Saturday, 31 May 2008

MC Hawking - What We Need More Of Is Science

The West Wing shoots down a pick & choose X-tian

Landover Baptist Pastor Preaches to Atheists

Why God Never Received Tenure at any University

He had only one major publication.
It was in Hebrew.
It had no references.
It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
Some even doubt he wrote it himself.
It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.
When one experiment went awry, he tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
He rarely came to class, just told students to read the Book.
Some say he had his son teach the class.
He expelled his first two students for learning.
Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.
His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.

Friday, 16 May 2008

The Real Face of Islam

This is a transcription of a post on the website Butterflies and Wheels. Read it and weep.

For Abdel-Qader Ali there is only one regret: that he did not kill his daughter at birth. 'If I had realised then what she would become, I would have killed her the instant her mother delivered her,' he said with no trace of remorse. Two weeks after The Observer revealed the shocking story of Rand Abdel-Qader, 17, murdered because of her infatuation with a British solider in Basra, southern Iraq, her father is defiant. Sitting in the front garden of his well-kept home in the city's Al-Fursi district, he remains a free man, despite having stamped on, suffocated and then stabbed his student daughter to death. Abdel-Qader, 46, a government employee, was initially arrested but released after two hours. Astonishingly, he said, police congratulated him on what he had done. 'They are men and know what honour is,' he said.

What honour is - something that makes it not only acceptable but actually praiseworthy to stamp on, suffocate, and stab to death a 17-year-old girl who is your daughter, a girl who hasn't killed anyone or hurt anyone but has simply developed an affection for a male person.

It was her first youthful infatuation and it would be her last. She died on 16 March after her father discovered she had been seen in public talking to Paul, considered to be the enemy, the invader and a Christian. Though her horrified mother, Leila Hussein, called Rand's two brothers, Hassan, 23, and Haydar, 21, to restrain Abdel-Qader as he choked her with his foot on her throat, they joined in. Her shrouded corpse was then tossed into a makeshift grave without ceremony as her uncles spat on it in disgust.

Oh, god, it's so ugly I can't stand to read it. I can't stand it I can't stand it - this world where men get together to murder women then treat them like garbage then spit on them. It's so ugly. The hatred, the contempt, the disgust - for a young girl - their own relative. It makes me crazy.

'Death was the least she deserved,' said Abdel-Qader. 'I don't regret it. I had the support of all my friends who are fathers, like me, and know what she did was unacceptable to any Muslim that honours his religion,' he said...'I don't have a daughter now, and I prefer to say that I never had one. That girl humiliated me in front of my family and friends...I have only two boys from now on. That girl was a mistake in my life. I know God is blessing me for what I did,' he said, his voice swelling with pride. 'My sons are by my side, and they were men enough to help me finish the life of someone who just brought shame to ours.'
Men enough? What does he mean men enough? Because it took strength? No - she was down, her father's foot was on her neck, they were three against one. Because it took courage? No - they were in no danger. What then? That men are supposed to hate women enough to kill them for no good reason, apparently.

He said his daughter's 'bad genes were passed on from her mother'. Rand's mother, 41, remains in hiding after divorcing her husband in the immediate aftermath of the killing, living in fear of retribution from his family. She also still bears the scars of the severe beating he inflicted on her, breaking her arm in the process, when she told him she was going. 'They cannot accept me leaving him. When I first left I went to a cousin's home, but every day they were delivering notes to my door saying I was a prostitute and deserved the same death as Rand,' she said. 'She was killed by animals. Every night when go to bed I remember the face of Rand calling for help while her father and brothers ended her life,' she said, tears streaming down her face.

And that's just one of many. Every day you can read of women either losing their lives or having their freedom severely curtailed for what in a civilised society would be considered trivial. So if your a woman just remember that under Islam your life is of no value, and resist the Islamicisation of the West so that your daughters and grandaughters are able to live safe and free.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The thing that protects us all: freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

When God is removed from the courtroom, what's left is not atheism, but an impressive array of philosophies that contribute to secular law. Whether religious people like it or not, our laws didn't come chiefly from religious inspiration. They are derived from our innate inhumanity towards our fellowman. That inhumanity is suggested by the fact that our ancestors fled their countries to escape religious intolerance, only to become intolerant once they had the power here.

When a Christan evangelical claime, "Everyone else's rights are upheld but the Evangelical Christians." I find that to be an interesting and disturbing artifact of the inherent division long seen among Christians. What about the rights of Christians who don't subscribe to evangelism? (There are 18 million evangelicals in the U.S. Most are white, conservative and republican.)

