named, but assumed to be God) despites plenty of evidence of 'unintelligent design' such as human tails and cancer (which creationists assert is the result of sin after the 'fall').

And yes, TE's need to ask themselves why they need a savior if death and suffering has always been in the world.  Time to dispense of the ancient book of mythology written by superstitious people altogether.

I wrote this to point out how religion divides people using the example of Christianity.  I can't be bothered getting into creationist arguments, which go no-where.

16 October 2011

Stupid & Ignorant Christian Quotes

Some quotes from Christians that I found rather amusing.  These are mostly from religious forums and creationist websites.

"If God doesn't exist, how is it possible that 1 metre is exactly 100 centimetres and that water boils at exactly 100 degrees Celcius?"
An atheist retorted: "Indeed and how is one mile 1760 yards and one yard is 3 feet and one foot is 12 inches...maybe God was high that day?"

"God loves diversity....God made racists...God wants some pure whites, some pure blacks, some pure forms of each race."
The author of this quote insisted that God wanted diversity, and that people would all become the same if 'whites' and 'blacks' interbred.   'Race' is an old word for 'species' and doesn't apply to contemporary humans, as we are all the same species biologically, regardless of skin colour.  'Race' is a social construct based on perceived cultural and physical differences.

"It is true that we all descended from Adam and Eve, but the 'fact' that Eve was black is a myth. No one knows about her color but she was made from Adam's rib and all ribs are white."  
So does that mean Adam was brown because made from mud?

"My wife was unable to bear children...After I gave my life to the Lord we found out she was pregnant...4 months later my son was born...God could have installed a 5 month fetus into her womb with no problem at all."
hmmmm - paternity test maybe?  Or just basic sex education needed?

"Many are infertile simply because of the sin that is in their lives.  Women of the Old Testament sought God to open their wombs.  In this day and time, no one wants to seek God for such things.  They put their trust in doctors and IVF."
Maybe they get better results with doctors and IVF than with prayer to open wombs that apparently God slams shut.

"The deluded, ignorant followers of Darwin believe that man is actually a type of animal."
Humans are animals - they are mammals like dogs, cats and dolphins are mammals.  Many believers are repulsed at the thought that they are an animal.  For most of history, Christians have treated animals as objects to be dominated.

"Humans are not apes."
Actually, humans are classified as apes.  Christians were upset years ago when a Linnaeus, a devout Christian Creationist grouped humans with other apes when he devised taxonomy classifications (before Darwin's time).  Modern genetics proves that we are most closely related to other apes.  Genetics also shows how all plants, animals, micro-organisms and animals are related. Humans are in the family Hominidae (great apes) along with Orangutans, Gorillas and Chimpanzees.

"Has anybody seen sexual contact of Male+Male or Female+Female among animals?  NEVER.  It is not natural."
Obviously this person has their head in the sand and is not aware that over 1000 species have been observed to engage in homosexual and bisexual behaviour, including dolphins, penguins and bonobos.

Also,  animals hump animals different to their 'kind' (the word creationists use for related groups of animals so they don't have to account for all species of animals on Noah's Ark).
Humans have been sexually assaulted by other animals too, including by dolphins, turtles and donkeys.

"During the Cambrian Explosion virtually every phyla known to man just suddenly appeared."
If 10+ millions years is the same as 'suddenly', I'd hate to think how long an hour is.

"God is indeed a spirit and not a person...because I am the person, that makes it personal."
Is drinking whisky a personal relationship with spirits?

"The reason men have nipples is because it is aesthetically pleasing.  Part of God's design was that each gender should be pleasing to look at."
Guess they don't realise that all fetuses start off developing same way until hormones kick in to stop further nipple developmental in males.  Genitalia starts of intersex too.
Still, creationists intersex and extra nipples are defects caused by sin.

"Put a brain on the table...and ask it to say something...how can the brain produce intelligence, personality, and speech?...the voice box do not create words nor form ideas voice and sound is spiritual."
Not sure if this person is high or lacks intelligence.

"Indoctrination is only erased by praying combined with study.  Once the truth is revealed the indoctrination becomes a thing despised and...brings us closer to the real God."
How to become indoctrinated.

"I hear Satan whispering...I hear Satan whisperers a whole lot on these forums..."
I see crazy-talk.

"If we did evolve from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"
That's kind of like asking "if Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?"

"Some scientists believe an asteroid hit the Earth millions of years ago and caused the ice age.  According to what Jesus said, it was Satan that hit the earth, not an asteroid."
Can you see why this chap likes preaching in church and would make a lousy scientist?

"Medicine is a very vivid proof of the lie of evolution....Medicine can do absolutely NOTHING to add one single day to anybodies [sic] life."
Not sure what they're trying to say here, but it sounded rather silly.  Plus I'm sure many would agree that medicine added to their lives.  After all, most Christians have no problem going to the doctor, using medicines, having surgery and IVF.

"Humans have a sense that no other animals have.  This was instilled in man and was not due to evolution.  Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched?"
Don't forget God watches you having sex and taking a crap.

"If apes gave birth to the first humans, don't you think that at some point in the history of man it would be documented that a human gave birth to an ape?"
Is there any hope that creationists will ever get the basics of what evolution is, instead of spreading stupid lies?
As far as 'throwbacks' to early ancestors is concerned, humans have been born with excessive hair (hypertrichosis) and tails.

Hypertrichosis has been observed in males and females

"So when evolution suggests blacks are closer to monkeys than whites, what's that?"
Evolution says no such thing - lose the indoctrination and get an education.  Grant vandersee also pondered which 'lame book' mentioned unicorns.

"As far as I know evolution claims the human race is ever evolving.  How do you explain that many peoples found in the 19th and 20th century had not evolved at all in 2000 years or more, while other peoples had constantly 'evolved.'"
This Christian is an extreme right-wing white-supremacist American that keeps harping on that white Americans are better than dark-skinned people.  To my amazement, a lot of people agree with his views.  He confuses biological evolution (no current humans are more evolved than others as all one species) with extent of civilisation in societies.

"...I saw an atheist post....that sumerians predated Adam...some folks will believe ANYTHING they read in a science journal or even on a 'scientific website' but they won't believe the Bible which has been proven historically accurate and brilliant...the written word of GOD Almighty.  The ones that buy into this rubbish, such as atheists and evolutionists have no proof of these scientific studies... because a 'scientist' cannot see the real truth...Because evolutionists are only concerned with evolution...their sole purpose is to discredit God...Anyone with a brain knows that Adam and Eve predates humanity."

Anyone that actually uses their brain should know that archaeology is the science that predates many civilisations before the bible, not evolution.  If the Jews came out of Egypt, the Egyptians predate the time the Hebrews invented Adam and Eve.

Abraham was said to be the first Hebrew, around 1850BCE.  The Old Testament was written in Hebrew after the Hebrew language developed.  Several civilizations existed for thousands of years before this, with their own flood stories etc.

Several civilizations found older than when bible written

"...the Ark described in the Bible was a huge vessel.  Not until the late 1880s was a ship built that exceeded the capacity of Noah's Ark."
Guess having the right tools would help.  So would using steel instead of wood.

"...Noah didn't have to search or travel to far away places to bring all the animals on board.  The world map was completely different before the flood...there may have only been one continent...the animals simply arrived at the Ark as if called by a 'homing instinct'...and marched up the ramp, all by themselves."
The first world map wasn't even constructed when the flood was supposed to have taken place.  Were the animals divinely constipated as well, so Noah didn't have to shovel crap all day and night for nearly a year?

"Widespread legends of encounters with dragons give another indication that at least some dinosaurs survived the flood.  The only way this could happen is if they were on the Ark."
Using dragon mythology to 'prove' bible mythology.

Many creationists claim dinosaurs lived alongside people

"From Darwin on down, evolutionists have preached that the Negro race was lower on the evolutionary scale, much closer to the apes than the Caucasian."
Nope.  Another lie spread by anti-evolutionists, who accuse Darwin of being racist, meanwhile deflecting the racism in the church for centuries (eg Martin Luther).

