Poepol of the Week Award goes to Charlie Van Eyssen who wrote this dribble on News 24

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Charlie says, as if we have to give him an award, that he believes in microevolution even though he is a christian. Well Charlie, here is your award: Poepol of the Week! Congratulations, take a bow son!

I believe Microevolution is FACT… and I’m a Christian

16 March 2012, 12:48

It is important to first define what is meant by the word”evolution.” There are actually two major theories of biological evolution:

•Microevolution – Unequivocally proven through numerous scientific studies. Includes concepts such as mutation, recombination, natural selection, etc.

•Macroevolution – Extrapolation of micro evolution to account for all changes in body designs, speciation, appearance of new phyla, etc.

The information provided above was taken from a paper done by Richard L Deem. He received his Master of Science degree in Microbiology from California State University, Los Angeles, and has been working in basic science research since 1976. He also happens to be Christian.

Fact or Fiction?

I often find the comments made by Atheists on evolution and religion frustrating, to say the least. They’re so quick to say that evolution is ‘fact’, even though so many of these ‘facts’ have since been debunked an dare therefore no longer credible (e.g. Darwinism). How many of these Atheists have done actual research on the study of Evolution? To watch a few documentaries on the subject might give you a strong basis for your ‘opinion’, butas with anything else there will always be someone who claims to have “proof” to the contrary.

Problems with Macroevolution i.e. “Evolution”

Richard Deem goes on to say that microevolution is a scientifically reliable theory, which describes the intelligent design with which organisms were endowed by their Designer. However, in contrast to the reliability of micro evolutionary theory, macroevolution is not supported by the record of nature or current scientific research. Even evolutionists admit these major problems in the scientific journals (although you are unlikely to find these admissions in textbooks or popular books on evolution):

“Major transitions in evolution – such as the origin of life, the emergence of eukaryotic cells, and the origin of the human capacity for language, to name but a few – could not be farther from an equilibrium.Also, they cannot be described satisfactorily by established models ofmicroevolution.” Dr. Fagerstrom, et al.

In order to keep this article as short as possible, I will not be discussing the flaws to the two major models of evolutionary theory in detail (Gradualism: the major problem with gradualism is that it is not reflected in the fossil record; Punctuated Equilibrium: requires the occurrence of two unlikely events). You can read more on the topic here:

http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/evolution.html

Human Decent

Modern molecular biology tells us that modern humans arose less than 100,000 years ago (confirmed by three independent techniques), and most likely, less than 50,000 years ago. This data ties in quite well with the fossil record. Sophisticated works of art first appear in the fossil record about40,000-50,000 years ago and evidence of religious expression appears only 25,000-50,000years ago. Such a recent origin date for modern humans precludes any possibility of any previous hominids being our ancestors, since Homo erectusdied out 300,000 years ago, and Homo Neandertalensis has been proven to be too genetically different from us to have been our ancestor.

Where does this leave the evolutionists and their descent of man theory? Well, they can always fall back on their favourite line – “the fossil record is just incomplete.” For more information read the paper: http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/descent.html

Australopithecus Sediba: The Missing Link between Apes and Humans?

According to numerous newspaper articles, the missing link between humans and apes, Australopithecus Sediba, has been found by palaeontologists in South Africa. However, the scientists who made thediscovery and published the research on it are not quite so confident about where the new fossil fits in the hominid “family tree.” In fact, the bones do not represent a logical sequence of “evolution” from the ape-like Australopithecines to the more human-like Homo erectus. Realistically,Australopithecus Sediba looks more like a specialized ape that had nocontribution to humankind. More on that here:http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/australopithecus_sediba_missing_link.html

Conclusion

Many Christians fall into the trap of not believing some scientific theories, even if ‘proof’ for it exists. But with regard to Evolution, as can be seen from the information provided, the logical predictions of evolutionary theories do not match the actual data. It is therefore not surprising that we don’t believe it. So what about all the other“problems” with Christianity? Check out these Answers for Atheists andAgnostics:http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/answers.html

Everyone is of course, entitled to their own opinion…

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it,ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill

The Fall of Foolish Faith by Victor Stenger

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The Fall of Foolish Faith

By Victor Stenger

Physicist, PhD, bestselling author

Posted: 03/ 9/2012 1:12 pm

From a talk on March 4, 2012 at the CFI Meeting, “Moving Secularism Forward,” Orlando.

I want to talk about a particular group of secularists — scientists — and their interaction with religion. Most scientists prefer to stay out of any conflicts with religion. They don’t want to endanger their sources of research funding and generally just don’t want to be bothered. They have better things to do, or at least they think they do.

I want to urge those of you who are not scientists to try to convince those who are to stop pussyfooting around with religion and confront the reality of what it is and always has been — a blight on humanity that has hindered our progress for millennia and now threatens our very existence.

