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Showing posts from September, 2013

Mass delusions

Cracked had an entertaining article this week called The 6 Most Humiliating Public Failures by Celebrity Psychics. It's a great read just to see a lot of these sham artists exposed for the frauds they are, but I was particularly struck by one particular video which I had originally seen on Sam Harris' blog in which a martial arts 'master' apparently kicks the crap out of a room full of students without so much as touching them:



This is appended by another video showing the same old man getting the crap kicked out of him by an unnamed "MMA fighter" who subjects martial arts mysticism to the roundhouse kick of skepticism. 

The above video caught my interest because of the mass participation. These students appear to be completely absorbed in the delusion. It's entirely possible that they were all just humoring the old fart, but I think that's the vastly less likely scenario. There are far too many documented cases of mass delusions to simply dismiss th…

I don't really see the point of arguing about religion anymore

I don't want to be all dramatic and say that I'm going to retire this blog. I'm not. But the dearth of posts lately has been due to an unusually oppressive case of writer's block. It's not that don't want to write – far from it! And things are settling in nicely with my career change and such, and while things are a bit different, I certainly have plenty of time to blog. My problem is more that I'm just having a hard time giving a shit.

Today I hopped over to William Lane Craig's Facebook page. I don't know why, really. Morbid curiosity, I suppose. I saw a post where he had conjured up some point-by-point analysis of his discussions in Australia with Lawrence Krauss, with detailed explanations of why Krauss was, like, totes wrong bro. Several of his fans chimed in to tell him how handsome and charming he is, as they always do.

And it sort of hit me like Wow, they're spending all this energy just to rationalize the idea that their beliefs are act…

Stupid religious bullshit meme of the day

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I spied this on Facebook today. I'll let you suffer through it before sharing my thoughts:


Firstly, this whole story is quite obviously bullshit, in that it never actually happened. It's the kind of things that wingnut evangelical Christians make up to make them feel better, like the old story you can find on Chick Tracts about the student who one-ups his ignorant biology professor. Variations of the tale have been circulating for several years, but there's no connection to any news event. In real life, the "Marine" would have been charged with assault and possibly dishonorably discharged – as last I checked, the Marines frown up assaulting civilians.

Austin Cline at atheism.about.com had a good critique of this tripe:
This is nationalistic American Christianity. Notice that the violence is perpetuated by a member of the American military — ostensibly tasked with defending America, but here tasked by God with defending the True Faith. For the Christian Right, A…