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•August 10, 2012 • 1 Comment

If anyone’s continued to read this blog, is there anything you would like to see me write about? I have plenty of time and would like some suggestions. I have a feeling this probably won’t work! 🙂

Only one rule- nothing math-related. I can’t do math!

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Well, That Was Unexpected!

•August 10, 2012 • 3 Comments

203 views on the post I just made about Thunderf00t. Does this mean I have to post more?

Thunderf00t, Calm Down

•August 10, 2012 • 6 Comments

Apparently Thunderf00t has recently stolen some private emails due to a security exploit. The link is here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/08/10/all-in/

Thunderf00t admits he’s done this on his blog. I only have this to say to Thunderf00t: Calm down. It’s not worth it. Even if these private emails indicate some sort of “hive mind” or whatever it is you’re trying to indicate, it’s not worth it. Even if the atheist movement is actually to some degree influenced by “group-thinkers” (and it is on all sides, whether you’re a feminist or not, whether you’re a Dawkins supporter, Hitchens, Harris, etc). All movements are susceptible to groupthink. I’m not sure if Thunderf00t has gathered that yet, but stealing private emails when the terms clearly say they are confidential, is out of line. Using a security exploit in order to gain access to those emails is considered “hacking”. Thunderf00t, you’re facing serious legal issues here and I have to say you’re being extremely infantile about this situation. Freethoughtblogs is no Church of Scientology. That’s all I have to say on the matter.

Freethoughtblogs Has Become Even More Of A Circlejerk

•August 7, 2012 • 3 Comments

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/06/the-new-rules/

The Absolute Law

I AM THE BOSS, and don’t you forget it. I have sole and absolute power here; I can ban you, I can destroy your comments, I can shut down whole threads. I am a being of caprice; I don’t have to justify anything I do. So when I tell you to stop doing something, stop. Don’t argue with me. You don’t like that I banned your friend? Tough. Don’t complain to me. I will do as I will to make this place the kind of party I want to attend, and that’s all that matters.

This law supercedes all other rules.”

Naturally everyone in the comments is fine with this. Oh well. Goodbye, Freethoughtblogs. Was nice talking about you. Now nothing can be done. I don’t care if PZ has “good” intentions in any of this. He is actively suppressing dissent on his blog, and worse, he is saying he doesn’t have to justify why he is doing those things. This is, quite simply, ridiculous and not acceptable on any so-called “rationalist” website. The worst part of course isn’t that this is what he’s doing, the worst part is he recognizes he is being caprice.

Again, PZ, I have to remind you:

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

PZ Myers Contradiction

•August 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

PZ Myers recently wrote a post on his blog. In it he attempts to respond to various accusations as to why Thunderf00t was banned. This caught my attention:

-“How dare you violate Thunderf00t’s right to free speech!” This one is especially ironic, given that it’s made in response to Thunderf00t blithering away loudly and freely on the internet, again.  We’ve done nothing to compromise his ability to express himself. We have said that this organization does not support  his views, and will not give him our space or resources to do so.”

-“You banned Thunderf00t for simply disagreeing with you!” No, we get disagreement all the time…”

Whether you’re a fan of PZ or not, you have to admit this is a contradiction, and a fairly major contradiction. If PZ is so fond of dissent, why did he say “we have said that this organization does not support his vviews, and will  not give him our space or resources to do so.”? That is not something somebody who is particularly fond of dissent would say. Moreover, he claims that Thunderf00t was banned because he joined a network that he “clearly detested” and “immediately launched a campaign to tell everyone to stop talking about subjects he didn’t like.” Now, I agree that Thunderf00t  wasn’t very civil in his posts. But, this directly contradicts what PZ said before about not banning Thunderf00t because he disagreed with some part of feminism, given “we have said that this organization does not support his views, and will not give him our space or  resources to do so.”

Even worse PZ claims this:

“He was allowed to say whatever he wanted. He did say whatever he wanted.  It turned out that what he said was shit, and we were embarrassed to have him here on the network.  So we told him to go say it somewhere else.”

