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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Should the government issue marriage licenses?

Does the government issue a license for a child to be circumcised? If they started requiring such a license, would it be appropriate? I submit it would not be. I also submit, that the government should not be in the business of issuing a marriage license.

One simple solution would be as follows:

The government issues a civil union license to any two adults who choose to enter into that union. That way, all government sanctioned unions are equal under the law. The civil unions would be dissolved under that law as well.

If a couple decides they want to be married, then they can find an organization that is acceptable to them and get married. If they want a divorce, they can discuss the issue with the organization that married them.

Do monkeys make music?

Gibbons produce loud and long song bouts that are mostly exhibited by mated pairs. Typically, mates combine their partly sex-specific repertoire in relatively rigid, precisely timed, and complex vocal interactions to produce well-patterned duets. A cross-species comparison reveals that singing behavior evolved several times independently in the order of primates. Most likely, loud calls were the substrate from which singing evolved in each line. Structural and behavioral similarities suggest that, of all vocalizations produced by nonhuman primates, loud calls of Old World monkeys and apes are the most likely candidates for models of a precursor of human singing and, thus, human music.

Although a few other mammals are known to produce songlike vocalizations, gibbons are among the few mammals whose vocalizations elicit an emotional response from human listeners.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great lines and clips from movies and TV

From The Princess Bride:

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

From Die Hard:

Hans Gruber: Mr. Mystery Guest? Are you still there?
John McClane: Yeah, I'm still here. Unless you wanna open the front door for me.
Hans Gruber: Uh, no, I'm afraid not. But, you have me at a loss. You know my name but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he's John Wayne? Rambo? Marshal Dillon?
John McClane: Was always kinda partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really like those sequined shirts.
Hans Gruber: Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
John McClane: Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.

John McClane: [huddled in an air vent, recalls his wife's invitation] "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..."

From the Blues Brothers:

Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.
Jake: Hit it.

Elwood: What kind of music do you usually have here?
Claire: Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

Elwood: Illinois Nazis.
Jake: I hate Illinois Nazis.

From James Bond Movies:
Bond: Who are you?
Pussy: My name is Pussy Galore.
Bond: (pauses) I must be dreaming

"Half of everything is luck" - 006, "And the other half?" - Bond, "Fate" - 006.

"The distance between insanity and genius is merely success" - Elliot Carver.

Roger Moore skiing off a mountain

Moonraker Bond 007 Parachute Scene

From Seinfeld:

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:

Elizabeth: Wait! You have to take me to shore. According to the Code of the Order of the Brethren...
Barbossa: First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner .

Jack Sparrow: [after Will draws his sword] Put it away, son. It's not worth you getting beat again.
Will Turner: You didn't beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.
Jack Sparrow: That's not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it?

Norrington: No additional shot nor powder, a compass that doesn't point north, [looks at Jack's sword]
Norrington: And I half expected it to be made of wood. You are without doubt the worst pirate I've ever heard of.
Jack Sparrow: But you have heard of me.

Barbossa: [after Jack show up alive after leaving him on the island a second time] Its not possible
Jack Sparrow: Not Probable
Will Turner: Jack. Where's Elizabeth?
Jack Sparrow: She's safe, just like I promised. She's all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you get to die for it just like you promised.
Jack Sparrow: [pauses and thinks] So we are all men of our word really. Except for Elizabeth who is in fact a woman.

From the Pink Panther movies:

Does Your Dog Bite?

How was I to know the bank was being robbed?

Pink Panther Kato

Monty Python:

Saturday Night Live:

I need more cowbell

Jane, you miserable slut

Livin In A Van Down By The River - Matt Foley Motivational Speaker

Blazing Saddles:

Pledge to Hedley Lamarr

blazing saddles quicksand scene

Jeff Dunham - Arguing with Myself - Walter

Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Who are the true Christians?

The true Christians know who a true Christian is. Some profess to be true Christians, but the actual true Christians know better. It is easy to know the true Christians, because a true Christian acts like a true Christian. The pretenders claim to be true Christians, but it is easy to know that they are not true Christians because they are not acting like true Christians. However, some people act like true Christians, but are not actually true Christians because they do not believe in Jesus the right way.

