Tuesday, 20 December 2011

what is the value of an NDE really?

how relevant could "near death" be anyways? the brain is freaking out and you're not dead so what value would it have anyways? if someone's body starts to decay, THEN they come back to life, then i'll listen to their story. i also had a near death experience when i was shot at age 18--i saw the tunnel of light (as i had heard others have experienced), saw god and jesus (as i was taught was truth from mormonism), saw my whole life on a "movie screen" (as i had heard others had experienced), i "saw" when i was "looking at god and jesus" that we were walking on clouds (like in the movie "heaven can wait", which i saw many times as a kid). i learned/experienced nothing "new", that i hadnt already heard about or seen in movies.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

is the lds mormon church a cult? susan's review

thanks to susan for this summary of her experiences about the cult-status of the "church of jesus christ of latter-day saints":
 I've been around long enough to know that there are thousands of closet drinkers, porn lovers, adulterers, fornicators, etc. etc. etc. amongst the Mormon population.  If there were really some way to gather true statistics, I think you would find that (as in divorce) the Mormon statistics on all this would fall right in there with the general populations.  I don't think Mormon kids are avoiding drugs and sex.  I have enough older grandkids now to know that they are just more adept at hiding it.

So, if one can assume that what I've just typed is correct, then I would have to say that the added pressures of a perfectionistic religion that controls ever aspect of one's life, demands that money be paid in order to participate in certain church rituals, asks you to promise that you will give everything you have to the upbuilding of the kingdom, doesn't respect woman and never lets them be in control, grossly emotionally abuses homosexuals, expects its membership to agree with and acquiesce to everything that comes out of the mouths of the suits in SLC, robs young men and women of two years of their lives to proselyte no differently than the Moonies on the corner, tries to control a married couple's sex life, teaches the evils of sex so often to young people that they don't have a chance for a normal/sensual/passionate sex life for the first few years of their marriages (and maybe never) ......sounds like a cult to me!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What Does Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Really Believe?

He believes that Jesus is Satan's brother.
He believes that the jewish god yahweh lives near a planet called "Kolob".
He believes in baptizing dead people.
He believes that it was impossible for black people to go to heaven before 1978.
He believes that he is going to become a god after he dies.
He believes he will own his own personal planet after he dies.
He believes he needs to wear underwear created by Mormons and he is never to take it off unless he is bathing, having sex or playing sports.
He believes that 10% tithing is mandatory.
He believes that the Mormon/LDS church does not have to give an audit/accounting of its wealth (estimated $100B).
He believes that Jesus isn't coming back until at least when kids today have grown up and had grandchildren, "maybe even great-grandchildren".

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

mormon "apostle" boyd packer prophesies "the end isnt near" (jesus isnt coming back any time soon)

when the time for "youth living now who have have great grandchildren" has passed and jesus still hasnt come back, church leaders at that time will simply say that packer was speaking as a man, that his words werent official church doctrine. it will mostly likely be exactly the same as cult apologetics' response to joseph smith's failed prophecies:
"Prophets are allowed not only to have personal opinions, or even misunderstandings, but also to express them.  It is up to those who hear the words spoken by a prophet to listen carefully, use their intelligence, and discern with the spirit whether a prophet is acting as a prophet or expressing his own views"

does packer (the senior "apostle") know the following?:
"Sometimes it is obvious when a prophet is acting as a prophet.  "Thus saith the Lord...," "I prophesy in the name of the Lord...," or some similar phrase, are pretty good indications that he is acting as a prophet.  Without some such statement it is not clear whether he is speaking for God or expressing his own views.  That is why discernment by the spirit is so necessary."

of course he does. did packer use any of these qualifiers in his "prophecy" about "the end isnt near"? no. why? because he doesnt really know when the end is coming (you can actually conclude that they KNOW there is no jesus who is going to "come back"). would it seem rational/reasonable/be expected that he would use such qualifiers if jesus/yahweh in fact really had personally and clearly revealed to him that "the end isnt near"? yes.

see also: https://lds.org/youth/video/look-forward-to-your-future?lang=eng#look-forward-to-your-future

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cubist on scientific "proof"

If you want scientific evidence, forget about "proves", because science just doesn't *do* proof. Science does 'supported by the evidence', and 'well-supported by the evidence', and '*so* extremely well-supported by the evidence that you've gotta have a screw loose to reject it'. Scientists do not pretend to omniscience. It's always possible that there *might* be some overlooked factor that *could* make hamburger out of whatever scientific theory/conclusion.


Friday, 26 August 2011

christopher hitchens on the morally disgusting religious practice called circumcision

christopher hitchens on circumcision:
there are things no morally normal person would THINK of doing, if it wasnt for that they believed in religion or divine instruction. take a transcendent experience that i'm sure a lot of you have had, i've had it 3 times: take a newborn baby in your hands...so here's this bundle, you look at the little indentations in the ear lobes, etc, and THEN you should be getting on with parenting, but NO, first let's find a sharp stone or knife and start hacking away at the genitalia! because it turns out that the design isnt that great and in a crucial feature too! it needs to be sawed away, a lot of it .... no morally person would do such a thing if it wasnt for superstition...

Monday, 22 August 2011

why cant ex-mormons just "leave the church alone"? =)

from "larry" lawrence pratt:

During much of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of individuals
escaped from living under totalitarian regimes such as Communism and Nazism
to seek lives elsewhere. Although free from oppression, these people
continued to seek justice for those still under the influence of dictatorial
and personally destructive systems.

when asked this question, i like to respond with the question "why cant the mormon cult leave the *world* alone?" =)

see also: http://latterdaymainstreet.com/2011/08/19/ex-mormons-angry-and-questions-part/

evidence that joseph smith knew about engraved plates during his time--apologists panic =)

Mike Reed Drops Bomb on Metal Plates

Friday, 19 August 2011

a good definition of "religion"

from the wikipedia religion page:
The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviors, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture.

Monday, 15 August 2011

rational thinking vs religion


main post by ED:
Is god all powerful, in that he can do anything he wanted to? If so, then he can create a plan where all his children could return to live with him WITHOUT having to murder one of his children to make it possible. Christianity FAIL. Reason wins.

Nick Humphrey: and what kind of "loving father" lets his kids rape and murder each other? i dont know of any. i usually step in and stop my kids' from fighting when it gets violent. i am really forgiving too and certainly wouldnt ban them from ever being in my presence again if they were to deny the existence of an invisible spirit. =)

TB: So E, let's say "Christianity fails, reason wins". Now what?

Nick Humphrey: ‎TB "Now what?"
* tell your friends =)
* lobby for teaching of rational thinking, skepticism and logic starting in the public elementary education level
* study to build your own repertoire of rational arguments to use in debate with theists

TB: What makes you think that reason alone, or empirically justifiable beliefs alone, can ever serve as a substitute for religion, Nick? Haven't you met any of your fellow humans? They don't operate that way. Your war is a war against humanity itself, because humanity is innately religious.
Besides, there is no historical basis for assuming that cold, hard reason cannot itself be made into an idol and worshipped, with its worshippers acting as wickedly as any religious believers. The French Revolution is only one example.
The bloodletting there was orgiastic, and was done entirely in the name of reason and atheism.
If I could have told my friends in France 220 years ago anything, it would have been to continue on as believing Catholics, because they were much better as believing Catholics than as atheists.

Nick Humphrey: ‎TB "What makes you think that reason alone, or empirically justifiable beliefs alone, can ever serve as a substitute for religion, Nick?"
you incorrectly assume at least 2 things:
1) that humanity needs to replace religion with something, instead of just doing away with it.

maybe *you* personally need to "establish contact with a perceived higher power". i dont.

2) that religionists are completely DEVOID of rationality.

they at least put it aside when it concerns their views of the existence of supernatural entities and interpretation of sensory perceptions and coincidences.

your argument is a straw man.

