Awesome, thought-provoking questions? Sure thing.

Q: Awesome, thought-provoking questions? Sure thing. This is something that’s been bothering me for a while. Why do you think members of Abrahamic faiths seem so wont to hate eachother? All Abrahamic holy books have violence. Why argue over the less violent?

I saved this one for last, even though it was first.

I wouldn’t point out Abrahamic faiths as having a corner on the market of hate — cooperative violence towards others is so widespread as to be considered a basic human tendency, a trait that was selected for over and over for many millennia, as it tended to yield the most survivors. Social groups that were able to band together and oppose other groups would succeed if they were more ruthless, bloodthirsty, and willing to do whatever it took to win, to survive. Since cooperation is an important aspect of this behavior, it’s probably the rather brutal nature of the environment in which early hominids existed that also reinforced the violent tendencies. Being hairless apes with more brains than brawn, the main advantage they had was the ability to channel their aggressive, self-preserving behavior into focused, vicious, remorseless acts of violence.

Dunbar’s number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number) comes into play here — the limits on social group size heavily influenced our ancestors, and when it came time to manage or control larger groups, the individuals who tended to be selected (or self-selected) to be in power were by nature the most aggressive in the group, those willing to do whatever it took to gain power — so their tendencies towards suspicion of others and the use of violence to achieve an end had great influence over those they led. When we look at religions, we are looking at some of the first groups who exceeded this number, and it’s logical to assume that the atmosphere of hatred came from the shepherds rather than the sheep.

Also, consider the middle ages, when invader/conquerors ran roughshod over early civilizations, what did they do? Killed the men, raped the women — spread their aggressive DNA. To manage groups larger than the natural social groupings our limited brain size supports, it is necessary to employ powerful motivators, and fear and hatred are powerful, atavistic forces, which find a ready audience in our genetic makeup.

Just my theory, of course. But, wonderful question! And why have you not blogged? I still have your RSS feed in my Google home page, waiting … patiently.

go ahead, ask. it's (probably) ok.

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sheep

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I’ve looked over Jordan and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
With bright knives he releaseth my soul
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
He converteth me to lamb cutlets
For lo, he hath great power and great hunger
When cometh the day we lowly ones
Through quiet reflection and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we’ll make the bugger’s eyes water.

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you’re told
Get out of the road if you want to grow old.


i once wrote about this in my other blog, but it was with a totally different vibe than the one with which i post this here today. Emphasis added is mine.

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and so sometimes, i worry

It’s been less than a year since I’ve been “out” as an atheist, and I’m still feeling my way around the world with this new thing that might make people automatically hate me with white-hot fury, and I worry.

For instance: I make websites at my day job for a living, and for fun, and more and more often these days, in my spare time for an extra-good living. Up until now, I’ve basically been handed work by people I knew well, who knew of my work and who did not so much hire me, as ask me if I had time to work on something, so my marketing strategy up until this point has been saying “yes.”

But lately it’s gotten to be more than just that, people telling people who refer me to other people, and at this point it would be quite handy if I had, you know, a portfolio. I haven’t done very much freelancing that I can show off yet (and I don’t feel completely comfortable including sites I’ve done for my employer), but I rock at WordPress, and my other blog and this one are things I’m quite proud to have designed and built on the thematic framework. And if I send anyone to either place, there’s the very real risk that they’ll immediately change their opinion of me from “that web person so-and-so speaks so highly of” to “evil godless baby-jesus-hater” and rush off and hire some hack.

I comfort myself that I don’t really *need* the money, and that (theoretically) I wouldn’t want to work with someone who wouldn’t want to work with me for that reason, which is a pleasant enough attitude, and I suppose it’s one I should embrace with more enthusiasm than I am now. And when it comes right down to it, anyone who knows my main email address (hint: i’m dotlizard at pretty much everything, it’s not hard to stalk me at all) has enough information about me to discover my blatant godlessness, so what’s the problem here, exactly?

As it is, I’ve omitted the sites that directly reference the most blasphemous aspects of my web presence, and thrown in some random videos of fish for good measure at the thing that may become my portfolio site. Oddly enough, I included my Bad Teenage Poetry Written by a Grown-Ass Woman site, so go figure, eh?

I am a forty-nine year old woman with three children and two grandchildren, I should have learned more about how not to give a flying fart in a shitstorm about what people think of me, but then again I’ve never been quite this “out” before.

And so sometimes, I worry.

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far-right subversives: Frank Schaeffer was absolutely right.

I wish I could say the title says it all, but no, it doesn’t. It’s actually far worse than just Multiculturalism is Societal AIDS.

Paul put it this way, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” The idea that we are all the same and that all cultures are equal is folly. This “Cultural Marxism,” dressed up as “multiculturalism” has destroyed this nation. It is the AIDS virus of American society.

All societies and all beliefs are not equal and not all behavior is appropriate.

It goes on, and on, espousing the true Christian values of xenophobia, hatred, and intolerance:

Instead of guns and bombs the weapon Communism’s foot-soldiers have chosen to employ are words. Their stealth attack has come under the guise of tolerance, social justice, economic justice, peace, reproductive rights, sex education and safe sex, safe schools, inclusion, diversity, and sensitivity.

Permit me to say it again. Multiculturalism is the AIDS virus of America’s Christian culture. Let there be no mistake, America is a Christian culture despite what the homo-culturalists want you to believe.

And it goes on, celebrating the glories of unfairness and inequality. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, wealth and whiteness are next to godliness?

The educational syndicate values “fairness” above truth. Homosexuals deserve to marry because to deprive them of the “right” would not be “fair.” Having too much money would not be “fair” to the poor. Profiling “terrorists” would not be “fair.” Meanwhile, our “fairness” has cost the rest of us our liberty.

He then goes on to advocate leaving mainstream churches, isolating children at home and indoctrinating them.

I remember reading Frank Schaeffer’s post about far-right subversives and agreeing, but deep inside, thinking (hoping?) he was maybe overstating the case for effect.

He wasn’t.

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twenty ten

I wanted to write a great post about the unfortunate mandate American society has imposed on us all with the whole Santa Claus thing, how it’s worse than religion in that even the schools are in on the lie — until I realized it was much more complex than that, a whole mess of ethics vs. social pressure and that my viewing it as an “unfortunate mandate” was a measure of my ethical mettle (and as measures go, one that fell far short of the standards I wish to keep (but apparently don’t)). My excuse, if I were to offer one, is that the Santa mythology is generally harmless, and wears off when a child reaches a certain age, so there is good reason not to break with social traditions simply to gain bragging rights to that kind of relentless honesty when it meant inflicting such conflicts on a child. Children have enough opportunities to feel ostracized by their peers without being the only one not in on the lie.And if I’d managed to make sense of all that, I’d have needed a conclusion, and I don’t have one.

But there wasn’t time.

Then I had this clever thought of making a top ten list of the top ten top ten lists of the decade, but … no time. And I only found four lists, and they’re bookmarked on two different computers because I’m deficient in the bookmark-organizing area of geekery. The shame. But even if I wasn’t deficient, still … time.

I should be working right now, right this minute – and if not, I should at least be actually blogging and not this. Time not a factor in this, just … tired, in a wide-awake kind of way, and then there’s the ennui. You could count the sick days I have taken in the past four years on one hand, and this year I took one vacation day to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the last time I took a vacation day (well, bereavement leave, same thing). I like to think of this as a work ethic, but it’s not that fucking noble, not when it leaves me all whiny like this. I therefore resolve to use some of my by now quite nice pile of vacation days this year. But that’s all I’ll resolve. I’d like to make some lofty promises about this blog, but I’d hate to break them.

It’s just that I have the best intentions for this new godlizard thing here, and in case anyone’s listening, I wanted you to know. About the intentions. The rest of it, meh.

HNY.

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fantastically busy

In the remote chance that anyone is wondering, I have not abandoned my brand-new blog. It’s just that I have a more-than-full-time job, and in addition to that I took on a rather overwhelming side project this month which has given me the opportunity to indulge ridiculously materialistic and joyously excessive outburst of seasonal gift-giving, and so I’m working 10 hour days and 5 hour nights and 20 hour weekends. In order to accomplish this, I have had to pare down my daily activities to working, sleeping, and the occasional tweet.

I will take a moment to worry about people getting the impression of me that I value buying things and stuff over … you know, getting more than 5 hours sleep a night or taking time to smell the coffee or roses or whatever. But anyone that says money doesn’t buy happiness should spend a few decades without anywhere near enough of it, and then finally have the ability to lavish iPods and XBoxen and bicycles and big, flat teevees on loved ones — trust me, it’s wonderful. If you still think money can’t buy happiness, you’re doing it wrong. Here, give me yours, I’ll demonstrate.

Not that that makes this easy — to give you an idea of the extent of the self-discipline this involves, I have in my possession right now a brand-new copy of Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness, and I am not even letting myself take the time to read it. Not even a little. Well, maybe the foreword. But that’s it. So I will be back as soon as I launch a couple of websites :) Another week or so …

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