Theo Loves Coffee

He cannot even wait for a cup to be placed upon a table for him to sack.  Here, he’s making a beeline for the freshly-ground…remains.image

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WHY I THANK RELIGION FOR “LES MIS”

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Sing it,  Javert!

Sing it, Javert!

The theatre as we know and understand it today — essentially; all of it — was invented by the ancient Greeks. More specifically; Classical Athens.

Classical Athenian theatre was an integral part of society, and it was highly political in that it was religious. The Athenian calendar included the three major festivals of the year: Great Dionysia, Rural Dionysia and Lenaea; all cities which were named for the god, Dionysus. Classics Scholar, Paul Cartledge, views Athens as a “performance culture,” as it hosted more religious festivals (performances of both drama and tragedy for competition) than any other Attic state.

It is important to note that ALL Athenian tragedy was performed within a religious context. Antigone buried her brother (who died at the hand of his brother, both of whom fought on opposing sides in battle) in defiance of Creon’s decree. Despite the fact she was an unmarried women whose father was dead, she shunned both her duty to the State and to her family (Creon) and was wholly confident the gods would judge her actions as honourable. Likewise, Electra offers the notion that the gods will deem her actions just, whilst simultaneously, Clytemnestra begs Apollo not to punish her for killing her own son. There is, within tragedy, an almost bipolar element  in that there are two opposing sides, with no grey areas.  The tragedy lies in the fact that a resolution — a tragic one — is inevitable for one side.  Note the religious element, as mortal law conflicts with divine law.

As a woman, I am acutely aware that despite the absence of legal status afforded to Greek women who were not slaves and their imposed seclusion and separation (see Solon Laws), women were not only not forbidden to attend religious festivals (as they were from entering into legal and financial transactions), they were INTEGRAL to them.  It could even be said that women were superior to men in religious rites and festivals.  however, there is no compelling evidence one way or the other regarding the attendance of women at either the Great Dionysia or Lenaea festivals.

I could say a lot more on the subject; however, I shall close by saying as a theatre-lover, woman and even an atheist, I thank religion (or the “STARS…” in your multitudes!) for “Les Mis!”

Half of American fans think God (or demons) affect the outcome of sports

Why Evolution Is True

One of the perpetual ways to make fun of religion, at least in America, is to note that many Americans think that God takes an interest in sports. Athletes like Tim Tebow give thanks to God for their achievements and their teams’ victories, and Americans regularly pray for the success of their teams. (I doubt that this happens much in Europe, but I’m sure it’s common in South America!).

Well, now there are data showing that the belief that God (or demons) somehow affect the outcome of sporting competitions has been quantified by a survey—a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, and summarized int their report, “Half of American fans see supernatural forces at play in sports.”

This graph summarizes the data, with “average Americans” in tan, football fans are in maroon, and other fans are in olive. Now since the survey methodology reports a survey of 1,011…

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Ten Thousand Things I Say to Theists When I’m Bipolar

When I first ideated this concept, it was “twenty things…;” however, I am a rapid cycler.  And for some serendipitous reason, they seem to find me when I am manic or hyper.

Twenty seemed an appallingly insufficient number.

Whilst these stories are true, they are also infused with my rather original demeanour and humour.

One winter’s Sunday morning, I was blowing off church and was outside training.  I realised we needed something at the shop; so, I set forth.  Still garbed in my training gear (complete with weight lifting gloves and Rocky Balboa hat), I set off.  I prudently left my swords at home.

In the queue, I felt a sharp shove from behind, and upon turning around, spied an Asian man passing me (with plenty of room to have passed without making any contact at all).  I looked him in the eyes and said, “EXCUSE ME.”  A few minutes later, he passed me again and performed his dutiful shove.

My response: “your religion may teach you that women are beneath you; but, THIS woman can knock you on your ar5e; so, BACK OFF!”

Several people giggled, smiled and nodded.  He backed off.

Atheist, bipolar martial artist – 1; linguine-for-brains Muslim man – 0!

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Religious Nigerian woman disowns cat for being gay

Every last one of these people is orbiting the outer moons of Saturn…

Why Evolution Is True

This is part 2 of Religious Animal Craziness. You couldn’t make stuff like this up.

It’s bad enough that various species of Christianity and Islam persecute people for being gay, but now religion has injected its poison further—into supposedly homosexual felidsThe Nigerian newspaper Leadership reports (and I give their piece in full, with bolding mine; I haven’t tried to fix all the misspellings and errors):

A middle-aged woman (names withheld) yesterday in Lafia, Nasarawa State, publicly disowned her cat whom she had kept as a pet for seven years for what she termed “an unnatural sexual behavior” which she finds disturbing and “a contradiction of the laws of nature.”

By this, the cat has made a record as the first cat to be so publicly declared gay and disowned by its owner.

The cat, named Bull, was alleged to be in the habit of making sexual advances only…

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Microevolution, my arse!

Creationists often say that they believe that microevolution is a demonstrable,scientific reality whereas macroevolution is a nonsense. By microevolution, they mean that organisms may change to adapt to their environment, but they will never change into an entirely new species. Macroevolution is a nonsense because organisms will never change so much that they will cross that unbreakable wall of separation between species (see? they do believe in unbreakable walls of separation when it suits them!)

Tosh and nonsense, of course. It is like arguing that although I indeed can take one step forward (microstepping, if you like), then because some holy book says that I can’t take more than five steps that means I can’t walk home (microstepping good, macrostepping bad).

But what is even more bizarre is that they aren’t really microevolutionists at all. Look, they believe (say) wolves, hyenas and dogs developed from one representative pair of the dog “kind” that were carried on the Ark.

So, in other words, a mere 4000 years of so-called microevolution is enough to allow all modern day representatives of the dog “kind” to evolve into being from a single ancestral pair. This is not microevolution. Even Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe in evolution on this scale and speed!

In short, the kind of evolution that Creationists believe in is megaevolution, not microevolution.

Why not donate organs?

Why Evolution Is True

I think most states in the U.S. now provide a place on your driver’s license to verify that you’d be willing to donate organs, corneas, etc. in the case of a fatal crash (or other cause of death). I routinely check that box, of course, as should everyone, for what better use for a dead body than to give life or sight to others?

Yet the percentage of people who elect for donation is surprisingly small. According toNBC News:

Only about 45 percent of adults in the U.S. — nearly 109 million people — are organ donors, a figure that donation and transplant experts say seems tragically low when the public’s attention is riveted on the lack of organs for a child such as Sarah.

“We have millions of people that are concerned or outraged about this particular situation, yet 55 percent don’t sign up to donate,” said…

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