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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Native American Code of Ethics

1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.

2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.

6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth - whether it be people or plant.

7. Honor other people's thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.

8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.

10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.

11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.

12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life's lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.

14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.

15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self - all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others - especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.

18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.

19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Saturday Morning Confusion #8

It’s Saturday morning and as I read the morning paper, as usual, I get more and more confused!

There is a story here about a guy from Mobile Alabama who had sort of an interesting day yesterday.

Michael Crocker, aged 42, is either a victim of “down south in-breeding” or was just born naturally stupid because he is involved in a string of crimes that include theft of $200,000 dollars, a murder, a kidnapping, assault, getting rid of witnesses, and self mutilation.

Confused? Yea, me too!

Here’s what we know so far!

$200 grand was stolen from Vulcan Industries in Mobile, Alabama.

Authorities think Michael Crocker was one of the thieves and although it hasn’t been announced yet, I personally think plant manager Stephen Perret was either kidnapped to help the robbers or was one of the thieves himself. The only problem is that Perret was found murdered in his truck in Citronelle, Alabama.

That means he ain’t talking boys and girls.

Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran described Crocker as a suspect in Perret's murder, but said he has not been charged.

Crocker meanwhile, swears that he and Perret were kidnapped by the thieves and that they killed Perret and “cut out his (Crocker’s) tongue!”

Meanwhile, sheriff Cochran jumped into the fray and said it was his opinion that Crocker cut out his own tongue and then made up the story of kidnappers to deflect suspicion for the robbery away from himself.

In reply to this Crocker was quoted as saying; “mneph moog mnamble gato de myuu!!!”

North Carolina pair feud over leg.

Next is the story of John Wood who lost his leg twice. First he lost it years ago in a plane crash and then again last week.

Confused again? Ya, me too!

It seems John had his leg preserved and kept it in a storage locker so that when he died they could bury all of him at one time!!!!

He stored his amputated leg in a barbecue smoker in the locker but John's smoker was sold to Shannon Whisnant last week after he fell behind on payments at the storage facility in Carolina where it was kept.

He wants his leg back but Mr Whisnant says he has a receipt for the smoker's contents and wants to share ownership. (It seems Mr. Whisnant had been making money by charging adults $3 and children $1 to look at the leg inside the smoker.)

When things got a little too hot he gave the leg to the police, who concluded it had not been removed as a result of a crime and sent it to a funeral home until Mr Wood could pick it up.

Whisnant then decided to try to persuade Mr Wood to share custody and profits.

"I told him I'd share custody of it..." he said. "It's a strange incident and Halloween's just around the corner. The price will go up if I get the leg."

Mr Wood, who now lives in Greenville, South Carolina, has insisted he is not interested in using the leg to make money and plans to travel to Maiden as soon as possible to reclaim it.

"I just think it's despicable," he said. "I don't mind having the 15 minutes of fame, but I'm not looking to really profit off this thing. "He's making a freak show out of it."

Having had his offer rejected, Mr Whisnant has threatened to begin legal action if the leg is not returned to him by next week. He says he has a receipt showing he bought both the smoker and its contents at the auction.

"Everybody knows it's mine, period," he said. "And if anyone tries to take it, I want everything they got."

For this, Mr. Whisnant is the hands down winner of our "Asshole of the Week" trophy!

Meanwhile, a headline in the local paper says; "A man finds a limb in a smoker he bought at an auction -- and the owner fighting for its return may not have a leg to stand on."

Your "down there in Dixie" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Friday, October 05, 2007

European lawmakers condemn efforts to teach creationism.

The human rights monitoring Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved (48-25 vote) a report criticizing creationism, and determining that teaching creationism in schools potentially sacrifices chidlren’s education by imposing religious dogma.

The vote in Strasbourg highlighted the growth of Christian creationism, promoted by socially conservative parties in Eastern Europe, and of a Muslim variant pioneered in Turkey.

The report said that creationism was “an almost exclusively American phenomenon” but that such ideas were “tending to find their way into Europe” and affect several of the 47 Council of Europe countries.

It added that denying pupils knowledge of theories like evolution was “totally against children’s educational interests” and that creationists supported “a radical return to the past which could prove particularly harmful in the long term for all our societies.”

They seem to be a lot more sensible over there, eh?

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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PETA sure knows how to milk a subject.

I swore I would never let this blog turn into on of those "Celebrity" rags that follows what the stars are doing and so far I have been fairly true to that commitment.

Unless it was something absolutely preposterous about Anna Nicole Smith or anything else equally ridiculous we don't engage in the everyday bullshit of the Paris Hilton's and J-Lo's and Pamela Anderson and Nicole Ritchie, etc.

This piece is about P.E.T.A. doing a marketing job supreme for their cause. It is not so much about Britney Spears as it is about the mileage they can get from running on her coat-tails, or petti-coat or whateve!. (It sure wouldn't be on her underwear, cause she don't wear em!)

She's lost custody of her kids and now an animal rights group wants Britney Spears to give up her pets too...................... A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the group's president has written an open letter to Kevin Federline encouraging him to pursue custody of Spears' animals.

Here comes the clincher that will set off all the old ladies and animal lovers......."PETA fears that the dogs may be in danger," Michael McGraw said.

He said PETA is particularly concerned about the welfare of her Yorkshire terrier puppy London, which she takes to nightclubs and shopping malls.

McGraw also said Spears' dogs should be with her sons as they adjust to life with Federline. "The companionship of beloved animals can make a world of difference for the kids during this obviously difficult time."

This is such a load of crap. I would say that McGraw cares about Britney's pets about as much as I do................. but they do make good copy!!!!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Blood transfusion like being "raped!"

Ireland - A female Jehovah’s Witness described a blood transfusion administered to her at a hospital against her wishes as being “like a rape”.

Dr Chris Fitzpatrick said the woman had given an “inaccurate representation'’ of what had happened to her after she experienced massive blood loss following the birth of her baby boy at the Coombe Women’s hospital on September 21, 2006.

