One Thing At A Time

Boxer

Battered, bruised and bleeding, the Christian Apologist scuttles forward. Desperate to level the debate playing field, and to achieve some validation, relevance and equivalency for his arguments, he claims, ‘Atheism Is A Religion.’

No, it’s not! We refuted that.

Well then, ‘Atheism Is A World-View.’

No it’s not! How dumb do you come??! The only reason that any two Atheists share a world-view, is that there are more Atheists than there are basic world-views.

Waaah! Atheists claim to be intellectual and logical, but they’re using emotion-based ridicule against Christians. (That emotion-based belief stuff should be reserved for the Christians.)

If you’d accept fact-based evidence, instead of dismissing it out of hand, we wouldn’t have to. We’re merely fighting fire with fire – or in this case, mud-slinging and name-calling. We know that you’re busy, campaigning for Trump. Atheism is only the lack of belief in God, or gods.

Frantic to have ANY handle to hang an argument on, the Apologist grasps at the word, ‘only.’ “Atheism must be more than ONLY!   Atheists believe in Science. Atheists accept the Theory of Evolution. Atheists claim that they have morals, and that they are ‘Good Without God.’ It must, somehow, be more than only.”

Hold on, cowboy. Climb down off your hobby-horse. One thing at a time!
What do you do for a living? Truck-driver? Are you only a truck-driver??! For example, you’re not a truck-driver and a guitar player – or a Jeopardy! fan? Do you have to be a Christian to be a trucker? Are all truckers Christians? Do all truckers hate faggots? Do all truckers feel that a wall should be built, to keep illegal aliens out? Are only truckers moral?

You can be Only about one issue, but still be very involved in many others, some of which are only vaguely connected to the one under consideration. Some Atheists believe in evolution. Some don’t. Some Christians believe in evolution. Some don’t. Some Atheists trust science. Some don’t. Some Christians trust science. Some don’t. Many Atheists are highly moral. A disappointing number of Christians aren’t.

Prove that Atheism is true.

There is so much semantic, social, emotional and Theistic baggage attached to that challenge, that I’m surprised the writer didn’t throw his back out, just wrestling it onto the screen. In attempting to prove equivalence, this Christian apparently thinks that Atheism has similar many and magnificent claims and beliefs that his religion does.

Compared to say, Christianity, the footprint of Atheism is small. It is only the lack of belief in the existence of God. On a personal basis, my Atheism is the rejection of all your bullshit claims. What do I believe? I believe that you are deluded and desperate. The mere fact that I write that, and make that statement, makes my Atheism true.

Many Apologists get so intense at winning the argument – at trying to prove Atheists wrong – that they forget what the original point of discussion was. DOES GOD EXIST, OR NOT??! Can you prove it? Even if, tomorrow, we found that everything that we think we know about The Big Bang and Evolution is wrong, (And, with the mountain of scientific results we have, that is vanishingly unlikely.) it still doesn’t justify a claim that God did it. One thing at a time.

Book Review #21

Once upon a time, a man purchased a book. It was

A Brief History of Time

The book: A Brief History Of Time

The Author: Stephen Hawking

The Review:
Through luck, and association with a particular social group, the man who purchased the book, later got to actually meet the great man, Stephen Hawking himself. He informed him that he had bought and read the book. Largely through Hawking’s handler, the man who guided his wheelchair and who had learned to interpret his minuscule movements, he was asked what he thought of the book.

He replied that he had not understood a word of it. Well…. He got words like a, to, at, the, and, but the rest were over his head like an umbrella. Hawking was surprisingly pleased by this, because it proved that the man had actually read it, even if he didn’t get it.

I tried to get a copy of this book from the library thirty years ago, when it was first published, but it was too popular, and I finally gave up. Recently I thought I’d have another go at it. Hawking’s writing style is pleasantly clear and easy. He claimed that he wanted to provide this information for the ordinary person. Your ‘Ordinary Person’ may vary. MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters won’t be forming book clubs to discuss it, nor will it be a hot topic at truck stops.

