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Comments by wisnoskij

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by wisnoskij

Comment 17 by mmurray :

When I was a Catholic as a kid my father gave money to the church (my mother was an Anglican). He donated in different ways. Some went to the upkeep of the local chuch and priest, some to the upkeep of the wider church as an organisation and some to church charities. I would be happy to call the last of these charity but the first two are more akin to paying a club membership. In return for these payments my father got membership of the church, access to church facilities and services, some form of life insurance for all eternity and political advocacy by the wider organisation on behalf of members. I'm a member of a bicycle organisation which gives me similar returns. I wouldn't call that charity.

Actually every time I give to charity an amount of over $5 I get a tax refund next time I do my income tax. Does that mean it is not an act of charity ?

Michael

First off a tax refund does not equal a net profit and is not money, simply less taking away of money.

Secondly Paying for a charity worker or a priest to do his job or maintain his building or the headquarters building (or simply giving the headquarters money to spend at there discretion) is charity and as long as the donations are not mandatory and specific then it is charity. If a church makes you pay X dollars to week to join then it is NOT a charity, if they pass around a collection plate it is. And priests do do good, even intelligent atheists like Richard Dawkins have talked about how it would be good to have a non believer equivalent because they try and succeed in a lot of cases in helping out their "flocks" with problems.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 06:19:55 UTC | #893207

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by wisnoskij

Comment 12 by mmurray :

Who do you mean by they ? The original article was written by a single person.

I'm confused in your first paragraph you are arguing that anything is a charity as long as the person giving thinks it is a good cause and in the second you claim the opposite ? Personally I think donating to support a bunch of Catholic priests who could easily go out and get jobs is not charity.

More then one idiot has called Kiva a charity.

that is fair, but there is a difference.

In donating to a church they are doing what they think is best and giving up something while getting nothing but good feelings in return (charity).

While the people at Kiva.org are simply investing and making money. They are getting physical rewards greater then what they sacrificed. it does not matter if they are delusional enough to feel good about it or to think that it is a charity. Now you could argue that at least some of the investments do help people (I am sure a lot of people are employed and are entertained by those blood sports), but by definition you cannot make money in an act of charity.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:46:06 UTC | #893198

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by wisnoskij

Does anyone even care if they are at all being fair with what they say. I cannot believe anyone considers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiva_(organization) a charity. Sure I would love to donate to charity and double my savings but that is impossible. And since when is bloodsports a charity (and that is tame enough to actually be above board).

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:24:36 UTC | #893194

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by wisnoskij

Comment 6 by mmurray :

Why would you count money donated to the RCC to support the local priest and put a new roof on the church as charity ?

Michael

Because the believers are giving to at least what they views is a good cause, it does not matter if you disagree or if they use it to molest children the same as it does not matter if cancer research money gets redirected.

And in fact Kiva.org is a very good example of what a charity is not. It is a business you give out loans at near criminal rates (24% average) and make a killing off of poor people who have no other choice. And I am sure that the oversight is minimal, how you would even check on a business half a world away. I am sure more then a little bit of of these loans have been used secretly to fund drug operations or child prostitution.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:18:35 UTC | #893193

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by wisnoskij

I am not sure what

Comment 5 by mmurray :

That said it appears he is wrong about Melinda Gates, at least if wiki is to be believed.

Michael

I am not sure what wiki you are talking about because THE wiki specifically says that she is a practising Roman Catholic. And Buffett is a agnostic.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:09:10 UTC | #893191

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by wisnoskij

Is there any proof of this? I know at the very least Catholics (I think) are supposed to give 10% of their income to the church and even if most don't go that far I would suspect that Catholicism and many other religions makes huge money in donations. Which are only fair to count as charities.

Many Americanised religions are anti charity but many are still charitable people. and I am sure it is easy to spin the numbers anyway you want. In particular I am sure most church goers donate to charity through their church. So even if you don't want to count donations to the church as charity (which is just ridiculous in my opinion) a lot more money probably comes form pasters who have set up special events and such and gotten donations directly form his "flock" for that particular charity.

So in two particular examples yes we excelled, but is far from rational, freethinking, or skeptical to say that is any reason to believe that we are fundamentally more charitable then the average religious type.

And we can disagree with them on a intellectual issue without constantly thinking of them as fundamentally worse people in all aspects of humanity.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 04:41:42 UTC | #893185

Go to: Australia: Spirituality's fine by us but there's little faith in religion

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by wisnoskij

Yes they are very different, and in general spirituality is such a broad term (I am suer more then a few stout atheists consider themselves spiritual, what they mean by that though would depend on the person).

