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.

Christianity In Ten Words

Christianity 10 Words

Thomas Jefferson is often held up by the more rabid Bible-thumpers as a ‘Good Christian,’ who helped found the United States, and is validation for their “on Christian values,” and other judgemental views.  Jefferson however, edited, and had printed, a personal copy of the Bible, in which he removed every story of Christ’s ‘miracles,’ although he never admitted why he had done that.

While viewed as a Christian, he had the following to say about religion, and God.

“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.”

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

***

When Christians talk about being “persecuted,” what they really mean is that they are discontent at no longer being able to use social and Political power to force their views, their morality or their dogma onto other people as they once did.  They can no longer burn people at the stake, prosecute people for blasphemy, and have much less of an ability to oppress minorities, and “keep them in their place.”

The dogma, ignorance and authoritarianism that is required for Christianity to maintain control has greatly diminished, and religious authorities and their institutions no longer have the power, nor the respect that they once had.  This makes them feel as if they are being unfairly persecuted, although they have no understanding of what the word means.

Creation

  • Religion is about internal spiritual experiences, and that is all.
  • There is no world other than the material world around us.
  • There are no beings other than the living organisms on this planet or elsewhere in the universe.
  • There is no objective being or thing called God that exists separately from the person believing in him.
  • There is no ultimate reality outside human minds either.
  • We give our own lives meaning and purpose; there is nothing outside us that does it for us.
  • God is a projection of the human mind.
  • God is the way human beings put ‘spiritual’ ideals into a poetic form that they are able to use and work with.
  • God is simply a word that stands for our highest ideals.
  • God-talk is a language tool that enables us to talk about our highest ideals and create meaning in our lives.
  • Religious stories and texts are ways in which human beings set down and work out spiritual, ethical, and fundamental meanings in life.
  • Our religious talk is really about us and our inner selves, and the community and culture we live in.
  • Religious talk uses the familiar language of things that exist outside ourselves to make it easier for us to handle complex and subtle ideas.
  • Faith therefore isn’t belief in a God that exists outside minds.
  • Faith is what human beings do when they pursue ‘spiritual’ ideals.
  • Saying that someone follows a particular faith is a way of talking about their attitudes to life and to other people.

Frustration

A Lotto B.S.

lotto

I recently watched a video where Atheist, Richard Dawkins spoke to a group about the non-existence of God, or Jesus, and took questions/comments after his speech.

One well-mannered, deeply-faithful man stood up and said, “You claim that God, and Jesus do not exist, but I experienced Jesus personally. He came to me and stood before me, and said to me that if I believed in him, I would be saved.  What do you say about that?

Dawkins quietly replied, “You suffered a delusion.”

The man did not relinquish his spot at the front of the line, and instead said, “My friend has allowed me to take his place. God and Jesus must exist.  I cannot afford to be in error about my salvation.  I have too much invested in it. I have seen the face of Christ!  He has spoken to me!   What is your response to that??!

Again, quietly, Dawkins told him, “You have experienced an hallucination.”

But there, ladies and gentlemen, you have the truth about religion, and it’s not an honest truth. Unwittingly, he has revealed that Religion is a commercial transaction – “cannot afford – too much invested”.  If you do something for me now, later on, when nobody can see, or prove anything, I promise to do something nice for you.”  Police break up similar scams and people go to prison on a weekly basis, for cons like that.

A moderator on the Atheist Experience show had a similar protest. (They are all too common.)  His response was, “It’s like the man who, all through his working life, took every dollar not spent on food, clothing, housing, etc. and bought lottery tickets. Now that retirement is looming, and he has nothing in a retirement fund, he is forced to keep buying lottery tickets in a desperate attempt to beat the already-proven shitty odds.”

Which brings us, strangely, sideways, to Bob. I worked with Bob.  He was a gorgeous creature.  He could have married anyone he pleased – he just didn’t please anyone.  He had the body of an Adonis….and the mind of a milk-cow.  Strong like ox – almost as smart.  No-one ever suggested that was because his gym membership included an all-you-can-eat steroid buffet, because they might have caused ‘roid-rage’ or testosterone-induced posturing.  If Bob had been any meeker, someone would have had to water him twice a week.

My wife worked with a young woman in her late twenties, who had gone to school with him. Bob had no wife or kids.  He lived in a nice apartment, owned a nice car, a big flat-screen TV, a high-end computer when they were expensive and not common, stereo, and furniture almost as gorgeous as he was.

The two met one day in a supermarket, and Bob bragged about all his beautiful possessions. Somewhere, he had obtained black satin sheets for his bed, and insisted that she come to his apartment to see them.  (Yeah, right! Oh well, could be a fun tumble.)

He showed her all his fabulous furniture, and took her into his bedroom and showed her his magnificent black satin sheets and then, having bragged about his beautiful possessions (again), he all but pushed her out the door.

When our standard, net, weekly take-home pay was $383, one week Bob decided that everything was paid for. Instead of depositing his paycheck in a bank, he took it to a Lottery kiosk, and spent the entire sum on Lotto tickets.

He told people at the shop what he had done.  Me??  I’d have kept my mouth shut.  When the inevitable question was asked, “How much did you win?” the answer was, absolutely nothing! Not $10.  Not $5. Not $2.  Not even a free ticket for next week’s draw.  $383 for a handful of something that couldn’t even be used as toilet paper.

I could never afford to do that, and probably wouldn’t, even if I could….but some people can and do. A young, dot-com millionaire received a half-million dollar bonus that he hadn’t expected.  He flew from LA to Vegas, dumped $500,000 in cash on a roulette table, and bet it all on black.  It came up red.  He shrugged, and picked up his empty briefcase.

When someone asked him how he could calmly do such a thing, he replied that he still had a small fortune; as much as he’d had yesterday, and he’d had fun. He said that, if he’d won, he’d probably just have wasted it on something.  Not a church, though.  You always lose, betting on salvation.

 

Minutia III

Another self-guided tour through my convoluted thought processes and observations.  Please wipe your feet before entering.  You wouldn’t want to be responsible for me having a dirty mind.

Because of the *let-us-help-one-another* Mennonite mindset, this area has been the birthplace of several, large, well-known insurance companies.  In keeping with my mission of being older than everything except the local rocks, I received a renewal notice for my home insurance.  My provider included a note which bragged that they have been in business for 175 years.

I have Googled myself.  Oh, the Ego of it all. (But it felt good.)  The only person with the same name and middle initial who comes up, is a retired US Air Force colonel, who went on to become a motivational speaker.  He’s appeared locally a couple of times, a few years ago, though I didn’t know it.

Recently, I thought of a friend I had for a couple of years during my teens.  While he was a couple of years younger than me, we were both over-average nerdy, and loners, therefore, we hung out and fit together nicely.  Named for his uncle Elmer, his first name was actually Delmer (D’Elmer).  There not being a lot of Delmers in the world, I tried to look him up, and was sadly surprised to find that he had died two years ago.

He was one of the guys who helped me *adopt* the naïve young tourist in my Unreasonable Expectations  post.  He was 50 pounds heavier than skinny me, and the cool kids razzed him about being fat, but most of it was muscle.  He would dive from as high as I would, and sneak into the water like a greased seal, raising less of a splash than anyone else.

Also dead, from that same crew, was an Indian from the res.  While he was a year older than me, these two both died two years ago.  Not as surprising, but still disappointing, was a notice of the recent death of the wife of the couple who owned and ran the beach bowling alley from my Bowling For Summer  post.  She was the one who served us crisp, golden French fries when we were done swimming.  In her thirties when I was a teen, she must have been like my mother, into her nineties when she passed.  Tempus fugit!

