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Giving it Away :
Spoilers as Both Noun & Accusation
(Why Book Reviews Matter & How to Write a Proper One)
One thing that makes that challenge more formidable is the free-for-all that is the book review. It’s unfortunate that so many book reviewers don’t seem to understand what a review’s purpose is. In simplistic terms, a book review is meant to inform a potential reader of the merits (and sometimes, demerits) of a book, so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to read it. A review is NOT a soapbox, a torture-chamber, nor an opportunity to elevate yourself above someone who does something you have never done yourself. Also, if you are not reading in a genre you like to begin with, you have no business doing a review.
Thus, when you are writing a review, dear reader, don’t give away plot twists, surprises, nor the ending of a book. Have you ever seen a movie trailer or the blurb on the back of the DVD for a movie? Did you notice that they entice you, but don’t tell you what happens? Think of it like that. It’s a teaser, not an unveiling.
from The Truth of Fiction (Reading, Writing & No Arithmetic vol. 2)
Creativity, Intelligence, &
The human brain understands the world through patterns. When a new experience appears, the brain wants to match it with a previous experience in order to understand it. Paradoxically, that’s why there is a pervasive belief in society that creative and/or intelligent people are at least partially mentally ill. The pattern does, indeed, exist. But it can just as easily be based on a chicken-or-the-egg paradigm as any other. Does creativity come first, and then depression? Do depression-oriented people seek creative expression? Do intelligent people tend toward a need for creative expression?
from Too Much World
Euthanasia: the Good Death
From Genocide to Neo-Eugenics
The constative issue of eugenics is one fraught with both peril and promise. Can the association with Hitler be put aside long enough to consider this issue without the onerous specter of the Holocaust and the efforts to create an Aryan race? If it can, then perhaps the traditional idea of eugenics must be reframed. We need a “Neo-Eugenics” that espouses pre-conception solutions, rather than post-conception ones.
from Strictly Academic
This subject matter does not lend itself to a sound-byte. That’s why science is often wrongly interpreted as unable to respond to wild claims from believers in the supernatural. Complicated things require complicated explanations. Political Correctness has discouraged us, as a society, from speaking the truth, for fear it might damage someone’s fragile sensibilities. But progress should never be impeded by a need to coddle adults who respond to the world as children.
That’s when I have to create my own reminder that Virgil also said, Facilis decensus averni–The descent into hell is easy. We do have some control over the nature of our thoughts, after all. And I would like to believe–nay, MUST believe–that this control is at my own fingertips, and not in the hands of some mysterious force in the universe that insists on vexing me.
Red Light Needs a Green Light
Contrary to popular belief, in comparing “House” prostitutes– those working from a house or other structure specifically for that purpose–and street prostitutes, 97% reported higher self-esteem. Surprisingly, statistics also show that abuse of prostitutes and women in general were about the same. So the violence against women is the issue here, not prostitution.
Essays from God on a Stick (An exhaustive investigation into Christianity and why I decided it made no damn sense) Previously titled Supernatural Hypocrisy: The Cognitive Dissonance of a God Cosmology, these volumes are directed at agnostics and those struggling with the inconsistencies in Christianity in particular, and religion in general. I struggled to find my own Personal Cosmology by examining and sharing my beliefs and discoveries about God, the Bible and Christianity.
Please don’t read any of this material if you’re just looking for a fight. These essays are exclusive to my site, and the books they are compiled in are available from Amazon. Previously, I offered them for free on Smashwords and Amazon and got an influx of Christian zealots ranting and leaving bad reviews because I have the balls to question what I believe, and by extension, it seems, question what THEY believe. I’ve made it clear that these essays and the magnum opus they are extracted from are my own personal opinions based on many years as a Christian and many years studying on my own and under a Bible scholar. Finally, after just sitting down and reading the Bible cover to cover, once and for all, I came away from that experience an atheist (though my affinity could be more accurately described as Secular Humanist). These books are the result of all the study that followed and the culmination of a lifetime of data, finally assimilated. In these books (and their extracted essays) I explain why I came to the conclusions I did, and I give plenty of fact-based as well as anecdotal evidence for my opinions. Still, this is a deeply personal journey, even though I feel it might be helpful to others who are searching for these answers but simply don’t have time to do the mountains of research required. I did all that for you, and provide all my sources. The full 6 volumes took me three years to finish, and that’s saying quite a lot since it only takes me 2 to 4 months to write a novel. If you find these excerpts intriguing, just follow the link to Amazon to get the books.
