Gone for the Weekend July 25, 2008

Gone for the Weekend

I’ll be gone until Sunday.

This blog’s on autopost until then.

Consider this an open thread! Talk about all things interesting. Or else.

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  • UKShell

    “Talk about all things interesting”
    Does it have to be atheism related?

    Well, I’m going camping in six days time.
    That’s interesting to me.
    I’m so giddy, I can’t wait! 🙂

  • The wheels got stolen right off my bike! Do you believe that shit? I do. Thieves just make it not-fun to live in an urban area, you know? Fuckers.

    So after I buy some new wheels, I’m going to have to figure out what to do with it. As far as I know, the bike isn’t allowed in my apartment, but unless my building wants to provide a bike rack that’s not accessible to every thug in Atlanta, I may just have to ignore that rule.

  • Steven

    Well, I have a question which is both interesting and atheism-related so I think it qualifies.
    Yesterday my daughter fell down some stairs and sustained a mild concussion (she’s OK, according to the doctor at the hospital where she received the best of care.)
    My co-workers were completely supportive when I had to leave to deal with this accident but my team lead who is a devout born-again Christian sent me an e-mail invoking God for protection and healing. His second e-mail, once we knew my daughter was OK, praised God for this happy outcome.
    I was touched by the sentiment and the genuine sincerity and thanked him for it, but in my reply I praised the paramedics, doctors, and nurses.
    The question I have is, as an atheist do you wince a bit when a theist starts up the prayer wheel or simply accept this as a sincere attempt to help?

  • Gabriel

    It makes me wince. I am married to a nurse and my mother is a nurse. They spent years in school to learn the basics and then they spent more years gaining the experience that allows them to be very good at their jobs. I am assuming the same thing for paramedics and doctors applies. It really bugs me when god is given the credit for the hard work of humans. I was telling my wife last night that a truly “faithful” christian shouldn’t seek out medical attention for anything. After all the prayers of the faithful should be able to take care of any problem.

  • Ron in Houston


    Yeah, I intellectually wince. However, it’s pretty benign, so I just thank them.

  • Did anyone see that the kid who murdered Lawrence King (just because he was gay) is being tried as an adult?

    The kid was 14, yet he may go away for life.

    Your thoughts?

  • mikespeir

    The question I have is, as an atheist do you wince a bit when a theist starts up the prayer wheel or simply accept this as a sincere attempt to help?

    Sure, I wince. I wince because I used to do the same kind of thing. I know my own motives were born less of compassion than of a desire to proselytize–i.e. to confirm my worldview by trying to convince others to agree. No, I don’t read minds. Maybe this guy’s motives are purer. Somehow, I doubt it.

  • Ron in Houston


    I think intent is important. I attribute the whole “I’ll pray,” as their way of grappling with the fact that much happens in life that we have no capacity to control.


    Our penal system is out of control and threatens to bankrupt government. We should only be incarcerating those people that we’re afraid of and not those who we’re mad at. From a scientific perspective we shouldn’t be trying 14 year olds as adults since the parts of the brain dealing with executive functioning aren’t fully developed.

    Other than those general comments, I don’t know enough about the case to say if I feel it’s really right or wrong.

  • anom

    So, how about sex?

  • Polly

    The question I have is, as an atheist do you wince a bit when a theist starts up the prayer wheel or simply accept this as a sincere attempt to help?

    I wince a little. But, I appreciate the support. In most cases there’s nothing another person can really do to help. I tranlsate this as “I’ll keep you in my thoughts.”

    There’s no reason, in my mind, to get huffy or all offended by other people’s well-wishes, however they choose to express them.

    Caveat: That’s not to say, attitude doesn’t play a part. If they’re just saying it to say it, or as a way to shove their beliefs in my face knowing my disbelief, then that’s completely different.

  • Polly

    Did anyone see that the kid who murdered Lawrence King (just because he was gay) is being tried as an adult?

    The kid was 14, yet he may go away for life.

    The question we should ask is not about age but about the chances for rehabilitating someone.
    I don’t think decisions made today regarding the next 50 or 60 years should be absolutely final. A lot can change in a person over the decades, adult or child. Periodic evaluations should decide whether the kid has grown a conscience or not.
    Some crimes are so heinous and also pre-meditated that it’s clear there’s no chance for a course reversal. IMO, there is a place for the death penalty. But, it should be rare and (probably) should never be applied to a minor.

    Everyone is different. A one-size-fits-all, all sales are FINAL, system makes no sense.

  • Gabriel


    As much as I wish the kid would be punished for what he did, what I want most is for him to be used as an example of how much good a proper education can do. A life sentence for a 14 year old is a bit much (this coming from a guy who’d kick the fucker’s ass given the chance), so instead, he should be put in juvenile hall, and be taught about tolerance, acceptance, homosexuality, etc. Hopefully, if the right steps are taken, he can be shown how wrong he was, and will be truly sorry for what he did. Being a little more hopeful, he might also one day take up an active role in the fight against discrimination (especially discrimination that leads to violence).

  • sc0tt

    I think it very unlikely that a long prison term will reduce the kind of anti-gay sentiment that young Mr. King must posess… prisons have given up on reforming criminals anyway.

    Me: “A-choo”
    Colleage: “Bless you”
    Me: “Thank you, but I prefer ‘gesundheit”

    I saw a great bumper sticker the other day…


    Have a great weekend.

  • Siamang

    Here’s an interesting incident that reminds me of Wafergate…


    So a presidential candidate goes to the Western Wall. And as is tradition, writes a secret prayer on a slip of paper and puts it in the wall.

    Someone took the paper and published the prayer.

    Here it is:

    “Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will,”

    Here’s a quote from that article:

    “There is a rabbinic prohibition against reading other people’s private communications, and certainly anyone who goes to the wall expects that those communication will be protected,” Rosenblum said.

    Now, to me this reminds me of Wafergate. But I would ask, is the offense in taking the note, or in publishing its contents? According to Rosenblum, the offense is in READING the prayer.

    The Rabbi in charge of the Western Wall said this:

    “The notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall are between a person and his maker. It is forbidden to read them or make any use of them,” Rabinovitz told Army Radio.

    Anyway, this reminds me a lot of wafergate.

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