Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Several people have asked me why I left the Mormon church. A few years ago, I put together an outline of the issues I had with Mormonism. I called the outline "Disconfirmations of Mormonism," and used it as a framework to add new details as I discovered them. Today, the outline is over 300 pages. To help others who might be on a similar journey, I decided to put it online at
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 12:43 PM
Friday, May 30, 2014
Sometimes I wish there were a hell and a special place in hell reserved for people like this.
From Huffington Post:
Two Oklahoma parents are in custody after they allegedly kept their 6-year-old child locked in an empty room where he was tortured, police said.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 9:19 AM
Last Tuesday the American Humanist Association submitted a letter to the Elmira City School District in New York, on behalf of an atheist student who objects to the Phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 9:15 AM
I didn't realize that supposedly advanced countries like Ireland, Denmark, and Germany have blasphemy laws. That's scary!
From Pew Research Center:
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 6:06 PM
The new Cosmos series is amazing. The real reason conservatives are freaking out about Neil deGrasse Tyson: He's laying bare their worst hypocrisies.
The religious right has been freaking out about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” for what feels like an eternity. And, while the theological complaints seem laughable for their rancor and predictability, it’s time we thought harder about what they represent, because the Christian right’s “Cosmos” agita actually indicates a far deeper problem in religious conservatism — the selective acceptance of Enlightenment values. Religious conservatives have selectively adopted the legacy of liberal Enlightenment, from free speech to science, and jettisoned it when it does not suit their narrow ideological aims.
There is a nasty tendency for those arguing for their case to adopt a stance of enlightened empiricism on one issue to devolve into empirical nihilism on another. There is also the habit of shifting from a high praise of liberal values on one issue to utter contempt on another. Of course, our various liberal values will come into conflict frequently and must be weighed, but we must be disturbed at how quickly some, particularly on the religious right, are willing to twist these traditions for their own gain.
In truth, we cannot get fundamentalism without the scientific revolution. Fundamentalism does not exist independently, but rather defines itself in relationship to post-Enlightenment values. It is the odd melding of science and religion that creates fundamentalism — the belief that the Bible is ultimately both a scientific and religious text. Fundamentalists, like the conspiracy theorists they resemble, will build up reams of evidence creating the case for something that can be disproven with a simple logical proposition. Few thinkers have built such an impressive edifice of logic and evidence upon such a thin foundation of speculation.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 5:58 PM
I remember my parents teaching this to me as a child. After all, God would never allow his creation to come to harm, so we needn't worry about taking care of the planet. What garbage!
From Addicting Info:
I know, he’s just a Tea Party candidate with almost no chance of election, but Greg Brannon, primary candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kay Hagen, said in a debate the other night that God controls the climate.
And here all this time you’ve thought it was physics.
Welcome back to North Carolina (Motto: “We have mines of crazy so rich we’ll NEVER run out!”). The state has made most of its science news this spring with its staggering inaction on the Duke Energy coal ash spill. You remember: the largest energy company in the country spilled 39,000 tons of toxic ash into the Dan River from coal ash pits it had for years resisted cleaning up. Then it waited two months to do much about it. Then state government, naturally, sided with Duke in appealing a judge’s ruling that Duke should, you know, clean up its mess. The fact that the state of North Carolina thinks that the nation’s largest electric utility should not exercise the degree of responsibility we require from a kindergartener has, of course, nothing to do with the fact that NC governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 28 years or that Duke has donated $1.1 million to McCrory and the organizations that support him. I mean come on.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 5:55 PM
I had a hard time believing this story. However, it appears to be legitimate. This is a local ordinance, which makes its craziness more understandable.
From Addicting Info:
Apparently vibrators kill more people than guns – at least in Sandy Springs, Ga. You can carry a gun without a prescription, or even a criminal check. But in order to purchase a sex toy, a woman needs her doctor’s permission. No kidding!
Under a local ordinance, any woman seeking a marital aide has to go to the trouble of making an appointment with her physician, paying for the visit and providing the doc with a valid medical reason for needing a sex toy. Then if the physician deems her medically wanting and feels like giving her a prescription, she can go to the toy store.
Sandy Springs’ local politicians, such as former chair of the Georgia Republican Party member of the Republican National Committee Rusty Paul, fresh from campaigning on ‘small government’ promises, put on their puritanical boots and stomped all over women’s rights by banning the sale of sex toys without a, “medical, scientific, educational, legislative or law enforcement,” purpose. One wonders what a valid “legislative” purpose is – pleasure devices at City Council meetings, perhaps? And whatever is a valid “law enforcement” purpose?
Melissa Davenport, a Sandy Springs resident suffering from multiple sclerosis, says that these items permit her and her husband to still be intimate and credits sex devices with saving her marriage. But her doctor refuses to give her a prescription.
