Review: The Walking Dead On AMC Part 1

It’s been years since I read the graphic novel series, The Walking Dead. I didn’t consider it the most original story at the time. There were more than a few cliches from the zombie genre, but the stories were good. It was a comic book series, not a movie or a TV show, and a very grownup one at that. So I gave the series big kudos. Now, AMC has brought us The Walking Dead miniseries to TV. And I thought AMC was for old folks still cursing Hollywood for making the talkies in color. Sometimes, it’s good to be proven wrong.

Or is it?

Is AMC’s The Walking Dead good enough to watch? Or is it just another unnecessary interpretation of something cool that only puts everyone to sleep?

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News And Links For Atheists: Bad Apologetic Evangelism

VIDEO: Bad Apologetic Evangelism: The Video

To say that this video is bad is putting it mildly. I’m not even sure what the exact point of her argument is. If the atheist is a 5 year old, it might shake them up a bit. Otherwise, it just seems very condescending and sad. If she had gone just little bit farther, it would have been a funny as hell. Please, someone, poke fun at this video. I guarantee you a link as soon as I hear about it.

VIDEO: Pre-Blessed Food

This one is intentionally funny.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck: “I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet”

Glenn Beck is always hilarious. I think the title says it all, though.

VIDEO: The Poetry of Science: Neil deGrasse Tyson & Richard Dawkins

This one’s pretty cool as far as discussions go. (It’s not a debate.) Tyson pretty much dominates the event.

The thing about these two is that Tyson represents an aspect of irreligion in a way that I actually favor over Dawkins. Yet Dawkins is able to get a message out there through the media by being controversial, even though he also cheeses a lot of people off in the process. I suspect many people only think of Tyson as a scientist with a lot of charisma. I’m not even sure if he’s an atheist or not. When it comes to the question of how one should approach spreading secularism and atheism, what’s an outspoken atheist to do?

Dawkins vs. Timonen

You may remember the flap over the richarddawkins.net forums that happened early this year. Peter Harrison was one of the moderators who felt hard done. At the center of the controversy was a man named Josh Timonen, who ran the official website. It’s apparent that Richard Dawkins trusted him and allowed him free reign.

When in doubt, shout – why shaking someone’s beliefs turns them into stronger advocates

A good thing to keep in mind. Not only for outspoken atheists, but evangelicals at well. I’m looking at you, my in-laws!

Christopher Hitchens: ‘My life is my writing … my children come later’

Morals Without God?

Perhaps it is just me, but I am wary of anyone whose belief system is the only thing standing between them and repulsive behavior. Why not assume that our humanity, including the self-control needed for livable societies, is built into us? Does anyone truly believe that our ancestors lacked social norms before they had religion? Did they never assist others in need, or complain about an unfair deal? Humans must have worried about the functioning of their communities well before the current religions arose, which is only a few thousand years ago. Not that religion is irrelevant — I will get to this — but it is an add-on rather than the wellspring of morality.

Damn right.

Michael Behe’s son has a surprise

What Do New Atheists Actually Believe?

If you feel like being offended and rolling your eyes in frustration, go to the link. You can even offer your own answers to the questions the site poses to atheists, which might make you feel better. If you want to feel better sooner, go here.

Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity draws atheist group

‘Evangelical Atheists:’ Pushing For What?

Last Friday, a New York Times headline declared: “Atheists Debate How Pushy to Be.” This ongoing debate among atheists — “Just how much should we confront the religious?” — is nowhere near resolution.

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

Believers don’t know belief

This one is really about the pole mentioned in the previous one.


News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Jehovahs Witnesses make money calling for end of the world

Jehovahs Witnesses make money calling for end of the world

Prophesying the End of Days can make you money but has a limited shelf life, Roger Ebert

Not so sure about the limited shelf life part, unfortunately.

The End Is Not Nigh: Take a Deep Breath and Move On

Former and soon-to-be-again presidential candidate Mike Huckabee believes the End Times are near. Sadly, he is not alone, which is why a candidate for the highest office in the land can be taken seriously after voicing such beliefs. As Huffington Post blogger Clay Farris Naff noted recently, predictions of the Apocalypse are nearly mainstream: Preacher Tim LaHaye has made a fortune with his bestselling Left Behind novels describing bad days ahead for non-believers, riding a trend that, with amazing irony, goes back centuries. The promise of a place in heaven following individual martyrdom or a global apocalyptic event is now and has long been a powerful lure.

On a similar note…

The Genius of the Beast

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society: Invitation To Public Forum Concerning Your Beliefs

Dear Watchtower, I would like to extend an invitation to you for an open, and transparent Public Debate. This debate would cover issues of concern, issues which you have published yourselves in your literature. There are, of course issues of more serious concern which the public, as well as members and former members of your organization would be glad for clarification on. Some of these issues are listed below.

Good luck buddy. Not so much with the debate, but in getting anyone of real importance to bite.

Jehovah’s Witness James Andrew Jarrold admits harassing former wife with texts and letters

This Halloween, Put the “Ho” back in Hoya.

Last year for Halloween, I was a Sexy Jehovah’s Witness. It was the perfect combination of lingerie-baring and political incorrectness for a costume in college. Now liberated from the disapproving eye of my mother, it was, in fact, the first “sexy” costume I had ever worn. Which basically consisted of me unbuttoning my Oxford an extra inch to reveal a sliver of my push-up bra. But no one understood my costume. People guessed: Sexy Secretary? Sexy Teacher? Sexy Catholic School Girl? (How ironic.) Apparently wearing a button-down, miniskirt, geeky glasses and a pastel tie from the ’90s elicits these responses, but alas, not Sexy Jehovah’s Witness. Good thing I carried my Bible.

Please love me half as much as I love your wardrobe.

Everyone Is Rational

“That makes no sense.” How many times a day do we find ourselves thinking that about other people’s behavior? Perhaps someone decides to refuse an offer to come to the head of a line; or chooses to spend more money for a brand name when the generic is identical in every way; or refuses a potentially life-saving procedure he desperately needs. But no one ever does anything without a reason that makes excellent sense—to them. Even when the reason is completely divorced from reality, as in schizophrenia, the thought process that flows from that first idea will usually be logical and sound. Once you accept that the F.B.I is listening in on your conversations through the radio receiver in your dental fillings, being wary of strangers and worrying you might be arrested both become eminently reasonable and entirely rational.

About Faith: Religious conversion is a common occurrence.

Religious conversion sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it’s an everyday reality: About a third of us have switched our religious affiliation at some point. According to surveys conducted by the City University of New York, well-established faiths like the Methodists have been dwindling. Big gainers include the born-again Evangelicals, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Pentecostals—and the Buddhists, too—as well as nondenominational Christian churches. Which group is growing the fastest? The 29.5 million Americans who claim no religion at all.

Wait for it…

Religions with highest turnover (people both joining and leaving the church): Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism

The Watchtower Society’s Writing Style: Their Literature’s Most Effective Techniques

literatureAll ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses know that the Watchtower Society is more than a religious organization. It’s also a publisher of books and magazines,1 which are–for all intents and purposes–a central part of worship for Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Society uses its literature to hand out its spiritual food (“the truth”) to its adherents, including counsel from the governing body. Most Witnesses will probably tell you that the literature rocks, that it’s very informative, well written, and expertly researched. But the literature also has its critics. Like me. (Sorry.)

In my last post, I mentioned that the Society’s authors use techniques that make the literature feel both convincing and informative. I also told you that the literature isn’t nearly as informative or convincing as it feels. In this post, I’ll tell you how their authors keep convincing readers that they’re right, even when they’re dead wrong. I’ll even tell you why Jehovah’s Witnesses (and maybe even you) keep falling for it. For former Watchtower adherents who still have lingering fears about Jesus and Armageddon, the repetition of it all will blow your ex-Witness minds. It’s all disappointingly simple.

Now let’s see how they do it.

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  1. Ever notice that the Society provides the product–it’s literature–AND the demand all at the same time? Witnesses need the literature as part of their worship, which they’re expected to donate for. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you make your money from the publishing bizz, eh?