Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sam's Soul Mate

Oh my god, I can't believe this is the first time I've ever heard of this woman. She is the female version of Sam Harris! I wish she could have been with Sam Harris when he was debating Reza "infinitely elastic" Aslan and his moderate partner in infinitely elastic moderation (disguised as debate moderator).
Maybe I've been in a cave, but this is the first time I've heard a former Muslim (she disavowed Islam after 9/11) openly state that Islam is not a religion of peace.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Bill Maher, just makin' folks look silly!
It's funny how in times of political turmoil, how the simple plain truth can seem so confrontational.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Vermont Bard has yet to post his take of the latest Andrew Sullivan reply. My take is that I nearly vommited reading it, and that Andrew Sullivan needs a month straight of harsh zen training replete with regular very stiff canings.
Sam Harris, like Barry Bonds standing in front of a pinata without a blind-fold hits one outta the park. Sam never ceases to one-up himself, digging out better and clearer replies to age-old arguments. It just seems to me anyways, to be extraordinary that religious people can feel comfortable in the light of such clear and reasonable observation. It is merely the cultural taboo of not criticizing religion which has allowed these moderates to wallow in their wishy-washy senseless modernistic interpretation of bronze age tales. Being a moderate Christian in today's world is like stepping into a shop selling fine wines and being content with a glass of Julio Gallo from a box.
Some of my favorite excerpts:
"And yet, in many respects, Muhammad's career as a prophet was more impressive than Jesus' was. At the very least, he escaped crucifixion. Of course, Christians have managed to make even the crucifixion of their Savior into a success story. It would seem that faith can rationalize anything."
And here's an argument especially near and dear to me, as I've made it many times on message boards. I think Christians by and large take Jesus' miracles as their prime piece of faith building. In my experience, having believed in what I see now as preposterous teachings from India's gurus and having personally been taken in (I would like to say "in my youth" but in reality it wasn't very long ago) by these delusional charlatans, I have come to see how easy it ins, how incredibly easy it is to make throngs of people believers in miracles. Imagine how much easier still it must have been in the days before science and video cameras. IF ONLY Christians could see the evidence of their miracles through my eyes.
"First-hand reports of miracles are a dime a dozen, even in the 21st century. Many spiritual seekers in India testify to miracles performed by their gurus on a daily basis. These miracles are every bit as outlandish as the miracles attributed to Jesus. I have met literally hundreds of western educated men and women who are convinced that their favorite yogi has magic powers. I remain open to evidence of such powers (and my openness has exposed me to a fair amount of abuse in the atheist community). But as far as I can tell, all of these stories are promulgated by people who desperately want to believe them; all (to my knowledge) lack the kind of corroborating evidence one should require to actually believe that Nature's laws have been abrogated in this way; and most people who report these events demonstrate an utter disinclination to look for non-miraculous explanations. In any case, stories about mystics (and charlatans) walking on water, raising the dead, flying without the aid of technology, materializing objects, reading minds, foretelling the future are being told now. Indeed, all of these powers have been attributed to the South Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba by an uncountable number of eyewitnesses-and the man claims to have been born of a virgin to boot! He has literally millions of followers, many of them educated westerners. You can watch some of his "miracles" on YouTube, performed before credulous throngs of spiritually hungry souls. Prepare to be underwhelmed. And yet, you are suggesting that tales of similar events emerging from the pre-scientific religious milieu of the 1st century Roman Empire (decades after their supposed occurrence) are especially credible. "
"When the Scientologist says, "We have offices in 175 cities," this does nothing to redeem his claims upon my credulity. Scientologists can build as many offices as they like, enjoy as much fellowship as they like, and smile as widely as they are able-none of this will render the writings of L. Ron Hubbard profound. None of this will lend intellectual credibility to a belief system that can be best summarized in a episode of South Park."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Red Vs. Blue; America too Damned Religious?

The red side being fundamentalist literalist nutjobs and the blue just moderate apologists giving shelter to insanity.
I listened to this whole debate and it really is excellent. There were a few arguments I'd never heard before that were compelling. Only in America will you see a team debate entitled "is America too Damned Religious?" with only one "non-religious" person present in the entire thing (Susan Jacoby).
The end result was that 10% more of the audience believed that "America is too damned religious" after the debate than before.
It gives me hope, even though the debate was held in NY and not South Carolina.
Hahaha. Well, I guess this is an improvement over CNN's debate about atheism using three Christians and no atheists. CNN then delayed Richard Dawkin's appearance 2 or 3 days to make room for the Anna Nicole Smith story.
Jacoby is much like Harris. She just stands there and points out the obvious and watches the believers run around a semantical maze trying futilely to find something intellectually defensible about their positions.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Reply to Steve

Every element about us has been derived through a process of natural selection. Our need to imagine that we could somehow be immortal, should be immortal, God dammit MUST be immortal, I will believe anything it god damn takes to believe we're immortal, I will drag my balls over hot fucking coals to find a way to believe we're immortal, I'll skin myself alive just to have a fucking inkling of a hope we're immortal, I'll find clever ways to ignore any contradictory evidence- in fact all of it, and any thought otherwise well that's just faith too, god mother fucking dammit Jesus mother of mary saints and apostles we HAVE TO BE IMMORTAL! How dare anything else be true.

