08 August 2007

Semi-Random Links

This explains a lot. Well, the first half of it does. I have no frame of reference to evaluate the second half, though it might explain why Clinton was impeached for something that was no one's business but his and his wife's while Bush is allowed to keep ruining the U.S. By this line of thinking, Clinton was seen as being more masculine, while Bush is seen as a whiny little twerp and therefore not a threat.

Another post well worth reading is here. There's some odd eye-candy decorating it, but it's a good read. Excerpt:

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Admittedly, I still find it amusing that the god atheists don't believe in is usually recognizable as the traditional Judeo-Christian god, and that the general response to any more mystical sort of god is to accuse the mystic of heresy against his/her professed religion. Go over to Galactic Interactions sometime and read some of the comments on the religious posts sometime. When atheists insist that he can't be Christian and hold to those beliefs, is it any wonder that they get called Fundamentalists, hmmm?

An interesting article on The Evil Eye. I particularly like part of the intro:

One problem with this, of course, is that you can take just about any creation myth from any ancient cult or any sacred text that clearly teaches a geocentric cosmology and apply this reasoning to it so that it's not really errant after all. You can create any kind of apologetics argument you want for just about any sacred text from antiquity, despite the fact that these sacred texts would still be scientifically errant. Second, I also want to know how it is that these apologists know deep down inside that these ancient authors of the Bible really didn't believe what they appeared to be writing and knew that they had to write in a language that would accommodate the primitive beliefs of the people who read their texts? Third, if God uses any "language of appearance" to have his writers describe something, God is guilty of being deceptive and reinforcing any inaccurate beliefs that people had at the time.

Jumping ship a bit, restaurants are up in arms about being required to post *GASP!* Calorie content on their menus. As far as I'm concerned, they should be required to post each and every ingredient that goes into their product, along with known cross-contaminants, AND nutrient information. Not on their menus, but maybe on a public bulletin board just inside the door. However, easily distinguished symbols indicated the presence of common allergens could easily fit on the menu.

Another jump. It seems that researchers have isolated a gene in mice that triggers some form of homosexual behavior. Between that study, and some human studies that found that the more older brothers a male human has, the more likely he is to be gay, there is no support whatsoever for the old "It's a Choice" garbage. The proposed explanation for the older brother link is that the mother's ability to generate the proper male hormones for the fetus to develop diminishes with each male child (as best I remember; I'm too lazy to look it up right now). And the "unnatural" canard is ridiculous as well. Far too many species of animal engage in homosexual behavior for it to be called "unnatural."

Note: Apologies for the shift in font, but it annoys me less than the messed up spacing did, and I'm not in the mood to figure out how to get BOTH the way I want them.

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