"They don't operate that way. Your war is a war against humanity itself, because humanity is innately religious."

this is known as the "naturalistic fallacy", but what IS does not imply what OUGHT to be. if homo sapiens are inclined towards religion, it doesnt mean we *should* be religious.

"there is no historical basis for assuming that cold, hard reason cannot itself be made into an idol and worshipped with its worshippers acting as wickedly as any religious believers."

this behavior IS *religious* just without an extra-terrestrial deity. assuming that rational thinking alone leads to such behavior is simply fallacious.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

falsifiability of the mormon lds church cult "truth claims"

an interesting thread:

possible candidates to falsifiability of "truth claims" (one person stated the importance of the definition of that term):
book of abraham fascimilies
native american dna
plan of happiness <-- lol! =)

Monday, 8 August 2011

"Mormons practice polygamy". myth? technically, no.

this is technically not a myth. ask mormons if they believe in eternal plural marriage? i.e. can a mormon man today be eternally married to more than one woman? (answer: yes. if a man's wife dies, he may be married for "time and all eternity" to a new woman, *in addition to his dead wife*). "eternal" polygamy is still practiced. joseph smith is btw sealed/married to more than 200 women. one of them women is 169 years older than him and another was born 15 years after he died! (source 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickleus/4960128084/ ) (source 2: new.familysearch.org)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

ansvar vs årsak og forsvare vs forklare

when talking about the ABB case in norway, arne tumyr said:
«det politisk korrekte Norge må ta sin del av skylden for den rystende terror-tragedien»

some good points were made about the difference between responsibility and cause, and defending vs explaining.

‎"No cure for pedophilia has been developed."

‎"No cure for pedophilia has been developed."

i remember before when people thought that homosexuality could be "cured" =) it's interesting that homophilia used to be classified as a mental/psychiatric disorder (paraphilia), as pedophilia still is today. today, homophilia is no longer classified as a paraphilia.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

self defense in norway

Inne på et arrangement på Facebook som kaller seg "Ingen rasister i våre gater" planlegges det demonstrasjoner mot SIAN's arrangementer. I den anledning vil jeg minne SIAN om at man med hjemmel i norsk straffelov §48 helt lovlig kan forsvare seg dersom man føler seg truet av slike "antirasister". Oppfører folk seg truende kan man hevde nødvergerett og man kan til og med foreta sivil pågripelse med hjemmel i straffeprosessloven §171-176.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

norway's done doing a good job killing people in libya

"Det norske bidraget har høstet meget gode tilbakemeldinger for den jobben som vi har gjort..."
...ved å drepe andre mennesker =)

"Ingen skal få bombe Norge til taushet"

nei, det er norges oppgave.

"vi står sammen mot terror"

no shit!

"Heldigvis har reaksjonene etterpå vist at det norske demokratiet og den norske rettsstaten er sterkere enn noe våpen"

med unntak av krigen i libya.

"For hatet, ekstremismen og intoleransen er uvanlige organismer...Den beste måten å stanse dem er gjennom en åpen debatt og med argumenter."

og f-16 jagerfly og bomber.

"mer åpenhet, mer demokrati"

og mer avanserte jagerfly til 800 millioner per stk.

heia jens stoltenberg. stem arbeiderpartiet og deres hyklersk, politisk "talking out of both sides of your mouth".

hippocrates, 400+ years before "jesus" casts out the "demons", understands that epilepsy is an illness

thanks to Rob Hogue for this quote:
"Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. We will one day understand what causes it, and then cease to call it divine. And so it is with everything in the universe." - Hippocrates 400 BC

now look at the next quote, ca. 400 later on in history:
In the Gospel According to Mark (9:14-29), Jesus Christ casts out a devil from a young man with epilepsy: "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not." (NIV) 70 AD


Saturday, 9 July 2011

god of the gaps

a christian on talk.origins said that "god of the gaps" was offensive =) i liked this reply by "r norman":
I suppose it is also offensive to claim that the cosmos and the earth
and humanity were not created in six 24 hour periods less than ten
thousand years ago. I suppose it is also offensive to claim that a
massive flood initiated by forty days and nights of rain did not
inundate the entire earth and kill all living things (animals, at
least) except for the few occupants of one wooden boat. I suppose it
is also offensive to claim that no individual human has ever lived for
900 years, begetting a child at almost 200 years of age. I suppose it
is also offensive to claim that human languages did not originate
during the construction of a single tall building.
Science makes claims about processes in the physical world. There are
gaps in the knowledge that science has so far developed. To claim
that any or all gaps in our knowledge must be due to failures in
science and hence can only be attributed to divine action is offensive
to science. So there.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

book review: friedrich nietzsche, beyond good and evil

things i found interesting in friedrich nietzsche's book beyond good and evil:

page xv

In Beyond Good and Evil he maintains that original Christianity represents 'an ongoing suicide of reason' (p.44; 46), ascribing it to an Oriental slave revolt against Roman antiquity. Like Freud after him, Nietzsche considered religion a 'neurosis' (p. 45; 47); it involves an unnatural self-denial and sacrifice. In one of his most interesting observations, Nietzsche compares the history of 'religious cruelty' to a ladder with three important rungs: the first entails the sacrifice of one's loved ones to the deity; the second demands the sacrifice of one's own instincts or inner nature; and the final rung, which we are now coming to know, involves the sacrifice of God himself for the worship of 'stone, stupidity, heaviness, fate, nothingness' (p. 50; 55). Nietzsche here suggests that our modern penchant for science or nihilism, as atheistic as it appears at first glance, is merely a replacement for religious belief.

page xvi

Nietzsche is not unaware of the advantages that religion has brought to human society,
even as it has debased human nature. It has helped humankind to endure an otherwise intolerable existence and has assisted us in constructing a viable social order by demanding that we love each other. But religion also has other essential socializing functions. For a particular group of people Nietzsche mentions the Brahmans by name--religion provides a spirituality that permits them to remove themselves from the mundane and crude world surrounding them. For those who are destined to be rulers it is one means for overcoming resistance in their subjects, since it forms a common bond with ordinary people and pacifies them into obedience. It also serves as a pedagogical and disciplinary device for the ascending classes, teaching them a certain abnegation that ennobles their spirit and allows them to rise above the common rabble. Finally, for the vast masses, religion provides a solace for their suffering and the meaninglessness of their existence, 'something that justifies their everyday lives, all the baseness, all the semi-animal poverty of their souls' (p. 55;61). In general, however, Nietzsche's attitude towards religion is that it represents a stage of human development that must be overcome. Christianity, in particular, has led to a 'degeneration of the European race' (p. 56; 62), and the persistence of Christian belief is a sign that the human being has not developed into a creature that is strong enough to achieve the type of self-contained nobility of spirit Nietzsche envisions.

page xvii

The Jews, he asserts, 'brought about that tour de force of a reversal of values' (p. 83; 195); they negated a noble order in which richness, excess, cruelty, and sensuality were validated, and substituted for it a value system in which poverty, godliness, timidity, and spirituality hold sway. This 'slave revolt in morals' (p. 83; 195) disdains as evil the beast of prey and the man of prey, for Nietzsche the 'most healthy of all tropical plants and brutes' (pp. 834; 197), while affirming abstinence, pity, and a tolerance for suffering. The institution of the Judaeo-Christian 'herd' morality has made modern Europe possible even as it has meant an impoverishment of possibilities and human potential. Nietzsche reasons that there have always been rulers and subjects, and he recognizes that a morality preaching docile obedience is a necessity for the masses.

page xix

He [the free spirit] will rid himself of moralities that preach equality, democracy, the general welfare, and utilitarian values, and affirm instead the natural hierarchy Nietzsche captures repeatedly in the term Rangordnung.

page xx

More problematically Nietzsche propagates a human being that will not feel compassion with the oppressed and the unfortunate in society, and that will not seek to do away with suffering, including his own suffering. Rather, the pity this future man feels will involve the disdain for the manner in which the human race has made itself small and petty, and he will nourish suffering as the aid to 'depth, mystery, mask, spirit, cleverness, greatness' (p. 117; 225). In a controversial aphorism Nietzsche even ventures a reconsideration of cruelty as an essential part of human nature. All higher culture, all great tragedy, everything sublime, all knowledge, he contends, are ultimately based on cruelty, either towards ourselves or towards others. ... The task Nietzsche assigns his free spirits is 'to return man to nature; to master the many conceited and gushing interpretations and secondary meanings that have heretofore been scribbled and painted over that eternal original text homo natura'(p. 123; 230). In terms of present values Nietzsche's free spirit will thus prove to be an 'immoralist' who affirms life and aspires to the heights of culture and creativity.

page 7

We do not object to a judgement just because it is false; ... The question is rather to what extent the judgement furthers life, preserves life, preserves the species, perhaps even cultivates the species; ... Admitting untruth as a condition of life ... and a philosophy that dares this has already placed itself beyond good and evil.

this review is ongoing (not finished)...

Friday, 1 July 2011

mormon missionaries will tell people that you only have to pay 10%

which, by itself, is a shock for most people, but what they DONT tell you is that once you get to the temple you have to agree to the law of consecration which requires you to give 100%, that you have to:
"covenant and promise before God, angels , and these witnesses at this alter, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenant, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and ***everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you***, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion."

"mormons only pay 10% (tithing) of their income" is a whopping lie =) the figure is missing a zero--100% (if the church requires it of you)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

mormon apologetics - pseudo-science + ad hoc assumptions

by Holy the Ghost
An ad hoc assumption or adhoc hypothesis is a way of explaining away your wrongness.
After you discover that you are mistaken, you make an assumption that, if true, allows you to conclude that you were not really mistaken
If I run an experiment in which I predict some psychic phenomena, but the results contradict my hypothesis, I can argue that my psychic phenomena still exists, but the problem is that there were skeptics who were observing the experiment, and they sent off bad psi vibes (or some such thing).

We believe that Joseph Smith is a mouthpiece for God.
Observation: He was wrong about men on the moon.
Ad hoc assumption: he was speaking as a man.

We believe Joseph Smith was a translator:
Observation: Book of Abraham
Ad hoc assumption: he didn't literally translate it, it was simply a tool of inspiration

We believe we will be blessed for paying tithing.
Observation: You are a bankrupt
Ad hoc assumption: God is testing you

We believe we can be healed by blessings
Observation: non healing
Ad hoc assumption: the recipient lacks faith

We believe that the church takes tithing & offerings for purposes of charity
Observation: There is little evidence that this is true
Ad hoc assumption: the church doesn't want to brag about it's charitableness

We believe that black people are cursed, and were less valiant in the pre-existence
Observation: 1978 revelation
Ad hoc assumption: that was simply a policy, never a doctrine

by Fetal Deity
Apologists are pseudo-scientists. That is, they do their "science" in reverse. They start with a conclusion. In the case of Mopologists, that means, for instance, that they have concluded ("spiritually") that the BoM is the word of God. Then, they look for evidence that supports their conclusion; any evidence that contradicts their previously arrived-at conclusion is either ignored, distorted or completely redefined.

Bottom line: it is impossible to engage in a rational, objective argument with an apologist in the area he or she is defending ... IMPOSSIBLE ... as in: DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!

stephen hawking on the probability of intelligent life

Stephen Hawking: Asking big questions about the universe
05:35 despite an extensive search by the SETI project we haven't heard any alien television quiz shows. this probably indicates that there are no alien civilizations at our stage of development within the radius of a few hundred light years. issuing an insurance policy for abduction by aliens seems a pretty safe bet.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

movie review - IOUSA - documentary about the US deficit

17:49 the only issue that's more severe than this (the projected social security + medical deficit after 2017: -2 trillion within 3 decades) would be the idea that an islamic fundamentalist will his hands on (or her hands on) a nuclear weapon and use it against us. - senator judd gregg, NH

43:48 in 2007, china had the largest trade surplus in the world ($315,700,000,000) and who was dead last? the united states of america (-$816,000,000,000)

1:07:49 our country would need $53,000,000,000,000 invested today which is about $175,000 per person to deliver on the government's obligations and promises. how much of this 53 trillion dollars to we have? zip. by the time today's college graduates are going to retire 40 years from now, the only things our government will be able to pay for are interest on the federal debt and some social security, medicare and medicaid benefits. all other parts of the federal government will be closed and out of business.

1:21:01 while you watched this film $85 million was added to the federal debt.

ragnar redbeard's real(istic) beatitudes

here are my "picks" from redbeard's beatitudes from might is right:

Blessed are the strong, for they shall possess the Earth.
Blessed are the powerful for they shall be reverenced among men.
Blessed are the bold for they shall be masters of the world.
Blessed are the iron-handed, the unfit shall flee before them.
Blessed are the destroyers of false hope, they are the true Messiahs.
Blessed are they who believe in nothing, never shall it terrorize their minds.

Cursed are the believers in good and evil for they are frightened by shadows.
Cursed are the God-adorers, they shall be shorn sheep.
Cursed are the haters of battle, subjugation is their portion.
Cursed are the humble, for they shall be trodden under hoofs.
Cursed are the weak, for they shall inherit the yoke.
Cursed are the feeble for they shall be blotted out.
Cursed are the poor in spirit, they shall be spat upon.

if you're looking for truth, redbeard's beatitudes are at least true. jesus' are wishful thinking, claimed to be true, when they dont represent reality, thus they are lies (or empty metaphorical promises, not intended to be fulfilled here in this life--how convenient), in my eyes =) there's a theory that jesus was invented by josephus flavius to keep the jews under rome's control. jesus' teachings would do just that, e.g. "turn the other cheek", "blessed are the humble", "if a man asks for your shirt give him your coat", etc.
historicity of jesus

caesar's messiah (this book is really interesting. i have it if you want to borrow it.)

jesus also fits the profile of a mythological hero. on Lord Raglan's scale of 1-22 of common traits for a mythological hero, jesus ranks around 19. it is said that no real, historical figure has ever scored above a 7 (alexander the great == not a mythological hero).
see also this lord raglan's hero page and jesus' hero explanation

see also:
jesus myth theory
jesus christ and comparative mythology

i originally posted all of this on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes/nick-humphrey/the-realistic-beatitudes/10150277538262292

why the mormons always list a new leader's accomplishments before he speaks for the first time

while growing up in the lds cult i was always bothered by the bragging about the new leader or "important" guest speaker being presented to the congregation, how the person introducing him would always read through a long list of accomplishments/bragging points about all the education and positions he's held, etc. i always knew of somebody in my ward who was most likely way more humble and "spiritually qualified" to help and teach others, but who hadnt accomplished a lot in the worldly sense when compared to this businessman in a nice suit. it bothered me that the church leaders put such an emphasis on worldly achievements of their leaders.

i remember saying to myself every single time this happened: "why do they do this? what does this have to do with anything about the gospel?"

today i was reading The Essential Guide to Rhetoric
and found the answer to my lifelong question =)

page 38

Argument is not the only dimension of persuasive proof. You might sometimes hear what sound like strong arguments, yet be inclined to doubt them. To accept someone’s argument is, in a sense, to trust that person, so audiences make judgments about the speaker. Audiences ask questions (such as “What kind of person is this?") to evaluate the speaker and decide if she is credible and whether to change their mind about the topic at hand. This is the same as asking, “What kind of ethos does this person have?” When audiences wonder about the speaker’s ethos, they are considering his credibility (believability) and trustworthiness.

By telling the people in church the "impressive" info about the new leader/guest speaker, they are establishing the credibility of that person, which increases the chances that the people will trust him and believe what he says. It's a simple, well-known, rhetoric tactic.

if what the speaker was going to say was really true, and the "holy ghost" really existed, then creating ethos to strengthen your message (argument) would just be a waste of time and effort.

Monday, 27 June 2011

the equinox volume 3 number 10 book review

to apply for the OTO here in norway i was told to read the equinox vol. III no. 10. i had already the book of the law and didnt really get anything out of it. i like the idea of pursuing/testing religion/mysticism using the scientific method, but it's hard for me to get past a couple of things i read in the first chapter "the master therion":

page 16

The climax of their dealings with him came in the weeks immediately
preceding and following the Spring Equinox of 1924 E.V. At this time
he lay sick unto death. He was entirely alone; for They would even
permit the presence of those few whom They had themselves appointed to
aid him in this final initiation. In this last ordeal the earthly part
of him was dissolved in water; the water was vaporized into air; the
air was rarified utterly, until he was free to make the last effort,
and to pass into the vast caverns of the Threshold which guards the
Realm of Fire. Now naught human may come through those immensities. So
in that Fire he was consumed wholly, and as pure Spirit alone did he
return, little by little, during the months that followed, into the
body and mind that had perished in that great ordeal of which he can
say no more than: I died.

But these six months being accomplished, a certain Virgin came forth
at the bidding of the Secret Chiefs, at whose touch he resumed contact
with his human life.

Her he conveyed swiftly to the Desert of the Sahara, that in silent
communion with her Soul he might become aware of the intimate nature
of his Work for the Masters; for she was verily a symbol of the Virgin
Bride, whose redemption is the mystery of the Perpetuation of the

do thelemites really believe this? aleister crowley was vaporized, died, then brought back to the flesh by a virgin? come-the-fuck-on.

the next thing that bothered me was something in the oath:

page 18

that i will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul

how completely unscientific. after reading these two things i haven't had the motivation to read on. maybe i will, maybe i wont.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

"god" as a "loving heavenly father"

here's my response to a christian friend on facebook telling me i have a heavenly father who loves me =)

the bible is a collection of (and excluding a lot of) writings from different people, many we dont even know who the author was, and contains contradicting statements about the nature of god. you have a "loving heavenly father" who says and does things like:
* stone your disobedient children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
* I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (Exodus 20:5)
* God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; (Nahum 1:2)
* The LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast. Exodus (13:15)
* Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (Ezekiel 8:18)
* Thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 25:17)

the list goes on an on. christians cherry pick the nice scriptures about god, but the bible is full of contradictions or evidence against a loving god. even though i'm not the best father in the world, i'm confident in saying i'm way nicer than the god of the bible. if my child was crying out to me for help, i would help him immediately. i also dont want my children to fear me or mindlessly do everything i say or do.

i think if you feel like you have a connection to a heavenly father, it's not the one in the bible =)

this is a great article:

the "evils" of socialism (tongue in cheek)

it is hilarious how many americans dont realize how much socialism is in their democracy =) and how they think socialism is some kind of evil =) here's some insider info from someone living in a socialist country:
* there is no illiteracy in norway
* there are no homeless
* i dont have to have health insurance--my basic needs have always been taken care of, if i want to speed things up i can go to a private clinic or go to another country (i personally dont know of anybody who has ever had to do this though)
* we get paid to have children, get monthly allowance until the kid turns 18
* daycare is heavily subsidized
* there's no wealth distribution like the fairytale in american minds--many people still have a lot more than other people. you can make as much money as you're able to make, there's still incentive to invent, create, work hard, etc. the difference is that (see also point 2) the "poorest" have all their basic needs covered.
* if you need help with your kids for example, people from the government will come to your house for free and give you advice/help
* free dental care for children until they are 18.
* everyone is guaranteed 4 weeks paid vacation and 1 week unpaid if you want to take an extra week.
* it is very hard to get fired from your job
* our oldest has adhd and the government pays his aunt and uncle to watch him 2 weekends a month
* super low crime rate

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

how to write yourself out of the lds mormon church by email

My full name is X
My date of birth is X
My membership number is X.
My residence address is: X

I am a member in the X ward.

I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effective immediately, and request you to remove my name permanently from your membership records. Please confirm that my name has been removed from your records. I expect to receive that confirmation within a reasonably short time.
send this in an email to dodgegw@ldschurch.org
replace all X's if you know what they are. you might need to follow up with the bishop from the ward you attended last, calling him and sending him messages until he complies. my process took exactly 7 days from when i sent my email to when i received my resignation letter from my bishop saying i had been removed. tell you bishop you do not want to wait the standard 30 days (at the stake president level), but that you want your resignation to be processed immediately.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

joseph smith boasting he is greater than jesus

history of the church, page 2432
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

thelema's the equinox volume 1 number 2 book review

this is my review of equinox 1.2

page 4

joseph smith is mentioned in a list of incompatible forms of faith =)
Faith has been proposed as a remedy. But we perceive many incompatible forms of Faith founded on Authority—The Vedas, The Quran, The Bible; Buddha, Christ, Joseph Smith

this appeals to me:
5. There is only one Rock which Scepticism cannot shake;
the Rock of Experience.
6. We have therefore endeavoured to eliminate from the
conditions of acquiring Spiritual Experience its dogmatic,
theological, accidental, climatic and other inessential elements.
7. We require the employment of a strictly scientific
method. The mind of the seeker must be unbiased: all
prejudice and other sources of error must be perceived as such
and extirpated.
8. We have therefore devised a Syncretic-Eclectic Method
combining the essentials of all methods, rejecting all their
trammels, to attack the Problem, through exact experiments
and not by guesses.

page 5

1. There is no hope in physical life, since death of the
individual, the race, and ultimately the planet, ends all.
2. There is no hope in reason, since it contradicts itself,
and is in any case no more than a reflection upon the facts of
physical life.
4. There is no hope in Faith, for there are many warring
Faiths, all equally positive.

2. We are Men of Science, ever eagerly acquiring
pertinent facts.
3. We are Sceptics, ever eagerly examining those facts.
4. We are Philosophers, ever eagerly classifying and coordinating those well-criticised facts.
5. We are Epicureans, ever eagerly enjoying the
unification of those facts.
6. We are Philanthropists, ever eagerly transmitting our
knowledge of those facts to others.
7. Further, we are Syncretists, taking truth from all
systems, ancient and modern; and Eclectics, ruthlessly
discarding the inessential factors in any one system, however

page 6

3. Mysticism, being based on pure experience, is always a
vital force; but owing to the lack of trained observation, has
always been a mass of error. Spiritual Experience, interpreted
in the terms of Intellect, is distorted; just as sunrise shows the
grass green and the sea blue. Both were invisible until sunrise;
yet the diversity of colour is not in the sun, but in the objects
on which its light falls, and their contradiction does not prove
the sun to be an illusion.
4. We shall correct Mysticism (or Illuminism) by Science,
and explain Science by Illuminism.

1. We have one method, that of Science.

page 13

2. In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths;
of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and
many other things that may or may not exist.
It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing
certain things, certain results will follow; students are
earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophical validity to any of them.
3. The advantages to be gained from them are chiefly
(a) A widening of the horizon of the mind.
(b) An improvement of the control of the mind.

Friday, 3 June 2011

lds mormon "holy ghost"/"spirit" testimony

from Lyndon Lamborn "Standing for Something More",

The holy spirit as a sole guide is very unreliable. Many examples
prove this point

1. Since the holy spirit truth test is universally used by all
religions, and most religions conclude that their way is the only true
way to find God, they cannot all be correct. Therefore, there are
hundreds of millions of false positives. The truth test formula is
therefore proven unreliable.
2. Many LDS have described the confirmation truth test feelings in
relation to stories that were ultimately found to be fabricated.
Examples include the faith-building stories told by Paul H. Dunn.
These stories were absolute treasures to many, and accompanied by the
warm feelings, tingly spine, and burning in the bosom for thousands.
Dunn later confessed that the stories were contrived . The truth test
formula is therefore proven unreliable, even among LDS members.
3. Many LDS describe the burning in the bosom, the tingly spine, etc.
as being indistinguishable from feelings when reading other inspiring
stories (especially patriotic) or quotes that have nothing to do with
religion or the plan of salvation. This is more evidence confirming
the unreliability of the truth test.
4. Finally, unfulfilled and false prophecies made by prophets when
‘under the influence of the Holy Ghost’ are another indicator of the
unreliable nature of the truth test. In 1835 Smith prophesied that the
second coming would take place by the year 1891 . April 5, 1843, at
the General Conference of the Church, while the Spirit rested upon
him, the Prophet Joseph said: “Were I going to prophecy, I would say
the end would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are
those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ
comes. ” Since all those in the rising generation are now dead, the
truth test failed Smith. The truth test is therefore also unreliable
for LDS prophets. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith page 286 )

here's a great quote by "apostle" dallin oaks:
"What does a “burning in the bosom” mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom."

"The holy spirit as a sole guide is very unreliable"
the "holy spirit" can actually be explained by biology/psychology =)

read about "A Short Experiment – Comparing Descriptions of Spiritual Feelings from Different Religions"

then read about the church's registered trademark called HeartSell

bonneville was established and is owned and run by deseret management--the church's for-profit "arm"

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

"i know gravity is true"

from eric davis' facebook status:
No one ever stands in front of a group and says "I know gravity is true." Why is that? It's because evidence makes gravity an accepted reality. Be wary of any idea in which people feel the need to repeatedly declare how "true" it is. Chances are that such ideas have no factual support, and those people are either (A) deluded, or (B) still trying to convince themselves despite lack of factual support.

this reminds me of the boyd packer quote about self-brainwashing:
"A testimony is found in the bearing of it."
and its implication: "If you don't believe something that we teach, or if you have doubts, BEAR FALSE WITNESS about it, and KEEP LYING until you've convinced yourself that your testimony is true."

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

jesus tells pharisees they are sinning by not stoning disrespectful children

new testament scripture where jesus condones stoning disrespectful children
1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

this message has been brought to you by the "loving" "savior" jesus =)

Monday, 16 May 2011

the rest of the story FAIR deliberately left out about joseph smith's moon men beliefs

oliver b. huntington's testimony about joseph smith's teachings about men on the moon:
As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do -- that they live generally to near the age of a 1,000 years.
He described the men as averaging nearly six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style

FAIR'S main response (in addition to the "speaking as a man" copout):
However, it should be remembered that this concept was considered 'scientific fact' by many at the time.

but FAIR intentionally leaves out a rather key part of that testimony:
"Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere, etc. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory.
Nearly all the great discoveries of man in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet."

FAIR is just doing what dallin oaks describes as the mission of official church literature--misrepresentation (lying):
Balance is telling both sides. This is not the mission of the official Church literature

see also Early Mormon Leaders on the Inhabitants of the Sun and Moon

Thursday, 12 May 2011

ann coulter on racially profiling muslims

ann coulter on racially profiling muslims
07:40 "100% of the terrorist attacks on US airlines for 20 years have been commited by muslims. when there is a 100% chance, it ceases to be a profile, it's called a description of the suspect."

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

racism is about biology not ideology

thoughts and beliefs have no "protection" under the definition of "racism"--the hatred, discrimination or intolerance of another race or other races.

e.g. muslims are not a race. they are believers of a certain ideology--islam.

islam: women, pray to the god who allows you to be beaten by your husbands

an important example of cognitive dissonance in islam that ayaan hirsi ali wants muslim women to wake up and realize:
01:08 we can for instance wake up to the fact that the god that says in chapter 4 verse 34 tells the husband you have the right to beat your woman, is the same god, after we are beaten and bruised, that we pray to for comfort.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

creationist/theist: "how could the entire universe simply pop into existence magically for no reason at all?"

atheist: "how could *God* magically pop into existence magically for no reason at all?"

Monday, 9 May 2011

death to "allah's" and muhammad's enemies!

koran, surah 5:33
The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive
to create mischief in the land is death or crucifixion or the cutting off their hands and
feet from opposite sides or exile from the land based on the gravity of their offense.
This will be their humiliation in this world and in the Hereafter they will have grievous

this message has been brought to you by islam--the "religion of peace"

there's no "moderate" islam according to the koran

cherry picking teachings to follow is not allowed for muslims according to the koran in surah 4:150-151:
Those who deny Allah and his Messenger and those who intend to draw a line between Allah and His Messengers saying: "We believe in some, and reject the rest" - desiring to take a middle way between belief and unbelief [150] - these are the real unbelievers and We have prepared for such unbelievers a humiliating punishment.[151]

islam: painful punishment for apostasy (muslims who reject their faith)

koran, surah 4:137-139:
As for those who accept the faith then renounce it, who again embrace it and again deny
it, and go on increasing in unbelief, Allah will neither forgive them nor guide them to
the Right Way.[137] Announce the painful punishment to those hypocrites[138] who
choose the unbelievers to be their protectors rather than believers.

teachings like this are dangerous because they can be interpreted in many, potentially dangerous ways.

pakistani imam in norway demands beheading of muslims who dont fast during ramadan

Syed Farasat Ali Bukhari says that muslims who dont fast during ramadan should be beheaded and muslims who dont pray should be jailed. now he wants to start his own private school for muslim children!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

sam harris on islam - the last word with lawrence o'donnell

sam harris on islam - the last word with lawrence o'donnell

04:03 sam harris: islam is at a very different moment in its history and it's as though we're encountering the christians of the 14th century, armed with 21st century weapons. we have a real problem with islam and it's not an accident that we're not having this conversation about the amish or quakers or jains or even buddhists. ideas have consequences and the idea that you can get to paradise by dying in the defense of the faith, in fact dying in the defense of the faith is the best thing that can possibly happen to you--that is a mainstream notion in islam.

04:37 lawrence o'donnell: is there any lesson in how catholicism worked its way through its homicidal phase of a couple of centuries, for present day islamic extremists?
sam harris: yes, the problem is that we just dont have 500 years to work it out. we were burning heretics alive for 5 centuries in europe and it's understandable, based on a certain reading of the bible. we have incredibly destructive technology spreading all over the world and it's getting increasingly easy for one person to screw up life for millions. and so i think we have some decades at best, to get straight about this and to build a viable, global civilization that is compatible with human well-being and religious demagoguery of any kind is the worse piece of software to have running on your brain when it comes to actually engage that challenge.

i know the church is true "Because feelings are unmistakeable" / "i cant deny the spiritual experiences i've had"

in a recent facebook discussion an lds tbm friend said to me that he knows the church is true and what he has experienced is true "Because feelings are unmistakeable". there are a lot of ways to say this, but the response is:

i hope you're not serious...
people all over the world in many different religions "feel the spirit" of what they believe is true, mormons dont have a monopoly on these feelings:
A Short Experiment – Comparing Descriptions of Spiritual Feelings from Different Religions

read also about the lds church's registered trademark "HeartSell":
"Our unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. We call this uniquely powerful brand of creative "HeartSell"® - strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response."

if you can read those 2 pages and not be convinced that you are being duped, that your emotions and mind are being manipulated, then you are in serious trouble. HeartSell is the mormon church's MO *in black and white* and it's even *for sale*! wake up people!

