Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Okay, so maybe Obama doesn't suck...

I may have to re-examine the suckiness of our president. Apparently he was saving all the good stuff up for two years till after he lost the midterm elections, in the Lame Duck session. Who knew? What a chess move!

Actually, I think when he read that he sucked, he re-evaluated himself as a person and made some course corrections. And I had no idea that he even followed this blog. Good thing.

Now DADT falls, and we have a START treaty with Russia? Okay.......

Wow.

Republicans who made fun of me saying that he sucked, eat my shorts, I guess is all I have to say. I'm glad that I was wrong. I wish I was wrong like this all the time. And besides, none of your politicians are worth a plug nickel in the first place, not a one of them. All narcissistic assholes, the lot. Why, even Obama when he sucked, didn't suck nearly half as much as even the least sucky of what the right wing has to offer.

So now he'll likely be re-elected, methinks. Amazing.

I'm happily stunned here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

OBAMA SUCKS!

Well, as it turns out, he does. The results are in. There can no longer be any doubt.

So, what is he? What's his scam? Just the old 'quest for power and glory?' Wouldn't that motivation necessitate him actually PERFORMING well?

I can't believe that he's so unlike his campaign platform. His first DCC convention speech was amazing, his oratory inspiring and moving throughout the rest of his campaign...

What the hell is he? SATAN?

A mole? A closeted republican? An 'agent of the New World Order?' An 'Illuminatus?' Just one of the muppet pastors, er, puppet masters?

Another black lap dog, like Michael Steele?

Or a really incredibly well-spoken moron? Like, the bestest, most well-spoken moron that ever lived on the planet? The ultimate drooling idiot-savant of politics, if you will?

Or hey, conversely, is he just SO much smarter than all of us poor knuckle-dragging huddled masses types that somehow he's merely seeing the larger picture here whereby he clearly perceives a path to actually accomplish the optimum amount of good in the world by playing it as if he were a fucking turncoat ball-less uncle Tom village idiot now? Play the game that way (and play it so very well) and thus somehow against all 'common sense' actually manage to WIN in the end, perhaps years from now, through his a almost-scary Capablanca-like understanding of the game of politics?

Sure, that must be it... Sure it is. His intellect is too godlike for the likes of us poor cretins. I'm just not smart enough to grasp his breadth of vision. His perception is so much more holistic and global than anyone else's is... why, he's some kind of supergenius polymath president, that's what he is. Maybe even from Krypton.

Yeah, right. Sure, that has to be it. That's how I'll sleep tonight.


***

So obviously, color me disillusioned here.

And hey, by the way, you christian republicans voodoo-worshipper mumbo-jumbo types, your guys are still no better, and considerably more overtly EVIL. They don't even try to hide it anymore. They're like Palpatine in that third movie. They've really let themselves go, and they just don't give a fuck anymore, because they know they hold they winning cards. Which is all they care about in this sad world.

Of course, upon reflection, perhaps overt evil such as they exemplify is actually the lesser of the two kinds, in that the evil which is not overt and obvious but instead is subtle and inspiring, that kind of evil more easily gets in the door to REAL POWER, where it can thenceforward really fuck things up in a much more global way.

***

Right now, the nightly news is like a ridiculous tragi-comedy. If Obama is as fake as he seems now, then who to ever, ever trust again?

What a life, huh? I guess I'm still learning just how very unbelievably extremely DEEP the river of eternal bullshit runs in this reality. Hell, we eat, drink, sleep and breathe it in every second of our lives, few ever ever realizing how much more complex reality is than they imagine it to be. And perhaps it is better to sleep thus, than to awaken to truth such as this.

I'm sure that the lowly rat-tail maggot never realizes that it's natural habitat is liquid raw sewage, either. Why, if one of them ever did, it'd go insane, wouldn't it?

Welcome to my reality. Hi, howarya?

***

On a more positive note, my personal life is incredibly SWEET right now, in the new house with baby and wifey, got it just where we want it and we're really happy with it, and of course the previously mentioned terrarium is absolutely amazing, looks better than most zoo exhibits I've seen showcasing similar biota, and it is a living, respiring, (and unfortunately excreting) work of art. One that consumes like, sixty individual cricket lives every day. As it turns out, I'm like, the Klaus Barbie of the Gryllidae. All of them sitting there in their little cricket cage, not unlike a shower stall.... awaiting their fate, all unbeknownst.........

God, I'm sick.




But then again, it's a sick world, as it turns out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

River Tank Aquarium










(Click on pics for larger versions)

As I've mentioned, I've been constructing a terrarium. A really huge one. An aquatic vivarium, to be precise. It's a 95 gallon bow-front triangular tank, in which I've built up the back with hidden risers and then rocks on top with a land area consisting of gravel and a sunken rectangular planter in the back. I've had to install a triangular rigid black wire screen in the back for a basking heat light and an exhaust fan to provide the reptiles with a hot basking area in the rear with lower humidity than the rest of the tank. There is a submersible heater and powerhead filter (overkill!) and I've planted live mosses, sphagnum and frog moss and such, and pothos, and wandering fig, and a phalenopsis orchid, and even a small patch of venus fly trap. I have two lizards; a bahama anole (that exact type of little brown lizard that is scampering around absolutely *everywhere* in Florida) and a long-tailed grass lizard, and a nice assortment of tropical fish. Oh, and one aquatic african frog, too. And a White's tree frog.
The water part, in front, is about ten inches deep, and is tinted dark (blackwater) by the peat and tannin in the driftwood. It's natural, and doesn't hurt the fish. Right now, the fish are a few basic ones, because they have a good chance of not living through the first month due to the progress of the nitrification cycle. Eventually, I'll have some really great, unusual tropical fish in there too. A mudskipper for instance, is a necessity.

So here's a few pics for you to get a sense of the thing. This tank is HUGE. That bowed glass front measures 48 inches from side to side and two feet in height, and if I try to reach the back corner reaching in from the front, I can't even do it. It's over a yard away.

The plants are really taking off, of course, in such a greenhouse environment, so it's only going to get greener. Also, those plants underwater are live plantings as well.

Eventually, perhaps another lizard, maybe a gecko. And a red-eyed treefrog. Yeah. And a school of cardinal tetras.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Divine Brat

"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness."
-The Dalai Lama

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”
-Kalu Rinpoche

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me...)
-God (aka: Yahweh)

***

Since I don't really believe in the supernatural, I see a 'spiritual' person as a person that is very non-egotistical, is very empathetic and loving, is almost impossible to anger, is completely selfless, and lives in the moment rather than in the past or the future, thereby being ready to accept whatever life has to offer and to enjoy it all to its fullest, even the sad parts. A person who has genuinely attained an inner serenity.

Such a person almost invariably causes joy in those around them.

Given that definition, you can see why I so strongly differentiate 'spiritual' from 'religious.'

My readers may note that my idea of what constitutes a spiritual person is a very hard thing to attain, but is attainable, since such people have existed and do exist. Some Buddhist monks get there. Also some Christians and indeed some few people of every disparate faith, or even of no faith or belief at all, do seem to occassionally make it to that point.

Basically, the introspective ones get there, sometimes.

One may also note that my definition of a spiritual man is the very diametric opposite of the Old Testament God Yahweh. He's a self-centered egomaniacal small-minded wrathful self-righteous vindictive jealous asshole.

And that's supposed to be great somehow? Something to love? Something to emulate?

More like a cautionary tale. “Now Johnnie, don’t kill ants with that magnifying glass! You wouldn’t want to end up like GOD, now would you?”

(Little Johnnie pisses pants and promises to be a good boy, mommy)

I think it is a point worthy of pondering that a mere man, as noted above, can, albeit rarely, get to a much more spiritually evolved point than can the Christian God and most of His followers put together. Don’t you?

Of course, this is because Christianity is not a spiritual path. It is more like an immature misbegotten attempt at one at best. Something a child would think up in response to being told about the nebulous concept of spirituality from an adult… “I am too spiritual! I am! I am!”

(In a Trelayne voice, of course)

(Time to come in now, Yahweh…)

***

(The reader should also note that I am not even close to my own definition of what constitutes a spiritual man, nor do I claim to be)

***

For my readers like Botts (where is he, anyhow?) and all other more spiritual, less dogmatic (nicer/saner) Christians, I would add that most (but not all) of the portrayals of Jesus Christ in the Bible coincide with my definition of a spiritual person.

So there's that.

I certainly don't see that as somehow special to Him, though. As noted above, a mere human can most certainly attain it, too. It’s not easy, I’m told, but it’s definitely possible.

But not Yahweh. Not the Old Testament God of the Hebrews. No way. Lost cause, that one. He's way too immature. Way too wild. Still at the “Id” phase. He needs a SPANKING more than any kid I ever knew, and I’m even against corporal punishment. What a little snot He turned out to be!

I guess it’s only natural that an all-powerful orphan with no one ever around to discipline Him ever would turn out to be the Ultimate Immoral Spoiled Brat with no respect nor love for anyone but Himself.

Why, He even went and had a Son out of wedlock like that and all. So on top of everything else he’s kinda ‘white-trashy’ too.

And poor Joseph. Being cuckolded by your own deity has to suck. Who do you beat up?

***

Too bad He didn’t have a mommy and a daddy to raise Him up right. Take Him down a notch when He got too full of Himself.

Maybe if He had parents, decent loving parents, He’d be a little more like "Our Lord" and a little less like “Our Lord of the Flies..."

Sad, really. He had such potential. What a waste.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?



Looks like a nice pastoral scene, a boy on a farm, all dressed up in his Sunday best. Or is it?

Look closer... Click on the images for more detail.






Have you figured it out yet??? Need more time? I'll wait....

......


.....


....


...


..


.



Time's up!


Okay, ready?













He's FUCKING DEAD!


(no, really, he is)




HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

......

Isn't it interesting how mores and societal norms evolve over time? In the day this picture was taken, people were so much more inured to death than we are today. To them, death was everywhere, all the time. That's why you had a bunch of children.

Just imagine...................................................................

'So yer tellin' me little Billy dropped from the typhoid this morning? God's will be done, Amen. Let's just prop him up right quick before he starts to turn, and take one last portrait so we can remember what the little feller looked like in the confused haze of our memories of our other six boys and four girls. Mildred, go get the twine from the kitchen cupboard...'

Someone had to pose this boy's corpse and tie it into place. The parents actually wanted a picture of him taken like this after his passing, and so posed him strung up like a puppet.


Damn.


I guess you could say, they posed him with rigor.



(Late Victorian tintype, circa 1875-1900, post-mortem photograph)

(Also just about the creepiest photo I've ever laid eyes on!)



Hey, just wanted to share... now you can go back to your regularly scheduled discussion of far more weighty matters, such as whether even primordial singularities can ever acheive the density of the religious mind. Or how many famous philosophers can dance in the head of a single Christian apologist.









PS: And apparently it can be yours for the low low price of $375.00 (or best offer) right now at EBay. (Which of course was where my wife ran across it, made a small 'meeping' noise in her throat, and now can not even look at it for one second, she's so creeped out.)


Sleep well, my droogies. Try not to think of him.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And the Stupid just goes on and on...

The religious man has no trouble believing the ridiculous and only wonders why he's so much better at it than everybody else is. This he takes as a sign from God.
-Saint Brian the Godless

********

What is it with Christianity's seeming determination to dumb down the world... Now apparently 'Darwinism' is a 'devilish Gnostic plot.' Who knew?

What the heck is WRONG with these messianic mouthbreathers? I seriously doubt that the glorification of utter stupidity would have been something that pleased Jesus. But hey, who knows...

Here, read it and weep... weep if you give a damn about human intelligence and progress. Weep if you care at all about logic and reason. Weep if you love science. Because I am weeping. The highly contagious mental disease of Christianity is neutering our minds one by one with it's creeping pernicious ignorance, and we sit by and let it happen. If it has its way, we'll be a country of drooling idiots in a half-century, sitting around in our own feces singing hosannas.

(If I sound bitter, I am)

The article:

********

Darwinism: devilish Gnostic myth dressed up as science

By Linda Kimball
September 24, 2010

(Renewamerica.com)

Today all people whose faith in God the Father is genuine face a seemingly insurmountable problem with what seems like an overwhelming weight of evidence that evolutionism is true and the Genesis account of creation is false. Mockers and scoffers abound, scornfully accusing the faithful of believing in "an invisible being in the sky and that a dead guy from 2000 years ago is coming back soon...instead of believing in reality," as one scofflaw said recently.

However, the real issue here is not "superstitious, backward Christianity" vs. "enlightened reason and science," but about one creation account (Genesis) vs. another creation account (Darwinian evolution). The truth of this claim can be seen in the following quotes:

"...one belief that all true original Darwinians held in common, and that was their rejection of creationism, their rejection of special creation. This was the flag around which they assembled and under which they marched.... The conviction that the diversity of the natural world was the result of natural processes and not the work of God was the idea that brought all the so-called Darwinians together in spite of their disagreements on other of Darwin's theories. (One Long Argument,1991, p. 99, Ernst Mayr (1904–2005), Professor of Zoology at Harvard University)

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." ("Billions and Billions of Demons," Richard Lewontin (b. 1929), PhD Zoology, Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at Harvard University)

In other words, terrible-willed evolutionists have a Cosmic Authority problem, and this is why they rally around Darwinism and force its absurd, counterintuitive teachings upon gullible, misinformed Americans while simultaneously ridiculing and otherwise psychologically terrorizing creationists, among whose numbers are many of the defenders of America's founding traditions.

Commenting on the Cosmic Authority problem of many atheists, Thomas Nagel, professor of philosophy and law at New York University, confesses:

"I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind." (The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me To Faith, Peter Hitchens, pp. 149-150)

Just what is Darwinism anyway?

At bottom, Darwinism is a Gnostic myth, notes Dr. Wolfgang Smith, physicist and mathematics professor at Oregon State University:

"...As a scientific theory, Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living things created themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim....Thus...evolutionism is a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific garb....it is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable. Darwinism, therefore, continues the ancient Gnostic practice of deprecating 'God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.' It perpetuates...the venerable Gnostic tradition of 'Jehovah bashing.'" (From Old Gnosticism to New Age I, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, pp. 30-31)

Gnostics

Historically, Gnostics have always been notorious God-haters to the extent of consigning Him to hell. The early Church Fathers called them the "lawless ones," as they were idolizers of their own minds, rebels against all authority, immoralists, hedonists, and builders of alternative realities (utopian fantasies) requiring the death of God, for the heart of Gnosticism is "man is god."

While the infamous Tower of Babel was history's first Gnostic project, the Soviet Union and Socialist Germany are modern versions. In his book "Science, Politics, & Gnosticism," esteemed political philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901-85) identifies progressivism, positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism, and the "God is dead" school as modern Gnostic movements. All of these movements are firmly grounded on the Gnostic myth of Darwinism.

In their rage against God the Father, modern Gnostics refuse to be created in His spiritual image, thus they conceptually "uncreate" themselves through reductionism, which in the words of Wolfgang Smith, means that they speculatively reduce themselves to "aggregates of particles." Reductionism is a tenet of the philosophy of materialism.

Materialist philosophy is neither new nor scientific, but one of the most ancient superstitious beliefs in the world. The ancient version held that matter has always existed and everything that exists consists of matter. According to the modern version, invisible dead-matter spontaneously generated itself from nothing, and then by way of evolution magically produced everything else. To believe this is to believe that the nothingness within the magician's hat spontaneously generated the bunny.

If evolutionism was a gas-powered generator, then spontaneous generation would be its indispensable fuel, admits Ernst Haeckel, pantheist mystic and ardent defender of Darwinism. In the following quote, observe that Haeckel confesses that spontaneous generation is not scientific but rather metaphysical. Furthermore, this metaphysical doctrine is the essential replacement for creation Ex Nihilo — the miracle of creation in other words:

"...spontaneous generation appears to us as a simple and necessary event in the process of the development of the earth. We admit that this process, as long as it is not directly observed or repeated by experiment, remains a pure hypothesis. But I must again say that this hypothesis is indispensable for the consistent completion of the non-miraculous history of creation, that it has absolutely nothing forced or miraculous about it, and that certainly it can never be positively refuted. It must also be taken into consideration that the process of spontaneous generation, even if it still took place daily and hourly, would in any case be exceedingly difficult to observe and establish with absolute certainty as such. This is also the opinion of Naegeli, the ingenious investigator, and he, in his admirable chapter on Spontaneous Generation, maintains that "to deny spontaneous generation is to proclaim miracles." (The History of Creation v.1, 1892, p. 422)

Ray Comfort quotes evolutionist Stephen Hawking, who in essence affirms that "the nothingness within the magician's hat spontaneously generated the bunny:"

"According to professor Stephen Hawking, God didn't create the universe. Instead, nothing created everything. However, Hawking has violated the basic laws of science. In an extract of his latest book, The Grand Design...published in Eureka magazine in The Times, the professor said: 'Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.'"

