Saturday, May 31, 2008

For Example...

On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 9:00 AM, *HappyHeretics Realitive* <> wrote:

Hi *HappyExmo*,

I thought a lot about the 'cult' idea while doing a temple session
yesterday, and yes there are certain signs and tokens given during the
ceremony, but everyone has the opportunity of learn and participate as
members. So in my mind I don't classify them as secretive and hidden
away. It is a test of faith for me to wonder if and when the information
we learn there will ever be needed, but I carry on, because being one of
the ten virgins whose lamp was empty when the time comes, is not for ME.
I did go there yesterday with one main purpose in mind...what, if
anything did the temple ceremony have to say about the B of B (SIC- Meant BoM) and Joseph
Smith. Nothing, absolutely nothing, the Bible and D&C are mentioned
briefly, but that's all; I was thrilled. Funny why that should matter to
me, but it does..."

There is more, but the rest is just a lovely and kind interaction with a *relative*.

--------------------------- My Response--------------------------------

Nice to hear from you. I admit that I was rather puzzled with your opening statement. I went back into my e-mail archive and read my preceeding e-mail. Now that I am caught up...

You wrote: " I thought a lot about the 'cult' idea while doing a temple session
yesterday, and yes there are certain signs and tokens given during the
ceremony, but everyone has the opportunity of learn and participate as
--- I would love to be satisfied with your response. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold up to reason. The FLDS and other LSD offshoots also practice their ceremonies, tokens, and oaths in private, but allow others of the faith in on the secrets. So the arguement that LDS are "different" still falls to a "special pleading" fallacy. Also, my argument is that they hide it from non-LDS folks because they are either ashamed (sure sign of the nail, ugly magic undies, Michael Ballam's poor acting as Satan, washing and annointings, etc.), or it is part of the social coercion (i.e., brainwashing) process which requires isolation, indoctrination, and demonization of independent thought.

Your statement, "It is a test of faith for me to wonder if and when the information
we learn there will ever be needed, but I carry on, because being one of
the ten virgins whose lamp was empty when the time comes, is not for ME."
-- Proves my point. You don't assert, and support your beliefs with your own fully capable brain, instead you turn to allegory that has been spoon fed you by someone else. The story of the virgins is a story, not a justification or argument.

Finally, you talk about a "test of faith." Is it really. Or is that someone else's story coming through you. What is faith? What is its merit? How does faith lead the LDS person to truth, and the muslim, jew, atheist, scientologist, mithraist, flying-spaghetti-monster-ist, etc. to falsehood? For, if the LDS is the "true" gospel, then the others must, by definition, be wrong. Why is your "faith" effective, and others ineffective? In my view "faith" has no merit. As Mark Twain wrote, "faith is believin' what you know ain't so." It amounts to wishful thinking. I can't imagine why any decent person would want the bible, koran, B of M, etc. to be true? The god(s) in those books are petty tyrants who, rather than being worshiped, deserve to be denounced. The God of the Old Testament is a petty, jealous, and cruel monster. The God of the new testament is no better. At least in the Old testament when god was done torturing his creations with plagues, famine, pestilence, and death, it was done. In the new testament God isn't done with you at death. Now he creates a place called hell where is can watch you suffer for eternity. Is this decent? Is this morality? Is this even believable to a person with any compassion and knowledge of reality? I think not. Even if it were true who the hell would want it to be?

You can have your church, ceremonies, special handshakes, prayers, and Sunday dronings from the pulpit. I have decency, morality, peace, and an independent mind which will never be satisfied accepting any assertion without proportional evidence. And, I have all this without believing in fairy tales. And, I think, deep down, you know its nonsense too.


Judge me... please...

HH =)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jesus Bombs and Rockets..

Lately, I have been receiving a bit of religious nonsense from family. If this refers to you... please understand that I can NOT be re-converted. Religion is just dumb. God does not exist and Joseph Smith was a fraud. I Hope this ends the nonsense in my in-box.

I have made more in the stock market this year than my wife and I made in our jobs. I think that trading, for me, is beginning to take hold. I took my winnings from Bear Sterns, and bought into Chinese solar panel makers(ahh... moral relief). I have more than doubled my money as a result. Every stock I pick seems to launch like a rocket. And, the sky is the limit. I am going to make "trading" my summer job. Given my recent (2 year) track record it looks as thought this could become a 2nd career.

