Archive for April, 2012

Happy Beltane…

… to all of our Wiccan and Witchcraft believing Pagans. I hope your May Pole was blessed with joy, music and dance. For those that don’t know what Beltane is I will give a run down provided by Wicca.com:

 

April 30th / May 1 – Beltane

Also known as Roodmas or May Day

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane. It is one of eight solar Sabbats. This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing). Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th.Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times.

In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods “A-Maying,” and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.

The Christian religion had only a poor substitute for the life-affirming Maypole — namely, the death-affirming cross. Hence, in the Christian calendar, this was celebrated as ‘Roodmas’. In Germany, it was the feast of Saint Walpurga, or ‘Walpurgisnacht’. An alternative date around May 5 (Old Beltane), when the sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus, is sometimes employed by Covens. (Both ‘Lady Day’ and ‘Ostara’ are names incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca.)

The May pole was a focal point of the old English village rituals. Many people would rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and branches to decorate their homes. Women traditionally would braid flowers into their hair. Men and women alike would decorate their bodies. Beltane marks the return of vitality, of passion. Ancient Pagan traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires the Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared. Let Them guide you! Breads and cereals are popular. Try oatmeal cakes or cookies sweetened with a dab of honey. Dairy foods are again appropriate…just make a lovely wedding feast and you are sure to enjoy yourself! An early morning walk through a local park or forest could be fun for everyone. Gather up some plants or flowers to display in your home. Mom and daughter could braid their hair, and weave in a few tender blossoms.

Blessed Be!

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Free Will Defined…

My wife and I got into a discussion about Free Will and what exactly it means.

Her definition astonished me. With such a definition she can give a valid opinion of free will to any creation on this earth.

 

Free Will: A product of the options provided to us by our given environment at any given moment in time.

 

Amazing… And to think, she claims she’s not “smart”. I disagree.

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Christian Monotheism vs. Polytheism

So I was recently listening to the guys over on Fundamentally Flawed, a podcast I thoroughly enjoy, and they had Hezekiah Ahaz on the program for a 2nd time. Now I couldn’t make it through the first appearance of our friend Hezekiah on the Fundamentally Flawed podcast, due to the fact I couldn’t hear it over my own laughter. These Atheists did little to make a mockery out of him, so you can imagine how surprised I was to find he was back for a second round.

What surprised me even more was when they asked him about polytheistic views and he said “…if you find one, bring him on…”. Now this shouldn’t shock me, these types of claims are pretty common, from my experience, when dealing with someone of blind faith. But what truly surprised me is for close to a week prior I had been asking him questions from a polytheistic world view, and he even went as far as to say “I don’t care.” as an answer to a question. You can see the thread here.

I asked him:

“…By the way… What if I said I was bestowed my knowledge through communing with a God and Goddess through ritualistic prayer? My god stories are older than your god stories, and I actually commune with my gods, sounds like I have more room to make claims of knowledge and wisdom granted by deity than you do, you claim you don’t hear your god, yet understand what he says, are you sure he’s not speaking Spanish?”

His only response was:

“Derik,

I dont care.”

So, after I heard this response to the FF guys I decided to post how funny I found such a comment to be, you can read the full thread here. In probably a hurried and not so thought out response he challenged me to a debate of world views. His Christian Monotheist world view vs. a Polytheist world view. As someone who has believed in polytheism since childhood I welcomed such a debate. I offered it to be on the FF podcast but instead he desired it to be on Evolution of Skepticism, while normally I would prefer someone I consider an authority on a subject to be interviewed, I am also not one to back down from a challenge.

So here’s the plan, we will have a traditional debate, meaning question and answer. This will not be an argument where the one who can talk loudest wins. So here are the rules:

  • At the beginning each respondent will receive 3 minutes to present a short dialog about their world view.
  • After a question is asked each respondent will have 2 minutes to respond with their world views answer.
  • After 2 minutes the respondent will be stopped and either the next respondent will get their chance to respond or another question will be asked.
  • If a respondent interrupts the question that respondent will forfeit their 2 minute response.
  • If a respondent interrupts the answer of the other they will forfeit their next 2 minute response.
  • If we reach 2 forfeits, the debate will be stopped and will not continue.
  • Debaters cannot ask questions of the other respondent, the only person allowed to ask questions will be the moderator.
  • There will be no personal attacks towards respondents if this rule is violated the debate will end immediately.

I don’t like a lot of rules but I do believe guidelines will be necessary in this situation, and I wanted to post them to make sure everyone understood what was expected.

Now, here’s where I need help from others, I would like to receive questions that will be used in the debate. Please leave your questions in the comments below. We will only use 2 questions from each person (including 2 from each respondent) so if there are more than 2, so please make them worth it!

 

UPDATE:

The debate has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 02, 2012 @ 1 PM EDT, so if you want your questions asked please submit them prior to Midnight on Tuesday May 03, 2012.

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Is Obama single handed stopping marijuana?

As I was checking my facebook messages and wall posts I noticed an interesting post from the people over at Sensible Washington related to the 2012 white house correspondents dinner and a comment made by Jimmy Kimmel about Medical Marijuana.

Quote:

“What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply? Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote.”

