¿Sin ganas de leer mucho? Date una vuelta por el Tumblr de Su Nombre en Vano

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Man asks Jesus for cure, Jesus says "fuck off"

After the long and thoughtful post from yesterday, this came as another way to view the effects of prayer.

Looks like prayer doesn't just don't work, but also pisses Jesus off. "Not happy with you epilepsy? Well, take this, broken bones."

Friday, July 30, 2010

The (nut)case for prayer

Some months ago a friend of mine was giving me a ride. Somehow I told him about a difficult situation of mine and he just said “I don’t know what to say, I can only, pray for you”

That kind of reminded me of what I read once, about J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter’s creator), telling about how she was walking in a mall, and then suddenly a man told her “I’m praying for you!”, but in the same tone of voice you tell someone “Go fuck yourself!”

I can’t find the source, so I can’t be sure if it is true or not. Of course, considering how many Christians feel about Harry Potter, I think it is very likely that something like that had happened.

So very often in a debate regarding religion, non-believers will hear those words. “I’ll pray for you”, they say, with a condescending look on their face that basically means “Oh, you poor, undeluded thing, you can’t be happy because your imagination can’t take over reality”. Yes, that is what that “I’ll pray for you” means to most non-believers, especially when we hear it in that “heavenly” voice that many put after not being able to find a rational response to one’s argument.

But that is not how Rowling is said to have heard it. That “I’m praying for you” is not just condescending, but filled with rage, rage that another person is not seeing the same delusion the believer holds so dearly. The one spouting such words feels so weak and unempowered that lets his anger take control. The interesting thing is that such anger has its root and expression through a statement from a belief that advocates love.

Yeah, that is supposed to be love, doesn’t it? It can’t be hatred, because, well, that’s a sin, wrath, isn’t it? When I hear that kind of stuff, directed to me, it feels more amusing than threatening. It’s kind of hard to answer because you don’t know on what to focus your response. Should I take on the tone of voice? Should I take on the smugness of someone saying he/she will pray for me, as if that would change anything? Should I take on the fact that prayer doesn’t work? Should I just laugh it off? Or respond with a “Fuck you and your God”? No, hell no, I couldn’t do that, neither would I advise it.

But whatever you do, my non-believer friend, don’t get angry. You were just hinted that your opponent has no better answer. I would go for something like “sure, thanks, but prayer doesn’t work. No matter how much you like it, it doesn’t work.” If you need an example, you can cite this:

Oregon faith-healing parents fight to get baby back, face criminal charges

A Beavercreek couple who left their infant daughter's fate to God rather than seek medical treatment for a mass that grew over her left eye will face charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

The Wylands and their church reject medical care in favor of faith-healing -- anointing with oil, laying on of hands, prayer and fasting. The parents testified at a juvenile court hearing last week that they never considered getting medical attention for Alayna.

Disturbing picture, isn’t it? That’s what prayer does. Nothing. If God hears prayers, it either can’t do anything or just doesn’t care. And if it can’t help that baby, neither by miraculously healing her, or making those nutcases she has for parents understand that she needs medical care, God will certainly not be able to change a non-believer’s view.

Sometimes I thing believers do understand that, but the “I’ll pray for you” makes them feel better, like that they are doing something, useless, but something. Oh, and that they have a connection with a superior being that supposedly works miracles. That is always something nice to think; just like thinking you have a rich uncle that eventually will die and leave all his money to you.

Finally, going back to my ride-giving friend. Yes, he said he could only pray for me. But I didn’t felt any animosity or smugness in that. Maybe because he really wanted to do something for me, but couldn’t, and instead of saying “sorry bro, I can’t do anything” he chose to say “I can only pray for you”. That made me feel like he cared and he wanted to do something to ease my pain. That feels good, no matter from who it’s coming. He wasn’t trying to convince me or to convert me. Just being caring.

So, final words: please, non-believers don’t get angry when someone says “I’ll pray for you”. It’s a sign you are winning. It doesn’t matter if it’s condescending or insulting. Your arguments are powerful. And if it’s neither condescending or insulting, well, why get all worked up at all? It might just being someone who doesn’t know how to express their desire to help.

And believers (if any is reading this), save the “I’ll pray for you” only for occasions in which true concern is involved. Otherwise you are hurting your cause. Of course, I have no problem with that.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quotable Quote LXIV

Everyone has ideas they hold precious. Only you, the religious, demand to be protected from debate or scrutiny that might discomfort you.

Johann Hari

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fellow unbelievers, help this blog win a contest!

In my country, Peru, the contest "20 blogs peruanos" (20 Peruvian Blogs) has started. This contest will award 20 blogs in different categories. My blog, this blog, is participating under the "Peruvian blog outside of the country" category.

Concurso Blogs Peruanos, Estamos buscando a los 20 mejores Blogs del Perú
20 Blogs Peruanos

This blog talks about religion and how dangerous and misleading it can be. In my country, the Catholic Church still has a huge influence. I need your vote, not just to win, but to put an space that criticizes all the dogmas that slow down the advancement of scientific knowledge and human rights.

Please help me with your vote. To do so, just click HERE. Once you click it, it will redirect you to a page that will ask you for an email address. Don't worry, they won't send spam. Once you write your email, click on the button below. Finally (and this is very important) check your inbox, open the message from "20blogs.pe" and click on the confirmation link, the one that says "Para confirmar su voto haga click aquí". Otherwise, the vote won't count.

From the deep of my unbelieving heart, I thank you for your vote.

Su Nombre En Vano en 20 blogs peruanos

Concurso Blogs Peruanos, Estamos buscando a los 20 mejores Blogs del Perú
20 Blogs Peruanos

20 Blogs Peruanos es una movida organizada por Perúblogs y lamula.pe, en donde se eligen 20 blogs de distinto contenido. Este año estoy participando por primera vez, en la categoría de Blog Peruano en el Extranjero.

Si siguen este blog, si les gusta lo que leen, si creen que los acontecimientos narrados aquí deben ser conocidos por más personas, entonces vota por Su Nombre En Vano. No va a ser solamente Diego, El Mapache el que gane. Ganamos todos los que de una forma u otra criticamos los dogmas religiosos que frenan el avance de la humanidad, tanto en conocimiento científico como en derechos humanos. Con este voto das una mano a que ese pensamiento crítico esté más disponible a todos.

Quiero pensar que quienes me leen no se dejarán llevar por palabras que suenan bien, si no que votarán porque realmente creen que mi blog merece ganar. Y si no, entonces seguiré trabajando para que algún día pueda poner un blog no creyente a vista de todos.

Para votar:
1. Da click AQUI
2. Esto te llevará a una página en donde deberás dar tu dirección de correo para confirmar tu voto. No te preocupes, la gente de Perublogs no usa tu dirección para mandar spam.
3. Dale clic a "enviame un mail para confirmar mi voto"
4. Revisa tu email y confirma tu voto.

