Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Ladino

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaeo-Spanish

Hard to believe I’ve never head of “Ladino” before, but apparently it’s a language of Sephardic Jews, just as Yiddish is a language of Ashkenazi Jews.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 8, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Religion

What people used to think about Islam

Before 1979, Islam was completely off the radar, no one thought that much about it at all. Israel’s conflict was seen as a conflict between Israel and Arabs and not as a conflict between Jews and Muslims. Terrorism was confined to the PLO and the IRA, and PLO terrorism was seen as being related to IRA terrorism and not to Islam.

In the West, it was a time of increasing secularization and it was assumed that religion was not as important as it used to be. Leftists in the West admired the atheist Soviet Union.

What happened in 1979? The Iranian revolution and the beginning of the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

People who considered themselves as having a more sophisticated understanding of Islam than the masses probably assumed that Iran had nothing to do with the rest of Islam, because Iran was Shia and the rest of Muslims (then called Moslems) were Sunni. But that would clearly be wrong. It seems to me that the Iranian revolution inspired a lot of fervor on the part of Sunni, even though Sunni and Shia would fight each other with just as much hatred as they would fight against Jews or Christians.

Of course, the event that really put Islam on the map and made everyone obsessed about it was 9/11. Before 9/11, no one really spent much time worrying about the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban was seen more as a human rights problem than a threat to anyone outside of Afghanistan. I think the first time the Taliban ever got a lot of attention in the American news media was when they destroyed those ancient Buddha statues. (And now, in the United States, SJWs are going after Confederate statues with the same fervor that the Taliban went after Buddhist statues.)

Even though we tend to focus on big events that effect the United States, like the Iranian Hostage Crisis and 9/11, there has been secular trend (secular as in long-term non-cyclical and not secular as in non-religious) dating back to before I was born over which time the Islamic world has been becoming more religious and more extreme. Comparing pictures in Islamic countries from earlier in the 20th century vs. today, you will see a lot more women wearing Hijab, Niqab, and Burka. I never even heard of a Burka before 9/11, but these days I see women wearing them in Manhattan (which is always freaky, it feels like you just walked past a terrorist).

I see no evidence that the secular trend has reached its peak or is about to reverse. Unless a reversal happens, expect worse stuff to happen in the future. Expect more majority-Islamic countries to be taken over by Islamist governments with philosophies similar to ISIS and the Taliban. Expect more Islamic terrorism.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 25, 2017 at 10:12 am

Posted in Religion

The hierarchy of victimhood

A former Christian who is now an atheist and speaks out against Christianity would surely be considered one of the good guys.

A former Muslim who is now an atheist and speaks out against Islam is considered an “anti-Muslim extremist” spreading “hate.”

However, I would not say that such person is a “liberal.” She is letting her (quite justified) dislike of her former religion get in the way of proper liberal thinking. Victimized groups should never be criticized, not ever.

* * *

I believe that Islam is in the process of being reformed, but not in the direction that Ayaan Hirsi Ali wants. The reformation that’s happening is that Muslims are discovering the literal words of the Koran, and the Hadiths which tell the story of Mohammed’s life, and that’s leading many Muslims to change their beliefs to be more like those of ISIS and the Taliban.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Religion

Huge statue of Chinese deity covered in sheet

It is a pretty ugly and tacky statute.

It probably isn’t wise to build such huge religious statutes when you’re a minority religion.

If it were a huge statue of Jesus built by American evangelists, the tone of the New York Times article would have been a lot less neutral and a lot more “stupid xtians keep your religion to yourselves.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2017 at 9:16 am

Posted in International, Religion

The Hasidim are moving to New Jersey

And thanks to this article, we now know that they vote for Donald Trump!

Lakewood Township, near the Jersey Shore [which is two-thirds Jewish], voted for Donald J. Trump last year by the largest margin — 50 percentage points over Hillary Clinton — of any New Jersey community.

So the most pro-Trump township in New Jersey is also the most Jewish township in New Jersey.

It’s understandable, however, that not all of their secular neighbors are happy with a sudden influx of Yiddish-speaking weirdly-clothed Trump-voting religious nuts.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

Posted in Religion

How anti-abortion people are legitimatizing unmarried teenage pregnancy

I’ve written about this topic before, but here’s a New York Times article the clearly demonstrates what’s happening.

An 18-year-old unmarried pregnant girl, the boyfriend who got her pregnant completely out of the picture and not named by the article, attends a small private Christian school, which is shaming her by not allowing her to attend the graduation ceremony.

Sounds reasonable to me considering that pre-marital sex is considered a major sin by Christians. This isn’t public school. Fifty years ago, she probably would have been kicked out. Fifty years ago, good Christian parents wouldn’t have wanted their pregnant unmarried teenage daughter to be seen in public and they would have sent her away somewhere and made her give up the baby for adoption. But no, that’s not what happens today, she continues to go to school with plans to become an unmarried mom, just like some girl from the ghetto.

But this modern leniency is still not enough for the anti-abortion people.

“She made the courageous decision to choose life, and she definitely should not be shamed,” said Kristan Hawkins, the Students for Life president, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade the administrator of Heritage Academy to reverse the decision. “There has got to be a way to treat a young woman who becomes pregnant in a graceful and loving way.”

So acting like a typical ghetto teenager means that she’s labeled as “courageous.” A great way to encourage more teenage sex and more unmarried teenage moms is to laud them for their “courageous” decision to commit the sin of premarital sex and then let nature take its course.

She said she felt that she was being treated more harshly than students who have been suspended for, say, underage drinking and lying about it.

Of course she should be treated more harshly! Drinking alcohol merely violates a secular rule, while premarital sex is considered, by Christians, to be a major sin against God.

Ultimately, and ironically, the actions of anti-abortion people are causing more premarital teenage sex which leads to more pregnancies and more abortions.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 21, 2017 at 10:43 am

Why do disbelievers in evolution read HBD blogs?

If you’re going to believe the fairytale that the God of the Book of Genesis created man, why not believe the good fairytale that He created the races to be equal? Why believe the racist fairytale that He created blacks to be inferior to whites?

It should also be noted that God chose a Middle-Eastern Jew to be his only Son, and not a white gentile European. (The white supremacist types who converted to Asatru at least have a religion that’s consistent with their racist beliefs.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 9, 2017 at 8:06 am

Posted in Biology, Religion

Trader Joe’s macaroon vs Jewish macaroon

Last week I ate a Trader Joe’s macaroon, and it was very delicious.

Today, I ate a macaroon that came in a can, and on the can it said “Kosher for Passover.” This macaroon was disgusting. Yuck!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Religion

Question: Why is this night different from all other nights?

Answer: Because the food sucks.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Posted in Religion

Lion’s four-part system for understanding how the world works

1. HBD (human biodiversity)

There are three legs to HBD;

a. Differences between races. This explains why some races underperform or overperform others in a diverse society, as well as explaining differences between nations.

This would be the least important part of HBD were it not for the fact that current moral thinking makes a huge deal out of racism. Racism is considered to be extremely evil, and different group and individual outcomes caused by HBD are instead blamed on racism.

b. Differences between men and women. Sex discrimination is also defined as evil by today’s moral arbiters, and as with racism, group and individual outcomes caused by HBD are blamed on sexism.

Additionally, because relations between men and women are such an important part of how society is organized, HBD-caused differences between men and women help to understand this part of society.

c. Biological/evolutionary basis for behavior. Our instinctive human behavior evolved to help us have as many grandchildren as possible in a pre-industrial or even pre-agricultural society. As such, they often cause illogical thinking and produce suboptimal results in a modern technological society with a post-scarcity economy.

2. Value transference. Most economists stuck in an eighteenth century mindset (when Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations) believe that most money is earned because value is created. But in a post-scarcity economy, the majority of work is value transference work, work that doesn’t create any value but just transfers the value created by others.

As I’ve stated many times before, if you want to understand how and why businesses make a profit, don’t read an economics textbook, read Michael Porter’s book Competitive Strategy (or one of the many derivative books).

The irony of business “competition” is that businesses are competing to get themselves into a position where they have a monopoly and they no longer have to compete.

Value transference is tied to winner-take-all economics, because the natural state of things is for a small number of people and companies to be big winners based on transferring the value created by others to themselves.

3. Relative wants. It’s said that humans have unlimited wants, which is mostly true for the vast majority of people.

There’s an evolutionary basis for this. In pre-industrial times, there were often famines in which those with the least resources died, thus evolution favored the genes of those who desired and accumulated more stuff, which could then be used to barter for food in times of famine.

This is also related to our desire for status. In times of famine, the people with the highest status (the king, the people just below the king in the hierarchy, etc) were never the ones who starved to death.

Today, in the United States, no one starves to death (in fact, poor people have the opposite problem of being too fat) because the United States is a post-scarcity economy. Thus our biologically programmed desire to accumulate stuff and have higher status is a suboptimal leftover from earlier times.

Most economists fail to see or understand relative spending and relative wants.

For example, everyone (OK, not everyone, but a lot of people, especially people with a lot of resources) want a summer home in the Hamptons, but because there is less real estate in the Hamptons than there are people who want to summer there, not everyone can afford to buy a house there. And no amount of economic growth or lower taxes will ever change that. If everyone’s net income increased by 10% because of economic growth or lower taxes, then the price of houses in the Hamptons would increase proportionately, and those who couldn’t afford a house there before still would not be able to afford one.

The local governments in the Hamptons could vastly increase the number of houses by changing zoning laws, but then there would be an influx of middle-class people and it would no longer be exclusive or highly desired by the rich and they’d find some other place (for example, Martha’s Vineyard) where they want to summer but can’t afford to.

4. Religion and groupthink. Many people wrongly equate religion with belief in supernatural beings. Better definitions of religion leave out the supernatural part. Here’s a suggested definition: “A cultural system of beliefs, behaviors, practices, ethics and societal organization that relate humanity to an order of existence.” In pre-scientific times, religious thinking tended towards belief in and worship of supernatural beings, but use of the word “supernatural” is our way of looking down on others. Believers in religion don’t see their beliefs as “supernatural,” they just see the true way that things are (from their perspective).

Religion is obviously a behavior that is programmed into us by evolutionary biology. So just because a large percentage of people in developed nations reject the traditional religions like Christianity (because they just seem too stupid in light of our modern scientific understanding of the world) doesn’t mean they have ceased religious thinking. The religious thinking is just diverted into other beliefs that currently are not classified as “religion” because they don’t involve worship of supernatural beings.

Belief in global warming is an example of a post-supernatural religious belief.

Groupthink is the tendency for people to believe whatever other people believe. It’s why people believe in religion (everyone else believes in it so it must be true!), but explains a lot more than religion. Groupthink is only obvious to outsiders. Insiders, who believe the groupthink, don’t realize it’s groupthink.

There are some rare individuals, like myself, who think a lot more logically than the average person and are highly resistant to groupthink. Although even I once succumbed to believing in libertarian economics, which is definitely a form of religious thinking.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Biology, Economics, Religion

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