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....

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.....


....


...


..


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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.

140 comments:

  1. Slightly disagree with Brian,

    As a father, it makes me sad. I'm not repulsed by it.

    Today they'd be allowed to look at his bloodless face in a casket imagining what they wanted to.

    Here the mortician has to try and give them something to remember him by... perhaps they didn't have the money to take a regular picture while he was alive. Maybe they did, who knows?

    We just take a lot of shit for granted that they didn't.

    Photograph? Pop out a phone that will become a third world country's trash when you're done with it.

    Death? Who cares. What the fuck is next?

    That kid's family could've been real pricks for all I know, but it's Brian's reminder that some generations' or cultures' understanding of grief and death has a better, if 'creepier' grasp on them both than we do.

    Early Happy Samhain crossed with El Dia de los Muertos and candy!

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  2. As a father, it makes me sad. I'm not repulsed by it.
    --------------
    It doesn't repulse me, it haunts me. (It repulses my wife)
    To me this photo is the closest thing to a really scary and incredibly sad ghost story somehow translated and condensed into the pictorial form of one single photograph. It actually haunts me. So I didn't post it here to repulse anyone although I knew it might; I am just genuinely haunted by it. It's so innocent seeming, so very normal. And then you look closer and realize that it's anything but.
    He looks happy, even.

    As a father, it's hard to look at, but I can't look away. Make any sense?

    It's very, very sad.

    And yet, so unusual, so fascinating, that I wouldn't have wanted to have NOT ever seen it. I'm glad that I did. Which is why I decided to share it.

    It's very sobering.

    And very creepy, in many ways, likely in different ways to different people even.

    I've never seen any photograph, picture, portrait, image, that so was instantly burned into me. I'll never forget it.

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  3. One of the ObGyn offices we we went to while my wife was pregnant (not her normal ObGyn) had walls and walls of photos of all the newborns, but there was one photo, mixed in with all the rest, of a still born baby. I can't imagine the sadness, especially for the mother, but dressing him/her up and taking a photo still makes less than no sense to me.

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  4. This picture gives me the same feeling of sadness that I experience when I see the memorials along the highway where someone, usually a young person, died in a car accident. I would cherish the picture of a youngster that died that I deeply loved, and when pictures were not common as they are today I to might go for one like this. The feeling of sadness, and the accompanying pain from loosing a child has few if any equals. If in that hour of pain, and helplessness wanting to build a memorial of some type, perhaps for some, a picture would be better than nothing.

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  5. I might comment that no person is really "gone" (ie dead) as long as someone remembers them. Unfortunately, this is true even for most of terrible monsters of history, as well as for youngsters taken from us all too early. That being the case, I can see how bereaved parents might want and cherish a postmortem photo such as this one. Clearly, this photo still has power over even those of us who never knew him.

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  6. this photo still has power over even those of us who never knew him.
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    Tell me about it. Last night I still kept looking at it, even after I posted it here.

    Seriously, I've never had a photo affect me like this one. It really speaks to me.

    However, the creepy factor is more than qualification for an all hallow's night post. I mean, most people try to fake scare you for halloween, but I went with genuine creepiness. Ya hafta appreciate that.

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  7. I have a guy over painting the house and he took a look at it, and had trouble taking a second look. He said it was because he has a little daughter at home.

    However I have my son, and I think that's one of the reasons I find it so very creepy, myself, and yet I can't look away. It fascinates me. I guess I have a dark side or something.

    It hits people in different ways.

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  8. Brian, I see what you're saying. I think we're just expressing it slightly differently.

    Except for Ed... the roadrunner? Twiki from Buck Rogers?

    Would I be scared if Cthulhu said "meep?"

    Maybe.

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  9. Speaking of Cthulhu, I was watching some of Cloverfield the other night, and the monster seems a pretty good take on him. Er, it. It just reminds me of Lovecraft. Really huge, creepy and invincible.

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  10. I think Ed said 'meep' perhaps because he felt as my wife did when he saw the picture, recalling that I said she had made a 'meeping' noise in the back of her throat when she first saw it.

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  11. Twiki from Buck Rogers?
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    He was more like 'biddy biddy biddy...'

    And we're really old, aren't we?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Although I guess that Cthulhu wold be more like the FSM, wouldn't he?

    Giant tentacles coming down from the clouds, destroying whole cities in seconds... that sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got my daughter to wear a tin foil had and say "biddy biddy biddy". Good stuff.

    I don't just randomly do stuff like that, she was going to a "robot themed" birthday party.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The monsters in the remake of "The Fog" were pretty Cthuluish. Actually, a pretty good movie with a subtle critique of religion.

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  15. Is it not possible that the kid was tied up because those cameras needed minutes of exposure to produce a decent image?

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  16. It's possible, but this type of post-mortem picture is very common, if not as elaborately posed. Babies sitting up in flower-wreathed cribs looking incredibly spooky, young kids posed in various lifelike positions. It was commonplace at the time. In fact, it has an avid collector's market. Not me, but some people collect this type of period post-mortem portraits.

    Also, I should note that in one of the photos showing his hand, the thumbnail looks cyanotic. His expression is rather cryptic, too. It looks off, don't you think?

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  17. In fact, when I was a kid I once ran across an odd picture in an old album of an old guy with handlebar moustaches. His eyes were closed. I asked my aunt about it, and she informed me that it was my great-grandfather on my mother's mother's side. I asked about the eyes, and she very matter-of-factly told me that it was because he was dead. So even in my family, it was done, if not as creepily as this little boy one was. I mean, the man (My G.G.) looked like he was standing up, not laying down, you understand. Just the shut eyes gave it away.

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  18. I was thinking about your last comment pboy.

