Showing posts from December, 2011

I getz mailz

UPDATE*** Although I am still on Holiday, I thought I would share this brief bit of excitement with you all. On a friends blog, a person who shall remain anonymous, commented on how my friend (and atheists in general) ought to raise and educate their children. Upon finding out that this person had no kids of his own, I realized how condescending and arrogant it was to offer other parents advice on how to go about raising their own children. So I called him condescending and arrogant (you know, since that is what he was technically being--a class A--well--you get the idea). This is the reply he wrote: "That Tristan D. Vick must resort to obscene name calling to lend credence to his criticism." Yup. My criticism is all about the name calling. It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that people who tell parents how to raise their own children (without ever having children of their own) are complete assholes . Also, later on in his rant against my observation of his


I am headed to the States for Christmas. I will be off the blogosphere for about three weeks. Have a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year everyone! --Advocatus Atheist

Why the Death Penalty is Unethical and should be Abolished

I heard this quote blurted out the other day: "If you go on a killing spree like Ted Bundy then you need to be killed." I have also heard the more generic statement: "If you murder someone you should be killed in return." Here is the thing though--both of these eye for an eye sentiments are not only unjust but also immoral . If somebody commits the heinous crime of murder, and you in turn murder them as "due punishment" for that murder, you are technically committing the *exact same crime as they have.  You cannot claim you are about justice when you turn around and commit the very same crime the criminal  committed  as punishment against him/her.  The reason, I hope, should be obvious. By this logic you too must be killed for the murder of the murderer. The person who kills you for having killed the murderer who killed someone else will also be forced to face the same inevitable fate. The cycle only perpetuates more murder--and justice is n

Atheism Impossible to Argue Against?

In a formal argument, the opponent brings an objection to the proponent's position. Theists make the assertion there is a God, while Atheists make the opposite assertion. In this case, the theist is the proponent for the existence of God and the Atheist is opposed to this position for various reasons. Yet what if the theist, or religious adherent, wishes to criticize the nonbeliever's position? I find this a horribly impossible task--because to claim the atheist is wrong the theist would first be required to validate their position that God exists. In other words, they would have to present us with God (exhibit A). Oddly, exhibit A seems to be missing. How can a theist presume to claim the atheist is wrong about the non-existence of exhibit A when the theist can't even provide physical evidence and, perhaps more importantly, any reliable evidence seems so elusive (illusive)? Personally I find it amusing that theists would even try to argue against the atheistic posit

Quote of the Day: Dan Dennett

"Most spokespeople for religion expect to be treated not just with respect but with a special deference that is supposedly their due because the cause they champion is so righteous. Then they often abuse that privilege by using their time on the stage to misrepresent both their own institutions and the criticisms of them being offered." -- Dan Dennett

Quote of the Day: The Thinking Atheist

This one is for you Hitch! In a pod cast on the life of Christopher Hitchens and what he meant to us, Seth (aka The Thinking Atheist ) said something about Hitch that really resonated with me. "Christopher [Hitchens] made me feel empowered and strong... and stupid... all at the same time." Ditto.  Christopher Hitchens will be sorely missed. 

Christopher Hitchens Passes Away

Christopher Hitchens passed away on Thursday, December 15. He was 62.  Of all the Gnu atheists I perhaps feel closest to Hitchens. I found his radicalism, his advocacy, and his contrarian outlook reminiscent of my own. Admittedly, however, his intellect far surpassed mine and his words were far more eloquent than anything I could ever possibly muster at a whims notice. His oration skills were second to none, in fact, I would go as far as to say he was the Ingersoll of our day. His whit was sharp, and his commentary always had a touch of that wry Anglo-American humor. Hitchens contained a sophisticated blend of cultural insights and bravado lending to a keen mind perfectly suited for his chosen profession as a journalist tackling the headline issues of his day. Even with all this going for him, most people found Christopher Hitchens polarizing. You either loved him or hated him--strangely enough, usually for the same reasons. I for one admired the guy greatly. Perhaps what I respec

Does Faith make you Retarded? [Warning: Explicit Language]

Around this time of year my Facebook lights up with people praising the Lord for all their blessings. Tis' the season, after all. Over the past year I have been testing what appears to be an unabashed urge of religious people to blather whatever their beliefs are (for no apparent reason) on the web by countering it with a contrary point of view. My prayers were answered, they will say. Prayer doesn't work, I inform. I am an asshole, I know. But with good reason. When someone cannot control their urge to thank God for a prayer, or feels they need to let the whole world that they are praying for you, I have taken the initiative time and again to remind people that prayer is not valid. It has been falsified. Scientifically. I am not saying this to be offensive. There is no offense in simply holding a difference of opinion. But the reaction is always as if I have started World War III. After gasps of pure horrified shock that somebody with a different opinion

Jesus Claus & Santa Christ

Student: Did the baby Jesus grow up to be Santa Claus? Me: Yeah, sounds about right. True conversation I had yesterday with my second graders at Elementary school. They have no idea who Jesus is. And this was after a class where I explained who he was! I explained that Christians believe Jesus died and became God. One girl asked, "What's a Christian?"  Yup. I love Japan!

Quote of the Day: Louis C.K.

"I have a lot of beliefs, and I live by none of them - that's just the way I am… they make me feel good about who I am." --Louis CK 

Science and Truth: More Lisa Randall Quotes

"Scientists actively approach the door to knowledge--the boundary of the domain of what we know. We question and explore and we change our views when facts and logic force us to do so. We are confident only in what we can verify through experiments or in what we can deduce from experimentally confirmed hypotheses." --Lisa Randall ( Knocking on Heaven's Door ) "Although there is much we don't yet know about the evolution of the universe, we have a spectacularly successful understanding of the universe's evolution based on the so-called Big Bang theory supplemented by a period of exponential expansion of the universe known as cosmological inflation... This theory has agreed with a range of observations, including observations of the microwave radiation in the sky--the microwave radiation left over from the time of the Big Bang. "Originally the universe was a hot dense fireball. But during the 12.75 billion years of its existence it has diluted and

Gravity follow up Question

I received a really great question concerning gravity after my previous article about Space-time, Quantum Mechanics, and the Cosmological argument for God. The question was raised: In addressing "why there is something rather than nothing" your article states: "Likewise, the related question of why there is something rather than nothing (within the universe) can also be explained. The answer is gravity. Entropy x gravity = clumping. This clumping of matter is what creates stars and planets. Gravity, in other words, is why we have something rather than nothing in the universe." Honest questions here: *Why is there something available to be clumped? You say gravity is the reason for there being something rather than nothing, but if there was nothing for gravity to act upon, there would still be nothing. *And isn't gravity a function of mass (mass of a something)? Maybe you just shorthanded your treatment of this question. What am I missing in und

Space-time, Quantum Mechanics, and the Cosmological Argument for God

While watching Brian Greene's excellent NOVA series "The Fabric of the Cosmos," I went back and opened up the book (still sitting unread on my shelf) and read it with interest. Greene talks about space-time, hence the title "The Fabric of the Cosmos," and while thinking carefully on the subject of how space and time are interwoven, as proved by Einstein's theory of special relativity, I came to a very simple realization. Theologians who invoke the Cosmological Argument for God likely don't understand the first thing about cosmology. A Christian asked me today whether or not it takes the same amount of faith to believe that the universe arose from a quantum singularity as it does to believe a God created it. My answer was simply: no. He then told me I should think more about the Kalam cosmological argument, and what the first premise entails, specifically that the universe began. Thus it was caused to begin. Therefore something outside of the univers