I read Leo Taxil when I was fourteen years old. “The Amusing Bible” is the classic and definitive ‘attack’ on the bible (I read it in Hungarian; I cannot find a link to an English translation, it may not exist).
Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Michael Shermer are old news for me. Continue reading →
!@# ahdkry %$!$!* @#$ :;”’# Marshall Rothstein !#%& bdfg &^ 18$% E8di.
Is this hate speech? How do you know?
I got censored. When my personal editor saw what I wrote, she flipped. She does not like me being offensive which I clearly was as I wanted to make a point. What you see is the coded version.
I have to ask for your indulgence. Think of the most offensive way to address a supreme court judge including his ethnic background possibly his political orientation, his mental capacity and since this case was about protecting the feelings of homosexuals; a suggestion for him to perform a particular homosexual act. Think rude and insulting.
And now, let’s talk about it!
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What makes a good question? It is said that a good lawyer will never ask a question in a courtroom to which he does not already know the answer. To them, a good question is the one that can have only one answer, the one they want to hear.
For some, the good questions are the gotcha questions. The ones that stomp the opponent. The ones they cannot immediately answer. The ones that make them winners by default.
For some, it is the loaded question, the one that is so heavy with assumptions that the opponent cannot answer it in any way without making himself look bad or stupid.
To me, a good question is the least obvious one. The one with the lowest level of assumptions. The one that forces the other side to think about his assumptions, his premises. A good question is a question on the margin. The one your opponent has not thought of before.
All too often debates happen around core ideas colliding head on, both parties reinforcing their own beliefs, walking away in the end more convinced that the other side is wrong.
I am an immigrant to Canada. I escaped communist Hungary because I did not want to live in a Communist country. I detested the religion-like ideology. I DID NOT come to Canada for a larger slice of bread, I came here for freedom. Definitely not to export communism.
Coming home from our vacation we were driving the 401 from Montreal to Toronto. We ran into a bunch of Muslims twice. The forward pointing bearded types who always look angry.
At the time of the second encounter the sun was about to set. The En-Route place was not too busy, but it wasn’t exactly empty either. The weather was nice, there was even a grassy area outside but these Muslims were looking for a place inside for their praying. They found a corner with a view, pushed some chairs around to make room for their carpets and started their praying.
I found the whole circus deeply offensive.
I am not a man of faith. I’ve never been. I am not an atheist, not an agnostic, just a man of reason. Still, all my life I have been fascinated by religions. The religious mindset. Trying to understand how it is possible that something that is so obvious to me is so far beyond the grasp of so many. How is it possible that they do not see the contradictions? The moral ambivalence. The weakness of the psychological benefits. Continue reading →