Friday Quote – William C. Easton II

God says “Do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in Hell.” That, sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend “Do what you wish, but if you leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out.” When a man says this, we call him a psychopath and cry out for his imprisonment. When God says the same thing, we call Him “Loving” and build churches in His honor.

William C. Eastton II

Friday Quote – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Many well-meaning Dutch people have told me in all earnestness that nothing in Islamic culture incites abuse of women, that this is just a terrible misunderstanding. Men all over the world beat their women, I am constantly informed. In reality, these Westerners are the ones who misunderstand Islam. The Quaran mandates these punishments. It gives a legitimate basis for abuse, so that the perpetrators feel no shame and are not hounded by their conscience of their community. I wanted my art exhibit to make it difficult for people to look away from this problem. I wanted secular, non-Muslim people to stop kidding themselves that “Islam is peace and tolerance.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Friday Quote- Amanda Marcotte

Atheists are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of Hell.

Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain comes from.

This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority.

Amanda Marcotte

I wouldn’t necessarily agree with terrify, but I do think it’s a strawman argument that isn’t quite as secure as many think.

It’s Why They Drew Him

Here’s the winning picture from the Garland, Texas, Draw Muhammed Contest.

IMHO, I think it’s a brilliant piece of artistic commentary on the current situation with fanatic Muslims murdering people for criticizing their religion. 

The reaction of the “chattering class” on CNN and MSNBC make me vomit. Instead of blaming the attackers for being violent wannabe murderers with delusions of serving a magic sky daddy, these so-called intellectuals are blaming the organizers of the contest for “inciting” the violent wannabe murderers with delusions of serving a magic sky daddy with “hate speech.” 

Let’s be honest. The Islam that these two violent wannabe murderers with delusions of serving a magic sky daddy want to promote goes against all of the progressive ideals that they talk about any other day. Why do they bend over backwards so hard for these barbarians? Because they don’t want to end up like Charlie Hebdo. 

Michael Bane called these actions by the MSM “cowardice” on his podcast. I’d call it duplicitous. Penn Jillete has stated numerous times on his podcast that he doesn’t make jokes about Muslims because he has a family. That’s a powerful statement. Think about what would happen if the NYT or WaPo or HuffPo clearly stated that they weren’t publishing the pictures because they couldn’t guarantee the safety of their employees from retaliation. 

As for me, I’ll just publish the picture.

Sweet FSM, I’m Defending a CNN Anchor

One of the “Outrages of the Day” that has been bombarding my various news feeds is a debate between CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court. More to the point, when the judge says that our rights come from God, Cuomo disagreed.

Transcript borrowed from Breitbart:

MOORE: I believe that’s a matter of law because our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God. It’s clearly stated –

CUOMO: Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.

MOORE: Let me ask you one question. Let me ask you one question, Chris. Is the Declaration of Independence law?

CUOMO: You would call it organic law as a basis for future laws off of it?

MOORE: I would call it the organic law because the United States code calls it organic law. It is organic law because the law of this country calls it the organic law of the country means where our rights come from. And if they come from there, men can’t take it away.

CUOMO: Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but not our country. Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.

MOORE: It’s not a matter of faith, sir. It’s a matter of organic law, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be held equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the only role of government is stated in the next sentence is to secure those rights for us. The government starts taking those rights away from us, then it’s not securing and it is defiling the whole purpose of government.

In this instance, I’m going to say Cuomo is correct. Our rights come to us from being humans. From being a sentient species.

Most of the people believe that God created Man, and therefore human rights come from God. If that’s what gets you through the day, fine. When you then use that idea to decide who does and who doesn’t get rights based on your particular writings of God, we’re going to have a problem. Just as it’s wrong when other members of CNN have advocated the restriction of rights based on political ideology.

We have rights because we are a sentient species. That wouldn’t change if there is or is not a deity or deities responsible for our creation.

Limits and Limits

The Pope has waded into the controversy around the Charlie Hebdo murders by telling us it’s wrong to kill in the name of God and that there needs to be limits on insulting other religions.

“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” Francis said on the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila.

Emphasis mine.

My response to the Pope: Bullshit. Insults and comedy are part of the natural critique for any faith/belief system/philosophy. The marketplace of ideas is harmed without the full width and breadth of nonviolent critique.

I make fun of religions because I find them foolish. I make jokes of their inconsistencies. I fully expect others to make jokes about atheists.

Here’s where it comes to limits and limits. More to the point, moral limits and legal limits.

If the Pope is calling for moral limits on expression, then that’s fine. He’s the moral leader for millions of people and they expect him to tell them his interpretation of Big Sky Daddy’s will. Breaking the moral limit may get someone excluded from Thanksgiving dinner, but not get thrown in jail.

On the other hand, we’re going to have a problem if he’s calling for legal limits on expression, that becomes dangerous for a society. The problem is that what is offensive is highly subjective, and legally limiting speech becomes a tyranny of the most sensitive. Improvements in science and philosophy are lost because thinkers are not allowed pathways due to “offense”.

Limits and limits.