Archive for January, 2010

The Argument for Atheism from St. Anselm

Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:49 pm by TheYoungAndRestless

(YouTube video here.)

D1. God is that than which no greater can be conceived.

P1. Either it is the case that God is the creator of the universe or it is not the case that God is the creator of the universe.

C1. Given D1 and P1, because the God that created the universe is greater than the God that did not create the universe, God created the universe.

P2. Given C1, either it is the case that the God that created the universe exists or it is not the case that the God that created the universe exists.

C2. Given D1 and P2, because the God that created the universe and does not exist is greater than the God that created the universe and does exist, God does not exist.

The Argument for Atheism from Christianity

Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:11 am by TheYoungAndRestless

D1. A proposition is either true or false.
D2. To hold to a proposition is to hold that the 1) proposition is true and to hold that 2) holding the proposition does not cause the truth of the proposition.
D3. When X is a proposition, the reason for proposition X is a proposition which is true and but for it, X would be false.
D4. When X is a proposition, the faith in a proposition X is to hold a proposition without reason.
D5. A Christian is one who has faith that God exists.
D6. An atheist is one that holds that one does not have reason to hold that God exists.

P1. It is the case that one holds that God exists or it is not the case that one holds that God exists.
P2. If it is the case that one holds that God exists, then it is the case that one has reason to hold that God exists or it is not the case that one has reason to hold that God exists.
P3. If it is the case that one holds that God exists and it is the case that one has reason to hold that God exists, then it is not the case that one has faith that God exists.
P4. If it is the case that one holds that God exists and it is the not the case that one has reason to hold that God exists, then it is the case that one has faith that God exists.

C1. Given D5 and P3, it is the case that a Christian holds that one does not have reason to hold that God exists.
C2. Given C1 and D6, both Christians and atheists hold that one does not have reason to hold that God exists.

Simplified Version

A Christian is one who has faith that God exists and because he has faith, he holds that one doesn’t have reasons to believe that God exists. Likewise, an atheists holds that one doesn’t have reasons to believe that God exists. It is somehow absurd, therefore, for a Christian to argue that one ought not be an atheist.

What do you expect, I’m ill

rabbitpirate
rabbitpirate
Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:38 pm by rabbitpirate

So right now I am laying in bed with nasty flu like illness, periodically shifting between bouts of the shivers, hot flushes and coughing up yellow phlegm. As such my brain really isn’t up to writing anything that requires more than a modicum of thought or effort. However I am also incredibly bored and so thought I would do a quick post anyway on my aging laptop that is currently getting so hot it is starting to burn my legs. Yes, you may feel sympathy for me.

 

Anyway all I really wanted to do with this post is draw some attention to a couple of criminally undersubscribed Youtube channels that I think you should all check out. First up we have:

 

Ainulindale21 – Ainulindale21 is fairly new to Youtube and has only uploaded two videos so far but is already well on his way to being one of my favourite channels. His videos are funny, entertaining, educational and informative. I mean what more do you want. So far he has been targeting Youtube’s creepest cretard NephilimFree and has made the startling, though somewhat obvious now I think about it, observation that the guy looks rather like a potato. I look forward to more from his googley-eyed talking heads in the future.

 

k87jury – Announcing himself as “The Creationist Slayer” k87jury targets many of the less well known creationists on Youtube and does a great job of tearing down their arguments. He may not be to everyones taste but I really enjoy k87jury’s blunt, no nonsense approach to arguments and the way he gives stupid arguments all the “respect” they deserve.

 

Well, that is all I wanted to say. Not a very interesting post but then what do expect from a guy who can’t actually lift his head off of his pillow without feeling like he is going to throw up?

UK Government target cover up to no avail

rabbitpirate
rabbitpirate
Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:38 pm by rabbitpirate

A French parliamentary committee has recently recommended that a partial ban be put in place regarding women wearing Islamic face veils in public places. Over at the BBC website they have raised the question as to whether a similar ban should be implemented in the UK. I have to say that I am of two minds on this one. As such I thought I would lay out my current thinking on the issue and leave it up to you lot to sway me one way or the other.

 

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TubeGuardian reaches 2.3, makes cowards cry

AndromedasWake
AndromedasWake
Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:19 am by AndromedasWake

If you’re a YouTube content creator who loves to play fair, but have been missing the security of a fully capable version of TubeGuardian, the time for rejoicing is here! The assiduous coding hero joshTheGoods has just unleashed version 2.3, and despite GooTube’s best efforts to break it, the ‘Guardian is back to save you from votebots once more. Recently, several larger channels were hit by botters possessing what can only be described as an entirely unprecedented level of cowardice. For example, approximately 24,000 one-star votes were automatically lodged against Thunderf00t. I myself have noticed a new tactic: targetting young videos during their first day in an attempt to hide the act. Sneaky!

But we mustn’t forget about the smaller channels – the newer members of the community – who can be crippled by such an attack. To those of you reading this, there’s not much I need do except implore you to download and run this brilliant application. I also have a novel idea: Every time you’re targeted by a bot and saved by TG, why not use its nifty donate feature to compensate Josh for giving up his spare time? Then we can all enjoy seeing votebotters making their archenemy rich!

For links and full documentation, set course for TubeGuardian.com

>>> Engage <<<

Oh, and Josh… thank you!