Eso es todo. Así que ya saben, mis estimados herejes, ayuda a que un blog ateo tenga presencia en un concurso de blogs.

El Comic-Con, Ocram, y el rol e influencia de las religiones en la sociedad

El fin de semana pasado se realizó el Comic Con en San Diego, el cual reunió grandes cantidades de fans del comic, manga y otras cosas “frikis”.

Y por si lo pensaban, en el Comic Con no solo hay frikis gorditos

Lo que me pesó no haber ido (aparte de la foto de arriba) fue el perderme lapresentación de Penn & Teller, los de “Bullshit” (si no han visto su programa, se pierden de mucho).

Otra razón por la que me hubiese gustado ir era para ver en acción a la Westboro Baptist Church, conocida por su activismo en contra de los homosexuales y sus carteles de “God Hates Fags” con los que protestan en distintos eventos, especialmente funerales de soldados muertos en la Guerra, arguyendo que ese es el castigo que Dios da a una nación que permite la existencia de homosexuales. La BBC hizo un documental bastante completo sobre esta iglesia (la cual está compuesta casi únicamente por la familia Phelps)

Por supuesto, los frikis no se quedaron callados y respondieron de una hilarante manera.

Acabando el Comic con y antes que se regrese a Perú, me encontré con Ocram. Ocram o Marco Sifuentes es el periodista web con más influencia en el Perú. Así que aprovechando la oportunidad conversamos un poco con él sobre religiones y su rol e influencia en la sociedad

Ocram ya no actualiza el legendario Utero de Marita, pero pueden seguirlo en su Facebook o Twitter.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quotable Quote LXIII

The papal office has an unparalleled record of corruption and criminality over the centuries, and the true history of the popes is one of scandals, cruelty, debauchery, reigns of terror, warfare and moral depravity.

Tony Bushby

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A whole year of taking His Name in Vain

A year ago I started this blog. It's almost unbelievable that for a whole year I've been paying attention to all the evil done in God's name, which, apparently, is a never ending task.

Some time before I wondered why I keep doing this. In few words, the answer would be "because this stuff needs to be known". You can add, because I like to write, and to think that others read what I write. Thank you all who do so. You might not be a lot, but your visit counts for me. It doesn't matter if you disagree. It counts.

So, thank you all who read this blog. Thanks for taking an interest in something that concerns us all.

Thank you guys from ADM, Krisangel23 and the translators, I already mentioned you in the Spanish version. Your words, help and input are always appreciated.

Thank you Neece Campione for correcting the first entries of this blog. I'm sure you must have better things to do, but I know that when the need arises, I can count on you. Also thanks for being one of my first "internet atheist" friends.

Thanks to the Friendly Atheist, who was kind of an inspiration to make a blog about religion.

Thanks to those who read and comment, even if it is just to question what I do. Every question helps to auto evaluate and be better.

And, I have to say, thanks to all of those who make this possible. I'm talking about the Ratzingers, Donohues, Ahmadinejads, Conservatives, Palins and other religious who make this blog possible. Without your bigotry and stupidity none of this would be possible.

Thank you all guys.

Un año de pronunciar Su Nombre en Vano

Fue hace un año que empecé este blog. Qué rápido se pasa el tiempo. Un año de andar pendiente de todo el daño que se hace en el nombre de Dios y que, aparentemente es una tarea de nunca acabar.

Ya en algunos posts anteriores me he preguntado el por qué sigo escribiendo este blog. La respuesta, en pocas palabras, vendría a ser "porque este tipo de cosas necesitan saberse". Eso y quizás porque me gusta escribir, me gusta pensar que me leen. Y en ese sentido, gracias a todos los que se dan la vuelta por este humilde blog. Tal vez no sean muchos, pero el solo hecho de que se interesen, así no estén de acuerdo, importa para mí.

Así pues, gracias a ustedes, gente que lee este blog, gracias por interesarse en un tema que nos concierne a todos.

Gracias especiales a Gerardo a.k.a. Ramasknight y a la gente de Ateismo desde México, que me dieron un espacio en el foro.

Gracias a Angel, a.k.a. Krisangel23 por la labor que viene desempeñando al traducir videos sobre ciencia, razón y otros temas (tenemos una conversa pendiente, no te olvides).

Gracias a la gente de Traducciones Herejes por su trabajo desinteresado y cuya remuneración por lo general no va más allá de una mención en el video traducido.

Gracias a quienes han estado a mi alrededor y siguen estado a pesar de lo hinchapelotas que puedo ser cuando se trata del tema, les juro que trato de ser lo más llevadero posible. Ustedes saben quiénes son.

Gracias a los que comentan y cuestionan, pues sus preguntas hacen que uno se siga autoexaminando.

Gracias a los bloggers que sigo y de quienes muchas veces pirateo noticias. Los citaría, pero mejor, veanlos todos en la columna de la derecha.

Y, hay que decirlo, gracias a quienes hacen posible que cada día se pueda dejar una noticia sobre lo nociva que pueden llegar a ser las religiones; me refieron a los Benedictos, los Ayatohlas, los Ciprianis, los Ted Haggards, los políticos defensores de los "valores familiares" y que luego sale que son homosexuales, las Sarahs Palins y Sharron Angles, y a todos los creacionistas que nos demuestran una y otra vez lo necesario de espacios como este, así sean pequeños.

Gracias, y a seguir pecando.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quotable Quote LXII

In the Arab heartlands fundamentalism has become a refuge for anyone worried by the spread of Western culture and power. In overseas communities where Muslims are in a minority, notably Europe, it has had far more to do with a search for identity.

The Economist

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A call from God? No, Mrs. Angle, that's called schizophrenia

Why, republicans, why? Why is it so hard to make politics in a clear, intelligent way, instead to appeal to the religious retards who will follow anything that has the label "God" in it?

Sharron Angle says her race against Harry Reid is a calling from God

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Republican Sharron Angle says her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada is "a calling" from God and that her faith is helping her endure a fiercely competitive race in which Democrats have depicted her as a conservative extremist.

"When you have God in your life ... he directs your path," Angle told the Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview posted on its website Wednesday.

Asked why she entered the race, Angle said "the reason is a calling."

"When God calls you he also equips you and He doesn't just say, 'Well today you're going to run against Harry Reid,'" the tea party favorite said.

This is not a political blog and yet, I've written three times about this woman. A calling for God? Is she crazy? What does that mean? That God spoke to her, like, in a dream? This is either serious schizophrenia or just pure arrogance that pushes Angle to say she is little less than "the chosen one".

Since this is a blog about religion, I try to keep it separated from political shenanigans. Unfortunately religion has a lot to do with politics as it serves as a way to control those religious enough to love being sheep under a so-called shepherd. While I consider myself a liberal, this is mostly related to social issues (gay rights, abortion, etc). Economic policy is something I might agree with the right. However, it's hard to feel akin to a party whose candidates will go as far as declaring they are "in God's side".

