By now the talk about global warming on this site amounts to beating a dead horse, as the granting of the Nobel prize to Al Gore should demonstrate. Clearly, because we fail to take necessary action now as well as in the immediate (as in, the next 3-5 years) future, we are headed towards some catastrophic changes in the way the ecosphere functions to support our main life support systems. There are irreversible changes occurring all around the planet due to the chain of events started by industrialization, the least of which are the opening up of the Northwest passage, the melting of the Siberian permafrost (releasing massive amounts of methane, a far more potent source of pollution than carbon dioxide), rapid melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, and increases in chaotic weather (and I’m putting it mildly – like the recent 40 degree drop in temperature from 90 to 50 in the past few days here in Chicago), to name a few.
The formatting always gets lost in translation… even with html. Bleh.
The tags are a good indicator of what this thread’s about (maybe will work on a summary later).
A: It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).
J: You put a bit much weight on a tagline…
That’s not just a tagline… it’s also the title of your blog.
…How is this conversation exposing incompetence.
Well, that one should be obvious. The incompetence comes in the form of dogmaticism regarding the “ultimate truth” of science, which is implied from your For Christians page.
The real incompetence is not whether you believe in a god [or not], but what you use that belief for, what objective you try to achieve with that belief.
I can agree if you’re referring to “amoralism”, e.g. in the case of Hitler and Bush. I don’t think proselytising necessarily bring you to the same conclusion.
Update [3/1/07]: also check out UK apologist and Oxford Professor Alister McGrath’s book The Dawkins Delusion for a scientifically-inclined rebuttal to Dawkin’s arguments negating God.
Excellent post from Alternet‘s Evan Derkacz discussing the merit (and lack thereof) of Dawkins. Of course, it probably just wouldn’t be right not to link it to my atheistic humanist acquaintance Brett Keller’s blog, where he undoubtedly supports some of his main points of contention.
I’d respond to Dawkins’ assertions myself if I had more time. In all likelihood, though, I probably already have, albeit indirectly.
Sorry, haven’t had much time to post due to increasingly busy schedule. Of course, there have been plenty of blogworthy world events (will do a quick post maybe later).
Oh, and note that I tagged “the Antichrist” not necessarily because I believe Dawkins is the Antichrist… one of them, maybe – but far from “uniting an army” against God as it were. I’d leave it up to the politicians to do that.
via Alternet (video also available at link).
tagline: ‘Darwin’s Rottweiler’ Richard Dawkins disses faith, Bush base
In a BBC interview on Friday, Evolutionary Biologist and sharp religion critic, Richard Dawkins, talks about his new book, The God Delusion (I”m just ecstatic that he referenced the Flying Spaghetti Monster).
He claims to want to speak to the middle ground; to people who haven’t really thought too much about faith and God in order to challenge their belief. An uphill battle, to be sure. He employs all the usual suspects: “people need to believe in fairy tales” “just look at organized religion” but fails to see where every method for assessing reality is hopelessly mired in its own methodology. Or: the scientific method may be positively divine for assessing the physical world, it has built-in limitations w/r/t [FC ed. note: with respect to] the spiritual one.
I love this ridiculous secular notion of “equal mockery” for all religions. It’s pretty clear that these cartoons are meant to “ease” the underlying tensions perceived within the Danes’ own society as well as from the proximity of Denmark to the Middle East.
It’s farcical. Some reasons why include:
- gross cultural insensivity. By extension of the Quran, Muslim identity lies directly in Muhammad. “There is one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” Putting his head on a stick, or a camel for that matter, is NOT going to be funny to them – not to say that they lack self-deprecation, but it comes out in arguably far less intellectual ways and arguably far more emotional ones.
- “equal mockery” is essentially a thinly-veiled pretense for mocking religions “of the Book”. Eastern religions are subject to close to nonexistant gainsay simply because a lot of people in the west don’t understand how their own senses of identity within one might relate.
- it tends to spawn more xenophobia.
In short, it’s a double standard that reveals some of the baser elements of secular humor – that of both narcissicm and self-preservation. In fact, FindLaw’s Julie Hilden has a good article articulating these points and more. Read it here.
So if you’re going to mock religions, do it on equal terms. Then maybe you’ll find out that, in fact, your underlying basis for why you find cultural insensitivity to be humorous will be changed.
via the Independent.
By Stephen Castle, Europe Correspondent
Published: 10 October 2006
Danes have been warned against travelling to a number of Muslim countries after the release of a video showing young members of an anti-immigrant party mocking the Prophet Mohamed.
Images drawn by members of the youth wing of the Danish People’s Party, and shown on television and the internet, were condemned by Islamic leaders in Egypt and Indonesia, threatening to reawaken the furore over cartoons published last year in Denmark.
This article was posted back on 7/25 on the GFA website, but I was reminded of it when I read the last article they sent me.
And it made me think back to a class the adult group in church was having on euthanasia in bioethics. The “lecturer” proceeded to inform us about the Terri Schiavo case insomething like this:
Life is precious. [Therefore, we should seek to preserve all life.]
