Category: agnostic

“In God We Trust”-Tennessee*: Pastor accused o…

“In God We Trust”-Tennessee*: Pastor accused of raping teen… inside the very “house of the living god”…:

“James
“Ronnie” Messer, 46, was arrested after the girl’s family reported him
to authorities claiming he took the 17-year-old to the Crossway Worship
Center…

The girl’s sister alleged the the pastor led the teen through the center’s rear entrance to a room, where he then raped her.

Messer told police he thought the encounter with the underage girl was consensual…” (as did bible god, concerning 12 year old Mary…!)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-news-ny-tennessee-pastor-rape-20180712-story.html?outputType=amp

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https://thinkprogress.org/tennessee-wants-in-god-we-trust-in-schools-7d56783e42d5/

Who Wrote The Gospels?

Who Wrote The Gospels?:

Let that sink in…

The bible god chose 12 disciples…who were either illiterate fishermen…or so unimpressed with what they had supposedly witnessed…that not one of them wrote down what they had witnessed…

40 – 60 years after the death of bible Jesus…unknown others started writing stories about Jesus…in a different language and location to the bible Jesus and his disciples…which started the literary journey…of the evolution of the conflicting Gospels…

So the “witness of god”…the Gospels…the very basis of belief in bible Jesus…by bible believers…were never written by witnesses of the supposed events…!

(Hearsay! Your Honor…I rest my case!…Case dismissed…!)

Watch…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhM5lbVBgkk  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lBHmpaYUHI

Side note: Paul, who supposedly wrote the majority of the New Testament…was never a disciple or eye-witness of bible Jesus…

Born free…But then they were herded&hel…

Born free…

But then they were herded…corralled…branded…continually fed fabricated fodder…

But for what purpose…?

To be fleeced for life…!

Take the journey…and free yourself
once again…from conditioned/enforced servitude…to a sectarian religious institution…who peddle religious superstition for cash…!

If you have to force your unprovable sectarian…

If you have to force your unprovable sectarian religious irrational beliefs on others…you are conceding that they are not self-evident…not self-convincing…not real!

And you are demonstrating that you are a bully…an immoral oppressor…a disrespecter of the rights and freedoms of others…to (rationally) choose to not believe your irrational, unverifiable, baseless sectarian religious assertions…

Related…”A bill requiring Tennessee schools to prominently display the national
“In God We Trust” motto is headed to the governor for his signature…
“In God We Trust” became the national motto in 1956 (https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/religion/2018/03/21/tennessee-lawmakers-pass-bill-requiring-public-schools-post-god-we-trust-motto/442884002/)  replacing “E Pluribus Unum (“from many, one”)…adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782 as the motto for the Seal of the United States and has been used on coins and paper money since 1795…”  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_national_motto

That god broke his own laws, and fornicated wi…

That god broke his own laws, and fornicated with a human female child outside of wedlock…supposedly producing a “sinless” child…despite half it’s DNA coming from a fallen, sinful human…in fact, of the very gender religion believes brought sin into the world…by disobediently eating forbidden magical fruit…

…for the purpose of being a human sacrifice…to appease the very god that broke his own laws to produce the imperfect hybrid…part god, part human…that somehow is equal to god, and in fact, is god…

…is a poorly and nonsensically constructed myth…which has been primarily used…to separate the naive from their cash…

See also…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miraculous_births

Dan Barker…ex-fundamentalist minister…arti…

Dan Barker…ex-fundamentalist minister…articulates to Oxford University…his journey from being deluded with religious fantasy…to embracing the reality…that god(s) are myth…:

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“Dan Barker says that he used to be a firm believer in the gospel. He was
evangelical. He tells of parables and fables whose story is meant to be
fictional but the moral tale is what matters. He goes on to highlight
that modern day Christians understand the use of metaphors in the Bible
that everything should not be taken as pure gospel, but says where do we
draw the line between what is real and what is myth?

Following this he states there is no hard evidence for god, that some
tales in the bible can be questioned with simple logic. Also religions
become secular over time…”

Enjoy…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btJazTimH4M&feature=youtu.be

Heaven would be absolute hell…for anyone who…

What sort of moron longs for totalitarian rule…?

