In The God Debate, Christopher Hitchens obliterates Dinesh D’Souza. Hitchens rhethorical skills always impress me.
We have people who think you should throw battery acid in the faces of little girls for trying to learn to read in Afghanistan, so clearly, there are real world correlates of that kind of thinking, that kind of orientation. And it’s not our job to not judge it and say, well, to each his own everyone has to work out their own strategy for human fulfillment, it’s just not true. There are people who are wrong about human fulfillment.
Eloquent as always. A tough argument summed up so that anyone can understand it.
January 1st, a brand new blasphemy law takes into effect in Ireland, in which it’s now criminal with fines up to 25.000 euros for:
publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted
In response to this Orwellian feat, a group of Irish atheists have gathered 25 blasphemous quotes to challenge the law, including:
Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.
— Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979.
An absolutely interesting video debate on the topic: “Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world?”. Needless to say, Hitchens and Fry deliciously and absolutely crush their opponents.
While every government is busy buying up bad dept and obsolete car companies and every company is busy firing people (out of a cannon, into the sun), it may be hard to see what there is to look forward to in 2009. But there is stuff. Good stuff. Here’s my top 7.
- January 20th, in just a few weeks, George W. Bush leaves office and Barack Obama takes the helm. It will be a pleasure to follow him try and undo the damage done.
- Lost will be returning. So will Fringe.
- There’s a new Star Trek movie coming, which for once has me excited. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that it features the Lost/Fringe team, not to mention Leonard Nimoy as Spock.
- Housing prices may enter an area where people other than those who think Cristal is a good champagne can afford one.
- Having hopefully learned from the last three decades of eco-disaster, I’m getting distinct vibes of a budding green revolution. While gasoline prices have dropped, only the dimwitted believe those prices will persist. Instead, in attempts to create jobs, reduce dependance on oil and lower prices on heating, there’s a chance we may see governments that focus on clean energy technologies. Bring on the super-batteries and hydrogen cars.
- There’s a chance the war in Iraq will wind down as troops are moved towards home or Afghanistan.
- Atheism will be a growing topic of discussion due to the continued efforts of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Pat Condell and now also Bill Maher. On that topic, it’ll be Charles Darwins 200th birthday. Perhaps people will finally learn what the word theory entails. I’m not holding my breath, though.
What are you looking forward to?
Come the Rapture, the true believers will ascend to the heavens and us godless creatures will be left behind. If you believe that, you might want to apply for the services of You’ve Been Left Behind. The service, which is subscription based, lets the true believers store personal messages to the friends they do not expect will ascend along with themselves:
Our purpose is to get one last message to the lost, at a time, when they might just be willing to hear it for the first and last time.
Messages sent out 6 days after the rapture.
Interesting stuff: Francis Galton studied the efficacy of prayer a while back. Apparently, priests (whom must pray a lot), statistically do not live longer than those who do not converse with the air. Taking the stairs, on the other hand, does make a difference. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? No it doesn’t.