Friday, September 30, 2011

God debate, who really won? The audience.

     I watched/listened to a debate last night. It was Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists up against Kyle Butt of Apologetics Press. The debate proposition was "God Does Not Exist" with Blair Scott arguing for the proposition and Kyle Butt arguing against it.
       I've heard Blair Scott speak a few times but I'd never heard of Mr Butt.
  The debate starts and Mr Butt steps up to the podium. One of the first things he mentions is that he has been trolling a certain "social site" and he came upon a comment on Blair's page. Someone had made a joke about Mr Butt on Blair's wall it seemed. Mr Butt was visibly not happy about being the butt of the joke and his comment about it was presented as if it had come from Blair or somehow been encouraged by him. Blair didn't make the comment, it was put on his facebook wall by a contact. We all know how that goes, none of us ever knows what the hell people on our friends list are going to say. If you post a perfectly innocent status next thing you know someone is telling stories about their bowel moments or some other random thing. Besides if you have the last Butt what do you think is going to happen? Do you expect people who don't know you, are never going to meet you, and probably think you are never going to read any posted comment, to pass up the painfully easy opportunity to joke about your name? Yea okay...
    After watching the displeasure flash across Mr Butt's face I thought for a moment He is using a facebook comment to put down the person he is debating about god? It seemed a bit childish to me and as he continued to speak it became clear I was right.
    Mr. Butt told his audience that Blair was sure to lose because you can not prove a negative. I almost expected him to reach out and point at Blair, cackle loudly and scream "We got you my pretty!" in a voice very much like the wicked witch. He didn't but he did ramble on for several minutes presenting arguments which have all been found to be incorrect or had still been considered 'debatable' This would have been business as usual but there was a hint of personal attack in Mr Butt's animus towards Blair. It continued through the entire debate, flaring up a couple of times.
   Mr Butt told a joke his opening came to an end. Blair Scott then started his opening. I was curious how he would address the fact that he could not win a debate where he had to prove the absolute non-existence of god.
    Then something very interesting happened. Blair admitted to losing the debate as it had been presented. He would not be trying to prove god didn't exist, he would be presenting some of the conclusions Atheists had come to and some of the counter arguments to Mr Butt's absolute claims. These would all be presented so that they could be considered by the audience. The audience would have to come to it's own conclusions. There was not going to be an Atheist standing on stage insisting everything he said was factual beyond a doubt.
   This approach was perfect for a couple reasons.
 1) If Blair had started by telling the crowd he was going to change their minds about god you would have been able to hear the minds snapping shut. He had only asked them to listen.
 2) No matter what was said from that point on, no matter how many times Mr Butt took petty shots and behaved like an egotistical prick who had all the answers. Blair was standing in front of a crowd giving them things to think about which would probably never been presented to them otherwise. Things that would help them make informed choices about their beliefs.
    I'm not going to go into the issues tossed back and forth between Blair and Mr Butt except one. Mr Butt said at one point the there were absolutes when it came to what was right and wrong. Besides showing that Mr Butt is unable to even consider another person point of view,it also showed how ignorant he is to the diversity of the world.
    Some people are going to say that Blair did not do well during this debate. While I can understand how they could come to that conclusion I found his presentation to be accurate and done with class, not by taking cheap shots at Mr Butt. Blair could have also admitted defeat and proceeded to describe exactly what kind of god the other side had shown to exist by using the bible. It would have been easy to paint the picture of a needy hypocritical being who seemed very bored and not very intelligent. That would have resulted in most of the crowd dismissing Blair as hateful or angry, the poor Atheist who just needed to find the love of jesus.
     Mr Butt gave me the impression of someone who talks to to everyone but his reflection in a condescending tone. I don't think he even one time admitted that he could be wrong. There is a saying that goes something like this "The wisest man is the one who realizes how little he knows" If Mr Butt possesses any humility at all he must be hiding it where the sun doesn't shine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FaceBook- New and ...Improved??


1690s, from Fr. algorithme, refashioned (under mistaken connection with Gk. arithmos "number") from O.Fr. algorisme "the Arabic numeral system," from M.L. algorismus, a mangled transliteration of Arabic al-Khwarizmi "native of Khwarazm," surname of the mathematician whose works introduced sophisticated

   Do you know what an algorithm is? Well for all of you who said yes you're wrong. It is generally accepted there is no formal definition for the term algorithm but for the purpose of this blog we will use this definition. An algorithm is defined as “a step by step problem solving procedure.Specifically I am talking about automated relevance algorithms. Now before you start to think this is some kind of technical manual, allow me to explain. Algorithms are used to figure out what you are going to see in your facebook news feed and they also are used to show search results that will be of most use to you. While I am sure this makes facebook more interesting to some people. I like to see things that may be totally outside the box. I want to see things I have never seen before so I can choose to like them for myself.

