Posted by Sabura on January 5, 2014
Posted by Sabura on August 8, 2013
Originally posted on the superstitious naked ape:
Unquestionably the most preposterous, staggeringly ignorant, monstrously self-indulgent and yet equally childish argument for a god presented by apologists is that of Fine Tuning. The idea of a custom-made universe contends that the conditions for life are only possible within a slim corridor of physical constants which, if altered, would render life impossible… ergo god did it. Ignoring the fact that this “custom-made” universe is appallingly hostile to biological life and is in fact arranged in such a way to maximise the production of black holes, not life bearing planets, the first part of the statement is however correct. Alter the size of the electric charge of the electron or vary the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron by even a fraction of a percent and life as we understand would be impossible. Recalibrate the strong nuclear force by just 2% and the hydrogen inside stellar interiors would fuse into diprotons instead of deuterium and helium, and the universe would be fundamentally unrecognisable to us.
It’s mind-bogglingly extraordinary, and the chances of it all happening as it has are precisely 1 in 1. We are that chance. We are that card in the deck. We are that lotto draw. There are no odds against this arrangement as it’s already happened, meaning no conclusions can be drawn from it. To even evoke ‘fine tuning’ is a tautology: a stable of self-reinforcing statements that cannot be disproved because they depend on the assumption that they’re already correct. The only possible way to make this fabulously flawed proof-of-god demonstration a non-tautology is to compare our universe against another one, and apologists are typically at pains to never, under any circumstances, contemplate that possibility.
And so as Douglas Adams so wonderfully framed it:
Posted by Sabura on July 30, 2013
Giant Gambian Pouched Rats saving lives:
Posted by Sabura on July 7, 2013
Posted by Sabura on July 2, 2013
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, seated at a monument bench unveiled and dedicated on June 29, 2013, at Bradford County Courthouse, FL.
The monument’s quotations include:
“An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated.” — Madalyn Murray O’Hair
“… the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…” — Treaty of Tripoli
“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson
“It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [writing the Constitution] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven.” — John Adams
“When religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” — Benjamin Franklin
Posted by Sabura on June 29, 2013
Posted by Sabura on May 23, 2013
From The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: Short Stories
by Ursula Le Guin
With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own. Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.
Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How describe the citizens of Omelas?
Posted by Sabura on May 14, 2013
(image created by Raven Garfield)
Posted by Sabura on May 14, 2013
Posted by Sabura on April 12, 2013
Posted by Sabura on April 10, 2013
Posted by Sabura on March 28, 2013
Originally posted on The Belle Jar:
If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.
Posted by Sabura on March 27, 2013
Having God on both sides is a bit problematic, but it’s still an interesting thought experiment and certainly beautifully made.
“Duelity is a split-screen animation that tells both sides of the story of Earth’ s origins in a dizzying and provocative journey through the history and language that marks human thought. … To have the full experience, visit duelity.net“
Posted by Sabura on March 23, 2013
Posted by Sabura on March 22, 2013
“I have lived with many Zen masters, all of them cats.”
“I sometimes call animals – dogs and cats particularly – guardians of being. Dogs fill a vital function in the collective consciousness of humanity…they show us what we have lost and, once we realise that, they can help us in our shift into a deeper state of consciousness.”
― Eckhard Tolle, Guardians of Being
Posted by Sabura on March 22, 2013
Want, want, want. The artist doesn’t currently have any available in her Etsy store, but I’m guessing that she’ll be thinking about making some more soon since it was recently posted on Boing Boing.
Posted by Sabura on March 18, 2013
Posted by Sabura on March 17, 2013
What is green in me
If woman is inconstant,
good, I am faithful to
ebb and flow, I fall
in season and now
is a time of ripening.
If her part
is to be true,
a north star,
good, I hold steady
in the black sky
and vanish by day,
yet burn there
in blue or above
quilts of cloud.
There is no savor
more sweet, more salt
than to be glad to be
and who, myself,
I am, a shadow
that grows longer as the sun
moves, drawn out
on a thread of wonder.
If I bear burdens
they begin to be remembered
as gifts, goods, a basket
of bread that hurts
my shoulders but closes me
in fragrance. I can
eat as I go.
― Denise Levertov