Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Christian Stupidity

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 21, 2009

There are homeless people to feed and clothe, thirsty children to give water to, sick people who need medication. Nevertheless the Pope has decided he needed to set time aside to bless two lambs whose wool will be shorn to make shawls for newly appointed archbishops to wear.

Each lamb wore a crown of flowers on its head. Let me repeat that: The lambs wore CROWNS OF FLOWERS IN THEIR HEADS…for the blessing…by the Pope! The stupid…it burns!

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The historical Jesus-Why care?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 21, 2009

There is a lot of time and effort spent by people trying to find out if a man named Jesus actually existed or not. The search for the historical Jesus is resurrected time after time. But why care? Does this missing piece of evidence matter? Why should we as skeptics care if Jesus really existed or not?

I suppose the answer is that we don’t, we shouldn’t. Jesus’ existence has nothing to say about his supposed miracles. We know John Edward exists, I can pretty much guarantee that, but that does not have anything to say about his supposed psychic abilities. That much ought to be clear to anyone, it’s simple, straight logic. But then why are people so obsessed with the quest of the historical Jesus?

I think at the heart of this lies a logical fallacy. At least based on what I have observed, I think that the religious folks are more obsessed with this issue than the non-religious. After all they are the ones trying to prove something. I think there is a thought in their head, albeit I do allow for the possibility that in many cases this may be unconscious, that if they prove that a man named Jesus actually lived, preached and died on the cross, that would lend more credibility to the Bible as a historical book, thus lending more credibility to everything the bible says, including the miracles and the whole God stuff.

I suspect they think that proving that Jesus existed will make his described miracles more true, than if he didn’t. In a certain sense that is true. He would have to have existed in order to have performed these so-called miracles. But nevertheless, just because a man existed does not, on its own, increase the likelihood of him having walked on water. Furthermore, when we as skeptics analyze the so-called miracles, we’re already assuming, for the sake of the argument, that that human being existed. We’re not even worrying about that, because as I said, if we did not assume that, there would be no conversation to be had. So we’re already giving the benefit of the doubt to the believer. You say there was a man called Jesus who lived 2,000 years ago. Fine, I’ll accept that claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and that claim alone is not so extraordinary. The miracle claims on the other hand are quite amazing, so for those we require much more evidence than a book.

So to answer my original question, we shouldn’t care. I don’t care, it makes no difference one way or another if Jesus turns out to have actually existed or not. It’s inconsequential to the issue at hand, and there’s nothing to be gained in this regard by that piece of information.

Christians complain atheism does not meet advertising standards

Posted in Rationally Speaking by Skepdude on January 12, 2009

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “RATIONALLY SPEAKING”

No, this isn’t a headline from the Onion, it’s the latest turn in the “atheist buses” controversy in England. As you probably know, the British Humanist Association has endorsed an idea by comedian Ariane Sherine, who was annoyed by Christian advertisements on British public transport that threatened eternal damnation. Sherine thought it would be nice to give people a bit of metaphysical relief by writing on buses and subways that “There probably is no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

To Sherine’s utter surprise, her campaign quickly raised £140,000, which has made it possible to run the advertisement on 800 buses across England. Not at all unexpectedly, this has generated an angry response by some religionists, despite the fact that church attendance in that country is one of the lowest in the world. And here is the kicker: Christian campaigner Stephen Green and others have actually filed formal complaints with the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the ground that the atheists are violating “guidelines on taste and decency.” According to Green “If you’re going to put out what appears to be a factual statement then you have to be able to back it up. They’ve got to substantiate this proposition that in all probability, God doesn’t exist.”

Oh really? Talk about a spectacular example of the pot calling the kettle black! Let me get this straight: a statement that supernatural entities probably do not exist is, in Green’s and his loony friends’ mind, less obviously substantiated than a statement that there is such a thing as everlasting punishment in hell? To put it another, perfectly parallel, way: claiming that Santa Clause (probably) doesn’t exist would also be less “tasteful, decent, and factual” than to claim that he really does deliver presents to the world’s (Christian) children every 24th of December. If you think I’m joking, you should read the excellent “Santa Lives! Five Conclusive Arguments for the Existence of Santa Claus” by Ellis Weiner (the arguments are: ontological, causal, from design, experiential, and moral — sounds familiar?).

