Thursday, October 31, 2013

SMBC Comics on God, Math and Religion

The point is, if you want certainly about god, you're almost certainly wrong.  Better to doubt or admit that you can't understand the complexity of the world than to accept an answer that is ... well... you get it...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

If Prayers Worked

If prayers worked I would pray for your healing. I really truly would.  I would spend every waking minute prostrating myself and doing whatever it took to get the almighty to intervene and make right whatever's wrong with you or your spouse or your child or your relative or friend.

But prayers don't work like that.  So instead I'll work for more fair and equitable healthcare, to help get you access to doctors and hospitals and medicines who actually can heal you when you need them.  That seems like a better use of our time here on earth, so I hope you'll accept that instead of prayer.  It turns out to be a lot more work.

Monday, June 3, 2013


Amanda: How is the Dalai Lama the reincarnation of the Buddah if he achieved Nirvana?
Bob: I was raised Roman Catholic. If you want someone to explain conflicting religious mysteries, you got the wrong guy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Pope for the Atheists

We all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there,” – Pope Francis, in a homily today (5/22/2013)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

She is risen!

Everyone knows that they only ate unleavened bread during passover. And then three days later the bread would rise again because of naturally occurring yeast. Everyone would see that and yell Happy Yeaster! which today we shorten to Happy 'Easter.

And in France they used to sell matzos in packs of 12, which is why they call it Paques.

There's always a simpler answer for everything.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Andrew Sullivan almost gets it right

In his interview with Hitch...  they talk about forgiveness, they talk about weapons of mass distraction, but I think he leaves it hanging at the end... asking why do you think it (the use of nuclear weapons) hasn't happened (beyond WWII).. and leaves it hanging... I'm sure Hitch had an answer.  And I'm certain that it wasn't that god was saving us for something else...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It's a sin to tell a lie.
It's not a lie of you believe it - George Constanza
It is one of the problems with religion.  Belief makes all things possible.  Even lies. Most religions are steeped in lies and belief makes it OK to hold onto them and cherish them and even fight for them.  All religions.  Mine too by the way.  Let's not quibble.  We just try to separate fact and fiction for what they are.  And the facts are often murky, requiring a webbing of intricate lies and false assumptions to support them.

But this was about sin.  I've come to think that sins are those things that bad about having done.   And this changes over time,  What we did once, and might have felt good about, can become an embarrassment or feel like a mistake hours, days, weeks, or years later.  There are also things that we feel forced to do that we might not feel good about.  And there are things that happen to us, that we might feel, in hindsight, that we had some hand in their happening.  There are probably more aspects to this than I can write in this short blog.

Maybe this confuses guilt and sin.  Maybe they are one in the same.  I'm going to cogitate this a little more.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Comment Moderation On

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Andrew Sullivan gets it wrong again - premarital sex

In his article, Which Religions are Most Chaste,,  Sullivan makes a big mistake.  He takes data on "Reported Premarital Sex" and tries to make it into which religions are actually most chaste.  In fact, this is a chart on something more complicated.  It is a chart about how people in different religions self-report on premarital sex.  Anyone faced with being stoned to death for sex outside of marriage, as in the old testament, might think twice about how they self report their involvement in premarital sex. Again, he takes the facts and spins them to his alternate purpose.

No movie for old atheists

I'm talking, of course, about the big hit, The Life of Pi.

Why does God need to get layered on top of a good story?  The answer is in Pi.  God makes for better story telling.  God adds drama.  God adds passion.  God adds a villain.  God adds someone to yell at when you're all alone on a boat. At the end of it, my wife and I turned to each other and asked WTF?

Does it make you believe?  Not at all.  It simply lifts the veil on how stories are constructed.  You know what would have made an even better story?  Talking animals.  I mean if the point is to tell a good story, then why not?

Not my favorite movie of the year.