    Wouldn't you think that a boy that age, at least five, in those HARD times, would be a rather obedient young fellow? I mean, to have to tie the kid up just to get him to stay still, is a bit much. Also, the thin thread or twine that is holding his right hand out to the side, is rather a thin restriction to an active child, no? Fine to hold a limp limb in place, but useless in restricting a non-limp active one, I would say.

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  19. And lastly, if he was so squirmy that he needed restriction, wouldn't his face have moved as well? And yet, it's crystal clear.

    No, I think this young fellow didn't have ANY problem holding still for the camera, if you get my drift.

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  20. Hey Ryan, how big was Cthulhu supposed to be? It's been a long time since I've read the books, and I missed a couple of them. Wasn't he really super-huge or something?

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  21. All these questions about Cthulhu just show how he has been distorted in popular culture. For the real scoop goto Cthuinadvertising.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's been years since I've read Lovecraft, but I think Cthulhu was the size of an island? I can't recall if the giant monster at the end of The Mountains of Madness was supposed to be Cthulhu or not.

    I think the clarity of the photo is what bothers me. I don't ever recall seeing a picture of a living person from before the 1920s that was that clear. I think thats why I new immediately that he must be dead.

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  23. I don't ever recall seeing a picture of a living person from before the 1920s that was that clear.
    -------
    Yeah, that fact in itself is even a bit creepy.

    This picture is creepy on a multidimensional level. And incredibly sad, of course. And even perhaps happy in the sense that, as has been pointed out, it might have offered real comfort to the grieving parents and relatives. Their culture was so different, it's hard to put ourselves in their place.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cthuinadvertising.com
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    Bad link?

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's not a pun. Now THIS, THIS is a pun!

    (I got nothing)(Well, except this really big knoife heah)

    ReplyDelete
  26. What's going on these days with all of you heathens?! My God, has time ever flown by!

    Passing by and sharing a link down below. (after a little poetry for thou)
    _________________________________

    'Just passing quickly through these woods' (Me)
    -------------------------------
    (whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though. ... My horse must think it queer to stop without a village near..) ;~)
    ________________________________


    http://www.wimp.com/budgetcuts/


    Hope everyone's well.... MI

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  27. What's going on these days with all of you heathens?! My God, has time ever flown by!
    -------------------
    Not much MI... What's new in the world of gullible religious bubbleheads?
    ;-)

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  28. No comment on the picture, MI?

    Oh, I forget, you have no use for us except as a place to drop in your favorite anti-obama screeds, and then leave like a bird after pooping on a windshield.

    Well, nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  29. It's "... to stop without a farmhouse near..."

    Don't misquote Frost.

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  30. Sooo... apparently we, the US, paid shiite death squads to go into baghdad to ETHNICALLY CLENSE it of all sunnis. (Wikileaks)
    And THAT'S WHY the surge WORKED.
    Someone, anyone, tell me please exactly why WE AREN'T THE FUCKING NAZIS?

    Because as of right now, I'm not seeing the distinction.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Brian, I hadn't read the actual blog.

    This bubblehead's been very busy with the boys and with working to get some of my mobility and health back.

    So, in that vein, things are looking good!

    Now, about that picture, well, actually, I would like to know more about that practice and of the source from whence you got it from.

    His eyes look a little cross-eyed. Though he appears to have a little smile going on there. As a parent, I suppose I could understand how his parents would like to have remembered him in a good light. I'm not sure if he's dead before or after the photo was shot.

    All I can think is God bless him for leaving them in a gentle way.

    A handsome young man.

    If that was the tradition back in "those" days, then that's just what they did.

    I think I would have been too broken- hearted to tie my child standing up; I think I would have my child in bed or somehow comfortable and comforted with as much love and family around him as possible.

    Please do not put on me your view that I have "use" of you for certain things, reasons.

    You are not objects; you are human beings.

    I'm not anti-Obama .

    I was actually impressed that a college student took the time and intelligence to do what he did.

    No matter who's in office....

    You should do a blog on Halloween.

    Who's dressing up as what?? Huh?

    Me: a monastic nun.

    You???

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  32. Brian i have started on my annual tale of Halloween terror honoring HPL and EAP as usual. This year's horror is titled, "The Tell-tale Tea Party".

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  33. I was just saying that, since it would be really hard for ANYONE to stand stock still for, say, five minutes, kids might understand that they ought to, but not be able to manage it. But, if they had something holding one hand up and a few 'guides' to keep their body from moving, it would make it much easier.

    I wasn't suggesting the that kid was being photographed entirely against his will!

    Plus, it might very well be that the poor little sausage was already 'demised', I was just saying that it's possible that he wasn't dead. A few blinks wouldn't matter, but a small, unnoticed arm movement certainly would.

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  34. In fact the expression on his face might suggest, "I don't know if I can stand still this long!"

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  35. .. and you can see by his ears that he's trying to fly away.

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  36. I can't put my finger on why, but his right hand looks very lifeless and unnatural.

    Did I mention I'm haunted by this photo?

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  37. Well, Ryan, just imagine that he's NOT dead, just dead uncomfortable, dressed up in clothes he likely doesn't own in a studio that knows kids can't stay still and tie them down a bit, for the sake of clear photography.

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  38. I get where you're going pboy. I think this pic is easier to take if one tells themself that maybe he was just fidgety.

    However, out of the principle of the thing, I must note that if the goal were to merely have the boy know where to keep his hands etc, simply positioning him with his hands *actually on a surface* of some sort, perhaps on that fence and on that object that the thread is attached to, rather than have the (undoubtedly obvious even to them at the time) problem of *visible ropes and strings* in the final product.

    Plus, I agree that that hand just looks *dead.* It's in an un-naturally stilted position with the fingers all stiff and skinny looking.

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  39. Also, he was fidgety so they tied his hands and feet in place, except that they didn't tie his head in place and it's not blurred at all, or even if the head is somehow secured in a way that we can't see, not even his features are blurred in any way, and the facial features on a fidgety child would surely have been in a constant state of flux.

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  40. It's almost like gravity is exerting more influence over his finger then it should.

    Also, Eric never did answer me about the existance of "strong" evidence for god and if weak evidence every becomes strong in the agregate, did he?

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  41. Did I mention I'm haunted by this photo?
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    ME TOO.

    (Obviously)

    It really affected me.

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  42. MI,

    Instead of dressing up as a monastic nun, you could dress up as a fantastic nun.

    You know, a happy nun who questions her faith and likes to drink beer.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Did I mention I'm haunted by this photo?
    -------------
    See? I told you it was a good one for Halloween.

    Only at Saint Brian's Place do you get a *genuine* haunting.

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  44. "Also, Eric never did answer me about the existance of "strong" evidence for god and if weak evidence every becomes strong in the agregate, did he?"

    If all you have is a lot of weak evidence, then no, it doesn't become 'strong' in the aggregate (though, obviously, a lot of weak evidence is 'stronger' than one bit of weak evidence). And there is strong evidence for the existence of god. I take evidence to include lines of argument, so the strength of the argument I presented for the existence of an unconditioned being is part of the strong evidence for the existence of god. I also take the apparent fine-tuning of the universe to be strong evidence for the existence of god, along with the fact that modern cosmology points to a beginning of spacetime (even if it can't clearly define the beginning, or say whether there was a singularity, and so on). I think that the fact that it seems to us that there are moral facts is strong evidence for the existence of god. Aside from the evidence that theism is true, I think that there is strong evidence that naturalism is false, such as the obvious truth that mental states are intentional. It also seems to me that naturalism cannot account for reason (see Reppert's AFR) or for the existence of moral facts.

    So, I think that a lot of weak evidence converges with a lot of strong evidence and points to the conclusion that theism is true and that naturalism is false.

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  45. Ok Ste B - I have to weigh in here. I do not think the child in this photo was dead at that time of the picture. His face doesn't look dead. And in my line of work I do unfortunately have to see dead people on occasion.

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  46. I take evidence to include lines of argument
    -----------------
    There's your problem right there. For God, for something so extraordinary, one needs more than mere argumentation unsupported by anything whatsoever in the way of physical evidence.

    Even the things you would call your physical evidence are arguments in themselves, as in, highly disputable.

    You've got words, though.

    That's it, though. No proofs of any kind, just arguments.

    If it were anything else, say people believing in fairies, we'd just laugh and dismiss you and all christians, but you and all the other christians enjoy the protection of our massive cultural conditioning which prevents most of us seeing the sheer 'silly' in your religion.

    Most of us. Fortunately, we're catching on.

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  47. His face doesn't look dead.
    ------------
    I dunno... Makeup? They had that back then...

    Or you're right. No way to prove it.

    But if you are, then why the ties? I don't see it pboy's way at all.

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  48. But if you are, then why the ties?

    ----------------------
    Well, you know what they say about family - these are the ties that bind....

    a groan is heard across the globe...

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  49. The closest pics showing his face... The brownish one in particular...
    He's in a photo studio. Some of the background plants are painted onto a backdrop, and besides are tropical plants.
    So bright lights, no doubt.

    Back to the face...
    His eyes, or rather his irises, appear, seem to be, as best I can tell, fully dilated.

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  50. "If it were anything else, say people believing in fairies, we'd just laugh and dismiss you and all christians"

    I hear this all the time, though the specifics differ (e.g. leprechauns, gremlins, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc.), and my response is always the same: Show me. No one has yet even come close to doing it. But really, it's simple: Show me. Show me *one* argument for fairies, leprechauns or the Easter Bunny that has even 1/100th the force of, say, Aquinas's First Way. Not a single person has even come close to meeting this challenge. (Some try by saying, "It's easy, just take out anything that refers to god in that argument and replace it with fairies, the Easter Bunny, etc." thereby showing that they don't know the first thing about either the argument or the Easter Bunny...)

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  51. Eric; you've previously said that none of the arguments are rationally coercive. I take that to mean they are weak.

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  52. I think his ears look dead too. The color... I'm haunted...

    I would imagine that Eric probably sees my being bothered by that photo as "strong" evidence for god.

    I would say it's strong evidence for religion as wish fulfillment.

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  53. "you've previously said that none of the arguments are rationally coercive. I take that to mean they are weak."

    Not at all! For example, no scientific line of argument is rationally coercive, but many scientific arguments are quite strong, e.g. arguments supporting evolution. Remember, to say that an argument is rationally coercive is to say much, much more than it's strong; rather, it's to say that you can *only* deny the conclusion of the argument on pain of *irrationality*. A rationally coercive argument is better than strong; it's undeniable. So, if an argument is rationally coercive, its logic must be flawless, its premises true, and demonstrably true, and its terms perfectly clear. As you can guess, almost no argument meets these standards. But there are many arguments that are logically flawless, that have premises that are very plausibly true and that use terms in ways that are satisfactorily clear, and these arguments are strong. If the logic is fallacious, or a premise demonstrably false, then the argument fails -- period. And if the argument is logically solid, its premises disputable but possibly true, and its terms somewhat clear, then the argument is most likely weak.

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  54. Show me. Show me *one* argument for fairies, leprechauns or the Easter Bunny that has even 1/100th the force of, say, Aquinas's First Way.
    ------------
    Silly wabbit, nobody like Aquinas ever wrote apologetics for fairies. If they had, we'd have a 'first way' or whatever about them today. If the church (or some fairy-believing equivalent of it, a religious organization) had wanted all of us to believe in fairies, that's how we'd be thinking today, and no doubt even the actual Aquinas would have written many excellent pro-fairy apologies that we could marvel at today.