How easy would it be for the liberals to also say "Jesus would help the poor", "Jesus wouldn't be at war" or stuff like that? I would be dick move, but might work. I would hate it, of course. It would be to appeal to those who can't think for themselves and prefer to mindlessly follow a shepherd.

If Angle wins she will be little less than those crazy Muslim leaders who do whatever they see fit "in the name of Allah"

Angle, a Southern Baptist, has called herself a faith-based politician who prays daily. Among her positions, she opposes abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest.

Really? Well, the nutjobs who flew the planes towards the Twin Towers were also "faith based". As for abortion and rape, well, we already know her stances. That is where a true christian stands, right? Nice, very, very nice. So full of love and comprehension. What a joke.

Here, check the video. Try not to puke in your mouth

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Will Survive... in Auschwitz?

I didn't think about writing this, but I just had to. You all must know the "I will survive" song and how Jesus starred in it, right? Well, another version of the song now has an Auschwitz survivor and his family dancing in the then concentration camp.

The song is hilarious, the editing and dancing is so-so. But what amazes me is that the 89 year-old man keeps such humor to dance on the place he once thought would be his tomb.

Of course, not everyone was happy

Anger after Australian Jew films video of her family singing 'I Will Survive' on a trip to Auschwitz

Kamil Cwiok, 86, was just a child when he and his family were rounded up by the Nazis. Most of his family died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

He said: 'I don't see how this video is a mark of respect for the millions who didn't survive, nor for those who did.

'It seems to trivialise the horrors that were committed there.'

I think that the man has earned his way to express his feelings towards the concentration camp. It would be outrageous if someone who hasn't seen and lived the horrors there made fun of it. But that man seemed happy to do it. He can do it. He can have fun and dance over the horrors of past time. Kudos for him.

Primer Coloquio Mexicano de Ateísmo

"La fe NO mueve montañas, la ciencia sí".

Presentado por:

Porque no solo los gabachos hacen convenciones ateas, el 13 de Noviembre se celebrará en la Ciudad de México el Primer Coloquio Mexicano de Ateísmo.

Entre los expositores se encuentran PZ Myers, autor del blog Pharyngula; Dan Barker, ex predicador y presidente de la Freedom From Religion Foundation; Stuart Bechman, presidente de la AAI; Martin Bonfil Olivera y Leopoldo Hernández Lara, estudiosos en los asuntos religiosos del país Mexicano.

El Coloquio también contará con la participación de los locutores del Podcast Ateo Masa Crítica, un programa semanal que discute distintas areas relacionadas a las religiones y a la ciencia. Los programas pueden escucharse en su página oficial. Además, también cuentan con un grupo de Facebook y una cuenta en twitter.

¿Ya los escuchaste? ¿No? ¿Y qué chingados esperas?

Para más información, se puede visitar la página oficial del coloquio.

La verdad, me gustaría ir a este evento. Sería una buena oportunidad para conocer la Ciudad de México y encontrarme con algunos ateos mexicanos a quienes ya conozco debido a nuestra participación en el foro de Ateísmo desde México. Más aun, este evento representa que a pesar de la alta religiosidad imperante en México, existen quienes desean hacer algo para divulgar el conocimiento y la ciencia. Ya en Argentina se celebró un evento similar, así que aparentemente es una buena idea que está cundiendo.

Si quieren mostrar su participación a sus amigos y allegados, pueden confirmar su asistencia en el evento en Facebook.


Había un video sobre el evento que me olvidé de poner:

Y PZ Myers comentó sobre el asunto en su Pharyngula.

Los judíos y la reacción al ataque de la flotilla en Gaza

Normalmente no escribo mucho concerniente al pueblo judío. Esto es más que nada debido a que los cristianos y musulmanes tienen un mayor mercado cuando de hacer cosas indignantes se trata y de hacer sus insensateces más notorias al mundo. Lo cual no significa que los judíos sean santas palomas, pero en esos casos un gran porcentaje de políticamente correctos liberales que van a apoyar a Palestina mientras critican a Israel. Finalmente también tengo que admitir que no sé mucho sobre la comunidad judía, por lo que prefiero no arriesgarme a hablar de algo que no conozco.

Sin embargo, eso puede cambiar. Para la clase que estoy llevando tuve que escribir un corto “paper” sobre algún asunto que envuelva a la fe judía. Esto es lo que escribí:

El 30 de mayo del 2010 una flotilla que transportaba activistas por los derechos humanos fue atacada por las fuerzas armadas israelíes en aguas internacionales. La flotilla estaba llevando recursos a la empobrecida franja de Gaza.

El ataque fue llevado a cabo luego de que la milicia israelí demandara la inspección de las naves para buscar materiales prohibidos en la franja de Gaza. El gobierno israelí ha prohibido el aluminio, vidrio y otros materiales que podrían servir para construir bases para fuerzas hostiles.

El bloqueo se remonta al 2007, pero las tensiones en la región empezaron luego de la independencia de Israel en 1948, cuando los países que rodeaban al nuevo país los atacaron. El conflicto entre musulmanes e israelíes data de tiempos bíblicos.

El ataque a la flotilla trajo la desaprobación a las medidas de Israel para con las flotillas de ayuda a Gaza y al embargo que la franja sufre. Luego de esto, Israel ha relajado sus medidas de seguridad en la frontera de Gaza. Esta acción podría aliviar las tensiones en el Medio oriente tensiones que al final afectan a todo el mundo, al estar relacionadas con las políticas externas de Estados Unidos y el mercado petrolero.

Las reacciones de la comunidad judía han sido mixtas. Algunos rabinos usan las escrituras judías para alentar a los soldados a pelear por su tierra:

“[Existe] una prohibición bíblica a entregar aunque sea un milímetro de esta [tierra de Israel] a los gentiles, debido a tantas formas de impuras distorsiones y tonterías de autonomía, enclaves y otras debilidades nacionales. No abandonaremos a las manos de otra nación ni un dedo, ni una uña de esto.” Este es un fragmento de la publicación titulada “Estudios diarios del Torah para el soldado y el comandante en la operación ‘Cast Lead’” editada por el rabinato del IDF. El texto es de “Libros del Rabino Shlomo Aviner” quien lidera la Ateret Cohanim yeshiva en el sector musulmán de la ciudad de Jerusalen antigua.

Por otro lado, luego del ataque a la flotilla, algunos rabinos han expresado su disgusto arguyendo, de la misma forma, a partir de sus escrituras.

Nuestro silencio ahora es un acto de traición a los valores bajo los que nos comprometemos a vivir y a las palabras del profeta que leemos durante el Yom Kippur.

¿Es este el ayuno que deseo? ¿Un día para que el cuerpo de la gente
pase hambre? O inclinen sus cabezas como una espadaña,
o usar sayal y echarse cenizas encima…
No! Este es el ayuno que el Señor desea:
Libera los grilletes de la opresión
desata las ataduras del yugo.
Dejen que los explotados vayan libres, rompan toda cadena
compartan su pan con el hambriento
guarden al desamparado en su casa
vistan al desnudo y no ignoren a su propia gente

Como rabinos creemos que los seres humanos son nuestra gente. No podemos avalar el sufrimiento infligido a la gente de Gaza.