"It is embarrassingly unscientific to speak of anything creating itself from nothing," remarked Comfort. "Common sense says that if something possessed the ability to create itself from nothing, then that something wasn't nothing, it was something — a very intelligent creative power of some sort. "

Comfort concludes:

"Hawking has violated the unspoken rules of atheism. He isn't supposed to use words like 'create' or even 'made.' They necessitate a Creator and a Maker. Neither are you supposed to let out that the essence of atheism is to believe that nothing created everything, because it's unthinking." (Hawking Breaks Atheists Rules, Comfort, www.worldviewweekend.com)

So as it turns out, spontaneous generation is yet another "just-so" story. However, the importance of this particular fairytale is that it is the irreplaceable metaphysical foundation of the larger Gnostic myth of Darwinism. Without spontaneous generation, Darwinism...indeed all evolutionism...falls apart, leaving only the miraculous creation Ex Nihilo.

Furthermore, the respected scientist Louis Pasteur definitively disproved spontaneous generation just three years after Darwin published his book "On the Origin of Species:"

"... Darwin's celebrated tome On the Origin of Species, which had been published just three years before Pasteur's experiments, sought to discredit the need for God to create the species by showing how one species can transmute into another. But Darwin's account left open the problem of how the first living thing came to exist. Unless life had always existed, at least one species — the first — cannot have come to exist by transmutation from another species, only by transmutation from nonliving matter. Darwin himself wrote, some years later: 'I have met with no evidence that seems in the least trustworthy, in favour of so-called Spontaneous Generation.' Yet, in the absence of a miracle, life could have originated only by some sort of spontaneous generation. Darwin's theory of evolution and Pasteur's theory that only life begets life cannot both have been completely right." (The Fifth Miracle, 1999, p. 83, Paul Davies (b. 1946), Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science)

The Darwinian Deception

Colin Patterson writes that after studying evolutionary theory for many years, he finally "woke up and realized that all my life I had been duped into taking evolutionism as revealed truth in some way." Patterson goes on to say:

"One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, or let's call it a non- evolutionary view, was last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people....Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, 'I do know one thing — it ought not to be taught in high school.'"

"Evolutionism and Creationism" November 5, 1981, p. 2, Colin Patterson (1933–1998), Senior Paleontologist at British Museum of Natural History

When C.S. Lewis pointedly observed that the entire edifice of the so-called "science" of Darwinian naturalism has but one purpose, to keep the supernatural Creator out, he was merely confirming admissions made by Lewontin and many other Darwinists. In sum, Darwinism is a deception perpetrated by self-worshipping swindlers who have been "pulling the wool" over the eyes of the uninitiated masses, to use Lewontins' own words. (The Oxford Socratic Club, 1944)

Deceptions Have Consequences

Long before Darwinian Gnostics systematically liquidated in excess of 200,000,000 men, women, and children on behalf of communist and socialist utopian fantasies, George Romanes sought to warn the world of the coming catastrophe:

"Never in the history of man has so terrific a calamity befallen the race as that which all who look may now behold advancing as a deluge, black with destruction, resistless in might, uprooting our most cherished hopes, engulfing our most precious creed, and burying our highest life in mindless desolation.... The flood-gates of infidelity are open, and Atheism overwhelming is upon us." (George Romanes, A Candid Examination of Theism,1878)

More recently, H. Enock wrote:

"No wonder that Brig. General F.D. Frost stated in the Fundamentalist, January, 1950, p. 21: 'There is no doubt about it that the doctrine of evolution is the greatest curse in our educational system.' Whether we read Ward's Dynamic Sociology, or Russell's Code of Morals, or Briffalt's Immoralism or some other book written by the Behaviorist School, — they all seem to endeavour to justify and base their conclusions on the bestial nature of man. This philosophy seeks to.... reduce man to the level of animal nature. The surging unrest, the broken homes, the frustrated lives, the increasing divorce cases, the multiplied number of criminals are but the inevitable outcome of the acceptance and practice of this evolutionary doctrine." (H. Enock, Evolution or Creation,1966, pp. 1146-1147)

Evolutionism "should not be taught in high school." Indeed. Gnosticism is the spiritual disorder of our age and Darwinism and spontaneous generation are its toxic roots. Conceptual murderer of God the Father, inverter of reality, hater of humanity, uplifter of Satan as the first "free thinker," destroyer of truth and all that is good, normal, and decent; bringer of chaos, blasphemy, hedonism, pathological lying, genocide and other evils too many to be listed, Gnosticism has all but destroyed America and the West.

In his book, "The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me To Faith," Peter Hitchens, brother of the infamous atheist Christopher writes:

"...the Bible angers and frustrates those who believe that the pursuit of a perfect society justifies the quest for absolute power. The concepts of sin, of conscience, of eternal life, and of divine justice under an unalterable law are the ultimate defense against the utopian's belief that ends justify means and that morality is relative. These concepts are safeguards against the worship of human power." (Rage Against God, p. 135)

The Western civilized nations rose to greatness on the wings of just one spiritual faith ...Christianity. Unalienable rights come from the transcendent Creator and not from weak, easily corrupted men. Through abandonment of its spiritual roots, the West — which today is a Gnostic-West — is moving inexorably toward its death.

America is the West's last best hope, observed Mark Steyn. Yet America is itself pathologically infected by Gnosticism and near death. Gnosticism must be destroyed. To do this we must tear it out by the roots. This means Darwinism must be uprooted and exposed for what it really is: a Gnostic myth.

********

Nooooo Linda, this means that your little pet cult of *Christianity* itself must be uprooted and exposed for what *it* is: A *dangerous* and highly contagious intentionally induced mental disease that produces narcissistic self-satisfied entitled morons like Linda Kimball here, with her pathetic delusions of superiority and intelligence, and no sense of what is real and what is not real left in her silly fluffy little Christian head. Her mind has been neutered by her religion, which is after all nothing more than institutionalized paranoid schizophrenia for the masses dressed up as a spiritual path, nothing more than a control mechanism, a mental computer virus constructed to conquor minds. People like her are completely and utterly disconnected from reality, and all they want is for the rest of us to follow suit ASAP. Now 'Darwinism' (evolution?) is a 'devilish Gnostic myth!' A who? Gnostics? You Christians haven't stopped fighting the Gnostics? I would have thought killing them all off would have satisfied you murderous bastards, but apparently not. A Gnostic myth. Really? What's next? The Big Bang Theory is a Cathar plot? Oh, those rascally Cathars...

How very fucking stupid.

I find this paragraph particularly telling:
"In other words, terrible-willed evolutionists have a Cosmic Authority problem, and this is why they rally around Darwinism and force its absurd, counterintuitive teachings upon gullible, misinformed Americans while simultaneously ridiculing and otherwise psychologically terrorizing creationists..."

Simply reverse the terms, replace 'evolutionists' with 'creationists' and vice-versa, and 'Darwinism' with 'Christianity,' and you have the actual truth of the matter. The creationists perceive (force themselves to perceive) reality precisely backwards and in reverse, because if they ever did not, if they ever saw reality as it actually is, then it would be revealed to them that it is actually their corrupt, stunted ideology which is backwards and reversed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I miss Carl Sagan

"It is self-evident that the insane are willing to resort to things that the sane cannot even consider nor sometimes even imagine. Therefore they always have the element of surprise."
-Saint Brian the Godless

***

And now a quotation from someone considerably more famous, and rightly so:

"If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, then our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist, then our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival in an extremely dangerous time. In either case the enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human species."
-Carl Sagan

I miss Carl Sagan. A clearer mind and better communication skills are seemingly impossible to find amongst today’s spokesmen for the side of science, which is basically identical to the voice of reason in our society. He was clever, thoughtful, had a disarming manner, and he knew how to make science interesting, even to a lot of people not interested in science. I wish there were a lot more like him. Of course if wishes were fishes I could put on a far better 'feeding the poor' show than Jesus did.

