Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Night thoughts

We are alone in the world.  No invisible Sky Daddy, no instruction manual.  When you die, there are no virgins, mansions, or harps waiting for you.  The truth is, as far as it goes, a poor replacement for the false comfort that people can survive their own deaths.

How many religious people do you know?  Are you sure?  Consider John Loftus and Dan Barker.  Both were atheists who still preached.  People have no idea how long I pretended to believe before honesty made me admit openly who I am.

Any religious people who want to think they are better, and make no mistake, they secretly believe they are...some not so secretly....they can ask themselves whether their sense of superiority is based on anything more than the fantastic claims of their fantasy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A few more quotes

Just some more quotes....if I get feedback, I might just make a weekly effort.....

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?--Mark Twain

Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.
-Bertrand Russell

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain  (brilliant man, huh?)

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
-George Bernard Shaw

On Tea Parties, the Right and ethics

Three topics, three thoughts......

1.  On Tea Parties:  Its official.  Sarah Palin's hand-picked candidate lost in Alaska.  I lived there when Sen. Murkowski's father was senator along with Ted Stevens.  Palin made a serious mistake.  She assumed Alaskans in general were willing to vote for someone because SHE approved of them.  Strange thing.  She could not finish out her only term as governor yet thinks her opinion matters.  When we look at who she supported, the Palin Touch is anything but golden.  Angle was a Tea Party favorite that Palin supported.....she lost.  Christine O'Donnell was, like Joe Miller, hand-picked by Palin and got crushed (more on that in the second section).  In all, the Tea Party came out around 50%.  So much for being king-/queen-makers.

2.  On the Right:  So many Republicans are cheering how 2010 is a harbinger of things to come.  On that issue, consider the following story that ran locally:
Obama Would Beat GOP Frontrunners
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Richmond, Va. (  While some are calling President Obama a one-term president, a new poll shows Obama would win Virginia again.  The new poll of 551 Virginians, done November 10th-13th, finds that President Obama would beat all of the Republican frontrunners. 

The Public Policy Polling survey finds Obama would beat Mike Huckabee by 49% to 44%, Mitt Romney by 48% to 43%, Newt Gingrich by 51% to 40% and Sarah Palin by 52% to 41%.

The poll finds a slight majority (55% to 45%) of Virginians approve of the job Obama is doing.  And Tom Jensen with PPP says the recent wins by the GOP in the mid-term elections were mostly due to Democrats staying away from the polls.

 So much for harbingers....

Also in this same vein, consider that the Right is on the verge of committing political suicide.  Even while they celebrate retaking the House, they are linking themselves with the worst of the Religious Right.  Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell and others of this stripe ran HARD right on social issues in a year when the back-pocket was the deciding factor.  In the case of O'Donnell, the Right committed the cardinal sin in politics of taking the "ringer" out of the race (Castle) in order to run with ideological purity.  As they say in sports, a win is a win.  Castle is too "liberal" for the Tea Party, but he a) had never lost a state-wide election, and b) is running in a BLUE state.  Using that logic, the GOP should never have backed Scott Brown either, but look how that turned out.

On Ethics:  Does anyone find it ironic and raising serious questions about sanity when the Religious Right condemns abortion as "murder" and then puts out "wanted posters" on abortion providers that have led to multiple assassinations?  A life-ethic means life, not just the life you want to protect.  I have stepped away from my vegetarianism as a result of Kathy's death, but I confess that I consider returning to it over time.  If I am going to promote ethics, I should at least be consistent.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A few quotes that matter

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
-- (Epicurus)

Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you'd want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.
-- Gov. Jesse Ventura

Men rarely (if ever) dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."
-- Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity."
-- Thomas Paine

Armistice Day

On November 11th, 1918, at 11:11 a.m., the guns of Europe fell silent.  All was quiet on the continent.  As Americans, we truly do not fathom the scope of the war.  Nearly a century has passed and only a scant few veterans of the War to End All Wars remain.  But what did we learn from the war as a civilization? 

Did we learn that war destroys an entire generation?  Apparently not, since we as Americans have repeated the process on several occasions. 

Did we learn that civilization would not survive all-out war?  Consider the Blitz, the atomic bomb, napalm, carpet bombing, and suicide bombers.  Have we learned anything?

On today, when we honor and honored our veterans, please remember that they were asked to do something for a "grateful nation" that should never have happened.