Friday

Religion - Brass Eye antitheist atheist

The Story of Human Rights

Militant Atheists Are Not Soldiers.



The current meaning of militant does not usually refer to a registered soldier: it can be anyone who subscribes to the idea of using vigorous, sometimes extreme, activity to achieve an objective, usually political. For example, a "militant [political] activist" would be expected to be more confrontational and aggressive than an activist not described as militant.

Militant Atheist - Antitheist Blog.



I’m an atheist. No. It’s worse than that, actually. I’m a loud mouth atheist, I’m a combative, argumentative, aggressive, “militant atheist.” I talk about my favorite delusion every chance I get. I deliberately use provocative language, substituting “delusion” for religion and “sky fairy” or “imaginary friend” for God; I ask people to justify their belief all the time; I put forward arguments against god to anyone who will listen; I invite positive arguments for the existence of god from anyone willing to produce one; I demand coherent definitions of the thing “God” from anyone who might understand the need for such a definition; I blog about religion; I seek out religious people who might like to argue the matter and pick fights in which I have no intention of being gentle.


I’m a militant atheist.


Some of my friends even shake their heads at me, expressing their disdain at how I’m constantly strumming the same old chord, an irritating proselytizer of unbelief, a shameless agent provocateur attempting to lure people from their comfort zones. It’s considered rude, or inappropriate, unbecoming, off-putting etc… people don’t like it anymore than when people start injecting our lord and savior, Jesus, into every mundane thing, into every conversation, or every event, bridging huge gaps between the subject at hand and their faith. I don’t even do this. I seldom if ever make such ham-handed segues into the topic of the God debate; I wait for it to be brought up and then I begin.


But I am a militant atheist.


Why am I condemned for this? Why is this worth pointing out? Jehovah’s witnesses frequent my porch. John is the name of the man who regularly comes a knocking and we have had a number of interesting conversations ranging from the beauty of nature as found within view of my porch to the foundations of moral reasoning. Bear in mind, this man knocked on my door once and has continued to return. In all our exchanges I have not had occasion to call him a “militant Christian.” Surely the very act of knocking on my door is a bolder move than anything I admitted to above. But, no…


I am a militant atheist.


I do not knock on people’s doors and if I did knock on doors
so that I could proselytize against god, it would be considered so incredibly rude as to merit active campaigns against my activities. Moreso than if I were selling cookies, anyway. I do not protest funerals, as do the Westboro Baptists. I do not stone to death adulterers. I don't bomb abortion clinics or kill abortion doctors. Nor would I rape and kill a family member who was raped. Nor would I murder a person who once held the same views as me but had recently switched sides. Nor would I command the mutilation of a child’s genitals, imposing a covenant on the child without his or her permission. I would not kill, maim, or shame a person for acting on their sexual proclivities. I demand no rites, no tithes, no rituals, no prayers, no profession, no utterance, no submission, no allegiance, no indignity, no dissolution of family bond, no affirmation of permanent commitment, no denial, no cognitive dissonance, no abdication of reason. I demand very little, in fact. Such things are the province of religion.


But I am a militant atheist.


These are the extremes, of course. (But note, some of them may not even seem extreme to you, consider again, religious circumcision.) Oh, certainly, many of these things are condemned. But why is my, by comparison, much more mild and docile approach condemned as well? Why is it so unacceptable that I am a militant atheist and yet it takes overt brutality for a person to be taking their religion too far?




Now, I’m not so mystified by the label I’ve received, “militant atheist,” though I do think it’s tragically ironic in light of the things I’ve pointed out. I understand why it might be worth the effort, to a believer, to brand me in this way. The advantage is obvious enough; that guy just has a chip on his shoulder and he’s out to prove something and rob us of our beliefs. It might bother me if this wasn’t the case; after all, I am out to prove something. But it bothers me that the same terms are applied to my spirited but non-violent challenges to accepted beliefs as are applied to the violence carried out in the name of such beliefs.


And to some degree it bothers me to hear other atheists telling me I’m besmirching the name, “atheist” as if the term is deserving of some special honor or as if the community ever enjoyed any respect to begin with.


But, no, what really bothers me is the suggested dichotomy of the atheist community. There are the loud mouthed atheists and the silent; the outspoken and the mute; those who challenge and those who acquiesce.


My question isn’t “Why am I labeled a Militant Atheist?”


My question is:


Why the hell aren’t more of us speaking up?

(Rob the Monk)



Richard Dawkins' call to arms.





Madalyn Murray O'Hair identified as a "Militant Atheist"





https://www.facebook.com/Antitheists

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Richard Dawkins' Evil Antitheist Plan.

Thursday

Christian Invaders - Trailer



Needs no additional text. Sam Richard's empathy talk below is good too.