Scientists have to help the rest of the secular community to work toward reducing the influence of religion to the point where it has negligible effect on society. I don’t believe this is impossible. Astrology and the reading of sheep entrails are no longer used to decide on courses of events, such as going to war. Why can’t we expect the same for the imagined dialogues with an ancient tribal sky god that at least one recent president has used to justify his actions?

Let’s look at some of the places where scientists have been slow to recognize the negative impact that religion is having on important scientific matters. Since the 1850s, human population has exploded causing an unsustainable exploitation of Earth’s resources. This growth cannot continue indefinitely. Only by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and leveling population can we expect to survive.

Rather than helping, religion hinders these efforts by discouraging birth control and other absolutely essential measures needed to achieve these goals.

Already, three million people die every year from the pollution caused by fossil fuels and biomass. And this will only increase if we continue on the present path.

However, a livable future is not out of our reach. Liquid thorium nuclear reactors could provide the world with all the energy it needs for a thousand years, safely, with minimal environmental impact, and no application to nuclear weapons. If they had thorium reactors, there would have been no Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, or Fukushima disasters. The only reason uranium and plutonium are used in nuclear reactors is you can build bombs with them. You can’t build bombs with thorium.

Solar power would already be economically competitive with oil, if the economy were to properly price oil to include the costs of its damage to the environment, human health, and the military needed to defend sources and transport. Imagine a world without oil. I can.

So why don’t we move in these directions already clearly marked out by science? Because since the late nineteenth century we have lived in a plutocracy in which petroleum and other fossil energies dominate almost every sector of our economy by virtue of the enormous wealth they bring to their producers and distributers.

Now, what does this have to do with religion? Since prehistoric times religion has served as the handmaiden to those in power, helping them to maintain that power. Tribal chiefs, kings, and emperors always had shamans and priests at their sides to assure their subjects that they led by divine right.

In America today, petro-dollars fuel a giant Christian propaganda machine that works to undermine the efforts of scientists to find solutions to the problems that face us with overpopulation, pollution, and climate change. They use techniques that were pioneered 30 years ago by the tobacco industry to suppress the evidence that smoking causes cancer and heart disease. And these techniques exploit the antiscience that is inherent in religious belief.

A new technique that in recent years has been added to the arsenal of global warming denialism is to frame climate change as a theological issue. Global warming deniers say that God would never allow life on Earth to be destroyed. After all, he gave humans dominion over the planet. Besides, the world is coming to an end soon anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Republican politicians are in the forefront of the battle over climate change. John Shimkus, Republican of Illinois, has said that climate change is a myth because God told Noah he would never again destroy Earth by flood. All the current Republican presidential candidates have either always said climate change was a hoax or have backed off previous statements in which they agreed that warming is taking place.

The Cornwall Alliance for The Stewardship of Creation has issued what it calls “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming.” The statement asserts that Earth and its ecosystems are “robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying the glory of God.” The statement denies that Earth and its ecosystems are the “fragile and unstable products of chance,” and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of what they call “minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry.” The Cornwall statement claims that there is no convincing scientific evidence that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are causing dangerous global warming. It also denies that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and claims that reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures

Approximately 500 people, including a large number of non-expert scientists and other academics, endorsed this statement. This is not simply the view of a small fringe group but that of the large majority of Evangelical Christians, who wield far more influence than their actual numbers justify.

While the petrocrats use science in every aspect of their businesses, they hypocritically exploit the antiscience that is inherent in religion in order to undermine any scientific findings that threaten their power and fortunes.

Most scientists do not realize that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. This is not because they have thought about it. It is because they prefer not to think about it.

Fundamentalists know science and religion are incompatible, since science disputes so much of what is in the Bible, which they take as the literal word of God. To them, science is simply wrong and must be Christianized. A well-funded effort exists to do just that, while most scientists sit on the sidelines because they prefer not to get involved.

But science and religion have always been at war, and always will be. One of yesterday’s speakers said that he did not like to use the word “religion” but rather called it a “belief system.” Well, there are different kinds of belief systems. Science is a belief system based on reason and evidence. Religion is a belief system based on bullshit.

Moderate Christians claim they support science, but they still hold to beliefs that have no empirical basis. Moderates will tell you that they accept evolution, but then they insist it is still guided by God. This is not Darwinian evolution. This is intelligent design. There is no guidance, divine or otherwise, in Darwinian evolution.

