Wednesday, 22 February 2012
I was very organizationally dependent on a specific tagging system here that is completely messed up now by Xanga. It even screws up using this blog as an archive since I can't link to tags that will consistently show all the posts under that tag. The posts just aren't there unless I sign in, and those posts that didn't show up weren't private. So, w/e.
Anyway, I'm going to "move" to blogger at http://double-woe-seven.blogspot.com/. I use that account quite a bit to comment around the blogosphere anyway and I haven't had any problems with it. Nothing fancy is going on over there right now, but given that The Richard Carrier Project is now public (which I've been working on since the day Obama was elected in 2008), I'll probably end up blogging contributions that supplement that inventory such as this review of the debate between Carrier and Dr. Douglas Jacoby.
Cheers, Xanga. But as Dr. Manhattan said, nothing ever ends.
Friday, 28 October 2011
Thought I'd try some vlogging on youtube. It's nice to rant n rave sometimes. Warning: Me uncensored. I may even use some inappropriate language. And sarcasm. Loads of sarcasm.
Hope you don't mind crossing your eyes for the stereoscopic effect to work (here's a quick tutorial if you don't know how to look at 3D without the glasses: http://starosta.com/3dshowcase/ihelp.html).
We'll call it an "in depth" rant. ;) Anyway, I present to you, "The Job Gods":
Here's a motivational poster I made that I used in the video at the end:
Feel free to stealz it, but please at least give credit. :)
I've been away from Xanga for a while. I haven't been really happy with Xanga's buggy system. Random tags show up and don't show up depending on whether you are signed in or not even though they aren't private or anything and that's really important for my organizational system. Comments are always messed up because Xanga can't format worth anything. The editor is always screwing stuff up in ways that are really, really hard to fix in the html coding. This thing always double spaces when I don't want it to and there doesn't appear to be a way to turn it off. Etc. Maybe I just don't know how to work this thing, but it didn't use to be this tedious. It also seems like no one even knows what Xanga is outside of Xanga and when they do they often seem to miss that you can comment without having an account.
Anyway, someone asked where I'd been. I'll post some stuff that I've been up to lately. Though I am thinking of leaving Xanga indefinitely.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
10. Jesus stubbornly wanted to build all those promised mansions himself the old fashioned way and people had sex (despite his and Paul's vain attempts to advocate celibacy) faster than he could finish them.
9. Yahweh had to maintain the pretenses that no one would know the day he would return despite the endless nutcases predicting every single day for the last 2,000 years.
8. Turns out, Satan successfully managed to tempt Jesus in the desert and even though Yahweh had to call the whole thing off, Satan decided to keep the project rolling.
7. Early Christian evangelists with their magic powers made their 144,000 saint quota quite early, Yahweh made a new heavens and a new earth, and he just forgot to turn off the old ones.
6. Some earnest Christian teens keep begging for "just five more minutes" of sleep through every time zone for the last 2,000 years and Jesus just can't say no to such epic sincerity.
5. As we learned from the book of Job, Yahweh has a horrible gambling habit with people's souls, and some snarky demon in his court bet him that he would never allow his promises to look so silly if left unfulfilled for the next 10,000 years.
4. Turns out, Christians with guilty consciences really DON'T mean it when they ask for forgiveness and then keep sinning, and Jesus still just hasn't met his quota of actual saints yet.
3. Though it sounded good at the time, Yahweh has been having second thoughts about that whole eternal damnation thing and decided procrastinating on Judgment Day was an adequate loophole in order to save face.
2. The original autographs of the inerrant Bible actually said that at the end of time there would be "Star Wars" and "rumors of Star Wars in 3D" and later scribes didn't understand Jesus' lengthy digression on rotoscoping.
1. (and the least probable of them all!) Christianity is false.
