Monday, September 28, 2015


NASA just announced there's flowing (briny) water on the surface of Mars. Scientists say wherever there's water there's a good chance of finding life. So if and when microbes are finally discovered on the red planet, will bible-thumpers finally throw their hands up and throw in the towel? No. Not even if a Martian or a Jovian or some extra-galactic alien with an IQ of 106 knocked on their doors and asked them if they wanted to know more about humanity's new overlords.

Monday, September 21, 2015


There is no light at the end. We are not in a tunnel.
In the distance up ahead only darkness.


[N]ow, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.

--Oliver Sacks

He went gentle into that good night.
In old age he did not burn and rave at close of day
He did not rage against the dying of the light
He went gentle into that good night.

So long, Dr. Sacks.

Friday, September 18, 2015


When you reach that stage where you truly, undoubtedly believe you can move cyclones just by whispering into the ears of imaginary beings, you've leveled up to certified nutcase.


Do not throw pearls before goats. Choose your charges wisely.


Mountaineers go naked on Mt Kinabalu. Earthquake ensues. Surely because B comes after A, it must be that A caused B. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Impeccable logic. As we all know tectonic plates just can't stand witnessing unclothed primates. Damn nudists. Imagine how much worse the temblor would've been had any one of them been gay!


Whenever that insidious lesson of taking something on faith takes root, the forces of endarkenment claim yet another victory.


Relidiocy to the north of us.
Relidiocy to the south of us.
Relidiocy to the east of us.
Relidiocy to the west of us.
Relidiocy right in the midst of us.
"Every set back is a set up for a blessing." As they say, heads I win, tails you lose. This is yet another example of the extent to which die hards will rationalize away disconfirming evidence when cognitive dissonance hits big time.


The Alien created a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that killed insidiously when breathed in. And he released it into the atmosphere by the mega tons. And when people started falling like flies, the whole of humanity praised The Alien and said it was all for a higher purpose and a greater good.


Thank you lord for answering our prayers and diverting the cyclone to the country next door and making their people suffer and cry and grieve and mourn instead of us. You're such a loving dude.

By the way, given you're impotent to stop the ground from shaking (it's ok, you're forgiven for being such a blockhead when it comes to planet design, among a zillion other stuff) don't forget you're supposed to let the tectonic plates over yonder slip and slide instead of those here under our feet, ok? Thanks in advance. Love ya.


Wondering when psychiatrists will classify theism as folie à plusieurs.


There's one thing that God and I have in common. We both need money. Although admittedly his avarice far exceeds mine.


The question is, Why do those who extol the wonders of heaven go see doctors, take medicine, have surgery and keep extending their stay in this vale of tears?


So apparently he wrote the program billions of years ago and knew each and every event that would transpire including the yet to be realized historical fact that you will fall on your knees on the third Tuesday next month and ask him to get you out of (yet another) rut. Of course he knew that. He wouldn't be all knowing if there were something he didn't already know. And he also knew even before he sat down to write down the code (which he didn't have to really being all-knowing and all-powerful) that he, the Supreme Genie, would grant or not grant you your wish. Well, of course he knew. And he knew since even before the beginning of time (if it even makes sense to talk about something before time) that he would create this particular universe with the particular events that have and will transpire. And needless to say he knew even before time who would end up singing and playing the harps for him for eternity up there and who would oh so unfortunately be wallowing with the greatest scientists and philosophers down there forever and ever, listening to lectures and engaging in fiery debates.

So the guy who knows everything and can do anything chose to snap into being a world that causes so much grief and suffering and yet made some far more gifted between the ears than others, a feature which makes them realize the illogic and silliness of all this god crap.

Oh dear. Now this is all so confusing. Lord, help me understand. I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, enlighten this humble toady of yours. But of course you knew I'd say that today even way back bazillions of gazillions of centuries ago, right?


When you're powerless to do anything, when there's nothing else to do, pray. Beats worrying. In fact praying has been proven to relieve anxiety, stress and high blood pressure caused by worry. It's the best placebo out there. And it's absolutely free.

WARNING: Clinical trials have shown prayer to be completely ineffective for those who have been disabused of their delusions.


The last laugh may yet be ours. If there really is an all-wise god out there somewhere and an afterlife exists, chances are those who have used the brain given them and have been true to themselves notwithstanding a vaunted infernal punishment for failing to be obsequious will end up taking the elevator to the next level of existence while those who played safe and abided by the carrot and stick policy will be reincarnated and given another chance to learn, a reincarnation ad infinitum should they keep failing to make the grade. Would that be hell? Not if you don't remember anything from your past life.