"At Babel, God did not separate the nations according to language.  He used language to separate them according to paternal ancestory!  This has monumental significance and is the key to understanding human genetic history.  Paternal sorting would lead to specific Y chomosome lineages in different geographical locations."
This creationist goes further than just claiming that the Tower of Babel in the Bible is where people got different languages.  They twisted human genetic migration studies and linguistic studies to come up with Babel babble pseudoscience nonsense.  They claimed ancient civilisations were dated wrong and that the flood came before pyramids were built. To the creationist, everyone is wrong that contradicts with the bible.

A - How linguists say language evolved.  B - creationists insist  on  Babel babble.

9 October 2011

Martin Luther - the Ugly Truth

Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)  is often referred to as the father of Protestant Christianity.  He was a German priest that was a heretic against the Catholic church and led the Protestant Reformation (protestant comes from 'protest'), the first big split from Catholicism since the Early Christianity split into Orthodox Christians and the Catholic Church.

Protestant Christians (those other than Catholics and Orthodox) come from Catholic roots, not straight from Early Christianity as many like to claim.  Early Christianity evolved from Jewish heretics.

The Reformation (green) are Protestant Heretics from Catholic church (red). Orthodox split earlier (blue/purple)

The recently invented printing press allowed Luther's views to be distributed easily throughout Europe.

While Luther is celebrated for diversity in Christianity today (all the different denominations in Christianity such as Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists evolved from heresy), few Christians promote anything else about Luther.

Evolution of Protestant Christian denominations since Reformation

Catholic corruption over indulgences is often cited as the reason for Luther's protests.  Yet, Luther cited the doctrine of free will as his central reason for the Reformation.  Luther wrote there is no free will.  Modern Christians typically have a doctrine of free-will.

"...with regard to God, and in all that bears of salvation or damnation, (man) has no 'free-will', but is a captive, prisoner and bondslave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan."

"we do everything of necessity, and nothing by 'free-will'; for the power of 'free-will' is nil...'

Luther translated the bible into German.  Christians claim that the Catholic bible has books added.  The fact is, the Protestant bible has had books subtracted. Luther had issue with many of the books of the bible.  He separated Old Testament books he took issue with into a separate section called the Apocrypha.  He also put New Testament books into a separate section.  He expressed doubts about the books of Hebrew, James, John, Relevation and many others.

He wrote:

"...the epistle of St. James is an epistle full of straw, because it contains nothing evangelical...If nonsense is spoken anywhere, this is the very place."
"The history of Jonah is so monstrous that is is absolutely incredible."
"I feel an aversion to it [book of Revelation], and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it."

When Americans demanded a plain English bible because the King James Version (which also contained the Apocrypha until 1666) was in Old English and difficult to understand, printers made the decision to leave out the rarely used Apocrypha to save money.  Luther separated out books which printers later removed.  The Apocrypha has stories such as Daniel who made a dragon explode by feeding it pitch and hair.

Luther had an obsession with the Devil or Satan and demons.  He considered women, snakes and reason to be of the devil.  Women were not considered to be as clever as men and were to stay home and keep house.  Some quotes:

"Snakes and monkeys are subjected to the demon more than other animals.  Satan lives in them and possesses them."

"The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while 'tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman."

"Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow chests, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children."

"A large number of deaf, crippled and blind people are afflicted solely through the malice of the demon."

Luther was against reason and objected to Copernicus (1473-1543) who first figured out the Earth moved around the Sun, which contradicted the long-held belief that Earth was the centre of the universe.

"People give ear to an upstart astrologer [astronomer Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon.  This fool wishes to reverse the whole science of astronomy."

Luther scoffed when Copernicus demonstrated Sun is centre of our solar system (bottom), not Earth (top)

"To be a Christian, you must 'pluck out the eye of reason.' "
"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."
"Reason is the Devil's greatest whore."
"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has."

Luther encouraged believers to sin.

"God does not work salvation for fictitious sinners.  Be a sinner and sin vigorously...sin must be committed."

"Be a sinner and sin boldly...as long as we are here in this world we have to sin.  This life is not a dwelling place of righteousness."
"Your sin cannot cast you into hell."

Luther hated the Jews and wrote a dirty little hate book called The Jews and their Lies.

Hitler admired Luther and used Luther's antisemitic writings to support his cause.  Hitler saw the Jews as an infectious disease to be destroyed, just like Luther.  Luther wrote about the Jews:

"[Rulers] must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw and burn flesh, veins, bone and marrow.   Burn down their synagogues....force them to work, and deal harshly with them...if this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs."

"If we wish to wash our hands of the Jew's blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them.  They must be driven from our country." 

"What shall we Christians do now with this depraved and damned people of the Jews?...I will give my faithful advice:  First, that one should set fire to their synagogues...Then that one should also break down and destroy their houses."

"The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows, seven times higher than ordinary thieves."
"We ought to take revenge on the Jews and kill them."

The antisemitic writings of Luther were used by Hitler

Luther condoned the deaths of 100,000 peasants who revolved in 1525 because of their miserable living conditions.  He urged the slaughter of peasants who protested:

"They should be knocked to pieces, strangled and stabbed, secretly and openly, by everybody who can do it, just as one must kill a mad dog!"

Are these the words of a man esteemed for bringing about reform in religion?  Or an evil man that aided in the murder of thousands of innocent people?

Most Christians are not aware of the ugly history of their legacy.

4 October 2011

If you don't believe in Leprechauns

Here's an amusing extract of an atheist's reply to a theist.  I've matched up selected statements and fixed up any spelling mistakes I noticed.

Theist: Let me tell you now. I'm not going to convert you.
Atheist:  You're right about one thing:  you're not going to convert anybody with that.

Theist: If you don't believe in God.  Why do you believe in Love?
Atheist:  If you don't believe in Leprechauns, why do you believe in mischief and rainbows?

T:  How can good and evil exist, if there is no God? 
A:  How can light and music exist, if there is no Apollo on his golden chariot?

T:  Yet whenever you choose to ignore God, you lose that ability more and more.  People marry because of love.
A:  Yet whenever you choose to ignore vampires, you lose that ability more and more.  People hide under the covers because of fear.

T:  Tell me why you hate God. Do you hate all that is good and love?
A:  Tell me why you hate elephant-headed Ganesha, the four-armed Lord of Beginnings.  Do you hate His domains of art, science, intellect and wisdom?

T:  God exists.  Seeing Him isn't something I need to believe, because He is with me.  When you believe in God, He will be with you.
A:  Xenu, my Galactic Overlord, exists.  Seeing Him isn't something I need to believe, because He is with me.  When you believe in Xenu, He will be with you.

T:  What do you, as an atheist, have to live for?  Absolutely nothing.  Do you think the Devil will allow you so easily to believe Him?
A:  What do you, as a non-believer in Thor, have to live for?  Absolutely nothing.  Deniers of the Hammer-Wielding, Fiery-Haired One will say anyway that none of this is true.

T:  Ask God to help you understand.  Is it so hard to hate a God who is love? Who is nothing like anything you've thought or have been led to believe by the Devil.
A:  Ask the Blue Fairy to help you understand.  Is it so hard to hate a Fairy who is love? Who is nothing like anything you've thought or have been led to believe by sneaking chupacabra.

T:  There is absolutely no reason to say God doesn't exist, when He has always been with you.  Have you ever thought as a child about God?  
A:  There is absolutely no reason to say The Invisible Girl doesn't exist, when Susan Storm has always been with you.  Have you ever thought as a child about superheroes?  In blue spandex?

T:  You might have felt alone but you've always known He was with you.  And it's probably not the idea you have of Him you've thought of, but it was Him.
A:  You might have felt alone but you've always known the Ghost of Elvis was with you.  And it's probably not the idea you have of Elvis you've thought of, but it was the Sideburned One Himself.

T:  You may need help, and that's ok, but what I'm saying is, don't let others give you a false idea about God.
A:  You may need help, and that's ok, but what I'm saying is, don't let others give you a false idea about Yahweh, the Bronze-Age deity Who slaughters children, commands rape and slavery, and hates the shrimp He created.  Good luck on your awakening!

read the full version 

More on Leprechauns
from Hubpages' religious forums

Atheist:  Not believing in the sky fair or leprechauns, fairies in the garden or flying pigs is a religion?  I thought that was called common sense! One does not need to have a religion to not believe in bullsh*t like religion!

Theist:  God has the solution!  That is why God is still invisible, mankind has not come to the end of himself yet as a species. [Nimrod] tried to build a waterproof tower about the clouds to thwart another flood, in the meantime unknown to him, God had already solved that problem with his rainbow.  (Say, what??)

Atheist:  LOL! Perhaps, Leprechauns and gods are one and the same, its just that rainbows with pots of gold at the end along with your god of the bible seem to always disappear in light of chasing reality.


Theist:  Faith is believing in things unseen.  Anyone can believe in what they see.  No eye has seen, no ear has heard.

Atheist:  Yes, I know the difference between believing in leprechauns and unicorns and gods; faith . Yeah, I get that. And, had you been indoctrinated into a leprechaun belief system instead of a religion, you would state emphatically that leprechauns existed as it is "believing in things unseen"


Theists:  Atheism is just like any other religion.  Atheists use faith.  Thinking there is no God is a theory of Science but not a proven one.  Atheism is the religion which is bent on believing the impossibility of nothing. By their ignorant efforts, they are actually serving the devil for he indeed is the father of every false belief.

Atheist:  Atheism isn't a belief system any more than a-leprechaunism is a belief system.  It's a mistake many religious people make to think there is some coherent world-view call atheism.  There isn't.  There's just the following of the default way people learn, by using rational thinking and a skeptical position with respect to acquiring knowledge.

1 October 2011

Unicorns & Dragons in the Bible

Why do creatures from pagan mythology frequently appear in the bible?

Many people, including christians are ignorant of this.  Examples from Twitter:

Oh, the irony.  A reply to the first tweet said:  "Yep, it's called BIBLE."  Grant Vandersee is a classic example of a militant christian fundie.  He spouts off indoctrinated nonsense from IDiots, blind in one eye and can't see out the other.

Unicorns are mentioned in the bible nine times.  Some believers claim this is a mis-translation (so much for the inerrant word of God).  Others say that unicorns were a real animal, now extinct.  The people who wrote the bible seemed to believe in unicorns and so did the people who translated it.

Kentucky's proposed creationist museum park featuring Noah's Ark is expected to feature unicorns and dragons, much to the embarrassment of other christians.

Unicorns in the bible seem to have gradually changed to other animals then phased out with new translations over time.  Get ready for magic - poof - unicorns change into oxen before many other changes before doing a vanishing trick.

The unicorn was a mythological creature with the head of a horse with a single, spiral horn from the forehead, the beard of a goat, the tail of a lion and cloven hooves.  The unicorn was said to be too fierce to capture but it would be as gentle as a lamb if a virgin exposed her breast and waited for a unicorn to suckle.

Virgin with lion and unicorn

What about dragons in the bible?  Leviathan the multi-headed fire-breathing sea-serpent - the bible says God was only one capable of killing it and fed it to people.  Behemoth the beast with tree-trunk legs that grazed on grass.  Apologists try to say Leviathan and Behemoth (creatures of Jewish mythology) are real animals living today or since extinct.

Some say these creatures are dinosaurs even though dinosaurs died out way before humans lived.  And how many dinosaurs have 7 heads? (like Leviathan and the Apocalyptic dragon that had an appetite for newborn babies).

The Catholic bible has a story of Daniel and the dragon (these verses are eliminated from the protestant bible).  The dragon was bothering the village people, so Daniel fed it a mixture of pitch and fat which apparently made the dragon explode!

