January 2011 Blog Posts (152)

Metacognition

The cells in our cortex are essentially machines ready to be influenced by the world as we are born. A blank slate, if you will. While there is some genetically programmed organization there from embryological development, all areas in the cortex pretty much do the same thing as far as pattern recognition (see YT video of Jeff Hawkins’ (On Intelligence, Hierarchical Temporal Memory)). What makes certain areas of our cortex perform different functions has more to do with which sense organs…

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Added by MCT on January 21, 2011 at 1:06am — No Comments

New Year Resolution

Been a bystander for the last year since joining this group. Mostly reading news posted here and any atheist material I can get my hands on. Well, decided to stop sitting on the fence and really start doing something. Would like to find other like-minded folks living in Hong Kong, discuss with them, organize, and take action to promote scientific thought and atheist ideals, and to assist in putting an end to the destructive superstition that faith based religions bring along.

Added by Zhi Le on January 20, 2011 at 5:31pm — 3 Comments

Religious Pamphlets at Work

Someone (I don't know who) in the office where I work likes to leave religious pamphlets in our break room. Currently it's something about "Marriage and God's Plan". Ack!

 

I have some nice Atheist pamphlets I could leave out "to balance things out". I'm contemplating this, but I'm concerned about repercussions. There are a few coworkers who know about my Atheism. Some are fine with it, others not so much. Given times the way they are, I am a bit fearful of stirring things up…

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Added by Mike Haynes on January 20, 2011 at 4:02pm — 7 Comments

Atheist Position

Atheism is not a system of thought. It is not a moral code. It is simply the lack of one particularly stupid conviction. Therefore, atheists are not, as I just read, good people as such. They certainly can be and if I know someone is an atheist, then I am more likely to take them seriously. I might be able to infer some reasonability in their character and therefore a more likely proper moral code, but just because one is not a believer of one foolish thing does not mean he or she is not a… Continue

Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 1:50pm — 1 Comment

Do You Value Life Or Death? Think About It.

‎"We'll look back on this 50 to 100 years from now- we'll shake our heads and say, 'What were people thinking? They took these people who were very nearly viable, just barely dysfunctional, and put them in an oven or buried them under the ground, when there were people who could have put them into cryopreservation.'"-Max More, New CEO of Alcor

Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 1:42pm — 9 Comments

Facebook Friends

I am not an avid user of Facebook, but I do use it occasionally for events.  After people found out I had finally joined the Facebook hive I started getting friend invites from a whole lot of people.  At first I accepted them all with open arms thinking I'm was the coolest guy on the internet.  But then reality kicked in and I found out that I don't really give a fuck if someone is going to go work out today, or if someone just painted their toenails.  But then there is the worst of it…

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Added by Ryan Allstun on January 20, 2011 at 10:24am — 6 Comments

Being a Single Atheist

I just recently moved back to the midwest after having spent about 10 years in major cities around the world.  I have enjoyed being single with the occasional girlfriend for most of that time.  But the reason I enjoyed it so much, was due to the city life in which I was accustomed.  There were always other single people that wanted to go out and shoot pool, or go bowling, and there were always the prospects of meeting single women the same age with a lot of the attributes I was looking for.…

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Added by Ryan Allstun on January 20, 2011 at 10:07am — 2 Comments

Why Islam's rules for fasting in Ramadan don't make sense

Like many other religions, Islam proclaims that ritual fasting is a good thing in the eyes of God (in that case Allah). And of course there are some rules and regulations for it.

As with the prohibition of alcohol however the rules for fasting don't actually meet the standards one could expect of a God.

"O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)?…
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Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 20, 2011 at 8:59am — No Comments

Belief in witches in Africa

via AtheistMedia



Look at 3:47



Half-way through the ceremony, she singled out a boy.

She checked his parents weren't there.

And then announced he was unknowingly possessed by a witch and used to hurt… Continue

Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 20, 2011 at 8:05am — No Comments

Christianities necromantic side. Pope Paul's blood as a relic, his heart buried in Poland

Uh my the cult of zombie worshipers and necromancers has struck again.

Todays episode talks about a vial of blood, taken from the (then living) body of the former Pope.