Even though I’m retired, I’ve kept up my dues to the United Nerds International Union. I was a good halfway through this small (214 page) book before I had to start checking terms and concepts. After the body of the book, Hawking included 2-3 page bios on the likes of Einstein, Galileo, and Newton, to show how their works and discoveries have provided the foundation for modern understanding of the universe.

For a book on time, Hawking spent the first several chapters discussing/explaining matter. Matter and Time are interwoven. You can’t have time without matter. When I was born, scientists had only recently discovered that molecules were made up of atoms. The Second World War brought us the A-Bomb – the atom bomb. A few years later, the thermonuclear hydrogen H-Bomb was produced. These showed that the atoms could be torn apart, and jammed together, made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

More powerful and delicate devices, like the CERN Collider, have shown that even these tiny building blocks are made of even tinier bits. Like strange little trouble-making Gremlins, they have names like quarks, muons, pions, mesons, leptons, tachyons, baryons, gravitons, and bosons. While they are too small to reflect light, fun-loving physicists label them as red, blue and green, and insist that they have ‘spin,’ based on how they react with each other, and reality.

Hawking eventually got around to explaining time – how it (so far) only flows in one direction, from past to future. He showed how it is subjective, and is influenced by mass, and speed of travel. I’ve run into most of these terms and concepts before, but it was nice to see them laid out so completely and clearly.

Ordinarily, with a book so nicely written and presented, I’d be recommending it, but not this one. For most of you, your only concern with time is that you arrive at work before the boss gets grumpy about your ETA. If Hawking’s successors are successful at using black holes to reverse the flow of time, you’ll never have to worry about that again.

There was a young lady from Bright
Who could travel faster than light
She set off one day
In a relative way,
And returned the previous night

This book is different – a niche market. Unless the checkout clerk down at Geeks R Us knows you by name, I suggest giving it a pass. Don’t pass up the chance to read my next post. It will be available in no time at all.

Flash Fiction #217

Identity

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

IDENTITY THEFT

Where are we going??

It is not wise to ask. We are going to have our identities removed.

What? Why??!

After the Holy Trump – Blessed be His Name – escaped the seditious impeachment trap set by his enemies, He appointed himself Emperor for Life and decreed that there would be no more division and dissent among his People.

His thoughts would be our thoughts. There would be no more Red States or Blues States, only Orange States, to worship his Divine Hair. Fake news was outlawed, climate change conspiracy was crushed, and He holds our Peace in His tiny manly hands.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

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High Drama – Low Comedy

Trudeau

Okay! Move along, move along! Nothin’ to see here. Just another Canadian political rant.

I got another Op-Ed letter published. I shouldn’t phrase it like that. I get almost all my submitted letters published. With print newspapers dying, and readers going to social media, the papers are grateful for any Op-Ed letters. It used to be a contest, and the local paper published 4 -6 letters every day. Now, there’s only 2 letters per issue, and often none.

Blackface

Still…. I had this to say about our pretty, young (and pretty young) Prime Minister.

Many people, probably Liberal party supporters, want to excuse Justin Trudeau’s Blackface incident, saying that he did not mean to insult anyone. This is true, because Trudeau is far too narcissistic to care about insulting other races.

If it were an isolated incident, performed by an adolescent, it might be understandable, but it’s only one in a string of bad social choices – a blackface, two brownfaces, and his Mr. Dressup tour of India.

At 29, well beyond adolescence, he attended a black-tie society dinner. 500 guests, 249 men dressed in tuxedos, and Ali Baba Justin showed up – poorly.

We don’t need a drama student, or teacher. We need a mature statesman to lead the country, not an entitled rich kid, leading a high school musical!

India

This is our Prime Minister, Canada. Ain’tcha glad??! This makes Trump look good. Remember this on our upcoming Election Day.

WOW #50

Dictionary

I recently ran into the word

ADVERTENCY

I bruised a couple of ribs, but I’ll be okay.

Advertency = advertence: The state of being advertent – aware, attentive, heedful, knowledgeable, perceptive

The modern (somewhat restricted) equivalent is “Woke.”

I have been somewhat covert (covered, concealed) in my production of another WOW. Some of you have been a bit overt (open to view, observable) in your expectations that I do, so I thought I’d introduce most of the bunch. The family name – VERT – comes from Latin, through the French, ouvrir-to open, into English. They all have something to do with showing, or seeing – or not.

With its negative prefix, avert means to prevent something from happening, so that the results are not seen. Similarly, invert means to display something, but upside-down. Evert means to turn something inside-out, and show the inner surface. With an opening syllable that means – in, at or to – advertising points your attention to the presentation of goods that retailers want you to be aware of, and purchase.

We move to psychology to meet the introverts, who keep most of their personalities hidden within themselves, and the extroverts, who fill any room they’re in with their outward glow and conversations. Then there are the members of the family that we usually don’t mention, pervert and subvert. They’re the guys who get to see stuff that they shouldn’t.

My advertency about the term advertency came from a science-fiction book. In it, one planet prided themselves about their citizens’ knowledge and understanding of what went on around them, so that they could make the most optimal, informed decisions. The giant University even taught a course on advertency – how to notice details, be informed, know what was going on.

It all comes down to making reasonable, informed decisions. This is what many Atheists wish that the religious hoi polloi would do. If you want to worship one particular God, or follow the tenets of a specific denomination or church, do it. Just be able to give a better justification, when asked, than, “I have faith.”

Canada and the U.S. – Hell, most of the world – could use a University that teaches advertency. I notice far more things than the average Joe, but I could still use some training in how to do more.

I come over a rise, driving in the curb lane. A block ahead is a bus. I know that it will stop and block my lane, so I move out. The guy behind me now rushes up beside me, almost rear-ends the bus when it stops, and almost sideswipes me, trying to go around at the last minute. Too many drivers ‘drive’ no further ahead than their hood ornament.

If we could just raise the average awareness of citizens, then the uninformed, unaware, extrovert leaders like Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, and Boris Johnson wouldn’t get re-elected. Probably won’t happen though. Jay Leno used to air a segment titled Americans Are Dumb, And Proud Of It! I continue to hope, though. Were you aware of that?   😕

Flash Fiction #196

Oy

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

OY

Trump doesn’t govern well because he has poor advisors – not that he listens to anyone. The guys who really know how to run the country are all cutting hair, or driving taxis. The difference between a good haircut and a bad one, is two weeks. The difference between a calm cab ride and a butt-clencher, is prayer.

What was the DMV thinking, licensing these guys?? They drive like they were still in Beirut or Mumbai.
AAAHK – WATCH OUT FOR THAT BUS!!

I’ll just cover my eyes and hope for the best. I picked a fine time to be an Atheist.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

’19 A To Z Challenge – C

Letter CAtoZ2019

 

The unusual English word for the Ides of May Ass-end of April is

COSTERMONGER

Costermonger is the quieter, poorer, green-collar, green-grocer brother of the Monger family. Their trade is

Chiefly British: a dealer in or trader of a commodity (usually used in combination with a specific material)
a person who is involved with something in a petty or contemptible way (usually used in combination)
Verb: to sell, to hawk

Our friend costermonger is; a hawker of fruits, vegetables, fish, etc., often from a cart, barrow or street stall

The Monger children are quite numerous. They include
Iron-monger, who is the roughneck of the family
Fear-monger, who works for Trump in the Immigration Department
War-monger, who flies back and forth between Washington and North Korea
Cheese-monger, the back-to-the-Earth, family Hippie
Gossip-monger, the sister who just can’t keep her mouth shut

Gossip

Almost no-one who becomes an author, can support themselves on book royalties, at least in the beginning. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of books sold, which usually means multiple titles. Not everybody can be a Dan Brown, a Lee Child, or a Tom Clancy.

I know a lovely lady author who has published three small books – with more on the way. As a pay-the-bills job, at one point she was the manager of the sea-food section of a supply warehouse. She delighted in telling people that she was a fish-monger.   😆

Fish

There’s nothing fishy about my claim that my next post will be even more interesting. C U soon.

A To Z - Survivor

Thanks To A Stranger

Bikini

Thanks to a stranger, half a million people saw me naked.

Well no… not me! 😯 If that had happened, even Trump would have called FEMA out. No, this was the title of a post from a young female.

