Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous? by Alix Spiegel

Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous? by Alix Spiegel An article on the National Public Radio site

My Response:

I am an atheist because there is no evidence of the existence of a god and any attempt to prove or disprove the existence of a god is a frivolous waste of time. I certainly would not confuse a wind chime with a "god detection device" and continue to call myself a scientist. Wind chimes are called wind chimes because they make sounds in response to wind not because they send messages from the spirits of dead mothers who want to inform their offspring that they have successfully "crossed over." What does that mean: 2 "dings" for heaven, 3 "dongs" for hell. The assumption that human co-operation exists because of a scheme of rewards and punishments enforced by a supernatural entity ignores the existence of altruistic behaviour in "social" animals like elephants which have been observed to protect their fellows often against apparent self-interest and at risk of their own lives.

September-01-10 1:01:29 AM

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Poem: Watching My Lover by Lorna Crozier


I watch him hold his mother
as she vomits in a bowl.
After, he washes her face
with a wet cloth and we try
to remove her soiled gown
tied in the back with strings.

Unable to lift her
I pull the green cotton
from under the blankets, afraid
I’ll tear her skin.
He removes the paper diaper,
No one has taught us
how to do this, what to say.
Everything’s so fragile here
a breath could break you.

She covers her breasts with hands
bruised from tubes and needles,
turns her face away.
It’s okay, Mom, he says.
Don’t feel shy. I’ve undressed
dozens of women in my time.
In this room where lover
bares his mother, we three laugh.

Later, I curl naked beside him
in our bed, listen to his sleeping,
breath by breath. So worn out
he burns with fever — the fires
his flesh light to keep him
from the cold.

Though he has washed
I smell her on his skin
as if she has licked him
from head to toe
with old woman’s tongue
so everyone who lies with him
will know he’s still
his mother’s son.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Edwin Fitzgerald's Rubyiat of Omar Khayam

"So I be written in the Book of Love;
I do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name, or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love."

According to Keith Olberman on MSNBC, this verse of Edwin Fitzgerald's Rubyiat of Omar Khayam was quoted by Clarence Darrow in one of his trial summations

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Salon's Attack on Wiener Unfair and Unwarranted


Isn't this just like the "liberal" media. If a Democrat delivers a stirring attack on Republicans for their gutless refusal to aid first responders who sacrificed their health saving those injured on 9-11, he should obviously be taken down a few pegs by the arm-chair commentators at Salon. As far as the Muslim community center is concerned, I have no objection to its location near the 9-11 site but I can understand why some people have difficulty warming to the level of support demanded by the monday-morning quarterbacks at Salon. As an atheist, I'm condemned to eternal torture by all three of the major religions - even by their most peace-loving clerics - so frankly Salon, I hope you'll excuse me for not giving a damn. Kudos to Wiener. Shame on Salon

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Federal Judge overturns California Proposition 8

Congratulations and thanks to Federal District Court Judge Walker whose decision - published yesterday - voided California's ban on gay marriage which was passed by referendum at the last State elections.

According to media reports, Judge Walker's 138 - page decision carefully analyzed the qualifications and testimony of "expert" witnesses who appeared in support of the gay marriage ban and essentially dismissed them as frauds and bigots.  He found their evidence that homosexual marriage is a threat to hetero-sexual marriage or that children of homosexual marriages suffer psychological damage is insupportable in fact.

The Judge's decision found that proposition 8 offended the provision of the United States Constitution that barred government from making laws which restrict the inalienable rights of its citizens. To deny homosexuals access to marriage was to deny them a fundamental right to which all other citizens have access, on that basis he struck down the gay-marriage ban imposed by California Proposition 8.

This is a landmark decision in U. S. constitutional law. It will inspire similar challenges in other states where the christian extreme right has used anti-gay marriage legislation to stampede their congregations out to vote. Fortunately, Judge Walker's decision was so carefully analyzed and so effectively written that the politicians on the supreme court will have a difficult time overturning it without bringing themselves even further into disrepute.