Saturday, December 20, 2008

I saw on reddit that Christians wonder why Atheists feel they have to put Christians down, indeed atheists wonder why Christians put Atheists down. It's probably the same thing, like each community has it's own team, whatever the topic. My own experience is that Christians are mostly ok & only those who try to talk about faith (or lack if it) require repression. The missionary spirit is obnoxious, unacceptably conceited, overbearing, inconsiderate, impolite, condescending, oppressive, insulting, and very very ignorant. When it talks about faith and belief in the bible as the word of god, faith is not reasonable (this is bad). Reason connects prior experiences between people, faith doesn't and blithely offers no substitute. It is it's own answer, you have to have it before you understand. Having faith is like being trained in martial arts. Nobody can possibly touch you, every opposing posture has a counter position. If you die, it's a noble death. You're innocent as George Bush because the most obvious and egregious lie in the name of faith is unquestionable.

Why not faith in astrology? I can see small groups of smiling clean cut astrology missionaries going door to door, handing out glossy pamphlets showing the possible end of the world if funding isn't found to study the orbits of near earth asteroids. Dudes, here's my free astrology software.

More than any other world view or philosophy, faith requires trusting someone else's experience over your own. I have a problem with any blank check on my credibility. Human awareness is built on a learned description, which limits what we allow ourselves to know, to mainly things which we can communicate. The sources of these things (authority figures and social conventions), require trusting someone else's experience over our own. Though that process is the backbone of primate society, those sources may still be in error. Unfortunately, the error is too often intentional.

Some studies with monkeys showed that when one masters a game played with other monkeys, to win food, the master must allow the other to win 40% of the time, or the others won't play and nobody gets food. The odds there were 6 to 4 for being conned based on trust. Humans are at least more trusting (6.5 to 3.5), if not smarter, as shown by Experiments in social conformity & torture (BBC). Also see: Placebos, belief and trust ( These odds for being conned don't differentiate players who know they're being conned, but go along because it's better than to challenge authority and risk receiving some kind of reprimand.

Even so, I think the church (all of them) has done a pretty good job of making people happy and dumb. Things could be worse (1) than structured forgiveness, and having a large percent of social misfits held in check by benign neglect because they're socially accepted. However you cut it though, some percent of people will game the system opportunistically. The worst of these either feel socially alienated or are psychopathic. I'd imagine that if the cause was alienation, it would be a mistake to punish them by alienating them further.

Mark Twain on "The Fall of Man" w/ links to other good stories)

(1) Worse: the American prison system, the alternate patron of misfits (2), offers no absolution or social acceptance at all, teaches that inmates are inhuman, and offers rape, a broken spirit, eternal damnation and hell. Misfits find their only society to be other misfits and so form a default team, exchanging ideas and methodologies, until a pool of the dammed becomes available for antisocial efforts (like Blackwater, Mexican drug cartels, or The Joker). When this group reaches critical mass, a war against them becomes politically justifiable.

(2) the term "misfits" is used broadly here to include the nonviolent and offenders of statistics.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's the writers opinion that we owe our existence to god thusly:
Without the ingratiating influence of religious manipulators, we'd all be murdering yetis, and our civilization could have never evolved.

Of course, we're not done yet, and the most probable scenario for global nuclear war seems to be about religion.

However the most powerful decision makers don't necessarily benefit from organized religion. When their sweating finger lays possessively on THE BUTTON, and the demons of indecision flap about, who ya gonna call? In fact the one man I would give kudos to without reservation is the Soviet Submarine officer who chose not to start WW3 over the Cuban missiles while everyone else was hooting and beating their chest. He walked (sailed) away, and as we all know, commies are atheists. And we're still here. The next day politicians in the Kremlin and Washington, were washing out their pants, thanking god that someone had the brains to stop.

Well ok, that example couldn't possibly represent every world shaking decision supported by faith in god, or lack of it. But I'd feel secure in betting any amount of cash, that more wars have been waged in gods name than in the name of atheism. It's true that Joe Stalin and chairman Mao killed more than 50 million of their own people, but they were fighting with religious believers. Marxism & Communism have only been around about 100 years, but some version of god has been w/ us for 10 thousand +. Politicians need to generate enthusiasm & hormones to accomplish what truth and reason would show to be the benefit of a tiny minority.

