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Telamonian Aias

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Evil Genius
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I'm not a genius. But I play one on the Internet. To skip all of the quotes and get to the actual info click here.

Just a silly comic
An anti-homophobia banner image
Use OpenOffice.org

I've seen an alarming number of people confusing or equating Science and Religion. This is intellectually dishonest. So just for the sake of clarity.

Science attempts to apply some of the following criteria:

1) Skepticism of unsupported claims

2) Combination of an open mind with critical thinking

3) Attempts to repeat experimental results.

4) Requires testability

5) Seeks out falsifying data that would disprove a hypothesis

6) Uses descriptive language

7) Performs controlled experiments

8) Self-correcting

9) Relies on evidence and reason

10) Makes no claim for absolute or certain knowledge

11) Produces useful knowledge



Pseudoscience and religion relies on some of the following criteria:

1) Has a negative attitude to skepticism

2) Does not require critical thinking

3) Does not require experimental repeatability

4) Does not require tests

5) Does not accept falsifying data that would disprove a hypothesis

6) Uses vague language

7) Relies on anecdotal evidence

8) No self-correction

9) Relies on belief and faith

10) Makes absolute claims

11) Produces no useful knowledge

The Quotes


I have spent a great deal of time collecting the quotes below. If you wish to understand me or my motivations. These quotes are an excellent place to start. The actual userinfo is at the bottom of the page.


Religion


======================================================================

No amount of belief makes something a fact.
-- James Randi

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to believe."
-- Laurence J. Peter

"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure.'"
-- H. L. Mencken


"I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking. I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty... I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech...
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I - But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant"
-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"Not by accident, you may be sure, do the Christian Scriptures make the father of knowledge a serpent--slimy, sneaking and abominable."
-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"For every difficult and complicated question there is an answer that is simple, easily understood, and wrong."
-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments."
-- Ayn Rand

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
-- Susan B. Anthony

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."
-- Gene Roddenberry

"That our reason will subjugate our superstition, that our intelligence will check our illusions, that we will be able to hold at bay the evil temptation of faith."
-- The Atheist prayer By Sam Harris

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong."
-- Bertrand Russell

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, & the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."
-- Karl Marx

"It is a profound mistake to imagine that Christianity ever intended to dissipate the bewilderment and even the terror, the sense of our own nothingness, which come upon us when we think about the nature of things. It comes to intensify them. Without such sensations there is no religion. Many a man, brought up in the glib profession of some shallow form of Christianity, who comes through reading Astronomy to realize for the first time how majestically indifferent most reality is to man, and who perhaps abandons his religion on that account, may at that moment be having his first genuinely religious experience."
-- C.S. Lewis

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
-- Blaise Pascal

"If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another."
-- Epicurus

"The word heretic ought to be a term of honour..."
-- Charles Bradlaugh

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning."
-- Calvin & Hobbes

"I do not believe in a personal God."
-- Stephen Hawking

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
-- Carey Goldberg Of the New York Times.

"The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

"That natural reality is assumed rather than explained, is not proof for the existence of a creator. Introducing god as an explanatory notion only shifts the locus of the question: why would such a god exist? And, it is possible that the universe just happens to exist, without explanation."
-- Willem B. Drees

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"
-- Epicurus

"It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity."
-- Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States

"Since the masses of the people are inconstant, full of unruly desires, passionate and reckless of consequence, they must be filled with fears to keep them in order. The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death."
-- Polybius, The Histories (ca. B.C.E 125)

"It is not God that is worshiped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity."
-- Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

"Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people"
-- Prophet Muhammad pbuh

"Religion is based upon blind faith supported by no evidence. Science is based upon confidence that results from evidence -- and that confidence can be modified and/or reversed by further observations and experimentation. Science approaches truth, closer and closer, by hard dedicated work. Religion already has it all decided, and it's "in the book". It's dogma, unchangeable, and unaffected by reality and whatever facts we come upon in the real world."
-- James Randi

"A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."
-- James K. Feibleman

"How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables."
-- Michel de Montaigne

"Christianity demands the crucifixion of the intellect."
-- S?n Kierkegaard

"Religion gives the to small of mind a sense of value and self-worth that they do not deserve. Thus, just like the poles of a magnet, the power of religion to attract the existential desperation of cowards and imbeciles is self-generating and eternal. All that one can do is to insult them in public and hope that that display will lead curious onlookers from those extraordinary delusions to the ordinariness of the everyday."
--Wil S. Sinda, Jr.

