All that is wrong with the world…

May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day – Part Two

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.. — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 11:09 pm

So, part two of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Since the day was announced there have certainly been some interesting reactions, most notably with Pakistan banning access to Facebook. So far their does not seem to have been any large impact, and outside of a few news stories about people being offended and trying to shutdown the day, it has been uneventful. It will be interesting to see if the day is larger next year, if censorship continues or gets worse and enough people care to make a stand.

Many more prominent sites than my blog have run the story and shown their support as well as showcasing user contributions depticing Mohammed. The Comics Alliance website has a good writeup with many interesting depictions. Reason ran a competition and has shown the winner and runner ups, all of which make interesting statements instead of just depicting Mohammed for the sake of it. Cartoonist Mark Fiore dedicated his daily animation to the cause. Lastly, the CACAH protest blog has many submissions, although as a warning many may be considered offensive. The Comics Alliance and Reason sites also have very well written articles about the importance of the event which are worth reading.

One thing I don’t understand is the amount of people speaking out against the day seeing it as nothing more than just beeing needlessly offensive. I have to wonder just what is wrong with these people, and why they have such an inability to grasp what EDMD is actually about, and why it is important.

In any case, below is my contribution. I used the Simpsons character creator to create a depiction of Mohammed. Lacking any artistic skill myself and seeing all the attention the South Park depiction of Mohammed got, I thought it would be nice to see a Simpsons style depiction. As I wrote in part one, my goal is not to needlesly offend peoples beliefs but to stand a right to free speech.

Presenting Mohammed:

May 13, 2010

Why naturalistic pantheism is a crock

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.. — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 3:00 am

Note: Throughout history many similar yet different philosophies and beliefs have been referred to as naturalistic pantheism. I am specifically talking about the beliefs described by the World Pantheism Movement website and that many people are starting to identify as subscribing to.

Naturalistic Pantheism, also called Scientific Pantheism is a particular set of beliefs, which some people may refer to as a religion or life philosophy. Naturalistic Pantheism eschews all traditional religions and their dogma without having any of it’s own. It claims not to have any core beliefs and to be open to and accept scientific evidence and proof while at the same time having a ‘reverence’ for the universe and all existence.

It seems that Naturalistic Pantheism is the choice of educated and perhaps intelligent people who are smart enough to acknowledge that all the current organized religions are absurd, yet still have some sort of need for a spiritual aspect to their lives. If you eliminate all the spiritual aspects of god or worship from naturalistic pantheism then all that remains is the base scientific knowledge and fact. In what possible way is this so insufficient that some people need to re-imagine the universe as a kind of entity? If I can have a deep wonder and respect for the universe without having to do so, surely others can as well? I understand that people have different ways of coping or looking at the world but this is just ridiculous.

It is pointless to ascribe fantasy to the world to make it more appealing. I really have to wonder about the people who feel this is necessary and their general coping skills. Empirical evidence is really all that matters. Anything outside of that is speculation which while interesting should not be enough to base your life around.

Richard Dawkins who famously attacked religion and the concept of a personal god in The God Delusion shares the same basic idea. He mentions many times in TGD that surely the universe is amazing enough, and that it should be enough that we appreciate the beauty of what exists without having to ascribe a fictional creator as being responsible. Naturalistic pantheism would seem to share this view except for the unnecessary aspects of spirituality and reverence.

I would think that Richard Dawkins would be fundamentally opposed to the concept of naturalistic pantheism. Why? Because it is disingenuous. Rather than have a reverence for existence as we understand it to be as science has revealed it to be, naturalistic pantheism paraphrases and reinterprets our current understanding to ascribe a higher meaning. Something that does not exist accept in peoples imaginations and should therefore be dismissed.

It seems that as many organized religions decline in popularity alternative spirituality’s are increasing in popularity. Nonsense such as Neo-paganism, astrology, even magic and now naturalistic pantheism are on the rise. People are starting to understand that the dogma of organized religions is nonsensical and so are looking for crutch to fill their need. Enter the above spirituality’s which are appealing since they don’t directly contradict science. If people have a need to believe in something that isn’t there is no stopping them. Perhaps in a few hundred years when organized religion is largely defunct, instead of it being gone altogether it will have just been replaced by something less fantastic but equally absurd.

I think this is an interesting time in humanities history. Until recently religious people have dominated society. It is only in the last few decades that people are choosing to think for themselves and realizing that most religions simply don’t make any sense. The people who cannot entirely accept scientific evidence and findings and need to place their own unsubstantiated ideas and beliefs on top of them represent the last of a dying breed. These people will probably always be around as part of the diversity of humans in general, but eventually they will be an extreme minority deprived of any credibility.

At the end of the day it is generally impossible to have strong religious beliefs and accept the current scientific knowledge without making significant compromises. abstracting your religion to the point it is practically indistinguishable from the normal workings of the universe is not enlightened, but a crock.

For more information:

May 10, 2010

Racial drama on the subway in NYC

Filed under: Issues...the world...etc.. — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 7:57 pm

So late Saturday night I was coming home from a night out in NYC and witnessed a fight break out on the subway. I didn’t see the start but apparently an Indian guy called a black girl a nigger. If it was just out of the blue or provoked or what, I don’t know. Now I understand how offensive an insult that is and that it simply should not be considered acceptable in modern society, but that does not justify the behavior that followed.

The girl who was insulted started yelling very loudly, over and over that “I ain’t no nigga”, “you wanna see a nigga I’m gonna show you what a nigga do” and similar phrases. This drew everyone’s attention to the situation and made people angry and think lowly of the girl who was originally insulted. It started with her and her friend trying to physically assault the guy, following him when he moved away to sit down, spitting on him and various other attacks. Throughout all of this the guy was not provoking her and just trying to move away and end the confrontation.

As offensive as that insults may be acting in such a fashion only makes things worse. Acting so gives the original person who said it and people who may use it in the future ammunition. Even people who would never use the word will now be looking at the victim as the offender, rather than the offended. As hard as it may be to simply ignore such an insult, it is the correct action to take. There were several other black people on the train who surely would have found the insult just as insulting, yet instead of taking any violent action against the offender or making a spectacle of himself they chose to ignore him.

The night ended with most people having forgotten the original person who said the insult if they saw it at all, with most people seeing this black girl saying the word nigger over and over and acting violently against this Indian guy. This went on for about 5 stops until she reached her stop, where she had to be escorted away by police as she was preventing the train from going. The point is that it is better to ignore such insults. Acting below the common standard of decency only gives such words more power, and empowers the people who use them. As hard as it may be, ignoring such behavior is the correct approach. People who use such words are generally below the people they insult and thus don’t deserve the benefit of acknowledgment.