The challenge, of course, is that so many people have a different idea of what it means to keep his word. They also disagree on what his word actually means. But, the true Christians are always willing to tell everyone they are wrong, and they are right. How do they know? Why, they are the true Christians, of course.          

What did Ben think?

"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."

[Ben Franklin, _Poor Richard's Almanac_, 1754 (Works, Volume XIII)]

"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

[Benjamin Franklin, in _Toward The Mystery_]

"The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason."

[Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard, 1758]

"Revealed religion has no weight with me."

[Benjamin Franklin]

"Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them."

[Benjamin Franklin, quoted by Joseph Lewis in "Benjamin Franklin - Freethinker"]

"You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavour in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render Him is doing good to His other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.
"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in His government of the world with any particular marks of His displeasure.

"I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experienced the goodness of that Being in conducting me prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its continuance in the next, without the smallest conceit of meriting it... I confide that you will not expose me to criticism and censure by publishing any part of this communication to you. I have ever let others enjoy their religious sentiments, without reflecting on them for those that appeared to me unsupportable and even absurd. All sects here, and we have a great variety, have experienced my good will in assisting them with subscriptions for building their new places of worship; and, as I never opposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out of the world in peace with them all."

[Benjamin Franklin, letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale, shortly before his death; from "Benjamin Franklin" by Carl Van Doren, the October, 1938 Viking Press edition pages 777-778 Also see Alice J. Hall, "Philosopher of Dissent: Benj. Franklin," National Geographic, Vol. 148, No. 1, July, 1975, p. 94]

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers"

[Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin]          

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Was there death in the world before the fall of man?

Genesis 3:

22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Since there was a tree of life which would grant immortality and Adam and Eve did not eat from it, but instead were banished from the garden, on what basis can one assume the plan meant they would not die before the fall? If they were not immortal, they would die, which is what the tree of life would have helped them with.
Not only is there no evidence that there has been a period when things did not die, the bible itself clearly shows that Adam and Eve were created mortal.

If Adam and Eve were truly immortal when they lived in the Garden there would have no reason for there to be the tree of eternal life.  It would have been redundant.

As an aside, you would have thought that someone wandering around before the flood might have noticed this flaming sword and made comment on it.

I am often asked what would be compelling evidence that the Christian god exists. Actual visible Cherubims and an eternal flaming sword would be a good start.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The calender is filled with pagan references

I am often told that our calender is based on the birth of Jesus as if this is proof of his existence. However, the calender is also filled with pagan references. Does that make the pagan religions true as well?

Days of the week:

The First Day: Sunday was named after the Sun god.
The second Day: Monday was named after the moon goddess.
The Third Day: Tuesday was named after the god Tyr.
The Fourth Day: Wednesday was named after the god Odin.
The Fifth Day: Thursday was named after the god Thor.
The Sixth Day: Friday was named after the goddess Frigga.
The Seventh Day: Saturday was named after the god Saturn.

The Months:

•January: Roman god Janus was the god of doorways, entrances, gateways, thresholds and beginnings, and therefore used for the opening of the New Year.
•February: This used to be the last month of the Roman calendar. On 15th day of the month was a Pagan festival of purification called Februa and so this month came to be known as Februa's month. The day before that, and the day after (ides), was a holiday to honour Juno. The goddess Juno was the Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses, and also the goddess of women and marriage. Was it coincidence that the nasty Emperor Claudius II arranged for a priest named Valentine to be clubbed to death and then beheaded on this day? See St. Valentine's Cross.
•March: The Roman god Mars, god of war and guardian of the state. This was the first month of the ancient Roman calendar.
•April: Considered a sacred Roman month for the goddess Venus. The name 'April' is probably from Apru, an Etruscan borrowing of Greek Aphrodite, a fertility goddess. Alternatively, it may stem from the Latin aperire (to open), as so many buds and blossoms open in this month (in the northern hemisphere).
•May: This is from Maia a Roman goddess of earth, honour and reverence. She was wife of Vulcan, mother of Mercury by Jupiter and daughter of Atlas. It became a popular girl's name in English.
•June: The chief goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods. June became another popular name for girls, as did:
•July: Named after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC to deify and immortalize his name. Gaius Julius Caesar was born in this month, which was formerly Quintilis (fifth) month of the Roman calendar.
•August: Named in 8 BC after Augustus Caesar, the adopted heir of Julius Caesar and the first Roman emperor (31 BC - 14 AD). A synonym for the adjective 'august' is 'venerable', and the emperor was known as the Venerable Caesar. Quite a contrast to the month's original name, 'Weodmonao', which means 'month of weeds'. Today's gardeners would agree with that.
The next four months are just based on a mundane numbering system. The year used to begin in March, so September through to December were months 7 to 10. A numbering system is still used in many cultures today for the whole year. Modern Japanese, for example, has 1-gatsu, 2-gatsu, 3-gatsu ... 12-gatsu. Similarly in Chinese: 1-yuè, 2-yuè, 3-yuè ... 12-yuè.
(Curiously, when Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar system in 1582 and established the Gregorian calendar with January as the first month of the year, he did not rename any of these months. December, for example, could have been changed to Christ-month or Jesus-month.)
•September: This name comes from the Latin septem, meaning 'seven'.
•October: This name comes from the Latin octo, meaning 'eight'. (Octopus - an 8-sided cat?) This is the month when people start thinking of Christmas and New Year parties. Amaze your friends by telling them the day of the week for Christmas Day and New Year's Day; these days are always the same weekday as 2nd October.
•November: This name comes from the Latin novem, meaning 'nine'.
•December: This name comes from the Latin decem, meaning 'ten'.

