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Straw Atheism January 14, 2008

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, faith, freethought, media.
1 comment so far

There are many misperceptions of atheism held by those unfamiliar with the subject. I see them propagated on the internet, television, print media and in conversation. They are readily accepted and believed by the religious for a very simple reason: believing otherwise would invalidate a key religious claim.



The Moon is a Harsh Mistress January 12, 2008

Posted by Joe in Book notes, science fiction.
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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.

It is always odd to read old science fiction. The anachronisms in the projected future are always interesting. in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (TMHM) (published in 1966) Heinlein imagines a future with space travel and lunar colonies and yet the phones on the moon are not wireless; the computers are mainframes, a small number of large computers instead of the swarm of tiny computers that is becoming our present.

In TMHM the central computer (later named Mike) that runs most everything on the lunar colony gains consciousness and aids in the liberation of the colonies from thei Earthly rulers. Both story lines are intriguing, but I would have loved to have read more about how Mike’s consciousness developed and changed throughout the story. Often in the book we know little of what Mike is thinking or doing and when we do our experience is always outside looking in at him.

The book is written from the perspective of citizen of Luna the moon colony. It is written from the first person in a colloquial manner which at first made it difficult to read. Missing words are common which gives the entire story an atmosphere of rushing and I often found it speeding my reading up, sometimes out pacing my ability to follow the story.

If you are interested in “golden age” SF I highly recommend this. It is the best Heinlein I have read.

Who created God? January 11, 2008

Posted by Joe in atheism, belief, Christianity, faith, freethought, god, logic, science, skepticism, theism.
Tags: , ,

This link was posted as a comment regarding a different topic. It is a common argument flung at atheists when a theist seems to realize there is no evidence for the existence of god. It is neatly summarized on the linked page thusly:

1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause.
2. The universe has a beginning.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause.


Yes, it has been awhile… January 11, 2008

Posted by Joe in blogging, life.
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1 comment so far

So my first venture into the world of blogging was less than stellar. I let my discipline lapse and then life took over and viola I haven’t posted in months. But here I am checking in again and maybe getting my butt in gear. Just hope I can come up with opinions strong enough to provoke some writing.

That’s really what it takes for me. The day to day thoughts and ideas don’t seem worth blogging about. But if I have to get over that if I want to make blogging a day to day activity. But the problem is that when blogging, by definition the entire internet is at my fingertips. Reading is a lot easier then writing. I easily get drawn into the writings and discussions of others and lose my will to bother writing up my own thoughts.

Oh well this ramble is done. What are the odds I post again this month? 🙂

What is Faith? (and do atheists have it?) September 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, evidence, faith, freethought, god, logic, religion, skepticism, theism.
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Atheists often define the word ‘faith’ as “belief in something without evidence or int he face of contradictory evidence”. I don’t believe this is really what theists mean when they use the word, but I cannot come up with a reasonable meaning that fits their usage. They seem to use it as a justification for their religious beliefs and as a way to buttress their belief in the face of doubts.

Faith is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:

Main Entry: 1faith
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
synonym see BELIEF
on faith : without question <took everything he said on faith>