He was told the woman wanted to fight the medical staff off before the transfusion was given but was unable to, that she was held and sedated before the transfusion was administered, and had described the experience as like a rape.

Dr Fitzpatrick said he “found it difficult to reconcile” what had happened with that account of events. Staff at the hospital were “at pains'’ to support the woman during what was a difficult time for everybody concerned, he said.

He was giving evidence in the continuing action by the hospital against the woman in which the hospital contends it was entitled to seek an injunction in September 2006 to give the woman a transfusion.

(The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization prohibits the use of blood transfusions. Individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected to die or let their children die, rather than break this command, even though the Scriptures nowhere teach that blood transfusions are wrong.)

The hospital secured the order after it told the court it believed the woman would die without a transfusion as she had lost some 80%c of her blood and that the woman had refused the transfusion in light of her religious beliefs.

In the proceedings before Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, the hospital claims a general duty to protect and safeguard the woman’s right to life and that it would be contrary to public order and morality if Ms K could be permitted to place her life in immediate danger by declining routine medical treatment.

Ms K denies the claims. In a counter-claim, she contends the administration of the transfusion was a breach of her rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and that she was entitled to refuse such medical treatment.

Ms K also claims that the hospital committed assault and trespass on her person.

The case continues.

I would like to close this piece with my own thoughts on this issue! I totally agree with Ms. K that she should have been allowed to die! We need to "thin the herd" of all these religious nuts and if she wants to kill herself, who are we to stop her! This is as good a place to start as any!

Your "off with their heads" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Kim Jong-ill at it again!

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il called himself an "Internet expert" during summit talks with South Korea's president this week, a news report said Friday.

The reclusive leader made the remark after South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun asked that South Korean companies operating at an industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong be allowed to use the Internet, Yonhap news agency reported, without citing any source.

(Kim Jong-ill seen here during one of North Korea's many power outages when air conditioning was not available!)

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired," Kim told Roh, according to Yonhap.

"If that problem is addressed, there is no reason not to open" the Internet, Kim said.

This week's summit — the second-ever such meeting between the two Koreas — produced a wide-ranging reconciliation pact that calls for establishing a new special economic zone in North Korea and expanding the Kaesong factory park.

North Korea is one of the world's most closed nations, with the totalitarian regime tightly controlling outside information and tolerating no dissent. Radios and TV sets in North Korea can only receive state broadcasts and ordinary people are banned from using mobile phones, let alone the Internet.

However, the country's ruling elite appear to have regular access to outside information.
Kim reportedly asked former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for her e-mail address when she visited Pyongyang in 2000.

A North Korean general cracked a joke about President Bush during high-level military talks with the South earlier this year, saying he read it on the Internet.

The North's leader is also a big fan of South Korean movies and TV dramas, and Roh gave him a bookcase of South Korean DVDs as a gift this week.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Moon Sinks

Due to a navigational error last night the Moon wandered off course and sank into the Aegean Sea. Scientists are conferring and salvage operations are expected to begin on the weekend. Stay Tuned!
Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Owen Wilson back in spotlight, Richard Jeni still dead!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mr. Potato Head Busted.

SYDNEY, Australia - Australian customs officers have discovered nearly 300 grams of ecstasy tablets hidden inside a Mr. Potato Head who was sent to Australia from Ireland.

Upon opening the parcel, the officers were greeted with the smiling face of Mr. Potato Head but when they removed a panel from his back, the officers found 293 grams of ecstasy in a plastic bag.

He is currently being held without bail.

Your "hush, hush and on the QT" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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Fifty years ago today the former Soviet Union slapped together a little chrome ball with four antenna's on it and stuck it on top of a surplus intercontinental ballistic missle and shot it into orbit.
A half a century ago this was our first artificial satellite and it circled the planet going beep, beep, beep, more for effect than purpose.
It did, however, hearald the coming of all that we hold dear today, including the Internet, G.P.S., global communications and the information age. It also started the "Space Race" and led to our landing on the Moon.
It will be interesting to see what the next 50 years will bring, or the next 500 for that matter!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses! (And they're crazy!)

The Mushroom House a.k.a. Tree House

Thin House ->

Located in Ferris, Texas and designed by Al Schwarz the Robot Ranch contains 7 interconnected monolithic domes providing 4,144 sq
ft of living space.

Located in Venice Beach, this is the creation of
architect Lorcan O’Herlihy. The home is sitting
on a lot that is 25 ft. wide and has a total of 112

Located in Arkhangelsk, Russia, it is believed to be the world’s tallest wooden house, soaring 13 floors to reach 144ft - about half the size of the tower of Big Ben…. and built by a ganster.

Located in Yemen, the Dar Al Hajar and built
by Imam Yahya as a summer residence in the 1930s

Football House
Cube Houses

There was a crooked man

Had enough to drink?
Crazy House

Airplane House

Bubble House

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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On a more serious note I would like to ask a favour from readers of this blog.

If you know someone with half a brain please tell them about this blog and urge them to have a look and see if they like it!

The reason I am making this public appeal is that although there is humor in the blog we also address some serious issues that affects you, me and everyone else. Yet, when I look at the profiles of people who come here, there are some that write me and say; " I absolutely love your blog," but, the majority of them are all going to pages like "Borat's Halloween costume!"

I realise that most blogs will sink to their lowest common denominator but I am not going to prostitute this publication by giving up what I consider to be fairly intelligent humor (Aside from Borat!) or becoming a tell-all tabloid only concerned with the likes of Britney Spears.

As it says in the masthead; "A satirical look at religion, politics and sensibilities in everyday life! Not recommended for the overly Religious....or anyone lacking in a basic capacity for critical thought."

If you know someone who fits that description, please, please tell them about us.


Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Shit happens!

Don't worry, the guy who took the picture rescued the little duckies!
This is why we have the expression "bird brain!"

