Tempest In A Theological Teapot

I recently read a rant about gender reassignment.  https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2022/03/22/one-simple-question-for-woke-atheists/  The author, and six or eight of his testosterone-infused followers had their Theistic jock-straps in a bunch, because Thomas had become Lia.  He titled it One Simple Question For Woke Atheists.  I asked how the title had anything to do with the existence of Atheists, or God.

I got back:  Atheists insist “there is no evidence for god.” Entailed in their atheism is the notion that all beliefs about reality should be supported by convincing evidence. And, personal feelings, personal testimony, personal experience, intuition, etc. do NOT count as evidence.

Woke people believe Thomas is a woman because he, I mean she, says so and if you dare to disagree with Thomas, it is because you are an evil, transphobic, bigot.

I’m looking to see if the Woke atheism is a coherent, reasonable position or whether it is inherently irrational due to its arbitrary, make-it-up-as-you-go, essence. That is, either come up with another way to define atheism or provide the evidence that Lia Thomas is a woman. Of course, I already know that Woke atheism is irrational, so I’m just illustrating it.

Atheism is the lack of belief in God, or gods.  Everything else is something else!  There is no “Woke Atheism”!  There is a Woke point of view, and it is shared by Atheists and Christians alike.  People who accept Atheism, are also likely to support Lia, but there are many Atheists who do not.  Conversely, there are many ‘Good Christians’ who would.  Woke or not, this is not “an Atheist position,” any more than Westboro Baptist Church protesting at a serviceman’s funeral, is a Christian one.

The difference between believing in God, and believing in Thomas as a woman is that, God is external, and Lia is internal.  God is subjective, and Lia is objective.

If God exists, He is outside: outside each believer, outside the Universe, outside Nature, and outside reality.  If you claim that He is real, you’d better come with some solid evidence.  All your faith, and belief, and claims, and hopes, and wants, and needs are not going to magick Him, or my acceptance, into existence.  Nothing is made-up-as-we-go.

Personal feelings, personal testimony, personal experience, intuition, etc. do NOT count as evidence, when applied to something outside yourself.  They are, however, the only valid way to know what is happening in anyone’s mind.  Lia could state that she is a Cincinnati Reds fan, a non-smoker, a vegetarian, and likes heavy metal music, and you have to accept that.  And if she says that she feels more like a girl than a guy despite the plumbing, just as she feels more like voting for Biden than Trump – that’s an objective proof.  You have to accept it, even if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Republican.  She is, and will remain, the best judge of what she thinks, feels, and believes.  She identifies as a female personality, trapped in a male body.

I and other Atheists are approached by Apologists demanding that we Prove Atheism, or Prove Atheism is true.  They seem to feel that, like Christianity, Atheism should have an all-encompassing worldview, with tenets and dogma and scripture, and leaders.  That is not the case.  It is a position on one single point – the lack of belief in a God, or gods.  Atheists have not been presented with sufficiently convincing evidence.  I can quickly and accurately ‘Prove’ my Atheism.  I do not accept your ridiculous claims about your imaginary friend.  That is honest and true, and objectively valid.

’21 A To Z Challenge – X

 

 

 

 

 

There are no words in the English language that begin with the letter X.  Prove that I’m wrong.

X-ray is not a word.  ‘Ray’ is a word, but the prefixing X is just a letter meaning ‘unknown.’  It is not pronounced like the X in taxes or Texas.  Much the same is true of the X-Acto craft knife.  This is just a commercial label.  Like the corporate identifier, NXIVM, it contains letters, and can be pronounced, but is not a true word with a definition.

As I claimed in my There Are No Words To Describe It post, there is no real English language.  Almost all words beginning with X came here from ancient Greek.  While occasionally used, they often have not been truly “adopted.”  They are more like foster children that science and medicine pay us to support.

