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Archive for July, 2010

Food for Thought: Morality

I am always genuinely interested in any article regarding faith, theism vs. atheism, and moral philosophy, so I decided to write one of my own.  I read an article the other day entitled 6 (Unlikely) Developments That Could Convince This Atheist To Believe in God, in which an atheist put forward scenarios that would successfully convert them.  The point of the article was to emphasize the fact that religious theists occupy a completely unfalsifiable position: that is, NOTHING will get them to stop believing in God.  I am not one of those theists.

I can concede that there are perfectly scientific reasons for Earth’s formation (I’m not one of the crazies that think Earth came about 6000 years ago).  I can concede that organized religion has been one of the more destructive forces in human history.  I can even concede that Jesus was probably a hippie and maybe not the divine son of God.  But one riddle that atheism has trouble solving is the origin of morality in humans.

For instance… If there is no punishment to keep me from stealing from another person other than jail (which I can avoid by not being caught), why shouldn’t I do it.  Robert Dawkins, author of The God Delusion (great read by the way), when asked why not kill and steal, said that not doing it because you believe in God is a pretty contemptible reason, and I agree.  He then said that the reason he doesn’t do bad things is because he would rather not live in a society where others choose to do bad things, and I in my experience, this is the rationale used by many atheists.

But there is a problem with this rationale, one that even Dawkins himself acknowledges.  If I steal my neighbors wallet, society is not going to become one in which stealing becomes acceptable, so what is the REAL reason I don’t do it.  Why shouldn’t I take what I want?  Because the person I take it from will be upset?  But that person is a stranger, whose future I have no personal stake in.  I may not want him to take something from me, but why should that keep me from taking something from him, especially without his knowledge?  This “I  wouldn’t do it because I wouldn’t want other people to” argument is completely irrational.  For those who use it, good news…just because you are bad doesn’t mean other people will be, and that fact is obvious.  I am aware that in an evolutionary sense, humans and animals steer clear of senseless violence to preserve the species, but we humans can operate using logic.  In a completely logical sense, there should be nothing wrong with it.

But why does it FEEL wrong to take something from someone else.  Someone you don’t know.  Someone you will never meet again.  You might say empathy.  But I KNOW they will feel bad, but why does that keep me from doing it?  I’m a logical person.  I know that if everyone used that mentality the world would be a horrible place to live, but why not take advantage of the fact that everyone else doesn’t have that mentality?

The point is this.  I will stop believing in a higher being if rationality, logic, and science can explain to me why there is anything WRONG with stealing or killing, keeping in mind that it cannot be logically concluded that doing either of those things will make everyone else in the whole world do them.

Atheism is founded on logic.  It’s premise is that things that are not observable by any means (such as sight, mathematics, electron microscopes, or other instruments of perception that humans haven’t even invented yet) do not exist.  So why let emotions get in the way of stealing the wallet of that tourist you saw walking aimlessly down the street, especially when you rely completely on rationality to form you’re system of belief.

I believe in a higher being because I don’t know scientifically why there are so many good people.  If morality is simply the manifestation of a million year old Darwinian impulse, it should not carry any greater weight than any other urge, such as a sexual urge.  If an objective standard of good and evil does not exist outside the natural world, then choosing a preferable moral philosophy over another becomes as arbitrary as choosing you’re favorite flavor of Gummi-Bear.  If there is no objective sense of morality, then it doesn’t matter whether “God told me to” or because “I wouldn’t want to live in a bad society.”  It becomes easy to defend a contemptible moral philosophy because you have no objective standard with which to measure the validity of one over another.

So then.  I guess I’m not trying to convert atheists or discourage “believers” (like I said some so-called believers are completely moronic and not even good people)  I’m just trying to get you to think.

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Movie Review: Inception

Where do I begin.  I loved this movie.  Sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was so good in so many ways that pointing out shortcomings seems like nit-picking.  Do you like action?  See Inception.  Do you like love stories?  See Inception.  Do you like suspense?  See Inception.  If you can’t afford it, I would suggest skipping you’re next meal to pay for a ticket.  You don’t even need to go with someone.

A better tagline would be Inception: It's a fucking good movie.

Inception’s premise is pretty apparent to anyone who’s seen the previews.  In the world of Inception, technology allows people who are connected to a mysterious machine to enter the dreams of others.  An architect is required to build the dream world, and the person having the dream is able to project his or her thoughts in the forms of people in the dream world.  Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a professional idea-thief that enters the dreams of clients and steals their ideas.  Some minds have been trained to defend their dreams against invaders, and their projections become hostile and equipped with weaponry.

The movie gets going when the head of an Asian corporation convinces Cobb (DiCaprio) to enter the mind of the heir to the corporation that he competes with and plant the idea that he should break up the empire his father created.  As far as plot goes, I’m not going to give any more away, but lets just say it REALLY picks up from there.

The visuals are top-notch.  This is one of the few movies that spent a good portion of its money on visuals and still managed to get me to walk out of the theater without being pissed at the acting, plot, and virtually everything else (see my review of 2012 or go watch The Last Airbender).  Chris Nolan really captures the essence of dreams in screen form.  Scenes change quickly and are slightly broken, but it only adds to the feeling of being in a dream.  The plot is layered, and the characters (especially Cobb and Ariadne) actually pull you in and make you feel invested in their fates.

And the action.  It’s like seeing Avatar in 3D, except its not in 3D, and its STILL awesome.  One section that is absolutely mind-blowing is a scene in which the characters bodies tip in the real world, and the dream world begins to tilt.  I’ll be honest, I missed my mouth with the popcorn.  It was amazing, give me a break.

Let me break it down for you.  The visuals are some of the best of the year.  The acting is some of the best of the year.  The plot is THE best of the year.  The characters are original.  The action will blow you away.  And it’s not as if you only see one of those things at a time, it maintains every aspect of its greatness throughout the entire movie, and best of all keeps you on your toes.  The only reason I would suggest anyone not see this movie is if you can’t pay attention and you don’t like action.  Luckily the people who can’t pay attention are the same as the people who have their hands in their pants during the action scenes.  So go see it.  Or I’ll enter your dream and steal that thing you don’t want anyone to know about.  You know what I’m talking about…

I give it 9 out of 10.  I would have given it 10 out of 10 but it didn’t make me a cake.


Would you pay $150 for Halo: Reach?! HELL YES.

Bungie just released the latest pix of their new LEGENDARY EDITION of Halo: Reach.

Cell phone camera FTW

The legendary Edition includes:

The Halo Reach Legendary Edition comes with:

  • Halo Reach Game
  • Game Disc in custom case modeled after a recovered ONI data module”
  • A custom in-game Elite armor set for use in Reach’s multiplayer modes.
  • Artifact Bag containing a brand-new piece of the extended Halo universe: The personal notes and documents of the creator of the SPARTAN program: Dr. Catherine Halsey.
  • Dr. Halsey’s ONI Security Badge.
  • Embroidered Spartan II Patch.
  • Noble Team statue expertly crafted by the artisans at McFarlane Toys. Individually molded, hand-painted and individually numbered, this statue is a must-have for any serious “Halo” fan
  • UNSC-themed custom packaging.
  • An exclusive in-game Spartan armor effect.

This is looking REALLY good guys. They also released another pic on twitter, showing all the promo materials you will be seeing VERY soon at your local Game Stop. I CAN NOT WAIT!

BTW: Reach falls September 14. We’ll keep you posted.

So Swee... Wait. Is that a DMR?!?!


Glenn Beck Announces His Candidacy for President, Palms Hit Faces Everywhere

If there was one person, just one, whose ability to speak could be taken away by you personally, who would it be?  Leave a comment and you’re reasoning.  Remember, they could still read, write, and communicate via other means, but they simply couldn’t speak.  Well this next article is dedicated to the source of my political frustration and sheer annoyance:  Glenn Beck.

This is where I put on my headphones, change my Ipod to hardcore, throw caution to the wind, and write the most vicious and scathing article I know how to that would still concievably draw views from the general public.

You know Glenn I always knew you were a fucking genious.

Glenn Beck is a dumbass.  He isn’t reasonable.  He does not fact check.  He stone-cold fucking batshit crazy.  Now, a lot of people, like Jon Stewart, SNL, and Stephen Colbert have deconstructed his methods, which consist of this:  think of an outrageous claim, find away to make it more outrageous, and then talk obscurely about things that are unrelated until he can connect A to B via some sort of ‘us vs. THEM’ monologue.  It is not difficult to do.  Look at the picture people.  I didn’t edit it in any way.  That picture illustrates one of his more reasonable claims.  Watch this video for others.