Saturday, 14 May 2011
The Christian doctrine of hell as found recorded in the Bible (much of it from the lips of Jesus himself, sorry Bill Maher) is a punishment that cannot possibly fit any crime committed by any finite human being on this earth in their short lifetime. Even the worst person who ever lived who amazingly managed to do the most evil ever simply does not deserve it. Even if humans really are totally depraved equally across the board in the most Calvinistic sense possible, the punishment still would not fit that crime (not to mention that is entrapment). They may deserve a whole lot of retribution, but there's obviously such a thing as too much. No Christian is going to argue that punishments don't have to fit the crime and so they have to figure out how to make those ends meet somehow.
There have been numerous popular attempts to justify the unjustifiable, and I'd like to rigorously show how those attempts fail. From mere assertions, to attacking the critic or some alternative worldview as though that makes Christianity coherent, to passing the buck in some way to humans, to giving humans some infinite quality they don't have, to appealing to some irrelevant quality that the Christian god is supposed to have, to misrepresenting the Bible, to misrepresenting the concepts presented in the Bible, and just arguing fallaciously all the way around, the doctrine is plainly indefensible. To that end, I've used the Compendium software to argument map all of those debates and nail all that apologetic Jell-O to the wall "once and for all" (as if that were possible).
Here is the legend to understand the map nodes (click to embiggen):
Be sure and check out the supporting posts (which are referenced on the map itself in appropriate locations): "Does the Bible teach eternal suffering for the unsaved?" and "Is it easy to be saved?"
My recommendation, given the info overload factor, is to skim through the 30 objections and find the one you specifically care about and just focus on that particular tangent. I will let you know if you are bumping into other things. Start at the left of the map and follow the arrows (click to biggyfie):
I will work with anyone who will constructively work with me to improve the map. I'm sure there are Christians out there who are interested in figuring out how best to defend the doctrine and who wish to eliminate the bad arguments from their arsenal. This is a two way street, since I could always get stuff wrong. To help out, here are some suggested themes to contribute to:
- Please let me know of other arguments from apologists not represented here.
- Let me know if there are better ways to put their arguments (if you think I've straw-manned anyone).
- Let me know if there are better responses to any of the popular arguments from other non-believers.
- Let me know if there are better responses from other Christians who are against other versions of Christian beliefs.
- Let me know of any spelling or grammatical errors I may have made.
- Let me know if you have any organizational suggestions which might make it easier to digest.
Oh...and please be specific. Thanks.
Meanwhile, I'll be chasing down every lead that I know of on my own time. I've pulled from my own history of arguing with Christians and hit up the wiki of course. I will be investigating the hell views of every Christian apologist who took interest in the recent popular skeptical anthology "The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails" since they are likely to do so with John Loftus' next book. Keith Parsons' chapter on "Hell: Christianity’s Most Damnable Doctrine" in the next skeptical anthology "The End of Christianity" will be released on July 26th, 2011 and I'd like to have a final version of this by around that time. I'll be mapping whatever responses he gets to his chapter (assuming they are novel). Many of the books in the anti-new atheists book list are searchable through Amazon and so I will be lifting their responses to the many criticisms Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris have dished out.
Possibly the best part of this is the reaction from Christians to the answers other Christians give in defense of this ridiculous doctrine. And one doesn't necessarily get that kind of shock without lining all the excuses up next to each other. ;) I've only contributed one response to the argument (see the previous argument map: Could Jesus be lying about hell?) and yes, other Christians do in fact argue all the others that are found somewhere on the map. I'm not making it up. Sorry.
I was also thinking we might print the final version out on bedsheets to perhaps sell at upcoming skeptical events (like Skepticon 4). My significant other suggested that we call them "Pascal's Bedsheets." Our marketing line will be, "Rest well, knowing hell shouldn't keep you up at night anymore." I've never actually personally feared the fires of hell as a Christian or later as an atheist (since I was too intellectually embarrassed by the obvious wish fulfillment aspect of heaven, and the obvious petty hearsay threat of hell), but it is understandably a powerful influence in the lives of many believers and ex-believers. It is also a large ripe target for critics of the religion to continually harp on as Christianity looses its grip on the culture. And I think we should keep on that.
If someone would like to program an iPhone app with this map for easy on-the-go argument access, that would be awesome.