The separation of church and state was meant to do exactly that: Separate church and state. It was meant to protect everyone by assuring us that any one religion will never impose itself on all Americans. There may be a majority of Christians in this country, but constitutionally this is not a Christian country. People of all faiths and no faith are protected from theocracy, good or bad. The American truth, in broad daylight, is that any theocratic overlord is bad government.

Religious people who condemn atheism are ignoring the real inferno: themselves. How long can they so brutally oppose one another before they understand that they are their worst enemy? And, the more they clamor to entangle church with state, the more they stoke the fires of religious bigotry?

I'm not fooled by the seemingly ecumenical camaraderie between Christians any more than I am fooled by the, sometimes, peaceful state between Judeo, Christian, and Muslim adherents. What they have bequeathed us in the past several thousand years is a continuing horror and legacy of infighting. Those battles spill over into the lives of the innocent and the uninterested.

Perhaps 'National Day of Prayer' participants should be less concerned with "spiritual wickedness" and more concerned with preserving the very thing that protects us all: freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

Hitler, Darwin & Martin Luther

Hitler did not acknowledge Darwin in Mein Kampf. He also made no reference to Darwin's theory.

He did make reference to a short group of three people who provided particular inspiration to him. One of them once wrote a document against the Jewish people, advocating that their property be seized, that their synagogues and prayer books be burned, that they be forbidden from practicing their religion, and that they either be forced into servitude to the German people or be driven from the land. Wow, that looks like a blueprint for the Holocaust. Look up this document. A simple search will find it. The title is "The Jews and their Lies". It was written in 1543. Who is this inspiration for Hitler? None other than Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church.

In case you are curious, Hitler's two other idols were Richard Wagner (the composer) and Frederick the Great.

The fact is that anti-semetism had been preached from the pulpits of many European churches for centuries.

Churches don't like rival religions, and tend to preach about how the other guys are not to be trusted (either evil, or they just have gotten it all wrong). In the case of Jews, Christian Churches for much of history have preached that they are evil.

This lay the seeds for the Holocaust. The Nazis campaign against Jews was largely based on religious arguments.

Consider Hitler's book. You can find a number of translations on the web. Go ahead and search it. Try a key word "God". Here is a quote from Hitler's book "And so, internally armed with faith in the goodness of God and the impenetrable stupidity of the electorate, the struggle for what is called 'the reconstruction of the REICH' can now begin." There are many more. For a supposed atheist, Hitler sure talked a lot about God. Now if you want to argue that he left the true teachings of the Church behind, that's fair. But he clearly saw himself as a Christian, doing God's work against God's enemies.

Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922:-

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited."

Christianity & totalitarianism

There are more than enough historical and philosophical examples available of how the myths of monotheism and later Christianity were created and how the whole story was trimmed to suit the people in power.
Constantine was the first roman emperor who converted to Christianity. He saw clearly how this new religion would help him to establish a totalitarian regime. For nearly two millennia others would follow and use a fairytale to gain power over large parts of the world and brutalize everyone who wouldn't comply.

Curiosity & Religion

Curiousity is one of the definitions of human freedom of thought, and organised religions fear almost nothing more - see St Augustine on that one. It's true: the Western religions live in terror of truly free thought, yet without it the human race would still be living in caves. Humanity has advanced to attain astonishing levels of scientific knowledge, yet for centuries it has been a continual fight to achieve it against the squeals of thwarted God-botherers.

Belief

In the end you must decide which version of man's evolution and the planet's creation you believe: the views of thousands of the world's greatest ever minds of the past few hundred years; or words written a long, long time ago by people who thought the earth was flat and that the sun went round it, as passed on to them by other people who could not read or write and had not travelled, in their whole lives, more than a few miles from their primitive, parochial townships. I know who I'd prefer to believe.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Doubt & the Evidential Gap

The difference between the scientific and the religious world view, can be summarized in a single word: doubt. Science is an endless series of conjectures and refutations, based on empirical observation. Accordingly there is no certainty in science - there are only temporary, probabilistic statements. As the great theoretical physicist Richard Feynman said, "I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything".

If doubt is the defining feature of science, religion, on the other hand, has no doubts. It does not evaluate competing theories because it does not admit of any competing theories. Its central hypothesis - that God exists - is certain. A perfect example of this occurs in the "Dawkins Delusion" when Alister McGrath states that he "...writes as a Christian, who holds that the face, will and character of God are fully disclosed in Jesus of Nazareth" (p.46). Now it is precisely this kind of utterance Dawkins insists is delusional: he would want to know on what possible evidence McGrath could base such a claim? Yet McGrath makes no attempt to justify it, which suggests that he is more interested in affirming his prior religious convictions than engaging in a genuine debate about the rational basis for religious certainities.

The "evidential gap" which separates the religious and scientific worldview is what ultimately lies at the heart of the debate between atheists and believers.