So, Thunderf00t was allowed to say whatever he wanted, but regardless of that he was banned? That’s precisely one reason why many atheists are reluctant to worship the Judaeo-Christian god.  The Judeo-Christian god gives us free will, and has complete knowledge of the consequences of that.  Nevertheless, he sends humans to Hell because they don’t believe in Christianity.

Moreover “Now we’re done. We have been done for a long time. Thunderf00t is not and will not be a part of this network,  and it’s quite clear he doesn’t want to be part of it, except to destroy it. I’ve addressed the complaints of his ignorant  and indignant followers, so I’m putting it to rest — I’ve blocked him on twitter, I’m not reading his blog or watching his videos, so if you want to complain further, do your posturing for Thunderf00t, not me, because I don’t give a damn.”

You know, this reminds me of something.

“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph  they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the  scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.  Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.  Our planet is a lonely speck in the great  enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere  to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the  only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species  could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character -building experience. There is perhaps no better  demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
Link to PZ’s post: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/01/hey-thunderf00t-fans-stuff-it

Anonymous To Stop Business (I Stand Corrected)

•August 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Recently a video was put up on YouTube by Anonymous regarding their logo. A French company  wanted to trademark it. On the video description, they claim:

“Anonymous will take down any business they have going on the internet and the ninety nine percent will not stop until the registration has been revoked and a public apology has been made.”

Before: Firstly the claim made by most commenters on the video is that anyone who uses the Anonymous logo could be sued.  The problem with that is we don’t know whether or not they will be sued or if the French company has intentions  which are in line with Anonymous’s. There is no indication of whether or not the French company will actually sue if anyone besides them uses the logo/slogan. Secondly, they are free to do this. There is a grey area, because  Anonymous doesn’t claim to be an organization. It hasn’t copyrighted its logo/slogan, and is available everywhere  on the internet. There is no clear idea of where the logo/slogan came from. This is precisely the idea of why patents, copyrights, etc were invented, in order to stop this kind of thing from happening. Instead, Anonymous ignores this fact because it is working on “higher moral principles”.

I feel this is the current problem with Anonymous. It appears to be working entirely on unquestioned  principles. While I may agree with some of them, they are nevertheless completely dogmatic in their desire to act in terms of “the greater good” (which has, mind you, had various interpretations throughout  human history). Not only that but there is little room for dissent- anyone who disagrees with Anonymous, appears to be against Anonymous. Why? Because, they are a “collective”. They see the world in black and white  and there are absolutely no grey areas whatsoever. I admit, I am not entirely fond of Anonymous. I support some of their actions with regards to violations of privacy and things like that. But, I personally cannot support anyone who claims to be free from error because they are working on “higher moral principles”, even if I agree with some of those principles. I’ll add that doesn’t mean I’ll support anyone who’s against Anonymous.
Here is the video:

 

After:

Apparently, this link exists. http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2012/08/02/despite-all-the-fuss-trademarked-anonymous-logo-might-not-be-valid/

Determining Faithfulness: A Method

•July 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve developed a method of determining just how faithful a Christian is. I’ve tested it a few times and I got some peculiar responses. One Christian claimed that the particular verses I was using were taken out of context, another said they didn’t see how the verse implied what I was saying it implied. Anyway, this is it: first, ask them if they would be willing to become an atheist, if a convincing argument was provided for atheism. If they say yes, then that contradicts numerous verses in the Bible which deal directly with doubt- for instance,

Matthew 22:37 states:

“Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

That verse leaves very little, if any, room for the possibility of doubt. Secondly there is this verse, Proverbs 3:5:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Even less room for the possibility of doubt. Thirdly, James 1:6

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

If you show them these three verses in particular they may not understand at first what you’re getting at.  The point is, if they still claim they would be willing to become an atheist, then they are going against what the Bible says regarding doubt. One of the people I tested this on appeared to be completely oblivious with regards to what the verses said/implied.

Not only that, but there is Psalm 14:1-3

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.”

Essentially, when a Christian says they are willing to become an atheist if they were given a convincing argument/evidence, they  are saying that they are willing to become vile and corrupt, often without knowing it. If they say that they would not be willing to become an atheist,  then there’s no point in debating them and you can do nothing whatsoever. I’d like to see this method used more often during debates.