Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2 (part 4)


(Good Tickle Brain) – Mya Gosling:

Let’s wrap up this play-within-a-play thing! …

goodticklebrain hamlet-324Mya Lixian Gosling: A Stick-Figure Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2 (part 4)

Michel de Montaigne


(Patheos::Daylight Atheism) – James A. Haught:

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)’s mother came from a Spanish-Jewish family that had been forcibly converted to Catholicism, and had fled to France to escape the Spanish Inquisition. His father was a wealthy merchant whose family had bought the feudal territory of Montaigne, with its noble title.

Although the son came of age in an era when the Inquisition had been torturing and burning doubters for three centuries, and it was not a propitious time to voice any religious thought that might lead to the rack, nonetheless the brilliant Montaigne took the risk of writing candidly about religion and morals, not always conforming to official dogma. He created the literary form of the essay: a personal commentary which he said was “concerned with my own self, an integral part of my life.” Some of Montaigne’s essays included witty jabs at religion. University of Washington scholar Abraham Keller has said the essays “show so much skepticism that some critics have questioned whether he was really a Christian.” …

daylightatheism michel-de-montaigneMichel de Montaigne

A Popular Blunder: If


(Cross Examined) – Bob Seidensticker:

The word “laconic” means concise. The word comes from Laconia, the region of Greece of which Sparta was the capital. There’s a famous story that illustrates the Spartans’ reputation for using few words.

Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was in the process of conquering Greece in the fourth century BCE, and he sent a message to Sparta asking if he should come as friend or enemy.

They replied, Neither.

Philip then sent the message, “If once I enter into your territories, I will destroy you all, never to rise again.”

The laconic reply: If.

Christians can also make daring use of this word, but it’s a different kind of daring. They conjure up the supernatural with an If.

  • If God exists, it makes not only a tremendous difference for mankind in general, but it could make a life-changing difference for you as well. —William Lane Craig
  • If Jesus rose from the grave, that’s the most important event in history. It proves Jesus is who He said He was, that Christianity is true, that you will be resurrected and brought before God to account for your crimes against Him. —Alan Shlemon

In Christians’ Alice-in-Wonderland logic, the premise is the conclusion. The quoted examples above simplify to “If God exists, then God exists.” The conclusion was buried in the premise all along. …

When I read, “If God exists,” it might as well say, “If magic exists” or “If unicorns exist.” Magic and unicorns don’t exist—at least, you’ve given us no reason to believe they do—so what follows must be hypothetical.

Who would’ve thought that one word could be so dangerous? …

crossexamined a-popular-blunderscream

American Torture


(Aeon Essays) – W. Fitzhugh Brundage:

For 400 years, Americans have argued that their violence is justified while the violence of others constitutes barbarism. …

aeon american-tortureW. Fitzhugh Brundage: Civilizing Torture - An American Tradition

22 Spitzer Space Telescope Pictures


(Starts With A Bang!) – Ethan Siegel:

One of NASA’s original great observatories, Spitzer showed us the infrared Universe as never before. …

starts-with-a-bang 22 spitzerRCW 86

Worshipping Gods of Death and Destruction


(Debunking Christianity) – John W. Loftus:

Now let’s be honest here.

What would convince Hindus who worship Lord Shiva that they are wrong? A billion of them were raised in their religious culture to believe, and a billion people cannot be wrong, right?! They have proof their prayers to Lord Shiva are answered, and they only count the hits rather than the misses?! They feel certain of their faith, which is due to some strong inner vibes of a personal experience of Lord Shiva himself.

Christians will say the content of their faith is different, and that’s true. But this doesn’t show their is faith true. It only shows their faith is different. The similarities are astounding and largely unacknowledged. Christians who worship Yahweh and Jesus are most likely raised in their Christian cultures, and in them a billion people cannot be wrong, right?! They too only count the hits rather than the misses, and they too feel certain of their faith due to strong inner vibes of a personal experience with their god. …

debunking-christianity worshippingHindu praying to Shiva

Normal Baby


(Keep Calm and Muslim On) – Mya Gosling & Sarah Anjum:

I found this list of rules in our son’s room.” …

keepcalmandmuslimon normal-babyMya Gosling & Sarah Anjum: Normal Baby

Our House is on Fire


(Guardian::Environment) – Malena Ernman:

A new book by Greta Thunberg’s mother reveals the reality of family life during her daughter’s transformation from bullied teenager to climate icon. …

theguardian our-house-is-on-fireMalena and Beata Ernman, Svante and Greta Thunberg: Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis

Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw


(Atlantic Tech) – Zeynep Tüfekçi:

China’s use of surveillance and censorship makes it harder for Xi Jinping to know what’s going on in his own country. …

theatlantic blindness-authoritarianismBig Brother Xi

The Greater Insult


(YouTube) – DarkMatter2525:

Even though I’m a nonbeliever, would I be scared to learn that God really does exist? No. Far from it. The belief that God desires praise, worship, and violent retribution, comes from a lack of understanding about what it’s like to be an enlightened being. It is ignorance projecting ignorance.

The theist view of God is actually far more insulting than the atheist view. It is commonly held that the atheist is the offensive one, that the nonbeliever must walk on eggshells, and be considerate of the beliefs of others. That seems backwards to me. What if there is a god and that god is offended at the thought of people believing he desires worship and praise, demands it even, for eternity – like some petty narcissist? What if that god is disappointed in those who expected him to torture their enemies? What if the believers and the nonbelievers are made to face their creator, and it is the believers who must answer for their offensive beliefs? Even if that’s the case, I don’t think any of us would have anything to worry about, believer and nonbeliever alike, because any mind capable of creating this universe would be enlightened to the point of being beyond such petty concerns. …

youtube ttevamkS6gwDarkMatter2525: The Greater Insult