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Jun. 8th, 2012

Coffeum Amo!

Coffeum? Ita Vero!

"Coffeum? Ita Vero!"
"Coffee? Yes!"

Interesting:

High Blood Caffeine Levels in Older Adults Linked to Avoidance of Alzheimer’s Disease

No Alzheimer’s Disease for me!
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Jun. 7th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Felicem Natalem Mihi!

"Felicem Natalem Mihi!"
"Happy Birthday to Me!"

I am 33 today!
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Jun. 6th, 2012

Bikini Girls!

Setsuna Officiosa!

"Setsuna Officiosa!"
"Servicey Setsuna!"

Nice:

!!!Collapse )

Jun. 5th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Evidentia pro Religione

"Evidentia pro Religione"
"Evidence for Religion"

Religious belief is not about evidence. It is that which is believed to exist in lieu of evidence. It is belief that derives from the desire of contrafactuals alone.

And so the problem with an atheist saying something like, "I'll accept that atheism is wrong if I were given clear evidence for the existence of a deity" is that, since religious claims are believed through religious faith -- belief without evidence, belief that is not contingent on what can be demonstrated -- any evidence that does come up would support the claim, but not the religion. The claim would have been wrested from the claws of religion and brought into the realm of science and reason, but the religion itself would not have scored any points, since it does not see evidence as, you know, evidence.

To religious beliefs, evidence is not seen as a primary reason to believe a claim (as in science), but rather as a form of apologetic to quell your intellectual concerns and curiosity, and a secondary reason for belief in the religion right after faith itself.
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Jun. 4th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Laconica Fortuita

"Laconica Fortuita"
"Random Laconics"

We really need to stop thinking that consent simply is an apparently positive knee-jerk reaction to some question or some other stimulus.
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Jun. 3rd, 2012

Hotaru Tomoe

Hotarua Excellens!

"Hotarua Excellens!"
"Excellent Hotaru!"

Very nice:

!!!Collapse )

Jun. 2nd, 2012

Haruhiismus

Excellens!

"Excellens!"
"Excellent!"

I approve of this:

Tropes vs. Women in Video Games
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Jun. 1st, 2012

Melissa: Marita Iani

Percontatio cum Melissa!

"Percontatio cum Melissa!"
"Interview with Melissa!"

Melissa was interviewed a little while ago:

Archive budget cuts

Good for her!
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May. 31st, 2012

Haruhiismus

Concedamus Mortem Religionistis

"Concedamus Mortem Religionistis"
"Let Us Not Concede Death to the Religionists"

Greta Christina has a great new article:

Do We Concede the Ground of Death Too Easily?

“Sure, atheism may have better arguments and evidence. But religion is always to going to win on the death question. A secular philosophy of death will never comfort people the way religion does.”

I’ve heard this idea more times than I can count. And here’s the weird thing: It’s not just from religious believers. I hear it from atheists, too. It shocks me how easily non-believers concede the ground of death. Many of us assume that of course it would be lovely to believe in an eternal afterlife… if only that were plausible. And largely because of this assumption, we often shy away from the topic of death. We happily talk about science, sex, reality, other advantages the secular life has to offer… but we stay away from death, and concede the ground before we even fight it.


Very nice! However, there is one part that worries me:

Secular philosophies of death can withstand scrutiny. The idea that we didn’t exist for billions of years before we were born, and that wasn’t painful or bad, and death will be the same? The idea that our genes and/or ideas will live on after we die? The idea that each of us was astronomically lucky to have been born at all? The idea that death is a deadline, something that helps us focus our lives and treasure the experiences we have? The idea that loss, including death, is necessary for life and change to be possible? The idea that things don’t have to be permanent to be meaningful? The idea that your life, your slice of the timeline, will always have existed even though you die? The idea that death is a natural, physical process that connects us intimately with nature and the universe? These secular philosophies of death, and others, can withstand scrutiny — because they’re based in reality. (Most of them, anyway. There are secular notions of death that I think are self-deluded… but they’re the exception, not the rule.)

This gets close to one my pet peeves about what many atheists say about death. Zinnia Jones wrote about this very thing not too long ago:

The false dichotomy of the afterlife

It's fairly straightforward to point out that belief in an afterlife can have the effect of devaluing this life, causing various misconceptions about its purpose, and influencing people to act for the sake of an imagined eternity that will never take place. This much is obvious. But not so much thought has been given to the impact that beliefs in an afterlife have had on the views of atheists. All too often, the repudiation of an afterlife is accompanied by various proclamations about how important it is that we live a limited life and experience genuine death. We see it in the shallow aphorisms claiming that "death gives meaning to life", as though finding a meaning for our lives is only possible if everyone eventually dies. Such a stunning lack of imagination about how to find personal meaning barely deserves the time of day, but it's interesting to consider where this notion might come from.

And:

When religious people are frightened by the reality of actual death, some atheists reassure them that there's nothing to be afraid of, and it'll just be like taking a very long rest - as if they'll even be able to experience a state of restfulness ever again.

But just because an idea is wrong or bad doesn't mean the reverse of that idea must be right or good. If it were that simple, the most ignorant among us could become a source of unparalleled genius, simply by inverting everything they believe. This is clearly no guarantee of rightness or truth, and common atheistic views on death actually end up sharing certain similarities with their religious counterparts. Both religious followers and many atheists ultimately agree that death, whatever its nature, is a good thing that's very important to our lives, and nothing should be done about it.


In other words, theists and many atheists alike say that not only is death something that happens, that it should happen because it is thought to be something good.

Zinnia also says:

Sure, science is great for curing diseases and extending lifespans - at a slow enough pace that no one's too uncomfortable about it - but dethroning death itself and eliminating the universal inevitability of our demise is apparently a step too far.

In other words, many atheists believe that even the elimination of death would be wrong.

And here is a great ending:

Our present mortality may influence how we live our lives, but that doesn't mean it must be our only source of purpose. People might say death is what gives meaning to life, but no one is especially eager to optimize for this alleged source of value by seeking to bring about more and earlier death for everyone. After all, if this life is really so important, then why should we have less of it when we could have so much more? Why not seek out the most joy, the most love, and the most discovery we can possibly achieve? Why not enjoy life as much as we can, for as long as we can? And why should this ever have to end? It doesn't - if you're ready to do something about it.

Yes, indeed.
Sailor Moon Says Yes to Thongs

Perizoma!

"Perizoma!"
"Thong!"

Yeah:

!!!Collapse )

May. 30th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Quinta

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Quinta"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred Five"

Random:

quatessere -o "to shake eagerly"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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May. 29th, 2012

Anastasia Nicholaevna Romanova

Bellula Fortuita

"Bellula Fortuita"
"Random Cutie"

Yeah:

http://aish89.deviantart.com/art/Black-Haired-Girl-111022341

May. 28th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Quarta

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Quarta"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred Four"

Random:

quasturire -io "to want to shake"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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May. 27th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Bellula!

"Bellula!"
"Cute!"

Yeah:

!!!Collapse )

May. 26th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Furiosae? O Miseras Infantulas!

"Furiosae? O Miseras Infantulas!"
"Furious? Poor Babies!"

Yeah:

One Million Moms Furious ‘Beloved Superheroes Will Be Homosexual’
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May. 25th, 2012

Hotaru Tomoe

Bellula!

"Bellula!"
"Cute!"

Hotaru and Chibiusa:

!!!Collapse )

May. 24th, 2012

Latin

Novum

"Novum"
"New Thing"

I made a Latin Memes Tumblr:

Mema Interretialia

YAY!
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May. 23rd, 2012

Bikini Girls!

Officiosa

"Officiosa"
"Servicey"

Yeah:


loop by ~InstantFreak on deviantART

May. 22nd, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Tertia

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Tertia"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred Three"

Yeah:

quastrum -i m. "thing that shakes"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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May. 21st, 2012

Haruhiismus

Bellula

"Bellula"
"Cute"

Yeah:

Read more...Collapse )

May. 20th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Secunda

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Secunda"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred Two"

Yeah:

quastrix -icis f. "shaker"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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May. 19th, 2012

Bikini Girls!

Officium

"Officium"
"Service"

Bewbies:

!!!Collapse )

May. 18th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Prima

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima Prima"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred One"

Yeah:

quassor -oris m. "shaker"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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May. 17th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Excellens Analysis!

"Excellens Analysis!"
"Excellent Analysis!"

Yes:

Analysis of a typical Facebook debate
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May. 16th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Quadringentesima"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Four Hundred"

Yeah:

quatillare -o "to shake a little"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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Haruhiismus

Non Dicis!

"Non Dicis!"
"You Don't Say!"

Yeah:

A sophisticated theologian claims that religion can’t be falsified

And a good comment:

Gilkey makes a major error in his statement. Religion doesn’t “ask” any sort of question, it supplies a ready made answer: God did it.

Right.
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May. 15th, 2012

Haruhiismus

De Bonitate

"De Bonitate"
"On Goodness"

Two thousand years ago, Seneca the Younger wrote, "Bonitas non est pessimis esse meliorem" ("Goodness is not being better than the worst"). In other words, if you want to show that something is good and acceptable, you should not be reduced to denigrating other things by dragging them below the thing in question, especially when the examples of the other things are the worst representatives you can find. Nowadays, when people do such a thing, we call it a Moral Equivalence Fallacy.

Arguments for the legalization of marijuana that go along the lines of "It's not as bad as [mundane substance x]" or "[mundane substance x] is worse than it" are perfect examples of arguments that appeal to the Moral Equivalence Fallacy. And for the "mundane substance x," I have heard things like peanuts and coffee. If you are in the position where you need to denigrate peanuts and coffee to make pot look good and acceptable, then you have problems. After all, are we not taught in grade school that it is not a good thing to think that you build yourself up when you put down others?

This is exactly the fallacy that came to mind while I got done reading this nugget of stupidity this morning:

Study: No lung danger from casual pot smoking

Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Well, let's read more of it:

Add one more data point to the decades-old debate over marijuana legalization: A new study concludes that casual pot smoking - up to one joint per day - does not affect the functioning of your lungs.

Weasel words, much?

The key phrase is "up to one joint per day."

In other words, 0-1. As in no joints to one joint.

In other words, you did not even have to smoke pot to be part of this study, since you could be one of the people who smoked 0 joints a day. I therefore could have participated in this study and they would have gotten the same results.

The study, published in the Jan. 11 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association, also offered up a nugget that likely will surprise many: Evidence points to slight increases in lung airflow rates and increases in lung volume from occasional marijuana use.

So, basically, "harm" here is being arbitrarily defined as "decreased air-flow rates or lung volumes"?

"And the data showed that even up to moderately high-use levels -- one joint a day for seven years -- there is no evidence of decreased air-flow rates or lung volumes,"

But would such a decrease be actual harm?

Unlike cigarette smokers, marijuana users tend to breathe in deeply when they inhale a joint, which some researchers think might strengthen lung tissue. But the common lung function tests used in the study require the same kind of deep breathing that marijuana smokers are used to, so their good test results might partly reflect lots of practice

In other words, exercise?

17 percent of participants said they'd smoked cigarettes but not marijuana.

See what I mean when I said, "you did not even have to smoke pot to be part of this study, since you could be one of the people who smoked 0 joints a day"?

On average, cigarette users smoked about 9 cigarettes daily, while average marijuana use was only a joint or two a few times a month -- typical for U.S. marijuana users, Kertesz said.

Yes, and eating one slice of pizza every few weeks is much better for you than eating nine boxes of donuts daily.

And here we have a statement that inspires people to use the Moral Equivalence Fallacy: "See? Pot is not as bad as cigarettes!" And yet, how exactly is little bit of pot sometimes particularly comparable to a bunch of cigarettes every day?

So, yeah, the tl;dr version of this article can be summed up thus: "Harm from pot" is "decreased air-flow rates or lung volumes," and no such evidence can be found, therefore, as the title says, no lung danger from casual pot smoking. And! Not smoking pot every day is not the same as smoking cigarettes every day. Well, I could have told them that.
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May. 14th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Sex Argumenta!

"Sex Argumenta!"
"Six Arguments!"

Not bad:

Sean Carroll's List of 6 Arguments Used by Science Denialists
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May. 13th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Felicem Diem Matris!

"Felicem Diem Matris!"
"Happy Mother's Day!"

YES!
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May. 12th, 2012

Bikini Girls!

Officium!

"Officium!"
"Service!"

Boobies:

!!!Collapse )

May. 11th, 2012

Hotaru Tomoe

Bellula!

"Bellula!"
"Cute!"

Yes:

!!!Collapse )

May. 10th, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Undeducentesima

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Undequadringentesima"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Three Hundred Ninety-Nine"

Another:

quator -oris m. "the state of shaking"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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Haruhiismus

Magna Imago!

"Magna Imago!"
"Great Image:"

Yeah:

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Latin

Non Victor

"Non Victor"
"Not a Winner"

Nope, I did not win the Douglas Gold Medal.

But I enjoyed writing the thing! And I have won the bragging rights of being the one person in recent memory to submit a Latin paper to the competition!

Here is a photo of the thing:

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May. 9th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Novum Regnum in Arbore Vitae?

"Novum Regnum in Arbore Vitae?"
"A New Kingdom in the Tree of Life?"

Fascinating:

A new kingdom in the tree of life?
Tags:
Yuricon: Just Like Lilies Among Lesbians

Tribadoides!

"Tribadoides!"
"EEKy!"

That's right:

!!!Collapse )
Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Duodeducentesima

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Duodequadringentesima"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Three Hundred Ninety-Eight"

Yeah:

quatiblis -e "shakeable"
EtymologiaCollapse )
Tags:
Sailor Moon Says Yes to Thongs

Perizoma!

"Perizoma!"
"Thong!"

Buttular:

!!!Collapse )
Haruhiismus

Argumentum ad Famem

"Argumentum ad Famem"
"The Argument from Hunger"

Augh, Coyne found some grade-A nonsense:

More theological criticism of atheists: we’re not despairing enough

But Robert Barron, a Catholic priest, thinks I should feel otherwise. Watch the video of this seemingly genial fellow and see how many things you can disagree with in just a few minutes:

I watched it. Augh, again.

I find this the most invidious part of his spiel:

We have deeply ingrained in us a sense of the limitedness of this world that there is something more. In fact, our very wiring for God proves the existence of God. We desire something which transcends the limitations of this world means that we have within us a sort of participation in the eternal. . . Your hunger is not a sign that food is a projection, but your hunger in fact proves the existence of food—your hunger proves the reality of food. Right? It doesn’t mean that food is some kind of subjective projection or illusion. So that our desires are not misleading us: our desires order us to realities—so our desire for God.

That’s a new theological argument to me: The Argument from Hunger. Because we want something so badly, it must exist.  Readers might amuse themselves with refuting it.


So, if I really, really, really want a unicorn pony in my house, it exists there? Wow, I did not know it was that simple!

But seriously, this really is not different from other theological arguments that try to link the mundane with the supermundane. Just think of Paley's watchmaker argument. Arguments like these comprise two main parts:

  1. Comparing two mundane objects or qualities linked in some relational situation, and whose existence is not in doubt (e.g. a built pocket watch and its builder -- builder in this relationship implies the watch, and built in this relationship implies the builder).

  2. Comparing two ultramundane objects or qualities linked in some relational situation, whose existence is in fact in doubt, and just assuming that these ultramundane objects or qualities are in any way analogous to the mundane, often with the help of a mundane label (and yet both this and their very existence is the very thing being called in question).

People who argue things like this, whether they know it or not, use mundane labels for ultramundane concepts in order to make the old switcheroo between the two ontological levels.

When we turn our attention to this Argumentum ad Famem here, our hunger does not prove that our food exists. Food and hunger are relational concepts, and they together are part of a situation in which one has its contextual and semantic and logical coherency together with the other. Of course, someone could say that these concepts are free-floating "things" that exist in some Platonic realm, but if that were the case, I would have no idea what they are, and they would be, frankly, irrelevant to this discussion.

But neither the hunger nor the food say anything about the kind of divinely instilled hunger meant to "prove" the existence of a deity -- a kind of hunger referred to by the mundane label "desires." Not only do we not have to take the existence of the former for granted, we also do not have to accept that such things are in any way analogous to actual hunger and food. If they are analogous, then they are in a relational situation wherein one implies the other. But the "desires" idea mentioned above is laden with the theory of theism in the sense that it is held to be god-given implicitly. While the argument is trying to show that the deity exists, it needs to beg the question of that existence in order to show that the "desires" exist.

So, really, in order for the argument, or rather the analogy, to work, the existence of the deity and the existence of the desires have to be accepted at first just in the same way that the hunger and the food have to be accepted at first.
Bikini Girls!

Puella Bikinianata

"Puella Bikinianata"
"Bikini Girl"

Yeah:

!!!Collapse )

May. 8th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Bellum contra Feminas?

"Bellum contra Feminas?"
"The War on Women?"

Great articles:

The war on women

Wait, Consent Means WHAT?
Hotaru Tomoe

Nuda Hotarua

"Nuda Hotarua"
"Nekkid Hotaru"

Yes:

!!!Collapse )
Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Nonagesima Septima

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Nonagesima Septima"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Three Hundred Ninety-Seven"

Okay:

quatax -acis "tending to shake"
EtymologiaCollapse )
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Bikini Girls!

Tribadoides Puellae Bikinianatae!

"Tribadoides Puellae Bikinianatae!"
"EEKy Bikini Girls!"

Yes:

!!!Collapse )

May. 7th, 2012

Haruhiismus

Hoc Mihi Dicendum Est

"Hoc Mihi Dicendum Est"
"It Must Say This"

Si viri fieri praegnantes possent, abortio sacramentum esset.

May. 6th, 2012

Eveready Cat

Excellens Podcast!

"Excellens Podcast!"
"Excellent Podcast!"

Not bad:

http://starspotpodcast.com/
Tags:

May. 5th, 2012

Anastasia Nicholaevna Romanova

Optime, Fredericopoli!

"Optime, Fredericopoli!"
"Very Good, Fredericton!"

Thanks for keeping it classy, Fredericton!

Someone from away might very well think that, in Fredericton, 1) there is a grocery store where you can buy kitten meat, and 2) there is a restaurant where you can order bear meat.

May. 4th, 2012

Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe

De Verbo Spiritual

"De Verbo Spiritual"
"About the Word Spiritual"

One can say that one particular activity or some other one evokes experiences and feelings that have been called "spiritual." Such experiences and such are real. When people describe what is "spiritual," they use vague descriptions like "feelings of unity" and "feelings of oneness" and "feelings of awe." Yet all of these descriptions always sound to me, frankly, like euphemisms for feelings of self-importance, justified or not, and warm, fuzzy feelings meant to tickle one pink.

The debate about the word spiritual has overwhelmingly been nomenclatural or linguistic in nature. People debate about whether spiritual has too much religious baggage for secularists to use. The use of words is one thing, but my problem is with the concept itself. The way I see it, lumping all of these feelings of awe and togetherness into one unified whole is theonormative, that is to say, the issue is still framed in a religious or theistic context. Even if the most secular of us have perged theism and religion from their worldviews, they may very well still conceive such feelings in a way that is typical among religionists and theists: experiences and feelings singled out as quasi-mystical and somehow different from "mundane" ones.

For me, I do not need a word spiritual, either linguistically or conceptually, because I do not separate such feelings and experience from the totality of the human condition. The distinction between "spiritual" experiences and regular experiences is completely irrelevant to me.

For all I care, so long as other people want to frame the issue in that theonormative manner, they are perfectly free to complement that by continuing to use a theonormative word like spiritual.
My Little Pony

Magna Episodia!

"Magna Episodia!"
"Great Episodes!"

That's right:

http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/05/my-little-pony-royal-wedding-episode.html

Do want!
Tags:

May. 3rd, 2012

Latin

Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Nonagesima Sexta

"Nova Derivativa Verba Latina, Pars Tricentesima Nonagesima Sexta"
"New Latin Derivatives, Part Three Hundred Ninety-Six"

Yeah:

suppeditorculatualitas -atis f. "the state of pertaining to the office of a small person who farts quietly"
EtymologiaCollapse )
Tags:

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Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe

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