Science and Other Drugs

….maybe a little less wrong….

Tag Archives: Jesus

Why Jesus never existed: A Richard Carrier lecture review

At the repeated urging of John from The Superstitious Naked Ape, I took the time to sit down and watch Dr. Richard Carrier’s lecture for the UNCG Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics on why he believes Jesus never existed. You can watch it yourself here. Or you can just read my comments below as I go through the video.

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Faith and falsifiability

“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

Mark Twain.

We see this and similar quotes thrown around quite often, usually in attempts to vilify religious belief. As such, it’s rather laughable; pretending that Christians secretly disbelieve in God is as ridiculous as pretending that atheists secretly know God exists. It’s not an argument or assertion that has any place in rational discourse.

But blind faith does exist; we see it all the time. When confronted with difficult evidence, certain small-minded people like to handwave it by declaring “Well, I have faith!” This sort of idiocy deserves all the ridicule it can get.

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God’s Standard For Victims, Part 1

I’ve been meaning to write about the Purity Culture for some time now, and while I intend to do a more complete treatment of it soon, something came up recently that I simply couldn’t overlook.

Last week, forgedimagination wrote a post over on Defeating the Dragons that really ticked me off. Not because of what she wrote, but because of the response she received. Earlier, she had written about victim-blaming and rape repentance as outgrowths of the Purity Culture, and they were featured on No Longer Quivering. Then things got messy.

But before I can say anything about this particular example, I need to explain a little about the Purity Culture itself.

Purity or Bust

For those of you who didn’t grow up in it, the fundamentalist Purity Culture is a clever scheme to keep Christian teens from doing the deed until they’re safely on their honeymoon. Preferably and presumably, it also keeps them from oral sex, making out, kissing, holding hands, or appreciating each other’s sexuality in any way. Because, you know….LUST. If you enjoy looking at someone, you’re lusting in your heart, which means you’re committing adultery with them in your heart, which apparently makes both of you Guilty Of Fornication. Cover those bra straps, ladies! Bounce those eyes, guys!

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What makes you different

Religion is predictable.

From a series of conversations over on Violet’s blog….

We see worship of the sun, stars, rivers, or other natural elements, morphing into a pantheon of deities. These pantheons expanded as time went on and religious observance became more and more ostentatious and refined. New gods were added on a regular basis. The members of the divine pantheon had very human attributes, lives, and adventures.

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Logical Fallacies: The argument from silence

One of the principal reasons I moved away from fundamentalism was the overwhelming presence of fallacies. As a good Fundamentalist Homeschooler, I was taught to hunt down and identify fallacies as efficiently and ruthlessly as the heat-seeking missile shown below.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder missile uses an infrared heat-seeking module and a warhead that expands into a jagged spinning ring of metal death on impact. Image courtesy USAF.

Unfortunately, fundamentalism is home to some pretty egregious fallacies in its own right, ones that became rapidly apparent as I turned my abilities back on my own indoctrinated beliefs. Wait, why do we believe such-and-such? No good reason at all? Interesting.

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I sat down to write a post about Easter, then came across this….which happened to be the exact same post I was going to write, except with more research. I love this approach to skepticism and criticism.

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

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The maths of marriage equality

Few things are as humorous as when Christians Do Memes. Seriously. I mean, there are a lot of poorly-applied memes out there, but Christians seem particularly skilled at modifying memes with absolutely no idea what the originals represent or derive from.

Take the recent trend of people setting this red-and-pink equal sign as their profile pictures (or otherwise displaying it) to show support for marriage equality in the shadow of the current Supreme Court case:

Equality!!

Naturally, there are a great many Christians who have come up with their own unique take. Read more of this post

Fundamentalism and biblical inerrancy

Note: this is the properly edited release of an earlier attempt at reblogging….something that WordPress really doesn’t do all that well.

Came across this post by John Zande over at the superstitious naked ape and had to reblog it.

Thank gawd for the fine folk over at The Reason Project, and the ever brilliant, devilishly witty Arbourist at Dead Wild Roses for this gem. Behold, the complete list of bible contradictions. Click on it for the full picture.

The bars that run along the bottom represent the 1189 chapters of the bible with the length of each bar corresponding to the number of verses in each chapter. White bars represent the Old Testament and grey bars represent the New Testament. Each arc indicates a contradiction.

Of course, I’ve seen this before, but it’s still amusing. And naturally, I can’t help but wonder if this is really the complete list. I mean, don’t they have a few more they can come up with? Read more of this post

Rubbed-off patriarchy

Patriarchy.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that Paul’s statement here is universally applicable, straight from the Holy Spirit, and unaffected by any culturally-dependent standards or sensibilities. Let’s suppose, just for the sake of argument, that this passage prescribes the literal, underlying relationship dynamic divinely ordained for all marriages in all societies for all time.

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