A recent phenomenon is the joining of forces between the climate change deniers and evolution deniers, who have no link other than a common motivation based on religion. Several legislatures have passed bills requiring teachers to present “all sides” of the evidence on evolution and global warming. Now, that would be no problem if the arguments on all sides were presented accurately and honestly. But we know that’s unlikely to happen, since the only purpose of these bills is to create the illusion of scientific controversy on topics where, in truth, a strong consensus within the scientific community exists. It’s like demanding equal time for flat-earth geology.

Christopher Hitchens once said that he was not just opposed to organized religion, but also to religious belief. Religion would not be such a negative force in society if it were just about going to church socials and celebrating rites of passage. However, the magical thinking that becomes deeply ingrained whenever faith rules over facts warps all areas of life. It instills superficial beliefs which, having been adopted without reason, cannot be displaced by reason. Magical thinking ignores evidence and favors whatever opinion is the most convenient or socially acceptable. While scientists also tend to follow the crowd, at least they can be convinced to change their minds when the data warrant it.

Magical beliefs are not just limited to religion, but extend to economics, politics, and health. It’s not that the public lacks information. Today we’re all inundated with information, especially on the Internet. However, much of that data is untrustworthy and it takes a trained thinker to filter out the good from the bad. Magical thinking and blind faith are the worst conceivable mental system we can apply under these circumstances. They allow the most outrageous lies and stupidities to be accepted as facts.

Nowhere is this more evident than in America today where the large majority of the public hold on to a whole set of religious and pseudoscientific beliefs despite the total lack of evidence to support these beliefs, and indeed, in the face of strong evidence that denies them. This is the folly of faith and demonstrates why it must be fought. Relying on blind faith is no way to run a world.

As I have noted, religious believers are being manipulated to work against their own best interests in health and economic well-being in order to cast doubt on well-established scientific findings. This would not be possible except for the diametrically opposed world-views of science and religion.

Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible because of the opposing assumptions they make concerning what we can know about the world. Every human alive is aware of a world that seems to exist outside the body, the world of sensory experience we call the natural. Science is the systematic study of the observations made of the natural world with our senses and scientific instruments. The knowledge gained in this manner has proved effective when applied to human needs.

By contrast, all major religions, including Buddhism, teach that humans possess an additional “inner” sense that allows us to access a realm lying beyond the visible world–a divine, transcendent reality we call the supernatural. If it does not involve the transcendent, it is not religion. Religion is a set of practices intended to communicate with that invisible world and use its forces to affect things here on Earth.

The working hypothesis of science is that careful observation is our only reliable source of knowledge about the world. Natural theology accepts empirical science and views it as a means to learn about God’s creation. But religion, in general, goes much further than science in giving credence to other claimed sources of knowledge such as scriptures, revelation, and spiritual experiences.

No doubt, science has its limits. However, the fact that science is limited doesn’t mean that religion or any alternative system of thought can or does provide insight into what lies beyond those limits. For example, science cannot yet show precisely how the universe originated naturally, although many plausible scenarios exist. But the fact that science does not–at present–have a definitive answer to this question does not mean that ancient creation myths such as those in Genesis have any substance, any chance of eventually being verified.

The scientific community in general goes along with the notion that science has nothing to say about the supernatural because the methods of science, as they are currently practiced, exclude supernatural causes. I strongly disagree with this position. If we truly possess an inner sense telling us about an unobservable reality that matters to us and influences our lives, then we should be able to observe the effects of that reality by scientific means.

If someone’s inner sense were to warn of an impending earthquake unpredicted by science, which then occurred on schedule, we would have evidence for an extrasensory source of knowledge.So far we see no evidence that the feelings people experience when they perceive themselves to be in touch with the supernatural correspond to anything outside their heads, and we have no reason to rely on those feelings when they occur. However, if such evidence or reason should show up, then scientists will have to consider it whether they like it or not.

We cannot sweep under the rug the many serious problems brought about by the scientific revolution and the exponential burst in humanity’s ability to exploit Earth’s resources made possible by the accompanying technology. There would be no problems with overpopulation, pollution, global warming, or the threat of nuclear holocaust if science had not made them possible. The growing distrust of science found now in America can be at least partially understood by observing the disgraceful examples of scientists employed by oil, food, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies who have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of millions by allowing products to be marketed that these scientists knew full well were unsafe.

But does anyone want to return to the prescientific age when human life was nasty, brutish, and short? Even fire was once a new technology, and through the ages a lot of people have died in fires. But we don’t stop lighting them. Unsafe products are more than overshadowed by drugs, foods, medical knowledge, and technologies, which have made all our lives immeasurably better than those of humans in the not-too-distant past. At least in developed countries, women now rarely die in childbirth and most children grow to adulthood. This was not the case even just a few generations ago. Unlike our ancestors, most of us lead long, fulfilling lives largely free of pain and drudgery. The aged are so numerous that they are becoming a social problem. All this is the result of scientific developments.

We can only solve the problems brought about by the misuse of science by adhering to the scientific method, and by more rational behavior on the part of scientists, politicians, corporations, and citizens in all walks of life. Religion, as it is currently practiced with its continued focus on closed thinking and ancient mythology, is not doing anything to support the goal of a better, safer world. In fact, religion actively and vigorously opposes that goal.

Religion has destroyed our trust by its repeated failure. Using the empirical method, science has eliminated smallpox, flown men to the moon, and discovered DNA. If science didn’t work, we wouldn’t do it. Relying on faith, religion has brought us inquisitions, holy wars, and intolerance. Religion doesn’t work, but we still do it.

Science flies us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings.

Science is not going to change its commitment to the truth. And religion is not going to change its commitment to nonsense. And that is why I call upon scientists and all thinking people to focus their attention on reducing the influence of religion in the world, with the goal of the eventual fall of foolish faith. The future depends on it.

 

The Final Frontier of Tyranny

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Thanks to Tanya Simmonds for this:

 The Final Frontier of Tyranny

An Essay by P.D

With contributions by Tanya Simmonds

Introduction

When I was 16, I was an impressionable, credulous teenager who was lonely. I was taken in by a Church near to my home who introduced me to the Bible and to Jesus. They taught me the doctrine of hell, and the idea that if I became born again, I would be saved from it. A sign that I was reborn, I was told, was that I would no longer feel the need to masturbate.

By now, my hormones were raging. I would pray, in my terror of hell, that Jesus would deliver me from masturbation, but the urges persisted with a vengeance. I attempted to suppress those urges with pain by mutilating my arms with a razor blade, but it was futile. I lost sleep at night thinking that if the urges were still there, that meant I wasn’t ‘born again’ and so I was bound for hell. I wanted to commit suicide but was afraid of doing so for fear of going straight to a place of eternal torture. I petitioned God to reach back in time and prevent me from ever being conceived so that I would never have existed in the first place.

Ultimately, I suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of 17.

I seek to educate people about the truth of this insidious doctrine and appeal to Christian ministries around the world to cease and desist promoting this cruelty. It is my learned and experienced opinion that this teaching is evil, primitive, sadistic, opportunistic, predatory and without any merit whatsoever. When inflicted upon impressionable adolescents, I believe that it quite possibly qualifies for child abuse.

This argument is a matter of reason and compassion. My wife is a qualified academic theologian (B(th.)(hons)) and we ask the reader to consider our words in the context of his/her personal freedom and the threat this teaching poses to our democracy.

What Causes Masturbation?

Masturbation is caused by a series of hormones known as androgens. An adolescent will begin to masturbate often before he/she even knows what masturbation is. The hormones are secreted into the blood at puberty and suddenly the urge strikes – overwhelmingly. It happens for a reason. Humans are genetically hard-wired for orgasm, which is how human life continues. Repression of it indefinitely will also result in detrimental health issues. Studies show that abstinence can result in increased stress (climax lowers stress and blood pressure) which leads to heart disease – the world’s greatest killer!  Orgasm has been shown to boost immune system function (Human Reproduction, Vol 12, 2200-2207, Oxford University Press) and is highly effective in the treatment of migraines. There is also medical evidence that proves long-term retention of semen increases the risk of prostate cancer (Leitzmann MF, Platz EA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Giovannucci E. Ejaculation frequency and subsequent risk of prostate cancer. JAMA. 2004 Apr 7:291 (13): 1578-86.) It also facilitates the release of the hormones serotonin and dopamine, thereby assisting in the alleviation of depression. (F.C. Denison, V.E. Grant, A.A. Calder, and R. W. Kelly Seminal plasma components stimulate interleukin-8 and interleukin-10 release. Mol Hum. Reprod., March 1, 1999; 5(3): 220-226.) A 1997 study at theQueensUniversity inBelfast (among others) concluded that regular orgasms can significantly increase longevity. For these reasons, nature gives us this overwhelming urge – one that is so powerful, it is almost never conquered even by the most zealous of Christians. Pornography will aggravate it, of that there is no doubt – however, it is not the root cause of it. Masturbation is purely biological in nature.

The anti-masturbation doctrine rarely ever results in anything other than the torment of innocent people, unwarranted guilt and hadephobia (the fear of hell) and extremely busy psychiatrists. Guilt can arise from masturbation – but this is largely the result of the religious influences on our culture. The Bible has an effect on the views and feelings of all Western people, even on the most secular. Guilt over masturbation is not natural – it is acquired. One of the more famous cases of this is that of Kip Eliason, a 16 year old, deeply committed Mormon follower. Under the strict, anti-masturbation doctrines of his church, he found himself unable to resist the pressures imposed upon his body by his hormones. Filled with self-hatred over his ‘weakness,’ he took his own life on March 2nd, 1982. This is a true case of mind-control leading to self-torture, and the death of an innocent child.

The body is biologically conditioned to respond to self-stimulation. It is an inherent instinct. As a mere action, it has been shown on ultrasound that foetuses masturbate in the womb. THAT is how natural this is!  After puberty, it becomes a matter of need.

Indeed, sex is a relational experience – as eating can be. To say that orgasm absolutely must only be shared with a partner can be likened to saying that a person shouldn’t eat unless they have someone to dine with.

One of the Christian arguments is that a person cannot become intimate with another if they masturbate. This is an absurdity. That would make 99.9999% of the human population sexually dysfunctional and yet we now live in a world of unprecedented overpopulation.

Prima Facie, it is difficult to imagine why an individual would attempt to pressure others into torturing themselves in such a cruel way. It is bewildering how the suggestion that teens and single people should abstain from masturbation isn’t viewed as a contender for the single most sadistic doctrine in history. It is to deny any form of sexual outlet to those who need it the most – to those whose androgen levels are 20 times normal and to those who are lonely – to literally sentence them to a torment where they should strive to turn their own bodies into instruments of hormonal torture.

If masturbation (in males) is abstained from for long enough (around 30 days – after the necrotic cells have had time to release carcinogenic toxins around the prostate gland) it will be expelled in the night to the accompaniment of an involuntary erotic dream. Ejaculation is a bio-cerebral connection. This is how sexuality works, which is why people are drawn to sexual imagery.

It isn’t a ‘sin.’

A Question of Compassion

Understanding how the Christian God can give life to a species independent of its own request, shape it in such a way and then throw all of the rules in opposition to that design, under the threat of hell fire to any who dare to disagree is a troublesome question – especially when He is described as a God of love, compassion and great kindness.

Matthew 5:28 (committing adultery by looking at a woman with a desire to possess her) is often quoted as the endorsement of criminalizing sexual thoughts, but in its historical context, it is actually a re-iteration of the tenth commandment – do not covet your neighbour’s property (his wife – included among land, oxen, maid-servant, slave and any other chattel.) The word ‘lustfully’ as it appears in Matthew 5:28 is actually a fraudulent mistranslation found in more recent editions of the Bible. The passage is actually referring to ancient Jewish proprietary rights and the objectification of women and has no relevance to twenty-first century teenagers masturbating to pornography. In our civilization, we no longer view women as property, just as we don’t accept slavery as moral (as Jesus apparently did: Colossians 3:22.) It is also worth remembering that during biblical times, men married at an age considerably below today’s age of consent. It is arguably unconscionable for a person, (especially one who is married,) to suggest that single people must have no sexual outlet whatsoever and suffer it indefinitely, until they marry, which today can often be into their thirties, if at all.

No one person is guaranteed a partner. Such unions are the result of chance and can depend on many factors: financial, an individual’s self-confidence and in some cases – whether or not someone finds them attractive enough to marry. However, the libido is guaranteed and it will show single people absolutely no mercy! Relief is solely in their own hands – until religion pressures them into torturously abstaining.

It is also worth considering that Jesus went on to recommend castration in Matthew 19:12. Despite apologists attempts to retranslate this to mean simply ‘permanent celibacy’ (which is even crueller) the exact translation from the original Greek shows that the word ‘eunuch’ is clear and unambiguous. According to Eusebius – a man who was instrumental in the compilation of the New Testament, the early church scribe Origen of Alexandria, around the year 220 AD, took Matt: 19:12 literally and set about his own groin with a sharpened blade in response to what he read.

So how far is the fundamentalist Christian right prepared to take this? And once again – why? The history of the Catholic Church and its extra-curricular activities provides a good indication of what this particular brand of chastity-sado-masochism can lead to.

Masturbation can become compulsive for some – of that there is no doubt. However, these people are not common if they are taken as a percentage of the overall populace. Similarly, there are people who eat compulsively to the extent that they suffer obesity, high blood pressure and ultimately, an early death. It doesn’t follow that the remainder of the populace must embrace a policy of starvation. The more zealous Christians go as far as to suggest that all pleasant-tasting food should be avoided.St. Paul’s doctrine on people not ‘being mastered’ by their own bodies can lead to extremism as has been shown throughout the history of the church with practises such as self-flagellation. Most are mastered by food to varying degrees, yet some have clearly managed to overcome it, as shown on fashion catwalks around the world. But is it healthy? As aforementioned, there are serious health risks associated with overcoming masturbation also.

