Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Thought We Were Safe

Just when you think we were safe from those south that put ideology over reality Prime Minister Harper hauls off and appoints a wing nut ideologue. The Honorable Gary Goodyear not only suffers the embarrassment of having to admit he's a chiropractor but also studied and practiced acupuncture on real people!

Canadians don't ask for much. Really. We just expect the people we elect to be smarter than us rather than someone we would would like to invite to dinner. This guy you could invite to dinner, get a massage, a bone crack and jam darts in your butt to rearrange your chi.

He also opposes same-sex marriage which garnered him high praise from Christian Conservatives. You know that's going to end up badly. Perhaps he'll provide some funding for Intelligent Design although there wasn't any in his appointment.

My favorite Canadian blog Sandwalk has some more details.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If You Can't Join 'em...

The best part about being an atheist is that one has to be informed to enjoy the state of atheism. While the arguments against existence of god or gods are essentially the same from religion to religion it is still incumbent upon us to have a working knowledge of that religions we dismiss and there is nothing wrong with knowledge as long as it is viewed with a skeptical eye.

There is one such fascinating opportunity coming up real soon:
Date :
Tuesday, November 25th at 7 pm
Place :
Hindu Temple /Sudbury Prarthana Samaj, 485 McNeill Blvd
Dr. K.V. Nagarajan, from Laurentian University, will speak on the following topic:

Within the short time at my disposal, it is not possible to go into great depth. So, my plan is to introduce the audience to key writings and some major ideas and doctrines.

Bring friends.

RSVP : Ranjana : 524-1225 : Punam 522-2213

While they can no more support their religion than can the Christrian fundamentalists we have to put up with every day it is still a fascinating insight into another culture.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

They Don't Even Know They Do It

On a board I know longer have the patience to frequent, for the umpteenth time a believer brazenly asserted that Einstein was a theist and that it was part of the poster's world view that anyone disagreeing with the believer disagreed with Einstein too. "God does not play dice","I want to know the mind of God.", etc. Despite evidence to the contrary: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings"(a great article here) It is no more to the point than when I use the name of Jesus Christ with 'tap-dancing' in the middle when I'm really angry that I would be a hot-steppin' Christian.

If that isn't enough proof here are Einstein's own words: "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

I wish the believers, fundies and religiots would step off and stop trying to co-opt the people doing the heavy thinking to support their particular imaginary friend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Charter for Compassion

There is a viral video that has appeared in my email more than once with the misguided attempt to help me moderate my position or at least pull me from the conclusion that religion IS the problem. Charter for Compassion is a long meandering video that seeks to find commonality over the golden rule which appears in every major religion in one incarnation or another. Unfortunately for their argument which does nothing but enable religious delusion and their various dogmas about imaginary friends the Golden Rule doesn't need religion to work. In fact, it works better without one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Darwin At Work

Had a conversation with a fellow that used to do some web based work for me. I enquired about his wife and he mentioned she was not feeling well and hadn't been for some time. When asked what the doctors said he told me "We don't do doctors. There's a church we need to go to in Georgia for some healing. My wife has some issues to deal with."

A few months ago I would have been all over this guy but this time I just didn't have the energy. His type of nonsense is terminal and I chose at that moment to let science/doctors/reality take its course without any intervention from me. They're adults. If they want to believe illness is a result of sin let them and then let natural selection do its happy work.

But what if these two religiots had children? Don't know if they did but if so it is hard for me to imagine not speaking out. What has been bothering me is the obvious double standard I harbor. We find it easy to let people do stupid and ignorant things simply because they are an adult but fight for children that cannot make those informed choices. Do the choices we make allow us to be seen as less valuable as we mature?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm A Joiner!

Got home from visiting Ottawa to find my Humanist Association of Canada membership kit! Their mission? "To foster the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through Humanist education and community support and to actively promote the separation of religion from public policy." Those are certainly lofty goals. Frankly I hope we can take it a step further. When someone says they believe in a deity they should say it in a quiet whisper and with the same sense or embarrassment I would feel if I told people I still believed in Santa Claus. How about shortening the mission statement? "Helping people grow up and face reality without fear or hate!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gather the Flock!

Our meeting at the Lions' Hearing Association building on Paris St. Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 P.M. should be very interesting.
Our speakers, Annie Wenger-Nabigon and Herb Nabigon, will be presenting talks on the dilemma between indigenous groups and non-indigenous people in our country.
What are the responsibilties?(My interpretation)

There will be discussion following. Who knows? Maybe a solution or part of one may be a result of the Humanist perspective.

Best Regards,
Joan Pella

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Get Calls

When someone I barely know, don't remember meeting, or is overly friendly in that creepy unsolicited way calls me with a great business opportunity I get the BS bucket all ready to receive a new load of knowledge I don't want to make past short-term memory. This call was even worse. It wasn't just Amway, Melaluca or some other but a company called Another antioxidant miracle pill with all these things going for it(I'll list them in order in which she relayed them to me) and what I wish I had said:

1. Will give you lots of energy.
-compared to what? Coffee? Placebo?
2. Strengthens your immune system.
-bullocks. With exercise and a good diet you won't need to spend $60 a bottle. After spending hundreds of dollars on snake oil we would be willing to lie to ourselves just to feel like something other than a chump.
3. Because our soils are contaminated this will help.
-what does one have to do with the other? What pill helps with lead or nickel contamination?
4. The scientist is one of the top 100 scientists in the US.
-still looking for a reference for this. There are tens of thousands of scientists and this guy has time to slog compressed plant fibres? And top 100 in what discipline?
5. We're just getting started in this area.
-get in on the ground floor with your own home based business. How many of the multi-level marketing schemes can one go through and still have friends left? For another outrageous fee you can even get your own turnkey website! The lady that talked to me had her website numbered in the twelve thousands so someone is making a bundle and its not the poor soul that called me.
6. It's all natural so we don't have to take a lot of drugs to be healthy.
-this is where my brain went off the rails. What are chemicals found in the wild? Dirty drugs. No thought to dosage, controls for consistency of even contamination. Sounds like a future episode for House.
7. Its filled with antioxidants.
-really? So? The wonder working power of antioxidants has not only been proven to be oversold (heart disease) but harmful in some cases. is a wonderful place to start. After researching this I think its my new BFF.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Nightmare Is Over

Anti-science, anti-intellectualism, incoherent policies, tax and borrow that pulled the world into recession...there is an end in sight. Obama will be the nest American President. Predictably the religious right is making excuses why their deities seemingly failed them leading one girl on Facebook to say that no leader including Hitler, Mussolini, Mao or Obama rules without God allowing it. Despite her thinly veiled attempt at equating Obama with dictors her indictment is on her god and upon her for thinking her belief actually made sense in light of her own logic.

Lets hope the long march towards ignorance is over for the Americans.