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trust our senses? [Apr. 16th, 2004|03:52 pm]
Can you trust your senses?

When you are watching Daffy Duck on television, what are you seeing? Your brain says "that's a duck", even though Daffy is made of only ONE color (plus black and white), and doesn't look anything remotely like a real duck. He's a cartoon. But our brains suspend reality and just accept that he's a duck. It looks like he's being blown up in a 3D world, but it's just an illusion. It's really a 2D scene.

So we have a bunch of 2D lines and colors that our brains somehow recognize as a feathered comedian being smashed by a mallet.

But wait! Are you sure it's a 2D image? It's not.

What you are looking at is a single dot, going back and forth on the screen VERY fast. Your eyes and brain are just too slow to see it for what it is.

Our senses can be fooled. Very easy, in fact. Our memory is even worse. Eyewitness testimony is not held very highly in courts of law.

So how can anyone in their right mind trust Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John when they said this Jesus guy walked on water? And they wrote about it 20 years after the event supposedly took place!
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...more follow up [Apr. 14th, 2004|07:35 pm]
The ongoing battle for my eternal soul! Or, the ongoing battle for my father's rational mind!

I hope you people like watching me fight illogical ideas, because other than this, I got nothin'. My life is boring. The highlight of my day is shooting down another ill-formed argument for the existence of god.

So without further ado...

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... just a follow-up [Apr. 12th, 2004|03:02 pm]
So my dad is on the defensive, it seems. He appeared to take exception to this link: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/blessing.html Which, I must say, is pretty damning of Christianity in a manner most artistic and deadly.

The big difference, he says, is that Jesus is real whereas Hercules et al are simply myths.

But how can anyone be sure that the others weren't real people? And saying that Jesus is a real man doesn't make the case for his magical powers any more believable.

But Jesus had friends and desciples willing to die for him!

So did the Emperor of Japan. Big deal.

Just because something's secular doesn't automatically make it trustworthy!

True, but if a book does NOT include flying monkeys shooting lightning from their butts, I'm going to trust it *more* than a book that does.
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Happy Easter! [Apr. 11th, 2004|04:55 pm]
So I get this Happy Easter email from my Dad. He points me to this article: http://www.everystudent.com/features/faith.html

What follows, and I apologize for the length, is my typically blunt and "tell it like it is" rebuttal of almost everything on that page.

And Happy Easter everyone! :)

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Hrm. [Apr. 6th, 2004|06:07 pm]
It appears I haven't updated this LJ since January.

Getting a job, then quickly losing it right before you need to pay rent will do that, I suppose. Also, I didn't own my own computer till a month or so ago.

Anyhoo. Enough of the excuses!

So I says to Mabel, I says, "Atheists appreciate life more than religious folk."

*Note, this is an actual conversation, or rather a close approximation to one. But her name isn't Mabel. That was a joke.

"Oh, really? Why do you say that?"

"Well think about what happens when you die. Where do you go?"

"I'm going to Heaven. Or maybe I'll get re-incarnated. Or maybe I'll just become One with the Universe."

"Uh-huh. Right. You know what I think happens to me when I die?"


"I decompose and rot. That's it. It's over. There's nothing. Game over. The end."

"How depressing!"

"Not really. That's just the way it goes. Saying it's depressing is like saying the fact that grass is green is depressing. It's just green. People die. That's what it is."

"So why do Atheists value life more than religious folk?"

"Well, you think you're going somewhere. You think your 'spirit' or 'essence' will live on. I don't. For me, when I die, that's it. That's the end. It's very serious business. For you, it's just a road-bump."

"I wouldn't say that."

"Really? Well when you die, are you going to be buried?"

"Nah, I'm going to be cremated."

"Cremated you say? Why?"

"Decaying in a little box is disgusting."

"Ok. Well what about freezing yourself? You might get to be revived."

"UGH! No way, that's even more disgusting. I'd rather be buried."

"So rather than give yourself the possibility of continued life, you'd prefer to erase any doubt that once you die, you're not coming back?"