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  55. Yeah Ryan, I'd seen it, and almost posted it here, but I was thinking that it's more likely a girl falling asleep, since such a thing happening n the middle of a photo shoot back then was probably common and considered cute and worth capturing, and I doubt that a dying girl would be in a photo session, and even if she just suddenly expired in the middle of one, wouldn't they interrupt it to try to revive her or whatever they would do at that time?
    Anyhow, I do think that, since there is more of a MARKET for post-mortem pics, especially the really macabre ones, an unscrupulous person (very common, sadly) would be very motivated to just call what in all likelihood was a before-and-after shot of a girl falling asleep, her pre-and-post-mortem photos instead.
    It could well be though, that she was indeed expiring. No way to be sure.
    Certainly it qualifies as an 'honorable mention' of a really creepy shot.

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  56. What I find irrational is the leap from theism to dead 1st Century Judea with whom you can have a personal relationship. Just because WLC can argue that the first cause of the universe might have needed to be "personal" doesn't mean you then get to use EVERY meaning of the word "personal" to describe whichever god you like. But we've been over that ad nauseum.

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  57. Good point, Ryan. The eyes indeed.

    Look closer, at the enlarged images. Her pupils are CONTRACTED in both the before AND after shots.

    She's not dead. Relax.

    (Although, come to think of it, she is now, isn't she?)

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  58. From the Museum of mourning photography in Chicago:

    **In the Victorian Era childhood mortality rates were extremely high, and a post-mortem photograph might be the only image of the child the family ever had. These photographs served as a keepsake to remember the deceased. This was especially common with infants and young children; The earliest post-mortem photographs are usually close-ups of the face or shots of the full body and rarely include the coffin. The subject is usually depicted so as to seem in a deep sleep, or else arranged to appear more lifelike. Children were often shown in repose on a couch or in a crib or carriage, sometimes posed with a favorite toy or other plaything. Flowers were also a common prop in post-mortem photography of all types. The effect of life was sometimes enhanced by either propping the subject's eyes open or painting pupils onto the photographic print, and many early images have a rosy tint added to the cheeks of the corpse.

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  59. "What I find irrational is the leap from theism to dead 1st Century Judea with whom you can have a personal relationship."

    It's not a "leap," but we've never been able to make any progress on the theism question itself, which is a logical precondition of any defense of the move from theism to Christianity.

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  60. Anyway, it's not a leap, and it's certainly not irrational.

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  61. Eric; Heck, forget about theism, we haven't made any progress on the first cause. You're lucky to get to deism.

    Maybe you should hold your horses?

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  62. Harry C----

    Don't worry, I'll be drinking beer.

    And, if you don't think that every nun or every believer doesn't ever question their faith....then you need to realize otherwise.

    It's human nature to question and to doubt.

    I know some fantastic, monastic nuns personally. ! Yes, they DO exist ;~)

    WHAT'S YOUR COSTUME GONNA BE????

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  63. What a coincidence! I'm going as a *pregnant* monastic nun!

    You're not pregnant, are you?

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  64. Stay on topic Eric.

    Is there any way that we can reasonably believe that there is, 'outside of time', and is there any way that that we might imagine anyone living(a process involving time), or thinking(a process involving time), or doing anything(a process involving time)?

    Now, I'm fully expecting you to invoke some authority and all, with some special 'spell' of language, meaning 'can too!', but, you know, seriously?

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  65. Basically, I'm asking you, Eric, and not what some other, no doubt dualist philosopher said that you feel cozy with, or what some physicists said, that you feel cozy with.

    What could be the reasonable reason that anyone might imagine that there is one or more 'beings' 'living' outside of time except for the circular notion that science has boxed your ideas out of reality and into this 'Twilight Zone'??

    And this to avoid saying that God is magic, surely.

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  66. I was thinking of going as Princess Leia, with a unibrow, a painted-on 5 o'clock shadow, a cigar, and a fat chick dressed up as Jabba the Slut.

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  67. Rene Decartes was a very smart fellow, I'm absolutely sure, but he lived in those times when the power of the Church was oppressive, and he admitted that the notion of God was intuitive.

    Nevertheless, I think that if old Rene was alive today he'd laugh in your face if you suggested that God 'lives' outside of time.

    There's always 'some scientist' who is willing to overstep himself on the notion of time, trying to invoke the notion of tachyons and exceeding the speed of light and drivel like that, but it's quite simple really, isn't it?

    No, no, you have to believe that time is one thing happening after another to even imagine time travel into the past and it NOT being one thing after another to believe in 'life outside time'.

    So pick ONE.

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  68. The 'sexy' Leiah, with the metal bra and ginch??

    I LIKE.

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  69. Oops.. nevermind Eric.

    I'm crossing up my blogs.

    LOL

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  70. I'm 'going' as an atheist!

    I'll look normal to most people, but to the likes of MI, 'if only you could see the HORROR', isn't that right MI?

    MI probably shouldn't be eating that home farmed 'tainted rye' bread though.

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  71. This idea of us being 'endowed' with an inate sense of morality, as put forward by C.S.Lewis in his famous Mere Christianity, is total bullshit.

    It must be so easy for philosophers to imagine this world where, when one feels guilty, one must have done something wrong.

    What a weird magical world they live in though.

    We only need to imagine how this sense of guilt can be used to manipulate people, to see how this is not some gift bestowed on us by some supernatural being.

    Every bully, whether he's(or she's) a child molester, a war-mongering chickenhawk President, a peer in school or work, down to a bored big siser/brother using his/her sibling as a toy, from a an actual torturer down to a hen-pecking wife, instills in his/her victim(s) THAT VERY SENSE of guilt, that, of course it is the victim that is to blame.

    It is so natural for us to justify our actions to ourselves and others that this sense of shame is auto-dumped on others asap.

    Eric, I'm afraid that by invoking some supernatural sense of morality, you are simply identifying yourself as a bully, willing to try to manipulate others using this sense of shame that is well known, to perpetrators and victims alike.

