Monday, November 12, 2007

Around the World Wide Web 38

1. Forces has some excellent words from Thomas Jefferson on Christianity:

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites...

I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth...

2. Meanwhile, Doc MacDonald displays this inspiring quote from Benjamin Franklin:

The Declaration of Independence only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself!

3. This map of the world according to Americans is too funny. (HT: Noodlefood)

4. The ultimate pretentious mediocrity, Norman Mailer, is dead at 84. I've read some of his non-fiction, but I never attempted his fiction because I knew I would not like it. The title of his first novel makes me laugh: The Naked and the Dead. It's like a parody of a modern novel title -- but Mailer was serious. He was an anti-American New Leftist and he leaves behind a legacy of lowered standards and nihilism. This is not a respectful thing to say about the dead (or the naked), but Mailer's departure from existence is probably a good thing; the way is cleared a bit more for better writers, artists and thinkers to begin the task of rebuilding in our culture what the New Leftists destroyed.

5. When Dolphins Attack People

6. An unexpected tiger attack


EdMcGon said...

1. Jefferson's words are taken out of context. What Jefferson was railing against was the zealously blind faith of most Christians. Jefferson did NOT reject Christian philosophy (note that he did create the Jefferson Bible, which was an edited version of the Gospels containing JUST Christ's philosophy, and none of the "history"/miracles).

3. Too funny, and too true!

5. I still don't necessarily blame the dolphins for those attacks. People are arrogant when it comes to wildlife, and even more arrogant when the "common perception" is that an animal is friendly.

Too many people try to interact with dolphins who have no clue about dolphins. It's like going to France without being able to speak French, and then wondering why everyone there is rude to you.

Myrhaf said...

A quote is taken out of context if the quote's meaning is distorted without the context. For instance, let's say a critic writes of a movie, "It is highly entertaining, if one is a masochist who wants to punish himself by enduring three hours of meaningless, plotless boredom." If the producer then uses the words "Highly entertaining" in ads, that is taking the words out of context.

I can't imagine a context that would change the meaning of that long quote by Thomas Jefferson. The fact that he respected Christian ethics but not Christian metaphysics or epistemology is interesting, but I don't see how it changes the truth of the words quoted in this post.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that he respected Christian ethics but not Christian metaphysics or epistemology is interesting..."

It is interesting. It shows how strong the pro-reason spirit of the Enlightenment was and it also shows that he had nothing to replace Christian altruism with. Today's Christians do respect Christian metaphysics and that is big problem.

John Kim

EdMcGon said...

Myrhaf, my bad. I should have said Joe at Forces took it out of context when he said, "For an opposite view on whether Americans should be Christian, here's Thomas Jefferson:". Jefferson was NOT rejecting Christianity, as Joe implied (and you linked to). Jefferson WAS rejecting how many Christians live their beliefs.

Myrhaf said...

It sounds to me like Thomas Jefferson is contradictory and conflicted about Christianity. How can he make the statement above and then go on to endorse Christianity in any way?

Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

Thanks for the mention. I feel like I hit the big time seeing my blog mentioned in yours (even if I did need Jefferson's help to get here) :-)

The quote itself is actually a bit different than that given at

Myrhaf said...

Rick, I'm not the big time. I'm a worm or something in the ecosystem. Now, Gus Van Horn is a Slithering Reptile...

Anonymous said...


Your rank is 73200 and your official designation on the TTLB ecosystem is a Multicellular Microorganism:

Gus Van Horn's rank is 56811 and his official designation is a Multicellular Microorganism:

So you're both multicellular microorganisms but Gus's daily traffic is about three times as much. Here are the top blogs who are ranked as "higher beings":

1.Michelle Malkin (5648) details
2.Daily Kos: State of the Nation (5494) details (5393) details (4965) details
5.lgf: removing dust under poor lighting conditions (4655) details
6.Tricia’s Musings (4253) details
7.Power Line (4184) details
8.Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters (4083) details
9.Captain's Quarters (3918) details
10.Hot Air (3451) details

Daily Kos is the second most popular blog. That is scary.

John Kim

Myrhaf said...

I'm surprised Huffpo and Atrios aren't in the top 10.

Jim May said...

Jefferson was rejecting specific aspects of Christianity, such as the Trinity -- but not belief itself.

(via Justin over at Gus Van Horn)