Despite the Christian claim that orgasm is for marriage only, it is worth remembering that St. Paul, the founder of Christianity as it is today, suggested that he wished for all people to remain unmarried as he was – going on to cite marriage as the refuge of those who were spiritually weaker. (1 Corinthians 7: 7-9.)

No one would even be able to debate this issue if Paul had had his wish.

He also repeatedly preached that people should flee all sexual desire and ‘deaden their bodily members to their passions’ (Colossians 3:5). It could be argued that these passages are encouragements of global genocide.

It should also be taken into account that when Paul said: ‘Take a wife, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion,’ a woman’s consent to being ‘taken’ was not considered to be a factor in Middle-Eastern culture.

For the most part, it still isn’t.

If Christians decide that they once had a problem with excessive masturbation, they have a tendency to inflict their policy of total abstinence on all others, where the idea that anybody can be different from them is unimaginable. They argue that they are only acting in the best interests of the people, but therein lies the dark side of the agenda. If the people unrepentantly refuse to comply, the Christian God will send them to hell for not acting in their (hypothetical) best interests. Christians have always failed to explain how torturing somebody in fire eternally is in their best interests, which is surprising given that hypocrisy seems to have been the source of Jesus’ ultimate rage.

Given the malevolent nature of this God, it is difficult to comprehend why any person outside of the S & M community would wish to spend eternity with him.

Assuming, hypothetically, that masturbation had no biological function or health benefits – that it was purely a pleasure for the sake of pleasure, it is so very difficult to understand why a loving God would wish to deny his children this. To give them feelings, senses and an intellect – and then demand that they ignore all of the above poses serious questions about the morality and decency of this deity.

 

The Morality of the Bible

 

The Bible illustrates, in detail, God’s ‘perfect’ morality quite clearly with his ordering and endorsing slavery (the denial of an individual’s right to self-determination by another,) the beating of slaves to death (Exodus 21:20-21), multiple accounts of divine-endorsed mass infanticide, including snatching innocent babies out of the arms of their mothers and joyously crushing them to death against rocks (Psalm 137:9; Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 13:16), countless orders of genocide and the destruction and displacement of others, insidious cruelty to innocent animals – and most shocking of all to most (presumably because its easier to relate to) – the rape of thousands of innocent women, whether they were innocent young virgins (Numbers 31:18 et al) or God-sanctioned rapes of innocent women simply to punish their husbands (2 Samuel 12:11-14; Zechariah 14:1-2)

In the Old Testament, these types of incidents are too numerous to list. However, in the New Testament, Jesus seemed to be in total support of them. He clearly endorsed beating slaves (Luke 12:47-48), Paul endorsed slavery (Ephesians 6:5-7 et al) and Peter demanded that slaves find joy in the unjust cruelty of their masters (1 Peter 2:18-21.)

Jesus endorsed all of the cruel laws of the Old Testament (Matt: 5:17-18.) These would include the rules that unruly children, homosexuals and anybody who eats shellfish or collects sticks on the Sabbath must be bludgeoned to death with rocks, how much money to charge for a slave (there was a requirement that females must cost less than males, by the order of God!) and how to identify slaves by driving nails through their ears (Deuteronomy 15:17), etc.

Jesus also implied that any who do not accept him as King should be slain in his sight (Luke 19:27.)

Once again, and exclusive to the New Testament, there is the doctrine of Hell.

Christian apologists use what we call the Trinity of Delusion to justify these atrocities. The first is – It doesn’t quite mean that. This is a self-contradictory proposition. If we add up everything in the Bible that doesn’t mean what it says, then the entire book – God’s vital message to mankind – doesn’t mean what it says.

The second is – You’re taking it out of context. They will then offer either no alternative context, or one that is clearly manufactured with absolutely nothing to verify it. It is also worth noting that different apologists will offer completely different and often immoral contexts to the same biblical atrocity, all failing to present reasons for believing their position other than ‘We’ve just made that up.’ One of the World’s leading Christian apologists, Dr William Lane Craig, when asked about the morality of the slaughter of the Canaanite women and children under the orders of God, responded that those women and children weren’t really the victims. He said that the Israelites who had to commit those acts were really the victims and then asked the audience to imagine how terrible it would have been for them to have had to have done such a thing. This affirms a statement by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg when he said: “Good people do good. Bad people do evil. But for a good person to commit evil – that takes religion.” While Christian apologists don’t necessarily commit evil – it is very clear that they are willing to defend it!

The third and probably most transparent is the ultimate cop-out – You don’t want to listen, so I’m not going to explain it.

Despite these painfully weak attempts at reconciling the Bible with morality, there is no choice in Christianity. According to its tenets, people must follow the way – or they will suffer infinitely. This is the most immoral suggestion in human history. Firstly, a human being cannot commit acts of evil in a finite life that would merit INFINITE punishment. Secondly, the Bible doesn’t say that ‘acts’ are, necessarily, the offences – beliefs are.