Piotr Sionko, the spokesman for the John Paul II Centre, said the vial would be encased in crystal and built into the altar of a church in the southern city of Krakow that is opening in May.…
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Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 20, 2011 at 7:51am — 1 Comment

You Only Have One Body And One Life. Do You Value Them?

What do you live for? Why do you work? To what end? Is this life just a ride you get to experience for 80 years or so, if you're lucky? Is your reason to be alive to serve God or some other purpose? Is it to serve others? Your family? Or is it to serve yourself? To what end is the purpose of your life? Is it the attainment of virtues? The fulfillment of values? To what end?

I believe that no matter the explicitly articulated reason someone thinks they live, the real reason is personal…

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Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 7:00am — 20 Comments

Rational Egoistic Objective Morality

Why does it feel good to see others happy? Why would we be interested in others' welfare? Why try to survive? Why make decisions toward our own welfare? We are hardwired. It is that simple. It is the way we are evolved. This is the way it is, even before people started talking about it (at earliest, as people were first talking about it). Every single person is always the final arbiter of every decision they make, whether it helps others or not. The final common goal in life is always personal… Continue

Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

The story of Suzi

(found on ThinkingAtheist's channel)Look at our world through the eyes of Suzie, a devoutly religious girl who sees divine love and intervention everywhere. This cocoon of comfort keeps her ignorant of science and safely away from critical thought, but it sure makes her happy. If you've interacted with the deeply religious, you've probably met someone in your own life that is just like…
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Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 20, 2011 at 6:39am — 1 Comment

Choice

This is just a very short and simple version of what I have argued as the proper way to understand choice. I believe there is no such thing as freewill. Choice, in my opinion is a causally determined mental calculation that we are all relatively free to make. Freedom and control are relative terms describing a relatioship between entities. Neither can be absolute, ever. Of course we have relative freedom to choose, it is just that that choice is not completely free from anything and not at…

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Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 5:00am — 27 Comments

Of Death, Democracy and Human Rights

In February 2007, former Taliban and Mujahideen groups managed to stage a rather uneventful rally in support of a legal amnesty for war crimes and human rights abuses for all the warlords as well as many ex-communist power brokers. It was quite a spectacle to see how groups who only years earlier distrusted one another like a pack of hungry wolves were now eager to go on the public record in the defense the atrocities they collectively committed. While they chanted "Death to…

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Added by Afghan Atheist on January 19, 2011 at 11:41pm — No Comments

The Amniotic Universe and Birth Dreams

The Amniotic Universe and Birth Dreams

The following is a bit longish but it deals with a topic that has fascinated me for decades.

It is as natural to man to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other. ~Francis Bacon, Of Death

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” ~Jesus Christ John 3:3

“Was blind, but now I see.” ~John Newton,…

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Added by Atheist Exile on January 19, 2011 at 6:13pm — No Comments

Vatican letter told Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report child abuse - Associated Press, Dublin - The Guardian

found via (Richard Dawkin's DOT NET page)



A copy of the 1997 letter from the Vatican, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to AP, warning Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police. Photograph: AP

A letter to Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops has been revealed by the broadcaster RTE that contradicts the… Continue

Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 19, 2011 at 6:16am — No Comments

Alabama!!!

Whats up with Alabama's new governor?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_alabama_governor_christians

 

This governor has made his position known!!!!

Added by L.Hunter on January 19, 2011 at 6:01am — 5 Comments

Why Islam's prohibition of alcohol doesn't make sense.

Muslims usually don't drink alcohol. I say usually because I know quite a lot of Muslims that do drink some alcohol and do other stuff they shouldn't do. But never question their religion!!! Might get you into trouble.



Now the prohibition can be explained quite easily using the following verse in the Quran:

“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and Gambling, (Dedication of) stones, And (divination by) arrows, Are an Abomination – Of Satan’s handiwork; Eschew such (abomination), That ye… Continue

Added by Tarentola Mauritanica on January 19, 2011 at 4:00am — 10 Comments

More anti-atheist ignorance?

Hi. I haven't been here in ages but I'm back with another gripe.



It's with this article on a site called Popeater. It criticizes Ricky Gervais' jokes at the Golden Globe awards, but then they threw in this:



To make matters worse, though, Gervais' last words in the telecast were, "Thank God for making me an atheist." Smooth move!


What the fuck?… Continue

Added by Becky Garcia on January 18, 2011 at 10:16pm — 2 Comments

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