(Atheism is Myth-Understood)
While I struggle with unanswered questions – things I cannot understand – I have an even bigger problem placing faith in those things. It is far too convenient to use the ad hoc explanations that Christianity offers; I believe in what is proven, or what there is the most empirical proof for; not what “sounds nice” or appeals to my needs, wishes, desires, or fancy.
Without the ability to think rationally, the human being tends toward the mystical and magical to explain the wonders of our world. This is an effective way to avoid responsibility for self, and undermines the progression of evolution in our species. To cloak your reason with the raiment of religion insures that you will not consider the very real and proven truths that exist since Science began to answer so many of these niggling questions for us.
Volume 6: Cosmology of Atheism includes What Good is Faith? / Philosophy, Reason & Intelligence / Logical Fallacies / Antonyms That VexUs / Unreasonable Ideas / Religion and IQ / Etymology of Ignorance / Herding Cats: The History & Nature of Atheism / Atheism is Myth-Understood / Atheist, Unaware / Benefits of Atheism / Atheists, Skeptics & Infidels, Oh My / What are Atheists like? / Morality Vs. Ethics / Immortal Christians, Immoral Atheists / Morality of the Godless / Infidels Worldwide / Giving Infidels / The Political Machine / Obama, the Foreign Muslim Satanist Antichrist / Separation of Church & State / The Christian Taliban / Proof of God (NOT) / The Odyssey of Theodicy
Jael. In a Tent. With a Spike.
Excerpt from Volume 4:
Cosmology Of The Dark Side: Hell, Satan & Misguided Adherents
During some research, I came across a pastor’s page online that stopped me in my cyber-tracks.
It’s the most hateful, war-mongering, misogynistic, atavistic, hate-crime supporting, and sickening example of Christian brainwashing I’ve ever seen.
And it’s intended for kids.
Volume 4: Cosmology Of The Dark Side: Hell, Satan & Misguided Adherents includes: Gnashing of Teeth / The First Spark / The Metaphor of Hell / Cultural Punishment / Vice And Virtue / The Evil Landlord / The Devil is in the Details / Lucifer Who? / The Fall of Satan / Being a Nonsensical Being / Lost Inferno Paradise / Satan, the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory / The Devil in a Red Leotard / Historicity of Christian Complicity / Dirty Laundry / Poisonous Priests & Pastors / Pitiful Saints & Popes / Historically Heinous Pontiffs / Religious Wars & Rumors of Wars / The Clarity of Charity: Inheriting the Earth, Tax-Free / Iconic Colonic: Cleansing the Paragons / Insidious Indoctrination / Father Likes the Furniss / Jesus-Camp / Jael. In a Tent. With a Spike. / “Yes, Hate is Good.” / Rap Sheet for God’s Assassins / Suffer the Children / Other Kills for Christ / Life is so Sacred, I Will Kill You / Onward Christian Soldiers: The Religious Reich / Recap
(The Etymology of Ignorance)
“There is plenty in this life to appreciate and adore, and plenty to make us feel alive and purposeful. Why do we need to throw a magical invisible Being in the mix who threatens us with unimaginable pain and suffering if we don’t believe in him?
Yet, the faithful argue that Science is without mystery and wonder; that Science is cold and calculating and offers no comfort; that not believing in something bigger than yourself is a lackluster, meaningless way to live.
So if wonder and magic are what believers feel they will lose from turning away from religion, one glance at the structure of DNA and its ability to create something from almost nothing, and we are awed. One microscopic photo of cells dividing, viruses multiplying, tissue regenerating and we are amazed. One look at space photographs taken by the Hubble telescope, and our wondrous, “magical,” universe is revealed. We are not looking at a picture from God’s photo album. We’re looking at the result of billions of years of natural evolution and cosmological development. We understand, through empirical data, how most of that process took shape. This in no way diminishes its magnificence.”
“Popular opinion has it that we will know all we need to know about the Antichrist by reading the book of Revelation. As I pointed out in the volume Cosmology of the Bible, this isn’t true, since the Antichrist isn’t even mentioned in Revelation, and it isn’t about a future counterfeit Jesus and the end of the world at all.
But it is a perfect example of how right wing politicos use religion for political gain. They use fear-mongering and propaganda and invented information to influence the votes of the ignorant gullible dick-weasels who will swallow anything dry, and without looking at it.”
Volume 5, Cosmology of Science includes: Science Heals, Religion Steals / The Anatomy of Adamance* / Cosmology, Cosmogony & Abiogenesis: What & How of the Universe / One Singular Sensation / Entropy & Thermodynamics / Anthropic Principle / Apples & Oranges…and Watches / Formless and Void, Except for Water / Flatheads Rejoice / Science vs. The Flood / Creationism with a Face-Lift / The God Banana / Rock of Ages / Tectonics & Drift / Geologic Column & Fossil Record / Young Earth Absurdities / Holy Spirit or Darwin’s Ghost? / Survival Of The Fittest / Theory but Not Theoretical / Lipstick on a Straw Man / Irreducible Complexity]
The First Family:
(Adam & Eve & Sons)
Excerpt from Volume 3,
Cosmology of the Bible
No matter how absurd the story, a person who wishes to believe, will find a way to justify it.
Baeli scrutinizes the stories of Adam and Eve, and their sons, Cain and Abel.
“The closest I could come to ever believing in the creation of humans, as rendered in the Bible is this: we know that the first Homo Sapiens had predecessors-there are archeological, geological and anthropological facts supporting this knowledge. Thus, assuming Adam and Eve even existed, they were not the first humanoids, but only the ones that God selected as such.
The problem with this, though, is that the Bible says God made Adam out of dirt. So there’s no reason to believe the biblical God used previous or then-existing humans to begin the race that sprang from Adam and Eve. And it certainly doesn’t explain things like different races. Any neo-Christians who try to blend their dogma with evolution, then, are just trying to fill all those holes in the logic, and that’s something they’ve been doing quite a lot of in recent years, to no avail, if we maintain scientific veracity.”
“…let’s blame the entire Hell-bent degradation of humanity on the woman, shall we? When God told the First Couple they would die if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, how could an innocent like Eve understand the meaning of die? If she was one of only two humans, and had never witnessed death, nor suffered it herself, what possible implication could there be for such an edict? And why was she punished for something she could not have understood?”
Volume 3, Cosmology of the Bible includes: It’s in the Bible…I Think / The Bible Tells Me So / Alleged Creation / The First Family / The Fall of Man / Oh, Kill Me Now! / The Second Book of Adam & Eve / The Rook of Adam / Apparently you ARE Supposed to Keep Your Brother / The Great Gilgamesh Nut Cow: Or, The Great Flood Fib / The Stuttering Murderer Who Was God’s Bitch / The Sword is Still Mightier Than the Pen / The 10 or 14 Afterthoughts / The God-Satan Merger: Downsizing the Corporation of Loyalty / Other Nonsense Found in Job / Kill All the Gay People: Sodom, Gomorrah, the Levite & the Concubine / Hands With Differing Agendas: Biblical Mistranslation & Fraud / Hysterical Historicity / Old as Methuselah / Biblical Brutality / Draconian Laws in the Bible / Old Testament Law of Indiscriminate Murder / Servant of Servants: Slavery in the Bible / Bizarre & Dangerous Scriptures / Eeny Meeny Miney Moe: Prophesies We Didn’t Know / The Revelations of Revelation
Science Heals, Religion Steals
(Apples & Oranges…& Watches)
It matters little that adherents wish to again change definitions to fit their beliefs. Because faith is by its very nature a choice to believe, regardless of the facts; anyone can make any claim within the boundaries of religion and call it true, even though it has no facts, no proof, nothing but wishful thinking and an adamance that defies reason. Religious people and institutions can also ignore every atrocity wrought in its defense or maintenance, because they are never called into responsibility, since religion is the Great Untouchable.
Science, on the other hand, continually asks the hard questions and embraces the answers that come, whether they are preferred or not. It seeks peer-review and approval, and follows strict guidelines for its conclusions. Science has also proven itself valuable time and again. It has been the messenger of understanding to the human race for some time now. Even myths that are still stubbornly clung to, have been proven false through the process of Scientific Method and empirical testing and double-blind examination.
We enjoy the spoils of modern Science and technology which allows us to soar into the clouds and reach any destination in this manner, both quickly and comfortably. Individuals from antiquity must have lamented—and had much time to lament—the laborious tedium of traveling from point to point by foot or by beast. It is no wonder that mythology hosts an inherent wish to fly by its creation of the Phoenix, Pegasus, Sirens, Harpies, Griffins, Cherubim, Angels, vampires (as bats) and even Superman.
We seem to maintain an uncommon fondness for the miraculous and the mythical, even to our own detriment and to the annihilation of others in our species, as well as the lesser species in our food chain. But just as we have assimilated into this technological society with our actions, so must our hearts and minds move from the imaginings of despairingly tedious superstitious history toward the truth which resides in realism.
Volume 5, Cosmology of Science includes:
The Anatomy of Adamance / Cosmology, Cosmogony & Abiogenesis / First Cause & Infinite Regress / One Singular Sensation: The Big Bang (Singularity) / Entropy & Thermodynamics / Anthropic Principle / Apples & Oranges…and Watches / Formless and Void, Except for Water.
Science Vs. The Flood
(Scrutinizing the Noah’s Ark Story)
Baeli examines the Noah’s Ark Flood Myth.
“The story of the Flood has become part of our collective consciousness. Few people think to notice it with any degree of skepticism, such is the strength of religious belief. But there is something logically wrong with nearly every element in the story of Noah’s Flood.”
“In Genesis, we are told that Noah was instructed to collect animals and put them into the Ark…But, how did Noah collect the insects? The jellyfish? The sharks? (they weren’t mentioned either). How did he get the animals indigenous to those other areas—like polar bears, penguins, kangaroos, and pandas?
Ad hoc assumption: God had the animals migrate there and get on the Ark, directed by some trance induced by God.
Rationally, how did all the animals get there, be loaded and situated inside, in only seven days?
Current estimates of total species vary, depending on source, but range from 5 to 100 million (Science Daily). Total species ever, might be around 300 million. Almost 2 million have been named, but many more have not. There are over 300,000 species of beetles alone.
Ad Hoc Assumption: the Bible says he only collected “kinds” which means a male and female beetle. So he wouldn’t have to have 300,000 beetles on the Ark.
Again, rather convenient that Creationists can go along behind their own information and add details and suppositions to make it sound plausible. But what inevitably happens is that it remains implausible because there has to be an endless supply of falsehoods to answer the countering details which have been proven true.
The Hashin’ of the Christ
(Crucifixion, Resurrection & Ascension)
From The Hashin’ of the Christ: Crucifixion, Resurrection & Ascension: “There is no reason to believe Jesus was anything more than a myth, redacted and embellished by Christians many decades after his alleged death. While we know that it is historically accurate to say that people were crucified in the days of Jesus, this does not imply that he was. Nor does it prove that he existed. The evidence is sparse to nonexistent in this case, and bolstered only by the need to believe in him and nothing more.
But assuming for the moment that Jesus was a real person, can we say with any appreciable degree of certainty that his crucifixion took place?”
From Lost in Transliteration: “For Romans, the act of removing the body from a cross in order to bury it, was not common, and tantamount to an admission that the executed person was wrongfully accused. The point of crucifixion was to punish and shame the convicted, and there was no better way to do that than to deny him the traditional rite of burial. There was no reason to believe that Pontius Pilate showed mercy to Jesus or his loved ones.”
