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Will I get my own planet if I vote for Mitt? December 6, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in Uncategorized.
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Yes, more Golden Compass… December 6, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in stupidity.
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I picked this off of the blog, Musings From a Catholic Bookstore:

“By now you have probably read plenty of reviews about The Golden Compass from the His Dark Materials trilogy. You may have also read that the USCCB (that would be the US Conference of CATHOLIC bishops) film office has given a positive review to the film.

There is now a book available that goes in depth into the books and the philosophy of the author, Philip Pullman. The Pied Piper of Atheism was written by Pete Vere and Sandra Miesel to help parents and other concerned individuals make an informed decision about these books and movies. It should be pretty clear that these films are not the Lord of the Rings and are not suitable viewing for kids.”

Just tell me how LOTR’s is any more suitable for kids? The violence? The dark subject matter? Or is it just because Tolkien was a catholic?

This makes me grin…Bill Maher and Pat Condell. December 6, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in Uncategorized.
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Once again, science saves the day, and ethicists don’t have to scream over embryonic stem cells December 6, 2007

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The BBC reported that implanting genetically altered skeletal muscle cells into a heart after a heart attack helped lower the incidents of heart arrhythmia and tachycardia. Of course they originally used embryonic stem cells but can now produce the same effect using the muscle cells. Full story.

Also for you animal activists: British Heart Foundation medical director, Peter Weissberg, said: “This is a vital insight, only possible from animal studies, which should help direct current research using stem cells to prevent the dangerous consequences of heart attacks in people.”

In this instance, as in others, genetics and animal testing has helped us out. Both of which can of course be linked to our understanding of evolution and how adaptations (the connexin 43 protein, and the evolved adaptations of test animals) have allowed us to utilize these tools to our benefit.

Thanks to Jerry Springer…never thought I’d say that! December 5, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in atheism, news.
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According to the BBC, the British high court has upheld its ruling that the musical based in Jerry Springer’s talk show was not blasphemous.

“They said it was reasonable to conclude Jerry Springer – The Opera “in context” could not be considered as blasphemous, as it was not aimed at Christianity, but was a parody of the chat show genre.

In a statement issued following the ruling, the BBC said it had taken the the decision to broadcast Jerry Springer – The Opera after “the most careful consideration”.

“We believe the work, taken in its proper context, satirises and attacks exploitative chat shows and not the Christian religion. The court’s judgement today vindicates that decision in full,” it said.

“Today’s decision addresses the way the law of blasphemy applies to broadcasters, and the Court has found that criminal prosecutions for blasphemy should not be permitted in relation to broadcasts.”

This is an important decision in the defence of free speech. We, of course, believe that broadcasters should continue to exercise great care and sensitivity when dealing with potential religious offence, and that has not changed.” 

My only beef is how apologetically the court deals with it.  In a country that espouses free speech, who cares if something is meant to offend religion.  I am sure if it was attempting to offend atheists, there would not be such a big deal made of it.  At any rate, kudos for the high court and in a way, for Jerry Springer!

Ugh, Skin Cancer: Why did God do it me… December 4, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in news.

I had a skin cancer removed yesterday and now I have a 2″ long suture line on my temple. Once again, God proves his inability to do even the simplest thing-KEEPING ME PERFECT! Or are mutated cells simply the work of the devil? Maybe I should just drink more coffee because apparently Six cups of coffee a day could cut skin cancer risk by 30 per cent. OK, really, if the skin cancer mutation ever got picked up as a positive mutation by natural selection, what might be the end result? Any ideas?

The first one. A manifesto of sorts. December 2, 2007

Posted by sel4592 in atheism, belief, morals.
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I believe that “belief” isn’t necessary to lead a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.  To me the word “belief” evokes the idea of trying to know something that has no basis in reality.  I prefer to use the word “know.”  Either I know or I don’t know.  My existence is determined on what is observable in the natural, existing universe (I look in the mirror, see myself, and know that I exist-I don’t need to believe that a god made me, because I don’t know that it exists, because I can’t observe it.).  If something is unknown, then it can be knowable if it is observable.  If it is not observable, and considered unknown or unknowable, then it can’t exist-for example: a god or gods.  

I must admit, I have been struggling with the concept of belief and religion my whole life, as I am sure most people who have a brain, and ask questions do.  In the past couple of years the struggle has consistently filtered and focused down to one thing-that the struggle is just that-a struggle, and that it is unnecessary because, the truth is: that the truth is.  I can’t honestly believe in anything that I can’t know or observe and that the concept in believing in something that is unknown or unknowable is anathema to my very existence.  Constantly walking around, asking why this or why that, has NOT helped me, because there is no why-there just is.  Confusing I know, but the fact is, that the wonder of life far exceeds anything that any religion could try to explain.  And trying to find an explanation through belief in some silly unknowable concept, pales in the explanation that it (existence) has come about in such a wonderfully complex set of knowable circumstances trumps anything any religion has to offer. 

What I mean by atheism:

So, I am an atheist: which means that I do not believe in a god or gods.  As opposed to a theist, which is someone who believes in a god or gods.  Simply put that is all I need to be to be an atheist, but I will take it a step further-I also do not believe in the super-natural, which means that I simply know what is in the natural universe and what is observable to me or anyone else in this universe.  Science is the medium by which we can determine the existence of something, and until something is said to be observable and can be subjected to the scientific method then it does not exist.

Ok, you may say: the universe is a big place, some say it is infinite, therefore there must be lots of things in the universe that I cannot observe, therefore much of the universe does not exist.  And I might agree with that.  Until I can observe something, for me it does not exist.  But what I can observe-a galaxy 100 million light years away, for instance, does exist, because it is observable.  This is an old philosophical argument, of course, but none-the-less, true.

What is religion:

Religion is a man-made philosophical and moral construct used to provide many different needs for a pre-scientific society.  Simply put it is a method by which humankind tries to provide reason for its existence.  Religion is an old construct that has no place in a society that now employs the scientific method.  Religion is also used to artificially codify our moral laws and provide a framework to exist in society.  One need not have religion to have morality, as true morality is a construct of conscience and is part of our evolution.

Of course, you can agree with me, disagree, I don’t care.  Actually I do not pretend to be an expert on anything.  I would even invite you to help me clarify, if that’s what you want to do.