Explain to me, what kind of idiotic, incompetent gods would use a book to transmit their commands, commands that are the only thing that can stop an evil curse that will otherwise condemn every human being to an eternity (not just 500 trillion trillion trillion trillion quadrillion billion grillion billion centuries, but an eternity) of burning in fire?
Let's examine this from he beginning. Stop me if I get something wrong, but your religion basically says this:
An invisible wizard conjured a universe from nothing.
The invisible wizard waited around for about 10B years before starting a small gas cloud swirling that eventually resulted in a star, some planets and then, 4B years later, magically conjured some creatures called humans on one of those planets.
The invisible wizard didn't like what the humans did, so he put a curse on them. A curse so powerful that it is magically transmitted from parent to child, with absolutely perfect fidelity. No human can possibly escape this curse, not even by dying in the womb before their fetus has grown out of its gills. Everyone is afflicted with this curse. Period.
For unknown reasons, the wizard suddenly suffers from a case of curser's remorse, but the only way he can come up with to remove this curse is if he splits himself into three parts, casts a spell on one part of himself to make it into a human fetus, implant it into a fat, ugly Arab woman with a heavy moustache (the woman, not the fetus) and let it gestate. This curse removal business gets complicated because it requires the humans to unknowingly execute this magic piece of the wizard, then if the humans of the future telepathically communicate to the wizard that they really, truly believe that the wizard had them execute a piece of himself so that they could be freed of the curse, only then can they be freed of the curse.
Now this wizard is apparently an omniscient, omnipotent and also somewhat forgetful wizard because he forgets to make any lasting record of this execution of his magical human-looking part. For a hundred years.
Now at this point, this omniscient, omnipotent, and somewhat forgetful wizard apparently does some LSD, a lot of tequila, smokes a few pounds of crack plus snorts some cocaine off a dirty toilet seat and suddenly thinks "Shit, I should have arranged for some press coverage of that execution! Oh, hell, I'll just cast a magic spell on some humans and have them write it down for me".
Now it might be a bit presumptuous of me to second guess this amazing, invisible wizard who can cast spells that are handed down from generation to generation with such perfect fidelity, but what in the holy fuck was the wizard thinking? A book? A freaking *book*? Really? A book in one language, before the printing press was invented, with all the unavoidable errors in manual copying and translation, he chooses to pass down his single greatest command to his followers using a book that 99% of them couldn't even read when it was first written? Really? He cares about them so much that all that stands between them and an eternity of torture is is a freaking *book*?!?
I get the feeling that this particular wizard went to Durmstrang, and he didn't get particularly good grades either. I bet all the death eaters there stayed away from him because he was too mean and stupid for their tastes.
Okay, so any invisible, omniscient, omnipotent, somewhat forgetful wizard capable of conjuring a universe from nothing and putting a curse that propagates with perfect fidelity for eternity could make a mistake. I mean, everyone has a bad day,right? Most of us mere mortals would have simply implanted the knowledge of our will in the humans using a very similar spell to the one he used to put the curse on them in the first place, but what do we know. Magic looks easy to us.
I'm willing to grant that we all have bad days, but can anyone explain how a wizard with such amazing magical powers was so unbelievably stupid that he decided just to inspire a small handful of people in one shit hole neighborhood in one tiny country in one small corner of the Earth?
Wouldn't a semi-competent wizard have said "Gee, I know, I'll inspire a few people in Rome, a dozen in Naples, maybe eight in Kirkuk, probably a couple of dozen in Athens as a lot of folks speak their language, maybe two in Plovdiv, a half dozen in Lisbon, a couple of those cute guys Rhodes with those fine-ass buns... oh yeah, ten in Carthage and maybe a few dozen in those other continents I made"
But this wizard is so mind-numbingly stupid he telepathically transmits his instructions to a handful of semi-literate grunts who then make a hash of the whole thing. The spell he cast on them is so weak that they can't even agree on how many people were present at the tomb of the recently killed (spoiler: he wasn't really killed) bit of the wizard.
And you think this wizard - oh, I'm sorry, you use the term "god" don't you? Sorry, just do a search and replace on "wizard" and the history of your religion reads just the same. Anyway, you think this god/wizardy thing writes a great book? Magically inspired? Telepathically inserted into the minds of the authors with unerring precision?
Oh, wait, let's not forget those Nicean councils (like Hollywood sequels "Nicea: Telepathically Inspired Editors on a Rampage" followed soon thereafter by "Nicea II: The Return of the Grammar Nazis". The wizard (sorry, gods) had to magically implant the thoughts into the minds of some more humans so that they'd throw away entire books of the bible... why? Oh, that's right, because the divine inspiration spell didn't always work very well.
Isn't a bitch that the wizard's (god's... mea culpa) evil curse always propagates with perfect fidelity? I mean, all we've got when it comes to dealing with this evil curse is this magically inspired book that doesn't even vaguely resemble the original scrawls of the semi-primitives who wrote it down fifty to a hundred years after the magical 1/3 of a wizard got lynched.
If the bible isn't certain how many people were at the tomb of the 1/3 of the invisible wizard immediately after it was killed, how can you pretend to be so certain that it has a magical origin? If you believe it does, then can faulty magic be trusted? Is faulty magic the magic of a real wizard who is just a bit sloppy and forgetful? Or maybe of a wizard just didn't really care that much about accuracy? Or is he an evil wizard who just likes to fuck with people facing an eternity of torture by handing down two thousand years worth of translation errors and selective edits by power hungry religious rulers?
Oh, how rude of me! I'm sorry! You were about to tell us something important about your magic book. Please, by all means, go ahead and tell us how it works. It's magic, right?
Isn't it a moral duty for the religious to examine their beliefs?
The only thing that has significantly contributed to the quality of human life and to the length of human lifespan is science and rational thought.
It isn't praying that cures cancers. It isn't priests that perform heart transplants. Nuns don't resuscitate dead people, electricity does.
Given that religion has never saved a child, extended the human lifespan or caused an extended period of peace to break out, isn't it the moral duty of your Mormon pal to question why they spend their days putting the brakes on human progress - and worse, molesting the minds of children with the same crap thereby dooming them to a less productive and less valuable life than they could have had?
I don't make apologies for people who refuse to think because I believe their narcissism/weakness/mental frailty is very, very bad for the future of the human race and the planet.
Putting fear and ignorance into the minds of small children, telling them blatant lies, that's child molesting. Churches and priests should not get a free pass for fucking their butts or fucking their minds. It's simply wrong to allow either act to go unchallenged.
I bet Pat Robertson would do both ends of the kids if he thought no one was looking.
Regardless of whether it is or not, you've got no excuse for not using a dictionary.
Tell me, what shape does an amorphous object have?
What rythm can be found in arrhythmia?
What is moral in an amoral story?
How typical is an atypical event?
What sort of symmetry does an asymmetrical object present?
Are we sensing a theme here? Okay, let's go for the big one:
What sort of theism does an atheist have?
Here's a hint: look in the dictionary under t... th.... the....thei.... theis....
Come on, you can get there.
Now for bonus points, if the lack of belief in gods is a belief, tell us (in 100 words or less) what sort of belief your lack of belief in the Easter Bunny is.
You don't believe in it so you must have beliefs that it doesn't exist, right?
For a triple word score, explain this: If your gods only claim to fame is that their non-existence can't be proven, and the Easter Bunnies claim to fame is also that its non-existence can't be proven, what exactly distinguishes your gods from the Easter Bunny?
Remember you get extra points for staying within the lines and not drooling on the picture before you turn it in.
No, the Jesus character DID NOT say that. Or 99% of the other things attributed to him. Look up "Jesus Seminar", and in particular have a look at the educated opinions of 150 mostly reasonable "mainstream" bible scholars as to what Jesus actually did say:
Actually, some of us (strong atheists) do say there is no god.
The religious rely on the fact that you can't prove a negative as a "defense" of their gods existence in the natural world, but the rational do not.
Does the Easter Bunny exist? You can't prove a negative, so that puts the Easter Bunny on an equal logical footing with Thor, Ganesha, Satan and the gods of Abraham.
Yet any rational adult will tell you with confidence that the Easter Bunny does not exist. Not that there is no evidence, but that it simply does not exist.
That's simply because the odds of such an aberration actually existing are so impossibly low that it can be dismissed out of hand by any rational adult human being.
At some point rational human beings *must* dismiss such implausibilities, otherwise any rational discourse would be impossible.
Gods and Easter Bunnies are objects/creatures embedded in a bigger context called the natural world. You can't isolate the Easter Bunny from the context of the natural world where all of human experience and all that we know of the prehistoric clearly indicate no such claim should be even considered.
BTW the Carrier video on youtube I referred to earlier is " "Are Christians Delusional?" Richard Carrier Skepticon 3"
On topic, I think the only difference between Robertson and mainstream Christians is that Robertson simply doesn't know enough to be embarrassed by his beliefs. He's the ultimate true Christian, a genuine believer who will say and do anything that his invisible gods put into his mind regardless of how he is mocked.
Mainstream Christians are self conscious of their beliefs in invisible wizards. They want to pick and choose what words and actions they believe are/aren't telepathically implanted by their gods. They feel much more comfortable pretending that the gods implanted their words and ideas in Martin Luther King, but not in David Koresh and his followers. Mainstream Christians only want to be a little crazy.
In short, they know their beliefs are crazy, they just don't want to be associated with the craziness their beliefs imply when taken to their logical conclusion.
Sorry sport, you're going to have to at least graduate from first grade at Troll U. before you can talk to my secretary and make an appointment to engage me.
If you should ever crawl out of your mom's basement and buy a dictionary, you'll find that the definition of 'atheism' has nothing to do with faith, 'religion' has nothing to do with morals, and 'human rights' existed for about 4 million years before your imaginary gods supposed wrote a magic book.
Speaking of selective memory on the part of the press, why don't you trumpet his successful efforts to pass all sorts of homobophic laws in Africa, including getting the death penalty for homosexual acts? Robertson and Rick Warren are two of the fundamentalist prime movers over there.
As for the "The point Jesus is trying to make in those verses", a) know man can know the mind of god, b) even if the Jesus character really did exist (there is no contemporaneous evidence that he did) then you can't claim that bible verses represent his intent because none of them were written until more than half a century (and probably more like 100 years) after he was dead and gone. There are no first-hand accounts.
Back around '95 I was working as an electronics technician for an outfit called Securitec down in Scottsdale. They made digital and analog alarm systems based on their own original designs. They would abrade the labels off the TTL chips before they'd ship the units just to make a slightly harder to copy.
One day we received several units in a box to repair. At first I thought they were older versions that I hadn't seen before. They were identical visually but they were made from seriously crappy materials. El-cheapo uncoated circuit boards and paper thin keypad membranes that had all torn. They had the company name on them but the chips hadn't been abraded and the soldering and component placement looked like a ten year old had built them.
Turns out it was some outfit in Israel (!?) that was selling the knock offs, which due to the company name being on them, would be shipped back to us for repairs when they failed. It was a very small company and the owner couldn't even think about the cost of suing in a foreign country. The damage to the company reputation was already done with the inferior hardware, all the owner could do is ship them back brand new replacements for the knock offs.
The thing is, that's capitalism. The teapublibertarians say they want markets with absolutely no government interference, well, that's what zero regulation begets, a frantic race to the least common denominator. The sleaziest and most underhanded people/companies win.
There's a difference between competition and parasitism. The problem is that competition is in the middle of a spectrum, not one end. If you go too far one way you have cheap ripoffs actually destroying the value of the original product and brand. If you go to far the other way you end up with the ridiculous situation we have in the USA where IP law has become a highly effective tool for suppressing both legitimate competition and parasites.
Can't lean against either wall, gotta balance somewhere in the middle.
Unless of course we adopt the Soviet method: "You, you, you and you, go to the factory in Siberia and produce 3,409 pens for our 2014 quota. That will be a glorious year for writing the praises of Putin, and for drawing moustaches on photos of that guy with the funny spot on his head"
Nope, it's rarely the odometer that's wrong. Speedometers are usually off especially on motorcycles, but the odometers are just about spot on (unless tire sizes or wheel sizes are changed). People bitch if the odometers are off because it affects warranty coverage and resale value, but my Honda CRV is the only vehicle I've ever seen with a pretty accurate speedo.
One source of error is in the math/probability/accuracy. Draw a 30' radius circle (approximate GPS accuracy) around the middle of each turn in a switchback or 90 degree corner. How much of that circle falls outside of the path traveled and how much falls inside? That corresponds to the probability that any GPS error will add rather than subtract from the actual distance traveled. Sharp switchbacks result in an 80-90% chance that it's going to record a longer distance traveled.
Likewise the GPS doesn't account for elevation changes. Obviously if you ride a mile up or down a steep grade, the distance between the GPS position at the beginning and end is not going to equal the actual distance traveled since the vehicle traveled at an angle.
I've done short (38 mile) and long (5,000+ mile) rides and the error is consistent and predictable. The straighter the road the smaller the error.
A GPS isn't accurate enough by itself to be trusted for important distance measurements. It's more noticeable/obvious/critical to off-road motorcycle riders with small gas tanks, limited amount of reserve fuel and the potential for being stranded in the middle of nowhere if distance measurements aren't reasonably accurate.
Anyone who has used GPS to track distance and compared it to an accurate odometer knows it does not keep accurate track of miles traveled. The errors can be significant if there are lots of changes of direction in the road. For example riding my motorcycle on Forest Service roads with lots of switchbacks and tight curves in the mountains the miles traveled can be significantly different than odometer (roughly 2 to 3 miles in a 60 mile ride. A potential for 3% to 5% error seems a bit loose to be billing people on, particularly if the company finds out that specific routes always tend to appear longer.
Still, government should only be allowed to specify the required accuracy of the measurement, not the technology used to measure. That's the problem with the scumbags writing the laws, they aren't trying to regulate what should be, they're trying to dictate what must be.
The arguments about trains/airplanes/trucks don't hold water IMO. Short distance on zig-zag routes in cities don't compare to the 100 to 3,000 mile relatively straight-line trips typically made by trains, planes and over-the-road trucks.
I see thousands of guidelines written for all sorts of user interfaces and recommended practices for use of all sorts of devices. I don't see too many lawsuits brought. Doesn't look endemic to me.
As I stated in my other response, I have more faith in designers and creative people than you do. I think it's a false dichotomy to state "the UI either has to be like it is or else it will be stupid". There are other possible outcomes.
You accuse them of faking data yet you don't cite any specifics. Cite something specific.
Why would you specifically claim that a specific source have manufactured data and then cite data from an anonymous source?
As it happens, I have a small bit of experience in UI design and a tiny bit of creativity in my head, so I can think of at least a couple of ways of reducing things. The most obvious one is to translate the visual image that people can't simply look at and know when an update is coming, into a time until next update. If they've programmed a route, instead of constantly updating the map display the time until the next waypoint/turn/guidance will be given. People can look at a display once and can roughly estimate one minute or 4 minutes or whatever it is, and they won't waste their time continually looking down to see if they are approaching a turn.
May or may not work but at least I don't immediately take the defeatist "Oh, gee, they've told us not to supply more information than needed, I guess we better give up and make a really stupid UI". Here in the US we've had that throw-the-hands-in-the-air attitude from the American automobile, steel and energy industry for as long as I've been alive and it has always turned out to be wrong.
Maybe rather than detracting from their credibility they add to it by giving UI designers more credit for creativity than you do.
Why don't tachometers and speedometers display in 1/100ths of an RPM/mile/kilometer? Because it's too much information and it isn't useful. Why should a GPS show 1/100th of a mile position updates? It's too much information and it isn't useful.