Wednesday, January 21, 2009

25 Ṭeveth 5769: National Hugging Day/Granola Bar Day

Greetings.

Worthy causes of the day: “Thank President Obama” and “President Obama / We're Ready For Reform”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. More countries having trouble with the concept of freedom of religion: “Members of U.S. Congress Press for Religious Freedom in China”, “Kazakhstan: Tougher Religion Law Under Constitutional Review”, “Iranian media report Baha'i missionary arrests”, and “Christian killed in northern Iraqi city”.
  2. “As atheists roll out London ads, believers unruffled”: This business about atheistic bus ads takes a turn Richard Dawkins did not expect: Some Christians, rather than getting angry, look upon them as an opportunity to get people to think about what they actually believe.
  3. “Man refuses to drive 'No God' bus”: Meanwhile, at least one bus driver agrees with me that the idea of there being no god is bleak and dreadful, regardless of whether it is true or not. Atheist Hanne Stinson shows no understanding of why anyone might feel this way. The moral of this incident: it is not enough to tell people that something is great; tell them why it is great.
  4. “'Islam' bus ads draw criticism”: As it is written:
    Fifty of Broward County's 290-bus fleet have been rolling for the past several weeks with a message that might seem more oblique than inflammatory. Black letters on a white backdrop proclaim, ``ISLAM: The Way of Life of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.''
    As far as I know, this is a genuine Muslim belief. However, it is also one that naturally draws criticism, as it is what one might call “claim-jumping”, trying to claim that figures of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament were actually Muslims. As such, it is to be expected that Jews and Christians would find such ads offensive, and they are entitled to be offended. After all, there is no political right to freedom to force others to accept one’s beliefs or freedom from criticism. It is also notable that historical and archaeological evidence is on the side of Jews and Christians. Open up any issue of Biblical Archaeology Review or any decent book on Biblical archaeology. You will notice the abundance of Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish artifacts in Israel and the severe lack of Arabic/Islamic artifacts from any time before the Arabs started their jihad post-Muḥammad. The spat over whether supporters or critics of the ads are shilling for terrorists is a two-way ad hominem.
  5. “Vatican says Jewish prayer complaints excessive”: Exactly how does the Vatican expect Jews not to consider a prayer asking for the conversion of the Jews to Christianity offensive? The Vatican can either hold that it is OK for Jews to be Jews or hold that Jews should all convert to Catholicism, hopefully being as respectful as possible in their disagreement with Jews on this theological issue. Trying to hold by both views simultaneously is not consistent and thus does not go over well.
Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Dalek Crochet Pattern”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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