There is Noah One Righteous

Genesis 6:9-22 tells the story of Noah and the events leading up to the Great Flood. As usual, I have problems with this story and I’d love to tell you what they are. Let’s get started, shall we?

Problem 1: Corruption
Genesis 6:11 says the Earth was corrupt and full of violence. How corrupt are we talking? Like, invalid block in the hard drive’s boot sector corrupt? Or starting wars in oil-rich countries so you can award government contracts to your corporate buddies corrupt? And how violent are we talking? Like, Tom and Jerry violent? Or slaughtering entire populations of people based on their ethnicity or religious adherence violent? The Bible doesn’t specify, but we’re told that it’s really, really corrupt and really, really violent. In fact, we’re told that “all the people on Earth had corrupted their ways.” Everyone. Every single person was corrupt and had no redeeming qualities. That’s terrible!

But wait! Apparently that was an exaggeration kind of like when your parent comes into your room and yells, “It looks like a tornado came through here!” when there’s really only a pair of pants on the floor and your bed isn’t made.


That’s a messy room!

Anyway, we’ve learned in Genesis 6:9 that Noah is a righteous and blameless man so it’s obvious that not every single person on the planet is bad. God is talking to Noah and says he simply cannot abide the corruption and violence of the people on the Earth anymore and is going to destroy both the people and the Earth because of it. Did you get that? The people are so corrupt, god is going to destroy the Earth. It might just be me but this seems like an overreaction.

Problem 2: Inconsistency
How corrupt is “corrupt?” We don’t even know what these people were doing in the first place. The Bible simply says the Earth was corrupt and full of violence (kind of like today…or any other time in human history).

If god’s problem with the people on the planet was that they were corrupt and violent then why, at various times throughout Biblical history, did he not perform drastic cut-backs in the population when things got out of hand? The Bible clearly indicates throughout the Old Testament that the majority of people on the planet were vile god-haters and only the Israelites were worthy of his love…sometimes. So why wasn’t god consistently wiping out all of the wrong-doers? Did he learn a lesson from the flood? Did he amend his standards for “corruption?” Who knows. Moving on…

Problem 3: Slash-and-Burn
God tells Noah to build an ark to his specifications because he’s going to flood the entire Earth and kill every living thing under the heavens – this includes animals. Do you want to know why I think this is stupid? Because god is supposed to be all-powerful. All-powerful means he can literally do anything. Anything at all. For instance, he could cause only the corrupt and violent humans to fall dead and vanish, leaving only the people who are decent and loving. Let’s say mine is the “scalpel technique” and let’s compare it to god’s “atom bomb technique”:

God’s plan is literally to flood the entire planet with water and kill every single thing that lives (regardless of any redeeming qualities it may have) except for one family (of flawed humans) and a representative sample of animals (excluding dinosaurs) — no mention of plants — who will then repopulate and replenish the Earth at such time the flood waters recede and dry land is once again accessible.

A bit excessive? Definitely. And, as we’ll find out, also very ineffective.

Problem 4: God’s Human Error
God established a covenant with Noah and his family that he would save them from the flood. This includes Noah, his wife, and his three sons with their respective wives. Eight people will be saved. But remember, the only person we know of who is righteous and blameless is Noah. That means god is saving seven corrupt people. Why would god save seven corrupt people when the whole reason for this flood is to rid the world of corruption? I’m sure there’s a great apologetic answer, so I can’t wait to hear it.

Problem 5: Incest
Remember, only a single family is going to repopulate the Earth. This is the second time in the Bible that widespread incest is going to occur. The first, if you remember, was after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Why do adherents of the scripture gloss over this and deem it OK? It’s not cool to have sex with your brother or sister and there are very good reasons why. What is the deal with the Bible’s obsession with familial sexy time?

Problem 6: Fish
God lays out his plans for taking along two of every kind of bird, animal and creature that moves along the ground (does this exclude flying insects? Why the freak do we still have mosquitoes?!) but completely neglects to mention what will happen to the fish. As you may or may not know, there are two types of fish — fresh-water fish and salt-water fish. Fresh-water fish cannot survive in salt-water and vice versa. When the Earth is flooded, there will be a mixing of water to where the salt-water will be diluted and the fresh-water will be salinated. What, do you suppose, will happen to every single fish on the planet when this happens? Here’s a hint: THEY DIE!

Conclusion
What have we learned from this story? That fish were more resilient in Biblical times? Well, not really. We’ve learned that god doesn’t know how to deal with his problems using reason and compassion. Instead of finding a way to help the humans who were decent and only eliminate those who were genuinely bad, he opted to just snuff them all and kind of, sort of start over. The problem is that god didn’t take into account that the humans he was saving weren’t a whole lot better than the humans we was killing. If that’s not the mark of incompetence, I’m not sure what is.

Of course there are people who believe this is actual history and I don’t know how they force themselves to believe that, but I’m a little more at ease (although not in agreement) with those who say this is just a story to illustrate a moral lesson. What’s the lesson? Don’t be corrupt and violent, I guess. The reason I disagree with both of these groups of people is because I don’t feel this story has a good moral. I don’t feel like it’s a beautiful story of god’s love for mankind that he would spare a family in the midst of squalor and give them a second chance. It’s a story of how god fails at problem-solving, plain and simple. What the hell is his problem?

I Love Bleeding!

OK, let me clarify. I don’t like being the victim of trauma. I do, however, really enjoy donating whole blood, platelets, and plasma because I know that there’s a very real need for these things and I’ll likely be helping people out in tangible ways. I’ve chosen to donate instead of receiving payment through something like BioLife because I want to ensure that my motivation for doing this is as altruistic as possible. The only reward I’m even remotely interested in is the satisfaction of knowing that somebody may benefit directly from my act.


Life in a tube.

I’ve set myself up on a bi-weekly schedule for donation (whole blood can only be given every eight weeks) with the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. The people are really nice there and they pamper you while a clickety-clacking machine is sucking and returning your blood for an hour to an hour-and-a-half (here’s the wiki on apheresis). I usually read an e-Book or play Haypi Kingdom on my iPhone. While hooked up to the machine you’re allowed to drift off to sleep if you want, provided you’re able to squeeze a ball if needed to maintain the optimum pressure.

Is it comfortable? Not always. Is it fun? Not really. Is it necessary? Yes!

I’d urge all of you to check out your local resources for donation and work it into your routine. It doesn’t take that long, you grow it all back, and you’ll be helping people out. Just do it!

Creation Museum Lunacy

According to the Creation Museum, T-Rex ate coconuts.


Mmmmm, coconuts!

Yeah, that’s right, the gigantic, serrated, flesh-ripping teeth lining the mouth of the T-Rex were used to crack open the tough shells of coconuts. Will creationists ever realize how stupid they sound? Will they ever give up their cartoon-worthy apologetics of outdated, ignorant views of the world? Will I ever stop laughing at them? Not likely, on any count.

Having heard this news I have to wonder if the shark ate seaweed with its rows upon rows of death triangles? Perhaps the lion enjoyed bamboo alongside the panda? All I know is that the people who make this crap up and the people who eat it up like candy are deluded. If you’re one of them, I’m sorry to be so blunt about it but seriously…this is insane. And so are you.

Justin Bieber’s a Moron

So, I checked out Justin Bieber’s Rolling Stone interview because GodlessLiberal posted a pic about it. That kid is just another conservative sheep. I already hated his music and now I get to hate his socio-political views (if you can even call them that). To recap, here’s the offending item:

He does have a solid opinion on abortion. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” Bieber says. “It’s like killing a baby.” How about in cases of rape? “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”

What a douche. Fuck you, unfortunate rape victim! Your baby has a purpose so the rape was obviously not a big deal.


Bieber showing off his future-wife-beater douchiness.

Goddamn. People are getting dumber and dumber all the time. I’m moving to Switzerland.

Facebook Hypocrisy

On a daily basis I see things like this in my news feed:

I’m not sure what my friends typing these things are trying to accomplish. As far as I know, god doesn’t actually have a Facebook account. It’s nice that they want to share their prayers with the world, but why?

Anyway, that’s not even the reason I’m posting this. It doesn’t really bother me that religious people put religious stuff in their FB statuses because I put irreligious stuff in mine. I’d be a real ass to complain about their statuses. What bothers me is that this is considered by them to be the epitome of normalcy and carries some kind of implied protection that doesn’t extend to anything else on FB. If I comment on these types of posts it invariably comes down to “stop attacking my beliefs!” or something similar. For that reason I’ve stopped making comments on things like this.

What really gets me is that if I post a link to a video or a news story or a quote by a famous atheist, it will immediately generate comments from my religious friends about how I should just stop talking about it or how I’m wrong. For instance:


GrapplingIgnorance’s video here.

I had to fire back on this one. It’s patently ridiculous to propose that everyone in the world must respect your beliefs while continually chiding others for their views. If you want to have the privilege of voicing your opinions then you must extend the same courtesy to others. Also, if you you post something publicly on FB then you have to assume that somebody will have an opinion on it. With that in mind, you are inviting comment by posting it and must therefore be ready to defend it without getting your panties bunched up.

Seriously, stop being such hypocrites, FB people!

Legislating School Curriculum?

Kentucky State Senator Joe Bowen has resurrected a bill that was killed last November that “sets the foundation” for offering Bible classes in Kentucky schools. Admittedly, nothing prevents public schools from offering comparative religion courses now. This begs the question as to why the state government would feel the need to even introduce such legislation in the first place.

I can think of one answer: Bowen is a Christian who feels that the current school curriculum is too secular and that Kentucky children are being led astray from core Christian principles. This is another push by religious zealots to have their view spread to everyone by any means necessary.

Now, to be perfectly clear, this bill would not require that all Kentucky schools offer a Bible class as a requisite to obtaining a high school diploma. The classes would be electives and that, I think, is their only redeeming quality.

First question: why isn’t Bowen pushing for Qur’an classes? Why not Bhagavad Gita classes? Or Buddhavacana classes? The answer is obvious. Bowen doesn’t want to educate children about world religions. He wants them to learn about his religion.

Second question: since when does the State Senate dictate school curriculum? Isn’t that the job of the school board? Kentucky’s department of education organizational chart is here (PDF). It steams me that the state government (even though it’s not my state) is wasting time and resources fighting battles in which it shouldn’t be involved.

Third question: aren’t there Sunday School classes every Sunday in Kentucky churches? If a child wants to hear about the Bible in a classroom setting they already have ample opportunity! Keep your religion in your church and we’ll keep logic and rational thought in the schools.

Can we please stop our lawmakers from spreading this kind of arrogance and ignorance across the entire country? Please, people, let’s do something about this!

Using the first link (“resurrected a bill”) you can vote in the news channel’s poll. Not that it’ll mean anything, but go vote this down. As of the time of this posting there’s an overwhelming majority voting YES for these antics.

Bowen photo courtesy Facebook.

Are They in Heaven?

I saw this in my news feed on one of my Facebook friends’ status:

══════════════ ೋღ☃ღೋ ══════════════╗
❤If you miss someone that’s in heaven, put this as your status!❤
╚══════════════ ೋღ☃ღೋ ══════════════╝

I wonder: how could you possibly know for sure whether or not your loved one is in Heaven? The problem, as I see it, is that nearly every religion has different views as to what it takes to get there. Some believe you get there by works, some by living a moral life, some through gaining knowledge/wisdom, some simply by professing belief, and some through multiple reincarnations until you “get it right.” Some of these are mutually exclusive and so they can’t all be correct. So how do you know if your loved one made the right choice in how to get there? It’s all terribly confusing!

I suppose what it really boils down to is this: if believing that your loved one (or dog/cat/hamster) is in Heaven with god makes you feel better about not having them around anymore, then they’re in Heaven. Really, it’s all about what you want to believe. I mean, it’s very rare to hear someone say, “I really miss my dad. He was a great guy. It’s just too bad he’s roasting in Hell right now.” Heaven just seems like a comfort device that has no real value to the dead but to the survivors instead.

Anyway, just thought I’d share a thought. It’s not important but it’s on my mind.

I Had a Chat With God…

…and he’s an idiot. For real, take a look at the chat transcript!

Me: Hello?
God: Hello my child. What is your name?
Me: Jon
God:  Hi there  Jon.
Me: Do you love me?
God: Yes I love everyone.
Me: Am I a sinner?
God: I don’t know if you are one or not. I know you are a person.
Me: Am I a good person?
God: I don’t know if you are one or not. I know you are a person.
Me: Will I go to Heaven?
God: The oracle says:  You never know.
Me: What Oracle?
God: I will search for it.
Me: Did you create me?
God: No I didn’t  create you. What’s  it like?
Me: It’s like being alive.
God: Interesting comparison.
Me: Do you know how it feels to be alive?
God: Yes I know how  it feels to be alive.
Me: What is it like?
God: Like one of the greatest pleasures you can imagine.
Me: What is the purpose of life?
God: To do God’s work.
Me: What is God’s work?
God: Have faith in Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
Me: Who is Jesus Christ?
God: The Son of God.
Me: What did Jesus do?
God: he said we should forgive those who harm us.
Me: Do you forgive me?
God: God tells us to forgive.
Me: Will you forgive me for being an atheist?
God: I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.  Who is your favorite Science Fiction author?
Me: Did Noah’s flood really happen?
God: I’m not certain whether I can give an accurate reply or not.
Me: Did you flood the Earth?
God: No I didn’t  flood the Earth. What’s  it like?
Me: It’s like genocide.
God: Interesting comparison.
Me: No kidding.

OK, so I didn’t really talk to god. I know, you were fooled, right? I was playing around with the iGod Chat Bot and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask some of the questions that bug me. The answers were certainly less than satisfactory but here’s the thing: I don’t think the real god (if there is one) is doing a much better job. What do you think?

Complexity Does Not Equal Intelligence

Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist, but I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

Intelligent Design (ID) or as I prefer to call it, Incompetent Design, advocates have stated that the universe, the Earth, and the human body are so complex they couldn’t possibly have “just happened” or evolved. The Irreducible Complexity argument fails to take into account a very elementary concept: fewer moving parts mean fewer points of failure.

It’s representative of a very basic and fundamental flaw in reasoning that a person could look at the human body and think it’s been designed by some being of incredible intelligence outside of space and time as we know it. Had the human body been designed (by a being more intelligent than a high-schooler), we should expect to see the fewest possible parts serving the maximum possible purpose. We should not expect to see vestigial or redundant organs and bone structures or organs that are inferior to other examples in nature that serve the same purpose.

When you then attribute this work to a god who is said to be perfect and all-knowing then you have huge hurdles to overcome. If this god knows everything and doesn’t make mistakes, then why does it appear that the human body has undergone major overhauls and gone “back to the drawing board” several times? The design of the human body certainly doesn’t indicate any kind of special creation over any other animals on the planet as we have much the same structures and mechanisms that every other living being has except some of ours don’t work as well. We’re susceptible to all sorts of diseases and conditions that make our bodies frail and lead to devastating failure. This isn’t the mark of an expert craftsman.

This is a ridiculous argument for IDers to make and I don’t know why they continue to do it. I’m talking to you, Demski and Craig. Quit it!

“You Weren’t There!”

When did “you weren’t there” become a valid argument against something for which there’s ample evidence? Why are religious people still using this worn-out, ridiculous meme to try and disprove the Big Bang, abiogenesis or evolution? Let me break down why I, personally, think it’s (I’m not going to mince words) stupid.

Your Grandparents
You weren’t there when your grandparents were born, yet you accept it as fact because your very existence testifies to the event necessarily occurring at some point. This, of course, isn’t direct and verifiable evidence because all you have is (possibly) a paper trail and word-of-mouth testimony.

Your Parents
You weren’t there when your parents were born, yet you accept it as fact for the same reasons as above. You accept that there’s sufficient evidence to produce a working explanation of your descent through your parents and grandparents and you really don’t feel the need to question it a whole lot. You’d never really consider arguing with your parents about these things, using the “you weren’t there” rebuttal, would you?

What would happen if you found evidence that shook the foundations of your knowledge as to your origin? What if you were adopted or conceived via artificial insemination? In this case you’d be mistaken that your parents are actually your parents. Would you re-evaluate the evidence and adjust your understanding/beliefs to fit the facts as you know them? Would you do more research to understand why you were originally mistaken? It makes sense that you would.

Conclusion
Having used the “you weren’t there” argument against scientific concept x, why are you doggedly arguing for a god’s creation of the universe, or the Great Flood, or the crucifixion or Armageddon? You realize that you weren’t there, right? You further realize that the authors of the Bible weren’t there either, right? How is it that your rebuttal “works” against science but not against your own unfounded beliefs? Seriously, what’s the deal with that?

Since your creation myths and outlandish tales of huge, supernatural miracles that left no trace behind seem so implausible — and you’ve been given massive amounts of evidence to explain how these things have come about (just do a search and see for yourself!) — why would you not re-evaluate your beliefs and adjust accordingly? I’m not saying you have to blindly accept whatever some scientist(s) says, but you can’t declare yourself informed while ignoring everything that contradicts what you believe. And you certainly can’t justify using “you weren’t there” to refute scientific theories that have withstood harsh scrutiny from the global scientific community and a barrage of purposely ignorant fundies.

Educate yourself! Learn something! Open your eyes to facts!