One quote really gets to the heart of this matter and has really stuck with me (not that I remember the exact phrasing).

Pete Owen-Jones once said in Around the World in 80 Faiths in regard to Americans that while religion was plastered on every wall more then in any other country the world over there is not a hint of spirituality anywhere on the entire continent.

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 17:37:38 UTC | #893082

Go to: BBC tests morality

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by wisnoskij

Comment 14 by PatW :

I have no idea what "protected incest" is. However, if that relates to birth control, the only current known fail safe birth control methods are abstinence and homosexuality.

Abortion is 100% effective as far as I know, and if you use multiple layers of birth control on top of each other then it then it does at least approach 0% chance pretty closely.

But like I have already said I am not convinced that increased random mutation rate in offspring (even though the most notable side effect is defects) is inherently evil/wrong/bad/immoral.

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 23:02:47 UTC | #891849

Go to: "New" Genes May Have Played a Role in Human Brain Evolution

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by wisnoskij

Comment 4 by davidpercival :

So if new genes cannot come into existence while an organism is alive, when and how do they appear?

Breeding, one half DNA of mother + one half DNA father + random mutation = DNA baby.

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 21:28:53 UTC | #891826

Go to: BBC tests morality

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by wisnoskij

Comment 5 by PatW :

I'm going to test that opinion with a morality question. Is it immoral to pass on detrimental and lethal familial mutations to offspring, which cause offspring to become negatively affected individuals, when it's proved that incest and higher COIs (coefficients of inbreeding) are responsible for a much higher frequency rate of negatively health affected offspring?

I am not sure if you read either of our comments. Mine had absolutely nothing to do with incest. His/Her comment specifically talked about protected incest.

And not that I disagree with you but it is not that simple. Incest increases the mutation rate and this is for a reason. Obviously it is designed so that when the population is in trouble (ie, few people) the ability to evolution increases.

Now obviously random mutation normally just produces defect, but sometimes it creates a "better" "more evolved" person. So while random mutation might be completely bad while thinking on a small scale, on a large time scale it is completely necessary and speeding it up or slowing it down is not inherently evil or good.

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 21:02:45 UTC | #891813

Go to: BBC tests morality

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by wisnoskij

Comment 3 by prolibertas :

It's easy to explain why sex with an animal is immoral. The animal can't consent, therefore it's rape and animal abuse.

If you actually think that then you do not know very much about animals. Sure some animal species incorporate the unconsenting female (ie rape in human terms) as a primary or secondary function of how they reproduce many species depend on the consent of both parties and animal experts can spot a consenting female. So anyone looking for the signs would be able to tell if a prospective female animal would/is consenting. Adding to that that the possibility of disease transfer is minimal and offspring is basically impossible then you would really have to call it only culturally wrong (instead of absolutely) no matter how disgusting it is.

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 20:24:48 UTC | #891805

Go to: "New" Genes May Have Played a Role in Human Brain Evolution

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by wisnoskij

So while you are alive you can change spontaneously change on a DNA level?

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:03:33 UTC | #891760

Go to: Psychopaths: Born evil or with a diseased brain?

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by wisnoskij

Wasn't all of this already known? As far as I was aware (for as long as I have been alive) everyone already knew that psychopaths were psychopathic because of differences in their brain. I guess you could compare it to homosexuality, they don't choose to be psychopaths they are not made into psychopaths (at least in some situations), they are simply born that way.

So why is this being hailed as new?

Tue, 15 Nov 2011 18:58:41 UTC | #890485

Go to: Nature and Nurture Work Together to Shape the Brain

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by wisnoskij

Comment 1 by TobySaunders :

Why is there that phrasing 'drugs & alcohol'? Clearly, alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs on Earth.

I guess you must not know many about many drugs, there are far more hardcore drugs that are used and that can kill you in a single use. Exactly how is Alcohol supposed to be (for example) more dangerous then crack or LSD?

And even ignoring the other harder core drugs alcohol is really only dangerous at all in high concentrations (like most other chemicals). If you have some beer that it only 3-5% or even lower then it really the biggest effect you are going to get is from the other things in the drink then anything else.

And a little known fact. When the anti alcohol moment first took off for religious reasons many people died of malnutrition because of being deprive of all the nutrients and alcohol drinking in general saved many lives in the ages before safe water.