Xerography, a compound word from Greek, meaning dry print, for document reproduction, was developed by the Haloid Corporation, which wisely changed its name to Xerox.  For years, they held a stranglehold monopoly.  Finally though, a dozen, mostly Asian, electronics companies began producing newer, better models.

They found that the printing of what had been scanned did not have to be done immediately.  The data could be sent down telephone lines to a remote printer, and a facsimile of the original could be produced.  And so, the fax machine was invented.

As computers developed, these data files could be sent from the scanner/printer to the PC, and from the computer to the printer.  Humans, being the NSFW idiots that we are, soon found amusing, entertaining uses for the scanners that weren’t mentioned in the users’ manual.

There was – there may still be – a website named Boobscan, which entreated female office workers to place their bare chest on the glass plate, press scan, and send the result off to be ranked and archived with thousands of others.

What could be done on the top, could also be done at the bottom.  Not to be left out, (mostly) men sat on the scanners and took pictures of their butts, just to prove what assholes they were.  However voluptuous, the weight of a pair of breasts is nowhere near what a fat-ass is.  I sometimes wonder how many copy machines are broken during X-rated, alcoholic Christmas parties.

So, X marks the spot of another year’s post, from a rapidly reducing list of options.

Creating God

Define the God you believe in, and tell me why you believe.

For any debate or discussion between Atheist and Christian, this is a good idea.  It assures that both parties are talking about the same thing.

At no other time is it a good idea to just let each person define their deity.  If God exists, He/She/It/They are far too vast and varied for a mere human mind to comprehend.  This is why Christians are often disappointed when Atheists fail to believe, because the claims are impossible, or internally contradictory.  There just does not seem to be any way to present a coherent definition of GOD.”

The first claim that many Christians make about their definition of God, is that (it’s almost always a) He is the Creator of all things.  Even if there were some evidence that was true, it still doesn’t make the Creator, a “God”.  Even if some entity caused it, it may have been accidental, and unintentional – or it may have been intentional, but irrelevant, like a young boy with an ant farm.

No way does the mere claim of a Creator, turn it into a God.  A God wants something – both for us and from us.  He would want to give us life, and a universe to exist in.  He wants worship, obedience, belief and faith.  He wants to give us morals, and rules to live by.  A Creator wants and needs none of that.

In my opinion, Deism is the most useless, contradictory belief position.  A Deist believes in a Creator, but does not believe in a personal God.  A Deist believes in “The Watchmaker God,” an entity of some sort which produced our Universe, wound it up like a watch, with all its physical rules, and then just sits back and watches it – like the lad above, with the ant-farm, an uninvolved observer of His creation, whether unwilling or unable to affect us or our situations.

An invisible God is indistinguishable from a non-existent God.  A ”Creator which performs no miracles, who answers no prayers, who gives nothing to us, and asks nothing of us, quickly becomes indistinguishable from that non-existent God.  Most Deists don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, salvation, or any sort of life after death.  I’ve got a pet rock from the ’80s that can do that much.  Any Theist who wants non-believers to accept claims of his particular pet Deity, had better be ready to offer more than a ‘Creator.’  He’ll need evidence of some sort, of supernatural involvement in the natural world.

I don’t know even how the supernatural could be viewed, recorded or measured, ‘naturally.’  Christians often ask Atheists what sort of evidence would convince them of the existence of a God.  The short answer??  Empirical!  The conversation will not even begin until they can present a verifiable, repeatable occurrence that can not be shown to have a natural explanation.

’21 A To Z Challenge – K

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody has to be from somewhere – and that includes words.

I once heard a co-worker complain about a fellow-employee, that, “He’s a cheap bastard. Always wants everything buckshee.”  I got the meaning from context – free, at no cost – but buckshee??  Where did that come from?

At first I thought that it was from India, something from one of its 40+ languages and dialects.  However, research revealed that it was originally Arabic, from Persia – Iran, as we call it today.  It came to English as baksheesh – meaning a tip, a bribe, or a charitable donation – nouns which my rustic speaker had mispronounced into an adjective.

