Pocket Ponderings: God Listens to Your Prayers

Pocket Ponderings – noun. a thought so small you can put it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.


God listens to your prayers: He can help you get motivated enough to exercise; he can help you patch things up with your boyfriend; he’ll even straighten up your gay brother for you so that you won’t have to feel embarrassed of him. You’re special to god, and he listens to your supplications.

Do remember this, though: Those Christians – innocent men, women, and children – who were martyred by ISIS prayed to the same god.

God will go out of his way to make you happy, but he wouldn’t lift a finger for those poor, innocent children.

Remember: Use your head, and spread the RED!

 

The Fallacy of Brother Eli Soriano: “Biblical Science is an Exact Science”

What is “Biblical Science“? Just what in the big bang is it? You, Mr. Soriano, Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International, wrote in your article entitled New Truths Belie Evolution that “biblical science is an exact science,” but you never bothered to define what “biblical science” is. Instead, as you always do, you shower us with your ever impressive skills in creating reasoning fallacies.

You said, “The reason why God commanded Abraham to circumcise a male child on the 8th day after birth is amazingly an [sic] evidence of the exactness of biblical science.” Then you went on to explain that this is because babies younger that eight days old are susceptible to hemorrhaging due to Vitamin K deficiency. Wow! Your Bible has verses with “Vitamin K” in them?

Is it possible that Abraham commanded his people to circumcise male children on the 8th day after birth not because god imparted an advanced understanding of human anatomy to him, but because he learned from experience that if you perform the surgery too soon after birth, there is a high chance that the poor baby boy will bleed profusely? Is it possible that you’re just applying what we understand about the human body today (thanks to the advances achieved in Science) to explain the outdated, and sometimes insane, laws of your Bible?

Another piece of “proof” that you offered to support the exactness of biblical science was this: “The information in the Bible that God created man out of dust is undoubtedly scientific.” And you even had visual aids!

You quoted the verse, yourself, Mr. Soriano – Genesis 2:7. It says god formed man from “dust.” What, please enlighten me, is scientifically exact about the word “dust”? If you ask Lawrence Krauss or Neil deGrasse Tyson about what stars and planets are made of, they won’t tell you that they’re made of “dust.” In fact, I’m pretty sure that the image above, the very image you used to support your assertion of biblical exactness, would not have been created without any research in the areas of physics, chemistry, and biology. No person would have been able to create a comparative chart like that with only the scientifically inexact Bible as a reference.

Finally, I am curious. Since you clearly are the expert in the exactness of biblical science. Would you have anything to offer regarding the scientific exactness of the following biblical events:

  1. Noah and the great flood. What feeding and sanitation system did Noah use to keep all those animals healthy for the entire duration of the flood?

  2. Jesus’s first miracle. If you can explain this, it would make my friends, Pat and Jay, very happy.

There are others events, but they are so far from realistic it makes sense they’re in the Bible. So let’s stick with just those two for now.


Remember: Use your head, and spread the RED!

 

 

 

 

The Fallacy of Brother Eli Soriano: Follow the Book of Deuteronomy

I had no idea that Brother Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister of the Members Church of God International, has  been doing it since 2010 – using Twitter as his pulpit to spew fantastic examples of fallacies in reasoning. In this tweet (see image below), he gave us an example of argumentum ab auctoritate.

Soriano’s reasoning is a logical fallacy because his argument stands on one ancient, outdated, archaic leg: the Book of Deuteronomy.

Let’s pretend for a moment that we are not the brainless followers that Bro. Eli thinks we are – lowly sheep that take his every word as gospel – and ask ourselves this question: Is Bro. Eli promoting the Book of Deuteronomy (or some parts of it) as a credible guide on how to live in today’s society? He must be; why else would he offer it as a reason for not subscribing to horoscopes and superstitious beliefs?

Soriano referred to Deuteronomy 18:10-12. Here’s what it says:

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 New International Version (NIV)

10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.


 

Well, lookie there! Horoscope is, indeed, “prohibited in the bible among God’s people.”

But before you decide to live your life based on the laws of Deuteronomy (as Soriano might have carelessly suggested), would you like to know what Deuteronomy does not prohibit?

1. Slavery and genocide:

Deuteronomy 20:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

2. The subjugation of women

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 New International Version (NIV)

10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 New International Version (NIV)

20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.


Okay, this post has now gone longer than I originally intended, but there are so many more verses that talk about laws and tenets that clearly no longer apply today.

I am very interested to find out more about Soriano’s position on the Book of Deuteronomy. Does he abide by it in its entirety, or does he, like some Christians I know, cherry-pick the verses that he likes? I wonder. I think I’ll send him a tweet.


The Book of Deuteronomy is an interesting read. Before you go out conquering lands, committing genocide, and subjugating women, though, remember to use your head, and spread the RED!

 

 

 

Pocket Ponderings: The Quiet Assassins’ Social Experiment

Pocket Ponderings – noun. a thought so small you can keep it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.


This video was taken from the Quiet Assassins‘ YouTube channel. Check them out. They have lots of cool videos that will give you lots of ponderings to keep in your pocket.

Thank you for visiting, and remember: use your head, and spread the RED!

Pocket Ponderings: If You Know God, You Will Believe

Pocket Ponderings – noun. a thought so small you can put it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.


Video created by DarkMatter2525.

Check out his YouTube channel for more awesome videos on faith, religion, and other ponderings to put in your pocket.

Remember: Use your head, and spread the RED!

The Cat Returns

One of my favorite Miyazaki movies is one about an anthropomorphic cat who takes a girl to his secret kingdom. This post, though, is not about The Cat Returns (2002). This is about a stray cat that used to hangout at the dog park beside our building.

Hitchens’s first encounter with a cat happened about two months ago. He was only four months old and, having just completed his vaccinations, was experiencing the world outdoors for the first time. When I was walking him one night, we ran into a tabby-coated stray cat. The moment Hitchens saw the cat, he wanted to play. The cat did not return his enthusiasm, so it was an uneventful encounter.

We saw the same cat several times afterwards. Sometimes Hitchens would play-bow; sometimes he’d just give the cat a sniff. Although they didn’t really become friends (I say this because I never saw them do anything more than give each other a careful sniff or a cautious look), they became familiar with each other.

About a week ago, my girlfriend and I decided to entertain Hitchens with a tracking game. We went to the park and hid sausages in different places: one beside a flower pot, one beside the gate, and one by the benches. Hitchens did horribly! As soon as he found the first one, he kept running to us expecting more. We had to stand near the location of the next sausage so he could find it. We probably did the exercise wrong. Anyway, when Hitchens found the last sausage, he saw that his acquaintance-cat was already eating it. Hitchens sniffed the sausage then the cat, and he let the cat eat the last one in peace. I was really proud of him.

Two days ago, my family and I were at the park again. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and a close friend of mine invited Hitchens to a doggie play-date with her three-year-old shih tzu named Toby. There we were enjoying the beautiful weather when I saw a lady carrying a motionless cat by its head. The lady was maybe about thirty feet away from us; I couldn’t be sure if the cat was alive or dead, but I was certain it was the cat that Hitchens shared his last sausage with a week before.

I saw the lady throw the cat into the bushes. I couldn’t see where the cat landed, but when I didn’t see movement in the bushes, that was when I thought the cat was dead.

I was so relieved when I saw the cat come out of the shrubbery. It was limping, but I couldn’t be sure if it got hurt when it hit the ground or if it had been nursing that limp for a while. Then something beautiful happened, the cat limped towards us. She jumped on the bench my friend was sitting on. My friend has twelve cats, all of them rescued from the streets, so she knows how to handle a stranger like this one. I decided to sit beside them just to see what the cat would do. And when she sat on my lap, that was when I knew she was going home with me.

Me, Hitchens, and the stray cat.

Ladies, and gentledogs, meet the newest member of our family, the stray-cat-no-more, Dawkins!

This is Dawkins enjoying her first moments in her new home. Doesn’t she look smart?

Hitchens was more than eager to share our home with her.

Hitchens and Dawkins.

More furry love!

Hitchens and Dawkins again.

Yesterday, we took her to the vet.

Dawkins’s first visit to the vet.

The vet said she’s healthy. They checked for broken bones, parasites or worms in her stool, and mites on her skin. They groomed her. They gave her shots. The vet also prescribed a diet, vitamin supplements and medicated soap. Finally, he scheduled a follow-up in the second week of August.

You can take it easy now, Dawkins. You’re not a stray cat anymore.

According to Pawnation.com, cats that sleep in this position feel confident and content in their environment. I’m really glad she feels that way.

 

Thank you for reading. Spread the RED!

Pocket Ponderings: Why “God Kept Me Safe” is also Insensitive

Pocket Ponderings – noun. a thought so small you can keep it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.


 

I found the photo below in the Facebook page of the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International.

Photo from the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International Facebook page.

This is what the person who shared the photo said:

To the atheists here, this is what we should NOT emulate. Please. We’re much better human beings than this. Censorship withheld for maximum shaming.

As you probably guessed, Mr. Erick Tubil’s statement has received plenty of negative reactions. I, too, think that it is a rather insensitive statement given the devastation and death that visited much of Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas in the form of Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun): nearly a hundred people dead, 300 people injured, six still missing, and approximately $160 million worth of infrastructure destroyed. When the typhoon reached China, it continued to kill and destroy. Now is certainly not the time to be a non-religious douche bag.

That said, what about those who have gone to the social networking realm to express their gratitude to their divine protector? Those who went online to update their Facebook status and claimed that because of god’s protection, they are not hurt and the damage done to their properties was minimal to nil? Is it not hugely insensitive, too, to say “God saved me” when you know that, right now, there could be a father who is standing over the lifeless bodies of his wife and three daughters because the raging flood reduced him to a man who could do nothing but pray for the safety of the family that he failed to get to in time?

I would like to submit to you that every time someone claims that they were saved by god from a calamity, there is an evident yet not openly admitted implication that god did not save those who perished. You can call it what you want – say “god decided that it was their time,” or “they’re now in a better place,” but it has to be said that “god saved you” means “god did not save them.” Is it not extremely insensitive to go online and claim that god loves you so much that he protected you from the storm while a mother, a woman probably more devout to her religion than you are to yours, is digging under a pile of rubble to look for the body of her dead son? Look her in the eyes and tell her that you survived the storm because god saved you.


Thank you, and remember: use your head, and spread the RED!

Pocket Ponderings: Question Atheism?

Pocket Ponderings – noun. a thought so small you can keep it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.


 

Photo from Answers for atheists Facebook page.

I’m not sure if Fry is referring to the atheism I know – the conclusion that it is highly unlikely that there is a supreme being who created everything at the beginning of all things and has been supervising and will continue to supervise the lives of every soul in the history of the universe until this being decides to pull the plug – but if he is, here’s the reason you don’t question that conclusion: onus probandi. (If you don’t speak Latin, that’s okay. Just click the phrase that you don’t understand and you’ll be brought to a page that has really cool information. If you don’t want to click the link, that’s okay – more power to you!)

You test, verify, attempt to falsify, and “question” a claim or an assertion (like the claims and assertions of religion). Why would you question a non-claim such as (I recently learned it is wrong to use the word “like” to introduce an example) atheism? I don’t believe that there are pokemons living among us. Are you proposing that I question that, too? If I tell you that your home is haunted by the spirit of Darth Sidious and you refuse to believe it, would you question your refusal to believe?


 

That’s it for today.

Remember:

1. Use your head.

2. Spread the RED!