Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Spreading Lies and Half-truths

In his column Moments in the article titled "Spread light, not lies" (Mar 26, 2006), Orbos started off with telling a lie masquerading as a "good" story. Of course we know that the story is just fiction. When you tell that to the kids, let them know that it's just a story created to promote a lie at the expense of non-believers. In the same article, he wrote "A Catholic dines at a restaurant and orders shark, dolphin and whale meat. Told that there was none, he right away orders roast beef, lechon and steak thinking that, at least, he tried to order fish." Well, the thing is, only shark is a fish. Dolphins and whales are mammals. Talk about spreading lies and half-truths.



I sent the above letter to the editor of Inq7.net, a shorter version of the previous post.

Spreading Lies

In the INQ7.net article yesterday (Mar 26, 2006), the priest Jerry Orbos in his column Moments : Spread light, not lies he started off with telling a lie masquerading as a "good" story.

THE story is told about an atheist couple who had a son. Both parents never told their child anything about God or about Jesus. One night, the couple had a fight where the father shot the mother and then shot himself. It all happened in front of the child. The child was sent to a foster home. One day, in a Sunday School, the teacher held up a picture of Jesus and asked if anyone knew who it was. The child in our story raised his hands and said: "That's the man who was holding me the night my parents died.

Of course we know that the story is just fiction. When you tell that to the kids, let them know that it's just a story. Just like Jesus Christ is just a story. In the same article, he wrote:

An example of the absurdities of a liar: It's Ash Wednesday. A Catholic dines at a restaurant and orders shark, dolphin and whale meat. Told that there was none, he right away orders roast beef, lechon and steak thinking that, at least, he tried to order fish.

Well, the thing is, only shark is a fish. Dolphins and whales are mammals. Talk about spreading lies and half-truths.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Duh? Atheism List?

The Pinoy atheists are in a cunundrum. A poll was conducted to determine if the atheism list should rid itself of a believer who has made it a point to make it his turf and think it’s his right to defend his belief when it’s being attacked by atheists. Does that make sense? But it seems it does to some atheists if we are to take the result of the poll as an indication.

It’s only in Pinoy atheists where a Christian runs amuck and atheists think that such behavior is necessary for the health of the discussion, or to serve as a reminder of how far stupidity can go. The same nutcase claimed that “god is energy” and the resident irreligious members think that they are learning from such claims. It’s also in Pinoy atheists where posts by believers - believer really, since there is only one very active nutcase - is a good percentage of messages. It’s only in Pinoy atheists where you can see that believers complain about being provoked by atheists (duh? as expected since atheists are irreligious) and getting sympathies from the atheists! On first glance, an atheist who is willing to join might mistake the list as an INC-ADD debate list and turn away. No end to be in sight, the debate has caused undue distress to some of the early members who never intended the list to degenarate into its current state where discussions have been hijacked from being mostly secular to just about anything nonsense and a long parade of name calling. If there are topics that the non-believers try to bring up for secular discussion, they are quickly lost in the longest raging debate that should have been moot and academic in an atheism list.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

PhilStar.com Daily Quotes

From the PhilStar.com main page today (3/21/2006):

"No trial would cause us to despair if we knew God’s reason for allowing it. "

This PhilStar feature - quotes at the bottom of the main page - is now a source of humor for me. Sometime ago, they had this really stupid quote:

"The question is not 'Where is god?' but rather 'Where isn't He?'"

Whatever the question is doesn't really matter. What matters is the answer. Chuckles. If they are not so sure about the question, why do they seem to be so sure if the answer really constitutes knowledge?

Letter to the Editor - Orwell's "1984"

A few minutes ago, I sent this letter to the editor of Inq7.net.

This appeared in your editorial today (Inq7.net, 3/21/2006):

"'1984' is a chilling portrayal of a totalitarian society. It was meant to be prophetic, and it came true in Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mao’s China and Kim Il Sung’s North Korea. It is happening in other countries now."

Orwell wrote "1984" in 1948 (published 1949), well after the downfall of Hitler's Nazi. Stalin's term of office started in 1924 and ended in 1953. The purges under Stalin's rule started even before the second great war or a decade before the book was written. The book therefore is not prophetic inasfar as the two cases are concerned.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What This Is About

This is my space for writing anything not necessarily about atheism nor geek stuffs. Instead, I will put my thoughts on many other things that interest me. I figured, maybe the reason why I was not very productive writing is that because I am trying to write on one area only suppressing my ideas about my other interests - because the outlet is a very narrow one. So here you go, a new blog! I deleted my earlier blog in another blogging service. I hated that blog. And the colors, pamatay!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I have always been fascinated by science. I was introduced to it by my penchant for reading. My nanay kept lying around the house some college papers that I was able to read --- Greek mythology, geology, paleontology, and astronomy and astrophysics. I also loved to read her college physics book, and an old popular science magazine. In fact, I was in a hurry to understand how the physics math worked but there was no book in the house on at least algebra and trigonometry. All of that before I turned 12 or 13. Of course, I did not learn advanced math to had understood much of the physics but I understood that it was supported by math. And I knew math was reliable because I loved math too. I contented myself with the color pictures, diagrams, and the descriptions, and skipped the math with letters and symbols (instead of just numbers). I also loved to read science journals. I noticed that they never mention anything about prayers in explaining how things work. So somehow, I knew or thought I knew that prayers just don't work or at least unreliable. I even tried praying to the devil to experiment. :) Eventually I stopped believing there is ever a devil, just as there is no Santa.