But for a while I didn’t care that his claims were so outrageous that his viewers probably began looking at iguanas  thinking “I suppose there’s no real reason they couldn’t grow wings and fly.”  What pushed me over the edge was when he began to talk of himself as a prophet.  Not like in a metaphorical, “I told you so”, kind of way.  He began to talk about himself as a legitimate mother fucking Jeremiah straight out of the Old Testament. Its as if one day he decided getting his viewers to believe iguanas could fly wasn’t enough.  He needed more.

So he embarked on a quest to place himself one step below Jesus on the average conservative’s list of “people who could get me to jump off a bridge just by asking.”  Ladies, he’s like that guy who comes up to you in the club and starts saying things.  Nothing in particular, just whatever he thinks will get you in his car in the next 5 minutes.  And whats worse is he seems like he actually believes with every fiber of his being that his penis is ACTUALLY the size of a Louisville Slugger.  In fact, he’s so full of himself, that’s what he calls it.  That guy is Glenn Beck.  He treats everyone on the other side of the camera as if they will believe whatever he says, and because of this, he only keeps those viewers who do believe everything he says.  That’s why EVERY Glenn Beck fan will defend ANYTHING he says.

Ok this picture I did mess with

I ran the probability tables and discovered that I could reduce cable news’ fallacy content by a full 41 percent by taking away Glenn Beck’s speaking ability.  I’m holding out for his ego to explode out of his nipples and possess him to run for president, which would allow me to attempt to eclipse the Guinness Book of World Record’s longest face-palm, a record previously held by the viewers of the Sarah Palin/Katie Couric interviews:

Now I can’t spend this entire post picking apart every aspect of Glenn’s show, personality, or ideological ‘imperfections’ lets call them.  But I’m not above taking a cheap shot….hey Glenn….next time you’re at Mickey D’s, maybe get 1 number 12 combo rather than 12 number 1 combos.  Fatty.


Spain Hoists World Cup Trophy! MVP Goes to Paul the Octopus

What a ride for Spain.  They lost their opening match to Switzerland.  That’s right, they lost to the country that other countries bring their money to because they have relatively no reputation other than nothing happens there.  That being said, they did something that no one expected them to, and that is become the first team to win the World Cup after losing their first game.  Okay well I guess someone expected them to:

If only I had him around when I had to decide between girls and comic books so he could have punched me in the face and told me to grow a sack

That’s right.  Paul picked every team.  Every damn one.  But while most people may have been able to analyze the teams and picked the better ones, it seems that when Paul picks a team, they BECOME the better team.  Its uncanny.  He picked Spain, and I could imagine many level-headed sports analysts picking them, but there are two reasons that Paul’s situation blows my mind and others don’t.  For starters, Paul is an octopus, a creature not known for its higher reasoning abilities.  Second, Spain scored the latest goal in World Cup history, the 117th minute in extra time.  There were literally no indicators on who would win the game until Spain pulled a goal out of their ass on a broken play.  Maybe they were the better team, but they weren’t better enough to win it in normal time, and Paul was the edge they needed.

Haven't you ever wondered why Vincente NEVER looks worried? Him and Paul were roomates in college according to many sources in my head

The only thing Paul didn’t do for Spain was put on shin-guards and play world class defense with all 8 tentacles.  Forget Sergio Ramos.  Forget David Villa.  Forget Puyol.  Give it up for Paul the Octopus.


We’re F***ed – UFO sighting over China

A Chinese airport was closed after this mysterious object was spotted in the sky. Arcing over Zhejiang’s provincial capital Hangzhou, the UFO appeared to glow with an eerie white light and left a bright trail in its wake. Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at around 9 pm and dozens of flights had to be diverted.

Looks.. Harmless

Stunned witnesses reported seeing a comet-like fireball in the sky and a number of local residents took photos of the strange ball of light. A local bus driver, giving his name only as Yu, said he had seen a strange glowing object in the sky late on Wednesday afternoon.

‘The thing suddenly ran westwards fast, like it was escaping from something,’ he said.

Inbound flights were diverted to  nearby airports while outbound flights were delayed for three to four hours. Some Chinese experts claimed that the strange sight was actually debris from a US intercontinental ballistic missile.

Chinese officials later said that they knew what the object had been but were unable to make it public because there was a ‘military connection.

No big deal.. It's only TEARING THE FUCKING ATMOSPHERE OFF

Funny story. It had a military connection because the military was probably trying to shoot it down. Here we fucking go again guys. We FINALLY get another chance to make contact with other life forms and sure enough our fucked up governments (ESPECIALLY COMMUNIST CHINA) screw it up and cover it up. I mean really China? Something you don’t know flies over your country and the first place you blame is the US?! Get a grip. If we wanted to hit you hard you’d never see it coming.

Are we ever going to learn? By the way, NEWS FLASH, earth wont last forever. When our sun decides he doesn’t want to be a star anymore, we are as good as dead. Our best bet right now would be to do a little networking.. Maybe find a NEW place to live. Have you ever seen a movie where the world was ending and everyone just sat around and watched? NO. Want to know why? CAUSE ITS THE WORST IDEA EVER.

In all honesty though.  We should be colonizing other planets, maybe even systems, by now. The only thing holding us back is ourselves. We need to put aside differences, pool our resources, and achieve something for the greater good for once.



Movie Review: PREDATORS (Spoilers)

Now, I know word has been circulating about how “bad” Alien, AVP, and Predator movies have been lately but trust me,  Nimrod Antal’s PREDATORS delivers. Over all this is a VERY good movie by Predator standards. Basically, blowing PREDATOR and PREDATOR 2 out of the water! Just as a little side note, IF you plan on seeing this movie PLEASE go in with an open mind. I found myself constantly comparing this to AVP (One of my top 5 favorite movies of all time) and I will admit it really ruined my experience.  Over all this movie is going to be an AMAZING addition to the collection of any Alien or Predator lover out there. I know for a fact that I will probably be picking this up in a few months! (Mostly because I literally own every single Alien/Predator movie ever made, but don’t judge me)

Who doesn't love a hot girl... with a big gun

(Spoiler Alert)

The movie starts out with our main ass-kicking, ex-black ops Adrien Brody falling at terminal velocity towards an alien planet. His parachute activates and opens just enough to slow his decent though a thick canopy, where he makes a rough landing into what some would call a “sub par” movie. At this point I still had hope.

As he wonders through the jungle of this foreign planet he slowly meets up with all the main characters. The Main character is American mercenary Royce (Adrien Brody) is a lone wolf who takes the leadership role and believes ..

“There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”   — Ernest Hemingway

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

The other characters you will meet include: Isabelle (Alice Braga), an Israeli military sniper; Stans (Walton Goggins), a convicted serial killer; Cuchillo (Danny Trejo), a Mexican drug cartel enforcer; Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), a Russian special forces commando; Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), an African death squad member; and Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a Yakuza enforcer. As well as the one person that doesn’t belong, Edwin (Topher Grace), who claims to be a “doctor”.

After the group settles its differences they decide to make their way out. Only shortly after the realize that they are merely the game in a predator hunting reserve. Only problem is that this isn’t just any old game reserve, it’s and entire planet. The group also encounters a new enemy we have never see before in a predator movie, Predator “dogs”.  Which were a lot scarier then they sound.

*Woof Woof

They eventually end up in what looks like a predator sacrificial camp. This is where they first encounter the predators and the movie takes off into an adrenaline filled roller-coaster ride, with twists at every turn. Especially a twist at the end that you will never expect and will literally make you say “WOW, I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming!”

The one place this movie lacked, to me, were the fights. I feel like major fighting scenes where lacking the WOW factor. Not many creative kills for this thriller but I think director Nimrod (yes the guy’s fucking name is Nimrod) Antal and writer-producer Robert Rodriguez have created a PREDATOR movie that will please anyone who gives it a chance. This is a MUST SEE for any alien or predator lover out there.

My Overall Rating: 8/10

ALSO CHECK THE TRAILER!


HIV Vaccine: The Biggest News You Haven’t Heard About

I know the Lebron story was pretty riveting, and Lindsay Lohan’s shenanigans are always entertaining, but I’m going to have to call timeout really quick and direct your attention to this story: http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20100709/antibodies-discovery-may-pave-way-to-aids-vaccine.  Researchers have recently found two powerful antibodies that are capable of neutralizing 91 percent of all HIV strains.  According to scientists and researchers, this is proof that an AIDS can succeed.  YAY LEBRON ITS SO AWESOME YOU’RE GOING TO THE HEAT!  Now ESPN and probably CNN will most likely spend the next 2 or so weeks analyzing the analization of the analyzers on what this means for the sports world, but lets talk real world quick.

