Saturday, March 31, 2007

I don't believe in agnostics

An atheist is a person without a belief in any god. It doesn't matter why you don't believe in God. If you have carefully and rationally examined the evidence, found none for a god, and therefore you don't believe, you are not "more atheist" than some kid who is angry because his first girlfriend dumped him and decided God doesn't exist. There is one and only one criteria for being an atheist: you don't believe.

This is why I don't believe in agnostics.

Oh, I believe that there are agnostic people out there; the problem is, they are also either believers or atheists. It is simply impossible to be between belief and non-belief. Most agnostics are atheists who are afraid to admit it.

All of those people who say, "I don't know" or "I don't care" or "I don't think we can know" don't believe in God. They are atheists. That they don't believe because they haven't made up their mind, or don't think there is a way to prove it, is irrelevant, because the only criteria for being an atheist is that you don't believe. These people calling themselves agnostic does a fine job of telling us why they don't believe in God, but it doesn't make them somehow in a middle ground where they neither believe nor disbelieve. If they say they neither believe nor disbelieve, they still don't believe. That's covered in the neither part — that they followed it up with "nor disbelief" doesn't change that. Not actively disbelieving in God doesn't mean they don't still passively lack belief in him.

And I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of people who do believe are agnostic, too. I've heard a million times Christians saying something to the effect of "well, I really don't know, but believing makes me feel better" or "there's really no telling, but for me, believing feels right." These people are all agnostics, too. Most people are agnostics, when you get down to it, making the term so all-encompassing as to not have a whole lot of value unless you're specifically having a conversation about the topic of how and why people believe.

Agnosticism doesn't have anything to do with belief. It has to do with the limits of knowledge. There are agnostic atheists and agnostic believers all over the place, but there are no just-plain-agnostics.

posted without comment: drugs

Friday, March 30, 2007

where you at?

I started The Red Scare, rather than maintaining my eponymous blog, for two major reasons: having a blog named after yourself when you're a nobody is pretty lame, and I'm actually in a field where there is the potential for literal public outcry leading to me being fired if the wrong people knew what I was interested in and my views. It's happened before. So my goal at The Red Scare is to not have this blog linked to my real name.

I don't care if you know my real name. Ask me and I'll be more than happy to tell you. I just don't want this to come up when somebody googles me. This is actually somewhat unfortunate, as in all truth I want people to know what I think and who's thinking it. But that's a risk that I can't take right now. More or less dismantling the entire fabric of society is an unpopular opinion.

For many reasons I wish the world were a different place. I wish we lived in a world where diversity of opinion was a good thing. I wish we lived in a world where nobody cared what you did when you left the workplace as long as you did the work well while you were at it. But we don't, and I think I have to hide from the world we do live in.

At least when it comes to blogging.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

vagina will kill you!

At least that's what Roberto Gonzales seems to think. Apparently, for US attorneys going after consenting adults fucking on camera is more important that, you know, child pornography or terrorism — and if you don't agree, you can get fired for it. That's why Gonzales put darling of the Christian right Burt Ward — who once tried to make nude art models wear bikinis — in charge of waging the War on Porn. And that's why Ward recommended at least one two of the Gonzales Eight be fired.

There are some disturbing facets of the mainstream porn industry, but the part where some people fuck and other people watch isn't one of them. Sex is not obscene, it's beautiful.

Monday, March 26, 2007

turtle power

I was born in 1980, which means pretty much by default that I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a boy. I had a hell of a lot of their toys, at least. Technodrome. Pizza-shooting something or the other. Obscure mutants. Krang. I even had a ridiculous videotape of the Ninja Turtles musical. Anybody else remember that?

Now, two decades later, TMNT is actually the number one movie in America. And yet I have not even the slightest nostalgia-driven urge to see it. I think I always wanted to see a CGI Ninja Turtles movie, but somehow I thought that when it happened it would be different. I think I actually expected, and I can't believe I'm about to type this, a serious Ninja Turtles movie, a reboot faithful to the darker original comic books. Like, an R-rated Ninja Turtles movie.

What was I smoking when I came up with that one?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

high hopes and expectations

Jesus, has it been two months?

I don't know what to say. I didn't mean to do it, I swear. Promise, even. I have been so lazy, blog-wise, in the last year or so... it comes in spurts. So I have to say, once again, that I am back, and I intend to keep it up this time. My goal is at least one minor post a day, and at least one major post a week. I say this now so that you can laugh at me when I fail.