It’s Friday the 13th … get your superstition on

This has been a weird week.

Last week, we ended the week with the conversation about Dr. Johnston’s evil perspective on abortion. The conversation reached into this week. I never know what’s going to strike a conversational chord with you all.

This week, the hypothetical post about my friend Sam and his concerns over his brother marrying a klingon muslim got some interesting responses. I really appreciate everyone taking a stab at that one. I was really hoping for a couple more of you to add your $0.02 or even $0.03 (thanks Glock!).

Lately, I’ve been putting my phone on airplane mode at night. I hate when it buzzes all night long with penis enlargement emails and UPS telling me I have a package waiting ..

But my analytical paranoia sets in when I do it. “What if someone calls me with an emergency in the middle of the night?” Then I say, “No one has called me in the middle of the night in years.”

What happens is I wake up around 5:30 or 6 every day usually from a nightmare. I will reach over and grab my phone, and turn off airplane mode. This has been going on for a couple weeks.

Wednesday night, I turned on airplane mode, fell asleep. Woke up at 1 a.m. Peed. Went back to bed. At 5:30 a clap of thunder startled me awake.

I laid there with my heart pounding. I reached over and turned off airplane mode. My phone buzzed with a voicemail from 4:20 a.m.. I’m not making a pot joke. It was a phone call from my brother. My heart sank into my stomach.

I listened to the message. My brother said that my dad woke up with horrible chest pains. He was going to take him and my mom and sister to the hospital.

Fortunately, all is okay. A heart cath showed that my dad’s 68-year old heart is in great shape. At the moment, doctors aren’t sure what happened, and he’ll go for followup doctor visits soon.

I called his phone later Thursday morning to check in with him. His phone was off. I left a message. I said, “I know I stress you out, but I hope it’s not more than you let on.”

At around 5 p.m., he called me back. Mom was driving him home from the hospital. He was in great spirits, and even cracked two jokes. He said, “Whelp, no sex for a week. That’s what a brochure told me anyway.” I could hear laughter around him. He laughed too. Then he said, “The brochure also said that I couldn’t lift five pounds for the next week.” Pause. “How am I supposed to use the bathroom?”

Insert rim shot.

Zing.

Pow. Bang. Zoom.

There’s one thing great about my old man … his sense of humor lightens up most situations.

I should credit him as the originator of the honk.

“Proving that prayer is superstition”

Here’s a fun little condescending video that “proves that prayer is a superstition.”

As a Christian, I remember learning the concept that one of the answers to prayer is “no.” It is the believers’ answer to doubters despite the bible’s assertion that asking anything in Jesus’ name will be given to you (Mark 11: 24). Mark is not the only book to make the claim that belief will end in positive answer to prayer.

But I’ll post this patronizingly childish video anyway.

Via http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

Reblog: Woman Whipped In Public For Wearing Trousers – This is why we fight

This is the kind of depravity caused only by religion. This is why we must be public about our outrage. This why we must teach the religious that the world is better viewed through the lens of science matched with reason and logic, rather than through superstition and ancient biblical screeds.

Now, what do you do? Earn and display your PhD In Heresy diploma, wear our heretical apparel, atheist t-shirts and hats in public, and the faithful will question you.  These actions present an opportunity for you to explain why science, reason and logic are necessary to overcome superstition and myth.

Read on

 

Science and religion aren’t friends. (via Tim Cooley’s)

Tim Cooley posted his favorite quote from Jerry Coyne’s recent editorial in USAToday early this morning. My favorite quote was:

“And this leads to the biggest problem with religious “truth”: There’s no way of knowing whether it’s true. I’ve never met a Christian, for instance, who has been able to tell me what observations about the universe would make him abandon his beliefs in God and Jesus. (I would have thought that the Holocaust could do it, but apparently not.) There is no horror, no amount of evil in the world, that a true believer can’t rationalize as consistent with a loving God. It’s the ultimate way of fooling yourself. But how can you be sure you’re right if you can’t tell whether you’re wrong?”

The entire editorial is worth a read.

Cooley’s favorite quote was:

In the end, science is no more compatible with religion than with other superstitions, such as leprechauns. Yet we don’t talk about reconciling science with leprechauns. We worry about religion simply because it’s the most venerable superstition — and the most politically and financially powerful. Read Jerry Coyne’s full article here. … Read More

via Tim Cooley’s

Does a Hawk Sighting Count as Superstition?

Tina and I were having a heart to heart yesterday about all that’s going on. It’s an emotional time, but a wonderfully hopeful time. We’re pioneering into uncharted territory … at least for us.

We were at the end of our talk. We had just hugged, and as I stood up to walk away, there was a HUGE bird in the tree out our front window. I’m almost positive it was a hawk. But sometimes I hesitate to identify birds.

I got really excited and said, “Tina, stand up! No don’t stand up. I mean, stand up really really slowly!” I wanted so badly for Tina to see the beautiful masterpiece of a bird that was at arms length outside the window.

I ran and got my camera. I had to change lenses, and fortunately I snapped off this shot before another hawk flew up and they both flew off together.

Back in my superstitious days, this would have been a sign from heaven. I struggle with that even now.

“Wow,” I said to myself. “That totally looks like a sign from heaven. What if I’m wrong about this whole god thing?” Then I fell down, bumped my head and drew … the flux capacitor!

I’ve written off the possibility that our bird friend came from a supernatural place. It doesn’t make any sense. If I were to think it was a sign, there’s a whole slew of lies I could tell myself regarding what the bird symbolizes about the mysterious possibilities.

Or I could see it for what it was, a majestic encounter with a beautiful beast in plain view of my living room.

Seeing the hawk served as a positive sign alright. It completely awed us about nature, about its ability to perplex and inspire. It was certainly a time when we needed a reminder of how life has evolved on this planet for so long and our efforts are invigorated and inspired with science and human reasoning.

However, we are connected to that majestic bird, and it to us. Connection to all that lives is what gives me/us/you wings. Look around you at all that there is to admire about nature, and remind yourself that 99% of all living things that ever existed are now extinct. Ninety-nine percent!

If all there is around us is 1% of life that ever existed, and we are all so dumbstruck by nature’s beauty, imagine what you’d be like if there were 99% more beauty!

Truly it should put perspective on evolution versus “intelligent design”. What intelligence gets a 55 or 60 on a test and is considered bright? Let alone, who gets a ONE on a test, and deserves any right to be called “intelligent”?

Think about it.