The Poepol of the Week Award goes to Heinz Oldewage

Standard

Read this dribble that this delusional moron writes below. He deserves this prestigious award. Congratulations Heinz, you are the Poepol of the Week!

SCIENCE VS FAITH? REALLY?

Friday, May 25, 2012
“Science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind,” a crazy scientist with really bad hair and a wild look in his eyes once said.

His name was Albert Einstein, and although he most certainly was no theist, he was verbalizing an idea that would not have seemed too foreign to his contemporaries.

But while Einstein’s offhand remark hints at the fact that science and faith were not always seen as the mortal enemies many now assume them to be, it cannot be denied that, in the popular conscience at least, these two fields have come to represent two opposing and seemingly incompatible worldviews.

These days, more often than not, science and faith are portrayed as polar opposites – one being the domain of the rational, the enlightened, the progressive; the other a crutch of the weak and uninformed.

Now, let me be clear about one thing: I am not here to convince you to become a believer. I know better than to assume that a philosophical argument – no matter how forceful – will ever convince you to change your worldview. That is a discussion for another day. Neither am I here to argue for or against the existence of God. I’ll pick that fight again later.

What I’d like to challenge, though, is the unfounded view that science and faith are mortal enemies, locked in deadly combat. And while many clearly believe that the acceptance of one implies rejection of the other (a trend I see among both believers and unbelievers), I strongly disagree.

Of course, one of the most obvious objections to this view is the sheer number of scientists, throughout history and in modern times, who did not see the least bit of conflict between their scientific endeavors and their personal faith. No, I’m not referring to a bunch of wackos on the lunatic fringe – I’m talking about a veritable who’s who of scientific heavyweights: Roger Bacon, who helped lay the foundations for the empirical approach in the 13th century. William Turner, the father of English botany (who was once arrested for preaching in favour of the Reformation). Johannes Kepler, the famed 16th century astronomer and mathematician who studied planetary motion when he wasn’t dreaming of becoming a theologian. René Descartes, the mastermind behind analytical geometry and one of the key figures of the scientific revolution. Robert Boyle, the first modern chemist; also a theologian. Isaac Newton, considered by many as the greatest scientist who ever lived; also a believer. Lord Kelvin, key figure in the field of thermodynamics. Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy. Max Planck, the founder of quantum theory. John Lennox, master mathematician. Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project. And so the list goes on, running the gamut from the heady times of the scientific revolution right through to the even more heady times of quantum physics and string theory and evolutionary biology. Throughout history, science and faith have co-existed happily in the minds of its greatest champions.

Clearly, skeptics who claim science as the exclusive playing field of those who have turned their backs on faith are, quite simply, dead wrong.

Of course, the reason why these scientists could see no conflict between science and faith, they’d tell you, is because science and faith are geared to answer different questions. Science, with its reductionist approach and empirical method, is great at answering “how” questions (How does it work? How did we get here?). Conversely theology, based on revelation, is concerned with questions of “why” (Why are we here? Why is there something instead of nothing?).

Why the perceived conflict, then? Why should there even be talk of conflict if science and faith address two different aspects of reality? Why is it that some assume you need to be either a “man of science”, or a “man of faith”?

In my experience, lack of knowledge plays a significant role.

Few individuals who have investigated both worlds with an open mind would spurn one at the cost of the other (hence the significant number of Christian scientists). All too often though, I’ve seen individuals from one side of the fence question the view of someone “on the other side,” without really understanding the issue they’re criticizing.

For example, I have encountered countless rationalists who reject the Christian faith on account of the Genesis creation narrative alone, because it involves belief “in a fairy-tale God who created the world in six days while science shows us the complete opposite”. Comments like these reveal utter ignorance about the purpose and rich theological significance of the (in)famous creation account. You can’t dismiss a complex passage of scripture when you’re reading it like an eighth grade science textbook and you clearly haven’t gone to the trouble of understanding what it’s about.

Ditto for Christians who dismiss established scientific theories in their quest to defend their particular interpretations of specific biblical passages, while they haven’t truly invested time in understanding the concepts they so happily lay into. Read up before you speak up, for heaven’s sake.