Recently, I thought I’d found its camel-chasing cousin.  Out of a sandstorm of definition confusion, and, from context, meaning the same as baksheesh and the term lagniappe, rode the word

KICKSHAW

Kickshaw – rickshaw – buckshee….  Surely it came from the East, but NO!
Kickshaw – a tidbit or delicacy, especially one served as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.
something showy but without value; trinket; a trifle, something a little extra.

It rowed across The Channel from France, and wormed its way into the English language about 1590/1600 as a badly pronounced back-formation of the French term quelque chose.  In French, it just means “something,” but in English, it has come to mean ‘something extra/something special.”

Next week we’ll be visiting its modern-day Yiddish relative, tchotchke.  Bring an appetite and your credit card.  There’ll be as many latkes – potato pancakes – as you can eat.  😀

Wrong For The Right Reasons

dinosaur

A very atypical Christian Apologist published a post where he admitted that he accepted that the Universe came into existence 13.8 Billion years ago, and the Earth and the Solar system coalesced about 4.5 Billion years ago. He believed in Evolution but, desperate to keep his God’s fingers in, he posited a Creator which nudged and guided Earth’s development, until Mankind reached the exalted pinnacle.

***

I could believe in a Creator like this. The 2 problems are; such a being would not need or want, to be worshiped, obeyed, or called “God.” Second, it would not be the omnipotent, create everything in a snap of a non-existent finger, prayer-answering, miracle producing, sin-punishing “God” that most Christians (especially Apologists) believe in.

***

Why would such a being not want to be recognized as what he is: God? And if he made everything to work a certain way, why would he not want us to avoid screwing that order up and breaking things, i.e., obey him?

Also, if he has the power to create all things, which would imply that he has the power to make things be different than they are, wouldn’t this constitute at least some loose sense of “omnipotent”?

***

I am amused, but confused, with your use of the phrase, “loose sense of ‘omnipotent.” This joins ‘a little bit pregnant,’ and ‘partly dead!’ It’s either/or, yes or no, it either is, or it isn’t.

What you have described is a version of the ‘Watchmaker God,’ wind the Universe up, and let it run, or the ‘Power-Steering God,’ which lets existence pilot itself. You have invented a Gardener God. Actually, perhaps ‘He’ is not God. Perhaps ‘It’ is not omnipotent, and is unable to create the Earth and mankind instantly, through ‘magic’, but only through careful tending. Maybe this creature (not ‘The Creator’) is fertilizing and planting Someone else’s garden.

It is not the all-powerful Being, who wants – needs – demands – to be blindly obeyed, and worshipped as “God.” Do ants in an ant farm worship the little boy whose bedroom they are in? Does a tulip pray to the gardener, to become a rose? Would the gardener hear? Or care? Or be willing or capable to do it?? What you have described is not ‘God,’ but merely a being with more knowledge and power than we have – yet.

Why would you specify a predetermined order, and fear altering it? The purpose of doing, is learning. Change, and variety, is good. The wife raised some pepper plants on our deck. In one large planter, along with six jalapenos, we had a big tomato plant, apparently from a seed in the compost. It wasn’t wrong. It didn’t need to be controlled, or corrected. It was an interesting and educational occurrence. Vive le BLT!   😀

Book Review #17

Dark Matter

It is no paradox that I like to read stories about paradoxes. In my list of books read in 2016, I included several time-travel novels. More recently, my Book Review #16 – The Whenabouts of Burr, was not really about time travel, but a voyage across parallel, but slightly different versions of Earth.

I recently read another alternate Earth novel. It was

The book: Dark Matter

The author: Blake Crouch

The review: This book is also about alternate Earths/Universes. The narrator is a man who might have been a great physicist, married to a woman who might have been a great artist. Instead, he is a university science professor, and she runs a graphic design studio out of their home, as they raise a beloved 10-year-old son.

