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I’ve spent a significant percentage of my life, firm in the understanding that: a supposition is a guess, perhaps an educated one which one thinks might be true; an hypothesis roughly equals a proposal, idea or a guess which you don’t yet believe to be true and a theory is an established, proven principle or body of principles that explain some natural phenomenon. I’ve been under the impression that testing a hypothesis – several times – and proving it to be correct, results in a theory. Which is to say, a supposition is something without evidence that one might believe anyway, a hypothesis is an idea which isn’t believed that is to be tested and a theory is empirically tested truth; facts.

Now, I have to tell you, I seriously hope I’m not wrong about this and haven’t been wrong about this for what essentially amounts to my entire life. I have never considered those three words to mean the same thing or even similar things. They are explicitly not the same thing.

And if that is true, then will somebody please explain to me what the actual fuck is going on here:

Supposition

Google definition: Supposition

sup·po·si·tion: noun: “an uncertain belief.” | Synonyms: …theory, hypothesis…

Hypothesis

Google definition: Hypothesis

hy·poth·e·sis: noun: “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.” | Synonyms: …theory, supposition…

Theory

Google definition: Theory

the·o·ry: noun: “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.” | Synonyms: …hypothesis, supposition…

Synonym

syn·o·nym: noun: "a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close."

syn·o·nym: noun: “a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.”

I’ve used Google’s Search with a “define” many thousands of times to get the definition of words. And now I wonder…

Surely, supposition, hypothesis and theory are not synonyms. Surely they are not “exactly” nor “nearly” the same thing. Surely they are not interchangeable? Surely?

How do you explain to your average religionut that a theory is empirically supported fact, not a guess nor a supposition nor an idea without evidence when that same religionut can go and do a Google search and prove to you that a theory, hypothesis and supposition are, in fact, synonyms. Interchangeable. Nearly or exactly the same.

It’s either a disgrace or I am sadly mistaken. I hope I’m not sadly mistaken.

Ladies and gentlemen, the incredible, Mr. Tim Minchin! Genius. Absolute, genius. That is all.

Love it.

Thought for the day: Knowledge

There is no harmful knowledge and there is no beneficial ignorance. All evil comes from ignorance and all good comes from knowledge.

Words to live by.

“Science’s only sacred truth is that there are no sacred truths. All assumptions must be critically examined. Arguments from authority are worthless. Whatever is inconsistent with the facts – no matter how fond of it we are – must be discarded or revised.” — Carl Sagan

And that is all I have to say about that.

It is literally impossible to overstate how much I love the experiment in this video. It’s so simple and yet shows so magnificently the existence of things almost impossible to believe. It’s beautiful in every way.

The point of the episode the experiment is conducted for is to explain the evolution of life, one of the mechanisms for mutation to be precise. Brilliant in it’s simplicity.

The religious often ask what an atheist has to live for (as if pretending to know something you do not is a reason to live) since we “believe in nothing”. I can honestly say that seeing an experiment like this, understanding what it means, seeing the results – you can freaking see cosmic rays for god’s sake! – is my religious experience. It’s learning things like this, about the world, that is my religious experience. Acquiring knowledge about the world, the universe we exist in, that is my reason to live. It makes me happy.

You could almost say that this phrase errs on the side of being true:

The universe is my god, science is my religion and Carl Sagan is my personal Jesus fucking Christ.

Or Brian Cox as it were.

Blam! FEEL THE AWESOME!

A talk by Richard Dawkins at Google. There isn’t much more to say than “Richard Dawkins is awesome”. That is all.

Can you feel it? The awesome! Can you feel it?

God can not exist.

All of existence is contained in a super-dimensional field which is lethal to all Gods. This field – known as the Deity Obliteration Field – is undetectable to humans and any instrument humans have ever devised. It cannot be seen, felt or detected in any way and it is lethal to any God of any kind and Gods are the only conceivable beings that could posses the ability to perceive this field. It is especially lethal to any Gods that have the property of omnipotence or omniscience. Nothing – including Gods – can exist without this field – it is the prime requirement for anything at all to have the property of existing.

By definition, the moment a God starts to exist, its existence is summarily ended due to the Deity Obliteration Field.

Unless one can prove that the ODF does not exist, no God can exist by definition. If one is able to prove that the ODF does not exist, that same proof will be applied to the claim of any God existing thereby automatically proving that that God does not exist.

It therefore follows that either the existence of the ODF can be proven or it can’t be proven but it in either case no God can exist.

God does not exist.

I’ve heard many Christians claim many times that their life would be meaningless without God. That God and/or Jesus give their life meaning or that without their faith they would have nothing to live for or would lead an aimless existence. I’ve always found this notion a very curious thing but haven’t been able to satisfactorily articulate what precisely the problems were with that way of thinking.

Recently, I came across this quote by Dr. Peter Boghossian, a philosopher at Portland State University and author of an upcoming book “A Manual for Creating Atheists”:

If life has no meaning for someone unless they pretend to know something they don’t know, then I would strongly and sincerely urge extensive therapy and counselling. This is particularly true if feelings of meaninglessness and lack of purpose lead to depression, which is a serious illness. Absent a mental disorder, or head trauma, there is no reason an adult should feel life is meaningless without maintaining some form of delusion. — Peter Boghossian

That quote adequately explains what I’ve felt but have been unable to properly articulate. A person who has to pretend to know something they do not and maintain that pretence just to feel like their life isn’t completely worthless has some psychological problems. Of course, most religious people don’t think they’re pretending but having spent considerable time at youth groups myself and experiencing first hand the bizarre behaviour of impressionable young people in such an emotionally charged, peer pressure environment, it’s not surprising to me that people are able to convince themselves that what they’re feeling – which is real – must be caused by what they are being told – a supernatural, spiritual force – which clearly isn’t real.

Pretending that something is real, however, is not the same as deriving self-worth and life meaning out of that pretence. People who’s self-worth and life-worth is dependant on pretending to know something they do not, have psychological issues and religion is fundamentally constructed and finessed to play to those psychological issues. The whole concept of faith, prayer, divine knowledge and a relationship with an unseeable, un-hearable, intangible being that speaks to you in your mind is a dangerous and perfectly positioned proposition for people who have psychological problems. Is it any wonder that people with psychological problems are drawn to religion?

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. — Friedrich Nietzsche

What is the difference between Christians who talk to their god and derive life worth from that relationship, Muslims who speak to Muhammad and derive life worth from that relationship and clinically insane people who speak to carrots and derive life worth from that relationship?

I would venture that there is little distinction between them. Opinion certainly as I am not a qualified psychiatrist but it does go some way to explain why religious observance, rules and customs are generally so far removed from what should be normal human behaviour, that to those who are not caught up in it… it mostly seems bizarre and insane. Eat the body of a deity and drink his blood? Magic underwear? Exorcisms?  Transferring your sins to a freaking chicken? Baptising the dead? Refusing life saving blood transfusions?

Not all religious people are clinically insane, I’ll admit that. It does however seem to me that a great many religious people have psychological issues and it seems pretty clear to me that people who have psychological issues are drawn to religion because religion has been constructed in such a way so that it will appeal to them.

Religion. What’s the harm, right?

Religion, what’s the harm. Some people need a crutch. Let people believe what they want, it comforts them.

And what does it do for the child victims of religion? Girl of 8 married to a 40 year old man who rapes her to such a degree she fucking dies from the injuries? How many other good Muslim men rape little girls to death? And the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of children abused by the Catholic church?

Religion. What’s the harm.

This: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/09/bride-aged-8-dies-internal-sexual-injuries-wedding-night-_n_3892892.html

And this: https://onefuriousllama.com/2013/02/05/islamic-cleric-rapes-tortures-and-kills-his-daughter-and-pays-a-fine/

And this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

And this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/nyregion/after-sexual-abuse-case-a-hasidic-accuser-is-shunned-then-indicted.html?_r=0

Oh, it doesn’t end there and you can’t tell me these are ‘fringe cases’. Four links above cover child abuse by Christians, Muslims and Jews.

But there is a god right? And he loves children right?

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