Ambas declaraciones han sido hechas por líderes religiosos basados en la escritura judía. Dado que la raíz del conflicto entre judíos y musulmanes es en gran parte religioso, es importante considerar la forma en que la religión será usada en este conflicto. Así como puede ser usada para alentar a las tropas a luchar contra el enemigo por su tierra, también puede ser usada para defender la vida humana. Aun si implica el aceptar los pedidos de los enemigos de Israel.

Lo que sucede con las escrituras judías es lo mismo que sucede con otros textos bíblicos. Puede ser usado para el bien o para el mal dependiendo de la forma en que sea interpretado, y aun así esos términos serán difíciles de definir. La mayoría de nosotros estará de acuerdo en que el uso correcto de una escritura es aquel en que mostrará amor y compasión. Sin embargo, los rabinos que la usan para alentar a las tropas a luchar ciertamente justificarán su interpretación para otros usos. Con esto no quiero decir que las escrituras son inherentemente malas, sino que son imperfectas. Dependen de los hombres para ser interpretadas. No tienen nada de divinas ni nada que ver con Dios. Al menos con ningún Dios amoroso y compasivo.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Jews and the reaction to the Flotilla attack

I don't write much about the Jews. This is mostly because either Christianity or Islam commit more atrocities and make their nonsense more obvious to the world. Which doesn't mean that the Jewish people are not guilty of anything, but in those cases, there is a huge percentage of the population (especially liberals) that will "stand for Palestine" and criticize Israel. Finally, I have to admit I don't know much about the Jewish community and I don't want to risk talking about something I don't know.

That might change, however. For the class I'm taking, I had to write a short paper about an issue involving the Jewish Faith. This is what I wrote:

On May 30, 2010 a flotilla carrying human rights workers was attacked by Israeli armed forces on international waters. The flotilla was taking supplies to the impoverished Gaza strip.

That attack was prompted after the Israeli military requested to inspect the ships, to look for materials that are not allowed to enter the Gaza strip. The Israeli government has banned aluminum, glass and other materials that might serve to build bases for hostile forces.

The blockade goes back as far as 2007, but the tension in the region started after the independence of Israel in 1948, when the Arab countries surrounding the newly founded country attacked it. The conflict between Muslim and Jewish people goes back to biblical times.

The attack on the flotillas brought disapproval to Israel’s measures towards the aid flotillas and to the Gaza embargo. After that, Israel relaxed its security along the Gaza border. This action could help alleviate the tension ins the middle East, tensions that ultimately affect the entire world, as they are related to the oil market and US international policy.

Reactions from the Jewish community have been mixed. Some army rabbis use the Jewish scripture to encourage soldiers to fight for their land:

"[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it." This is an excerpt from a publication entitled "Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead," issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from "Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner," who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

On the other hand, after the attack to the flotilla, some rabbis have expressed their disgust, arguing also from their scripture:

Our silence now is an act of betrayal to the values we purport to live by and to the words of the prophet we read every Yom Kippur:

Is this the fast I desire? A day for people to starve
their bodies? Or bow their heads like a bulrush
or wear sackcloth and smear oneself with ashes...
No! This is the fast the Lord desires:
Unlock the fetters of oppression
Untie the cords of the yoke
Let the exploited go free, break off every chain.
share your bread with the hungry,
Shelter the poor in your own house
clothe the naked and do not ignore your own kin.

As rabbis, we believe all human beings are our kin. We cannot abide the suffering inflicted upon the people of Gaza.

Both declarations are made by religious scholars and based on Jewish scripture. Since the root of the conflict between the Jewish and Muslim community is in great part religious, it is important to consider the way in which religion is going to be used in this conflict. While it can be used to encourage troops to protect the country’s land, it can also be used to defend the human life, even if that involves complying with Israel’s enemies’ desires.

What happens with the Jewish scripture is pretty much the same thing that happens with other holy texts. It can be used for good or evil, depending how it is interpreted, and even those terms are not exact. Most of us will agree that a correct use of a holy text will advocate love and compassion. However, the rabbis who use it to encourage soldiers to fight will certainly justify their use of scripture for other uses. With this I don't want to say that a piece of scripture is inherently evil, but instead, imperfect. It depends on men to be interpreted. It has nothing of divine and nothing to do with God. At least not a loving and compassionate God.

Quotable Quote LXI

I can't say that it's the Koran that causes a husband to beat his wife, but when I was a translator in Holland and we condemned some men for beating their wives, they would pull out the Koran and say, 'Look here, Chapter 4, Verse 34, gives me a reason, and in fact even obligates me, to beat my wife if she's disobedient.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quotable Quote LX

Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It's nothing to brag about, and those who preach faith, and enable it and elevate it are our intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction.

Bill Maher

Friday, July 9, 2010

"It's God's plan, bitch, as easy as lemons. Don't you try to keep your life as normal as you would like"

Remember that despicable woman who said that a rape victim should not abort because it went against God's will?. Well she refuses to back off and act like a considered human being.

Sharron Angle's Advice For Rape Victims Considering Abortion: Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

"There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life no matter what it's location, age, gender or disability. So whenever we talk about government and government's role, government's role is to protect life and that's what our Founding Father said, that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


"I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade."

As easy as that. If you get raped, just have the baby. It is an opportunity, as much as having lemons is an opportunity to make lemonade. Seriously, can someone in their right mind get more cynical than this? She almost makes it sound as if rape were a good thing.

Angle, who is a republican (what else?) candidate for congress, talks of her own heart-warming experience. Good for you, and for the victim of rape who had to receive your advise. But that is it. Personal experience is hardly useful, given the huge amount of "personal experiences" several people can have. That is a bit of a problem in the United States: people are overrated. They tend to think that their opinions are valid for everyone else. Someone needs to stand up and say "I'm sorry, but that is bullshit."

Women who get abortion don't do it because they like to get them. It is already a hard decision, and in the case of rape, a hard decision after a traumatic experience. If we as a society cannot stop that, the least we can do is to provide all the tools and methods available for the victims.

Finally, the God's plan. I usually tend to mock on this because of the nonsensical nature of the plan. I already explain that a God that plans for a rape to happen is a huge asshole. But in the hypothetical case that it had a plan, would we know? Seriously, how would people know that God has a plan, and furthermore, what that plan is? Exactly, no one knows.

But, wait, there are some who know, or at least claim to know. Religious people, especially religious and conservative leaders. They will tell us what God plan is, a plan that usually suits their intolerant, homophobic and misogynistic agenda. These people will brag to the four winds that the know God's plan and consider themselves real, true believers. What a bunch.