Religion is a trap for young players.


Billions continue to dose daily on the blue pill.


Let me blinker you into doing my bidding, into thinking as I want you to, into uttering what I tell you to. I am the homunculus that drives you. I am your "self." I am your "I". And I've made you think that you are your own man and woman.


Saw a vid of a woman who had been in her car when a sinkhole suddenly opened up right beneath. The six or so meter wide water-filled hole began swallowing the vehicle but she managed to get out through the window after she phoned for help. In the interview she said she's still around because a higher power was looking out for her. (Wonder if it ever occurred to her to thank the mobile phone manufacturer, the phone battery company, the phone company, and the lady who pulled her out of her car)

I don't understand why not a few attribute their salvation to their pet higher power whenever they escape impending doom (although strangely they neither thank nor blame It when they end up losing loved ones). It's like, why didn't It prevent getting you in the damn pickle in the first place?

Superman (as we've constructed him) can't be saving everyone everywhere all the time. He's a super dude but even he's got limitations including the (made-up) fact that he doesn't have some sixth or six hundred sixty sixth sense to know when some catastrophe is in the works and then be there before it poses any danger. But that highness in the sky is all-knowing and all-powerful. And unlike Superman It can be in all places all the time saving all souls and can prevent any and all calamities and harms and could even have designed a universe without suffering but which nonetheless can teach humans the lessons of care, empathy, etc. Ergo, there shouldn't be any casualty, injury, much less fatality and gruesome ones at that. .

To those as in that woman above, please be honest with yourselves. The ad hoc rationalizations that she and you whip out to try and explain these lapses in supposed omnimax beings are offered simply to save cherished fictions. Believing that you're saving a real albeit invisible client from being prosecuted and indicted is yet another fiction. At least have the intellectual integrity to admit that. You don't know that those so-called explanations are actually true. Saying that you know implies you have substantive, verifiable evidence or incontrovertible proof, which you clearly don't. They're claims. They're hypotheses at best.

Word of advice. Start from the most fundamental claim and make sure it's true--that there is, empirically, a sentient, intelligent, noncorporeal higher power. Once you're able to hurdle that then you can move on to backing up your claims about the properties of this phenomenon--for instance, its nature of being omnibenevolent.


Burning joss paper to send money to dearly departed ones is as ludicrous as turning crackers into your dearly departed superhero and then devouring him.

But I admit I have a silly ritual too: praying to any and all advanced extraterrestrials to save me from this planet of the deluded. Hey, sorry I missed hitching a ride on Hale-Bopp. Send next spaceship please!


When a qualified doctor refuses to treat an accident victim leading to the patient's demise he's pretty much signed his career's death certificate.

When God refuses to help that very same patient and lets him/her suffer and die that's called divine Love.

Such are the hazards of psychological infections. Insane, diseased, obscene, perverted forms of thinking are among the effects of contracting pathogenic mind viruses like religion.


Ben Goren describes someone who engineers a world where babies suffer and does nothing to save them from, say, a burning house as perverted.That is most certainly so.

I, on other hand, am more bothered by the minds harboring that made-up character with such a résumé and biography. I find the very behavior of positing/believing in an all-loving being given all the evil in our world and then excusing that entity's unending failure to ameliorate/prevent unnecessary suffering as obnoxiously perverted. It leaves me trembling in rage. Praising such a character as good is an act so reprehensible it can only come from fragmented minds, minds unable to see the forest for the trees, minds that have had a psychotic break.


Headslap! Why is that whenever those of us who don't believe in all of the gods announce how we have an affinity for the music of, say, Palestrina or Hildegard von Bingen those who don't believe in 99.9% of the gods come popping out of the woodwork declaring that the reason for this is that their invisible superfriend is calling out to us or that we are--unbeknownst to ourselves--in fact religious or offer some other nutty hypothesis?

Please keep a lid on your delusion factory. Production rate is getting out of hand.


If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police. --Clayton Christensen, Harvard professor
That's right. I have to be tailed every single minute by an armed-to-the-teeth SWAT team. Else I would rape, rob, run amok, run children over, set fire to every church, temple and mosque, shoot and stab every priest, pastor and preacher, and Zeus knows what other undreamed of horrible crimes. And so would every nonbeliever in the world. That's why the most nonreligious countries in Europe have the highest crime rate in the world and are in such a sorry social state.

