Archive for January, 2006

Original Black Sun Journal 9/11 Cartoons

January 31st, 2006 / Religion / Comments Off on Original Black Sun Journal 9/11 Cartoons

  Here are some cartoons from the early days of the Black Sun Journal. (January 2002) They were inspired by 9/11, drawn by Mr. Huffaker, father ...

Muslims can't take a joke

January 31st, 2006 / Religion / 4 comments

[Link to dutch blog with all 12 images] Apparently, there's one more thing the Islamic world doesn't understand. Humor. The recent flap over the cartoon pictured here illustrates this. Now let's get one thing straight: Islam has become inextricably associated with terrorism. This meme will perpetuate for centuries after the last terrorist bombing occurs (whenever that is). It doesn't matter what cartoons are or are not drawn, this is a fact, and one that every Muslim lives with every day. Instead of getting upset with the messenger, why not go to the heart of the message? Why not work even harder to rid Islam of this association by DEEDS including GLOBAL renunciation of violence? Why do Muslims think cartoons like this are drawn in the first place?

Science and Religion not Equivalent

January 26th, 2006 / Religion, Science / 7 comments

Here is some visual evidence about the difference between faith and science. This is an electron micrograph of 3 different forms of HIV. Scientists are studying the form of the virus to look for new ways to defeat it. They may still be a ways off from a cure, but they are working. You can bet they are working their asses off. I guarantee you there are grad students, researchers and others working 90 hour weeks to solve this problem. You can look at this as true humanitarianism. What are churches doing about this issue? The same thing they've been doing since the 1980s when HIV first surfaced: Blaming the victims. Interfering with condom distribution worldwide. Marching and holding up signs that say "God Hates Fags." That's what religions are doing. And when a cure is found, and billions of people worldwide are celebrating their newfound freedom to express their sexuality without fear, you can bet the churches will still be there. Grumbling, moralizing. I will be rejoicing when this cure is found. Because it turns out HIV has been killing people for centuries. But that's not the only reason. When the cure for HIV is found, it will be one more nail in the coffin of the stale, ridiculous argument that bleats like an old broken record: "Science is just another belief system." [UPDATE 02.12.06 - from the Pew center: There has been a reduction in the number of people in the last 20 years who think HIV is god's punishment, but it still remains ridiculously high:A similar pattern is evident in changing public attitudes on whether AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior. A generation ago, the public was closely divided on this issue: in 1987, 43% felt AIDS was a punishment from God while 47% disagreed. Now by nearly three-to-one (70%-24%), Americans reject that idea. White evangelical Protestants (42%) and black Protestants (36%) are more likely to feel that AIDS is God's punishment than are white mainline Protestants (20%), white Catholics (18%) and the non-religious (14%). Still, moralistic interpretations of the AIDS disease have dropped among all groups about equally. http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=757](Lest you think I've created a straw man with regard to attitudes about science as just another belief system, check the links below the fold:)

Announcement: Hellbound Alleee show

January 25th, 2006 / Admin / 2 comments

Sean Prophet will appear on the Hellbound Alleee show, Saturday, January 28, 2006. This will be available as a podcast shortly after the interview. The billing is as follows: Anatomy ...

Daily Herald - IN OUR VIEW: Confusing religion with science

January 24th, 2006 / Newswire, Religion / Comments Off on Daily Herald - IN OUR VIEW: Confusing religion with science

Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Sen. D. Chris Buttars, passed on Monday and now moves to the House, where it is being sponsored by Rep. Jim Ferrin of Orem. The ...

GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION

January 23rd, 2006 / Newswire, Religion / Comments Off on GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION

But this — this — is offensive: “We're a Christian society,” Galloway Mayor Tom Bassford said. “And I think it's a good way to start off a ...

