Die, atheist, die!

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably read about the lawsuit filed by the organization American Atheists against enshrining a cross at the 9/11 memorial and museum in New York City, the news are all over the blogosphere.

Regardless of your religious affiliation, or the lack thereof, there are only so many stances you can take about this issue: either you agree with the lawsuit filed by American Atheists, or not; or you may also be torn. Your reaction, however, might fit in a quite wide range of adjectives.

I know what you’re thinking: yet another atheist crying faul over a few unkind words from some upset Christians… you know, we are overreacting, we’re a bunch of drama queens, right?

Whatever.

To me it is just another cross as there are so many other crosses in almost every village, and every city in nearly every country all over the world. After all it’s just a cross, two beams crossed, an ugly “T”, a “Plus” sign, a cross… doesn’t mean anything to me — except, maybe, that it is a reminder of the fact that there are still people willing to believe in fairytales, and more importantly, the mental note that some of these people have proven to be capable of, and willing to do pretty much anything, including terrible deeds against other human beings, in order to defend their sacred fairytales beliefs. Repeatedly. Wait, why is that we’re talking about not enshrining a cross at the very same place where before there was a building? Oh!

I know, right? The irony!

If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.

— Lenny Bruce

The thing is you are not supposed to be hated and wanted dead for having the guts to stand for what you think is right, and especially, you are not supposed to be wanted dead by the people who, allegedly, have the highest ground on morality, love, mercy, compassion and such. Allegedly. They are so NOT Jesus-like.

I don’t remember having seen anything like this coming from atheists/agnostics/skeptics or even anti-religion folks.

Okay, if you haven’t seen the infamous famous comments, feast on the sad display. These little snippets of Christian hatred love deserve to be preserved per omnia saecula saeculorum.

[expand title=”Expand to see the screen captures“]

I found these at the American Atheists website, and the ones with the blacked out names at Practical Doubt.

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“Few groups are filled with more hate than atheists,” commented Michael Perri.

See, this is not news, not to me and most likely not to you.

Mr. Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right fanatic who murdered in cold blood 89 people in Norway, did not threaten anyone, (unless you consider his manifesto as an open threat), he was just another fundamentalist Christian… who hates Muslims… until he went on a killing spree. Now he’s just a madman.

Have you not received any death threats for being a filthy infidel? I get them on a regular basis, I get emails telling me that I am going to hell, from many different people. Pretty much daily. One of the most upsetting emails I’ve gotten reads “I hope you get skinned and then raped on a pile of salt, if I wasn’t a Christian I would do it myself”. See, they can have quite the imagination to write a whole new series of Saw movies. I cried that day – not because I thought my life could be really in danger, but because my inability to believe in god and my right to be open about it was, to someone, a good enough reason to want me to go through this disturbing, so well described excruciating pain, torture, and death.

Ever heard about Dennis Markuze? He goes by the alias Dave Mabus, and unless you’re a Christian like himself, you must have gotten his hateful tweets at least once… and if you’re lucky, along with his emails,  you might have gotten some personalized tweets.

Doesn’t it make one feel “spishul”?

See, Markuze is quite obsessed with killing atheists, PZ Myers posted his picture back then when they almost met. But who takes Mabus seriously? He’s just a crazy loser, right?  Usually he tosses you a link with his crazy psycho-babble, that’s it… he hasn’t snapped… yet.

Another Markuze’s target is Dr. Michael Shermer. There is a well known statement by Dr. Shermer on this subject. Have you not read it? [expand title=”Read it.” swaptitle=”Collapse”]

January 22, 2011

To: Dennis Markuze, aka Mabus

From: Michael Shermer

I spoke to your father yesterday, after a conversation with your mother the day before. Your father told me that he thought you had stopped doing things like this years ago, but when I read him your latest postings, ramblings, and death threats he was surprised to hear that this technique of drawing attention to yourself by harassment continues. Apparently this is something that you have been doing for many years.

Listen carefully. I have contacted the Montreal police, along with the local police in my city, and alerted them to the danger that you pose as a deranged and possibly mentally ill man. Although your parents indicated that they don’t think that you are mentally ill, they are obviously not privy to the death threats you have been sending all of us. On Monday I am filing a restraining order against you. If you show up anywhere near me I will have you arrested on the spot and put into jail. If you attempt to approach me I will be armed and will not hesitate to use any force necessary to stop you.

In the past 24 hours I have received over 200 tweets and emails from you. This must stop now. I hereby demand an end to all communication from you of any form. If you continue contact with me this will all go on your police record.

Michael Shermer[/expand]

Sound a bit more serious now?

The truth is we can’t know how serious, how real, and how many of them desire this badly enough to carry out their threats.

Here’s the question: How safe do you feel when you say you are an atheist?

The right kind of person.

In case you are wondering what is the right kind of person, I guess it would be the kind of person that won’t ever question these ancient writings, and hearsay stories.

Or maybe the right kind of person is the kind of person that will repent and “accept Jesus as their personal savior”.

Who knows!

Honestly, what did you expect, is anything about these characters not cryptic or magic?

I, most certainly, am not the right kind of person.  Are you?

Astronomy Picture of The Day – Galaxy NGC 4214

Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: R. O’Connell (University of Virginia) and the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee

Hubble’s newest camera has taken an image of galaxy NGC 4214. This galaxy glows brightly with young stars and gas clouds, and is an ideal laboratory to research star formation and evolution.

Size isn’t everything… in astronomy, at least. Dwarf galaxy NGC 4214 may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in content. It is packed with everything an astronomer could ask for, from hot, young star-forming regions to old clusters with red supergiants.

The intricate patterns of glowing ionised hydrogen gas, cavities blown clear of gas by stellar wind, and bright stellar clusters of NGC 4214 can be seen in this optical and near-infrared image, taken using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

A huge heart-shaped cavity — possibly the galaxy’s most eye-catching feature — can be seen at the centre of the image. Inside this hole lies a large cluster of massive, young stars ranging in temperature from 10 000 to 50 000 degrees Celsius. Their strong stellar winds are responsible for the creation of this hollow area. The resulting lack of gas prevents any further star formation from occurring in this region.

Located around 10 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs), the galaxy’s relative close proximity to us, combined with the wide variety of evolutionary stages among the stars, makes it an ideal laboratory to research what triggers star formation and evolution. By chance, there is relatively little interstellar dust between us and NGC 4214, making our measurements of it more accurate.

NGC 4214 contains a large amount of gas, some of which can be seen glowing red in the image, providing abundant material for star formation. The area with the most hydrogen gas, and consequently, the youngest clusters of stars (around two million years old), lies in the upper part of this Hubble image. Like most of the features in the image, this area is visible due to ionisation of the surrounding gas by the ultraviolet light of a young cluster of stars within.

Observations of this dwarf galaxy have also revealed clusters of much older red supergiant stars that we see at a late stage in their evolution. Additional older stars can be seen dotted all across the galaxy. While these are dominant in infrared emission they can only be seen shining faintly in this visible-light image. The variety of stars at different stages in their evolution, indicate that the recent and ongoing starburst periods are by no means the first, and the galaxy’s numerous ionised hydrogen regions suggest they will not be the last.

via spacetelescope.org

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God

93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject the concept of God. These are their reasons.

Speakers in order of appearance:

1. Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics
3. Richard Feynman, World-Renowned Physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics
4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy
5. Colin Blakemore, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Neuroscience
6. Steven Pinker, World-Renowned Harvard Professor of Psychology
7. Alan Guth, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Physics
8. Noam Chomsky, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Linguistics
9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics
10. Peter Atkins, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Chemistry
11. Oliver Sacks, World-Renowned Neurologist, Columbia University
12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge
14. Sir Bertrand Russell, World-Renowned Philosopher, Nobel Laureate
15. Stephen Hawking, World-Renowned Cambridge Theoretical Physicist
16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics
17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy
18. Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics
19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics
20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate
21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University
22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology
23. Sir David Attenborough, World-Renowned Broadcaster and Naturalist
24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics
25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology
26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics
27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy
28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics
29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)
31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics
32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy
33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado
34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics
36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)
37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics
38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy
39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology
41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist
42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics
43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
44. Lord Colin Renfrew, World-Renowned Archaeologist, Cambridge
45. Carl Sagan, World-Renowned Astronomer
46. Peter Singer, World-Renowned Bioethicist, Princeton
47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution
49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy
50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Astronomy Picture of The Day – Aurora Australis From Space

Image Credit: NASA

This image is of Atlantis and its Orbital Boom Sensor System robot arm extension backdropped against Earth’s horizon and a greenish phenomenon associated with Aurora Australis. One of the station’s solar array panels appears at upper left. Because of the exposure time needed for this type of photography, some of the stars in the background are blurred.

Source nasa.gov