I have always liked the above Sagan quotation; however I see that even Carl, intelligent as he was, missed the obvious.

The part that I refer to is this interrogative sentence:
“If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing?”

YES, Carl, YES. That is PRECISELY what today’s Christians, many of them at any rate, believe!

Your audience in that quotation, or rather the Fundamentalist Christian portion of it, not only believes that God wants them to be sodden blockheads, they believe it so deeply that they compete to be the most sodden blockhead of all! Of course they don’t actually think of themselves as sodden blockheads in those exact words. No, they’re the faithful, the flock, the True Believers, the Chosen Ones, the righteous God-fearin’ common folk that just ‘know’ in their bones that prairie wisdom and so-called ‘common sense’ along with religious faith of course, are in every way preferable to logic and reason, proof and evidence. And so of course therefore, science is rendered that much pious malarkey, all bets are off, up is down and black is white. That loud slamming sound was the closing of their minds. Their reality has just trumped your reality, Carl. You lose.

(After all, as we all know, momma grizzlies and such don't truck with no book larnin' when a wink and a nod suffices as long as Jesus is in your heart)(Katie Couric rot in hell!)

Now Carl, what to do? Your whole logic is stymied! Your eloquence is wasted on those most in need of it. What you thought was the undeniably obvious, turned out to be anything but.

You’ve underestimated our stupidity as a species, Carl.

It’s not your fault, though. I find that the reverse of old Bertrand Russell’s saying is often true as well. You know the one: “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

Conversely and unfortunately for you Carl, a clever man’s understanding of the mind of a stupid man is limited by the fact that he is too clever to imagine being that stupid. At a gut level, he can't believe it's possible.

Too bad you’re dead, Carl. You were perhaps sufficiently brilliant to solve this conundrum for me, the “How to reach them” conundrum. I can’t seem to find any satisfactory solution. And it's not like I haven't tried. At first I thought there was a chance, but it's like their minds reset every Sunday or something. Any progress is deleted on a weekly basis.

(sigh)

(Oh well, at least you left us Cosmos. And that Jodie Foster movie.)

And Carl, not to make you spin in your grave, but they vote! How they vote! More even than in your day... They vote in droves! They vote in direct inverse proportion to their intellects! They are worse than sheep; they are lemmings, and not how lemmings actually are, no, but how they were incorrectly portrayed in that film by Mr. Disney. They listen to any caucasian that knows the secret word (Jesus Christ) and then they vote like maggots on a carcass, whipped into their dipterous larval frenzy by everyone and anyone from national-level right-wing politicians down to bloviating A.M. Radio personalities, their rabid pastors, myopic internet blogs, and that ever-present cable television version of ‘Pravda,’ Fox News. (Otherwise known as 'The Retarded Network') (Yes, I fucking said it!)
They osmotically absorb their fork-tongued hyperbiased non-reality-based talking points from their chosen Officially Sanctioned Disseminators of Truth, whichever one makes them feel the most special, and oh by the way, they pay attention to actual facts and verifiable truth about as much as an orca pays attention to a drowning gnat.

They not only can never think for themselves; they are so far away from ever even being able to imagine thinking for themselves that they’ve convinced themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt that that they already do. And that's enough for them. And for those who helped convince them. For they exist embedded in a matrix of reality-denial, a support-group of fellow dunces.

Mutual ignorance can have a peer-bonding effect. Who knew?

They are under the induced delusion (one among many) that a lack of knowledge is amply compensated for by a surfeit of blind belief, as long as you call it 'faith.' Proud of their ability to ignore the obvious, they persist in their beliefs in the face of any evidence to the contrary. (What evidence?) You see Carl, in their estimation the people like you, the realists, the science and logic based persons, are the actual ‘sodden blockheads’ because they (you) (we?) ‘understand, but worship nothing’ so to speak.

They are the blind insisting on their superior vision here, Carl.

And sorry to be the bearer of sad tidings Carl, but they are not impressed with you. Never were. All you ever were to them was a voice of the opposition, the hated adversary science, and therefore evil, so basically ‘don’t let the door hit you on the existential ass on your way to hell’ is how they feel about you. Sure, you were a visionary to many people, but not to them, never to them. To them, you and your kind, are anathema.

The bungled and the botched have decided that the rational reaity-based people are insane, and they breed faster than we do and are more organized than termites. It's like a cancer. It's scary, Carl. This country is seeing a rise of agressive religious anti-intellectualism that is like nothing I've ever seen before in my lifetime.

We’re fucked, Carl.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's a Jewish Country.

(A flight of imagination)

The United States of America is a Jewish country. It was founded by Jews. More than 85% of the population is Jewish, with small minorities of Muslims and Christians and a smattering of other faiths. That’s the mix in this country, as everyone knows.

On September 11th, 2001, as we are all so painfully aware, a group of radical right-wing Christians from other countries hijacked two airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, destroying it, along with thousands of American lives. Mostly Jewish lives of course, although quite a few Muslims and even a few dozen Christians died in the attack that day.

Now a group of so-called ‘moderate’ Christians actually want to build a CHURCH a few blocks away from the attack site. Right near the ‘hallowed ground’ of ‘Ground Zero!’

This is obviously a terrible thing to do, right on the face of it. The sensitivities of all those good American Jews who lost friends and relatives, mothers and fathers and sons and daughters in the 9/11 attacks are being trodden upon; they can hardly be expected to sit by while a so-called moderate Christian group tries in such an obvious manner to put stick into their eye. Why, it's practically spiteful.

What are those ‘moderate’ Christians even thinking? We’re good enough to tolerate their religion here, and of course they have a constitutional right to build their church wherever they want to, but really this is too much!

Why, the very idea of Christians building a church there is a lot like a group of neo-Nazis wanting to build an ‘Aryan cultural center’ right next to the Wailing Wall!

Sure they say that they’re moderate Christians and not radicals like those who killed so many of our people on 9/11. And they say that they’re trying to ‘build bridges’ between our two communities by doing this. But this is a bridge too far. If they really were sensitive to our needs here, sensitive to our Jewish feelings, then they’d build it somewhere else, right? They'd get the hell out of there. That place is reserved for us. For Real Americans who feel the pain of 9/11.

If they want to get us to like them, best to go away, build somewhere else, and not bother us like that, not hurt us like that, no?

So it's in their own self-interest to go away. It's a 'win-win.'

I mean, after all, they should know how scared we all are now of their religion. If it can even be called a religion; why, it's more of an ideology or a political movement when you really look at it.

So why try to build it there of all places, if not to taunt us?

I mean, c'mon! Christianity is the religion of those who attacked us! They did it for their religion! For Jesus! That’s what they said! So obviously we need to take a closer look at this Christianity, be more aware of it, be more proactive. Looking at history it's obvious that Christianity is a religion of conquest and war, a religion of hatred and death, no matter that some of them insist that it's really a religion of peace and love of others. Sure, some of them claim to be ‘moderates’ but you can’t trust that, as evidenced by how many Christians right here in this country have become radicalized. They’re very active on the Internet, and they recruit American Christians to their side from their terrorist safe-havens in Rome and England.

And Texas.

No, they should know; they should realize that the best thing they can do for themselves is to build that church elsewhere. They need to know their place. They can’t pretend that only some of their most radical believers do these horrible things anymore. We're onto them now, thank God for Fox News. They can’t pretend that they’re Good Americans like us anymore; we know better. They must accept their share of the blame for what they’ve done, all of them, and build it somewhere else.

Not in my backyard of course, but somewhere else.

It's not that I have anything *against* Christians of course. I'm not a bigot. I'm just thinking of them here.

It's for their own good.

***

(And also, some people are saying that the President is a closet Christian and carries the ‘seed’ of Christianity! His mother, apparently, was 'one of them!' Pass it along...)