So don't ever let atheists off your sight. As we are wont to do, we will swoop down and suck the life-force out of your babies like famished Dementors the moment your guard is down.

You have been forewarned.


There is Persephone before her Hadean abduction, and then there is the broken human initiated and privy to the bowels of his and her being.


So a god who orders a guy to kill his son, who approves of slavery, pillage, carnage and rape, who himself goes on a murder and genocidal and biocidal spree, who permits calamities to decimate entire towns and kill hundreds of thousands, who allows millions of children worldwide to go hungry, who lifts not a finger to stop evil from befalling the innocent every single minute, and who will torture billions for an eternity, is considered good.

So what, may I ask, does a bad god look like?


Simple fact is that if you believe in some invisible guy in the sky who performs magic and has gazllions of microphones on earth (and maybe other planets too that have intelligent life on them) that are tuned to pick up pesky and trivial human mumblings and requests 24/7, you're a little crazy and crazy things are happening in your head. Think about it. No. I didn't say rationalize and find ways to justify the nutty beliefs. I mean think objectively.


The Buddha says one must be compassionate for most have not awakened. They are still fast asleep. And dreaming. Well, damn those religious nutcases. Try as we do, nudging and slapping them in the face has failed to get them out of bed. They need be kicked and pushed over a cliff. Maybe the free fall will make them snap out of it -- a la Inception.


With no pretense of being lucid in this matter I can think of no more compelling reason to live on and not succumb to the taunt and temptation of taking one's life than the existence of one's young brood. But that almost indomitable love of and dedication to progeny, crass as it may be to our sensibilities, is not some lofty humanistic ideal that we socialize ourselves into possessing but a primordial current that has coursed through the welter of life for eons and has been a vital ingredient in the development and continuing presence of higher lifeforms. Swathe as we may in philosophical garb this affinity and irresistible urge to protect the young, it is in fact pure biology which we are dressing up, justifying and laying on a pedestal.

Should we do otherwise then? Of course not. Determined beings we are. And determined we are to fiercely ensure the survival of children. I see it rationally for what it is. But I do not feel it rationally. Rather I feel it in my guts and am driven by these forces. My mind sees this as all well and good and therefore gives the heart free rein.


If after expiring I discover there is a superbeing of sorts and were placed before it for interrogation and judgement, I would give it all the reasons for not having believed in its existence. I would present my case as how it behooves any intelligent, thinking creature to weigh the evidence for and against belief in any claim, making an informed judgement as to how much confidence one should invest in the said claim. And if that lands me in some infernal prison then so be it. For what can one do if and when faced with a super powerful, indomitable, yet unreasonable, irrational, irascible, vainglorious, immoral being?

To thine self and to reason be true.


Let's see. If you end your (business) missives with "God bless" can I end mine with "May Santa shower us with gifts" or "Hanuman bless us" or "May the Force be with you"?


Jack whispered into her ear, "I love you, Julia. I love you so much. Please love me back or I will lash you to a post and cut your fingers one by one and burn you with a blowtorch inch by inch by inch."

When God heard Jack tears welled up in his His eyes for Jack had learned well what Love really is--forcing the other to love you back and threatening them with unremitting torture and pain and suffering if they don't.


We are all children of God.
Mary was his child.
Ergo, God shagged his own daughter.
But Mary is also the Mother of God.
Therefore, God screwed his own mom.
What a fuckin sicko!


How would I react if during a conversation someone said they'd pray for me. I guess it'll depend on the topic at hand, how bad the situation is, and my mood at the moment. But right now, I'm guessing my gut reaction would be to spit my cup of cocoa out thru my nose. Yep, I believe that would be my gut's reaction.


Which one should you really fear?

A. Yahweh
B. Allah
C. Godzilla
D. humans who fanatically believe in A, B, or C

What happens to you after you die?

A. Take an elevator either up to the clouds or down into magma
B. You endlessly get laid by 72 raisins
C. Have a scenic boat ride on the Styx with Charon as your tour guide
D. Your atoms bid one another adieu and go forth and hook up with other atoms in the world.


If your god cannot provide free will and make a universe where women don't get raped, where children don't go hungry, where rage and revenge and murder don't exist, where cyclones and earthquakes and tsunamis don't destroy lives, where pathogens don't maim and kill, then you're soooo wrong about your god being all-powerful.

Think about it. If you were the omnipotent and all-loving creator why would you not create a world where humans would learn all the lessons necessary to become wise and loving and humanistic, without entailing all the unnecessary evil and suffering that plague this world we live in right now?


If G is all-powerful and all-loving then why the heck do you want me to ask G to make the surgery go well without complications? Shouldn't I forgo with physicians altogether and just ask G to snap his fingers and make my mom as healthy and disease-free as a 20-yr old?

What? It doesn't work that way? How do you know that? Oh, riiiiiight! Lots have taken that path and patients afflicted with non self-limiting conditions never get better without medical intervention provided for by lowly, limited, imperfect humans. So why turn to G at all? If asking him to heal directly doesn't work while having doctors do their jobs has a far far higher batting average, how do you know that letting doctors treat patients without asking G to pitch in is any worse? Well?

Now, if you can tell me to my face without batting an eye that you actually know that MD + G works better than MD alone, you better have some rock solid, testable, replicable, fasifiable evidence to back up that fantastic claim of yours. Else, just fess up that this G thing is merely misplaced hope and superstition.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


He blissfully intoned, "The Lord is my shepherd."

Geez, what a wretched, pathetic creature that must be! demoting himself and content to be an unthinking animal within a herd of mindless minions that've consigned themselves to a life of subservience.

The mind boggles why any modern day human would want to devolve to a hoofed, ruminant quadruped.

The implications of that bucolic metaphor just sounds too inane in our time.


The very notion of worshipping some being--however more intelligent, powerful, knowledgeable, capable--is detestable. Respect and admiration is very much within the compass but worship is beyond the pale. Worship connotes subservience, servility and mindless devotion. "Worship" used hyperbolically is par for the course but to mean it literally is revolting. It jars my sensibilities.


RE: that mute invisible dude as mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Oh, gimme a break. What would truly be a terrifying and fascinating wholly other would be an extraterrestrial a zillion years ahead of us in neurological makeup, science and technology.


It's ok, son. Calm down. There's no need to panic. And don't worry about the phaser. The prime directive prevents me from interfering with the exercise of your free will. So just go on ahead with the rape, torture and murder you're about to commit.

Sorry, girls. Would like to but can't help you. Rules are rules.


Thou shalt always cherry pick! Failure to do so is a mortal sin. And shall have the dreadful consequence of having that protective wool pulled off your eyes.


Thank you Lord for the feast we're about to pig out on. Thank you for giving it to us instead of those famished orphans, infidel Syrian refugees, smelly homeless geezers, that blind old guy who daily badgers me for loose change, and the millions of starving who'd instantly pounce upon and run off with all this lobster and Beluga caviar and champagne if given a chance. Fuck them all and thank you for favoring us instead of them. You truly are a good god. The best in fact. All thumbs up! By the way if you need another burnt offering just say so. There are so many of those emaciated scum out there we can throw into pyre for your delight and satisfaction.


The sun shines upon the rich and destitute--just as if there is no god. The rain drenches the righteous and the wicked--just as if there is no god. Good and bad things happen to good and bad people--just as if there is no god. Hopes and wishes of both theists and atheists are answered and are not--just as if there is no god. Tower cranes come crashing down on the religious and unbelievers alike--just as if there is no god.


Is belief in powerful punitive preternatural beings good? Most certainly is if you're inherently a threat to the welfare of your fellow citizens and if belief in that all-seeing almighty cop keeps you at bay. Otherwise, it's excess baggage.


The pen is lighter than the sword and passes security checks without a hitch. That's the only reason militant atheists favor the pen.


Ursa Major did not lift a paw to save him from the powerful aliens. As life drained from him, he called out to Great Bear and asked, "Why have you forsaken me? I have done everything you had commanded. I have three sons as devout as I am and they too now have cubs of their own. You promised I would see my grandchildren till they had families of their own. Why, O Lord have you permitted this to befall me? What have I done to deserve this cruel fate?"

But he heard no answer, only the cackling of the aliens

As night fell Ursa Major rolled across the sky as It had for thousands of generations. It surveyed the land It had created but shed not a tear for the lifeless bear, uttered not a howl to mourn its passing. And so it shall be for all, and for all time.


If there were an alien invasion and the extraterrestrials had been able to kill every single human save one and that last person standing was a Christian, I bet s/he'd still cling on to his delusion and talk to that imaginary friend of his till the moment the aliens blew him to kingdom come. In fact I bet his belief would be strengthened for that delusion would be a refuge, a happy haven he could retreat to, his last hope for salvation.


Where is free will in those who desist from harming their fellows only because they are cowed into submission by their fear of eternal retribution by an immortal almighty dictator?

