The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

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An Atheist's Creed

I quite deliberately used the indefinite article "An" in the title for I in no way intend to speak for all atheists. As I've mentioned before on this site, I was raised a Christian, and that has no doubt influenced my worldview. If I were to create a creed for all atheists, it'd simply be, "I do not believe that gods exist." That is what is sometimes referred to as weak atheism (no insult intended). It is the type of atheism that animals and babies have, and that some adults claim to have (I'm skeptical about that). Strong atheism is the belief that there are no gods. Some people have a hard time distinguishing between those two statements, but the former is a lack of belief in gods, and the latter is a belief in the lack of gods. For those who use this terminology (and it's definitely not universal), there's also weak agnosticism – an uncertainty in one's beliefs, and strong agnosticism – a belief that such knowledge is ultimately unknowable for anyone. Again, the terms weak and strong should not be considered judgments about those positions.


As my Thursday is wrapping up and most of y'all's Thursdays are starting, it's time for another open thread Thursday.

I missed it last Thursday due to having a very sick cat - we ended up taking her to a cardiologist and getting a brain MRI, but they couldn't really figure out what was wrong with her. The good news is that she's mostly recovered now.

Open Thread Thursday III

I'm pretty sure I'll stop numbering these soon, and maybe choose more creative titles like MrSmith1 does, but then again, I'm not as creative as he.

I don't have much in the way of deep thoughts today, but here are two:

Open Thread Thurdsay II

It's been a long while since my last open-thread Thursday, but here's another.

Some thoughts I've had while reading the news this morning:

Stranger in a Dagland

I'm currently reading Stranger in a Strange Land, by Heinlein, and ran across this gem:

  "Jubal, are you saying I ought not to criticize the administration?"

Open Thread Thursday?

I love MrSmith's Friday Afternoon Haikulodeons, so I'm suggesting open thread Thursdays for one-off comments that aren't quite big enough for blog posts. So, here's the open thread!

A Question about the Book of Ezra for Biblical Scholars

So, on a discussion board elsewhere, someone posted the following Tom the Dancing Bug comic:

Now, I'm familiar with the the 1 Kings 7:23-26 reference, and it's never fazed me: 10 cubits times pi (3.14159…) is 30 cubits, to one significant figure. No problem. The Ezra 1:7-11 reference is more confusing. Specifically, Ezra 1:9-11:

Dolphins may be the second smartest species on Earth

Not sure where to post this, as it is Zach Weiner's joke, not mine, but from, here's a hilarious perspective on dolphin intelligence:

Dolphins may be the second smartest species on Earth

I don't want top post all of it so as to avoid copyright infringement, but I'll post just enough more to get you hopefully hooked:

Your Vote Counted

Typically, arguing about the value of a vote ends up turning into a discussion on the Ship of Theseus, George Washington's Axe, or the Sorites paradox, except that instead of which grain of sand did we have to remove to turn a heap of sand into a non-heap, the question is which vote(s) caused a particular candidate to win? The question at least appears to become a lot less philosophical when you're a part of it.

Go Vote!

Due to apathy, off-off year elections (i.e., elections on odd-numbered years) tend to have lower voter turn-out than even off year elections. The bad news is that, for whatever reason, Republican-leaning voters tend to be less affected by apathy than Democratic-leaning voters. The good news is that this low turn-out means your vote counts more than it would for even-numbered years. So, go vote!



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