This is a Godless place.

atheism for the win.

201 notes

sagansense:

If there were ever an appropriate time to reblog this, well…in the wake of the trouble to come with what these fanatics are going to do to the government and the world….now would be a good time to listen to this, read the words and wake up.

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it… The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment…

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence—on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations… Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed….

….Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed—and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law-maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment—the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution—not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”—but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mould, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news—for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security… And so it is to the printing press—to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news—that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

President John F Kennedy, “President and the Press" address, 1961.

image

Carl Sagan on Skepticism | Think For Yourself, Question Authority

Carl Sagan | Last Interview 1, 2, 3

(via sagansense)

46 notes

smdxn:

A Teenager Is Facing Prison Time for Posting This Photo to Facebook

A 14-year-old could be facing that actual prison time after he simulated oral sex with a statue of Jesus in Everett, Penn., according to KRON 4.

The statue, which is in front of the local Love in the Name of Christ organization, features Jesus kneeling. The teenager climbed up and well, you know. He later posted the photos to Facebook, where police found them.

Why is this happening? Pennsylvania has a state law, passed in 1972, that doesn’t allow “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” The law was previously used in 2010, according to the Altoona Mirror, to punish a college student who urinated on a nativity scene.

Plenty of states have similar laws, notes Mother Jones, but most require that some type of physical desecration or vandalism be involved. Pennsylvania joins Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon as states that just require that something offensive occurred.

The reaction: The arrest has stirred questions of freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Would the teen be facing this large a punishment if he had simulated oral sex with just any old statue, not one with Christian significance?

smdxn:

A Teenager Is Facing Prison Time for Posting This Photo to Facebook

A 14-year-old could be facing that actual prison time after he simulated oral sex with a statue of Jesus in Everett, Penn., according to KRON 4.

The statue, which is in front of the local Love in the Name of Christ organization, features Jesus kneeling. The teenager climbed up and well, you know. He later posted the photos to Facebook, where police found them.

Why is this happening? Pennsylvania has a state law, passed in 1972, that doesn’t allow “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” The law was previously used in 2010, according to the Altoona Mirror, to punish a college student who urinated on a nativity scene.

Plenty of states have similar laws, notes Mother Jones, but most require that some type of physical desecration or vandalism be involved. Pennsylvania joins Alabama, Tennessee and Oregon as states that just require that something offensive occurred.

The reaction: The arrest has stirred questions of freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Would the teen be facing this large a punishment if he had simulated oral sex with just any old statue, not one with Christian significance?

24 notes

confrontingbabble-on:

Religionists incorrectly use the meaningless phrase…”the meaning of (all human) life”…when they should more honestly express their religion’s view that…”our opinion is that the purpose of any person being alive…is that they comply with the tenants and dogma of our sectarian religious group…”
In reality, individuals choose and assign numerous and various imperatives, to make their lives meaningful…
***
"We can and do impute various meanings to life, as we do to everything else; and different people and cultures create different meanings.
Meanings are not given to most of us, though we are socialized into some by our parents or significant others, but still we tend to construct our own eventually. So here are my Top 12. Pick yours, or add it to the list if it is not there, or mix and match. They are not all mutually exclusive.
We can give our lives many meanings, and they may change over time, perhaps as we wise up. Meaninglessness is not an option; or maybe it’s another meaning.
Hedonism: To live and have a good time.
To enjoy; pleasure; “girls just wanna have fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
"Carpe diem" (Horace)
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" (Herrick).
"Eat, drink and be merry" (Eccles 8:15) (but check Isaiah 5:11). Now updated to "Sex, drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll” (Ian Dury, not Mick).
The Cyrenaics of Ancient Greece.
May correlate with narcissism and instrumentalism, but not asceticism.
ME
Materialism: To get as much as possible.

The man with the most toys wins.
To win, be top dog, alpha, numero uno, boss.
"If you’re rich, I’m single."
To be rich and famous
Plato’s bronze people (in the Republic), as also the hedonists above.
ME
Altruism: To give as much as possible
"Love thy neighbour as thyself." The Golden Rule (Mat 19:19).
"Do a good deed every day." "Help other people at all times." (Scouts)
To leave the world a better place.
Idealism, and optimism
THEM
Longevity: To live as long as possible.
"Take care." Prudence. Risk-assessment and risk avoidance.
Quantity of life, not quality.
"Look before you leap." (Yes, but "He who hesitates is lost.")
Moderation in all things.
ME
Sensationalism: To experience as much as possible.
Type T personalities: Thrill-seekers, adventurers, explorers, racers, extreme sports, risk-takers.
"Just do it!" (Nike)
Why climb Everest? “Because it’s there.” (Mallory). He died there.
To achieve a place in the record books: secular immorality; (more likely just for fun, or because one can, or just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or one likes the feeling, but the place follows anyway).
Quality of life, not quantity: totally opposite to prudent, careful longevism: boring!
ME
Biologism: The genetic imperative.
To pass along my really selfish genes (Dawkins).
"It’s not my fault! I’m programmed!"
To achieve genetic immortality. Men and women famously use different methods.
ALL
Theism: To worship god or gods.
GO(O)D, holiness as the goal, to do good, to be virtuous.
To achieve spiritual immortality in heaven or paradise.
My religion or faith, is the one true meaning, though there are many different even conflicting faiths, but the others are either just wrong, (sorry), or very similar, (tolerance).
Relates to idealism, altruism and religiosity, also to fundamentalism and totalitarianism.
US, and maybe THEM.
Psychologism: Self-actualization
The seven stages (Maslow)
"To be the best you can be." (U.S. Army)
Being by doing.
Perfectionism
ME, again, but in a different meaning set.
Militarism: Survival.
Life is a struggle, a battle, against self, others, viruses, social forces of one sort of another (depression, illness, divorce, job loss) especially others.
"Lock up." "Caveat emptor." "Count your change." "Business is business." "Nice guys finish last." "Never give a sucker an even break." "Mind your back." "It’s a dog eat dog world." "Read the small print." "And wash your hands!"
Bias (“Most men are bad”); Heraclitus (“War is the father of all things”); Paul (“evil is present with me;” “Fight the good fight.”) Machiavelli, Hobbes (the war of all against all… “and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”) But apart from that: Herbert Spencer (“the survival of the fittest”); Charles Darwin (“the struggle for existence”); Marx and Engels “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”); Nietzsche (“The free man is a warrior”); Freud (“Homo homini lupus”); Kipling (“If”).
BUT: “I’m a lover not a fighter” (Jackson); “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Anne Frank). Do you? It would make a huge difference to the meaning(s) attributed to life if you did, or did not.
Loveism: To love (and be loved).
"All you need is love." (The Beatles)
Cash and warm shelters are also useful.
Loving warm relationships are the meaning of life, and the main constituents of happiness and life satisfaction, according to some; but others say that “variety is the spice of life,” and prefer liaisons (Casanova, Lothario, nymphos, K. Millett).
Opposite to hedonism.
US.
Rationalism: To know.
The love of wisdom, philosophy, constitutes the gold people of Plato’s three types of people. This is theoretically the triumph of reason over glory, Plato over Homer; later itself to be displaced for some by theism, and holiness trumping reason; later to be displaced in its turn by secular individualism in its many manifestations.
They are, he thought, superior to the silver (warriors who defend us and value honor) and bronze people (hedonists and materialists).
Our social reality is the opposite. Oh well. Greed and the love of power trump sweet reason (Machiavelli; Hobbes; Wall Street). And goodness.
Homo sapiens (Linnaeus). Really?
Existentialism: It’s your call.
You create your own meanings. None are given. (Sartre)
He also said that life was absurd, but took it seriously.
"There is a light seed grain inside. You fill it with yourself or it dies." (Rumi)
Another variant of individualism.
Maybe life is a (bad?) joke? Or a pain? A treasure? A gift? A struggle? A joy? All of the above occasionally? but it is yours.
YOU
So many isms! So many possible and probable meanings—and contradictions. Hedonism and asceticism, materialism and altruism, longevity and sensationalism, extremism, biologism, spiritualism, theism, fundamentalism, perfectionism, psychologism, narcissism, militarism, loveism, rationalism, existentialism, individualism.
What does your life mean to you? What gives it meaning? (Work? Children? A lover? Sport?) So what meanings do you give to your life?”
From http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-men/201110/the-meaning-life

confrontingbabble-on:

Religionists incorrectly use the meaningless phrase…”the meaning of (all human) life”…when they should more honestly express their religion’s view that…”our opinion is that the purpose of any person being alive…is that they comply with the tenants and dogma of our sectarian religious group…”

In reality, individuals choose and assign numerous and various imperatives, to make their lives meaningful…

***

"We can and do impute various meanings to life, as we do to everything else; and different people and cultures create different meanings.

Meanings are not given to most of us, though we are socialized into some by our parents or significant others, but still we tend to construct our own eventually. So here are my Top 12. Pick yours, or add it to the list if it is not there, or mix and match. They are not all mutually exclusive.

We can give our lives many meanings, and they may change over time, perhaps as we wise up. Meaninglessness is not an option; or maybe it’s another meaning.

Hedonism: To live and have a good time.

  • To enjoy; pleasure; “girls just wanna have fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
  • "Carpe diem" (Horace)
  • "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" (Herrick).
  • "Eat, drink and be merry" (Eccles 8:15) (but check Isaiah 5:11). Now updated to "Sex, drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll” (Ian Dury, not Mick).
  • The Cyrenaics of Ancient Greece.
  • May correlate with narcissism and instrumentalism, but not asceticism.
  • ME

Materialism: To get as much as possible.

  • The man with the most toys wins.
  • To win, be top dog, alpha, numero uno, boss.
  • "If you’re rich, I’m single."
  • To be rich and famous
  • Plato’s bronze people (in the Republic), as also the hedonists above.
  • ME

Altruism: To give as much as possible

  • "Love thy neighbour as thyself." The Golden Rule (Mat 19:19).
  • "Do a good deed every day." "Help other people at all times." (Scouts)
  • To leave the world a better place.
  • THEM

Longevity: To live as long as possible.

  • "Take care." Prudence. Risk-assessment and risk avoidance.
  • Quantity of life, not quality.
  • "Look before you leap." (Yes, but "He who hesitates is lost.")
  • Moderation in all things.
  • ME

Sensationalism: To experience as much as possible.

  • Type T personalities: Thrill-seekers, adventurers, explorers, racers, extreme sports, risk-takers.
  • "Just do it!" (Nike)
  • Why climb Everest? “Because it’s there.” (Mallory). He died there.
  • To achieve a place in the record books: secular immorality; (more likely just for fun, or because one can, or just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or one likes the feeling, but the place follows anyway).
  • Quality of life, not quantity: totally opposite to prudent, careful longevism: boring!
  • ME

Biologism: The genetic imperative.

  • To pass along my really selfish genes (Dawkins).
  • "It’s not my fault! I’m programmed!"
  • To achieve genetic immortality. Men and women famously use different methods.
  • ALL

Theism: To worship god or gods.

  • GO(O)D, holiness as the goal, to do good, to be virtuous.
  • To achieve spiritual immortality in heaven or paradise.
  • My religion or faith, is the one true meaning, though there are many different even conflicting faiths, but the others are either just wrong, (sorry), or very similar, (tolerance).
  • Relates to idealism, altruism and religiosity, also to fundamentalism and totalitarianism.
  • US, and maybe THEM.

Psychologism: Self-actualization

  • The seven stages (Maslow)
  • "To be the best you can be." (U.S. Army)
  • Being by doing.
  • ME, again, but in a different meaning set.

Militarism: Survival.

  • Life is a struggle, a battle, against self, others, viruses, social forces of one sort of another (depression, illness, divorce, job loss) especially others.
  • "Lock up." "Caveat emptor." "Count your change." "Business is business." "Nice guys finish last." "Never give a sucker an even break." "Mind your back." "It’s a dog eat dog world." "Read the small print." "And wash your hands!"
  • Bias (“Most men are bad”); Heraclitus (“War is the father of all things”); Paul (“evil is present with me;” “Fight the good fight.”) Machiavelli, Hobbes (the war of all against all… “and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”) But apart from that: Herbert Spencer (“the survival of the fittest”); Charles Darwin (“the struggle for existence”); Marx and Engels “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”); Nietzsche (“The free man is a warrior”); Freud (“Homo homini lupus”); Kipling (“If”).
  • BUT: “I’m a lover not a fighter” (Jackson); “in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Anne Frank). Do you? It would make a huge difference to the meaning(s) attributed to life if you did, or did not.

Loveism: To love (and be loved).

  • "All you need is love." (The Beatles)
  • Cash and warm shelters are also useful.
  • Loving warm relationships are the meaning of life, and the main constituents of happiness and life satisfaction, according to some; but others say that “variety is the spice of life,” and prefer liaisons (Casanova, Lothario, nymphos, K. Millett).
  • Opposite to hedonism.
  • US.

Rationalism: To know.

  • The love of wisdom, philosophy, constitutes the gold people of Plato’s three types of people. This is theoretically the triumph of reason over glory, Plato over Homer; later itself to be displaced for some by theism, and holiness trumping reason; later to be displaced in its turn by secular individualism in its many manifestations.
  • They are, he thought, superior to the silver (warriors who defend us and value honor) and bronze people (hedonists and materialists).
  • Our social reality is the opposite. Oh well. Greed and the love of power trump sweet reason (Machiavelli; Hobbes; Wall Street). And goodness.
  • Homo sapiens (Linnaeus). Really?

Existentialism: It’s your call.

  • You create your own meanings. None are given. (Sartre)
  • He also said that life was absurd, but took it seriously.
  • "There is a light seed grain inside. You fill it with yourself or it dies." (Rumi)
  • Another variant of individualism.
  • Maybe life is a (bad?) joke? Or a pain? A treasure? A gift? A struggle? A joy? All of the above occasionally? but it is yours.
  • YOU

So many isms! So many possible and probable meanings—and contradictions. Hedonism and asceticism, materialism and altruism, longevity and sensationalism, extremism, biologism, spiritualism, theism, fundamentalism, perfectionism, psychologism, narcissism, militarism, loveism, rationalism, existentialism, individualism.

What does your life mean to you? What gives it meaning? (Work? Children? A lover? Sport?) So what meanings do you give to your life?”

From http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-men/201110/the-meaning-life

342 notes

Evolution isn’t just a story about where we came from. It’s an epic at the center of life itself. Far from robbing our lives of meaning, it instills an appreciation for the beautiful, enduring, and ultimately triumphant fabric of life that covers our planet. Understanding that doesn’t demean human life - it enhances it.
Kenneth Miller, biologist (via whats-out-there)

(via sagansense)