Archive for October, 2011

Ten (realist) Commandments

October 30, 2011

Penn Jillette has written his ideas for the Ten Commandments for atheists.

Nice work, Penn!

One thing I particularly like about the list is that they all apply to people dealing with other people.  The biblical Ten Commandments wasted the first five on telling people how to behave toward their imaginary friend.  That doesn’t help anyone other than the mouthpieces for that imaginary friend.

If I tried to write my own Ten Commandments, they would probably not differ significantly from Penn’s effort.

Here they are, copied from the site linked above:

1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.

2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let’s scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I’ll be there to help.)

3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)

4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you’re religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you’re a Vegas magician, that’ll be the day with the lowest grosses.)

5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)

6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it’s all human life.)

7. Keep your promises. (If you can’t be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don’t make that deal.)

8. Don’t steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)

9. Don’t lie. (You know, unless you’re doing magic tricks and it’s part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)

10. Don’t waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it’ll make you bugnutty.

Get consistent, rationalists!

October 7, 2011

I get really, really tired of seeing supposedly rational atheists being total suck-ups to the state.

It’s embarrassing.

They should know better. The state is just another god and they look ridiculous rejecting one god and worshiping another. Grow up, people. Sheesh!

Witches and Christians

October 7, 2011

It’s the time of the year when the supernatural becomes a fun thing to pretend.  It still isn’t real, but it’s nice to suspend disbelief in the cause of a good scare.  Like watching a movie.

Which brings to mind witches.

I have known several people who claimed to believe they were witches- some were specifically practitioners of Wicca.

Well, even if I hadn’t observed it first-hand I could have still told the Big Secret: Witchcraft doesn’t work, exactly like Christianity doesn’t work.  But they (claim to) believe it does.  Just like Christians claim to believe about their own religion.

Both are empty delusions.  To argue over who is a “true witch” or a “real Christian” is meaningless.  What you see is what you get.  There is nothing more.  No matter how strong their faith is the real-world results are the same.  Some positive psychological effects and confirmation bias can account for everything.

So, both are silly but most witches I have personally met are nicer than most Christians I have met.  Maybe it’s because witches say they believe that whatever you do will come back to you multiplied by 3.  Maybe Christians would be nicer if they believed that, too.