"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them." (ibid., p. 226)
-- Galileo Galilei

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-- Stephen Roberts

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7 (New International Version)
"Away with the one who is always seeking, for he never finds anything; for he is seeking where nothing can be found. Away with the one who is always knocking, for he knocks where there is no one to open; away with the one who is always asking, for he asks of one who does not hear."
-- Tertullian (A Christian leader in the early 3rd century)

"Should one continue to base one's life on a system of belief that--for all its occasional wisdom and frequent beauty--is demonstrably untrue?"
-- Charles Templeton, former right-hand man to Billy Graham in Farewell to God

"If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which he has inflicted on men, he would kill himself."
-- Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824-1895)

"Theologian: An uncommon individual who, though possessing finite abilities, has been called by God himself who, though possessing infinite abilities, requires the assistance of the former in explaining Himself to the rest of us."
[Translation: if God existed, theologians would be out of work.]"
-- 'Rev.' Donald Morgan

"Faith: not *wanting* to know what is true."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

"The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom. The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world was the child of fear and faith."
-- Clarence Darrow

"EVANGELIST, n. A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbors."
-- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject"
-- Winston Churchill

"The biblical concepts of sin and salvation are an integral part of Christian doctrine. Christianity first creates a problem (sin) and then offers a "solution" (salvation). This is not unlike the protection racket; you either buy "protection"--or else!"
-- "Rev." Donald Morgan

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
-- Chapman Cohen, President of the British National Secular Society from 1915 until 1949.

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits."
-- Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist", 1992

"Christians, it is needless to say, utterly detest each other. They slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense, and makes perfect little pigs of those it wins over to its side."
-- Celsus (2nd Century C.E.)

"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
-- Cardinal Bellarmine (1615, during the trial of Galileo)

"Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time."
-- Richard Dawkins (1941 - ), "The Root of All Evil?", Channel 4 UK, 2006

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."
-- Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays (1950), "Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

"Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest of violence."
--
Francis Jeffrey

"Those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works."
-- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990

"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business."
-- Jesse "the body" Ventura

"That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust."
-- Thomas Jefferson (referring to Christianity)

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp July 30, 1816, denouncing the doctrine of the Trinity and suggesting it to be so riddled in falsehood that only an authoritarian figure could decipher its meaning and, with a firm grip on people's spiritual and mental freedoms, thus convince the people of its truthfulness


Thought and Stupidity


======================================================================

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."
-- Bertrand Russell

"The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts."
-- Bertrand Russell

"I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them."
-- Galileo Galilei

"Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position."
-- Bertrand Russell

"There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking."
-- Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)

"Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it."
-- Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson

"The less you know, the more you believe."
-- Bono

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." (The Descent of Man)
-- Charles Darwin

"It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it."
-- Edmund Way Teale

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
-- Gerry Spence

"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity."
-- Harlan Ellison

"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."
-- Delos B. McKown, Ph.D. U.S. professor, philosopher, author Former clergyman

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
-- Albert Einstein

"The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it."
-- P. B. Medawar

"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
-- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
-- Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"In mankind, the lower the type, and the less cultivated the mind, the less courage there is to face important subjects objectively. The ablest and most highly cultivated people continually discuss religion, politics, and sex: it is hardly an exaggeration to say that they discuss nothing else with fully-awakened interest. Commoner and less cultivated people, even when they form societies for
discussion, make a rule that politics and religion are not to be mentioned, and take it for granted that no decent person would attempt to discuss sex."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"The smaller the mind the greater the conceit."
-- Aesop

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."
-- Friedrich von Schiller

"Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong."
-- Thomas Jefferson, considering three different explanations for why sea shells would be found at higher elevations than one should reasonably expect an ocean to have existed, in Notes on the State of Virginia ?

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."
-- Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions (1954)


Government and/or Politics


======================================================================

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism"
-- George Washington

"What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label 'Liberal?' If by 'Liberal' they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of 'Liberal.' But if by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'"
-- John F. Kennedy 35th President

"Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term. One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism."
-- -- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position. "
-- Bertrand Russell

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
-- Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials

"The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be."
-- Lao Tsu

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-- H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

"Not all conservatives are stupid people but all stupid people are conservatives"
-- John Stuart Mill

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

"I'm a contentious American. Therefore I have to be angry."
-- Henry Rollins

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
-- Groucho Marx



The Role of Religion in Government


======================================================================

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
--Sinclair Lewis

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
-- Denis Diderot

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
by the wise as false,
and by rulers as useful."
-- Seneca the Younger (4? B.C. - 65 A.D.)

