Archive | September, 2009

The natural state of things

29 Sep

It’s so hard to do anything, there is so much resistance to everything. Water will eventually wash away soil no matter how hard the soil tries to resist. It’s the natural state of things. Buildings will eventually crumble and fall, it’s the natural state of things. Everyone you love will eventually die, it’s the natural state of things.  The universe will eventually spread out and cool down into cold dead nothingness, it’s the natural state of things.

There are just so many things that if left by themselves will revert back to the natural state of shit and nothingness. It’s a fight to do anything. Even gravity is against you. I put a pencil on a desk and it rolls off and falls, and so I must bend down and fight gravity to pull it back from its natural state. I know that sounds trivial, but it’s the little things that get me down.

Day in and day out, not getting anywhere, it’s a struggle just to get out of bed. My body aches and I’m tired, I’d much rather revert back to being in bed, but I must fight the forces trying to keep me down to go out and perform meaningless tasks.

I used to be all “I want to save the world and help people”, now I’m not sure. It seems that the world is just spinning down the drain, and any attempts to make things better are ultimately pointless. So why fight it? Things in life are naturally shit. Starvation, suffering, and death are the natural states for millions around the world. Masses of people will naturally do stupid shit, like vote republican. Why fight it? Yes they will do stupid stuff, and yes they will suffer for it, but they are so fickle and possess such a short term memory that they will continue to repeat the same mistakes and expect different results. It’s just natural for them. Shit is the natural state of things.

As much as it seems reasonable to just go with the flow and be evil, I can’t. It’s my natural state to be a good person, and so I lament all the shit in the world, but I feel unable to do anything to stop the natural state of things. I think I would be happier if I was indifferent to other people’s suffering. It would make living in this world as we slowly circle the drain easier.

Why does it feel like the GOP is still in charge?

27 Sep

I get the feeling the republicans are still in charge of the country. Even though technically they lost both the white house and congress, they still manage to some how throw a wrench in all the democrats’ plans.

Healthcare is a perfect example. The dems have enough seats to push this through, but it’s as if the republicans are in charge of congress. No matter what Obama’s plans are they manage to somehow stall them.

I think the killer here is the economy. Under the last 8 years of regulation being a fowl word the economy went to hell. Bush and the republicans fucked things up so badly, and got booted out just in time of this tsunami of shit to crash on Obama and the dems.

What was Obama to do? Nothing and let it play out? (Like what the tea party folks are screaming they wish he had done) Then the economy would have completely crashed and the republicans would have pointed the blame at him anyways.

Obama was damned either way. Let the largest economy in the world crash and be blamed, or try and bail it out and be blamed. (And trust me, I wish those fuckers at the bank had been allowed to drown, but what were we to do?)

I just am amazed how the republicans are surfing this. It’s like they’re trying to say “We know we fucked this whole thing up to begin with, but since we started it, we know how to finish it, and this Obama guy is just going to mess it up worse!”

They’re using the anger over the economy to block every measure the democrats want to put in place. How are they able to still do this? Just steam roll them. They’ve shown that they don’t really care about bi-partisanship. Obama’s reached out to them several times (and pissed off his base in the process) and for what? For them to spit in his face and then complain that he doesn’t care.

It’s all irrelevant

20 Sep

What is the proper way to worship god? Should people be baptized? Must you be born again? Is there a heaven or a hell? Must you fast on Ramadan? What foods can you eat and what foods should you avoid? Must women wear head coverings? What is sin?

There is no doubt that questions like these are extremely important to believers of one religion or another, but ultimately they are irrelevant. Why? Because every single question like this assumes that a god exists, despite the fact that all religions have equally failed to provide anything more than just sheer determined faith as evidence. You can’t ignore this crucial bottle neck. If god doesn’t exist, then all the other arguments about his/her/its nature is irrelevant. No matter how you try and get around it, it boils down to this:

logic

Also, notice how logically if you make a claim “I have a baseball” you have to be able to provide evidence to prove the statement if it is to be taken seriously. This is the same for “I have a [insert any noun, including god(s) here]” This is called burden of proof, and its how logic works, its how court systems work, its how reality works. Innocent until proven guilty. Something is assumed not true until there is evidence to support the contrary. So far no evidence has been provided. Meerly willing something to be, no matter how hard to clentch your fists and focus during prayers, does not make it true, nor does your effort count as evidence.

Religious states have more teen pregnancies

16 Sep

A recent study found a correlation between a state’s religiosity and teen pregnancies.

Researchers believe that this correlation might be caused by conservative religious culture’s attitudes towards contraceptive. They point out that conservative religous attitudes towards pre-marital sex do not seem to stop teens from engaging in such activities, it only discourages them to do it safely.

