Tag Archives: failure

Turns Out Obama Has Been Useful After All

I’ve been thinking that Obama was a complete waste of space over the past 8 years, but it turns out I was wrong.  In fact, Obama has been tremendously useful while he’s been in office.  He’s shown how ridiculous liberalism actually is and it’s had a tremendous effect on the political landscape.  Since he’s been in office, Democrats have lost power across the board, both in the House and Senate, as well as state governors!

You have to remember that this election wasn’t just a condemnation of Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate, but of all of liberalism, as Democrats lost big absolutely everywhere. Starting in 2017, Republicans will be in power across the political landscape, they will be in the majority of both the House and the Senate, they will have the Presidency, and, from what I’ve read, 35 out of 50 state governors will be Republican as well.  To say this isn’t a condemnation of liberalism is absurd.  And this has been a long time coming, it isn’t one election, it’s a dramatic fall from the day Obama was elected, when people see just how harmful these kinds of liberal policies are, and the voters make their displeasure known.

Now I’m not saying I support the GOP, I certainly don’t, I think they are far too liberal as well, especially on the fiscal side, but to see the special little snowflakes out rioting in the streets, throwing a fit because they didn’t get their way, it’s hard to take them seriously.  I mean, even in 2008 and 2012, you didn’t see Republicans out lighting things on fire because Obama won, did you?  You didn’t see Ted Nugent, a complete douchebag if ever there was one, making death threats against Obama, did you?  We’re seeing the true immature children at work here and they’re all regressive leftist assholes.

The left has failed.  Obama has failed.  Clinton has failed.  The American people have seen clearly what an utter disaster liberal policies have been.  I’m sure it will swing around in the next election, it always does, but for the left to scream that their ideas are best is simply not true in reality. The American people have made their voices clearly heard.  Thanks Obama for one thing, showing how awful your brand of politics actually is.

Proving The Resurrection By the Minimal Facts

ResurrectionIt’s bizarre but I’ve found a lot of really crazy fundamentalist Catholics lately, people who are absolutely convinced that their faith is right and nobody can deny how perfect Catholicism is.  That’s the kind of stuff you expect to see from wingnut evangelical crazies, but nope… Catholics.  Go figure.

So anyhow, one of them decides he can prove the resurrection by using the “minimal facts approach” that was pioneered by apologist Gary Habermas.  He produces five points that he claims are so strongly attested historically that nearly every scholar who studies the subject agrees that they happened.  Of course, these points are utterly laughable, to the point that no credible historian is going to agree with them as demonstrable historical events, but hey… he’s got to be right, right?  He even claims that he won’t rely on the New Testament as support for any of these “facts”.

So here are his points and my responses to them.  It’s sad, trust me.

1. Jesus died by crucifixion

I’m sorry, you can’t even show that Jesus ever existed, there is no historical evidence whatsoever that Jesus died by crucifixion. The Romans kept excellent records, yet never recorded the execution of Jesus of Nazareth. He immediately responded with the classical apologetic tropes, Josephus, Tacitus, etc., all of which have been soundly discredited, but that doesn’t stop the religiously deluded.

2. Jesus’ disciples believed that He rose and appeared to them

How does he know this, considering all of the Gospels are anonymous, not written by the people whose names they bear?  Of course, he simply refuses to acknowledge that.  The Bible is perfect, after all, at least the parts that he feels like thinking are perfect.  But he’s not allowed to use the New Testament so that’s right out.  All he has left are empty claims that this is what “traditionally” has been thought to be true.  Tradition isn’t fact.  Another fail.

3. Saul, the persecutor of the Church, was suddenly changed

Again, this is only found in the Bible, which is off-limits so he has to appeal to tradition, a logical fallacy.  The only mentions of Paul outside of the Bible come in a letter from Clement of Rome, written around 96CE, far too late to have been an actual eyewitness to Paul’s existence.  It also doesn’t corroborate the story listed in the Bible and the story in the Bible reads like a drug trip anyhow.  It also doesn’t validate Jesus in any way, shape or form since Jesus was dead by the time this supposed experience took place and Saul didn’t even see Jesus, he simply imagined him.  Completely unconvincing.

4. James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed

The only extra-Biblical source of this is a passage in Jewish Antiquities that says James was executed by the Sanhedrin, we have no direct account from James and, at best, anything Josephus may have said, assuming it wasn’t a forgery to begin with, was heresay.

5. Jesus’ tomb was found to be empty

How do they know that it was Jesus’ tomb if nothing is in it?  How would you test an empty tomb to find out if it actually belonged to Jesus?  Are there artifacts?  Where is this data?  Of course, there isn’t any, it’s just another appeal to tradition and wishful thinking.

It’s really pathetic how these mega-Catholics and other deluded apologists think they’ve got the smoking gun on their religiosu beliefs, but the second you look at them at all critically, it all falls apart into a smoking heap of rubble.  We all know that the ridiculously shaky nature of these religious beliefs won’t stop the blindly faithful from believing but they continue to embarrass themselves by throwing out these ridiculous assertions time and time again.  What the hell is wrong with these idiots?

Join the GameChurch!

game-churchWe just got back from Wondercon and usually, there’s some religious comic book group there, although I never see anyone ever stopping at their booth.  This year, we get Christian gamers and a group called GameChurch.  They had out a little book called “Jesus, For The Win!”, a book, as they describe it, “about a guy named Jesus, his Guild, and his ultimate quest to save a land known as Earth”.  If that sounds ridiculous, you’re right.  My daughter picked one up for me because she figured I’d get a chuckle out of it and she was right. This thing is absurd cover to cover, it reads almost as though these people knew they were ridiculous and were trying to make fun of themselves.

Jesus For The WinIt always entertains me to see the lengths these religious idiots will go to appeal to the one demographic that has no interest whatsoever in their wares:  young people.  The majority of people under 30 are non-religious these days and the churches know that if they’re going to stay in operation after their increasingly aging congregants drop dead, they have to find some way to get kids into the pews.  Often, as in this case, they try to portray Jesus as some “hip dude” that likes the same things that the kids like and does the same kind of things that the kids do.  I’ve seen pictures of Jesus on a skateboard, breakdancing, posting on Twitter and Facebook, it’s really absurd when you think about it, but more laughable to think that kids can’t see straight through the ridiculous advertising that it clearly is.  Sorry Christianity, kids aren’t nearly as stupid and gullible as you seem to think they are.

That doesn’t stop them from trying though.  Essentially, this is a hipster version of the Jesus story, but they assume that anyone reading it is really going to get into it.  For instance, in the section on the Crucifixion, they say:

Stop reading the Jesus story for a minute.

I know, it was just getting good.  There’s betrayal, people are pissed off, angry mobs.  Trust me, I know.

No, you don’t know because there’s nothing good about the story.  Sure, you people try to twist and turn it, describing Jesus as “Sayid from “Lost””, but in the end, the story just isn’t very good no matter how they try to make it cool.  It’s laughable. It’s ridiculous.  Anyone over the age of 8 with any kind of education can see straight through the myths and lies and nonsensical bullshit.  This is not going to attract a younger following because the same problems with Christianity remain.  They have no real answers.  They just have empty claims.  It doesn’t matter if you re-cast Jesus as a hipster, the mythology is still ridiculous and supported with absolutely no evidence whatsoever.  It’s the same shit, different twist.  Kids aren’t walking away from religion because they can’t identify with Jesus, they’re doing it because religion is nonsense and they know it.

I’ve said before that these religious groups rarely get anyone stopping at their booth.  Sometimes it’s because they’re in a bad spot.  This year, they had some pretty prime real estate at the intersection of two major aisles.  They still had nobody.  I never saw anyone at the booth in the dozen or so times I walked past it during Wondercon.  They’re not fooling anyone except themselves.

Religious Admissions of Failure

religious-facepalmI really get sick and tired of this kind of thing, but it is the final wheezes of a failed position.  How many theists have said to you, after going through a long debate where they have never been able to back up a single thing except through professions of faith, that they’re going to ignore everything you’ve said to them and just take their particular religious position anyhow. Why are so many theists entirely unable to admit failure?

I just had that happen again, a theist went into a debate full of proclamations that they could prove their religion correct and after I’d gotten done shaking it around like a rag doll, spilling it’s contents all over the forum for everyone to see, he simply declared that he was going to believe what he believed and there wasn’t anything I could do about it, then he threw in that little “fuck you” at the end, that he was going to heaven and I was going somewhere else.

This is really why I don’t get into heavy debates much anymore, I know it’s ultimately a waste of time and even when shown to be completely wrong, the theists aren’t honest enough to admit defeat, they just go back to bobbing on the Jesus knob as though nobody had ever said anything to challenge their faith in the first place.  You might think that this is only a problem with fundamentalists, but you’d be wrong.  In fact, I’ve found it to be even a bigger problem with some of the ultra-liberal Christians because they won’t even stand still long enough to get a bead on.

I had a recent discussion with a “progressive” Christian (I guess even he is ashamed of the liberal label) who assured me that there was no discovery that could possibly be made that would change his faith because he didn’t actually care about anything in the Bible, he didn’t care if Jesus existed and he didn’t care if God was real.  He was a follower of the teachings of Jesus, not the person of Jesus.  If Jesus turned out to be a complete myth, so what?  The writings in the Bible attributed to Jesus were still there and nothing else mattered.  Thus, so long as the Bible existed, his faith was secure.  He even argued in favor of picking and choosing what parts of the scriptures he wanted to believe because he wasn’t after salvation, he wasn’t after eternal life, he just wanted to feel good.  When I pointed out that virtually no Christian on the planet would consider him a Christian, he shrugged, said they were all wrong and didn’t care what they thought.

I don’t have a particular problem with that, after all, I know of a couple of secular Buddhists who ignore any of the supernatural crap in Buddhism, they just read the writings of Gautama Buddha and get something out of it.  However, this guy, even though he says he doesn’t care about God or Jesus, still believes in God and Jesus.  He says he’s not doing it for eternal salvation, but he still believes it exists.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy was a troll, but he’s a really consistent troll if so.  He’s also hardly the only one I’ve ever had that told me that.

So what’s the point in having these debates if theists are so utterly dishonest that they cannot acknowledge that they’ve lost, or that any of their blind faith claims are wrong?  Don’t give me that “you’re doing it for the audience” crap.  It seems that on the forum I’m on, either everyone is already an atheist or they are the “I’m never changing my mind” crowd.  This is becoming the norm in discussions and debates everywhere.  What’s the point?

Where Philosophy Falls Apart

Philosopher ReasonI’ve been very critical of philosophy over the years and for very good reason because philosophy tends to get misused a lot. There are times where philosophy is useful, such as when it keeps debates and discussions on the proper, logical, non-fallacious path and keeps people from saying things that are simply unjustified and unjustifiable.  However, there are plenty of times when philosophy is pointless and a lot closer to religion than anything else.  When people start using philosophy as a means to describe reality, for instance, that’s pointless.  Philosophy doesn’t have the mechanisms to keep people objective, to test conclusions, etc. like science does.

That was the point that I made to someone who recently argued that reality didn’t exist without perception.  If there wasn’t an intelligent entity to experience reality, then reality, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist, it is the perception of an intelligent entity that gives reality form and thus makes it real.  This is, of course, complete and utter bullshit.  The universe was around for billions of years after the Big Bang before it is likely that any intelligent life developed anywhere, if indeed any intelligent life but us has ever existed.  Does this mean that, before that first human precursor evolved that very first  gleaning of intellect, nothing existed?  Well, very likely so according to this guy.

So I pointed out that we have objective evidence pointing all the way back to the Big Bang that yes, there was a real universe and unless he wants to suggest that human perception simply made it look like there was a previous existence, he was simply wrong.  He paused for a moment and then acknowledged that the universe did actually exist before intelligence, it just didn’t mean anything because perception gives reality “meaning”.

You just can’t win with these people.  In that, they are just like the religious and for pretty much the same reason.  They are desperately trying to justify what they already believe but they have no good reason for actually believing it.  It’s something that feels good to them and they think the emotion is good enough to think that it’s actually true.  This goes for all kinds of empty believers.  It goes for solipsists.  It goes for libertarians.  It goes for theists.  These are people who want to feel good about what they believe so they just lie to themselves and pretend that what they believe is true, even if it cannot be demonstrated to actually be so.  Philosophy, like religion, does a good job, to rationalize these unsupported belief systems and they build their entire worldviews on top of that rationalization.

I also find it sad that philosophy, again like religion, tends to rely heavily on that old, tired logical fallacy, the appeal to authority.  If you have a discussion with an armchair philosopher, they will almost always rely on “this philosopher said this” and “that philosopher said that”.  So what?  I’m not debating them, I’m debating you.  I want you to justify those beliefs and if you can’t attaching the name of some old philosopher to the argument doesn’t make it any better.  I’m no more impressed by saying “David Hume says…” than I am with “Josh McDowell says…”  So what?

Ultimately, it’s all just opinion and unjustified opinion at that.  There are questions that cannot be easily answered but just because you want an answer to an unanswered question doesn’t mean you get to make one up and be taken seriously.  This goes for the religious and the political and the social believers.  Just because you want a thing to be true doesn’t mean it actually is true unless you can rationally justify it.  Waving your arms around and pretending it means anything does not justify a damn thing.

Science in America?

There have been a lot of commercials on TV lately, aired by ExxonMobil, calling for bettering our students in science and math.  I absolutely support that, I think it’s embarrassing that American students rank in such low positions, we ought to be #1, not #25.

But you know something?  There are reasons why we are so low and those reasons aren’t really what you might think.

Liberals:  One of the biggest problems we have in this country in education is the fact that so much time is spent on civil engineering and social work.  Since the late 60s/early 70s, we’ve seen a move across the nation toward irresponsibility.  Parents don’t raise their kids properly, they leave it to the schools to teach them the most basic social skills and then they don’t take any time to engage their child and make sure they’re learning what they need to learn.  Raising children is apparently seen as an inconvenience, the parents have far too much to do on their own, it’s far easier to plop their kids in front of a TV or a computer and let them educate themselves.  This is a massive problem.

Religion:  Even ignoring nonsense like creationism in the classroom, American theists have pushed to eliminate anything in the science classroom which violates their sensitivities.  I’d focus on the Christians, but now it’s also the Muslims who are crying about their myths being criticized.  It’s actually quite easy, when comparing the top countries like France and Norway to countries around the United States, like Italy, where all of the most secular nations lie.  The religious reject reality where reality comes into conflict with their faith.  This is a massive problem.

Politics:  Like it or not, it doesn’t do the political parties any good to produce thinking adults.  If they can produce robots who do as they are told, the political parties can stay in power longer and achieve more than they could otherwise.  Thus, both parties have systematically degraded the public school system over the last 40 years, pushing their own agendas into the schools to the detriment of producing well-educated, literate, logical, critical thinking citizens after graduation.  Kids that can think can ask questions and asking questions, especially embarrassing questions about the political environment makes politicians nervous.  This is a massive problem.

We have to find a way to reverse these trends.  Education ought to be a national imperative, it ought to be the highest calling to which our nation can achieve.  We must fight against all of these social and political groups which seek to produce pliable, stupid, gullible citizens that do what they’re told, that think what they’re told and who believe what they’re told because they lack the tools and the motivation to stand up and ask questions.

It’s our future and the future of our children at stake.