Lately I've been struck at the total absence of meaning in people's lives. Steve, doesn't the fact that 150 million of your neighbors don't "believe" in evolution put the same thought into your mind that Camus had right before he swerved his car into a tree?

Is there anything more strikingly nihilistic that such a mass of people who consider themselves to be "God's" chosen are less honest and more in the dark than thojse who don't even believe in a god?

Lately I've been struck at just how senseless life is. How we put meaning into the cycles of time when they just blow the dust of our ancestors around without care. I am looking out my windown now and can faintly see the road in the distance and I can't imagine a speckle of a hint that there is any god present. Ask the woman last week whom, after 3 miscarriages in a row had to be informed that her 20 week fetus was alive, but had trisomy 18, a lethal chromosomal abnormality which was worse than if they baby were already dead. Should she take it to term and let it be born and watch the deformed husk of tormented innocent life suffocate? Or should she have someone inject pottassium chloride into its heart to stop it with a needle through her belly and then pass it?

This is triply fucked. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost- the triad of the throbbing God-Head.

Is this learning lessons Steve? Is this forcing this woman and her tormented husband to learn from the mistakes of their last incarnation?

I look down the road and I can't see the faintest fucking speckle of god anywhere but in children's fantasies, anoxia, delusion, self-deception, Emerson's Alzheimers if you know what I mean- the collapse of a Brilliant fleshly spirit.

I know, you wake up at age 30 and realize that every inkling of what you lived for all your life is now as believable as Narnia. I suppose one of my greatest pieces of dumstruckedness that I'm capable of conjuring up is looking back at my life in hindsight and realizing that I had no real free-will, muddling over the most absurd spiritual quandaries which seem to me now like a heated conversation between a schizophrenic and himself over whether or not the voices are real.

Linda Stewart. Enough said.

Fortunately I know you're not driving now, otherwise you might destroy a tree.

Now maybe you can see why my lack of belief is not a heartless personal assault as you intone at least two or three times a week in your emails. I find chaos slightly more humane actually. Imagine the carnage from the train wreck of the potentiality that there actually were a God, a plan, a purpose. How many infinite times must people endure the pointless futility of ignorance filled life-spans? Across the universe, how many beings are suffering, and for what?

The debate boils down to one issue in my opinion, divided into three groups:

1. Those who don't understand natural selection
2. Those who understand it but can't deal with the implications.
3. Those who understand it and can't deal with the implications but don't try to ignore the implications.

I shit on buddhism, new ageism, and of course Christianity and Islam. What obscene bastardizations of reality! The chaos of trying to organize the world within the constructs of false mythic fantasy is a greater, more painfully barbed and disombobulated torture chamber than simple raw and crisp chaos itself.

And you're the one who thinks I'm the torturer?

Friday, February 16, 2007


See Richard Dawkins talking to a group of children about reason and logic. Start at segment 1 at time 11:20. Priceless.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sophisticated Courtier's Reply

The internet is an extraordinary blessing. We can watch or listen to people talk and debate while doing something else simultaneously. Due to this, I have now listened to the Sam Harris Vs. Reza Aslan debate twice. Debates are like books or songs or anything else. When you go over them twice or more they become three dimensional. You are not trying to piece together the words as they come, but since you know what words are coming you pull everything together in greater context. The internet allows us to do this.

This debate is extremely important because it showcases the very problem that Sam Harris talks about again and again. Harris is surrounded in this one and by Aslan- a religious moderate apologist, specifically of the Islamic bent, and the moderator who is a Jewish moderate of some sort who teams up with Aslan to take on the mighty nude emperor proclaimer- Harris.

I first saw Aslan on Bill Maher one night a couple months ago. Funny, it struck me as I watched him make some sort of defense of religion that it would be cool to see him debate Sam Harris. Looks like Harris will end up debating all comers.

Aslan is a good talker, and he paints one of the most sophisticated "Courtier's Replies" you'll find anywhere. Aslan is able to make accomodations for the most inane doctrines trying to paint them with a delusional modernist brush. He is an optimist like George Bush is an optimist- he believes that Islam is undergoing a reformation. I love how Harris says that Aslan's religious moderation is "infinitely elastic". It just bends and absorbs all conceivable hogwash and protects it.