Movie Review: Legion (2010)

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:45 pm by TheYoungAndRestless

My favorite genre, or perhaps second favorite, is religious horror. Essentially, those horror movies where people die but the bad guys are demons or something and the whole movie follows sort of Biblical plot. It’s the intersection between pointless violence and horror… I mean, pointless violence and the Bible (little joke there.)

The Omen(1976) was good. The Exorcist (1973). The Prophecy(1995).

Legion(2010), for the record, is certainly not a shameful entry into the genre, but it’s certainly not going to be the standard by any stretch of the imagination. It involves a supposed second “flood,” but this one, carried out by angels. An extermination of the human race. Unlike Noah, there is no family earmarked for repopulating the planet and this second destruction of the earth also coincides with the birth of child. This child, incidentally, makes no sense. Is he the second coming? Why would God destroy the earth moments before the second coming? Seems bizarre.

There are far less cool angel scenes and a lot of the violence is just trite, ordinary zombie-like violence. The whole world is being destroyed and our vision is limited to a few small miles of desert boredom – unsatisfying.

The movie does, however, make one interesting stab at Christian fundamentalism, whether they realize it not. The main good guy in the movie is the Archangel Michael and he has been ordered by God to lead the extermination of mankind and kill the child… whoever the child really is. Michael searches his conscience and refuses the order, instead joining the humans and protecting the child. You would have gotten that from the trailer so don’t be too mad!

Gabriel, the equally bronzed archangel who takes over after Michael’s departure, is less sensitive to sympathy but argues that following orders is what really matters. Obviously, sympathy wins over blind obedience in the end, but certain parallels to the story of Abraham and Isaac and the Nazis, of course, are somewhat transparent. Sometimes I can understand Abraham’s decisions; sometimes I can’t. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t kill Isaac, but would that be because I had placed sympathy over obedience as an act of courage or because generally I was scared shitless.

For my part, I’m glad that somewhere in cinema “God told me to do it” isn’t a good reason.

★★★☆☆ If you have the time, go have a little fun. But, if you miss it, you didn’t miss anything.

I know you think you’re helping but…

rabbitpirate
rabbitpirate
Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:12 pm by rabbitpirate

Often the hardest thing to do when you can see people suffering is to just get out of the way and let the experts do their job. Most of us, unless you’re a sociopath or Pat Robertson, see something like the earthquake in Haiti and want to help. The vast majority of us do this by giving money to worthy charities, relying on them to make sure the money goes where it is most needed, but for some this is not enough. They feel that they need to get out there, on the ground, and help directly. Or, at the very least, they want to make sure that the people in need get the things that they, the giver, thinks they need the most.

 

Now there is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is admirable, and in general the people who do go this extra mile are of great help and can save a lot of lives. Doctors, nurses, engineers, emergency workers, all these people are vital in an disaster situation. The more of them the better. Even people like plumbers and electricians are invaluable, as they can help to get desperately needed infrastructure back up and running. Also if you want to organise medical supplies, food and water, camping supplies, toiletries and other essentials and send them directly then that can only help as well. As I said there is nothing wrong with any of this and if fact this kind of response will mean the difference between life and death for many.

 

But if you are not one of these people or the things you are sending are not in immediate demand then I think the best thing you can do is stay out of the way and let the people who can help do their job. For example, as PZ Myers mentioned today, right now Haiti does not need a contingent of Scientologists flying in to administer “touch assists”, which just sounds a bit pervy to me, or to draw the victims attention to the things around them. These things do not help and when access to the situation is both difficult and limited it means that for every, undoubtedly well meaning, Scientologist that flies in, some where there is a doctor or emergency worker left on the tarmac.

 

But then even a Scientologist can bring someone a hot meal or a blanket and bodies on the ground are bodies on the ground. As such this doesn’t bother me as much as the people sending solar powered Bibles in the place of medical supplies. I mean seriously what on earth are they meant to do with these things? I suppose the solar cells could be take apart and used to power something useful but other than that I am sure that right now the people of Haiti don’t need instructions on the correct way to murder disobedient children or the best way to con someone out of some goats.

Another pointless evolution program

rabbitpirate
rabbitpirate
Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:12 pm by rabbitpirate

So I get bored easily and seeing I have no life to speak of I end up writing pointless programs that demonstrate arbitrary points of evolutionary theory that only people who don’t understand it actually argue with in the first place. The first program I wrote, which attempted to show how mutation and natural selection could make a “bug” better suited to its environment, garnered a number of great comments as well as some helpful constructive criticism and as such my initial plan was to go back and rewrite that program taking those issues into account. However I ended up doing away with that idea and starting completely from scratch.

 

The most common complaint about the original program was that it took too long to run. Even sped up to run at around a generation a second it could still take a number of minutes to get anything approaching a definitive result. As such when I started writing this new program I put considerable thought into this issue and, well how can I put this, decided to ignore it completely. This new program is, I am afraid to say, a good bit slower than the last one. In fact it can at times take several hours to run, which believe me makes bug testing it a real pain. On top of that both selection and reproduction work differently in this program and as such there is no simulated predation or mating in this one. Yes people that’s right. I have written a sequel that is vastly longer than the original and which contains no sex or violence. Clearly I must be mad!

 

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