He is free who can profit from harming others and get away with it but chooses to do otherwise.


An all-powerful president who professed to be all-loving would hardly be re-elected if his/her term did not eradicate poverty, calamity, crime, disease, disability. But give the people an all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving, all-creative, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present god and that population turns into a billion self-appointed lawyers who will religiously defend that being's every failure in creating utopia


The WTFTV news team caught up with the now infamous Hungarian camerawoman who tripped and kicked refugees, including a young girl, and queried her about her antisocial actions which were all caught on camera.

"The influx of these infidels is totally against my religious beliefs. I couldn't just stand there and let the horde go by and trample upon my beliefs. My tradition gives me the right and in fact thrusts upon me and every brother and sister in the faith the responsibility of doing something, however trivial, to stem the tide," she declared.

The kicking and tripping she said was a "symbolic gesture" on her part that her god was not going to have any of what she described as "bullcrap."

"There will be grave consequences," she added, "for all countries that soil themselves by taking in the scum of the earth. The Dear Leader in the Sky will exact vengeance!"


Well don't just sit there in the car. Hit the gas and cross. By Jove, have faith in the new bridge! The engineers employed billions upon billions of tons of it building it. Faith, that is. No, of course they didn't use science and math to design this masterpiece. Their faith--the size of a sack of mustard seeds--is orders of magnitude greater than necessary to ensure that this novel, untested, unproved design will prove itself and stand the test of time. So go on and drive across, for Pete's sake!

But if on the off, off, off, off chance the bridge should fail, then die joyous for you can be absolutely 100% certain God was testing your faith and will in no time be in his courtyard singing him praises ad nauseam, ad infinitum, in aeternum.



Oh I'm sorry Mr. and Mrs. C but I cannot give your dying child a blood transfusion even if that's the only thing that'll save him. You see, that medical procedure is completely against my religious beliefs. Tell you what though. I'll gladly pray with you, or on your behalf in case you're not an HDA (highly deluded asshole) as I am.

And don't fret. In fact we should, even now, rejoice. For if your child lives then we have much to be happy about. And if he dies then it can only be that my imaginary superfriend has bestowed upon your precious one the honor and privilege of an early admission to his sumptuous estate in the clouds where unending bliss is the status quo. So wipe that dumbfounded look off your faces and sing a song of joy with me.


Sigh. We're too late. Zombie Jesus has already devoured their brains. They're now Christians.

Let's move on. We need to save the others.


I said, "God told me to love my neighbors." Everyone cheers.

I announced, "God told me to kill my son." Everyone whips out their phones to call the cops (and then rush to take vids)

God is shaking his head mulling whether he should lob a 1000-mile asteroid into earth to end it once and for all: "It was so much easier back then with Abraham and Moses and all those loons. Stoning women and children, decimating tribes, taking slaves and virgins as booty was why they woke up in the morning. Everyone followed My orders. And to the letter. But now they won't even let Me nick a kid! Shitheads. Give them a neuron and it multiplies and turns into a brain. Should've made mindless automatons instead."


"Thank you, Lord! You are such a good god."

Whoa! Hold your horses. Not so fast! Go read his post:
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
Hey, he posted it right there on his page. It's the fine print you may have missed.

Owning up to one's character faults, mistakes and heinous acts is good. Being in denial that one's hero is a bloviating self-confessed god of death and destruction isn't.


Abraham carries out his marching orders to slit his son's throat and everyone praises him for his faith and obedience. God tells me to do the same and SWAT and the entire police dept are at my doorstep with guns drawn. And there's that matter of taking slaves and virgins. Hello?! Have some faith, people. There's a precedent for all the killing and genocide and rape and bondage. Don't you remember? It's there in black and white.

The commander-in-chief up above is still giving orders, you know. So stand back and let his angels on earth get on with their mission and spill the blood He so dearly craves and lusts for. Let those of us who hear Him carry out his orders with no opposition. Don't get on His bad side. You know the consequences.


I wonder why praying for rain works so much better during the rainy months. Likewise I wonder why more of my prayers get answered when I don't ask for the return of loved ones who've moved on to pushing daisies, or for regeneration of severed limbs (and heads), or for a moratorium on natural calamities, or the everlasting world peace that beauty contestants keep wishing for, or for other naturally impossible events.


I just enjoy socializing the young by screaming at and bullying and frightening and threatening and whipping and bashing and clubbing them into obedience and submission. Yes, let's all socialize our kids into violence.


In religion, innumeracy is a friend that keeps on giving.


Rub the Supreme Genie in the right way and the right spot and he grants you your wish. Remember, being a toady is the ticket. Obsequiousness gives him a hard-on and makes him come to you.


Even after enduring misfortunes left and right, Job refuses to capitulate and goes on sucking up to his boss. The feminine aspect--the realist in this case--however, has the wisdom to yell at him and say, "WTF! Curse God and die!"

The paradox is, by doing so, Job actually is revivified and moves on the next level of understanding. Acknowledging the suffering and injustice and shaking a fist at (what one perceives as) the causal agent can lead to further breakthroughs in cognition → God is powerful. But he is not good. → There is no director and scriptwriter up there. We're on our own.


Moral relativism is a big no-no for theists but then god is still deemed the supreme ethicist even if he fully supported and commanded slavery and genocide and every heinous crime in the book.


In any other field it's called making lame and laughable excuses but when brushing off and defending biblical contradictions and immoralities it's called interpreting god's word.


Bad connection. Congested lines. On hold. Hard of hearing. Alzheimer's. These are just a few of the possible reasons why the same prayers that have been repeated ad nauseam remain unanswered.


Absence of faith makes room for thinking


"Living without faith is like driving in a fog." --a proverb

If so then living with faith is like driving at 100mph blindfolded. (Trust the m*a, Luke)


Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick. (James 5:14-15)
When it comes to health only two types have integrity: the nonbeliever who doesn't ask mute invisible beings for help and instead sees doctors when they're ill or are injured, and the fundie who will not seek nor accept any kind of medical help and instead do only and exactly what the verse from the epistle above enjoins them to do.

One has faith--confidence based on track record and evidence--in medical science; the other has faith--blind, unjustified trust--in the teachings of their tradition. Both are uncompromising. The rest just want to cover all the bases, are insurance-loving and risk-averse. They rush to the hospital and fall on their knees ... and then pile on alternative and complementary quackery just to be triply sure.


Let's throw bioethics out the window for a few weeks and conduct a clinical trial. Forget blinding as well. All we keep is randomization and controls. Recruit 4000 juveniles with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. Randomize 1000 to  receive normal medical treatment and care for such a disease (this is group A). Assign another 1000 to receive only intercessory prayer and faith healing (Group B). Assign the next 1000 to both medical treatment and faith/spiritual healing (Group C). The last 1000 kids don't get any kind of treatment at all (Group D).

Now what are the chances that after a month:
1. Children in group A will fare worse than B or D?
2. Those in B will be better off than in D?
3. There will be a significant difference in the conditions of those in A and C?


"Into your hands I commend myself," said the patient to the surgeon.


Reattach severed heads using only prayer and I will be a believer in the vaunted power of prayer. Use cadavers. Take your time. Haul in a billion faith heads to blast the heavens with your petition. Pray 24/7 for as long as you want. Call me when you finally decide you have to cheat to get the job done.


Reason why some of us skeptics are so damn angry at quackery and theism: we've fallen for falsehoods in the past and are so averse to being duped and buying into hokum again because truth truly matters to us. When we eventually give up this privilege of possessing consciousness we want to take leave of existence with as lucid an understanding as possible and having the least amount of delusions.


God created pi. If this perfect being juuuuust had an iota of intelligence and foresight and dictated its value to a hundreddecimal places to those scientifically illiterate minions of his in the desert thousands of years ago and asked them to pass it down the generations then we'd have some preeeeetty strong reason to believe what those crass, superstitious, genocidal, chosen people of his said and wrote. Alas. All we're told is pi = 3, or perhaps 3.1 or 3.14, which even the Greeks and the Chinese were able to derive (using polygonal algorithms) without any gods revealing it to them.


I was approached by a stranger and told that he could make me rich, as in filthy rich. All I had to do was give him a thousand bucks and I'd get a million-fold in return. Wow! Drooling, I asked him when I'd get the return on my investment. He said when I'm six feet under. Cool! Here's a thousand. Can't wait to kick the bucket and be a billionaire.

Religion: Scamming and getting away with it with promises of eternal reward after one's life is over. Only imbeciles could possibly fall for that... Oh wait!


I asked God to smite me dead. He refused. I asked him to smite ISIS dead. Didn't happen. I asked him to smite the US dead. Nada. I asked him to smite this world dead. No dice. Exasperated, I asked him to smite himself dead. And he whispered, "Then just stop believing in me."


Yes, Virginia, there is something terribly wrong with you as still believe in Santa Claus after all these decades.


Heuristic: Any unit/system/society/discipline/organization that proscribes/stifles/condemns doubt is afraid of enlightening its members.


If at the first you don't succeed try try again for at least 20 times. And you're sure to get a p <0.05. Then publish the study and hide the others.


I have a problem with death. Theists have a problem with death. The only difference is that I acknowledge and accept it's the end. They can't.


Kids were going to church to attend their aunt's wedding. The cathedral happens to be one in which the Pope celebrated mass. So what do these politically incorrect, tactless, infidel rascals tell me? That they're going to church to see the Poop's buttmarks.

Time to step aside, Ricky Gervais


There would be less cancer, less disease, and aids and diabetes in this country if people would simply pray. God blesses the righteous with good health and curses the immoral with sickness. 
--Ted Cruz 
Woohoo! A testable claim. Who wants to join the experimental group? You get absolutely no medical intervention whatsoever but you get tons of prayers via phone, email, snail mail, telepathy and what have you and of course you get to pray all day all night all month and all year till you expire. .


We make up stories, we see reality as we want it to appear so that we may heighten the pleasures of life and blunt its blows. How fragile we are who have feet of clay.


Definition of "to pray for someone's soul": To talk to oneself, making believe that one is asking a non-made-up character to be merciful and to take good care of a non-made-up part of another person (who usually is already putrefying and being devoured by bugs and worms). It is an activity some adults like doing because it makes them feel good since they sincerely believe that they are greatly helping someone--and at no financial expense, with trivial demand on their time, and requiring the most minimal of effort.


An all-powerful and all-knowing being created the universe so that by design and without recourse he will/must:

1. kill by drowning every living thing on earth (save for a few)
2. affirm the institution of slavery and bondage
3. tyrannize his creation and promise to condemn unbelievers to eternal pain and suffering
4. and become flesh and blood so as to be lashed, whipped, beaten and then impaled.

Thus, rightly so, the Romans tacked a sign above the timber he so engineered himself to hang from: "King of BDSM."


Perhaps for some people neither lack of evidence nor existence of disconfirming evidence nor rational arguments nor ridicule can make them stop believing. Perhaps some just can't help but hang on to delusions, just as some smokers cannot help but keep lighting up even in the face of incontrovertible medical evidence. Perhaps religion for some is an addiction.


And on the eighth day God added termites to His list of bazillion organisms to blight human civilization. Go ahead. Praise the creator of every pest, pathogen and parasite.


Think of words as Lego blocks. Think of writers as children with a truckload of these at their disposal. Think of the lifetime of joy these kids will have building and experimenting.


As visitors from a solar system far far away approach the pale blue dot they discover to their utter dismay that it is still a planet of superstitious and warring apes. First contact is postponed yet again.


Now repeat after me: Even if our corpses end up in the tummies of worms and bugs and bacteria, we don't really die. Actually we live forever after we've breathed our last. And even without eyes, ears, brains, and not a single atom, we can still see, think, feel, converse, sing praises and suck up to the Big Honcho. Yes, folks, this is no delusion. I'm positive it's true. Because as Tertullian said, I so totally believe because it's so damn fucking absurd and insane.


If praying over the remains of a plane crash resulted in the plane becoming whole and airworthy again, and if this feat could be done repeatedly, we would have no choice but to acknowledge that prayers work for plane wrecks. And if praying over the body parts strewn all over the crash site could lead to resurrections then ....


What does one say to somebody whose loved one has been diagnosed with terminal illness? I don't know. I am at a complete loss. But one thing I am sure of is this. I cannot bring myself to offer them lies. I will not tell them everything will be fine. Or that everything is part of a plan by some benevolent transcendent force. Or give them any other false hope or delusion that will mitigate the gravitas of it all. Because the reality of eventual loss is not something to be assuaged or swept under the rug. It is to be faced and accepted as part of having had the incomparable privilege of having loved and cared deeply for others.


Am drawn to circling death not because it's pleasant. But death attracts attention because it's intractable, invincible, ineluctable. There's no way out. Brooding on the inevitable fate of those who cluster within our hearts narrows our focus and reintensifies the awareness of the finitude of opportunities we have with them. Bearing in mind the ticking of the clock makes us draw them even closer, hold them ever tighter.


