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Thursday, May 8th, 2008
8:45 am - This is the fraud that never ends.
Yes, it goes on and on my friends.

Off to the bank for round two of dispute forms. Thankfully the day after the card was canceled, so this should be the end of it. Who wants to pay rent or have money for their newborn, anyway?

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Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
9:36 am - STOLEN; IRL!
I think the best thing to wake up to when you're groggily checking your account balance to see if the rent check has cleared is $425 worth of mysterious charges from Florida.

And the best part is I have my card in hand, and haven't made any purchases online or in person with any establishments I haven't repeatedly purchased from. Oh well, new card is on the way regardless, and I'm off to fill out a Visa© dispute form.

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Friday, May 2nd, 2008
4:08 pm - STOLEN
What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

List o' books.Collapse )

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Friday, April 18th, 2008
11:52 pm - Expelled: Win Ben Stein's Dignity.
I have returned from viewing Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! by a weary and uninspired Ben Stein turned Michael Moore. Though I had originally thought more of the opening night crowd had attended it ironically as had I, my lovely companion pointed out the laughing and chatter was roughly one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase with my own.

The movie itself is all about the censorship and oppression of cdesign proponentists. I mean, Intelligent Design theorists. Among the people affected were a man fired for not doing his job, a man who quit six months before anyone realized he'd published an intelligent design paper, a woman who did not have her contract renewed and found work at another college, and a guy who had to move his ID web site to third party hosting. That's some serious oppression right there, I tell you what. Oh, but by the way it was all because they merely were open to ID and then the secret organizations began a targeted attack on these folks, and not in any way because of the previously mentioned circumstances.

After we are introduced to these rigorously oppressed folks, we're taken on a whirlwind tour of all the things wrong with the Theory of Evolution (Erm, Darwinism), how Darwin made Hitler kill Jews, why Evolution makes you an atheist, and that Richard Dawkins is a Raelian, all the while our ferris wheel manages to keep from view what the movie actually thinks Intelligent Design is. While the movie does offer a clip that highlights the specific definition of Evolution, it never bothers to define Intelligent Design directly, and only offers basic implications that ID Means you have D from an I. Honestly, two hours of how ID is oppressed, and no mention of what it actually is.

Whether it's blaming Eugenics on Evolution or tough editing PZ Meyers and Dawkins into almost charicatures of themselves, this movie doesn't bother to really make any solid arguments anywhere. On a content level, all I can really say is that Ben Stein feels freedom is A) Important, B) Better in Poland, C) Removed from ID proponents, and D) Worth walking around death camps to talk about.

Ben Stein needs to go back to giving me his money and step away from the podium.

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Thursday, March 13th, 2008
7:23 am - Thoughts on "How Blind is the Watchmaker?"
While looking for A Devil's Chaplain at my local library, I came across a book called How Blind is the Watchmaker? Having recently-ish read The Blind Watchmaker, I felt compelled to read what I assumed would be either a critique or a review of it. Neil Broom, Forwarded by William Dembski, decided to offer up a critique of materialistic evolution in favor of the same only with a transcendant component. That is, Neil Broom put a magic wizard hat on the gaps in materialism.

The majority of Broom's arguments for a transcendant component are based in either misrepresenting certain materialist positions or focusing on inadequacies of the theory and then insisting that it must have been a colony of magical gnomes (or God) that caused DNA to appear and life to go on. One of my favorite examples of this terrible logic is his inability to appropriately use an analogy or understand others. For example he criticizes Dawkins' Biomorphs experiment for not explaining evolution as a whole, for being done with a computer, and for creating things like lunar landers and spitfires. The point of Dawkins' biomorphs? To show how small changes can gradually accumulate into large changes. How does criticizing it on unrelated notes invalidate it? It doesn't? Well, I'll be!

