Friday, February 10, 2012

Nature, you cruel!

A recent post on Atheist Propaganda has made me think about nature, and all the different ways plants, animals and other lifeforms treat each other. It sometimes makes me sick.

I love nature, all the beauty and majesty of it. But here are just a few reasons to fear it.

1. Carnivores. Anyone who knows anything about animals knows that sometimes they get eaten. It takes a little more thought to realize how horrid this is. These creatures spend their last minutes in excruciating agony and unparalleled horror. And nature doesn't give a shit. Humans, and other creatures with empathy (I'm assuming we aren't the only ones to apply empathy to other creatures) have the ability to put ourselves in others shoes. We don't usually do this with, say an antelope. If we did, we'd realize that even the most minor natural savagery is unecessarily cruel. There are some more cruel than others (playing with prey or eating it before it dies), but they still fall into the realms of natural horror.

2. Parasites. We've all had run-ins with tics or lice or fleas. They don't seem too bad, right? But what about the others? Like Leocochloridium Paradoxum? This is a fucked up and fascinating creature. It infects snails, horribly disfigures their eyestalks, making them thick and green like little caterpillas, then invades the snails brain to make it climb as high as it can, so it'll be eaten by birds. Honestly, what the he'll is with that? More mind control with the most horrid bug yet. The emerald jewel wasp. This thing will find a cockroach, paralyze it with it's stinger, after a fight because nothing likes being stabbed, then continues to fuck it up. It stabs the roach in the head, inject venom into it's brain which stops its fight or flight response. The cockroach is now a zombie. The wasps then takes it back to her nest, where she lays her eggs on it, rips off it's antenna and drinks it's blood then covers it in rocks (pebbles). Then it leaves, knowing that it's eggs will hatch in a couple days to eat the still living cockroach. Sometimes nature seems sadistic.

3. Time for specifics. The Japanese giant hornetis a thin-sized flying fuck you. It shoot acid at you, which will dissolve flesh and call more wasps to you. All of which will spray you. Then the really attack, biting you with powerful pincers until, painfully, you die. Scary. Though I suppose it could be crueler...

4. Diseases. No-one like to be sick, but some illnesses are worse then others. For disease, the amount if pain and fear caused are the factors I would use to determine how cruel it is. I'm kinda tired so I'll just say the cruelest I know of at this time. Feel free to chime in. Ebola. This scary disease starts out similar to the flu, with chills, aches and fever. Other later symptoms include: headaches, nausea, Shortness of breath, Adela, anorexia, seizures focal tissue necrosis and Lucas membrane bleeding. There are a lot of symptoms I've left out, many aren't as bad, but combined they are worse. Also, the bleeding only occurs in about one in ten cases. However, being within a rumor radius if a case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) will cause panic and general unrest. The amount of pain within the month or two that a patient has EVD is indescribable, before they die from any number of possible symptoms, but usually from complete organ failure.

5. And I saved the least scary for last: Disasters. Fire, flood, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis. These are forces of nature that we can't empathize with, and don't judge as harshly because of it. Natural disasters kill more people then any other force during one strike, with the possible exception of the black death. How many animals or diseases can kill 300 people, wound 2000 and destroy homes and businesses making life a struggle for years to come? 200 rampaging elephants? Not likely, and far less common than a cyclone. I haven't done mmy research on storms and other disasters, so the numbers I pulled are out of my arse. But to see truth in the idea, think about hurrican Katrina. That was a powerful act if nature that was needlessly cruel, mostly because as a weather effect it didn't really need to exist. Although that is purring life on a higher pedestal than nature...

In any Cade, nature can and will fuck you up. This article is supposed to not only alert people to the worries of nature, but to point out how not perfect the world is. If God created this, he's a sadistic asshole who I wouldn't follow on ethical grounds.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Church Tax?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Sounds good, doesn't it? For those from the world outside America, and even for some within, this is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Simply put it says: "No laws about religion, No stopping free speech, No stopping the press, No stopping peaceful protests and No stopping petitions to the government." Man, America must be a utopian society, with such a statement, right? Wrong. Let me explain.

Straight up there is to be no law for or against religion or religious practices. There are laws that prohibit certain practices, but those laws apply to everyone, not specific religions. This is why churches pay no tax. That would violate the first amendment. Fortunately there is a flip side, churches can't have their beliefs made into law. Or they shouldn't. They spend millions of dollars annually to get laws passed. Something must be done.

I have seen many things whilst goofing around on the net. It is from these things that I became a 'militant' (see: outspoken) atheist. I have seen many non-religious people crying to have the churches taxed. I disagree. To tax the church would cut the first part of the amendment out entirely, justifying their spending with no way of stopping it without being hypocritical. Many churches in America do not lobby, and can only afford to continue as is by being tax exempt. The ones that do try to pay for law, are the giant mega churches, whose business like structure are certain to find a way around paying appropriate taxes anyway.

No, what needs to happen is a firmer enforcing of the first amendment. Stop them from lobbying, if that's even possible. That would be mire in-line with the state the founding fathers envisioned. However, because of the power the church holds, no such law will come to fruition. Neither will they ever be taxed. The people won't stand for it. The president of the US must be Christian, or from one of it's splinter religions. This isn't a legal issue, but a social one. If an Islamic person ran for president, he'd be drowned in bad publicity from the get go. And an atheist wouldn't even get to be a senator. The church is powerful, rich and incredibly sly when it comes to politics. This is a dangerous combination. Add to the mix a general dislike of education and love of bigotry, and you can see a problem. Finally, sprinkle on some holy righteousness, and what have you got? A shitstorm of hate and regression.

America? We need to talk.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Death of an Idol

On December 15th, 2011, a great man lost his life. This is not a post saying how great he was. I will admit I've not read any of his work. I plan too, but I haven't yet. This post is not about wallowing in pity about this loss, because there is no point in such a course of action. This post is not talking about the large number of people he inspired, or helped, though that would be a worthy post. This post, one that reaches only very few, will be talking about douche-bag reactions to the death of Christopher Hitchens.

First off, I have ALREADY SEEN some dick headed, heartless responses to the grave news. It seems that a minority (at least I hope it's a minority) of people think this is good news. "HA HA Burn in hell" or the like is common, though there are other more colourful responses... The fact that he hasn't been dead for a day and people are CELEBRATING it. Claiming God's will is to blame. FUCK YOU! A MAN IS DEAD! Anyone who can derive happiness for the passing of another is fundamentally sick. Also, he died of cancer, not act of god. Either accept that ALL people killed by diseases die naturally (and more often than not, painfully), or believe that God decided to make most people suffer for no discernible reason, killing indiscriminately. Claiming that an atheist died because he was atheist is pathetic, and only serves to alienate you further from the rest of the civilized society.

Another type of comment follows this kind of template: "A good man has died, he now knows the Truth". All I can say to this is, shut up. His death proves nothing about your faith. Using the death of another human, the loss of their mind, and potential ideas, to further the goals of his enemies is unethical. It is a sad and failing attempt, and complimenting him in the same breath is an attempt to justify the unjustifiable.

Lastly, in anticipation of all the 'bedside conversion' rumors that will inevitably begin circulation, Christopher Hitchens said this: "As a terrified, half-aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be 'me.' (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)" This is an awesome quote, and I will be sure to point it out to any douche bag that tries to convert me with stupid crap like this.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Answering creationist "arguments"

I said this post would be good, and while it is not particularly unique, it is very entertaining. This is of course an incomplete list, but I'll expand upon it later when I find some more "arguments".

If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?
Ok, almost everyone has heard this one, and almost everyone thinks it is stupid. But for those who think it is convincing, I'll explain it this way. All dogs were bred from wolves, so how come there are still wolves? It's because only a small group was changed. And there are so many different breeds of dog, but they all have the same ancestor species, the wolf. The same thing applies to humans and monkeys, and apes. We all evolved from a common ancestor. It wasn't a monkey or an ape of today. It was something that had the shared traits of all, and most likely in a more primitive form. There was a divergence of genetics in the past, one side went on to become monkeys, the other to become apes (humans are just really smart apes).

Creatures don't live for millions of years!
Once again, this is stupid, even to some creationists. The million year timeline isn't for the individual, but for the genetic group it is part of. Their defendants over the course of millions of years adapt to survive in drastic ways (depending on the circumstances). If a being did live for millions of years, that'd be amazing, and worthy of study and preservation.

I did a (insert radiometric dating technique here) on my dead cat and found it to be thousands of years old. Therefore radiometric dating is false.

Okay, well first off, that's fucked up. Second, there are many reasons why a false result could have been achieved. First and foremost, radiometric dating is to brides on very old things. Fossils, or rocks that are at least a couple hundred years old. Thief younger than this are going to give a false result. Or, if you were using a more appropriate dating method (and thus disproving your conclusion anyway) there is a high chance for human error. I doubt you have a degree in any of the sciences, which makes it unlikely that you know the correct processors. Or perhaps it was confirmation bias comung into play. Doing multiple tests and only one of them was wrong, so you hold it up as a triumph. Silly creationists, tricks don't work well in science.

Scientists like to use big words to sound more impressive, like deoxyribosenucleic acid, for example. Sounds impressive, right? Ever seen what happens when you put something in acid? It dissolves. If we had that throughout our bodies, we'd all dissolve. So much for the theory of evolution.

I respond to this thusly: ever eaten an orange, or a lemon? Those have citric acid in them. And not just a kittle. How come your teeth and stomach didn't dissolve? Remembering from my Chen days (a couple years back) I think an acid is defined as having a readily bonding hydrogen atom on it. Like HCl, or hydrochloric acid. The acidity is determined by the number of free H+ ions in a solution, I think. I'll check my facts and comment the results on this post.

So that is it for the arguments I've seen/heard. If you know of any that you want me to answer, or want to challenge my answers on these, just comment, and I'll get right on it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New blog

Hey there, my loyal followers. I'm sorry I haven't posted recently... I'm a shit of a person. I have now got a new blog, Written Utopia. It's about my writing skills; differing styles, practicing for my novel, reviews of literature. Things of that nature. Grammar Nazis are more than welcome, how else will I learn?
Keep a lookout for my next post, it'll be good, as a sorry for my lack of content for the last few weeks/months.