Now this hilarious insanity has put the ASA in the rather awkward position of having to rule on a long standing metaphysical dispute. If the agency lets the atheist campaign go on, it will implicitly be saying to the British public that it is in fact reasonable to state that god probably doesn’t exist; if, on the other hand, Sherine’s and the British humanists are found to be at fault, the ASA would in effect taking the position that there is sufficient evidence for the existence of hell, so that Christian groups are not violating its advertising standards. Philosophers and theologians the world over will surely be following this one with utmost interest!

By the way, I have to note that the only atheist who has (partially) objected to the campaign is our good old lovable curmudgeon, Richard Dawkins. He doesn’t like the word “probably” in the ad. This is because Dawkins, as I have pointed out before, insists on maintaining the indefensible position that science can disprove the existence of (all) gods, though he is a bit wishy washy about this even in his “The God Delusion”, where he says both that he is not absolutely certain of god’s nonexistence and that science can disprove such a ridiculous notion anyway. The reality is that science cannot disprove the supernatural, but that a philosophical argument informed by sound science can, in fact, reduce the likelihood of the supernatural to the very, very improbable indeed. That’s why Sherine and the British Humanist Association got it exactly right in the wording of their campaign. So now go on and enjoy your day without fear, there (probably) is no hell.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “RATIONALLY SPEAKING”

War on Christmas Over, Christians Victorious

Posted in Atheist Revolution by Skepdude on December 23, 2008

Now that Washington State has approved the addition of a Festivus pole to the holiday display at the state capitol, I think we can properly hang a “Mission Accomplished” banner on our metaphorical air craft carriers. Yes, combat operations have ended in the so-called “Christmas wars.” Of course, atheists can only join the celebration as observers since we were never actually involved in the conflict. In fact, it turns out that the only combatant in this bitter dispute, a handful of dimwitted Christians, have finally achieved victory over themselves. They have made a thorough mockery of the very holiday they were allegedly defending from imagined threats.

At first, nobody objected to the “holiday tree” erected in the Washington State Capitol. However, a handful of thin-skinned Christians soon decided that using the more inclusive term “holiday” was a blow to their preferred religion. They requested the addition of a nativity scene, and with the help of a lawsuit filed last year by the Alliance Defense Fund, their request was granted this year.

The thing is, Washington State recognized that the only legal way to permit a nativity display in a public building would be to permit all other groups to add their own displays. So, in getting their nativity scene, the Christians opened the door to virtually any other sort of display. Washington State deserves credit for understanding the implications of the Establishment Clause.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “ATHEIST REVOLUTION”

Five Biggest LIES About Christianity

Posted in Uncategorized by Skepdude on December 21, 2008

Oh Ed, Ed, Ed what would we do without you!

God in the News: Atheist Sign

Posted in Stuff God Hates by Skepdude on December 10, 2008

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “STUFF GOD HATES’

Prepare thyself, he who reads this, to tremble and quake before the Incredible Word of God, as written by THE LORD HIMSELF!

I AM FURIOUS TODAY!  I will engulf Washington in volcanic fire and cast the entire blasphemous state back into the seas from whence it came!

Evil Atheist Sign Joins Nativity Scene

UNBELIEVABLE! How dare baby-eating atheists be allowed to express themselves?! Government property is the sole dominion of Me-fearing folk!

Here we have a lovely Nativity scene on display, depicting the birth of My Glorious Son whom I love with all of My Heart. And right next to it is a sacrilegious sign that states something so ludicrous and foul it makes Me foam at My Holy Mouth with rage!

So you can understand and become as angry as I am, here is what the wicked sign says:

“At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Let’s go through this insanity line by line so I can break down just how absurdly false it is.

