Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page
This morning after getting back from the gym for the first time since the baby was born I put on the TV while I caught my breath. Holy crap I’m out of shape…. one fifth of the workout I used to do almost killed me.
But anyway, there isn’t a whole lot on TV at 7am on a Saturday. I put on some Halle Berry flick called Perfect Stranger. She looks a lot better with long hair.
Anyway, the movie begins with this scene where Halle Berry’s character subvertiously records a Republican senator essentially admitting to having gay affairs and essentially consenting to blackmail in exchange for keeping his gay affairs in the closet. Halle Berry, of course, is a free journalist. She’s not trying to blackmail him, she’s just trying to out him. I’ve written about the way atheists and liberals squeal in glee when they think they’ve won on some intellectual point, for example, exposing hypocrisy with regard to social issues, in this case, a Republican senator who repeatedly votes “against gay rights” while being a homosexual himself. When her victory unravels thanks to the senator’s efforts at damage control (e.g., buying off witnesses), she indignantly resigns her post as a “free journalist” at a “free paper” in protest of the reality of the world, namely that money talks and bullshit walks – this entire thing being essentially bullshit. Dragging someone’s personal life into the public arena to influence their political actions is apparently not corrupt, but paying someone to keep your personal life out of the public arena is. Right.
I’m not terrribly surprised that so many people cannot comprehend the notion that a “family values” politician (almost always Republicans) could vote againsg gay rights while at the same time enjoying gay sex from time to time themselves. If you’re already pro-gay-rights and you are looking for a reason to smear a politician who is anti-gay-rights, it’s easy to scream “hypocrite” without attempting to understand the issue any deeper. Fortunately, you have this blog to do that for you.
My theory on why this kind of thinking is pervasive is that, thanks to feminism, female thinking has become mainstream in a lot of places where it doesn’t belong, for example, analyzing the behavior of powerful men. The female thinking at work here is that if a man enjoys having sex with other men - either to the exclusion of or addition to sex with women – he must therefore participate in everything else that is associated in the female mind with sex. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
A lot of writers on this subject focus on the masculinization of women with respect to sex, specifically that they are more willing to have casual sex wit many partners. But that’s somewhat disingenous in my view. I believe that even though the feminists have been successful at mostly eliminating slut shaming – I mean, Christ, people actually found women willing to portray characters in, produced, and aired Sex and the City – I don’t think that millions of years of evolution can be culturally undone in half a century. Of course there are plenty of situations where women are having sex for the sake of sex, but the typical woman will not be fufillied by and endless cock carousel. Eventually – around the age of 29 – they suddenly start sexing with the intent of turning the sex into a relationship which can turn into a family.
The general cultural attitude toward sex, even today, is that sex is accompanied by feelings of attachment, romantic interest, some kind of shared bond. That is the female attitude.
The male attitude is that sex is about having an orgasm. There’s a period at the end of that sentence. Since I’m dissecting hypocisy here it would be dishonest to suggest that I believe the typical man can be fulfilled by sex and only sex – I pursued and acquired a relationship with a woman and had a baby with her because I wanted a family – but I would be lying if I said that I haven’t enjoyed meaningless sex in my past.
In order to support and perpetuate the cultural view that sex is associated with love, it isn’t culturally popular to talk about the reality of male homosexuality. During the 90′s we were forced to admit the truth in our desperation to understand the AIDS epidemic - namely that a reasonably large proportion of homosexual men were engaging in casual sex with as many partners as they could possibly find because what drove them was the sex, not the love. Gay men are far less picky and far more willing to have sex with total strangers who they will never see again than gay women or straight women or straight men. Why is that? Simple. Because it’s about the sex.
It has nothing to do with living in the same house or attending wine tastings together or buying flowers and Valentine’s Day cards for each other or opening up a joint bank account or being legally married – in other words, being a family.
They’re separate issues.