islam vs muslims

the best thing to do is keep the focus on islam, the religion, the political ideology. to say that "there's no such thing as a peaceful muslim" is to set yourself up for failure. what you can prove is that the koran encourages violence and is full of contradictory teachings (read about the problems with islamic/quranic abrogation). this makes the koran dangerous because there is plenty of room for different interpretations. islam doesnt have a living prophet; it isnt organized in the sense that there are many different sects, but what they all have in common is the koran and the potential to interpret it in a way that brings about fatal consequences. we cannot let islam sneak into our governments and into our laws.

jeg tror det er best å holde fokuset på religionen/ideologien *islam*. å si "det finnes ingen fredelige muslimer" er å starte en kamp du ikke kan vinne. det som kan bevises er at koranen oppfordrer til vold og er full av motsigelser (les om problemer med "abrogation"). dette gjør at koranen er farlig fordi det er masse rom for forskjellige fortolkninger. islam har ingen levende overhode/profet, er ikke organisert i den forstand at det finnes mange forskjellige sekter, men det alle har felles er koranen og potensialen til å tolke den på en måte som fører til dødelige konsekvenser og vi KAN IKKE tillate at islam sniker seg inn i regjeringen og inn i lovverket.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

exmormon review: "New Harmony: Spirit will help young adults who wander"

my review of jerry earl johnston's (aka "locke" from "Lost") article New Harmony: Spirit will help young adults who wander

"When people go AWOL from the church"

AWOL == absence without leave. interesting choice of words. as if people need permission to leave =) "my experience" is that many people do feel the church is controlling their lives.

"we think it may be a social problem, or an intellectual problem"

typical mormon pride. are we to interpret this as "people who leave are intellectually deficient"? my reason for leaving was a combination of the control factor and intellectual aspects of contradictory church teachings and church teachings compared with reality and science. my bishop was trying to tell me and my wife what we could and couldnt do in the bedroom. most mormons will reply "he was wrong, the church has no official doctrine on that, etc", but the first presidency released a letter which contradicts this reply: "Official Declaration of the First Presidency of the Church, January 5th, 1982".

Second, I had no use for people in authority. I saw them as people who wanted me to behave a certain way because somebody had made them behave that way. A classic child of the '60s, I trusted no one over 30.

this is a straw man argument. of course we need people in authority. what we *dont need* is people falsely claiming authority--telling people they will be burned if they dont pay money to the church, telling people they should feel guilty and ashamed because of their normal, healthy sexual desires, telling consenting adults how, when and who they can and cant have sex with, telling people they have to do this and that (a long list of things), otherwise they are not "worthy"/acceptable/good, etc.

"It usually takes an individual, not an institution."

this is yet another straw man argument--no mention of the *essential* converting "power" of the "holy ghost"? =) if jerry earl had grown up in the church, been praying and reading scriptures then the "holy ghost" would have had ample time to "tell him the truth of all things".

Thursday, 5 May 2011

exmormon review: "Friday Minute: 10 member-missionary tips"

i only evaluated the first 5 points of Friday Minute: 10 member-missionary tips:

"Understanding how the public views us can improve our responses to gospel questions."

because the holy ghost which will tell you "the truth of all things" apparently isn't enough.

"I joined the church at 18 because a wonderful member-missionary understood that friendship is an extension of Christ’s way of life"
i.e. a well known principle of social psychology (for some reason he left out the part about the "holy ghost").

"Ditch the lingo"

i wholeheartedly agree.

"'men changed' instead of 'apostasy'"

just like "speaking as a man" or "only stating his opinion" or "that wasn't official church doctrine" instead of "wrong".

"Trust. When we earn our friends’ trust, they will trust our message"

provide full historical financial disclosure. only then i think you can begin to talk about trust.

"When the trainer retrieved his dog, I recognized him as an investigator... God loved him enough to send that dog to our garage so that we might bear a second witness"
this is called a post hoc fallacy. "A" happened, then "B", therefore "A" caused "B".

"God loved him enough"

stating *belief* as fact.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Mohammed: the end will NOT come UNLESS you wipe out the jews!

Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 41: The Book Pertaining to the Turmoil and Portents of the Last Hour (Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah) Book 041, Number 6985:
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

sahih muslim is one of the Six major collections of the hadith in Sunni Islam, oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic *"Prophet" Muhammad* and the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih Al-Bukhari, and is highly acclaimed by Sunni Muslims--the largest denomination of muslims (80-90% of all muslims).
sahih translates as "authentic" or "correct".

what is official lds mormon church doctrine?

i call it the "official doctrine" dilemma:

where does it say what official lds doctrine is?

"source X"

where does it say that "source X" is official doctrine?

"source Y"

where does it say that "source Y" is official doctrine?

"source Z"

ad infinitum or "it doesnt".

most people, when asked this question cite this source:

the problem is that michael ash isnt an official spokesman for the lds church so this article about what is official doctrine isnt official.

if someone suggests this link:

then my reply is:
is everything on newsroom.lds.org official doctrine? if so, where does it say that? who says this "authorless" article is official doctrine? is everything on lds.org official doctrine? if so, where does it say that?

is everything in the scriptures even official doctrine? what about polygamy? what about stoning your child if he doesnt obey you? see the dilemma?

IMPORTANT: when debating with an apologist, dont let the apologist set the rules of what is official doctrine or not. dont play by their rules. state something like: just so you know, i intend to take apostles and prophets of god at their word that what they say is official revelation from god when speaking in public or publicly publishing their teachings (independent of when the teachings were given--dead prophets and apostles count just as much as living), in addition to all "scriptures" in their original, "most perfect"/"directly revealed by god" versions--all changes to these sources will be disregarded. if the changes were purely spelling errors or dont change the meaning of the context then it wont matter anyways.

lds claim: "True wealth comes by living the gospel"

articles and statements like this are so ridiculous:
Hannah understood that worldly wealth and applause pales into insignificance when compared to the riches of eternity.
not if you're starving or need expensive medical care.

yes what the sick, poor and hungry children in the world definitely need is more metaphorical wealth =)

i suspect "true wealth" really has nothing to do with monetary wealth, otherwise why would the church have a "welfare" system then? =)

statements like this are so easy to say, especially from people who are not poor and starving.

elaine, from the exmormon yahoo group had a great comment:
> "Hannah understood that worldly wealth and applause pales into
> insignificance when compared to the riches of eternity."

Oh that must be why Mormons have totally forsaken materialism and MBAs and instead turned toward healing the sick and succoring those in need and restoring the earth toward its paradisaical glory. ;-)


Monday, 2 May 2011

"the 6th sense" (norwegian edition: jakten på den sjette sans) FAIL =)

last night i watched "the 6th sense" (norwegian edition). the challenge was a medium sitting in an apartment in front of like 20 pictures of other mediums/psychics and the medium is supposed to say which one of those is on their way to visit them right now. the psychic/medium coming to visit them is carrying a picture of the medium in the apartment and is supposed to be sending them information/energy about who they are. one after the other is choosing the wrong person and each time they give excuses like "I have a sore throat so I'm not so susceptible to energy right now" or "we must have been on different frequencies" or "you're the wrong person" (I cant remember what the medium said, but she tried to blame the person who came to visit =) lmao =)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

"Elohim can also mean many gods."

another claim by TheSkepticChristian:
"Elohim can also mean many gods."

my response:
judaism is a monotheistic religion. in hebrew, elohim is a homonym, and when used with plural verbs, can mean things like gods, angels, judges, etc. in the context of the god of the old testament it is a name/title that represents god's attribute of a "pluralistic reality in nature". ask any jewish rabbi, or read here:

elohim as meaning many gods in the context of the creation in the first book of moses is a great example of the falsehood of the mormon book of abraham.

UPDATE: there apparently is a theory that early judaism was polytheistic. but not in the same way as mormonism suggests.