John Wayne made a hockey movie….Whaa??  Never east of the Mississippi until 1930, he was the lead in a 1937 sixty-minute flick about the non-existent, New York Panthers, called Idol of the Crowds, two years before his break-out role in Stagecoach.  He valiantly laced up, and could skate fairly well in a straight line, but any *hockey moves* had to come from camera angles.  Usually clean-spoken, he was quoted as saying he spent two days in a hospital, probably with a sprained ankle, because, “I’m from California.  I’ve never been on (expletive) skates before!”

If time is money, does that make ATMs time machines??

I exercised my franchise and voted in the recent Provincial election.  Despite having let them waste $4/5 billion dollars, the mindless, entitled yobs in the big city voted the same rogues’-gallery back into power.  Please, Nanny-State, we’re too stupid and lazy, waste another billion or two – but take care of us.  My grandson was going to have to pay off the already existing debt.  Now I just hope that he never has kids.

Since the road which runs behind my house was the electoral boundary line, on my side were election signs for four or five different parties, while on the other side of the road were the same parties, but with different candidates.  Always interested in the word-value of names, I looked a couple up.

A candidate on my side was named Weiler.  Her name, in German, has the nice meaning of hamlet, or small village.  Her compatriot across the line was Wettlaufer.  I don’t imagine he discusses it much.  It translates to *bookie*, one who bets on races.

I took the wife and daughter to a plant nursery recently.  Patiently wandering around, waiting, (yeah, right) I ran into the Bidens.  They are small, pretty flowers with two little rabbit-ears on top.  The person/people who discovered and named them felt these little protrusions looked like teeth.  Biden = bi-den = two-toothed.  So Joe Biden is related to plants, although I suspect he was adopted.  He’s not as good-looking, and nowhere near as smart.

There’s a small hotel in the neighboring city.  It began as the manor house of the local brewing family.  It has a strip bar in it, which….I might have gone into – once – just to ask for directions.  It has become the House of God on Sundays. Some time between last call Saturday night, and two-for-one lap dances Sunday evening, a team of volunteers cover the nudie posters, and $4-a-beer signs, and turn the bar into a church.

For a few hours on Sunday afternoons, the gentlemen’s club becomes a Holy place, a social place, and a place where people in need can find safety, and trust, and food.  They may also find God, but that’s not the main goal. This is a place of Christ-like support and acceptance for strippers and druggies and drunks who, too often, find themselves excluded and unwanted in mainstream churches.  Good on ya all!

Walking past the coin-counting machine at the grocery store recently, I spotted and grabbed four discontinued pennies from the overflow tray.  When I got them home, I found that three of them were 25 Ore coins from Denmark.  I have several Danish coins, but not that denomination, so I added the newest, cleanest one to my collection.

“Heaven’s For Real” Rant

In my Jesus Loves You post of April 22, I mentioned how exclusionary and judgemental many “Good Christians” can be if you don’t exactly match their idiomatic religious expectations.  The more extreme the group, the more difficult that can be, since they almost contend with each other to be more rigid and unforgiving.  Several years ago, a Palestinian terrorist group began killing members of other Palestinian terrorist groups – because they weren’t killing enough Jews and Christians.

When I used WordPress to see what others were writing about “Christian”, I found this review rant about a feel-good little movie – titled, Heaven’s For Real- EXPOSED!

The Uber-Christians complain so often about Hollywood not presenting Christianity in a positive light.  I thought that a movie validating one of its basic precepts would be happily accepted and celebrated.  Once again I overestimated.  This sad little man’s screed was disturbing and depressing.

The movie kid claimed that Jesus had a rainbow horse, with lots of colors. Well, that sort of thinking just can’t be allowed.  To these Ultra-Christians, rainbow means gay, and gay is simply unacceptable.  This over-serious Bible-thumper claimed Christ has a “pure, white horse” to battle the Antichrist.  Apparently the thought that Jesus might possess more than one horse in Heaven, including a pretty, rainbow horse to please a six-year-old boy, wouldn’t fit into his narrow little mind.