The “traditional” family – there’s little more I despise than having to qualify that, by the way – evolved into what it is, namely a man and a woman who make some babies - as a consequence of nature. Two men can’t reproduce, and the vast majority of men are attracted to women, not men. From that starting point, men and women co-evolved to complement each other in the difficult job of survival. It’s easy to forget in our modern world that even as recently as 200 years ago eating was a primary concern of most families.
When stupid people are trying to make a point, they ignore generalizations that apply to vast majorities and focus on exceptions. If a single gay couple manages to adopt and raise children who turn out all right, then any other evidence is moot. If one gay couple stays together for 40 years then it proves that gay relationships are stable and just as good as male female relationships. I mean, look at the divorce rate among heteros! Of course, despite the fact that there are about 10 billion more male-female relationships in the history of the human race than any gay relationships shouldn’t affect our analysis in any way. Hint: not every comparison can be made using ratios.
I’m going off on a tangent here. Let me get back to the point.
The point is that it’s totally possible to believe that state-sanctioned families should be limited to male-female while at the same time enjoying sex with men. I suspect that most of these men who stand up in front of crowds and give a speech in support of the Defense of Marriage Act and then retreat to the nearest adult bookstore to give an anonymous blowjob through the glory hole would barely conceive kissing another man on the lips let alone forming any kind of emotional relationship with a man. The last thing on their minds is moving in together and picking out a china pattern with another man. These guys are probably not attracted to men. They probably dont’ look at other men and think to themselves how handsome he is. For whatever reason they enjoy the physical act of gay sex but nothing further.
Having occasional man-on-man sex doesn’t mean that you need to vote for gay marriage or that it’s hypocritical of you to publicly deride homosexual lifestyles.
So, the whole opening of Perfect Stranger is stupid. It’s not unrealistic, because we’ve seen a number of politicans, both Republican and Democrat – lose their positions because they were caught having gay sex, many times extramaritally. The implication in Perfect Stranger is that the senator is not married. I’m against gay marriage. I’m against public officials embarassing their families by getting caught in extramarital affairs regardless of whether they’re with the same gender, the opposite gender, whether they paid, or whether they didn’t. I’m not against public officials doing whatever they want with whoever they want in the privacy of their bedrooms as long as it stays there. If an unmarried male senator gets caught having sex with other men 10 minutes after he votes against gay marriage, that’s fine. It doesn’t bother me, because the man votes the same way that I do, and I don’t care what he does with his penis.
What I’m especially against, though, is journalists and stupid citizens making a big deal over sex and trying to imply that your own personal sexual identity requires that you make cultural votes in either direction. Identity poltiics are bad enough as it is. If you think that a family values politician who votes against gay marriage but is gay himself is too hypocritical to stay in office then you should probably also think that a self-identifying Catholic is required to vote pro-Life or that a black poltiican is required to support Barack Obama.
Screw this movie. It’s terrible.
When I decided to write about atheism I did so primarily because I watched about 60% of the content on TheAmazingAtheist and I was so annoyed at what a loud, fat, pandering stupid slob he was that I felt the need to lay a trap and see if atheists really were exactly like TJ. Suspicions confirmed!
I presented a pair of extremely bait-ey posts on the topic, first a refute of some of the common criticisms of religion, which turned out to be a trivial task, and then I presented some questions to the typical armchair atheist. Of course I know these questions are not impossible to answer. Any reasonably intelligent person can defuse them fairly easily. The point of this exercise was to illustrate the fact that both sides of the argument can be defused.
The only legitimate argument that atheists have is the burden of proof angle. Atheist says that he doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven to exist, theist counters by saying that they have to prove something doesn’t exist, atheist counters with “what about unicorns” and basically wins the argument.
Of course, we all know in reality that there is no such thing as an atheist who does not believe in at least one thing that can’t be proven. It’s easy for the atheist to proclaim that he doesn’t, but that isn’t the truth. Anyone who has been around the block a few times knows that there isn’t a person alive who isn’t superstitious about something or does something irrational out of habit. It’s just the way human beings are built.
But anyway, I digress.