I am a supporter of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #BelieveTheVictim. I am also realist enough to know that not all such reports and accusations are true. From self-embellished memories, to totally fabricated stories from women with social and financial ulterior motives, females sometimes need someone to blame. There’s a certain truth to the statement – She didn’t know that she’d been raped, until the cheque bounced.

So, in a certain reverse manner, did this gal and her story.

In her early 20s, she let her long-term boyfriend convince her to make a sex video. When she learned that the kind of guy who would con you into making a sex video wasn’t the kind of guy to keep around, she broke up with him. Then Mr. Spurned Ex-Lover got nasty and vengeful, and put the video up on a revenge porn site.

She became aware of the site, and expended time and energy to get it deleted, but by the time she did, someone had downloaded it, and put it up on a different porn site. When she became aware of the second posting, she had to go through even more to have it taken down – but not before yet another man downloaded it, and posted it to a third porn site.

By the time she got it finally deleted, the accumulated views on all three sites had exceeded 500,000. Now the blame game began, as you can see by the title.

I’d like to feel sorry for her, I really would, but my ‘Give A Damn’ gland has all dried up. She is largely the author of her own misfortune. As Nancy Regan unsuccessfully said about drugs, “Just say no.” If you don’t want your sex video to show up on the internet – don’t make one – don’t let it out of your possession and control – don’t let a boyfriend (or anyone else) have a thumb-drive copy – don’t store it on a computer that can be accessed or hacked – don’t upload it for storage in ‘The Cloud.’

It seems so simple in retrospect. Think ahead, anticipate possible/probable outcomes, and when the shit does hit the fan, accept personal responsibility for the results of no/poor planning.   A con artist once said that you can’t cheat an honest man. Don’t go blaming ‘A Stranger.’ You can’t embarrass a cautious, vigilant woman.

Thanks to the fact that I’ve got nothing better to do in retirement, I’ll be back with something different in a couple of days. I hope you’ll join me.

A Perfect One-Liner

Comedy

To my mind there’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist….
….but they’d probably find something

I’m not fat….
….but my 100 meter dash record is about 54 meters

People told me not to smear glue on my hands before going to the firing range….
….but I’m sticking to my guns.

My girlfriend asked me to name all my sexual partners in order….
….I probably should have stopped when I got to her name

Dad, how do stars die?….
….Usually an overdose

Did you know the first French fries weren’t cooked in France?….
….they were cooked in Greece

What’s black and rhymes with snoop?…
….Dr. Dre

My top 3 assumptions when the doorbell rings….
….1 – a murderer
….2 – police telling me my wife and kids were killed in a crash
….3 – delivery of that book on positive thinking I ordered

Why was the archaeologist so depressed?….
….because his life was in ruins

I just saw an Apple store being robbed….
….so the policed called me as an I-witness

These days, the ‘grade’ in ‘Catholic grade school’….
….is a lot like the ‘grade’ in ‘weapons grade uranium.’

I was telling some sheep jokes the other day…
….but none of them laughed, and one ran away saying ‘baa’.

I just burned 2000 calories….
….that’s the last time I leave brownies in the oven while I nap

How do Mexicans feel about Trump’s wall?….
….they’ll get over it

If I died right now….
….my life would be complete

I wonder what Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin tasted like….

It cost me $500 to fly economy class, and what a waste of money….
….I still know nothing about economics

I’m against gay marriage….
….for the same reason I’m against straight marriage.

What gets bigger the more you take from it?….
….the lower class

Flash Fiction #172

Guano

PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell

BIRD BRAIN

Pouter Pigeon

I think that my pouter pigeon would make a great presidential candidate.  He couldn’t be worse than the one we have now.

He could be the bird brain who struts around on his tiny hands feet, with his chest puffed out, thinking that he was God’s gift to all females.  He would be the unending source of incomprehensible tweets.

He’d constantly have Washington, and the world, all aflutter, and produce lots of unintelligible noise and great streams of bullshit guano.  Dab a little cheese sauce on his head, and the average American MAGA voter would elect him in a second.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a Prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers