After several billion years of growth and development, a planet forms in one arm of a rather common galaxy. A few billion years later, one particular form of life emerges on that planet, with the peculiar trait of being self-aware. These beings are born, they live, they die, in a span of time which is the barest fraction of the time it took for this species to evolve to this point. They form societies to protect themselves against a hostile environment. Their curiosity leads them to take…Continue
As atheists, it’s not generally in our nature to proselytize. We get enough of that from the believers out there and, as we don’t care for the practice, we’re not much for doing unto others what they did to us. Still, most of us I would suspect have a natural desire to see secularism and atheism advance in the face of the irrationality we too often see in our societies. In 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for president, the catch-phrase of his campaign was: “It’s the economy, stupid!” …Continue
Luther had no use…Continue
I have a very dear friend and former lover with whom I exchange occasional emails and from whom I get an occasional "feel-good" forward. Unfortunately, she just forwarded me something which had the following addendum at the bottom:
"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point." Billy Graham
Sure, the rest of…
Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin; the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
― Robert A. Heinlein
When I started thinking about the piece I wanted to write, I noted that there were some marked similarities between stupidity as described by Mr.…Continue
Joseph Kony - leader of the "Lord's Resistance Army," an invention of Kony himself and tasked with doing very little other than perpetuating itself - feeds off of the children of Uganda to that end. Children are kidnapped, girls forced into prostitution, boys given a gun and coerced into supporting Kony's army, with no other apparent goal than to be a rogue element in Uganda and the surrounding countries. These actions have earned Joseph Kony the Number One spot on the International…Continue
This past Christmas when I asked my daughter for ideas for her, one of the things she mentioned was a trio of books known as The Hunger Games trilogy. Dutiful father that I am, I looked it up on Amazon and therewith discovered that the first of the three books was already pending release as a movie this year and a trailer was available. I clicked on the link – mistake.
Maybe my years are showing, but I have grown sick to death of dystopias and books and movies built around them. …
I've been spending part of this morning perusing the history of "Atheist Eve," Tracie Harris's marvelously satirical cartoon which can be found over at Atheist-Community.org. A number of them have provoked a good laugh out of me (not an easy trick these days!), but THIS one in particular I thought was Just ... Plain ... PRECIOUS!
Added by Loren Miller on February 16, 2012 at 2:53pm — No Comments
This afternoon I was reminded of a favorite episode of The Twilight Zone: “In Praise of Pip,” and a facet of that story I thought worthy of mention here.
The story opens in an Army hospital in South Vietnam, where a young soldier is brought in on a stretcher. He is evaluated by a doctor, who notes the soldier’s unusual name – Pip Phillips – and after examination, estimates that his patient’s chances of survival are not promising. Cut to half way around the world and a seedy…
I started reading Playboy, predictably, as a teen, not too long before I started college. Like any other guy my age, I was fascinated with the women who appeared within its pages, for their inviting curves and beautiful if unavailable breasts. Even with that powerful distraction, I learned very quickly that there were other items of value within the magazine known for its bunny crest.
I remember the first Playboy interview I ever read: Timothy Leary, he of the…
I have something to say … and it isn’t pretty and it isn’t nice and it isn’t remotely politically correct. I am sick unto death of religion, of the prating and the bullshit and the claims they can’t back up … all of it. I’ve tolerated both Jehovah’s Witlesses and Mor(m)ons at my door, neither of which were either invited or welcome, yet I talked to them and tolerated them, even smiled at them and wished them a good day, despite the fact that they have nothing believable or even remotely…Continue
While nosing about YouTube earlier today, I stumbled on a segment of The Atheist Experience, a public access show from Austin, Texas. This show frequently features Matt Dillahunty, a former divinity student turned atheist and activist who comments on atheist-related issues and answers telephone calls and emails on the show.
As a part of a discussion regarding the indoctrination of children in this particular segment, Matt cites an email he has received from a 15-year-old. …
The first faulty assumption is the seed from which an uncounted number of equally questionable subsequent assumptions may come. It may be a hypothesis without basis, a personal experience assumed to be universal, or the result of a misuse of logic, but once that false seed is taken as fact, the results can vary all over the map, with reliability about as secure as the proverbial snowball in hell.
I have just finished watching God On Trial, a dramatization of a trial,…
I suppose I am obsessing over the death yesterday of Christopher Hitchens a bit or more than a bit. Then again, when one is kicked in the balls, that niggling headache of a moment before tends to shrink into the background as a matter of course.
The man both literally and figuratively spoke volumes with words and speech, books and debate. It was as though he had a well within him that overflowed and he had to pour the sum of it out, lest he burst from the pressure. There is a quote…
Yeah, once again, 'tis the season ... so I thought I would do some hall-decking, courtesy of the creator of Pogo Possum, Walt Kelly:…Continue
All right – let me see if I can get this straight:
An assistant coach on the Penn State football team allegedly molested a number of children over a period of time. Result: a previously well-respected football coach – Joe Paterno – and the president of the university both lose their jobs. The media is all over this story like white on rice and a full-on investigation of the entire incident is in process.
Meantime … the story of child abuse within the catholic church has…
Let’s be real: there aren’t a lot of people out there whom you could truly call a “visionary.” Steve Jobs was absolutely one such person, a man who invented and innovated at first, then poked and prodded others in his employ to think along the lines he did and therewith create lines of products which were frequently NOTHING like anything else available in the marketplace.
My first contact with Jobs and his technology was the Lisa, a forerunner of the Macintosh line of…Continue
I'm not a great one for getting into discussions on YouTube, as the level of flaming and general BS are not what I would call conducive to intelligent discussion. However, I found myself moved to respond to the following piece:
And here is the conversation that ensued, such as it is: