How to Determine a Speed Limit

We find Rent-A-Friend standing in the middle of a wooded area, next to his rad BMX bike, near a newly discovered path through the woods. With him are Blue Beard (the Post Modern Pirate), Tom (from accounts receivable) and their argumentative friend, Carl, all standing with their own sweet bikes.

boys on bikes copy Read more of this post

2 + 2 = 7 (Because sometimes what you DON’T know matters)

Anyone who knows any math will know that the single most certain truth on earth is that the Cubs will never win the pendant.

Wait, no, I was going to say, the single most certain truth on earth is “2+2=4”. It is completely indisputable. Except when it’s wrong. I’m just going to come out and say it: 2 + 2 =7.

cake bath Read more of this post

Burden of Proof (Or, I Can’t DRIVE 55!)

Greetings friends,

I was reviewing a conversation I had on Twitter recently, and I came to some conclusions.

1. Having conversations on Twitter is stupid. Nothing worth saying can be said in less than 180 characters. Would Shakespeare have Tweeted Macbeth if he had the technology? No he would not have had. You know why? Because Bill had class.

2.That being said, I suspect I will make the same mistake in the future. Place your bets now on how long it will take me to learn. Better yet, just pray for me.

3. Twitter should have a conversation/arguments version. It needs to be more like TEXT where you can find where one comment relates to the comment it is responding to. (Right now I can’t figure out what comment goes with which, so it always reads like two drunk hobos yelling across the train tracks while a commuter is going by.) We’ll call it MEGA TWEET! Or, The TWEETOPOLOUS! I donno, send me suggestions.

4. I want to punch people in the face when they start whining about me “trying to force the burden of proof” on them.

5. Jesus would not punch those people in the face. I need to be more like Jesus. Read more of this post

Faith in God and Knowledge of Jelly Beans

One alert reader had sent me a lovely color coded chart which tries to explain that there are different kinds of atheists- those who claim that God does not exist and those who do not claim that God does not exist. This confused me, because it combines Agnostic and Atheist into a single idea, which, from what I could tell, means a person who doesn’t believe that God exists, but doesn’t claim that it is true that God doesn’t exist. Or maybe they know God doesn’t exist but they don’t claim to believe it.

How can you claim to KNOW something you don’t believe, and how can you believe something you don’t know? To me this is like claiming to be a polygamous bachelor. Putting those words together makes them both meaningless, like Square Circle, because they mean opposing things which cannot be made into one. To me, an agnostic atheist would be someone who’s position on the existence of God would be “I don’t have enough information to know if God exists, but He doesn’t.” Which, now that I think of it, is the position I have been presented with by quite a few people. These are the people who say things like, “I didn’t read your article, so I don’t know what your position is, but here’s why you’re wrong…” I’ve actually gotten than response in the past. I wonder about the person writing that and how they don’t stop and say, “Maybe I should lie and PRETEND I read it…” Read more of this post

Mythbusters Save the Day Again (Or, The Savage Truth about Atheism)

I recently accomplished an unprecedented philosophical feat- namely the proof that, If Atheism is true, then atheists don’t exist. That was THIS POST.

I thought there would be some backlash from those who didn’t like the conclusion, but I’ve yet to get a single complaint about that. Self-proclaimed Atheists seem to be fine with not existing, but they are all up in arms about my defining “Atheism” to mean: an individual person who chooses to affirm the statement “There are no gods” as true.

Instead, they insist that Atheism merely means having no belief in the existence of God. Of course I felt this definition weak, since it applies to my shoe. Is my shoe an atheist? I’m fairly certain it has no belief in the existence of God. What about my socks? I could be literally SURROUNDED by atheism! I was unprepared for this can of worms. I was also unprepared to find the atheists who read my blog would be more upset about my accusing them of thinking something to be true than my suggesting that, on their belief, they don’t exist. I sincerely thought the response would have gone the other way.

I’ve been learning a lot as of late. Not all of it has bolstered my faith in the human race. Read more of this post

I Think, Therefore I Scribble (Or: Cogito, Ergo Ducky)

Your Rent A Friend is Listening to The Fall, by Nora Jones.

His mood is… too tired to go chasing pirates.

I think, therefore I am. How about you? Do you think? If not, what makes you think you exist? Oh, I guess if you thought you existed, that would be you thinking. It was a silly question anyway. I guess what I’m getting at is the fact that you’ve probably heard this phrase before: “I think, Therefore I am” (Or, in the original French, “Cogito, Ergo Sum,” and in Pig Latin “Iway inkthay, ereforethay Iway amway.”). But have you ever wondered where it came from? Good thing you have a Rent A Friend like yours truly to clear up the vast mysteries.

Actually “Cogito, Ergo Sum” is Latin, but the guy who made this phrase popular was French. His name was Rene’ Descartes, and he was trying to find a way to reduce philosophy to the most basic of self-evident premises. It doesn’t get any more basic than realizing that you exist. If you need a lot of evidence to believe that you exist, just give up. You’re never going to be anything but a skeptic.
Read more of this post

Dinner with Hitler and Other Moral Issues

Your rent a Friend is listening to Norah Jones

He is feeling like he really ought to get to bed

Welcome back to The Moral Argument. We’ve reached the lighting round, where in you, the atheist, post modernist, relativist contestants get to answer some easy questions for fabulous prizes! In round one we’ve determined that everyone knows that some things are truly right and good, while others are really evil and should NOT be done. Now, we’re going to ask, “How come?”

Ready? OK, here we go: It’s 1929 and you’re having Schnitzel with an up and coming German leader. Let’s just call him “Adolph.” Over the appetizer you find out that he is planning to take over the world and kill almost the entire human race in his effort to form a global dictatorship which he feels will last for a thousand years. You suggest that there is some moral ambiguity in his plans, to which he responds, “Do you think so? Golly, if I felt it was really wrong, then I certainly wouldn’t do it.”

How do you convince him that his plan is really wrong? Remember, contestants, you and “Adolph” are both atheists, so you can’t appeal to God as a transcendent law giver.
Read more of this post

Objective Morals and the Fish Slapping Dance

Your Rent a Friend is listening to the likes of the Killers, Foo Fighters, and Everclear thanks to Pandora.
His mood is pretty good. 58 out of 50 I’d say.

I was setting fire to old tires full of orphan kittens this morning when I realized that the only thing that has kept me from making arson (Burning down hospitals, specifically) a full time career is all the time I spend selling drugs to grade school kids as a way to fund the local chapter of the Illinois Nazis. Racism isn’t cheep you know. Not the real, fascist, genocidal kind. So, I thought I could start splitting my time between drugs and theft more efficiently by forcing other people to rob for me by threatening their wives and children with high explosives and anthrax. Every successful person has a team under them. Look at Jim Henson, Oprah, or Attila the Hun just to name a few examples. And I want my career as a Fascist polluting racist thieving drug czar to be more than just a hobby. I want it to be really big, because I want the world to be a better place. It’s a lot of work, but I really feel it’s the right thing to do.


Read more of this post

The Blind Men and the Elephant (and Zoo Keeper Adventure Steve)

Your Rent A Friend is listening to the score from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
His mood is pretty good, though his contacts are pretty dry .

Whenever people talk about the differing religions of the world, someone will come up with the following analogy, or some variation thereof. In fact, mine is a variation thereof. So there. Of.

There is a zoo where works zoo keeper Adventure Steve. He takes care of all of the animals, including an elephant named Zito. The elephant in turn takes care of his rubber duck. The rubber duck doesn’t take care of anyone. She just floats around in Zito’s water dish.

One day, a bus full of philosophers came to the zoo on a field trip. They were the Society of Smarty Pants Philosophers (the S.S.P.P.), and their field trip was also a contest (As everything is for the Society of Smarty Pants Philosophers). When they got off the bus, they were all blind folded and lead to the elephant to see who had the smartest pants (metaphorically speaking).
Read more of this post

Is there a Ducky in Pascal’s Box?

Your Rent a Friend is listening to Dashboard Confessional

His mood is negatively effected by cheap French Onion Soup

Are you a gambler? Do you love the thrill of tossing those dice, spinning that wheel or pulling the leaver? Are you, like me, seriously disappointed by the new slot machines where you push a button? I mean, seriously! Push a button? Pulling the leaver is half of the fun! Where else in life do you get to pull a leaver anymore? Maybe if you’re a mad scientist creating a monster in a lightning storm, but for the rest of us (Or mad scientists in nice weather I suppose) we want the leaver! Don’t take away the only interaction I have before my money disappears forever! I want a leaver to pull and spinning pictures of fruit! I’d get that feature in my next car if it were available.I myself am not really a gambling man. The primary reason is this: I will always lose. You’re better off betting against me than against the Chicago Cubs. If there are dice in my hands, I am going to lose. I think it’s my spiritual gift. Which brings me to today’s topic. What if I could offer you a bet with a certain and amazing pay off?  Yes, you have to pay in at the front, but you can’t lose anything, and you have the chance of winning vastly more than you can possibly imagine. Sound good? Let me give you a metaphor: “Is There a Ducky?”!
Read more of this post

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