toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: Faith in the Halls of Power

So, I'll admit that I'm embarrassed by my country on occasion and it's leaders. But I have to say that I'm especially embarrassed to know that Jimmy Carter used to evangelize (starts at 1h31m) to visiting heads of state. And you can also thank him for basically making it mandatory for every subsequent president to state that they are born again.

Thanks for that Jimbo!



Sunday, October 28, 2007

Infidel Links - 2007-10-28

Detailed stats on how many people believe the various bible stories

The BBC on the growing atheist movement in the US

Show that you are on the winning team

Bob Jones University dress code

A perhaps not entirely favorable review of "The Faith Equation" (part 1, part 2)

What Atheist kids can watch on a lazy Sunday (Go snow bears!)

I'm high on Jesus dude

"if there's one thing that the Lord enjoys more than making free booze at wedding parties, it is killing."

Foreskin's Lament



Friday, October 26, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: The God Conversation

How to talk (starts at 1h31m) with your co-workers and friends about God.

I find it funny how hard it is for Christians to talk about their faith. You have to wonder how much they actually believe what they claim to believe. If you *really* believe that you are presenting information that will save someone from eternal torment or if you *really* believe that the creator of the universe is on your side, how shy are you going to be?

The main question I'm left with though is, if the polls are to be believed, and ~90% of the US population believes in God already, then who the hell are they evangelizing to? Are they just evangelizing to each other at this point?



Saturday, October 20, 2007

One small favor...

Dear Jesus,

Unfortunately all this prosperity you've given me (happy, healthy family, well paying, interesting work and the rest) is seriously interfering with my belief in you. In fact at this rate I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell. I mean, sure I pay my taxes, am generally honest and almost never stomp on kittens, but I know that I deserve eternal torment for not believing in you. Perhaps you could do me a solid. I've noticed that a lot of people get cancer or suffer some other horrible tragedy and then come to believe in you and have their faith strengthened. So what are you waiting for? Please sock it to me (and my family). You decide what it will take to get my faith in the right place and unleash with abandon.



PS. And make it nasty. I tend to be a slow learner.



Friday, October 19, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: Evangelicals and the Environment

I think the thing that freaks out a lot of non-religious people is how believers have a "short timers" attitude regarding caring for the planet. If Jesus is coming again soon and we're just going to abandon the earth and go to heaven anyway, then taking care of the earth is a big waste of time. With that in mind it's interesting to see the slowly growing environmental (oops "creation care") movement within the evangelicals. Even more interesting is how controversial and politically risky this is for them. Here's a recent radio article(1h20m) on this issue.



Saturday, October 13, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: Hilary and the Christian vote

Here's a two part interview that presents a surprisingly positive discussion about Hilary Clinton. Apparently she is super-churchy. I'm not sure if this is a masterful marketing job aimed at winning the religious vote or a disturbing revelation about how important a role religion plays in her life. I'm afraid it's a little of both.

As an extra bonus the following day they talked about some of the Republican candidates and it cracked me up how reluctant the guest was to promote any one of them over the other.

I have a feeling if it comes to voting for a Mormon or Hilary many Evangelicals will have to stay home or vote for Hilary. Either way, Hilar-ity will ensue. :)

(Note for all three links above the relevant section starts a 1h31m)



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: unchristian

A few days ago there was a discussion about this new book. Apparently (shock) Christianity has a bad image among 16-29 year olds. Hypocritical? Anti-homosexual? Insensitive? Judgemental? Moi?

Seems like the kids are all right after all.



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No need to hurry back Jesus

We seem to be doing just fine. Violence has been on the decrease for millennia. I'm looking forward to Pinker's next book but this video will tide me over until then. I love talking about this issue with people of a religious bent because it's absolutely impossible that this is true. If violence is on the decrease then that means and religion is on the decline then why am I getting up so early on Sundays? Well at least that is how I imagine they should respond. Instead they say that he is obviously wrong.


Monday, October 08, 2007

The Programming and Belief Challenge

So ruby is a language for Mormons. Really. Go look it up, I'll wait. Matz is a Mormon and if you read the fine print when you down load the binaries you'll see that you are agreeing to all the precepts of the Mormon faith if you use ruby in any fashion. Additionally perl is for post-modern Christians. Really. Go look it up, I'll wait. Programming in perl is a tacit admission that Jesus is real and that all your coding is for the glory of god. Of course if you consider code that looks like swearing cartoon characters to be a worthy gift to the almighty then more power to you.

This got me thinking about the relationship between programming languages (users and designers) and the various faiths. So here is your challenge: tell me what languages work best (or are incompatible with) which faiths.

Here's a start:

- Java is for christians since it was created specifically to prevent people from thinking bold thoughts. And you have to be sort of a sheep to think that this is in any way a good language. And yet people blather on about it as if it's the second coming.

- perl is for atheists since it's impossible to believe in a benevolent deity while staring at perl code.

PS. For extra credit, what other religion programming links do you know of? The two above are the only ones I know. Does anyone else know the religious predilections of any other famous language designers or programmers?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Infidel Links - 2007-10-07

Mathematical proof

Sam Harris: don't call me an atheist

The logical path from religion to evil deeds

Christianity's image problem

Jesus may love you but is he willing to share?

Jesus was a party animal

The archbishop and the condom

Chick tracts explains: What really happened to the dinosaurs

How to believe in god in 6 easy steps

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Christian Radio Watch: Slandering Jesus

You got to feel bad for a god who is powerless to stop all the slander (at 1h31m) being spread about him. I mean, come on, give an infinitely powerful being a break. Even Oprah doesn't seem to know how to treat the big guy correctly.



Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What's the deal with Christians and gays?

I was listening to this segment (1h:31m) today on Prime Time America (Moody Broadcasting) about a new book "Ex-Gays?". The authors report on the current research in converting gays into ex-gays using a religious approach. (Is there any other approach?)

In any case this reminded me of a question I've thought about for a long time but have never heard any where near a decent answer to: why do Christians (and Jews and Muslims) hate homosexuality so much? The answer is not "because it's in the bible". Because then we have to ask, *why* is it in the bible? And you can't just say it's cultural, because there had be a something that got anti-homosexual sentiments started in the first place. And besides there is plenty in the bible that is ignored. But for some reason people are especially eager to denounce homosexuality. So it seems like there is something pretty deep in human nature that makes it easy some how to be against homo-sexuality.

Objectively it seems like straight men should prefer that their competitors not compete for the limited pool of females.

So any way if any one knows the answer to this or has a plausible hypothesis, I'd love to hear it.

And by the way I am super not gay. I'm probably one of the least gay dudes you'll ever come across. I've never even seen another man naked. Ever. (Hmm... that sounds like I'm over compensating and trying to hide some secret feelings, better delete that last bit before hitting publ-

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Adventures in Enlightenment: Tai Chi

OK, this month my enlightenment adventure will be a continuation of last months. I'm going to dominate the dojo with respect to this whole Tao thing. I searched google for "tai chi enlightenment" and sure enough tai chi is promoted as a way to achieve enlightenment. That's all I need to know.

I have a VHS tape tutorial of the "yang short form". For those new to tai chi there are approximately 256 million variations of tai chi. The yang short form appears to be one of the more common ones. The main advantage of this is that I'll be able to easily find different instructions that I can cross reference. This form has 24 basic moves. So that's less than 1 a day. How hard could it be?

If you want to have a rough idea of where I'll be at the end of the month check out this video.

See you on the other end of enlightenment.