July 30, 2015

Is this proof the soul does not exist?

by eirenehogan

Fascinating blogpost from Godless Cranium.  To quote him:

“We have often described our ‘self’ as something separate from our bodies. Most of our religions describe some sort of soul that leaves or changes as we die, but this experiment shows that by simply cutting off communication between our two hemispheres, we can create two consciousnesses that are independent of one another.

While you’re reading this, you could have two different opinions of this piece, depending on which hemisphere you asked.

How creepy but fascinating is that? And are there more ‘I’s’ lurking around in our skulls that we haven’t discovered yet?

No matter how you look at it, I think this shows that the soul doesn’t exist if you think your consciousness or the thing that you describe as ‘I’ or ‘you’ is essentially what your soul is.

What do you think?”

http://godlesscranium.com/2015/07/29/does-split-brain-surgery-show-there-is-no-soul/comment-page-1/#comment-5471

July 11, 2015

There is no need to ‘prove’ god does NOT exist

by eirenehogan

It has been said by theists that “One cannot prove that god does not exist any more than one can prove he does”.  But atheists don’t need to prove god does not exist.  There is no evidence of any such thing.  Most likely in our ancient past, before any scientific research was ever done, people made up some stories to explain why things happen in the world and why people die and what happens when they do.  They would also have tried to make up some stories to explain why we feel a sense of moral right and wrong and why people shouldn’t kill and shouldn’t hurt others.  Those stories have become what we call ‘religion’.  They have become part of our culture and have been handed down to us over the centuries.

Why should we have to try and prove if those stories are about something or someone who is ‘real’ or not?  They are not based on any evidence at all.  Do we need to go out and try and prove if Cinderella exists or not?  Or Jack and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk?  We all consider such fairy tales, that have also been handed down over the generations, to be good yarns that also teach our children something about right and wrong.  No one seriously considers we need to prove that the characters in them do NOT exist.  So why should atheists be expected to have to prove if god does or does not exist?  We consider the stories of god just that, stories, no more.  If someone out there seriously believes Cinderella does exist, it is up to them to prove it.  And they cannot prove it by simply quoting the Cinderella story.

June 23, 2015

Christians do not own marriage

by eirenehogan

Whatever attitude some Christians have to marriage equality is irrelevant.  The issue is not what the Bible thinks of it, it is about what our society, our Nation, thinks of it.  It is a secular issue and Australia is a secular country; that is within our constitution.  Some Christians try to claim Christianity owns marriage, that somehow their god ‘invented’ marriage, which is just ridiculous.  Marriage is – and has been – in all societies, long before Christianity came along, and before the Jews too, and within all non-Christian countries around the world.  The Egyptians married, and their civilisation began 2,500 years before Christ.  The Asians marry, the American Natives marry, the Australian Aborigines marry, the Pacific Islanders marry, the African natives marry.  Christianity does not own marriage.  These people are entitled to their views, and they do not have to choose to marry same-sex if they don’t want to, but they have no right to impose their views on non-Christians and onto Christians who don’t agree with them.

Osiris and Isis

Osiris and Isis

May 12, 2015

Death of bushranger Ben Hall. 5 May 1865.

by eirenehogan

Every 100 Years - Timeline of Centenaries

Death of bushranger Ben Hall.  5 May 1865.

BenHallPainting

Ben Hall is probably the 2nd most famous bushranger in Australia after Ned Kelly.  He was active during the gold rush of New South Wales in the early 1860s.  This was the region where I grew up, one hundred years later.

Ben Hall was the son of a convict and had a small selection of land in central New South Wales before gold was discovered.  When gold was discovered there was enormous social upheavel and that included pressure on the local farmers to give up land.  Ben Hall got mixed up with the famous professional bushranger, Frank Gardiner, who is believed to have engineered the Eurgowra Gold Escort Coach Robbery.  Frank Gardiner was convicted ultimately, but did his time them emigrated to the US and lived out his life there.

Ben Hall claimed he was not involved, although he did know Frank Gardiner.  He was…

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April 30, 2015

Party to End all Parties – 1999

by eirenehogan

I was singing along with the Prince song, 1999, (or rather, dancing along to it) when I thought about just how long ago that was now, 1999 I mean.  Of course the song itself is much older, released in 1982.  And it certainly reflects that as well, with its images of destruction and that they will all, ‘die any day’.  The song is resplendent with the post-nuke themes of the Cold War II – that is, the Cold War restarted by Ronald Ray-gun and all his Star Wars rhetoric.

But the real 1999 was not like that at all. It was post Cold War; the Berlin Wall was well and truly gone, as was the Soviet Union itself.  Rather than fears of world destruction – apart from the usual doomsday predictions that accompanies all major changes in dates – most people were feeling pretty confident about the future.  The recessions of the 80s were over, 9/11 hadn’t happened so there was no paranoia over middle eastern terrorists, and the Tea Party and modern christian fundamentalists hadn’t got control of the politicians.  There was the environment issue, but we still had some naive hope that the world might actually try and DO something about that.

We were starting a new millenium and there was a lot of hope for a bright and peaceful future.

That is my memory of the feelings of the party to end all parties, turn of the century.

I wonder what others remember about 1999 and the beginning of 2000.

Shirley Strachen from Skyhooks, singing, I am hoping, ‘Party to end all Parties.

April 22, 2015

English a Scandinavian Language?

by eirenehogan

Linguist makes sensational claim: English is a Scandinavian language

April 22, 2015

On this day 100 years ago … or more.

by eirenehogan
ANNIVERSARIES OF EVENTS 100 YEARS AGO OR MORE …
1915 April 25 Anzac landing, Gallipoli. World War I
1215 June 15 signing of Magna Carta, King John of England.
(Julian Calendar.
It  would be June 8 by Gregorian Calendar)
1815 June 18 Battle of Waterloo, against Napoleon
1415 October 25 Battle of Agincourt, the 100 Years War (England and France)
(St Crispins Day)
(Julian Calendar.
It would be October 16 by the Gregorian calendar)

 

April 22, 2015

History of Calendars

by eirenehogan

Here’s a great link for my interest (no, not obsession!) with calendars.

History of Calendars

March 31, 2015

And the Most Excellent History of English Podcast is…

by eirenehogan

Cary's Blog

…The History of English Podcast. Before you snicker at the obviousness of the name, note that it’s not just the first podcast about the history of the English language, as far as I know it’s the only one. Of course, neither being first nor being the only is a guarantee of being good. However, I am here to assure it is an excellent podcast.

History-of-English-Podcast6 The History of English Podcast: available via iTunes, RSS and direct download.

Before I get to the excellent parts, let me dispense with the only two things that might turn off some people – although I personally appreciate them both. First, the host, Kevin Stroud, does repeat some key points. In the reviews of this podcast on iTunes a few people disliked this, finding it tedious at times. I appreciate it though, since it helps me remember the points.

Second, it’s in (deliciously) excruciating detail. He starts…

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January 11, 2015

The countdown till the next federal election in Australia

by eirenehogan

I can’t stand it anymore, I have to count down the weeks until freedom.

The first date til the next federal election can be called without a trigger (double dissolution and such … ) is 6 August 2016.  The LATEST date an election can be called is – wait for it … 14 Jan 2017.  Arrrghhh!!!  Horrifying.

So here is my chart that counts down until the earliest date.  From 1st January there were 83 weeks.

weeks til election

The Postgrad Chronicles

Medieval History from Alfred the Great to The Battle of Castillon

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