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Comments by btheist

Go to: Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-islamic', warns of jihad against docs

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by btheist

The stupidity.... it hurts! Religion really does poison everything.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 16:50:10 UTC | #947421

Go to: Is Pleasure a Sin?

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by btheist

This is hilarious, on two fronts... one is the idea that a 77 year old, supposedly celibate Nun has anything meaningful to say on the topic of sexuality, and the other is the Vatican not understanding that they should leave left well enough alone.

I am probably being too harsh on the old Nun. Having not read her book, I will assume that she has some insight and perspective that may indeed have relevance, but had it not been for the Vatican denunciation, I probably would never had any inkling to go beyond the liner notes.

Now for the Vatican to denounce it 6 years after it was publish shows just how on top of things they are, and how they don't understand how the new world works. Through their own stupidity, they have brought more attention to what they had hoped to prevent than it ever would have gotten otherwise. It also shows in vivid detail and what undoubtedly end up on the national news, what an incredible bunch of douche bags they really are.

All I can do is laugh at their stupidity whilst cringing at their inane attempt to enforce their outdated, misogynistic, homophobic and irrelevant views on their (still too many) followers.

Thanks Vatican, for helping convert your own over to Atheism.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 22:57:53 UTC | #945978

Go to: Why I watched a snake-handling pastor die for his faith

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by btheist

I am sorry, but it was absolutely, unequivocally wrong for you to stand by and do nothing when you knew the outcome would be his death. He had his faith, but obviously you didn't share that faith and knew that he would die without medical intervention. Screw you journalistic integrity, a man's life was at stake, and if he was too dumb to admit it, you shouldn't have been.

As much as I deplore the faithheads for their willingness to die for their beliefs, I think standing by and watching, and doing nothing is worse.

Sorry if you are looking for consolation here, there will be none.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 19:56:59 UTC | #945063

Go to: Atheism and Human Rights Abuses in Africa

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by btheist

I am not in sympathy with any attempt to limit the rights of a nation to rule itself.

At some point in the evolution of man, the basic human rights for all inhabitants of this planet, needs to trump the geo-political boundaries of nationhood. How else can we ever stop the atrocities that happen. A nation's right to self-goverance should not guarantee that nation the right to to abuse it's citizens, nor allow abuse of it's citizens sactioned by laws enacted.

If anything, I would say that a failure to comply with human rights standards should be the catalyst by which the rest of the world says you have lost your right to self-governance. How that would be enforced is a topic of another discussion, but in the same way that when observing a confrontation between a bully and his/her victim, I am compelled to intercede, either directly (preferably in a non-violent way) or by alerting the authprities, the world at large needs feel compelled to intercede on behalf of those who can't defend themselves.

I realize that this may seem a naive and idealistic viewpoint, but nonetheless, I believe (or at least hope) there will come a time when the collective of humanity will stand up and say enough is enough, this insanity must end.

The only way that is going to happen is if we stop assuming nations have the undisputed right to self-governance. They don't nor should they.

Thu, 31 May 2012 17:57:10 UTC | #944790

Go to: The Right’s Righteous Frauds

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by btheist

One of the most brilliant metaphors about Christianity and its insane adherence to barbaric traditions was a short story written in 1948 by Shirley Jackson, called The Lottery

This book was turned into a short film, which I saw in an 8th grade social studies class. Scared the bejezzus out me as I had never before contemplated people could be so stupid as to follow so mindlessly barbaric tradition like this.

As I watched, all I could think of is "Why isn't anyone in the crowd putting a stop to it!". That is when I realized the immorality of religion and religious tradition.

A brilliant example of blind faith and group think mentality.

Thanks for reminding me of this film and book, it brings back memories, not necessarily fond ones, but memories nonetheless.

Thu, 17 May 2012 22:58:56 UTC | #942109

Go to: Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by btheist

Although I have personally experienced the lack of compassion by the religious, I think it is an oversimplification to say it's because they are only doing good to get into heaven.

I believe most people are born intrinsically to be compassionate, but that it is their life experience and education they get that dictates how they react in these situations. The insidious part of religion is the overwhelming messages of only true believers will be rewarded and that others in need are "getting what they deserved" or that "God is punishing them for their sins. I believe in their minds, they are asking the question, did that person do something to deserve this and if so, why should I help them. Then fold in the "God helps those who help themselves" message, and there are more than a number of subtle, and perhaps subconscious neurons fired that tell them instinctively, wait.. don't help. The conscious decision to help above your subconscious misgivings will most likely be to help less than if your subconscious reaction is simply to act. Non-believers likely don't have those internal battles to deal with and are merely reacting to situation with honest emotion. The religious are constantly asking themselves, why do I feel this emotion, is it the correct emotion, is it an emotion sanctioned by god or my faith? The godless don't have that baggage.

That's my two cents, purely based on my own experience, but I can't help but believe that religious indoctrination has an insidious and detrimental impact on the psyche.