Ancient gold plates in Mesoamerica By Daniel Johnson, For Mormon Times

even the first sentence of the article is misleading:
"Archaeologists have know for about a century that gold plates with carved writing have been found in Mesoamerica, yet it is still not common knowledge outside their discipline."

engraving on gold plates has been common knowledge and practice in the occult for centuries at least. agrippa, the most influential writer of renaissance esoterica, wrote about it in the 16th century:
"this being engraven on a golden plate with the Sun being fortunate, renders him that wears it to be renowned, amiable, acceptable, potent in all his works, and equals a man to kings, and princes, elevating him to high fortunes, enabling to do whatsoever he pleaseth;"
(p. 319 Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim)

this comment was DENIED by deseret news yet the church claims "The religion of the Latter-day Saints is not hostile to any truth, nor to scientific search for truth" (Elder Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations)

what a crock of shit!

UPDATE: i wrote to gregory (greg) kratz at gkratz@desnews.com and he told me to repost it and it was accepted =) they've got some real tightwad moderators over there.

how long are the days in the creation story in genesis?

if you're a christian apologist trying to consolidate evolution into the literal creation story (which cant be done) then one day would be approximately (4,500,000,000-6000)/7 = 642,856,286 years long.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

"We can believe or reject evolution, it doesn't matter, the church has no official position."

i've been recently messaging back and forth with a somewhat brainwashed and non-rational mormon who goes by the youtube username TheSkepticChristian (NOT!). he wrote the following claim to me:
"We can believe or reject evolution, it doesn't matter, the church has no official position."

and a personal-christian contact of mine on facebook wrote something similar to me today:
"I am rather conflicted because of understanding both views (atheism and Christianity)."

here's my response:
evolution by mutations, genetic drift and natural selection and the literal, young earth, old testament creation by YHWH are mutually exclusive models.

furthermore, a key element of natural selection is death, (the survival of the fittest). according to the old (genesis 2:17) and new testament (romans 5:12), death was introduced with the fall about 5800 years ago. according to the current model of evolution, we are but one of millions of interrelated species. the old testament tells us that we're not related to any other lifeform on earth whatsoever, but that we are created in god's image and are his children and he is our father.

an exmormon named chulotc (on exmormon.org) responded to me with the following:
When I was a kolobian it was easy to rationilize evolution and maintain my core belief system. Elohim organized matter which already existed (preserving thermodynamics), that matter coalesced into stars, supernovae, smaller stars, planets, moons, etc.

The conditions were such that biological life manifested and eventually evolved into higher primates, two of which elohim placed in a garden and put kolobian spirits into.

wherein i responded:
the problems with this are that the book of genesis claims:
1) adam was the first man, the father of humans.
2) YHWH created adam from the dust, he wasnt an evolved, living man, plucked from a group of other living men and put into a garden of eden. he didnt have a homo sapien father and mother and neither did eve because YHWH created eve from the rib of adam.
3) adam was immortal to begin with and death entered the world after eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
4) creation of animals and man happened on different "days" or iterations, whereas with evolution, homo sapiens and animals (and plants, etc) have been evolving side by side in one long continuous process.

then there's the anachronism in genesis 1:1-5 that the earth was created *before* the sun and then in verse 16, that the stars (the rest of the universe) were not created until the fourth day, long after the creation of the earth and sun.

according to nasa, about half the stars in our milky way galaxy alone are older than our sun.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

"mark hofmann didnt dupe the mormon prophet and apostles"


Terry Anderson 6 months ago
@Richard Packham
I remember listening to GBH making a reference to the salamander letter during GC and he specifically said that it didn't really matter whether the document was real or a forgery, as it related to the Restoration claims. From this I gathered that they weren't convinced if its authenticity. I don't see why they had to receive a revelation (or at least publicly say so) when the forgery was eventually uncovered anyway. Revelations are not always necessary when we can also use our own resources.

nick humphrey 0 minutes ago in reply to Terry Anderson
"it didn't really matter whether the document was real or a forgery, as it related to the Restoration claims"
this is absolute hogwash. with that logic, anyone can make anything, tell the church it is a forgery and still expect the church to pay them lots of money for it as long as it "relates to restoration claims". c'mon, stop deceiving yourself. they were duped into thinking it was real that's why they "bought it". there's no magical holy ghost that uncovers hidden truth, this is just one example to support that. there are no consistent, testable, supernatural powers.

"Revelations are not always necessary when we can also use our own resources."
then apply that reasoning to the rest of your life.

i like this users comment too:

Patrick 6 months ago
The criticism for me is not that Prophets and Apostles got duped. I'm perfectly willing to let people be human and stupid at times. Everyone is. I've was always taught the pseudo-doctrine that Prophets are only perfect in teaching doctrine...(yeah, I know that one has issues too.)

For me, the biggest issue was and is that the Church censors its history by preventing access to historical documents. To me, this is dishonest, bordering on lying, to its members and the world.

If knowledge is light, why is the Church hiding it under a bushel?

"in billions of years anything can happen" doesnt explain anything!

here's my response to a young earth creationist argument:
nick humphrey Apr 27, 11:08 am
On Apr 27, 9:18 am, rmj wrote:

> The old "in billions of years anything can happen" argument. Irrefutable
> because it says nothing.

as opposed to the everything happened in the last 10,000 years =)

"there is no one single way to disprove a church/religion"

here's my response to the claim that it is impossible to disprove a religion. the key is disproving direct or indirect scientific claims.
Your comment is misleading. There is no single piece of logic that will ever prove/disprove a church. It is just one piece of the puzzle
judastefarianist 1 year ago

@judastefarianist actually the evidence that homo sapiens began approximately 200,000 years ago and not 5800-6000 years ago is a great single way to discredit judaism, christianity, islam and any other old-testament-based/abrahamic religion.
nickleus1977 1 sec ago

my response to apologist explanations about why "prophets" have been wrong for so long about native american ancestry/dna

here are my and fairlds' comments on Part 3 The Book of Mormon and New World DNA
your channel's flagship video (this video) is 2.5 years old. here's a quote from Ugo Perego's most recent conclusion on the subject, from the fairlds website: "the DNA of Lehi and his party has not been detected in modern Native American populations"
nickleus1977 8 months ago

@nickleus1977 And I agree with him. We will never detect Lehi DNA in the Americas, simply because we don't know what Lehis DNA looked like.
fairldsorg 8 months ago

@fairldsorg the issue is not lehi's dna, it's finding mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) in native "americans" today that matches mtDNA in jerusalem.
nickleus1977 8 months ago

@nickleus1977 I am not sure how much Ugo has looked into the SNP data that is mentioned in this video, therefore, cannot comment on his beliefs. I am also curious why you are only interested in mitochondrial DNA?
fairldsorg 8 months ago

@fairldsorg 1) who from fairlds am i conversing with? =) 2), the book of mormon claims, and it has been taught for over 170+ years by church "prophets", that the natives of the americas and even neighboring islands are direct descendants of the house of israel, that the americas were reserved for these peoples, that nobody may be brought there w/o "God"s approval (9/11?). DNA (tangible, physical, testable evidence) tells a completely different story. for the record i'm interested in ydna too =)
nickleus1977 8 months ago

@nickleus1977 " it has been taught for over 170+ years" yes but you have to understand the Gospel, and the purpose of the church, and that the prophets of God are also human.
TheSkepticChristian 4 hours ago

@TheSkepticChristian i was a mormon for 32 years or were you being sarcastic? =) the gospel and the purpose have absolutely nothing to do with this issue. that the "prophets of YHWH/elohim" are human is a weak apologetic argument because they have the problem of then explaining why the "holy ghost" has "confirmed these 'truths'" from the "prophets" to members for 170+ years =)

then i got this message from an apologist TheSkepticChristian (although i think you'll agree that he doesnt seem too skeptic):
Consider the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
"[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but . . .
unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A
desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an
understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal
choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are
meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to
the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in
which they pray for guidance and don't receive it. For example, this is likely to
occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either
choice is acceptable.
"We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator
has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we
receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment.
Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord
has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or
bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation"
("Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall," Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13--14)