Aslans only notable argument here is that Harris has a naive view of the intracacies of Islam. Sound familiar? You'll hear him make ad hominem statements that Harris' description of the problem of Islamic 'religion is naive. This reaches its pinnacle when Aslan says that bin Laden's motives were not religious but political and this is where Sam misses the point. See how ridiculous this is? Sam continues to come back to the big picture of religion and how it distorts sane discourse. Aslan continues to pull back to the curfuffles of semantics and never-ending apologies for religious beliefs. In my second viewing it was completely and readily obvious that Aslan was not addressing Sam's arguments and was merely trying desperately to claim that Harris didn't understand the nuanced details of vermillion dyes and silk garments to possibly hold the right to say that the emperor is naked. I was delighted to see that the youtube watchers - a somewhat random sampling I guess- agreed. This is a must watch. Harris is subdued, surrounded, relaxed, and resigned to merely impeccable and irrefutable logic and facts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bumper Sticker

After much deliberation, I have decided to put a bumper sticker on my car for the first time in my life. I feel the need to "come openly out of the closet" with my unbelief and join the masses of people becoming more vocal about reviling religion. I didn't want something rude. In fact I ordered one that said "In no god I trust", but never put it on my car because it sounds too confrontational. I just ordered this one, which seems to sum up the religious and political aspects of how I feel, and it is quoted from Seneca of all people, who lived in a different day where the same shit happened.
P.S. Anybody know someone who can repair dents?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


This is what cured pastor Haggard of his disease.

Pentagon Manipulated Intel

Okay, who gives a crap right? We've known this forever. But isn't it just astonishing that for years the talk radio and Fox news circle jerkers were condemning anyone who so much as insinuated such a claim. Can we get an apology?
Is there anything at all that they ended up being right about?
At what point do these people just go into a coma for sheer embarrassment? How do they continue taking themselves seriously? And global warming?!?!? Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are still going on the offensive claiming ther is no global warming. Who in the living FUCK do these assholes think they are? And why do they have so many followers? An old college friend left me a message the other day saying "I don't believe in global warming". He's an avid Rush listener. I have not returned the call because I can't imagine anything humane to say to him. The other day he was telling me that he couldn't imagine how H. Sapiens evolved intelligence so quickly (a few million years). If he can't imagine it (having read nothing on the matter at all) then shit, how could it possibly be true?
The affliction of dogmatic uncritical thinking has swept the land. I think the conservative movement has successfully made antim-intellectual uninformed stupidity a fashion trend.
Oh, and this is a picture of Emma de Caunes from "the science of sleep", a movie I saw last night. I'd rather look at her than some fat bozo politician.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Copernican, Galilean

Sam Harris responds to Andrew Sullivan

" ....Even when it comes to compassion and self-transcendence, there is new wine (slowly) being poured. Why not catch it with a clean glass?

All the best, Sam"

What brilliance, this writer. What command of language. It's breathtaking. As one person wrote on another blog concerning Harris- "Galilean. Copernican."

Revolutionary. Better than Russell.

I think that the undeniably crisp piquancy of Sam Harris' logic leaves people with the choice to either understand him or to distort him. To any discerning human being with any interest at all, the words are like barbs of honesty- things which any reasonable person knows to be true already, but things which people of faith have been trying to dilute and run away from with tricky word games all their lives.

Also, this lecture is Sam's best. The first part you have heard many times. But video two is awe inspiring. This is reality put out into the open for the emperor's devoted tailors.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Haggard on Sex

Christians have the best sex life of course. No question.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mickey Quits the Military

You may remember a March 10, 2006 post of my friend Mickey going to Iraq. He has just informed me that he is exiting the military.
"I've had enough" he tells me.
This is good news, as I fully expected him to have to go to Iraq to aid the "surge".
"Send me a picture of you I can post on my blog" I told him.
He sent me this.
Monday is his last day.

Comedic Entertainment

Time to put your bullshit protection earmuffs on boys and girls.
This is a very entertaining distillation of public insanity and religious nihilists defying reality with all their might. Richard Dawkins rightly stays mostly silent. He lets this fundamentalist Canadian Buffoon prove his points.

Because He Says So

Leave it to Comedy Central to serve up the most honestly crafted analysis of recent history available in news media. This is the way history will see the Bush presidency:
Because He Says So at
see February 3rd, the power of words.
*Looks like what we all knew would happen has happened. YouTube is removing 100,000 clips due to copyright issues, including this one. So I had to direct it to onegoodmove.