I recommend that strong/positive atheists should instead be weak atheists/agnostics. People like Richard Dawkins who makes the leap to say that there is almost certainly no god (without any of the usual probability and statistics calculations that are normally used to arrive at "almost certainly" in the world of science). First take a look at this.

Note - I do not agree with everything there, but the presentation within it is far better than I can do with words.

In particular I'd like you to see page 5. I don't play computer games these days, so I assume that's a picture of a real game. If it isn't, you've definitely seen Pac-Man, which will do for the purposes of this conversation.

Anyway, let's say the creatures (dot-eating Pacman plus ghosts), are endued with artificial intelligence, some time in the next 1 million or billion years of evolution, I mean, computer science. Given that you as an atheist (even a weak atheist in fact) have no problem believing intelligence can come from an otherwise devoid-of-even-life ocean (given a lot of patience), you will presumably have no trouble accepting that computer scientists, applying a lot of combined effort, will eventually beat primordial slime at its own game.

The Pac-Man has evolved to more intellectual pursuits than eating dots, e.g. running a large corporation, and the ghosts have similarly evolved, and are now crack dealers. In fact, the Pac-Man's world looks uncannily like our own.

Now, Mr and Mrs Pac-Man are discussing theology, and Mr Pac-Man says that he's an positive atheist. There's been no evidence of any God, like, ever ever ever, after many fruitless attempts. Mrs Pac-Man is using the usual tired argument about the world not being able to come into existence all on its own, without being able to offer any explanation for how the more complicated "God" could have come into existence. At this point, note that the combined efforts of computer scientists will not necessarily be inferior to some 3rd grader playing Pac-Man. Chess Grandmasters used to insist that they would always be able to beat a machine too. So much for famous last words. So there's the first point to note.

But next, the 3rd grader mentioned above, invites his 3rd grader classmate over to his house, where they've been running this "Pac-Man game" for a couple of months now to "see what happens". Most of the time they're watching 3-D porn, not watching Pac-Man, but nevermind.

Anyway, they notice this exchange between Mr and Mrs Pac-Man. Quite clearly, Mr Pac-Man, the atheist, is wrong. Within the Pac-Man game itself, it is totally and utterly impossible to prove that one way or the other. It's not possible to reach outside of the computer simulation and start analyzing God (ie the first 3rd-grader), and coming to some pretty derogatory conclusions about him in fact.

My questions (to atheists) are this.

1. What arguments would you suggest that Mrs Pac-Man arm herself with, to get Mr Pac-Man to switch from strong atheist to agnostic. I can understand that without some pretty hefty intervention by the snotty-nosed 3rd grader (e.g. putting a ghost into bed with the two of them by pressing Alt-G), it would be absolutely impossible for Mr Pac-Man to switch to "believer" (even though - in this case - he would be right).

2. Is God (the 3rd grader) considered omnipresent/omnipotent/etc, assuming he can do a dump of RAM any time he wants?

3. If God dumps the data structures associated with Mrs Pac-Man, and puts her into a different simulation, would that be considered being saved and going to Heaven?

4. Given that we know that Mr Pac-Man made an ill-advised leap of logic, coming to a belief, without any data that would be able to back up that belief, what did Mr Pac-Man do wrong? ie which rules of science did he break specifically? If he could retrace his steps, where should he have stopped with the logic and said "I refuse to go beyond this point, for the same reason I don't say whether or not there is life elsewhere in the universe or not - we do not have that data available yet, no matter how impatient you may be"?

5. If the 3rd grader chooses to not press Alt-G (supernatural ghost generator), to give the required proof of the supernatural to Mr Pac-Man, to stop him putting his foot in his mouth any further, is he considered to be deceptive? Malicious?

6. If the 3rd grader decides to press Alt-R (religion generator), to zap up a book of rules, deliberately ambiguously written, some things deliberately and obviously fallacious, so that you can't quite be sure if it's really from God or not, and in it it contains some radical philosophy, e.g. "love thy enemy", that sets such a high standard for Mrs Pac-Man to have to try to live up to, because the 3rd grader thinks that it would be cool to watch animals attempt to cooperate, would that book be considered "the word of God" or "holy" - despite the deliberate falsehoods?

By the way, there's a fantastic movie called "The Thirteenth Floor" which may make you think twice.

But while there's still time (ie before atheists quickly switch to agnosticism to cover themselves), I'd like honest answers to the above, with your current state of mind. Mainly question 4 I'm after. Mainly for future debates. I can watch how atheists respond to (your) answer to number 4, and then demonstrate that they are just as dogmatic as religious people, unwilling to climb down from their position, before hitting them with this counterexample which doesn't leave much wriggle room that I can see.




Afghanistan Advances

I am really happy with this progress being made in Afghanistan:

"NATO has committed to fund Afghanistan’s 350,000 security forces at $4.1 billion annually. At a NATO summit in Wales in September, alliance leaders committed to continue funding through 2017."

This is the exact best foreign aid you can possibly give. Fund local security forces (or send your own) to ensure an allied democracy stays (or gets) in power.

And look at what a great ally we have: "Ghani praised the alliance’s efforts".

And hopefully now the foreign forces will be entirely out of the Afghan's faces and just providing air support. Not that the Afghans ever complained about us being in their faces. According to opinion polls something like 85% of Afghans support the foreign presence. It is a really fantastic result. And to think that after 9/11 many people wanted to turn our 85% allies into a parking lot, instead of giving them the chance to kill the 15% by themselves. Also note that despite the quite high casualty rate of the Afghan security forces, there is no shortage of volunteers. How beautiful is that? Our brave allies signing up to fight our enemy. All we ever needed to do was give them a chance to help themselves, instead of demanding that they do the technically impossible task of overthrowing their own dictatorship without outside help.




Kurdish Protest

I am very glad that the Kurds in Kobane now have access to heavy weaponry from Iraqi Kurdistan. Hopefully now ISIS will be rolled back swiftly.

There was a protest at Sydney Town Hall today (2014-11-01) at 2pm which I decided to attend. I would say that over 50% of it was in English, so I could understand. I joined in saying slogans, but not the Kurdish slogans. The slogans were things like "save Kobane" and "down down ISIS" and "save the women", and "save the children" and "save the minorities". Unfortunately there was also a small amount of anti-Turkish sentiment. I didn't join in the slogans against Turkey. Also there was a speaker from the "Socialist Alliance", and flyers from "Green Left". As a right-wing pro-capitalist person I don't like being associated with such groups.

Someone was filming it and when they approached me I gave the "laban" sign. I was wearing my headband with "democracy" (in Chinese) on the front. I stayed for about 1 hour after the politics seemed to be over and there was (presumably Kurdish) dancing going on. I also found out the organizer's web page by approaching a woman who had used the megaphone.

I hope the Kurds can stop being enemies with the Turks. The Iraqi Kurds have shown that it is possible to have good relations with the Turks. Turkey is a long-standing NATO ally, and has done quite a lot that we have asked of it, even though they had grave reservations about it. E.g. they allowed western planes to use Turkish bases to patrol the no-fly zone in Iraqi Kurdistan. And they provided sanctuary for both Iraqi and Syrian Kurds fleeing their own countries. And they have allowed Iraqi Peshmerga to cross their territory to get to Kobane. And they now seem to be open to Iraqi Kurdistan declaring independence. I hope the Kurds can respect the fact that we have a long-standing alliance with Turkey and thus Turkey's interests are our interests too. I believe we can get a united Kurdistan after Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran all join the European Union and NATO. Getting people into NATO is a slow process, and if the Kurds are impatient, they will lose their western allies and likely be clobbered (with Turkey's western allies doing nothing) by Turkey. Also note that no-one has an inherent right to secede from a country based on race or religion. They do have a right to secede from a dictatorship, if they plan to replace the dictatorship with a rational, humanist, non-subjugating government instead. But Turkey is not a dictatorship. Also the PKK is dogmatic (follows the communist dogma), not rational, so would be WORSE than what Turkish Kurds have now.




Syrian Solution

I think we now have a way of winning in Syria.

We can arm the FSA and Kurds, and claim that it is to fight ISIL, which right at the moment would even be true.

We recognize the FSA as the true representatives of Syria, and even give them aircraft. There are air bases in Syria already out of Assad's control.

This will allow the FSA to roll back ISIL and when that job has been done, to roll back Assad's forces.

Let's roll!!!




HK Protest in Sydney

Today I attended a small-scale protest in Town Hall Square. The protest was officially slated to be from 12 noon to 7pm, but I only attended from about 12:30pm to about 5:30pm. I signed my name on the petition they had there. I also took a yellow ribbon and pinned it on my shirt. I was wearing my "democracy" headband.

Someone from "The Newsroom" of Macleay College interviewed me and asked me why I was there. I explained how 25 years ago when I was 21 years old I attended the Sydney protests against the Chinese government over the Tiananmen Square massacre. They also took my photo and I gave the Philippines "laban" ("fight") sign.

