Saturday, October 31, 2009

Well, it's Halloween

And in accordance with tradition, I'm not doing all that much.

Ten pounds of ribs BBQ, a few beers and/or cocktails and that's about it.

Man, I haven't worn a costume in years. Not since the last time I pretended to be somewhat normal.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The intartubes are all a flutter...

Well, at least some of the blogs I read.

Over at Jennifer's blog, we have possibly the most ridiculous atheist contrived idea ever. Denial of service to God? Well, the founder of the organization originating that particular idea actually showed up and stated that it was a joke. Being fair, I'm inclined to believe an atheist when he tells me he didn't expect to accomplish anything by arranging for mass, simultaneous prayer. Would be funny if it did though.

Over at Breda's place we have feminism crop up. Matter is handled by her and her readers, including self, maturely and with minimal kerfuffle, but when Marco posts about what she said, suddenly some dinosaur is insinuating things about stay at home dads that I didn't much care for. So I went after him, he spouted some amazing ignorance, I replied. Ugh.

I fed the damn troll. You'd think I'd know better.

Oh well. I wouldn't even be writing this, but hey, I heard somewhere that the key to blogging is to write something everyday, thought I'd try it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

On matters of faith

I've recently been reading the afterwords of Kratman's upcoming novel, The Toluriad, and discussing it a bit here and here. Also, oddly enough, a brief bit of SPAM, not of the electronic variety. Weird.

Anyway, it resulted in some interesting lines of thought on my part. Specifically on the nature of the Science vs. Religion debate, which is ridiculous to say the very least, which led me to pondering the thinking of atheists. Specifically, non-militant, non-agnostic atheists. Which led to an interesting observation. There don't seem to be too many of them.

Of course, the sample set was highly self-limiting seeing as it was composed only of friends of mine. Turns, out, at least among my friends, that those I'd always considered straight-up atheists turn into agnostics when engaged in serious conversation on the topic. I certainly don't intend that, or anything else in this post, to sound insulting to agnostics or atheists in general. Just certain ones.

Thing is, it seems the common thread is that they don't really know with certainty one way or another, but they really doubt the existence of a God. Fair enough.

Seeing as there is no proof that God, or any supernatural being(s), exists and no way to proof He(she/it/they) doesn't exist (basic scientific principle: you cannot prove a universal negative*) any solid stance on the subject requires faith. That's an easy concession for me, as having faith is kind of part and partial to the whole Christian experience and any other religion I can think of, but I remain exceedingly curious what a more, er, devout(?) atheist would have to say on the subject.

I am, unfortunately, endlessly familiar with what an anti-theist, or militant atheist if you prefer, has to say on the subject of faith. It generally combines a string of variations on, "You don't know anything about science!**" and a litany of the misdeeds performed by any person who had any religious leanings whatsoever. As I generally refuse to entertain vitriol as a serious contribution to a debate, especially on such a contentious subject, I pretty much discount anything I hear from that crowd.

I will listen if someone uses logic and presents an actual coherent argument for the absence of the supernatural, I don't class those as anti-theists. Thing is, I've never actually encountered that.

* While one can infer the presence of a universal negative and feel pretty darn confident about the conclusion (ie. All cats are animals, therefore no cats are non-animals) it is not a certain thing. Using the above example, what if we met a race of sentient cats? Then it becomes a matter of how does one define a cat, an animal, or both.

Going off that, unless one can observe the entire universe simultaneously, a universal negative cannot be proven. The possibility always remains that somewhere beyond current knowledge, the thing posited to not exist may indeed be doing so.

** Indeed? Having already covered universal negatives, how about we delve into logic? Do a search on Pascal's Gambit. Good stuff. Remember, as one of the fathers of computer science, Pascal was a card carrying member of the science community.

Because sometimes, violence is the only answer

When engaged in conversation regarding current international affairs and concerns, I am often asked if maybe I'm just a bit blood thirsty. My response, now, is along these lines:

"I have a wife, three kids, and two cats, all of whom I dote on endlessly.
I teach Sunday school every week to some very unique and gifted children, all of whom I adore.
Both sides of my family, for all their faults and foibles, are the most dear people in the world, and there's nothing I wouldn't do for them.
I have several hundred people I consider my friends, all over the world, and I'd gladly give them the shirt off my back, my last dollar, or even my life.
I am a man filled with love for those around him, even those I disagree with.

You bet your life I'm blood thirsty!"

If I have to kill every last predatory bastard on Earth with my own two hands in order to safeguard those I love, then I will do so with same determination I bring to all arduous tasks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holy CARP! Tom Kratman uses AOL!

And, for the FTC, I wasn't given squat to make that statement.


Holy CARP! I'm writing a post! Something I should be doing more off in the near future. Probably starting monday.