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Grasping Free Reality

Is it not time to leave behind the primitive savagery of pretenders in paradise and peril?
Is it not time to leave behind the religious?
Should we not step free of them?
We are Free thinkers, should we not now choose to live free of their fake chains, their primitive tribal barbarism; to let then fall by the wayside, the way the Neanderthal, as when we first awoke?
Human progress would stop if there were no scientists and from all the studies they are almost exclusively atheist. The theists would choose to drag us back to the Bronze Age or further, to subjugate and repress all who prefer to live in the now and tomorrow rather than wallow in the nostalgia of times that never were.
Should we not set up a country, state, island or city of the truly free, of atheist, rational, reasonable, logical and liberal progress? Should we not cast aside those addicted to dreaming of the impossible, the magics and superstitions? Abandon them to their Bronze Age medicine, science and thinking?
Should we not set up a Democratic Republic of great thinkers, reasoned men and women?
We already run the world but as slaves to their base primitive savagery, why not withdraw our labour and use it for the betterment of a truly sentient humankind?
Would it not display how much those, who are subservient to ancient fairytales, owe to those who use only reason?

Oh what a place of great wonders we could create.
We could be, in the future, what we dream the Atlantian society may have been; a race, free of the great weight of fearful existence and distinguishing ourselves in great achievements.

I don't know about you but I'm sick of trying to educate those, whose misjudgments and poor assumptions, our education systems have failed to correct and, sadly, all too often encourage. Whilst attempting to rid our fantastic species of its endemic addiction to subservience is a worthy pursuit, I'd prefer to spend my time on something which will bear real, tangible, progressive fruit.

We, humanity, will not flourish further while the primitive drag us backward.
The stars are out there, we should be responsible and prohibit the doctrine addicts and wish thinkers from reaching for them; we need not pollute the universe with their barbarism, we need not let them infect any other intelligent species we may meet with the pitifully low opinion of humanity the festering religious canker continually spews.

Unfortunately this utopian dream of a rational nation is currently, and for some time to come I fear, mere folly.

Say it came about, the rational peoples of Earth came together and headed for, for the sake of argument, Australia, to start a new community of the godless, those who accept reality without the magical dictator of the religious novels. A society dedicated to study and genuine human progress, unhindered by Ancient magic and myth, what would happen?

Well, the countries of the world would begin to crumble, societies would fail without the atheist. Many great thinkers would be absent from their countries of origin, specialists in their field from all areas of life would be missing. If statistics are true about 97% of scientists would leave etc. You get the picture, the cream of each society's minds would be absent, leaving the countries to the lesser thinkers, the fearful doctrine addicts and superstitious.

And what then?

Wouldn't that land of the Freethinkers be instantly the target of their armies?
Wouldn't an island of human reason in a sea of faithful, instantly become the target because all the religious totalitarian doctrines clearly hold unbelievers as Satan's spawn?
Would they not view the island of the free as a place to destroy?
Would they not be told by their zealot leaders, the popes and ayatollahs, that removing this one nation would be doing the work of their god; that "The messiah cannot return, dragging the heaven behind him, while that country remains" or some other such voodoo bollox?

You know they would, because you know that's the supremacist core of the books they adore.
In one fell swoop, would the religious not eagerly agree to destroy all the finest brains our genome has currently spawned?
Might there not even be an arms race between differing cults to wipe us out first, thereby ensuring it would be their personal messiah was the one to show up?

Can I get an...
"And thus they would have proved their moribund stupidity; the reason why we left"?
But of no great comfort is being right when You are the slaughtered, eh?

Although I do 'have a dream' of a godless world, free of Stone Age thinking, I think it's probably better for us all if we are hidden in plain site, amongst them.
Yes it's like living amongst untrustworthy zombies.
Yes they are fucking infuriating wastes of our time, our thinking time, but while we are amongst them they cannot destroy us en-masse. We may lose the odd one or two to beheading, stoning, persecution etc. but the noise will continue and the youth, who like to break the mould set by their parents, will start to see our entirely material reality for what it is.

I just hope that we reach a critical mass, where the majority are non-religious in less than a century, before Aubrey De Grey's prediction comes to pass.
If we are still suffering under their earthly idols, popes and Ayatollahs when Aubrey's prediction comes about, we could have religious leaders who could live for a thousand years or even indefinitely.
And then what would there be to stop theocracy becoming the hell on earth that it has always threatened to be?
Aubrey's prediction should be a clarion call, not only to all anti-theist and atheist activists but also to ordinary atheists, appeasement atheists, religious collaborators and agnostics, to step up the argument against thousands of years of unsubstantiated subjugation and fear-mongering.
It's time to grasp freeality before freedom of thought disappears under the jack boot of one hoard of vile authoritarian theocratic savages or another.

Aubrey de Grey - TEDx Oxford


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This post was first published as a guest post at dailyworldwatch

Change Is As Good As The Rest

Recently and it seems with increasing incidence, I have been hearing even from atheists, agnostics, secular humanists etc. the notion that homosexuality, specifically male homosexuality, is not natural.
The running theme seems to be that anal sex, rather than male to male devotion, is unnatural by Darwinian evolutionary standards; regardless of what any religious text states because, they say, the anus did not evolve for that purpose. Those promoting this notion will often cite a 'dictionary definition' that 'homosexual male sexual intercourse is achieved via the introduction or penetration of the male sex organ of one male into the anus or anal canal of the other' - it doesn't seem very dictionary like to me; I'm not even sure what search term you would have to enter to retrieve that definition but it's what's cited. It's not escaped my notice that they rarely include Male Female anal intercourse.
Now, I have a personal view that many 'manly' men have a problem with this act just because male homosexuality is so utterly opposite to the image they want to project, they are against it so that they are 'seen' to be against it. Also, I'm trying to not draw any conclusions from the geographical origin of those from whom I've heard this but most often it has been from Mid-Eastern, Asian or East Asian men.
However, as they offer supporting 'evidence' of abuse; implying or even outright stating that there is no physical difference between sodomy and sodomy-rape and also that the anus has not evolved the same level of protection from disease as has the vagina and that, in the current climate of turmoil over equal rights for gay marriage, they cite that 'marriage' is not possible between two males, as the marriage cannot be consummated in the 'normal', accepted way, I thought I'd apply a little thought to the subject; try and, if you'll excuse the pun, straighten out a few of these notions.
What I see is that they are not on firm ground with their assertions.

So, to the talk about organs evolving for a specific purpose. The veins have evolved to carry blood around the body. Is it to be considered a misuse when veins are punctured by a needle and used to carry medicines? I think any reasonable person would answer 'No' because consent is given, or the recipient enjoys the benefit, or both. It would only be considered misuse/abuse if the vein was used to the the persons detriment and without permission or need. Consent is key. I'd say the same for any human to human interaction; consent is key.

There also seems to be a leaning, by the proposers, toward viewing human sexual relations in a very mechanical and it seems purely physical way. I do not know if you have a partner but, if you do, I doubt you'd deny having some loving feelings for or some affinity with the personality of your spouse/partner. Would you deny it to your partner's face?
One does not fall in love with the sex organs of a human, one falls in love their character, their personality & principles and, while the skill with which one's partner nibbles one's what-have-you may have a bearing on the relationship, marriage is about so much more than what unseen body parts rub against each other in the dark.
Most people fall in love and then work out their sex lives between them; sex is made up of whatever they are most comfortable doing to, for and with each other, in order for them to be fulfilled and happy (in the only life they have).
Marriage is about two people sharing one existence, one 'being'. It's about holding the joint being's collective happiness in as high esteem as each individual's desires. They share 'everything' because they want to share 'everything'.

Now, as I see it, the first act of sex that is the loving expression of a marriage is the consummation of that marriage, regardless of the body parts used. Surely, if both parties are happy that the marriage is consummated, it is consummated.
In olden times, a high-held component of marriage was the production of children. In that paradigm the couple having had successful sex on the wedding night was signal that all was okay, babies were not impossible, the dowry was 'worth it' etc and everyone's happy. However, this was when a women's value for childbirth was of uppermost interest to the ruling class(males).
In a paradigm where the union is purely for companionship, longevity of commitment to partner is still prized but children are unnecessary for both partners (regardless of the gender). There is no intended signal that children are likely, because neither partner is marrying for the production of offspring, so consummation in this instance has no such 'purpose' and is just a sex act, a natural celebration of their union, a physical expression of the union.
In the paradigm of two childhood sweethearts who plan to marry. He's called to war before they get the chance. He's wounded and they marry when he has recovered. His injury was to his groin, consummation will never be possible.
Are they to be disallowed from marriage?

As to whether homosexuality is normal amongst human biology.
When do you think the first human homosexual act took place? 10years ago? 100? 1000? 10,000? 100,000 years ago or longer?
Before we were sentient? When still primitive ape?
Would a homosexual act between two apes be considered 'wrong'? Or 'immoral'?
We have been animals a hell of a lot longer than we've had modern day sexual hang-ups imposed on our society by a mixture of religious and peer group pressures.
It is thought that the first recorded long-term homosexual relationship was circa 2500 BCE between Egyptian royal manicurists Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. Note that this states 'long-term' relationship, I've no doubt the 'one night stand' predated this and that the 'ten minute standing up', or as it's more commonly known, the 'knee-trembler' predated that! The idea that human homosexuality was absent from human sexual relations before the current social abhorrence of it, is merely the 'preferred assumption'.
As it's therefore reasonable to assume that homosexual sex has occurred in every generation for, one might legitimately suggest, ALL of our conscious evolution then it must be accepted that humanity has always had homosexuality as part of its make up and so, can it really be considered abnormal or out of the ordinary to find homosexual humans? Further, if there have always been homosexual humans then surely it must follow that homosexual humans have had no detrimental effect on the overall human population.
7 billion and counting.

Finally, I find no reason to believe human sexuality to be a binary condition of male or female. This binary state, as far as I can tell, is not the case, in either body or mind.
The biochemical conditions, which form the baby's male or female organs, show a full range of varying degrees of maleness and femaleness, with androgynous (50/50) forming the exact centre between Male & Female biochemistry but that is only with the physical of the body. I'm fairly sure that we are all initially formed as female and remain so, from when we are zygote until later in the pregnancy when the level of testosterone present forms the male organs. So, we all start off female and transform into male. The amount of 'male' in the end product is therefore entirely dependent on the hormones present in pregnancy.
So we must view Human sexuality as very complex; think of it this way and, before I start, I must just say this is a purely philosophical view of the situation.
All humans start off female so lets set that as the starting point of a horizontal line and call it 0% as there is the minimal amount of testosterone present. At the other end of the line we have 100% Male and right in the middle as I mention earlier we have androgyny at 50%. Now, with our society, we like the level-headed people, the even-handed, fair, not too extreme etc so, let's say those who occupy the positions of 0%-10% or 90%-100% are considered 'undesirable' by all but a small percentage of the available opposite sex as too much of a girly-girl or too macho a man.
Also, those who are androgynous are less likely or even unlikely to appeal to either the 'average' female or the 'average' male, as far as sexual partnership is concerned, so let's draw up another group, let's say those between 45% and 55% are 'undesirable' to the 'average' male or female. That leaves two groups, those who are 'desirable' and gender female, occupying a position of between 10% and 45% along the line and those who are 'desirable' and gender male, occupying a position of between 55% and 90%. These two groups are likely to be desirable to each other and will procreate to produce future generations. I concede that's not exclusively the case but, like I said, this is only a philosophical muse. Now if we consider those two groups add up to 70% of the population it means that 30% of the global population is 'different'.
Can almost a third of a population be really be considered abnormal?
Most local elections in the UK have a voter turnout of about 30% but we do not consider the official elected thereby to have been chosen by the abnormal!
Some supporting evidence; part of the amateur research I've carried out into human sexuality and gender. This is a clip from "Me, My Sex and I" first broadcast on BBC One, on Tuesday 11 October 2011. Whilst it's not directly related to homosexuality it does illustrate the complexity of the biochemistry involved in determining gender.
There's more information about the program here
Full documentary is here
Now, while I have no evidence at hand, the chemistry of the brain seems to produce similarly indistinct sexuality. While it is also formed by the hormones which are more prevalent because of the bodies biochemical and physical gender orientation, the brain is similarly not binary in it's sexual desires. Many straight men will also like some anal action, many straight women would at the least fantasise about 'appreciating' another woman.
With the sexual orientation of the personality of the individual being somewhere on a long scale from Male to Female and the human body lining up somewhere, possibly different, on a similarly long biological scale, to argue that human sexuality is binary is nonsense. Homosexuality exists and as I've suggested above has always existed within this species.
If it exists within any species, it is reasonable to assume that at some point in the past it started to exist as any other genetic variance in human evolution. As we have no records about when it began, we may only assume it is a random expression of the normal genetic processes involved in genetic replication and if so, when it started is less relevant or irrelevant. Normal genetic variance is beneficial to group survival therefore homosexuality must be of some benefit to the survival of the group. And so, to argue that a marriage between two people is invalid because their sexuality lines up on the same side of a binary fence is nonsense.
How can we consider Homosexuality as abnormal unless we also consider those who have red hair or an IQ higher than 130 similarly?

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering, I am a straight male human who has has been happily married to a straight female human for more than a quarter of a century. We have two straight adult children, one male, one female.
I know it shouldn't make a difference but I wanted to clarify for those bigot-types who would choose to dismiss this post as the views of 'one of those gay-types'.

If I've caused any offence to anyone it was an entirely unintentional consequence of this subject being way too expansive for such a short space.
There is more sexuality information here

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Being Human Conference

Great presentations by Laurie Santos and by David Eagleman at Being Human conference 2012, but Thomas Metzinger, for me and, I think, by his tone, for him too, not so much. Enjoy.

Laurie Santos, Being Human 2012 from Being Human on Vimeo.

David Eagleman on the Incognito Functions of the Brain from Being Human on Vimeo.

Thomas Metzinger, prof. of philosophy, Being Human 2012 from Being Human on Vimeo.

More in a similar vein as Laurie's presentation...

Article source - TED.com

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Travesty Of Reason

Picture the scene...
There's a murder in a devoutly Religious town. A man is found on his back in a pool of his own blood with an ancient, muddy, rusty blade sticking out of his heart.
The Police turn up and look around but find no evidence.
Detectives wander through, looking around and the same story; no signs of struggle, no money problems, no known enemies.
Forensics take a peek over the crime scene. They find no fingerprints or DNA to do with the murder but there is evidence of a second occupant of the flat; a woman, probably a lover. The only extra information they can deliver is a ballpark time of death of 10 hours earlier.
Specialist crime scene investigators search through the data and details; same story, even with all the high technology at their disposal.
No evidence is found of an attacker.

There is a prime suspect, the man's partner, a painter of landscapes; she was overheard threatening her lover a month before.
Witnesses say they "know she packed and left the flat within days", others say they've "not seen her for about a month or so" and a few witnesses say "she had plans to travel the country in an old camper-van".
She is finally located, living halfway up a mountain, deep in the forest.
She's arrested and the case goes to trial.

The verdict comes in and the Judge delivers the sentence saying.
"The devoutly Religious jury has decided that even though we have an absence of evidence which places you at the scene, there's is no direct evidence of your absence from it, so you must be the murderer. And I'm good with that because I'm a devout believer too and as we all know "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" and, if it's good enough for god, it's good enough for you. You are sentence to death."

So the questions here are obvious...
Should it ever happen, would we not consider this to be an appalling travesty of justice?
Would it not cause outrage in society for lack of good reasoning?
Would it not be overturned on appeal and the first judge 'retired' for lack of a brain?
Would there not be calls for the judge, prosecutors, jury and police force, if not the entire town, to be sent on an short, sharp anti-fuckwit course?

There is an absence of evidence for the mythical being 'Snow White' but, as far as I'm aware, there are no SnowWhite-ian worshippers, no Order of the Brotherhood of the Dwarves claiming that the absence of evidence of Miss White's existence is not evidence of her historical absence.
So why do Religious apologists think it's a sufficient catch-all, the be all and end all refutation of the statement 'there is no evidence of a god'?
How can they be so dishonest as to find it an unacceptable line of reasoning in our places of justice but a totally acceptable way to justify belief in their mythical being?
And the answer is? - Fear, on so many levels.

As it turns out, the butler did it but there's no evidence of that either.
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