I’m honestly not surprised. The conservative religious cultures these researchers are talking about are the same “the bible is literally true, word for word” people, and as such are not very keen on reality. There would be a lot less unwanted teen pregnancies (and thus less unwanted and under cared for children) if they realized one very simple, unchangeable fact: teens are going to have sex no matter what you say or do. They always have, they always will. There is nothing you can do to stop it. You may not like it, but that is reality, and it cannot be changed no matter how hard you pray.

I despise fox news

15 Sep

I can’t tell you how much contempt and loathing I have for this “news” station.

Fox__Friends

These happy, smiling people are some of the most twisted, cynical deceivers on air. The people at Fox “news” consistently misrepresent the facts, and their gullible audience suffers for it. Look at this 2007 Pew research study:

“the Pew Research Study shows that viewers of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report have the highest knowledge of national and international affairs, while Fox News viewers rank nearly dead last:

Fox “news” claims to be fair and balanced. Ironic since nothing they do is either fair or balanced. Here, just look at this short montage of one of Fox’s favorite tactics, shutting off your opponent’s microphone:

Oh yeah, that’s fair and balanced all right. I don’t see any other actual journalists engaging in that type of behavior, and Fox does it regularly. If I tried to list all the times Fox news has either misrepresented the facts or out right lied, I’d be here all day. Just search for videos on youtube catching them in the act.  Here are the links to some examples off the top of my head:

Fox “news” purposely misrepresents health care reform as “government take over” despite what health care bill actually says. Video

Fox “news” omits facts to make it seem like school principle arrested for merely praying. Video

Fox “news” distorts facts on North Korean missile range to stoke fears. Video

Fox claims to be fair and balanced. In reality it is the most right wing station on tv and the radio.  They have two notorious hosts that stick out from the rest. Bill O’ Reilly and Glenn Beck. Here’s Bill O’ stoking the flames that eventually lead to a crazy man murdering an abortion doctor. Glenn Beck can be heard here screaming his head off on air at a woman who disagrees with him on health care reform. Real professional. After Obama won the election, good old Glenn suggested that those who didn’t vote for him succeed from the union, asking if that was possible, if it had ever been done before. Yes, it was called the Civil War and it claimed the lives of 620,000 people.

Bill O’ Reilly loves to scream down his opponents. This video is a little old, so he’s done it more times than what’s in this clip, but here he is screaming at guests who disagree with him to shut up.

Another unprofessional media tactic Fox loves to employ is ambushing people. They have attack dogs who go out and try to corner people by surprise and bombard them with loaded questions. Here are two videos of them doing it to a liberal blogger on vacation, and to Bill Moyers.

Just search for these guys on youtube and you’ll find plenty more videos of unethical and unprofessional practices.

Fox “news” is a firm believer in that if there is a crime committed, it’s done by a democrat. If it was actually done by a republican, we’ll just say he’s a democrat until someone calls us on it. Here is South Carolina gov. Mark Stanford, president of the Republican Governors’ club. He got caught sleeping with a woman who was not his wife, after he left his job for several days without telling anyone in the government. Fox labeled him as a democrat…

Fox also loves conspiracies:

conspiracy

The truly funny thing is that Fox “news” knows it’s viewers aren’t the best at critical thinking, in fact Fox is scared that their viewers can’t tell the difference between reality and a Simpsons cartoon. I wish I was kidding.

The sad thing is that all this manipulation and lies from Fox “news” has a real effect on the people watching. It actively misinforms an audience that is easy to scare and quick to anger.

(In case you don’t know, the sign the man with the gun is holding is quoting Thomas Jefferson; “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” Pray tell, who is this tyrant who’s blood needs to be spilt to water the tree of liberty?

MobL

Yep, that’s right. Obama is somehow linked to 9/11. He’s a muslim terrorist that wasn’t born in America and he’s here to take your bibles, guns, and money; at least if you watch Fox.

(ps. There was an entire documentary done a few years back on Fox’s tactics called “Out Foxed”. Go check them out.)

Yale University surrenders free speech

9 Sep

Yale University has decided to pull the controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book on the mass violence that shook the world in 2006 after their publication.

Why was Yale afraid to publish the photos? Violence

Last time I checked, influencing people’s actions with the fear of violence or the threat of it is a form of terrorism. The whole point to free speech is that you should be able to publish without the fear of violence. This is exactly the reason we have free speech. And Yale goes and surrenders it.

Sin and forgiveness through Atheist eyes

9 Sep

Growing up in the protestant faith, my concept of sin was that it was to do anything god forbade. What that might be was either what it said in the bible not to do, or what the pastor (who supposedly spoke for god) said not to do. A sin was a transgression against god.

It was at the same time that I learned about the concept of forgiveness. (Mind you I was still very young) I was told that the idea of forgiveness was an exclusively christian notion, that other cultures and people did not have this idea of forgiveness. I can remember the person using Japan as an example for some reason.

The interesting thing about sin is that some people define it differently. For me it was usually  just going against the 10 commandments.  For a few fringe groups, dancing is a sin. (The bible goes both ways on this) The administration at “Liberty” “University” thinks dancing, watching “R” rated movies, and video games are sins.

