Peet Brits

Hmm, but that doesn't make any sense…

Archive for the ‘Random Stuff’ Category

Random stuff, mostly pointless.

True Sceptic, or Noisy Idiot?

Posted by Peet Brits on November 18, 2008

blogging

blogging

More and more sceptical websites seems to be appearing all over the internet. This in itself is a good thing, but how many of them are truly sceptical?

It is easy to take on a topic that is black and white, right or wrong. One must be willing to question public opinion and do a lot of research, but in the end, there usually is an absolute answer.

The biggest challenge lies in grey areas: there where there seems to be no absolute right or wrong answer and even if there is, it is rather hard to prove. This is the true test of character.

The reason for raising this issue is that most people, when faced with an uncertain challenge, fall back to personal beliefs and convictions. I have seen many of these websites, filled with fallacies and mockery. Sometimes it is fine to use mockery with an abundance of evidence, but still, since mockery is an attack of the person rather than an attack of the argument, it is something of which most scientifically minded people should never make themselves guilty.

To all those people who like hearing the sound of their own voice: just because your opinion differs from that of the public does not suddenly make you sceptics. I think it is best that I do not provide links to any of these pages.

As an example I will point to Brian Dunning, from skeptoid.com, who did a podcast with the topic Who kills more, religion or atheism. Most people would rather choose to avoid this topic, and those who do talk about it usually do so out of anger for the other side. I must say that his opinion is the best answer I have ever heard on this topic. Listen to (or read) it, and make up your own mind.

I am not against scepticism, sometimes I just get frustrated…

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Evolution?

Posted by Peet Brits on September 7, 2008

Evolution

Evolution

After seeing yet another sample of the countless arguments coming from creationists versus evolutionists, I feel I have to make a statement of my own.

I would like to start with something that my soon-to-be brother-in-law told me the other day:  “A group of people did not want to believe in God so they took some scientific evidence and started evolutionISM.  Then another group of people made the mistake of trying to counter it with the other extreme, starting creationISM.  They are both wrong.”

He has a degree in Zoology and speaks strongly against ISMs, claiming they are almost a sect of their own.  The above idea has spiralled onward and we are led to believe that we must side with either one of the two extremes: All we know has evolved in one way or another and thus God cannot exist, or there is a God which created the earth in no more than a calendar week.  Is this not a false dichotomy?

But the bible says…

When I started this weblog I wanted to avoid any religious matters, but as this is exactly what the creationists are doing I feel I need to speak their own language to really bring my point through to them.

That said; let me proceed with an example from the bible, at the point when the Israelites just got settled into their new home.  They looked at all the surrounding nations, and when they saw they all had kings they wanted one of their own.  Through the prophets the reply came that it is better not to have a single human ruler, but the people were stubborn.  You will notice that a more democratic system was proposed.  Today I believe most of us will agree that a democracy is better than a monarchy.

Now put yourself in the shoes of God.  If the idea of a more democratic human system (under the guidance of one God) was too much for them to handle, how much more difficult would it have been to touch other topics, like anti-slavery, or claiming that the earth is not flat, or going into all the details of how our world really was formed.  Is it not more likely that he said only what was needed to be said at the time?

So what about me?

Personally I do not have enough knowledge about the topic to make any real claims, but the sceptic inside of me would like to remind the reader of a very popular historic event when the people realised that the earth was round.  A group of hard-headed people with too much authority went as far as threatening to kill.  They even had a few nice scriptures to go along with it, just to soften the hearts of the people.

Is it not sad to realise that we might be repeating history?

Judging by some of the arguments I have heard lately it would seem that creationists do not argue for the sake of science, but rather because they feel threatened in their belief system.  There will always be people arguing for and against religion, but we must never allow this to stand in the way of new scientific discoveries.

I have been picking mostly on Creationists, but there are a lot of hateful comments coming from the other side of the fence as well.  Grow up people; this is really not helping anything!

So, is the earth 6,000 years old or not?  Does God exist?  That is not the point of this article.  I just want people to stop with all the silly arguments.  As mentioned before, the idea of God and evolution is not mutually exclusive.  I hope this will make people feel less emotionally threatened and more open for new possibilities.

Bringing it all together

Sometimes we are presented with extremes or loaded statements, fooling us into believing that we have a choice when we are really being fed spoons of lies.  So I will ask two things of you: do not blindly reject traditions just because you do not like them, as most of them were started for a reason, but at the same time do not blindly follow anything without questioning it in some way or another.

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Why?

Posted by Peet Brits on August 27, 2008

Because logic does not dry tears, reason does not comfort, and the truth is not warm and cuddly.

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Religion?

Posted by Peet Brits on August 9, 2008

This is my reply to a post titled an experiment. It is about asking philosophical questions about, for example, God.  Thought I would share.

My Answer:

My current take on this is to just let it go, it is like spitting into the wind.

Most Christians I know would reply with an EMOTIONAL answer. Per definition Christianity is a relationship with God, thus an emotion not always explicable by those experiencing it.

Most non-Christians would also attempt to answer with something that is EMOTIONALLY BIASED against God, even if this is just on a subconscious level. They are convinced (believe from evidence/arguments) that God does not exist and therefore will search their logic only for those arguments that goes against God.

MY POINT:
Show me the Christian that can assume for a moment God does not exist.
Show me the non-Christian that can assume for a moment that God does exist.

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