What moral God of unconditional love, compassion and great kindness would judge a man on his beliefs over his deeds? And after giving him an intellect that would enable him to learn facts that either contradict, or find NO evidence for the extraordinary events claimed in his anonymously-scribed holy book?

In the case at hand, masturbation must be substituted for indefinite, unjustified struggle. Failure must be followed by repentance or the penalty will be eternal torture.

For the majority of people, these teachings fall considerably below their minimum standard for morality. This is everything that the democratic West claims to be opposed to: cruelty, totalitarianism – and terrorism. And yet there are many democratic citizens who embrace these teachings, whose ability to reason has been compromised into accepting the denial of their very fundamental human rights on account of it.

Yet, they always seem so happy.

Christian Joy

The elation Christians display could be likened to the joy of the ‘Stepford Wives’ and is reminiscent of a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, where a bearded prisoner was shackled to a stone wall in a Roman gaol crying out joyously: “Great race, the Romans!” – Literally worshipping his own captors.

There is a term for this. It is called Stockholm syndrome, which occurs when people are subjected to terror at the hands of others. Reports show that victims of kidnapping and hostages whose lives have been threatened by their captors can develop an empathy with those who oppress them (Nils Bejerot: The six day war in Stockholm New Scientist 1974, volume 61, number 886, page 486-487.) Accounts show how such victims have even provided legal defence for the terrorists who have held them at gunpoint for the very crimes committed against them, corresponded with them in prison – and have even gone on to  marry them! They develop a joyous euphoria born out of absolute terror when their minds try to latch onto the hope that their captors ‘can’t be all that bad.’ This can eventually evolve into: ‘They’re actually quite good,’ until it reaches: ‘There must be a good reason why they’re doing this. I must help them.’ Similarly, Christians will go to any lengths to defend the atrocities of their imaginary God and attempt to justify why, in his loving mercy, he wants them to torture themselves with the ‘gift’ of chastity. This so-called ‘blessing’ is in fact the malady that presents itself as the cure, resulting in countless incidents of shame, neurosis and psychological damage, whilst those responsible continue to indulge the delusion of their born-again euphoria.

The anti-masturbation doctrine so often appears to be promoted by individuals who have, in some way, experienced a sense of powerlessness in their lives. Having no control over one’s circumstances can be traumatizing, but to what extent is it moral to regain empowerment by seeking to control others and to leave a trail of mental anguish in one’s wake? There is no doubt that this teaching damages far more people than it ‘helps,’ given its astronomical failure rate. The proponent’s defence to this is usually to attribute that failure to the ‘sinful nature’ of the victim and indefinable clichés such as ‘they are not fully walking in the spirit.’ Advocates of the doctrine always claim that they are merely doing the ‘Lord’s work’ thereby establishing a continuous policy of zero-accountability for the harm that they cause.

Occasionally, they simply blame other churches. – “You’ve been damaged. I’m so sorry. We’re not like that…but you still shouldn’t do it!”

The Libidinous Power of Denial

One of the arguments Christians use against masturbation is that it is fuelled by pornography – an industry many claim is rife with the abuse of women (although there are even more first-hand accounts of porn stars to contradict those claims.)

If the claims of abuse within the porn industry are true (which seems to be highly questionable,) the issue of cruelty on set must be addressed as with any other form of abuse. If an impoverished woman is asked to endure brutal sexual acts for the camera and told by producers and directors that she will never work (earn) again if she doesn’t comply, that is coercion, leading to compromised consent. Ultimately, it would be a form of cruelty, rape and terrorism.

But at what point does this heinously extreme view of masturbation NOT become cruelty and terrorism on the opposite end on the scale?

There is cause for suspicion when Christian evangelists continue to promote the anti-masturbation message. Take account of the fact that prohibiting or shaming it will cause a conscious desperation for it, subsequently increasing the desire one hundred fold. As aforementioned, nobody wants anything more than that which they can’t have. It is likely even more arousing than pornography itself.  Statistics show that pornography use among Christians is considerably higher than among the secular community.

This adds yet another layer of suspicion to this entire doctrine. In Catholicism, many believe that the masturbation rule to have been implemented as a congregation trap, with the knowledge that nobody would be able to live up to it. Consequently, this creates a continuous line of attendees at the confessional and tithe-offering repenters. If people can be persuaded to surrender their rights to their own bodies and thoughts, it becomes child’s play to persuade them to surrender the contents of their wallets.

