Stray Thoughts #5: Random Observations from an Intellectual Outlaw

“Serial Killer?

Victims
  1. There are 1.2 billion people in India, give or take a few dozen
  2. Most of those people are Hindus & therefore polytheists
  3. The majority of Hindus are decent law-abiding citizens – husbands who love their wives, mothers who love their children
  4. But no matter how good they are, God has doomed them to be tortured in hell for eternity
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Killers
  1. God created the cultural isolation of the Hindus, engineered their loyalty to India’s official religion, endowed them with the pious motivation to teach their (unfortunately, non-Christian) values to their kids – and then he designed the penalty for this ‘wrongful’ behavior?
  2. And yet, the run-of-the-mill serial killer who rapes & tortures children need only come to Jesus on death row, enjoy a final meal of fried chicken – and then he spends eternity in heaven?
What does this vision of life have to do with moral accountability?

polytheism

🙂 🙂 🙂

[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]

“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”

– Nietzsche –

Our Daily Bread: Biblical Insights Into Family Values & Moral Wisdom

Kill Your Kid for Cussin’ You

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If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness.

Proverbs 20:20 (NAB)

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. 

Leviticus 20:9 (NLT)

 

If you want good people to do wicked things, you need religion.”

– Christopher Hitchens –

Stray Thoughts #4: Random Observations from an Intellectual Outlaw

“Tennis Anyone?

When good things happen, God is praised:
  1. he miraculously cured you of eczema
  2. he graciously found your mother a second mortgage
  3. he secretly whispered winning lottery numbers in your ear
When bad things happen, God works in ‘mysterious ways’:
  1. nine million kids each year choke on their last breath before the age of five
  2. an Asian tsunami rips infants from their mother’s arms & drowns ¼ million people
  3. horrible suffering is visited daily upon innocent people on a scope & scale that would embarrass the most ambitious psychopath

Note the double standard here…

God is said to be kind & loving & just. But when it is pointed out that God is obviously cruel & unjust, we are told that God is ‘mysterious’ – and what ‘mere mortal’ can understand God’s divine will?

  1. ON THE ONE HAND: the fallibility/limitation of a “mere human understanding” of God’s will is offered as an excuse to callously explain away ‘apparent’ instances of God’s evil
  2. ON THE OTHER HAND: the strength/reliability of a “mere human understanding” of God’s will is employed to spot ‘confirmed’ instances of God’s goodness

 

This, folks, is how you play tennis without a net.

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Morally reprehensible, eh? 

🙂 🙂 🙂

[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]

“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”

– Nietzsche –

Stray Thoughts #3: Random Observations from an Intellectual Outlaw

“SMOKE & MIRRORS?

Why is it taboo in nearly every corner of our culture to question religion?

Religion is so sheltered from criticism that it allows perfectly sane/intelligent people to believe en masse what only idiots and lunatics could believe in isolation.

If you believe that saying a few Latin words over your pancakes will turn it into the body of Elvis – you are crazy.

elvis

But if you believe that the same mumbo jumbo over a cracker will transform it into the body of Christ – you are just Catholic.

transubstantiation

Family values, everyone agrees, are important.

Shouldn’t they include, at a minimum, honesty and a healthy respect for intellectual integrity?

🙂 🙂 🙂

[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]

“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”

– Nietzsche –

 

 

Stray Thoughts #2: Random Observations from an Intellectual Outlaw

“INTELLIGENT DESIGN?

Is this the ‘best of all possible worlds’? When you look around, do you see the handiwork of an “intelligent designer”?

A pair of unjaundiced eyes might notice the following:

Universe

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  1. Most planets are unstable
  2. Most places would kill life instantly
  3. We are on a collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy
  4. Our one-way expanding universe will eventually wind down to oblivion
Earth

bbc-magazine_mega-tsunami-_sketch31

  1. Earthquakes & volcanoes level cities
  2. Tsunamis kill hundreds of thousands
  3. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning strikes kill many more
  4. Humans can’t live on two-thirds of the earth’s surface
  5. 99% of all species that ever lived are now extinct
  6. It took 3-5 billion years just to make multi-cellular life
Humans

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  1. Hundreds of diseases can kill us
  2. The human eye is practically blind compared to the entire spectrum of light waves
  3. As warm-blooded creatures we must constantly scrounge for food
  4. Human anatomy . . .

Well . . . has it occurred to anyone that we have an entertainment complex smack dab in the middle of a sewage system?

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🙂 🙂 🙂

[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]

“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”

 

– Nietzsche –

 

Stray Thoughts #1: Random Observations from an Intellectual Outlaw

“THE WARM FUZZIES OF BELIEVING”

Can a belief give life meaning and purpose? Make people happy?

I’m ecstatic because I’m going to marry Sandra Bullock. I know in the depths of my heart Sandra and I will one day walk down the aisle and then for our honeymoon be whisked off in a diamond-studded chariot to streets paved with gold. That’s my destiny; it gives my life meaning and dignity and serenity – and I wouldn’t want to live in a world without the comfort of that certainty.

Glory Hallelujah

 

I proudly confess that I have totally dedicated my life to Sandra. I think about her every minute. I dream about her every night. I get down on my knees facing Hollywood and pray to her six times a day. I fast regularly, abstain from an unhealthy lifestyle, and purify myself in her name every chance I get. I never see her but like the Holy Ghost I know she is with me at all times. Faith works miracles, love is mysterious, and Sandra will reveal herself in due time.

Is that a crazy belief?

Yes.

Is such a believer dangerous?

Possibly.

And yet, that’s precisely the stance religion often takes. A religion is deemed “true” and indispensable because, among other reasons, it satisfies, makes one feel worthy, anchors the lost in a cozy nexus of support. The motives of many religious people are undeniably therapeutic, to achieve a sense of wholeness and social cohesiveness, and without the comfort of such belief one’s life is accused of being cold and lonely

What’s obscured in such a heartfelt testimonial, however, is that valid beliefs require good reasons. And sound reasoning doesn’t include the possible effects a belief might have on one’s life.

Wish-fulfilling fantasies are self-deceptive and should not be employed as bargaining chips in religious conversation.

Yield not to temptation

6808710-sandra-bullockWould I be better off ignoring my infatuation with Sandra Bullock?

🙂 🙂 🙂

[“Stray Thoughts” is a weekly opportunity to go skinny dippin’ in muddled puddles of questionable beliefs & crazy ideas. Join me if you dare.]

“A very popular error – having the courage of one’s convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one’s convictions.”

 

– Nietzsche –