Tue, 01 May 2012 18:44:51 UTC | #938765

Go to: In defence of obscure words

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by btheist

His beautiful use of language and his fervent desire to not "dumb down" his work is one of the reason I enjoyed so much of Christopher Hitchens' work. Amongst many other things, the world lost a valiant defender of the language when he passed.

Although I agree, we are feed a constant stream of dumbed down dialog in the media, and opening a dictionary does seem to be too much work for a lot of people, I can't help be believe that this too is part of of our evolutionary process.

The same complaint has been made by each previous generation, lamenting the loss of what they held dear. However, if we held to prior generation's vernacular and vocabulary, we'd still be "Thee"ing and "Thou"ing everything. This may be seen as a good thing by some, but untenable by the masses.

So, next time someone asks me what a word means, I will say "I shall Googleth thine query, forthwith".

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 15:32:52 UTC | #936708

Go to: Why More Nonbelievers Are Openly Identifying

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by btheist

Interesting study.... It would be interesting to see the result of a similar survey done now. Since 2008, there has been a significant rise in the visibility of non-secular and atheistic view points. RD's The God Delusion has encouraged a lot of people to come out of the proverbial closet. Hitchens, Sam Harris and other high profile atheists are been much more visible in the main stream media. I would like to believe that the numbers of non-religious and Atheist and Agnostic would be be much higher if the survey was done today.

It's also encouraging that a higher percentage of college grads are non-believers, as these folks will influence and be our future policy makers.

In the meantime, we collectively need to keep encouraging those caught behind the stigma of the atheist label to self-identify.

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 17:38:44 UTC | #935769

Go to: I’m an Ape, and I’m Also a Fish

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by btheist

It's all just a war of words, it doesn't change the evolutionary path we took to get here, we just can't agree on what to call the intermediaries. So in some ways, the Beatles had it right when they said "I am the Walrus" :-)

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 16:23:48 UTC | #935503

Go to: Tennessee Passes ‘Monkey Bill’ To Teach The ‘Controversy’ On Evolution And Climate Science

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by btheist

If ignorance is bliss, then what a bunch of blissful bastards. Any controversy is manufactured by themselves alone.

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 17:46:15 UTC | #929906

Go to: Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims’ Group

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by btheist

It's called defending the faith at the expense of the faithful.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:01:05 UTC | #928649

Go to: FFRF ad, ‘Quit the Catholic Church,’ runs in today’s Times

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by btheist

Well Done FFRF! There is no such thing as being too strident. I hope it does produce a backlash as that will drive the message out further and it will also show those who do speak out against it for what they really are.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 23:58:47 UTC | #925750

Go to: What These Popular Reactionary Phrases Really Mean

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by btheist

As a Canadian, I admit that US Politics befuddles me. How any of the GOP Candidates engender any kind of support is beyond me, and their Draconian platforms scare the crap out of me. I think they should seriously consider dropping the "Grand" part of the Grand Old Party, there ain't nothing Grand about it.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 16:47:21 UTC | #925649

Go to: The Most Astounding Fact (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by btheist

Beautiful illustration of the significance of our insignificance!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:10:59 UTC | #925417

Go to: Antimatter ‘measured’ for the first time, could reveal building blocks of the universe

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by btheist

Exciting stuff, or is that exciting opposite of stuff! Makes me proud to be Canadian, it almost makes up for us foisting Alan Thick on the world... well almost!

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:02:01 UTC | #925413

Go to: Worm-like fossil a 'distant cousin' of humans

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by btheist

Well, that explains some of my relatives!

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:59:36 UTC | #924699

Go to: Rick Warren and the “Same” God Issue

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by btheist

Warren is a jerk no matter which false god he worships. His ignorance is telling, as Muslim's and Christians do believe in the same Abrahamic God, it's how they go about that it that differs. The fact that he want's everyone to join his ministry is more about lining his pockets than helping people find salvation.

There is a fundamental dissonance, particularly with Evangelicals, how do you reconcile love thy neighbour with knowing they are going to hell for not believing what you do. It hides a prejudice beneath the Vail of political correctness.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:20:35 UTC | #924667

Go to: One Jesus for liberals, another for conservatives

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by btheist

How about no Jesus for either side. It is so painful obvious that all gods through out history and those alive and well today in the minds of the faithful are imagined by man. As long as their be Gods to worship, we'll always have this my God is better than your God mentality. This study should come as no surprise to anyone, if anything, it should be a surprise that we need a study to tell us this.

Unfortunately, the only people who will understand the relevance of this study are the already god-free.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:05:38 UTC | #924661

Go to: Republican Congressional Candidate Says 'Holocaust Never Happened'

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by btheist

As someone born in the mid-fifties, I was too young to see things first hand, but my dad was in Europe during the war and saw the monstrosities first hand. My Mom was from Holland and lived through her city being invaded. Her sister was a death camp survivor who had stark white hair at age 24.