And while they are not actually part of the calender, let us not forget the origins of our season names:

•Winter: No mythical god … just cold! The season of wind and white snow, hence the name ‘winter’.
•Spring: The time when new plants spring up after a harsh winter.
•Summer: From Old Norse ‘sumarsdag’, the time for lots of sunshine.
•Autumn: The time for reaping and harvesting the main crops of the year. The old English name for this season of ‘harvest’ was replaced by the Latin autumnus in the 16th century. Also known as ‘fall’ in America, as this is the time the temperature falls and leaves fall from the trees. (And you’ve probably noticed that already.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Denying the Holy Spirit

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
Luke 12:10

So, it is ok to speak badly against Jesus, but not ok to speak badly against the Holy Spirit? But Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same thing. Can Christians please try to get some semblance of rationality with the bible?

Godwin's law

Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%)."[3][2] In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

I came across this today, and as I was not aware of it, and it was too funny, I am sharing it with you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Try being a religious for a month

This story suggested trying to be religious for a month.

Try what exactly? Could a Christian “try” to be a Muslim or a Hindu for a month? What exactly would they be trying to do? Pretend to believe in something they do not believe in? One either believes or they do not. You could parrot the prayers and attend worship, but if you do not believe what is being said, it will not accomplsih anything.
Could you try believing that Martians rule the world for a month?
Just more absurdites.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Justice Clarence Thomas

The following link is to an article on Justice Clarence Thomas. While I imagine every Justice has made rulings that could be considered controversial, there are several items in the story that are bizarre.

“He strictly avoids the give-and-take among justices during oral arguments; he has not asked a question or made a comment in more than five years.”

For five years, there has not been one question he has had regarding the cases he sat on? That does not say much about his curiosity, let alone his desire to find out all relevant information.

“he has declared that the Constitution gives states a right to establish an official religion. Prisoners, he wrote, have no constitutional right to be protected from beatings by guards. Teenagers and students have no free-speech rights at all, he said in an opinion Monday, because in the 18th century when the Constitution was written, parents had "absolute authority" over their children.”

I am hard pressed to understand how anyone could say that a prisoner cannot be protected from getting beat up by guards. There are no limits to a guard hitting a prisoner for any reason? Shades of “The Shawshank Redemption” movie.

If parents have absolute control over their children, then they should be allowed to refuse them medical care that causes their death. Does anyone seriously believe a parent has that authority? If they do not, then they do not have absolute control, and his opinion is flawed.

“But this year, under current Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., he has spoken for the court's conservative majority in significant decisions that limited the rights of prisoners, which has become his signature issue. In March, he announced a 5-4 decision that threw out a $14-million jury verdict in favor of a black Louisiana man who had been convicted of murder and nearly executed because prosecutors hid evidence that could have proven his innocence.”

If the state can hide evidence that proves a man innocent, then no one is safe in this country.

