Friday, July 30, 2010

Religion vs. Dungeons & Dragons

I've been listening to the discussion whether gays should be allowed to be married in church, baptized, or even take communion, or, if a woman can be ordained into the Catholic priesthood, or, if blacks (before 1978) could be ordained into the Mormon church. Even though, of course, discriminating against anyone because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation is wrong, but I have to ask myself, "Why would anyone want to?"

It reminds me of the arbitrary rules of the fantasy role playing game of Dungeons and Dragons. That left handers can't enter the 'Kingdom of Varg', or if you're shorter than 5'6", you can't seek immortality from the 'Elves of Zargon', or if you're a double jointed Japanese ballet dancer born in the southern hemisphere and who's belly button sticks out (Ewww - I hate that!), then you can't possibly understand the 'Mysteria from the Forgotten Realms of Ravenloft'?















I think it's time to play a different game?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Godless Quotes

Is there an intelligent man or woman now in the world who believes in the Garden of Eden story? If you find any man who believes it, strike his forehead and you will hear an echo. Something is for rent.

-- Robert Green Ingersoll, "Orthodoxy" (1884)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jesus is a Professional Wrestler & God (or himself) is his Fight Promoter

Okay, if I go way out here and accept that the Christian god exists and is the all powerful, all knowing supernatural, *groan…*, doesn’t that make the crucifixion and resurrection a huge con trick? Do you really believe that a supreme being would actually allow his son (or himself) to go through all that self imposed mutilation?

Of course not! But it's a great story of, a good guy (Jesus) that gets the crap beaten out of him by bad guy, (the Romans, the Jews, or humanity in general), then good guy comes back and eventually wins! Wouldn’t that make Jesus a kind of ‘Professional Wrestler, and god (or himself) a showman and entertainer like P.T. Barnum of “there’s a sucker born every minute” fame? So, it's all a big side show, planned from the very beginning for the entertainment of the crowd.













The gullible Christians eat it up, just like Pay Per View wrestling fans.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zombies in Biology and Religion

The Emerald or Jewel Cockroach Wasp (Ampulex Compressa) facilitates a venomous sting at a carefully chosen spot in a roach's brain which induces zombie like behavior. The wasp, which is too small to carry the roach, then leads the victim to it’s burrow by pulling one of the roach's antennae in a manner similar to a leash. Once they reach the burrow, the wasp lays an egg on the roach and the wasp’s larva is free to consume the roach at its leisure.

video

Similar effects occur in human society via a chemical drug used to assist in the rape of women. An extremely strong hypnotic and powerful sedative, (Flunitrazepam) often cited as the ‘date rape drug’ commonly referred to as a "roofie". It's favored because of its high potency, strong effects, and the ability to cause amnesia of events during the aggressor’s ‘activities’.

Religious equivalents of mindless behavior are too numerous to mention. From zombie like praying, to repetition of meaningless statements like “Jesus loves me”, and “God is good”, etc., etc., all to ensure the survival of the parasite. In this case, that requires power, control and money.

However, the religious parasite doesn’t inject or drug it’s victims does it? Well, in a way it does. The simple observance of the acceptance of these actions by other gullible onlookers is laying the seeds for religious replication. Furthermore, the structure of Christianity is such that disobeying the 'venom' that is pumped into a victim’s brain implies rejection from the community, loosing one’s friends, or even the breakup of the family. In Islam, the penalty for apostasy, (departure from one’s religion) is death! From those perspectives, the cockroach doesn’t have it so bad?

I Watch Porn – I’m Sure I’m the Only One?

Any combination of my two favorite subjects is worth mentioning.

In response to a recent blog about the 15 Sexiest Scientists, http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=10073, porn star Bree Olsen, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bree_Olson#cite_note-12 was interviewed and, guess what? She’s an atheist! There is a god! Or should I say, there isn’t a god? Whatever.

Quote: -

"Anything to do with [dead] animals makes me sad. People dying. I hate death. I don't like talking about it. I'm atheist. I know that when you die, there's no heaven, so that really bums me out. I wish I could be Christian and say I'm going to heaven but I know I'm not. It sucks to know the truth."

Okay, so her profession doesn’t exactly adhere to the scientific method, (even though I’ve seen quite a few of her videos and, her ‘methods’ are very ‘adhering’), any contribution to atheism from air head (if she is one) to egg head is fine with me.

Religious Parasites - Inception – Leonardo DiCaprio Can’t be Wrong?

The movie Inception is excellent and I highly recommend it. There are a few references in the movie trailer, and the very first lines that Leonardo DiCaprio says in the movie mention memetic viruses and parasite. Here’s the dialog from the trailer.


“What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”


I’ve modified the trailer a little, but just the visuals, not the audio. Waddya think?

video
For those using a browser that can't see the video, here's the link: -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDlvxKxQBGI

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Parasitic Fear Reduction - Religion

A parasite, (Toxoplasma gondii) infects the brain of rats and mice and changes they’re behavior by making them drawn to, rather than fearful of, the scent of cats. This effect is obviously disastrous for the rat but advantageous to the parasite, which will be able to sexually reproduce if its host is eaten by a cat. The infection is highly precise, as it doesn’t affect a rat's other fears such as the fear of open spaces or of unfamiliar smelling food.


A religious equivalent, for Christianity in this case, is the story that a man executed 2,000 years ago can take away responsibility for an individual’s socially unacceptable behavior. Accepting the parasitic meme that a supernatural entity has the capability of ‘forgiveness’ provides stress relief or even elation after immoral actions.


This is primarily advantageous to the religious parasitic meme in this case Christianity, as it will replicate from that individuals brain to other people, specifically that person’s family.


On first observation, it’s also advantageous to the individual as well. However, the impact to that individual in the long run, a wasted life in the service of a delusion, is unfortunate to say the least, but the impact on that individual’s society could be devastating. The damage from the Christian meme today ranges from refusing a woman’s right to choose, discrimination against homosexuals, to the murder of abortion doctors.
The damage from the Christian meme today ranges from refusing a woman’s right to choose, discrimination against homosexuals, to the murder of abortion doctors.











In the past it was justification for the Crusades, the Conquistadors, slavery, and the persecution of those advocating scientific advancement, continued today in the case of evolution, stem cell research, etc.


Similarly, this infection is highly targeted in that an individual’s sense of reason allowing them to go about their everyday lives, is unimpaired.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Godless Quotes


The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected.
-- H L Mencken, in American Mercury (March, 1930)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mind Control - Religious and Biological

Nature is full of examples of mind control. It’s simple to understand and be repulsed by biological parasites. Here I point out it’s similarities to the parasitic infection known as religious belief. I hope you’ll be equally disgusted.

In ants, the lancet liver fluke, (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) forces it’s victims to clime a blade of grass in order to increase the probability of its being eaten by a grazing animal, where it can enter the animal’s liver and continue it’s life cycle. An ant fungus, (Cordyceps unilateralis), similarly invades an ant’s brain to get it to climb a plant and dig it’s mandibles into the underside of a leaf at a specific location. The fungus then kills the ant, and consumes the ant’s soft tissue but structurally fortifies the ant's exoskeleton to ensue it stays securely anchored to the plant. The fungus then sprouts from the ant’s head releasing spores to re-infect new ant’s located below. And the life cycle continues.

The thorny-headed worm, (Acanthocephala), controls the mind of a blue shrimp, Gammarus lacustris. It latches onto the shrimp and changes its chemistry, possibly affecting serotonin levels. The shrimp looses interest in mating and swims dangerously close to the surface. It will bite onto and cling to plants at the water’s surface, which makes it easy prey for hungry ducks. When a ducks eats the shrimp, the thorny-headed worm has found its home. It lays its eggs inside the duck, continuing its life cycle.