Shalom.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Book, Evil Book

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
-Voltaire

Beliefs are terrible things, since they're very often wrong, and even when they're right the world goes and changes on them and they never, ever adjust to that cold, hard fact.
-Saint Brian the Godless

***
Is it possible that the Good Book, the Bible, Old and New Testaments, is in reality an Evil Book, the source for much of the ills of society?

The Bible is hailed as the Word of God in Christianity, and many believe in it as such. The literal Word. From His mouth to your ears.

Er, eyes.

Presented for your convenience, in case you’re ever tempted to think on your own. No need; it's all in the Book. In fact, right there in the Book it clearly says not to think on your own, not to believe anything that even hints at contradicting the Holy Word in the Holy Book. Unless of course the thing that's contradicting the Bible is also something written in the Bible; then it's fine and dandy. You just hafta believe both in such cases. Good luck.

Obviously I think the Bible is a heavily flawed work, both technically and morally. One of the main ‘evils’ that I see in it is its internal inconsistencies, its self-negating paradoxical and illogical statements or sets of statements, all of which are expected to be believed; nay, demanded that they be believed at the cost of your Immortal Soul and entrance tickets to the Big Amusement Park in the clouds.

The Bible presents contraries, statements which utterly contradict each other, together in one book, and demands that they both be believed at the same time, or else. It does this again and again, over and over, which causes believers to eventually slowly lose their minds, and never suspect a thing.

That's how we get Republicans.

Allow me to illustrate:
-God is love; He loves you more than anyone else does, and He'll send you straight to hell if you don't believe that.
-An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but turn the other cheek while you're doing it.
-Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild, 'Love Thy Neighbor' Jesus, Lamb of God, returning with a Sword in His mouth and a fiery halo or something like that, come back as the Lion to slaugther off the evil ones. (More on this one below)

The depths to which all this mindbogglingly stupid self-negating (in more ways than one!) religious programming affects (distorts, even) our society at the most basic levels is not always obvious, either. We're mostly pretty much blind to it. Heck, it's been going on practically forever, so most folk just accept it as the way it is.

Take the confusing dichotomy of God the Father (OT) versus God the Son (NT). The first is an authoritarian super-hypocritical murdering genocidal misogynistic hateful over-reacting all-powerful and all-knowing Father Figure, the Ultimate Father Figure in fact. Our Father Who Art In Heaven. So, we think of him as Dad, the ultimate Dad, a really strict and mean Dad, who loves us (somehow; we can't realy understand that part, 'cause it's a *mystery* and all) but will fry our asses forever in a heartbeat if we give him one iota of crap. A fearful Father Figure indeed. An archetype, in fact.

An archetype designed to scare the shit out of people. As was needed at the time.

Embedded firmly in our group psychology and thus in our society as a result, from this how many wives and children over the centuries were beaten and abused by fathers (small 'f') who were only acting like their archetypal Ultimate Father Figure Himself (Big 'F') would act, indeed DID act, over and over again, in the Bible? How many were just following God the Father's Divine Example that He set in the Bible (and then said not to follow?) (heh heh)

A lot of them, I assure you. It's not like it's done consciously.

God is the hypocritical Father who says "Do as I say, not as I do, OR ELSE!!!" but just like all defective fathers who say such absurd things to their children, *their examples are far more often followed than their words.*

So thus we have God the Ultimate Bad Example of what a Father Should Be. Or God the Ultimate Good Example of what a Father Should Not Be.

Amen. Just what society ordered.

But wait! Not enough confusion yet!

Let's introduce God the Son, Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild! Who in fact, is credited with *many* great words and statements. Many poignant examples. Many good works. Much real Truth with a Capital ‘T.’

He sounds a bit nicer. More approachable. A decent sort. And He did say a lot of 'good words' in that book there.

And yet, are these ‘good words’ in the Bible which are attributed to Jesus Christ, the very person that Christians named their faith after, at all *prioritized* over all of the other horiffic mishmash in that so-called Good Book? Does one ever hear the Christian say "Well, Jesus Christ Himself said to be gentle and loving, so that must trump Vengeful God in the Old Testament where he smites everything in sight all the time' so I'll ignore that part and live by Jesus' words of peace and love."

Hardly ever happens. Unfortunate, that.

So we have crazy hypocritical Old Testament Yaweh God with his Gentle, Loving Son, *but they’re both God!* No difference. Canya dig it?

What a mindfuck.

How to know then, whether to be severe, or gentle? Vengeful and wrathful and jealous, or loving?

One can and should follow Jesus, of course. His path seems more correct somehow, than that of His sadistic Father in Heaven. I mean, any real God should be, at the very minimum, good, no? Or why bother?

But then again, *which Jesus?* Ahh, dilemma.

Most of the New Testament is all about "gentle Jesus meek and mild," but hold on a second! Just in case you were thinking that one should obviously choose Jesus' path, that of peace, since after all, the religion's named after Him, hold your horses! As previously mentioned, we also have Revelations Jesus tacked on at the end of the Book, coming back to smite about the place with a sword depending from his mouth and fire and death and punishment and the Final Conflict, and all that great horror movie fodder at the end times. Just in case you were starting to think that Jesus was a non-violent, loving God.

How rapturous! Can't forget about Him, now can we? I guess we saw shades of Him back when gentle Jesus cursed that fig tree to die for not happening to be in fruit at the time, or telling his followers to bring those who do not bow to Him before Him and kill them. What seemed so out of character at the time makes sense at the end after all, apparently.

How conveeeeenient, too. Now we're free to just choose being an asshole.

Are we confused yet, my droogies?

To reiterate, we have the Mighty God of Gods, Yahweh, mean and nasty and an immortal all-powerful psychotic maniac God who loves us with eternal torture, along with his polar opposite all-loving non-judgmental hippy tree-hugger boozing and carousing son, who is nonetheless completely identical to His Father Yahweh (nevermind how,) but who WAIT, has yet another polar opposite psycho 'version' of Himself who will come back at the end times, and He won't be the Lamb anymore but will return as the Lion and basically beat the everloving crap out of evil, including of course, people like me, because He’s tired of taking our shit, and besides, that lamb schtick only got him killed.

This means that if a Christian is a mean, selfish bully by nature, not a problem, he can simply justify it with Gods #1 and #3, can't he? No need to even read the parts about 'love thy neighbor' when all that mushy stuff isn't really what Jesus/God was all about. That Jesus is a pussy. Macho Jesus Rules! Now where's my glock?

(I’ve actually heard ‘good Christians’ maintaining that Jesus wasn’t really about loving all others; that such is just a common misperception)

***

Let's examine the 'fruits' of the Book for a minute.

Is the Christian religion a true religion of *peace?* Absolutely and emphatically not. Constantine introduced the idea of a 'just war' and ever since then, why, any old ruler can get the Christians to fight, to kill, to even embrace cruelty and the torture of others, and to give their lives for the cause not of God, but of the ruler. It's easy; all the ruler has to say is "I am inspired by God" or whatever variation of that is appropriate to the audience. And demonize those who they need the flock to hate. That's how it was designed, after all. And looking back through history, we have bloodbath after bloodbath to thank the religion for. Over and over again, the Religion of peaceful Jesus found it necessary to slaughter.

It's an evil Rorschach test, that Bible. One can see whatever one wants to in it. It's way too cloudy, too unclear, and since it tells you right there in it that it's the word of God and that you must believe every last damned word of it as if The Burning Bush had whispered it right into your cockleshell ear, the result is a schism from reality in the minds of the believers.

Their brains break, in other words.

They lose their minds, lose all touch with reality, and pursue happiness in a selfish delusional ego-world wherein they’re practically the Master Race, chosen by God, and destined for paradise, while all others are evil and deserve the hell they’re destined for

Halleluiah. How nice.

And we wonder why there are so many nutcases and idiots in this country? They’re being manufactured on an ongoing basis, by belief in a self-contradictory and hypocritical philosophy; A philosophy whose Good Book, is anything but.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Are You Self-Aware?

“In other living creatures the ignorance of themselves is nature, but in men it is a vice.”
-Boethius

***

This is not one of my usual posts. It's me wanting to generate a different conversation.

Other bloggers post their posts and do not seem to want to encourage lengthy conversations. For me, I prefer the resultant converstions to my own posts.

So I ask you, are you self-aware?

If you are, how can you tell? How do you know that you are?

