Applied Ignosticism

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | Published in

If you've been following me long enough then surely you remember my post on ignosticism, the belief system that says that the term God is meaningless. Personally, I don't think that I did the concept justice but I was young at the time and felt that the idea needed to be out there so others can know about it (plus it got me featured in the Skeptics' Circle so it wasn't all bad.

I wanted to revisit the idea because it occurred to me that it's not just the term "God" that is meaningless but there are many other theological terms that are equally nonsensical or under-defined.

Take for instance "heaven" and "hell". I believe that the current definitions for the two are "spending eternity in God's presence" and "spending eternity separated from God" respectively. (YMMV, since some have an idea of heaven that includes pearly gates, fluffy clouds, and streets of gold while hell is either fire and brimstone or a cold grave.) Notice that both of definition are dependent on the concept of God, which we've already said is undefined.

Another fuzzy term is "sin". Sin is typically considered "an action or thought that goes against God's Will". But how can we know what is God's will if we don't even know who he is? At this point we are all just guessing about what he wants.

To give you an example of the effect all of these ill-defined terms have on theology discussions I will take a paragraph that I was recently able to provoke over at Yahoo Answers. God is now "Lof". Heaven is now "Nevel". Hell is now "Nimm". Sin is now "wub".

Nimm is a place of eternal separation from Lof, and people go there when they die because they chose to separate themselves from Lof while living on earth. Lof created us with a free will to make our own choices and separating ourselves from Lof is one of the choices we are free to make. Our free will is a wonderful gift from Lof in that he does not force us to love Him or to follow him. With out our free will, we would be nothing but puppets or robots, which does not please Lof, and certainly does nothing to better our lives. While Lof desires that everyone would choose to love him, many people will choose not to. These people will die in their wubs and be separated from Lof forever in hell. Man from the beginning has Lof’s law written in his heart, and has the power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. Man was created with holy character prompting him to holy actions; but man was fallible, and did fall from his integrity. Many would say that this is unfair, and that a loving Lof would never set up a system such as this; it is precisely God’s love for us, and the fact that He is perfectly just, that tells why nimm exists, and why men and women will choose to go there. Lof loves us so much that He respects our freedom of choice. If we choose not to love Him, then why would He want us to live with Him eternally in Nevel? Wouldn’t living for eternity with someone we don’t love be a kind of nimm any way? Lof wants to spare those people who don’t love Him from having to live with Him and be under His rule for eternity.

Clear as mud, isn't it? I don't know how that could possibly make sense no matter what words you put in the place of God or hell. Add to it all of the mental wankery that is "free will" and that paragraph isn't even worth reading. This is why I see most of theology a waste of time. It's nonsense talk to give comfort to the ignorant masses.

I'll leave you with a real definition provided by Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary:
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

PSA: Don't Be a Dick

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Published in

Skepchick Rebeca Watson has decided to do yet another video series, this time on the subject of Not Being a Dick while being a skeptic. First episode: The Will

Discordian Chain Letter

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | Published in

=========================DO NOT MODIFY THIS TEXT=============================

Do you know who in 1923 was:

1. President of the largest steel company?

2. President of the largest gas company?

3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?

4. Greatest wheat speculator?

5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?

6. Great Bear of Wall Street?

These men should have been considered some of the world's most sucessful men.

At least they found the secret of making money. Now more than 46 years later,

do you know what has become of these men?

1. The President of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died a pauper.

2. The President of the largest gas company, Edward Hopson, is insane.

3. The President of the N.Y.S.E., Richard Whitney, was released from prison

to die at home.

4. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cooger, died abroad, t.

5. The President of the Bank of International Settlement shot himself.

6. The Great Bear of Wall Street, Cosabee Rivermore, died of suicide.

The same year, 1923, the winner of the most important golf championship,

Gene Sarazan, won the U.S. Open and PGA Tournaments. Today he is still

playing golf and is solvent.



===========================KEEP THIS LETTER==================================

This letter originated in Sweden the home of the Illuminati, has been passed

around the world at least 23 times, bringing discord to everyone who passed it

on. Do not pass this letter around. Print it out and leave it randomly on

random objects in random places. Finally, bury a copy of this in a glass jar

in your back yard with $0.01c of american currency. We will contact you within

5 days at this point.

=======================DO NOT KEEP THIS LETTER===============================

Print out at least 23 copies of this letter and leave it everywhere. Staple it

to poles in the dead of the night, put it under windshield wipers in parking

lots, stack it in free newspaper dispensers, give it away! Introduce your

neighbors to chaos! Everyone who hands out at least 23 copies of this letter

will be smiled upon by Eris and is officially immune to the Illuminati. The

more copies you send out, the more immune you are! Imagine finding money on

the streets! Get Free Food! Get Gorgeous Babes and/or Handsome Men!* Win the

Lottery! Stop wars in foreign countries! Confuse the hell out of first, second

and third souled beings! Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia! Anagram this phrase!

Et In Arcadia Ego...*

=============================KEEP THIS LETTER================================

It will change your life! Bring the four angels to your aid with this letter!

Do it for the Widow's Son! Do what thou will. Remember, Bill Shakespear's

birthday is 4/23, and thats the same day as Discordian Day! Especially if it

falls on a Friday! Eat a hot dog on a bun For eris! NOw foR something

completely Different. Praise Bob, for he is Eris' brother! Did you know that

Joeseph was a Freemason? George Washington was actually Adam Weishaupt?

Jesus didnt die on the cross? Read the Nag Hammadi Manuscripts! Bring back

the Knights Templar! Achieve Gnosis! Get a really good fuck. Answer these

questions for yourself...*

1. Who was Adam the son of?

2. Does God have an opposite?

3. How many sons of God are there?

4. Are the sons of God also Gods?

5. Are any sons of God less than others?

6. What is the goal of prophets and teachers?

7. How many minds are there?

8. What is a human being?

9. Is mankind finished or in process?

10. How much can we and should we attempt?

11. What is the purpose of consciousness?

12. What is the next step?

=============================BURN THIS LETTER===============================

This is Sirius business.


If you see the mad fishmonger, give him my regards.


Schrodinger's cat and Wigner's friend

Cause us problems without end

The cat is both alive and dead

In math that's in our head

And the regression of Von Neumann

Never ceases to annoy Man

The uncertainty just has no end

Until Wigner goes to tell his friend

For, until the friend receives the news

That the cat still purrs and mews

The cat remains (suspended Fate!)

In some formal Eignstate

But if Wigner makes a beeline

To report the now-dead feline

All the friend can really know

Is just one branch of time's swift flow

For in Carter's multispace

Every time-brance has its place

So the cat remains alive

In the half cases (That's .5)

Lead us not to Copenhagen

Nor to Shylock, nor to Fagin

"The result's not parsimonious!"

Yet I find it quite harmonious

===============================EAT THIS LETTER================================


* What? Sexual preferance? How Droll.


* Its in Latin and so is the answer.


* Check these references for insight..

1) Luke 3:38

2) Exodus 3:14, Ephesians 4:4-6

3) Romans 8:14-17

4) John 10:34

5) Colossians 3:4

6) Ephesians 4:11-13

7) Deuteronomy 4:39, Exodus 3:14

8) Genesis 1:26

9) John 3:2

10) John 14:12

11) Corinthians 9:8, Luke 12:32

12) Romans 8:19

p.s. Don't believe anything you read.

begin 600 whoami

5;F5P=7)K8F5P=F9G0'=H="YJ F4*



=============================MODIFY THIS TEXT==================================

h/t to Telarus who discovered this at

Discordian Hymnal #030

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Friday, June 11, 2010 | Published in

Let us all rise and open our Discordian Hymnal to Page #030 "I am the Anti-Pope" by Zlad.

I'm Not Dead Yet, MFers!!!

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Published in

Hey, look at that. I'm still alive. Yes, I've managed to move all of my belongings roughly two blocks to the west and didn't kill myself. I did learn several things in the last week and a half:

1) I have entirely too much shit. I actually long for the days when I didn't have as much shit. Almost exactly seven years ago I managed to fit all of my possessions (minus a futon to sleep on) into my 1989 Buick Skylark. I lost count of how many trips it took me to move my current collection of shit. Granted, not all of it was mine since my wife and daughter had to move their belongings too. I'm still saddened by how many possessions I have. Is that weird? It's almost un-American to say something like that. Most of my shit consists of half-read books and clothes I never wear anymore. I was able to get rid of some of my shit but I still feel like I have too much weighing me down.

2) During the move I was without both cable and internet for roughly 5 days. This was mostly due to bad planning on my part and not some horrible service on the part of the cable company. It was during this time that I discovered that I have an addiction to the internet. And I'm not talking about "Tee hee, I really like the internet". I seriously have an addiction problem when it comes to the internet. I have a bad problem of obsessing about it. Regularly I would wake up, check my e-mail, read about 50-60 blog posts per day, neurotically read every single post made on the forums that I frequent, surf YouTube for a bit, watch the Twitter and Facebook feeds constantly scroll past, reload Yahoo Answers for hours at a time. The internet was no longer a form of entertainment, it was a job. I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent more than 8 hours a day on the internet. Along the way I lost who I was. My personality was gone, replaced by a tangled strand of wires and cables.

Having those 5 days away from the internet did a good job of helping me put my life into perspective. The internet used to be just a fun pastime for me and I need to get back to that. I'm not going to leave the internet, I'm just going to prioritize my time better. I don't know yet if that means more or less blog posts from me. Wait and see.

3) On a lighter note, while I was sans cable and internet I took the time to finally watch "The Men Who Stare at Goats". If you haven't heard of it, it's based off of the Jon Ronson book of the same name and stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges. It's mostly about the US Army's attempts to research New Age concepts and the paranormal and adapt them for combat use. Great movie. I don't have time to do a full review since I've already sent the DVD back in it's little red envelope but I'll tell you that you need to go see it now. It touches on a lot of skeptical and Discordian themes throughout the movie. George Clooney's line, "There are different ways of looking at reality," is one of the most succinct definitions of Discoridanism I've ever heard. Plus the army officer attempting to run through a wall at the very beginning of the film is a perfect visualization of The Barstool Experiment.

4) When I finally did get my internet back I avoided my usual haunts for a little while longer and found an interesting site called Digital Dream Door. Most of the site is taken up by enormous music lists like Greatest Rock Artists, Greatest Rock Guitar Solo, 1000 Songs Every Rock Fan Should Know, etc. All of the lists are completely subjective but I still found them fascinating. Some of the lists are spot on and some of them I disagree with greatly. (Greatest Lyrical Performances features Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen way too much). Overall it is a fun site that any music lover would enjoy.

I said all of that to say that that site completely changed my mind on what is the Greatest Rock Song in history. If you had asked me before last week I would have said Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" hands down. It has the best ensemble performance in rock. Robert Plant screeching his lungs out, Jimmy Page belting out one of the best guitar solos ever, John Paul Jones laying down some super phat bass lines and John Bonham hitting the shit out of his skins.

But then... I was forced to reconsider another arena rock song from another British band from the same era: "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. It's one of those songs that I've heard a million times without actually listening to it. It's become very cliche over the last couple of decades with classic rock stations playing it a minimum of twice a day, plus it's the theme song of CSI: Miami and loved deeply by any political commentator who has become disillusion by demagoguery. But there is still something about cranking it up as loud as you can handle and screaming along with Roger Daltrey's opening notes.

I hate admitting it but it is better than "Whole Lotta Love". Daltrey's singing is better, Townsend's guitar is better (and he pulls double duty by playing one of the best syth solos ever), John Entwistle plays his bass like a god and Keith Moon is fucking Keith Moon. If you don't believe me check out the version from The Kids are Alright:

Pure brilliance.

5) And finally I learned that sleep is for the weak. For some god awful reason my work decided that everyone on second shift (including me) should completely rearrange their lives and start working third shift. So the good news is I'm now working 9 to 5, the bad news is that it's the wrong 9 to 5. Doing this on top of moving has made this one of the most stressful weeks of my life. The fact that I'm still able to make complete sentences is a small miracle.

So with that I am off to bed. I'll try to get back on a regular blogging pattern as soon as I can. Don't miss me too much. Good morning and Hail Eris!