He is kidnapped by Himself from a parallel existence, who never married or had a family, but instead invented/designed a device to make this transposition possible. He is thrust into the other’s frenetic life, while the imposter takes over his peaceful existence.

The ‘Burr’ book makes inter-dimensional travel possible by an electronic device that limits which realities are available. It is largely a discussion about social and political alternatives – USA vs. Russia vs. China – disguised in a roman a cléf.

This book is about infinity, quantum entanglement, and the definitions of ‘reality.’ The device is mostly an elevator-car-sized sensory deprivation chamber, because quantum theory says that merely observing an action, changes the outcome. Essentially, the traveller becomes Schrödinger’s cat. He got some help from a biologist friend who developed a serum that shuts down the section of the brain that accepts the remaining input.

Instead of electronic controls, where you end up when you open the door is controlled by the psyche, the subconscious. You go where you unconsciously want or feel to go. It takes him several months, in and out of the box, to train his mind to return to where he started from.

Just when the reader thinks that it is “Happily Ever After” time, the writer throws another curve-ball at reality. While there is only one ‘his world’, and ‘his wife’, and ‘his son’ to return to, decisions that he made during the months that he was gone, caused other versions of him to split off, and 110 of them return, most of them ready to kill to get the prize. How do you surprise, outthink, and win out over yourself??

I found that this was a great, thought-provoking Science Fiction novel, about something that may become science fact in the all-too-near future. What are you reading? 😕

’18 A To Z Challenge – T

 

Challenge '18Letter T

 

 

 

 

 

 

The challenge for a T theme brings you another odd little word.  It is

TMESIS

Noun: the interpolation of one or more words between the parts of a compound word, as be thou ware for beware.

Which is the dull, boring, pretentious definition that Dictionary.com provided, but not the one they gave when I first found it as a word of the day, but wasn’t smart enough to download it then.  At that time they claimed that it was, “the insertion or interjection of an intensifier into an already forceful statement – often profanity.”

Profanity??  Now you’re speaking my language.  Jesus H. Christ, holy f**king shit, that’s the kind of stuff that I abso-bloody-lutely understand.  None of this ‘interpolation’ crap.  This is how many of us speak.

I understand that a new year is (almost) upon us, and that this particular alphabetical series is nearly finished.  See U soon.  😉

Merry Christmas (or any other suitable substitute holiday) to all, and to all a good night.

Santa

Best wishes from the fat old guy who lives up north in the snow – no, not Santa.  He’s short a reindeer.  We had venison steaks for dinner.

WOW #40

Music Staff

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the most useless Word (Of the Week) in the English language.  It is

SOLMIZATION

Music. The act, process, or system of using certain syllables, especially the sol-fa syllables, to represent the tones of the scale.

Solmization comes from French solmization, a derivative of solmiser “to (sing) sol-fa.” The system of solmization is attributed to Guido of Arezzo (c995-1049), a Benedictine monk from Arezzo, Tuscany, who also invented the staff notation used in Western music. Solmization entered English in the 18th century.

While the system is used thousands of times a day, I have never heard of it being identified or given credit for by this name.  The act, or process, which Good Old Guido developed/invented/applied, occurred exactly once – never previously, and never since.  This is a definition which Jim Wheeler will probably dislike, because it’s a one-off.

Somebody had to go to the trouble to come up with a label for a thing which occurred with the same frequency as those infinite monkeys, banging out Shakespeare on infinite typewriters.  (You’d think that somebody’d give them word-processors and keyboards these days.)  I’m not surprised that it came to English through the surrender-monkey French.  They’ve got lots of time to sit around, eating snails and mouldy cheese, and being pretentious.

I may have to give my Word-program Spellcheck a slap upside the head.  Whenever I type in this word, it insists that it should be ‘solmisation’, even though my dictionary site spells it with a Z for both British and American English.  As noted above, even French spells it my way.