A typical day in heaven…

  • 6-8am: how to master the genuflect…
  • 8-10am: grovel like you mean it…
  • 10-12pm: so you’re tone deaf. Just mouth the words instead. No one will ever know…
  • 12-2pm: broaden your adulation vocabulary…Word’s he’ll love…
  • 2-4pm: Know when to praise…know when to worship…
  • 4-6pm: How to distract yourself from missing sex…beer…free time…solitude…sleep…your loved ones in hell (tell yourself he’s torturing them because he loves them)…
  • 6pm-6am: hard core worship (alternate days, praise)…

repeat…forever…!

300,000 babies stolen from their parents – and…

300,000 babies stolen from their parents – and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain…:

“Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were
stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five
decades, a new investigation reveals.

The
children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses,
priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General
Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

Hundreds
of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now
battling for an official government investigation into the scandal.
Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.

…The BBC programme shows photographs taken in the Eighties of a dead baby kept in a freezer, allegedly to show grieving mothers.

In
reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs
and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate
parents.

Journalist Katya Adler, who has investigated the scandal, says: ‘The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people.

‘There
are men and women across Spain whose lives have been turned upside-down
by discovering the people they thought were their parents actually
bought them for cash. There are also many mothers who have maintained
for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled “hysterical”
– but are now discovering that their child has probably been alive and
brought up by somebody else all this time.’

The BBC documentary features an
interview with an 89-year-old woman named Ines Perez, who admitted that a
priest encouraged her to fake a pregnancy so she could be given a baby
girl due to be born at Madrid’s San Ramon clinic in 1969. ‘The priest
gave me padding to wear on my stomach,’ she says…“

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049647/BBC-documentary-exposes-50-year-scandal-baby-trafficking-Catholic-church-Spain.html

And…”Head of church in England and Wales apologizes in documentary about
women who were pressured into handing over their babies in the 50s, 60s
and 70s…https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/03/catholic-church-apologises-for-role-in-forced-adoptions-over-30-year-period

Also…https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-07-06/catholic-charity-looking-into-baby-trafficking-case-in-india

Rational and Irrational Thoughts…

Rational and Irrational Thoughts…:

“One cause of dysrationalia is that people tend to be cognitive misers,
meaning that they take the easy way out when trying to solve problems,
often leading to solutions that are wrong. 

Another cause of dysrationalia is the mindware gap, which occurs when
people lack the specific knowledge, rules and strategies needed to think
rationally. 

Tests do exist that can measure dysrationalia, and they should be given
more often to pick up the deficiencies that IQ tests miss. 


shallow processing can lead physicians to choose less effective medical
treatments, can cause people to fail to adequately assess risks in their
environment, can lead to the misuse of information in legal
proceedings, and can make parents resist vaccinating their children. 

Decades of research in cognitive psychology have suggested two causes
of dysrationalia. One is a processing problem, the other a content
problem. Much is known about both of them.

The Case of the Cognitive Miser

When approaching a problem, we can choose from any of several
cognitive mechanisms. Some mechanisms have great computational power,
letting us solve many problems with great accuracy, but they are slow,
require much concentration and can interfere with other cognitive tasks.
Others are comparatively low in computational power, but they are fast,
require little concentration and do not interfere with other ongoing
cognition. Humans are cognitive misers because our basic tendency is to
default to the processing mechanisms that require less computational
effort, even when they are less accurate.

Are you a cognitive miser? Consider the following problem, taken from
the work of Hector Levesque, a computer scientist at the University of
Toronto. Try to answer it yourself before reading the solution:

1. Jack is looking at Anne, but
Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not. Is a
married person looking at an unmarried person?

  • A) Yes
  • B) No
  • C) Cannot be determined

More than 80 percent of people choose C. But the correct answer is A.
Here is how to think it through logically: Anne is the only person
whose marital status is unknown. You need to consider both
possibilities, either married or unmarried, to determine whether you
have enough information to draw a conclusion. If Anne is married, the
answer is A: she would be the married person who is looking at an
unmarried person (George). If Anne is not married, the answer is still
A: in this case, Jack is the married person, and he is looking at Anne,
the unmarried person. This thought process is called fully disjunctive
reasoning—reasoning that considers all possibilities. The fact that the
problem does not reveal whether Anne is or is not married suggests to
people that they do not have enough information, and they make the
easiest inference © without thinking through all the possibilities.