Someone from SBS filmed the stall, but I don't think I was in the shot, and I didn't watch SBS World News today.

I managed to strike up a conversation with someone but I really prefer chatting via the internet. The internet is a great medium for thinking soundly about every point and giving a full answer.

Shortly before I left I asked one of the organizers if they were accepting donations. I was going to donate $100. But she said they weren't accepting donations. I also asked her if she thought I should get on a plane and join the protests in person, but she said that wasn't necessary and the support I had already shown was enough. I told her point-blank that if we have a rerun of 1989-06-04, I want to be able to look any Hong Kong person in the eye and say "I did absolutely everything I could to protect the people of Hong Kong".

China is a real tough nut to crack. Unlike tinpot countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, we do not have any good military option for dealing with China. We would be risking a nuclear war, which is too high a price to pay. We instead need to do a glorified psyop to get the communist dictatorship to change its mind. And that is what I have attempted to do via my blog. I am hoping now that I have made contact with some Hong Kong revolutionaries that we can formulate an information campaign to change the mainland Chinese. The stupid mainland Chinese don't see anything wrong with spreading their dictatorship to Taiwan, instead of looking up to Taiwan as a model, and asking the Taiwanese to take over governance of China.

P.S. Here is the article, where I am mentioned. Also, SBS News was published on the web, and the Sydney protest was not covered.




Hong Kong

I salute the people of Hong Kong for putting their lives on the line in the name of freedom. You are a beautiful and brave people. I have been trying to think of what I should be doing to show solidarity with the HK people. I heard (saw on the news) there was a protest outside "Hong Kong House" in Sydney (80 Druitt St). I went there today, but there was no protest. There were however lots of notes on the building, supporting the freedom-fighters. One very funny one was "Happy 65th birthday PRC - have you thought about retiring?". Retirement age in Australia is 65. And that would certainly be apt!

I wore my Chinese "democracy" headband (see photos on www.mutazilah.org) and some people (whites) from "Unions NSW" asked me what it said, and suggested posing with them behind the banner that they unfurled. They told me that the HK unions were going out on strike too (or something like that).

I picked up a notebook and pen to write something to place on the wall, but I couldn't think of anything to write. I was thinking of saying something like "if you want freedom, start with www.japan666.com". But I didn't write anything. There was also some yellow ribbon that could be cut and tied to the railings, but I didn't do that either. I have made enquiries about possibly going to HK to join in the protests, but that might be considered offensive, and the commies would possibly latch onto that and say that it "proves" that it is a foreign movement, not an indigenous movement.

I was also considering going into Hong Kong House and making a donation of $100, but I didn't go in. A couple of weeks ago I made a $100 donation to the Ukrainian military.

Oh, I also wore a new shirt I have with the NATO flag on it. My loyalty is to a coalition of the free world, not my country (Australia). I do expect that Australia will join NATO eventually though.

Anyway, not sure what I should do now. I'm open to suggestion.

P.S. It would be way cool if the HK protesters triggered a revolution in mainland China so that finally there can be some closure to the Tiananmen Square Massacre. I went to a protest march in Sydney back in 1989 when I was 21 years old.

P.P.S. Here is someone who has it exactly right (from BBC News):
Damon Chan, Hong Kong emails: Please, people from mainland China, stop calling us brothers and sisters. We are not siblings and even people in Hong Kong are not siblings. Get rid of this sort of sentimental, nationalistic thoughts, please. We are all individual. The idea that Hong Kong is nothing without China is simply wrong and it's part of the scaremongering campaign by the pro-China political parties. We are rational and we are determined. We won't stop until we get democracy.




Being frank with Frank

Open letter to Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji

Congratulations sir on your stunning victory. There was a real risk that the racist party SODELPA would get elected. Fortunately only about half of the ethnic Fijians voted for this racist party and thus you were able to get elected with a large majority.

The next challenge is to ensure SODELPA or any other racist party never gets elected again. Can I suggest that in order to do this, you start by splitting FijiFirst into two parties - FF-left and FF-right. Split up your MPs as to who is more left-wing vs right-wing. SODELPA and NFP will then only be able to influence economic policy by supporting the left or right-wing parties.

Alternatively you might consider banning racist parties the same way that Belgium does. That's a really tough choice to make though.

Note that I believe everyone has a right to have a rational, humanist, non-subjugating government, and SODELPA fails on the "humanist" test, as being racist is non-humanist.

Thankyou sir and good luck with your administration. Note that I am Australian and unlike my government I supported your coup to end racist government in Fiji.

Yours faithfully,
Paul Edwards.


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