I’m going to spell it ‘lazy weekend‘, but I’ll see you back here Monday, with the next A To Z Challenge letter.  😀

WOW #39

Dictionary

The Word Of this Week,

KAHOOT

doesn’t exist, even though I found it in an A to Z Challenge.  There’s all too much of this sort of thing going on out there in Bloggerland, even among the better spoken written.

Despite filling the ‘K’ slot in her alphabet challenge, the word should be cahoot.  They’re very sociable little creatures that get lonely quite easily, so you almost always see two or more cahoots together, getting into mischief.

  1. US partnership; league (esp. in the phrases go in cahoots with, go cahoot )
  2. in cahoots in collusion

Word Origin and History for cahoots

1829, American English, of unknown origin; said to be perhaps from French cahute “cabin, hut” (12c.), but U.S. sources credit it to French cohorte (see cohort), a word said to have been in use in the U.S. South and West with a sense of “companions, confederates.”

I met a lady online that I wanted to get in cahoots with, so I sexted her a picture of my privates.  She said it must be a private; it wasn’t big enough to be a Corporal, much less a General.  Oh well, back to looking for odd/interesting words.  😆

Desperation

Bible

Apparently convinced that God is incapable of speaking for, or defending Himself, or the Bible, there are many Christians who take it upon themselves to speak for Him, and in their desperation to justify their beliefs, make fools of themselves and their religion.

In a recent post – On a book review, Frank Angle asked if there could be a reasonable discussion about the relationship of Science and Christianity.  The answer is yes, if the discussion is among intelligent, knowledgeable, open-minded people.

Among these vociferous Bible-thumpers, many of whom self-identify as Christian Apologetics, it seems that, the less they know, the more they have to say about it.  An American Protestant minister recently suggested to his flock that they might consider using a more up-to-date translation version of the Bible, for clarity, and ease of reading.  This was immediately shot down when a religious maven in the congregation stood up, and loudly proclaimed that, “If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us.”

Not only do some of these Apologetics have trouble with facts and logic, they also seem to struggle with language and definitions.  One hyper-Christian seemed quite disturbed that Professors, researchers and leaders of Denominations other than his, learn about and teach things that his narrow-minded tenets won’t admit to.  Finally, with a flippant wave of his hand blog-post, he dismissed all of them with the self-contradictory label of Atheist Theologians.”

It is becoming common for Christian defenders to use the ‘Was you dere, Hymie?’ argument to any Atheist who claims to see no proof of God’s existence.  They will ask, “Have you been to every place in the Universe?  Isn’t it possible that God is hiding inside the Sun, or beneath the ammonia seas of Jupiter, or on some tiny planet wayyy over on the other side of the Universe?”

I immediately have problems with the idea of God needing, or even worse, wanting to hide from us.  Shouldn’t He be evident in all His radiant glory?  Who, or what, would God have to hide from?  And this ‘hiding’ business contradicts the Christians’ claims that ‘God is everywhere, in every thing, and in every space, permeating the entirety of Creation.’  C’mon guys…. Ya can’t have it both ways.

One of the sillier claims to appear recently was from Eddie the Evangelist, who seems to believe that some people become Atheists to appear smarter.   If this is the best desperate argument that Apologetics have to offer, it won’t take much to appear smarter than that.

I will admit that there are people who identify as Atheists, who smugly believe that they, and only they, have seen the truth, much like some Christians, and are therefore smarter than them.  It all comes back to definitions and reality.  Even if someone claims to be an Atheist because he’s angry at God for something, or to appear smarter, then he really isn’t an Atheist, because he still believes in God, the Apologetics’ claim isn’t really valid, and there’s no need of argument.

If Apologetics were absolutely, positively sure that God and salvation exists and they were right and that Atheists’ claims were false, then there would be no reason for these embarrassing, desperate claims and debates.  All the egotistical fuss they make is really about the fact that everyone doesn’t agree with them.  😛