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.