Antitheist atheist Zip Hoodie / Boxers / Mug

Antitheist atheist Zip Hoodie



Antitheist atheist Boxer Shorts



Antitheist atheist Large Mug

God, No! Signs You May Already Be An Atheist and Other Magical Tales



Seriously, guys if you want a good book on Atheism that you can actually get a laugh out of check it out. Penn is a fucking fantastic wordsmith, as well as a brilliant, reasonable and intelligent athiest. I would say he is the pinnacle of modern atheism.
Josh Finch

Thursday

The Spirit Molecule DMT





The Spirit Molecule investigates dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an endogenous psychoactive compound, which exists in humans and numerous species of plants and animals.
The documentary traces Dr. Rick Strassman's government-sanctioned, human DMT research and its many trials, tribulations, and inconceivable realizations. A closer examination of DMT's effects through the lens of two traditionally opposed concepts, science and spirituality, The Spirit Molecule explores the connections between cutting-edge neuroscience, quantum physics, and human spirituality. Strassman's research, and the experiences of the human test subjects before, during, and after the intense clinical trials, raises many intriguing questions. A variety of experts voice their unique thoughts and experiences with DMT within their respective fields. As Strassman's story unfolds, the contributors weigh in on his remarkable theories, including the synthesis of DMT in our brain's pineal gland, its link to near-death & alien-abduction experiences, the history/future of psychedelics, and the uncanny likeness to ancient religious texts describing prophets with DMT-like experiences. Additionally, the intriguing similarities to the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics lead to other fascinating discoveries. The experts offer a comprehensive collection of information, opinions, and speculation to help understand the nature of the DMT experience, and its role in human culture and the life force of our planet. Due to the profound nature, and visual phantasmagoria, of the DMT experience, the visual landscape of the film features stunning visualizations from Scott Draves (Electric Sheep), as well as a cutting-edge motion graphics, which demonstrate DMT's conceptual link to human evolution, construction of the universe, advanced neuroscience, and other alluring theories. Finally, stylized scenes reminiscent of Rod Sterling's famous Twilight Zone bookends, Joe Rogan (actor/comedian) serves as tour guide, helping navigate the expansive realms of Strassman's DMT universe. Dimethyltryptamine: a simple molecule with enormous implications. The Spirit Molecule's subtle combination of science, spirituality, and philosophy results in an abundance of incredible ideas and theories that could alter the way we understand the universe and our relationship to it.

Wednesday

The atheist that wasn't there: Callum Blake-O'Brien





The atheist that wasn't there:


I pray up above, to the stars, to the sky,
I believe in my God without wondering why,
He took my happiness, my strength and my sister,
I wonder if he knows how much I miss her,
Even though I beg and will him to listen,
I just stare at the stars as they twinkle and glisten,
My personal saviour has failed to save me,
My tears turn to embers as I rage with my fury,
I wipe them away as I make my decision,
It seems I am no longer under his supervision,
OH what a fool I have been to believe in these lies!
I begin to act without saying my goodbyes,
I get in my car and turn on the ignition,
Push down my foot to complete my private mission, 
I go faster and faster until the world is a blur,
I take off my seatbelt and feel strangely secure,
I know in my haste I have become suicidal,
But what is there to lose when you've lost both your idols?
I can see the tree ahead, it's foreboding and surreal,
I simply close my eyes and wait for the sound of wood on steel,
The final seconds drag on, they seem to last for a lifetime,
I can't believe I wasted my life using faith as a guideline,
Then it finally happens, my choice to die,
My final act in defiance to lies,
As I accept my fate, there's a bang and a boom, 
In my daze I realise that this car is my tomb,
I'm jerked around and thrown by a violent force,
I'm scared but do not feel any signs of remorse,
I cannot live in a world full of delusion,
Instead I would rather die in seclusion,
I begin to laugh, then there's a cloud of smoke,
My final thought is that the world is a joke.

Callum Blake-O'Brien

Monday

THE BODY ELECTRIC


Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson - Collision Of Lives







Documentary with the late Christopher Hitchens pitted against evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to debate the question: “Is Christianity Good for the World?” Brilliant personal clash of opposing views. 
Joined by Doane. “You couldn’t write two characters more contrary. What’s more real than a fight between two guys who are on complete opposite sides of the fence on the most divisive issue in the world? We were ready to make a movie about two intellectual warriors at the top of their game going one-on-one. I knew it would make an amazing film.”

Friday

Christopher Hitchens vs Tony Blair Debate: Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?


We honor Hitchens for the benefit of mankind.




We honor Hitchens for the benefit of mankind. His death actually is a gift in THAT sense; it ended his suffering AND vastly increased the visibility of his cause. It is sad he had to leave us so early on when many of us hoped for his recovery. However, there are also benefits to this loss-- benefits that I'm sure he wouldn't for a second deny if he were asked about this when he was alive. We can only hope to carry that legacy, not only among his peers but amongst ourselves, as it is our responsibility to step up and be the new leaders in reason and scepticism.


Dan R.

Thursday

PEW REPORT - Lobbying For The Faithful

PEW REPORT - Lobbying For The Faithful. Religious organisations in the US spend $390 000 000 a year on legal costs to influence government to have their rotten ideological perverted morals written into law. Okay some religious organisations are secular, but these are minute in comparison with the giants of organised religion.




The number of organizations engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C., has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today. These groups collectively employ at least 1,000 people in the greater Washington area and spend at least $390 million a year on efforts to influence national public policy. As a whole, religious advocacy organizations work on about 300 policy issues. For most of the past century, religious advocacy groups in Washington focused mainly on domestic affairs. Today, however, roughly as many groups work only on international issues as work only on domestic issues, and nearly two-thirds of the groups work on both. These are among the key findings of a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life that examines a total of 212 religion-related advocacy groups operating in the nation’s capital.


The study finds that about one-in-five religious advocacy organizations in Washington have a Roman Catholic perspective (19%) and a similar proportion are evangelical Protestant in outlook (18%), while 12% are Jewish and 8% are mainline Protestant. But many smaller U.S. religious groups, including Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, also have established advocacy organizations in the Washington area. In fact, the number of Muslim groups (17) is about the same as the number of mainline Protestant groups (16). And the largest category today is interreligious: One-quarter of the groups studied (54) either represent multiple faiths or advocate on religious issues without representing a specific religion.


This report is based on a systematic examination of the websites, mission statements, tax documents and other public records of religious advocacy groups spanning the years 2008-2010. Researchers also relied on responses to a written questionnaire that was sent to 148 separate, active groups included in the study and completed by 61 of them. Additionally, lead researcher Allen D. Hertzke conducted in-depth interviews with leaders of 36 groups and observed the advocacy efforts of many other groups at congressional hearings, lobby days, press conferences and other Washington-based events.




Previous studies indicate that lobbying in general has increased rapidly in recent decades. But the growth in the number of religion-related advocacy organizations appears to have kept pace with – or even exceeded – the growth in some other common types of advocacy organizations. According to various studies, for example, the number of national trade and professional associations more than doubled, from about 10,000 to about 22,000, between 1968 and the mid-1990s, then leveled off. And the number of corporations with Washington, D.C., offices rose more than threefold, from 175 to more than 600, between 1978 and 2004.2  


Expenditures by Religious Advocacy Groups 


Efforts by religious groups to influence U.S. public policy are a multimillion-dollar endeavor, with combined annual expenditures conservatively estimated at more than $390 million. The median annual advocacy expenditures by the 131 groups for which recent (2008 or 2009) financial data were available was nearly $1 million. More than one-third of the groups (46 groups, or 35%) reported annual advocacy expenditures between $1 million and $5 million per year, while about one-in-ten (18 groups, or 14%) reported spending more than $5 million a year. (See chart on Advocacy Expenditures.)


The recession in the U.S. economy from late 2007 to mid-2009 seems to have taken a toll on the budgets of many religion-related advocacy organizations. For instance, the executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation reported in June 2009 that the group’s advocacy spending dropped from $4.6 million to roughly $3 million between 2007 and 2009, primarily because of declining investments.




Of the 104 groups for which data on expenditures in both 2008 and 2009 were available, 56 reported that their advocacy spending was lower in 2009 than it had been in 2008. The average decline for the 56 groups was about $500,000. In the same period, 48 groups reported that their advocacy spending rose, with the average increase being about $300,000. Overall, among the 104 groups, there was a net drop of about $14 million in total advocacy expenditures during this period. (For more details, see Two-Year Comparison of Advocacy Spending subsection.)


Diversity in Religious Advocacy 


Religious advocacy organizations in Washington reflect the pluralism of religion in America. They are diverse in many other ways as well, including in their organizational structures, their issue agendas and their primary advocacy methods.


Faith Communities: Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish advocacy groups are the most numerous (a total of 124 groups); together they make up 58% of the religious advocacy groups in the study. About one-in-six of the advocacy groups in the study (34 groups, or 16%) represent faiths with smaller numbers of adherents in the U.S., such as Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, as well as other Christian and secular groups. The remaining quarter of the groups in the study (54) represent the views of multiple faiths or advocate on religion-related issues without representing a specific religious tradition, which is more than the number of groups representing any single faith.