I don't know if there is a God or not. But if there is, and he is all those people say about him, I prefer hell.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Obi Dawk Kenobi

En mi afán de no idolatrar a Dawkinis, trato de no hacer fiesta por cada cosa que hace o dice. Pero hay que admitir que esto estuvo bastante bueno

La evolución se encuentra en nosotros, alrededor de nosotros, entre nosotros, y sus procesos están en las rocas de eras pasadas... hemos de celebrar su asombroso poder.

Obi Dawk Kenobi

In my efforts to remain centered, while I admire Dawkins, I try not to celebrate just anything he does or says. But I have to admit this was really good.

El Vaticano, siempre tan tolerante y considerado con los demás

Sí, el título es dicho con sarcasmo, bastante sarcasmo. Si eres un lector asiduo a este blog, sabes que el Vaticano y la iglesia católica que se controla desde allí nunca falla en hacer méritos en cuanto a intolerancia y discriminación. Y si no, pues ya es hora que lo vayas sabiendo. Para hoy, tres noticias que envuelven a los ensotanados:

Vaticano considera delito ordenación de mujeres

El Vaticano perseguirá como delito del fuero eclesiástico la ordenación sacerdotal de mujeres, cuya pena podría llegar a la excomunión, gracias a una serie de reformas legales que publicará en los próximos días.

A la gente del Vaticano nadie le he informado que ya estamos en el siglo XXI. Que las mujeres usan pantalón, o cualquier cosa que quieran ponerse. Que las mujeres salen a trabajar. Que pueden sostenerse ellas mismas sin necesidad de un hombre. En la iglesia católica la mujer siempre ha llevado un rol de última rueda del coche, la que no puede ser igual que el hombre en el sacerdocio y la que tiene más obligación de guardad su "virtud". Y aparentemente eso no tiene visos de cambiar pronto. Lo más increíble es que es por lo general, el miembro más cucufato de la familia es una tía.

La noticia incluye también la condena a los curas pedófilos. Bien por ello. Así sea a paso de tortuga y empujados por un escándalo que se trató de silenciar lo máximo posible, el Vaticano está haciendo avances en su "lucha" contra los pedófilos entre sus filas.

Pero el bien que hace con una mano lo borra con el codo:

Benedicto XVI llama a amar a los sacerdotes pese a sus "debilidades"

El papa Benedicto XVI pidió este domingo en la localidad italiana de Sulmona (centro) que se ame a los sacerdotes a pesar de sus "debilidades", en una referencia implícita a los escándalos de pedofilia que sacuden a la Iglesia.

Benedicto ¿como se puede ser tan imbécil? ¿Este tipo no se ha dado cuenta de lo indiganda que está la población mundial con que sus curas hayan estado violando niños por décadas? ¿Tan difícil es entender que al ver un cura uno tiene todo el derecho de preguntarse si no será un peligro? El respeto, y mucho menos el "amor" no se ganan solo porque sí, y los curas no deberían tener ningún privilegio en cuanto a ello. Menos aun cuando Ratzinger anda tan desesperado porque no miren mal a sus curas.

Yo apuesto que en las cárceles van a "amar" a los curas pedófilos de una forma bastante parecida a la que ellos amaron a los niños de los que abusaron. No sería mala idea enviarlos allá.

Y finalmente, mejor que CSI, Sherlock Holmes, Mulder y Scully, y el Super Agente 87, la iglesia de Argentina explica quién está detras de las bodas entre homosexuales:

Bodas gay, cosa del diablo: Iglesia argentina

A una semana de que el Senado vote la ley, el cardenal Jorge Bergoglio señala que 'no se trata de una simple lucha política, es la pretensión destructiva al plan de Dios'

La Iglesia católica de Argentina advirtió hoy que el matrimonio homosexual es 'una movida' del diablo, a una semana de que el Senado vote la ley que puede colocar a este país en la vanguardia de derechos civiles en América Latina.

Boludeces de la iglesia argentina. He escuchado echarle la culpa a los caviares izquierdohumanistas, pero ¿al diablo? No, si esta gente no es más hipócrita solo porque Jesucristo no baja a pedírselo. Por un lado, Ratzinger pide "amar" a los curas violadores, y por el otro, la iglesia argentina sale conque el matrimonio entre homosexuales es una cosa del diablo, lo más malvado y perverso que puede haber. A los curas delincuentes sí, pero para los homosexuales, intolerancia. Hipocresía pura.

Eso, a tratar hacer pasar desapercibidos los escándalos.

Quotable Quote LIX

“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.”

Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cometer crímenes es malo… a menos que sea en el nombre de Dios ¿no?

¿No les encanta cuando logran ver los verdaderos valores de los líderes religiosos? ¿No se sienten bien el ver como aquellos que pregonan su cercanía con Dios tienen en realidad más odio e intolerancia que el ciudadano común? ¿No es acaso reconfortante el saber que vamos por el camino correcto?

Bueno, hace algunos días, se puso este anuncio

Bastante vistoso, ¿no? Es una parte del “Pledge of Allegiance” de los Estados Unidos, antes que le pusieron el “Under God” durante los 50s. Nada ofensivo, a mi parecer, al menos, menos que el aviso original de la campaña de anuncios.

Por supuesto, no iba a ser el agrado de cristianos y demás creyentes. No estaba diseñado para hacer eso. Pero pienso que no importa cuan desagradable algo sea, no tengo derecho de ir y pintarrajearlo, solo porque no me gusta. Aparentemente, no todos piensan así. Luego de algunos días, el anuncio se veía así:

Qué bonito. Así que, si no te gusta lo que algo dice, uno puede ir y pintarrajearlo o vandalizarlo para corregir el mensaje. Y es que, Dios estará contento al ver que alguien cometa un crimen para defenderlo de los malvados no-creyentes.

Alguien podría decir que el párrafo anterior es algo que yo estoy poniendo en boca de un supuesto vándalo o creyente que pudiera aprobar el hecho. Lo siento, pero no.

Primero vinieron los idiotas del Institute for Creation Research, ese grupo que mantiene la idea de que diosito creó todo en 6 días y que tal suceso puede ser verificado con estudios científicos.

Si bien el vandalismo no debe ser aprobado, los hechos recientes muestran lo que algunos estadounidenses son capaces de hacer cuando su libertad de expresión se ve amenazada. Un portavoz ateo de North Carolina dijo que el mensaje era necesario para “hacer saber a la gente que existimos y que existe una comunidad aquí”

Sin embargó no menciona los esfuerzos de los ateos por detener a los estadounidenses religiosos cuando estos quieren ejercer su derecho a la libertad de creencia. No contentos con tener la libertad de adorar o no como deseen, los ateos militantes buscan el cuestionar las creencias de los demás ciudadanos a través de su distorsionada versión de la “separación entre iglesia y estado”.

Quizás no es ninguna sorpresa el que algunos ciudadanos se opongan.