The kid claimed that Jesus had a pink crown with a diamond in the middle, and wore purple.  The thumper insisted Christ would have seven stars in his right hand and a sword coming from his mouth.  He didn’t say whether the point was in or out, but declared that Christ would not wear pink, or purple – because they’re effeminate, and Christ can’t be effeminate.  He claims that Christ-in-Heaven wears gold, although the Bible passage he quoted only says that Christ has a golden sash across his robe.

He rails that the kid says that Christ has “markers.”  “What use would Christ have for markers?  They weren’t even invented!”  When?  The movie is set in the present day!  Not having read the book or seen the movie, I don’t know if he (again, narrow-mindedly) can only imagine felt-tip ink markers, but I can think of a couple of types of markers Jesus might use.

I know I shouldn’t bait the trolls, but I asked if Jesus was a sword-swallower in a carnival.  He came charging back with two more “sword from the mouth” Biblical references – one from the Old Testament, before Christ was even born.  He averred that, “Since Jesus is God; His word is the sword to cleave unbelievers.”

I replied that, since Bob is Richard, he hadn’t understood, but did now.  It was obvious that the Bible was not a book to be taken literally, since there were passages where what was clearly written was not what was meant.

I would have liked to be in the room with him, just to see steam spew from his ears.  It might have been dangerous though.  If the pressure was too much, his head might have exploded.  He didn’t exactly accuse me of misinterpreting.  What he said was, “So, you’re going to send me a $50 donation?  If words don’t mean what they say, then I can interpret your comment any way I want.”

Might as well, you’ve got this interpret-it-as-you-please thing going pretty well.  This is where the cognitive dissonance, and refusal to see – or think, kicks in.  He said: that a sword coming from the mouth was actually the word of God.  He said: that Jesus – is God.  Did The Kid get a promotion, or did he bump the Old Guy off?  He said: that the Word Of God was actually delivered by Jesus.

By his own editing and interpretation, he has said that the words he quoted don’t mean what they say – therefore, the Bible can not be taken literally, but he’s angry at me for pointing this out!

He admitted to another less-strenuous Christian commenter, that there is a Bible passage which describes a rainbow around God’s throne, but rainbow horses must be Satan’s work.  There’s a rainbow horse in The Wizard of Oz, and that’s an occult movie.  He claims that there is also a sodomite lion.  I don’t remember either of those.  Maybe I didn’t get the XXX version that he rented.

I am still bewildered by what purpose such unremitting negativity serves.  He’s in for a surprise when he gets to Heaven and finds that he’s not on the guest list, but assigned to the serving staff, holding the kid’s rainbow horse, and fetching him markers.

🙂

😯

 

Some Atheist Thoughts

JESUS
Jesus wasn’t gay! He just hung around with twelve other guys. He was a radical, non-violent Revolutionary who hung around with lepers, hookers and crooks; wasn’t American and never spoke English; was anti-wealth, anti death penalty, anti-public prayer (M. 6-5); but was never anti-gay, anti-abortion or birth control, never called the poor lazy, never justified torture, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, never asked a leper for a co-pay, and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, community-organizing, anti-slut-shaming, Middle Eastern Jew.

***
A young truck-driver who regularly attends the Free Thinkers meetings is as aggressively Atheist as many Christians, to the point that, if someone were to bless him, a fist-fight might occur. He is religiously confrontational and wears a variety of printed tee-shirts, such as one which says, “Abortion just means babies’ souls get to meet God earlier.”

Tattoo

Like many truckers, he has several tattoos. He recently added this Atheist one, on the inside of his right forearm.