What do you think the term means, if anything?

Do you think that a religious person can be self-aware?

Can an atheist be?

In my opinion, the beginning of self-awareness is whan a person starts to realize how incredibly fallible they are. So then, humility might be considered the beginning of self-awareness. Or not. Tell me I'm wrong.

From humility comes a lessening or perhaps better to say a contraction of the ego, which removes many blinders. With humility comes the realization that perhaps it's not a bad idea to *question one's self.*

And from there, the whole world opens up.

For as Burns said, 'O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!' *

In other words, it's a good thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

If not, then what?

I've been bored with my usual pontification lately. I have I think adequately expressed most of my opinions on the subject of the interface between faith and reason and all the conflict between them, at least for the time being, and so I think I'll try something different. Something more interactive. Something more disturbing.

I'm asking a question of you my readers. It is partially inspired by a comment made a while back by one of you (Eric) about how a good debater should be able to take the opposite side of the issue. I didn't agree at the time and it still goes against my grain, but I've thought about it, and it seemed worth pursuing at least as a discussion. It may reveal things about us; or it may just bore you all to tears and make you hate me as a person. I have no idea, but what the hell...

And so, the question is this:

If your belief or idea or concept of reality, of the universe, of this world and our place in it, were revealed to you to be totally and utterly incorrect, if you somehow found this out to be true (hypothetical, so don't ask me how, but you find it out *for sure* and you *must believe that you've been wrong all along* whatever it might have taken for that to happen) then what other concept or view of reality do you think is most likely to be true? In other words, what would be your second choice, your 'second best guess' as to the TRUTH OF IT ALL, if you had to look for one?

I have one rule: If your current belief is naturalistic or scientific, your new adopted view must oppose that, i.e., must be supernatural or theistic in some way; and the reverse is also true. If your view is currently a 'supernatural' or 'theistic' view, then for the purposes of this discussion only, you must embrace a naturalistic or scientific viewpoint of some sort.

Relax Christians, it's only a hypothetical discussion; I promise to not take your souls and eat them with jam. (Muah hah hah...)

I'm not sure whether my 'All is mind; all is a communal dream' Big Brain (hate that name) speculations count as entirely supernatural or naturalistic, so I'll let that type of thing slide in either direction. Or perhaps better to say, all 'supernatural or partially supernatural but non-theistic' concepts can be taken by either side of the argument as an alternative, as their 'second best guess.'

So I've set the rules for this little discussion. Of course as usual, we are not constrained to be limited by these rules, but in the beginning I hope we can have a discussion at least loosely based on them. So say, if you're religious and absolutely refuse to take a non-religious view, I really don't care if you merely take the view of a different faith, a different religion. I'm mainly after a discussion of alternate views, so I'm not that particular. However you can't just take a different sect of the same religion. If you're catholic, you can't pick 'methodist.' It must really be a different view, is the salient point.

And after that, as usual, anything goes. The conversation can evolve or devolve as chance will have it. And eventually someone will post the equivalent of 'hey lardass, write another post' and I will...

As for me, I have to take the naturalist position as my 'primary' theory of reality, and as for my 'second best guess' well, you all know it already, my "Big Brain Speculations.' I'll refrain from discussing them again here, unless someone else brings it up.

So come with me on a journey outside your comfort zones, my brothers and sisters...

Friday, June 18, 2010

MY FIRST GUEST SPEAKER

Well, some people have mentioned that I should have 'guest speakers' on here to give the place some variation, so here's my first one. He's a rather bright man from W├╝rttemberg, Germany, who shows a lot of promise.

So without further ado, my first guest speaker; let's have a round of applause for Albert Einstein!

***

Religion and Science
The following excerpt was published in The World as I See It (1999).

by Albert Einstein

Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and desire are the motive forces behind all human endeavour and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present itself to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions—fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connexions is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates for itself more or less analogous beings on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend. One's object now is to secure the favour of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed towards a mortal.

I am speaking now of the religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases the leader or ruler whose position depends on other factors, or a privileged class, combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.

The social feelings are another source of the crystallization of religion. Fathers and mothers and the leaders of larger human communities are mortal and fallible. The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes, the God who, according to the width of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even life as such, the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing, who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God.

The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, which is continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions. The development from a religion of fear to moral religion is a great step in a nation's life. That primitive religions are based entirely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on our guard. The truth is that they are all intermediate types, with this reservation, that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. Only individuals of exceptional endowments and exceptionally high-minded communities, as a general rule, get in any real sense beyond this level. But there is a third state of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form, and which I will call cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvellous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of development—e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with the highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it. We thus arrive at a conception of the relation of science to religion very different from the usual one. When one views the matter historically one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events—that is, if he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it goes through. Hence science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear and punishment and hope of reward after death.

It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion which pioneer work in theoretical science demands, can grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labour in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics!

Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a sceptical world, have shown the way to those like-minded with themselves, scattered through the earth and the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man strength of this sort. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.

You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

***

Now, a lot of people have insisted that Einstein was a religious man. As you can see above, Einstein was religious in the traditional sense of the word like I am an Egyptian Princess. His 'religion' was more akin to feelings of awe at the grandeur of nature and the immensity of the universe, and had little or nothing to do with any deity as such.

I find this excerpt useful in examining his views on the subject, especially the part about the 'religion of fear.' It would appear that Mr. Einstein would not approve of Pascal's Wager and those who believe due to that threat to their 'eternal life,' nor would he approve of what I call 'coercive morality,' or the fact that much of the Christian moral system is based in fear and threat.

So Christians, can we finally *stop* claiming that Einstein believed in God or 'got religion' in his later years? This is a blatant lie, an attempt to claim him for one of your own, to lend credibility to a belief system that doesn't have any. It's transparent and childish and silly. So basically, cut it out. If your religion cannot stand without lies, then what kind of a religion is it anyhow? Jesus Christ, if He is indeed real and not a myth, does not need your lies. In fact, I doubt very much that they would please Him at all, if He's anything like the 'press releases.'

Thursday, May 20, 2010

PASTOR DISASTER

"The fatal trait of the times is the divorce between religion and morality."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Yesterday I got my Google News Alerts in my email inbox. One of the terms that I have an alert set for is the word “Pastor,” mostly for my own amusement. Each day I invariably get about ten articles in that email, and invariably at least a few are about some pastor somewhere that committed an ‘immoral’ act that has gotten him into trouble.

Yesterday it was four out of ten articles. Five actually, but two were about the same (Newark) pastor molesting girls. Three is about average.

Here are the articles that were notable:

PASTOR OF AURORA CHURCH BILKED THREE OUT OF 475K

LONGVIEW PASTOR GUILTY OF SEX CHARGES

A NEWARK PASTOR ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

PASTOR SENTENCED TO FIFTEENYEARS PROBATION FOR MOLESTING YOUNG RELATIVE YEARS AGO

I see this sort of thing every day, in my news alerts and on television. It would seem that there is more to it than just random chance. After all, being a pastor brings with it moral responsibility, or so it is advertised. A pastor is a leader of the people, with a congregation that looks up to him. It is a position of moral leadership requiring people of high moral fiber, so one would assume that morally they would be superior as a group. Not so. If pastors as a group were actually more moral than average, this would be reflected in reality by them not being in the news so often for moral turpitude. So for some reason, a group of people that is supposed to be more moral than average, is clearly less moral than average. For some reason the position is attractive to the morally flawed.

My question is this: Since everyone knows what being a pastor is and what it entails, is there anything in this description that would attract a morally defective person to become one?

What type of person would be attracted to a position of moral leadership, a position where one is looked up to by many people and thought of as possessing a sterling character just because he is in that position?

Yes, of course, such a position would attract the type of person that was morally flawed, simply because in such a position they can masquerade as someone of impeccable character with little effort. They know instinctively that most congregations are on the whole rather gullible and are essentially only looking for the good and not the evil in their leaders, so by becoming a pastor or priest or church leader, or even just loudly proclaiming themself a good and faithful Christian with all the trappings, they can pretend to being that which they already believe (or perhaps hope) that they are: a moral person destined to go to heaven. Someone that is loved by all, holy and revered and respected, and thereby superior to others simply on the merits of that. Also, being a leader of any sort puts them above the congregents as well, even though they share the same faith, so the most self-centered of the believers will rise to the top like cream.