Lo que tenemos aquí es una actitud de “sí pero no” que le hecho la culpa a los ateos por esforzarse en hablar y se notados. Tal vez deberíamos quedarnos en casa y no decir nada. Si siguiésemos este razonamiento, entonces tranquilamente podríamos ir al museo creacionista y quemarlo. O ir hacia algún creacionista que conozcamos y agarrarlo a patadas, pues, después de todo, se lo estaba buscando.

Pero yo no soy así. Quizás los creacionistas, en su idea de que todo fue creado por diosito y que tal creencia debe ser impuesta por la razón o por la fuerza.

Pero hay más. ¿Se acuerdan de Mike Huckabee? El candidato republicano (¿qué otra cosa más?) que ganó las elecciones primarias en los estados más religiosos (y de paso, los más incultos). Bueno, esto fue lo que dijo:

Si hay gente que quiere gastar su dinero y decirle a todos que no creen en Dios, la alegría, la belleza, y la increíble grandeza de América, es que les permitimos hacerlo sin dispararles… Lo que espero es que la gente que cree, como yo lo hago, en el poder de Jesús pusiera 10 carteles por cada uno como ese.

¿Habría sido muy jodidamente difícil el decir que el vandalismo no debió haber sucedido? ¿Acaso no habría sido educado el decirlo, aunque no se piense tal cosa? ¿Acaso este imbécil no está tan desesperado de agradar a sus seguidores que no puede condenar un delito y simplemente pasa de largo el asunto, esperando que pase algo que ya sucede? Y es que si uno viaja por los caminos de Estados Unidos, especialmente en el sur, va a ver muchos carteles de iglesias, sin contar con los que se ven en los camiones.

Y finalmente, en la página de noticias conservadoras World Net Daily, una columnista alaba el vandalismo llamándolo “Su tipo de vandalismo”.

Yo nunca alentaría el vandalismo, pero en este caso lo dejaré pasar. Los ateos han estado vandalizando mis creencias por años, así ya es tiempo de que el zapato esté en el otro pie. Cuando se le preguntó sobre el vandalismo, el vocero de Ateos y Agnósticos de Charlotte dijo que “Fue hecho por una o dos personas que concluyeron que su único recurso era el vandalismo en lugar de tener una conversación.” Hmm. Eso es interesante, dado que los Atoes y Agnósticos de Charlotte sintieron que su único recurso era deliberadamente insultar a aquellos que entienden la importancia del “Under God”

¿Así que, un pedazo del Pledge of Allegiance es insultante? ¿En qué está pensando esta tipa? De verdad, uno puede recitar el Pledge of Allegiance como le dé la gana, pero de ahí a decirle a otro como decirlo (y usar como recurso el vandalismo) ya es defecar afuera del water. Si quieres, puedes poner otro cartel con el “Under God” grandazo, pero, ¿vandalizar uno que no lo tiene solo porque no te gusta?

Yo no sé si sería capaz de “dejar pasar” si viera que alguien que apoya este tipo de actitudes estaría siendo golpeado o violado. Creo aprecio demasiado a la humanidad para simplemente dejar pasar cuando alguien que no concuerda conmigo sufre un crimen sin al menos sentirme indignado.

Sin embargo, los cristianos, este tipo de cristianos famosos y con varios seguidores, y que fanfarronean de estar más cerca de Dios lo harían. En verdad, muchas gracias. Gracias por hacernos entender a los no-creyentes que no importa cuanto otros piensen que somos antipáticos y llenos de odio, ustedes lo lograrán más y mejor. Tal vez con la ayuda de su dios.

Créditos al Friendly Atheist por haber estado siguiendo la noticia.

Crimes are wrong... unless they are made in the name of God, right?

Don't you love it when you get to see mainstream Christian's true colors? Don't you feel good to see that those who brag about loving the neighbor are just as, or even more bigoted than the average person? Isn't it reassuring that we are in the right path?

So, some days ago, this billboard was put up:

Pretty nice, I have to say. An excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance before the "Under God" was added during the 50s. Very harmless, also, much less than the original ad that inspired the campaign.

Of course, this won't please Christians or other believers. It's not designed to do that. But I think that no matter how displeasing something is, I don't have the right to deface it or vandalize it, just because I don't like. Apparently someone doesn't think the same. After a few days, the billboard looked like this:

Very nice. So, if you don't like what it says, just scrawl something on it, it will make the message right. Because, well, God will be pleased that someone is committing crimes to defend Him from those who don't believe in it.

Now, someone could argue that such reasoning is just something I made up in my "atheist mind" to bad mouth "real christians". I'm sorry to tell you, but, no.

First came the nutjobs from the Institute of Creation Research:

While vandalism should not be condoned, these recent events shed light on what some Americans will do when they feel that their freedom of speech is threatened. An atheist spokesman in North Carolina said their message is needed to “let people know we exist and that there’s a community here.”

Yet he failed to mention the concerted effort of atheist groups to stop religious Americans from freely exercising their religion. Not content with having the freedom themselves to worship or not as they see fit, militant atheists increasingly seek to shackle the beliefs of their fellow citizens through their own distorted interpretation of “separation of church and state.”

It is perhaps not surprising that some of those fellow citizens object.

So, what we have is a "yes but no" attitude that puts the blame on atheists for making efforts in speaking up. Maybe we should just stay at home and not speak of our non-belief. If we were to follow that reasoning, then I think we can go to that creationist museum and burn it down. Or go to someone who says evolution is not real and kick the crap out of him, because, well, he was asking for it.

But I'm not like that. Maybe the creationists, in their belief that their god created everything, and that such belief must be imposed by reason or force, will do it.

But there is more. Remember Mike Huckabee? The pastor who was running for president and won the republican (what else?) primaries in the redneck states? Well, this is what he said:

If people want to spend their money to tell everyone they don’t believe in God, the joy, beauty, and incredible greatness of America is that we let them do it and don’t shoot them for it… What I would hope is that people who believe, as I do, in the power of Jesus Christ like I do would put 10 billboards for every one like that.

Would it have been to fucking hard to say the vandalism shouldn't have happened? Wouldn't it have been gentlemanly to say so, even if one doesn't think so? Does this fucktard needs so desperately to appeal to his followers that he just passes the issue away and instead, hopes for something that already happens? Because, go along the road (especially in the South) and you will see much more church billboards and Jesus billboards, not to mention those put on the side of trucks.

And finally, from World Nut Daily, a columnist praises the vandalism saying it is her kind of vandalism:

Never would I encourage vandalism, but in this case I think I'll let it slide. Atheists have been vandalizing my beliefs for years, so it's about time the shoe was on the other foot. When asked about the vandalism, William Warren, the spokesman for Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics, said, "It was done by one or two people off on their own who decided their only recourse was vandalism rather than having a conversation." Hmm. That's interesting, because the Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics felt its only recourse was to deliberately insult those who understand the importance of "Under God."