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's a strange world we live in!

Back alley in Hong Kong. Why does this remind me of the inside of a Borg ship?

In Japan they say; "Why fly to a South Sea Island when you can just build one right at home!"
Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Quick... hide!

Want to bet that somebody's husband came home from work early!

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War of 1812 Re-Match!

Your "not so fearless" author and his crack research staff have just found out that with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 less than five years away word has come out of the U.S. State Department that the Americans want a re-match.

A spokesman for the government was quoted as saying; "Yes, we lost the war with Canada the last time and that has not gone over with with succeeding administrations but this time around they won't have England to back them up, so victory seems a lot more likely."
Prime Minister Harper has hinted that the tightening of the border between Canada and the States is a prelude to an expected invasion in 2012 and has alerted neighborhood watches across the country to be on the lookout for any unusual activity.

Newfoundland, meanwhile, has hinted that they are prepared to go it alone since the development of the oil fields off it's coast has put them in a much better bargaining position.

P.E.I., Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are prepared to join the New England States since they seem to think this will give them a better chance at getting another hockey team in the area and Quebec doesn't see a problem at all since English is already banned in the province and invading them would be too confusing.

Alberta has the economic clout with it's huge Tar Sands oil fields to broker any sort of a deal they want and B.C. just doesn't give a shit since anything East of the Rockies doesn't register there anyways.

This leaves only Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to deal with any American invasion and things aren't looking too good.

The U.S., meanwhile, is looking forward to the approaching conflict since they are desperate for any sort of a victory after the last few disasters they have been involved in.

This could get interesting;

Your "far from the front" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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The First Woman on the Moon

You have to be old enough to appreciate this.

If you don't understand this, you are too young.

(Just send it on ~ everyone has an old friend! )

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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I am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian

Sung to "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" from "Pirates of Penzance".

I am the very model of a modern Unitarian,
Far broader than a Catholic, Hindu, Jew or Presbyterian.
I know the world's religions and can trace their roots historical
From Moses up to Channing, all in order categorical.
I'm very well acquainted, too, with theories theological,
On existential questions I am always wholly logical,
About most any problem I am teeming with a lot of views,
I'm full of fine ideas that should fill our church's empty pews.

(Chorus members:
We're full of fine ideas that should fill our church's empty pews.
We're full of fine ideas that should fill our church's empty pews.
We're full of fine ideas that should fill our church's empty empty pews.)

I quote from Freud and Jung and all the experts psychological.
I'm anti nuke, I don't pollute I'm chastely ecological.
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian.

(Chorus members:
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
We are the very model of a modern Unitarian.)

I use the latest language; God is never Father or the Lord,
But Ground of Being, Source of Life or almost any other word.
I never pray, I meditate, I'm leary about worshipping.
I serve on 10 committees none of which accomplish anything.
I give to worthy causes and I drive a gas conserving car,
I have good UU principles (although I'm not sure what they are).
I'm open to opinions of profound or broad variety,
Unless they're too conservative or smack of righteous piety.

(Chorus members:
Unless they're too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they're too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they're too conservative or smack of righteous pie-piety.)

I formulate agendas and discuss them with the best of 'em,
But don't ask me to implement, we leave that to the rest of 'em.
In short in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
I am the very model of today's religious liberal.

(Chorus members:
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
We are the very model of today's religious liberal.)

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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The "All New" Star Wars!

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Putin may be Russia's next P.M.

Vladimir has a problem. (Actually he's got a bunch of problems)

Since the breakup of the old Soviet Union there has been "heep-big" trouble around Russia.

Trouble with some of the breakaway States and Regions seeking greater autonomy. Trouble with a dramatic rise in crime and criminal organizations as more money flows into Russia. Trouble with terrorists who want independence for this and that. Trouble with the Generals of the Armed Forces. Trouble with the social safety net and poverty amongs the lower class while at the same time a middle class always clamering for more and better products. Trouble with Muslim Fundamentalists. (Yes, were are not the only one's) And if they have a "River City" I bet they have trouble there too!

(As a matter of fact, all the people bitchin about the problems in the States should try living in Russia for a while. That will shut them up!)

Whatever you may say about him, Putin has done a job that not many others could have pulled off.

He has his flaws but on the whole you have to give this guy an "A" for effort.

Time may be catching up to Mr. Putin since he is by law not allowed to seek another term as President and Russia needs a strong leader at the helm. So, he came up with a plan.............

Vladimir Putin on Monday raised the "realistic" possibility of becoming the next Prime Minister by agreeing to lead his dominant political party in December's parliamentary election.

Leading members of the United Russia party applaud President Vladimir Putin during a congress of the party in Moscow on Monday. Putin said he would lead the dominant United Russia party's ticket in December parliamentary elections.

"As far as heading the government is concerned, this is a quite realistic suggestion, but it is still too early to think about it," Putin told his party's congress, which prompted an ecstatic cheer from his supporters.
The Russian leader set two conditions on becoming prime minister — a win by United Russia in the Dec. 2 election and the election of what Putin described as a "decent, competent, modern person" as President.

This statement needs to be examined further. You remember when George Bush said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw a decent and sincere man there?

I don't think Mr. Bush was that far off the mark and Putin's statement that they needed a "decent, competent person" was not sheer political drivel, but rather a sincere desire to get the right people running Russia.

For all his flaws Vladimir Putin has more postitive than negative qualities and it would be a shame to have him disapear from the Russina Political scene. So, something might be in the works....... orchestrated by Putin himself.

In September, Putin dissolved the government and nominated Victor Zubkov — a little-known economist who has headed the country's financial monitoring service since 2001 — as a candidate for the prime minister.

Zubkov's nomination was approved in parliament the next day.

But as speculation ran rampant in recent months over who would replace him, Putin has given indications he would remain in politics in some capacity with a role in the government. (Prime Minister)

He also has not ruled out another presidential run in 2012.

