Moral behavior: divinely inspired or evolved?

BK-Cash find

This story was reported in my local rag this morning and immediately had me pondering a couple of things that frequently run through my brainial meats whenever I encounter stories of this sort.  For me, these stories immediately raise a number of questions that I’ve never been able to adequately resolve.

Perhaps I’ll find some help with this posting.  I particularly hope that readers who profess to believe in the supernatural could lend some insight into my ponderings.

The first observation I have is this: Janelle and her husband decided to do the “right” thing, not because she knew intuitively that it was the “right” thing to do, but because they believed that a) Jehovah was overseeing their drive-thru activity and b) they believed that they knew what choice Jehovah would have them make in this situation.  The question, of course, that immediately comes to mind as I make this observation is this: what does it say about a person’s internal moral development when they resolve their moral dilemmas solely on the basis on what they believe that their object of supernatural veneration would have them do?

The second question that immediately comes to mind is this: If Jehovah is an omniscient being who knows all things – past, present and future – why would he find it necessary to watch every nanosecond of your life, and believed to guide all of your daily decisions?     Unless my understanding of Jehovah is way off kilter, Jehovah was well aware of the decision Janelle and her husband would make eons before they were even born.  Why would Jehovah bother to watch a rerun of Janelle’s behavior, just to make sure he was right about what he knew eons before?

The third question I have is this: How does Janelle and her husband so easily come to the conclusion that Jehovah wanted Janelle to return the cash?  Couldn’t it be quite possible that Jehovah was guiding the manager’s hand when the cash was placed in the take-out bag instead of the spicy chicken sandwich?  Maybe Jehovah influenced the manager to give the cash to a person he felt was in real need of it or, as Janelle said, someone who really “could have used it.”  If this were the case, Janelle’s decision to return the cash is actually a violation of Jehovah’s will.

Now, the Jdubs who will read this post might normally be inclined to declare that my observations and questions show a distinctive and strong Satanic influence but I caution them against rushing to this conclusion.  After all, Jehovah knew long ago that I’d be asking these questions and I’m sure you’d insist that my asking is just part of Jehovah’s will.

Thanks in advance for all the insight you might offer.  I’m looking forward to receiving it. I’m ready to make a quantum leap in my knowledge and understanding of the unseen forces claimed to be guiding us mortals.

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Last night it started to snow, while I was driving home. The roads were getting a bit dodgy, so I turned on KDKA News Radio to catch the latest weather reports.

Unfortunately, it was Sunday night, so instead of weather, I heard Father Ron Lengwin, who apparently has a long-running religious show in which he “builds up the credibility of the church” by speaking the “truth” about religion and the bible.

As the weather was getting worse, I found it interesting that he did NOT say that he was praying for our safety, but instead told his audience to drive safely, slow down, and take it easy on the roads.

It was remarkably good advice and speaks to the “truth” about religion, even if he didn’t mean it that way.


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This week’s big news from Oklahoma

No shaman, no marriage!  Yup, you read that right.  No Shaman, no marriage!

That’s the gist of what Okies are being asked to consider in light of the Supremes overturning the State’s same-sex marriage prohibitions.

Live in Okieland and wanna’ get married there?  No problem, Jack.  Do whatever you want.  But there is one big rule that you must observe: In order for your marriage to be legally recognized and sanctioned by the State of Oklahoma you must first find a dimwitted, delusional, sky gawd worshiper to “sign off” on your State-issued marriage certificate!  

That’s right.  Wanna get married in OK?  Find a State sponsored shaman (Only a few clans are “sponsored.”) to give you the ultimate permission.  Oh, and one more thing: Don’t be asking your local judge.  Judges will be prohibited from performing marriages if the bill is enacted.  You gotta have a State sponsored shaman.

Hard to believe anyone could come up with something like this, isn’t it?  I seriously doubt that even Louie Gohmert could come up with this one, even with the help of Santorum (aka Mr. Lube), Huckleberry, Palin AND Perry!  But at least one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons has managed to outdo them all!

The faithiest nutbags roaming the halls of our government simply will not give up. Furthermore, I have serious doubts that they can ever be “reached” and brought back into the fold of the sane and reasonable.  Bills like this, I think, are pretty strong evidence that these hominid types are beyond reach.  Something’s gone seriously wrong in their brainmeats cavity.  I think that the best this country could hope for is seeing the day when such insanity is quickly recognized for what it is and the idiots who propose and sponsor these kinds of mind-numbingly-stupid bills are immediately recognized for what they are, removed from public office, marginalized and given the same respect, care and medical treatment due any patient entering Bellevue.

From C&L this morning:
Oklahoma Republican, Todd Russ has proposed a bill that would require a religious official to sign off on the marriage certificate to make marriages legal. It’s obvious that the Republican fundamentalists in one of the reddest states in the nation, harbor feelings of revulsion for same-sex marriage. Now, to avoid the same-sex marriage issue entirely, they are targeting atheists as well. Next to members of the LBGT community, atheists are the next most popular punching bag. There is not one atheist serving in Congress.

Under Russ’s proposal, marriage certificates could be signed only by a religious official, who would then pass the certificate along to the clerk. Judges could no longer perform legal marriages.
While couples who didn’t have a religious official handy could still qualify for a common law marriage, this still means only church-sanctioned relationships could be legally, formally recognized.

Secular marriages outlawed? The government doesn’t have the right to decide unions, according to Russ. “

Why would anyone want to propose something as stupid as this?  Simple.  State’s rights! The feds ain’t go no right tellin’ us Okies how to run things!  Bringin’ slavery back in the State is next.

Read more HERE.  There’s a short video there as well.

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Who’s your Rethug favorite for 2016

I received an email alert from the good folks over at People For the American Way today that contained the image below.   Check ‘em out.  If this isn’t a fine representation of the many facets of the phrase, “batshit lunacy,” I don’t know what is.

Try pondering this thought for just one second: at least one of these morons may very likely become the next Rethug standard bearer in the 2016 US Presidential run.  Who do you think it will be?

Well, I’ve given it some thought and believe that I’m ready to select who I believe should be nominated.  The winners for me?  Rick Santorum, for Prez. and Ben Carson for veep.

There’s no doubt about it for me…. these two morons will bring us the greatest and most sustained laughter that we have ever experienced during a Prez. election.  It could not possibly get better than this.

Oh, please, please, please, Your Royal High Noodleage, please make it be little Ricky (Mr. Lube) Santorum and his idiotic sidekick, Ben.  Oh, I beg of you.

Who are your picks?  Yea, I know how difficult answering that question may be for you but you gotta’ try.  In fact, I think I’ll start a pool right now to encourage your solemn contemplation.

Here’s the pool guidelines:
* I’ll kick start the pot with a Benji.
* Each two-person pick you make costs a buck
* I’ll keep track of the bets.  Losers must pony up after November 8, 2016
* Pick two of the jackasses shown below
* If one of them gets nominated, you win half the pot
* If both of the idiots you pick get nominated, you win the whole pot
* If more than one person picks the same winners, the pot will be split between them
* If I win the booty, I’ll donate my winnings toward this summer’s picnic in the park*
* The winner(s) will also receive one of my newly designed T-shirts

* Eligible parks: Akron, if a NE Ohio winner and Pittsburgh if a Steel City Heathens winner.

Vote early, vote often.  Barrels of Newcastle are pricey.


 PS. Wouldn’t it be just fantastic to see this bumper sticker on cars for a year?


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Most memorable speech of the month

Pat Condell – [It has] Nothing to do with Islam.

He nails it perfectly!




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Pope Francis: terrorist codling douche bag

I want Mr. Deity to fill you in on the details because he does such a fantastic job.

Pope douche bag

h/t Brother Jason, high priest of blaspheming and all things heariticy in San Jose, CA





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The Evil That Is Religion

WARNING: Very long post

I come from a rather large family with my siblings and their offspring scattered all over the country. While we are not really lovey-dovey close, we still respect and enjoy celebrating our familial bonds. To that end, we get together as a family (as many of us as is possible) every other year to spend time together and reacquaint ourselves with each other.

The last time we got together, we were at the beach in North Carolina. One afternoon, several of us were sitting on the deck of a house along the beach. One of my brothers and I were having a conversation about (un)intelligent design and I pointed out one of my favorite examples of piss poor design in the human animal – that being the use of the same passageway for both food intake and aspiration. I pointed out that it would greatly diminish the problems with choking and other hazards if there were separate passageways for each function. One of my sisters, who was reading a book a few feet away, piped up with her commentary saying “if that is such a superior design, why are there no successful examples of it in the world?”

Well!!! I guess she told me!

Um….err….well….uh….actually, no, she didn’t. All she did was expose her ignorance about evolution and her scientific illiteracy. Since natural selection relies on random mutations to produce slight changes that may or may not be successful, if a specific mutation never occurs, there is no opportunity for said mutation to prove its superiority or, for that matter, to fail. But even if it were to fail, it would likely leave a fossil record.

Now my sister is by no means a stupid woman – through hard work and determination, she rose from very humble beginnings to be appointed by the President to serve on the Federal Accounting Standards Board; become Vice-President of a Fortune 100 company by the age of 45; and become a fairly wealthy woman in the process. Not too shabby, especially considering her beginning circumstances. So a lack of native intelligence is definitely not one of her problems; critical thinking, scientific literacy, and highly developed intellect in certain areas may, but native intelligence is not.