"Throughout history whenever church and state have become entangled, good and evil have ultimately come to be defined by whatever happens to be either expedient or inconvenient for the government. And the troubling, timeless truth about human nature is that the very worst moral evils are often skillfully disguised as righteousness and lauded by the world."
-- Dennis Crews

"The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

"I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States."
-- Thomas Edison


Science


======================================================================

"Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated."
-- George Santayana

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today."
-- Isaac Asimov

"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."
-- Richard Dawkins

"Strictly speaking, you only know when you know little. Doubt grows with knowledge."
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (attributed: source unknown)

"Scientific criticism has no nobler task than to shatter false beliefs."
-- Ludwig Von Mises (not everything the libertarians say is insane)

"If acorns start growing into theologians, or if women begin turning into pillars of salt, then we may wish to hypothesize about a supernatural influence. But until such time as nature becomes hopelessly unintelligible and unpredictable, we need look no further than nature itself for explanations."
-- George H. Smith

"Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."
-- Daniel J. Boorstin

"There is no harm in doubt and scepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made."
-- Richard Feynman

"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true."
-- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"It is not clear what weight, if any, society should give to opinions formed on the basis of scientific error."
-- Richard Posner

"Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths."
-- Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science on Society (1952) ch. 1

"In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."
-- Stephen Jay Gould

"I like the scientific spirit - the holding off, the being sure - but not to sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them, this is ultimately fine - it keeps the way beyond open."
-- Walt Whitman


Creationism and Intelligent Design "theory"


======================================================================

"Scientific theories are coherent, are based on careful experiments and observations of nature that are repeatedly tested and verified. They aren't just opinions or guesses. Gravity, relativity, plate tectonics, and evolution are all theories that explain the physical universe in which we live. What makes scientific theories so powerful is that they account for the facts we know and make new predictions that we can test. ... 'Intelligent design' is not so bold as to make predictions or subject itself to a test. There's no way to find out if it is right or wrong. It isn't part of science. ...
'Intelligent design' is a philosophical statement that some things about the physical world are beyond scientific understanding. Most scientists are quite optimistic that our understanding will grow, and things that seem mysterious today will still be wonderful when they are within our understanding tomorrow. Scientists see gaps in our present knowledge as opportunities for research, not as a cause to give up searching for an answer by invoking the intervention of a God-like intelligent designer."
-- Robert P. Kirshner, president of the American Astronomical Society

"Creationist critics often charge that evolution cannot be tested, and therefore cannot be viewed as a properly scientific subject at all. This claim is rhetorical nonsense."
-- Stephen Jay Gould

"With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another."
-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

"Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."
-- Ashley Montague


On Reality and the Universe


======================================================================

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent."
-- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous?ndifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose."
-- Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."
-- Oscar Wilde

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-- Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


On Logic, Reason, and Argument:


======================================================================

"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."
-- William G. McAdoo (appeal to ignorance)

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."
-- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
-- Dr. Carl 'The Man' Sagan

"...anger is the common substitute for logic among those who have no evidence for what they desperately want to believe."
-- Isaac Asimov(often leading to Ad Hominen)

"The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it."
-- George Bernard Shaw (Confirmation bias)

"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."
-- Bertrand Russell (Confirmation bias)

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"To strike the first blow is to admit you've lost the argument."
-- Chinese proverb

"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish."
-- Euripides

"There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued."
-- Thomas H. Huxley

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
-- Aldous Huxley

"Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes."
-- Jawaharlal Nehru

"Where facts are few, experts are many."
-- Donald R. Gannon

"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."
-- William Butler Yeats (clear communication)

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality."
-- Bertrand Russell(open mindedness)

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
-- Voltaire

"Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish."
-- Quintilian


Personal quotes and quotes from fellow LJ's


======================================================================

"It occurs to me that theists are not really aware of the value of a human life. Since they typically believe in some sort of afterlife, they think that their conscious life, as well as the lives of many others, is somehow going to be longer than its natural span. Atheists and agnostics are keenly aware of their own mortality, and hence take the business of living much more seriously, as well as regard the lives of others much more highly."
-- rakehell Here