Anti-nude law KOd by Fla. court

January 22nd, 2006 / Current Affairs, Newswire / Comments Off on Anti-nude law KOd by Fla. court

A federal judge struck down Daytona Beach's anti-nudity laws, saying they're unconstitutional. Regulations prohibiting public nudity and nudity in places that sell alcohol violate the First and 14th amendments' ...

CNN.com - Italy court asks: Did Jesus exist? - Jan 22, 2006

January 22nd, 2006 / Newswire, Religion / Comments Off on CNN.com - Italy court asks: Did Jesus exist? - Jan 22, 2006

The Rev. Enrico Righi was named in a 2002 complaint filed by Luigi Cascioli after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he was ...

Brokeback Mountain

January 22nd, 2006 / Film / 7 comments

A vitally important, visually stunning, socially conscious, emotionally wrenching love story, that I predict will win the Oscar for best picture of 2005. The film Brokeback Mountain is very powerful. It's ...

Tools for losing your faith

January 18th, 2006 / Psychology, Religion / 15 comments

Some great concise principles for challenging religious beliefs and believers. Great post on the "Core model of belief" from Goosing the Antithesis: Five categories of arguments for religious faith: moral appeals ...

Now Nagin

January 17th, 2006 / Current Affairs, Religion / Comments Off on Now Nagin

What a mockery New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has made of the Martin Luther King holiday. He has now joined the club of clueless politicians invoking god to bolster their ...

Buddhism and the need for a sense of awe

January 13th, 2006 / Religion / 5 comments

Forging a conscious relationship with the world around us and the larger universe is important. It is one of the most powerful instincts that follows our human quest for self-actualization. We humans seem to need a sense of awe. But it doesn't have to be done in groups, or by following a leader. From an article by Carl Sagan's widow Ann Druyan:It's a catastrophic tragedy that science ceded the spiritual uplift of its central revelations: the vastness of the universe, the immensity of time, the relatedness of all life and it's preciousness on this tiny world. When I say "spiritual," it's a complicated word that has some unpleasant associations. Still, there has to be a word for that soaring feeling that we experience when we contemplate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution and four and a half billion years of the story of life on this planet. Why should we give that up? Why do we not give this to our children? Why is it that in a city like Los Angeles, a city of so many churches and temples and mosques, there's only one place like this Center for Inquiry? And that it's only us here today? Fewer than a hundred people in a city of millions? Why is that? Why does the message of science not grab people in their souls and give them the kind of emotional gratification that religion has given to so many? Great question. There are as many metaphors for this feeling of uplift as there are humans. God, Gaia, universal spirit, Buddha, collective unconscious, your own psyche. There's no problem with questing after the feeling. For me, it's easy to get that feeling just staring into the night sky. Or contemplating how small and insignificant we are and how brief our life--contrasted with the towering achievments modern humans have made compared to earlier generations. I get the feeling when I look at my children, or others I love. Or even looking at plants, or fractals, or insects, or simple geometric forms, or human cells and organs, or pretty much anything in the material world. I appreciate it all. To me, all of it has a 'miraculous' awe-inspiring quality.

"Father of LSD" turns 100 - Yahoo! News

January 11th, 2006 / Newswire, Psychology / Comments Off on "Father of LSD" turns 100 - Yahoo! News

ZURICH, Switzerland (AFP) - Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered the now-banned hallucinogenic drug LSD that was an icon of the Hippy movement, celebrated his 100th birthday. ...

How should we deal with Carbon?

January 10th, 2006 / Energy Transition / 15 comments

From the comments to my last entry, it's clear that there's no consensus among libertarians/individualists about the problem of carbon emissions. And there's a lot of opposition to any new ...

Getting away

January 2nd, 2006 / Current Affairs / 4 comments

By the time you read this, I'll be safely ensconced in a metal tube brimming with fossil fuels and tearing up the upper atmosphere, leaving a trail of warming CO2, ...

Happy New Year!!!

January 1st, 2006 / Admin / Comments Off on Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!! 2006, it's great to be alive! I love my life and the people in it! Are these real fireworks, ...