I grew up in the province in Laguna. We had an old man neighbour, a hilot, who would always tell enkanto stories that I really enjoyed since I was six til eight or nine when I grew tired of it. Often times, I'd ask my mother if such stories were true and she'd say it's just myths. My nanay is also a non-believer in the mystical. I know this for sure and have seen her show it many times. Both my parents don't go to church but my sister and brothers do. My parents is what they call themselves KBL or kasal, binyag, libing. Nanay doesn't believe in usog (balis as it's called where I grew up in), for example. She doesn't believe in aswangs or kapres and all of those stuffs my summer nights of pangangapitbahay were made of. It had a great influence in my thinking as a child. For her, all things can be explained without resorting to superstition or what is beyond nature - the supernatural. Of course people can argue that our senses may not be enough to discover the existence of non-material entities. But as far as I am concerned, if it is not supported by evidence or the claim violates natural law, I will not believe existential claims. I also began to suspect that there were no American kapre or a British manananggal, as well as Filipino banshees. I thought mystical truths must also have some universality in them first to be acceptable.

In high school, my science teacher (I had only one science teacher until my senior year) was mediocre. Imagine someone with more than a decade of teaching experience in chemistry, using chalks for counterweight of a platform balance! Duh, what for are those metals with engraving on them telling us how much matter they contained? I wondered how she managed to continue doing that year after year after year. I wondered how un-questioning, un-critical, un-thinking all of her previous students had been! Were they all grade conscious? Luckily, I had some common sense in me and a little science as well. So I answered my experiment paper with a strong "philosophical" essay. I expounded on the virtue and wisdom of using the provided for counterweights and the evil of using chalks. I was rewarded handsomely, a good investment I'd say. ROI was only a year. I got grades only I could ever be proud of. I was proud of it as soon as I received it. Because of it, I never trusted my teachers again, so did my classmates. I told myself, I'd manage myself just like before. I needed to verify by myself what they were talking about if it really bothered me, or if I thought it mattered at all.

I attended a Catholic high school so that religion was a yearly and year-round boredom. My first day of school, we were forced to buy an illustrated bible at an exorbitant price. The pictures were not really cool and I thought they were drawn by religion teachers. I grew up in Paete and lots of kids there can draw better. I was told that god is benevolent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. I don't know how they managed to ram that big concept down our throat while good god himself did nothing to stop famine in Africa, a war engulfing the Middle East and elsewhere children suffer; all these however hard Jimmy Swaggart prayed. I don't know now how I managed to not always ask my usual pilosopo questions in the religion classes. Maybe I got tired of being excommunicated from the class for one hour. My religion teachers were what you would call marginal, one of them could not even spell Pentateuch (tama ba?) correctly and kept mistaking it with Antioch (<---how about this one?). Sila yung isinusuka ng seminaryo. Bro. Noli is now a baranggay captain. Good for him, he found his real calling. If science teachers can teach wrong science which is supposed to be based on observable facts or demonstrable, repetitive, and universal concepts, but not know they taught wrong, how much more if the subject does not admit evidence as the basis of truth? How much wrong could I be forced to believe or accept without question? One way to find out was to read the only evidence they rely on, the Catholic bible. I loved reading the bible. My favourite is the King James version. It's like reading Shakespeare, only better. The stories were true, er, supposed to be true. I loved the story of Joseph. Lotsa miracles then and mostly in the Middle East. I kept hoping I'd read Manila or Luzon somehow. Cool, the Philippines is part of god's plan after all. I thought the Philippians were Filipinos. I turned to Grolier's and I was deeply upset but I never told my parents or teachers afterwards. If Christianity can save us from hell, I was glad Magellan discovered the Philippines. The rest they say is history. Wait a minute, that was 1521! So the earlier Filipinos, not by choice but by birth and death, are now in hell? But I could not care less, I was glad the Spaniards came and subjugated our pagan forefathers for 300 years. Why, more than 90% of us are Christians. We are indeed lucky god is with us. Look at our progress now! We know we can improve the economy by praying, we can choose good presidents in prayer rallies, we heal the sick by prayers. I think in the next millenneum, we can totally eradicate diseases, and usher in world peace if we each light a candle and pray just a little bit harder.

Stay cool and, God less.


I posted this message in the now-defunct Yahoo e-groups Pinoy Defenders of Faith and Pinoy Atheist. Now both lists are gone, so I am re-posting it here to serve as introduction.

From: pinoy_infidel
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 18:38:59 -0000
Subject: [Pinoy_Atheist] Science and Religion