So, and excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance is insulting? Is this girl serious? Really, you can recite the Pledge as much as you want, but to tell others how to do it by vandalizing a piece of freedom of speech is just overstepping boundaries. If you want, go put your own billboard, with "Under God" in big letters. But do you really want to vandalize it?

I don't know if would be capable to just "let it slip" if I saw someone who supported this kind of vandalism being beaten or raped. I think I appreciate humanity too much to do that without, at least, being outraged.

However, Christians, mainstream christians, christians who have lots of followers and who brag about their being so righteous would. Thank you guys. Thank you for making us non-believers understand that as much as others thing we are assholes, we can't get to your God-inspired assholery.

Thanks to the Friendly Atheist, who have been following the case.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Quotable Quote LVIII

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, 1924 to 1954

Friday, July 2, 2010

God plans rapes, and what is a "real christian"?

Yeah, you read that well, God plans rapes. Well, according to this lady:

Sharron Angle: God planned your rape, don't abort!

The Nevada Senate candidate says abortion is always wrong because there is a divine purpose to all pregnancies

Manders asks her whether there is "any reason at all for an abortion," and she answers: "Not in my book." For clarity, he says: "So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?" And Angle replies with this reasoning: "You know, I'm a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things." You see, God planned your rape and pregnancy. Isn't that reassuring?

Chilling, isn't it? There are so many things wrong with this, I don't know exactly where to begin.

First of all, there is the idea that a woman can't decide for herself what to do with her body. Yes, I know, abortion is such a hard topic, but, as everything, there is no black and white. But a pregnancy will truly affect a woman's life and she should some saying in that.

Second, we are not talking about some girl that got knocked up. We are talking about a rape. I'm pretty sure no woman would want to have any reminder of such horrific moment, not even if it is a baby. But according to this woman, that doesn't seem to be very important.

Third, the idea that God plans for someone to get a rape. As one of my friends commented, I don't know what to say. This should mean that such God is the greatest asshole ever. According to Angle, God must have planned the Rape of Nanking. What a dick, isn't it?

And finally, the idea that such God does this for "a purpose" and that this purpose is inherently good. I would like to see someone trying to explain that to a rape victim: "Don't cry girl, be happy, this happened because God wanted it. Remember, God loves you"

This would have ended here, but there is more to the story.

I published this on Facebook, where one of my contacts (a pretty clever guy, for what I know) shared it, But he made it with the following comment:

"horrifying. Angle, you are not a real Christian"

To which I couldn't hold my horses and replied:

So, you mean that she must be a muslim, a jew or an atheist, and is making people believe she is a christian? What exactly is a "real christian"?

Maybe I was being too sarcastic, which might have bothered my friend a little bit. Maybe that prompted his long response:

"What exactly is a "real christian"?" that's a big question and u know im not going to try to define that here--nor is it necessary for me to do so. that said, while creativity doesnt have a precise definition in the scholarly community, people are ok with the "you know it when you see it" standard, and im applying that to identifying christians

lets put it this way ... someone might call themselves a biologist, and then go on to make things up about the natural world. biologists would say that they're calling themselves a biologist, but they're not even bad biologists, they arent biologists period. their calling themselves one would make them a false biologist. and Angle is by similar reasoning a false Christian.

I know that in your atheist mind, religion leads to evil ideas and Angle's are just another example. in your mind, the faithful are stupid fucks filled with bad ideas such as these. so according to your schema of christians, using the same 'know it when you see it' reasoning I am, she fits the bill.

our definitions of what a real christian is are different and probably unresolvable. our fundamental difference is that all the stupid shit in the belief system as practiced today, you think of it as a correct understanding of a crap doctrine, while I see it as an interpretation by man that is wrong and driven not by reason but by our less impressive motivations. it is best in this case if we agree to disagree. but I leave you with the thought that supreme court justices often have pre-formed opinions on matters and pretty much rule however the hell they want, spinning the constitution as needed--same happens w/religious texts.

finally, "you mean that she must be a muslim, a jew or an atheist" is a completely ridic statement Diego, and you know it. statements this poorly thought out are not conducive to productive dialogue, so please filter these from your future comments. I dont want to be a dick--and since you yourself know this statement was unproductive, I know you wont take this request the wrong way.

Very articulated, I have to say. Not the average God-soldier, Christ-lover, abortion-doctor killer, who fights in the pro-life side so strongly. Yet, that wasn't enough for me. I responded a longer and more tedious post:

Nice try with the biologist example, but, as far as I know, there is a standard for someone to be call a biologist, which is a degree a person gets from an educational institution. Before that you may call yourself a biology student, but, to be properly recognized as a biologist, you may want to have something "official" to prove it.

With belief it is different. I don't doubt that Angle is a Christian, as much as I don't doubt that Martin Luther King Jr was. As far as I know, both of them believe in Christ and therefore, they both can be called christians. Even the guys from the Westboro Baptist Church are christians because, they believe in Christ.

Now, in my (actually) atheist/agnostic mind, I see religion as something that can produce goodness and love from people, but at the same time evil and intolerance. You, on the other hand, seem to think that if someone doesn't fit the ideal of "good person", therefore, that person must not be a true christian. That reminds me of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, which you must be familiar with. In case not, you can google it.

The question of her being a muslim, jew or atheist, yes, was kind of tongue-in-cheek. Why? because I didn't think you would be saying that, because she holds so despicable views, therefore she must not be a "real christian." Maybe I was wrong.

Finally, the "True christian" label has been used by many (if not all) denominations to discredit others. In this way, protestants accuse catholics of not being real christians ("they adore images" they say), and catholics accuse protestants of not being true christians ("their church was founded by Martin Luther and not by Jesus himself" they say). That is just one example.

I don't know you in person, but taking it from what you usually put in your wall, you seem like a very intelligent person. So, I don't think anyone is being a dick here, but actually having a very interesting conversation.

I think I addressed everything my friend said. I would have liked to point out that his assumption of my "atheist" mind was actually a prejudice of what we all atheists are. But that would have been something too long for a Facebook discussion. Besides, I prefer to demonstrate that by acts and just by mere words. Like a "true christian" maybe.

Here is his response:

thanks for explaining your comment as tongue-in-cheek ... glad I was wrong about it being unproductive, and yes, we are two smart people enjoying a good discussion hmm ... i could be committing the no true scotsman fallacy

but let's take the extreme example of taliban's ideas about islam. based on a "rational" understanding of the islamic God... what talibs do (poison gas girls schools, fuck donkeys on thursdays b/c they think friday prayers absolve of all sins, etc) is in no fucking way a reasonable interpretation of what islam should be. they might 'believe' in the prophet muhammad (as Angle 'believes' in jesus), but the belief system they're constructing about the world and the divine is in every other sense fucking unrecognizable as reasonable abrahamic religion. what they're doing is not islam, but a belief system that's completely their own invention that just happens to have co-opted the prophet of islam. sort of how "gnostic christians" gave jesus some significance but then spun alongside him a crazy system that ... totally isnt compatible w/the christian universe.