“A month later, Thomas said a state's "sovereign immunity" barred inmates from suing for damages when their freedom of religion had been violated.”

I would have thought that Christians would be outraged by this idea. If your freedom of religion is violated by the state, then there is no freedom to worship as you please. This should scare anyone.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Can one be a wise fool?

“The fool says in his heart there is no God”. (Psalm 14:1-3 )

How many times does this verse get quoted to atheists? It supposedly lets us know that not believing in god makes a person a fool.

However, there is also this verse:
“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28)

So, if an atheist does not talk about his disbelief, does that make him intelligent? Not necessarily, it only says he is deemed intelligent. That does not mean he actually is intelligent.

But, we also have this gem:
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)

According to this, if someone restrains their lips they are wise. Now when the fool said in his heart there is no god, he did restrain his lips. Therefore, the same fool the bible criticizes for his disbelief is also called wise for not talking about it. Therefore, we have a wise fool. Can a fool be wise? Since the words have a contrary meaning, it is not possible.

So, since the bible says an atheist can be both a fool and a wise person, it obviously does not understand what it is talking about. Just more absurdity in the bible.

And to top it off, let us not forget this verse:
(Matthew 5:22) - "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."

It says that calling someone a fool is reason enough to send someone to hell. So, to summarize, the bible indicates that if you do not believe in god, you are a fool. But if someone actually calls you a fool, they will go to hell. That seems completely reasonable.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


If Adam and Eve were truly immortal when they lived in the Garden there would have no reason for there to be the tree of eternal life.  It would have been redundant.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Is Atheism a religion

Atheism is not a religion. Religions have dogma, tenants and a shared common worldview. Outside of the fact that atheists do not believe a god exists, there is not other single concept that atheists all accept. There are liberal atheists and conservatives atheists. There are atheists who believe in socialism and those who believe in free enterprise.

When theists try to claim that atheists are a religion, they show they do not begin to understand their own belief system, let alone try to understand why someone might disagree with them.


As it happens, we have an excellent witness to events in Judaea and the Jewish diaspora in the first half of the first century AD: Philo of Alexandria (c25 BC-47 AD).
Philo was an old man when he led an embassy from the Jews to the court of Emperor Gaius Caligula. The year was 39-40 AD. Philo clearly, then, lived at precisely the time that “Jesus of Nazareth” supposedly entered the world to a chorus of angels, enthralled the multitudes by performing miracles, and got himself crucified.
Philo was also in the right place to give testimony of a messianic contender. A Jewish aristocrat and leader of the large Jewish community of Alexandria, we know that Philo spent time in Jerusalem (On Providence) where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. His brother, Alexander the “alabarch” (chief tax official), was one of the richest men in the east, in charge of collecting levies on imports into Roman Egypt. Alexander’s great wealth financed the silver and gold sheathing which adorned the doors of the Temple (Josephus, War 5.205). Alexander also loaned a fortune to Herod Agrippa I (Antiquities 18).
One of Alexander’s sons, and Philo’s nephews, Marcus, was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – he ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. Another nephew was the “apostate” Julius Alexander Tiberius, Prefect of Egypt and also Procurator of Judaea itself (46-48 AD).
Much as Josephus would, a half century later, Philo wrote extensive apologetics on the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words are extant. Philo offers commentary on all the major characters of the Pentateuch and, as we might expect, mentions Moses more than a thousand times.
Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single reference to his alleged contemporary “Jesus Christ”, the godman who supposedly was perambulating up and down the Levant, exorcising demons, raising the dead and causing earthquake and darkness at his death.
With Philo’s close connection to the house of Herod, one might reasonably expect that the miraculous escape from a royal prison of a gang of apostles (Acts 5.18,40), or the second, angel-assisted, flight of Peter, even though chained between soldiers and guarded by four squads of troops (Acts 12.2,7) might have occasioned the odd footnote. But not a murmur. Nothing of Agrippa “vexing certain of the church” or killing “James brother of John” with the sword (Acts 12.1,2).
Strange, but only if we believe Jesus and his merry men existed and that they established the church. If we recognize that the Christian fable was still at an early stage of development when Philo was pondering the relationship of god and man, there is nothing strange here at all.
What is very significant, however, is that Philo’s theological speculations helped the Christians fabricate their own notions of a godman.