A bunch of random internet commentors are not going to conclude anything about a question that no philosopher past, living, or future has solved, nor am I going to make any great intellectual leaps by asking a few questions and I know this fully. As I have stated many times before,
I AM AN AGNOSTIC.
I don’t claim to know that there is a God. I don’t claim to know that there isn’t. I claim that it is impossible to know, and therefore, atheism is no more or less rational or correct than theism.
However, after conducting this experiment I have come away with a few facts about atheists:
- The ones inclined to debate the issue are just as irritating as dogmatic religious people and are executing the same programming that religious people are using except they are touting the almightiness of intellectual pursuits on the altar of prepositional logic and science instead of touting an old book
- Not a single one has anything new or interesting to say
- Not a single one of them has any hope of being swayed by the words of others and therefore it is pointless
- Atheists have a very hard time believing that someone who speaks out against atheism isn’t a closet born-again or some stealth evangelical
- They refuse to accept that someone could criticize both atheism and theism for the same reasons because of what it implies, namely:
Atheism is just another religion.
I thought so before and now I’m convinced. QED.
I’ve decided that all of this child pornography hysteria has nothing to do with protecting teenaged girls who willingly take their clothes off for online and mobile phone audiences from damaged self esteem. I’ve decided that all of this child pornography hysteria has to do with protecting the egos of old feminist battleaxes so past their prime that their wrinkled ugly faces and fat distorted bodies pale so greatly in comparison that no man with a penis would ever choose her over a ripe teenage girl at the peak of her beauty.
Yes. Older women are jealous. They artificially raise their mating market value by making it so grossly illegal to even think about doing anything with a girl just one second shy of her eighteenth birthday that men who are terrified of being slapped with outrageous charges and prison terms check for crows’ feet because it’s less awkward than asking to see a driver’s license on the verge of coitus.
I read some blurb about how they want to pass some kind of law in Texas to soften sexting laws – as long as everyone involed is under 18- in other words, as long as the boys involved are not potential partners for old washed out career spinsters who waited until they were 30 to start getting serious about a family.
These same paranoid women who are rushing to get these laws passed and the beta chumps who march to their wardrums are not afraid of teenage sexuality. No, chances are they started fooling around at the same age that these nefarious rapscallions and their cellphones have started and have probably had quite a bit of casual sex as new-age post-modern feminist 4.0 empowered individual career women. It’s the 2010′s; sex is nothing to be ashamed at!
No, the reason that pubescent girls – 14,15,16 – taking pictures of themselves is so “dangerous” to the 30-somethings-single-woman hivebrain is that their youthful beauty - and sexuality – is immortalized forever. Before the era of the internet and the ocean of teenage girls all of whom have digital cameras at their disposal willing to take shots of their naked selves, the typical man probably only saw a handful of young women naked, and all they had left of those images were buried in memories past. But in the world where, as one study suggests, up to 20% of teenage girls take nude self photos, of which a reasonable portion of those will be leaked onto the internet, it becomes clearler and clearer to men that the 30+ crowd is nowhere near as attractive as they used to be.
As an unashamed consumer of internet porn, I can attest to the fact that on every free site that allows user submitted content, dozens of teenage girls are making it on to the internet every day. Are they 14? Are they 16? Are they 18? Are they 24? Most camwhores dont’ flash a form of government identification at the start of their shows. It’s impossible to say. Does it really matter, though?
Actual “child” porn laws are designed to prevent skeevy adults from coercing pre- and pubescent girls into doing things they have no business doing. But sexting is an entirely different can of worms because these are teenage girls who are willingly taking pictures of themselves. There isn’t some creepy 50 year-old man with double bridged glasses pedo-smiling behind the camera egging the girl on with offers of candy, funny stories, or money. Oh no. These are bored, horny teenagers with a digital camera, the internet, and an “unnatural” indifference to shame.
