It looks like moderation will be on indefinitely

Not only is Markuze still lurking around with his childish hit-’n-run poo-flinging, but tonight, for the very first time, I popped a bit of Asian porn spam, of all the lame things. Cripes. It remains to be seen if that turns into a growing trend. In the meantime, just remember you all can keep the comments lively as you always do, and yours will get approved in fairly short order if you don’t see it appear right away.

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As Christian God Creates World

Apparently, God creating the world 6,000 years ago was a big surprise to the ancient civilizations who were already living on it. Or so reports the Onion.

“I do not understand,” reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. “A booming voice is saying, ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light. It is saying, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass,’ but I am already standing on grass.”

“Everything is here already,” the pictograph continues. “We do not need more stars.”

6,753 douchebags: a post in which I swear a lot, even in Finnish

That is the number, as of this posting, of the people who have actually voted “yes” to the current CNN online poll question: Should information about women who get abortions be posted online? Fortunately, they are in the vast minority on this one. As much as America has been slouching toward lunacy in the past eight years, at least most people have an appropriate sense of clarity on something this deranged. Still, that’s a lot of fucking douchebags!

In case some of you are wondering with slack-jawed horror what might have prompted this poll question in the first place: yes, it’s true. The great state of Oklahoma — home of Silly Sally Kern (read up on her by doing a search over at Abbie’s); the state where they were so offended by Richard Dawkins’ speaking tour that the legislature introduced a resolution telling everyone how offended they were, as they’d already eradicated all crime and poverty in the state and therefore had plenty of downtime that week — yes, Oohhhhhklahoma wants to pass a law…

that will post information online about women who get abortions in the state — an act critics say would be harassment and an invasion of privacy….

“We’re not trying to embarrass anybody, hurt anybody or make anybody’s identities known. That’s not the purpose of the legislation,” the Republican lawmaker says.
“We want to collect hard data that can be a useful tool in helping prevent future unwanted pregnancies.”

You know, I was going to call this bullshit, that being what it is and all, but it occurred to me that mere English profanities were not sufficient to convey the totality of the bullshittery on offer here. So I did a little Googling and discovered that “bullshit” in Finnish, which is a lovely lyrical language, is ja vitut! Nice! Just kind of rolls off the tongue. So having logged “bullshit” in my multiculti swearing lexicon I began a desperate search for “motherfucker,” but the best I could come up with was runkkari, which evidently only translates to “wanker” but which I’m also assured is “extremely offensive.” Great, I’m sold! Now, setting aside the fact I know bugger-all (see, I can do it in Cockney too!) about proper tenses and grammar and such in Finnish, I’m just going to cobble the thing together and proudly announce that I’ve come up with exactly the thing to say to any right-wing runkkari who tries to tell me that their new “harass teh wimminz” law is all in the interests of looking out for their delicate well being. Ja vitut, runkkari!

(And I’m not kidding about the lyrical qualities of Finnish profanity, people. Wikipedia helpfully informs me of the magnificent phrase Vittujen kevät ja kyrpien takatalvi!, “paraphrased, ‘Oh fucking shit!’ or literally ‘The spring of cunts and the late winter of dicks!’” That simply leaves me reeling in awe. It’s like the kind of album title you’d get if Marilyn Manson ever went emo.)

I mean, I could tell these idiots how to prevent future unwanted pregnancies. Just drop millions of free condoms from low flying airplanes! Or just pass some kind of comprehensive sex education to inform all those poor redneck kids of yours that inserting Knob A in Hole B usually results in Lump C unless sensible precautions are taken. This suggestion perhaps unfairly assumes a measurable percentage of Oklahomans are sensible, but please, won’t someone think of the children!? Anyway, there are any number of easily-implemented ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies if that’s what they really wanted to do up there, so if you try to tell me you’re taking down women’s private information and posting it on the goddamn Internet, for chrissakes, in order to help these women, then you’re just olla naama norsun vitulla. (Yeah, look that one up, kids. Har!)

So the wingers are of course trying to lie about their real motives, which is to frighten women out of exercising their reproductive rights entirely, and claim that…

The measure specifies women’s identities will be protected. “Nothing in the Individual Abortion Form shall contain the name, address or information specifically identifying any patient,” it says. “Nobody’s identity will be made known,” Lamb says.

Which naturally prompts the question of why do it at all then? What exact scientific information that is helpful to anyone will be gleaned from looking at a bunch of questionnaires and determining, “Well, X thousand women had abortions last year, and of those, 25% were due to health dangers, 10% were due to interfering with their lifestyles, 20% were due to being raped by their dads in the back of the singlewide when ma’s off doing church bingo, and the rest were due to the women realizing their kids would grow up to be dumbfuck rednecks from Oklahoma and they simply couldn’t bear the shame.” None of that is necessary to get you to the simple realization that you could have spent all that time and energy simply dropping condoms from airplanes!

It will be interesting to see how badly this crashes and burns, although when the wingers get motivated, watch out! There are no guarantees. In the meantime, just remember: Ja vitut, runkkari!

So do Finns have a word for “douchebag” anyway?

PS: I’ve actually met a lot of nice people from Oklahoma. I have. Really! :-)

We get email: reason can’t be trusted

Hello there.

Did you consider that reaosn and evolution are concepts in crisis since the developement of modern semantics? I think Chomsky explains it better in his conference about biolinguistics. But the destruction of positivsm is something that happened in the late XIX century. Evolution and reason are no longer concepts to be trusted anymore. I was wondering if you read the work of post structuralists like Derrida or Lyotard, even Heidegger in the early XX century let that statement cristal clear. But the real doubt was… you are concient of all this I’m saying and you choose not to brought it up in the show cause believers are three steps behind it, or you actually don’t know it :S

Thanks for reading!