"In politics, there is nothing so weak as an individual."
-- tcpip Here

"God has no right to hide in my ignorance. That we cannot explain something does not mean that God is any more likely. If you want to support God, provide some evidence that isn't merely ignorance."
-- lowk Here

"When a child has an imaginary friend, we adults tend to think it's cute and that they will grow out of it. Unless they call him god."
-- evil_genius

"According to the legal and dictionary defintion of theft, no.
Theft is something that is taken away without my permission for which I receive no value for.
What you are describing is better called a type of extortion, so long as there was not a pre-existing contract.
Since citizenry in a state creates a pre-existing contract, even that appellation of extortion could not apply."
-- blackironcrown On whether taxation equals to theft.


"As I've said before the gay rights/marriage debate is usually exactly the same as the abortion debate, Bush presidency debate, Iraq war debate, Evolution debate, Flat earth debate, Astrology debate, and the race debate. On one side you usually have a group of well meaning, well informed(or at least willing to become so for the purpose of the discussion), rational people who sincerely want to get to the bottom of the issue. On the other you have a group of arrogant, ignorant, fanatics who have so thoroughly wed their superstitious/religious/political views to their sense of self. That they are incapable of seeing just how wrong and hurtful their jingoistic, bigoted, hateful, plebeian views are. They are utterly incapable of conceding even a single point. For to do so would admit fallibility, not of their god or church, but of themselves. These people think they have the world figured out. To admit they are wrong, on even a single issue, would destroy the delicate house of cards that is their entire self image. Thus they will defend their insane positions vigorously, often until death. These views are not based on careful consideration of the facts, but on religious faith. They have no base in reality or logic. Thus evidence drawn from reality, or logical arguments will do little to dissuade the holders of these opinions.

It's nearly impossible to reason someone out of a position, they didn't reason themselves into.

For these people to admit they are wrong on these issues. Requires nothing less than a complete religious conversion in most cases. This is a very rare event unfortunately."
-- evil_genius

Misc.


======================================================================

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

My thoughts on Ann Coulter as parroted on Altdotfuckingpeeves:
"Coulter is proof that Satan is alive and well and enjoying his new tits."

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them."
-- Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
-- Socrates 470–399 BC

"Do I look like someone who cares what God thinks!?!"
-- Doug Bradley as Pinhead in Hellraiser : Bloodline

"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that."
-- G. H. Hardy

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come."
-- Victor Hugo

"The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."
-- Oscar Wilde

"Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds."
-- Samuel Butler

"There is no great genius without some touch of madness."
-- Seneca The Wise

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
-- William Shakespeare

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it."
-- Andre Gide

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."
-- M. Cartmill


From the Opposition


======================================================================

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise"
1 Corinthians 1:27
Isn't that the fucking truth.


"The Feminist movement was taken over by proDeath women who believe that killing their children is more liberating then doing what women are supposed to do, namely deliver their children into the world."
-- Peter Shinn (because women are simply baby factories with no choice in the matter)

"Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

-- Pat Robertson. Pat is like instant Christian crack. Just add a topic and he will stick his foot in his mouth.

"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant?aptism and holy communion?ust be denied citizenship."
-- Gary North - Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989, p. 87

"This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians."
-- Gary North (Institute for Christian Economics)

"When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data."
-- Henry Morris (Institute for Creation Research)

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
-- 43rd President George W. Bush

"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe."
-- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and ex-mayor of Philadelphia

"I've always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted."
-- Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, explaining why we should export toxic wastes to Third World countries

"I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law."
-- David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.

"It isn't pollution that is hurting the environment, it's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
-- Dan Quayle

"Solutions are not the answer."
-- Richard Nixon

"The internet is a great way to get on the net."
-- Bob Dole

"It's time for the human race to enter the solar system!"
-- Dan Quayle

"You can't just let nature run wild."
-- Wally Hickel, former Alaska governor

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."
-- Dan Quayle

"Hawaii is a unique state. It is a small state. It is a state that is by itself. It is a --it is different from the other 49 states. Well, all states are different, but it's got a particularly unique situation."
-- Dan Quayle

"Facts are stupid things."
-- Ronald Reagan

The Adages and Laws


======================================================================

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Hanlon's razor

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
Grey's Law

The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle.
Stapp's Ironical Paradox

Anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment
Finagle's law

entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
Occam's razor

You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
Barnum's Law

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.
Benford's law of controversy

First law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little ways past them into the impossible.
Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Clarke's Three Laws


      
Marriage is love.


BLACK
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Rationalism is love.




The Actual Info

I used to get high on life. But I built up a tolerance.
I'm a computer geek, boffin, autodidact, philomath, rationalist, materialist, and an amateur yeast herder. I am dilatory, licentious, veracious, and abstemious. I am more captious than I would like to be. But also more gregarious than most.

I spend quite a bit of time on lj in various debate and discussion communities. In the many conversations I have had all kind of entertain(stupid) things get said. I've started collecting them here
I had the bright idea to start keeping track of all of the geeky things I would like to own. Mah Wish list
Since a friend asked:
My favortie porn star of all time would have to be Desiree Cousteau.




My Communities

get_rid_of_bush: I took this group over for smile_4_bumper on 31-1-2005. Pretty straight forward really. I feel GWB 43 is the single worst president of the modern era. Worse than Nixon or Johnson or Carter. He has started a war, lied to his citizenry, eroded the authority of the constitution, gutted social security, the EPA, freedom of expression, and the American dream all in the name of a God a large chunk of his citizens don't believe in. His continues efforts to inject religion into American politics show his lack or respect for view points others than his own. Like his father he is the worst kind of Christian.

link_master: I started this community to offload the copious amounts of geeky stuff I was posting to my journal. I felt like I shouldn't flood the people on my friends list with geek related things if they may not have similar interest to my own. Feel free to join and post up most anything.
Note: This community is completely apolitical.

homedistilling: Wanna learn how to turn your favorite homebrew, commercial beer, or even wine into whiskey, brandy, vodka, gin, or even....absinthe *eyebrow lift*. Then stop on by. I started this community after noticing that there was simply no resource on LJ for Home Distillation.
Note: This community is almost entirely apolitical. With the single exception of discussing the laws regarding the focus of the community.

sceptics: A community for those who are interested in finding the truth behind urban legends, old wives' tales, common beliefs, or any claims that don't hold up under the weight of critical thought. Actually started by ignorant_bliss. I've recently taken it over and plan on upgrade the community shortly... Honest

Baleated!!

Are you banned from this journal??(If your name is on this list then you bet your sweet Aunt Susie you are!)

kw34hd1: Jeff and I didn't like each other from day one. Rather than have him lurk and comment occasionally. I just thought I would head that bit of drama off at the pass.
disconscious: For being perhaps the worst Lj User on the planet.
jesus_thesavior: For being one of the crowd of lame pseudo-Christian trolls.
jesusdied4u: ditto
popeheadDitto. Perhaps the worst of the lot.
sabastion_hides: For being a ridiculous self destructive/self involved teenager(the self involved comes with the territory. But that other stuff has got to stop. Like that cat from Canada said "turn down the suck fatboy".
godistehgreat: One of sabastion_hides's Sockpuppets.
gerbilsage: This overbearing prick is a blight on most of lj. Intelligent thou he may be. He see fit to expend a considerable amount of time and energy doing little more than causing trouble. The few times I have seen him make a substained intelligent argument. It has almost always been only to another seem foolish. For the most part he spins complex nonsense. More importantly he does so with so much malice and hatred I've decided to pre-ban him.
viva_velouria: Another young self-contradicting, self-destructive, self-deluding person whose name I would prefer not to see on my friends list or in my journal.
metal_immortal: Not sure why you are banned but you are.
retardicon5000: more of the same.
eu2hell: For being a dick right out of the gate. This tool of a human being probably got himself banned from europeanunion long ago. What with his continuous stream of hateful and insulting comments. See some his handy work here.
dirtyfilthy: Another in the long lame list of Serial adders. A trend that started with one fuckstick brainlesswonder and has continued on like so much herpes. That plus a really graphic coprophilic usericon and she got her self her own personal BAN-O-RAMA!!!!


What others think of my contribution on LJ.

I've avoided adding a section like this for quite some time. It seems like most of my least favorite users have these massive lists of people making positive quotes about them. I intend to create a mixed list of positive and negative comments. Though I can imagine it will take some time to biuld up a list of interesting quotes.

"i'm pretty sure you're my new hero!"
-- alteredmissives

"You, sir or madam, are my latest hero. :>"
-- csue_n_moo

Userinfo.bml Versio 2.6.9

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" Isaac Asimov.

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