That’s why sexting is so scary to women, particularly older women. They already live their lives in constant fear that the men they are currently with or hope to be with will ditch them for the younger model as soon as possible. Women since the dawn have time have also used their sexuality as a tool to convince men to do things for them that men would otherwise not want to do. The most threatening thing in the world for an older woman is a girl with youth on her side to flaunt her sexuality and essentially give it away for free, to people she doesn’t even know or see.
One could argue, of course, that there’s a big difference between a girl showing off on a camera and a girl actually doing something. No, in reality, many of the girls who show off on the internet would probably not engage in any actual partner sex with the men watching her – but that’s another argument against sexting laws to begin with. If it’s just harmless fun, then why is it illegal? Fortunately for the feminists, for the girls who would actually make that transition, there’s statutory rape laws to cover that.
On the same side of the coin, most men, myself included, don’t watch a cam show and think, “oh wow, I should go try to pick up girls at the local high school. They’re sluts!” The hysterics refuse to believe that, of course. The camwhore is an innocent girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing and would never actually have sex with internet perverts, but every man on the internet who happens upon a camwhore video – and it’s getting to the point on the internet where it’s almost impossible to avoid them – is a pervert who is only looking at one because he’s a diseased pedophile and is formulating rape plans. News flash: no. That’s why Chris Hansen focus on men who troll chat rooms, actually make plans to meet with girls, and actually arrive at houses with alcohol and condoms. And fortunately for the time being the witch hunt ends there. Personally, I think that’s a pretty reasonable boundary. Of course, I don’t see how How to Catch a Predator isn’t classic entrapment since at no time was an actual teenage girl in any actual danger, but that’s another topic for another day.
The fact remains that the last thing women as a whole want is for the most desirable girls to act like whores and rub the culture’s face in the fact that teenaged girls are in fact sexual creatures. Women have been unable to police themselves with old-fashioned slut shaming – you have feminists to thank for that. Now being “in touch with your sexuality” is required for every modern woman. Being in touch with your sexuality, by the way, means that you own a vibrator, have at least 3 unique sexual partners every year, and have at some point slept with someone you met in a bar or a club and never heard from again. Oh, and of coruse, it means you’re over the age of 18, god forbid. Thanks to this cultural requirement of the modern woman, it’s hard to shake a finger at sluts, because let’s be honest with ourselves – most women born after 1980 are sluts by the standards of generations past.
Naturally – and we could all see this coming – this plan backfired and now women are finding themselves 30 years old without prospects. Requring fertility medicine is rapdily becoming accepted as a practical inevitability of life for all women who want to spend their 20′s “focusing on their careers” (hint: don’t waste your time). This is a bad outcome. Women are finally starting to come around to a few key truths:
- Men don’t give a shit about your career. If you think your man does, he’s lying to you to get into your pants, or he enjoys spending your money. If it’s the latter, then he wouldn’t care whether you earn it or whether you won it in a lottery.
- Men like beautiful women.
- Women peak in beauty any time between 16-22 in beauty and then decline from there.
- Men like young women.
- Men want women who have tons of sex wtih them but not with other men.
- Desirable men don’t marry sluts.
- Settling for a beta chump who can’t score a younger, more beautiful woman and who himself is settling for your old wrinkled ass sucks.
- Fertility medicine sucks.
- Having autistic babies from stale 35 year-old eggs sucks even worse.
- Dying alone with your cats is the worst.
Women are coming around to what their grandmothers were trying to teach them and they’re using sexting laws to reestablish cultural pussy power.
Hint: it’s not going to work. The male hive-mind is going to get sick and tired of watching innocent men get sent to prison on trumped up bogus sexting and CP charges and put a stop to this circus. I wish it would happen sooner rather than later, though.
One of the issues of contention between certain members of my extended family who shall remain nameless is Fox News. A certain nameless individual nitpicks the thousands and thousands of words that are spoken on that channel looking for an opportunity to prove how dumb everyone on Fox News is and, by extension, how stupid anyone who watches it must be. It’s hard science that nothing dumb is ever uttered on MSNBC, by the way.
The piece in question is this, a misstep by O’Reilly.
One of the common traits I find among 100% of atheists and at least 75% of liberals is an insatiable need to be intellectually correct about everything. These people belive that all truth can be found on the other side of some equation and they, being educated as they are, can arrive there while those poor misguided simpletons who work in coal mines, live in red states, vote Republican, and watch Fox News are clearly just too plain stupid to do the same. When the right talks about the intellectual elitism of the left, they’re not kidding.
I’ve seen it dozens of times – the giddy, gleeful (and childish) wave of euphoria that strikes these people any time they feel as though they’ve just proven something to you with their mighty intellects. The resulting end zone victory dance makes me want to gag.
This O’Reilly quote is a classic example of an opportunity for liberals and atheists to feel overjoyed that they know something that the oracle of the right, the mighty Bill O’Reilly, obviously doesn’t. “Other planets do have moons!!” squeal they in delight. “O’Reilly’s feeble grasp of basic science explains why he believes in these ridiculous principles like small government and – pardon me whilst I guffaw – an intelligent designer. What a simpleton!”
And hey, if you’ve never heard the rest of the intellectual avenue that Bill O’Reilly was merely pointing to when he poised the question of why other planets do not have moons [like ours], you might be inclined to take your seat in the peanut gallery. The only problem here is that everyone who actually is educated has heard this argument. I don’t fault him for sparing his on-air minutes by refraining from repeating it, because we’ve all heard it before.
In case you need a refresher, the summary goes like this: the tides and to a lesser extent the lunar cycle itself is critical for a large number of life processes on Earth; some scientists have gone so far as to suggest that without it, life may not have evolved on Earth at all, or it would have evolved in a completely different direction. The assertion therefore is that something put the moon around the Earth specifically to enable life.
This is in the context of the larger intelligent design argument which asserts that regardless of how well we understand the mechanisms by which life evolved, the question remains whether all of the conditions necessary for life in the form in which it exists on Earth occurred by chance or through the intervention of some other being, which exists outside of our Earthly existence.
To say that other planets don’t have moons is true when an implication is attached, namely, that said moons in question are like our moon, specifically, is of a similiar size in relation to the host planet as ours. The truth is that we have never identified any planets, either in our solar system or others, that have moons even remotely as large compared to Earth as they are compared to their host planets. The idiot who pointed out that Jupiter has a moon as large as Mercury is being intellectually dishonest because he fails to mention that although Ganymede is twice as heavy as Earth’s moon, Jupiter is 318 times more massive than Earth, which means its comparative tidal force is miniscule - still larger than either force exerted on Mars by its moons, which are also intellectually dishonest to mention since even if Mars had liquid water on its surface neither Phobos nor Deimos are large enough to create any kind of Earth-like tide.
Most intelligent design proponents who follow this theory like to assert, as O’Reilly did, that it takes more faith to believe that all of the factors necessary for Earth life – including our larger-than-average moon – came together by chance than it does to believe that someone created Earth with us in mind.
Unfortunately this argument is totally absurd anyway. While it is true that the odds of all of the factors that are required for life to exist as it does on Earth coming together is tiny, there are more than enough stars and planets in the Milky Way let alone the known universe, let alone the unknown universe, for Earth and other planets just like it to come into existence probably billions of times. Even if it only happened once, the fact that we exist is evidence that those factors did come together. But the fact that we exist doesn’t say a damned thing about how it happened. When a card shark throws down a royal flush on the poker table, we only know he played a royal flush. Without other evidence we don’t know whether he cheated or the luck of the draw favored him.
The “chance takes greater faith” argument is easy to make because we live in a world that is so finite by comparison to the universe that when we look at the astronomical odds associated with Earth – and beyond Earth, life on Earth – it seems totally impossible. But it is possible. The universe is very, very large – most people don’t understand quite how large it is. Based on what we can see and observe about it, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of many Earth-like planets existing in the same timespan that our own humble planet exists. They should be out there.
