Loren Miller's Blog (111)

Dear Mr. President – Regarding Paris...

Well, yours truly has been at it again, throwing hand grenades in the form of bits and bytes or pieces of paper with words arranged in particular sequence on them.  This time, in the light of the recent events in Paris, France and the US response to that, my intended recipient is this country's chief executive:

President Barack Hussein Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC  20500-0001

Dear Mr. President:

Not quite a year…


Added by Loren Miller on November 17, 2015 at 10:26am — 35 Comments

Sam Harris – An Atheist Manifesto

I am, as many of you already know, a habitual quote-monger, as evinced by multiple posts and comments here on Atheist Nexus. Over the six or so years of my avowed atheism, I have amassed a fair collection of brief statements and longer works by significant freethinkers who share in the cause of secularism and opposition to irrational belief. One of the more recent of these is a piece by Sam Harris, entitled simply, An Atheist Manifesto.

This treatise, a touch over 4,600…


Added by Loren Miller on November 9, 2015 at 9:00am — 8 Comments

Spotlight – A Cinematic Indictment of the Catholic Church

Once again, I have to thank Sunday morning television for informing me of an important and noteworthy event. In this case, the information came in the form of a 30-second commercial, not just about a film but yet another salvo against the catholic church and the pedophile priest scandal: Spotlight. This docudrama purports to tell the story of how the Boston Globe newspaper staff researched and revealed the massive child abuse…


Added by Loren Miller on November 8, 2015 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

The Red Herring of Spirituality

How many times have we heard it? “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual.” To this day, while the intent if not the meaning of that phrase is at least vaguely understood, there should be another way to express it. I suspect that a goodly number of the people on this planet have experiences which class under that heading, and such experiences are as natural as breathing. The problem in essence is the heading itself.

The problem is compounded by a vocabulary which treats such…


Added by Loren Miller on October 20, 2015 at 9:00am — 52 Comments

Frankie Finally Shows His True Colors

I’ll admit it: when Pope Francis initially came on the scene, I thought there was some hope for the catholic church. Maybe, just maybe, they’d put someone in the front office who was genuinely interested in recognizing the seriously problematic issues which the RCC currently labors under and was prepared to address them in a meaningful way.  I mean, jeez, this guy is tackling the cult of opulence and conspicuous consumption on the part of some of the Vatican hierarchy, he’s drawing more…


Added by Loren Miller on October 1, 2015 at 8:00am — 35 Comments

Church, State, and Marriage Licenses

The preamble of the US Constitution reads as follows:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In short, the purpose of the United States government, as outlined by the preamble,…


Added by Loren Miller on September 4, 2015 at 11:16am — 31 Comments

There Is Only One Right Answer

Add one and one and the result is two.  This is true regardless of what is being added or what mathematic base one and one are being added in, with the necessary exception of Base 2.  Even then, 10-Base2 has the same value as 2 in any other system of counting.  There is only one right answer.

Apply a one-volt signal to a one-kilohm resistor and one milliampere of current will flow through that circuit.  Any variance from that result will be the product of inaccuracies in the…


Added by Loren Miller on August 6, 2015 at 11:23am — 43 Comments

Whose Watch Did This Happen On?

I recently watched two movies which, at least on the surface, have nothing to do with each other, yet have EVERYTHING to do with each other.  Yesterday, for a reason I can’t give you (because I don’t have one), I dragged Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 from my library to peruse, and then this evening, I pulled out the HBO Pictures classic, And the Band Played On, based on the book by Randy Shilts.  I was maybe a quarter into the second film when I realized that both pieces had a…


Added by Loren Miller on July 24, 2015 at 12:07pm — 10 Comments

Athletes (and Atheists!) in Action

I had thought this was going to be yet another quiet Sunday, where the most I might do is watch CBS Sunday Morning, make breakfast for my wife and myself, perhaps watch some auto racing or golf and enjoy the company of my step-grandson when he and his mom came over in the evening.  It was almost true, right up to when my inbox alerted me with a note from a friend at the Northern Ohio Freethought Society.  It referred to a recent piece from The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta, who had…


Added by Loren Miller on July 12, 2015 at 1:30pm — 30 Comments

The Week of Being Happy and Pissed Off

The week of 21 June, 2015 is likely one of the more momentous of the past several years or more that I am aware of.  It was a week of amazing and impactful news, incredibly GOOD news from where I sit, news which will be far more benefit than detriment in the long haul or so I’d be willing to wager.  Though all of those stories are important and worthy of comment, it is one in particular on which I wish to record a few thoughts.

And that is the confirmation by the United States…


Added by Loren Miller on June 29, 2015 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

Abraham's Excellent Adventure (The Thinking Atheist)

Anyone who listens to The Thinking Atheist radio podcasts knows well what kind of storyteller Seth Andrews is - damned good!  That said, Opus 227 of his offerings is especially noteworthy.  In this specific piece, Seth relates a variation on the story of Abraham and Isaac.  This story was originally written by one Edwin A. Suominen, of Ed Suominen's Shitty Little Blog.  Edwin has about as much patience with the bible in general and the…


Added by Loren Miller on June 24, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Comfort of There Being No God

There is a school of thought which says that atheism offers no comfort to those who hurt, who mourn the unfairness of life, the proverbial “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and cling to religion on the chance that the next life will be a marked improvement on this one.  I submit that this is a mistaken concept, that there can be comfort in the absence of a deity and indeed, a demonstrably better existence in the one life we have.  The four points listed below give some expression to…


Added by Loren Miller on June 14, 2015 at 7:12am — 22 Comments

Nobody Can Show Me God

I’m the kind of guy that says if I don’t see it, then it doesn’t work.  And nobody can show me god.

-- Kerry King, guitarist for Slayer

Doubtless there are believers out there who would label the above statement as simplistic, but boil it down and what’s left is the single biggest reason why religion ultimately will have to either collapse or descend into irrelevance.  Regardless of the tradition or culture it may come from, all concepts of god share one…


Added by Loren Miller on May 8, 2015 at 12:37pm — 10 Comments

"The Hitch" - A Christopher Hitchens documentary by Kristoffer Hellesmark

Since the death of Christopher Hitchens in December of 2011, I have anticipated some kind of cinematic retrospective regarding the life of a man who was one of the great intellectual lights of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Certainly there have been tributes and brief snapshots highlighting his spoken word, writings and debates on YouTube and elsewhere, but nothing which attempts to comprehensively represent at least in brief the fulsome cornucopia Hitchens brought to humankind.…


Added by Loren Miller on April 17, 2015 at 8:51am — 10 Comments

A Note to CBS in re: (Easter) Sunday Morning

I just posted the following to CBS' online feedback site:

It a rare day when I get so completely put off by CBS Sunday Morning that I turn it off, but you managed to do that for me today.  I've been watching Sunday Morning not quite since it first came on the air 30+ years ago, watched as it did its minor changes here and there, the transition from Kuralt to Osgood, and so on, but I've always at least tried to stick with it.

Not today, and because of two…


Added by Loren Miller on April 5, 2015 at 9:35am — 19 Comments

The Despicable Reality and Perfidy of the Islamic State

I wouldn’t have believed it, but I’m pissed off about persecuted Christians.  Whoa, you’re saying, Loren’s lost his grip on reality.  No, I haven’t.  I just wonder if you can maintain YOUR grip on your temper, having seen this CBS News 60 Minutes report by Lara Logan.

American Christians make foolish noises about being persecuted.  Iraqi Christians ARE being persecuted for…


Added by Loren Miller on March 23, 2015 at 8:27am — 33 Comments

A Non-Trivial Question Regarding a Non-Trivial Religion

I have a few questions, none of which are meant to be rhetorical:

  • If Islam demands the death penalty for apostasy, why should we tolerate Islam?
  • If Islam says that women must be veiled, why should we tolerate Islam?
  • If Islam cannot value women as equals to men, why should we tolerate Islam?
  • If Islam cannot tolerate the practice of freedom of speech, why should we tolerate Islam?
  • If Islam is determined to dominate the world, why should we…

Added by Loren Miller on February 10, 2015 at 8:50am — 18 Comments

Scott Pelley on Charlie Hebdo, Terrorism, and the Press

It isn't very often that I hear Scott Pelley offer an op-ed piece as a part of a news broadcast.  So when he closed the CBS Evening News of Friday, 9 January, 2015 with his observations on the attacks in Paris and how freedom of the press figures into the whole situation of terrorism, I thought it was notable enough to make mention of it here.  Mr. Pelley makes simple, straightforward points which resonate in the current time, and I believe his words are worthy of your attention. …


Added by Loren Miller on January 10, 2015 at 7:56am — 12 Comments

The Science / Religion Dichotomy – Another View

Christianity insists on dependence on its god and its savior.  Indeed, it demands submission to that supreme being, saying “thy will be done.”  Islam is not only no different, the very word means “submission.”  Both expect the believer to trust in Yahweh or Allah to provide for them and nurture them and bring meaning to their lives.  The price for that nurturance, though, is utter obedience without question.  One of the immediate consequences of such an attitude is vulnerability to…


Added by Loren Miller on December 18, 2014 at 11:11am — 4 Comments

Is god good?

Is god good?

If we’re going to ask that question, the first thing that has to be established is: whose “good” are we using as a standard?  If human good is to be the benchmark, then the task is relatively easy.  Whatever good god recognizes, however, will introduce a degree of vagary which may be insuperable.

Regardless of which deity is supervising this reality, he/she/it cannot be said to be good by human standards in the slightest measure, and one need look no…


Added by Loren Miller on December 14, 2014 at 11:27am — 26 Comments

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