Sunday, August 30, 2009

Law of Attraction: Fail

The Law of Attraction. I always hear these words recently from my friends, others, internet. Two friends of mine introduced to me the Law of Attraction. Both of them are saying that I'll really get anything I want if I am aware of this law of attraction. This made me laugh and curious. One of them told me to watch this 20 minute or so video in Youtube titled The Secret. And so I did. But somewhere in the middle of the video I stopped for I notice some serious flaw in the logic of this "law" of attraction and I just can't help myself (laughing and shocked). I was really skeptical about this "law" of attraction so I made a research on the net and studied (at least a little) this LOA.

According to proponents of this law, thoughts have an energy which attracts whatever it is the person is thinking of. In order to control this energy to one's advantage, proponents state that people must practice four things:
  1. Know exactly what you want.
  2. Ask the universe for it.
  3. Feel, behave and know as if the object of your desire is already yours (visualize).
  4. Be open to receive it and let go of (the attachment to) the outcome.

Thinking of what one does not have, they say, manifests itself in not having, while if one abides by these principles, and avoids "negative" thoughts, the universe will manifest a person's desires. (wikipedia)

Do you really think that by simply thinking (and acting) of something, say success, would really give you that thing (sucess)? Do you think that you will pass the board exam just by thinking that you will pass that exam without working hard? Of course not. One must work hard to get something you want. Simply thinking of it will bring you nowhere. But how about the stories of success in the video? Well they are just anecdotals (hearsay) and because of the self-selecting nature of the positive reports, as well as the subjective nature of any results, highly susceptible to confirmation bias and selection bias *. I mean these people are successful because they worked hard and not because they just simply think what they want. And some people just relate these successes and claim to have been the result of the Law of Attraction.

Also, one of the luminaries of the Law of Attraction, Joe Vitale, claims that LOA is really a scientific law and that it works "everytime - no exceptions". LOL. Hmm lets see. Imagine a boxing match. Both boxers are positive that they will win the fight yet one of them only won. Or when wagers on both side are positive that their bet will win yet only one of them won. What can LOA say about that? Well this only shows that LOA is not really a scientific law as one of the luminaries claim for it do not produce predictable and repeatable results. (Thanks to Skeptico for the idea)

Despite the criticisms and glaring flaw of LOA, many people still believe in this (forgive my word) crap. The idea of LOA is very similar to the concept of prayer which, eh, do not work. These people are just fooled by the marketing of The Secret.


Friday, August 14, 2009


I just had a conversation with my friend (office mate) a week (or two) ago about belief. Specifically about the belief in God. We were chatting about something and our discussion suddenly diverted to what-is-your-religion part. We still don't know each other well so we ended up asking this question to each other. Our talk basically went smooth until this what-is-your-religion part popped.

Me: Btw, what is your religion.
Her:Catholic, how about you?
Me: Well my family is protestant Christian but I am not really religious. I doubt God's existence. (I said something like that)
Her: But why??!
Me: (I stated briefly the Problem of Evil)

After I stated the PoE, she just went silent. And then we go on with the day. I noticed that after we talked about it, I felt a little distance between us. It seems that there's an invisible wall between us whenever we're together in the office. And I suspect that it's because of my non belief. Maybe there are other reasons but the little closeness (FCness) we had just suddenly disappeared after we had that discussion. Maybe her faith was shaken when I talked about the PoE and she hates me (secretly) because of that. LOL.

Well I don't care if she hold so dear her beliefs. I was simply showing her the reality about the evil and suffering in this world. And I also don't care if she won't like me because of my non belief. So what if I don't believe in what you believe. Am I evil because of that? Am I evil for not agreeing with you? Heck, she should pay more attention to the actions/deeds of a person instead of judging them because of one's belief. I hope she can read this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Problem of Evil and Suffering (again)

While I was on the way home from work I passed by a little boy (obviously homeless) who was lying on the dirty side walk while sleeping with a plastic glass on the side (probably for the alms). The boy, while lying down, was hugging his stomach. His stomach maybe aching due to hunger or maybe something worse. It rained a little when I passed by this boy and he only had a thin carton as his bed. The weather was cold. It will be colder at dawn. Can you imagine what I am talking about? Well I wish I took a picture of that sad scene so that you could see for yourself what I am talking here.

I really felt sad when I saw that little boy there lying down and obviously suffering and helpless. I also felt a little disappointed with our government because they should (could) keep that kind of boy and put him someplace better. I really wish I could help that boy and others in that similar condition. If only I have the power and resources, I would certainly help them. But at the mean time I don't. Maybe I will in the future.

What if you had the power and resources to help that little boy, would you help him? If you were indeed powerful or even just excessively rich AND just a bit loving and merciful, you would help him, right? But how come the loving, powerful, and moral (and allegedly existing) Christian God didn't help the boy? How come a loving and powerful God would let that happen? Is the Christian God not existing or just simply selfish?

Ah, the problem of evil and suffering again (and again).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Taliban 'brainwashed' Pakistan teen suicide bombers

KHWAZAKHELA, Pakistan (AFP) – Seemingly never-ending tales of terror abound in Swat, where the military has fought against the Taliban for years and where parents speak of being forced to surrender young boys to the militants who train them to become suicide bombers.

The scars may take years to heal for Hamad Ahmad, one of many Pakistani boys purportedly brainwashed by the Taliban and determined to enact maximum carnage as a suicide bomber.

His mind trained on violence and his heart full of God, Ahmad says he wants to carry a pistol and strap explosives to his body in the name of Islamic law -- not hold books and wear school uniform.

"I am ready to carry out a suicide attack against any target with approval of my ameer (chief)," said 15-year-old Hamad, who claimed he received 40 days of training from the Taliban after being snatched last year.

Hamad, who talked to AFP by telephone from Qambar village in Swat, is now among a group of teenagers being treated by military psychiatrists in the wake of Pakistan's latest air and ground assault against the Taliban in the valley.

Hamad's father, Furqan Ahmad, found his son receiving militant training in the northern Swat town of Charbagh last February, two months after he mysteriously disappeared and before the latest military offensive began.

"My son disappeared in December after I thrashed him for carrying a pistol," said Furqan, a bank employee. "I was able to get him back with the help of a Taliban commander, who was known to me."

"The Taliban completely brainwashed my son, who was studying in ninth grade. He is now even more violent and doesn't let his mother and sisters watch TV, calling it un-Islamic," Furqan said.

Radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah led thousands of ideologues and disenfranchised young men in a brutal uprising across Swat to enforce sharia law, beheading opponents, burning schools and fighting government forces.

Commanders say more than 1,800 militants and 166 soldiers were killed in the latest blistering military assault designed to dislodge the Taliban from Swat, but Hamad refuses to stare defeat in the face, saying God is on their side.

"Any one who stops or becomes an impediment to implementing sharia needs to be dealt with sternly by any means, including suicide attacks," he said.

"They are fully protected by Allah the almighty," he said. Following in their foot prints is a "ticket to heaven", he added.

Heavy death tolls released by the military from the summer offensive are impossible to confirm. None of the most-wanted Taliban leadership in Swat have been killed or captured. The military have slammed the training of children.

"We have contacts with about 100 children who are living with their parents. They visit us routinely and a psychiatrist sees them regularly," said military spokesman Major Nasir Ali Khan in Khwazakhela, a town in northern Swat.

But the precise numbers are unclear. Top military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas confirmed recently 11 boys trained as suicide bombers were taken into custody. Other officials charged that hundreds of boys were recruited.

No Taliban spokesmen or commanders were reachable for comment.

Boys told military officials that a foreigner, probably an Uzbek, used to impart training to them for suicide attacks.

Khan said the Taliban training came in three parts. For two weeks boys were taught to provide tip offs about security force manoeuvres. Then came a 40-day militant training and lastly, training in the art of becoming a suicide bomber.

In Khwazakhela, the military took reporters into a dimly lit room, once used as science laboratory, to speak to boys -- masked to protect their identity.

"The Taliban took me to Charbagh at gunpoint and later to Matta where they set up a training camp inside a government school," said one 16-year-old.

"There were at least 30 men who used to train us in Matta," said the youth, a small beard already growing on his face.

"They used to say there is a great reward in heaven for anyone slaughtering a soldier and same reward if you slaughter someone telling you it is wrong," added the boy, who said he escaped back to his parents.

Click here for the source.
These kids will kill in the name of their God and religion. I hope this will stop. This is one of the few reasons as to why religion poisons everything.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Questions for Christians

According to wikipedia, a Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who Christians know as Christ, the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. The American Heritage Dictionary on the other hand defines a Christian as "one who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or lives the lifestyle based on the life and teachings of Jesus; one who lives according to the teachings of Jesus."

Bertrand Russell consider a person a Christian if (1) that person believes in God and immortality(could be heaven); and (2) that person believes in Jesus Christ and consider Christ, if not Divine, the best and the wisest. One could also add the belief in hell to that. But some Christians nowadays do not believe in hell for some reasons.

Now based on the definition on what is a Christian above, I want to ask Christians (especially the Fundies) these questions:

1.) How do you know that God exist? Give me first your definition of God before you answer this.
2.) Why do you believe in immortality (or afterlife or heaven)? What is your proof/evidence of immortality (or afterlife or heaven)?
3.) Do Jesus have powers and can create miracles? Is Jesus really the best and wisest of men?
4.) If you believe in hell or eternal damnation, what is your proof of this?

I want to discuss these questions with you Christians (if I am fortunate to get answers from you) and see how and where this goes. This post by the way is inspired by one of the blog posts of Drazzel (the post where in he invites readers to participate).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pray on!

First things first. This post is not meant to offend the former President. I have high respect on her. This post is meant to open your eyes and make you realize that there is no sky daddy up there who listens to your cries and thoughts.

One of the first things that popped in my mind when I heard the news that the former president Cory Aquino died was the power of prayers. Well, the powerless of prayers. That really proved it, again and again. Many people in my country prayed and prayed a lot for her cure and well being yet she still ended up dead (unexpectedly). In fact she died in the middle of some prayer vigil of some sort.

What could this mean? Well in my view, this means that praying is useless and just a waste of time. Still I heard a lot of people in the news that they will still continue to pray for her. Heck, these people still believes in the power of prayer. I mean these people already prayed to their sky daddy that the former President would be healed from cancer. Yet she was still sickly and died because of it. Well she survived more than a year or so but it is because of the medication she took and of the money. Imagine if her family is not that rich and she did not take her meds. She would've died earlier.

Now, lets also examine some verses in the Bible that says praying works.
Matthew 7:7
Matthew 21:21
Mark 11:24
John 14:12-14
Matthew 18:19
James 5:15-16

What would the death of Cory tell us about these verses? Lies.

So you Christians out there. You be the judge here.
Pray on!