To be fair, there are encouraging developments that hint at the possibility of a less strained interaction between science and faith in future. The mythical nature of the supposed science-faith divide has come under the spotlight in several excellent books by respected figures recently – including particle physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne(winner of the Templeton Prize, the world’s largest monetary literary prize, itself conceived to mend the relationship between the spheres of faith and science), as well as Nobel prize winning physicist Charles Townes, and many, many others. Also encouraging is a growing list of academic journals exclusively dedicated to the exploration of the relationship between science and theology, as well as the publication of numerous articles about the issue in respected general journals like Science and the American Journal of Physics. Another interesting development is the establishment of a number of professorships and other academic positions at world-class institutions dedicated to the exploration of science-faith interaction.

Of course I am fully aware that this is only scratching the surface as far as the science-faith debate goes, but I hope it’s enough to get the conversation started.

One thing is clear in my mind: it’s neither necessary nor fair to argue that the worlds of science and faith are in conflict. I think it is far more sensible to say they complement each other.

What do you think? Do you agree or not? Let me know where you stand on the issue in the comments section below. Keep in mind that this is a short post on a pretty complex issue – if you’d like me to write about a specific angle, let me know in the comments, or drop me a mail at mailme@heinzeugene.com

Advertisements

Holy fucking sheep shit!!!!!!! Where the men are men and the women are nervous………….

Standard

Traffic cop avoids jail for shooting wife

2012-05-22 22:32

Pietermarizburg – A traffic officer who shot his wife twice in the face during an argument in Pietermaritzburg was handed a suspended sentence of 10 years’ jail on Tuesday.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg ordered him to pay his wife R60 000 at a rate of R1 000 a month, and to undergo counselling until discharged by his counsellors.

Judge Isaac Madondo said ordering Lebohang Molefe, 34, to serve jail time would only be retributive and would bring about many disadvantages.

Madondo said Molefe, now divorced, had arranged for an ambulance to be called for his wife, had confessed and co-operated with the police from the time of the crime in April 2010.

He pleaded guilty, showed remorse and offered to pay costs. He had sent family members to visit her in hospital to tender apologies but she had said that she wanted nothing to do with him.

The R1 000 a month would pay towards his wife’s counselling and future medical costs.

His wife Londeka told the court that two bullets had penetrated the side of her mouth and exited on the right.

State advocate Suhana Singh said that it was miraculous that she had survived.

Londeka was emotional about her appearance as she could not open her mouth properly and some facial bones had not yet fused.

Molefe said he would ask the department of transport to transfer him to Newcastle to start a new life, away from his former wife.

– SAPA

Some truly stupid things religion can make you do to yourself.

Standard

TRADITION:   In Ajmer, Rajasthan, an Indian Muslim Sufi devotee uses a sharp object to self-flagellate during a procession to the revered shrine of Ajmer Sharif during the Urs festival. (Kevin Frayer, AP)

Got this on the News24.com website.

Parents will even do it to their children with great pride. Look at the face of this mother. She is happily butchering her own child.

Only someone with a rotting brain can participate in this kind of behavior.

Standard

McBrolloks

Praat van poepolle wat Suid Afrika uitvoer na die buiteland toe. Hierdie Dr Jan Grey is ‘n goeie voorbeeld van die tipe arseholes wat ons almal ‘n slegte naam gee reg oor die wereld. Hierdie drol dink hy gaan die Australiers se siele red. Fok my! Gepraat van arrogansie en ‘n hoe opinie van een self. Die Australiers het beslis nie sy dom godsdienstige bekering nodig nie. Hy is ‘n doktor in geloof en spook stories wat hy gebruik om mense mee bang te maak en dan hulle van hulle geld te verlos. Ek wonder of die goeie doktor al ooit ‘n dag in sy lewe gewerk het? ‘n Kenner van spoke en spook stories en geld insameling by werkende mense. Gin wonder hy dink die ossies het sy hulp nodig nie. Hulle het seker vir hom ‘n put gedruk toe hy vir hulle vir geld gevra het. Ek wed…

View original post 325 more words

“Unfortunately, the South African authorities want to sidestep it and are reportedly preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which oversees the High Courts.” Of course, our government wants to help Mugabe and his cronies get away with those atrocities.

Standard

A Landmark Ruling in South Africa

By PETER GODWIN

For the past decade, South Africa has been the preferred vacation spot, shopping destination and international transit hub for members of the tyrannical and murderous government ruling its northern neighbor, Zimbabwe — a government that has rigged elections, beaten and killed opposition activists and ruined a once thriving economy. All of this could now change because of a landmark legal decision.

Last week, the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital, handed down a historic judgment. It ordered South African authorities to investigate and prosecute members of Robert Mugabe’s government who had tortured their political opponents. Under South African law, the police are obliged to investigate evidence of a crime against humanity, wherever it occurs, if the rule of law does not exist there, as is the case in Zimbabwe.

The ruling has profound implications. It could cement South Africa’s commitment to protecting human rights and broaden the application of universal jurisdiction, which is the ability of countries to prosecute people who committed certain egregious crimes outside its borders. Unfortunately, the South African authorities want to sidestep it and are reportedly preparing an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which oversees the High Courts.

Overturning the ruling would be a disastrous setback, and all those who care about human rights in Africa should pressure President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to let the decision stand.

The case began in early 2008, when lawyers gave South African government prosecutors a dossier containing evidence that 17 Zimbabweans, some of whom now live in South Africa, had been tortured. They had been seized by Mr. Mugabe’s police in Zimbabwe during a raid of the main opposition party’s headquarters. The police then tortured them with electric shocks, mock executions and simulated drowning. Inside the dossier were the victims’ sworn statements, corroborating affidavits from witnesses and doctors and the identities of the alleged perpetrators.

Yet the South African government prosecutors have so far refused to investigate these allegations, overruling the recommendations of the prosecutor in charge of the case. They tried to argue that such an investigation was impractical, and that it would complicate diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe at a time when President Zuma was supposed to be mediating between Mr. Mugabe and the opposition. The Pretoria High Court threw out all these objections, and said that the South African police and prosecutors had acted unconstitutionally by letting political considerations stop them, and that they were obliged to investigate.

Although South African prosecutors cannot try the perpetrators in absentia, the case will still have a galvanizing effect on the situation in Zimbabwe. Anyone there who is under investigation will now risk arrest by coming to South Africa, a country frequented by the Zimbabwean elite for shopping, medical treatment, catching international flights or visiting their vacation homes in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Already there is speculation about who is on the confidential suspect list. It is believed to include midranking and senior police officers, and members of the military council that essentially runs Zimbabwe for Mr. Mugabe. But future cases may reach higher, as South Africa’s laws could trump diplomatic and sovereign immunity, which means sitting heads of state could be potentially vulnerable, too — although they would have to be on South African soil to face arrest.

This ruling would have a far greater impact than the current American and European Union sanctions, which impose a travel ban and asset freeze on Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle, who still routinely manage to travel to United Nations gatherings in the United States and Europe by exploiting diplomatic exemptions.

The most immediate effect would be on the behavior of Mr. Mugabe’s enforcers in the run-up to the next elections, which are due to take place sometime in the next year. During the 2008 elections, hundreds of opposition supporters were killed and thousands tortured, a period Zimbabweans refer to as “The Fear.” There are already signs of an uptick in political violence as the next election approaches. But the fact that the perpetrators of violence can no longer act with complete impunity should make many of them think twice.

All efforts should now be brought to bear on Mr. Zuma and the South African government to dissuade them from appealing the verdict. South Africa’s powerful trade union movement, Cosatu, which is allied with the ruling African National Congress, should strenuously lobby Mr. Zuma for this law to be honored, as should the lively South African media.

Likewise, all nations that care about countering crimes against humanity should pressure South Africa to accept the court’s decision. By letting this judgment stand, Mr. Zuma’s government has a historic opportunity to show its critics that it has a genuine commitment to human rights. If, however, South Africa seeks to reverse the ruling, it will be a tragedy for Zimbabwe’s many torture victims, past and future.

Peter Godwin is the president of the PEN American Center and author, most recently of “The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe.”

Another great article by Victor Stenger. This is what makes the fundies jump up and down and foam at the mouth, while they scream about their “religious liberties” and their right to oppress others.

Standard

Physicist, PhD, bestselling author

Scientists and Religion

Posted: 05/15/2012 12:07 pm

This essay first appeared on Science & Religion Today.

I find it surprising that most scientists, believers and nonbelievers alike, refuse to apply their critical thinking skills to matters of religion. Unless religious teachings impinge directly on their work, such as in opposing the teaching of evolution or, more recently, in denying global warming, scientists prefer to follow Stephen Jay Gould’s dictum that science and religion occupy two “non-overlapping magisteria.”

