$1.5 m of taxpayer money to make long dead celebate moron a saint

How would you answer the question, “what do you think is the most important ‘thing’ that the Australian federal government should to with tax payer money?”

Invest in sustainability technology?
Invest in medical or other scientific research?
Invest in public transport infrastructure to get people off the roads?
Invest in tertiary education support schemes to allow people to study without poverty?

Well, Australia is about to have its very own and very first saint, Mary MacKillop, and aren’t we just so proud?

Fuck no, we’re not proud. On the other hand, I’m not the voice of the people; I’m just an individual with an opinion, a vocabulary, and a media with which to voice it.

Australian Cardinal George “go-to-hell” Pell, however, IS the voice of the people. “The People”, of course are the deeply religious, deeply delusional cretins who find themselves unable to look beyond the so called ‘moral decay of society’, to more important issues.

What issues? How about the fact that we lock up people who are escaping war, famine and natural disasters who manage to make it to Australia on rickety boats in prison cells? Yeah, their only fucking crime is not drowning, and their punishment is being locked in a prison until they’re told their application for asylum has been denied that they kill themselves?

How about the fact that the only reliable resource that we have that supports life, the Earth, is being systematically raped into extinction? A report came out this week which suggests that BY 2030, WE WILL NEED 2 PLANETS TO FEED HUMANITY! And considering that NASA, the only space agency thus far capable of putting humans on another astronomical body, has cut back funding to just about everything, we’re shit out of luck there!

Cardinal “rob-from-the-poor-to-keep-the-Vatican-coffers-happy” has suggested that Australia “needs” this canonisation of our first saint because it could inspire non-believers. Wow! How fucking inspirational! “I think that one group that we should look at in particular is those Australians who don’t have faith and would like to have faith. For those people who are looking for something, I would say have a look at Mary MacKillop. She was a woman of faith,” Pell pontificated.

$1.5 million dollars in federal funding was used to support this ridiculous charade. $1.5 million Australian dollars (which is about $700 million US dollars at the moment) was misappropriated to support a bid to have this long dead Australian woman magically turned into a saint. As if it’s not bad enough that these seriously-wealthy-beggars pay zero in taxes whilst raking in millions!

That’s right folks, the church that made several hundred billion dollars last year telling people not to masturbate and telling HIV and AIDs infected Africans and teens all over the world not to use condoms, but use abstinence instead (because that worked so fucking well for the paedophile priests, now, didn’t it?), needs $1.5 million from the Australian people to make a dead woman a fucking saint.

Why? Some idiot with cancer was given a diagnosis of ‘incurable cancer’, and after praying to Mary MacKillop went into complete remission. Of course she was also put on high dose radiation and drug therapy, she had several surgeries and was cared for by the Australian healthcare system… but it was totally the freaking prayer that did it!

I know how hard university departments work to get funding grants to conduct their research, and when they’re given $50,000, they squeal with delight. They save lives.

George Pell, a man who has personally covered up several cases of clerical sexual abuse in the various dioceses that he has run over the years, claims that this $1.5 million dollars is well spent, that it will bring non-believers to Catholicism. What am I, a non-believer, missing?

Who the hell does he think he is? Better yet, how ridiculously stupid does he think we ‘non-believers’ are? Are we supposed to look at the beatification and sainthood of a dead woman and convert to a religion whose leader was all too fucking happy to repeatedly remove guilty paedophiles from one church and put them into another, where they went on to re-offend again, and again, and again?

You, George Pell, and your ridiculous sham of a bigoted, homophobic, sanctimonious, misogynistic, paedophiliac, parthenogenesis-believing, moronic-dress-and-hat-wearing, nut-bag religion, can kiss my consecrated, holy ass!

The Euthyphro Dilemma

I take you to a recent accident in Ukraine. A bus waited for the train to approach and then started to cross the railway. All signals were working and the weather was fine. The result was 43 dead including a 7 year old boy.

This video is disturbing as you can see dead bodies lying along the railway line. A nearby Christian Church, which you can actually see if you contnue to watch the video, attepted to put this tragic accident into the context of God’s greater plan.

This disturbed me greatly, but they’re not the first ones to do it. Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson claimed that 9/11 occurred because God was anrgy due to America’s tollerance of homosexuality and abortions.

But why would a benevolent god do such a thing? Why would it commit such a travesty? 

The answer is clear; God is a sadomasochist with a serious blood fetish.

Unfortunately for us, however, as time goes on, his thirst for blood and guts has become more and more intrusive. Back in the old days, God would just get his chosen people to lob off their foreskin, and he’d smite the occasional rogue nation who was controlling land he’d ordained for his chosen, foreskin-less people.

Nowadays though, god’s thirst for gore, blood, giblets and violation of children by priests/pastors has grown to biblical proportions… Old Testament biblical proportions!

We must excise the profuse and malignant sludge that is god. We must treat the very notion of god with contempt. This imaginary, yet tangibly incorporeal obsession which courses through the veins of the metaphorical heart of billions of morons across the pale blue dot which we call earth.

It forces one to see the natural as supernatural and the supernatural as natural. This, by a wicked extrapolation, means that the natural is not natural at all, but merely a constructed tangibility within an incorporeal sludge of god’s imagination.

Thus we sit, poised on the edge of our chairs, as is a familiar human trait, awaiting a destiny, damnation and doom which will likely never eventuate, merely tantalise and leave us in a state of perpetual euphoric trepidation and dread.

How do we help people out of this perpetual delirium, this all consuming delusion?

Education.

Belief in a god or gods does not make you ‘stupid’, nor does disbelief in a god or gods make you ‘smarter’. After all, we’re all atheists with respect to the Norse, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Assyrian gods of antiquity. We’re both atheists with respect to the Hindu Pantheon, Indigenous Australian creation spirits, and Galactic Emperor Xenu.

While I don’t personally believe that there is enough evidence to support the existence of any gods that humans have believed in, plenty of people do. While I revel in the evidence provided by scientific pursuit and discovery, others choose to believe in direct spite of this best evidence.

The Euthyphro Dilemma.

Newsflash: What were you doing on the day that Science discovered magic?

I love science! Seriously, I love the shit out of it! Especially astronomy… which is about 80% of the reason I’m doing a science degree majoring in astronomy.

That said, I just about sharted out a kitten last week when it was ‘discovered’ that a planet had been discovered, Gliese 581g, 20 light years away… WHICH HAD A 100% CHANCE OF LIFE.

Needless to say, my sceptical senses were tingling worse than that time… I won’t finish that analogy. Nonetheless, lets take a look.

How are planets in distant solar systems ‘discovered’?

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that the discovery of a planet in a distant solar system is not made by direct observation. We can not see the planet its self, we can however, interpret its existence and composition by staring at it for long enough, and with enough high sensitivity equipment.

Point a telescope at a distant star and watch as it ‘dances’. The process is actually called radial-velocity and analysis of the Doppler shifts in the host star’s light as orbiting planets tug on the star, drawing it nearer to and then farther from Earth. It effectively watches for the brightening and dimming of light put out by the star as the planet passes in front of our ‘line of sight’ of the star.

Analysing the frequency of this allows us to determine the speed of orbit and the relative distance from the star, and (here’s the important bit) with a few extra calculations, we can discover the relative size of the planets.

Now, until this most recent discovery, the smallest planets we’d discovered were around 1.4 times the size of Jupiter (i.e. massive Gas Giants) and had very fast orbits around their stars (which was an advantage, because analysing star dances requires someone to watch for the dances (i.e. orbits around the sun) which can take many, many years.

Our largest gas giant, Jupiter, takes 11.86 Earth years to orbit our sun, so for a scientist in a distant solar system analysing our largest starlight obstructor, they’d have to wait over a decade to see just one… and you’d probably want at least 2-3 dances to confirm your finding.

Further to this, analysing the spectrums of light that stream past the starlight obstructing can tell you the ‘exact’ density and composition of the planets. Different gases, liquids and solids refract light in different ways and from this we can tell if the planet has an atmosphere, and which of the sexy particles make up this atmosphere.

Could life exist there?

Now, the distance from the sun is the important part in this case because it tells us how hot or cold the planet might be. In fact, you only need to look at the relative differences in our solar system to understand the importance of distance. Too close to the sun and you’re Mercury and are unable to sustain an atmosphere, too far and any water is frozen solid.

Even then, though, there are the creepy little buggers we’ve called ‘extremeophiles‘ which produce energy through chemosynthesis on massive bubbling smoke stacks the ocean floor. So while being in ‘the goldilocks zone’ might be advantageous, where you’re just the right distance to allow for liquid water, it is not necessarily necessary for life to exist.

Remember that there are billions of cells in your body which live in acid, and thrive… and can not exist outside of that environment.

Life could definitely exist elsewhere in the Solar System; on one of the moons of Jupiter or Uranus; deep within an underground aquifer within the bowels of Mars; or lying frozen within the icy interior of Halley’s Comet. So why not elsewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy?

While this recent discovery has found an ‘Earth-like’ planet, it is many, many times larger than the planet on which we reside; it is orbiting a Red Dwarf (which is around <40% of the mass of our sun); and it is 20 light years from earth.

Our observations allow us to draw conclusions with some amount of certainty, but keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. So when you read that this discovery heralds a 100% chance of life, ensure that you maintain a healthy skepticism towards the claim.