In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and religion, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

whenthereckoningarrives:

of-praxis:

princehandsome:

thenizu:

of-praxis:

Gay Texas judge won’t marry straight couples
Tonya Parker, an African-American lesbian judge in Texas, refuses to marry straight couples until everyone in the state has the right to marry.
Turning away would-be newlyweds is “my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state,” Parker told a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas earlier this week.
She said it’s “oxymoronic” for her to perform a ceremony that can’t be performed for her.
Instead, she refers couples to other judges in the courthouse with an explanation along the lines of “I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” she told the meeting.

#perfecthumanbeing

No. Wrong. When you’re being treated unfairly you don’t treat other people unfairly. That’s just a vicious cycle, because then when this judge treats those straight people unfairly, they’ll feel justified in treating gay people unfairly, and then gay people will feel justified in treating straight people unfairly, etc etc.
This is not how you get your way. You don’t act like a brat and say “Well if I can’t get married, NOBODY CAN!!!!!!!!!”

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
she controls all the marriage licenses in the WORLD
STRAIGHT PEOPLE CANT GET MARRIED
REVERSE RACISM! but you know with gay people

This is mad rad. I love it.

whenthereckoningarrives:

of-praxis:

princehandsome:

thenizu:

of-praxis:

Gay Texas judge won’t marry straight couples

Tonya Parker, an African-American lesbian judge in Texas, refuses to marry straight couples until everyone in the state has the right to marry.

Turning away would-be newlyweds is “my opportunity to give them a lesson about marriage inequality in this state,” Parker told a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas earlier this week.

She said it’s “oxymoronic” for her to perform a ceremony that can’t be performed for her.

Instead, she refers couples to other judges in the courthouse with an explanation along the lines of “I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people,” she told the meeting.

#perfecthumanbeing

No. Wrong. When you’re being treated unfairly you don’t treat other people unfairly. That’s just a vicious cycle, because then when this judge treats those straight people unfairly, they’ll feel justified in treating gay people unfairly, and then gay people will feel justified in treating straight people unfairly, etc etc.

This is not how you get your way. You don’t act like a brat and say “Well if I can’t get married, NOBODY CAN!!!!!!!!!”

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

she controls all the marriage licenses in the WORLD

STRAIGHT PEOPLE CANT GET MARRIED

REVERSE RACISM! but you know with gay people

This is mad rad. I love it.

underthemountainbunker:

Glenn Beck believes Israel needs … HIM
On his radio show, Beck announced he’s going to conduct a “Restoring Courage“ event in Jerusalem — he says: “the very gates of Hell are gonna open up against us.”
Classic narcissism, much?
And what of the name of this shindig — Restoring Courage? Is Beck  implying that Israel has lost its courage and is desperately searching  for a chubby, Mormon, political entertainer from America to restore it for them?
And it’s peculiar that Beck is suddenly so interested in appearing pro-Israel. Maybe it’s because in January, 400 rabbis protested Beck’s constant use of Nazi imagery?  Or maybe it’s because Beck named nine people (eight of them were Jews) as enemies of America and humanity?
Or maybe it’s just the new voices in his head?

Yes, restore the courage to finally squash those Palestinians under their boot heel, because they’ve clearly lost it. /sarcasm. 

Now if there were only an Israeli Jon Stewart…

underthemountainbunker:

Glenn Beck believes Israel needs … HIM

On his radio show, Beck announced he’s going to conduct a “Restoring Courage event in Jerusalem — he says: “the very gates of Hell are gonna open up against us.”

Classic narcissism, much?

And what of the name of this shindig — Restoring Courage? Is Beck implying that Israel has lost its courage and is desperately searching for a chubby, Mormon, political entertainer from America to restore it for them?

And it’s peculiar that Beck is suddenly so interested in appearing pro-Israel. Maybe it’s because in January, 400 rabbis protested Beck’s constant use of Nazi imagery?  Or maybe it’s because Beck named nine people (eight of them were Jews) as enemies of America and humanity?

Or maybe it’s just the new voices in his head?

Yes, restore the courage to finally squash those Palestinians under their boot heel, because they’ve clearly lost it. /sarcasm.

Now if there were only an Israeli Jon Stewart…

We are not afraid. It takes courage to confront and accept reality. The person who has the perspective to appreciate his true place in the world, who can reconcile themself to their mortality and work forthrightly for the truth, is not the frightened one. Courage isn’t a product of lying to oneself about one’s situation, but of recognizing reality and going on anyway.

PZ Myers, The Truth Hurts (via cocknbull)

I’m sure that the belief that the whole universe was created just for you, and that you could damn yourself to eternal torture with one wrong move is indeed a heavy burden to carry. Good thing you can just set it down!

I’m sure that the belief that the whole universe was created just for you, and that you could damn yourself to eternal torture with one wrong move is indeed a heavy burden to carry. Good thing you can just set it down!

gadgetry:

niceincognito, dream-hope-act:


 


‘Christopher Hitchens: my hero of 2010’ by Richard Dawkins

A gentleman and a truly formidable debater, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage.

I’m not much given to straight, irony-free hero-worship. The last time I did a “heroes and villains” piece I chose Pope John Paul II as hero, on the grounds that he was doing everything possible to discredit the appalling institution of which he was head. Fatuously, the newspaper (not this one) ruined the joke by titling it not “Richard Dawkins chooses the pope as his hero” but “Richard Dawkins on the dubious heroism of the pope” (like those Victorian Punch cartoons whose captions drove the joke into the ground by painstakingly explaining it).

 

Unlike his predecessor, who mixed in some saintly qualities, Benedict XVI is an authentic villain, and even better qualified than John Paul II to bring down the second most evil religion in the world. But this time I’d rather dispense with irony and villainy and go wholeheartedly for an unambiguous, middle-stump hero. And in 2010, who could it be but that doughty nemesis of popes and faiths of all kinds, Christopher Hitchens?

Eloquent, witty, literate, intelligent, knowledgeable, brave, erudite, hard-working, honest (who could forget his clean-through skewering of Mother Teresa’s hypocrisy?), arguably the most formidable debater alive today yet at the same time the most gentlemanly, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage. A lesser man would have seized the excuse of a mortal illness to duck responsibility and take it easy. Not this soldier. He will not go gentle into that good night; but instead of a futile raging against the dying of the light he rages, with redoubled energy (and concentrated power in his vibrant, Richard Burton tones) against the same obscurantist, vicious or just plain silly targets as have long engaged him. But he never rants. His is a controlled, disciplined rage, and don’t get on the wrong side of it.

Like Bertrand Russell, Hitch “would scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation”. He laughs off the spiritual vultures eager for a death-bed conversion, and dismisses – but with unfailingly gracious courtesy – the many schadenfreudian prayers for his recovery. As Daniel Dennett said, in similar circumstances, “And did you also sacrifice a goat?”

I devoutly hope (not pray) that we shall see realised the 5% chance of recovery that modern doctors (not ancient gods) can offer. And if it is not to be – if, in his own gallantly insouciant words, he has to leave the party early – he will bequeath us an example worth following for centuries to come.

Source : Guardian

gadgetry:

niceincognito, dream-hope-act:

‘Christopher Hitchens: my hero of 2010’ by Richard Dawkins

A gentleman and a truly formidable debater, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage.

I’m not much given to straight, irony-free hero-worship. The last time I did a “heroes and villains” piece I chose Pope John Paul II as hero, on the grounds that he was doing everything possible to discredit the appalling institution of which he was head. Fatuously, the newspaper (not this one) ruined the joke by titling it not “Richard Dawkins chooses the pope as his hero” but “Richard Dawkins on the dubious heroism of the pope” (like those Victorian Punch cartoons whose captions drove the joke into the ground by painstakingly explaining it).

Unlike his predecessor, who mixed in some saintly qualities, Benedict XVI is an authentic villain, and even better qualified than John Paul II to bring down the second most evil religion in the world. But this time I’d rather dispense with irony and villainy and go wholeheartedly for an unambiguous, middle-stump hero. And in 2010, who could it be but that doughty nemesis of popes and faiths of all kinds, Christopher Hitchens?

Eloquent, witty, literate, intelligent, knowledgeable, brave, erudite, hard-working, honest (who could forget his clean-through skewering of Mother Teresa’s hypocrisy?), arguably the most formidable debater alive today yet at the same time the most gentlemanly, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage. A lesser man would have seized the excuse of a mortal illness to duck responsibility and take it easy. Not this soldier. He will not go gentle into that good night; but instead of a futile raging against the dying of the light he rages, with redoubled energy (and concentrated power in his vibrant, Richard Burton tones) against the same obscurantist, vicious or just plain silly targets as have long engaged him. But he never rants. His is a controlled, disciplined rage, and don’t get on the wrong side of it.

Like Bertrand Russell, Hitch “would scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation”. He laughs off the spiritual vultures eager for a death-bed conversion, and dismisses – but with unfailingly gracious courtesy – the many schadenfreudian prayers for his recovery. As Daniel Dennett said, in similar circumstances, “And did you also sacrifice a goat?”

I devoutly hope (not pray) that we shall see realised the 5% chance of recovery that modern doctors (not ancient gods) can offer. And if it is not to be – if, in his own gallantly insouciant words, he has to leave the party early – he will bequeath us an example worth following for centuries to come.

Source : Guardian