Scrupuli

blunt essays with sharp points

In Art We Trust (Since We Can’t Explain It) [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 30, 2004 4:52 AM–Believing in art is no more or less absurd than believing in Christianity or Buddhism or Vitamin C. Art is just another faith that promises immortal life and access to the spiritual. (go to complete article)

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Billions of Iraqi Oil Dollars Missing [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 28, 2004 12:15 AM–The United Nations gave the United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority control of all Iraqi oil income. The conditions were that they pay it all into the Development Fund for Iraq and use it in Iraq’s best interests. But up to $3.7 billion have not been accounted for. For the entire year that the CPA has been in power in Iraq it has been impossible to tell with any accuracy what the CPA has been doing with Iraq’s money. (go to complete article)

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Revenge Of the Apes [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 27, 2004 3:09 PM–
The apes at Lincoln Park Zoo are finally getting a chance to take their revenge on people who for years have been pounding their palms against the glass walls of the primates’ old home. At the zoo’s new Regenstein Center for African Apes, chimpanzees can touch a panel hidden from public view that will shoot harmless bursts of air at unsuspecting visitors.

The story calls this revenge, but SCRVPVLVS observes that escaped primates typically take their revenge by escaping to attack their keepers and the public, particularly women and children (perhaps because they are the most common patrons). Consider the attacks in the United States alone within the past ten years:

SCRVPVLVS thinks the Lincoln Park chimps would rather be able to touch a hidden panel and trade places with unsuspecting zoo visitors. And evidently the Dallas Zoo keepers are to be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes. (go to complete article)

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Texas Republicans Urged to Drop “Christian Nation” [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 25, 2004 6:35 PM– A pissing match is developing between the Jewish Anti-Defamation League and the Christian Texas Republican Party. The TRP have adopted a party platform which declares the United States of America to be a Christian nation and calls the separation of church and state “a myth.” The ADL have asked the TRP to change their platform in light of the U.S. Constitution, court rulings, and sizable populations of Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians in Texas. The TRP say they represent the beliefs and values of Texans. (go to complete article)

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Therapy the New Religion [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 24, 2004 3:51 PM–
Those recognising psychotherapy’s extraordinary spiritual status include Sydney-based psychoanalyst, Neville Symington. His recently published book, The Blind Man Sees, explores similarities between religion and psychoanalysis by “drawing examples” from Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, according to his website.

Religion and psychoanalysis “open people to compassion,” says Symington, by helping them transcend the limitations of “self-centredness”—the origin of various mental illnesses.

“Compassion is (fundamental) in all the great religions,” he says. “And in psychoanalysis, if you can get … someone (to) start communicating in a healthy (compassionate) way, then their mental disorders begin to dissolve.”

Admittedly, such disorders are keeping therapists in a profession that yields, on average, $140 per 55-minute emotional tune-up.

It couldn’t be put any more clearly.

He doesn’t say selfishness. He says self-centeredness. Are they different? (go to complete article)

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Archdruid Wants Stonehenge Back [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 23, 2004 5:56 PM– The Archdruid of Wales wants England to return Stonehenge to the Welsh. Studies of the builders’ remains and the stones themselves have shown that they originated from western Wales.

It's not practical to move Stonehenge. But it turns out that the ancient political boundaries were different when Stonehenge was erected. England now claims territory which was once unified with Wales. So really the best thing is to return some of England to the Welsh. (go to complete article)

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The Potter’s Field

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 22, 2004 9:55 PM–In the beginning, there were muddy water, wind, darkness, and a Potter.

The Potter made a place to work. The Potter formed light, and loved the light, and separated it from darkness. The Potter formed a great dome which made a space amid the muddy water. The Potter separated the muddy water under the dome into land and seas, and loved them also.

Then the Potter made plants and trees, lights in the great dome, swimming animals, flying animals, and walking and creeping animals. The Potter made the plants and animals to multiply, and loved them also.

Finally, The Potter made some animals just like The Potter, and those were people to rule the other animals. The Potter made people to multiply, and loved them also.

The Potter gave the leaves and fruits of the plants and trees to the people and the other animals for food. But after awhile the people stopped ruling. The people and the other animals on land became wild, and frightened and killed and ate one another. The Potter was very sad and regretted making them.

The Potter tried to start over with one family of each kind of animal, including one family of good people. The Potter saved them in a box, and killed the rest of the people and the other animals on the earth by drowning the land.

When the animals came out of the box and began to multiply again, they were still wild. The Potter saw that drowning the land did not work, and decided not to do it again. The Potter told the people to try to rule the wild animals by keeping them afraid. The people were allowed to frighten and kill and eat the animals. But The Potter ordered the people not to eat meat that still had life blood in it, and ordered that any person who spilled the life blood of another person should have their own blood spilled as a punishment.

The Potter lived in a palace at the top of the great dome. The people wanted to live in the palace, and they all cooperated to build a tower on the land so tall that it would reach the palace. But The Potter wanted the people to stay on the land and rule it. So The Potter had to keep the people from being able to cooperate. The Potter moved them all over the world, and invented a different language for each group of people. Then the people stopped cooperating, because they couldn't.

(To be continued.) (go to complete article)

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Some Child Sexual Abuse Is God’s Fault

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 19, 2004 11:43 PM–Out of one hundred priests and ministers, one or two will abuse children at some point. And some of the repeat offenses by Catholic priests are definitely God’s fault.

God says that people can control their most horrible impulses by praying to be healed. Christians have been told, and honestly believe, that a pedophile has a moral problem that can be healed by the process of confession, penance, and returning to God.

Therapists tell us that pedophilia is a mostly incurable mental illness, that most pedophiles will never learn to control themselves, no matter how hard they want to control themselves. But the Catholic church prefers to believe God. Priests who ought to have been kept permanently away from children are taught to return to God. And these priests are reassigned, and end up abusing children who could have been saved.

Some religious ideas which contradict facts and reason are merely funny, such as the idea that the world was created only 6000 years ago and God put the dinosaur bones in the earth as a prank. Some are merely disturbing, such as the idea that eternal life depends on the weekly practice of deophagy (eating and drinking the literal body and blood of God). But some are deeply dangerous. The idea that people can control their mental illness by praying to be healed is one of these. (go to complete article)

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Daily Dark Chocolate Good for the Heart [link]

by Scrvpvlvs
Mary Anne alerted me that dark chocolate is very, very good for you. The good part is the cocoa content, not the fat content. The cocoa keeps cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The fat is just empty calories.

I heard from one guy who puts a teaspoon of Ghiardelli cocoa powder in his coffee in the morning. (go to complete article)

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On Faith

by Scrvpvlvs
Jun 16, 2004 8:30 PM–One says: I go by what I believe, not what I see.

Another says: Reality is that which when you stop believing in it … doesn’t go away.

Who is more apt to get into trouble? (go to complete article)

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