Is there a balance to be found between luck, leisure, and work? I long to live like Shane... Spend like my Step-Brother... and passionately exist like one of my good friends. Can I be moral, and rich at the same time, and under these same circumstances?

I know... "gee I wish I had your conundrum HH." Piss off...

HH =)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

More on transitional forms and Global Warming...

Bad Day To Be A Climate Change Denying Christian Creationist?

Try as they might to undermine science, those who reject evolution and downplay the impact of man-made climate change will have to work overtime to deny newly revealed evidence of both.

Time and again, creationist’s contend that the fossil record lacks the transitional forms of life to support the theory of evolution. Unfortunately, time isn’t on their side since each passing day seems to reveal another piece of the evolutionary puzzle. With the discovery of a creature that seems to be a combination of a frog and a salamander (frogmander), creationists will have another formidable hurdle to overcome.

From Yahoo News:

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The discovery of a “frogamander,” a 290 million-year-old fossil that links modern frogs and salamanders, may resolve a longstanding debate about amphibian ancestry, Canadian scientists said on Wednesday.

Modern amphibians — frogs, salamanders and earthworm-like caecilians — have been a bit slippery about divulging their evolutionary ancestry. Gaps in the fossil record showing the transformation of one form into another have led to a lot of scientific debate.

The fossil Gerobatrachus hottoni or elderly frog, described in the journal Nature, may help set the record straight.

“It’s a missing link that falls right between where the fossil record of the extinct form and the fossil record for the modern form begins,” said Jason Anderson of the University of Calgary, who led the study.

The fossil suggests that modern amphibians may have come from two groups, with frogs and salamanders related to an ancient amphibian known as a temnospondyl, and worm-like caecilians more closely related to the lepospondyls, another group of ancient amphibians.

Many of these same individuals have also taken to denying the existence of man-made climate change…arguing that God is in charge and has a plan for his creation and that means we needn’t spend time and money fretting about carbon emissions or minor shifts in temperature that scientists consider significant. With the finding that western oceans have a rapidly expanding acidity as a result of greenhouse gas pollution, these deniers may want to consider the possibility that God, in granting us free will, expects us to use our brains to preserve the planet on which we live.

From Wired:

Greenhouse gas pollution has acidified the coastal waters of western North America more rapidly than scientists expected, says a study published today in Science.

In a survey of waters stretching from central Canada to northern Mexico, researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Richard Feely found cold, unexpectedly low-pH water “upwelling onto large portions of the continental shelf.” In some locations, the degree of acidification observed had not been expected to occur until 2050.

Ocean acidification is a side effect of excessive atmospheric carbon dioxide, lesser-known but no less troubling than climate change.

In September of 2005, Feely was among the authors of a Nature article predicting that acidication would claim Antarctic Ocean waters by 2050, spreading into the subarctic Pacific by 2100. “Our findings indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously,” they wrote.

“Water already in transit to upwelling centers is carrying increasing anthropogenic CO2 and more corrosive conditions to the coastal oceans of the future,” write the authors. Ocean acidification “could affect some of the most fundamental biological and geochemical processes of the sea in the coming decades.” If anything, the clinical language of science only makes their words more disturbing.

No doubt these two findings are part and parcel of the march towards science fully eclipsing the validity of Bible based beliefs that often form the basis of religious doctrine. Regardless, each discovery appears to generate a new rationalization intended to preserve the literal interpretations that have proven so effective in granting and maintaining the authority of religious leaders and the institutions they promote.

I suspect these two items will simply give fuel to those religious leaders who suggest that we are entering the period that will culminate in the Rapture…the final piece of an end of days prophecy that is also derived from the Bible. Nothing like bending each and every fact to fit a faith based fallacy.

Unfortunately, I’m not yet convinced that the manipulated masses will be willing to follow these zealots into their vision of the fatalistic abyss…even if they promise to deliver the lot of them into the perpetual happiness they guarantee is just beyond the horizon. In the end, I expect most mortals will choose the surety of science over the abstract assertion of an after life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wish we were here...

I am so damned busy that Lisa seems like a lazy wuss. Just sayin'.

HH =)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Just having fun with religion again...

My son showed me this one. A few fallacies in his arguments, but overall pretty clear stuff.

HH =)