Most people can carry out fully disjunctive reasoning when they are
explicitly told that it is necessary (as when there is no option like
“cannot be determined” available). But most do not automatically do so,
and the tendency to do so is only weakly correlated with intelligence.

Here is another test of cognitive miserliness, as described by Nobel
Prize–winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his colleague Shane
Frederick:

2. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Many people give the first response that comes to mind—10 cents. But
if they thought a little harder, they would realize that this cannot be
right: the bat would then have to cost $1.10, for a total of $1.20. IQ
is no guarantee against this error. Kahneman and Frederick found that
large numbers of highly select university students at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Princeton and Harvard were cognitive misers,
just like the rest of us, when given this and similar problems.

Another characteristic of cognitive misers is the “myside” bias—the
tendency to reason from an egocentric perspective. In a 2008 study my
colleague Richard West of James Madison University and I presented a
group of subjects with the following thought problem:

3. Imagine that the U.S.
Department of Transportation has found that a particular German car is
eight times more likely than a typical family car to kill occupants of
another car in a crash. The federal government is considering restricting
sale and use of this German car. Please answer the following two
questions: Do you think sales of the German car should be banned in the
U.S.? Do you think the German car should be banned from being driven on
American streets?

Then we presented a different group of subjects with the thought
problem stated a different way—more in line with the true data from the
Department of Transportation at the time, which had found an increased
risk of fatalities not in a German car but in an American one:

Imagine that the Department of
Transportation has found that the Ford Explorer is eight times more
likely than a typical family car to kill occupants of another car in a
crash. The German government is considering restricting sale or use of
the Ford Explorer. Please answer the following two questions: Do you
think sales of the Ford Explorer should be banned in Germany? Do you
think the Ford Explorer should be banned from being driven on German
streets?

Among the American subjects we tested, we found considerable support
for banning the car when it was a German car being banned for American
use: 78.4 percent thought car sales should be banned, and 73.7 percent
thought the car should be kept off the streets. But for the subjects for
whom the question was stated as whether an American car should be
banned in Germany, there was a statistically significant difference:
only 51.4 percent thought car sales should be banned, and just 39.2
percent thought the car should be kept off German streets, even though
the car in question was presented as having exactly the same poor safety
record.

This study illustrates our tendency to evaluate a situation from our
own perspective. We weigh evidence and make moral judgments with a
myside bias that often leads to dysrationalia that is independent of
measured intelligence. The same is true for other tendencies of the
cognitive miser that have been much studied, such as attribute
substitution and conjunction errors; they are at best only slightly
related to intelligence and are poorly captured by conventional
intelligence tests.

The Mindware Gap

The second source of dysrationalia is a content problem. We need to
acquire specific knowledge to think and act rationally.
Harvard
cognitive scientist David Perkins coined the term “mindware” to refer to
the rules, data, procedures, strategies and other cognitive tools
(knowledge of probability, logic and scientific inference) that must be
retrieved from memory to think rationally.
The absence of this knowledge
creates a mindware gap—again, something that is not tested on typical
intelligence tests.

One aspect of mindware is probabilistic thinking, which can be measured. Try to answer the following problem before you read on:

4. Imagine that XYZ viral
syndrome is a serious condition that affects one person in 1,000.
Imagine also that the test to diagnose the disease always indicates
correctly that a person who has the XYZ virus actually has it. Finally,
suppose that this test occasionally misidentifies a healthy individual
as having XYZ. The test has a false-positive rate of 5 percent, meaning
that the test wrongly indicates that the XYZ virus is present in 5
percent of the cases where the person does not have the virus.

Next we choose a person at random and administer the test, and the
person tests positive for XYZ syndrome. Assuming we know nothing else
about that individual’s medical history, what is the probability
(expressed as a percentage ranging from zero to 100) that the individual
really has XYZ?

The most common answer is 95 percent. But that is wrong. People tend
to ignore the first part of the setup, which states that only one person
in 1,000 will actually have XYZ syndrome. If the other 999 (who do not
have the disease) are tested, the 5 percent false-positive rate means
that approximately 50 of them (0.05 times 999) will be told they have
XYZ. Thus, for every 51 patients who test positive for XYZ, only one
will actually have it. Because of the relatively low base rate of the
disease and the relatively high false-positive rate, most people who
test positive for XYZ syndrome will not have it. The answer to the
question, then, is that the probability a person who tests positive for
XYZ syndrome actually has it is one in 51, or approximately 2 percent.

A second aspect of mindware, the ability to think scientifically, is
also missing from standard IQ tests, but it, too, can be readily
measured:

5. An experiment is conducted
to test the efficacy of a new medical treatment. Picture a 2 x 2 matrix
that summarizes the results as follows:

As you can see, 200 patients were given the experimental treatment and
improved; 75 were given the treatment and did not improve; 50 were not
given the treatment and improved; and 15 were not given the treatment
and did not improve. Before reading ahead, answer this question with a
yes or no: Was the treatment effective?

Most people will say yes. They focus on the large number of patients
(200) in whom treatment led to improvement and on the fact that of those
who received treatment, more patients improved (200) than failed to
improve (75). Because the probability of improvement (200 out of 275
treated, or 200/275 = 0.727) seems high, people tend to believe the
treatment works. But this reflects an error in scientific thinking: an
inability to consider the control group, something that (disturbingly)
even physicians are often guilty of. In the control group, improvement
occurred even when the treatment was not given. The probability of
improvement with no treatment (50 out of 65 not treated, or 50/65 =
0.769) is even higher than the probability of improvement with
treatment, meaning that the treatment being tested can be judged to be
completely ineffective.

Another mindware problem relates to hypothesis testing. This, too, is
rarely tested on IQ tests, even though it can be reliably measured, as
Peter C. Wason of University College London showed. Try to solve the
following puzzle, called the four-card selection task, before reading
ahead:

6. As seen in the diagram, four
cards are sitting on a table. Each card has a letter on one side and a
number on the other. Two cards are letter-side up, and two of the cards
are number-side up. The rule to be tested is this: for these four cards,
if a card has a vowel on its letter side, it has an even number on its
number side. Your task is to decide which card or cards must be turned
over to find out whether the rule is true or false. Indicate which cards
must be turned over.

Most people get the answer wrong, and it has been devilishly hard to
figure out why. About half of them say you should pick A and 8: a vowel
to see if there is an even number on its reverse side and an even number
to see if there is a vowel on its reverse. Another 20 percent choose to
turn over the A card only, and another 20 percent turn over other
incorrect combinations. That means that 90 percent of people get it
wrong.

Let’s see where people tend to run into trouble. They are okay with
the letter cards: most people correctly choose A. The difficulty is in
the number cards: most people mistakenly choose 8. Why is it wrong to
choose 8? Read the rule again: it says that a vowel must have an even
number on the back, but it says nothing about whether an even number
must have a vowel on the back or what kind of number a consonant must
have. (It is because the rule says nothing about consonants, by the way,
that there is no need to see what is on the back of the K.) So finding a
consonant on the back of the 8 would say nothing about whether the rule
is true or false. In contrast, the 5 card, which most people do not
choose, is essential. The 5 card might have a vowel on the back. And if
it does, the rule would be shown to be false because that would mean
that not all vowels have even numbers on the back. In short, to show
that the rule is not false, the 5 card must be turned over.

When asked to prove something true or false, people tend to focus on
confirming the rule rather than falsifying it. This is why they turn
over the 8 card, to confirm the rule by observing a vowel on the other
side, and the A card, to find the confirming even number. But if they
thought scientifically, they would look for a way to falsify the rule—a
thought pattern that would immediately suggest the relevance of the 5
card (which might contain a disconfirming vowel on the back). Seeking
falsifying evidence is a crucial component of scientific thinking. But
for most people, this bit of mindware must be taught until it becomes
second nature.

Dysrationalia and Intelligence


The modern period of intelligence research was inaugurated by Charles Spearman in a famous paper published in 1904 in the American Journal of Psychology.
Spearman found that performance on one cognitive task tends to
correlate with performance on other cognitive tasks. He termed this
correlation the positive manifold, the belief that all cognitive skills
will show substantial correlations with one another. This belief has
dominated the field ever since.

Yet as research in my lab and elsewhere has shown, rational thinking
can be surprisingly dissociated from intelligence. Individuals with high
IQs are no less likely to be cognitive misers than those with lower
IQs.
In a Levesque problem, for instance (the “Jack is looking at Anne,
who is looking at George” problem discussed earlier), high IQ is no
guarantee against the tendency to take the easy way out. No matter what
their IQ, most people need to be told that fully disjunctive reasoning
will be necessary to solve the puzzle, or else they won’t bother to use
it.
Maggie Toplak of York University in Toronto, West and I have shown
that high-IQ people are only slightly more likely to spontaneously adopt
disjunctive reasoning in situations that do not explicitly demand it.

For the second source of dysrationalia, mindware deficits, we would
expect to see some correlation with intelligence because gaps in
mindware often arise from lack of education, and education tends to be
reflected in IQ scores. But the knowledge and thinking styles relevant
to dysrationalia are often not picked up until rather late in life. It
is quite possible for intelligent people to go through school and never
be taught probabilistic thinking, scientific reasoning, and other
strategies
measured by the XYZ virus puzzle and the four-card selection
task described earlier.

When rational thinking is correlated with intelligence, the
correlation is usually quite modest. Avoidance of cognitive miserliness
has a correlation with IQ in the range of 0.20 to 0.30 (on the scale of
correlation coefficients that runs from 0 to 1.0). Sufficient mindware
has a similar modest correlation, in the range of 0.25 to 0.35. These
correlations allow for substantial discrepancies between intelligence
and rationality. Intelligence is thus no inoculation against any of the
sources of dysrationalia I have discussed.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rational-and-irrational-thought-the-thinking-that-iq-tests-miss/

Reality check…

If you can…

  • desperately search for a car-park space…because you’re running late…without asking an imaginary friend for one…
  • sit calmly, alone in a dark room…without imagining nefarious beings watching you…or hiding in your closet…or lying under your bed…and you don’t reach out to an imaginary friend for comfort…
  • give some stranger in desperate need, a little cash…without imagining some universal spirit took note…and will pour out blessings to you…
  • express thankfulness to those people who actually provided/prepared your meal…and not an imaginary friend…
  • work smart and hard…to achieve something you want…instead of asking an imaginary friend to do it for you…
  • study to understand something that perplexes you…using the scientific method…instead of asking an imaginary friend to magically “reveal” the answer to you…
  • use your best skills and efforts in a job interview…
    instead of asking an imaginary friend to get you the job…
  • use reason without ceasing…instead of praying to an imaginary friend…without ceasing…
  • avoid issuing fake “blessings” when someone sneezes, to ward off a possible plague…or pretending to be able to send magical thoughts that might help someone in need (the proverbial “thoughts”)…or promising the needy you’ll talk to your imaginary friend (prayers), when they are desperate… instead of immediately, practically helping, in a tangible way…
  • avoid wasting time debasing yourself when a loved one is ill, to manipulate  an imaginary friend so they will help out…like ceasing eating food for a time (fasting)…wearing hessian (sackcloth)…ripping your hessian…rubbing ash in your hair (ashes)…dripping extra virgin olive oil on their heads (anointing)…calling for the aged members of your sect to pop around and perform theatrics (elders)…instead of immediately seeking emergency medical attention…
  • understand that, despite all your best endeavors…time and chance…both good and bad…happen to everyone…so serenely and gracefully, with dignity…accept the terminal things you cannot change for the better…

…if you can recognize all the times your imaginary friend failed you…or gave the coincidental perception they helped you…proving your imaginary friend is, well, imaginary…so you let them go…

…well, then…you’ve mentally grown out of the childish fantasy superstitious delusion…that you were programed with (by family/peers/the media/society leaders manipulating the gullible/institutional merchants of superstition)…before you reached the age of independent reason…