Organizational Structure: Religious advocacy groups also exhibit a variety of organizational structures. Many groups represent individual members (89 groups, or 42%). These include, for example, Concerned Women for America, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Sojourners and People For the American Way. But a substantial portion are associations that represent institutions such as Christian colleges, Catholic hospitals and religious broadcasters (37 groups, or 17%). A similar number (31 groups, or 15%) represent the official interests of a particular denomination or religious tradition, such as the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Still others (20 groups, or 9%) are permanent coalitions, such as the Save Darfur Coalition, which focuses on Sudan, and the Jubilee USA Network, which seeks debt relief for poor countries. Think tanks, such as the Institute on Religion & Democracy and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, account for 18 groups, or 8% of the total. Hybrid groups that cross over various categories – such as the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which combines elements of a think-tank with a public interest law firm – make up the remainder (17 groups, or 8%).


Issue Agendas: This study finds that religious advocacy groups in Washington address about 300 policy issues, touching on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy concerns. A fifth of the groups focus just on domestic matters, while about one-in-six (17%) focus solely on international issues. Nearly two-thirds (64%), however, are engaged in both domestic and foreign issues.




On the domestic front, the most commonly addressed issues are the relationship between church and state, the defense of civil rights and liberties for religious and other minorities, bioethics and life issues (such as abortion, capital punishment and end-of-life issues) and family/marriage issues (such as the definition of marriage, domestic violence and fatherhood initiatives).


Internationally, the most commonly addressed concerns are human rights, debt relief and other economic issues, and the promotion of peace and democracy. Indeed, compared with past decades, religious advocacy today is increasingly globalized, connecting a multitude of diverse constituencies with policymakers in the United States and other countries.




Advocacy Methods: More than nine-in-ten groups that completed a questionnaire about their activities say that informing their constituents and the general public is among their advocacy methods or strategies. (For more information on the questionnaire, see the Methodology.) And about four-in-ten of the groups that filled out the questionnaire (41%) report that educating constituents on issues – rather than directly approaching policymakers - is the activity they engage in most often. The next most-cited strategy is meeting with officials, which 15% of the groups list as their most frequent activity.


Other findings in the study include:


More than eight-in-ten of the 212 religious advocacy groups in the study (82%) operate as nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This means they are not allowed to devote a substantial part of their activities to lobbying as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Only 10 groups (5%) are organized solely as 501(c)(4) organizations, which are permitted to conduct substantial amounts of lobbying as defined by the IRS. Twenty-six groups (12%) are 501(c)(3) organizations that have a sister group that is registered as a 501(c)(4), or vice versa.
While more than three-quarters of American adults identify as Christians, about half of the religious advocacy groups in the study are exclusively Christian. Many of the religious coalitions and interreligious groups, however, are partly or largely Christian in outlook.
More than eight-in-ten of the groups that completed a questionnaire about their activities say they use targeted or mass emails to mobilize constituents. More than six-in-ten were using social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter in 2009.
More than three-quarters (79%) of the groups for which staffing data were available employ 12 or fewer people in the Washington area.
About the Report 


This report is based on the full set of 212 groups except where otherwise indicated. For example, the discussion of the groups’ advocacy strategies is based primarily on the 61 groups in the study that completed the questionnaire. 


Readers should bear three important limitations in mind. First, although this study analyzes a number of major characteristics of religious advocacy organizations, including their annual spending, it does not attempt to assess their political influence. An organization’s size – whether measured by expenditures, staff size or number of constituents – is not necessarily a reliable indicator of its influence on policymaking. This study makes no claims about the degree of influence wielded either by individual organizations or by religious advocacy groups as a whole.


Second, religious advocacy undoubtedly is conducted, formally and informally, by many individuals and groups beyond the 212 organizations included in this report. Numerous other religious groups send delegations to the nation’s capital, organize campaigns from a distance, join coalitions and contact legislators in their home districts as well as in Washington. For example, the American Family Association, based in Mississippi, operates an extensive legislative alert system that identifies legislation relevant to its members and urges them to contact lawmakers, but it does not have a Washington office. This study focuses on formal, institutional efforts by groups with paid staff and physical offices in or near the nation’s capital. Given the limits of the study, it is likely that the findings reported here underestimate the full breadth and depth of religious advocacy in Washington.


Finally, the groups define themselves in many different ways, and they report their expenditures, constituencies, issue agendas and other characteristics differently. Professor Hertzke and Pew Forum researchers have tried to be as consistent as possible in determining how to categorize the advocacy groups. The study relies primarily on the groups’ own websites, mission statements and tax filings, as well as questionnaire and interview responses, to determine what issues they work on, what strategies they employ, what constituencies they represent, how many staff members they have and how much they spend on advocacy. However, judgment calls inevitably had to be made, and other researchers might have made different decisions. For this reason, the study tries to be as transparent as possible. For example, the study includes an online table showing the spending data that was considered in determining which expenditures most closely reflect each group’s annual advocacy-related spending. Professor Hertzke and the Pew Forum researchers tried to choose the expenditure figures for each group that best reflected the broad definition of advocacy used in this report. Given the broad range of advocacy activities that many of the groups undertake, the study does not restrict the expenditures to those costs that were incurred for direct lobbying as strictly defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Read the full PEW REPORT BELOW
http://pewforum.org/Government/Lobbying-for-the-faithful--exec.aspx

Antitheist Playlist


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Trolling Stephen Fry


TROLLING


Taken from a half hour interview Fry on everything.

