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.