Jul. 9th, 2007 08:29 pm
lauralh: (mooninite)
Somehow the library system fucked up its hold list and let me check out God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I blazed through it in one night and am currently reading it more leisurely, for such gems as this:

Actually the "leap of faith" - to give it the memorable name that Kierkegaard bestowed upon it - is an imposture. As he himself pointed out, it is not a "leap" that can be made once and for all. It is a leap that has to go on and on being performed, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary. This effort is actually too much for the human mind, and leads to delusions and manias... Now that religion's monopoly has been broken, it is within the compass of any human being to see these evidences and proofs* as the feeble-minded inventions they are.

Also of course the chapter "Why Heaven Hates Ham."

* including arguments from design, revelations, punishments, and miracles.


Jul. 2nd, 2007 09:57 pm
lauralh: (pirate queen)
"When Dr. Samuel Johnson had completed the first real dictionary of the English language, he was visited by a delegation of rescpectable old ladies who wished to congratulate him for not including any indecent words. [He responded that] he was interested to see that the ladies had been looking them up."
lauralh: (hi there)
Nonfiction first.

Ruth Reichl, Tender at the Bone
Her memoir was like a female straight David Sedaris who cooks instead of smokes. Well ok not quite that funny but pretty close. Plus, you know, recipes.

Howard Bloom, The Lucifer Principle
Psychology and sociology of "evil," hierarchies, and how power corrupts.

Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
Terrence McKenna, Food of the Gods
Elaine Morgan, The Descent of Women
These three books are basically about evolution. The first two posit different theories about religion and the origin of consciousness, and the latter introduces the "aquatic ape" theory.

Walter F Otto, The Homeric Gods
Elizabeth Wayland Barber, When They Severed Earth from Sky
Two books that try to make sense of myths. The former puts Greek myth/religion into context, the latter shows that myths are most likely a coded form of oral history.
lauralh: (the cheat is not dead)
Abducted is a pretty short nonfiction book, in which the author ties together disparate threads to explain why/how people come to believe they were abducted by aliens. I'm always curious as to why people believe weird things - as opposed to knowing the weird things they believe, which tends to be horribly boring unless tied together by Shea and Wilson - because it's so utterly understandable yet confusing at the same time. That is to say, I can see where it starts, but I don't get why people continue in the face of other evidence.

But I'm kind of excessively logical that way. And part of the problem is that there's no way to prove that these people weren't actually abducted. Basically it comes down to having sleep paralysis and being fantasy-prone, although there's a bit more to it than that. The interesting part is that most of these people aren't nuts or anything like that, they just have a really weird belief. Although is this belief any weirder than the Jesus thing? At this point in time, yes, but only because it's less common.
lauralh: (pirate queen)
Those interpreting ["If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also"] figuratively have cited historical and other factors in support. They note that at the time of Jesus, striking someone deemed to be of a lower class with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance. If the persecuted person"turned the other cheek," the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed. The other alternative would be to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality. Thus, they argue, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect demanding equality.

(from Wikipedia; the basic summary of this view is that the Sermon on the Mount was to intice people to break Roman law)
lauralh: (the cheat is not dead)

although my favorite bit is this quote from Axl Rose:
It's not easy to be in a one-on-one relationship if the other person is not going to allow me to be with other people.


Heathen home-wrecking whores like the godless Britney Spears are the ones directly responsible for generating lasciviousness across America and the world.  Like sewage oozing from the septic tank, evil doers like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Jennifer Lopez are destroying families worldwide.  The devil is so proud of them, but God is very angry (Psalm 7:11).  Lasciviousness in the Bible is defined as "An unhealthy sexual appetite, an unstable mind."  In other words, scum like Britney Spears causes men to want to go commit horrible sins and crimes (and they are).  Little girls are being abducted, raped and some killed because men are going crazy.  Britney Spears is a monster in sheep's clothing.  These women are using their beauty to inspire men to commit sexual sins and crimes.  Society can argue that because most men don't commit such crimes that people like Britney Spears cannot be blamed.  However, that is simply not true.  Britney Spears is guilty, just as are ALL of the entertainment industries lewd and sensual performers.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
lauralh: (pimpy)
when someone asked why, this was the answer:
"If a heterosexual adult uses a sex toy they WILL turn gay, become or get someone pregant solely to have abortions, develop an obsession with flag burning and then Bible burning, and then join a union."

edit: as far as I know, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia all have anti-dildo laws on the books, and Tennessee may be next.


Feb. 22nd, 2006 10:30 am
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
2 Corinthians 13:12, "Greet one another with an holy kiss."
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
You know how birth rates in red states are a million times higher than in blue states? Nothing is more annoying than Johnny Biblebeater taking this fact to mean that all his team needs to do is wait and they'll control the nation again. Granted, if he actually did nothing that would be one thing. But I think he knows just as well as I do that it just isn't true. I'm certainly not the only person who was raised in a red state/area and moved to a blue state/area. The apple sometimes falls REALLY FUCKING FAR from the tree.

edit: map I found of population changes in the US over the past ten years.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
I've been reading The Lucifer Principle. It goes fast unless you look up each footnote. Or, I guess, if you've never read any Dawkins or Ridley. Anyway I'm finding the history bits a lot more interesting than the biology/meme bits. Bloom sure hates communists and Islamic fundamentalists. But then, who doesn't, right? Basically the idea is that while genes form organisms, memes form Superorganisms. These can be religions, political philosophies, countries - I guess you could call it "culture." And every single one of these, as they are made up of humans, will contain seeds of barbarism, or what he calls "the lucifer principle." So, there's no utopia, except for the leaders of the superorganism. FYI.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
At 14, Ashley pretended to accept Christ when she thought she was pregnant. She wasn't.

it's all the fault of Samantha and Darrin
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
Ya know, even as a very naive and innocent Mormon teenager, I was a little bit suspicious about Macauly and Mike. Not in the "he is clearly a pedophile" way, just that it was higher on the jacko-freakmeter than usual.

So hey, how about those anti-birth control weirdos?? what is up with that?
lauralh: (something wicked this way comes)
That guy who totally wants to be David Bowie, Brandon Flowers of the Killers, is a lousy stinking Mormon.
lauralh: (wacked out burns)
Scientology Sing Along!


lauralh: (Default)
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