I am not relating this incident to denigrate or humiliate my sister. I’m using it to make a point about what I consider the most insidious, truly evil aspects of religion. Anytime there is a discussion of the evilness of religion, most rationalists go for the low hanging fruit – 9/11, ISIL/ISIS, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Crusades, the Inquisition, modern hate groups like the Family Research Council and their ilk, and examples like that. No, the most dangerously evil aspects of the religion/god virus are much more subtle and insidious.

The first is the demand that followers be stupid. (I know, I know – the correct term is “willfully ignorant” but I prefer to use stupid because it is much more pejorative and better portrays my utter contempt for delusional assholes.) From the church in Ft. Worth with the marquee that proudly proclaimed “If ur faith is big enough facts dnt count” to theologians like Alvin Plantinga who say pretty much the same thing, to the bible itself that demands blind faith and obedience, religion, especially the Abrahamic religions, demand that true believers ignore facts and credible evidence and rational thinking to instead believe nonsense and ancient myths that they prefer to believe. And this happens even with people who are fairly intelligent otherwise. They compartmentalize and don’t carry their critical thinking skills and or their skepticism (if they have any) over into the area of religion.

Once the believer has entered into that mindset of willful ignorance in the blind acceptance of ancient fairy tales despite reams of evidence and compelling arguments disproving such myths, it is then just a very small step to the rejection of peer-reviewed science and verifiable, credible scientific evidence to instead believe pseudo science and nonsense that supports what they want to believe. Consider the evolution “controversy” – 47% of Americans believe in creationism and reject all types of evolutionary theory – a theory that has been more thoroughly tested and has more evidence supporting it than any other theory in the history of science. Not only that, but another 32% believe in an evolution guided by their imaginary friend rather than natural selection.

I used to have a “live and let live” attitude about this, with the feeling that whatever people wanted to believe was okay with me – as long as it didn’t affect me and mine and they left me (and other rational people) alone. Unfortunately, it is now at the point where it significantly does affect me and mine, and, in fact, every human on this planet because we have arrived at an undeniable existential crisis for our species. Actually, I shouldn’t say undeniable because these morons are doing a very good job of denying the reality of anthropomorphic climate change. (I just wish they would take Tim Minchin’s suggestion and “deny the theory of gravity and float the fuck away”). And the unfortunate reality is that their ignorant delusion could very well mean the extinction of our species. Perhaps not the complete extinction, but the end of human existence as we know it. We are, after all, one of the best species at adapting and so may survive in some significantly diminished way.

And it’s not only the issue of anthropomorphic climate change, but the interjection of delusional non-scientific nonsense into many areas of public policy, from science education to sex education, from reproductive freedom for women to public health issues, from stewardship of natural resources to………. Instead of following evidence-based public policy, we instead pander to the emotional desires of the delusional morons.

The second area of insidious evil, perhaps even more insidious and pervasive than the willful ignorance problem, is the subconscious acceptance of cruelty and misogyny. If the deity that you worship, that you hold up as moral perfection, the paragon of virtue, is a misogynistic, malicious, genocidal murderer, you can’t help but be inured to such behaviors. The resultant mindset makes it much easier to embrace ethically questionable policies like torture and capital punishment, aka state sanctioned murder, and public policies that negatively affect disadvantaged minorities, whether they be the poor, or racial/ethnic minorities, or sexual minorities. It is so much easier to accept injustice and cruelty when your penultimate standard of virtue is itself unjust and cruel.

This is where I think that the real evil of the religion virus lies in today’s interconnected world. Yes, there is much to be despised of bronze age sexual mores designed to further the aims of a patriarchal society; and the ridiculous Calvinist notion that suffering is good; and the misogyny that pervades all of the Abrahamic religions. But the pervasive, invasive mindset of willful ignorance and the acceptance of cruelty as the natural order is where the real evil exists.

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Optical Illusion of the week

Some of the optical illusions I’ve seen recently are simply stunning.   Gaining in popularity these days is the “shake your head” illusion.  There’s even a page on the intertubes explaining how to use Photoshop to create your own.

Here’s one that I found amusing.

shake your head

Google “shake your head illusion” if you want to learn more.


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Christianity: Its Legacy in the Americas

I think that I’ll post this message every October 12 for the remainder of my tenure at this blog.

PODx-David Eller

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Poster of the Day – Question of the Day

A photo is making its upteenth journey through the intertubes recently that I thought was interesting in more ways than one. 

 Annette Kellerman promoted a woman’s right to
wear a simple, fitted, one-piece bathing suit 1907. 


She was arrested for indecency
on a Revere, MA beach.

Along with the Poster of the Day comes this Question of the Day: would anyone like to venture a guess as to what group of people vehemently opposed Kellerman’s “promotion” and supported jail time for her “transgression?”

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