[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2014-02-07

Sympathy for the devil

Filed under: Mythology,Science — bblackmoor @ 12:53

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition)

I feel sorry for Ken Ham, because it seems to me, from listening to him, that he has “faithed” himself into a corner. He has convinced himself that his life only has meaning if a specific set of “facts” are never contradicted. He’s set up this construct in his head where his life only has value if his god exists, and his god only exists if his interpretation of a book he has read is infallible and factual. Therefore, he has to struggle to find more and more outlandish explanations for why his interpretation of a book is not contradicted by the real world around him. Because if he’s wrong about that book, or that book is in error, then he concludes that his god does not exist, and therefore his life has no meaning.

“My understanding of [anything] must be absolutely correct, or else my life has no meaning. I must therefore oppose anything which contradicts my understanding of [anything].”

The vanity of such a position is staggering. It would be funny if it were not so tragic, and so avoidable.

Sunday, 2012-12-23

My favorite Christmas specials

Filed under: Family,Friends,Movies,Mythology,Television — bblackmoor @ 15:01

I am imposing a unilateral un-grimmening! No more grim tidings for at least one week. Time for Christmas cheer and good will.

As a start, here are my favorite Christmas specials and movies, in no particular order. Some are great. Some are just terrible. Some make me laugh. Some make me cry. I love them all.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one, not the Jim Carrey abomination)
Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
(Mexican) Santa Claus
Gremlins
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Elf
Bad Santa
Scrooged
Star Wars Holiday Special
Hogfather
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 2012-08-08

I love Christmas (and you should, too)

Filed under: About Me,Family,Friends,Mythology — bblackmoor @ 09:54
I love Christmas

I love Christmas. It vexes me when this or that group wants to claim it as “theirs” and declare that no one else can have it. It vexes me when someone dismisses it as no more than an excuse for crass commercialism. Christmas isn’t about some guy being tortured to death, and it’s not about feral crowds and shopping. It’s not about this or that religious festival which coincidentally happens to be held at the same time. Christmas is about love, hope, good will, generosity, friends, and family. It’s about reaching out to people that you’d normally ignore, at best. Frankly I wish we — and by we I mean everyone: atheist, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Pagan — would take Christmas back from the Scrooges that want to poison it.

Christmas is no more a “Christian” holiday than Tuesday is a “Norse” holiday.

Christmas is not a Christian holiday. Christmas is not a Pagan holiday. Christmas is not an atheist holiday. Christmas is bigger than that. Christmas is a human holiday. Christmas is about love, hope, good will, generosity, friends, and family.

Christmas is for everyone.
 

Friday, 2012-08-03

You may be right, I may be crazy

Filed under: Family,Friends,Mythology,Society — bblackmoor @ 17:01

(I originally wrote this on Roger Carden’s Facebook page, but it got realy long, so I am posting it here, instead.)

I’ve mentioned this once or twice before. I’ll mention it again, because I think it’s something people don’t usually think about. I could be wrong, but it’s my dime, so here it goes.

There is some overlap between those who agree with me on “issues” and people whose company I enjoy, but it’s by no means 1:1 correlation. It is not necessary to despise those with whom we disagree, but by the same token, it’s by no means certain (for me, anyway) that I’ll like someone who happens to agree with me.

Personally, I’m either agnostic, atheist, or pagan, depending on how whimsical I’m feeling and how dark it is when I take out the trash (it’s a long way, through lightless woods — it’s the scariest thing I do in my day-to-day life). There are people I consider friends (real friends, not just a-name-I-see-online friends) who are Jewish, Buddhist, Quaker, Mormon, and yes, Christian. There are people I consider friends who are agnostic or atheist, as well. And of course there are people whose metaphysical framework is completely unknown to me.

There are also people wearing all of those labels whose company I avoid.

While I personally see no correlation between people who profess to follow [insert metaphysical framework here] and people who are pleasant, honorable, and interesting, I don’t see an inverse correlation either. There might be religions that serve as accurate predictors of the behaviour of people that follow them, but if so, I’ve not seen it.

I don’t believe that people’s behaviour is based on their religion. I believe that people choose their religion based on their character. A pleasant and honorable person raised Shinto will find Shinto explanations for their actions. A hateful and close-minded person raised Shinto will, too. If you’re kind, or unkind; honorable, or dishonorable; compassionate, or hateful; reasonable, or unreasonable — I really don’t care why. Not much, anyway.

I admire kind, honorable, compassionate, reasonable people, and I try to be more like them. This was not always the case. I hope that this indicates some marginal improvement in my own character.

Saturday, 2012-01-28

15-year-old reprimanded for his opinion

Filed under: Civil Rights,Mythology — bblackmoor @ 11:44
Gay people! Yuck!

So apparently, a 15-year-old boy in Podunk, Wisconsin (population: just a little bit smaller than a Wal-Mart on Black Friday) wrote an editorial in his school newspaper condemning the adoption of children by gay couples.

From what I read in the Deseret News article, the student’s op-ed was part of a feature where different viewpoints were presented. I do not agree with the kid, but having an exchange of opinions is a sham if only the “approved” opinions are presented (“Spider-Man — Threat or Menace?”). Reading further in the article, the school superintendent should be reprimanded by the school board for abusing his power, and Newt Gingrich is an opportunistic snake who’s all too happy to pit bigots against bigots in order to grasp a little power. (What a scumbag.)

There are some people who are literally willing to kill over their superstitions, and there are other people who would violate the foundations of our society in order to eliminate superstitions entirely. Both of these groups are dangerously misguided. That’s why it’s so important to keep a strong separation between the machinery of state and the various religions practiced by the citizenry.

But folks, that is not rocket science:

1) Believe in whatever superstitions you want.

2) Let other people believe in whatever superstitions they want.

3) Don’t use a position of power to push your superstitions onto others. This means no school officials telling the students to pray. (And no “moments of silence”, or any other thinly-disguised calls to mass prayer. You aren’t fooling anyone with that nonsense.)

4) Don’t use a position of power to infringe on the superstitions of others, nor oppress others based on their superstitions. This means no school superintendent bullying a student for writing an op-ed in a school newspaper. (Dude, you’re an adult, and he’s 15. You are arguing with a 15-year-old. In five years he’ll probably realize what a load of horse dung he’s been fed, but even if he doesn’t, that’s not your problem. You don’t bully a student like that. Seriously: what the hell is wrong with you? I think you need counseling.)

5) Try not to be a jerk when you meet someone whose superstitions differ from yours (especially if you think you don’t have any).

The article completely overlooks one important question: why was a school newspaper presenting opposing viewpoints on whether orphans are better off in institutions than with loving parents who happen to be gay? I’ll put it another way. Would it be okay for a high school newspaper to present different viewpoints on, oh, if women should have the right to vote and own property, or if dark-skinned people should have the same civil rights as light-skinned people? Keep in mind: these are not consenting adults we are talking about. These are children writing these articles. (When I was 15, I would have bridled at being censored. Nowadays, I think grade-school newspapers should probably avoid topics like this. But that’s just my opinion.)

If editorials like these in a high school newspaper are not okay, then who is to blame for it when they are printed? Hint: it’s not the 15-year-old. The person responsible for this is the teacher who said that having a pro-vs-con feature on homophobia would be appropriate for this week’s edition. So if that was wrong (and I am not saying it was), then the responsible adult is the one that should have been in the superintendent’s office getting yelled at.

Saturday, 2012-01-21

Rick Santorum-backing pastor plays the ‘Mormon cult’ card

Filed under: Mythology,Society — bblackmoor @ 09:54
Competing to see who will lose to Obama in 2012

I have mixed feelings about religions. Yes, they are all made up, but that’s not paramount. I spend most of my time on made-up things. If someone is a good person, a kind and honorable person, then their superstitions don’t really matter. I firmly believe that it’s your right as a human being to believe whatever you like, whether or not I agree with you. On a bad day I might grumble about it, but I’ll defend your right to it, nonetheless.

What really bugs me, though, is when the pot calls the kettle black.

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beame out of thine owne eye: and then shalt thou see clearely to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye.”

Matthew 7:5 (1611 King James Bible)

Sunday, 2011-05-22

Rapture FAQs

Filed under: History,Mythology — bblackmoor @ 11:15

Fun fact: The “rapture” doctrine was invented in the early 1800s by John Nelson Darby, right around the same time Joseph Smith invented Mormonism and Hans Christian Andersen invented the Little Mermaid.

Read more:
http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/120934-god-hates-faqs/#ixzz1N69dtCdO
http://www.bible.ca/rapture-origin-john-nelson-darby-1830ad.htm