Category Archives: Uncategorized

Outed as an Atheist at work… nothing happened

    Yesterday at work, in between infecting cells with virus and small talk.  I brought up a fairly innocuous conversation about having the almighty cable brought back into my home.  While admitting to mostly watching Baseball and the Science Channel, a deeply religious coworker, asked me if I thought there was life on other planets.  Another coworker chimed in that it was more likely than not and I agreed.  The religious coworker agreed also saying that God had to have added people to other places also.  I gently tried to assert that it was highly unlikely that people could have developed on other planets due to the conditions present but I also said that I usually do not discuss this kind of philosophy at work.   This is when coworker #2 gets the bright idea as to why  I didn’t want to discuss it,  I was an atheist!  I acknowledged it and religious coworker seemed surprised but not shocked.  Of course the next question was where did everything come from and I gave the obvious “I don’t know” answer. Religious coworker seemed happy with that and asserted God (of course). 
     The conversation never got heated as we discussed their Catholicism and when we spoke of Jehovah Witnesses and the Amish we happily agreed that they are obviously wrong. 😉
    Now this probably wouldn’t be a good starter conversation with new coworkers, but I have expressed my overall skepticism to my coworkers for almost a year now so when the God question came up,  it didn’t have a negative impact on our work relationship at all.

Didgya

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Random shit for Friday (#triggerwarning: #TheSecret #bullshit)

A tale of doing….

Atheist Asshole

It’s no small secret that I hate The Fucking Secret. What pisses me off even more is that author Rhonda Byrne was able to convince millions upon millions of gullible chumps to buy her terrible book, thereby at least in part validating her claims, if only in the eyes of millions of chumps.

It’s also no small secret that Byrne’s bullshit more than passingly resembles the core teachings of the Unity Church. Interestingly, probably because I had a good time there, I don’t resent the church, while I do Byrne. I think too, Unity never really came right out and said, “Anything you imagine will literally come true.” They more said, “Um, well, if you imagine it, and you work hard, and you have some modicum of talent, and you’re lucky, and you’re in the right place at the right time, or you know someone, then it’ll literally…

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Belief Equality Dichotomy

I have noticed a common response to criticism, of  belief systems of a  religious, philosophical or ideological origin,  is to assert  that the beliefs is equal to or just as valued as any other type  and is therefore protected from scrutiny.

Protection: 

Advocating protection of the belief systems will ensure a more peaceful and non intrusive society to live in. Beliefs themselves do not harm people, harm is the responsibility of the individual carrying it out. Extreme beliefs are just that, extreme and cannot be used to criticize similar or connected views. Attacking beliefs causes offence. Tolerance is only achieved though respecting ones beliefs. Intolerance of beliefs equals intolerance of said person. A persons beliefs are personal and therefore cannot be criticized without harm to the person. Challenging ones beliefs usually entrenches them deeper  into it.

Criticism:

It is possible to examine ones beliefs without attacking the person. Beliefs influence a persons bias and actions when interacting with others. A persons beliefs can be objectively judged as harmful. Respect is reserved for a people but not always their beliefs.  Dogmatic following of  beliefs, without evidence stunts personal growth. Challenging a person or group beliefs may cause others in society to examine their own.  Having a personal belief does not protect one from being criticized for partaking in a negative action.

Opinion:

I personally am a strong proponent of challenging religious, philosophical and ideological beliefs (including my own). If a belief is to be deemed valid, it is only fair to examine that belief as objectively as possible. Accepting a majority or tolerating an aggressive belief out of respect, is intellectually dishonest and only protects people with a unchallenged agenda that is enabled by our passivity. (an extreme example) Through critical thinking and debate, we have an open market for society to choose our values.  Instead of unchallenged and  uncritical acceptance of beliefs that, if were adopted, might take that right away or deem it unquestionable.


A Moderated Conversation With Ban Bossy and Bossy

A Moderated Conversation With Ban Bossy and Bossy.


Kepler’s Last Stand: Verification by Multiplicity

Great blog about Kepler and the math involved in verifying exo-planets

Lost In Transits

TNG_LaPalmaFor 3 months a year, the TNG telescope on the island of La Palma turns its high-precision spectrometer (HARPS-N) towards the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra. This is the field of view that NASA’s Kepler space telescope stared at for more than 3 years, detecting thousands of potential new exoplanets using the transit method. There the TNG scans hundreds of Kepler’s potentially planet-holding stars looking for tiny changes in their radial velocity. If detected, this signal will indicate the presence of a real planet, confirming once and for all what Kepler first hinted at many months before. This is the process that, up until now, has been used to definitively find the majority of Kepler’s 211 planets.

exoplanetdiscoverieshistogram New ‘discoveries’ in context

That appeared to change in the blink of an eye this week with the confirmation of 715 new planets using a new catch-all statistical technique. But how did…

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