Another common and non-sensical analogy was his consistant comparison of DNA to a language, and then when he pointed out a problem with language, he applied it to DNA. Now this is normally how analogies work, but he was pointing out flaws in languages dependant on grammar and alphabets, something DNA is not reliant upon. Yes randomly changing words or letters in sentences can make them meaningless, but when you do that to DNA it's not necessarily going to be the same. It could be you change an unused base or not alter the functionality in any way. More specifically, the rules of grammar and the rules of genotype to phenotype are not analagous enough to warrant the falsifying or problematizing of grammar to translate into error ridden or damaged phenotypic expression.

By far my favorite criticism of evolution from this book, however, is the million monkeys at a million typewriters. Because this example utilizes technology created by man, it is faulted that it requires human intelligence to conduct. Furthermore, it would require something intelligent to replace paper and ink and to repair damaged or worn down typewriters. Because of these things, the example that random chance becomes certainty over a long enough time frame is somehow lost to Mr. Broom beneath all the warring against materialistic charicatures he's created.

This straw manning of materialism is the core of Broom's argument. He seems to take a hindsight view about much of materialism in order to wedge in his evolutionary wizard. That is to say he looks at our attempts to understand our world based solely on what we see from our human viewpoint looking backwards to our ancestry. From this vantage point he seems to think that because we use human creativity to unlock the mysteries around us we have somehow nodded to some kind of need for intelligence to enact those mysteries. Left to their own devices, Broom feels that pure material matter would simply slump back into rocks and base liquids and gasses. He denies materialist understandings of society and culture and behavior because he applies a rigid limitation that all this must be built upon a fully understood view of the individual molecules. Does our lack of knowledge mean there's a wizard casting spells of progress or does it simply mean we don't fully understand all that we see, but we eek closer to it with each new discovery?

His conclusion, far from being a treatise on anything regarding intelligent design, is a go over of the problem of evil. Due to his thoughts on the impersonal mechanistic reality materialists describe that somehow evil should not be a consideration to materialists because evil is not a physical thing but a moral issue. Broom seriously insinuates that without a wizard to tell you whether or not something is evil, to avoid it, and how to handle it when it comes up, that evil is not an issue. In other words, since materialists have no god, they have no need of morality. This, of course, is silly. It is also equivalent to saying Broom himself would only care about good and evil because his wizard told him to and for no other reason. This is a shallow and authoritarian position. Those of us who are materialists look at the world around us, and based on either evolutionary behavioral patterns, recognition and value of society, or whatever non-transcendant reasons we have, find certain actions preferrable to others. Why do I do good and value good? Because it ultimately promotes what I feel is a valuable and worthwhile life. This is subjective to be sure, but it is also a material thing. I don't do good because a wizard told me to, I do it because of how it affects the environment I see and live in. His inability to grant a materialist morality is common, but also implies he himself would not care about good and evil if he did not have his wizard. For this I am glad he has one, but it does not mean anyone else needs this arcane structure.

On the whole it was an ok read. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone as it doesn't give any decent arguments for the transcendant, rather it points out a few wholes and implies a wizard must have done it. Perhaps it's the materialist in me, but I'd rather find out what's happening than basing my entire world view on "A wizard did it" and trying to fit everything into that. If there was a wizard, we'll reach a point where not only will we have to include wizardry, but that that included wizardry will fit the details we see and help us understand things better. As of now, postulating that the blind watch maker went and cast clairevoyance really isn't anything I feel I need to latch onto, nor does this book make that position any more attractive.

Edit: One last point I neglected to address. Broom, as do many other intelligent design proponents and creationists, stipulates that materialism relies upon an ordered and orderly universe. He then says that there is no reason to expect the universe to be orderly. I assume he means there's no reason to assume this a priori. I can agree with this. There are no a priori reasons at this very moment. What we do have are consistent records of behavior for all of recorded history. The sun's never set on the wrong side of the Earth. Gravity has never suddenly ceased working. However, and I find this interesting, mythical accounts and transcendant features supposedly present in Earth give examples of just these sorts of things. Resurrections, the Earth standing still, special creation, etc... etc... ID propropnents and creationists often say that an ordered and consistent reality is only acceptable through a wizardly figure. To this I ask why materialism doesn't have exceptions in its understanding (there are questions, but rarely do we find places where gravity just inexplicably doesn't work) but the transcendant views do. Why do materialists accept this? Because that is what we materially see every day since we've bothered to look. Consistency is a piece of the material world not for any special reason other than that is what we see.