Dragons, unicorns,  human giants and Leprechauns are creatures from folklore.  Interesting that the bible incorporates mythology which followers claim is fact.  The bible even features symbols and mythological creatures from Alchemy, such as the Phoenix.  Ironically, believers of the bible burned Alchemists and cats in medieval Europe because of superstitions they were associated with witchcraft.

The bible starts off with a story of a talking snake that persuaded a rib-woman to eat magic fruit which made all babies born evil.  How can this not be a book of mythology?  How do believers expect anyone to take them seriously?

Artist depiction of biblical dragons

30 September 2011

Bible Inappropriate for Children

The bible is inappropriate for children.  Few believers have actually read the bible and stick to a few cherry-picked verses. 

The bible is packed with bizarre, graphic, disturbing, wierd and wacky stories.  One of the wackiest is where God tells a man to cook with his poo.   

The violence in the bible is appalling, including violence against children.  

Then you've got all the messages that women are inferior sex-objects

'The "Holy" Bible is the worst book of fiction ever written.  It should be classified Horror/Fiction, not suitable for under 18 and have a warning stuck on the cover WARNING:  Reading this book will result in serious brain damage caused by the God Virus' - Robert Tobin

28 September 2011

Civil Dialogue with Christian

Often trying to have a conversation with a person of a different worldview can be a frustrating experience.  A bit like this:

Sometimes things are a little better, but extreme caution is needed or someone gets hurt:

I gave up debating on Hubpages' religious forums, because it was often like the hippos trying to knock each other's teeth out.  I decided to start this blog instead to give my opinion and invite dialogue.

I was hesitant when I left a comment on Aguasilver's hub on abortion.  Previously, I'd been like the cat that got its nose pricked by the hedgehog.  I remembered Agua as one of the most outspoken (and I thought irritating) christians on the forums.  To my surprise, we had a productive dialogue about sensitive issues that usually have claws out and prickles flying.

I've edited out unnecessary parts to shorten (was over 2,500 words!) and added some links.  Agua's comments are in italics.

Did you end up having to abort the baby from the ectopic pregnancy?