YES ... gnostic christians are a good analogy here

And my response...

Ok, let's take extreme example of the talibans. Their understanding of the islamic god is repulsive to us and most muslims will say that "they are not true muslims". However, that is the same thing the talibans would say about other muslims; and the same thing the Westboro Baptist wackos say about other christians. It is nice to think that a reasonable interpretation of islam or christianity leads to goodness and only goodness. But the problem is that nor Muhammad nor Jesus will come down to explain what the scripture their followers follow actually mean. But we have to ask, "reasonable" in terms of what? I would say, based on the actual society's norms. But to some, that leads directly to a false interpretation, since it is not totally based on the early scripture, which nowadays is usually found unreasonable.

Now, coming back to the issue here, Angle seems to be very sure that she is a true christian, and I bet most of her followers will think so too.

As we heard, according to her, her idea that God plans rapes is founded in her belief in God and, like many, an interpretation of the scripture. You, and many, condemn her for being a “fake christian” based on the idea that according to Jesus (through the bible, I presume), is just trying to get votes from the “true christians.” Again, I have to ask how do we know which one is right? According to whom? It would be awesome if the heavens opened, and, at least an angel came down, blow a horn, a trumpet, even a vuvuzela, and said “This is what God REALLLY meant…” But, as a non-believer, I don’t think that is going to happen anytime.

Finally, this is so interesting, I would like to post it in my blog.

And this is how we got here.

I'm sure updates will be coming. As I said, I'm not talking with just any guy that reads, repites and memorizes scripture. This is a very educated person with a degree in something I don't remember, so I don't think he will pull back. Just like I wouldn't.


Yes, there was more:

First of all, I failed to notice this message before my last response:

OH DAMN ... got it Diego. good idea just happened
sure one could define christians as all those who worship christ. or, in the case of gnostic christians, their belief system is SO diff from christianity that its more accurate to call them christian gnostics. here, christian is the adjective--but they're fundamentally gnostics.

when people spin their own belief system but co-opt just a few of another faith's ideas/figures, they're not members of that faith, they're members of the faith they pulled out of their ass (i grant that my judgment of these other faiths as "out of the ass" gives much credence to the atheist statement "i believe in only one less god than the rest"), and it is most appropriate to label them as members of their homespun faith--with the co-opted faith being nothing more than a modifier

admittedly, i dont know what I would call Angle's faith (also Palin's) =p. maybe "american redneck value system"?

So the next one didn't address this. If I had, I would have said that in such case, only catholics would be "real christians" since protestants pulled their own interpretation and believed what they wanted to believe. Their reasons to do so are not relevant, since they still differ from what at that point was the belief system. If so, we can call Palin and Angle just "fake christians" because they aren't catholics. But on the other hand, Martin Luther King wasn't a catholic either. And I wouldn't say he wasn't a christian.

Anyway, continuing the conversation, he responded:

Diego, yes, do post to your blog =D
In this debate your position... See More's best hope of correctness rests on the following: it is possible, however unlikely (but in matters of religion the unlikely cannot be discounted), that one of the apeshit (in our opinion) interpretations of the divine (e.g. the taliban's) happens to be the one that God (if he exists) actually intends

however, all interpretations are created by the human brain ... and understanding of God's intention is just one of the many things that the brain can come to understand about the universe. Angle's brain has fucked up the interpretation of a lot of things. Think of the divine is just another thing on that list.

I have to admit it took me some time to decipher what this meant. I don't know if my reading comprehension is too low or my friend was using complicated wording to mess with my brain. But after a while I managed a response:

So, in other words, since interpretations of the divine are just another thing created by the human brain, they aren't really divine. I can live perfectly with that, but I don't think a believer would be a real believer with such position.

Now, again, you can argue that Angle has interpreted many things wrongly, but, as I said before, she (and her many supporters) can say the same thing about all others. I do think of the divine as something our brain makes to explain stuff we don't understand (it's not that simple, but we can leave it at that). But, made up by our brain our not, I thing Angle's belief is sincere, maybe misguided, maybe fucked up, but sincere. And, as with the christians who support gay marriage or abortion, I wouldn't discount her as one just because her view doesn't fit with that of one group.

Then came his:

haha, thanks for the complimentary things you said about your debater on your blog. my degrees are in biology and mathematics, but I am self-educated (wikipedia ftw) in numerous subjects. as we've seen here, religion and ideological histories thereof is one of those areas.

in all faiths, and in all scholarly disciplines, a reasonable mind can come to several interpretations; less reasonable minds will create some others, which are clearly wrong. in scholarship, some number of people whose minds generate with greater-than-acceptable frequency unreasonable interpretations of the natural world do somehow get through and are given degrees. if this kind of idiot gets a bio BS, in my opinion I still wont recognize them as a biologist. but many people would count them as biologists--and i recognize this position as reasonable, albeit disagreeing with it.

those undeserving degree holders are biologists according to a "if it quacks like a duck" standard, and that's the standard you're applying to angle in counting her as a christian. i suppose the undeserving degree holder is a biologist in principle, but fails to be so in practice due to lack of understanding, and hence is not a "real biologist" by my standards.

haha, i'll meet u halfway. quacking like a duck is the requirement for being a christian (which makes angle one), but coming to a reasonable understanding is a requirement for being a "real christian" (which angle aint), similar to the distinction between the "biologist" and "real biologist"

And finally, mine, all for this night I presume. I want you to read this last answer very carefully, especially the part that talks about the atheists who are as prejudiced as the woman at the beginning of this post

You're welcome on the comments; I thought it was necessary, given that some nonbelievers tend to think that those who believe in God are uneducated rednecks that have no idea of scienceor on how to carry a debate.

Now, starting from that point, I could be tempted to say that those are not real atheists, since an atheist, to my standard has to be committed to the search of reason and logic, and those who are prejudiced are not doing so, therefore, they are not "real atheists".

Then you would say I'm wrong. You would be right.

Unfortunately, since they claim not to believe in a god (the ones who I know behave like that and I have no reason to believe that they are lying) they are atheists. No matter how bigoted and prejudiced they can be, they are.

So, I cannot put my own standard to filter those the rational ones from the prejudiced, and call the first ones "real atheists", because a "real atheist" is committed to science and science cannot be prejudiced. I would like to think that way, but then I would become one of those I deplore.

In the same way, Angle can be all the prejudiced and wrong she wants, that doesn't change the fact that she believes in Christ as the savior and son of God. For your standards that might not be enough, but for her and for many, it is.

So what are the morals of the story?

1. Not all believers are uneducated rednecks who just spout scripture. In case someone didn't get that clear, that is not always the case.
2. A nice debate between believers and non-believers is possible. No, it doesn't consist on the non-believer saying "you are fucking deluded, religion is bullshit". It's much more difficult than that

Maybe more will come. But I'll be out most of the weekend. So, happy July 4, Godless America.
"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach