Unintended comedy

I happened to run across an intentionally offensive meme about the bigoted NC bathroom laws, and my first reaction was to take offense, naturally. But then I looked again, and realized that the memester had added a bit of unintended humor at his own expense. I’m going to put it below the fold so people can decide whether or not they want to see it, but I thought it turned out pretty funny.

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Why gods are better at magic than at science

One of the cool things about the “God is an imaginary character” hypothesis is that it does such a good job of predicting the actual behavior of the gods. In any situation, you can predict exactly what a god can and cannot do merely by knowing what an imaginary supernatural character can and cannot do. That means that god (or any other magical, imaginary being) can do anything you can imagine—but only in a story. And he/she/it/they cannot do anything more than that.

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You can’t disprove God

Via The Friendly Atheist comes a link to this nicely-done list of answers to common myths about atheists. I especially like #3, “Atheists can’t disprove God.”

There is no onus of proof on atheists to disprove god…

However, if an atheist chooses to assert that there are no gods, and in particular chooses to assert that there is no personal intervening god with whom humans can have relationships, that atheist can reasonably argue that such an assertion is proportionate to the best currently available evidence.

Very nicely written, and recommended reading.

And by the way, one of my favorite answers to that argument is simply to rephrase it. By saying that atheists cannot prove that God does not exist, the believer is making the implicit claim that there is no argument that can disprove God’s existence. They cannot prove the non-existence of this incontrovertible proof against God, however, and therefore by their own logic atheists are justified in believing that such an argument does exist, even if the unbeliever themselves might not happen to know it. Consequently the best outcome the believer can hope for is a kind of solipsist agnosticism that reduces Christian “eternal truth” into merely a subjective fantasy.

How would you answer it?

Preaching to the choir

I was bored and looking for something to blog about, so I typed “apologetics” into Google, and clicked one of the ads that came up. It happened to be for an apologetics ministry named Solid Reasons, SolidReasonsAdand I gotta say, that’s a pretty slick and shiny-looking web site. I don’t know who they’ve got doing their design and coding, but I can tell you, a fancy web site like that ain’t cheap.

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Franklin Graham shocked by First Amendment

Arkansas Online is reporting that Franklin Graham has discovered evidence that the First Amendment is having a growing influence on American government, and he’s none too happy about it.

Thousands of worshipers flooded the state Capitol on Tuesday to hear evangelist Franklin Graham declare that “godless” politics are taking over governments across the 50 states he is touring…

The greatest applause came when Graham argued against political correctness and the separation of church and state.

“Secularism and communism are the same thing. They are both godless,” Graham said. “We have every right to speak up; we have every right to take our faith into the halls of government.”

And we’d have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that pesky Constitution thing.

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Quote of the day

Ladies and gentlemen, Ted Cruz:

It is bizarre. Donald and his team, it’s almost like they are subjects in a clinical course in psychology. The conduct they do, literally, they accuse others of doing.

Because real conservatives never act like that, right Ted?

Conservative Christians sounding the retreat

With society becoming less hostile towards gays and other minorities, and Christians everywhere losing the privileges that previously allowed them to flout the First Amendment with impunity, a few conservative Christians are beginning to think it’s time to abandon society and head for the hills.

That’s what St Benedict did. By the end of the fifth century the great Roman Empire had completely collapsed. The center of government had moved to Constantinople. The Vandals and Goths had sacked Rome, and the church and people had drifted into decadence and despair.

As a young man Benedict went to study in Rome, but soon gave up and retreated to Subiaco to live as a hermit.

Conservative writer Rod Dreher thinks it is time for American Christians to consider what he calls the “Benedict Option”. He contends that Christians have lost the culture wars, predicts that persecution of Christians is right around the corner, and recommends heading for the hills.

Because having your bigotry called out in public, and losing legal protection for your bullying of others, is totally like having actual armed, barbarian invaders sack your capital city and carve up your entire nation into feudal fiefdoms.

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Diversity supporters targeted for harassment, discrimination

A few days ago, I mentioned LambdaConf, a putatively inclusive software conference that accepted an open and aggressive racist as one of its speakers, on the grounds that reasonable people can disagree on whether racism is good or bad, and whether blacks make better slaves, and so on. In protest, a number of people signed the Statement on LambdaConf 2016, emphasizing their commitment to diversity and genuine inclusiveness. And now, that statement has been turned into a list of people to target for harassment.

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Be careful what you wish for

There’s a meme going around right now that reviews a bit of political history. Remember the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton for sexual misconduct in the late 90’s? They were led by a Republican legislator who, at the time, was hiding a sexual affair. He was supposed to be replaced by another Republican who had to step down because he was having a sexual affair. The Republicans then elected a new Speaker of the House, who is currently under investigation because of suspicious payments he made to cover up alleged sexual molestation of boys.

The meme doesn’t explicitly call this out, but I think it’s worth mentioning that these are all men who were elected by conservative Christians trying to put God back in government. Separation of church and state isn’t some plot to try and marginalize Christians. It’s just that mingling politics and religion is a bad idea, and harms both the state and the church.