God will always be a tool of the state because it (He) represents the ultimate in plausible deniability. Actually the state is a natural result of a religious elite (like the priority of chicken or egg, they're hard to separate). As a unique species of genocidal ape, we really do need something to balance our tendency to mass psychopathy, with something less murderous. A "moral religion" works, w/ self denial, monasteries, places of commitment, houses of worship, a social order greater than the individual, & warrior monks (aka drones). So someone takes on a role as a seer or healer or confessor, gets backers & starts negotiating political deals. Making people feel good about it is THE required skill, anyone physically big enough can intimidate people to get Poon. but playing the good guy too, wins committed allies, then we can all get poon even though we're short & scrawny.

God favors them wot favors themselves:

the problem w/ peace on earth is bullies. see we have "The Peace Makers" (aka plebeian hippy fags) in one corner, and we have "The Entitled" (aka "The Righteous") in the other corner. The Peace Makers must somehow represent their ideal, so they reject aggression. This makes them defenseless, sullen, passive-aggressive emo-Goths. The Entitled must live to a code which challenges the non-entitled (this is why have-nots don't have), and allows The Righteous claim to anything they want because god is on their side. Anyone who can't or won't defend themselves is suicidal & therefore destined for hell anyway, so screw the punk ass hippy peacemaker. Yes, well this evidence indicates that hippy fagism may one day save everyone's butt from tumescent, self serving religious bureaucracies, oddly in the same way that Judaism validated it's self to Rome. Thusly:

Rome was tolerant of "all" religions, but a real religion had to show some divine connection to qualify. Some carpenter claiming to be the son of god sounded lame even then, but fulfillment of prophecies were a good way to show gods favor. So the Pharisees spoke craftily among themselves saying "Lo, we can turn this nut to our benefit. if we denounce him now, he'll fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah dying on the tree". The tree symbolism is a reference to ol' timey hebrew procedure dealing w/ uppity political figures and screwballs, by tieing them up in a tree till they agreed to recognize the existing social order (cheaper than jails & more practical if y'all live in tents). If the screwball stubbornly expired before he acquiesced, then he retroactively got gods blessing in order to appease his family, or clan, who might have hairy backs, and number several hundred. So that's what they did & said to Rome "hey lookit what you did" & naturally Rome couldn't deny it's own divinity, so Judaism became a recognized religion because Roman law fulfilled the prophesy. though it still took awhile to iron out the details because they were, as now, somewhat pig headed.

So, Buddha & Jesus theory used sort of the same plan to organize peacemakers: they set up a code of inclusion so that some demographic of The Righteous would already be on their side. It turns out that's like herding cats, which is said to be impossible (beats tetris), unless there's also something that attracts cats to make them clump together. One of the "somethings" is the "honor" of defending peace through violence rather than Hippy Fagism, so we're right back where we started, only now "We have met the enemy, and he is us" (P. Possum, 1970).

How warfare shaped human evolution (newscientist)
sex and war

So ok lets get practical, the traditional social model doesn't allow peaceful resolution when things get dire because hormones trump communication & reason. There are however thousands of Emos (not the bird) who would pay good money (that means probably not in American dollars) to get into a sexual relationship w/ "the enemy" for altruistic reasons. Japan recognized this potential at the end of WW2. Expecting victorious Americans to overrun the country, raping & pillaging, they offered a front line of "Geishas" to take the hormonal edge off the first wave, and offer an alternate dynamic. It was a noble gesture and it may have saved the country, but like most alternate dynamics, we'll never know. I understand Japan now owns most of the automobile market as well as the financial debt for Bush & Cheney's war, so retrospectively it may have been a working strategy (for the sake of Americas national pride). Actually, I don't expect the religious right, or anyone else, to get behind this (historical precedent is against me), but it's a seldom considered alternative: Take a Bonobo to lunch, and Make Love Not War, but don't expect respect unless you're dominant (and you're not).

But if you are, this is the most terrifying picture I've ever seen. Readers with a tenuous grip on moral ethics definitely should not
(no, god! don't do it ) --> ! CLICK HERE ! <--
fag comix (sinfest)
voodoo dance of opposites 1 (sinfest)
voodoo dance of opposites 2 (sinfest)
voodoo dance of opposites 3 (sinfest)
voodoo dance of opposites 4 (sinfest)
voodoo dance of opposites 5 (sinfest)
epidemics of fear (sciencedaily)
cars have personality (faces) (eurekalert)
Atheist may sue if law on Las Vegas officiants won't change (latimes)