Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why We Don't Call Him Dr. God...

Notwithstanding the creation of a being created self-aware (hello Adam and Steve!) and then told quite explicitly were they to avoid learning in any way, shape or form by eating of a fruit laden with knowledge (makes eating a Flintstone's vitamin every morning seem rather empty and unfulfilling, doesn't it?), it continually boggles my mind how many people believe in a literal creation account as written in Genesis. Boggles my frickin' mind...

Regardless, it comes to mind that we (both the believers and the heathens) must ponder briefly, how intelligent is this supposed being that a great portion of our population looks to for answers? I mean, if 70 to 90% of the American population believes in and looks to this being for guidance, shouldn't there be some type of "No God Left Behind" system in place to make sure he knows what he's doing? Keeping up with his own education? Working to improve himself as well as the lives of those around, or (as the case may be), beneath, and above him?

There's a reason we don't call him Dr. God, and it isn't because Oprah won't give him a daytime TV slot. Let's look at some of his accomplishments and see if he's really deserving of all this praise and hoopla, shall we?

1. He had only one major publication. (... unless your a member of the Mormon church...)

2. Some doubt he even wrote it himself. (How many authors again?)

3. It was in Hebrew and Greek. (Continuity not his strong suit...)

4. It had no references. (... except itself...)

5. It wasn't published in a respectable, referenced journal. (Not even in part...)

6. It may be true that he created the world (and then dedicated his whole book to it), but what has he done since then?

7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited. (If it can be said he cooperated with anyone at all, except with Satan on poor Job...)

8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results. (Mainly due to the fact that he doesn't say how he did it, and he did most of it without witnesses, notes, or a controlled environment...)

9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects. (Probably his largest oversight to date.)

10. When one experiment went awry, he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects. (And then wrote about it, as if proud of his sado-masochistic tendencies...)

11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample. (Because smiting solves everything...)

12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book (and none of them could agree on what they were reading, or what it meant...)

13. Some say he had his son teach the class. (And he graduated from what university again?)

14. He expelled his first two students for learning. (Marvelous teaching skills when he chose to show up for class...)

15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests. (Usually the sign of a bad teacher...)

16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top. (Poor Moses...)

17. No record of working well with colleagues. (Some say he killed all of them, too!)

18. He's exhibits signs of a multiple personality disorder. (One god, yet three, eh? Someone isn't taking their meds...)

19. It is a well-documented fact that he abused his kid. (And again, seemed quite proud of it...)

20. He has a god-complex. (Probably caused by his father not hugging him enough as a child...)

Need we say more? If this were the leader of any nation in the world, let alone the teacher of the fifth grade at your local school, he'd have been strung up and quartered just for number 15 alone! But added up all together?

There's a reason we don't call him Dr. God... At least twenty of them...

How many can you think of, dear reader?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oh No He Didn't!

And in those days, there walked an Anonymous who felt his opinions about life, the universe, and everything weighed heavy on his heart, and in a moment of weakness, unable to keep his wise words to himself, did vomit them upon this blog, and thus the words were spoken, and an imaginary audience did rejoice and feast and praise the god(s) on high for the courage to spew...

Okay, I digress...

But dear, dear Anon (number 1,302 by my reckoning) commented on another of my top-rated posts and said the following:
Anon: Well, I agree with you on somethings. These crazy folks add weight to your cause. They make you seem smarter than you are.
(Do you always start off calling people stupid nicely...? Always a good way to make a point, don't you think?)

Anon: But I wonder, what do you atheists agree on?
(At the next meeting, when we hand out membership cards, I'll be sure to get you an exhaustive list; until then, please note that the word "atheist" pretty much covers it: no belief in any type of god(s)... You realize you are an atheist as well, right? Just about different gods that others hold dear...)

Anon: Oh, I know what you agree on, you are each your own god (with a little "g")
(Um, no, sorry: an inactive belief in any type of god, whether capital or lowercase, doesn't suddenly default us to god status. Not believing in gods means just that, even for ourselves. We don't believe in any god, whether yours, his, hers, or theirs, and that also means ourselves: we don't believe we are gods either... But I'll add it to the list for our next meeting--"See if we can turn water into wine at Dawkins next birthday bash...")

Anon: Isn't that scary to you?
(That you think I think I'm a god? Yes, that is scary... However, you may leave all sacrifices on the stoop, and anything I don't care for I'll feed to my dog...)

Anon: I mean the government can come and strip you of everything you have including your rights, and there is nothing you can do about it.
(You realize, of course, that they can do this to you as well, whether or not you're a Christian, Muslim, or Wiccan, right? There isn't a waver in the constitution for a belief in god(s), just and FYI as I can't possibly see what this has to do with anything at all...)

Anon: Are you sure there is no higher power that you can depend on. (Yes, otherwise I wouldn't be a very good atheist, would I?)

Anon: Not for your physical possessions,
(Oh, thank myself you pointed that out! I was ready to believe in spite of my HO scale train in the attic!)

Anon: but for your "after this life" well being.
(No such thing as an "afterlife," unless you died, took some Polaroids and video, and St. Pete missed them at the security check point at customs...)

Anon: Oh, I forgot, you guys may or may not believe or agree on that either.
(If you forgot, why did you ask? Seems rather asinine on your part... By the by, there's no "may not" about it--we don't. Are you sure you know what the word "atheist" means? [I suddenly feel like I'm in The Princess Bride, and you're playing the part of small, angry Sicilian...])

Anon: One thing is for sure, this world and everything in it hangs on right and wrong, black and white.
(Actually, "this world and everything in it" hangs on the laws of physics, which have nothing to do with man-made constructs such as "right," "wrong," "black," or "white." Nothing "hangs in the balance" except your sanity and the civil rights of others to believe in their fairy tales, much as you believe in yours...)

Anon: Are you right? (Yes, but are you sure you're all right?)

Anon: I mean all of your data comes from someone else's writings right.
(As does yours...)

Anon: Was it documented correctly?
(We know from much historical findings that yours isn't... And we know from a little thing you may have heard of, the Scientific Method? that all findings are tested, retested, retested ad infinitum, even things assumed to be true... See here for a short, simple lesson on how science works...)

Anon: That's funny, you don't find it hard to believe some ancient writings, but you can't seem to believe that someone has to be responsible for this universe.
(You realize, I hope, that your sentence was self-contradictory... What "ancient writings" am I finding it easy to believe "in", and where does the automatic default into "someone" needing to be "in control" and "responsible for" the universe come in? Did you actually just fall off a turnip truck? I always thought that was just a phrase... Funny that...)

Anon: I mean, where did everything that exists come from?
(Take a look, it's in a book, Reading Rainbow... LOL! Does your whole of existence actually depend on an answer to that question? "Where it all came from?" Please, I'd honestly like to know if this is your sole reason for believing in a higher power...)

Anon: I know you have some humorous come back for that.
(Some things never change...)

Anon: You people always do.
(Hmm... Was that registered at our annual atheist meeting? I'll check to see if it's on the list...)

Anon: That's how you avoid a point that has been made.
(I hate to burst your bubble [okay, not so much], but you haven't made a point--and if you actually think you HAVE, then you need to go back and reread what you wrote... All I've gathered thus far is that you want a list of what atheists agree on [like we have a statement of "doctrine" or something? Seriously?]; that you feel someone needs to be "in control" for you to feel valid as a creature on this planet; and that you have no idea what the word "atheist" means...)

Anon: Look, I'm not saying that you have to believe what everyone tells you.
(Damn, I was about to believe you just because you said so! Honestly, I actually make it a point never to believe what anyone tells me until I've looked into it myself from more than one source, and always from independent, unconnected sources...)

Anon: I myself have been hurt by "church folks" and some of their lies (not all people in the Church are of the Church).
(Ah, the old stand-by--Not only must I have been "hurt" somehow, but it was obviously not from a REAL Christian, it must of been one of those many pretenders who obviously doesn't have the holy Casper dwelling in them... As if they would actually walk 500 Miles... Damn pretenders...)

Anon: But in the middle of that, I still had to know my maker.
(Ah! Then I'm speaking to Pinocchio? You became a "real boy" then after all, didn't you! Good on ya!)

Anon: He is easier to find than you think.
(It must be the invisibility, the silence, and the nonsensical followers that threw me for a loop then... Actual lack of evidence notwithstanding...)

Anon: You just have to stop being your own god to see him.
(Note to self: stop being own god! And pick up more Post-its!)

Anon: I really hope you find the truth you are looking for.
(Not in the direction you're pointing, but thanks for stopping by anyway...)
Oh, how I love the loons... They never seem to be out of season...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That...
Who's Afraid of the Gay Wedding Bash?

Still waiting on one single, valid, non-theologically driven reason as to why homosexual persons shouldn't be allowed to marry...

Just one, well-thought, well-supported, well-researched reason to withhold marriage from homosexuals...

When you can't even get a Republican-controlled court to side with you--and please note that the court did it's job, there was no "activism" here--you may need to rethink your purpose in life...

That's assuming you have one, of course. I mean, there is something more to your life than preventing marriage equality, right? Right?

Let's see now... Massachusetts has had same-sex marriage for what--four years now? Yet tornadoes continue to hit the bible belt... Kittens are still cute... The fishing industry hasn't gone under... It hasn't rained blood... Hell, heterosexuals still get married there!

But don't worry... "Pro-family" organizations (which aren't) have promised to spend millions of dollars to prevent gay marriage in California instead of helping the poor and needy... After all, what good is food and shelter if gays can get married?!?! (I'd like to ask Dobson and Co. to show their zeal and unfailing support by going on a hunger strike... I won't believe you're committed to this until I see you as starving and as needy as many fellow Americans who could use that money for more life-affirming uses...) Please, please show me how committed you are... If a hunger strike isn't your thing, how about some purple fruit juice? Oh, I know, I know--"Listen to that evil homosexual who wants us good Christians to drop dead!" Since you fundies aren't doing me any favors (and why would you? I'm only your neighbor...), could you at least do god a favor, and stop embarrassing the hell out of him, and the many other decent, fair-minded Christians who could give two shits about your fight to keep rights special and exclusive?

The rest of us who live in the world would appreciate it...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Happy Island...

It was so awesome! I'm tanner than I've been in years (if we exclude sun burn on the legs that haven't seen sun light in five+ years), so rested and relaxed...

We went snorkeling three or four different times, did a dinner cruise off the coast, ate and drank at least two places a day... It was such a blast!

We stayed at the Little David's Aruba Guesthouse, a small B&B near the center of the island. Every morning included breakfast (fruit, eggs, coffee, water, milk, tea, toast, etc., etc....) and directions from our hosts to different places to go and see on the island. We had more seafood than I've ever eaten, saw more things than I thought we would. Every day brought dazzling sites and more iguanas than I thought existed in the world!

The snorkeling was amazing! Our host had told us to take a loaf of bread, but before we had even opened the bread, we were surrounded by fish! All colors, shapes and sizes! It was like being in a freakin' huge aquarium! There were even some "Dori" fish and "Nemo" fish! Unfortunately, we didn't see any sharks (Rich was thankful, at least...), and apparently moray eels don't come out except at night. We did see one sea turtle when we went on the submarine tour, which totally rocked! We went past some coral reefs of dazzling color, then went around a ship wrecked just off the coast... Words can't describe the color (neither could the DVD camcorder, unfortunately--everything looks green-ish blue), but Courtney brought along an underwater camera, so hopefully those will turn out great!

We ate Portuguese one night, Indian another, but mostly we found out-of-the-way Aruban restaurants to eat at, and we've never eaten so good! Yellow-fin tune, red snapper, mahi-mahi, grouper, calamari... You name, we probably ate it!

One thing I was disappointed to see were American fast-food joints everywhere! Wendy's, Subway, Burger King, McDonalds, KFC... That's capitalism, I suppose.

One other strange thing was that you weren't allowed to throw anything--anything--into the toilets, including toilet paper! Poop and pee only. Toilet paper and ladies products were to be disposed of in a trash can beside the toilet. That took some thinking on the throne I wasn't used to!

Plus, there was no such thing as "hot" and "cold" water. The water temp was what the water temp was! It wasn't hard to wake up in the morning, that was for sure!

Everyone was friendly, too! Didn't meet a single Aruban who wasn't ready with a smile and some very dry humor!

I wish I could go blow-by-blow as to what we did, but that would make for a very boring post, but suffice to say, we will be back again and again! You can view just a sampling of the 1000+ photos Courtney and Trace took at my MySpace here.

Now... Back to life...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

As For My Next Vacation...

I'll tell you all about Aruba later on this weekend (if you care), but as for my next vacation?
California ban on same-sex marriage struck down:

In a much-anticipated ruling issued Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

Several gay and lesbian couples, along with the city of San Francisco and gay rights groups, sued to overturn state laws allowing only marriages between a man and a woman.

"There can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's general legislative policy and preference," said the 120-page ruling.

It said that the state law's language "limiting the designation of marriage to a 'union between a man and a woman' is unconstitutional, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples."

With the ruling, California becomes the second state to allow same-sex couples to legally wed. Massachusetts adopted the practice in 2004, and couples don't need to be state residents to wed there.
"End-of-the-world" scenarios from fundies may now commence...

Sunday, May 4, 2008