something to ponder on the fourth of july

Which of the following is more inclusive and better represents the ideals of maximum freedom as outlined in the US constitution? (h/t)

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under the gods, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under no God or gods, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Interjects that the person must adhere to a monotheistic belief system. Interjects that the person must adhere to a polytheistic belief system. Interjects that the person must not adhere to any theistic belief system. Does not interject any presuppositions about religion. The person is free to believe whatever they want.

Happy Independence Day, y’all. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

I invite you to read that quote 1nce more. Have fun today. 🙂

quotes roundup- winter 08- spring 09

a little late in posting this, but here goes!:

stephen hawking, der spiegel (17 october 1988):

we are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. but we can understand the universe. that makes us something very special.

Saki:

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.

Gerry Spence:

I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

fred doyle:

Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.

Tri-fecta of doubt….

Carl Sagan:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Marcello Truzzi:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Pierre-Simon Marquis de Laplace

The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

Paul Bert :

Modern societies march towards morality in proportion as they leave religion behind.

Louis Pasteur

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.

Charles Richet

I never said it was possible. I only said it was true.

Jean Rostand

I should have no use for a paradise in which I should be deprived of the right to prefer hell.

Jean Rostand

In order to remain true to oneself one ought to renounce one’s party three times a day.

Publilius Syrus:

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

Dale McGowen (author of Raising Children Beyond Belief):

Much of the protest over “nonbeliever” is that it defines us in terms of religious believers. I care about this no more than the fact that “nonsmoker” defines me in terms of smokers and “non-idiot” defines me in terms of idiots. You don’t find many non sequiturs up in arms about being defined in terms of the hated sequitur, nor are the nondescript or noncommital often irate about comparisons to the descript and commital.

Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. seemed not to find their advocacy of nonviolence diminished by the lexical negation of violence. Nor does Nonviolent Peaceforce, the nonpartisan, nonprofit NGO (that’s “non-governmental organization”) for which I work. For each and all of these terms, the prefix is a non-issue.

So why do we continue to waste our pique on such terms as “nonbeliever” and “nonreligious”? I find them both useful and economical. Pile on your polysyllables and modifiers as you wish. I have things to do.

Jean Rostand

Kill a man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conquerer. Kill everyone, and you are a god.

Jean Rostand

Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

Jean Rostand

The divine is perhaps that quality in man which permits him to endure the lack of God.

Jean Rostand

When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current, rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won’t one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.

He was as great as a man can be without morality.
Alexis de Tocqueville

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Slayer (lyrics):

Holy man open up your eyes
To the ways of the world you’ve been so blind
As the walls of religion come crashing down
How’s the ignorance taste the second time around

Tell me how it feels knowing chaos will never end
Tell me what it’s like when the celebration begins

Welcome to the horror of the revelation
Tell me what you think of your savior now
I reject all the Biblical views of the truth
Dismiss it as the folklore of the times
I won’t be force fed prophecies
From a book of untruths for the weakest mind
Join the new faith for the celebration
Cult of new faith fuels the devastation

[Read the complete lyrics]

gay parenting

hurray for an obama campaign.  boo to the propositions that were passed in a few states taking away the rights of same-sex couples.  today i watched 30 Days (with Morgan Spurlock).  the episode was on same-sex parents.   it can be watched on hulu or you can google elsewhere to find the episode.  i had to write this quick post because i never cry (very rarely, at least), but tears streamed down my cheeks several times as i watched this.  i cried when i saw how loving the two fathers were with their kids.  i cried when i contemplated people wanting to take away their right to parent.  i cried when i saw one of their younger kids brushing his teeth and it made me sad to think some would have him taken away from them.  i cried when i saw this woman (who was living in their home and against gay adoption rights) as her mind was torn left and right in order to deal with the cognitive dissonance caused by seeing these great parents.  i cried when i saw two adults who were raised in foster homes, as they showed what it was like to live in that environment and how much they would have loved to have had a home, even a gay home, to call home.  i cried when i realized what a noble thing these two men were doing as they adopted special needs kids and others without a home to go to.  i cried when i contemplated the millions of people that voted in favor of taking away gay rights.  there are far too many foster kids as it is now, and if gays cannot adopt that will only increase the number of kids who may never, ever have a home.  that saddens my soul and sickens my stomach.  i also cried as i saw this woman never change her beliefs even though she wanted to. she wanted to.  but she couldn’t go against her faith as it had been taught to her that she should champion a faith-based belief over empathy, knowledge and experience.  lastly, i cried because the woman was a mormon and she represented the unshakable bigotted ignorance of the LDS church and it’s primary involvement in supporting proposition 8.  i rarely cry but this is a sad day.

ps:  please take the time to watch the episode while it’s still available.