It's like Purina Ego Chow. Irresistable.

In Christianity in general, homosexuality is deplored, so if you happen to be gay and in a Christian family or church, you are intensely ashamed of it. Basically the Christian position is ‘if you are gay, pray it away.’ Of course at the end of all that, you’ll still be gay, jut deeper in denial about it. You’ll even pretend to yourself that you’re not. You’ll do anything to escape the truth about yourself. You might say to yourself for instance “I am not a gay person; I am a straight person because I can successfully resist my lust for another man…’ I’ve heard that one several times coming from Christians so it can’t be an anomaly. Of course the same holds true for being heterosexually lustful and unfaithful to your wife. These people who believe themselves to be truly righteous, who must be seen as righteous, simply cannot accept the fact that they are not, that they are just normal human beings with lusts and desires. Or in many cases, such as the pederasts, an abnormal human being with abnormal lusts and desires.

Becoming a priest or pastor or church leader or even just being very public about your Christianity is an excellent way to hide your darkness from the world. Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer, was caught when he used his church’s computer to create a floppy disk message to the police. He was hiding for years, by being a leader of his congregation. For the truly evil man always looks for ways to masquerade as good, and what better place than a church?

We also see this phenomenon on a lesser arc with politicians who claim to be devout Christians just to throw off the dogs of morality, as it were. How often do those who speak out the loudest against some form of moral flaw later proven guilty of that precise failing? On and on, over and over again, we see them fall one by one. Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, George Rekers… The list goes on and on.

It makes so much sense, common sense, that a person with a huge moral failing (or just the belief that they have one, such as being gay) would be attracted to a position whereby they can pretend that they do not have it and be believed. Religion provides such an escape since it encourages blind belief, even tries to make it into a good thing by re-naming it 'faith,' so the people will believe in the pastor without looking too closely at him. It's their nature.

Of course, not to harp on it too much, but this is all traceable back to the flawed Christian moral system itself, based in coercion and not in empathy. We’re all victims of it, even those of us that are not religious. It permeates the very fabric of our society. It’s inescapable. Most of us were at the minimum raised by parents steeped in it, so most of us have memories of the incredible unfairness present in the Christian home. “Because I said so” and “Do as I say, not as I do” and “do it or else” are not ways of successfully bringing up a child in this world, unless one is aiming at bringing up a hypocrite.
They are however, almost exactly direct quotes of the Christian God in the Bible. This is God’s parenting style. How blind are we as a people that we cannot see that what we’ve been taught to believe is the ne plus ultra of moral systems, is in reality a totally defective sham that actually leads us down the path of iniquity, all the while believing that it’s the path of righteousness?

The blindness is due to the selfsame Christian religion, in that it actively discourages people from educating themselves in the ways of the world and only sees fit to teach them about an ancient text riddled with huge flaws. If the people weren’t blinded, they’d be able to see what they are falling for, and the religion simply can’t be having any of that.

***

Here’s an excerpt from a different book. Oddly this one is a metaphysical text on Kaballah:

“The evil within one’s self usually poses as the good as well. It has truly been said that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ –The paving stones are more often the good intentions we carry out than those we do not.
The human mind is capable of incredible subtlety in the dodging of the facing of its own iniquity, though if one is very self-observant one can sometimes detect the qlippoth (demons) within through the manifestation within one’s self of any strong irrational dislike. The hidden maggots of one’s own soul are usually projected in righteous indignation upon others. The beam in another’s eye is usually the reflection of the mote in one’s own. (…)”
-Gareth Knight, ‘A Precise Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism’

I see a lot of truth in that quote.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

God is Eternal... Wanna Buy Some Swampland?

(The "Vast Dream" Revisited, or the Big Brain makes a comeback as God...)

I still don't get it.

Christians say that the universe couldn't have been here forever, so it must have had a beginning. There was once nothing at all, and then *poof* there was a universe. Hard to explain all right. I agree.

(Which is why I maintain that there was always something, and not nothing)

However let's say that there was once nothing, and then there was something, like they say.

This they say proves in some way that there had to have been a creator god to start the ball rolling.

However, they absolutely refuse to even discuss where said creator god came from! In fact, they maintain that said creator god is eternal and has always been here!

This makes zero sense. How can God be eternal, if the universe cannot be? Either one is, I think, equally unlikely. In fact, it's more unlikely that it's God that is eternal, since God is a being.

Now here's the rub: I can imagine *something* coming from nothing, as in, a vacuum fluctuation. A huge one. That is actually possible. But not a fully formed deity. Such a thing cannot just arise out of nothing. A deity is an organized personality, so something needed to organize it. A vacuum fluctuation would just release energy and particles, but creating a God is harder than creating a man, no? Such a thing just doesn't appear out of nothing, already organized into a vast hypercomplex personality with powers and desires.

God, if he exists, had an origin, rest assured. Even a deity doesn't come from nowhere, or just exist forever. For one thing, this would mean that before God decided to create this universe, He waited FOREVER. A literal eternity, and then He made His move. Sure.

The idea that God has just been around forever is a huge cheat. He cannot have been. However, it seems even less likely that He just popped into existence out of nothingness. So, we can conclude from this that God is highly unlikely to exist at all, at least as advertised.

Unless... (Here I go again) Unless instead of a creator God, there is just a mind, a mind that has always existed, and NOTHING ELSE. In other words, this universe would not 'really' exist like we think it does; it would all be the dream of that eternal mind. This means that even questions of time wouldn't apply to the mind itself, since it dreams the time as well. It has to dream in a sequence, not 'all at once,' so it has to introduce the concept of time into the dream for changes to happen in it.
Or rather, we do. Because in this concept here, we are the ones really doing the dreaming, and not God, not the mind. We comprise the mind. It is literally us. Everything, even the 'inanimate' objects, are just made up of consciousness.

However, this is not in any way like the God of the Christians.

If God is a vast mind in which we exist as dreams, then said mind might be all there is, anywhere. No real matter, no real energy, no real space. Just a consciousness. A discorporate consciousness. Or perhaps rather, a discorporate data 'field' on which consciousnesses naturally arise.

Such a thing is surely possible as unlikely as it sounds, and it is not nearly 'as impossible' that a mind has been around 'forever' since in this scenario, the mind is all that ever was, all that is, and all that ever will be.

Of course, if this is true and everything is all a part of one vast consciousness, said consciousness would not in itself be 'self-aware.' Not like a deity, in other words.

More like maybe a huge computer database on which we are the only files, we meaning this whole universe. The database itself has no 'will' or 'consciousness,' it merely holds and stores information which does. As in, us.

Now as unlikely as this may seem to those conditioned to only believe in this reality as it appears to be, it does basically solve ALL questions. All of them. No, really.

Is the universe infinite or finite? It can now be infinite, because in a dream, there is no boundary. You can always think of something else being 'just over that horizon there...' And if we expect to find something, we will.

Is there life after death? What death? You are a pattern of consciousness which in our communal dream, dies. However that pattern is not dependent on matter and energy to exist since its 'real' existence is as a pattern of consciousness, or data. So it is free to die in the dream and wake up in another dream, for all we can know. At any rate, it is not bonded to matter, because matter isn't real, either.

This sounds like nonsense, I realize. However it's only when you get past how silly it sounds that you start to realize just how very possible it all is.

If it is true, wouldn't that be funny? Here we all are, so convinced that it's all matter and energy and that we have a good handle on what reality is, and then we would have to change our entire perspective on all of that. We'd have to get rid of what I like to call 'reality-bias' or the conditioning we all have to believe that reality is as we see it. It wouldn't be easy for most people to believe. Impossible is the right word, I think.

When you look at what science is finding at the quantum level, the seeming contradictions, the ‘quantum strangeness,’ the fact that it seems that matter is almost completely empty space, the phenomena of entanglement, the wave-particle duality and the collapse of the wave-form having something to do with our observations of it, and so many other things, they all seem to be hinting at something, and this is what I think they might be hinting at.

It’s just an opinion. I’m not starting a religion over it or anything. I just maintain that it’s a hell of a lot more likely that we seem to be giving it credit for.

It’s certainly a lot more likely than God.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Are You Proud Of Your Humility?

