No, I Don’t Need To Have Nobel Prize-Winning Knowledge In Order To Remain Unconvinced By Your Claims

Professional Christian apologists like Frank Turek love to shift the burden of proof via a tactic so intellectually dishonest, that I’m sometimes surprised that they manage to keep a straight face.  While it comes in various flavors and often uses various versions of the Murder One fallacy, generally dovetailed with a full on Gish Gallop, the argument boils down to the claim  that unless someone knows the deepest mysteries of physics below the Planck scale, and the entire chain of chemical reactions and evolutionary events that took us from proto-replicators to today, that theistic claims must be the default hypothesis.

It’s often presented in the form of garbage memes like this:
sigh

Imagine my eyes rolling so hard that they might violate conservation of angular momentum, and you’ll have a pretty good  idea of my reaction to this moist nugget of fractal wrongness.

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The Killing Joke – Is Joker Alive At The End?

I would like to take a moment to note that I’m going to discuss the Killing Joke. The book, not the upcoming movie.
Specifically, I’d like to discuss its end. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m going to spoil the fuck out of it for you. So you might want to read it first and then come back.

However, before you go, I’d just like to tell you that that Trinity, Dumbledore, and Jesus all die at the end.
John, however, does not. (I know, right?)

Ahem.

There, that should’ve been enough text that there are no spoilers in the blub-box if someone posts this to Facebook.
So, TLDR: the Batman kills the Joker.

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A Response to Christians Who Want To Know ‘What To Do’, Now That Gays Have Full Civil Rights

First of all, people who self-identify as Christians in the United States, and who weren’t civil rights supporters in this recent dustup, should recognize that the days of being able to impose their religion on non-consenting adults, are ending. That’s the first thing. The bad old days are finally coming to a close, the tide of history is inexorable, and it is against you. You can live the life you want, but you cannot choose the type of life that others lead, as long as they’re not a proximate cause of harm to another human being. So, I suppose, you should begin to become comfortable with that – it’s not up to you to determine the character of society. Society is an abstraction that we give to the aggregate interactions of an entire population – you do not determine your culture, you participate in it.

liberty and justice for all
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Free Will ⊕ Omniscient Being

– Axiom 1: Determinism and the ontological possibility of choice, are mutually exclusive.

– Definition 1: let deterministic mean: “a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state.”
– Definition 2: let free will mean : “the capacity unique to persons that allows them to control their actions by making choices”
– Definition 3: let omniscience mean: “knowing everything : having unlimited understanding or knowledge”

-Given 1: there is an omniscient entity
-Given 2: humans have free will

– P1: There is an omniscient entity (G1)
– P2: If an entity is omniscient, it will know the starting and ending states of a system, as well as all states in between. (D3)
– P3: if an omniscient entity knows every state, including the ending state of a system before the system gets to that point in time, then events within the system cannot vary from what is destined to happen. (P2)
– P4: Events that are destined to happen can not occur any way other than what is destined to occur. (P3)
– P5: If events cannot occur any way other than what is destined, the cosmos will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. (D1)
– P6: If there is an omniscient entity, then the cosmos will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. (P4, D1)
– P7: Any system which will always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state, is deterministic. (D1)
– P8: If a system is deterministic, any and all future actions are already destined, and choice is not ontologically possible. (A1, D1, P3, P4)
– P9: Free will requires the ontologically possibility of choice. (D2)
– P10: Free will and determinism are mutually exclusive (A1, D2)
– P11: Reality is deterministic. (P1, P2, P6, P7)
– P12: Humans have free will (G2)
∴ (P1 ⊕ P12 )
QED

 

 

 

Violence, movie theaters, and howling

If you’ve ever gone to a particularly violent movie, you’ve probably experienced the phenomenon of sitting in a room full of people, many of whom are howling in a sort of sympathetic resonance during acts of extreme violence. A certain type of people, however, not only find this sort of experience distasteful, they find it baffling.  “Why”, they wonder, “is everybody being so loud and excited during a scene with violence (which is horrible, just horrible)?”

In a very real way, this sort of attitude reflects a distinct disconnect from the core of our humanity itself; it is, in short, a result of people confusing the veneer of civilization with the quintessence of being. To put it simply – we are animals. To ignore that is an act of folly, and willful blindness.
chimps eating meat
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