Archive for December, 2010

Ramfan32′s “proof” of demonic posession or Bob Larson live!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2010 by Anton A. Hill

I got into a debate with Ramfan over various things, one of them demonic possession. As proof for his/her claims (I don’t know Ramfan’s gender), he/she sent the video below. Following the video are my personal comments to him/her and on the video.

First, Ramfan and me:

>you know how you asked be the proof of demons? well here you go. believe or not i don’t care,

If you don’t care, then why did you send this to me? By telling me this you’re only proving that you have absolutely no desire to discover factual truths about the universe, but rather you’re only concerned with confirming that which you already believe, no matter how wrong you might be. If every scientist ignored evidence and only sought to confirm what he or she already believed, we’d never have discovered the distance to the stars, the depths of the oceans, or ways of transmitting electrical signals across tiny pieces of silicon which allow you to read this right now.

>but you have to realize is that this is similar to the demoniacs in the bible,

Given that the Bible has existed in some form for over three thousand years, that concepts such as demons have permeated popular culture for about as long, and that you, me, and millions of others were raised in cultures permeated by those concepts, it’s hardly surprising that what is described in the Bible is similar to what occurs in the video.

The problem is that this is a textbook case of confirmation bias. Presumably all of the people in the video were raised in some western culture like the US, Canada, England, or Europe. I would also include all of central and south America in there. If that assumption is true, then every single one of them has been exposed at least to the concept of a demon. Given that each of them willingly attended Larson’s workshop, it also stands to reason that not only had every participant been exposed to the concept of a demon, but also every participant was most likely actively searching out demons, exorcism, or something related. Considering all of this, each participant is confirming his or her own bias.

I would have been very impressed had they gotten someone in there who had never heard of the idea of a demon, but then I don’t know how you’d accomplish that.

A personal example of the above, as I’d probably told you earlier, is how I was indoctrinated to believe in the healing power of crystals. My parents told me that if I rubbed a crystal against a pained part of my body (a scratch on my arm, for example), that the healing energy of the crystal would make the injured part feel better. Did the scratch go away? Of course not. Did the bruise miraculously disappear before my eyes? Nope. But I could’ve sworn I felt energy transferring from the crystal into my arm. Why? Because I was looking for that to happen. I had been convinced that it would and so I was looking to confirm what I’d already been convinced.

>the demon possessed ppl i mentioned,

Which you admitted was hearsay.

>and you noticed how they said they were lighter than a feather like i and head welch felt?

Reporting to feel lighter than a feather proves only that someone has reported to feeling lighter than a feather. That doesn’t prove that the person actually lost mass, levitated, or was freed from the control of a demon. Just as healing energy was never transferred from crystals to my arm.

>sorry about the 10 minute vid. i hate when ppl send me long videos lol

I don’t mind and following are my specific comments (times are approximate).

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Fuck you, Mormon.org, for assaulting me while I send an e-card!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Anton A. Hill

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I was gonna post various news clips and videos of the “outrage” over American Atheists’ billboard above the Lincoln Tunnel declaring, “You KNOW it’s a myth! This season, celebrate reason!”

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I get it.

You’re Christian. You’ve got kids in the car. You’ve spent their lives lying to them about god, Jesus, Santa, the impartiality of the justice system, the idea that yes, they will grow up and realize every dream of theirs no matter how delusional those dreams might be, and those dickhead, douchebag American Atheists have the blistering, vitriolic AUDACITY to call bullshit bullshit and dare to let in-the-closet atheists know that they’re not alone and shouldn’t be scared about coming out to their friends and family.

How fucking DARE they??!!

But you know what, hypothetical Christian parent? You can look away. You can ignore it. Sure, it’s RIGHT THERE hanging for all to see, but you can pay it no mind.

Just a few minutes ago, I was putting together a holiday e-card and after getting through all the process of sending, I arrived at the “You’ve successfully sent your card” page. Get this. I didn’t know it was the “You’ve successfully sent your card” page. Know why?

Because this Flash-ad splashed all over the screen announcing how the woman in the ad is a project manager, a blogger, and she KNOWS that god answers prayers. She’s a Mormon. Brought to you by Mormon.org.

For a split second, I was afraid that I’d accidetnally stumbled onto a Mormon greeting card site. Imagine my delight when I realized it was nothing more than an in-your-face, presumptive, rude, bullshit ad for the Mormons!

It was literally in my face (I have to look closely at my screen)! Upon navigating to this page, it was the first thing I saw and the only thing I could see for a couple of seconds.

I know. It only lasted a couple of seconds. I can ignore it. But the religious can do the same thing with the billboard which does not land on their windshield and sit there for a few seconds while they’re trying to drive.

So to all you religious who have pissed and moaned about the “offensive” billboard and why those pesky atheists won’t leave enough alone, consider my e-card trauma and shut the fuck up.

Thank you, American Atheists, for your billboard!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by Anton A. Hill

A couple of days ago, American Atheists put up a billboard at the Lincoln tunnel. Here’s the billboard:

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And here’s the accompanying article:

“You KNOW it’s a Myth!”

This is a huge step toward large-scale public awareness of atheists and atheism. This is awesome because one of the biggest problems we face is ignorance of us and what we’re about. Similar to what gays faced decades ago (and are still struggling with), it’s easier to vilify or ignore a group if you don’t know who they are and what they’re about. As the gay community has discovered, awareness of them hasn’t ended prejudice against them, but it is the first step.

The controversy has been that many people don’t like the billboard, have found its message rude and in-your-face, or some similar sentiment. I agree that it’s a bit on the nose-thumbing side. I’d honestly prefer removing the “You KNOW it’s a Myth!” part. Or maybe have it be a general “Season’s Greetings” with the bit about reason in there. At the same time, we are all bombarded with messages of god in general znd Jesus in particular and no one bats an eyelash, not even the ones who don’t believe in any of that. So, if some people are upset by a little nose-thumbing, that’s okay by me.

One comment on the news stuck out to me. The man interviewed said something about the billboard being offensive and against family, joy, or some shit like that. If he found the sign offensive due to its “myth” message, I cdan kind of understand that, but I don’t get the supposed anti-family message. We atheists have families (duh) and we even (gasp!) care about them. I honestly think his comment was an ignorant reaction. He’s probably heard his whole life that atheists have no values or their values aren’t good or normal or whatever, so his assumption is that we don’t care about family etc. thus my above joy at the billboard being present.

I partially take back my thumb-nosing criticism. There’s a concurrent campaign going on in Europe and elsewhere with the bus signs (which I fully intend to post on at some point). The bus signs say something to the effect of “There’s probably no god, so stop worrying and get on with your life.” The problem I have with that message is the “probably.” No one would ever say that about fairies or leprechauns. People generally assume that those creatures don’t exist. Not that they MIGHT not exist. That they DON’T. With as much evidence supporting a god as fairies and leprechauns, I wish the bus signs had taken that step and I’m glad that American Atheists has. So maybe the thumb-nosing I feel is necessary, but also a little in-your-face. I dunno. I guess even I can’t be satisfied.

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