   Facebook is going to piss a lot of people off soon. Why? Because it is going to fundamentally change. Does anyone remember myspace? Well I work in the entertainment industry and I can tell you one of the reasons for the demise of myspace. While there was no single reason this one played a part.....People got used to it. When seeking entertainment we want something fresh and new, we use the hell out of it, then we toss it aside like a used rag and go to the next shiny object. People get bored. That's why your local fast-food place goes through a remodel every so often. That's why you change your style of hair and clothes. The same thing applies to anything we deal with. It's why husbands cheat on wives and why wives divorce husbands. And it's why facebook is going to change, they don't want to be the next myspace.
 You can get pissed if you want but this change must happen, and it will. Too much is depending on it , too much money mostly.
    The poke feature? Did you notice it's gone? Now millions of college students will have to find another way to 'hook up' That was it's original purpose, what did you use it for?
   Digital music services, ways to share your favorite music with friends, and the introduction of new ways to consume other kinds of media, including news, music, video with 'watch' 'listen' and 'review' buttons.
    Your profile page? It will resemble a timeline. With the ability to spotlight those important parts you can give friends look at what is most important in your life. New types of groups to share specific news content with friends, and even more specific security options will also be part of the change.

    Why all these changes? Facebook is seeing a leveling out of new users and reaching saturation in some countries, and an algorithm told facebook if they didn't change they would become the square root of myspace.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pat says "God did it"

Pray the gay away.
Make a deal with the devil and get an earthquake.
Perform abortions? comes a hurricane.
Too much plastic surgery makes you look oriental.
Do you think someone is going to kill you? Well then, they should.
God is tolerant and loving, but if you stick your finger in his eye, or vote out a school board that believes in creationism...he's gonna get you.
Who is REALLY responsible for 9/11? Pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People For the American Way...yep, that's right.
Is your town having trouble with those pesky hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings, or meteorites? Stop having those gay parades, problems solved!
Is God to steering  hurricanes towards your company's  headquarters? Pat Robertson can pray it away.
Plan on going to Scotland? Watch out, it's been over-run by homosexuals.
Want to downsize government? Nuke the State Department Headquarters.
 And the latest bit of advice from the guru of the good-life Pat Robertson?
Got a spouse with Alzheimers? Get 'em a nurse, get a divorce, and get it on!
 Yep never-mind those annoying inconvenient wedding vows. You just agreed to those vows so you could get laid anyways right? (God is sending a hurricane after you for that by the way) Nobody really believes in anything the priest says on their wedding day.
 If your spouse gets a disease that causes you to be annoyed because they don't remember your name and they try to eat the couch, ditch them. It's okay, they are as good as dead anyways.
 Pat Robertson has been saying crazy shit for years and years and for the most part Christians have either agreed or quietly shook their heads. He has gone on receiving money and doing his little TV show , even becoming involved in politics. No christian has stood up and demanded for him to STFU. No christian has set forth with the same vigor used to convert sinners to christianity, to shut Pat Robertson's trap.
 Maybe now these christians who have sat by the sidelines and whispered "i'm not like him" whenever Pat Robertson opened his mouth to pass gas will stand the hell up and demand he shut the large hole under his nose.
  The only redeeming quality Pat Robertson has is he provides a prime example of what is wrong with most organized religions. It's okay to judge and condemn as long as your finger is pointed away from yourself. As time goes by that pointed finger will eventually point straight at you and you can either accept you are just as bad as any you have judged or you can be as bad as those you have judged, or in Pat's case, far worse.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peter Popoff- Pops Off At The Mouth

 So I've been bragging about my newest BFF Peter Popoff right? (see blog here and here) I know you have all felt at least a small ping of jealousy as you read about what Peter had done,was doing, and would do for me. One of my less loyal friends (Tim) who saved me from a burning building a couple months ago even told me "Dude I wish there was some way I could be as selfless as Peter Popoff. I'm sorry Reap, I just do the best I can." I looked at him and replied "Yea if all my friends were as devoted as Peter it would be like I was in heaven. You are only human man and I accept you as you are"  Then the nurse had to wheel Tim into his therapy session. It'll be a couple more months before he gets out of the hospital. 3rd degree burns can really screw you up I guess. I only got 2nd degree burns from the fire. The EMT said something must have been shielding me...weird huh? I didn't even know Peter then so it couldn't have been him...
  Anyways, I know a friend like Peter is hard if not impossible for most people to find, but lately.......well......this best friend stuff is something Peter Popoff seems to take pretty seriously.

I got another letter from him a couple days ago, this was number 4...or maybe number 5. It's getting hard to keep track.
  Peter now refers to me as 'brother' and it kinda creeps me out cause I'm pretty sure he is older than dirt, that would make him close to a century older than my mother.Besides I got my ass kicked a lot of times when I was younger and Peter never had my back once! Once I start looking closer at some of the behaviors Peter Popoff has been demonstrating I start seeing the pieces forming a disturbing puzzle.

