Sunday, June 1, 2008

Testing . . . testing . . .

Some glorious day, this may become an actual blog, with actual posts and whatnot. As of now, it's just one more ghost ship drifting rudderless on the lonely face of the internet - and until I claw my way out of the pit of real life commitments, it's going to have to stay that way.

If you're reading this, it's probably because you've seen me commenting on Ray Comfort's blog. I've actually grown quite fond of the Comfort Food crowd - even the whacked-out fundamentalists - so if you're coming from Ray's and you've got something you want to share with me, just leave it in the comments. (Yes, even if you want to give me what-for for being a godless pinko evilutionist. I can take it. I mean, I assume nobody's going to be really mean or crazy, right? Right?)

39 comments:

flinging dust said...

From one godless pinko evilutionist to another I'd like to say that I love your insightful posts over at Ray's FundaMENTAL Institution. ;)

SteveMudSkipper said...

Hey,
great way to describe a new blog!
Hahaha. I'm laughing histyrically right now becuase of the Fundies on Rays site. Anywho,
haha

-steve

Garret said...

Laura,
I credit you (and others, I guess) for liberating me from fundy Xtian, to highly skeptical fellow primate- all hail the Irukandi, keeper of knowledge! I want your Jellyfish, and have for quite some time now. I have always enjoyed your witty commentary there, and now, we can get married.
What was I thinking? It is hard to explain my transformation over the past month or so. I have been at Skippy the Skeptics blog, and Clostridophiles blog, and evolving there.
It has been the simple, childlike questions that got me to think harder about what I believed, and how absurd it really is- a great example of those questions is at Celtic Chimps blog- simple, and devastating. (http://celticchimp.blogspot.com/)

I have been awaiting the launch of your blog for a bit now, and you will be popular, I predict.

I am enjoying reading The God Delusion now.
All the best to you Laura! Thank you for your exchanges with me at Rays- you are my favorite. I will eventually return "on the other side".

The Celtic Chimp said...

The thing I wanted to share with you was that Garret had popped by my blog and was kind enough to leave a comment encouraging many of us Athesits from Ray's blog to keep fighting the good fight. I didn't want to post on Ray's about it. I thought maybe Garret would prefer it that way. It seem he has beaten me here. :)
Well done to you and the others. I found it very encouraging to hear that our efforts might actually be doing some small measure of good.

Soon we can launch of plan to take over the world and cleanse humanity of the weak, I can't wait :)

NaFa said...

Hi Irukandji,

I just wanted to say I also enjoy your comments over at Ray's "Box".

Good luck with this blog if you plan on doing more with it.

I just read Garret's post and it's inspiring to hear not all "Our" words fall on deaf ears.

So, definitely keep up the good fight!

-Damian (aka NaFa)

Garret said...

Thanks CC!
"Soon we can launch of plan to take over the world and cleanse humanity of the weak, I can't wait :)"
I knew there was a plan! Does it involve cattle prods!? A little gentle mockery is all it takes, really.

Ray et al is merely going to point out that I never was a real Christian. Yep, a false convert- all the signs were there. A fervent defender of Christianity, reader of many fundy books, daily bible reading and launcher of constant little prayers of gratitude- a false convert. Among other things, I am sick and tired of hearing the cosmic guilt trip that I am supposed to be experiencing. I am sick and tired of defending contradictions and "difficulties" and pretending that I am sane for doing so. I am sick and tired of being a "reasoning Christian", and am ready to be a reasoning human being, period.

The Celtic Chimp said...

Garret,

Well said!

I think you have overcome the biggest hurdle. The moment you stopped and considered for a minute that it might not be true, you took the biggest step. I am sure you are perfectly capable of deciding for yourself what is and isn't true. You sound like you are now ready go and make those descisions without any presuppositions. You can look at the information without an agenda. Wherever that gets you, you will have gotten there under your own steam.

Unfortunately I think you are right about Ray et al. I have often wondered about what a person who is completely caught up in the whole thing thinks when they are presented with contradictions or at least scenarios that severly strech credibility. I would be very interested in your thoughts about this. I wasn't able to access your profile, I think blogger is acting up, so I don't know if you have a blog or not. If not, would you consider writing a small piece on what it was like to begin to question? I would be glad to host it over at mine. I know many Atheists would be facinated. Also, you should check out http://de-conversion.com. It is a site for skeptical, de-converting and former Christians.

All the best,
Gary.

Garret said...

Thanks Gary, I will take that subject to your blog!

get_education said...

Shit! All this time I thought we were followers of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and that we were priming them funds for the true faith. Are you telling me that you are all skeptics?! (insert horror countenance here)

:-)

Garret said...

Ummm. something must be wrong. Perhaps we must summons the Irukandji. Allow me....

Oh Irukandji of the deep blue sea,
we summons you
we summons you
come to me!
GONG!.....GONG!.... GONG!

(dances in circle) heymamamama hey mama! hey Mama! (for 6 straight hours.)

Garret said...

get_edu
You are talking about the Reformed Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster I hope, because you are not one of THOSE, are you?
tee hee hee

Terry said...

Revelation 15

1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The Celtic Chimp said...

Terry,

Lay that wisdom on us brother!

Can I get a Amen???

dale said...

Irukandji,
Keep up your great work. Thanks for your insights over at Ray's.

Garret,
I was right where you are at one time, albeit a bit younger.
In some cases it is difficult to get past the point where we think we will dissapoint family or friends, but they get over it.
Actually, I am very gentle with them on the subject on my non-belief.
Take care, all of you crazed Darwinists!

Irukandji said...

@ Garret:

I'm here, I'm here! I'm just a terrible correspondent. It's great to see you again - I noticed that you'd disappeared from Ray's blog, and I wondered if you'd finally grown sick of the incessant bickering.

So, it sounds like you've been going through some major changes, huh? I would imagine that's been challenging, although you also sound . . . well, almost exhilarated. Welcome to the world of skeptical primates - we're thrilled to have you aboard!

Garret said...

Irukandji
"Welcome to the world of skeptical primates - we're thrilled to have you aboard!"

Thank you, It is exhilarating and terrifying and confuserific! Dodging lighting bolts and flying knives as I write! Also, a large crack has opened on my kitchen floor- it reaks of sulpher, sputters lava, and thousands of eyes unblinkingly stare- is this normal?

Next on my reading list per you, is Endless Forms Most Beautiful, it looks fascinating. I recommend Evolution for Dummies to all who want to cut past the ID crap and look at what science knows, and why it knows it.

A little testimony-

Technically, I came to Christianity rather late in life, my late 20's, until then, I had been an agnostic "whatever" flirting with Buddhism and being quite the hedonist. A de-conversion event might not be AS traumatic for me as for those who were raised as good little Christians. My mother never mentioned God that I can recall (she was raised by a baptist minister father, and was of the opinion that I should decide for myself- love her for it-thanks mom). My dad (divorced) literally dropped out for a bit, moved to Palenque Mexico with his girlfriend to build a treehouse and study the ancient "astronauts" the Maya, with a little help of the local mushroom (That makes the latest Indiana Jones movie a little close to home ;)). He still is quite the hedonist, and I love going on vacation with the guy, it is never boring. I came to Christianity during a rough patch in life, and actually wasn't all that consistant with it until several years ago.


The Christian apologist Greg Koukl had taught me via STR to be confident that a Christian has Truth with a capital T. Take that Truth out into the world and challenge others by way of being Christs ambassador to the world. So into the world I went with "Truth", and did the best I could, all the while listening to the answers I got back from skeptics, and seeking answers to their questions in the spirit of 'Truth'. Laura told me when I put up typical ID objections to Darwinian evolution- "if you're fuzzy on the mechanics of macroevolution - and it seems that you are - these titles should give you some good background information. (Carroll is probably the most layperson-friendly of the authors I've listed.)" I took that seriously as a seeker of Truth, and to be candid, that list actually scared the crap out of me. It meant that my fears (as a Genesis is Truth guy) were justified- common descent, macroevolution, and biological science in general were certain, via a broad scope of evidences- not just philosophical, metaphysical dedication. The Neo-Darwinian understanding of bio-diversity is correct, and the evidence and understanding builds year by year.
Anyway- I am seeking truth and having fun doing it! Thanks for the well wishes to all!

The Celtic Chimp said...

Garret,

Thank you, It is exhilarating and terrifying and confuserific! Dodging lighting bolts and flying knives as I write! Also, a large crack has opened on my kitchen floor- it reaks of sulpher, sputters lava, and thousands of eyes unblinkingly stare- is this normal?

That is some very healthy fun-poking. I think you are over the hump ;)

Irukandji said...

Also, a large crack has opened on my kitchen floor- it reaks of sulpher, sputters lava, and thousands of eyes unblinkingly stare- is this normal?

I have the exact same problem! I've been complaining to my landlord for months now, and he keeps promising that the repair guy will be by any day. I'm starting to think he's lying.

. . . Also, since when did my landlord have horns and a forked tongue?

Garret said...

Tarzan raised a Desi Arnaz rat.

get_education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

iru, you recently said:

Yes, you believe in God, and I believe in evolution. But not all beliefs are created equal.

For instance, I believe that right now, there is a wooden stirring spoon in my top kitchen drawer. Do I absolutely, positively know it's there, beyond any conceivable doubt? No. Maybe I put it away in the wrong place without realizing. Maybe someone snuck into my apartment while I was out and stole it. Maybe my brain is hooked up to a bunch of hallucination-inducing electrodes and - wait for it - there is no spoon.

Now, let's say I believe that Tinkerbell and all of her fairy friends live in that same kitchen drawer. This, too, is a belief, but is it as reasonable and sensible as the belief that there's a spoon there? Obviously not. My belief in the spoon is entirely evidence-based, whereas a belief in Tinkerbell could only be based on wishful thinking and an inability to distinguish fact from fiction. (After all, I read about Tinkerbell in a book, so I know she's real!)

The other big difference is this: by and large, people who believe that there are spoons in their drawers are capable of saying "oh well" and looking elsewhere when the spoons go missing. People who believe that there are fairies in their drawers - well, they tend to spend a lot of their lives whispering earnestly into empty drawers.


That is just beautiful!

get_education said...

You kidding jason? It was masterful!

Garret said...

She words good.

Jason said...

@ GE:

Alfred isn't sick. He's dying.

erikloza said...

Hey Irukandji,

I saw you over at Ray's and followed the trail of transitional fossils to your blog. :) I think you even responded to one of my posts, probably in your usually witty manner.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that even we don't agree on the topic of God, I'm glad you come by to post. See you over at Ray's place.

Take care,
Erik

Garret said...

Irukandji..
uhuhuhuh...you got, like... a nice bell or whatever....uhuhuhuh.

get_education said...

Hi Iruk,

(I was just passing by)

G.E.

weemaryanne said...

Why, Garret, there you are. I had no idea. What an enormous change in your life. Allow me to add my belated -- but no less sincere -- congratulations and welcome.

You sound exhilarated, and perhaps just a little frightened, no? That's normal. I think you'll understand me when I say you have nothing to fear. Literally -- nothing.

Enjoy your reading. Keep us posted. And forgive me for quoting the serene observation of a churchwoman called Julian of Norwich:

"All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well."

Garret said...

Thanks Weemaryanne!
Yes, it has been a bit of a dramatic change, but I am SO happy to be where I am now! I don't find myself frightened, but with an occasional fleeting 'what if' moment- then I remind myself that a personal, loving god would not be the god of the bible, not by a long shot. I recently read both The God Delusion and God is Not Great, and find them liberating, and refreshing! In other words, WHEW! I can be free to think my thoughts with out being judged by a cosmic thought-cop.
To be frank, my version of 'coming down' is more of a shame feeling- I read Rays site and the comments there by the Christians and think- 'I used to think like that!?' I read Rays posts and just shake my head- what a mind trap that garbage is! Its one thing to believe it if it were reasonable given evidence- both historical and scientific- but those things of course speak volumes against the Christian faith, as you know-
Keep up the great work there, you are a riot! Check out Clos' blog here if you haven't before- its a little bit irreverent!

Nerdiah said...

I just dropped by to say that your comment here made my day :-)

Garret said...

Ah, now I am experiencing nostalgia for my college days. I lived in a women's dorm, and just about every night there would be about a dozen people sitting together in the hall, studying or discussing Serious Ideas . . . while brushing each other's hair. I don't know if the thought occurred to me at the time, but looking back . . . wow, we were a bunch of primates.

I picture myself as John Belushi in Animal House for that one. hehehe

SteveMudSkipper said...

Is it just coincidence, or does Ray look like Peter Sellers from the Pink Panther?

He has the same bungling personality, but manages to still be functional.

Heres a pic of sellers
http://www.typophile.com/files/peter_sellers_3918.jpg

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey! Nobody's EVER found a crockaduck! Ever think about that? I bet you haven't.

dale said...

The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

Storeytwin A said...

Wow! The first 7 comments mention Ray Comfort, and then there were 5 more on down the page. You all must really love Ray. I can't blame you though, he is a precious person.

It's hard to get his comments out of your mind, isn't it? I hope many of you will someday be changed by what you read from his blog. Thanks for letting me post here.

Jason said...

Ray Comfort definitely makes it difficult to believe in God. Not my idea of "precious", but 'evs.

Irukandji said...

Ray is precious like one of those big-eyed, rosy-cheeked porcelain figurines that infest the shelves of superannuated maiden aunts. Which is to say, he's a terrifying caricature of an actual human being, but he's also so gosh-darned pitiful you just can't hate him - and at the same time, you'd never, ever want him in your house.

Thanks for posting - come back anytime! (I mean that sincerely, by the way.)

Jason said...

Also he looks vaguely like a koala.

get_education said...

Hey!

No more insults to Koalas please!

GE