 
That’s what it looks like on the skin. The picture below is clearer, taken right from the online tattoo catalog. Like the brands in Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons book, it is an ambigram, reading the same thing, both right side up, and upside down. You can prove this by standing on your head, but I want photos of you doing it. He says it means that, coming or going, he’s a good Atheist.
atheist tattoo
The following is another, more triangular ambigram version of the word atheist.
triangle-atheist

 

 

This picture is of a two-word ambigram. One way, it says Atheist, the other, it reads Godless.
godless-atheist
Many Good Christians, consciously or unconsciously, hypocritically believe that, simply by dint of being Christian, everything atheist-i-amthey do is somehow Good and Honorable. Ergo, they also believe that anything done by non-Christians, is Mean and Evil. I am much tempted to purchase this tee-shirt to remind them they may be wrong, but I don’t go out enough to justify the expense. Maybe the trucker has one – or would like one. Hmmm, must talk to him about it.

Laugh, And The World Laughs With You

Snore, and you sleep alone.

A Pilot Joke

A priest dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates.
Ahead of him is a guy dressed in sunglasses and leather jacket. Saint Peter asks him “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”  The guy replies, “I’m Captain Knight, retired Air Canada Pilot from Toronto. “
Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the pilot, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom. “
Next up is the priest. He stands erect and booms out, “I am Father Joe, pastor of Saint Mary’s in Winnipeg for the last 43 years.” Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the priest, “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom. “
“Wait a minute,” says the good father, “that pilot gets a silken robe and golden staff while I get only cotton and wood. How can this be? “
“Up here … We go by results,” says Saint Peter, “when you preached, people slept; when he flew, people prayed.”

***

An Airplane Joke

A Frenchman and an Italian were seated next to a Scotsman on an overseas flight. After a few cocktails, the men began discussing their home lives.

“Last night I made love to my wife four times,” the Frenchman bragged, “and this morning she made me delicious crepes and she told me how much she adored me. “

“Ah, last night I made love to my wife six times,” the Italian responded, “and this morning she made me a wonderful omelet and told me she could never love another man. “

When the Scotsman remained silent, the Frenchman smugly asked, “And how many times did you make love to your wife last night?” “Once,” he replied. “Only once?” the Italian arrogantly snorted. “And what did she say to you this morning? “

“Don’t stop!”

***

A Flight Attendant Joke

It was mealtime on a small airline and the stewardess asked the passenger if he would like dinner.
“What are my choices?” he asked.
She replied, “Yes or No.”

***

A wife, arriving home from a shopping trip, was horrified to find her husband in bed with a lovely young woman. Just as the wife was about to storm out of the house, her husband stopped her with these words:
Before you leave, I want you to hear how this all came about.
Driving along the highway, I saw this young woman looking tired and bedraggled, so I brought her home and made her a meal from the roast beef you had forgotten in refrigerator. She had only some worn sandals on her feet, so I gave her a pair of good shoes you had discarded because they had gone out of style. She was cold so I gave her a sweater I bought you for your birthday that you never wore because the color did not suit you. Her pants were worn out so I gave her a pair of yours that were perfectly good but too small for you now.
Then when she was about to leave the house she paused and asked, “Is there anything else your wife doesn’t use any more?”

***

Two guys are walking down the street when a mugger approaches them and demands their money.
They both grudgingly pull out their wallets and begin taking out their cash.
Just then one guy turns to the other and hands him a bill.
“Here’s that $20 I owe you,” he says.

***

Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, “THAT’S IT! I have had enough and I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.”

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They moused.
They faxed.
They e-mailed
They e-mailed with attachments
They downloaded.
They did spreadsheets.
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports.
They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell! Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured and, of course, the power went off!

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed!

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted. Satan searching frantically, screaming……. “It’s gone! It’s ALL GONE! “I lost everything when the power went out!

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work. Satan observed this and became irate. “Wait!” he screamed…. “That’s not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don’t have any?”

God just shrugged and said, “Jesus Saves.”

 

Okay, it’s official, sports fans.  Winter has arrived at my place.  I’ve brushed and shoveled a bit of snow a couple of times earlier, but yesterday, the first snowplow went past my house.  No joke!    😦