Don't burn books in a sea of gasoline

10 Sep 2010

So some goober wants to conduct a public Koran-burning, partly because that book of scripture is bad while this book of scripture is good, and partly as a brilliant plan to protest Islamic extremists by equally enraging Muslim extremists and moderates alike. ("It's so crazy it just might..." Nah. I don't think so.)

As of this writing, the torching is on hold while the pastor milks all the publicity possible out of the uproar. He's got the full attention and commentary of Muslims, Christians, and atheists around the world – even pleas to desist from US President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and military commander Gen. David Petraeus! Not bad for a nobody from an unknown "ministry" in Florida.

Those high-level voices are calling for a halt to the stunt in the interest of avoiding riots and worse. It's a damn shame that anyone – even a goober burning silly books to get attention – has to refrain from goofy but perfectly legal activity because some offended persons will react with psychotic violence. But that's the reality of the world, and I have to agree with Obama and the rest: The burning will needlessly place real lives at risk, whether US soldiers in the Middle East, US citizens around the world, or just anyone who gets in the way of the offended lunatics.

I can't agree today with PZ Myers: Readeth thou more

Rocket (Son of) Man!

18 Aug 2010

This has nothing to do with religion, either for or against. I just like this picture of Rocket Jesus lifting off, to symbolize the soaring Brazilian economy. (That's the 40 meter-tall Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, in case anyone should not recognize it.)

"This is my solid rocket booster stage which is for you. Launch this in remembrance of me."

J minus 10 and counting! Readeth thou more

Please help me identify a critical thinking maxim

25 May 2010

I recently heard mention – maybe in a podcast? – of a maxim related to skeptical or critical thinking. The gist, if I heard correctly, is something to the effect of "Before delving into the hows and whys of some claimed phenomenon, confirm that the phenomenon actually exists".

Examples might include: Before offering convoluted explanations for a paranormal sighting, first confirm that the alleged sighting actually took place. Before trying to debunk legends surrounding some mysterious ancient artifact, first confirm that the alleged artifact exists. And so on. Readeth thou more

Religion is reeling?

25 May 2010

Sometimes one gets depressed over the latest bit of religious thuggery – Jesus-happy textbooks in Texas, a conviction of "blasphemy" in some Muslim land – but those distract from the big picture. It's always refreshing to take a step back and appreciate anew the incredible fall religion has taken, from its near-global rule of raking in tithes and appointing kings and burning dissenters, to... what's increasingly the position of a "Will Work for Food" bum. At least in some parts of the world.

Is it just me, or are news stories like these more common every day? Readeth thou more

No one's making fun of Mohammed

25 May 2010

I was away from the usual web stuff for a few days and missed Everyone Draw Mohammed day. Fortunately, like any worthwhile event, EDM Day sounds like something one could choose to celebrate any old time. So I'll have to get on it – perhaps as part of designing a logo for this site. 

In the meantime, a little web surfing will find you all the Mohammed pics you could like. Let's give a thumbs-up to Google for not caving in to anyone's demand to censor these! Readeth thou more