Wednesday

Religious Epilogue Monty Python Sketch


Pope's Mexican Fail






MEXICO CITY  — In a country at least nominally 90 percent Catholic, you would think the news of another papal visit would be met with jubilation.
It's not that the millions of faithful in Mexico aren't happy about Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit, expected before Easter next year.
It's just that they can't drum up the same kind of emotion they had for his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, a man so beloved that the Vatican was presenting his relics, a vial of blood and a wax likeness, in more than 100 locations throughout the country.
John Paul visited Mexico five times, drawing millions of worshippers each time. The Latin American nation has the second-highest number of Catholics in the world behind Brazil, and was John Paul's third-most-visited country after Poland and France.
The pope spoke Spanish when he came here, endearing him even more to Mexicans who still buy up large quantities of photo frames, stamps, rosaries and mugs bearing his name and image. The pope died in 2005 at the age of 84. In May he was beatified, the last formal step before possible sainthood.
There are no Benedict-related items for sale here.
"That Holiness is not very commercial," explained Jorge Sanchez, a 30-year-old vendor.
Benedict confirmed his travel plans Monday during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica honoring Mexico's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Dec. 12 is one of Mexico's most important religious holidays, when millions make the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to honor the dark-skinned virgin who is said to have appeared to an Indian peasant on Dec. 12, 1531.
City officials estimate 5.8illion people from across Mexico visited the basilica over the four pilgrimage days through Monday, many of them carrying large frames, wooden sculptures and ceramic statues of the virgin on their backs. Police keep the crowds moving and don't allow anyone to linger.
Many of those who had traveled for days on foot or cycled along highways as a sacrifice applauded when the basilica's vicar, Monsignor Enrique Glennie Graue, told them Benedict was coming to Mexico.
"His visit shows that he loves Mexico, and in return, Mexico will love him as much as it loved John Paul II," said Socorro Avendano, 23, accompanied by her husband and 5-month-old daughter. "But we have to see him. We have to see his devotion to Mexico."
As mariachis played and Indian dancers with feathered headdresses jingled their ankle bells, crowds lined up outside the basilica Monday just to get a glimpse of the cloak upon whose cloth it is said the virgin's image appeared.
It remained to be seen if Pope Benedict will generate as much enthusiasm.
Gabriel Ramirez, a 22-year-old baker, traveled 10 hours on a bus from the southern state of Oaxaca with his wife and 10-month-old daughter to visit the virgin.
But he said it was unlikely he would repeat the trip to see the pope.
"I don't think I would come because it is too far," he said.


Ripped straight from Yahoo News.

Sunday

BUDDHISM - Light at the Edge of the World: Science of the Mind





There’s something about the inherent tolerance of Buddhism that is inherently attractive. It's totally non-judgmental. There's no notion of sin, there's no notion of good and evil, there's only ignorance and suffering. And this is the most important thing, it places all emphasis on compassion; you do not embrace negativity.

Story of God - presented by Robert Winston.






Professor Robert Winston presents a definitive three-part documentary series on the history of mankind's quest to understand the nature of God.
The Story of God is an epic journey across continents, cultures and eras exploring religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations, through the development of today's major world faiths and the status of religious faith in a scientific age.
The series examines the roots of religious beliefs in prehistoric societies and the different ways in which humanity's sense of the divine developed. It looks at the divergence between religions that worship a range of deities and those that represent strict monotheism.
The series begins with Professor Winston examining the religions which believe in many different gods and explores why mankind started to believe in God at all.
The answer to that question, says Professor Winston, can be found in the caves where our ancestors first approached their gods and in the fields where people still call on them for help, in the cities where our ancestors have been honoured and in the temples where the gods have been appeased with sacrifices.
"But most of all the answer," says Professor Winston, "lies in the human desire to be united with something bigger than ourselves."   

Thursday

The FAMILY - Rachel Maddow Show: Christian Conservatism's Shadowy Secret Society


The Rachel Maddow Show: Christian Conservatism's Shadowy Secret Society
The leader of the family stated raping three little girls would not make a member a bad person, because the usual rules do not apply. The Family the oldest shadowy conservative Christian group.




The family is the oldest Christian conservative organization in Washington and it goes back seventy years. And the founder believed that god gave him a new revelation saying that Christianity had gotten it wrong for two thousand years and that what most people think of as Christianity, as being about, you know, helping the weak and the poor and the meek and the down and out, he believes god came to him one night in April in 1935 and said what Christianity should really be about is building more power for the already powerful. And that these powerful men who were chosen by god can then if they want to dispense blessings to the rest of us, through a kind of trickle-down fundamentalism.