Unfortunately yes we did lose that child, though the baby was non-viable as it was outside the womb.That's what ectopic means.
Technically, terminating ectopic pregnancies is still an abortion. That's why the issue of abortion is not black & white. I don't agree with people that have multiple abortions because they are too slack to prevent the pregnancy in first place. But I do see there are cases where people have their pregnancies terminated (eg ectopic), and they don't need to be judged for it.
Then we agree, I recognise that there are certain circumstances when we have to kill to protect the greater good, but we should never kill for convenience. Let me state that my objections to the killing of viable babies is NOT a religious conviction, i.e. it is not because any doctrine tells me all abortion is wrong, it is from personal experience and much thought about the issue. There are scriptural verses that support the anti abortion lobby, but using them against frightened and confused mothers is not their intention. Such life and death decisions have no place in politics or doctrinal debate.
Seems we agree on this issue, clarified in your replies, although I thought your religious convictions seemed to come thru very strongly in this hub. I don't like any killing for convenience. As a child, I hated how the neighbour drowned kittens because they couldn't bothered getting their cats desexed.  I agree that this is an issue that is not black-and-white and should stay out of politics & religious debate.
Glad we have some common ground! I guess my religious nature would come though in most things I do, or at least I hope it does! - but what I mean is this is not a subject that I would think to try and preach about to non believers, the subject is too emotive and any decisions taken need to be an evaluated response, not a reaction, no matter which way that reaction shaped the issue.
I don't like how animals are killed for food, yet I eat meat. Animals eat each other too.  I think there's several topics that are not black and white. eg intersex
People born with physical intersex confusions would be a different matter, not sure where we go with that one, which is why I leave it to you!Scripturally the bible tells us we are born male or female, but makes no distinction as to what degrees we may lean towards that designation.
I've been researching the topic of intersex (biologically in-between male & female).  I've written a blog post - the emphasis is on the stigma of labels.
Hi.... Just read your blog, interesting.
I've just written an Intersex hub - thought I may as well, since researched it.
Now our brains are very complicated things, and personally I think we (as a society) need to recognise that 'different' is not always 'disabled', but does always need special attention, in order to harness the particularly unique qualities that some 'different' folk happen to have.People of 'different' brain powers frighten 'normal' society, because they tend not to fit into boxes that are recognisable and safe.Hope that explains where I am coming from a bit more!
Yep, people seem to fear and despise minorities (ethnicities, disabilities, autism, atheism etc)
Perhaps because minorities are now the most vociferous and also in our politically correct world the most able to influence the majority, we seemingly bend over backwards to empower, unreasonably in my opinion, anybody who plays the minority card, and we live in a weird world where the 'rights' of the majority are often subjugated to the 'rights' of the minority.
Perhaps the minorities are vociferous because they are tired of being made invisible and being despised for no good reason. Take intersex people - they are considered by society to be defective and typically have surgery in infancy to align themselves with society's opinion of what their genitals should look like - a penis considered too small is removed and then they are raised as a girl with secrets and shame regarding the biology they were born with.
I can accept that minorities are 'tired of being made invisible and being despised for no good reason' but I am afraid that is life, always has been and unless we legislate in a totally controlled society (fascist/communist state) always will be...No matter how much folk may desire a perfect world where everyone is treated fairly and equally, reality tells me that with nearly 7 billion folk walking the earth, anyone who stands out for better or worse is going to be marginalised by society at large. Anyhow, we went a bit of topic there, which being that my opinion is that unborn babies who are terminated for convenience are probably the most abused 'minority' and I think we should give the unborn some right to life....even if they are going to be different and persecuted.
'I'm afraid that is life, always has been' - do we concede defeat, or do we educate to get rid of deeply held stigma based on ignorance?  I don't think it's too much off-topic - all of these topics are about ethics and morals and how we choose to treat human beings and life in general. Where does stigma come from? Deep-rooted beliefs that some people are just no good?  I've enjoyed the civil dialogue, btw. Usually I find your views quite rigid black & white.
I think the chance of educating folk out of ignorance is remote at best, optimists would call me a pessimist, I would say that having studied folk from all levels of society in many countries over a 40 year period, realism is that the masses breed ignorance faster than education can stem it's tide, and that is BEFORE we look at religious zealots of all colours clinging to their self imposed prisons of inerrant but wrong doctrines. Ignorance also comes in well educated people, we need people who, by exposure to reality, have been forced to rearrange their mindset to accommodate the truths they have seen and experienced. Being perfectly honest, most of the folk who form minorities today would have died or been killed even 100 years ago, it's Darwinism at it's finest, survival of the fittest. So we can be proud of the fact that society has (at least in the 'First World') gained a tolerance that we no longer cull those to weak or perceived as defective.
Yes, 'educated' people can be ignorant - I mean educated about these issues. Don't confuse evolution (science) with "Darwinism" (social 'science' - pseudoscience). "Darwinism", a social sciences construct has twisted a few science concepts and created used it for evil purposes.  Is society ever going to sort itself out? I doubt it, but then a lot of things are better than a few hundred or a few thousand years ago, when people would be burnt at the stake for promoting the healing properties of plants, and women were treated as property (and still are in some cultures). Is religion going to fix things? Not if it sticks to unbending 'morals' that continue with hate and stigma because of ancient texts. There's always going to be some nasty part of society - I read an appalling article how a mother killed her baby and ate its brain during a psychotic episode. Religionists might say possessed by the devil. Either way, this kind of horror happens. It happens in all of the animal kingdom. Do you mind if I post our conversation to my blog?
You are welcome to do so, hopefully not as a parody of what a mad fundy looks like, but I leave it to you to decide! Drop me a link!
I'll link it and let you know. Thought it was a productive conversation.
Agreed, it was productive, we exchanged viewpoints, no slanging match, found common ground and (at least from my perspective) I discovered new ground to be covered. Thanks

Don't think we're this cosy, but at least fur and claws are not flying