I know you hate to hear this Lindsay, but there are more important issues in the world than yours. See below.

There is no joke to this picture.

There is a vaccine, that exists today that has the potential to neutralize 91 percent of all HIV strains.  That’s right.  Not trying to make you all feel guilty, unless of course you work for any respectable news agency, then you should probably feel guilty.  Get your shit together and give me some real news.  You could start with news of a vaccine that could end up saving over 30 million people.  That is all.


Why Lebron Isn’t Who We Thought He Was

I have nothing bad to say about Lebron’s decision to take his god-like build and basketball talent to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  That’s where anyone with more than one brain cell would go if they wanted to win championships.  In fact on Lebron’s part, I think it was the best decision he could have made.  It makes about as much sense as marrying a rich supermodel, which is exactly what this move was about.  By the way Cleveland fans, I know it sucks, but talk to a Cubs fan before you start burning jerseys in anger.  I mean for God’s sake.  Finally, Lebron has proven to his fans that he is dedicated to winning, and ironically left most of his fans in the process.  There is no arguing that he isn’t one of the best players in the past 20 years, and I’m not going to take anything away from his talent in this article.  But he has also shown the public another side of him, one that we always kind of thought was there but were never quite sure.

Lebron James is an ego-maniac.  It’s not surprising.  He’s a professional athlete, and has had his picture on the sides of buildings.  He’s had people in his ear telling him how big his wiener is and why no one will ever have as big of one as him.  The one thing they say will make his wiener even bigger is winning championships, so he figures he should probably do that.

I guess I should change my religious views on Facebook to Lebron James

The problem I have with Lebron is that if he didn’t have to win championships to prove that he was better than everyone, he would be content to sit in Cleveland the rest of his career and let a championship fall into his lap, because he’s entitled to it.  He doesn’t care about winning, he cares about his image and legacy.  Contrast that to Kobe Bryant.  I don’t like Kobe as a person, and I don’t even think he’s as good as a lot of people say he is, but the man wants to win.  He doesn’t care what people think of him, he just. wants. wins.

Lebron doesn’t want to win, he wants to be a celebrity.  He wants people to adore him on and off the court, and he wants people following his every move as if he were Carmen Electra in her prime and the rest of the world was a fraternity full of hyper-sexual 20 somethings.  Look at the way he has single-handedly hijacked ESPN for the past week and a half.  He’s turned Sports Center into Lebron Center and Pardon the Interruption into Pardon the Interruption, but you aren’t talking about Lebron…Why aren’t you talking about Lebron?  He KNOWS that this is going on, and he loves it.  Its like he’s getting a full body massage, followed by a money bath, followed by a money shower, followed by a lot of money.

So there’s Alex Rodriguez, who did roids, with the last classy baseball player being Derek Jeter.  There’s Tiger Woods, wait, what did he do again?  There’s Ben Roethlisberger, who had done everything but kill someone, a title held only by Donte’ Stallworth, who is back in the NFL a year after KILLING SOMEONE!  And then there’s the latest super star to be revealed as a closet douche bag:  Lebron James, who would rather be in showbiz than basketball.

Roger Federer, you better not screw this up.


Assassin’s Creed is taking a break..

There will be no new Assassin’s Creed game next year. Sadly, Ubisoft decided to stop producing Assassin’s Creed games for a year. So, if you were hoping to get your paws on Assassin’s Creed 3 next year you will have to wait a little longer.

Death from above

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is going to be a continuation of Assassin’s creed 2. We will still be following Ezio in a Renaissance-era enviroment, adding a multiplayer aspect, as well was an all-new city (Rumors pointing towards Rome). I have also heard that Ubisoft will be releasing a Multiplayer beta for brotherhood sometime in the coming months on Xbox live.

Considering the fact that an assassin’s creed game has never had a multiplayer mode I think this will be interesting. I am hoping for some type of Co-op style campaign, as well as death match and team based game modes. All in all I think this could be a major win for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.