Monday

Stewart Lee - Vomiting into the gaping anus of Christ


Secrets of Scientology - Panorama BBC



Follow up to the journalist's expose on the Church of Scientology.  The Scientologists prove people will believe any cult, however crazy, the crazier the better.  The man he meets in this clip is the main man he was having upsets with in the previous broadcast.  The man now has left Scientology and is here to help our journalist. 

The Quantum Revolution - visions of the future.

The Quantum Revolution - Visions of the future.


Great way to spend an hour watching this. This has many possibilities and could end up the pinnacle of the information revolution.   The ability to make anything atom by atom, building upwards. Fabricating physical objects from a printer like device at home, is not only awe inspiring it's feasible and it can be done already to certain degrees. 

Thursday

Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It with lyrics

Priest can't answer how all humans came from Cain and Abel




Considering the catholic church has embraced evolution as "one of god's greatest works" since the 1950's, how more dishonest could this priest be?

Adam and Eve must therefore be apocryphal at best.  Why then skirt the issue, lie and look stupid?  Perhaps the priest is unaware of the Catholic embrace of evolution.  If aware then it's outright lies for the general idiotic Fox audience, if unaware then this is a pretty piss poor priest.

Monday

Bloody Sunday - Antitheist

Bloody Sunday Full Film






Very moving account of the day the British army or more accurately a rogue platoon of the British army opened fire on unarmed peaceful protesters. Referred to as the Bogside massacre which occurred 30th January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry Northern Ireland. Superbly acted without any unfair bias.






Sunday

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial




Vaccine-autism claims "Frankenfood" bans the herbal cure craze: All point to the publics growing fear (and often outright denial) of science and reason says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. Michael Specter is a staff writer for the New Yorker. His new book Denialism asks why we have increasingly begun to fear scientific advances instead of embracing them.

Wednesday

Child Abuse Prevention Measures.







Dear Dr Lucas,


After recently learning of the church being held responsible for the actions of a person deemed an employee, I write to ask please what checks and precautionary measures are taken by religious organisations to protect children from potential abusers?


If as I assume there has been no responsibility prior to the recent case, will you please bring this up as a matter of urgency and see that mandatory background checks are required and any governing body responsible for any religious activity within its organisation is held responsible for all breaches of negligence in this area.


With the extremely unacceptable high number of sex abuse cases coming to light within the different religious organisations, I'm sure you too like myself share the concern for children's safety and abuse of parent's and children's trust.


I look forward to your advice as to how the safety net works at present and your thoughts on how it needs to be tightened for the sake of future children's welfare.


Yours sincerely




http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/


http://www.house.gov/representatives/


http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm


Please contact your local political representative. Even if it's just this copy pasted. It would take all of 2 mins max.

Super Preachers - The Underdog (Trailer)


Friday

BIRD AND FORTUNE BLOGGING/INTERNET NEW MEDIA

BIRD AND FORTUNE BLOGGING / INTERNET NEW MEDIA


video

Robert Anton Wilson talks about Alfred Korzybski, Friedrich Nietzsche, etc.

Robert Anton Wilson talks about Alfred Korzybski, Friedrich Nietzsche and others.


video

  Robert Anton Wilson's unusual but seemingly perfect description on how we create our own individual realities. We all create he suggests our own universes and no two universes are exactly the same.
Also:
  True, false, indeterminate and meaningless. Everything falls into one or more of these and is explained in the clip.
 The adoption of maybe over "is" sounds quite simple but the implications are far reaching and ends the arrogance of certainty with such a small change in use of language.
  Not universal truths, the things science has agreed on and set parameters, the things which are to each of us different and open to interpretation.
  That said with the scientific method of measurement and quantifying, we are the ones responsible for drawing the parameters and they may not of course be suitable. As RAW  puts it "we draw the lines on the map."
  Robert Anton Wilson maybe seen as a crackpot by many, he lived an interesting life often articulating very different insights by drawing influence from many sources and then using the info to think outside of the box, If RAW was ever inside the box. 

Thursday

Pastor Shepherd's New Book

The Satanic Verses Affair - Salman Rushdie



The Satanic Verses Affair:
 The most repugnant part of this whole affair was the agreement by the chief Rabbi of Israel, the Vatican along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and numerous other lesser religious figures,  all despite managing a few words condemning the Ayatollah's call for violence, sympathised instead with the Ayatollah and saw the crime of blasphemy more the problem than the state sponsored order for murder by the Ayatollah.

At first glance it would seem Islam extremists but when balanced with the non outright condemnation by the three monotheistic faiths, it puts the whole grisly affair into perspective and shows them all to be as barbaric and unjust as each other. Salman Rushdie was of course previously a Muslim and had an understanding of the Koran and so was guilty of apostasy. Apostasy according to the hadith is only punishable by death.  Many of the faiths have these archaic barbaric written rules, it seems Islam is champion at present at having its followers actually doling out God's punishments here and now on earth.

