Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are Atheists Mentally Ill?

This article, aptly titled "Are atheists mentally ill", informs us that, while nonbelievers are more intelligent than believers on average, they're also leading miserable, short lives spent in agony and depression. The article culminates in the claim that atheism is a form of mental illness, the implied conclusion being that one should start believing.

Now, like many commenters to that article, I sincerely do hope that the article is meant as satire. After all, the same site also features a rather clever article explaining why you can't use statistics to show that one individual person is more or less intelligent than one specific other person.

There is a lot to say about why such statistics are extremely dubious, my main contention being, as I've mentioned before, the suspicious absence of the standard deviation. There is also the issue of isolating one variable - faith vs non-faith - from all the others: In a culture where faith is accepted but atheism is not, of course atheists have good reason to be less happy than their religious friends; if you're more intelligent, it might imply that you see more clearly the evils in the world, therefore being unhappy, while at the same time intelligence might correlate with atheism (but not necessarily imply it); etc. etc.

And of course, every time someone mentions "a vast body of research", the dirty smell of a fish market on speed rises to the heavens.

The absolutely hilarious twist, though, is this: if you ask the question whether god exists, then "faith makes you happier" does not answer that question. If we were living in the matrix, controlled by machines, and the real world was a gehenna of destruction and chaos, then my belief in the illusory world created by the matrix does not change that fact. God either exists, objectively, or he doesn't. I I want to know the answer either way, both in case of the matrix and regarding god, even if the truth might make me extremely unhappy. Because, you know, if I don't know it I can do nothing about it.

No, faith is not a virtue, and trying to align one's worldview with actual reality is not "a tragic deficiency". It's merely an attempt to be honest. It's a form of humility strangely missing in those who place so much emphasis on following that most humble of godsons.

I don't get how people can believe that arguments like those are convincing.

It's not even about me defeding atheism against da evulz christians. I'd have exactly the same contentions with statistics biased in favour of atheism. (Only, somehow those rarely ever show up on my tiny screen. Probably because atheism really is inferior. Or because atheists are not stupid enough to even try...).

As I said, I hope that the article is satire. But I'm fairly certain it's not. And even if it were, for every Poe  there are a hundred people subscribing to such b.s. in sanctimonious, ernest sincerety. And that is just sad.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A question to (catholic) demonology specialists out there

So, according to some, specifically the most mainstream christian traditions (like catholicism and mainstream protestantism), demons are fallen angels.

But, according to the same traditions, at least as far as I know, angels don't possess free will.

So, how do demons manage to rebel against god?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tantric Sex and the City

Okay, this is clearly not what's going on in tantric beginners' workshops. Not from my experience, anyway. (Granted, I've only ever been to one, and never say never.)

But I thought it incredibly funny.

NSFW, of course. You have been warned. Don't Fall For These 15 Unhealthy Salads Don't Fall For These 15 Unhealthy Salads Uh... well, okay. So, what the article tells us is that ready-made salads bought from fast food franchises are not exactly healthy. (In fact, they might well contain more calories than your burger menu.) So... what else is new? Just a gentle reminder, folks: If you want to eat healthy food, you have to prepare your own meals.