I Believe That Belief Is Irrelevant

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 05:44 by The Lunatic
In a previous article titled I’m a believer!, I proposed we should swap the traditional definition o [More]

I'm A Believer!

Friday, 27 April 2012 20:39 by The Lunatic
There is a pervasive and somewhat lopsided tendency in our society to separate fellow humans into the categories of being either “believers” or “non-believers”. The not-so-subtle implication is usually that there is something wrong with you if you are a “non-believer”. Let’s play a little game; I’ll take the position that there really is something wrong with non-believers. But first, let’s swap the traditional idea of who is a believer and who is a non-believer. For example, if I have a ball in my hand and I hold my arm straight out from my body and I drop the ball, I believe that the ball will always fall “down” – towards the ground. In our game, non-believers are the people who will say that god can make the ball go up, or sideways, or turn into a flying cheeseburger and flap its wings at the moon. If we get all the non-believers on Earth to PRAY really hard, and ask god to make the ball go “up” when I let go of it, I still believe it will go down. If you ask a believer why the ball will go down instead of up, the typical explanation you will get is that “gravity is a force that attracts two objects proportional to their mass”. In general, the answers that believers give you will have something to do with gravity, and the answers will be relatively consistent on average. Without some external physical force (a blast of air, or someone swatting it with a tennis racket for example), believers will say that the ball will drop “down” even if you conduct the experiment hundreds of billions of times, as long as the Earth and the ball have mass. However, if you ask all the non-believers why praying to god doesn’t ever change the fact that the ball goes down when dropped, you will get a bunch of different, inconsistent, and largely contradictory answers. One of the answers you might get is that ‘god doesn’t work that way’. I love that answer, I hear it all the time. I keep asking all the non-believers how god does work, and no one really seems to know. ... [More]
Categories:   Religion | Science | Social Issues
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Bah, Humbug, I say!

Friday, 24 December 2010 00:13 by The Lunatic
I’ve never celebrated Christmas.  Ever.  When I was young, it never really crossed our minds – we weren’t Christian so it just wasn’t something our family did. I’ve never once had a Christmas tree in my house. As I got older and started working in a professional career, I would usually go in to work on Christmas day – just because I objected to being told that I HAD to take a day off for some religion that I didn’t care one whit about. Usually, I wasn’t the only one there. Except for a couple of “mandatory” gift exchanges at work, which were more office politics than anything, I’ve never given anyone a Christmas present. And now that I have kids of my own, we all agree that it would be hypocritical to subject them to this custom just because of the social pressures of our society (which have unfortunately gotten worse over the years).  I also get annoyed at the “celebration envy” that many non-Christians fall into. Hanukah is a minor Jewish holiday which no one outside of the Jewish faith would have ever heard of if it weren’t for the questions of “so what DO you celebrate?” – the idea of a “Hanukah bush” is an embarrassing distortion and any self-respecting Jew wouldn’t dream of putting one in their house. And what’s up with all these Winter Solstice parties? More...
Categories:   Religion | Social Issues
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The Evolution of god

Wednesday, 24 November 2010 14:19 by The Lunatic
The following article was written under invitation from the CommonGroundGroup, a website put together by some members of the Baha’i faith, for discussion of the common areas of agreement between science and religion. They seek to include alternative views and promote open discussion on topics of science, religion, and philosophy. I appreciate the invitation to contribute an article which is diametrically opposed to most of their normal postings. I love evolution. Just as biological evolution creates new species, information and knowledge and technologies also evolve – and in a very similar manner. Take the microprocessor that is running the computer on which I’m writing this article, for example. The electronic microprocessor isn’t the brainchild of a single brilliant engineer who just created it one day, without any prior information or knowledge. All modern processors are evolutionary offshoots of the Intel 4004, introduced in 1971. It was a huge breakthrough, but that milestone could never have come about without the invention of the transistor and the many simpler integrated circuits before it; and the core processing logic was built upon the mechanical and vacuum tube computers which evolved over the fifty years before that. None of these would have been possible without a working knowledge of electricity, magnetism, chemistry, and physics – the secrets of which have been slowly uncovered, bit by bit, for hundreds (thousands!) of years. Evolution tends to go in fits and starts, especially in the early stages. There are the agonizingly slow changes that take millennia – the spinoff of one species to another for example, or the adaptation to environmental changes that all early life went through as the Earth cooled; for almost half of the 3.5 billion years that life has existed on Earth, there was nothing more complex than single cell organisms. But then, occasionally, some big event comes around More...
Categories:   Religion | Science | Social Issues
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Nothing controversial in this post ...

Monday, 21 December 2009 10:38 by The Lunatic
Many years ago, a neighbor of mine had a miscarriage after trying to get pregnant, unsuccessfully, for many years. It was very hard for me to see her go through such a terrible time. She was distraught.  I was upset.  Her husband was trying very hard to comfort her, and kept telling her “it was the will of god”. He didn’t know what else to say. Statistically, over 30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage before the end of the third month, what’s medically known as a “spontaneous abortion.”  The number might even be higher, there is substantial evidence which says that many women don’t even realize they are pregnant if the miscarriage occurs about the time their next period is due.  Usually, a woman just assumes she is “late” by a few weeks.  The body just decides there is something wrong, and the pregnancy is terminated on the spot. So here’s my point. There are many who believe More...
Categories:   Religion | Social Issues
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Does the pope believe in god?

Saturday, 4 April 2009 05:14 by The Lunatic
How’s that for a title to a blog post?  So what do you think ... does the pope believe in god? Seriously.  The one thing we can be sure of is that the pope believes in power, influence, control, politics – and huge amounts of wealth.  And he gets all of those things by making sure that OTHERS believe that there is a god. It’s a great system – the church has countless laborers all across the globe who have embraced a life of poverty, yet they spend their time recruiting new members and collecting donations for the church.  Sure, half of it gets used for local charity, and some (certainly not all) of these projects actually do some good, but a large percentage of the money goes all the way to the top. It’s the greatest scam ever invented! Way better than any other pyramid scheme – they’ve even managed to make it tax deductable! I’m not saying the pope isn’t a smart guy.  It does take a certain degree of intelligence to More...
Categories:   Religion
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The religious right has left the building

Thursday, 4 December 2008 20:56 by The Lunatic
  I was looking back through some of the comments on my November 4 posting of "Same Sex Marriage - Why is this an Issue?" and I'm amused by some of the banter.  As a very devout "Born Again Atheist", I don't have much patience for religious ramblings.  Christianity is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned - religion is just a tool to pacify and control the populace, and there are a LOT of weak-minded people that just love drinking the cool-aid.  It's unfathomable that people still believe in this (excuse the expletive) crap. Religions get their power from telling people pretty much any story that will control the downtrodden (and open their wallets, of course) - with no regard for what the "truth" may be.  Over the years, they've gotten More...
Categories:   Religion
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What do you believe?

Saturday, 15 November 2008 13:22 by The Lunatic
  Here is the second of my two talks that I gave at the Seattle chapter of the Ethical Culture Society, this one is from November 4, 2004. (See yesterday's post for the first ...) * * * * * What do you believe? David M. H. Workman   People can be very fervent in their beliefs.  I’m talking about the good old fashioned argument of science versus religion.  By religion, I mean the organizations whose purpose it is to evangelize a monotheistic God. What do you believe in?  Is there a god?  Is there a controlling “force” in the universe?  Is our existence and our future pre-determined for us? Our beliefs are based on our own experiences, what our parents and teachers teach us, what we read, whomever we decide is telling us the truth. And what about our sometimes irrational interpretations More...
Categories:   Religion | Science
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