"The Modern Christian Credo: 'Since we're definitely going to heaven, let's start looking down on people now just for practice...'"
-Saint Brian the Godless

***

The Christian system of morality, being based in coercion and not in teaching genuine empathy, and thereby promoting an egocentric rather than an 'other-centered' worldview, is as noted here before, heavily flawed. It too often accomplishes that which it pretends to guard against. It produces a type of love based in fear, a type of empathy based in self-centeredness, and a type of humility based in pride. It teaches people to look outside themselves for evil, but never within.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to be humble when you know that you’re right. It’s hard to be humble when you’re one of the chosen few that are beloved by God. It’s hard to be humble when you know that God is going to save you when so many others will not be saved. (heh heh) It’s very hard to be humble when you know that you are a good and righteous person, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that those who disagree with you are evil, because you belong to the Right Faith and they do not.
Hey, let’s face it; it’s hard to be humble when you’re a Christian.

Franklin Graham is in the news lately. He’s the son of Billy Graham, so he definitely has a lot of name cred. Mr. Graham is in the news because he is of the opinion that Islam is an evil religion, and is not afraid to say so. (He should look in a mirror sometime…) The Pentagon disinvited him to one of their Prayer Services due to this. So now he’s the darling of the right and Sarah Palin; ‘the poor soul, censored by the Obama Socialist Regime for merely telling the ‘truth…’’

One of his comments during all of this stands out to me. He mentioned that he loves all Muslims and wants to let them know that they do not have to strap explosives to themselves in order to get into heaven; they merely have to give up their own evil religion and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Way to go, Frankie boy! Now, that’s what I call Pride with a Capital ‘P.’ In his overweening pride, he has, in reverse, actually managed to echo Osama Bin Ladin himself, who said that if the West wanted the terrorism to stop, the first thing it had to do was to ‘convert to Islam.’

You see, Mr. Graham is not in doubt as to his humility. He knows perfectly well that he is good, humble, righteous, and loving. And he knows that he knows best here. He knows this, because his faith in his religion tells him so. It informs him of his goodness and of the wickedness of others. It is his guide and his very being is based in it. It’s what helped him to be what he always wanted to be, after all, a good and righteous man. A humble man of God. Heck, he'd even be the first to tell you that he's only a wretched sinner, because he loves how humble that sounds. So, by 'knowing' all of this, by believing in this manner, he has no need to question himself in any of these areas ever again. He’s covered!

Good thing too, because it allows him to concentrate on ‘saving’ everyone else so they can be as perfect, as acceptable to God someday, as he is now. God willing, of course.

Mr. Graham is now free to be proud of his humility.

What Mr. Graham is missing for some reason here is that if one is proud of being good, of being humble and proud of acting humble and of being thought of as humble by others, then one is still as caught in the grip of pride and egocentricity as if they were an outright braggart braying their virtues to the world.

I guess that's why pride is the deadliest of all sins, and also the root of all evil. It's so deceptive. When you try to fight it you wind up playing right into its hands, unless you are really aware of what's happening and unless you are able to question yourself with an open mind. Sadly, this is actively discouraged by Christianity, both the ‘self-questioning’ and the ‘open mind’ parts.

Real pride is not necessarily overt. Real pride does not always show itself. The man who openly brags about his accomplishments is one example, but so is the man who does not brag solely because he knows that it would not look good to do so, and the second type of person is much more common.

And so also is any man an example of pride that truly believes himself to be humble; for no truly humble being would be able to know that they themselves are humble and remain so. It is not possible for a truly humble person to know in their own mind that they are humble, for such knowledge is the very death of humility itself. Such knowledge is the seed of pride. Such knowledge ends the process of self-questioning and self-examination which is the very key to genuine humility.

So basically, the proud man believes himself to be humble, but the humble man knows himself to be proud.

Christianity, by teaching that evil is always easy to see and to define and that pride is something obvious, does the faithful a great disservice. By painting the very subtle as simple and overt, it leaves it’s believers in a state of vulnerability. They always look to the sins of others, while being totally blind to their own. This allows them to actually become proud, evil wretches in the world, all the while being absolutely convinced that they are the diametric opposite of all that.

Once a man truly *believes* that he himself is definitely not evil (or is definitely good) and therefore that he would not do anything that was evil, that’s precisely the moment when he becomes capable of doing real evil. Real evil, the darkest kind of evil, always comes wearing sheep’s clothing. Real evil always masquerades as goodness. Just look at the Catholic Church. This is not because Satan likes it that way either; it is because Satan is a (very twisted) myth designed to cover up the fact that the real source of evil in the world is merely living and breathing people who are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they themselves represent only the highest good and that they know what's best for everyone else, too.

People just like Franklin Graham. Or Osama Bin Ladin, for that matter. Or maybe... you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

WHY DID GOD LIE TO US?

"Religion is The Great Lie that perpetually re-tells itself"
-Saint Brian the Godless

***

Why did God lie to us?

***

This is what we've figured out by ourselves, with our own eyes and brains, using logic and reason, which is to say science:

The Earth is at least 4.5 *billion* years old, if not more.

The Universe is at least 13 billion years old, if not more. Quite possibly much more.

Starlight coming from the very nearest of the stars, traveling at 186,232 miles per second, takes about *four and one half years* to get here from there. A very long way off

The farthest stars are thirteen billion light-years away. The light that we see coming from them is 13 billion years old. How did God make it, if the universe is young? In mid-space traveling to here so we'd think it were old? He thinks of everything, that deceptive, cagey God of ours. What a good liar! Of course He is, He's good at everything.

Dinosaurs died 65 million years ago. But many species became our birds. This is established science now. The birds are the remnants of the dinosaurs, which is easy to see that if you really look at them.

First "people" (Ramipithecus) 10 million years ago or less. They only stood three feet high.

First appearance of homo sapiens (That's us): about 130,000 years ago or more. Which is a lot longer than the bible tells us.

First human civilizations, villages, towns etc.: 130,000 years ago or more

Recorded History: About the last 5000 years or so. This is a very brief period of time when you look at how long we have been here. We've been here 26 times longer than we've written about it. What we know of history is only one twenty-sixth of the story of mankind. I find that amazing.

Christ: If He even lived at all, lived about 2000 years ago.

Christianity, about the same obviously.

One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Years of people being pretty much the same as we are today, sans our technology of course. We really know about only 5000 or so of those, except for archeological digs. Only two thousand years of it under Christianity. And even today, this minute, there are over 600 living religions on this world. Multiply that by two hundred thousand years. That’s an enormous number of religions and belief systems. All of them claimed or still claim to be the one, true religion, too. But we're the right ones. Yeah. We got it right, finally. Sure we did.

One can see how unlikely it is that the Bible is correct. By many, many different yardsticks it doesn't measure up to the easily observable facts. So, it's not literally true. This is a simple answer to a simple question. Logic dictates that it is not true in a literal way.

My original question was, "Why did God lie to us?" By this I mean, if He put things here that point clearly to the Bible truths not being true at all, isn't that a deception? However, if the Bible isn't true, and if He was responsible for the text of the bible, He lied there. So, either way, dishonesty from God.

The only other option possible is that science is right after all, and the Bible is allegorical, which doesn't reduce its beauty or value one whit. But many Christians will accept nothing less than complete victory in this argument. Their way or the highway. Afraid that if the Bible isn't true word-for-word, then their Faith means nothing. That, to me, is the real sin here.

Another point that I can make is that even in the Bible, God has been caught in a lie. It's in there. God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh, which can only mean that if God had not done that, the Pharoah would have been lenient with the Israelites. Hardening someone's heart against something is a deception, pure and simple.

So let's dispose once and for all with this Bible that everyone believes is so infallible in spite of it being rife with logical contradictions and outright hypocrisies, not to mention so much hatred and pride and self-righteousness and all the terrible examples that God the Father gives us as His Children to follow. We're long overdue. We've outgrown it, truly we have. It is only holding us back, keeping our thinking in the bronze age. It retards us, quite literally, and quite intentionally.

Christians = Children scared in a self-imposed darkness.
Science = The Light Switch

Got it now? Good.

Now go forth and multiply. Oh, and divide, subtract, and add as well. Get some education, come back, and then we can have an adult conversation. Tell me why God lied.