His decision also likely ensures that United Russia retains a two-thirds majority in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, enough to change the constitution.

The end result of all this is that we might just see Russia with a strong Prime Minister and a weakened President in the near future.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Round and round we go!

Just a very short note here to tell you that I just read an article that claims one out of every five Americans believes that the Sun revolves around the Earth instead of the other way around.

Now I have no idea how true this is, BUT, if it is true then it sure would explain a LOT!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Look up. Look waaaay up!

This image of Earth’s city lights, captured on October 19, 2000, was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program . The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching from Moscow through the center of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region.

Sept. 12, 2001 by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite. The image shows an area of white and gray-colored dust and smoke at the location where the 1,350-foot towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Since all airplanes were grounded over the U.S. after the attack, IKONOS was the only commercial high-resolution camera that could take an overhead image at the time.

This IKONOS satellite image was collected on July 16, 2004. The image shows this man-made island that lies off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf. The island is being built from 80 million cubic meters of land dredged from the approach channel to the Emirate's Jebel Ali Port. When complete, this resort will have approximately 1,200 single-family and 600 multi-family residences, an aquatic theme park, shopping centers, cinemas and more.

Niagara Falls The image shows the Niagara River that connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, snaking around Goat Island, in the lower left of the full image. Most of the river's water plummets over the Canadian / Horseshoe Falls, but some diverted water spills over American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls downstream. Every second, more than two million liters of water plunges over the Horsehoe Falls segment of Niagara Falls creating one of the world's largest waterfalls as well as eating away as much as two meters of rock per year. The image was acquired August 2, 2004.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Can we spell totalitarian?

Naïve Americans who think they live in a free society should pay attention to what happened at a John Kerry speech September 17, Constitution Day, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Guest Post by Paul Craig Roberts

At the conclusion of Kerry’s speech, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year old journalism student was selected by Senator Kerry to ask a question. Meyer held up a copy of BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast’s book, Armed Madhouse , and asked if Kerry was aware that Palast’s investigations determined that Kerry had actually won the election.

Why, Meyer asked, had Kerry conceded the election so quickly when there were so many obvious examples of vote fraud?

Why, Meyer, went on to ask, was Kerry refusing to consider Bush’s impeachment when Bush was about to initiate another act of military aggression, this time against Iran?

At this point the public’s protectors -- the police -- decided that Meyer had said too much. They grabbed Meyer and began dragging him off. Meyer said repeatedly, "I have done nothing wrong," which under our laws he had not. He threatened no one and assaulted no one.

But the police decided that Meyer, an American citizen, had no right to free speech and no constitutional protection.

They threw him to the floor and Tasered him right in front of Senator Kerry and the large student audience, who captured on video the unquestionable act of police brutality.

Meyer was carted off and jailed on a phony charge of “disrupting a public event."

The question we should all ask is why did a United States senator just stand there while police goons violated the constitutional rights of a student participating in a public event, brutalized him in full view of everyone, and then took him off to jail on phony charges?

Kerry’s meekness not only in the face of electoral fraud, not only in the face of Bush’s wars that are crimes under the Nuremberg standard, but also in the face of police goons trampling the constitutional rights of American citizens makes it completely clear that he was not fit to be president, and he is not fit to be a US senator.

Usually when police violate constitutional rights and commit acts of police brutality they do it when they believe no one is watching, not in front of a large audience. Clearly, the police have become more audacious in their abuse of rights and citizens.

What explains the new fearlessness of police to violate rights and brutalize citizens without cause?

The answer is that police, most of whom have authoritarian personalities, have seen that constitutional rights are no longer protected. President Bush does not protect our constitutional rights. Neither does Vice President Cheney, nor the attorney general, nor the US Congress.

Just as Kerry allowed Meyer’s rights to be Tasered out of him, Congress has enabled Bush to strip people, including American citizens, of constitutional protection and incarcerate them without presenting evidence.

How long before Kerry himself or some other senator will be dragged from his podium and Tasered?

The Bush Republicans with complicit Democrats have essentially brought government accountability to an end in the US. The US government has 80,000 people, including ordinary American citizens, on its "no-fly list."

No one knows why they are on the list, and no one on the list can find out how to get off it. An unaccountable act by the Bush administration put them there.

Airport Security harasses and abuses people who do not fit any known definition of terrorist. Nalini Ghuman, a British-born citizen and music professor at Mills College in California was met on her return from a trip to England by armed guards at the airplane door and escorted away.

A goon squad tore up her US visa, defaced her British passport, body searched her, and told her she could leave immediately for England or be sent to a detention center.

Professor Ghuman, an Oxford University graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, says she feels like the character in Kafka’s book, The Trial. "I don’t know why it’s happened, what I’m accused of. There’s no opportunity to defend myself. One is just completely powerless."

Over one year later there is still no answer. [Music Scholar Barred From U.S., but No One Will Tell Her Why, By Nina Bernstein, New York Times, September 17, 2007]

The Bush Republicans and their Democratic toadies have, in the name of "security," made all of us powerless. While Senator John Kerry and his Democratic colleagues stand silently, the Bush administration has stolen our country from us and turned us into subjects.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policy making in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Back in the 50's we not only lived in a different time, but on a different Planet!!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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The Plain Truth Revealed!

FINALLY, a video that can satisfy both believers and non-believers.

Remember, you saw it here first!

"Perspective" presents; "One size fits all!"

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Bush at climate conference - maybe yes, maybe no!

The Bush administration has come up with a good-news, bad-news sort of thing at the climate conference being held in the U. S.

Georgie boy has finally admitted that there just might be something to this "global warming" thing and that action needs to be taken.

But, a plan for countries to set their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions has drawn considerable criticism.

Some delegates at a meeting of the world's top 16 polluters saw Mr Bush's comments as a US reluctance to commit to binding action on global warming.

Officials at the Washington forum said legally-set international targets were the only way to tackle climate change.

Mr Bush stressed that combating climate change should not damage the economy, and he again hinted that the US would not commit itself to mandatory CO2 cuts.

"Each nation must decide for itself the right mix of tools and technology to achieve results that are measurable and environmentally effective," Mr Bush told delegates in Washington.

But, his comments did not go down well with a number of the ministers, diplomats and officials attending the US-sponsored forum on energy security and climate change.

So, if I have this right, the U.S. wants to set it's own (low) CO2 cuts. What Bush is saying is; O.K., O.K. Maybe there is something to this global warming, but we are not going to do anything about it if it's not in our political interest.

Here we have another example of the US Government being very "re-active" on an issue when they should be leading the way with "pro-active" policies.

They just don't "get it!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm going to hell. (Maybe)

Whenever your humble author mentions anything about religion it seems to bring everyone out of the woodwoork! (Maybe that's why it's so much fun!)

I am going to put my two cents worth into this one. This love letter from "anonymous" is meant to set me straight on religion.

At least, on his particular religion.

Just for the hell of it since that seems to be where I'm headed! ;-)

You can have your views on "religion" if you will.

Saying that there are defects in the New and Old Testaments is hogwash.

True Christianity If throughly and completely examined, without prejudice, will open one's eyes to the truth. It is NOT religion! (Then what the hell is it?)

Belief and Faith are not weak as you seem to put it.

There is a famous line that I will recite: Regarding God in three parts; Father, Son (Jesus) and Spirit as well as the Creation of time (?) as we know it states...
Were you there when it occurred? (Never mind me, where were the people that wrote this?)

The Bible states through the men that walked, talked and lived with Jesus Christ that He had said: I am the Way, The Truth and The Light; No man comes to the Father except through Me. (That is all fine and dandy but NOBODY that actually walked with Jesus wrote any of the bible, so if you're going to start throwing biblical phrases at me because you can't argue it on your own, then at least know what you're talking about.)

All of the supposed learned men of history who claim that there is no such thing as God simply were not there to see for themselves and failed to look.

Yes; there is a God and one day not known to this world every man, woman and child who has ever lived on this blue rock in space WILL bend their knee to the "King of Kings."

It will not matter what one believes, such as has been stated in this article.

Let me ask a question. Do you want to take the chance that the Bible is wrong? Hell is a very real place and is not a social place, rather it is a place of "Personal and lonely place" that was not intended for man kind. (Here we go with the "if you don't do as I say you're going to HELL thing.)

Each of us have been given free choice about what we do while we are alive in this place, yet it is our "Obligation" to find out what truth really is and not that of some oddball professor's point of view!Glen H., Sep 30, 2007, 3:14pm EDT
(This oddball professor is about a hundred times smarter than you Glen so running him down just makes you look all the dumber!)

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at http://www.god-101.com/ and the blog "Perspective" at http://god-101.blogspot.com/

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And now for something completely different!

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Why I Am a Skeptic about Religious Claims

We gave free time to two Muslim guys this week so I am also going to post this guest article because I like the way he writes and I like what he says even if I don't agree with it 100%!

(Plus I am jealous, because I wish I could write as well!)

Reflections of Paul Kurtz during his 80th birthday.

Unbelievers have debated the proper way to describe their position.

Some scientists and philosophers-notably Richard Dawkins and Daniel C. Dennett-have recently been sympathetic to the use of the term bright. Proponents thought it a clever idea, hoping that bright would overcome the negative connotations that other terms such as atheist have aroused in the past.

Many find this to be an attractive advantage. Critics of the use of bright have commented that it is presumptuous for us to suggest that we are "bright," i.e., intelligent, implying that those with whom we disagree are dull-witted or dumb.

Clearly, many people have been turned off by the term atheism, which they perceive as too negative or dogmatic. Others may seek refuge in some form of popular agnosticism, which suggests that they are simply uncertain about the god question-though this may simply enable them to resort to "faith" or "fideism" as an artful dodge.

I would like to introduce another term into the equation, a description of the religious "unbeliever" that is more appropriate.

One may simply say, "I am a skeptic." This is a classical philosophical position, yet I submit that it is still relevant today, for many people are deeply skeptical about religious claims.

Skepticism is widely employed in the sciences. Skeptics doubt theories or hypotheses unless they are able to verify them on adequate evidential grounds.

The same is true among skeptical inquirers into religion. The skeptic in religion is not dogmatic, nor does he or she reject religious claims a priori; here or she is simply unable to accept the case for God unless it is supported by adequate evidence.

The burden of proof lies upon theists to provide cogent reasons and evidence for their belief that God exists. Faith by itself is hardly sufficient, for faiths collide-in any case, the appeal to faith to support one's creed is irrational in its pretentious claim based on the "will to believe."

If it were acceptable to argue in this way, then anyone would be entitled to believe whatever he or she fancied.

The skeptic thus requires evidence and reasons for a hypothesis or belief before it is accepted. Always open to inquiry, skeptical inquirers are prepared to change their beliefs in the light of new evidence or arguments.

They will not accept appeals to authority or faith, custom or tradition, intuition or mysticism, reports of miracles or uncorroborated revelations.

Skeptical inquirers are willing to suspend judgment about questions for which there is insufficient evidence.

Skeptics are in that sense genuinely agnostic, in that they view the question as still open, though they remain unbelievers in proposals for which they think theists offer insufficient evidence and invalid arguments.

Hence, they regard the existence of any god as highly improbable.

In this sense, a skeptic is a non theist or an atheist. The better way to describe this stance, I submit, is to say that such a person is a skeptic about religious claims.

"Skepticism," as a coherent philosophical and scientific posture, has always dealt with religious questions, and it professed to find little scientific or philosophical justification for belief in God.

Philosophers in the ancient world such as Pyrrho, Cratylus, Sextus Empiricus, and Carneades questioned metaphysical and theological claims. Modern philosophers, including Descartes, Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, have drawn heavily on classical skepticism in developing their scientific outlook.

Many found the "God question" unintelligible; modern science could proceed only by rejecting occult claims as vacuous, as was done by Galileo and other working scientists-and also by latter-day authors such as Freud and Marx, Russell and Dewey, Sartre and Heidegger, Popper and Hook, Crick and Watson, Bunge, and Wilson.

The expression "a skeptic about religious claims" is more appropriate in my opinion than the term atheist, for it emphasizes inquiry. The concept of inquiry contains an important constructive component, for inquiry leads to scientific wisdom-human understanding of our place in the cosmos and the ever-increasing fund of human knowledge.

In what follows, I will outline some of the evidence and reasons many scientists and philosophers are skeptical of theistic religious claims. I will focus primarily on supernatural theism and especially on monotheistic religions that emphasize command ethics, immortality of the soul, and an eschatology of heaven and hell.

Given space limitations, what follows is only a thumbnail sketch of the case against God. Succinctly, I maintain that the skeptical inquirer is dubious of the claims
1. that God exists;
2. that he is a person;
3. that our ultimate moral principles are derived from God;
4. that faith in God will provide eternal salvation; and
5. that one cannot be good without belief in God.

I reiterate that the burden of proof rests upon those who believe in God. If they are unable to make the case for belief in God, then I have every right to remain a skeptic.

Why do skeptics doubt the existence of God?

* First, because the skeptical inquirer does not find the traditional concept of God as "transcendent," "omnipotent," "omnipresent," or "omnibeneficent" to be coherent, intelligible, or meaningful. To postulate a transcendent being who is incomprehensible to the human mind (as theologians maintain) does not explain the world that we encounter.

How can we say that such an indefinable being exists, if we do not know in what sense that being is said to exist? How are we to understand a God that exists outside space and time and that transcends our capacity to comprehend his essence?

Theists have postulated an unknowable "X." But if his content is unfathomable, then he is little more than an empty, speculative abstraction.

Thus, the skeptic in religion presents semantic objections to God language, charging that it is unintelligible and lacks any clear referent.

A popular argument adduced for the existence of this unknowable entity is that he is the first cause, but we can ask of anyone who postulates this, "What is the cause of this first cause?" To say that he is uncaused only pushes our ignorance back one step. To step outside the physical universe is to assume an answer by a leap of faith.

Nor does the claim that the universe manifests Intelligent Design (ID) explain the facts of conflict, the struggle for survival, and the inescapable tragedy, evil, pain, and suffering that is encountered in the world of sentient beings.

Regularities and chaos do not necessarily indicate design. The argument from design is reminiscent of Aristotle's teleological argument that there are purposes or ends in nature. But we can find no evidence for purpose in nature.

Even if we were to find what appears to be design in the universe, this does not imply a designer for whose existence there is insufficient evidence. The evolutionary hypothesis provides a more parsimonious explanation of the origins of species.

The changes in species through time are better accounted for by chance mutations, differential reproduction, natural selection, and adaptation, rather than by design.

Moreover, vestigial features such as the human appendix, tailbone, and male breasts and nipples hardly suggest adequate design; the same is true for vestigial organs in other species. Thus, the doctrine of creation is hardly supported in empirical terms.

Another version of the Intelligent Design argument is the so-called fine-tuning argument. Its proponents maintain that there is a unique combination of "physical constants" in the universe that possess the only values capable of sustaining life, especially sentient organic systems. This they attribute to a designer God.

But this, too, is inadequate. First because millions of species are extinct; the alleged "fine-tuning" did nothing to ensure their survival. Second, great numbers of human beings have been extinguished by natural causes such as diseases and disasters.

The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that suddenly killed over two hundred thousand innocent men, women, and children was due to a shift in tectonic plates. This hardly indicates fine tuning-after all, this tragedy could have been avoided had a supposed fine tuner troubled to correct defects in the surface strata of the planet.

A close variant of the fine-tuning argument is the so-called anthropic principle, which is simply a form of anthropomorphism; that is, it reads into nature the fondest hopes and wishes of believers, which are then imposed upon the universe.

But if we are to do this, should we not also attribute the errors and mistakes encountered in nature to the designer?

Related to this, of course, is the classical problem of evil. If an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnibeneficent God is responsible for the world as we know it, then how to explain evil? Surely, humans cannot be held responsible for a massive flood or plague, for example; we can explain such calamities only by inferring that God is malevolent, because he knew of, yet permitted, terrible destructive events to occur-or by suggesting that God is impotent to prevent evil. This would also suggest an unintelligent, deficient, or faulty designer.

The historic religions maintain that God has revealed himself in history and that he has manifested his presence to selected humans. These revelations are not corroborated by independent, objective observers. They are disclosed, rather, to privileged prophets or mystics, whose claims have not been adequately verified: there is insufficient circumstantial evidence to confirm their authenticity.

To attribute inexplicable events to miracles performed by God, as declared in the so-called sacred literature, is often a substitute for finding their true causes scientifically. Scientific inquiry is generally able to explain alleged "miracles" by discovering natural causes.

(Note: These are some of the issues I address in my book, "The Plain Truth About God!"

The Bible, Qur'an, and other classical documents are full of contradictions and factual errors. They were written by human beings in ancient civilizations, expressing the scientific and moral speculations of their day. They do not convey the eternal word of God, but rather the yearnings of ancient tribes based on oral legends and received doctrines; as such, they are hardly relevant to all cultures and times.

The Old and New Testaments are not accurate accounts of historical events. The reliability of the Old Testament is highly questionable in the events and personages it depicts; Moses, Abraham, Joseph, etc. are largely uncorroborated by historical evidence.

As for the New Testament, scholarship has shown that none of its authors knew Jesus directly. The four Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses but are products of oral tradition and hearsay. There is but flimsy and contradictory evidence for the virgin birth, the healings of Jesus, and the Resurrection.

Similarly, contrary to Muslim claims that that religion's scriptures passed virtually unmediated from Allah, there have in fact been several versions of the Qur'an; it is no less a product of oral traditions than the Bible.

Likewise, the provenance of the Hadith, allegedly passed down by Muhammad's companions, has not been independently confirmed by reliable historical research.

Some claim to believe in God because they say that God has entered into their personal lives and has imbued them with new meaning.

This is a psychological or phenomenological account of a person's inner experience. It is hardly adequate evidence for the existence of a divine being independent of human beings' internal soliloquies.

Appeals to mystical experiences or private subjective states hardly suffice as evidential support that some external being or force caused such altered states of consciousness; skeptical inquirers have a legitimate basis for doubt, unless or until such claims of interior experience can somehow be independently corroborated.

Experiences of God or gods, or angels or demons, talking to one may disturb or entrance those persons who undergo such experiences, but the question is whether these internal subjective states have external veracity.

This especially applies to those individuals who claim some sort of special revelation from on high, such as the hearing of commandments.

* Second, is God a person? Does he he take on human form? Has he communicated in discernible form, say, as the Holy Spirit, to Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad, or other prophets?

These claims again are uncorroborated by objective eyewitnesses. They are rather promulgated by propagandists of the various faith traditions that have been inflicted on societies and enforced by entrenched ecclesiastical authorities and political powers. They are supported by customs and traditions buried for millennia by the sands of time and institutional inertia. They are simply assumed to be true without question.

The ancient documents alleging God's existence are preliterate, prephilosophical, and, in any case, unconfirmed by scientific inquiry. They are often eloquent literary expressions of existential moral poetry, but they are unverified by archeological evidence or careful historical investigation. Moreover, they contradict each other in their claims for authenticity and legitimacy.

The ancient faith that God is a person has not been corroborated by the historical record. Such conceptions of God are anthropomorphic and anthropocentric, reading into the universe human predilections and feelings. "If lions had gods they would be lionlike in character," said Xenophon. Thus, human Gods are an extrapolation of human hopes and aspirations, fanciful tales of imaginative fiction.

* Third, the claim that our ultimate moral values are derived from God is likewise highly suspect. The so-called sacred moral codes reflect the socio-historical cultures out of which they emerged.

For example, the Old Testament commands that adulterers, blasphemers, disobedient sons, bastards, witches, and homosexuals be stoned to death.

It threatens collective guilt: punishment is inflicted by Jehovah on the children's children of unbelievers. It defends patriarchy and the dominion of men over women. It condones slavery and genocide in the name of God.

The New Testament consigns "unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; it demands that women be obedient to their husbands; it accepts faith healing, exorcisms, and miracles; it exalts obedience over independence, fear and trembling over courage, and piety over self-determination.

The Qur'an does not tolerate dissent, freedom of conscience, or the right to unbelief. It denies the rights of women. It exhorts jihad, holy war against infidels. It demands utter submission to the Word of God as revealed by Muhammad. It rejects the separation of mosque and state, thus installing the law of sharia and the theocracy of imams and mullahs.

From the fatherhood of God, contradictory moral commandments have been derived; theists have often lined up on opposite sides of moral issues. Believers have stood for and against war; for and against slavery; for and against capital punishment, some embracing retribution, others mercy and rehabilitation; for and against the divine right of kings, slavery, and patriarchy; for and against the emancipation of women; for and against the absolute prohibition of contraception, euthanasia, and abortion; for and against sexual and gender equality; for and against freedom of scientific research; for and against the libertarian ideals of a free society.

True believers have in the past often found little room for human autonomy, individual freedom, or self-reliance. They have emphasized submission to the word of God instead of self-determination, faith over reason, credulity over doubt. All too often they have had little confidence in the ability of humans to solve problems and create a better future by drawing on their own resources. In the face of tragedy, they supplicate to God through prayer instead of summoning the courage to overcome adversity and build a better future.

The skeptic concludes, "No deity will save us; if we are to be saved it must be by our own efforts."

The traditional religions have too often waged wars of intolerance not only against other religions or ideologies that dispute the legitimacy of their divine revelations but even against sects that are mere variants of the same religion (e.g., Catholic versus Protestant, Shiite versus Sunni).

Religions claim to speak in the name of God, yet bloodshed, tyranny, and untold horrors have often been justified on behalf of holy creeds. True believers have all too often opposed human progress: the abolition of slavery, the liberation of women, the extension of equal rights to transgendered people and gays, the expansion of democracy and human rights.

I realize that liberal religionists generally have rejected the absolutist creeds of fundamentalism. Fortunately, they have been influenced by modern democratic and humanistic values, which mitigate fundamentalism's inherent intolerance.

Nevertheless, even many liberal believers embrace a key article of faith in the three major Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism: the promise of eternal salvation.

* Fourth, we are driven to ask: will those who believe in God actually achieve immortality of the soul and eternal salvation as promised?

The first objection of the skeptic to this claim is that the forms of salvation being offered are highly sectarian.

The Hebrew Bible promises salvation for the chosen people; the New Testament, the Rapture to those who have faith in Jesus Christ; the Qur'an, heaven to those who accept the will of Allah as transmitted by Muhammad.

In general, these promises are not universal but apply only to those who acquiesce to a specific creed, as interpreted by priests, ministers, rabbis, or mullahs.
Bloody wars have been waged to establish the legitimacy of the papacy (between Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy), the priority of Muhammad and the Qur'an, or the authenticity of the Old Testament.

A second objection is that there is insufficient scientific evidence for the claim that the "soul" can exist separate from the body and that it can survive death as a "discarnate" being, and much less for the claim that it can persist throughout eternity.

Science points to the fact that the "mind" or "consciousness" is a function of the brain and nervous system and that with the physical death of the body, the "self" or "person" disappears. Thus, the claim that a person's soul can endure forever is supported by no evidence whatever, only by pious hope.