The National Academy of Sciences is regarded as the defining voice of science in America. Its membership represents the elite of U.S. scientists. It has taken a strong position that science has nothing to say about God or the supernatural. Most other science organizations have followed its lead.

The rationale usually given by those who reject any role for science on religious matters is that science concerns itself, “by definition,” solely with natural phenomena. Since the supernatural is unobservable, then, they assert, science has nothing to say about it.

However, while supernatural entities may not be directly observable, any effects these entities might have on the material world should manifest themselves as observable phenomena. Anything observable is subject to scientific inquiry. On the other hand, if the supernatural has no observable effects on the natural world, then why even worry about it?

In recent years, right under the nose of the NAS, reputable scientists from reputable institutions have vigorously pursued several areas of empirical study that bear directly on the question of God and the supernatural. Any one of these experiments was capable of providing evidence for at least some aspect of a world beyond the material world. I will mention just two.

Teams of scientists from three highly respected institutions — the Mayo Clinic and Harvard and Duke Universities — have performed carefully controlled experiments on the medical efficacy of blind, intercessory prayer and published their results in peer-reviewed journals. These experiments found no evidence that such prayers provide any health benefit. But, they could have.

For my second example, over a period of four decades extensive investigations have been made into the phenomenon of near-death experiences (NDEs) in which people resuscitated from the brink of death report a glimpse of “heaven.” Despite thousands of such reports, not a single subject has returned with new knowledge that could be tested by further investigations. No prediction has been made of some future catastrophe that later occurred on schedule, and not for lack of opportunity given the many natural disasters — earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, tornados — of recent years. Similarly, no divine revelation has provided an answer for any currently unanswered question in science, history, or theology; such as, where in the universe we will find extraterrestrial life or the location of Noah’s Ark.

Now, I am not saying that these negative results prove conclusively that the supernatural does not exist, although a good case can be made that the absence of evidence that should be there can be taken as evidence of absence. My point here is that, in principle, experiments such as these and others could have provided direct evidence for a world beyond matter.

So, scientists and science organizations are being disingenuous when they say science can say nothing about the supernatural. They know better. Their policy of appeasing religion for presumably political reasons only empowers those who are muddling education and polluting public policy with anti-scientific magical thinking.

Furthermore, the Gould attempt to divide up the territory by ceding the moral domain to religion takes away the individual’s right to have input on moral and ethical questions, leaving those issues to scholars who interpret ancient texts. This sounds like Sharia Law to me. Moral behavior is observable and science is the best method to investigate the observable world.

Of course, the religious can’t get even the basic questions of morality right. Like slavery and apartheid in the past, and gay marriage today. Then they have the gall to say they hold the high ground on morality. Makes me laugh!

Standard

May 13, 2012

After Obama’s Decision on Marriage, a Call to Pastors

By  and 

WASHINGTON — About two hours after declaring his support for same-sex marriage last week, President Obama gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself. He had struggled with the decision, he said, but had come to believe it was the right one.

The ministers, though, were not all as enthusiastic. A vocal few made it clear that the president’s stand on gay marriage might make it difficult for them to support his re-election.

“They were wrestling with their ability to get over his theological position,” said the Rev. Delman Coates, the pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., who was on the call.

In the end, Mr. Coates, who supports civil marriages for gay men and lesbians, said that most of the pastors, regardless of their views on this issue, agreed to “work aggressively” on behalf of the president’s campaign. But not everyone. “Gay marriage is contrary to their understanding of Scripture,” Mr. Coates said. “There are people who are really wrestling with this.”

In the hours following Mr. Obama’s politically charged announcement on Wednesday, the president and his team embarked on a quiet campaign to contain the possible damage among religious leaders and voters. He also reached out to one or more of the five spiritual leaders he calls regularly for religious guidance, and his aides contacted other religious figures who have been supportive in the past.

The damage-control effort underscored the anxiety among Mr. Obama’s advisers about the consequences of the president’s revised position just months before what is expected to be a tight re-election vote. While hailed by liberals and gay-rights leaders for making a historic breakthrough, Mr. Obama recognized that much of the country is uncomfortable with or opposed to same-sex marriage, including many in his own political coalition.

