"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


Beepbeepitsme has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

'The Kalam Kalamity' - Or God Exists Because I Say So Part 2.

The concept of Infinity is no longer represented by this hypothetical manufacturer

From: - Kalam Cosmological Argument

The basic argument of the Kalam is as follows:1. Everything that begins to exists has a cause for its existence2. The universe began to exist (i.e. it is not infinite)Therefore: The universe has a cause of its existence.

Craig's Mistaken Concept of Infinity

We will look at the second premise of the argument first. It is strange that Craig is trying to prove infinity is impossible by pointing out oddities which are already well known to mathematicians and logicians. Just because a feature is odd does not mean it involves a contradiction.First in his example of the infinite library of books. His argument is flawed because we can simply remove the books from the library, add the new books together with the ones in it and then reassign natural numbers to each book. No problem, no absurdity.

With respect to the problem of successive addition. You can get infinity if you construct a successive addition that has no beginning, i.e. it already reaches out into infinity.

The Universe Being Finite in Time:

Craig's use of science is really a double edged sword. He claims that science supports the finiteness of the universe. Actually it does not do that at all. All it shows is that our current state of the universe had a beginning about fifteen billion years ago. It does not show that it was the absolute beginning. For instance Stephen Hawking has proposed a four dimensional universe. In this model the universe goes through a period of increasing entropy during an expansionary phase and a period of reducing entropy during the contractionary phase. Furthermore the jury is still out as to whether the universe will end in a contraction (a "big crunch") or whether it will continue to expand forever. If the former is the case, there is every possibility that ours is merely a cycle (of big bangs and big crunches) within an infinite series of cycles.

The Concept of Causation

With this we go to the first premise. Is causation an a priori necessity? In other words, can it be shown that it is logically contradictory to speak of ubncaused things, the way it is logically contradictory when we speak of husbands as unmarried spouses? The answer is no. We can conceive of something as being uncaused, it involved no contradiction. As proof, theist conceive of God as being uncaused. Is causation an inductive principle? In other words, is it something which science can show to be true? If it is something which can be resolved inductively, the answers seems to be causation is not a universal principle of science. We note first and foremost cosmologists seem very comfortable with the idea that the universe could have come into existence uncaused. In fact some scientists have suggested that the Big Bang began with a quantum fluctuation. The principle of quantum mechanics allow virtual pairs of quantum particles to appear and exist for a short time before annihilating. In December 1973, in an article for Nature, Edward Tryon of the City University of New York proposed the idea that the universe is "a fluctuation of the vacuum". He showed that such a fluctuation does not violate the conservation of energy. When Tryon's hypothesis is combined with the inflationary theory of the big bang a viable model of creation literally ex nihilo can be constructed. [4] Secondly causation is not a universally observed fact. In the realm of subatomic particles, quantum mechanics dominate. Yet quantum mechanics lead to many non-causational observations that are probabilistic in nature.

As Timothy Ferris explains:
The radioactive isotope radium-224 has a half life of 3.64 days. So if we study an atom of radium-224 for 3.64 days we will have an even chance of witnessing its decay. But we cannot know just when it will decay-this particular atom might wait for years-nor can we, in principle or in practice, assign a causeto its decay. All we can know are probabilities.

Note that he mentioned it is not even possible in principle. In other words quantum mechanics, one of the most widely confirmed scientific theories known, says that it is simply not possible to do, not that our equipment or knowledge is incomplete. Thus causation seems to break down in the subatomic realm. Yet this is exactly the condition the universe was in at the beginning. The universe, was in the domain of quantum mechanics at the beginning, the domain where causality breaks down.


Thus in conclusion, the basic premises of the Kalam cosmological argument are either invalid or not proven:

Craig's concept of infinity is mistaken.

The universe may or may not have a beginning in time.

The verdict is still out, thus it cannot be used as a premise to prove his argument.

Causation is not an a priori principle.

Causation is not a universally valid empirical principle, as quantum mechanics have shown.

See Also:

"So Long and Thanks for all the Fish"

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Pascal's Wager: The Empty Wager

The Empty Wager
Pascal's wager is betting on the existence of god. It suggests that belief in god has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Blaise Pascal argued that it is a better "bet" to believe that God exists, because the expected value to be gained from believing that God exists is greater than the expected value resulting from non-belief.

This argument has some major flaws. Some of them are:
1. It assumes that god (if it exists) rewards belief and punishes non-belief.
2. It assumes that the individual has chosen the right god.
3. It assumes that the individual is a member of the right religion or sect of that religion.
4. It requires that any person who is believing in a god to avoid punishment or gain reward would need to believe in all the religions which consider non-belief punishable.
5. It assumes that god/gods would not know that you are believing in order to avoid punishment or to gain reward.

So, if you claim that we should believe in Christianity just because of the possibility of being punished for not believing in it, then what are you going to say about other religions which also make such a claim? Based on Pascal's wager, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism cannot all be correct as they do not worship the same god/gods in the same way. So, to escape punishment, for Pascal's Wager to work, you would need to believe in all 3. Or some unknown non-Christian gods might exist, and punish Christian believers for their failure to believe in them. Or some powerful entity might decide to punish those who believe in a god while rewarding non-believers. To avoid punishment from believing in the wrong god, one would need to believe in all of them. This is bound to upset at least one of them, if any of them exist in the first place.

Also, if the belief is basely solely on the expectation of reward and the fear of punishment, instead of other things as well, such as the desire to do good, it is not belief with pure intent, which, if any of the gods exist, is bound to piss off at least one of them. I am not sure that "pretending to believe just in case" would score many "god brownie points." This is apart from a lifetime spent in worshipping which my turn out to be the wrong god, or a non-existent god. Thus a life spent on either a wilful delusion or a lie. So it is a fallacy that those who believe have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"Men never do evil so completely or cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." Blaise Pascal
(Pascal's Wager always reminds me of the part in "The Mummy" where Benny is confronted by the mummy as it is hunting for body parts from which to reconstitute its own body. Benny is trapped against the wall inside the burial chamber with the egyptian mummy advancing towards him. Benny begins to pull out a dozen or so religious amulets from around his neck, and tries to use them as religious talismans to warn off the advances of the mummy. What saves him from the mummy, according to the story, is not his belief in any of the religions, but the fact that he can speak ancient hebrew. The moral of the story seems to be that it isn't belief that is going to save you from a dangerous situation, but knowledge. Specifically in Benny's case, it is the knowledge of another language which makes him useful - even if it was only on a temporay basis. Nonetheless, that part in the movie always makes me laugh as Benny is in effect, pretending to believe in all the gods, in the hope that none of the others, should they exist, be offended.)

Some of Benny's antics from "The Mummy."

LINK: The Empty Wager by Sam Harris

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

Anzac Cove - Gallipoli

It's Anzac Day in Australia. (25th April) The ANZACs were the combined forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day in Australia is when Australians remember those who have fought in war. The ANZAC legend started during WW1 when Australia and New Zealand combined their forces under British Command to attack the Turks at Gallipoli. Unfortunately, there was a right royal stuff-up and the ANZACs landed at Suvla Bay and were faced with a small beach landing and thousands of well-armed Turks manning the cliff faces above the beach. The ANZACS were blown to hell - "almost blew us right back to Australia."

From the words which accompany this video:

On 25 April 1915, the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed at a difficult and desolate spot on the Gallipoli peninsula and the Turks appeared to be ready for them, a defeat was inevitable, Gallipoli was the plan thought up by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new war front that the Central Powers could not cope with. The Gallipoli campaign was a debacle, Military censorship prevented the true story being told but a young Australian journalist, Keith Murdoch (father of Australian newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch) smuggled the story about the scale of the Dardanelles disaster back to the Australian Prime Minister who sent it on to the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who was no friend of the British military establishment. It led directly to the dismissal of the British commander, Sir Ian Hamilton who never again was to hold a senior military position. The British Government ordered an evacuation. By day, the ANZACs kept up their attacks with more ANZACs observed to be landing - by night the force was withdrawn, broken only by sporadic rifle and gunfire. On 20 December 1915, the Anzac retreat was complete.

A British Royal Commission into Gallipoli concluded that from the outset the risk of failure outweighed Its chances of success. The British had contributed 468,000 in the battle for Gallipoli with 33,512 killed. 7,636 missing and 78,000 wounded.The ANZACs lost 8,000 men in Gallipoli and a further 18,000 were wounded. Australia had a population of five million - 330,000 served in the war, 59,000 were killed. New Zealand with a population of one million lost 18,000 men out of 110,000 and had 55000 wounded.

This video is for my grandfather who was one of those who landed at Gallipoli in 1915. The song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" always makes me shed a tear or two around this time of year. So many brave, innocent, young men were led "like lambs to the slaughter."

"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

This video extract is from the movie "Gallipoli" which was made in 1981 by Peter Weir. It shows the common occurrence in the Gallipoli Campaign where the young ANZACS were ordered out of their trenches at the bottom of the hill to push forward over the dead bodies of those who had gone before, to try and gain distance up the cliffs. The turks, sitting at the top, picked them off like flies with machine gun fire. They knew they ran towards their certain death.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There.."

"They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That damned elusive Pimpernel." - The Scarlet Pimpernel - Sir Percy Blakeney

I would like to share with you today some of the search parameters which have been typed in search engines and have lead people to my blog. It's amazing what people type into search engines and expect as a result, to find information specific to their search requirements. I have absolutely no idea what some of these people were actually searching for when their search enquiries lead them to my blog. But, I would like to suggest a few examples. The moral of this story, is to define your search, or you will be lead to places which exist in parallel universes which require the use of a babelfish in at least one ear in order to make sense of your surroundings. By the way, if you see one of your searches listed, "DON'T PANIC" as the "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" never reveals its sources.


1. mark of the beast for atheists
(This must refer to the oversized Darwinfish which I had tattooed on my left bum cheek. Word of advice: The beast always prefers that you tattoo the left bum cheek rather than the right as the right is for the hand of god. Smacks god's hand off my right bum cheek. )

2. itch in butt
(This search had me slightly bewildered until I realized that they meant to search for "pain in butt" rather than "itch in butt." Nonetheless, my expansive metatag source directed the search here anyway.)

3. mary had a little lamb
(What the!! How did you know my name was Mary? And I deny the lamb thing... Anyway Aries said that he used protection. Damn those randy male constellations.)

4. nude male

5. invisible egg
(Once again "where?" It is invisible, no good searching for it here.)

6. most billionaires are atheists
(But not this atheist.)

7. little engine that could
(Obviously related to: - The little search engine that couldn't find the "little engine that could" on this blog.)

8. understanding pulp fiction
(Success. They obviously came to the right place. Passes them a babelfish.)

9. Amen-Ra golden showers
(Excuse me but I think that a god's sex life should remain private. I am not a conservative busybody after all.)

10. William Lamb the psychic
(Uh oh - Looks like Aries is back and he is demanding that I pay him for that astrology session.)

11. benny hinn enema
(Yes, I recommend an enema for him too. You gotta pass those poop demons somehow.)

12. babel babel bitch bitch marilyn manson lyrics
(Yes, I do babble on a bit but it is Ms Bitch to you and Marilyn sends his love.)

13. hijacker guide through the galaxy
(That's right, your search has been hijacked here. Mwwahaahahah.)

14. keep your jesus off my penis
(I insist that jesus do that. I also insist that if jesus loves me, that he wears a condom.)

15. gay music
(I demand happy music at all times. La la la la la :) )

16. Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me
(How many devils has the dude got? And are any of them rich and cute?)

17. Homosexuality in the Ancient Near East, beyond Egypt semen in lettuce
(Semen in lettuce? Is this the egyptian vegetarian version of "American Pie?")

18. shakira's objection tango video is shit
(Hahahaha. I know.)

19. women who worship the penis
(Keep searching... )

20. quran unintelligible bernard shaw
( I agree and Bernard agrees with me.)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Does This Make Me Famous, Infamous or Almost Famous?

Quote from the movie 'The Three Amigos': - "In-famous is when you're MORE than famous. This man El Guapo, he's not just famous, he's IN-famous."

Recently I entered the information concerning my blog at One Blog A Day. This is a blog which features blogs from across the internet. In the words from 'One Blog A Day': -

'One Blog A Day' will feature an Enterview with a blogger, who has made a significant contribution to the online community, every day. Our goal is to let bloggers share their stories with you and get invaluable feedbacks on their hard work. Please contribute to our efforts by sharing your thoughts and comments. Also, if you are a blogger, share your story with others by Submitting Your Blog Information.

So, being the shrinking violet that I am, I entered the information concerning my blog and the posting of my blog on the site can be viewed here. If you too want to be famous, infamous or almost famous, you also can enter your blog details. Good luck and may the 15 minutes of fame be with you.

"In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes." Andy Warhol.

(And yes, that is Adam Savage from 'Mythbusters' playing Van Gogh.)