So Davenport filed a lawsuit this week seeking to overturn the city ordinance. She feels that local government has no business in the bedroom.
(Some people) have this dirty mind about how people are going to use it. People really do need devices because they need it for health reasons and to have a healthy intimate life with their spouse.
Gerry Weber, Davenport’s attorney, says:
The (city) ordinance basically says the government can stick its nose in your bedroom and say you can use this but not that.
She plans on using the Fourteenth Amendment violation to argue Davenport’s case. This amendment guarantees a right to privacy. The attorney says:
People have the right to decide for themselves whether these devices help their intimate life, and the government has no business being the bedroom and second guessing that decision.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 5:52 PM
Friday, May 9, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
More crazy news from Saudi Arabia. Are they ever going to get their heads out of their collective asses?
Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.
In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, the Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could "harm public order".
The new laws have largely been brought in to combat the growing number of Saudis travelling to take part in the civil war in Syria, who have previously returned with newfound training and ideas about overthrowing the monarchy.
To that end, King Abdullah issued Royal Decree 44, which criminalises "participating in hostilities outside the kingdom" with prison sentences of between three and 20 years, Human Rights Watch said.
Yet last month further regulations were issued by the Saudi interior ministry, identifying a broad list of groups which the government considers to be terrorist organisations - including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Article one of the new provisions defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based".
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said: "Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism.
"These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups," Mr Stork said.
Human Rights Watch said the new regulations were also a setback to campaigns for the protection and release of a number of prominent human rights activists currently jailed in Saudi Arabia. It said Waleed Abu al-Khair and Mikhlif al-Shammari recently lost appeals and will soon begin three-month and five-year respective sentences for criticizing Saudi authorities.
The organisation said the new "terrorism" provisions contain language that prosecutors and judges are already using to prosecute and convict independent activists and peaceful dissidents.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 8:42 AM
Friday, March 28, 2014
Writing for Charisma, J. Lee Grady has a list of 7 things that prove God is real.
Seven?! And they PROVE God is real?! Man, this list should be really good. (Hell, I only need one reason!) But let’s see how he plans to convince atheists he’s right…
How can anyone deny the reality of God when they see a baby?
I’ll just let The Onion rebut this one…
I love to sit on my back porch in Florida and listen to the rumbling of thunder. It reminds me of God’s majesty and power.
Yeah… thunder. Which, scientifically speaking, is the sound made whenever God goes bowling. Thunderstorms have nothing to do with God. I know this because I did what Grady didn’t: I looked it up.
There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful. Did they just haphazardly evolve over time, or did a loving God create each individual shape and color scheme for our enjoyment?
Entire books have been written about how and why flowers evolved as they did. Needless to say, making the world beautiful is a pleasant byproduct but not the main purpose of how flowers came to be. This is just another example of willful ignorance on Grady’s part. He could learn about this stuff, but he chooses not to because making up stories is much more entertaining — and doesn’t conflict with his faith.
4) The Bible
There is nothing like the Bible because it carries the same consistent message throughout all of its 66 different books.
Right… except for a couple of contradictions here and there…
If a Muslim had written a similar list and used “The Koran” as justification, Grady would immediately dismiss it. And that’s why we should dismiss Grady’s special book here, too. The Bible doesn’t prove God exists any more than the Harry Potter series proves that Voldemort exists.
5) The global spread of Christianity
Our faith is spreading because it is the truth — and history shows that when this truth is mocked and scorned, it actually spreads faster!
I’m sure Constantine and the Crusades and wealth and power had nothing to do with the spread of Christianity at all… Grady is falling prey to the simple and false idea that if a lot of people believe something, it must be true. Which is really the worst reason to believe in anything. By that logic, Jay Leno was the funniest late night talk show host ever.
The most amazing thing about God is not that He exists, but that He loved us so much He was willing to send His Son to earth to save us from ourselves.
Yep, the proof of God is that he gave birth to a child* and then tortured him to teach us a lesson.
7) My personal friendship with God.
… the best evidence is how He forgave me, changed me and put unexplainable joy in my heart. And I can prove that.
Look, I’m glad Grady has a friend. If he didn’t, it’s possible he’d be even more insufferable. But the idea that he feels something will never convince anyone else that God is a real, tangible being. Once again, if a non-Christian ever gave this reason as to why Grady should believe in their higher power instead, he wouldn’t consider it for a second. And yet he thinks it’s solid proof of his God’s existence.
If this is the best “proof” Christians can offer — and it really is since the evidence just isn’t there — all it shows is that they got nothing. It’s not just unconvincing; it’s an embarrassment, a snapshot of how much apologists have to stretch the truth to fit into their pre-conceived narrative.
Posted by Welltraveledpair at 2:50 PM