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Really? 7.24.14 – Religion and Intolerance

Really? 7.24.14 - Religion and Intolerance

“Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine.” - Jonathan Swift, "Gulliver's Travels". God and morality. Religious folk claim that without God there is no morality. That if you don't believe ...

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Really? 7.23.14 – Texas hates on women; Politicians with ADHD; Ignoring evidence; Cruel, but not so unusual; ACA games.

Really? 7.23.14 - Texas hates on women; Politicians with ADHD; Ignoring evidence; Cruel, but not so unusual; ACA games.

“And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” - Oscar Wilde Texas wants them barefoot and pregnant. Texas promotes abstinence-only sex ed. It has slashed funding for family planning services. It ...

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Without People Scientific Truth Would Still Exist. Religion Wouldn’t.

Without People Scientific Truth Would Still Exist. Religion Wouldn't.

The difference between the theory of evolution and creationism is the same as the difference between an explorer and a missionary. A good explorer has no agenda, he is merely interested in what he finds. The good missionary has no interest in discovering anything, but only in browbeating others into ...

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Microsoft CEO Explains At Great Length That The Company Must Be Leaner.

Microsoft CEO Explains At Great Length That The Company Must Be Leaner.

Microsoft is a mature business. Which gives it the same advantages and disadvantages that mature people have. They know a lot. But they become stodgy and set in their ways. Mature people, who want to shed weight, exercise and experiment with diets. Mature businesses cut payroll and experiment with business strategies. Some ...

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Nineteen Eighty-Four’s “Newspeak” in 2014.

Nineteen Eighty-Four's Newspeak in 2014.

Part of George Orwell's genius was his understanding of how language shapes ideas. Words and phrases are not neutral. Consider the difference in meaning between the glass half-full and the glass half-empty. In 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' Big Brother's authority stemmed in part from "newspeak" - a language designed to simplify English - and ...

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“Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine.” - Jonathan Swift, “Gulliver’s Travels”.

God and morality.

Religious folk claim that without God there is no morality. That if you don’t believe in God you have no reason to be good. But the facts do not back their claim. Prisons are full of the devout. There is no evidence that atheists are more immoral than believers. In fact the actions of the fundamentalist Muslims of ISIS show the depths of depravity true believers can sink to.

They have issued a fatwa mandating all girls and women, in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, undergo female genital mutilation. An act that has no mandate in the Koran.

When is  a sincerely held religious belief actually bigotry?

The Newton Daily News fired its editor-in-chief for expressing his sincerely held, anti-gay, religious beliefs. Robert Dale Eschliman is now suing the paper for wrongful termination, because:

“Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage.”

He had written that on his personal blog that his beliefs had compelled him to fight “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo”. Is that belief or bigotry? The language is telling. Nazi allusions and the dismissive “XYZ” appendage points not to a man of faith, but a petty bigot.

An intelligent designer?

The idea that life had a designer is fanciful. The idea that he was intelligent is farcical. An Oxford University study has concluded that just 8.2 per cent of our DNA is necessary. The rest is has no role in the human animal. This is explicable by evolution. But renders creationism religious wishful thinking.

Iraq Christians flee.

Saddam Husseim may have been a brutal dictator. But at least he tolerated Christians. In fact, his long time Deputy Prime Minister and spokesman, Tariq Aziz, was a Christian. Then evangelical President Bush invaded. Upset the applecart. And now ISIS is mandating that Christians convert to Islam. Predictably, many are fleeing.

Beware the law of unintended consequences.

The Gaza and European anti-semitism.

American sympathies generally lie with Israel. Culturally, and perhaps out of fear of their large Muslim populations, Europeans tend to side with the Palestinians. But either way, this ignores (a) that the fighting is not between Israelis and Palestinians but  between the Israeli hard-right and the Palestinian hard-right. And (b) that it is not a religious conflict – any  more than “the troubles” in Northern Ireland were a religious conflict.

The sides are different religions, but the fight is for security and economic self-control. The religious symbolism is only a totem. Hamas isn’t lobbying missiles at Israel because they want the Israelis to convert to Islam. Nor do the Israelis object to Islam (generally), they just want the missiles to stop.

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Really? 7.23.14 – Texas hates on women; Politicians with ADHD; Ignoring evidence; Cruel, but not so unusual; ACA games.

July 23, 2014

“And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” – Oscar Wilde Texas wants them barefoot and pregnant. Texas promotes abstinence-only sex ed. It has slashed funding for family planning services. It has so regulated [...]

Read the full article →

Without People Scientific Truth Would Still Exist. Religion Wouldn’t.

July 21, 2014

The difference between the theory of evolution and creationism is the same as the difference between an explorer and a missionary. A good explorer has no agenda, he is merely interested in what he finds. The good missionary has no interest in discovering anything, but only in browbeating others into accepting his religious point of [...]

Read the full article →

Microsoft CEO Explains At Great Length That The Company Must Be Leaner.

July 18, 2014

Microsoft is a mature business. Which gives it the same advantages and disadvantages that mature people have. They know a lot. But they become stodgy and set in their ways. Mature people, who want to shed weight, exercise and experiment with diets. Mature businesses cut payroll and experiment with business strategies. Some people succeed. Some corporations fail [...]

Read the full article →

Nineteen Eighty-Four’s “Newspeak” in 2014.

July 17, 2014

Part of George Orwell’s genius was his understanding of how language shapes ideas. Words and phrases are not neutral. Consider the difference in meaning between the glass half-full and the glass half-empty. In ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Big Brother’s authority stemmed in part from “newspeak” – a language designed to simplify English – and remove negative words -in [...]

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Language Matters. Orwell’s “translation” of Ecclesiastes 9:11

July 16, 2014

You can speak with clarity and strength, or not. George Orwell’s reworking of Ecclesiastes 9:11 illustrates this well. In the King James version of the Bible, the verse is rendered thus, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread [...]

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McThinking.

July 14, 2014

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. – Henry Ford Conservatives enjoy Ann Coulter, in much the same way a child enjoys fireworks.They are colorful, make a lot of noise, are easy to understand and don’t take up a lot of time. Children – and [...]

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Really? – 7.12.14. – Christians Taking Care of the Environment; Sexaholic; Enzymes in the Anus; Fencing Out the Kids; America’s Dumbest Congressman?

July 12, 2014

Christians taking biblical care of the environment.  Some “Christians” have strayed so far from Jesus’s philosophy that it is chutzpah for them to call themselves Christian. But there are many who still do the Christian thing. The World Council of Churches (WCC) has announced it will divest itself of all investments in fossil fuel companies, [...]

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Can You Be Good Without God?

July 11, 2014

Do you need God to be good? People around the world were asked that. The results varied by country. But three trends emerged – belief that God is needed for morality is (1) greater in the poor, (2) in the old, and (3) in the ill-educated. Two countries buck the trends. In relatively poor China, God [...]

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