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Sunday, February 17th, 2008
7:55 am - Refuting Refuting Evolution: Part 3.
Chapters 9 and 10.Collapse )

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Monday, February 11th, 2008
6:50 am - Refuting Refuting Evolution: Part 2.
Chapter 6 through 8Collapse )

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Friday, February 1st, 2008
6:38 am - Refuting Refuting Evolution: Part 1.
Hooray for passing the time by exercizing mine brain. This is long and cut into three parts. Refuting Evolution.Collapse )

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Thursday, January 10th, 2008
Wooo surveys.Collapse )

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Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
1:14 pm - I guess I am cool?
JustSayHi - Science Quiz
100% Free Dating at JustSayHi.com

I messed up on two questions due to not reading or I would have been awesomer!

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Friday, December 21st, 2007
6:24 am - Oh hooray!
So after NOD lapsed and I was too lazy to go hack it to not be an issue I got some manner of trojan upon my system. Of course during the two or three days I was being lazy I also had all of my gear on my Paladin, Warlock, and Priest vendored and sent off to some lucky winner elsewhere. Twenty-Three days later I had my issue resolved and I believe all of my gear back.


Hooray! Now if only the vengeful hand of god hadn't stricken my internets from existnece I may be able to use it. :(

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Friday, December 7th, 2007
6:36 am - Why science is pretty awesome.
I was reading through Talk Origins as I do when I have questions about evolution. It's basically the most comprehensive and easily accessible collection of evolutionary knowledge I've seen on the net to date. Specifically I was looking for information on Macroevolution as it's one of the key components of evolution you can't actually personally witness. Now the term is used in two different ways. Professionally/technically it's used to describe evolution at or above the species level. In the Creation vs Evolution debate it's used to describe one animal evolving into a wholly separate animal (Say reptiles into mammals.)

I was more interested in the latter since it's something I didn't have a solid enough grasp to adequately explain the process in detail. I understood that the process which gives a cat a slightly more orange coat is the same thing that may eventually transform it into a wholly different mammal in thousands of years, but I couldn't exactly explain that in any detail.

The interesting thing I found about this article wasn't necessarily its content, but that it was critiqued by a creationist and that that critique was responded to.

Specifically, these excerpts from the critique and the rebuttal.

From Ashby's critique: "NOTE: The paper critiqued in this article was subsequently changed by Mr. Theobald, who also published a criticism of this article—and changed it too, after Mr. Camp responded. Neither this article, nor Mr. Camp’s response to Theobald’s criticism, have been altered to accommodate Mr. Theobold’s on-going adjustments and modifications."

From Theobald's rebuttal: "I would like to thank Camp for his congenial criticism. It has given me the impetus to rework and expand the "29 Evidences," and the result is a more comprehensive, clearer, and stronger article."

This says a lot to me about the debate as a whole. While Ashby is not to be discredited for not wanting to continually modify a critique when the source of its criticism is changed, I found it pretty awesome that Theobald thanked Ashby for his criticism and used it to create a clearer, stronger article for macroevolution. Even though a significant portion of Ashby's criticisms were inappropriate or incorrect, his explanation of his problems with the article allowed Theobald to see where he could make his points clearer and more helpful to his audience.

Hooray for the process of criticism! Yay science!

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Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
4:54 pm - War on Sin
I finished "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris recently. It's a fairly interesting book, has some good points and doesn't actually bring up atheism despite its reputation as an atheistic book. Harris simply talks about the irrationality humans display, and how it's generally viewed in a negative light everywhere except religious faith despite religious faith having no fundamental differences than most other forms of irrationality.

He does go into some detail about his issues with Islam, and takes a fairly hostile stance on it. However he does give his reasons and most interestingly posited that one of the best ways to deal with Islam would be to remove our dependency on oil as a method to force Islamic nations to modernize which he feels would bring about the same trends that Christianity went through to bring it where it is today. That is, less literalistic views and less use of the Quran as law and such.

The most interesting thing I found in the book were some of the chapters about modern Christianity. Specifically he points out that the war on drugs makes much more sense when viewed as the war on sin.

In legalization debates the relative harmlessness of certain substances is often touted as a reason to legalize some drugs given our allowance of tobacco and alcohol. Why is marijuana illegal when alcohol, which causes infinitely more societal problems than marijuana could, remains perfectly legal. Harris states that one of the largest reasons is that these substances remain illegal while society at large sanctions alcohol is that these substances provide beneficial effects with little to no inherent recourse. That is, if you smoke marijuana you will get high, then stop being high. Granted this could interfere with things if you weren't responsible with it, but the actual side effects of marijuana are essentially non existent. If you drink too much you will likely experience hang overs, have long term health issues, and possibly die from withdrawls should you drink too long and decide to up and quit.

On the whole, there is no logical reason to keep marijuana illegal while allowing alcohol and tobacco to be legal unless there's something more than society's good at hand. In this case, the concept of a substance that lets you enjoy it and then return to life none the worse for wear is something Harris states that the largely religious west finds problematic and on this basis alone these substances retain their illegal status.

And I agree. Legalizing marijuana would do nothing worse than is already happening after a period of adjustment. We may see more use, but we'd also lose the vast majority of the black market. It would still exist, but it would be much smaller. We'd free up a number of non-violent offenders, increase tax revenues, etc... These facts can be better researched in any pro-legalization papers or organizations, so I'll leave this here.

Drugs are more or less substances which alter your body chemistry. We tend to use the term "drugs" to refer to the illegal variety, but there's really no definition that would work for the illegal and controlled substances that wouldn't also apply to tylenol, coors, and a pack of camels. We tend to think of drugs as dangerous simply by their restrictive or destructive capacity, in that order. Most parents would rather their child be caught with a beer than a joint, despite the fact that alcohol is more potentially damaging to a developing body and a reckless teenager than marijuana could.

The legality of a substance seems to be a notch above the destructive nature of a substance in terms of what the general American population is concerned about. I used to think this way myself until I actually looked into some of the drug's effects. The legality of substances, and the classification in terms of perceived harm seems to have little to do with the negative effects to an individual and less so the negative effects to society. Look up the mortality rates and health issues associated with alcohol and then compare them to the various schedules of drugs.

The first thing to notice is alcohol is far and away the number one drug in terms of death toll, whether from overdose, incidents under the influence, or long term degredation of the body, or most any other way to index deaths by drugs. The next thing to notice is that the penalties cannot be associated by this view. Hallucinogens are rather risky legally, but many have almost no actual side effects. Marijuana jails more people yearly than many others, yet has almost no health risks aside from the method of ingestion - if you didn't smoke it, there would be nothing of significant concern. At least not more than an unhealthy diet could do to you, and I doubt we'll be banning oreos any time soon.

Viewing the war on drugs as a war on sin does make the categorization a lot easier to understand, but it just makes it that much more pathetic to think about what billions of dollars are being spent on each year - Punishing sinners. Now, I won't go so far as to say the voting populous and political committees running the war on drugs equate drug use with sin, but I can't imagine it's not something most of these folks hold in their minds when they consider the topic. Drug users aren't viewed as sinners and drugs a sin directly, there's no equivocation directly occurring, but the way society treats 'sinful' behavior seems to match up with how it treats drug use as well.

Do we really need to have society spend so much time, effort, and money enforcing a notion of sin? It's important to a lot of people, but is it more important to punish otherwise law abiding citizens who've committed truly victimless crimes than to disagree and let them be? If the issue can end there, why would we need to bring the legal system into it?

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Friday, November 9th, 2007
8:34 pm - Gooooon
At various points in my time over at the SA Forums I have posted images from my hosting. Apparently I must have posted the following image, or someone internet detectived it up since I don't hide anything or restrict it.

Nevertheless, it was changed from that into this due to a pretty hilarious thread. At first I was sort of shocked when I saw my face, but then I saw the result and it was pretty fantastic.

I got away pretty light considering what some of the other goons were treated to. Dickwit is a good man.

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
8:47 am - Evolution
I have recently begun to think that the creation versus evolution debate isn't about accepting evolution. Everyone accepts evolution on the basic level - that living things are products of their parents, and that the small changes that occasionally occur in those offspring have effects that will be passed on, and the effects which lead to more successful breeding will find themselves being a larger part of the breeding population. (For instance, I don't believe very many people with Down's Syndrome breed all that often.)

We can observe in a laboratory setting any individual aspect of evolution from the genome itself all the way up to speciation. So, if we can see every aspect of evolution in a lab, what's the argument about? Two things as near as I can tell.

First, timeline. Yes we can observe all the facets of evolution, but if we don't have the requisite millions of generations to work with, it's not an explanation for all life as we know it. For this reason I believe a large number of people who disagree with evolution are actually disagreeing with the geological data we have about our earth and the astronomical data about our universe.

Second, God. If the facts are accepted as science has explained them, some definitions and views of God are tossed out the window, meaning that you cannot both accept science as it has been explored and God. Of course, this is the basis of faith - accepting the reality and truth of god regardless of fact - accepting God because you want to.

If these premises were true we would expect the majority of people who reject the claims of evolution to fall into one of these two categories, and while there is a lot of debate about details and finer points of evolution, the only people who outright reject the general patterns of evolution as an answer to the diversity of life tend to fall into one of these two camps.

In reading another article from Answers in Genesis I found that Ken Ham agrees with me. Specifically, "That is, both of the above groups suffer from the same basic problem. They really don’t understand that it is not a matter of ‘their evidence vs ours.’ All evidence is actually interpreted, and all scientists actually have the same observations—the same data—available to them in principle." ... "I then give an example. ‘Let’s consider the science of genetics and natural selection. Evolutionists believe in natural selection—that is real science, as you observe it happening. Well, creationists also believe in natural selection. Evolutionists accept the science of genetics—well, so do creationists.

‘However, here is the difference: Evolutionists believe that, over millions of years, one kind of animal has changed into a totally different kind. However, creationists, based on the Bible’s account of origins, believe that God created separate kinds of animals and plants to reproduce their own kind—therefore one kind will not turn into a totally different kind.

‘Now this can be tested in the present. The scientific observations support the creationist interpretation that the changes we see are not creating new information. The changes are all within the originally created pool of information of that kind; sorting, shuffling or degrading it. The creationist account of history, based on the Bible, provides the correct basis to interpret the evidence of the present—and real science confirms the interpretation.’"

So Mr. Ham does accept the same things to a point. For some reason he rejects speciation. If this is because, as he says, it is not real science, then we shouldn't have any observed instances of speciation in laboratory settings. We shouldn't be able to predict and point out where portions of speciation occurred. We shouldn't have any kind of transitional records. However, we have all of these things. So what this means is that Mr. Ham is all in favor of openly admitting to all the things evolutionary science says which do not contradict his beliefs in the Bible and its God.

Unfortunately, I can't specifically refute Mr. Ham's claims that one kind of organism went through sufficient changes to become a completely different kind as I'm unsure of his particular definition of what a species or kind is. (There are various definitions ranging from specific genetic incompatibility to behavioral incompatibility, etc...) However, if we can observe speciation at all, then the only barrier for one slowly changing into something else is time.

