This blog is intended as a repository for all of the comments, raves, responses, and opinions I have been posting on other sites. These comments range across a variety of subjects: politics, religion, science, philosophy, programming, games (I'm a game developer), and humor.
My bete noir, however, is political or authoritarian religion--religion used by demagogues for political gain. This blight on the human landscape is the result of a combination of pride and sloth on the part of both its leaders and followers. Not self-esteem, but false pride, the human desire to be right all the time, the temptation to claim final authority. Not the sloth so detested by the Puritans, but intellectual laziness so often disguised by busywork, a lack of curiosity and the atrophy of reason.
Political religion takes many forms. Out of political correctness or personal outrage, we all hone in on different manifestations of it: fundamentalist brands of various religions, narrow political and economic orthodoxies, pseudo-science, scientism, occultism, and cults. But the enemy has always and everywhere been the same, and the plain of Armageddon is not on any map, but is a place in the human soul. The enemy is in all camps, because it is within us, and we have no devil to blame for it. In typical buckshot manner, the religions take aim at this too, but hit so much else that no one can tell what the original target was. I think I know what their original intent was, but there is just no way to prove what that intent was by referring to any scripture.
The Holy Texts are so vague and self-contradictory, so spread across time and influence, that nearly any meaning can be gleaned from them. Whenever someone argues for the infallibility of one of these books, they are in fact arguing for the infallibility of their own interpretation. Catholicism is criticised for having a Pope who claims to be infallible, and rightly so. But fundamentalists of all stripes make the same claim by hiding behind the Bible, or the Koran, or some other work. The world is full of popes. And nothing works in their favour so well as a flock unwilling to study the evidence and think for themselves.