“At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail.”

It’s not the season of the Winter Whatever. It’s CHRISTMAS. The very word has Christ in it. HE is the reason for the season, and HE has already prevailed by dying. Duh.

“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.”

It’s true there are no gods plural, there is only one God. ME! I know for a fact that there is a devil, and he’s a jerk. There is also most definitely angels and a heaven and hell and I’ll prove it to you when you die.

“There is only our natural world.”

What nonsensical twaddle! There are trillions of other worlds both natural and supernatural that I, The Almighty Lord, have created. This just goes to show what self-centered, egotistical freaks atheists truly are.

“Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

WRONG AGAIN! Only the religions that don’t worship Me are myth and superstition. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all clearly legitimate religions that never brainwash people or cause them to fight with each other.

If you love Christmas and everything it stands for, I command you now to hunt down every last atheist you can find and burn them at the stake. Also, decapitate the governor of Washington for letting this happen.

I, The Almighty Lord, have spoken.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “STUFF GOD HATES’

“I Tried To Be An Atheist”

Posted in Atheist Blogger by Skepdude on November 23, 2008

I’ve spoken about my Christian friend David a few times on this blog, and I’m getting a chance to see his dad preach on Monday at a Christian Union meeting, so I thought I might talk about him and his beliefs a bit more. Out of respect for his privacy, I’m only referring to him by his first name (as is my policy on these things).

When I met David last year, we talked a lot about religion / Christianity / atheism. He came across to me as a very moderate Christian, the kind that never angers and always smiles (i.e. the most annoying kind). There is being nice, and then there is being so nice you constantly come across as an arrogant condescending moron.

When losing an argument about faith or religion, he would always *without fail* resort to his favourite catchphrase:

I tried to be an atheist…I really tried…

As if he thought this argument was actually worth anything. It is of course, a logical fallacy in many ways. Firstly there is no correlation between failing to do something and the accuracy of what you were trying to attempt. I could say “I tried to be a Christian” or “I tried to be a banana”, but my failure to be either of those doesn’t reflect on their actual veracity as subjects. It only reflects on my personal failure, and as we can easily demonstrate, there are people who have succeeded at being Christians, and there are plenty of bananas in the world (although atheists wish that weren’t so true).

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THE ATHEIST BLOGGER”

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Bill Donahue: If You Want to Spew Ridiculous Nonsense, Please Make a New, Relevant Argument

Posted in Enemy Combatant by Skepdude on November 14, 2008

Oh, crazy crazy Bill.

It’s absolutely nutjobs like you that make it pretty damn hard to imagine such a thing as a genuinely intelligent christian (or catholic).

Cool, we get it. You believe in god, you think everyone should, and you don’t like that those stupid meanie head atheists won’t play your game, and are putting signs on busses and not sitting down in their corner quietly, hiding and hoping you won’t notice them. We get it, dude.

However, you’d stand a fairer chance of convincing even one person who doesn’t already agree with you if you’d refrain from:

Insisting that we only pick on the christian faith. Stop that. The reason you see more actions targeting or specifying Abrahamic faiths is that they are prevalent in the society we live in. That makes them more relevant to the discussion. Dig? Cool? Got it? Gonna stop making that tired argument? I sure hope so.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “ENEMY COMBATANT”

Can’t we all just get along?

Posted in Skepdude, Video by Skepdude on November 10, 2008

For Christ’s sake let’s act Christianly! I don’t see anyone turning the other cheek. Seems more like everyone is trying to break other people’s cheeks!

Monks brawl at Jerusalem shrine

Posted in Uncategorized by Skepdude on November 9, 2008

Israeli police have had to restore order at one of Christianity’s holiest sites after a brawl broke out between monks in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Fighting erupted between Greek Orthodox and Armenian monks at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion.

Two monks from each side were detained as dozens of worshippers traded kicks and punches at the shrine, said police.

Trouble flared as Armenians prepared to mark the annual Feast of the Cross.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC.