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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welcome

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Welcome to my blog. I have always felt hesitant about starting one of my own, but I finally decided that I needed a place to discuss all of my views in a more open manner. So, for my very first post, I guess I should explain who I am and why I started this blog in the first place. Who am I? My name is Adam Taylor. I've recently turned 21 (as of writing this), and I have a strong interest in world issues. Namely, issues regarding religion, politics, science (and what I consider pseudo-science), what some people may refer to as "conspiracy theories," and (as I say at the top of this site) whatever else I can think of. My views are often perceived by people I know and don't know as strange. I've always sorta been that way. But I can safely say that everything I believe has always had basis and fact behind it. I know some might consider that my own opinion, but I would counter by saying that it is merely your opinion that what I believe is based on opinion. Got it? :) Even though I may believe some strange things, I'm not really strange myself. I'm very normal. I've just seen and heard a lot of very strange things. So what are my main interests these days?


9/11

Anyone with access to the internet knows about the debates about what really happened on September 11th, 2001. People who question the official narrative of what happened are labeled "conspiracy theorists." However, I would say that I don't fit this category, since I don't place blame on any particular person or persons. I really don't know who carried out the attacks. Why do I research this topic? I initially was very skeptical of the alternative theories surrounding the attacks, and didn't give them any real notice. Then in late 2007, after seeing a documentary on the History Channel regarding these theories, I decided to look into it more. After years of research, I believe that we have not been told the full truth about what happened that day. Although I have studied the attacks as a whole, my main focus of study has been the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC 7. I believe the official reports on their collapses are flawed, and that they were most likely destroyed through controlled demolition. I've written extensively on this issue over at the Debunking the Debunkers blog, which is an excellent site full of resources to study the attacks. Here's some of my best posts and other writings on the subject:

On the WTC building collapses:
Debunking the Debunkers' Free Fall Fallacies
The Physics of WTC 7
Collapse Rates of the WTC Consistent With Controlled Demolition
Distorted Tilt Confirmed
2/25/11 Answers from NIST to Questions by Chris Mohr, Journalist

Responses to Debunkers:
Debunking Joseph Nobles: Freefall Speed
Debunking Joseph Nobles: 7 Problems With 7 Responses (Part 2)
Debunking Joseph Nobles: Other Buildings (Part 2)
An Open Letter To Ryan Owens (Part 2)
The World Trade Center WAS a Controlled Demolition
9/11 Truth Movement RIP?
Feeding a troll
Building 7 Explained?
Why AlienEntity's Measurements Continue to Misrepresent WTC7's Fall Rate
K.T. Penn Exposed
The Reading Comprehension of Debunkers...

Articles posted on AE911Truth.org:
FAQ #2: What about the planes that slammed into the Twin Towers? Wouldn’t they have disturbed the demolition devices?
FAQ #8: What Is Nanothermite? Could It Have Been Used To Demolish The WTC Skyscrapers?
Debunking the REAL 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can't Face Up to Reality

PDF articles:
A Critical Review of the 9/11 Mysteries Viewer's Guide
Other Collapses in Perspective: An Examination of Steel Structures Collapsing due to Fire and their Relation to the WTC

For more on why I started researching 9/11 and why I believe what I believe today, listen to my radio interview on PumpItOut Radio with researcher Jeff Hill and Debunking the Debunkers blog founder John-Michael Talboo.



Religion

I am an atheist. But I wasn't always one. Growing up I was raised a Methodist and attended church at least every other Sunday. But when I stopped going to church I began to question the claims of the religiously faithful. Part of what motivated me to start researching religion was watching the internet film Zeitgeist. The film talked about the history of religion, and showed a lot of evidence that indicated all religions, especially Christianity, appeared to be false. I wasn't sure what to think after watching the film. I then listened to what several debunkers had to say about the film, and all of them seemed to think that the movie got virtually everything wrong.

Of course I already knew that the debunkers were wrong in regards to the 9/11 section, but I wasn't sure about the religion section. I decided that I needed to look into this further. So I decided to read D.M. Murdock's book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, which I had heard was the book she had written essentially in response to the Zeitgeist debunkers. After reading her amazing book, I realized right away how the debunkers were twisting her arguments and making outright false claims. Contrary to what many believe, the arguments presented in Zeitgeist are indeed backed up by strong scholarship and primary sources. Though I have not written much on the subject of religion and atheism due to my commitment to the 9/11 Truth Movement, I plan on posting much more on the subject now that I have started this separate blog. My one major writing on religion is a paper I wrote last year in college. In it, I argue that Jesus Christ likely never existed as a historical person on earth. My paper is provided in the link below.

Again, contrary to what many believe, there is sufficient reason to believe that the figure we know as Jesus never actually existed. I also have posted from time to time on the FreeThoughNation forum under the handle "S.T.F." The forum is a great place for researching the history of Christianity, and also does a fantastic job of defending the claims made in Zeitgeist. Though my intention is certainly not to offend anyone, I do believe we need to look past all these ridiculous taboos about not questioning religion. Whether we like it or not, there is probably no God. No one created us or the universe. But that does not mean we can't live a life of happiness and fulfillment. With enough time and research, I am confident that one day humanity will see that the same spiritual fulfillment found in religion can be also be found in science, which is what actually has improved our society throughout history. But please don't just take my word for. Do the research yourself. Question everything that deserves questioning. I firmly believe that every system that can be researched and tested should be researched and tested.

If you're interested in learning about what is and isn't true about religion, in addition to the book previously mentioned, here are some other books that have helped me get to where I am now:

Also be sure to check out the links I have posted in the atheism/religion section of this site.


My goals

Over the years I have gained a deep desire to discover as much truth about the world as I can. I've devoted myself to letting the evidence take me wherever is might go, regardless of whether or not I like the truth I find. The truth really does set us free, which might be one of the only useful things the Bible has taught us.

I believe that we have not been told the full truth about what happened on September 11th, 2001. I've tried to contribute to the great work being done in the 9/11 Truth Movement as much as I can. I was at the 9/11 Truth demonstration in New York for the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Being there in New York, it was more obvious than ever that we need to have a new investigation into the attacks to find out what really happened that terrible day.

I also believe that the religions of the world have done more to cripple our progress in society than to help it. Not only does the evidence overwhelmingly indicate that there is no God, but there is simply no need for him or for religion. We can find happiness and purpose with a completely naturalistic worldview. The time has come for us to except one true reality: that from the very beginning, God has only existed in our imagination.

My goal is to spread these truths to as many as possible. I wish to educate others so that we can make this world as sustanible and enjoyable as possible. I wish to encourage others to us emprical evidence and critical thinking in establishing their worldviews. Most of all, I hope you find some amount of value in what I say and write about. Even if you disagree with me, just the fact that you have taken the time to look into these matters is an accomplishment. It is only when we learn to work together and communicate with one another that will we finally have an ideal world. But we have to take that first step. This is our world, and we all have a duty to protect it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Is Gay Marriage Simply "Masturbation and the Pursuit of Pleasure"?

From time to time, I tend to get into political discussions and debates on Facebook. Shocking, I know. I recently made a post on homosexuality and why people hold the bigoted views they do about it. I eventually commented on how the religious folk at Franciscan University almost unanimously oppose same-sex marriage. Another commenter posted the following in response.


I suspect this person meant to say that homosexual activity doesn't meet the definition of sex. So, is this right? Is gay marriage nothing more than "masturbation and the pursuit of pleasure"? Why no, no it is not. I wrote the following in response, with the accompanying video:
So what should the alternative be then? Are infertile couples not really married? Should they not be allowed to get married? Should the law be that if you get married you have to have kids? Marriage is about more than just sexual pleasure. It's because people love each other and wish to express it as openly as possible. They want their union to be legally recognized, to be able to visit each other in the hospital, file income taxes together, make medical decisions together. And, btw, adopt kids together. That's the other thing; gay couples ARE having kids, e.g. adoption, donor insemination, etc. The same alternative routes available to straight couples are available to gay couples too.
The so-called "natural purpose" argument is a load of bollocks as well. Yes, the "natural" function of sex is technically procreation, but since when have we only stuck to what's "natural'? Cause the reality is that we defy nature all the time. Pacemakers, artificial limbs, glasses, hurricane-proofed homes, etc., all defy elements of the natural world and are themselves unnatural. Yet you won't hear anyone saying any of those things are wrong, so why say so of gay marriage? Gay marriage is consummated the same way straight marriage is; they have sex. And it may not be the same kind of sex you have, but ultimately everyone has sex there own way anyway. There's no one right way to have sex, and people's personal preferences are their business and no one else's.
And from the Franciscan point of view, gay marriage isn't seen as real marriage because their book tells them homosexuality is wrong. Yes, the same book that says the earth is flat and held up by pillars, condones slavery, and favors human sacrifice, surely must have gotten it right about homosexuality!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Steubenville Rape Case Update: Where are they Now?

So, just to bring you up to speed: 





Boy, all this "justice" going around is almost too much for me to handle.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Deceptively Dissing Darwin

I've read many books promoting apologetics. Some have been decent, some have been dull, and some have been outright awful. One of the worst I've ever read is Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley's The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism. The book itself is nothing special, loaded with the usual poppycock about "atheistic materialism," "atheists have no basis for morality," "a society based on atheism is doomed," etc. But most of all, it is a rather insulting book, containing little to no respect of any kind towards atheists. The following Amazon review sums it up nicely:
I enjoyed how this book lays out how Atheism is irrational when you take it to its logical ends. I did not appreciate though the many times the authors kept saying "if the new atheism continues to spread our society is doomed!". The name calling and cheap shots were uncalled for. If I were an Atheist I would have set the book down. The first 40 pages aren't even worth reading.
Having made it through the first 40 pages and beyond, I can vouch for this. It's also sur-prising that the book engages heavily in presuppositional apologetics, since this is a Catholic response to atheism, and I assumed that presuppositionalism was largely a Protestant apologetic tactic. Granted, the authors cite Protestants for their arguments, including the infamous presupposition-peddler Greg Bahnsen (whose claims have been thoroughly addressed and refuted numerous times).

But specifically I want to address one particular section of their book that I feel is not only wrong, but is also horribly deceptive and insulting to the memory of Charles Darwin. Surprise surprise, our authors throw out the usual tripe about how the worst regimes in history were led by atheists like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. And even more surprising (i.e. not surprising at all), they provide not a shred of evidence that these men's atheism had anything to do with the crimes they committed (see Earl Doherty's discussion here under the section titled "The Question of Atheism"). But of course we can't forget the Christians' favorite example; Adolf Hitler, who our authors spend a good deal of time discussing. Of Hitler, they write: 
[M]uch nonsense has been written about Hitler being a Christian, believing in God, and opposing atheism. But whatever this madman said at times in order to gain the confidence of the German people--who were at least culturally Christian--Hitler was clearly committed to a vision of the world that was essentially Darwinian and Nietzschean. [Godless Delusion, p. 80]
Yes, much nonsense indeed. It's "nonsense" that Hitler himself said he was a Christian and believed in God. It's "nonsense" that Hitler himself said he opposed atheism. It's also "nonsense" that the Nazis banned books promoting "the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism" and books that "ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion." All nonsense in the eyes of Mr. Madrid and Mr. Hensley. And what evidence do these men present to show that Hitler only said and wrote these things to "gain the confidence of the German people"? (spoiler!

Despite this, our authors maintain that Hitler "saw himself as implementing a Darwinian 'law of nature' that would result in the 'elimination of the unfit' and bring about a civilization fit for a master race" [p. 81]. And this is supported by the other usual tripe about how Darwin's theory of natural selection was the basis for the Nazis' eugenics program. For now we'll look past the fact that this idea has been refuted over and over and over and over again. Instead, I would like to focus on a particular passage from Darwin's The Descent of Man that our authors quote. Or rather, they quote someone else quoting and interpreting what Darwin wrote. That someone is Discovery Institute fellow Benjamin Wiker, who analyzes passages from Darwin's writings in order to argue that "Darwin believed that the evolution of morality would require the extermination of 'less fit' races and individuals." 

Madrid and Hensley, while quoting Wiker, write:
Wiker quotes Darwin saying something truly remarkable, hinting broadly at something we're not aware Nietzsche ever having advocated--although Hitler most certainly did:
We civilized men...do our utmost to check the process of elimination [i.e. the elimination of human beings]; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment....Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man...excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. [p. 104. Note that "elimination of human beings" was inserted by Madrid and Hensley]
Boy, that sure sounds like Darwin advocated eugenics, huh? There's just one little problem though. This quote from Darwin is taken entirely out of context. This was brought to light when fellow Darwin-disser Ben Stein quoted the same passage in his propaganda piece piece of shit deceptive trash film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The passage Mr. Stein, Mr. Wiker, Mr. Madrid, and Mr. Hensley didn't bother to quote appears right after Darwin's quote cited above, which states:
The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage. [Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, pp. 168-169]
Commenting on the issue, John Moore wrote:
Stein quotes from a passage in Darwin's writing that appears to endorse the notion that for a species to thrive the infirm must be culled. He omits the part where Darwin insists this would be "evil" and that man's care for the weak is "the noblest part of our nature." When I asked Stein about this on my radio show he deadpanned, "If any Darwin fans are listening and we have misquoted him, we are sorry; we don't mean to diss Darwin."
Now the reason I find all this so important has to do with the timeline of events here. Expelled was released in 2008 and was exposed on this point shortly thereafter. However, The Godless Delusion was published in 2010, i.e. a full two years after it was proven that the above passage was taken out of context. But despite this, our authors felt the need to go ahead and (mis)quote the exact same passage for the exact same purpose. But wait, you might say, maybe our authors were somehow unaware of Ben Stein's film and his quoting of Darwin. Isn't that possible? Nope. Because right after quoting Wiker quoting Darwin, our authors write the following:
But then, when economist Ben Stein points out in his film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed that aspects of Darwinism led to Hitler and his eugenics program, the secular establishment roars: "This is outrageous! Darwin never said anything that could be taken as a justification for anything Hitler did!" [p. 104]
For the record, it wasn't just the "secular establishment" calling BS on this. Here's a fellow Catholic saying so too. And what I find "outrageous" is the idea of people deceptively quote-mining dead men in order to further an agenda. Especially when in all likelihood they know they are being deceptive and taking words out of their proper context. The way I see it, there are only two possibilities. Either Mr. Madrid and Mr. Hensley knew their quote from Darwin was taken out of context, but ultimately just didn't care and decided to use it and misrepresent it anyway. Or, they possibly didn't know it was taken out of context, in turn meaning that neither of these men did the work they should have done and checked to see if the passage was being represented correctly. Deceptiveness or incompetence, take your pick. Either way, this is not how people who consider themselves "scholars" should behave. The evidence strongly demon-strates that Darwin did not support eugenics, and to suggest otherwise, as these men have done, is appalling and dishonoring to the memory of a man who tried, to the best of his abilities, to do the best science he could and help us further understand our place in the world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Aftermath, by Joel Meyerowitz

A very useful book, "Aftermath," by Joel Meyerowitz. It's a huge book (and I mean HUGE. It's almost as big as my torso). Contains a treasure trove of high quality pictures of Ground Zero and the debris. Also shows the huge struggle the rescue workers went through clearing it up. It's also useful for refuting the Judy Wood crowd (look through this book and then tell me the Towers' steel was "dustified"). Recommended if you don't already have it.






Sunday, May 31, 2015

Long Island Medium: Racial Stereotypes = Accurate Psychic Readings

The Long Island Medium is a fraud. There's just no better way to put it. Like every psychic we've seen pop up over the years, she is a lying, manipulative, fame/money hungry douche. And recently I was treated to a fine display of her douchebagery at, of all places, work. There I am, sitting in the break room having lunch, when who should just happen to appear on the break room TV than Theresa Caputo herself, on the Meredith Vieira Show. And yes, I did nearly lose my appetite. 

She did her usual shtick; asking her vague questions to an audience of over a hundred, most of whom probably came to the show already believers. Parts were aggravating (especially seeing members of the audience driven to tears by Ms. Caputo's "readings"), and other parts were just boring. But I will admit, one segment in particular made me nearly fall out of my chair. Say what? Did she perform some mind-blowing reading that was beyond impressive? Had she truly demonstrated that she could in fact speak to the dead? Ah... no such luck. What happened was something that may have shown more proof that I'm psychic (I'm not btw. I promise :) )

As you might imagine, several of my co-workers were also on their lunch breaks too, and were subjected to Ms. Caputo just as I was. In between segments I explained to them how she did her readings; cold reading, using large crowds, vague descriptions, etc. They were all very receptive, and mostly agreed with me that she was indeed a fraud. At one point I mentioned a reading she had done on Katie Couric's show, which I myself first learned about from the Opie and Anthony Show. Here's how they described it:
I was at the gym... and I was watching Katie Couric's new show, cause it was on and I was like "eh, what the fuck, I'm gonna take a look at this." And this Long Island Medium was on. And then she starts working the crowd, and she actually said, and I'm kinda paraphrasing, "I'm feeling someone's loved one died recently." And then this black woman's like "Oh my God, me!". Like she just gives it up. And then of course in an audience like that someone's loved one died recently. And then this broad goes "I'm getting a vision or feeling that you might have sung in church." She says this to a black woman!
Eventually I found the clip they were talking about, and sure enough, Ms. Caputo got a "message" from "somewhere" that a black woman in the audience may have sung in church before. My reaction to this was pretty much the same as their's, and likewise my friends thought this sounded like a pretty, shall we say, sketchy reading as well.

But now the unbelievable. Not fives minutes after I told my friends this story did the program start up again, and Ms. Caputo went over to a sobbing black woman and asked her the following:
Do you sing, or do you listen to church music, or gospel music? Because all I keep hearing is "release my soul, awake my soul." And I keep hearing like "Allelujah" [sic]. That song "Allelujah" [sic].

I lost it. I simply lost it, and so did my friends. We couldn't believe this happened, like I said, less than five minutes[!] after I told my story. We all sat there utterly dumbstruck at this, me being in a mixed state of laughter and rage. So apparently Ms. Caputo decides to resort to this tactic on more than one occasion. Good to know. If this isn't cold reading taken to a new low, I don't know what is.

"It's not about who it is, getting the details of how they died,
their name, their birthday, their this, what they wore on their
left hand. It's not about that. It's about delivering the message
of healing." -Theresa Caputo to a sobbing audience memeber


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ian Lohr: Scumbag Extraordinaire

Image Source: Jail.com
Today I have a little story to tell. And it concerns an individual by the name of Ian Lohr. You've probably never heard of him, which makes you very lucky indeed. Ian is someone who, until recently, I thought of as a friend, someone I worked with, and someone I felt like I could generally trust. On April 26th of this year, Mr. Lohr texted me, pleading for money because he had bills to pay (and I still have the texts to prove this). Now up to this point I knew he had been sick and out of work for a while, so I figured he probably was a little hard up for money. That was all I knew at this point. So after more begging from him, and feeding me a sob story about how his wife informed him that his water, gas and electricity were going to be shut off, he eventually got a total of $170 out of me. He assured me he’d be able to pay me back by the end of the week, by Friday or Saturday, and that he was willing to pay interest as well. But those days went by, and I heard nothing from him. I called his cell phone. No answer. I called his house. No answer. As it turned out, there were a few things I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that he had started using heroin again. I didn’t know that his wife kicked him out of the house and that he was living with other people. I didn’t know that I was just one in a long list of other people who he had fed the same bullshit story to (and apparently got money from some of them as well). And I didn’t know that on April 28th, two days later, he was going to be arrested for drug abuse and drug possession. You see, the reason I didn’t know any of this is, well, it’s generally none of my business. I make it a rule of thumb for myself not to pry into other people’s lives, since it’s obviously not my place to do so. Anyone who knows me knows that violating others’ privacy is something that in general I’m patently against. But I’ve had several people confirm all of this to me now. So yeah, I guess I should have been better informed in this case, since it cost me $170, which I’m confident went to buy heroin.

Just the thought of money of mine being spent on heroin disgusts me. This is someone who I considered a friend. Someone I got along with pretty well. Someone who, though he had problems, seemed like a good guy overall. Here I am, working 5 days a week, working to pay off student debts without a whole lot of extra money with me. And he goes and pulls some shit like this. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends. Aside from a comment I left on his Facebook page, I’ve had no contact with him, and have no plans of interacting with him ever again. I hope he lives, gets off the junk, and gets his life in order. But I want nothing to do with him.

So yeah. Moral of the story; don’t ever let Ian Kurtis Lohr borrow money off of you if you actually want to see that money again.