This behaviour flies in the face of moderate Muslims calling Islam, the faith of peace. his Norwegian publisher was shot several times in the back and left for dead. Incredibly he survived. His Japanese and Italian translators were criminally assaulted and one of them was savagely mutilated as he lay dying.




Sunday

Carl Sagan's essay on marijuana




This account was written in 1969 for publication in Marijuana Reconsidered (1971). Sagan was in his mid-thirties at that time. He continued to use cannabis for the rest of his life.



It all began about ten years ago. I had reached a considerably more relaxed period in my life - a time when I had come to feel that there was more to living than science, a time of awakening of my social consciousness and amiability, a time when I was open to new experiences. I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure. Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try. My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry.




After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened. I was lying on my back in a friend's living room idly examining the pattern of shadows on the ceiling cast by a potted plant (not cannabis!). I suddenly realized that I was examining an intricately detailed miniature Volkswagen, distinctly outlined by the shadows. I was very skeptical at this perception, and tried to find inconsistencies between Volkswagens and what I viewed on the ceiling. But it was all there, down to hubcaps, license plate, chrome, and even the small handle used for opening the trunk. When I closed my eyes, I was stunned to find that there was a movie going on the inside of my eyelids. Flash . . . a simple country scene with red farmhouse, a blue sky, white clouds, yellow path meandering over green hills to the horizon. . . Flash . . . same scene, orange house, brown sky, red clouds, yellow path, violet fields . . . Flash . . . Flash . . . Flash. The flashes came about once a heartbeat. Each flash brought the same simple scene into view, but each time with a different set of colors . . . exquisitely deep hues, and astonishingly harmonious in their juxtaposition. Since then I have smoked occasionally and enjoyed it thoroughly. It amplifies torpid sensibilities and produces what to me are even more interesting effects, as I will explain shortly.




I can remember another early visual experience with cannabis, in which I viewed a candle flame and discovered in the heart of the flame, standing with magnificent indifference, the black-hatted and -cloaked Spanish gentleman who appears on the label of the Sandeman sherry bottle. Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience.


I want to explain that at no time did I think these things 'really' were out there. I knew there was no Volkswagen on the ceiling and there was no Sandeman salamander man in the flame. I don't feel any contradiction in these experiences. There's a part of me making, creating the perceptions which in everyday life would be bizarre; there's another part of me which is a kind of observer. About half of the pleasure comes from the observer-part appreciating the work of the creator-part. I smile, or sometimes even laugh out loud at the pictures on the insides of my eyelids. In this sense, I suppose cannabis is psychotomimetic, but I find none of the panic or terror that accompanies some psychoses. Possibly this is because I know it's my own trip, and that I can come down rapidly any time I want to.


While my early perceptions were all visual, and curiously lacking in images of human beings, both of these items have changed over the intervening years. I find that today a single joint is enough to get me high. I test whether I'm high by closing my eyes and looking for the flashes. They come long before there are any alterations in my visual or other perceptions. I would guess this is a signal-to-noise problem, the visual noise level being very low with my eyes closed. Another interesting information-theoretical aspects is the prevalence - at least in my flashed images - of cartoons: just the outlines of figures, caricatures, not photographs. I think this is simply a matter of information compression; it would be impossible to grasp the total content of an image with the information content of an ordinary photograph, say 10<sup>8</sup> bits, in the fraction of a second which a flash occupies. And the flash experience is designed, if I may use that word, for instant appreciation. The artist and viewer are one. This is not to say that the images are not marvelously detailed and complex. I recently had an image in which two people were talking, and the words they were saying would form and disappear in yellow above their heads, at about a sentence per heartbeat. In this way it was possible to follow the conversation. At the same time an occasional word would appear in red letters among the yellows above their heads, perfectly in context with the conversation; but if one remembered these red words, they would enunciate a quite different set of statements, penetratingly critical of the conversation. The entire image set which I've outlined here, with I would say at least 100 yellow words and something like 10 red words, occurred in something under a minute.




The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I'm down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights - I don't know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. For example, I have spent some time high looking at the work of the Belgian surrealist Yves Tanguey. Some years later, I emerged from a long swim in the Caribbean and sank exhausted onto a beach formed from the erosion of a nearby coral reef. In idly examining the arcuate pastel-colored coral fragments which made up the beach, I saw before me a vast Tanguey painting. Perhaps Tanguey visited such a beach in his childhood.


A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I'm down. The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so. Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex - on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.