So in closing, saying alcohol is dangerous is like saying water or H2O2 is dangerous. Sure all three could kill you or cause you harm but all three also would take quite a lot of effort on your part for that to happen.

Now you could make a case that because of society or human physiology there is some innate human need to take harmful amounts of alcohol and that makes alcohol dangerous to humans but i am not convinced that someone who would of been passed out drunk form alcohol in our alcohol rich society would not just be jumping off roofs or racing for fun in one without alcohol.

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 23:22:33 UTC | #890211

Go to: Michigan's bullying law passes state senate

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by wisnoskij

This is too ridiculous to be true. The US government might be overly religious and incompetent, but they are far from sanctioning a law that legalizes physical violence if you have a religious motivation.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 02:46:42 UTC | #888461

Go to: Mississippi to vote on 'personhood'

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by wisnoskij

I have always been very divided on these issues. If you place a value on life or human life specifically then a very good case can be made for the at fertilization argument. Another way of approaching it would be to consider real life to be self sustaining, a embryo absolutely needs a mother to help it and cannot survive without it (until like 5 years of age minimum) so some thought must be taken to the mothers needs and is this needy embryo/baby going to get the care needed. Then a third way of looking at it is based on intelligent (intelligent life is valuable, the more intelligent the better). In that case then children take quite a while to get smarter then animals that we (in general) are OK will killing.

After considering all of this I have to say that I have never heard anyone seriously advocating the post birth abortion, even though a mother is even more likely to know if she is willing/able to care for the infant post birth then pre, it is basically just as dependant on external help, and really up to now the inconvenience/work required has been minimal. So I would have to say that everyone seems to place a value on potential human life so the obvious location to say "after this it is considered murder" would be conception.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:56:02 UTC | #886596

Go to: PRESS RELEASE: Big news for the online atheist community

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by wisnoskij

Comment 4 by Atheist Mike :

I think the way Atheism is perceived is detrimental to the 'cause'. It might just be because I'm not American but I think 'coming out' as if atheism were like homosexuality only makes it look like an immature and 'in your face' movement. Therefore also making the argument that being religious is respectable more true. American atheists should stop playing the victim card and be more serious. They don't have to justify why they're atheists, the religious have to justify why they are religious.

This. I was not going to say anything but I think it is just being dramatic to say stuff like Atheists are the most hated group in America. From what I have seen that is far from true, I don't even think that they would be in the top 10.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:36:44 UTC | #886588

Go to: PRESS RELEASE: Big news for the online atheist community

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by wisnoskij

Comment 2 by drumdaddy :

I've declared my atheism to many folks. The most common response that I receive is "Me, too."

That has been my experience as well, not so much learning about it when others learn about mine just that pretty much everyone I know ends up being Atheist. I cannot understand anyone in Canada having any trouble finding Atheistic friends or having to hide their ideology as everyone worth talking too seems to already be Atheistic.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:32:53 UTC | #886587

Go to: Gingrich says atheists can’t be trusted, disregards 50 million secular Americans

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by wisnoskij

Comment 11 by kenatcb :

Now I don't know about anyone else but I value morality top and knowledge prety high up on my priorities. With morality comes fairness, respect and even love for other people. What does Newt Gingrich pray for? It cannot be for the well-being for others for that would involve compassion and without a sense of morality there cannot be compassion. A longer comment is in my blog.under liNewt Gingrich

I really don't think that morality has anything to do with respect or love.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:42:41 UTC | #886226

Go to: Tea Party Taboo: The Atheism of Ayn Rand

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by wisnoskij

Why would an entire political moment be based around some novel?

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:38:26 UTC | #886223

Go to: Gingrich says atheists can’t be trusted, disregards 50 million secular Americans

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by wisnoskij

Comment 6 by Metamag :

Holy shit! And this is suppose to be the GOP's thinker, the intellectual among the candidates!?

Oh America, how have you sunk so low...

Gingrich’s comments are egregiously offensive to those atheists, agnostics, secularists, humanists and freethinkers

Btw, why do we still pretend that there is such a thing as agnostic, if you don't know if you believe in god you don't believe in god. There is no such thing as agnosticism, there is only agnostic and gnostic atheism and even those distinctions are silly and irrelevant.

