Daily Archives: 7 Jan 2012

An Insightful Observation on the Nature of Atheism

I find this remark remarkably insightful:

Analogies are always wrong except when you land on the one about ants. Ants and atheists. But then it’s not an analogy, it’s a metaphor. They’re swarming. They’re ‘really uninterested’ but they’re rushing to the picnic for blood. – Stephanie Fisher

She’s on to something.  Atheists don’t believe there’s a God- but they spend their lives talking about God.  It’s a fascinating thing really.  It’s like people who don’t believe in Unicorns devoting their lives to proving that they don’t exist.

Every time an atheist says the word “god’, an Angel gets its wings.

Dolt’s Gym

Some folk are so devoid of sense.  That’s the only possible explanation for an advert like this for a gym:

The owner of the Circuit Factory, a gym company based in Dubai, has apologized for putting out an advertisement featuring a photo of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.  The advertisement, which was uploaded onto the gym’s Facebook group, features the Circuit Factory Logo above a picture of the train tracks leading to the Auschwitz death camp with the slogan “Kiss Your Calories Goodbye.”

Offensive?  That’s miles off.  Foul.  That’s a bit closer.  Stupidly insensitive?  That’s closer still but now quite there yet.  I think I’ll settle on Nazi-esque which, in my estimation, is the worst thing something can be called.  The gym has apologized but sometimes such ‘apologies’ ring hollow.

The photo has since been taken down by Phil Parkinson, founder of The Circuit Factory, who has issued an apology. The Circuit Factory Facebook page had a new picture up today that reads, “Our values involve raising the quality of people’s lives, through physical exercise. Not cruelty or suffering. We made a big mistake and we are truly sorry.”  The apology has been grudgingly accepted by the Anti-Defamation League’s National DirectorAbraham Foxman, who is a holocaust survivor. But he wondered whether the younger generations were aware of the horror of the Nazis’ reign of terror.

I agree with Foxman-

“We are increasingly troubled by both the ignorance and mindset of a generation that appears to be so distant from a basic understanding of the Holocaust that it seems acceptable to use this horrific tragedy as a gimmick to bring attention to promoting losing weight,” Foxman said in a statement on the group’s webpage.

You can’t take back stupid.

The Amish Teen Horse Abandon-er

This one’s bizarre

Wally the Walmart horse is looking for a new home.  That’s the nickname given to a 9-year-old standardbred horse that a humane society says was left at a northeast Ohio store by an Amish teenager more than two months ago. Humane Officer Christian Courtwright in Geauga County says the teen apparently unhooked the horse from a buggy, tied it to a rail at the Walmart in Middlefield and never came back for it.

That doesn’t sound very Amish.  Amish folk are generally much more conscientious than that.  Unless…  Unless the Canadian Amish guy called Mark Regier has moved to Ohio….

The Leftover Giants are Remarkably Poor Readers Void of Insight, I Hope

Deane has managed, willfully or not I do not know, to completely miss the point of my earlier post.  However he did it, he demonstrates, uncharacteristically (because he’s usually pretty good at reading) poor thinking on this one.  Plus, he CLEARLY didn’t bother reading my last sentence.

Should I attribute his misreading to willful ignorance or to theological blindness?  I prefer to think it’s got to be the latter because I know Deane and like him very much (which means that I wish it to be the latter rather than the former).

So I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that he resides outside of the hermeneutical circle.  Otherwise, he’s just intentionally misrepresented me in a way that can only be called crudely absurd and simpleminded.

Quote of the Day

God daily places himself in our view, that we cannot open our eyes without being compelled to behold him. His essence, indeed, is incomprehensible, utterly transcending all human thought; but on each of his works his glory is engraven in characters so bright, so distinct, and so illustrious, that none, however dull and illiterate, can plead ignorance as their excuse. — John Calvin

Indeed John, indeed.

Wormy Facebook and the Strange Silence of Chris Tilling Explained

Facebook has temporarily shut down about 45,000 accounts to protect users from a worm that steals login information and spreads malicious links, the Telegraph reports. Called Ramnit, the worm has been proliferating since April 2010 but only recently adapted to Facebook accounts. Most of the victims are in Britain and France, according to an Israeli computer security firm.  “We suspect that the attackers behind Ramnit are using the stolen credentials to log in to victims’ Facebook accounts and to transmit malicious links to their friends, thereby magnifying the malware’s spread even further,” says the firm in a blog.

That explains why Chris Tilling has been so quiet.  He’s got worms.

More Radical Muslim Barbarism in Nigeria

The Guardian headline:

Church attacks in Nigeria leave at least 27 worshippers dead: Islamist group claims responsibility amid growing concern about government’s inability to tackle sectarian violence

Barbarism and governmental indifference combined = death.

A fresh wave of violence against churchgoers in Nigeria has left at least 27 people dead and heightened fears over security in Africa’s most populous country.  The religiously motivated massacres, three in as many days since Thursday, targeted Christians in Mubi and Gombe, both towns in the north-east where a state of emergency was declared by President Goodluck Jonathan last week. Some 17 other deaths have been reported in other regions. There is growing concern that the government’s inability to tackle the rising levels of sectarian violence, blamed on radical Islamic group Boko Haram, may result in hundreds of people fleeing their homes. The group is now carrying out weekly attacks on churches and police stations in northern and central areas. Islamic clerics who speak out against the violence have been assassinated.

Instead of invading Iraq the United States should be invading the barbaric places where people are savagely murdered and the government is too lame, weak, or indifferent to put the boots on the ground necessary to stop it.

What A Great Idea! Brick up that Door!

Anti-fascists in Lower Saxony bricked up the front door of a top member of the extreme-right National Democratic Party’s (NPD) home to protest against his presence at a city council meeting on Monday.

What a brilliant thing to do. We should brick up the doors of all our politicians. The country would be better off and the world would be a better place.

The front door was neatly walled in overnight, and sealed with a poster reading, “House arrest for Nazis.” An antifascist spokeswoman said the action was a symbolic attempt to stop him leaving the house. Police were called to the house in Oldenburg where Ulrich Eigenfeld, treasurer of the NPD, lives, after other people living there opened the front door and found their exit blocked. “The line is crossed for us when they leave the house with their misanthropic thinking,” said a spokeswoman for the group in an email, according to the Oldenburger Lokalteil website.

Germans. Always ahead of the curve intellectually.  With thanks to Dot King for twittering it.

Too Far this Time Jeremy


Jeremy Clarkson at AutoItalia Stanford Hall 20...

The Telegraph reports

Jeremy Clarkson, the TV presenter, has been criticised for making tasteless comments about the Morecambe Bay cockle picking tragedy in which 23 Chinese migrant workers died. In a column for a tabloid newspaper, Clarkson mocked the sport of synchronised swimming as “Chinese women in hats, upside down, in a bit of water”, adding: “You can see that sort of thing on Morecambe Beach. For free.”

I like Clarkson (and his mates on Top Gear) and I usually understand his black humor. This time, though, he’s stepped across a boundary into a place no one should go. This time he needs to apologize.

Thanks, Logos and BibleWorks

I try to be an ethical person.  As ethical as I can be anyway.  So I don’t use pirated stuff and I only buy software from legitimate sources and I always try to be very careful about software licenses and their proper implementation.

So, having loaded BibleWorks 9 and Logos 4 on the new desktop machine I was about to uninstall them from the laptop (because most software only permits installation on one computer).  But I decided to search the respective forums and have discovered, to my delight, that both allow installation on multiple computers so long as the user is one person.  Since I’m one person and no one else uses my computers, I think that applies!

So thanks, to both of you, for allowing the installation and operation of your tools on more than one machine.  I appreciate it.

The New Machine is Up to Date, Fully Armed, and Fully Equipped

I’ve spent this morning (when I wasn’t cleaning the house or piddling around at Starbucks) uploading modules for BibleWorks 9 and installing fonts from Tyndale Tech and adding in foreign language keyboards.

The machine is up to date, fully armed, and fully equipped (except for Luther’s Complete Works which is on an old Libronix disk and I have no clue how to add it in without messing everything up in Logos 4- and that, after the process I’ve already endured, I’m not willing to do).

Here’s a photo of the new equipment, which is very, very fast and very very nice.

I know this will sound strange but what I especially like is the 8 in 1 card slot and the wheel-less mouse.  Somehow or other the mouse just knows, via some sort of light beam, where my hand is taking the cursor.  It’s magic!

BAR: #Fail. Again

Biblical Archeology Review may be widely read by the public but that same public needs to know that BAR doesn’t play fair.  And that’s a #Fail.

Yet another example shows up in their email today where they boast Scholar Disputes Reading of New Jerusalem Seal Inscription.

A Hebrew University scholar has put forward a new interpretation of a tiny, inscribed clay object recovered from the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem, only a week after the discovery was first announced. “I was sitting with my son and looking at the photograph [of the object], and in a moment of intuition, I realized what it could be,” said Shlomo Naeh, professor of Talmudic studies and head of the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies.

Straight from Ha’aretz, which they then link to a bit further on.

What they ignore is the fact that Robert Deutsch had already suggested a variant understanding along the same lines much sooner.  Deutsch’s suggestion was widely distributed (here and on ANE-2 and the Biblical Studies List along with Joseph Lauer’s mail distribution list and Jack Sasson’s Agade- all of which are monitored by BAR staffers).

Academics play fair and note properly their sources and those who have discussed the subject when that discussion is well known.  That BAR ignores Deutsch says a great deal about their interest in scholarly discourse (or rather should I say, their disinterest in such discourse) as well as their unfamiliarity with how scholarship is done, by scholars.  It is akin to discussing the Synoptic Problem and ignoring Bultmann or discussing the Reformation and ignoring Calvin.

Read BAR if you must; but understand that they are skewing the discussion.

God. I Understand Him

Numbers 14 (in the Common English Bible) –

1 The entire community raised their voice and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites criticized Moses and Aaron. The entire community said to them, “ If only we had died in the land of Egypt or if only we had died in this desert! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken by force. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt? ” 4 So they said to each other, “ Let’s pick a leader and let’s go back to Egypt. ”

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the assembled Israelite community. 6 But Joshua, Nun’s son, and Caleb, Jephunneh’s son, from those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite community, “ The land we crossed through to explore is an exceptionally good land. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he’ll bring us into this land and give it to us. It’s a land that’s full of milk and honey. 9 Only don’t rebel against the LORD and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are our prey. Their defense has deserted them, but the LORD is with us. So don’t be afraid of them. ” 10 But the entire community intended to stone them.

Then the LORD’s glory appeared in the meeting tent to all the Israelites. 11 The LORD said to Moses, “ How long will these people disrespect me? And how long will they doubt me after all the signs that I performed among them? 12 I’ll strike them down with a plague and disown them. Then I’ll make you into a great nation, stronger than they. ”

God. I understand him.  I completely get why he was so sick and tired of their whining and rebellion and disobedience.  Be fair, wouldn’t you be fed up too?

The thing I don’t understand, but for which I am all the more grateful for that very reason, is why God continued, and continues, to be gracious to the sorriest splotch on his creation- humankind.

Marcionites ancient and modern who think that the God of the Old Testament is unlike the God of the New are idiots who have never bothered to read either.

An Observation: On Observations

Observations take vision.

I’m Miffed, Logos

New machine here, works great.  Love it.  No probs (since I dumped the idiotic McAfee).  Bibleworks 9 is installed and did so without a hitch.  Not so, Logos 4.

Oh it installed well enough.  And then it proceeded to hog resources (updating and indexing for half the day) and now that it’s done with all that when I attempt to start it, it crashes.  Every time.  After restarting as well.  I’m miffed and I have to admit it.

I hope there’s a fix.  I’ve written but no response yet.


UPDATE:  I’ve uninstalled it in frustration and am reinstalling it… which requires another 1.94gb download followed by hours of indexing.  If that doesn’t do it I’ll just uninstall it and forget about it.

UPDATE II:  I’ve finished (it took all night) reinstalling and indexing and all the rest.  Unfortunately the things I’ve purchased and received for review are gone.  No Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (this miffs me even more), no Luther’s Works, no BHS/NA27, and no Reformation Reader along with loads of other stuff.  Farewell Erasmus’ Works, etc.  And now, having restarted the machine and opened the program, the ‘preparing the library’ bit is once again taking forever.  ‘This may take a while’ is an understatement but must it do so every time I want to use it?  Good grief.  If I ever hear back on how to get back what I’ve lost, I’ll update again.

UPDATE III:  And now, after sitting for an hour waiting for ‘preparing your library’ to stop running, Logos has managed to crash yet again.  All I can say is, thank God I have actual books.  If I had to rely on electronic books I think I’d throw myself off a cliff in despair.

UPDATE IV:  Finally, success.  Not being the sort to quit, I attempted one more run and it actually worked.  With all materials in place.   Might I suggest that if you wish to spare yourself all the agony and annoyance I’ve experienced, make sure McAfee is no where near your computer when you install Logos 4.


Catholics Shoot Kittens

Via Stuart on the twitter