Another gift from Peter

Take this piece of string for example. Peter bought this for 
me. He expects me to wear it around, put it in an envelope with some of my hard earned cash and then send it back to him! I have been in some dysfunctional relationships in my life but this is bad. Peter hasn't even taken me out to dinner yet. In fact, I have paid for everything up til now and I haven't gotten anything to eat yet. Besides I can't wear that thing, gold looks horrible on me.

   The next thing I  get from Peter is another of his letters. This letter, just like the rest, is more of Peter crying and yelling about the devil. He also continues to point out my flaws. 'I lost my job' 'I can't pay my bills' 'I'm a nervous wreck'  none of those things are even true! I can picture Peter telling god all these things to make me look bad. Boy am I glad I don't believe in god or I'd REALLY be pissed!!
  Included is some cheesy sticker I'm supposed to put on the bottom of my shoe. There is a packet of what looks like tiny pieces of  charcoal you would use to grill tiny little steaks. Peter says its 'magical' but it didn't even cook the steaks.

   Then Peter asks me for more money! The nerve of this guy! At this point I'm still waiting for the debt money to cover all my bills so I can pay god back for giving me money that Peter got for me. I briefly consider asking Peter for a loan so I can pay him to pay god so I can ask god for another loan and then give the money to Peter so he can use it to pay ......some angels... I think.... this is really getting confusing. I take some of the money that was to go to Peter and buy some aspirin, I'm getting a headache.

     A few days later....I'm just starting to forget my stalker brother. The whole crappy bar-b-que fiasco is a fading memory when my daughter comes in from checking the mail and says "Here dad" I look at her outstretched hand. She is holding several envelopes, one of them is pretty thick. "This one is pretty heavy" she says as I take the stack of off-white envelopes from her. I look down into the handful of mail and I see Peter has sent me another....something. I open the envelope while trying to remember where I had put those aspirins. Inside I find this...
Peter Popoff keeps sending me gifts...I can't help but think he wants something from me in money

   I almost expect a marriage proposal to be included in Peter's 5 page rant but there isn't one. There is a request for money, again. The request comes after instructing me to do several moronic tasks which seem to be another attempt at destroying any dignity I may have left. 
  1. Pour salt on the paper
  2. Hold ring for 60sec
  3. Blow salt off paper
  4. Tell Peter what color the ring is
  5. Write down problem(s) you want solved 
  6. Wear ring for 177 days
  7. See life change immeasurably in blink of an eye
Now I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Peter Popoff kinda earned that last name...
 The letter goes on (where are those damn aspirin?)
Answer 3 questions, find 5 divine personal priorities, 24 hours later receive first of  7 life-changing miracles. Now my head is spinning. How the hell am I supposed too remember all this? I'm gonna have to buy some kind of date-planner to write all this down or I may miss a life-changing miracle and then I'll be totally screwed. You don't see many (if any) miracles these days. If Peter somehow got god to do some miracles for me I gotta make sure I see them or god will probably think I am ignoring him. I really don't want to burn in hell for all eternity, that's not on my 'to-do' list.

     I keep reading only to find out Satan has been stealing from me! I wondered where all the forks had gone! My silverware drawer used to have a bunch of forks in it but the other day I went to get one and there were 2-3  to be found. That son of a bitch Satan must have took the rest of them. He is even worse than the bible says. Now my discomfort about Peter's behaviors is gone, I need Peter to help me or pretty soon I won't have and spoons to eat with either.

  Ok Peter now tells me he has had a vision. I have to follow his directions to get tangible and irrefutable proof of my bank account being stocked with 'fabulous divine transfers of SUPERABUNDANT BLESSINGS' Who cares if Satan forked himself with my stuff? I'll just buy new forks myself!
 After I do all this crazy stuff Peter asks then I will be set-up. I really don't want too wear that stupid, cheap ring for 177 days but what choice do I have? All that is left is to "Release the power of seed faith" in order to do that .....I A CHECK TO GOD FOR $27.00 ?!!
      Fuck that. I have no money because I gave it all to Peter already if he is so wonderful at seeing into the future and having visions all the damn time, and talking to god he damn well should know that. Come to think of it I don't think Peter Popoff is talking to god . If there was a god wouldn't he/she/it/they already know I'm broke?? And if there was a god wouldn't it have better things to do than play circle-jerk with $27.00?
  The rest of Peter's letter is just more of his blabbering on about how I must do stupid human tricks in order for him to help me.I've come to the conclusion Peter is after my hard earned cash. It's almost as if I've had a vision. I'll keep you posted, I just got another letter in the mail....