    Sorry bud, but it's true. You're a passive/aggressive bully.

    Wear it with pride while you look past your nostrils at us, we who are to blame, in your mind.

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  72. "It must be so easy for philosophers to imagine this world where, when one feels guilty, one must have done something wrong."

    Not wanting to be sloughed off by you, Eric, I'd like to expand on this a touch.

    Of course C.S.Lewis put this 'Moral Law', in terms of a person deciding to whether they ought to save themselves, think of themselves first, in a situation where another person's life is in peril.

    A man is drowning, in danger of burning up or somesuch, and is torn between 'doing the right thing'(attempting to save the poor sod) OR staying safe themselves.

    But we can all recognize the derision that the man might feel he'll be subject to if he ignores another's peril.

    If we hesitate to help, we are automatically subjected to our derision of our 'chicken' selves and imagine the further derision of others.

    "Why didn't YOU help this poor sod? What are you, CHICKEN??"

    Of course I'm imagining the case where the would-be rescuer fears for his/her own life, because THAT is the whole point of the example in C.S.Lewis scenario.

    It is clear that Lewis is manipulating the sense of shame/guilt instilled in us, called 'socialization'.

    But there are plenty of bullies out there who break the 'socialization rules', and they include religionists trying to blame non-believers for not being gullible.

    Just my two cents on that.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Is this universe a big hologram?

    Very interesting article. I'm curious what this would mean for our arguments if found to be true.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Actually no. Going to run with my last comment and propose that MI's sense of guilt/shame has been turned up to the point where she has a NEED to be dumping her guilt on to others.

    Notice how she gets this giant 'smug factor' out of showing us how, people she imagines must be our heros, are so flawed.

    No doubt she wears our derision with pride, "Why of course you slime would say that, you're, after all, yucky slime, HA!"

    We could mention how her hero Bush, felt the need to pardon HIMSELF from possible war crimes, but she'll just say, "A) You just didn't LIKE Bush, B) I never said he was my hero, C) of course you slime would say anything to disparage a great man!, D) etc. etc."

    Bush is already imagining that 'history' has forgotten his pecadillos such as the above, or the redefining 'tortured' to mean, 'murdered'.

    Still, MI will, Archie Bunker like, imagine that he did his job, keeping us 'safe from democracy'.

    ReplyDelete
  75. “It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time,” Hogan said.

    Hogan later revealed that 'microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time' is what he calls 'farting', to be polite.

    Seems Hogan is a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut.

    Later still, Hogan gave this reporter a 'heads up' on an upcoming MACROSCOPIC convulsion of space-time, which I took to be more phsicist humour!

    Oh, the HUMANITY! I should have listened.

    ReplyDelete
  76. sorry, should read, ".. MACROSCOPIC quantum convulsions of space-time..", my point being that 'microscopic' and 'quantum' being used in the same sentence, to define the same phenomenon, is 'eyes-up, slowly shaking-head' time.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Click here: James T. Kloppenberg Discusses His ‘Reading Obama’ - NYTimes.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. "Can you bring this post back from almost certain death, Bones?"

    "I'm a doctor, not a slot machine.", Bones whines, a little too enigmatically.

    "Yee hafta gi' it a go!", Scotty interjects, as Scotty is wont to do.

    "I'll do my best!", Bones parrots, he's almost tired of this line, "But I can't promise anything."

    As everyone rolls their eyes at this, Bones proceeds to point a squeeze toy at the comment and tweek it mercilessly.

    "Squeeky, squeeky, squeeky.", Scotty absently mindedly mocks. It's becoming obvious to all that he's three sheets to the wind.

    "There's that's done it!", Bones solenmly declares, "I've SAVED it, this post is saved, for another day, by our inane banter and bad acting!"

    No one but the camera notices the United States Marine marching up to kick Bones in the head for neglecting to give GOD credit, as we slip quietly and pointlessly into a Chick Tract scenario..

    .. fade to black.

    ReplyDelete
  79. hmm.. was trying to publish that on Pliny's blog but it refused to 'take'.


    Thought I'd try it here.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Well MI,

    In honor of Samhain de los Muertos w/ Cavities. I think I'll just smile a lot and tell snotty women at a party I'll invariably feel forced to go to, that law school is great, and a firm with a wonderful reputation is looking to hire me.

    Then at the end of the night I'll scare them with the truth!!

    "Ahhhhhhh. He's not financially viable!!! Ahhhhhh."

    After many ups and downs in life, a lot of debt and a divorce, and literally years of schooling which may or may not pay off. I finally find that reaction amusing.

    They won't.

    But then that's the point of "Halloween."

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hey Harry, your's is the best so far!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Seems to me that Christianity is a big tent religion, at the same time filled with smaller tents, which can include or exclude themselves with/from the other tents at their discretion.

    In fact, it seems to me that there are some overlapping tents too!

    Not only that it seems to work on the principle that, "If life is giving you lemons, it's time to open a lemonade stand!", for a lot of them.(i.e. start your own denomination, or at least your own church!)

    I think that the Tea Party is the equivalent of this in politics. The usual crap not working? Rebrand it!

    Most folk are stoopid enough to fall for this.

    Betcha(wink) that MI is a 'mama Grizzly bear' of a Tea-partier.

    Am I right, MI?? Am I?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Ian; your 6:56 PM post reminds me a lot of lyrics Roger Waters would write. Good stuff. If you a Gilmore man, I meant no disrespect.

    ReplyDelete
  84. hmm.. was trying to publish that on Pliny's blog but it refused to 'take'.


    Thought I'd try it here.
    -------
    Sorry pboy - that looks more like something for my blog anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  85. pboy - I got your stuff to post - I dunno why it was stuck in moderation Cap'n.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Darn, Ryan, I never thought to put it in rhyme.