From To Rise or Not to Rise: It’s All in the Leaven: The bodily rising of Jesus into the sky is a reflection of the common belief of the time that Heaven was above the Earth. We know through science, of course, that the cosmos has never revealed to us a place such as this, but instead holds other galaxies and celestial bodies that extend far beyond our previous imaginings. That we haven’t found Heaven, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but it certainly suggests that the Heaven supposedly situated above the Earth, is part of religious myth and an example of the limited knowledge at that time of the cosmos.
From Eyes Are Bad Witnesses: If all of these books of the four Gospels were eyewitness accounts, why are there so many discrepancies? Aside from what we now know about the unreliable nature of eyewitness testimony, many people still believe that if someone claims to have seen something with their own eyes, we are more likely to believe it happened. But even if this were so, why are there so many contradictions between all these eyewitnesses in the Gospels?
From Imperfect Prefect: What we do know from authentic historical record is that Rome had a fair court system, with learned and competent lawyers. No one was put to death without a trial and verdict, contrary to what Hollywood and the Bible would have us believe. They both tell us that all this was thrown out the window; that Pontius Pilate found Jesus innocent of any charges, but fell prey to the demands of a bloodthirsty crowd who wanted Jesus crucified. This was unheard of, and most likely never happened.
Thatness & Whatness:
Cop-Outs About God
Excerpt from: Volume 1,
Cosmology of God & Jesus
The only way one can, theoretically and according to theists, know God to any appreciable degree, is after death when our souls ascend to Heaven-which is reportedly the domain of the Deity himself. But since death prevents any of these people from reporting back to us–and if they had, it would still be a case of improvable speculation-then this is never something any of us can know for certain.
If God is not made of matter or of anything humans can comprehend, then God, is in a very real way, NOT REAL. If we cannot perceive God, then, why would we believe in him? If we cannot experience God, since God is non-matter, how could he possibly exist to begin with? And why don’t Christians who peddle this, while simultaneously admitting they don’t really know, just admit that they are agnostic?
Slippery slope, that.
There are the common ideas about the nature or essence of God. These attributes are at once a conundrum of “Godly” proportions. There are also the lesser-known, or lesser-mentioned attributes of God that have arisen from various ad hoc situations in which a contradiction appears, and an explanation is then provided to explain that contradiction. It’s rather like the situation a pathological liar finds himself in: one lie is told, and another is inevitably added to cover the discrepancy that arises from the previous lie, so that another lie must eventually be told to clear up that discrepancy, and so on, ad infinitum. The irony is that the explanation is almost always a contradiction in itself, and so the debate continues and the confusion gets compounded.
Volume 1, Cosmology of God & Jesus includes, How Convenient:Cop-outs about God / Thatness And Whatness / The Omni-Everything / Playing the Part of God: Hannibal Lector / To Er is Human: Mistakes Were Made / God the Father AKA The Godfather / Dash Them Against the Rocks or Eat Them / My God is on PETA’s 10 Most Wanted List / Old Abe Never Batted an Eye / God Encourages Human Sacrifice / God Needs Anger-Management / God as Trickster / You are the Devil’s Gateway: God the Misogynist / Kinder, Kuche, Kirche / Immaculate Deception: God Raped Mary / Enough Memetic Incredulity / Mary Had a Little Lamb Who Fleeced Us With His Snow / Born Without a Birthday: The When of Jesus / Away in a Manger…er, House…uh Cave?: The Where of Jesus / Not Far From the Tree / The Go-To Guy: Did Jesus Gave Bad Advice? / The Son of God was a Holy Brat / Thus it is Written…NOT: Prophesies of Jesus / Confusion in the House of David: The Who of Jesus / Jesus, the Spokesmodel for God / The Hashin’ of the Christ / Lost in Transliteration / Disease to Diocese / To Rise or Not to Rise: It’s All in the Leaven / Eyes Are Bad Witnesses / Imperfect Prefect