Worthy causes of the day: “Lose your home, Lose your vote?”, “Tell Congress: Untangle the Red Tape for the Kids”, and “Tell Harry Reid: Don't cave on offshore drilling.”
I would also like to promote the worthy cause of giving blood, which I did this morning. It is an easy, safe way to save human lives, so if you may be eligible to donate (and many are who think they are not), please contact the Red Cross to find out where you can donate. Thank you.
Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
- “Evangelicals to UN: Indict Ahmadinejad”: They seem to be learning from the mistake of remaining silent that led to the Holocaust.
- Poe's Law: This is the very scary idea that fundamentalism can be indistinguishable from a parody of fundamentalism.
- “Sarah Palin, faith-based mayor”: In summary: As mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin foisted a philosophy of “character” (“Character First!”) on the city in her charge; said philosophy is supposedly secular, but in actually it is of the evangelical Christian organization the Institute in Basic Life Principles. That Palin would try to impose her values on other people is completely consistent with what I wrote on Monday about her assumption that she is perfectly right. It goes without saying that this is a violation of the separation of church and state, even though “Character First!” is allegedly secular.
Even if it were truly secular, she still would have no business trying to impose it on others. Moral philosophies, unable to anchor its definitions (e.g., of “good” and “evil”) directly in objective physical reality, are matters of opinions. Without a deity imposing one opinion as a standard, one opinion is as good as another. Under such conditions, trying to make people accept that something is “good” makes as much sense as trying to make people accept that something is “delicious.”
Also alarming are the values themselves. While a lot of them sound generally acceptable, the definitions often do not fit how people usually use the terms, e.g., “truthfulness” is defined as “Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts” when it is normally defined without regard to consequences or what is being reported. Keep in mind that arbitrary redefinition is a warning sign that someone is trying to be deceptive. Many redefinitions take on an authoritarian bent, e.g., “meekness” is defined as “Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve” and “obedience” is defined as “Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me”. For those of us who have embraced freedom, the idea that we should defer to people who have been caught lying to us frankly makes very little sense.
Poll results: This blog’s first poll is over. There were a total of four votes on the question “Should this blog have a poll?”: one vote for “No” (probably by Bobby Awesome), one vote for “If you ask that question, you deny your Buddha nature”, one vote for “42”, and one vote for “To get to the other side”. My interpretation is that most of the people who voted were feeling goofy.
Today’s news and commentary:
- “Political Miracles (1976)” and “Failing Economy”
- “Man who cleaned public restroom gets plunger award” (Mazzal ṭov!)
- “Officials call off controversial autism study” (Who exactly decided to permit a study of chelation therapy in the first place? Children have been killed by chelation!)
- Tom the Dancing Bug 2008-09-17
- “Sarah Palin's wasteful ways”, “Probe into Palin's firing of official unraveling”, and “Group Posts E-Mail Hacked From Palin Account”
- “Sheboygan women files landmark case over Web links”
- “Deletionpedia: Where Wikipedia entries go to die”
- “House okays bill lifting ban on offshore drilling” (For shame!)
- “100 groups demand to see secret anticounterfeiting treaty”
- “Seedy but Speedy: Fungus Spews Spores at 55 Mph”
- “'Grey's Anatomy' viewers learn without even trying” (Interesting strategy for medical education.)
Enjoy and share the weirdness.