I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs. The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate. Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men. And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness. Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I've had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor. Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds. A sense of what the world is really like can be maddening; cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word 'crazy' to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us. In the Soviet Union political dissidents are routinely placed in insane asylums. The same kind of thing, a little more subtle perhaps, occurs here: 'did you hear what Lenny Bruce said yesterday? He must be crazy.' When high on cannabis I discovered that there's somebody inside in those people we call mad.


When I'm high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era. I can reconstruct the actual occurrences in childhood events only half understood at the time. Many but not all my cannabis trips have somewhere in them a symbolism significant to me which I won't attempt to describe here, a kind of mandala embossed on the high. Free-associating to this mandala, both visually and as plays on words, has produced a very rich array of insights.


There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we're down the next day. Some of the hardest work I've ever done has been to put such insights down on tape or in writing. The problem is that ten even more interesting ideas or images have to be lost in the effort of recording one. It is easy to understand why someone might think it's a waste of effort going to all that trouble to set the thought down, a kind of intrusion of the Protestant Ethic. But since I live almost all my life down I've made the effort - successfully, I think. Incidentally, I find that reasonably good insights can be remembered the next day, but only if some effort has been made to set them down another way. If I write the insight down or tell it to someone, then I can remember it with no assistance the following morning; but if I merely say to myself that I must make an effort to remember, I never do.


I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves. It was a point obvious in a way, but rarely talked about. I drew the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down. One idea led to another, and at the end of about an hour of extremely hard work I found I had written eleven short essays on a wide range of social, political, philosophical, and human biological topics. Because of problems of space, I can't go into the details of these essays, but from all external signs, such as public reactions and expert commentary, they seem to contain valid insights. I have used them in university commencement addresses, public lectures, and in my books.


But let me try to at least give the flavor of such an insight and its accompaniments. One night, high on cannabis, I was delving into my childhood, a little self-analysis, and making what seemed to me to be very good progress. I then paused and thought how extraordinary it was that Sigmund Freud, with no assistance from drugs, had been able to achieve his own remarkable self-analysis. But then it hit me like a thunderclap that this was wrong, that Freud had spent the decade before his self-analysis as an experimenter with and a proselytizer for cocaine; and it seemed to me very apparent that the genuine psychological insights that Freud brought to the world were at least in part derived from his drug experience. I have no idea whether this is in fact true, or whether the historians of Freud would agree with this interpretation, or even if such an idea has been published in the past, but it is an interesting hypothesis and one which passes first scrutiny in the world of the downs.


I can remember the night that I suddenly realized what it was like to be crazy, or nights when my feelings and perceptions were of a religious nature. I had a very accurate sense that these feelings and perceptions, written down casually, would not stand the usual critical scrutiny that is my stock in trade as a scientist. If I find in the morning a message from myself the night before informing me that there is a world around us which we barely sense, or that we can become one with the universe, or even that certain politicians are desperately frightened men, I may tend to disbelieve; but when I'm high I know about this disbelief. And so I have a tape in which I exhort myself to take such remarks seriously. I say 'Listen closely, you sonofabitch of the morning! This stuff is real!' I try to show that my mind is working clearly; I recall the name of a high school acquaintance I have not thought of in thirty years; I describe the color, typography, and format of a book in another room and these memories do pass critical scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs. Such a remark applies not only to self-awareness and to intellectual pursuits, but also to perceptions of real people, a vastly enhanced sensitivity to facial expression, intonations, and choice of words which sometimes yields a rapport so close it's as if two people are reading each other's minds.


Cannabis enables nonmusicians to know a little about what it is like to be a musician, and nonartists to grasp the joys of art. But I am neither an artist nor a musician. What about my own scientific work? While I find a curious disinclination to think of my professional concerns when high - the attractive intellectual adventures always seem to be in every other area - I have made a conscious effort to think of a few particularly difficult current problems in my field when high. It works, at least to a degree. I find I can bring to bear, for example, a range of relevant experimental facts which appear to be mutually inconsistent. So far, so good. At least the recall works. Then in trying to conceive of a way of reconciling the disparate facts, I was able to come up with a very bizarre possibility, one that I'm sure I would never have thought of down. I've written a paper which mentions this idea in passing. I think it's very unlikely to be true, but it has consequences which are experimentally testable, which is the hallmark of an acceptable theory.


I have mentioned that in the cannabis experience there is a part of your mind that remains a dispassionate observer, who is able to take you down in a hurry if need be. I have on a few occasions been forced to drive in heavy traffic when high. I've negotiated it with no difficult at all, though I did have some thoughts about the marvelous cherry-red color of traffic lights. I find that after the drive I'm not high at all. There are no flashes on the insides of my eyelids. If you're high and your child is calling, you can respond about as capably as you usually do. I don't advocate driving when high on cannabis, but I can tell you from personal experience that it certainly can be done. My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover. Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater.


There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis. Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there. I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity. R is very large for LSD (which I've never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis. Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs. When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of he parameters printed on the pack. I hope that time isn't too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.

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