According to Leviticus 19:27 round haircuts are a sin. Leviticus 11:8 also says football is a sin. Pulling out during sex is a sin. Tattoos, Shellfish, dressing nicely as a woman, and having crushed testicles are also right out according to the bible.

So what about me as an Atheist? What do I think about sin? Does sin exist?

Well since there is no god to transgress against, there can be no sin. This does not mean that there is no such thing as “wrong” in an Atheist’s eyes. I still think that killing, stealing, rape, etc. are wrong. I don’t need a god to tell me that. I don’t, however, think drinking, dancing, sex, games, movies, and shellfish are wrong.

As for forgiveness. I’ve come to realize that this is not an exclusively christian concept. I’m not christian and I still believe in forgiveness. To me, forgiveness is as much about your own healing process as it is about the person who wronged you. You also show higher moral fiber (in my opinion) if you forgive a person instead of holding a grudge.

Congressional republicans want everything to fail

9 Sep

I want to first make the distinction between congressional republicans and your average citizen republican. I think they are two different groups of people.

I can’t help but get the feeling that the republicans that hold elected office just want everything in the country to fail while Obama is in charge. Ever since he got elected they have turned into the party of “no”. They shoot down every idea the democrats come up with, and in turn they offer no ideas.

I feel Obama has gone out of his way to try and include the republicans in the healthcare debate, but so far it has only been to his detriment. The republicans see that he is trying to reach out to them and so they halfheartedly offer up ideas nobody in their right mind would agree with. When the democrats naturally veto the bad ideas, the republicans cry foul and say Obama isn’t being bi-partisan. If Obama DID accept their ideas, when he implemented them they would fail (the republicans know this) and then the GOP would point and shout “Look! Look! Obama’s ideas are failing! Vote Republican!” It’s a win win situation for them.

So the republicans bide their time pussy-footing around, stalling, all to the country’s detriment. They don’t care that their constituents are suffering, that America is swamped with problems. To them they only have to wait it out 4 years, and try to make those 4 years as horrible as possible. As long as they can point out that Obama is in charge during all the problems.

It really makes me feel bad for the republicans who voted for them. The average republican doesn’t want Obama to fail, for if Obama fails the country suffers. They have jobs and families to worry about. They can’t just sit around on $165,200 congressional pay checks for 4 years. They need help now, and their representatives don’t want to give it to them.

Liberal = college student

5 Sep

A couple of friends of mine made this remark to me a while back on facebook and it has pissed me off ever since. They told me that I was only a liberal because I was a college student.

I guess they were trying to imply that I’m naive about how the world works and elitist for getting an education past highschool. There are several things that make their remark pure bullshit. Mainly, not all college students are liberals, and not all liberals are college students.

A 2004 study by the Pew Research Center identified 19 percent of Americans as liberal. According to the study, liberals were the most affluent and educated ideological demographic. Of those who identified as liberal, 49 percent were college graduates and 41 percent had household incomes exceeding $75,000, compared to 27 and 28 percent at the national average, respectively. Source

Only around 29% of Americans have a college degree. If liberals make up only 19% of the population, then not all college students are liberals. As for passing liberals off as young children who don’t know any better, you only need to look around to see that that is bullshit. All liberals are not young. There are plenty who are older. Here is a list of all the older liberals in congress. Now given, my friends who made this comment live in a conservative area of Virginia, so there might not be that many liberals around, but there are enough liberals in other states to carry both branches of government in the last election, and the youth vote alone is not big enough to do that against all other voting blocks, so therefore not all youths are liberal.

Luck doesn’t exist

5 Sep

First I think I should define what I mean by “luck”.  For the purpose of this post Luck will be defined as: a pseudo-magical force that intervenes in affairs to lead to a favorable outcome.

Take a motorcycle stunt driver:

Now this whole jump is subject to the laws of physics. He needs at least X velocity to clear the jump and land on the adjacent ramp. He either has it or he doesn’t. It is cut and dry. There is no invisible “luck” factor that will magically show up and push his bike just a little bit farther to land safely on the ramp. He might come very close to not meeting that threshold of X, which would give the illusion of luck, but as long as he is over the required energy threshold he will make it. It doesn’t mater if he makes it by .00001, or 5+, all that maters is that he has >X

Take roulette as another example.

When you spin the wheel and toss the ball into it, there is no room for luck. All the variables exist, you just don’t know them. Look at it this way:

The wheel starts in position X. The dealer then spins the wheel putting Y amount of energy into it. Take into account friction of all kinds and you will get Z result. It would be difficult to measure all these variables, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Not knowing the variables exactly creates the illusion of chance.

You could say with absolute certainty how a coin or die would land if you knew every variable there was to know. It would be simple math. Again, because it’s so difficult to discover these variables as precisely as needed, the illusion of luck is created.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers