Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Of That Old-Timey Morality

You know, my mom sometimes gets on a rant-fit about how morality, especially sexual morality, has degenerated in this country since her day. She calls for a return to the "good old days" of her youth. I've tried to explain to her that she grew up really sheltered, back there in the West Virginia mountains in the Sixties and Seventies.

And now I have proof.

STD transmission amongst retirees in Florida is through the roof. This is the generation that instilled those "good old days" morals in her generation. How many ways does it have to be said? The "good old days" weren't so good.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

One Science Geek's View On Movie Protests

Christians of any stripe protesting The Da Vinci Code are akin to scientists protesting X3: The Last Stand. Sure, the science is horribly, horribly wrong in the X-men movies, but THEY ARE COMIC BOOK MOVIES! We don't expect verisimilitude because they're fantastical, even escapist, fiction. TDVC is adventure fiction that never once gives a wink & nod to the fact that it is, but that doesn't make it not adventure fiction, and thus also escapist.

So, Xians, give it a rest!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Three Brazilian Dead

Here's a new funny courtesy of Thug Girl!

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all of the color ran from Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering.

Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a Brazilian?"

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Most Disturbing

I find it most disturbing that my wife makes Yoda sounds, and I think it's cute.

Only 78% ?!?

The Ardent Atheist
The results are in, and it appears that you have scored 78%...
You are an atheist, pure and simple. You think God is just one big lie, and consider religious people to be both annoying and beneath you. Ardent atheists will argue tooth and claw for their position, and have no truck with people that won't listen. You think being an atheist is the only way to lead an honest life, and see no reason to accept the pleas of faith. Ardent atheists are the backbone of atheism. Be proud.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on pentagrams
Link: The Atheist Test written by chi_the_cynic on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Pop Culture And Philosophy Series

I like to talk philosophy with people. Most people don't really like to talk philosophy, though. Mostly, they just like to tell you what they think about life, the universe and everything. And I encourage that. Clever, aren't I?

So, a few years back, I discovered these books called "The Pop Culture and Philosophy Series". It's a really cool idea, actually. Take pop culture phenomena like The Simpsons and use examples from them to explain and illuminate philosophical concepts, from Manichaeism to the Categorical Imperative and beyond. They generally have twelve to fifteen articles from various current thinkers who tend to love the particular phenomenon under discussion. I've managed to work my way through five of them so far: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Superheroes.

By reading through these books, I've discovered something interesting. The more religious connotations something has, the less Christians think about it. For example, the BtVS volume has only one article concerning the existance of God, and God is only mentioned in passing in a couple of other chapters. I'd like to remind everyone that Buffy and crew carry crosses and holy water that damage vampires. Because they're HOLY! They fight Demons! From various Hell-Dimensions!

But the Superheroes volume is absolutely God-ridden. I don't know what it is about an alien from Krypton, a man dressed up as a bat / spider or a woman with a mystical gauntlet that rips her clothes off before destroy "the evil" that makes people think of Jesus, but there's something that does. There are at least seven articles that come to the conclusion that God must exist for morality to exist in this book. Why do so many authors come to this conclusion? Well, usually because any other reasoning contradicts our intuition.

Which should be an obvious conclusion, because we all know that the universe is required to conform to our intuition, right? What horse-puckey. There's one article that actively attacks naturalism as a personal philosophy because it violates our intuition that someone can be moral without there being the threat of ultimate punishment. Although the author tries to put it in terms of justice, instead. But when you get down to brass tacks, he's talking about divine retribution.

Apparently, the fact that superheroes are moral beings who fight crime when they don't have to do so stems directly from the supposed existance of a deity. And of course, it's almost always the Christian deity. Only one of the articles even mentions non-Judeo-Christian religious traditions.

It's really kind of depressing. It seems that the farther along they go in this series of books, the more God-ridden they get. But there's some potential light at the end of the tunnel. There's one coming out this year entitled Poker and Philosophy. I'm interested to see if they can somehow inject Jesus into aces over eights.

{Insert Dead Man's Hand joke here.}

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Green Irony


"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu