The Nature of the Problem

Well, here we are now. This will be our first ever post on this new site and likely will not be the last one either. For those of you reading this we would like to welcome you to our channel. We are your hosts, Alzael. We are anti-theists, anti-feminists, skeptics, and gamers among several other things (some of which would likely get us arrested if we admitted to engaging in them). So if you’re thinking of following this blog you can expect things in that vein, as well as whatever other topics pass through into the jumbled mess of thoughts that is my mind. Not to mention our own creative writing efforts. As you can see things are still getting organized around here so there may be some changes made to the formatting of the site, but please bear with me.

So, we were thinking for quite a while about what we should do for the very first post, and really it seemed most appropriate to just start with what is the beginning and the core of the problems that exist in the irrational slash faith-based ideologies that we’re going to be discussing throughout the course of the channel’s history. And that very simply is the conflict between facts and “not-facts”.

So,let’s get started shall we? Ill let the other half take the lead first.

The most basic question to all of this is one of how we differentiate reality from fantasy. Our own primate brains are imperfect and flawed because they, for the most part, still assume that we are in the same environment that we were in millions of years ago. As such we tend to see patterns where there are none, we tend to make snap decisions based on gut reactions instead of evidence, and we often allow base emotion and intuition to dictate our actions. These are mechanisms that served us well in getting us to the point that we are at but are a detriment to us maintaining what we’ve accomplished and in progressing further. Increasingly it becomes more and more evident how important it is that we base our ideas on what is real, as opposed to what our monkey brains are trying to tell us.

To this end, we have developed tools to help us form a proper blueprint of reality and how it operates. Tools such as logic, the scientific method, skepticism, etc. All designed by us to overcome our own flawed ability to perceive reality. These are methods that have proven to work over and over again and have been the cornerstone of the science and knowledge that has gotten us to the place where we’re at now. These are the indispensable tools that we use in order to form a consensus on what is real and on what is false or fantasy.

Basically however, the problem is this.

Let’s say that you have two worlds. One world we’ll call “Reality”.

And the other I’ll call “Woo-woo Mystical La-La Bullshitland.”

…….Really? You’re going to be like this right from the start?

Flowers and sunshine are your department, Bunky.

……Anyways, in “Reality” they use evidence, reason, skepticism and the scientific method in order to identify and solve the problems which they face. This is a process that has allowed the people in “Reality” to accurately provide a framework from which we can make predictions about will happen if we take certain actions or do certain things. It is a process that has created our entire modern world.

Whereas in “Woo-woo Mystical La-La Bullshitland” they toss a few chickenbones on the ground, while dancing around the blood-circle chanting “Unga-bunga, Oogga-dugga, giude us mystic sky-daddy”. Before sacrificing a goat and consulting an ancient tome written by barely literate sheep-herders. This is a process that has allowed people to wallow in ignorance, misunderstand the world around them, foster hatred, and devise some of the worst ideas in history.

…….What my other half had meant to say was that they identify problems and recognize the world through intuition, feelings, revelations, personal visions and experiences. This particular process has been shown to provide very little accurate information and places all ideas on an equal evidentiary footing. Which subsequently leads to solutions that do little to improve the overall condition of the world. Or, in many cases, make things worse due to misunderstanding where those problems originate.

I liked the way I phrased it better. But, I digress.

Now neither me nor the other half really gives two shits about whether the Woo-woo people want to live in “Woo-woo Mystical La-la Bullshitland”. They can live there, pray, talk about equality, shove their heads up their ass, or whatever else it is they do on those long lonely nights where they huddle around the altar desperately to try and find new ways to persecute others while still feeling persecuted themselves. If they did that I would have zero problem with them and would pay little attention to them aside from the occasional bout of pointing and laughing. The problem arises from the fact that they never want to just leave it there. They themselves are never content with their own Woo-woo bullshit.

    Instead they insist on coming over to reality and bringing their “Woo-woo Bullshit” with them. Not content with having their own country in which they can wallow in their “Woo-woo Mystical La-La Bullshit” ,they instead attempt to bring their “Woo-woo Mystical La-La Bullshit” into “Reality”. Insisting that their feelings, and scripture, and revelation are just as valid as facts and evidence and need to be regarded as such. Well,no. No,no,no,no,no,no. I’m very sorry to my little nutjob friends but that cannot be allowed to happen.

Out of everything that gets overlooked in these kinds of discussions this is the one thing that we really believe is overlooked far too often and not pointed out nearly enough. Ultimately it isn’t (nor has it ever really been) about your political party, atheist/theist, whatever. It is about FACTS vs. NOT-FACTS. About understanding and accepting what is real so that we can all come to a consensus on how best to deal with the problems that need to be solved. And in reality we do have a lot of problems, that need to be addressed. Which never will be properly addressed without doing something about the La-La Bullshit people. You do not get to put your “not-facts” on the same shelf as our facts.

Now here is a story that illustrates the point that we are attempting to make.

For those not interested in reading I will give you the highlights.

A woman who was eighteen months pregnant rushed herself to the only hospital in her area after her water broke prematurely. The hospital sent her home, telling her it was ok. She returned on the next day, this time in pain and bleeding, the hospital sent her home telling her it was ok. She returned on the third day with an infection and in even greater pain. The hospital was about to send her home, once again, when she went into labour and delivered. The baby died after only a few hours.

One might wonder what it was that happened. Well the young woman was in the process of a miscarriage, a fact which the doctors at the hospital had decided not to inform her of. You see the baby that was within the woman had a very low chance of ever surviving at that point, which meant that the most medically beneficial option at that point in time was to abort the pregnancy. However the hospital was run by the catholic church and as such is required to adhere to the “Ethical and Religious Directives” laid out by the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Their directives prevent health services from being given that conflict with catholic directives, even if they go against the patients wishes; even if it threatens the lives of their own patients. This even extends to them giving out information so that their patients can make informed decisions about seeking other forms of care.

You see, in catholic ethical reasoning, if there are complications during pregnancy everyone is obliged to act in the best interests of both the woman and the fetus. When the interests happen to conflict they determine the right course of action based on the Principle of Double Effect. Meaning that if an action is expected to have a good outcome and a bad outcome, the action should be taken if the good outweighs the bad, the good does not come about as a result of the bad, the bad effect is intended (even if anticipated) and the action itself is not bad. What this means in practical terms is that Catholic bioethicists determine that since they view abortion as always being an automatically bad act; any medical intervention that directly kills a fetus or ends a pregnancy before viability cannot be done no matter how important the proposed good effects.

I would just like to interject for a moment and point out how utterly ridiculous the term “Catholic bioethicist” even is. The people who believe that our species sprung up into existence when god clapped his hands together three times and subsequently condemned us all for acting the way he created us are telling actual biologists and doctors about bioethics. These people still have trouble getting over the things men and women do with their pee-pee parts.

Catholic hospitals account for over 15% of the hospital beds in the US alone, with 8% being “sole provider” hospitals (only hospital within 35 miles of an area). In a recent study done in 2006, 6 out of 30 OBGYN’s reported that they were constrained or prevented from giving their patients necessary service because of the hospitals ethical codes. One doctor, labeled only as “Dr.H” described having to send a patient to another hospital 90 miles away so that she could have the abortion that she needed.

“She was very early, 14 weeks. She came in … and there was a hand sticking out of the cervix. Clearly the membranes had ruptured and she was trying to deliver… . There was a heart rate, and [we called] the ethics committee, and they [said], “Nope, can’t do anything.” So we had to send her to [the university hospital]… . You know, these things don’t happen that often, but from what I understand it, it’s pretty clear. Even if mom is very sick, you know, potentially life threatening, can’t do anything.”

Another, identified only as “Dr.B”, recounted an instance wherein a doctor at a Catholic hospital attempted to send her one of their patients who was already septic.

“Because the fetus was still alive, they wouldn’t intervene. And she was hemorrhaging, and they called me and wanted to transport her, and I said, “It sounds like she’s unstable, and it sounds like you need to take care of her there.” And I was on a recorded line, I reported them as an EMTALA [Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act] violation. And the physician [said], “This isn’t something that we can take care of.” And I [said], “Well, if I don’t accept her, what are you going to do with her?” [He answered], “We’ll put her on a floor [i.e., admit her to a bed in the hospital instead of keeping her in the emergency room]; we’ll transfuse her as much as we can, and we’ll just wait till the fetus dies.”

One other doctor, identified as “Dr.S” recounted an incident where the callousness of the “ethics committee” forced him to violate protocol and then resign from his position.

“I’ll never forget this; it was awful—I had one of my partners accept this patient at 19 weeks. The pregnancy was in the vagina. It was over… . And so he takes this patient and transferred her to [our] tertiary medical center, which I was just livid about, and, you know, “we’re going to save the pregnancy.” So of course, I’m on call when she gets septic, and she’s septic to the point that I’m pushing pressors on labor and delivery trying to keep her blood pressure up, and I have her on a cooling blanket because she’s 106 degrees. And I needed to get everything out. And so I put the ultrasound machine on and there was still a heartbeat, and [the ethics committee] wouldn’t let me because there was still a heartbeat. This woman is dying before our eyes. I went in to examine her, and I was able to find the umbilical cord through the membranes and just snapped the umbilical cord and so that I could put the ultrasound—“Oh look. No heartbeat. Let’s go.” She was so sick she was in the [intensive care unit] for about 10 days and very nearly died… . She was in DIC [disseminated intravascular coagulopathy]… . Her bleeding was so bad that the sclera, the white of her eyes, were red, filled with blood… . And I said, “I just can’t do this. I can’t put myself behind this. This is not worth it to me.” That’s why I left. “

According to Dr.S the fetus had no chance of remaining alive, however because it was still technically living at that point in time the committee insisted that it be kept alive and the procedure not done. So Dr.S was forced to covertly sever the umbilical cord to terminate stop the heartbeat of the fetus so that he could save the womans life.

I could go on, but you can simply read the report yourself and see the various steps and measures doctors have had to take in order to provide their patients with medical care.

This is exactly the type of shit I’m talking about in regards to the La-la Bullshit people bringing their La-la Bullshit into reality. These are people who have taken it upon themselves to heal and care for the sick and injured. Who have stood in front of their peers and taken an oath to do so to the best of their abilities. Until reality comes into contact with their La-la Bullshit, at which point the La-la Bullshit inevitably comes first and foremost.

It was their La-la Bullshit that caused otherwise normal people who are in the business of healing to betray the people who put their lives and well-being in their custody. To the point where it’s even taboo to tell their patients what the fuck is wrong with them, because they might go out and make a choice that their La-la Bullshit does not agree with. They’ve designated themselves the sole arbiters of how you’re treated and what choices you can make. None of this is told to the people who are putting their lives in their hands. These people are entirely unaware of the fact that they are potentially being denied necessary services and information, based on the irrational beliefs of a third party. A third party which might not even share the same brand of La-la Bullshit as the ones they’re treating. Imagine being a Jew and having to go to a Christian run hospital, but being denied certain treatments based on Christian beliefs. That is some high-quality “Fuck you” material right there.

    So called “ethics committees” (a term that I can’t possibly use without throwing up ever-so-slightly in my mouth) leaving women to die in agony on the basis that the knowledge of their religion is greater than the knowledge of the man in the labcoat (you know, the one who actually got the medical degrees). Hospitals sending unstable patients miles away just to get treated by someone else. Doctors having to violate the rules and resign their jobs for no other reason than because they actually lived up to their oath and did what was best for their patient. I’ll have to convert to twenty different religions and make up five more just so that I’ll have enough hells to condemn these backwards bible bitches to.

Feel bettter now that you got that off your chest?

Shut up.

It would be one thing if these assholes were just some guys shouting on a street corner with their urine-soaked underpants worn over their ripped up jeans and smelling like unwashed human, but they aren’t. I can’t stress this enough. These are people with the lives of thousands of other human beings under their care who are letting their medical decisions be overridden by a shittily-written two thousand year old book penned by fucking sheep-herders. It would be better if they were watching reruns of ER and General Hospital to form their medical opinions. At least the fictional characters they’re listening to would actually be fucking doctors.

    Not that it’s limited to doctors in anyway. Take Antonin Scalia.

    Ostensibly the finest legal mind in conservative America. Who taught at the University of Chicago and sits on the Supreme Court, yet says publicly that he is convinced that the devil is a real person. Scalia notes that the devil has not been seen much since the time of the New Testament. Which, to any human being with a fully functioning reason center, would indicate that it’s because the New Testament is a made-up collection of fairy-tales that has no relevance to the modern world of science and reason (sort of like a Mesopotamian Fox news). To him however, it means that the devil has gotten wilier. Yeah…….wilier. This is a man who is in charge of interpreting the laws of his nation, mind you.

    Woo-woo Mystical La-la Bullshit is like anti-thought, it reacts badly (and often violently) with reality.

An important aspect of the problem is that one cannot combine facts with non-facts without the application of a very judicious use of cognitive dissonance. Even under the best of circumstances one does not actually combine the two, so much as selectively ignore one or the other as it suits ones needs. The true problem arises from just the sheer amount of facts which one must ignore in order to make even the simplest non-fact seem plausible. If one were a creationist and was inclined to disbelieve evolution in favour of intelligent design; then not only would you have to reject the idea of evolution, but everything else that falls under it and supports it. That would mean either being ignorant of or lying about nearly every facet of the biology. Not to mention whole sections of other disciplines that rely on the insights of evolutionary theory. The singular act of disbelieving in one fact means that there are a whole other long series of facts that must also be disbelieved in order to justify the disbelief in the first.

Think of it as a long line of really stupid dominoes.

Oh,hush.

Anyways, the point to be made is that the people who choose to value non-facts are also people who have decided to take up responsibilities that have very real effects on the world in which others live. Which they are doing with a view of reality that is inherently compromised. This is why people like us have a problem with them. It is why those like us feel that something needs to be done about these people and the ideas that they seek to spread. Because the problems of the world need to be fixed, which can only be done by recognizing and understanding what reality is. Not by ignoring it in favour of what we want reality to be.

This is the first of many times we’ll address this subject, but I think it’s enough for today.

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