Sunday, November 20, 2011

Funny Thought

1. According to the Justice League cartoon, Nth metal is an isotope of iron with an atomic weight of 676.

2. According to the Bible, god can be fought off by iron chariots.

So, just how badly would an Nth metal chariot mess up god?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Cynicism Dump

I'm all in favor non-USA countries having their own space programs, but this just feels awkward. On other blogs, I've often commented on how we're falling behind in the world. I originally put the phrase "feels like" in the previous sentence while I was typing it.

I'm really losing confidence in the US these days, and I think I'm likely in partial denial about it by saying we're at the beginning of various downfalls. I used to say that we were at the early stages of a breakdown into a police state with the war on drugs getting more insane each year, the continuing destruction of our freedoms, and the ongoing consolidation of executive power in the wake of 9/11. I think it's time I moved onto assuming we're at least in the middle of the breakdown.

Politics is not one of my strengths, but it's hard for me to imagine that past Republicans were as insane as the current crop of them. Before 9/11, I was able to imagine a Republican being voted into the presidency without it being an outright disaster for the nation. It doesn't help that our current Democrat president is doing many of the same things Bush did. He's essentially doing the opposite of what I voted for him to do: Crack down on US war crimes and civil rights abuses. I will not be voting for him ever again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quote ot the Time Being: The Spoils of War

Today's quote comes from Ed Brayton of Dispatches from the Culture Wars, on a topic I recently thought about, again:
Probably the single biggest passage that did it for me was Numbers 31. This is the attack on the Midianites. The Israelites believed that two Midianite women had “tempted” two men to worship their god instead of Jehovah. As a result, Moses commanded — supposedly because God told him to do so — that all Midianites be slaughtered. Except for the virgin females, who were divided up among the soldiers as the spoils of war. And it occurred to me that this is something that even Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin didn’t do. Even Nazi Germany didn’t force the women they’d conquered to marry the men who had slaughtered their fathers and brothers. That’s how barbaric it was, it went beyond anything even the worst human beings would do. And this is the same being that supposedly commands us to love one another and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? It just didn’t add up for me.
To make things worse, a lot of fundamentalists believe Moses is being rewarded with eternal bliss for leading a "holy" life.

As for the evils of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, the fact that they didn't order anything like this suggests that even our archetypes for complete monsters are still less evil than the god of the Old Testament. Even if you try to detach the god from the barbarism, it still makes a far more horrifying vision for humanity than anything modern fundies can confabulate for the "degradation" of our civilization. How exactly are rock and roll, Harry Potter, and equal marriage rights going to produce anything even remotely as bad?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Andy Hamilton's Search for Satan

I thought I'd go ahead and point this out. Andy Hamilton does a humorous documentary about Satan and how the idea has changed over time. The link has an embedded YouTube video that will probably end up being taken down sooner or later, so if you don't have access to BBC Four, you should probably watch while you can.

I'm only partway through as I type this, but it's looking fun so far. I'm curious just how much (or rather, how little) information about Satan is actually in the Bible. I pretty sure a huge bulk of the common perception will be linked to Dante's Inferno.