I’ve spoken against atheism a number of times on this blog, although I’ve refrained from speaking in favor of theism because I believe both positions are taken in the same way that people choose to rationalize everything in the world – and I believe that choice is a matter of opinion. My argument against atheism is and has always been that they claim to know while the theists claim to believe. I claim that neither atheists nor theists know, but at least the theists believe – and admit to such. Faith.
In my view, the most compelling argument for an intelligent designer and the special place Earth has in the universe is what I think of as a cruel joke. That cruel joke is the fact that we are able to observe this enormous, beautiful, amazing, sweeping universe and yet the laws that govern it would appear to prevent us from ever visiting it. We’re like fish in a bowl. We can see a much larger world than our own, but that’s where it stops for us.
The last question I posed in my rather popular piece on questions atheists should answer was whether you, the atheist, believes in extra terrestrials. I asked it because I think any atheist who believes in extra terrestrials and more specifically the significance of extra terrestrials is a charlatan. Let me explain.
Very hard, observable, real science tells us quite certainly that it is not possible to travel faster than the speed of light. But the enormous distances involved in space travel compared to the longevity of human beings suggests that even if we conquered all of the technological challenges and created intersteller crafts that could travel even at a respectable percent of light speed, we wouldn’t have much practical use for it. Our lives would be over long before we reached any star systems that might possibly harbor life. It is unreasonable to think that another civilization wouldn’t face the same problems, unless of course you make the stretch that other life forms might have significantly longer life spans and are a lot more patient than we are. Most people won’t sit through 90 seconds of commercials. How many do you know who, endowed with an infinite life span, would sit through an 800 year space flight?
As such, even if the galaxy is littered with other planets exactly like Earth with life just like ours, they’re equally stuck on their own planets, completely isolated from us. Thus, they might as well not exist at all. If the most we could ever do is send and receive messages every few thousand years to one another, does it really matter all that much? Probably not.
Yet, I find in almost every case, atheists who use the “odds are in our favor” argument about life everywhere else in the universe usually also have it in their minds that there are civilizations out there who have conquered the light barrier and whiz from star to star like on Star Trek. Now I ask you: we have proven that the light barrier cannot be exceeded. Why do you believe that someone else, somewhere else in the universe, has done so?
Usually, the answer is something like, “yes well five hundred years ago we didn’t even understand gravity so it just means we haven’t discovered how to do it yet.” Now who’s the one being faithful? Believing in a technology that would violate what we know to be truths about the universe is in exactly the same category as believing in a God or a Flying Spaghetti Monster or an honest liberal.
What I’m saying here is that even if life is abundant in the universe, it doesn’t matter, unless you believe in fantasy technology, and then you’re no better than someone who believes in what you call the fantasy of religion.
Even though I understand relativity and the light barrier far better than 99% of the population – I’ve read several books about it – I don’t believe it. I don’t believe in time dilation. Why don’t I? Because I like Star Trek. I like Star Wars. I like a universe where light speed travel is possible. It does not enrich my life to know that we will not get off Earth in my life time and there’s a good chance that humanity will never get off Earth in any significant way before it’s extincted by some planetary event like an asteroid. I can either be happy in my delusion or unhappy in my soundness of scientific thought.
That’s one of the reasons I dislike atheists so much – particularly vocal atheists – because they aren’t accomplishing anything other than depriving people of something – namely religion – that adds some value to their lives. At the same time, your typical atheist believes a number of bizarre things that a healthy majority of people probbaly don’t believe, and that set of things varies from individual to individual. As one of my college professors once said, “everybody has their own bullshit.” The fact that some people choose a well-established set of bullshit (e.g., a religion) doesn’t make it any less valid than conclusions you drew for yourself by rationalizing your world with your mighty brain. Of course you think it does, because you derive comfort from the idea that you think for yourself and thus look down upon people who get their thoughts from some authority (like the Bible).
But in the end, it doesn’t matter where you get your ideas. They’re objectively no better or worse than anyone else’s - even if you get them from Fox News.