For the same reason that we have secularists, humanists and freethinkers on the list. Even Atheist don't like Atheism and many prefer to call themselves secularists, humanists, freethinkers, or agnostics. In this context they all mean the same thing, but a lot of people simply do not want to be Atheists no matter what their belief about God is.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:34:05 UTC | #886217

Go to: Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Evolution

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by wisnoskij

"LOL", "hip rap music"(is this actually a thing)?, "another posts". I don't want to be mean, but as a grammar Natzi I have to point these examples and the general poor quality of this article's writing.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:25:38 UTC | #886214

Go to: The Drake Equation: All in the family

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by wisnoskij

Always wondered about how approximate this equation is and how it could be improved with our continuing better understanding of how life first formed on earth. You would think that in general the equation must have at least one big fuzzy part since we still have no more then shaky theories on how the basic building blocks of life formed and combined.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 00:19:42 UTC | #886213

Go to: More than 400 claims of physical abuse on children attending British madrassas

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by wisnoskij

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 13:53:48 UTC | #883954

Go to: More than 400 claims of physical abuse on children attending British madrassas

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by wisnoskij

Where are these allegations reported, internally or to the police?

"Corporal punishment is legal in part-time education settings in England, including in madrassas, if lessons are taught for fewer than 12.5 hours per week."

Why would it matter if it is over or under 12.5 hours? if anything being full time increases the need for disciplinary action. You would think that if you are going to have any argument at all, a part time students discipline can be handed off to the parents in between lessons but a full time student would need to receive some at the educational institution because they are there all day every day.

What is the justification for this? in part time there is not a lot of time to make children sit in corners so you are allowed to hit them and get the punishment over with?

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 13:53:11 UTC | #883953

Go to: Don’t Let This Become a Texas License Plate

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by wisnoskij

Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 13 by wisnoskij

WTF does "offension" mean outside Germany? Would you like my moniker?

It is in many if not all English dictionaries, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/offension

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 03:56:47 UTC | #883606

Go to: Don’t Let This Become a Texas License Plate

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by wisnoskij

Comment 8 by SheerReason :

I'm from a culturally southern state as well. So as a fellow southerner, if you're from Texas, please don't stand for this! :)

As for the confederate flag? Just think if a state chose to print the Nazi swastika on its license plates? A clear sign of the brutal attempted genocide of an entire people? Is it much of a stretch then to think that the confederate flag represents the institution of slavery and would be just as offensive to a people who were once enslaved? It's a rhetorical question. I just don't see how someone could not realize how offensive it is. It has no place in the America of today save to show the long held attitudes of people in the south.

I'm not attacking everyone in the south. Remember, I'm one of you. But this along with a recent poll conducted among Mississippi residents in which the majority of people thought that interracial marriage should be against the law? I mean really....?

I think it might be a little of a stretch to say that an entire nation (the southern states) boils down to represent just one idea and that is slavery. But you have a point. But I guess where I stand is that you can make anything offensive to someone, and just because someone decides to become offended does not mean that the object of their offension has to be outlawed. Christians find Atheism offensive, but I sure wish that my government does not outlaw it simply because it passively offends someone else.

I would love to see Atheistic licence plates (even though I know it will offend a lot of people to look at them) so I hope that Christians are allowed their own plates.

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:57:26 UTC | #883534

Go to: Don’t Let This Become a Texas License Plate

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by wisnoskij

Comment 10 by some asshole :

Comment 8 by SheerReason :

As for the confederate flag? Just think if a state chose to print the Nazi swastika on its license plates? A clear sign of the brutal attempted genocide of an entire people? Is it much of a stretch then to think that the confederate flag represents the institution of slavery and would be just as offensive to a people who were once enslaved? It's a rhetorical question.

Rhetorical question or not, you stay away from the swastika. It represents "German pride". I have several large swastikas on my Sonata. I live in NC so it's OK.

You are being sarcastic right? The only things I have ever heard of the swastika representing is Nazis and I think it used to represent good luck or something around those lines.

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:47:43 UTC | #883530

Go to: Don’t Let This Become a Texas License Plate

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by wisnoskij

Well as long as it is not forced on anyone then I believe in everyone's right to decorate their licence plates with whatever god(s) they so wish.

Am I reading this article wrong or is it actually suggesting that the government should force people to not have a christian decoration on their licence plate?

I guess it all depends on what “specialty license plate designs” means, but it would only make sense to be a opt-in sort of thing.

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:43:55 UTC | #883528

Go to: Scientists demand tougher guidelines on teaching of creationism in schools

wisnoskij's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by wisnoskij

At the end of the day you are going to be in a uphill battle to control what teachers do in the their own classrooms. I know that once in English class the existence of ghosts was treated as a valid theory by our teacher.

Sat, 22 Oct 2011 15:08:29 UTC | #883167