    Well, Pliny, it was an effort to add at least one more comment to a good post that should not die like this.

    Perhaps most Christians really don't want to think about it because it is senseless, so obviously senseless to the most rabid Christian imagining trying to explain their position on it to a non-believer.

    Eric might try to get away with the old, "Chumly the great dualist, sometime last millenia, explained that, "I know you are, but what am I?"

    ReplyDelete
  87. If this post is dying, it'll have to gasp along for another week or so, because, as I made plain, it's my Halloween post.

    And besides, I am getting about a half-hour a day to go online right now. Busy with the house...

    Hope y'all hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Harry C:


    Go as your fantastic self.

    Any girl who rejects you:

    JUDGE HER!

    ;~)

    ReplyDelete
  89. And, don't worry about being financially viable: soon enough, we'll all be in the same boat....

    Irregardless of who's in office.

    ReplyDelete
  90. On a 'universe' show, a physicist, talking about ancient people and the stars is astounded that to the ancients those stars, (and I quote)".. took on cosmic importance."

    It's lucky for me that I did not have my mouth full of something.

    Man, I cannot believe that they can look in a camera, and with as much time as they need, say things like this.


    Would she say about the land, how it took on geological importance to them???

    ReplyDelete
  91. I woulda chimed in yesterday, but my power was out for nine hours...

    ReplyDelete
  92. Pboy, that sounds pretty dumb, for a physicist.

    I keep saying to people, scientists are fallible. (The one you've quoted sounds a tad overspecialized, missing the larger narrative etc.) This doesn't mean that science is flawed, because it takes that into account, with peer-review and such. Science, unlike religion, corrects itself as goes along. It makes plenty of mistakes, but eventually it corrects or refines them and discovers missing information and sooner or later it has either the right answer, or at the least an answer that works for now until we uncover more information. That's the beauty of science. It isn't afraid of failure. Each failure brings it closer to success.

    As to religion, not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Apparently the 'liberal gene' is just the gene that causes people to 'seek novelty' or in other words, to like change and new things.

    The 'novelty' gene.

    So science has now proven that liberalism is reduceable to simply being more able and even eager to accept change, therefore this leaves conservatives as the ones that are genetically wed to the past. The ones that genetically prefer stagnation and no improvement over time.

    It's in their genes ... or rather, it isn't.

    Makes such perfect sense, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  94. Too bad there isn't a 'surgical option' for the conservatives. Sad. Maybe someday we can cure them.

    ReplyDelete
  95. If you love novelty, you tend to learn a lot more about the world.

    And about other people.

    You get empathetic. And humble.

    And voila! You're a liberal!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Actually peeb,

    Stars taking on COSMIC importance to man is an astounding leap in our history.

    Every realization for man of something that has another more important or immediate context than how it relates TO man is our frontal lobes doing their job.

    You take a lot of stuff for granted you highland positivist.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I love novel tea, though it may make others leaf the room. I say, why not branch out? Even if it's not in the same exact vein as coffee. The mechanism of our taste apparatus needs a twig now and then.

    You may think I'm simply jesting and deserve a zinger. But don't, I mint every single word of this; also, be careful what you type, there are spice everywhere.

    -----

    If I made a southern brew, I'd make Steve Earle Grey. The perfect mix of a boring afternoon of scones and a night of whiskey.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Harry, your strange brew of puns shows that you truly are steeped in a knowledge of the leaf, but alas so many made my eyes as heavy as my sleepy time...

    ReplyDelete
  99. Novel Tea

    Ingredients:

    One medium-sized novel
    Two teabags


    (Warning: Do Not Use Bible, or you will have Insani Tea)

    ReplyDelete
  100. Of course, there's always Commie Pekoe Black...
    Obama's Favorite

    (groan)

    ReplyDelete
  101. Brian,

    This, "We've hit the darjeeling ceiling." Really was an LOL. The kind I would've had to hide at my school's computer room or library.

    I came to bitch about BP, but now I just feel too damn good.

    ------

    Pliny, I tip my hat to you. You are the pun dojo master.

    Though personally, I find you repungnant.

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  102. Playing the game, versus TRUE believer.

    I think that's the difference between Eric and MI.

    The difference between the GOP and the Tea Party.

    How many election cycles can go by in the USA where they bring up the usual suspects, Taxes, Abortion, Gays, Illegal Immigrants, before the TRUE believers 'get it'?

    How many times can they 'win' without noticing that they didn't win anything at all?

    Eight years of Bush and abortion is still legal? WTF?

    Eight years of Bush and they're STILL paying too much taxes? WTF?

    Eight years of Bush and the gays are STILL inching towards equality? WTF?

    Eight years of Bush and there's still illegals 'stealing our jobs'? WTF??

    And, of course a TRUE believer CANNOT see the similarity between his/her TRUE belief and, say, the 9/11 attackers own TRUE belief or "insurgents" in any country occupied by the USA's TRUE belief.

    Come on guys, it'll be fun to have Sarah Palin as Prez, won't it?

    SHE. IS. A. TRUE. BELIEVER!

    (This has been brought you you by, www.WTFWEREALLGONNADIESOONANYWAY.fu)

    ReplyDelete
  103. Hey peeb,

    I couldn't link into that website

    ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hey guys,

    If you've got an hour and twenty to kill, Massimo Pigliucci just posted a link to a conversation between Dawkins and De Grasse Tyson.

    Prof. Pigliucci has taken issue with something Dr. Tyson states later in the video, but I just wanted to pass it along because it's pretty cool so far, and you know how much I loathe Dawkins.

    Nothing new per se, but well phrased and nuanced.

    The Poetry of Science

    ReplyDelete
  105. Watching one of 'my' shows, about solar power, and the subject of cost of construction versus cost of coal-fired power, when my last comment gave me this:-

    When it comes to conservation and this type of technology, we liberals are the TRUE believers, in the minds of the 'right'.

