Mocking Religion

What is the difference between criticizing religious ideas and mocking religion? It is not possible for an atheist to mock God, or for anyone to insult a religion. To an atheist, "God" is only a concept held by followers of a particular religion. It is certainly possible to mock a concept, but it is not possible to mock the being that concept represents, if that being doesn't exist. It is possible to mock religious teachings, but one can't really insult a religion. Only a living (or once living) being Read more [...]
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Why Pray?

Chuck Smith said, "I am convinced that prayers do not and cannot change the purposes of God ...." Assume, for the sake of argument, that God, as conceptualized by the average Christian or Muslim, exists. If God knows all and everything is proceeding according to plan, then why pray? What is the point of informing God of that which he already knows? Why expect God to change the plan in order to accommodate the wishes of the one praying? Yet beseeching the gods to change course seems to be at Read more [...]
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Arctic Sea Ice Update

In 2012, Arctic sea ice reached record lows in area, extent, and volume, continuing the trend that has been apparent since the 1980s. Although ice volume in 2013 did not reach the lows of the previous three years, it was still lower than the previous record low reached in September 2007. Arctic Sea Ice Dwindling The chart below, based on data from PIOMAS, clearly shows the trend of Arctic sea ice volume. You can see that the minimum volume, which occurs in mid to late September each year, is Read more [...]
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You Shall Be Gods

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, a man whose moral sense I respect, posted an image on Facebook with this accompanying text: What is most godly about us is our knowledge of good and evil. That awareness, and our ability to act on our own moral impulse, represents an opportunity and a challenge. Today, act with such bountiful justice that God can respond, “Behold, it is good!” It got me thinking, because what he posted conflicts with the interpretation I was taught as a Christian. Perhaps Read more [...]
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Scooter and the Licky Dog

Chiefy has been taking some time “off” to share with the family. Slick and Scooter are always entertaining. I will return to a more regular routine soon; in the meantime, here is a hint of the frantic pace of my life these days. Enjoy.

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The Trinity

I originally published some thoughts on the Trinity on October 18, 2013. It became lost in cyberspace due to technical problems, but I have developed a few new ideas since then that may contribute additional understanding. Ineffably Yours I believe the official Church teaching on the Trinity causes Christians no end of confusion because it has no connection to reality. The Church formalized her definition of the Holy Trinity in the 4th century, using language like "very God of very Read more [...]
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Christian Nation

For those who think that the USA is, or ever has been, a Christian nation, remember that the good European Christians who founded it did so by killing and enslaving non-Christians. Those good Christians robbed the land from the Natives and kidnapped Africans to work the fields, killing huge numbers of them in the process. Do you feel comfortable claiming the name "Christian" for your country, given those facts? If the U.S. is a Christian nation, it is so in the most depraved sense of the term. A Read more [...]
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Life Begins at Consciousness

I once said that the issue of consciousness does not determine at what point a developing human being becomes a person, at what point life begins. I think I was wrong about that. Perhaps that is exactly the criterion we should use to determine "personhood." When Life Begins Is it ever acceptable to abort a human fetus? Is it always acceptable, or perhaps only in some circumstances? Does the physical and mental condition of the mother make a difference? Stage of fetal development? Determining Read more [...]
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Skin Turnover (Thank Science)

When I saw this Pickles cartoon about how much skin turnover we experience each year, I had to investigate. Forty pounds of dead skin cells just didn't sound right. Nothing against the cartoon strip, it's hilarious. I simply insist on accuracy. Maybe I'm a little OCD. Anyway, it turns out I was right about the figure being wrong, although it isn't as far off as I thought. The Internet is a wonderful thing. You can find whatever you are looking for, even if it's wrong. So I found when I Read more [...]
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Eternal Memories and Eternal Life

What would it be like to live forever? Would you run out of new things to do, new things to learn, after a few thousand years? Let's see if we can imagine it. Here's the setup: suppose, for the sake of argument, that we have been granted eternal life. We have some kind of “spiritualized” bodies that will never get sick or wear out, and our minds will remain sharp. What about our memories? Eternal Memories There are two possibilities: either we will be able to remember everything perfectly, Read more [...]
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