The issue of religious freedom has become a delicate one for Mr. Obama, especially after the recent furor over an administration mandate that religiously affiliated organizations offer health insurance covering contraceptives. After complaints from Catholic leaders that the mandate undercut their faith, Mr. Obama offered a compromise that would maintain coverage for contraception while not requiring religious organizations to pay for it, but critics remained dissatisfied.

In taking on same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama made a point of couching his views in religious terms. “We’re both practicing Christians,” the president said of his wife and himself in the ABC News interview in which he discussed his new views. “And obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others.”

He added that what he thought about was “not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it’s also the golden rule, you know? Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

After the interview, Mr. Obama hit the phones. Among those he called was one of the religious leaders he considers a touchstone, the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the pastor of a conservative megachurch in Florida.

“Some of the faith communities are going to be afraid that this is an attack against religious liberty,” Mr. Hunter remembered telling the president.

“Absolutely not,” Mr. Obama insisted. “That’s not where we’re going, and that’s not what I want.”

Even some of Mr. Obama’s friends in the religious community warned that he risked alienating followers, particularly African-Americans who have been more skeptical of the idea than other Democratic constituencies.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, another religious adviser to Mr. Obama and the president and chief executive of Sojourners, a left-leaning evangelical organization, said that he had fielded calls since the announcement from pastors across the country, including African-American and Hispanic ministers. Religious leaders, he said, are deeply divided, with some seeing it as the government forcing clergy to accept a definition of marriage that they consider anathema to their teachings.

Mr. Wallis said that it was clear to him that the president’s decision was a matter of personal conscience, not public policy. But he said that some religious leaders wanted to hear Mr. Obama say that explicitly. “We hope the president will reach out to people who disagree with him on this,” Mr. Wallis said. “The more conservative churches need to know, need to be reassured that their religious liberty is going to be respected here.”

Mr. Obama has reached out to Mr. Wallis, Mr. Hunter and three other ministers for telephone prayer sessions and discussions about the intersection of religion and public policy.

Mr. Wallis would not say whether he heard from Mr. Obama as Mr. Hunter did. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, another of the five and the senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, said he did not. “He doesn’t need to talk with me about that,” Mr. Caldwell said.

The other two pastors, Bishop T. D. Jakes, a nationally known preaching powerhouse who fills stadiums and draws 30,000 worshipers to his church in Dallas, and the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., did not respond to messages Friday.

Mr. Obama began reaching out within hours of his announcement on Wednesday. At 4:30 p.m., he convened the African-American ministers on the call.

“It was very clear to me that he had arrived at this conclusion after much reflection, introspection and dialogue with family and staff and close friends,” said Mr. Coates, who remains confident that the undecided pastors on the call will ultimately back the president in November. “There are more public policy issues that we agree upon than this issue of private morality in which there’s some difference.”

That is a calculation the White House is counting on. The president’s strategists hope that any loss of support among black and independent moderates will be more than made up by proponents of gay marriage. But Mr. Obama’s aides declined to comment and opted not to send anyone to the Sunday talk shows for fear of elevating it further.

Religious conservative leaders said the president’s decision changed the calculus of the election. “I think the president this past week took six or seven states he carried in 2008 and put them in play with this one ill-conceived position that he’s taken,” Gary Bauer, the former presidential candidate, said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” On the same program, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, “I’ve gotten calls from pastors across the nation, white and black pastors, who have said, ‘You know what? I’m not sitting on the sidelines anymore.’ ”

Establishment Republicans, though, were eager to shift the subject. “For those people that this is their issue, they have a clear choice,” Reince Preibus, the party chairman, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But I happen to believe that, at the end of the day, however, this election is still going to be about the economy.”

Mr. Obama’s efforts to mollify religious leaders came after a tumultuous week as he lagged behind Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in advocating same-sex marriage. A senior administration official who asked not to be named said the White House contacted religious and Congressional leaders and Democratic candidates only after the president’s announcement.

Among those contacted was Cameron Strang, editor of Relevant magazine and a young evangelical leader, but he was on vacation. By contrast, the office of Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, said he had not heard from the president after publicly calling his decision “deeply saddening.”

Mr. Hunter’s cellphone buzzed shortly after the Wednesday interview. “I’m not at all surprised he didn’t call me before because I would have tried to talk him out of it,” Mr. Hunter said.

“My interpretation of Scriptures, I can’t arrive at the same conclusion,” he said. “He totally understood that. One of the reasons he called was to make sure our relationship would be fine, and of course it would be.”