    We've seen this in the electric car technology destroyed by GM a.s.a.p. after California dropped their anti-pollution law, how a solar plant 'went under' due to oil price taking a nose-dive and such.

    The oil business, being a business has to tell us the the resource is getting scarce, maximize profit.

    Trouble with this is that there are going to be a certain percentage of TRUE believers who will try to invent/create/put into use, environmentally friendly solar(and such) power.

    The coal and oil industries CANNOT put up with this, of course, because we cannot be seen to be able to get along with less oil consumption.

    The automobile industry with all the after market maintainence and repair are in the same boat, they cannot be promoting vehicles that will 'last'.

    The steel industry is in bed with the oil and auto industries, busy making the steel for the cars, pipelines, ships etc. for these other two, and so that goes like a domino effect, down to your corner gas station, auto dealer and repair shop.

    The oil industry cannot openly declare that there is plenty of oil, so they neglect refineries and such to create pinch points to drive the price up, while claiming that it is the scarcity of the product that is to blame.

    (What, are they going to tell us that they are 'chintzing' us to milk our wallets? I don't think so.)

    Trouble is that it makes TRUE believers out of a certain percentage of us. Just enough of us to worry the oil industry that their 'method' will go under, and they then must fight back.

    Since the original narrative is that oil is getting scarce cannot be 'taken back', they have to stick with it while using dirtier and dirtier tricks to get their way.


    If oil is SO scarce, why is it that Palin and the likes of her are so enthusiastic to get it out and being used as fast as they possibly can???

    They fear it will become worthless, THAT'S WHY!

    And a final nail in the 'alternate energy' coffin(for now) is that the ALMIGHTY dollar is tied to oil production, oil is sold WorldWide in U.S. Dollars!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Watching one of 'my' shows, about solar power, and the subject of cost of construction versus cost of coal-fired power, when my last comment gave me this:-

    When it comes to conservation and this type of technology, we liberals are the TRUE believers, in the minds of the 'right'.

    We've seen this in the electric car technology destroyed by GM a.s.a.p. after California dropped their anti-pollution law, how a solar plant 'went under' due to oil price taking a nose-dive and such.

    The oil business, being a business has to tell us the the resource is getting scarce, maximize profit.

    Trouble with this is that there are going to be a certain percentage of TRUE believers who will try to invent/create/put into use, environmentally friendly solar(and such) power.

    The coal and oil industries CANNOT put up with this, of course, because we cannot be seen to be able to get along with less oil consumption.

    The automobile industry with all the after market maintainence and repair are in the same boat, they cannot be promoting vehicles that will 'last'.

    The steel industry is in bed with the oil and auto industries, busy making the steel for the cars, pipelines, ships etc. for these other two, and so that goes like a domino effect, down to your corner gas station, auto dealer and repair shop.

    The oil industry cannot openly declare that there is plenty of oil, so they neglect refineries and such to create pinch points to drive the price up, while claiming that it is the scarcity of the product that is to blame.

    (What, are they going to tell us that they are 'chintzing' us to milk our wallets? I don't think so.)

    Trouble is that it makes TRUE believers out of a certain percentage of us. Just enough of us to worry the oil industry that their 'method' will go under, and they then must fight back.

    Since the original narrative is that oil is getting scarce cannot be 'taken back', they have to stick with it while using dirtier and dirtier tricks to get their way.


    If oil is SO scarce, why is it that Palin and the likes of her are so enthusiastic to get it out and being used as fast as they possibly can???

    They fear it will become worthless, THAT'S WHY!

    And a final nail in the 'alternate energy' coffin(for now) is that the ALMIGHTY dollar is tied to oil production, oil is sold WorldWide in U.S. Dollars!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Now Canada is in the same boat when it comes to oil, there's all this oil under Alberta, and the insatiable appetite for it, right 'there'.

    So here is an example of how our Governments are well aware that they are stuck, sucking on the oil tit, and they will enact laws to protect it.

    A Canadian Company made some electric cars according to laws regarding them, in Canada.

    Not allowed to be able to exceed 40 miles/hour.

    The law for vehicles on highways is:- no vehicles, which are not allowed to exceed 40 miles/hour allowed!

    LOL... Basically, no company is allowed to make an electric vehicle which will EVER be allowed to be driven on a Canadian highway!

    Unless either of these two laws are changed, of course.

    This allows our representatives to cry about doing their very best to get us up and running on conservation, and they ARE willing to talk the paint off walls about it, they just are NOT about to change their 'rules' for electric cars and highways, is all.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hmm,

    A little bit less formal than I suspicioned at first but still fun.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Listening to Poetry of Science. I have the stool ready, tying up the rope with the noose. Sticking head through the noose now.

    They're still chuckling to each other.

    That's it! The horizon analogy is too much, kicking stool over!

    GaaK!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Did you hear the one about the Catholic priest who hated science, and especially space exploration, because he heard that when they explore space there's always spin-offs like gnostic frying pans

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  111. Harry; I have to ask, do you despise Richard Dawkins because of Richard Dawkins or because of Richard Dawkins' more sycophantic fans?

    I hate Dave Matthews for the same reason, but recognize that Dave is actually pretty talented.

    ReplyDelete
  112. The horizon thing isn't an analogy.

    Pboy, according to the wonderful medical establishment here in the US. I am certifiable. Nutty. Dangerous mainly to coherent discourse, and mundane concepts that gather cultural moss.

    But generally, this genetically caused, environmentally exacerbated "disease," is awful and I would only wish it on my ex-wife and all people identical to my ex-wife.

    Anyway, are you part of my club? Has one flown over your cuckoo's nest?

    Your internet essence is hyperbolic, so I had to ask.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Ryan,

    Good question.