The potential financial benefits of the anti-masturbation doctrine should not be discounted.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Masturbation is a natural biological function. This is attested to by a wealth of academic, medical research and knowledge. However, Christianity uses the words of unqualified, completely anonymous and falsely-ascribed authors from the Bronze Age, most of whom had a clear political agenda, to argue against that knowledge. In so doing, it inflicts unjustified guilt and shame upon the innocent and unlearned, along with maddeningly heightening their libidos. If the guilt-trip proves to be ineffective, it shifts its game to terrorism with the promise of eternal damnation.

There is a truly serious issue here if we value our freedom. Brainwashing negates free choice. Totalitarianism is the unlimited application of authority that strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian policies include restriction of movement, restriction of reading material and entertainment, and the prohibition of certain inter-personal relationships.

However, when people are pressured into embracing doctrines that say they have no right to their own thoughts (Exodus 20:17 and Matthew 5:28) and no right to their own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19) under the threat of hellfire for any who refuse to repent; that truly is, not only sadistic, but the final frontier – of tyranny!

Poepol of the Week Award goes to the “science” teachers in South African schools that refuses to teach evolution. Well done you bunch of morons!!!

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News24

Religion forces science teacher to quit

2012-03-06 15:15

Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town – A science teacher at an upmarket Cape Town school has found herself at odds with senior staff over a desire to teach evolution in science lessons.

“I explicitly put teaching natural selection on the syllabus for the year; I made a three week slot; I came with practical experiments they could do. What I discovered was, I was the only person teaching natural selection,” said a science teacher at a Cape Town high school who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity.

The source said that the teachers in the school’s science department were mainly Christian and that staff issued a reprimand over teaching the scientific concept.

“We’re talking about the head of biology, we’re talking about the longest standing member [of staff] who’s been there for more than 25 years and we’re talking about the most recent member who was trained in a Biology area.

“What he actively does in class is he poo poos the idea [of evolution], he makes kids laugh at the idea of the age of the Earth as proposed by scientists currently. He poo poos the fossil record, he gives what he believes is counter evidence to carbon dating,” the teacher said.

Creationism

The theory of natural selection by evolution is accepted by science as the method by which species evolved to the ecosystem on the planet today, however, evangelical religious groups in the US have lobbied that creationism is should also be taught as a competing theory in science lessons.

“Sometimes the way science is reported and transmitted to the public may cause confusion. Another thing to bear in mind is that perhaps the world isn’t that simple.

“Sometimes the world is very complicated it is difficult to communicate science to the public and the result is that some people have a negative view of science and then science communicators then bend over backward to try and accommodate people while they on the other hand, they know it is E=mc², it’s not E=mc² plus baby Jesus,” psychohistorian Auke Slotegraaf told News24.

For the teacher, she worried that the lack of competent science education hampers the learning of school students.

“I met a Muslim Biology teacher who refused to teach evolution and I met a Christian Geography teacher who refused to teach plate tectonics.

“They [the children] have no understanding of evolution by natural selection,” said the teacher.

Parents who had been made aware of the teacher’s lesson plans had apparently also told their children to dismiss the teacher’s lessons.

“One kid told me that his dad had already told him that he was to ignore everything that I said about evolution because it was a load of nonsense. The parents are preparing them to reject it.”

Conservative attitudes have forced many in science into being on the defensive and the source said that since leaving the school, the teacher’s lot has not improved.

“So now I find myself out of the frying pan into the fire.”

– Follow Duncan on Twitter

– News24

Can a brain tumor lead to religion?

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A good friend of mine from many years ago recently posted on Facebook that he was diagnosed with a growth on his brain of the worst kind. He has since had it removed and now he has to undergo 30 treatments.

He went on to start talking about two verses he read in the bible recently. One that told him he would see his children’s children someday, and another verse told him he would recover according to the lord’s time.

Then he went on as to how much hope the bible has given him etc etc etc

Now back in the day, this man was not religious at all. I remember having that conversation with him. His own words were that “It is a bunch of crap!”

I told my wife today, that if I ever start praising some kind of gods that she better prepare herself for the worst. I probably have a brain tumor.

Or is it maybe that a whole childhood of religious indoctrination gets ingrained so deeply into the brain, that it is hard to shake even for the most rebellious?

I also noticed in his recent Facebook posts, that he hasn’t mentioned his surgical team once, not said a word about his doctors, his medicine and the hope the treatment ahead gives him. Nope, that is nothing compared to the comfort and the hope the bible and god is giving him. Do you think he will put all his faith into the bible and god and forsake the treatment? I don’t think so, he is a very clever and successful man. Not your average brain dead fundie type.

I wonder what happened to him along the way? Was it the tumor that brought him back to god? Or has he been on a steady and constant road to jesus the last couple of years?

One thing I know for sure. If I start to believe any of the crap written in the bible I will go for a brain scan right away. I will be convinced that I have a tumor that is growing rapidly.