Thursday, January 24, 2008

Top Fifty Atheist T-Shirts

Scienceblogs (via Metasurfing) gives us this list of the top 50 Atheist t-shirts

Top Fifty Atheist T-Shirt and Bumper Sticker Aphorisms

  1. Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers

  2. Honk If Your Religious Beliefs Make You An Asshole

  3. Intelligent Design Makes My Monkey Cry

  4. Too Stupid to Understand Science? Try Religion.

  5. There's A REASON Why Atheists Don't Fly Planes Into Buildings

  6. "Worship Me or I Will Torture You Forever. Have a Nice Day."­ God.

  7. God Doesn't Kill People. People Who Believe in God Kill People.

  8. If There is No God, Then What Makes the Next Kleenex Pop Up?

  9. He's Dead.
    It's Been 2,000 years.
    He's Not Coming Back.
    Get OVER It Already!

  10. All religion is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.  -Edgar Allen Poe.

  11. Viva La Evolución!

  12. Actually, If You Look It Up, The Winter Solstice Is The Reason For The Season

  13. I Wouldn't Trust Your God Even If He Did Exist

  14. Cheeses Is Lard. Argue With THAT If You Can.

  15. People Who Don't Want Their Beliefs Laughed at Shouldn't Have Such Funny Beliefs

  16.   Jesus is Coming? Don't Swallow That.

  17. Threatening Children With Hell Is FUN!

  18. GOD - APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD!

  19. Jesus Told Me Republicans SUCK

  20. God + Whacky Tobacky = Platypus

  21. God Doesn't Exist. So, I Guess That Means No One Loves You.

  22. When the Rapture Comes, We'll Get Our Country Back!

  23. Q. How Do We Know the Holy Ghost Was Catholic?
    A. He Used the Rhythm Method Instead of a Condom.

  24. You Say "Heretic" Like It Was a BAD Thing

  25. I Love Christians. They Taste Like Chicken.

  26. Science: It Works, Bitches.

  27. "Intelligent Design"  Helping Stupid People Feel Smart Since 1987

  28. I Found God Between The Sheets

  29. I Gave Up Superstitious Mumbo Jumbo For Lent

  30. My Flying Monkey Can Beat Up Your Guardian Angel

  31. Every Time You Play With Yourself, God Kills a Kitten

  32. If God Wanted People to Believe in Him, Then Why Did He Invent Logic?

  33. Praying Is Politically Correct Schizophrenia

  34. ALL Americans Are African Americans

  35. I Forget - Which Day Did God Make All The Fossils?

  36. I Was An Atheist Until The Hindus Convinced Me That I Was God

  37. The Spanish Inquisition: The Original Faith-based Initiative

  38. If we were made in his image, when why aren't humans invisible too?

  39. JESUS SAVES....You From Thinking For Yourself

  40. How Can You Disbelieve in Evolution If You Can't Even Define It?

  41. Q. How Can You Tell That Your God is Man-made?
    A. If He Hates All the Same People You Do.

  42. Every Time You See a Rainbow, God is Having Gay Sex

  43. I Went to Public School in Kansas and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt and a Poor Understanding of the Scientific Method.

  44. WWJD = We Won. Jesus Died.

  45. The Family That Prays Together is Brainwashing the Children

  46. Oh, Look, Honey Another Pro-lifer For War

  47. Another Godless Atheist for Peace and World Harmony

  48. God is Unavailable Right Now. Can I Help You?

  49. When Lip Service to Some Mysterious Deity Permits Bestiality on
    Wednesday and Absolution on Sundays, Cash Me Out.  Frank Sinatra.

  50. No Gods. No Mullets.


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Posted at 11:28 PM in Humor, Philosophy, Religion, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Maintain Your Brain

Good advice:

1. Learn what is the "It" in "Use It or Lose It".

A basic understanding will serve you well to appreciate your brain's beauty as a living and constantly-developing dense forest with billions of neurons and synapses.

2. Take care of your nutrition.

Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but consumes over 20% of the oxygen and nutrients we intake? As a general rule, you don't need expensive ultra-sophisticated nutritional supplements, just make sure you don't stuff yourself with the "bad stuff".

3. Remember that the brain is part of the body.

Things that exercise your body can also help sharpen your brain: physical exercise enhances neurogenesis.

4. Practice positive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mindset and you look forward to every new day in a constructive way.

Stress and anxiety, no matter whether induced by external events or by your own thoughts, actually kills neurons and prevents the creation of new ones. You can think of chronic stress as the opposite of exercise: it prevents the creation of new neurons.

5. Thrive on Learning and Mental Challenges.

The point of having a brain is precisely to learn and to adapt to challenging new environments. Once new neurons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they survive depends on how you use them. "Use It or Lose It" does not mean "do crossword puzzle number 1,234,567". It means, "challenge your brain often with fundamentally new activities."

6. We are (as far as we know) the only self-directed organisms in this planet.

Aim high. Once you graduate from college, keep learning. The brain keeps developing, no matter your age, and it reflects what you do with it.

7. Explore, travel.

Adapting to new locations forces you to pay more attention to your environment. Make new decisions, use your brain.

8. Don't Outsource Your Brain.

Not to media personalities, not to politicians, not to your smart neighbor, not to this blogger... Make your own decisions, and mistakes. And learn from them. That way, you are training your brain, not your neighbor's.

9. Develop and maintain stimulating friendships.

We are "social animals", and need social interaction. Which, by the way, is why the Baby Einstein series has been shown not to be the panacea for children development.

10. Laugh. Often.

Especially to cognitively complex humor, full of twists and surprises. Better, try to become the next Jon Stewart, and create your own unique humor.

Source:
10 Habits of Highly Effective Brains
ALVARO FERNANDEZ
December 18, 2007 | 03:47 PM (EST)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alvaro-fernandez/10-habits-of-highly-effec_b_77369.html

Posted at 06:06 AM in Philosophy, Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Six Ways Men Can Make Their Marriages Much Happier

Scott Haltzman, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, Providence, on how Married Men can improve their marriages:

1. Treat your wife like a business client. Many men say they don't know what's expected of them in romantic relationships -- yet the same men know what to do in business relationships. The two aren't as different as you might think. If a client made you unhappy, you wouldn't fight with him/her. Instead, you would try to smooth things out. if this client made a crucial error, you would not criticize him -- you would try to help him recover. Overall, you would try to understand who your client is, what his goals are and how you can help him succeed.

2. Forget the golden rule. When we treat our wives as we would like to be treated, we ignore the fact that our wives are quite different from us. Forget whatever you think you know about what makes people happy, and observe your wife for a while. What does she really appreciate? What are her deepest interests and goals? Stop doing things that you would appreciate if someone did them for you and start doing things she will appreciate.

3. Do more than say "I'm sorry."  According to research by the Gottman Institute, a Seattle-based couples therapy organization, marriage tend to be happy when the spouses -- wives as well as husbands -- interact with each other in a positive manner at least five times as often as they interact in a negative manner. Positive interactions might include paying her compliments, saying, "Thank you" or "I love you," offering to do something for her, holding her hand or paying attention to her.

4. Master the makeup. The happiness of your marriage is not determined by whether you fight -- all couples do. It's determined by how well you patch things up afterward. Wait until you cool down -- that typically takes about 20 minutes -- then make a peace offering. Bring her a cup of tea ...say you're sorry you argues ...or tell her that you love her. Such gestures generally help couples get past the fight fast and back to the happy marriage.

5. See your wife's opinion. Wives often feel that they don't have an equal voice in the decision-making. As far as most husbands are concerned, the issue isn't who is making the decisions, but whether the correct decisions are being made.

6. Do some cleaning. Most wives think their husbands should help more with housework. Many husbands think they do so much work around the yard and with the car that housework isn't their responsibility. To make your wife really happy, figure out which household task is her least favorite and do it without being asked.

Source:
Six Ways Men Can Make Their Marriages Much Happier
Scott Haltzman, MD
Brown University
http://www.earlyentrancefoundation.org/peep/articles/2007/happiermarriage.html

Posted at 06:37 AM in Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, November 19, 2007

Woody Allen Quotes

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it.

His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy.

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?

I am at two with nature.

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying.

I tended to place my wife under a pedestal.

I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.

I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.

If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.

Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought-- particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.

It is impossible to experience one's death objectively and still carry a tune.

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.

It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.

Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.

My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.

Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.

On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.

Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.

Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness.

The government is unresponsive to the needs of the little man. Under 5'7", it is impossible to get your congressman on the phone.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?

Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.

To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.

Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?

You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.

What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream? Or what's worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row Without Feathers (1976)

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
--Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

Death doesn't really worry me that much, I'm not frightened about it... I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Woody Allen, The Standup Years

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep.
Without Feathers (1976)

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Without Feathers (1976)

Posted at 06:49 AM in Books, Humor, Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mafia 10 Commandments

Mafia_10




Hat tip kottke

Source:
Mafia's 'Ten Commandments' found   
BBC, Friday, 9 November 2007, 11:06 GMT
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7086716.stm

Posted at 02:19 PM in Current Affairs, Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Fuck Like a Girl

Great T-Shirt:

Shirt


http://www.mightygirl.net/iflag.html

Posted at 06:34 AM in Art & Design, Humor, Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dove Onslaught

Dove warns parents about their own industry

Posted at 06:29 AM in Current Affairs, Media, Philosophy, Television | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Stuff of Thought

I'm always attracted to books that give insight into the investor's mind.

The newest outing from Harvard prof Steven Pinker looks to be just that sort of book: “The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature” explores human cognition:

“The Stuff of Thought” explores the duality of human cognition: the modesty of its construction and the majesty of its constructive power. Pinker weaves this paradox from a series of opposing theories. Philosophical realists, for instance, think perception comes from reality. Idealists think it’s all in our heads. Pinker says it comes from reality but is organized and reorganized by the mind. That’s why you can look at the same thing in different ways.

Then there’s the clash between ancient and modern science. Aristotle thought projectiles continued through space because a force propelled them. He thought they eventually fell because Earth was their natural home. Modern science rejects both ideas. Pinker says Aristotle was right, not about projectiles but about how we understand them. We think in terms of force and purpose because our minds evolved in a biological world of force and purpose, not in an abstract world of vacuums and multiple gravities. Aristotle’s bad physics was actually good psychology.

How can we be sure the mind works this way? By studying its chief manifestation: language. Variations among verbs reflect our distinctions among physical processes. Nuances among nouns illustrate the alternate interpretations built into our most basic perceptions."

-from the NYTimes review

Fascinating concept, completely applicable to the Bull/Bear debate.

A great video of Steven Pinker at TED is below:


“The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature”

Posted at 06:34 AM in Books, Philosophy, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 20, 2007

US Founders on Religon & the Constitution

"Most Americans believe the nation's founders wrote Christianity into the Constitution, and people are less likely to say freedom to worship covers religious groups they consider extreme, a poll out today finds.

The survey measuring attitudes toward freedom of religion, speech and the press found that 55% believe erroneously that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. In the survey, which is conducted annually by the First Amendment Center, a non-partisan educational group, three out of four people who identify themselves as evangelical or Republican believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. About half of Democrats and independents do."


Only 56% agree that freedom of religion applies to all groups "regardless of how extreme their beliefs are." That's down from 72% in 2000. More than one in four say constitutional protection of religion does not apply to "extreme" groups.

Support for constitutional freedoms has rebounded from a low the year after 9/11, when 49% said the First Amendment "goes too far in the rights it guarantees." Now, 25% agree."

The entire USA Today article can be found here
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-11-amendment_N.htm

The full poll results can be found here:
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=19031

~~~

In contrast to what many inadequately educated Americans today think, consider what many of the nation's best-known founders actually DID say about Religion, and our "Christian Nation:"

It's useful to have the facts handy when talking to anybody who believes such things.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

  --Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of the Bey of Tripoli of Barbary,'Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.'

"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event  as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses."

  --John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88)

Thomas Jefferson had this written on his tombstone:

                         HERE WAS BURIED
                        THOMAS JEFFERSON
                          AUTHOR OF THE
                           DECLARATION
                    OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
                             OF THE
                       STATUTE OF VIRGINIA
                               FOR
                        RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
                        AND FATHER OF THE
                     UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
                     BORN APRIL 2, 1743 O.S.
                        DIED JULY 4. 1826

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."

  --Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, re Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom


Here's the text of the U.S. Constitution in a variety of handy formats

It never mentions God or deity.

It mentions religion only twice, in Article VI clause 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

And in the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

The founders meant what they wrote.

~~~
George Washington, 1st President (1789-1797)
  "... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ..."
Source: The "Treaty of Tripoli," negotiated and signed by the First President of the United States, on November 4, 1796

John Adams, 2nd President (1797-1801)
  "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it.
Source: A letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 15, 1817

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President (1801-1809)
  "Christianity ... (has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...  Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers ..."
Source: Six Historic Americans, by John E. Remsberg

James Madison, 4th President (1809-1817), often called the Father of the Constitution:
  "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
Source: Letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

Benjamin Franklin:
  "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible.  Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
Source: "Toward the Mystery"

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):
  "I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to
that book (the Bible)."
The Age of Reason, Part 1, Section 5

Thomas Jefferson:
  "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.  He is always in alliance with the despot ..."
Source: Thomas Jefferson letter to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814.  ME 14:119

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):
  "The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion."
From The Age of Reason

And not as founders of the USA, but similarly well-known:

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865):
  "The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
Sources: Salvation for Sale, Gerard Thomas Straub; also quoted by Joseph Lewis

And for Southerners, although not a founder of the United States, but as a leader in the brief-lived Confederacy:
Robert E. Lee, in a Letter to President Pierce:
"...Is it not strange that the descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic to preserve their own freedom have always proved the most intolerant of the spiritual liberty of others?"

Oh, and by the way, of the activities that the Bible's Ten Commandments prohibit, throughout the history of the USA, its secular laws enacted by those founders and all of their successors, prohibit only two as crimes.  (VI and VII)

===

And this, from one of my former high school students who's now a shrink <grin>:

"If you talk to God, it's religion. But is God talks to you, it's schizophrenia." -- James Latham

Posted at 06:54 AM in Philosophy, Politics, Religion | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Take Time

Take time to learn,
    It is a sign of greatness.
Take time to think,
    It is a source of power.
Take time to plan,
    It is the first step to fulfillment.
Take time to work,
    It is the price of success.
Take time to dream,
    It is the fountain of achievement.
Take time to act,
    It is an expression of belief in oneself.
Take time to give,
    It is a symbol of maturity.
Take time to smile,
    It is the window of the soul.
Take time to love,
    It is a gift of God.   

-Floyd Brown

Posted at 07:07 AM in Philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack