Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

Archive for November 2010

A Ban On Atheist Advertisement?

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I’m all for it. In fact, ban all  public advertisement. I want the right to walk out the door and not being told by giant billboards everywhere what I have to buy, whom I have to vote for, and what I have to think.

It is one thing to be offering “product information” on the airwaves, where it is my free decision to access or ignore it. Nobody is forcing me to watch TV – and if I do, I’ll accept the commercials as a collateral, knowing stations have to finance their programme somehow.

It is a different matter altogether to shove your ads in my fucking face, every single day, on my way to work.
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Written by Phil

November 28, 2010 at 17:57

A Call For A Black Christmas

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It’s christmas season, the season of love, family, blankets, hot water bottles and endless amounts of cookies. And above all, the season of blind consumerism and enormous waste.
Also, it’s the season in which people all over the westernized world quadruple their electricity bills so they can display a little plastic Santa Claus mechanically climbing up and down their fully lit house front, in order to win a petty little contest to confirm that they wasted more money on decor and electricity than anybody else in their neighborhood. Awesome.

Picture by Wikimedia Commons

Here’s my proposal: Don’t participate. Have an XMas-tree in your livingroom if you must, but stop lighting up your house like you want it to be seen from outer space. Instead, use the fest of love to do something good this year:

  • Don’t buy plastic-decor
  • Waste less energy
  • Think of those less privileged, and
  • Donate to charity (A list with recommendations will follow shortly)

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Much Ado About Nothing

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My local catholics are playing dress-up again, walking the streets chanting and carrying candles. I left my window open for just a minute too long, and now my whole fucking room stinks of fucking incense. I am seething. Just what gives them the right to rub their silly rituals in my face like that?
If I’d run through public streets at this hour being as loud and producing as much smell, I’d be arrested within minutes. From noise pollution to disturbance of public peace, scandalization and what-not, I’d be charged with a variety of stuff and it’d end up being a very expensive prank. Plus, if I was wearing as silly a costume and a funny hat while annoying the shit out of people for no reason, I’d probably be put straight into the mental ward. And rightfully so, because that is where people who engage in this kind of activity belong. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

November 14, 2010 at 19:34

On ‘Darwinism’

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I am not a ‘Darwinist’, and you aren’t, either. Period. First of all, the fact of Evolution by Natural Selection ought not to get too tied up to the person of Charles Darwin. Calling yourself a Darwinist implies a reverence of the person, rather than acknowledgement of the hard evidence in support of his theory. As much as Darwin is rightfully admired for one of the most important discoveries in the history of science, his person as such is completely irrelevant for the validity of the theory.

More important though is the use of the suffix -ism: It is nothing but creationist propaganda. -isms are worldviews, matters of opinion. Evolution by Natural Selection is not. Creationists started to call scientists who dared to point out the silliness of their beliefs ‘Darwinists’, in order to imply that they were a bunch of people sharing a common belief (as opposed to a bunch of people acknowledging the facts), people who have an agenda, people who probably have a evil conspiracy running to rid the schools of god. Because they hate god, those Darwinist do. Or so organizations like the Discovery Institute keep telling me.
It goes without saying that the same holds true for ‘Evolutionism’. You wouldn’t call yourself a ‘Newtonist’ or a ‘Gravitist’ just because you acknowledge the general explanation for why things are falling down. Even if Intelligent Falling were a serious movement rather than a (brilliant) parody, calling yourself a ‘Newtonist’ to show your opposition to it is destructive to your cause. Falsely calling scientific facts -isms is useless at best, but passing fact for opinion and acknowledging a controversy where there really is none at worst. Please don’t do that.

The ID-crowd should be viewed as the bunch of loonies they are, and safely be ignored. If you must address the ‘controversy’ at all, please don’t use terms that they made up. Taking them seriously can only leave the impression that their views actually have substance, which is simply not the case.

Vegetarianism: Older Than Christianity

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I get tired of people telling me that vegetarianism is just a fad, a passing trend. Here is one of the latest additions to my collection of quotes, from the writings of the greek philosopher Plutarch (46 – 120 AD):

Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? […] It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.

So yes, there already were vegetarians over 2500 years ago. Well known and ancient history even when Plutarch put these lines onto paper, phrasing quite eloquently one of the main reasons for which I abstain from eating flesh: The very idea of feeding on the carcasses of others simply disgusts me.

Written by Phil

November 4, 2010 at 22:43

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