    On the whole, no, it's Dick Dawk himself, complaining about hubris but full of it. So ignorant of philosophy (and more importantly) cultural anthropology, that I generally find him and PZ Meyers a discredit to the intellectualism they supposedly espouse.

    But I liked Dawkins in this video, he deliberately placed himself in the field of his expertise. Fantastic. Loved some of his explications.

    This wasn't the ridiculous amalgamation of psychology, cultural anthropology, philosophy and science that he thinks he's an expert in.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Harry; being annoyed by religion is everyone's field of expertise.

    I'm actually not familiar enough with Richard Dawkins to say anything one way or another about your comment about his ridiculous amalgamation of psychology, cultural anthropology, philosophy and science, but PZ seems to stick with biology.

    I wish, however, that more atheists would just simply say "Fuck you your premise is stupid" and move on rather then spend so much time trying to show the flaws in the "the problem of evil" or some other theological rabbit hole/mine field.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Well, Harry, I'm not sure, if it's 'me' or if it's the the rest of the World, so to speak.

    I think that torture was wrong in the Inquisition, although I'm sure that they did it with the very best of intentions, EXACTLY the same as Bush et al, just renaming it, did, with the very best of intentions. This is one example of people believing in the spiritual in spite of the very Earthly evidence against them.

    I can almost hear an average Christian apologizing for torture right now, talking about how few people were actually physically tortured and likely believing in their hearts the new definition of 'torture' as 'enhanced interrogation technique that doesn't cause death', since as Bush noted, there's a lot of leeway there.

    Guess we all have to pardon ourselves after feeling that God has done that, if it's necessary, though old George, it seems wasn't too inclined to pardon anyone else!

    I honestly believe that George felt he could do anything he wanted because of the usual bogus reasons, he was President, the son of a President, he was rich, from a rich family, and everyone else ought to feel that way too!

    Point is that I must be nuts because the majority of people look at the position they gave him, by fair means or foul and couldn't stand to see the office tarnished by accusing him of any crime!

    This kind of personality is well known to us, the 'evil' laird, or noble man or even cop, who actually imagines that their position gives them immunity FROM the law, simply because the help create or enforce law.

    ReplyDelete
  116. "Harry; being annoyed by religion is everyone's field of expertise."

    Ryan, the peace of hyperbole be unto you.

    Dawkins isn't just annoyed at religion. He really, truly, doesn't understand why man was ever religious outside of "bad science."

    As intellectual discourse grows about it, and more and more atheists keep writing on the subject out of interest, Dawkins' reactionary and stupid understanding of religion will be exposed for the fraudulent bullshit it is.

    PZ is slightly more complicated, I actually think he's smarter than Dawkins about religion but just doesn't give a shit, which is as bad.

    Religion's deconstruction started a long time ago and its reincorporation into man's history as it was and is, not what it claims it is or was, has done nothing but increase our 'self-knowledge.'

    Personally, Dawkins' posturing about the why's and wherefore's of religion shouldn't even be tolerated by anyone in academia because his field of expertise is biology.

    Like it or not, religion is not simplistic, and if you're interested I can ask my atheist metaphysics professor (who is currently writing a book on one -yes, just one- catholic doctrine, and is also a religion professor) about more atheist "theological" writings.

    These are intelligent men and women who reject both the god/s hypothesis and the hypothesis that religion is simply tomfoolery based on the god hypothesis.

    IMHO, the more atheist theologians, the better.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Like it or not, religion is not simplistic
    -----------
    It certainly is. You must bethinking of 'spirituality.' Religion is just a control mechanism based in keeping the ignorant that way, by convincing them they're actyally the smarter ones in spite of not having any knowledge.

    Spirituality on the other hand, while many might find it eminently dismissable, is anything but simple. Going within, I mean, as opposed to huddling together in a building and just believing that that's how you talk to god.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Well, I think that religion is just a social behaviour.

    Seems to me that the big issues for religion, sexual orientation/deviance, pecking order etc. point at nothing BUT that religion is a social behavior, touting their social values as their prime concern.

    But the notion of spirituality is the door TO religion as far as they are concerned, I'm thinking, and there's a lot of room for confusion of terms, mixing and matching of meanings, depending on what you are willing to agree with compared to what you think you are agreeing with, and such.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I realize this should have been two posts ago, but I happened upon a quote by Carl Sagan:

    "How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, "This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said—grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed"? Instead they say, "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." — Carl Sagan

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  120. I don't know a single christian who has ever said this."No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." — Carl Sagan" In fact we as christians have said Gods ways are above mans ways and the world itself cannot contain the books that could have been writen about Him and what He has done.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Well, I think that religion is just a social behaviour.


    ------------------
    There are many religions in the world and many religious people to offer their interpretation of what they consider religion to be… is it a social behaviour? No… More like a confusion tactic to pervert the one true way of God… wouldn’t you agree?

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  122. It certainly is. You must bethinking of 'spirituality.' Religion is just a control mechanism based in keeping the ignorant that way, by convincing them they're actyally the smarter ones in spite of not having any knowledge.


    -------------------------
    Now this is a statement that shows much ignorance…
    There are a great deal of people in the world today that have an enormous amount of knowledge yet disagree with you on the basic principals of life’s origin.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Mike said,

    "I don't know a single christian who has ever said this."No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." "

    Metaphor is lost on you, my friend...

    ReplyDelete
  124. Metaphor is lost on you, my friend...
    ----------------------
    Now that is funny..
    Because God is only little in the minds of people like Carl and the rest of you atheist..
    I think it was a backfire on him wouldn’t you say?

    ReplyDelete
  125. I think it was a backfire on him wouldn’t you say?
    ------------
    Um, no.

    Annnnnnyhow...............

    NEW POST IS UP.

    Observant, you are welcome to comment there as well. Nice to see you, even if you are wrong.

    ReplyDelete