Now this is interesting enough to me that he stepped up and advocated the usage of Marijuana even if for medical purposes. But the real situation was later, when a Huffington Post representative asked Attorney General Holder about an interview Rolling Stone had with President Obama.

Quote:

“I can’t nullify congressional law. I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’ As a consequence, there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.”

Here’s the conversation when asked about Obama’s response in the interview along with A.G. Holder’s response:

“Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use. ”That’s right,” Holder said. After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.”

Here’s the link for the full article.

So, what I am seeing is that we could have recreational usage of marijuana in a day, but two men are truly holding it back. Now here is where I will tell you that I am a firm advocate of legalizing marijuana, especially for medical and spiritual usage, I would rather smoke a joint than take a pill any day. I do not advocate usage of chemical drugs, especially after seeing what they can do to you first hand, but I do advocate the usage of those gifts given to us by nature. These men point fingers at others for the reason they cannot legalize it, but remember as children we are taught whenever we point a finger we have three more pointing right back at us.

This means that the original message Obama gave when asked about Marijuana legalization, was false representation, and this worries me as we move into the upcoming election.

If he was ok with delivering a false message during his original election year, what kind of fallacies will he provide us to be elected this time around?

No he does not state that he will legalize it, but he does say that he would not authorize the money that has been spent during his term to openly attack and violate state laws to shut down legal medical marijuana clinics and dispensaries. These are not just “mom and pop shops” they are real businesses and real people, we should not discriminate against these businesses because small business builds America. Or maybe what Obama is really saying is that he had lobbyists giving campaign funding and would prefer to see the 1% benefit from these sales rather than “the little people”. I have to admit I am still highly offended that Obama states he would not back the “Mom and Pop Shops” that he claims to support anytime he talks about economics. Which is it Mr. President? Do you support the potential of a growing economy with small business or would you rather see big business take another chunk of the pie that they already have a majority of?

And don’t think I am advocating the republican party being nominated, they openly demonize the usage of marijuana, and from my experience, are open about why. They have ties to the corporations and lobbyists that don’t want to see the legalization of this plant, instead they would rather see it destroyed and turned into a pharmaceutical for higher returns in stocks.

I would like to share a small chart that shows the death records of people in the UK for 2010, provided by NeuroBonkers.com:

UK Drug Deaths

I honestly can’t say it any better than those before me, one of the major advocates today are Joe Rogan and Montel Williams, so I will leave you with them advocating the usage of Marijuana for both medicinal and spiritual usage.

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Christian Apologetics – The Truth Revealed…

Ok, so I went over to Hezekiah’s blog today and found he posted an interesting article, title “Does Thinking Count as Knowledge?”

Well Hezekiah, my answer is “no” thinking does not count as knowledge because thinking is a process and knowledge is a reward from understanding.

Thinking begets understanding which begets knowledge.

See the process there?

How about a bigger picture:

 

Thinking -> Understanding -> Knowledge

 

Anywhere in there you can deviate and lose  your way. So no, thinking does not count as knowledge, but knowledge provides evidence of a thought process. (hey how about those words, we’ve even built the answer into a common phrase “thought process”)

 

Now, I have been reading Hezekiah’s blog for a while as you all know, and I think I have come up with a challenge for our friend and here it is:

You see, I don’t believe Hezekiah/Nide/Trinity/False Prophet truly exists outside of the internet. I believe him to be an elaborate but in the end poorly written JavaScript code, this is why he aggregates quotes from the internet to put on his blog and cannot argue outside of a narrow field of understanding.

The Challenge:

  1. Prove that you exist outside of the internet.
  2. Prove that you are not a poorly written Javascript program made to continually spout redundant and antiquated “bible facts”.
  3. Prove that your god is not merely a computer programmer.

I see your “faith” as something built into a computer program as an else/if statement.

Here is a chunk of what I believe to be your code.

While( GodExists < 2 && != 0 )
{
If( Challenged > 0)
{
Return biblefact.txt;
}
Else
{
Return blissfulignorance;
}
}

here are a few examples of my proof to my view of the False Prophet Nide Program, Google: nassi-shneiderman diagrams & Intorduction to Nassi-Shneiderman

And I believe your “rapture” is actually the day of “Reinstallation” where the hard drive is formatted and the Operating System is reinstalled.

The Harwell Computer

 

 

Now after all of this I would like to point out that I have no issue with any religion, as long as their followers are doing it right. I feel that the current tactics of Christian Apologists are amoral and without reason or understanding of others world views, and this is a major crime in my book. One should not condemn others for a lack of their own understanding.

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Evolution of Skepticism – Mini Cast – Stop CISPA and Vote!

The house has passed CISPA, Obama threatens to Veto it, but we can still stop it by getting the Senate to step in the way.

Also there is a new way to elect a president! AmericansElect.Org this is the first ever online primary, the winner will be the third nominee to debate at the national debates!

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Evolution of Skepticism – Episode 2 Part 1 & 2 – LeVayan Morality & Morality in Society

Better late in the evening than never right?

Here it is, MP3 coming tomorrow. Promise :D

This one is a two part piece, equaling up to 2.5 hours worth of morality!

I broke it up to make it easier on us all. Enjoy.

Please Subscribe and Like/Favorite our videos on Youtube!

Episode 2 Part 1 – LeVayan Morality

Episode 2 Part 2 – Morality in Society

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