Happy Winter Solstice

datePosted on 09:33, December 21st, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Happy Winter Solistice

Catholic Church Should Be Held Accountable

datePosted on 21:17, December 6th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

The UK groups the Sisters of Mercy and Christian Brothers, along with several others, are paying out over €500m (over $750,000,000.00 USD) in cash and property to compensate those that were sexually abused as children in their schools. The money will also be used to pay for counseling and other medical expenses.  What gets me is that today, in the Twenty-First Century; we are still allowing children to be abused. These nuns, priests, and other religious people are criminals. Proportionally the Catholic Church probably has one of the largest numbers of pedophiles, rapists, sadists, of any organized group in the world. The Catholic Church is also one of the wealthiest organizations in the world too. So, like they always do, they just buy their way out of trouble. How much longer are going to allow this vile institution to continue to physically and mentally harm our children? Enough already! If you commit the crime, do the time. Let’s start putting these perverts and child molesters in jail where they belong. How about world governments taking a stand for human rights and censuring the Catholic Church? Any other organization that committed these atrocities would be dissolved and its leaders incarcerated. The Pope in jail with the rest of his perverted sadists; we can only wish.

Of God and Aliens

datePosted on 20:47, November 15th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

So, the Vatican is having an unprecedented big conference on what to do if extra-terrestrial life is discovered. To some, this may seem like a shock – but it shouldn’t. The Catholic Church, unlike the wacked-out Protestant Evangelicals in the United States, has recently at least made an attempt to embrace some scientific realities. The Catholic Church’s official stance is that it accepts both Evolutionary Theory and the Big Bang. However, it maintains that the Christian god is the driving force behind them both. But extra-terrestrial aliens! The truth is this is really an important issue for the Catholic Church – and religion, in general. A much bigger issue than most religious people are openly willing to admit.

Over the past decade there have been hundreds of extrasolar planets discovered (at least 400 as of this writing). Most of these are really large Jupiter size or larger and orbit their respective stars at a close distance that would preclude any form of life emerging. But that is changing very fast. New telescopes and technology are going to make it possible to detect Earth sized planets very soon. It is only a matter of time before organic molecules are discovered elsewhere. And then, perhaps, the possibility of discovering alien life begins to increase. If we should one day actually discover intelligent life somewhere else in the universe, what happens to God?

Most likely the Catholic will try and adapt the idea of other intelligent life forms into their church dogma somehow.

Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.

Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, Director of the Vatican Observatory.

But the Bible states that God created us in His image. What if the aliens don’t look like us? What if the aliens don’t have a belief in Jesus – or any god for that matter? What if they believe in another completely different god or gods? The point is, Christianity can equivocate all it wants, but the whole concept of a supreme being that created humans in His own image goes right out the window.

What the Vatican is really doing is try to get a jump on a potential problem and save its sorry ass. To date, the Catholic Church is dying. All current surveys show the Church’s numbers have been declining faster than any other religious group. Galileo dealt the first crucial blow when he eliminated our “special, privileged place” in the universe. Darwin followed with the death blow by providing the explanation as to how we were actually created. The Church has been reeling ever since.

Beginning at the end of the Dark Ages, when religion still maintained that virtually every phenomenon in the universe was a divine act,  science has replaced all of that dogma with cold hard non-religious facts. Knowledge replaced ignorance. Can religion still find a home in a scientific future devoid of fantasy and superstition? Unlike others who make the claim that science and religion have “non-overlapping magisteria,” as first proposed by biologist Stephen J. Gould, I completely disagree. Religion has No magisteria period! There is no venue at all that religion is sufficient or necessary for. Today, even intangible emotions like love and hate can easily be explained by secretions of various chemicals in the brain. These facts can be demonstrated and replicated at will. There are very few things that religion can contribute to society other than the ignorance and hatred it breeds.

Whereas I applaud the Catholic Church for at least making a feeble attempt at trying to redeem itself for crimes of keeping knowledge locked up for centuries – so what? The Church’s days are numbered and their alien convention will conclude nothing other than they were wrong; again. If intelligent extra-terrestrial life should ever be discovered it would not surprise me if they concluded that Jesus was really an alien. Then they could claim they were worshipping the aliens all along.

Faith and Reason?

datePosted on 21:26, October 28th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

In USA Today’s Faith and Reason (faith yes, reason hardly) column, journalist Cathy Lynn Grossman pokes fun at the Atheist Alliance International National Convention – and atheism and freethought in general. In addition to her own failed attempt at reason, Grossman quotes from Rice University’s Anthony Pinn who makes several false claims and ridiculous statements. Using someone like Pinn as a source illustrates Grossman’s ignorance of a subject she claims to be qualified to comment on.

Grossman compares Oxford Evolutionary Biologist Professor Richard Dawkins to singer Mick Jager and award winning Journalist Christopher Hitchens to guitar player Keith Richards both from the English rock band the Rolling Stones. Her point is to show that scientists, intellectuals, etc are no more than performers. Besides her silly and immature analogy, she misses her mark completely. Perhaps if Grossman would have not made fun of the convention and its participants and tried to form some intelligent criticisms, I might not be so disgusted with her unfounded attacks.

As Grossman points out, Pinn calls himself a humanist. But there are religious humanists and Secular Humanists – the latter calling for holding religion accountable for all of the superstition and dogma that they proliferate as part of their existence. Pimm supports religious dogma and states,

“… Theism, at its core, is about the making of meaning and the establishment of stories and practices related to how and why we occupy time and space.”

–Anthony Pinn

In the above statement, the word “making” should be replaced with “making up.” Theism invents fictions and has absolutely no claim on reality. Grossman also paraphrases Pinn as saying “…religion is never going away.” Oh yes it is. All recent religious surveys confirm that it is declining everywhere and the ranks of non-believers are growing in staggering proportions.

The biggest joke is the closing question that Grossman asks,

“Pinn would like to see atheists, humanists and believers, retaining their distinctions, focus on shared ethical commitments. What are the chances?”

None.

Atheism is not just the absence of god, but the intolerance for harmful and hurtful superstitions and dogmas which cripple societies. Secular Humanism is about removing the harmful and hurtful influences of religion and replacing them with universally recognized humane and ethical worldviews. How can any religious person even understand moral commitments when most religions label actions like murder, rape, incest and just about every immoral act conceivable as acceptable? The horrific god of the Old Testament is brilliant at devising ways to torture people for his own perverted amusement. His devotees have always followed that example with like actions. Where there is a malicious god and subservient followers, there can not be any moral behavior. Until theists can stop burning children alive (see earlier post), stop hijacking airplanes and bombing subway stations, stop lying to people about made up mythical afterlives, and start treating all people with the respect and kindness they deserve, there will be no “shared ethical” endeavors.

Grossman needs to remove the word “Reason” from the title of her column. She obviously does not understand the meaning of it.

Amazon.com Screws Up; Promotes Creationism

datePosted on 12:52, October 21st, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Amazon.com screwed up! They have mixed the reviews from the bastardised Ray Comfort 150 Anniversary Edition of Origin of Species (see earlier post) with the actual 150th Anniversary Edition of Origin of Species. So, when people leave negative reviews for the Ray Comfort version, it also shows up on the “real” version as well. When you leave positive reviews for the actual Origin of  Species it shows up on the Ray Comfort version too. I started a discussion yesterday on each book explaining this on the Amazon.com website and sent an email to them.

Amazon.com did try to fix this last night, but it is messed up again today. What is worse, is the that when you do a search Origin of Species, the Ray Comfort version comes up first. The actual 150 Anniversary Edition does not even come up at all!

I need everyone to send an email to Amazon.com customer service and complain.  Do NOT leave a review – either positive or negative because it will go to both books. The more reviews that are left, the worse the problem gets. You see, both books have the exact same title and the same author (Darwin). You would think that Amazon.com would sort the books by their ISBN numbers rather than the titles, but apparently they are not that smart.

If you feel you must leave a review, make sure you clarify which book you are leaving it for.

The Ray Comfort “fake” Origin of Species is ISBN-13: 978-0882709192

The “real” Origin of Species is ISBN-13: 978-0451529060

Perhaps Comfort and Cameron planned this all along. Their own website goes to great lengths explaining how it is their plan to get their version of Origin of Species into as many schools as possible. Tricking people is the only way these slime-balls could ever get anyone to buy their drivel.

This needs to be fixed now. If Amazon.com gets overwhelmed with complaints perhaps they will try in earnest to fix it.

Below is a link to Amazon’s customer service page.

Amazon.com Customer Service

African Churches Murder Children

datePosted on 13:44, October 20th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Murdering and torturing innocent children is nothing new to Christianity. Pope Innocent the IV encouraged it over 700 years ago. Thomas Aquinas later justified it by claiming that evil (heresy) must be destroyed in the name of Christ and condoned all of the murders during the Medieval Inquisition. Today that message is apparently being resurrected in Africa.

In cowardly acts that would do Christian mass-murders like Thomas Aquinas proud, pastors in Nigeria have murdered some one thousand children and tortured many more for allegedly being witches.

Evangelical Christianity is on the rise in Africa in general. And many evangelical pastors are preaching that children are witches and must be exorcised or brutally murdered. At least 15,000 children have been targeted in Nigeria alone.

Fortunately the United Nations Children’s Fund and others are making these facts known. Murdering innocent children is wrong period. But, murdering them for Christianity is just more proof of the horrors of religion. Let’s see, defame the profit (Mohammad) and Islam demands your head. Allow yourself to be called a witch and Christianity will burn you alive. Islam is a peaceful religion; aspire to be a good Christian. Somehow it just doesn’t sound right, does it?

Click the link below to read a Los Angels Times report on the subject.


Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands of African children denounced as witches

Creationists Re-Write Origin of Species!

datePosted on 21:44, September 22nd, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Creationist nut-job Kirk Cameron is promoting a 150Th Anniversary Edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Say what? You heard me. Actually, fellow whacked-out, scientifically challenged creation-mate Ray (Banana Boy) Comfort has published the new book. However, this is one version you do not what to read. The new book has a 50 page introduction by Comfort that basically says evolution is a lie. It goes on to talk about how evolution is responsible for Hitler’s actions and everything else that is bad in the world. I have not read the book yet, but I have been told that the actual text has been edited by the creationists, as well. Here is a link to the introduction.

On November 24, they will be giving away 1000 copies for free at the University of California Berkley. They are hoping that Christian groups will buy them (.99 in bulk) and distribute them. Here is a link to their webpage. There have already been calls to go out and purchase as many copies as possible and remove the first 50 pages. However, with the rest of the book in question, and the fact that we don’t want to give them any money, I would advise against this. Besides, they legally have the right to publish anything they want – the copyright has long expired.

What we need to do is inform everyone we know that this book represents a dishonest and duplicitous attempt to corrupt science and promote creationism. Evolution has destroyed outdated and ludicrous unfounded ideas like creationism, so the only thing for the creationists to do is to try and distort evolution. Do NOT let them get away with this. This is a deliberate attempt to sneak creationism into schools. Tell everyone you know!

Watch the video and cringe:

Humanist Author Under Attack By Catholics – Again

datePosted on 21:30, September 15th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Award winning English author Philip Pullman is once again under attack by the Catholic Church. Pullman, a supporter of the British Humanist Association and the author of the engaging children’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, was viciously attacked by the Catholic Church when the first book of the trilogy, The Northern Lights, was made into a movie and released in the United States under the title The Golden Compass. The movie did not fair well in the United States because of the relentless bashing and boycotting from Catholics.  Now, Pullman’s newest book, which is scheduled for release early next year and titled The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, is already taking heat from the Catholic Church.

Pullman’s newest book posits the idea that Paul (Saul of Tarsus) created much of the myth of Christ. Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, David McGough, has been very vocal and released the following statement:

“There is no evidence that Paul influenced the Gospels. No respectable scriptural scholar would have anything to do with [Pullman’s] theory.”
— Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, David McGough

Pullman States:

“By the time the Gospels were written down, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether different and extraordinary and some of his version influenced what the Gospel writers put in theirs. Paul was a literary and imaginative genius who has had more influence on the world than anybody else, including Jesus. He had this great ability to persuade others and his rhetorical skills have been convincing people for 2,000 years.”
— Philip Pullman

Even though the Catholic Church pretends not to know much of their own history, most honest biblical scholars would agree that Paul basically invented Christianity. I don’t know what an “Auxiliary Bishop” is – perhaps a spare that isn’t very bright? But it is apparent that McGough is very much out of touch with the history of his own cult. There most definitely needs to be more books written on the true origins of Christianity.

Pullman’s publisher defends the book properly as a work that needs to be read:

“Philip Pullman has written a book of genuine importance, a radical and ingenious retelling of the life of Jesus that demystifies and illuminates this most famous and influential of stories. It strips Christianity bare, exposes the Gospels to a new light and succeeds brilliantly as a work of literature because it is convincing, thought-provoking, profoundly moving and beautifully nuanced throughout. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws down a challenge and does what all great books do: make the reader ask questions.”
–Jamie Byng, Publisher, Canongate Books

Philip Pullman is a literary genius. He has provided tales of hope and joy for millions of readers the world over. It is horrible that here the United States free expression – especially good literature, is allowed to be subverted by an ignorant majority. Try explaining to a young child that one their favorite movies is not going to have a sequel and they will be kept hanging because foolish people protested the movie so much that it did not make enough money to justify making a sequel. I’ve explained to my seven-year-old daughter that she will never get to  see a sequel to The Golden Compass because  in the real world there is an evil entity just like Pullman’s Magisterium that has the power to prevent people from expressing themselves and living their lives to the fullest. It is called the Catholic Church.

Remembering 9/11 Again

datePosted on 12:00, September 10th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

Another year has passed since the tragic events which launched the United States in its current “war on Islam.” Once again people will gather together and pray. They will pray for peace to a god that was responsible for the pain, suffering and death they are remembering. Unfortunately most will not head the call of reason and take the correct action – abolish their god to the realm of bad memories.

Below is the post I published last year at this time. I don’t see anything to indicate that the national sentiment has changed so I feel it is still just as relevant today as it was a year ago.

Remembering 9/11 – Without the Prayer Please

As we remember those who lost their lives in the terrorists’ attacks of 2001, let us do so without prayer. For it was belief in a god that caused the tragedy in the first place. Here is a quick history lesson for those who have forgotten.

Seven years ago a bunch of educated, highly trained (they would have to be in order to fly the airplanes) brave men hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. These men were not fanatics; they were devoted religious followers fulfilling their god’s plan. Their god may not be the mainstream god in the United States, but a god nevertheless. They were doing what they believed their god wanted them to do. Many other atheists have argued , and I fully concur, that only religion and faith in a deity could have motivated these people to commit such terrible acts. Their belief was so strong that they killed innocents and took their own lives in the name of their god. Killing in the name of a god has been, and continues to be a common practice (The Crusades, The Inquisition, Northern Ireland, Iraq, etc). And it is an acceptable practice (depending on whose side you are on).

The events of 9/11 were horribly tragic and my thoughts go out to the survivors of the innocent victims. But I also want to remind everyone that there is an important lesson to be learned from this. It was faith that killed these people. It was faith that motivated the religious faithful to kill. No matter how you look at it, praying is a ridiculous and counter-productive effort. If you believe in the existence of many gods, then the Islamic one is obviously more powerful and your prayers to the Judeo-Christian god accomplish nothing. If you believe there is only one god then you are praying to the very god that caused this catastrophe in the first place – WTF? Finally, if you doubt that any god could or would change the laws of physics and take action based on your futile supplication, you are obviously wasting your time. So why bother?

Rather than embracing the agent that is responsible for this tragic event, we should move on to question whether we, as a society, want to continue to support an enterprise (religion) that fosters this type of bloodshed. I say NO! Do not pray for the victims of 9/11, remember them the next time religion asks you to do something that causes harm to others. Let the unfortunate victims of 9/11 serve as a painful reminder of what true unquestioning faith is capable of achieving.

Lessons From Sir Ted

datePosted on 12:39, August 26th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

The passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy is a sad affair. But with the passing of any individual it is customary to look at their life. Senator Kennedy led one of the most productive lives any individual could aspire to lead. Yes, he had his issues. And yes, there are many that looked to him with contempt for the overt excesses he manifested in his personal life. But no one can deny the accomplishments that he achieved in the area of human rights for all Americans – and the world, for that matter.

In his 47-year-career as a senator, Kennedy authored over 2,500 pieces of legislation – many of those becoming some of our most important and cherished laws. Throughout his career, Kennedy was awarded many titles. He was even made and honorary Member of the British Empire (knighted) by Queen Elizabeth earlier this year – a testament to his broad reaching influence. He was a civil rights and health care leader with no equal. But what really set him apart was that he did all of this in spite of who he was.

Edward Kennedy was born into a life of privilege that most people will never even begin to comprehend. Yet, he spent the majority of his life fighting for those who were not so privileged. He was the voice of the poor and the oppressed. He was the hero of the working class. He was the last line of defense against the oppressive large industry or government powers that threatened to injure the average citizen. But more than that, it’s how he achieved what he did. He reached out to his enemies as well as his allies. People who opposed him also respected him immensely. Kennedy was a liberal Democrat. He was fierce and relentless and yet he has been hailed as the greatest senator of our time from friend and foe alike. His ability to work with those who held different world views is perhaps best represented by conservative Republican Orrin Hatch commenting on the passing of Kennedy:

“Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend. Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States senator whose influence cannot be overstated. Many have come before, and many will come after, but Ted Kennedy’s name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber.”
–Sen. Orrin Hatch, 8/25/09

That was said by an opponent. We could all learn an important lesson from Kennedy. Be strong and firm in your convictions but at the same time understand that you do not live in a vacuum. One must learn to work with others of opposing positions in order to get work done. As atheists we need to embrace the things we have in common with theists to work for the greater good of society. It does not mean we should ever back down or roll over – not by a long shot. But sometimes we need to give a little in order to gain a lot.

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