"Uh, I guess. Why would I want to come back anyway? Everything would be different. I might be ugly. People might see my frozen body. Ick!"

"I rest my case."

"Oh. Well maybe you're right. See ya!" *runs off to consult an astrology book.
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well well [Jan. 8th, 2004|04:52 pm]
So I have a job now. And I have a place to live. I'm not going to die up here. This is good.

Speaking of religion, I saw the strangest thing on TV the other day. There was this Master-P look-alike, Torah in hand, talking about how the "so called Jew" is actually an "white man" imposter, and that the black man is the "true son of Israel".

Apparently, the "true Jew" should stop with all this Christmas and Kwanzaa nonsense, and celebrate the black man's true holiday: Chanukah.

His body-guard of an assistant would read from the Torah in stacatto: "And. Abraham. Said.... Let. Those. Who. Blah. Blah. Blah." He would interrupt the poor man: "Abraham! That was Abraham, people, keep that in mind. Read on, brother."

He had a yalmuka on his head, a minora on the table, and a Harlem accent on his tongue.

Truly, this is a strange world we live in.
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ugh. [Dec. 9th, 2003|10:49 am]
Looking for a job. Not easy. Sorry no updates, I'll be back as soon as I'm employed.... yeah, yeah I hear the jokes already. :P
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Got Jesus? [Nov. 21st, 2003|01:29 pm]
I knew there were those out there that argued that, "believers are statistically happier than non-believers", but I had hoped I'd never hear it in person. Alas. And from my own mother, no doubt.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality." -- George Bernard Shaw

My mother isn't exactly a raging Christian. She does, however, firmly believe in ghosts, the after (and before!) life, and other such new-agey nonsense.

Other members of my family believe in "chi energy" and what-not produced by living things, enhanced or stored with crystals, incense, oils, and things with certain shapes on them.

Of course still other members of my family are just your average every day religious folk. Luckily I have a few atheists in my family, or I'd go nuts.
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the ghosts [Nov. 20th, 2003|02:26 pm]
While on vacation (again), I had a ghost/spirit/ESP conversation with members of my family. I don't know that they are completely convinced that these things exist, but they give these concepts far too much credit.

The thing they point out, is that science doesn't have all the answers. And that's true. What happened before the big bang? Science doesn't know. How did life start? We have an idea, but we really don't know for sure. How does the universe even work at the most basic levels? We've got theories, but, you got me, we don't know for sure.

Aha! So then if we don't know for sure, then these ghosts might be real!

Well, yes. But so could subatomic fairies flying around in our eyeballs. But that's the thing about science, when it's a theory, we say it's a theory. We don't automatically assume that we're right. Even string theory is admittedly just a theory.

So I wouldn't mind so much all this ghost/goblin/afterlife nonsense if it were presented in a somewhat scientific theory.

If they were to say that all matter in the universe has various ammounts of Ectoplasmion particles, and that these particles multiply like cells by some means, and during the lifespan of an organism, form sub-space cohesiveness, and can at times be quantum-paired with electrons and photons, hence creating a simulacrum of the previous being..... blah blah blah... then I would give it slightly more thought than the normal "but so many people have seen them!" absurdities.
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Dressing funny [Nov. 14th, 2003|11:14 am]
One thing about religion I think is kinda neat is the clothing. If you're walking around with a Jewish yarmulka on your head, or a Muslim hijab, or a Buddhist's robe, a few people might stare, but nobody will be rude (usually). The most you might get is a, "damn foreigner" remark or two.

So I hereby form the religion of.... um.... Techism. Yeah. And we pray to some mystic 5th dimensional god computer or something. Yeah. And we were given our sacred laws (which involve drinking copious ammounts of beer and hacking Smalltalk code till the wee hours of the morning) by an ancient binary file found in the tomb of Hizzlepop the IV.

Anywhoo, it's our ancient and sacred and holy right to wear cameras on our heads, screens in front of our eyes, keyboards in our hands, and computers in our pockets.

We'd likely look something like: this.
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