A few days ago, I saw yet another article which asked a question that just keeps coming around: are science and religion compatible? You might not be terribly shocked to learn that I have an opinion on this.
Yes, it’s true. I’ve abandoned my principles. I plan to vote in the next Canadian federal election. That doesn’t mean I’m any less cynical about electoral politics, though. If anything, it means I’m even more cynical.
Some authors and cartoonists have objected to PEN giving the Freedom of Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo. Their reasoning seems to be that Muslims are an oppressed minority and, therefore, making fun of their religion is intolerance and/or bigotry.
Hey, America, you need to get this figured out.
Your police are killing your people in record numbers. The natural consequence of this is that more of your people will start killing more of your police, which will inevitably result in your police killing more of your people.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Now, since I’m not American, you might say that it’s none of my business. However, stupidity that happens south of the 49th parallel tends to creep north of it, often at an alarming rate. So, please, see if you can get this figured out really soon because the northern creep of this stupidity is already well under way.
A few days ago, I went for a good long hike in one of my usual locations. I took some photos.
Headline: Prominent Muslim cleric urges imams to vet new Islamic converts
From the article:
“I’m not sure who helped them to convert to Islam. Who was the imam? What kind of relationship did those people have with those people who converted them to Islam? Those very important questions need to be answered,” said Soharwardy.
“They should take on the responsibility of checking backgrounds and staying in touch and make sure this person is not being recruited by any radical organization or terrorist organizations.”
Soharwardy estimates 20 to 30 Canadians convert to Islam every week. He said it is the responsibility of clerics to make sure the converts are doing it for the right reasons.
Sylvia and I spent part of the evening at the point at ‘Ksan, the confluence of two great rivers, the Bulkley and Skeena.. We brought along Meeka as well as the granddaughter and her friend. And a camera.
The first image is that inevitable photo of Stekyoden. I don’t tire of its beauty.
Here’s a blurb about the second. When the river is high, it pushes these rocks around like grains of sand. When it goes down again, it leaves these formations that look very much like somebody spent a lot of time arranging them. But, no, it was just the river currents.
The third shows three friends enjoying cooling waters on a hot day.
In the Facebook group Atheism United, this question was asked by Peter Elisha: “In any case…what is the #1 thing you wish the Christians in your life would understand about you, personally, as an atheist?”
Thanks for the question, Peter. Below is the response I posted in the group, edited and expanded for this blog.
[shrug] So it goes.
The argument goes like this: most users of “hard drugs” probably used marijuana before using cocaine, meth, heroin, and so on. Therefore – so the argument goes – pot is a gateway into the “hard drugs”.
Well, most people who drink alcohol probably started out drinking coca cola or pepsi. Does that mean that colas are a gateway into vodka?
Most people who smoke probably started out chewing gum or sucking on jawbreakers. Does that mean candy is a gateway into cigarettes?
Here’s the point: correlation is not causation. If you don’t know what that means, look it up or ask somebody. If you’re not willing to make even that minimal effort, then you sure as hell have neither the intellectual equipment nor the integrity it takes to stand behind anything that states or even implies that marijuana is a “gateway drug”.