Archive for September, 2007

My Favorite Verses

Apparently they didn’t get the message.

Matthew 6:1-8

Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Satan’s Greatest Feat

Because I’m always up for prodding bumbling religious banalities, I offer up the following scenario.

Suppose that both God and Satan exist. Further, suppose that the Jewish messianic prophecies of the Old Testament are true. Now suppose that you are Satan, the Lord of Lies, a deceitful, powerful, sweet-talking, and maniacal interloper. Suppose that your primary objective is to direct human beings away from worshiping God and to thwart the messianic prophecy if you can. How would you do it?

If it were me, I’d get the mortals to worship some false god with such a passion, with such a blind and unheeding faith, that even if the true messiah were to arrive, he’d be quashed and mocked and forgotten.

Human beings, being corrupt and sinful, naturally fall prey to my deviant and circumspect whisperings. They start to believe that a particular man is blessed by god. He turns their water into wine. He heals their superficial wounds. He raises their dead. He raises himself from the dead. Oh, how easy it was to convince them of his deity! All you must do is appeal to their fear of death, get them to think that if they worship this man who calls himself a god, as a god, that he will cure their fatality, allow them to live forever and ever. Silly, selfish fools, all of them. And now they think that a man, a man who was born out of a woman’s vagina, a man who is composed of cells and hair and sweat, a man who eats and defecates and slobbers, a man who gets tired and aroused and angry, a man who stumbles over cracks in the street.. they think this man is a God.

Annnnnd, scene.

So what’s the point of all this? Ah, it’s pretty simple. Just look how ridiculously easy it was to construct a mythology which completely contradicts a popular religious account of the world. I even used some of their own premises and assumptions. So I pose this question to Christians, to whom this scenario was obviously aimed: How do you know that my account isn’t the truth? How do you know that the god you worship isn’t a malevolent one, that he didn’t manipulate your ancestors into believing in him, that he didn’t manipulate those fables which make up the core of your world view into existence? Is it not feasible?

I look forward to your responses.

I’m Back!

Oh, was I away?

Cool Stuff I’m Too Lazy to Write About

Tetration

Ackermann function

Have fun.

Eat It, New Jersey

From here:

Maryland is now the wealthiest state in the union, as measured by median household income, according to the latest stats from the Census Bureau. The typical Maryland household earned $65,144 in 2006, propelling it past New Jersey, which came in second with earnings of $64,470, but had led the nation in 2005.

Doesn’t surprise me. The amount of government and military people in Maryland is staggering. The reason we’re so rich here is that all your federal tax money goes to paying us. It’s okay, we like that. That’s why Virginia’s in the top ten too, I’d imagine.