Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lobbyist on behalf of AZ. state bishops says a statute of limitation on sex crime is necessary so that churches can buy pedophile insurance.

From klenow:

"The writings included in the Bible were not intended as complete & definitive history books. This is evidenced by the fact that the historical portions (Chronicles, the Samuels, Kings, etc) often suggest the reader see other, more definitive works for greater detail. These referenced works have been lost. The whole "All scripture is God-breathed" line used by so many Christians is an out of context sentence fragment. It's not even half of the sentence.

The historical writings of the Old Testament are there to give context to the Prophetic writings of the Old Testament, they are not there to give a complete history of Israel. This context is intended as a record of judgement on Israel for becoming unclean or being unjust and doing nothing about it. You can't hold a text accountable for dropping the ball on something it never intended to do and does not claim to do.

Extraordinary claims only require extraordinary evidence if you're trying to convince someone. Which I guess is implied in the word "claim," but I don't know what claims was made by who or whatever. Anyway.

In the post you linked, the poster is the one making the claim; he's saying Christianity is wrong and should not be believed. It's up to him to now make that argument, it's not up to me to convince him Christianity is right. (Which is a good thing, because I can't. That's why I won't make the claim; I will only claim that I believe it is right). I do not not think his arguments are strong, for the reasons outlined above and decsribed in a bit more detail here. Again, I make no counterclaim because I can't back it up. I only say that his arguments are weak.

If you want to disprove something scientifically, you have to find evidence to contradict. To use another relevant cliche to counter your relevant cliche, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Invisible pink flying spaghetti unicorn monsters included.

And yes, I do give Christians a hard time about making claims they can't back up."
Here's a link to that thread on Reddit.


belief (faith - conviction) obtains permission from the greater community. without permission, experience is the source. For example: Belief in a caring god improves response to medical treatment for depression. (Eurekalert, Journal of Clinical Psychology) And without which, there's no social support. So to cultivate social support, one adopts the ways of a selected group, probably in response to the perceived degree of threat (like from subjective (deamons) or objective (terrorists) territorial threats).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Anger at Malaysia 'Jesus cartoon' (BBC) ... idiots.
Indian state confiscates 'blasphemous' Jesus textbooks (BBC) wot? Would look cool on a T shirt though, like 'Comrade Jesus'. That poster looks familiar from the '70s, except then he was holding a joint & Budweiser.

"Any time you deal with the realm of the demonic, there are people who become uneasy." (Chris Hayward, president of Cleansing Stream Ministries network). "Witchcraft - It's More Common Than You Think." (Larry Huch, founder of the Texas megachurch DFW New Beginnings and a former director of John Hagee's Christians United for Israel). The growing obsession with demons imperils reality-based discourse on issues. (

Before science got invented, etiologies were anthropomorphic, I mean they had to be because that's all there was to go by. Survival depended on being part of a group w/ more total experience and skill than any individual, so the cosmos had a social structure too. Like Horus was the son of Osirus, or Raven created the world, & whatever that implied. It was only a loose plan w/ no verification process because that would challenge the social order & ultimately ones place in it. The fact that the Cleansing Stream Network exists, proves that ancient social order is alive and well (for lack of a better word). To be fair though, that perspective is what defines animate consciousness from rocks. It's the result of a billion years of evolution of sleeping w/ one eye open so you won't get eaten. Our senses probably evolved to support it. Now along comes science & egghead nerds demand proof.

So: Are 'they' really out to get us?
Yes, it's a statistical certainty. Even bugs will eat you if you hold still long enough.
Are they a credible threat?
There's the rub, without resources of group knowledge, each individual must find out alone.
It's the writers contention that a demand for proof evolved from social exploitation. On the one hand, It was necessary to frame the demand so that it can't be screwed with using concepts like souls and angles. On the other, the church doesn't use math to explain phenomena.

Why We Don't Need Religion to Give Life Mystery

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Micro/macro evolution doesn't exist

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." ( Ambrose Bierce) I'm relieved that most responses to that post on reddit have practically nothing to do w/ religion. Of course this may be a subliminal expression of my own weariness with the issue. I mean that I noticed this & found it worth posting... maybe I'm loosing my grip! OK here's some more scandal: Religious faith in government accusations (

From "aimless_arrow" on reddit:
"If you really think there's an invisible man in the sky who gives even the remotest shit about what goes on down here, you should do some reading about the Congo and pretty much anything going on there in the last 30-odd years. In the words of George Carlin, "Results like these do not belong on the resume of an omnipotent being"."

Morality research sheds light on the origins of religion "It seems that in many cultures religious concepts and beliefs have become the standard way of conceptualizing moral intuitions. Although, as we discuss in our paper, this link is not a necessary one, many people have become so accustomed to using it, that criticism targeted at religion is experienced as a fundamental threat to our moral existence." Citing several studies in moral psychology, the authors highlight the finding that despite differences in, or even an absence of, religious backgrounds, individuals show no difference in moral judgments for unfamiliar moral dilemmas. The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments." (

What is the Religious Left (umm ...)