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Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Here is an example of a typical logic error: assuming that one of your premises is true without actually any proof that it is true. It’s called the “False Premise Fallacy”. In this case, we don’t know whether premise #1 is false or true (well, in the second example, we know it’s false because we know who invented spaghetti and it wasn’t a flying spaghetti monster), thus conclusion (statement #3) could be either false or true depending upon whether premise #1 is false or true.

So then you have to determine whether premise #1 is false or true. In the case of proofs of the existence of God, it’s turtles all the way down — every attempt at a logical proof ends up requiring proving a premise that in turn requires proving a premise which in turn requires proving a premise, and you never get to the bottom of that infinite rathole, as you’d expect from attempting a logical proof of something that cannot be measured, observed, or detected by any scientific instrument nor modeled by any human mathematics. In the end, mathematics (which logic is) simply isn’t the correct tool for attempting to prove the existence of the ineffable.

But the use of false premise logical syllogism extends beyond the infinite rathole of the proof of existence of God. It’s a common technique in politics, for example. Ronald Reagan’s argument about welfare is a good example:

1) People who have Cadillacs are rich
2) There are welfare recipients who have Cadillacs
3) Thus welfare recipients are rich, and we must cut welfare benefits.

The problem is that I just did a search on the SF Bay Craiglist and I can go out and buy a well-used Cadillac for $1500, or about the same as a well-used Chevrolet. (Note that used car prices are propped up here in California because the state will pay you $1K to take an old car off the road in order to reduce emisisons). Past a certain point most cars lose all value because they’ve reached their lifespan. (There are a few car brands, like Porsche, where this is not true because the older cars are in high demand as restoration targets, but they are the exception rather than the rule). Thus Reagan’s argument was false because his first premise — that people who have Cadillacs are rich — was false. There’s plenty of people who have old Cadillacs that they purchased for the same price as an old Chevrolet. Not as many as there are owners of old Chevrolets, but that’s because they didn’t make as many Cadillacs in the first place.

So keep this in mind whenever you’re reading political punditry, because it’s a staple of asshole politicians everywhere. When you see a politician doing shit like this… well….

– Badtux the Logical Penguin

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Feral Christians are a greater risk than feral cats. Thus the importance of TNR — Trap, Neuter, Release. Plus give them their rabies and distemper vaccinations at that time. That should prevent the frothing at the mouth and brain damage that are so common in feral Christians, and should stabilize the population over time.

Unfortunately people keep throwing out their unwanted unneutered Christians so the job never ends, but as colony keepers we know it’s up to us to deal with these feral colonies because nobody else is going to do it. I just wish TNR wasn’t so expensive. The drop trap alone that we use to manage our colony was a significant expense, and a couple of live traps and a transfer fork make it even more out of reach of many would be feral Christian colony managers. Thankfully there’s charities out there that will lend the traps and provide reduced cost spay/neuter assistance else the feral Christian problem would be totally out of control.

So don’t just whine about all the ferals in your neighborhood and all the loud yowling they do. I understand that the constant howls of “Have you heard the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” can be disturbing in the middle of the night, nevermind their constant fighting (the Protestants and Catholics are especially prone to that) and constant breeding overpopulating the neighborhood. Be part of the solution. Adopt a feral colony today, TNR it to stabilize the population and improve its health and reduce the aggression of its members, and have a happier healthier neighborhood!

— Badtux the Tongue in Beak Penguin

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I think all organized religion is stupid — I mean, if there is a God, why can’t he just talk to us directly? I mean, pick up a phone, goddammit! What, His fingers are too fat for his outdated flip-phone? Maybe He needs to update to a Jitterbug, sheesh.

The moment you got someone who says he’s speaking for God, I gotta say bullshit — any omnipotent deity has no need of a mere *human* to speak for him. I mean, what’s the point of “omnipotent” if you can’t just say to all your peeps, “hey, Dave, this is God, how ya doin’ today?” “Oh fine, God. Oh yeah, it’s getting kinda warm down here, can you, like, cool things off a bit?” “I’m sorry, Dave, but you guys need to quit trashing my planet, I’m not doing a thing until then because you’d just undo it.” “That sucks!” “It’s that whole free will thing, Dave. You chose it, so you got what you chose.” And do that simultaneously for all 9 billion or so people ’cause omnipotent and infinite, yo.

One reason I respect the Quakers is that their “church” services consist of them being quiet and waiting for God to speak to them, instead of some asswipe getting up in front of the congregation and claiming to speak for God. Never heard of anybody actually hearing God talk to them at those meetings, but hey, it could happen, I suppose. At least they have the common sense to know that an omnipotent God doesn’t need some asswipe to speak for Him, He can do His own talking. If only the rest of the religions around were sane enough to make that logical leap. (Well, maybe the Unitarians do, but I’m not really sure they’re a religion rather than a social club anyhow).

— Badtux the Heretical Penguin

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Oh sure, NORAD blew him out of the sky at 30,000 feet before he even made it to the ground, but look. Death is just a temporary affliction for Jesus (three day thing, remember?). And he can just as easily materialize on the surface of the planet as in the sky, right?

And if he actually exists, maybe he’s done so already. I can just see it now. Some Arab-looking dude in robes and sandals starts hauranging people outside of a megachurch about how they’re worshipping mammon, and the cops get called.

Sgt. Joe Friday. “So what is your name, mister?”
JC: (In thick Arabic accent) “Jesus.”
SJF: “Is that your first name or your last name?”
JC: “It is my name, the one and only name, the truth, the life, the salvation of Earth.”
SJF: “Err, okay, Mr. Jesus. So, do you have any ID on you?”
JC: “ID?”
SJF: “Driver’s license? Student ID card? Anything government issued?”
JC: “I have rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar’s!”
SJF: “So, Jesus, where were you born?”
JC: “I was born in Israel, in the city of Jerusalem. Shepherds in the field flocked to celebrate my birth and three wise men from the east brought expensive gifts for my parents in celebration of my birth.”
SJF: “Do you have immigration papers showing you have the right to reside in the United States?”
JC: “I am omniscient and omnipresent. I reside everywhere and nowhere. I am the truth and the light. I bring salvation to the weary masses.”
SJF: “So, uhm, why were you making a scene outside of the Praise Moollah Holy Tabernacle?”
JC: “They have perverted my name and teachings!”
SJF: “Okay, Mr. Jesus. Back to your jail cell.”

Jesus is led back to the intake jail cell with a number of other people who were picked up for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and other such “status” crimes. SJF talks to his lieutenant.

SJF: “That Jesus dude is going to be a problem. But I think I have a solution. He says he was born in Israel. So let’s call ICE.”
LT: “Aren’t we officially a sanctuary city?”
SJF: “Hey, do *you* want to deal with this asshole every other day?!”
LT: “Oh fuck no.”
SJF: “Exactly.”

One phone call later:

ICE Goon #1: “Okay, Mr. Jesus, we’re here to take you home.” (Places handcuffs onto Jesus’s hands, puts a strap around Jesus’s waist and locks the cuffs to it).
JC: “My home has many mansions.”
ICE Goon #2: (Rolling eyes). “Fine. We’re here to take you there. Now are you coming quietly or do we gotta beat you up?”
JC: “If once a person should slap your cheek, you should turn your head so he may slap the other one.”
ICE Goon #1: “Be that way then.” Both goons pull out truncheons and beat Jesus down, then drag him out to an ICE detention center.

Two years later:

Guard #1: “Hey, where’s that Jesus guy?”
Guard #2: “Dunno. Israel wouldn’t take him, maybe they finally let him go?”
Guard #1: “I’ll check.” Pulls out cell phone, calls detention center office, discusses loudly the status of this Jesus guy.
Guard #1: “Nope, he’s supposed to be still here.”
JC: “Bye, guys! See you later?”
Guard #1: Looks up, sees Jesus floating in air about 40 feet above them. “What the fuck?”
JC: “Oh wait, sorry, I forgot, you’re going that *other* place! Bye bye!” Soars upwards into the sky.
Guard #2: “Jesus H. Christ, I think I just saw a dude floating in air fly away.”
Guard #1: “Yeah. Exactly.”
NORAD: “ZZZZZZAP!”
Cloud of smoke in sky quickly dissipates.

Three days later:

JC: “Okay, let’s try this *again*.”

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Jesus died for our sins, but he didn’t stay dead.

So, uhm, Jesus had a three day weekend rest for our sins?

If you die but you come back, it’s not at all the same as dying *for real*, after all.

I guess it all reads better as metaphor anyhow. Who cares whether there was an actual historical dude named “Jesus”, in the end. Even if he was an inspired work of fiction, things would be a whole lot better if folks followed the teachings ascribed to him. Alas, most people who claim to be Christian only give lip service to the teachings.

— Badtux the Irreverent Penguin

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And this is a stupid comparison.

You choose to become a nun as an adult. You’re required to go to seminary school — to *pay* to become a nun — and do an internship to make sure you actually want to become a nun. You can choose to *not* be a nun at any point in time without any repercussion — even if you’ve been a nun for years. You’re not ostracized by your community if you decide being a nun isn’t for you. You’re not disowned by your family if you decide being a nun isn’t for you. It’s a choice, 100% your choice. You aren’t even forced to wear “traditional” garb in most religious orders anymore, you have to *choose* to wear the “traditional” garb.

The same is not true of being a Muslim girl in many parts of the world. You’re born into a Muslim family. You can’t stop being Muslim because then you’ll be disowned by your family and ostracized by your community. You can’t stop wearing hijab because, again, you’ll be disowned by your family and ostracized by your community. It’s not a choice you make voluntarily as a Muslim girl, it’s a choice forced upon you by your family and community and, in some places like Saudi Arabia, by the religious police.

To compare the two as if they are equivalent is insulting and ridiculous. Yes, there are women who decide as an adult to convert to Islam and wear hijab. But in most majority-Islamic countries, they are an almost vanishingly small minority.

– Badtux the Comparisons Penguin

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Zombie Jesus died for your sins… and has come back for your braiiins!

As usual, I forgot today was Easter, and went out to buy some Chipotle for lunch. They were closed, so I went next door to the Habit Burger instead.

— Badtux the Hellbound Penguin
(Hey, Hell, Michigan, has *perfect* weather for a penguin right now!)

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