Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Life and Times of Lady Believealot

An American writer friend and I spoke today about our favorite actor, Mr Brent Spiner who was featured previously on this page with a broken promise to update y'all on the disastrous results of my comments on the Chastity Bono situation and the Twitter attacks spawned by those comments ... I have scarcely surfaced here for the four years since that happened, as it is fair to say that the attacks on me as a person of faith since then have been stupendous, sometimes just plain stupid, and mostly not very erudite.

I have been cyberbullied. I have been called "f*cktard," "whackjob," "nutjob," "psycho," "you retarded woman" and any number of variants thereof, by parties who shall remain nameless for these purposes - for who would want to give them 15 seconds of fame? - on Twitter on account of being a person of faith. False claims have been made about my faith, some of which are so far out to lunch that they are not worth the trip to the Gamma Quadrant.

It has been said that I "believe [my]self to be" married, when in fact I know for a fact I have been divorced since 1991. I have the papers to prove it. It has been said that I am a "lunatic" - for reasons known only to those who spew forth lunacy by the bucketful as they milk and bilk the cow that jumped over the moon in their elaborate fantasies about me. A dear friend and associate has opined that "anybody else would be swinging from a bridge" if they were me. But, the thing is, they are not me. They are not qualified to be me. I told my friend I have no time just to hang around.

In their dreams they appear to wish to be me but, this makes no rational sense as they would be "dissing" themselves day and night if they were to turn into me, which one actually attempted to do by thieving my twitter handle. Nay, I kid thee not, dear reader. All this really happened. If only I had dreamed it and could wake up from the nightmare! Lao Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, only to wake up and to find that he was a butterfly dreaming he was Lao Tzu ...

I would be honored or flattered by all the attention, had it not been so dishonorable and unflattering. It is said in the scriptures that those who believe, will suffer persecution, but when it is not even clear to one's virulent detractors what one believes - for the fantasies around one's beliefs are so outlandish - it becomes a bit of a tall order to see the meaning of such meaningless persecution. If it is for the sake of Christ, then I would say Christ has better things to do ... such as planning his return perhaps, but I fear he might get cyberbullied if he does come back, so perhaps, if I am to try to find meaning in this, I can be said to be testing the waters for him and finding them hotter than Hades. If it is for the sake of God the Father, Allah a.k.a. Hashem: the Father is a busy God, and there again I would say if it made SENSE to me I would gladly suffer in behalf of the Lord our God, but as things stand, none of it makes any sense at all.

I decided to publish the riveting conversation I had with my friend on the topic of Hell and Hot Peppers, as it turned out to be all about the transhumanist/posthumanist movement, whereas it started with a simple question: does Mr Spiner like hot peppers? How we got from that question to an examination of the philosophical frameworks for scientific research, was a process so riveting that I felt it was worthy of an update on this blog.

With my friend's permission I am reproducing this little dialogue here very shortly for your reading pleasure, for those of you whose idea of a good time this might be, as it appears to have been for us. Its function, aside from entertainment for the unbelievers among us who would no doubt seek further proof of lunacy on the part of believers in it, is to entertain the faithful and of course to clarify once again, for those who would actually like to know, what I actually believe. The discourse is a bit too intricate to be followed by the f*cktard-sayers among us, so I have high hopes that they will not manage to get through the entire article, nor will they make head or tail of what I actually believe, so the persecution is bound to continue. Along with it persists the hope that the Lord has a reward for me and I can only hope He is reading this so that He sees I hope it is a pay cheque in the not too distant future, for the secular world pays poorly those whose work is a pure labor of love.

It can be said to be irresponsible to do this work when one knows not how one should be compensated for it. The purpose of doing this, as I said, is to be able to establish some of what I actually believe versus what I do not believe, and to addle the brains of brainless ninnies further, so that they will end up believing what they believed about me in the first place. It is called "belief perseverance" - a very common phenomenon, and it happens to the best of us, but to stupid people who are stupid by choice (wilfully obtuse) for the good and sufficient reason that they do not use their God-given brains for the purpose they were designed for (thought) it happens all the time.

Watch this space.

Coming Soon to a Hi-Resolution Color Monitor Near You: Hell and Hot Peppers!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tom Cruise and the debate on Psychotropics

The role of psychotropics in systematic mind-control exercised by government agencies in supposedly "free" societies is not being highlighted or examined at all at present in mainstream society; ordinarily the domain of fringe activists, psychiatric survivor groups and other non-mainstream interests, it is not regarded as politically correct to question the current dominance of pharmaceutical companies in looking after the wellbeing of society.

When Tom Cruise spoke out against psychiatric drugs in the now infamous television interview a few years ago with Matt Lauer, he received nothing but ridicule and contempt from mainstream society. Mr Lauer took every opportunity to cast aspersions on Tom's passionate convictions, and the audience swallowed the biased opinion of the interviewer hook, line and sinker.

I looked at the interview and saw how logically and articulately Tom put his position across; nonetheless, prejudices were overwhelmingly against him and I suspect many among those who subsequently ridiculed him for his firm anti-psychiatry stance, never saw the interview in the first place.

Tom's connection with the Church of Scientology was cited widely in the media at the time as the reason for the public disdain towards his anti-psychiatry viewpoint. Whatever we may think of the Church of Scientology, the fact is that it and its secular powers are hardly unwelcome in mainstream society, particularly Hollywood where it holds a great deal of clandestine sway. As a devout Catholic I am no fan of Scientology myself, but that is strictly irrelevant to the issues at hand. The Vatican ought to speak out against psychotropic drugs in the same way that it spoke out against cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Instead, we find that our church is very friendly towards mainstream medicine, having forgotten altogether about the "stand up and walk" teaching of its founder, the rabbi Yeshua who taught healing through faith in God without the aid of modern medicine. There is no area of medicine that is in more direct conflict with that teaching, than psychiatry, and it is time for the Catholic church to reclaim its origins by embracing accurate knowledge on the subject and realizing that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve Mammon and God at the same time. You either rely on Christ for your emotional health, or you rely on the false hope provided by antidepressants.

Similarly, Jehovah's Witnesses who powerfully teach an authentic approach to Bible Study, have failed utterly in questioning the powerful influence of Big Pharma on today's society and its role in rendering people complacent towards injustice, indifferent towards suffering (their own and the suffering of others) and compliant towards mass consumerism without imagination, without faith, without love, without spirit, without truth. The Watchtower is failing its followers egregiously by not pointing out the dangers of drugs like Ritalin and its widespread use as a tool of educational oppression, antidepressants like Paxil and Prozac which happen to have as side effects the very conditions they are supposed to control (suicidal depression in victims who have used these drugs and are no longer with us to tell their stories) and frightening conditions such as irreversible tardive dyskinesia (loss of major motor functions) which could result from the use of just about every psychotropic drug on the market.

It is ironic that fantasy writer Ron Hubbard would be the founder of a movement which, aside from teaching absolute nonsense about Christ and God, happens to have perfectly accurate information on psychotropics. There is biographical information suggesting that Hubbard himself, towards the end of his life, did in fact use medicines that he did not ideologically approve of. I do not know if this information is accurate, but there are suggestions that Hubbard had problems of his own which did not find easy solutions within his own teachings. Be that as it may, the Church of Scientology is unique in terms of the position it holds on psychotropic drugs, and as such it is an odd strategic ally for the Techno-Luddite in promoting understanding of the dangers of these things.

The business interests surrounding entertainment, mind and imagination are a complex web to navigate these days. Finding the truth in this tangled web is not for the faint-hearted, and speaking out about it is an intimidating prospect even for a writer who is not of the faint-hearted variety. It would be "safer" to write screenplays about vampires and zombies; no-one would question a writer these days for indulging in these unhealthy concepts; in fact, it is regarded as very "cool" to be able to write about these things. For me, nothing could be more boring than vampires and zombies, and nothing could be more frightening than the reality of the indifferent society we live in, where such things could be regarded as acceptable entertainment for young people. The mind-numbing influences of majorly successful entertainment properties like Twilight, True Blood and many other successful vampire-themed, occult-themed and horror-themed movies and television shows, have resulted in movements among teenagers where it is perceived as "cool" to be "into" these things; the dangers inherent in a casual, everyday acceptance of these concepts are not addressed by anyone outside the religious right that I know of, and as such I anticipate that my job of articulating these issues will be a lonely one.

It is, effectively, OK in mainstream society to be a Hollywood Scientologist as long as you do not collide with other mainstream business interests such as the corporate powers of Big Pharma. My interest in Tom as an activist is strictly separate from his religious beliefs, and my appreciation for the passion he expressed in that extremely unfair interview by Lauer, stands accordingly as it stood before.

I will therefore not fall for the trap of discriminating against Tom as a person on account of his religious beliefs, but will ask him instead to join once again in the continuing struggle to raise public awareness on this vexed issue, the danger it poses to young students and to all of us in society who do not wish to become the mindless pawns of the powers-that-be.

Tom, you are a hero for saying what you said; I am glad you said it and you have to say it again. You spoke the truth: speaking the truth is never easy or convenient and for this you have earned my respect as a person regardless of what you may profess to believe in terms of religion. I am calling for your help in raising awareness on this issue once more: you can utilize your considerable influence by explaining to people why psychiatric drugs are dangerous, unhealthy and unnecessary; what other methods exist for attaining happiness and overcoming debilitating personal circumstances and conditions that would otherwise hamper our performance and the realization of our dreams and abilities; and, above all, how important it is to value our personal liberty and not to give in to influences whose designated purpose in society is to hamper and impair that very freedom that is our birthright as human beings.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tackling the Chastity Bono Sex Change Question

My favourite android, Commander Data of the Starship Enterprise (in his human form as impersonated by the respected and admired actor Brent Spiner) inadvertently caused a plasma field to be disrupted in the Twitterverse today. The resulting explosion rocked the Starship Enterprise, and I myself am suffering from an injured shoulder. Techno-Luddite has been in gallons of hot water since. Attackers have surfaced from all over the twittersphere, scolding the Techno-Luddite for her apparent intransigence towards certain issues.

What caused the disruption of the peace among the twittering birds: Mr Spiner kind-heartedly extended his congratulations on the said web site to Chastity Bono, the daughter of entertainers Cher and Sonny Bono, on her decision to transform herself to the best of the ability of our current medical science, into a working facsimile of a male of our species. Techno-Luddite blurted in response - a response that I now regret, for it has caused my ship's kitchen to remain untouched for all of a Saturday afternoon, dinner to remain uncooked, BBQ chicken to be purchased in a polystyrene container instead (against my better environmental judgement!) ... "I can't agree with you there ... I think it's a tragedy." Mr Data quite rightly wanted to know, "tragedy for whom?" to which I again blurted, "for God who created her." God? Did someone say, God? The temerity! Oh, dear! Omigosh! OMG!

Oh, God.

Note to my dear readers who are accustomed to the trouble I tend to get myself into, in debates: the trouble from before, the pot shots fired at me by the occasional little old right winger in the old country on issues that everybody else in the universe agrees on anyway - all that trouble was as nothing compared to the firestorm ignited by this. Techno-Luddite has been called, among other things, a "bigot," something she is quite unaccustomed to, and found quite hurtful - and then yet another b-word which does not warrant repetition in polite society. And those are just a couple of the insults hurled: all because I was trying to implore Ms Bono to reconsider this drastic course of action. I was accused of condemning the poor girl - oh, and lambasted for using the wrong pronoun (it is now politically correct in Hollywood to say "his" in matters of "Chaz" Bono) - and I had to point out that "implore" and "condemn" are two very, very different things ... yet even the dreaded pronoun "her" would be instant evidence of hideous bigotry on my part.

Techno-Luddites are people who prefer nature to be left "as is" - and who disapprove of excessive human interference, and of any kind of "upgrade" made to the human body; and I suppose this would have to include any kind of reconfiguration of what one participant on Twitter called - that loud crashing noise was my jaw dropping on the floor of the starship - "wedding tackle." (Sacred body parts designed by a caring Creator for the enjoyment of one's lover - also known in the public domain as wedding tackle. Something akin to fishing gear? It is going to take Techno-Luddite a while to wrap her hair around that concept.)

Yes, I reluctantly have to agree: it stands to reason that Techno-Luddites would not approve of "gender reassignment" surgery. Having said this, I must add that my delicate approach to this subject is by far more caring and tolerant than some of the more brusque and to-the-point writings I have since seen on "my side" of the debate ... for example by the rather more straightforward Laura Higgins in Opposing Views, as quoted in The Week.

This once more is just acknowledgement of receipt of the many angry tweets, and not yet a proper, reasoned response. Many have raised questions such as, "what about free will?" These are questions that deserve to be tackled (ugh!) one by one. I will endeavour to do so, and implore y'all to check back frequently.

Until then I remain, respectfully yours in freedom of speech,

The Techno-Luddite

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And Guatama Buddha Said: I Shall Not Rise From Here Until I Understand the Causes of These Things ...