Seemed pretty secular to me. Firstly, no one is going to argue that life isn’t precious. Even the Extremist Muslims in the Middle East feel that life is precious. Unfortunately, they just have a different view of what that means for them on earth. To segue, secondly, Jesus’ idea of life was entirely different than the one secular humanism believes in.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
In any case, because this particular man was a doctor, I’m sure he thought (as I learned, through a heated discussion) that his experience in the field would thereby lend credibility to his case. But here were my questions: what about the will of God and the power of God?
Wouldn’t God have allowed Terri Schiavo to live if he so chose? Wouldn’t prayer and a sincere heart for God have worked a miracle? I doubt he would’ve answered yes.
Moreover, it is indicative of an increasing self-reliance vs. reliance on God.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Miracles are in no short supply! They just don’t tend to happen where people have little to no faith.
Pastor Darpan’s church is thriving.
“God is using Pastor Darpan vigorously and doing wondrous miracles as he ministers and prays for the sick and needy who approach him,” writes a GFA correspondent.
Europeans no doubt have it much harder on themselves given the bulk of immigration from Arab states tends to be going towards them instead of the US. This article in Spiegel demonstrates just how seriously Islam is perceived as a threat to civil liberties and other traditionally democratic ideas such as the freedom of speech.
If there are any Muslim readers out there, I’d be happy to dialogue on how it indeed is or isn’t. Does the Quran permit freedom of speech? Did Muhammad? Do you see it as being a good thing or bad?
Also to the Buddhists – what do you think about the artistic statement of Budda being beheaded?
Berlin’s Deutsche Oper opera house is under fire for cancelling a controversial production of a Mozart opera which shows the severed heads of the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus and Buddha. Politicians have condemned the cancellation as self-censorship and cowardice.
US Conservatives really need to be educated on spin. It’s too bad for liberals, too, that lack of representation in the Senate and House has led to such sycophancy.
In any case, let’s hope the video stays for awhile before Fox takes it down:
[update: Google took it down. Probably due to Fox hounds (pun intended). Download the torrent here.]
Comments (on Part II) by the timestamp of this post included:
I love the smell of Fox napalmed in the morning.
posted 10 hours ago by Hillaryious
Clinton whipped Chris Wallace’s a**ssss!!!! Yeee haw!
posted 10 hours ago by Billdiggity
Some in the conspiracy camp (which includes me. sorry, no reference here, but most likely) have speculated that bin Laden’s death could serve as a ruse to get more votes come election day. My economics professor – in regards to oil prices – would tell you the same thing: people up top are simply manipulating prices to fit in with their political agendas. The main thing I’d like to point out here is that neither case is without its merits. As someone who believes bin Laden is a likely pawn used by the PTB to drum up support for the war(s) abroad, the bin Laden issue, even with Bush’s imminent retirement, is likely to continue indefinitely. Remember, it was being groomed as a much broader “War on Tyranny”, which, in the words of Donald Rumsfeld,
It will be a long, hard slog. Wikiquote: Donald Rumsfeld
Right. A hard slog that Americans like himself won’t have to go through, right? The neocons in the White House are turning the conservatives of this nation into an army of armchair generals. Allow me to close with this thought (if anyone could find a source on this, it would be appreciated): in the game of geopolitics, soldiers are seen only as throwaway pawns to achieve the objectives of the elite.
PARIS, Sept. 23 — French officials said Saturday that the government could not confirm intelligence information published in a French newspaper that the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden died in Pakistan last month. Continue reading
There was one thing going through my mind when I read this headline: could Hugo Chavez be the Antichrist? Let’s take a look at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. While it could be the subject of an hour-long sermon (as other quotes I’ve used), we’re going to use it exclusively for the purpose of using it as a rubric to grade Chavez.
1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
So, doing a basic breakdown (being far from thorough, and lacking cross-references), actions will include:
- opposition and exaltation of himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped (v.4a)
- thereby sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (v.4b)
and preceding signs:
- rebellion must occur first. (v.3, unsure of clarifying characteristics)
- will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (one ref: Egyptian wisemen and sorcerers) and in every sort of evil (v.9)
I think it’s safe to say that, so far, Chavez hasn’t met the criteria for points 1 and 2. It could be said, on the other hand, that as a figurehead of the non-alignment movement, he could be seen as a fulfillment of point 3.
Even so, despite Chavez’s relatively good standing, it’s no prediction of future events. As is usually the case, time can change situations and people for the worse when hearts, minds, strengths, and souls are not turned to God.
In the words of the British historian Lord Acton:
Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely
So, what should we do?
Be on guard! Be alert[a]! You do not know when that time will come.
Chavez Calls Bush ‘Devil,’ Assails US Policies
via NPR news.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez took the podium at the United Nations, where he launched his latest verbal salvo against President Bush and U.S. world influence. Making the sign of the cross, Chavez described Bush as “the devil” and decried Washington’s misuse of its far-reaching power.