Bad Math

Two plus two

Something Doesn’t Add Up

Trying to argue or debate with Christian Apologists is like trying to spar with fog. They’re never quite ‘there.’ They move the goalposts, or change the definitions. When they argue their positions, they add just enough reality to make it seem real. 2 + 2 doesn’t quite equal 4. They will claim 3.97 or 4.04, hoping that skeptics will concede the tiny difference.

They hold up portions of the Bible which are historically correct, and then claim that it ALL is. See, the Bible mentions Jerusalem, and Jerusalem exists, so the Bible must be true. It’s when you ask them to prove the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah, that the tap-dancing begins.

A very small percentage of archeology remains after three to four thousand years.
A very small percentage of surviving archeology has been discovered.
Of what archeology has been discovered, a very small percentage of it has actually been dug.
Of the archeological digs, only a small percentage of the total area is actually exposed.
Only a tiny fraction of what has been examined and published, has anything to do with the Bible.
Of the unidentified digs, one of them might have been Sodom, or Gomorrah.

Yeah??! And it MIGHT have been Jephthah’s bait shop and sailboard rental. We’re getting down to dancing on the head of that argumental pin.

A YouTuber complained that Atheists are so closed-minded, that even if they observed a miracle, they wouldn’t change their minds. As Proof, he quoted the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. The Jewish leaders plotted to have both Jesus and Lazarus murdered, because all Christ’s miracles were bad for their business. But that was because they believed that the miracles were real. They accepted Christ’s divinity. The circular reasoning is hardly the best example to refute Atheists with.

One Apologist admitted that Christianity had got many things wrong, but defended its existence as a possible font of additional hunches/intuitions/guesses about the universe and reality, which science could then investigate, and either prove or disprove. Contrary to usual dogma, he insisted that Christianity and the Bible should be viewed as allegory, and not taken literally. What did I think about that?

That idea sounds weak and desperate. So far, EVERY one of religions’ wild-ass guesses/intuitions/hunches has proved wrong. I don’t think that any one of them need make any more. If organized logic and science can’t intuit something new, ‘Conspiracy Theory’ is the new growth industry.

Besides, Religion is the bully on the block. No Flat Earther has ever threatened me with eternal torment in Hell, or even worse, stretched me on a rack, burned me at the stake, or protested at my funeral because I had the audacity to serve in the military to defend my country, just because I thought the Earth was round.

No Area 51 fanatic has ever put det-cord around my neck and blown my head off, tossed me off a 10-storey building, or put me in a cage and drowned me, because I didn’t believe that the government performed an autopsy on an alien there in 1947.

I don’t feel that we should give any sanction or acceptance to most religions. It only validates and encourages the worst among them. They, and their desperate, insecure, ego-driven adherents, can be quite retrogressive and dangerous.

If you can’t take religion at face value, why take it at all? Playing ‘Pretend’ is for children.

Some Thoughts – Domestic And Foreign

All teachings are mere references.
The true experience is living your own life.
Then, even the holiest of words are only words.
Deng Ming-Dao

To determine the true rulers of any society, you must ask this question; “Who am I not allowed to criticize?”

‘All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician [to keep the hoi-polloi in order], and ridiculous to the philosopher.’

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was not an Atheist. He was Catholic and realized how he could use religion to rule the masses.

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.”
Isaac Asimov

If prayer actually worked, we’d see two things:
1 – Ambulances would take patients to churches
2 – Christians would have longer life spans than the rest of the population

Most people are not looking for provable truths. Truth is often accompanied by terrible pain, and almost no-one is looking for painful truths. What people need are beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning. This is where religion comes from.

My favorite part of the Bible is where God gives everyone free will, and then drowns everybody in a flood for not acting the way He wanted.

CREATIONISM
The idea that we are not related to apes, no matter how many genes we share, but are in fact, descended from dirt.

Religion has at every age kept the human mind in darkness and held it in ignorance of its true relations, of its real duties, and its true interests. It is but in removing its clouds and phantoms that we may find the source of truth, reason, morality, and the actual motives which inspire virtue—Jean Messlier 1704

How many religious people does it take to change a light bulb?
None! They just sit in the dark and demand that you believe that the light is still on.

The cold, hard truth is worth so much more than a comforting lie.

“In religions and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are, in almost every case, gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who themselves have not examined the questions at issue, but have taken them second-hand from other examiners, whose opinions about them are not worth a brass farthing.”
Mark Twain

When you have to ignore mountains of evidence to hold a belief; when your words are those of others to preserve your faith; when you refuse to use logic, to protect your fantasy, your willful ignorance does not make you a unique individual. It doesn’t afford you special consideration.

Actually, it means that you are just plain wrong. It means that you have nothing to add to intelligent conversation. Believers show all the hallmarks of long-term abuse, unable to distinguish threats, fear and degradation, from kindness, love and self-worth.

Atheism says absolutely nothing about the issues of Northern Ireland, Shia/Sunni wars, genocide in Rwanda, questions of religious freedom, stem cell research, or gay marriage.  Atheism is not a belief, it’s not a set of values, it’s not a political movement, it’s not even a platform.  It merely is the understanding that all the religions seem made up.  And since we have no way to figure out if any of them are real, we must deal with life on our own.  We must use our brains.  So let’s quit being dicks to each other, roll up our sleeves, and figure these things out.  And keep making fun of religions.

PopeClown

***

 

WOW #51

Mary Poppins

How to be serious, without getting serious.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

I have always liked humor and comedy for their own sakes. They raise spirits, lower blood pressure, dissipate anger and depression, and produce feel-good endorphins. I have lived with and among jokes, almost my entire life. I have found that the best way to deal with serious matters, is often to joke about them. “Your Grandpa died? I am so sorry! Let’s have a drunken wake, and make fun of Death.”

These are only a few of the reasons why you lovely readers find my blog-posts sprinkled with a liberal dusting of

Frivolity

triviality, abandon, levity, foolishness.

From the French word frivolité, dating back to 1790–1800. See frivolous, -ity

None of the four words above exactly define frivolity. It’s more like, add them up and divide by four. I don’t like to apply the word triviality, because very little of what I joke about is trivial.

Until recently, you could practice frivolity with gay abandon, but too many Bible Thumpers have lost their sense of humor (and reality, and acceptance, and forgiveness) over anything that is gay.

Levity isn’t bad. We don’t need to get too heavy, when we’re trying to be lighthearted. If any of my readers regard my joking as foolishness, that’s precisely the audience that I’m targeting. I often feel that the foolishness is on the other side.

If you are reading this, it means that my Muse, Erato, has failed to inspire me to compose a 100-word Flash Fiction. That means that there is a 50% chance that I will be publishing another Comedy post on Monday. Why don’t you stop back and find out? 😀

’19 A To Z Challenge – O

Tattooed Lady

This blog-post will be short and sweet, just like its inspiration

OLIVIA

Olivia, Olivia, have you seen Olivia,
Olivia, the tattooed lady?

Oh, wait! That should be Groucho Marx singing about Lydia, The Tattooed Lady, (Click if you’d like to hear it.) full of racy, risqué, double entendres. The song was first sung in 1939, and it’s easy to include extra little references. When Americans got off their lazy, isolationist asses, and got into WW II, Groucho included the verse, “When she stands, the world gets littler. When she sits, she sits down on Hitler.

I can’t figure out how to make any portion of this post about me, so I’ll just include a link to the one where I debated getting a tattoo myself, for any of you who didn’t see it – and are desperately bored. At least Groucho is dead, and can’t compose a derogatory song about a Grumpy Old Tattooed Dude.

Olivia, as a name, means “Peace.” It comes from ‘olive’, both the tree and the fruit, which comes from the Italian, olea, which is the oil that middle-eastern people learned early to squeeze out. Christians like to claim that the phrase ‘Extend an olive branch,’ which is an offer of peace, comes from the Bible story of the dove returning to Noah with an olive leaf, or twig. But Greeks and Egyptians were using the olive branch 500/700 years B.C.

Olivia was not a common name for centuries. William Shakespeare is often credited with inventing it, but it existed at least 300 years before he included it for a character in Twelfth Night. He only made it a little more well-known and popular. Even a century ago, it was the 2285th most (least) common girls name.

All that changed in 1986, when Disney Studio released the animated movie, The Mouse Detective, with a cute little female mouse named Olivia Flaversham, and impressionable young mothers began naming their daughters Olivia. More recently, the Disney Channel compounded the interest by offering an animated series named Elena of Avalor. It’s an historic magic story-line, with a young female named Olivia, as assistant to a wizard. As a result, in 2018, the name Olivia was the 3rd most common girls’ name in The United States, and the 2nd most popular in Australia.

I luvya Olivia. Please come back in a couple of days, for some more useless trivia. 😀

’19 A To Z Challenge – L

AtoZ2019letter-l

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superstition

And superstition rears its ugly head again. Closed-minded tribalism makes too many of humanity fear anything different. Destroy it! Destroy it! It is the Devil’s work! 😯

This post takes for its theme, the word

LANUGO

Noun; a coat of delicate, downy hairs, especially that with which the human fetus or a newborn infant is covered.

A few times (far too few), Bible-thumping Christian Fundamentalists have changed their minds about LGBT+, when they realized that their child was gay, but not evil and sinful. One Southern Methodist preacher had three of his four children (two sons, and his daughter) go gay on him.

It is regrettable that extreme cases of lanugos are not more common. It might educate the evolution-denying, Young Earth Creationists, to have a baby that looked like a Bonobo pop out. It would clearly show that we are related to monkeys – although the monkeys might object.

Lanugo

While the occasional baby has a thick enough coat of fur to look like a chimp, it falls off within days, or a week, leaving a pink, squalling, naked ape. While not afflicted with an actual lanugo, my son’s enate Italian heritage gave him considerable heavy body hair at birth – arms, legs, shoulders, back. He looked like a miniature, stereotypical Guido. He had a full head of black hair the day he was born. Old wives’ tales say that it causes the mother heartburn. He got his first haircut at age three months.

I’m not sure, even in today’s society, what reaction a lanugo baby might receive from narrow-minded ‘Good Christian’ parents. Another similar religiously-connected word is

Caul

Noun; a part of the amnion sometimes covering the head of a child at birth.

It’s merely a bit of internal tissue, but superstitious peasants used to believe that it was a sign that the baby was owned or possessed by Satan. Such children were strangled, smothered, drowned, or stabbed at birth, or even worse, exposed to the elements to die, like the Athenians used to do.

The Christian portion of the world is getting better – moving forward into the discoveries of how the Universe works, but the Evangelicals don’t understand why large portions of the population – Good Christians, as well as Atheists – want to maintain separation of Church and State, and prevent being dragged back into the Dark Ages of superstition.

Now, if only we could get the Islamic portion to do the same.

Sorry if this was a bit of a downer. Comedy next Monday – bring your biggest smile.

Laughing Face

’19 A To Z Challenge – H

AtoZ2019Letter H

What a difference a day makes (click to hear Dinah Washington, if you don’t believe me)– or a single letter. The English language has so many words, that you sometimes need to look very carefully, to be sure that you’ve read the correct one.

That was the position that I found myself in while trying to find a word-theme for the letter H. At first I thought I’d had an old-timers’ moment, and duplicated a word on my list. Closer inspection though, revealed the fraternal twins I’d like to introduce you to.

Hominy and Homily

Hominy [Hom-uh-nee]

whole or ground hulled corn from which the bran and germ have been removed by bleaching the whole kernels in a lye bath (lye hominy) or by crushing and sifting (pearl hominy).

mainly US – coarsely ground maize prepared as a food by boiling in milk or water

RELATED WORDS

porridge, cereal, samp

Origin of hominy

1620–30, Americanism; <Virginia Algonquian

South of the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s often served like mashed potatoes at almost every meal, and the coarser variety is known as grits. Or an egg is mixed into it, to hold it together, formed and baked like a bread loaf, and called corn-pone. Formed into balls and deep-fried, it’s known as hush-puppies. Its look-alike brother-from-another-mother is

Homily [Hom-uh-lee]

a sermon, usually on a Biblical topic and usually of a non-doctrinal nature.
an admonitory or moralizing discourse.
an inspirational saying or cliché.

RELATED WORDS

lecture, lesson, doctrine

Origin of homily

1545–55; < Late Latin homīlia < Greek homīlía assembly, sermon

The similarities go beyond nearly-identical spelling. Again, mostly in the American South, any precept which is not Evangelical Christian ideology or theology has its strong, supporting cover and any germ of an idea removed, ground down, and served constantly as boring, tasteless, mental-conditioning pap.

Dear Lord; You created me with a fully functional, highly capable brain. Please allow me to use it to the best advantage of myself and others. Amen!

 

Christian Humor – No Joke

Drivers Licence

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….”

To which his father replied….”Yes, and they WALKED everywhere they went!”

***

What’s the difference between a cult, and a religion??
In a cult, there’s a guy at the top who knows it’s a scam. In a religion, that guy is dead.

***

A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. So he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 100 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES.”

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”

***

Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.

“The flight to Egypt,” said Kyle.

“I see … And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus,” Ms. Terri said. “But who’s the fourth person?”

“Oh, that’s Pontius-the Pilot.”

***

Our pastor, an avid golfer, was once taking part in a local tournament. As he was preparing to tee off, the organizer of the tournament approached him and pointed to the dark, threatening storm clouds which were gathering.

“Preacher,” the organizer said, “I trust you’ll see to it that the weather won’t turn bad on us.”

Our pastor shook his head. “Sorry,” he replied. “I’m sales, not management!

***

Did Jesus pay for our sins with cash or credit card?
He used praypal.

***

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree, that had been pressed in between the pages.

“Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out.

“What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

***

The Letter

A minister was opening his mail one morning. Drawing a single sheet of paper from one envelope, he found written on it only one word: “FOOL.”

The Sunday he announced, “I have known many people who have written letters and forgotten to sign their name. But this week I received a letter that someone signed but forgot to write the letter.”

 

Church Whisper

A mother took her little boy to church.

While in church the little boy said, “Mommy, I have to pee.”

The mother said to the little boy, “It’s not appropriate to say the word ‘pee’ in church. So, from now on whenever you have to ‘pee’ just tell me that you have to ‘whisper’.”

The following Sunday, the little boy went to church with his father and during the service said to his father, “Daddy, I have to whisper.“

The father looked at him and said, “Okay, just whisper in my ear.”

….This is why moms and dads need to make sure they’re on the same page!  😆