I have received feedback from Dr James Hughes, Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Dr Hughes is an esteemed member of the global transhumanist/posthumanist movement - he is author, among other things, of the book Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future .

Dr Hughes, first of all, thank you for responding and please accept my apologies for the long delay in writing back. Shortly after you wrote, my computer broke and it took me a while to decide on a new one. However, I am grateful that you wrote, for I was having a hard time convincing some of my friends of the existence of transhumanists: I had started to worry that they would not believe me!

Some of my best friends are agnostics and atheists, but even the most hard-boiled of my atheist friends are just ordinary secular humanists (how very last century!) and even the most unbelieving among them (from a religious point of view) find your movement and its tenets quite unbelievable. I had started to worry: what if the skeptics among them refused to believe that you existed, the way they have been known to do with, for example, God? Therefore it is nothing short of a relief to have an actual member of the movement - and such a notable one at that! - answer, for at least now they know that you really do exist.

Dr Hughes is quick to point out that there are indeed historical roots to be found for the transhuman or posthuman movement, that they can be found in the humanist movement itself, and in the enlightenment - so, thank you for saving me the trouble: that was going to be a whole separate posting, but now the proverbial cat is out of the bag. You see, Dr Hughes, most of my friends and esteemed colleagues in the world of literature have never heard of the posthumanist movement. When last they looked, secular humanism was what they knew, and how innocuous and comforting a school of thought this used to be - how positively civilized it now seems even to me, in retrospect! How close to the Church even its erstwhile secular humanist enemies seem to be now, because at least they take it and its terms of reference seriously enough to care to argue on a level with it, as it were! How positively endearing childish little texts like Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian ... and how certain I am that he would no more approve of the notion of becoming "Citizen Cyborg" than I would! Birds of a feather we are, I tell you: Bertrand Russell and I. I am willing to bet my last dollar that a majority of secular humanists at this moment in time at least, would shudder at the notion of having carcinogenic microchips implanted under their skin in the name of efficiency ... and as for your monstrous notion of what religion might become in such a future world, well it is fodder for a screenplay writer and I shall attempt on a best efforts basis to illustrate my meaning through that very medium, as it is the only way to reach a sizeable enough audience with a clear enough illustration as to what might happen in such a future.

It is interesting to note that thinkers like Habermas have started to weigh in on the issue of human cloning. He seems to concur with the Pope (the Vatican has, as you will know, declared human cloning a sin in the eye of God) that cloning a human is just simply not a nice thing to do. But you see, Dr Hughes, Habermas is - like me and my friends - one of those old-fashioned individuals who think of slavery as an abomination. He accurately identifies the clone as a type of "slave" in that another human being decides for the clone his destiny - in this case his genetic destiny - and presides over the clone in a "god-like" fashion, as master of his world.

My colleagues from South Africa know me as an anti-apartheid activist from way back. I took issue with that system long before it was fashionable, comfortable or convenient to do so; people who know me, know that this point of view ultimately resulted more than twenty-one years ago in taking the stance of "voting with [my] feet" - I sought to live, as I told my readers in the old country often, in Trudeau's "Just Society." Yes, there are people who take that concept seriously, and I am one of them, and we stand for freedom and against slavery. (We have not even started yet on the environmental reasons for opposing the "transhumanist" ideology; we will get there in the fullness of time, I assure you.) It stands to reason that I will take issue with a movement which holds among its ideals the notion that it might, in future, "create" genetically engineered slaves. The feeling of "oh no you don't!" is a quite familiar reflex that I experience when I see people even starting to think in that direction. It is the same feeling of deep, intense revulsion that I felt when people in the bad old days in the "old" South Africa used to think that they had some kind of right to enslave other people. I have been dragged into many a debate as a result of that stance, and there is extensive history online of my participation in my capacity as an anti-apartheid Afrikaner - yes we exist, even though we too have had the problems of doubts surrounding our existence - in debates which I now value very much, given that they provided a strong training ground for this: the debate between humans and posthumanists, which is nothing less than the most important debate in the history of humankind as far as I am concerned.

Yes it is a debate and not simply a given that there will be a "posthuman" future: no, we humans are not complacent; no, we do not accept that we will simply, in the fullness of time, embrace these technologies as par for the course on account of their usefulness; no, we are drawing the line as to what is acceptable and unacceptable, and yes, it is the duty of every human being alive today, to protect our future as humans - note, humans, not cyborgs and not microchipped zombies obedient to the fantasy agenda of the "may the smartest geek win" battleground of your imagined future.

I will respond in due course to your postulation of a "trans-spirituality" that would allegedly be a feature of the transhuman creature of the future that you and your buddies expect to create here on God's green planet. I will most certainly respond to that and to your other notions; this is merely acknowledgement of receipt.

As for your claim that "other" (non-monotheistic) belief systems might find the transhuman ideology more attractive than we monotheists seem to do: I was a Buddhist before I became a Catholic, and indeed even confessed to my priest on the eve of my confirmation as a Catholic, my Buddhism that would never really leave me. To be precise, I told him a joke which I once told my father in all seriousness, when he was still alive and once asked me rather disdainfully (for I had caused considerable dismay in rejecting the orthodoxy of my Protestant upbringing): "so, what religion do you subscribe to these days?" I answered very sincerely, in an attempt to convey accurately where I was standing at that point with my beliefs: "I am a Muslim Jewish disciple of Christ with a Hindu background and Buddhist inclinations." My dad said, "My child, no such thing exists!" to which I replied: "Dad, that has always been God's problem."

I told my priest this thing about the Hindu background and Buddhist inclinations, not to mention my long-standing Izaac-Ishmael affinity. My priest said it was okay and not to worry about any of it, and so, to this day, I remain accordingly okay and unworried about my incurable Buddhism. Therefore, to say that you have "dialed the wrong number" in trying to suggest that Buddhists might be more susceptible to your ideology than the monotheists among us, would be an understatement.

I am, for the record (in order to assist you in never making such an important strategic mistake again :) an essentially pantheistic panentheist who resolves the dichotomy of the One and the Many, "Thou Art That" in the comprehension of One God and I am prepared to say which God: Hashem of Israel, "The Name" being known likewise to the Islamic world and likewise recognized as the One true God; Jehovah of the Christians: this one God being Immutable Truth, Prime Mover, First Cause, Sovereign Creator, and Ultimate Ruler over all that is created.

You see, Dr Hughes, you are going to have a very, very hard time trying to set one religion against the other if that is your strategy by which you attempt to prove the superiority of technology over faith. For it is love, ultimately, that distinguishes the God we believe in, and this love is so strong, it radiates so powerfully throughout the Universe that it touches all people of faith, even atheists. The noted Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki is an atheist, yet he will find himself on my side of this debate, for obvious reasons.

One of my agnostic friends said to me that his objection to the transhuman agenda is one based on "aesthetic" rather than religious grounds, but when asked about his background, he confesses to being as Catholic as I am (in his case, by heritage, in mine, by conversion). I therefore argue that his notion of his "aesthetics" are not to be divorced from his religious heritage.

This is a call to all people of faith - yes and that includes people of the atheistic faith! - to become aware of the forces that are threatening the very fabric of our human existence, and to oppose such forces with a sound mind and all the force of human reason. We as yet have time to debate these issues, but time is running out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Believe - But What Do I Believe?

Interestingly, rather than receiving input from atheists or anyone who would like to try to defend the transhumanist or posthumanist "saved by technology" point of view, I have received feedback from passionate believing Christians who care about the fine points of religious belief systems and who have asked me to elucidate them before moving on in an attempt to speak in behalf of a majority of people of faith.

My friend and valued colleague, Stellenbosch theologian Gerrit Brand, has even gone so far as to say that it is a strategic mistake to juxtapose religious belief as an antidote for the posthumanist and transhumanist belief systems, for he says that there are many non-believers who would feel quite as scared of these movements as I am. He is right of course, and indeed I have had feedback from such readers too, who have said to me that they share my concern albeit for reasons that have nothing to do with religious belief.

While I granted Gerrit his point (and it is an important one) immediately, I nonetheless wish to emphasize that it is the transhuman/posthuman movement itself that has identified its opposition (real and potential) as consisting of mainly two kinds of people: environmentalists and, as they themselves put it, "people of faith." They did not specify which faith; they simply said "faith." They of course forget that atheism itself is a faith; there is no scientific basis for atheism for you cannot disprove the existence of a Creator or of an active universal creative force, any more than you can prove it empirically (as Gerrit is quick to point out we cannot purport to want to do even though I am, like many philosophers and theologians in history, apparently about to fall for the temptation of giving it my best shot!) ... so an atheist could theoretically be a "person of faith" too, for he holds as a tenet of his belief the notion that no God exists, or that no-god exists; he believes in the existence of nogod, or nothing - a conceptual impossibility in fact, but it is a belief that he nonetheless holds, as stubbornly as I hold to my clear observation that the world could not have created itself.

