Monthly Archives: June 2009

But Officer, God Made Me Drink

from abc.net.au/news come this story of an Italian priest caught for drink driving.

An Italian priest caught driving over the alcohol limit pleaded to police that it was only because of the Holy Wine he had drunk as part of the mass.

Police rejected the priest’s excuse and revoked his driving licence anyway.

Now the 41-year-old priest is set to appeal against the ruling, saying his alcohol consumption was not “voluntary” since it was part of the Catholic ritual in the four masses that he had celebrated during the day.

What a great excuse! If he gets off the drink driving charge with that pathetic excuse, I’m starting up the Church of the Unholy Pissed Idiots. Where you are encouraged to drink as much as you like, all in the name of religious ritual of course. 😉  Care to join me, bar’s open in 15 minutes…

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National Human Rights Consultation – Public Hearings 1-3 July 2009

As some of you may remember I went to one of the Australian Human Rights Consultation days, which I reported on some while back, well it looks like the next round is on.

From my in-box late yesterday:

As a valued attendee at one of our community round-table discussions, we wanted to let you know about the upcoming Public Hearings for the Consultation, which will be held in the Great Hall at Parliament House from 1 to 3 July 2009.
These Hearings are a continuation of the Consultation process and are designed to provide a forum for key commentators on human rights issues to present information and engage in debate about the protection and promotion of human rights in Australia

Each day will have a different theme:

Day 1How are human rights and responsibilities presently protected and promoted in Australia?

Day 2 – What difference would a Commonwealth charter of human rights make?

Day 3 – How could we better protect human rights and promote responsibilities in Australia?

A range of speakers have been invited to attend to represent the broad spectrum of views on human rights in Australia. We will hear from experts in the field, such as George Williams, Hilary Charlesworth, Julian Leeser and Greg Craven. And we will also hear from a number of ordinary Australians who have provided submissions as part of the Consultation process. If you are interested in attending, there will be opportunities to ask questions of our speakers or to share some of your own views about how we can protect and promote human rights in Australia. A highlight of the Public Hearings will be the Great Debate, where a panel of eminent Australians and academics will debate whether or not Australia needs a charter of rights.

Public Hearings

Where: The Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra

When: 1 to 3 July 2009

Time: 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm

Register to attend one or more of the sessions for the Public Hearings on our website at http://www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au/www/nhrcc/hearings.nsf/calendar.  A draft program with names of confirmed speakers and relevant topics to be discussed is available at this site.

Register today to secure your place at this historical event!

Frank Brennan, Mary Kostakidis, Mick Palmer and Tammy Williams

www.humanrightsconsultation.gov.au

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I won’t be able to attend this, but in case any reader is interested and wants to attend I thought I’d post this information. I don’t think you have to have been to any one of the other events to attend this one, so if you’re going to be in Canberra, have some time to spare, and want to find out more about the proposed Australian Human Rights Bill, then why not register to attend.

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Atheist Bus Advert – update

The Australian atheist bus campaign dispute is finally going to tribunal. The ABC news reports:

A dispute over Metro Tasmania’s refusal to display anti-religious advertisements on its buses has been set down for a conciliation hearing.

As the lawyer for the Atheist Foundation of Australia said:

“Clearly it means that the commissioner has determined that there is a case to answer by Metro for why they have refused to accept the advertising services that have been sought from Metro by the Atheist Foundation”

According to the abc news site: “The conciliation hearing will take place in August.”

Till then…

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More Hypocrisy

‘Family values’ US Republican Governor admits to an affair.

One of the leading lights of the US Republican Party, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, has admitted to an affair and thus ended his hopes of running for the White House in 2012. from abc.net.au/news (story also at Miami Herald)

The Governor told his staff he was going to walk the Appalachian Trail to clear his head. Far from being in his hiking boots, Governor Sanford was with his mistress in Buenos Aires.

Whilst having an affair is bad enough (Despite what some people think it’s never just about you and your partner. An affair can affect everyone around you; the lies and deception to your partner, family, friends and colleagues will effect the way everyone thinks of you) it’s made worse, in my opinion, if you make yourself out to be ‘better’ than most people because you follow ‘God’s laws’.

During his press speech Sanford had this to say:

“I’ve let down a lot of people. That’s the bottom line. But I’m here because if you were to look at God’s laws, they’re in every instance designed to protect people from themselves.

“I think that that is the bottom line of God’s law. That it’s not a moral, rigid list of dos and don’ts just for the heck of dos and don’ts; it is indeed to protect us from ourselves.

Apart from the fact that I have many concerns with ‘Gods’ so-called laws (see FAQ 1.) if you are going to profess to following them, and in Sanford’s case quite likely make political decisions based on them, then you better make sure you don’t break any of them. Whilst everyone may at some stage in their life commit some sort of crime, unethical or immoral act; the difference I see, between non-religious people and religious people, is that the non-religious people don’t profess to be ‘holier than thou’ like religious people do.

More to the point why be so hypocritical and run a political platform based on Bible based ‘family values’ when you can’t keep your dick in your pants?

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900 blogs and counting

mojoey’s atheist blogroll hits 900 with 4,308,160 page views. So whilst I haven’t been adding much to the atheist blogging landscape  lately there are plenty of others out there contributing.

toomanytribbles made this video almost two years ago, a combination of blogs from mojoey’s atheist blogroll and the one from the out campaign — since then, hundreds more blogs have appeared.

If you are reading this and have an atheist blog make sure you’ve added yourself to mojoey’s list. Here’s looking to 1,000 sites!

Hat Tip to vjack at Atheist Revolution, where I saw this video first.

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QOTD 17 June

You can lead a Christian to evidence, but you can’t make them think.

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Atheism V Christianity

I’ve read some wacky idiotic ramblings by christians before , but  Atheism Vs. Christianity: It’s all about ‘faith’ on examiner.com is one of the most laughable I’ve read in a while.

For a start his premise is all wrong, because it’s only Christianity that is all about ‘faith’; science relies on logic, experimentation, testing of ideas, etc etc. The author, Jake Jones, opens with this:

For some reason or another, Atheists feel that they need to beat you over the head with their view of creation, laws, the Bible, God, the Constitution and more.

Ha, Ha, Ha Jake, I think you meant to put the word ‘Christian’ in that sentence, instead of atheist. In case any other Christian hadn’t realised yet, one of the reasons atheists have become more vocal recently is because we are fed up with being bombarded with so much religious stuff.

Atheists, agnostics and other non-believers will always seem to quote science, scientists, NASA and others. That is a significant problem for Atheists. Science, scientists, … have been wrong on numerous occasions. … Science is not perfect, however the Bible is.

More LOL worthiness. He says “scientists, … have been wrong on numerous occasions” like it’s a bad thing? Aspects of science being proved wrong is one of science’s strengths, not weaknesses. There are way too many examples to demonstrate this, but how about an obvious one: years ago scientists said heavier than air objects would never fly, they were proven wrong as any airport will clearly demonstrate.  Is that a bad thing? No, it’s proof that science is quite happy being wrong, as long as it is proved wrong properly (throwing a bible at it doesn’t work by-the-way) . Science may not be perfect, and doesn’t usually profess to be, however it’s a damn sight more accurate than the bible.

Using scientific theory to disprove the Bible is like using gasoline to put out a fire. The reverse of that would be using the Bible to prove the existence of UFO’s, it can’t be done!

Stop, Stop, my sides are splitting from laughter. Science has been used many times to prove outright errors in the bible, it can be done, such as (from freethoughtdebater.com)

1 Kings 7:23 “He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” Circumference = Pi() x Diameter, which means the line would have to have been over 31 cubits. In order for this to be rounding, it would have had to overstate the amount to ensure that the line did “compass it round about.”
Lev 11:20-21: “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.” Fowl do not go upon all four.
Lev 11:6: “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud…” Hare do not chew the cud.

There are countless others. The bible even contradicts itself on numerous occasions (see the freethoughtdebater.com site for a few examples), don’t religious people ever actually read their own book?

Jake’s article gets worse, you really should read the whole thing, it’s good for a laugh; but I don’t know what he’s got against NASA, or why he keeps incorrectly capitalising atheist?

The Bible is perfect because it is the divinely inspired, true and infallible word of God, not science. … Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things that science, scientists and yes, even NASA have discovered which have helped mankind, …

Yes, science has discovered pretty well everything that has helped mankind, including the computer Jake used to write his crazy article and the internet it was posted on.

Then he goes on about Darwin and evolution for a bit saying atheists put their trust in what Darwin wrote. He either doesn’t understand, or is just plain stupid, but it’s the 150 years of science following Darwin’s idea that scientists and others “put their trust in” when it comes to acknowledging the facts about evolution. Then he vainly tries to show he is right and that we should beleive the bible because:

The Bible is filled with witnesses to the events described in it.

Oh really! What, like witnesses to the “creation of the heavens and the earth”, or witnesses to Jesus’ so-called existence, all written at least 40 years after his death and in some instances at least 70 years later by people who hadn’t even meet him? With virtually no secular writings of this so-called significant person to back them up?

… but Atheists are not willing to believe, it’s just a fairy tail to them.

At least he got one thing correct, the bible is just a fairy tale, written by uneducated ignorant goat-herders trying to explain things they didn’t understand.

Atheists for some reason believe that out of chaos comes order; i.e. the “Big Bang theory”, and that out of that chaos came the Universe as we know it. Logical folks understand that out of chaos comes even more chaos. All one has to do to see order in the Universe is to go the NASA’s Hubble Telescope Gallery web site and look at their space Gallery! It’s amazing. The beauty and order of God’s creation is overwhelming. Yes, that is one of the great accomplishments of NASA.

Jake obviously needs to do some research, I’m fairly sure that the Big Bang theory doesn’t necessarily entail chaos, and anyway order can come from chaos. Then there are all the forces in play such as gravity, centripetal, centrifugal  etc that assisted in the formation of galaxies, stars, planets etc. It wasn’t all just chaos chaos chaos then instantaneous planetary systems.

I’m still looking for some good articles on “chaos and order”, I’ve read some before but seem to have misplaced the URLs. I was sent a link via Twitter to an article titled Life on Earth which explains the II Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy and how it applies to life on Earth, which whilst a very interesting article wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. If anyone has some scientific articles on “chaos and order” please provide links in the comments.

As to the “it’s beautiful, so god must have made it” comment, that’s just another ludicrous, illogical ‘goddidit’ statement, what sort of evidence for a god is “because it’s beautiful”? Personally I actually don’t see a whole lot of ‘order’ in some of those Hubble telescope photographs, and I’m sure others don’t, so the other part of that argument is also flawed.

I’ll leave you with his final sentence:

I truly believe that Atheists have good intentions, but they should remember this old saying; “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

In case you hadn’t realised, not believing in god also entails in not believing in heaven or hell, so that sentence (threat ? ) is meaningless to an atheist, and don’t even think of Pascal Wagering me.

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