Todd Compton said:
"First, I include problematic events in my faith perspective not by viewing church leaders as infallible,[20] but by recognizing that they can make serious mistakes. I accept inspiration of many sorts coming to church leaders on occasion. But an oversimplified view of revelation and inspiration is that they come to mindless, will-less puppets, receiving revelation passively, like blank containers for inspiration to be poured in from on high. Instead, I believe God allows church leaders complete free will, which means they have to work through decisions, using all of their resources of thought, doing their homework or not doing their homework, being tested in their moral insight. And because they have free will, sometimes they make wrong choices. They learn through trial and error. Some fail in the major challenges of their lives. (And often these are behind-the-scene, rather than melodramatically obvious, failures.) This does not deny that church leaders often make right choices and receive inspiration. "
Todd Compton

"Actually, there are many possible middle grounds. First, God will use the personality of the prophet when giving revelation. Thus, an analysis of a prophet's personality, psychology and character is not by definition atheistic. Second, God can use the prophet's culture to influence him. The prophet interrelates with it. True, he will react firmly against some aspects of it; but he will be nurtured by other aspects of it."

my response:
"For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable."
your oaks quote is completely irrelevant to the issue of a truth that is taught consistently for 170+ years.

"but by recognizing that they can make serious mistakes."

consistently for 170+ years.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

what percent of religious belief is based on the old testament, globally?

what percentage of world religions are abrahamic (based on the old testament)?


low: 38%

high: 61%

does dna evidence/research disprove the book of mormon?

does dna evidence refute the book of mormon? yes it does. if dna evidence supported book of mormon claims then the church wouldnt have changed the book of mormon intro in 2007 from
"the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians"
"the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians"

my response to a mormon questioning her faith

today i got a mail from a friend who is still in the church:
So Nick. How are you? I have to say that I was pretty surprised to see that you left the church. You always seemed so devoted to me when we were kids. I was hoping you would be okay if I asked you a few questions. You've been pretty open in a more public discussion, but if you aren't comfortable with a more private one, I understand.
I kind of always thought of church as a fun place to mingle, basically. My dad is, well.. I'm not even sure what he is. He neither agrees or disagrees with the idea of God. Whatever that means. And my mom is like yours. Or at least how I remember yours.. fighting for the church even though everyone else in her life seemed to be against it. I never really cared for or against it until I was 17. I started going back to church because I started dating a member who wouldn't marry a nonmember. Long story short, 13 years later I find myself wishing I had 13 years of my life back. I decided years ago to make my peace with the church and fake it til I make it. It's not really working for me real well. So now I want to learn. Being that you were so devoted and then walked away, I kind of feel like you are a good person to ask questions to. Right now, my questions are pretty basic. I just want to know why I have always felt so creepy in church. How can something that seems so good and pure envoke these feelings in a person? Joseph Smith. He's never really set very well with me. Historically and reasonably, the Book of Mormon seems like such a fairy tale! And I would LOVE to kow why this church is the only church that insists on striking so much fear in a member and then chastize them for being less than faithful if they have fear in their hearts. The principles of the church are very scary and intimidating! How can you not be afraid? Any member who truly believes in the gospel and claims it doesn't frighten them, is a liar.. in my opinion. Anyway, as you can see, I have a lot to learn. I'm having surgery tomorrow and will be down for 6 weeks. It seemed like as good a time as any to start reading!
Thanks Nick!
and here is my response:

Hi, it was great to read your message =) yes i was the most devoted of all my brothers, probably even more than my mom. there were always things that didnt make sense to me, but i tried to either rationalize them away or just hope for an answer some day. for someone like me, i "needed" an experience that conflicted with my values down to my very core and that happened when our bishop here in norway told me and my wife that we needed to repent of oral sex. the church deciding what me and my wife could do in our bedroom? that was it. i started on a major study of church history and to see what other people were saying about the church--members who had left. i started reading about psychology. i quickly saw how the church (mis)uses principles of psychology to influence and control members. i read about cults and cult psychology and found that the church easily fits the cult profile. for example, in this list of 100 attributes:
i could immediately identify at least 65 traits found in the church:
1, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 56, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 72, 73, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 97, 98

i started reading about science (archeology, anthropology, dna, cosmology, etc) but the most important issue is this: the old testament claims that homo sapiens began in the garden of eden. the christian world puts the date to around 6500 years ago. if you ask the jews, the ones who *wrote* the old testament, they put the date to around 5800 years ago. this is around 200,000 years off by what scientific evidence shows:

this one fact alone disproves all religions based on the old testament (abrahamic): judaism, christianity, islam, etc... -- 38%-61% (low/high estimate) of religious belief in the world:

it disproves everything that follows--all their creeds and claims to revelation, the whole shabang. anything else i tell you now is just additional, supporting evidence against the church.

i started writing my exit story here:

there i've listed a LOT of additional evidence against the church. the hardest thing for people questioning the church is the feelings and spiritual experiences they think they've had. the church uses this for all it's worth to get people to prioritize that over fact and reasoning or even conflicting feelings/emotions. up until recently, it has been quite difficult to help people realize that these experiences are merely psychological and are a result of preconditioning, brainwashing and social psychology techniques, BUT then i found something wonderful:

bonneville is the church's PR firm, and when i say "church's" i mean *owned by the church* and *started by the church*:

on that bonneville homepage you can read about their product called HeartSell:
"Our unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. We call this uniquely powerful brand of creative "HeartSell"® - strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response."

if a member reads this and still cant see that he/she is being duped, then there seriously is no hope for that person. this is the church's MO in black and white--and for sale even =)

when i realized that the church was a sham, it was seriously like waking up from a bad dream. i have never enjoyed life more than i do now and have never known what *true freedom* really is until now =)

i am totally here for you, you can contact me whenever you like and ask me anything you like =)

i hope your surgery goes well and it might sound odd, but i totally envy you that you will have 6 weeks to just sit/lay and read! (my favorite thing to do)

here are some great videos to watch while you're resting:
the stanley milgram experiment:
the stanford prison experiment:
the asch experiment:
christopher hitchens (the best of):
christopher hitchens' ten commandments:
sam harris - religion as a failed science:
richard dawkins (pascal's wager - what if you're wrong?):

and really anything by any of these people is great:
richard dawkins on youtube
christopher hitchens on youtube
sam harris on youtube
dan dennett on youtube
michael shermer on youtube
victor stenger on youtube
james randi on youtube
pat condell on youtube
richard feynman on youtube
carl sagan on youtube

if you want a good book to read, i suggest reading "the god delusion" by richard dawkins:

if you want specific lds stuff to read then you should read the research on the book of abraham:

irr.org will send it to you for free! (you only pay 5 dollars shipping). watch the video first:

if you want to read other people's experiences then hang out here for a day:

Monday, 25 April 2011

good responses to "Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t"

democritus Says:
May 30th, 2010 at 10:08 am

It is easy to infer from the comments for this post that both this webside, and its readers, are very unserious and easily fooled people. “An interesting find”, “an excellent article” and “outstanding reserach” (the latter by a person who seems to be a politician). My god! If this had been a semester paper it would have been slaughtered and the person thrown out of the university or college.

Obviously the interesting information is not the number of “attacks” (the majority are small insignificant “incidents” like burning down a shack or throwing bricks at windows), but the number of persons killed or seriously wounded, and the total economic loss and material damage. And obviously: A person that don’t understand that instently is a fool.

So why not instead inform us of how many lives lost in the “western” world because of terrorist attacks. Well, WTC om 9/11 alone killed 2996 innocent persons. And then we have London and Madrid. How many people have ETA killed since the year 2000? Probably less than 20! That bad enough, but nothing in comparison. Besides. You can’t move separatists because they have lived where they live for generations and centuries. Islamist terrorism on the other hand, is an imported problem.