This Weeks Reader: June 29, 2008  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Books
Book Review: 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P. Harrison
Perhaps like many of you, when I first became an atheist, I had to think about every reason for believing in God that I had previously held. If I didn’t have a strong response to each of them, my case for atheism would be weakened. Some of those reasons were easy to knock away. It’s relatively easy to learn about evolution and why there’s no need for an Intelligent Designer. It’s easy to understand why we don’t need a God to be moral.

But it was much more difficult to convince myself that my prayers were in fact not being heard by anyone when I was so sure they were being answered. Or that so much of the deep history of my faith was really a history of perpetuating a series of myths. Or that all those intelligent people I had met, who were also religious, were just plain wrong when it came to the God question.


Games
Clueless video game bill nears passage in New York
Here's were things get a little silly: the bill also says that there will be a group created to make recommendations about game ratings and the effects that games have on youth violence. The group will have 16 members, appointed by the governor, who will each serve for three years. While there is no schedule for how often this group shall meet, the bill is strict: it has to be at least twice a year. The bill uses a lot of legalese to say the group will meet and try to stop youth violence, including racial and gender-motivated violence, and violence against law enforcement. They will do this by talking about video games, at least twice a year. With no pay.

Government
Socialism & The Right to Life
Socialism is not a bad thing. Socialism helps a great amount of people, and thanks to socialism, we don't have sky-high death rates and illiteracy rates. Thanks to socialism, we have reached closer to equality than we had before.

Yet, conservatives continue to demonize socialism as an evil attempting to take over and wrest the hard-earned paychecks of the average American away to pay for some deadbeat's problems.

These conservatives 'forget' to mention that they want huge corporations to wrest their hard-earned paychecks away to pay for some fat cat's third yacht. They also fail to mention that paying the taxes for these benefits would cost a huge amount less than having to pay for insurance (and the medical or other costs when your insurance doesn't pay). They also fail to mention the fact that many of the poor who would benefit from these socialist programs would die without them and are in this position through no fault of their own. Why does being born into a poor family mean a death sentence in this country?


DC v. Heller
How will this shake out in terms of gun violence in a general sense? I have no idea, although if I had to guess I would suspect it won’t make a bit of difference one way or another, since the sort of person most likely to put a bullet in someone else isn’t the sort of person who would be concerned whether or not his firearm was banned. I’ve believed for a long time as a practical matter that handgun bans are useless; there are already millions of them and they will never disappear from the American landscape even if there were a Constitutional amendment banning them (which I don’t recommend). You will never not be able to find a handgun if you really want one.

National News
First female four-star U.S. Army general nominated
The Army Materiel Command handles all material readiness for the Army. During her career, Dunwoody has been assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division and the Defense Logistics Agency. She served with the 82nd Airborne in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

She has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Master Parachutist Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.


Religion
The tokens of virginity: Muslims, honor killings, and the book of Deuteronomy
So the groom was just obeying God. Well, almost anyway. According to the Bible, he shouldn't have just had the wedding annulled; he and the men of the city should have stoned his bride to death at the door of her father's house because she had disgraced him, her family and her community. It's a matter of honor -- an honor killing required by the Bible.

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2 comments: to “ This Weeks Reader: June 29, 2008

  • Anonymous
    Monday, June 30, 2008 at 2:23:00 PM CDT  

    There is no justification for dishonor killing, and no legitimate religion operating in these times advocates it.

    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    "Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"
    http://www.redroom.com/author/ellen-r-sheeley

  • Venjanz
    Monday, June 30, 2008 at 9:32:00 PM CDT  

    The link to the article about how wonderful socialism is is dead. This one worked for me:

    http://bluelinchpin.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/socialism-the-right-to-life/

    I'm not even gonna start...

 

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