Along the same line, believers have never succeeded in demonstrating the existence of the disembodied souls of any of the billions who went before us. All efforts to communicate with such discarnate entities have been fruitless. Sightings of alleged ghosts have not been corroborated by reliable eyewitness testimony.

The appeal to near-death experiences simply reports the phenomenological experiences of persons who undergo part of the dying process but ultimately do not die. Of course, we never hear from anyone who has truly died by any clinical standard, gone to "the other side" and returned. In any case, these subjective experiences can be explained in terms of natural, psychological, and physiological causes.

* Fifth, theists maintain that one cannot be good unless one believes in God.
Skepticism about God's existence and divine plan does not imply pessimism, nihilism, the collapse of all values, or the implication that "anything goes."

It has been demonstrated time and again, by countless human beings, that it is possible to be morally concerned with the needs of others, to be a good citizen, and to lead a life of nobility and excellence-all without religion.

Thus, anyone can be righteous and altruistic, compassionate and benevolent, without belief in a deity. A person can develop the common moral virtues and express a goodwill toward others without devotion to God.

It is possible to be empathetic toward others and at the same time be concerned with one's own well-being. Secular ethical principles and values thus can be supported by evidence and reason, the cultivation of moral growth and development, the finding of common ground that brings people together. Our principles and values can be vindicated as we examine the consequences of our choices and modify them in light of experience.

Skeptics who are humanists focus on the good life here and now. They exhort us to live creatively, seeking a life full of happiness, even joyful exuberance. They urge us to face life's tragedies with equanimity, to marshal the courage and stoic forbearance to live meaningfully in spite of adversity, and to take satisfaction in our achievements.

Life can be relished and is intrinsically worthwhile for its own sake, without any need for external support.

Though ethical values and principles are relative to human interests and needs, that does not suggest that they are necessarily subjective. Instead, they are amenable to objective, critical evaluation and modification in the light of reason. A new paradigm has emerged that integrates skepticism with secular humanism, a paradigm based on scientific wisdom, eupraxsophy, and a naturalistic conception of nature.

Thus, the skeptic in religion, who is also a humanist in ethics, can be affirmative and positive about the potentialities for achieving the good life. Such a person can not only live fully but can also be morally concerned about the needs of others.
In summary, the skeptical inquirer finds inconclusive evidence-and thus, insufficient reason to believe-that God exists, that God is a person, that all ethical principles must be derived from God, that faith in divinity will enable the soul to achieve eternal salvation, and that ethical conduct is impossible without belief in God.

On the contrary, skepticism based on scientific inquiry leaves room for a naturalistic account of the universe. It can also recommend alternative secular and humanist forms of moral conduct. Accordingly, one can simply affirm, when asked if he or she believes in God, "No, I do not; I am a skeptic," and one may add, "I believe in doing good!"

Paul Kurtz is the editor in chief of Free Inquiry, a professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the chair of the Center for Inquiry, Honoray Associate of Rationalist International (New Delhi) and vice president of Rationalist Press Association

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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Sunday Morning Funnies #227

Actual call center conversations!

Customer: "I've been calling 700-1000 for two days and can't get through; can you help?"
Operator: "Where did you get that number, sir?"
Customer: "It's on the door of your business."
Operator: "Sir, those are the hours that we are open."

Samsung Electronics!
Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"
Operator: "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about."
Caller: "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"
Operator: "I think it means the telephone plug on the wall, sir."

Car Dealer
Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while traveling in Europe )
"If I register my car in France , and then take it to England , do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?"

Directory Enquiries
Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argo Fish Bar, please"
Operator: "I'm sorry, there's no listing. Are you sure that the spelling is correct?"
Caller: "Well, it used to be called the Bargo Fish Bar but the 'B' fell off."

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator:"I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on."

Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
Customer: "OK."
Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No."
Tech Support: "OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
Customer: "No."
Tech Support: "OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
Customer: "Sure. You told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."
Tech Support: "OK. At the bottom left hand side of your screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
Customer: "Wow! How can you see my screen from there?"

A recent study found that the average Canadian walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found Canadians drink, on average, 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on average, Canadians get about 41 miles to the gallon. Kind of makes you proud to be a Cnadian!

This has to be one of the funniest things in a long time. I think this guy should have been promoted, not fired. This is a true story from the WordPerfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department. Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for Termination without Cause."
Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee.(Now I know why they record these conversations!):
Operator: "Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?"
Caller: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
Operator: "What sort of trouble??"
Caller: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
Operator: "Went away?"
Caller: "They disappeared."
Operator: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
Caller: "Nothing."
Operator: "Nothing??"
Caller: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
Operator: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??"
Caller: "How do I tell?"
Operator: "Can you see the 'C: prompt' on the screen??"
Caller: "What's a sea-prompt?"
Operator: "Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?"
Caller: "There isn't any cursor; I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
Operator: "Does your monitor have a power indicator??"
Caller: "What's a monitor?"
Operator: "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on??"
Caller: "I don't know."
Operator: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??"
Caller: "Yes, I think so."
Operator: "Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall.
Caller: "Yes, it is."
Operator: "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one??"
Caller: "No."
Operator: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
Caller: "Okay, here it is."
Operator: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
Caller: "I can't reach."
Operator: "OK. Well, can you see if it is??"
Caller: "No."
Operator: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??"
Caller: "Well, it's not because I don't have the right angle -- it's because it's dark."
Operator: "Dark??"
Caller: "Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
Operator: "Well, turn on the office light then."
Caller: "I can't."
Operator: "No? Why not??"
Caller: "Because there's a power failure."
Operator: "A power ... A power failure? Aha. Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff that your computer came in??"
Caller: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
Operator: "Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
Caller: "Really? Is it that bad?"
Operator: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."
Caller: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??"
Operator: "Tell them you're too fucking stupid to own a computer!!!"

I am going to leave you with this one. It's a couple of minutes long but well worth the wait. Honest!

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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