Being of a generation after WWII, I have an understanding of what happened through the real life experience of my relatives, but with each succeeding generation, the memory dims and the ability to believe it was a hoax becomes easier. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the past is never forgotten and to set the record straight whenever one of these assholes starts blowing smoke.

Fortunately, we live in an era where social media plays such an important part in the political spectrum that I don't believe he has a hope in hell of getting elected, as the ground swell of opposition from the masses will bring him down.

I have to add, despite the horrors my Dad witnessed and the upheaval my Mom experienced, they both taught their children to be tolerant and respectful of all, and to not hold the sins of the nation (Germany) against the people. As a family, we had a number of German friends and I give my parents credit for being human enough to forgive, even if they will never forget.

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 19:40:38 UTC | #923833

Go to: Enough of Rick Santorum’s sermons

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by btheist

As a Canadian and an outsider looking in, I have to say Santorum is a joke and there is no way he could be electable. And then I remember George Bush and how I thought the same thing about him, and he got elected.... twice!

Canadian politics aren't a whole lot better as we have a PM who with a little nudging could potentially be RIck Santorum north, and we have feeble options for any opposition. However, as a Northerly neighbor (note the US spelling) who are affected, albeit indirectly, by what happens in the US, the thought of Rick Santorum as POTUS, scares the crap out of me.

This whole race proves once again that you don't have to be the best to succeed, only be the least worst at the right point it time.

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 18:09:28 UTC | #923186

Go to: A Revolutionary Idea

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by btheist

I hope to hell (pardon the vernacular) we are not still debating this 200 years hence!

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 23:14:08 UTC | #922595

Go to: Writing a new code for life?

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by btheist

So now we might have some alien gods to not believe in :-)

I am open to the idea that alternative life forms may not be carbon based. The conditions of our particular world seem to favor carbon based life, but given the vastness of the multiverse, I think it is highly likely there are some alternate life forms out there.

An interesting discussion topic, with no viable answer, is whether a non-carbon based life form, assuming it reached an approximate equivalent of human intelligence, would have similar chemically triggered emotions and feelings that make us uniquely human? Would they have a need to invent gods to make sense of their world? Would they feel joy, anger, loss, elation? I submit that we have to be open to the idea that alternate life forms may bear little or no physical resemblance to us and equally bear little or no resemblance to our thinking and emotional selves.

So, what counts as a hot chick in the alien world may not be hot to us, and even if they were, we would probably have to come up with a whole different range of pickup lines :-)

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:22:42 UTC | #920803

Go to: Richard Dawkins in ‘single-celled ancestor’ shock

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by btheist

Funny satire, but I fully expect the humour to be lost on Bible thumping Dawkins detractors. I wonder if Rick Santorum (sorry for using that word) will bring this up in his next Republican debate (or is that debacle?).

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:52:25 UTC | #920483

Go to: Cardinal Edward Egan Just Withdrew His Apology for the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by btheist

Morally repugnant and reprehensible. That he feels they "did nothing wrong" makes it even more so.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 20:17:55 UTC | #915997

Go to: Alaska Airlines removing prayer cards from meal trays after 30 years as complaints increase

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by btheist

I for one, applaud Alaska Airlines for having the courage to make this change. There will no doubt be some backlash from the Religious community claiming yet more harassment, and calls to reinstate the practice. As much as I don't agree with the practice in the first place, it is a bold move for them to make this change.

I was going to suggest that we collectively go to the Alaska Airlines website and leave words of encouragement and thanks, but the link to where you can post comments isn't working. I don't know if it really is, but that somehow seems ironic.

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 16:52:12 UTC | #911743

Go to: Krauss finds something in nothing

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by btheist

Forget Jesus, Stars died so you could be born

Great quote! I'll be using that one a lot.

As cheesy as the video was, it has piqued my interest in his book

Wed, 04 Jan 2012 22:16:24 UTC | #905379

Go to: Biology test omits creation theory, complains Kentucky educator

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by btheist

My feeling is if the Commonwealth's site-based councils, school board members, superintendents and parents were questioned ... one would find this teaching contradictory to the majority's belief systems.

That may be true, but it doesn't mean the majority is right. It does indicate that the indoctrination process has been much more successful in Kentucky.

Evolution is fact, Creationism is just wishful thinking by people too afraid to admit the lunacy of their, albeit majority, beliefs.

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 16:09:38 UTC | #899230

Go to: Preview: Richard Dawkins interviews Christopher Hitchens

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by btheist

Two of the most brilliant and eloquent minds to ever walk this earth, together. Gotta get me a copy of that!

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:39:18 UTC | #898678

Go to: Pakistan: Karachi police free chained students

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by btheist

Proof once again that religion poisons everything. The cruelty done in the name of religion knows no bounds. Despicable, reprehensible.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:28:25 UTC | #898675

Go to: Japan, Russia see chance to clone mammoth

btheist's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by btheist

Big hairy deal!

Sorry couldn't resist.... I too wonder at the end game in this, and worry for the well being of the surrogate elephant mother, but at the same time, it would be cool.

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 22:09:25 UTC | #895965