Here’s Your Sunday Free-Fire Zone

That YouTube video is less than 2 and a half minutes long. It features a fellow who has the potential to be a star in the world of creationism, so we’re giving him the exposure he justly deserves.

Aside from that, this had been a news-free day — at least for our kind of news — so it’s time for another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. You know the rules. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Here’s Your Sunday Free-Fire Zone

  1. Peter J. Reilly tackles the current flap over Scientology and its tax-exempt status, and makes a reference to an old guest article I wrote.

    Peter’s article is at:

    Here’s the excerpt where I am mentioned along with my old article:

    (Begin quote.)

    Bane Of The Basketball Ministers And Kent
    Hovind’s Worst Nightmare Puts In His Oar

    To me the most puzzling and disturbing aspect
    of the IRS Scientology fight was the deductibility
    of “auditing”. Here IRS veteran Robert Baty takes
    that issue on.

    IRS Veteran Weighs In On Deduction For Scientology
    Auditing In Secret 1993 Agreement

    (End quote.)

  2. And it just so happens that Kent Hovind, in his latest performance, has prompted me to increase the number of propositions in my challenge to him to 67.



  3. A Free Fire Zone thought I have been mulling lately is the relationship between the benefits of spiritual beliefs such as christianity , (if I’ve described religion correctly) and the damage and hypocrisy of spiritually rooted beliefs like creationism. I know in this blog creationists are described as possessing varying degrees of deceitfulness, willful ignorance, religious mania, dogmatism, stupidity, lack of education and mental illness ( pardon my inaccuracies here as I summarize).

    However, if some organized religion also provides benefits along with the dangers of superstitious beliefs (such as moral values we admire like honesty and love and respect for ones neighbors, an unwillingness to kill, love for others and forgiveness), where does one relate to a whacked out fuel injected flaming creationist who is at the same time, in other aspects of his or her life attempting to follow these better dictates?

    When one sees intentional deceit and willful ignorance, my suspicions are that this spills over into all aspects of a person’s life. So, as a moderate or progressive who still retains respect for some aspects of christiainty’s value.

    Religion is a complicated topic. And to me, there is bad religion and better religion just as their is bad science and good science. Recognizing that discoveroidism is not even bad science but rather superstitious nonsense wrapped in a lab coat, how does one oppose destructive nonsense like creationism and discoveroid dishonesty while at the same time coming to grips with the more constructive aspects (assuming one believes there may be some) of christianity.

    And more so, how does one address the sheer insanity of creationism while avoiding painting all of religion as destructive in the eyes of observers? Because as we all know, objections to creationism, in the eyes of creationists means objections to christiniaty, period and in fact, this becomes a creationists greatest stumbling block towards understanding basic scientific concepts.

  4. Good points, och will. I try to walk that line in this blog. My focus is only on creationism. I don’t promote atheism, and I never criticize denominations that don’t a problem with science. That doesn’t stop creationists from lumping this blog in with all the others, but that’s how they interpret things.

  5. “This video is unavailable.”

    Brazil here…

  6. Apparently he de-listed it. Pity. It was a classic.

  7. och will You give religion too much credit. All the benefits you describe can be had without belief in an imaginary god. Also, religion and its inherently irrational thinking should be blamed for far more than just creationism (see Islamic terrorists).

  8. Holding The Line In Florida

    Ditto Matt. It is like the old “Well, Hitler was kind to dogs and children and was a vegetarian.” or African slavery had it positive points too. Ok, even the most evil of things have a good point or two. However when compared to the damage done, the bad far outweighs the good.

  9. Matt, Sure. I recognize that there has been and still remains, quite a bit of damage and horrors associated with religion in general and that the danger of religion is in fact, the reliance on faith rather than logic.
    However, would love and tolerance be part of the human experience were it not for the message of love for others, christianity offers? Putting aside the “love me or burn” aspect of christianity’s message and the bible’s many horrific claims supporting genocide and other horrors like hatred for homosexuals etc etc etc etc .
    BUT, I also know that the message of love contained in christianity’s more moderate adherents and disciples is a positive one. The problem , as this blog often points out, is that so many christian’s are dogmatic. I for one, can accept that a person named jesus walked the earth and that apparently, he offered a lot of messages about love for others and forgiveness. Its all the other gangster rap stuff in the Old and New testaments that leads so many people astray and allows them to interpret it as they see fit. Which in the end is what we all do with religion. And why denominational war has been such a factor in human history. Denominationalism, nationalism, tribalism, and all the other ism’s which frankly I’m not educated enough to list.
    Laughing at flaming creationist asteroids can be considered moderate pushback against the pathetic destructiveness of the world’s HamBone’s and Klugelldumpsters. I have learned a lot here at this blog, much of it of my own education’s failings and my limited intellect. Nonetheless I remain a progressive on religion and can be influenced by it positively when the message is good. A parent just died. The pastor was helpful in putting it and one’s own life in perspective. After all, we will all die and leave this earth. I think bad religion is bad and some aspects of it, can be okay and helpful. The trick is being able to define which is which. It seems that occurs in the eyes of the beholder and his or her personality, education, intelligence, honesty and integrity. And having the right mix of those is the difference between a Charles Darwin or a Charles Lyell and a casey the disoveroids hamster or a west weasel.

  10. @Matt; @HTLIF: Relating to och will’s essay —

    There are some people that need the “fear of God” to get them to behave and adhere to “the moral values we admire like honesty and love and respect for ones neighbors, an unwillingness to kill, love for others and forgiveness.”
    So, if it takes a fear of “eternal damnation” to keep them from killing or the promise of “eternal life in heaven” to have them be nice, well, I for one don’t have a problem with that. However, I do have a problem if some Ken Ham-ish sort tries to convince others that we can’t be decent people unless we BELIEVE!! as he professes to believe.

    I also have a problem with the Elmer Gantry-types who, for their own benefit, take advantage of other people’s quest for religious certainty. Ken Ham may fall in this category, but since we don’t have the power to read others’ minds, we can’t for certain judge his sincerity. However, Ham marks off enough boxes on the Hucksterism Checklist to generate prodigious quantities of righteous suspicion.

  11. @och will — We were typing at the same time. You stated it very well. Thank you.

  12. I think if you want to do the right thing, to be moral, to be loving, then you probably know what to do. I don’t think you need religion to tell you how to do the right thing. If being moral means obeying god then you’re not taking responsibility, you’re just following orders. Where’s the morality in that? If you kill because you think god commanded it are you doing the right thing? Or, if you save someone’s life are you less moral for doing it on your own without religion? See my point?

  13. I just came across the announcement of the recent Flat Earth International Conference

  14. Matt, I agree that religious war has been a blight on mankind. God doesn’t tell me what to do because I’m actually not certain there is a supernatural entity. Thats not part of my value system. But there are a lot of valuable life lessons to be learned from evaluating religion, taking away the good and rejecting the bad. Which of course means beauty is in the eye of the beholder and much damage can and has resulted. Nevertheless, our religions provide structure in societies and a moral code to follow oftentimes.
    That CAN be good and useful. Its a judgement call. But no, all religion isn’t bad. Sorry. But a lot of it is. No doubt. I’m at peace with my use of lessons to be derived from religion in my life.

  15. och will
    I agree studying religion does give moral structure to many people. But just because it gets results doesn’t justify the way it gets those results. My problem with religion is that it is based on fear of or blind obedience to an invisible being’s supposed commandments or rules that were alleged to have been received from god and then written down in a holy book, with a little dose of fear of hell or the enticement of heaven. Bribery or threats aren’t conditions for freedom of choice. Now, I won’t dispute that this approach does work for some people in that it keeps them out of trouble, but in the same way that a child keeps out of trouble by obeying his parents without understanding why.

    I used to believe in god and I thought he could read my mind. Talk about feeling like I was being watched all the time. Took me years to see objectively and allow myself to question what everyone around me seemed to take for granted was true. The first nagging question I had was: how can all religions be true? Which led me to a more basic question: did god exist? Never did I worry that if I came to reject god I would get struck by lightning or lose my moral compass and become this immoral rapist murderer. I just made the decision to study the matter and evidence and go where it leads. And it leads to no god. I’m still here and I still haven’t raped or killed anyone.