A killifish parasite (Euhaplorchis Californiensis) lives in the gut of shorebirds and produces eggs that are released in the bird’s stool which are swallowed by snails and hatch into larva. Eventually, these larva leave the snail and, finding a killifish, enter it through the gills, and makes its way into the brain cavity. There, the parasite will cause the fish to come to the surface, swim in circles, jerk around and display its silvery underside in an attempt to be consumed by a bird. Once the fish is consumed, the parasite lives in the bird’s gut and the process can begin anew.

An example of repeated service to a parasite is a flatworm larva (Leucochloridium Paradoxum) that uses gastropods (snails and slugs) as an intermediate host. The worm in its larval stage, travels into the digestive system of a snail to develop into the next stage, sporocyst. The sporocyst grows into long tubes to form swollen “broodsacs” filled with tens to hundreds of larvae. These broodsacs invade the snail’s tentacle causing a brilliant transformation of the tentacles, into a swollen, pulsating, colorful display that mimics the appearance of a caterpillar or grub. Infected snails then exposed themselves to predators such as birds. This is unlike most other cases of a parasite mimicking food as only a part of the host resembles the target’s prey. The bird may only eat the snail’s antenna containing the larva, in which case the snail, still infected with the parasite, will re-generate the tentacle and the process will continue until the duped snail’s death.


video

All these biological parasites control the minds of their victims by injecting chemicals into their brains that alter their behavior. Religion does exactly the same but not by injecting chemicals into the brain, but by injecting ‘ideas’ into the brain which then induce the chemical changes, love, fear, guilt, or any zealous reaction that is in the interest of the religion. If a cultural leader were to tell you that the building was on fire, your wife or husband was having an affair, or your baby child was about to die, if you believed him, that would induce massive chemical changes in your brain no different to that of a deviant neurosurgeon.Of course, the host, be it an ant, a cockroach, a fish, or a human, is completely oblivious and, in the case of the human, may actually believe that their actions are in the interest of the individual and it’s community, and not just the reproductive process that the religion imposes for it’s own benefit and survival.

Celibacy – Religion’s Parasitically Induced Surrender

An ideal example of sacrifice to a religious parasite is celibacy in Catholic priests. Priests willingly commit ‘genetic’ suicide by agreeing to forgo the naturally evolved pleasures of sex as well as the innate desire to reproduce; all in the interest of the Catholic memetic parasite. (However, relatively recent investigations have discovered that sexual gratification was and still is widespread via the rape of young children.)


Catholicism is rare compared to other religious parasites as the reproduction of the individual religious vectors, (a vector is the vehicle of transmission such as a dog or rat in the transmission of rabies, a mosquito for malaria, or sexual intercourse in the case of the HIV virus), such as reverends, pastors, imams, etc. In fact these individuals are known to reproduce more than the social norm as in the case of Warren Jeffs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, currently imprisoned for rape, sex with minors, and incest.

The evolutionary explanation for this is that the Catholic priest vector, not being ‘burdened’ by marriage can dedicate his time to transmission of the virus. Also, the vector’s sacrifice of celibacy contributes to the feeling of awe in the vectors victims and enhances the adhesion due to authority (with the aid of ‘magical powers’ such as transubstantiation).

I’ll be going into more detail and exploring the comparisons between biological and memetic viruses in future posts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mom Shows Lilly 'The Light'!


Praying? And in MY House!

Just to prove that atheists aren’t intolerant insensitive leathery old goats, here’s a picture of a sheltie puppy my wife bread called Lilly. And she’s praying! Then again, she’s six week old and has the brain the size of a small walnut, so inane behavior such as asking a supernatural being to alter the laws of physics for one’s own benefit can be excused.But what’s the excuse of Louisiana lawmakers? http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/20/gulf.oil.spill/index.html

Just in case you're concerned, I had a word with Lilly and now she's and atheist. See below.