Agnosticism is the only philosophical position that is completely consistent with scientific enquiry: a consistent "we are not sure" or "we just do not know" which includes the possibility of postulating at least for the sake of hypothesis, the existence of a creative force of one kind or another.

I am going to stop here for today and continue again tomorrow. Izak please be patient, I will get to the fine points of mainstream Christian theology versus alternate viewpoints very shortly, for I completely agree that it is important to get those out in the open and completely sorted out before we proceed. If "people of faith" (other than atheists of course) oppose the transhuman/posthuman trends, then who are they? Which people of faith, and for what reason, and based upon what suppositions of theirs (Gerrit elucidated the aspect of assumption in the belief system beautifully in earlier comments) do they oppose these trends? These are important questions, and they have very clear and specific (albeit broad and encompassing) answers.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For Hashem: An Invitation

o Hashem
would you return at daybreak
to your broken world
and would you pick up
these dark shards
these dangerous pieces?

before the sun touches the windowsill
this morning,
would you consider
touching the earth once more
as you did that morning when they disappointed you
in the ancient days of yore?

remember, when you came to walk in your garden
and they hid from you there?
would you come now?
could you

it is severely damaged but it is still
recognizably yours
your world is here
it is waiting
and I will watch it for you all the time until you arrive
I will leave all the windows open to be sure to hear you
and I will definitely not close the doors
if you could please
this morning

and if not, if this is too soon
for you,
would you perhaps consider
returning to the earth at noon?

would you consider returning
before the lunch cup
touches the tinkling spoon
o Hashem
would you just
for lunch

and if lunch
if you are busy
at lunch
if you already
have another appointment
with another world
could you
could you fit us in
by perhaps, say
four o'clock
later today?

we are really very desperate o God
we really need you here
we really
we really

and if
and if
that is not possible, will you send
will you send
will you send
by six o'clock tonight
he is invited
he is very much invited
to dinner here
to dinner here
to dinner here
at this table, see, this table, right here
I will prepare a place for him
for tonight


On Intelligent Design

In the beginning, God created the world and everything in it, according to the Bible. In the beginning, the Word was with the Name, Christ with God.

Evidence points decisively towards the Big Bang as the beginning of the known Universe. That phenomenal sonic boom is in fact in my view the very sound of the Word whereof the Bible speaks, and there is no contradiction between scripture and science in this respect. What science observes and what scripture describes in narrative form, could be one and the same prehistoric event without any contradiction in terms.

The fact that science can observe and describe in its own terms the results of God's activity by no means disproves the presence of God; on the contrary, there are scientists who have arrived independently at the conclusion that there is so much evidence for intelligence in the way the Universe is put together, that there must be more to this natural world than what meets the three-dimensional perception of the human eye.

There is no shame in such a conclusion, yet there is no end to the scorn, mockery and derision that is routinely poured upon scientists who believe in intelligent design. When you read some of the writings of those who seek somehow to "disprove" the existence of God - an impossible task in any event, and a folly to boot, for it is no more possible to "disprove" the existence of God scientifically than it is to "prove" it! - they consist more of empty rhetoric than of actual scientific proof. Sarcasm is not a substitute for research, yet many of the currently fashionable authors on these topics get away with a lot of verbal pyrotechnics in lieu of rigorous proofs, and their books are selling quite well nonetheless.

Atheism must necessarily be regarded as a faith rather than a scientific position; among philosophical positions, only agnosticism - an honest "we don't know for sure" - would meet the criteria of rigorous scientific enquiry.

"The beginning" is not defined in the Bible as a specific time identifiable in relation to human history. I am definitely certain that this "beginning" was longer than six thousand years ago, and wish to make it clear that I am by no means a Biblical literalist with respect to my reading of Genesis. I do believe in intelligent design, for I cannot accept that this intricate, delicate and highly organized world with all the infinite perspectives and non-physical concepts, intuitions, feelings, emotions and ideas in the minds of all the creatures that inhabit it, would have come about by means of mere happenstance. The grotesque foolishness of such a debilitating outlook on our natural world is in my view so extreme as to be actually laughable. It is clear to me that this world has, and will always have, a Creator and that the Creator is active even today.

Chastity Bono and her band Ceremony - Could Have Been Love

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