Dear *****,

Thank you for pointing out that reason does not matter. After reading your letter, I have concluded that you are, in fact, an imaginary platypus named Phil. As such, I have decided to let my talking anthropomorphic ceiling tile answer your letter for me. Please let me know when you hear from him.

Sincerely,
Russell Glasser
The Atheist Experience

900′-tall Jesus steps on Oral Roberts

And another one bites the dust. What a card that God is! He tells Oral that Oral will be summarily killed if the money isn’t raised to keep his faith healing center afloat. And so Oral gets the money, and then the center shuts down three years later anyway! Then God waits until the fellow is basically decades older than the average human life expectancy, and kills him then, without a warning or cash extortion attempt of any kind. God, you joker you!

Oh, well, actually, God was never involved in any part of it. Oral was just another huckster who struck it rich exploiting ignorance and gullibility, and enjoyed the sort of long and prosperous life that, if we lived in a just world, honest people would be more entitled to. But I suspect even Oral wasn’t as shady as the federally-investigated Kenneth Copeland, seen below administering a kind of Christian rolfing to the ORU patriarch. If you wish to commemorate Oral’s passing by captioning/LOLing this, we won’t stop you.



Addendum: Here’s mine. Forgive me. (In the event it gets flagged and taken down as “inappropriate,” I’ve taken a screenshot.)

DEAR LORD, GIVE UNTO THIS MAN A PITA BREAD SANDWICH

The bus-banner campaign we really need

Dave the Happy Singer, one of the stalwart Australian AXP fan contingent, has just launched a site that, so far, has nothing on it but this.

Which I happen to think is a fine, fine sentiment and not the least bit militant. I mean, we already know that the Christians get all hot under the collar when they see a really threatening atheist message. So I think something a little more even-tempered ought to be just the thing. I don’t know what else Dave plans for this charming little graphic, although coughcoughtshirtscough I could probably think of an idea or two.

Oh, here’s another helpful message from Dave. He’s just full of them!

Email: Why can’t science ever prove God?

Andrew writes:

I’ve stumbled across your show and personal beliefs aside, I just have to say that people are really stupid. As a Catholic, I’m ashamed of the logic of Christians trying to prove the existence of God as it presents itself on your show. I do have a question which I don’t get about what atheists state: God can never be proven through science. If something exists, it can be proven. Yet with the logic that the Christians use, they change Christian belief and twist it into personal assumptions rather than going by fundamental doctrine. I guess my questions are: 1) Why can’t science ever prove God? ; 2) What, besides God walking up to you, can be proof for the existence of God?

And by God, I mean a physical entity that can come down and walk amongst us, wrestle with us and looks like us. Basically, if you stood next to God, you’d see that humans were created to be in the image of God. I know how you love to get definitions of God.

Andrew,

You have to understand that we can only respond to claims that we are offered about God, and there are thousands of conflicting versions of God. I know many atheists have put forth the case that God should be possible to investigate through science, and have suggested specific ways that the claim could be testable.

However, to understand how much the waters have been muddied, you ought to familiarize yourself with the history of the creationism movement. A hundred years ago, it was illegal to teach evolution in schools at all. By the 1960′s, evolution was accepted as standard science. However, there was a movement to demand that creationism must be taught as science by law. This was finally rejected because creationism, at the time, was considered purely religion with no scientific merit.

So in the mid 60′s there was a push to create “scientific creationism.” At the time, creationists still attempted to make testable claims, generally centered around a literal interpretation of the Bible. For instance, they attempted to prove that the global flood was real. But the problem with such specific claims is that science can not only test them; it can prove them wrong. And it did, which eventually led to more legislative defeats for creationists.

Since that time, creationists have gotten a lot more crafty in trying to advance a watered down form of creationism in schools. The 1990′s saw the rise of “intelligent design” which, while heavily borrowing elements of traditional creationism, made the definition of “the designer” continually more vague and without specific testable claims. In their effort not to be labeled as yet another drive to teach religion in schools, they refuse to say anything specific about God. They just say “we logically infer that there must be a designer” and they don’t propose any claims about what the designer is like or how he could be tested.

This achieves the objective of being harder to counter with observable facts, yes, but it also renders meaningless any efforts to actually investigate “God” or some other sort of designer.

So can science investigate God? It depends, of course. If the concept of God is attached to specific claims about the way he interacts with the world, then yeah, you’re right, that God should in principle be testable. Of course, no scientific investigations have ever revealed anything like the God of the Bible.

But on the other hand, when people propose a God that is deliberately made vague, that is untestable. An amorphous “intelligent designer” can’t be investigated, and as I’ve explained, that is pretty much on purpose. Likewise, vague claims like “God is love” or “God is a universal consciousness” don’t lend themselves easily to testing. If we ever said that God is not a scientific concept, you can bet that we were probably responding specifically to a person who was advancing this kind of nonspecific notion of God.

As for your second question: “What, besides God walking up to you, can be proof for the existence of God?” Well, I mean, God walking up to me would be a pretty good one. It’s not even all that outlandish a request. After all, according to the Bible, God used to appear to people all the time. He talked to Moses in a burning Bush, he showed his puncture wounds to Doubting Thomas, he dropped in on Saul of Tarsus, he told Abraham to kill his son (before going on to say “just kidding!”).

If God is bothered by the existence of atheists, then clearly he knows how to fix that. What’s weird is that God is seemingly so selective. A few scattered people get to have a fireside chat with God. The rest of us apparently have to make do with clearly apocryphal stories about the appearances, and believe blindly with no such concrete evidence whatsoever. If this is the way God works, then either he enjoys playing mind games with the millions of atheists on the planet, or else he really does want them to remain atheists.

As for me, I don’t think there is a god. If it turns out I’m wrong, he knows where I live.