Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pot & tobacco: smoke is smoke, and brain altering chemicals are brain altering chemicals

In response to the BBC story "Young cannabis smokers run risk of lower IQ, report claims:"

Inhaling smoke into your lungs isn't particularly healthy, nor is the constant intake of chemicals that alter your brain chemistry. If you have a real reason for having to take it, for example if you are HIV positive or on chemo and have no other alternative to avoid feeling nauseous. Otherwise the stuff can easily make you into a retard. And the hippie political correct "there's no harm" line on this front is bull... Brain altering chemicals are brain altering chemicals, and smoke is smoke. Tobacco also alters your brain.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

12 Step Programs: Not exactly bullshit, more of a social support solution

Penn & Teller on 12 step programs. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle - not that a middle solution is always the answer. "Free will" doesn't exist in the classic sense as per Sam Harris. AA is a religious organization. The main benefit people gain from AA is social support. Not a god. Not surrendering to a supposed higher power. Social support - and that's all. There is value to social support.

So I don't agree with every "behavior" is a free choice. So libertarians Penn & Teller and the people they had on their program are quite wrong on that point. But on the other hand admitting that we have no power at all and that all of our choices are in the hands of some god is a bogus concept also.

The only god worth worshiping is sex. And in my case that form of worship has resulted in at least one pregnancy so far.


Related posts to god worship:

Mortal Mormonism - history & current views:

Left and right fuzzy thinking subverts science - and now has converged on one “progressive” site:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sam Harris responds to a-hole trolls like PZ Myers

Sam Harris responds to his critics & a-hole trolls like PZ Myers...

"...My correspondent is right about one thing, however: It was all there in my first book, The End of Faith. Since the moment I began criticizing religion in public, I have argued that Islam merits special concern—because it is currently the most militant and retrograde of the world’s major religions. This has always made certain people uncomfortable, because they find it difficult to distinguish a focus on Islam—specifically, on the real-world effects of its doctrines regarding martyrdom, jihad, apostasy, and the status of women—from bigotry against Muslims. But the difference is clear and crucial. My criticism of conservative Islam has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or nationality. And, as I have often said, no one suffers the consequences of this pernicious ideology—the abridgments of political and intellectual freedom, the mistreatment of women, the fanaticism and sectarian murder—more than innocent Muslims..."

as from http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/wrestling-the-troll

Related posts here:

Sam Harris, Scott Atran, banning Islam, racism, and apology for abusive religion 

Self-hatred in the "skeptical" community via angry neurotic so-called "feminists" http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/2012/07/self-hatred-in-skeptical-community-via.html

Two videos found on feminism - challenging politically correct dogma

Atheist conferences and sexual harassment rules

Thunderf00t vs P.Z. Myers: I vote for thunderf00t

I think the main mistake made by recent atheist conference organizers by inviting an unhinged stinky troll like PZ Myers into their and our midst. Some people have class. Myers has an bung hole for a mouth and a rotten pea for a brain.

Romney picks which right wing asshole to be his running mate? Paul Ryan: fucking social Darwinist Cheesehead...

Mitt Romney picks Raul Ryan as his running mate. Paul Ryan is a fucking social Darwinist Cheesehead. Romney has reached into the nut bag that all repiglican presidential candidates must now reach into and this time he's found some stinky Limberger.

Related views from others:

"Mittens is gonna announce this pompous ASSHOLE as his running."

Friday, August 10, 2012

End-result links between White Supremacy and Islam

In response to "American Atheists Expresses Condolences for Sikh Community Following Shooting:"

Unfortunately there are psychopaths in the world, and people who become so unhappy and deranged that they hurt innocent people. Is "white supremacist" an accurate term for the guy who did this? Perhaps a more accurate term would be "angry deranged mentally damaged f-ed up guy who should be locked away forever."

Xenophobia may be a natural and prevalent human trait, but most people aren't mass murders either. Since we don't yet have good tools for genetic intervention (or the morality to use such tools yet), in human society there's always going to be a certain percentage of people who have damaged brains. And the crazy fearful talk in the white supremacist type community and other angry crazy talk can lead the small percentage of deranged people to do evil things to innocent people.

No color of humans are "supreme" of course. And ways need to be found to pick out and weed and intervene with the deranged angry people who have the propensity to engage in physical violence against innocent people.

My own view of the Sikh's were that they tended to be gentle people with a more gentle religion than some. No one deserves to be killed for their views of course. Not atheists. Not Sikhs. No one. But in this case the violence came about mainly because some shy demented F was under a rock and the only way he could escape was to lash out in a crazy way. Some guy who couldn't get a life, other than associating with other losers. So lock away the guy and throw the away the key... Keep the dangerous animals away from the rest of us. That's what zoos and prisons are for.

A civil society allows for vociferous debate. The killing of others by people who've either tied themselves into Nazi-style hate, or who've tied themsleves to a religion that advocates killing the non-believer - all religion-originated-hate that would kill people for drawing cartoons, needs to be punished equally.

Living in fear is not an option we should choose. May the Sikhs not be afraid because of the acts of an angry looser who glommed onto Nazi-style-hate because he couldn't get a life. And, may liberals, ex-Muslims, atheists, and skeptics not be afraid or silenced by fear over offending homocidal Islamists who kill over otherwise trivial things like cartoon drawing.

Maybe "white supremecy" and conservative Islam share key traits - both appear to want to kill others for their beliefs and for criticism of their positions.

As for America: There's F-ed up people here also. If someone is F-ed up to kill others we lock them up. Some countries don't do this, and some countries have institutions which engage in systematic killing of those who oppose the government or who oppose religion. So we're lucky here in that at least we have freedom of speech guaranteed by law. That freedom even extends to allowing supremacists to speak their mind, even if they're wrong. But I agree that perhaps more infiltration & monitoring of such groups needs to be done to look for people who would be mass killers. And maybe we do need more gun control in America.

At my work there's some country bumpkins who sit near me who enjoy gun use for recreational purposes (shooting practice & hunting). In the aftermath of the recent shootings it was strange and creepy to hear these idiots talk about how if more people had guns that would solve the problem. However since a certain percentage of humans will always be deranged and damaged, maybe having less access to the tools of death would help reduce the incidence of mass murder. When the crazies can't get guns as easily then there will be less killing. And there will always be crazies, unless more genetic intervention can be done to help ensure that such people aren't ever born in the first place.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Islam is not a race, not an ethnicity - Salt Lake American Muslim SLAAM

Islam is not a race and not an ethnicity - response to a page by the group Salt Lake American Muslim:

The page at http://www.saltlakeamericanmuslim.com/#!our-story has the following statement:
"In an effort to curb current tension experienced between Muslims and non-Muslims globally, which is similar to that faced historically by Native Americans, Irish Americans, Jewish Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans, Hispanic Americans and now Muslim Americans - Salt Lake American Muslim undertakes multicultural activities such as our festival A Celebration of Cultural Diversity to generate mutual understanding and goodwill not only between Muslims and non-Muslims but among all ethnic communities that reside in Salt Lake County through sharing of the very best ethnic cultural artistic expression as part of the American acculturation process."

Religion is not a race, not an ethnicity.

Becoming an American does not mean forcing your children & women to wear tight bags or scarfs covering most of their heads, and cloth that drapes all the way down to their feet.

Islam is not a race, it's a religion, a "meme set," and as with any set of memes it should be subject to the same set of criticisms that any meme set can be subject to. Criticism. Debate. Openness. Honesty. It's not too much to ask?
The sins of Bush should not be apologized for by dishonesty. All conservative religions have inherent lies at their heart. The group Salt Lake American Muslim (SLAAM) is very concerned about what happened with past immigrants to the US. That's nice. But here's a key message: Just stop abusing your children, that's all.

To the Jews: stop mutilating the genitals of your children.

To the Muslims: Ditto, with the added comment that you should also stop requiring your women and girls to wear cloth bags or tight scarfs.

Does your cultural diversity extend to allowing for skeptics and for atheists in your group? How about ex-Muslims? Are these types of people welcome in your "community?"

What is the response of your group to the following video from the Center for Inquiry, about how conservative Islam leads to breeding suicide bombers?
Welcome to America though, where freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and thankfully freedom from religion are supposed to be guaranteed by law. I'm not responsible for the sins of Bush or for what happened in Iraq. I'm also not responsible for the sins of Sadam, or the past sins of the CIA and so on. I'm primarily interested in honesty. Most religions aren't interested in this. Honesty cuts into the preacher's & the Imam's  pay, so of course they hate it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughts on hyphenated Americans, racism, and cynicism

Is it dogmatic to question dogma? Only if atheism is somehow equivalent to a conservative religion.

Yes, we could be crass cynics like Matt Stone & Trey Parker are, and spew forth flatulence which while briefly humorous becomes quickly sick and putrid.

People of a certain color can't jump. People from another culture tend to have trashy back yards and are not noted for high quality craftsmanship. People from another culture get very angry indeed at cartoons or other humor revolving around past historic and non-historic figures.

Everyone's a bit racist. The hyphenated language that permeates forums such as NPR is key evidence of this. Frankly, I don't care if you're a hyphenated American this or that. Get on with life and do something useful, other than obsess about which hyphenated phrase you can associate with yourself and others.

Is such a request cynical dogma? A dogmatist is unwilling to question his own suppositions. People on the right and left perfectly fit into the same box in this regard. The main thing I question about hyphenated Americans is that their labels take too much of my verbal time to state the self-assigned labels. And the second thing I question is that maybe the hyphenated phrases people assign to themselves & others aren't really all that accurate.

For example:

Who is a Native American? Anyone born in America. That is the traditional definition of the word "native."

Who is an African American? All humans in America, because we all came out of Africa.

And what was adding a religion to the hyphenation?

Muslim American

Mormonism American

Catholic American

Scientologist American

Idiot American

What a waste of time and language to merge these words together.

Who are your ancestors? It's ok to use labels to describe your ancestry. But adding the word "American" to your label is a lame, time wasting, pompous, and superfluous.

Friday, August 3, 2012

That Shitty Chicken Place: I never eat there anyway

I never eat at the chicken place currently being mentioned in the news, and haven't done so since maybe one time about 15 or 20 years ago when Crossroads Mall was still open. Should gay people get married? I don't think the law should ban adults from doing what they please with other adults. I'm still in favor of questioning all suppositions and dogmas, left and right alike. So I'm willing to listen to all sides. But I don't think the force of law should be used to keep people from doing what they please with other adults.

However I do think that the crucible of debate should be used to shine a light on all dogma, left and right alike. For example here's one guy with enough balls to do this:

Ad hominem attacks and conversation killers like "racist," "bigot," and "misogynist" don't help further the conversation. It goes without saying that the COO of the "shitty-chicken-place-that-I-never-go-to-anyway" could rightly be described as a bigot. But all this fervor makes me think we should also take a step back and examine >why< people think the way they do. There may be naturalistic explanations to why people respond the way they do to things. Religion is after all a natural phenomenon, like it or not. Maybe what people really object to is who's making a contribution to moving humanity forward? Are you doing it? Am I?

Is it difficult but still possible to listen to both sides in a vociferous debate and to take a step back from both sides and do a more thorough evaluation. Do we have the balls to ask hard questions of both sides?

In any case, let's all try to be less selfish. Think about legacy. And let the people who like the shitty chicken place go there if they want. I never go there anyway.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sam Harris, Scott Atran, banning Islam, racism, and apology for abusive religion

Back in December of 2010 I wrote this article about Scott Atran. Atran has many basic misunderstandings about what it like to live in a conservative religion.

On February 23, 2011 Atran wrote this article criticizing Harris's new book the Moral Landscape. On page 6 of Atran's article he claims that Sam Harris has proposed a ban on Islam, but he fails to provide any references.

Harris has talked about the dangers of Islamic ideas that lead to suicide bombing.

One strange thing I heard today though was that Harris is supposedly a racist for wanting to ban Islam.

There's two really big problems with such a claim:

Problem 1: Islam is not a race. It's a religion.

Problem 2: Sam Harris has never proposed that there be a ban on Islam.

Maybe children should not be abused with having lies shoved down their throats by ignorant abusive parents. That's my view. Whether Harris was expressed concerns about this or not is irrelevant, because as far as I can tell he's never proposed a legal ban on Islam. And even if he had, such a view would not be racist, because Islam is not a race.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has stated that everyone is a little bit racist. Avenue Q has stated this as well. And even with this being the case, Islam is not a race. It never was. It never will be. Religion is not a race. And, Sam Harris never said that Islam should be banned. You think he did? Prove it. And Scott Atran is an idiot, and a defato purposeful apologist for Islam and abusive religion.

In America we have freedom of religion, and thankfully increasingly freedom from religion.

Children should be educated about all human religions, their history, and so on.

Children should be educated about science, and about how in the past religions were very fearful about what science showed - for example about the Earth, the sun, the stars, and our geographic place in the Universe. Religion is still fearful about what science shows, about their supposed gods. Children should not be lied to. They should be taught the truth. And religions are full of lies, lies supported by fear & control, arguments from authority, and arguments based on abusive psycological manipulation.

People like Atran have no concept of this because they haven't lived it. Here's links to some people who have:

Me: http://corvus.freeshell.org/corvus_corax/two/life_path/life_path.htm
Others: http://exmormonfoundation.org
A guy who lived in hard core sexually repressive Islam:


More info:

letter to Scott Atran - regarding his debates with Sam Harris and his views on religious belief