What Believers and Atheists Can Learn From Each Other

What Believers and Atheists Can Learn From Each Other



via The Lake Shore Singer


God’s Omniscience: Religion’s Ultimate Cop-Out

“It doesn’t matter what the particular problem is for a person’s faith. Having an omniscient God concept solves it. It could be the intractable and unanswerable problem of ubiquitous suffering; or how a man could be 100% God and 100% man without anything leftover, or left out; or how the death of a man on a cross saves us from sins; or why God’s failure to better communicate led to massive bloodshed between Christians themselves. It just doesn’t matter. God is omniscient. He knows why. He knows best. Therefore punting to God’s omniscience makes faith pretty much unfalsifiable, which allows believers to disregard what reason tells them by ignoring the probabilities.” (link)


Dietary Dogma

Full course dinner

Image via Wikipedia

Richard Nikoley, the man behind the health and fitness blog Free the Animal, subscribes to a rigorously scientific, “Paleo-esque” view of human health and nutrition. He takes crap from vegans and vegetarians for his promotion of the consumption of (grass-fed, organic, humanely treated) meat. He takes crap from low-carbers and certain Paleo Diet adherents for promoting the occasional potato or plate of rice. He takes crap from low-faters for promoting cooking with butter. And on and on. He takes crap from a LOT of people for not viewing nutrition in absolute, black and white terms.

Recently a reader gave him crap for promoting the consumption of fruit. (That’s right–fruit, that nasty sweet stuff full of evil sugar!) He responded with a post that included a toungue-in-cheek sample meal plan demonstrating the ease with which–with equal opportunity–he can perturb food-fundamentalists of all stripes:


Breakfast is eggs cooked in butter, with bacon and fruit; Lunch is a salad with grilled chicken or salmon; Dinner is a big steak and potato. (pisses off: low fatters, low carbers, vegetarians, egg white eaters and some paleos)


Skip breakfast; Lunch is the biggest steak you can find, nothing else; Dinner is a hunk of meat and a salad. (pisses off: dietitians, nutritionists, vegetarians, some paleos)


Nothing; fast day. (pisses off: dietitians, nutritionists, the USDA, the farmers who grow your hearthealthywholegrains, and just about everyone)


Breakfast is a huge amount of fruit, like two cantaloup or honey dew, or a big watermelon; Lunch is nothing; Dinner is a big helping of steamed white rice along with a meat, fish or fowl choice.  (pisses off: see above)


Breakfast is meat. Lunch is meat. Dinner is meat; a zero carb day.  (pisses off: Catholics, high carbers, – vegetarians and vegans contemplate suicide)


Breakfast is eggs with meat and fried potatoes; Lunch is fish with vegetables; Dinner is raw fish, raw oysters and any additional seafood you like. (pisses off: Catholics for being a day late, low fatters, low carbers, vegetarians, some Paleos)


Breakfast is two Bloody Mary’s chased with steak, eggs, potatoes and toast of choice; Lunch is a gin or vodka martini chased with pasta of choice; have a slice of pizza as an afternoon snack; Dinner is 1/3 to 1/2 bottle of single malt scotch and the biggest piece of rare prime rib you can find within 100 miles. (pisses off: Everyone)

I particularly like when he waxes philosophical:

Just eat real food, eat it often and exclusively — except now and then — enjoy your life, and create opportunities to socialize and share food with others.

Get good sleep, give your lover a decent f*cking, and laugh at anyone and everyone who wants to prescribe a life for you, especially as concerns politics and its whores.

Richard may be a bit brash, perhaps, but he sure knows how to make a point and keep things interesting. In some ways he’s kind of the Christopher Hitchens of the nutrition world.



Deepak Chopra: Master Purveyor of Bafflegab

Deepak Chopra in November 2006, speaking at Yahoo.

Image via Wikipedia

PZ Myers:

That long-winded charlatan, Deepak Chopra, has scribbled up a whiny criticism of Hitchens’ address in absentia to the American Atheists. Hitchens wrote a wonderful, brave, and inspiring exposition on his mortality, and urged everyone to keep up the gallant fight; Chopra carps and squirms, trying to find an excuse to reject Hitchens’ argument. He fails pathetically…(link)


The Theology of Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga — the queer icon and pop sensation — is setting off the Christian right again. In her new song and video, “Judas,” Lady Gaga sings over and over, “I’m in love with Judas,” referring to the reviled disciple who betrays Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. Is there anything redemptive, theologically speaking, about this song and video? (link)


“Home Alone” House for Sale

The Home Alone home is located on Chicago’s North Shore in the historic town of Winnetka. This stately red-brick colonial Georgian is dramatically situated on a beautifully landscaped half-acre lot, just blocks from the quaint town-center and magnificent Lake Michigan. Built in the 1920s, this residence is now recognized the world over as the “Home Alone Home,” as it was featured in the popular family movie Home Alone and its first sequel…(link)


Magic Underwear and the Like

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of...

Image via Wikipedia

All religions are equally crazy. Some just hide their craziness better than others. (link)


Religion and Quality of Life

The least religious countries are more democratic, more peaceful, have less corruption, more telephones, do better at science, have less inequality and other problems, and are generally just less dysfunctional. (link)


Rapture Veteran T-shirt

They forgot the very first failed Christian end-times prediction: ca. 1st century CE (i.e., the original prophecies of Jesus and the apostles). For more, read here.