There are at least some repeatable speciation events, particularly everyone's favorite genetic toy, Drosphilia.

And of course there are numerous articles describing various speciation events.

However, Mr. Ham rejects this information for some reason, as well as various articles regarding transitional fossils.

Is it a simple matter of interpreting the facts differently? Or is it a matter of rejecting the facts because they don't fit into his world view? Given the fact that most of what he rejects provides a more complete and useful explanation of the world around us, I cannot help but think it's got less to do with interpretation of facts and more to do with preservation of a belief system.

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8:16 am - Answers in Genesis.
As many of you know I probably read far more than I should about fundamentalist Christian positions. In the past I've watched all of Kirk Cameron's "Way of the Master" series, read numerous articles and papers about creationism and various other biblical positions, and read Christian critiques of various parts of modern culture and how we're all going to hell. Recently I read "The Blind Watchmaker" and am in the process of reading "The End of Faith." Taking a small break from this, I trotted over to the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis.

I actually found a fairly decent article considering the normal stuff you find on these sites. It's an article by Ken Ham explaining to Christians how to talk to non-Christians who demand proof for god. Written in 1999, Where's the proof? attempts to answer the question of how to prove god's reality without the bible. Though it starts out promising, it quickly spirals in on itself and tears its own premise apart.

Starting out by stating that all of us start with the same group of facts and that only our axioms differ, I thought there might be a new approach to trying to prove the validity of the bible from some other point. Sadly, after a bit of linguistic gymnastics, Mr. Ham went right into quoting the bible, leading us into familiar territory for these sorts of discussions.

What struck me as truly bizarre, and the reason I'm posting this, was the summation or tail end of the article where Mr. Ham discusses the nature of facts and reality. Specifically he states "‘Facts’ are neutral. However, there are no such things as ‘brute facts’; all facts are interpreted. Once the Bible is eliminated in the argument, then the Christians’ presuppositions are gone, leaving them unable to effectively give an alternate interpretation of the facts. Their opponents then have the upper hand as they still have their presuppositions."

This is followed up by two accounts trying to show how naturalists, logic, and reason without the bible are somehow flawed and that the bible offers a better answer. Does he do this by discussing naturalism, logic, or reason? No. He does this by nitpicking at solipsism. He doesn't call it that, but that's the beauty of conflation. He's used one name - naturalism, and married it to solipsism when he defines it:

1) "A young man approached me at a seminar and stated, ‘Well, I still believe in the big bang, and that we arrived here by chance random processes. I don’t believe in God.’ I answered him, ‘Well, then obviously your brain, and your thought processes, are also the product of randomness. So you don’t know whether it evolved the right way, or even what right would mean in that context. Young man, you don’t know if you’re making correct statements or even whether you’re asking me the right questions.’"

Congratulations, you've talked to someone who clearly hasn't thought out their own belief systems and is no indictment of reason or naturalism. It is, however, an indictment of this man's belief systems and their shaky ground. The correct answer to Mr. Ham's questions would be to point out that we are not the product of random processes and that while we have no direct contact with reality personally, the reality we do have contact with is consistent and can be accepted within the framework of human subjectivity. No holy text can change our connection to our reality, only the way we choose to accept or reject aspects of it.

2) "On another occasion, a man came to me after a seminar and said, ‘Actually, I’m an atheist. Because I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in absolutes, so I recognize that I can’t even be sure of reality.’ I responded, ‘Then how do you know you’re really here making this statement?’ ‘Good point,’ he replied. ‘What point?’ I asked. The man looked at me, smiled, and said, ‘Maybe I should go home.’ I stated, ‘Maybe it won’t be there.’ ‘Good point,’ the man said. ‘What point?’ I replied."

Using a guy who absolutely doesn't believe in absolutes as an example is a terrible idea. He already destroys any credibility he has before Mr. Ham even needs to respond to point out what's wrong. However, he does respond, with all the wit and cynicism of a teenager who just discovered his first philosophy primer. I expected there to be a third example where a person tells Mr. Ham that we are all just figments of someone else's imagination, but Mr. Ham's ill thought out assault on naturalism seems to have ended here.

And his attempt to answer the questioner's issue of proving the bible without the bible? Mr. Ham either believes it cannot or should not be done and simply explains that the Christian ought to continue to use the bible as the basis for all discussion and debate regarding such matters. To his credit, he does explain that the Christian ought to use the bible and observed fact together to prove the validity of the Christian world view. However, it seems he relies on his adversaries being unprepared to answer the challenges the Christian will throw forth. "Forcing the debater to logically defend his position consistent with science and his own presuppositions (many will find that they cannot do this)."

When Christians meet those of us who can defend our positions logically, can explain the observed fact better and more consistently, and can point out where the science and observed fact falls apart in a Christian world view? I wonder what Mr. Ham would say to that?

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Sunday, August 12th, 2007
8:13 am - Atheists unable to answer retarded question, film at 11.
Reading up on Bush's head speech writer from 2000 to 2006, specifically his self agrandizing antics, led me to find his repository of Washington Post articles. The one titled "What Atheists Can't Answer" asked a common and very much retarded question. To paraphrase: "If there's no god, what's your moral compass?"

Nothing new here, however Gerson goes on to explain how his vision of atheism's model is flawed, while describing what I took to be most systems of morality - religious or secular - ever created. Not all of them fall under this description, but I imagine a majority will. "Some argue that a careful determination of our long-term interests -- a fear of bad consequences -- will constrain our selfishness."

I understand the implication that he's saying atheistic morality is just the avoidance of consequences, but taking those two statements he made "Careful determination of our long-term interests" and "a fear of bad consequences." This more or less describes Christian morality. The first part to honor god with good works and honest love of others, the second a fear of hellfire. Where's the surprise in this? People think about their future and weigh out the consequences of their actions? How dare they!

He also specifically states that atheists lack the ability to have objective morality, which is silly. Morality can be as subjective or objective as you like, it just depends on what your goals are and what you're willing to put into it. You can believe very much in god and the truth of a holy text and still be a self-centered cockgoblin. Or you can be a selfless, charitable person who happens to be an atheist. It's a matter of prioritization, not theology. The people who want to function in groups will tend to shift the focus from the self to others, and the people who want to function as individuals will tend to shift the focus from others to the self. You'll get that same division along other lines such as justice, fairness, equality, etc... For every devout racist you'll find a secular humanist. For every secular hedonist you'll find a devout social worker.

Where does morality come from? To be blunt it comes from a combination of biology and history. Sounds terrible when you put it like that, and sometimes it is. But it's not because someone does or does not believe in a god of some type. It's because everyone's situation is different and everyone has different goals. But hey, if you want to discredit everyone who doesn't prioritize based on the supernatural, more power to you.

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Monday, July 2nd, 2007
1:54 pm - Oh gnos!
Last time I was doing heroin I was sure to have a revolver and a wicked skull. Oh, also Jesus implanted himself into my arm and made sure I didn't OD.

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Sunday, July 1st, 2007
3:46 pm - Gamers
The topic of games, or more specifically World of Warcraft, coming between couples has been something I've been a party to my entire life. I've been a gamer since I was five or six, transitioning between consoles, PCs, fields, and card tables at various points. Recently a woman outlined her issues with WoW here. Basically she echoes what have been the common complaints from all people who feel second place to a hobby. Not enough time or attention given to her, not enough affection or intimacy, nothing that really makes her feel important.
Fucking long post about why WoW didn't make your boyfriend an inattentive dick.Collapse )

Comedy rebuttal to SYMPTOMS OF COMPUTER ADDICTION.Collapse )

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
10:05 am - Tee hee
"Quoting the bible is no different than quoting things you've read on the internet. Yeah, somebody took the time to write it down, and lots of people might agree wholeheartedly with it. That doesn't really make it accurate or correct."

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