Longevity is not the be all. Being isn't just a matter of continuing to be alive and staving off death as much as we can. What's more crucial when the medical community and the patient and his/her family feel they're facing the final curtain is quality of life, or more to the point, the quality of remaining life. In the contest between mere quantity and marked quality, the latter surely must trump the former. Life extension makes sense only if the additional days, weeks, months that we can buy aren't spent in unremitting pain and suffering, in unending rushes to the ER, or in being incarcerated to the very end in a hospital with a welter of wires and tubes dangling off our face and body. Life is worth prolonging only if we'ree not consigned to living out the rest of our days in a hell on earth. We must rage against the dying of the light. And old age should burn and rave. But only if there is still a life worth living.


Here we are brainstorming ways to protect against the hazards of a procedure we'll be trying out for the very first time and your bright idea is to pray for the safety of all involved? Well, let's test that idea then. Go jump off the top of the building and we'll pray for you. Go. Now!


It isn't the only factor, you know. Data shows that high intelligence is correlated with nonbelief. No one said bright minds can't falter and become victims of delusions.


Religion is to mythology is to facts as quackery is to placebo is to medicine


Some truths just hurt too much. Acknowledging them won't set you free, but drag you down to the pits and ruin your constitution. Sad truth be told, some simply cannot withstand the fires of emotional and mental hell that comes with knowing certain facts.

Capt. Religion to the rescue. He'll drug and delude you, intoxicate you with touchy-feely fantasies of love and care by larger than life, larger than Superman characters made out of whole cloth. His analgesic comes in many saccharine flavors: Nothing happens by accident. There's always a silver lining. All will be fine. You are never alone. Death is not the end.

Fiction is palliative care for the weak of heart and mind. Fiction is the truth of choice of those who flinch and turn a blind eye to reality.


In the 2013 documentary The Unbelievers author Ian McEwan observes that believers weep as the caskets of their loved ones are lowered into the ground. And yet they don't do so when they bid them bon voyage at the wharf or airport as they embark on their vacation. If death is merely a boat ride (courtesy of Charon Tours perhaps) to our common destination then there shouldn't be any sobbing at all. Thus, even those who subscribe to an afterlife, it seems, understand that the hereafter is merely fiction, a palliative to ease the heartache of eventual annihilation of those we hold dear.


Standing at the edge of a cliff. It's a thousand feet to the bottom. I wish to be free from the clutches of gravity. Though I have no wings, no contraptions, I can fly. I know in my heart of hearts I will. So I bend my knees and throw myself off. And for a precious eight seconds I am unchained. I'm free. But reality eventually wins, as it always will. And the illusions, fantasies and arrogance of faith and religion are dashed upon the rocks. As they always will be.


Anyone who believes their car will run on water instead of hydrocarbs quickly gets disabused of that delusion once they gas up with dihydrogen monoxide. On the other hand praying to Lord Kelvin, Lord Vader, Lord Vishnu or Lord Jesus (or to all of them) have the same results. Is it any wonder then why confirmation bias is such a popular cesspool believers delightfully even ecstatically swim in?


All it takes is steadfast, unwavering belief.

But what you're asking doesn't make sense. It goes against common sense. It goes against reason.

Have faith, my child. Keep in mind that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you'll be able to move galaxies. Nothing would be impossible.

Well, frankly I still have nagging doubts. It's taking effort to quell the anxieties.

Perish those doubts; banish those worries. Remember what Tertullian said: It is absurd, therefore it must be true!

In that case I must believe. I must! Ok. I'm in.

Good! Be joyous and celebrate tonight. Exactly one month after you hand over the hundred thousand you'll be a billionaire!


"The more you know, the more you hurt; the more you understand, the more you suffer."

or alternately,

"For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."

People keep attributing this to Robert Burton when in fact it's from Ecclesiastes (1:18)

The damn thing about Eccl is that it starts out beautifully with the existentialist realization that life is meaningless when viewed from the perspective of long history. But then it fails. It fails because, notwithstanding the wisdom he has gained, the character is still a naïve child in at least one aspect--he is unable to punch through the collective delusion of his tribe and still assumes unquestioningly without a hint of doubt that there is a superman, a superparent, a super king up there who watches and lords over us.


Can't stand clarithromycin's side effects. Need another of humanity's creation to beat God's malevolent creation: H. pylori. #godisgood


God then breathed life into Aedes and said "Be fruitful, multiply & fill the earth that you may gift my beloved with dengue"


Then God breathed life into Anopheles and said, "Be fruitful, multiply & fill the earth that you may gift my beloved humans with malaria."