One in five CIA job applicants hail from Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda; does this count for or against the applicant?
“AT&T partnered with DEA to provide access to 26 years of phone records.”
This led to more people behind bars in more places.
Since their founding in 1958, NASA has been dedicated to doing a lot more than exploring and understanding space. Over the past 52 years, they’ve been responsible for some of the most significant advances in technology. Almost everything we do have been influenced in some way by discoveries made through NASA’s research. NASA has provided an incredible amount of information to the public over the past five decades including stunning images and information that has helped us (mankind) understand how our Universe works. So, what does Open Government mean at Nasa?
Keeping with the spirit of a more open government, NASA has moved forward with several initiatives aimed at promoting collaboration between the scientists of NASA and the public including NASA TV. With NASA TV, the public has live access to NASA and their missions around the clock. This video is also made available to documentarians and media outlets in order to enable them to relay detailed and accurate information to their audiences.
Another initiative by NASA is NASA Open Source Software Development. This program gives the public access to the programs and source code used at NASA. By doing so, they are breaking down the barrier of entry for the private sector to reach space through use of NASA’s investments. This also gives the public a chance to make improvements on the software which may help NASA achieve their goals with less of a burdon on the taxpayer for development.
NASA has also entered the world of cloud computing with their Nebula Cloud Computing Platform. This open-source tool is intended to provide a more cost-effective alternative to building additional giant data centers in order to store and exchange information with the public. Nebula is classified as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, though there are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) systems planned for 2011.
NASA has even established a Participatory Exploration Office with the goal in mind of not only informing the public about NASA’s discoveries and data, but give the public a change to contribute to the process. By providing as much information as possible to the public, they are also enabling private citizens to contribute their input and ideas towards the betterment of the program.
Political blogging is huge. In fact, it may very well be the largest and broadest genre of blogs currently on the web. One of the biggest challenges facing political bloggers today is not being taken seriously as a source of information. Standing out from the crowd is also difficult, especially for someone just starting out. Here are a few tips for a better political blog:
Decide if Your Blog is Impartial or Opinionated and Stick With It
Mainstream media outlets are constantly being judged by their perceived slant. Fox News is considered by many to be a conservative news source while CNN and MSNBC have a reputation for leaning in a more liberal direction. Whether or not this is true is a matter of perspective.
When you decide to start a political blog, you should quickly determine whether or not information found on your site will offer opinions or stick to pointed facts. This makes a big difference in whether your blog is news source or a commentary on current events. If half of your articles are opinionated, and the other half are not, then it will be hard for readers to judge your site’s usefulness to them. If you want to mix it up, make sure the opinionated articles are in a separate section aside from your unbiased news reports.
In order for people to take you seriously, you need to cite sources of information used to form your articles. This doesn’t mean copy and paste content from other sites. It means when you quote a statistic or use specific information related to an event, tell your readers where you found the information. This will help you build your reader’s trust while proving your point.
Write Guest Posts
Connect with other bloggers in your field, especially if they share the majority of your political views. This can be done either socially through an exchange of praise on social networks or through writing guest posts for each other’s sites. By allowing another blogger to have a byline on your blog, you are in a sense creating a mutually beneficial environment where instead of competing against each other for an audience, you can each benefit from the other’s reach.
Opinions change, especially in the world of politics. Consistency doesn’t mean opinions have to stay set in stone. It does mean that your level of quality, depth of research, and stream of content needs to maintain an even or increasing level. Walking away from a blog for a few days can cause you to lose a lot of your audience, especially if they have come to expect a certain amount of content from you over a period of time. If you want to take a vacation, write a few posts in advance and schedule them to come out periodically during your absence. You can also utilize the talents of a guest blogger to fill in for you.
Stay Active in Blogging Communities
Political blogging is a giant community, and one that comes with an immense amount of support in the form of social groups. For example, The PPL is a group based out of Charlotte, NC that intends to offer a place for independent media outlets to set up and cover the 2012 Democratic National Convention. They don’t care if you’re liberal, conservative, independent, libertarian, or a Jedi. Groups like these are an amazing resource that can help a small political blog cover larger events that typically only cater to mainstream media. Find out if there are any communities and/or groups in your area that work with political bloggers and see what they may have to offer.
While you most often see me interfacing with the world from the control room of my own secret lair, you may not realize that I’m a pretty busy guy. That being said, since Popchips already has its President of Pop Culture (some guy named Ashton. He seems quite dignified and head of state-like), I feel that I could most certainly fulfill the duties of the Vice Presidency if so elected.
I can see some of you now (through my secret lair’s control room interface) asking: “What the heck is a Popchip?” A Popchip, gentle readers, is a non-fried, non-baked, but totally popped (like corn!) and seasoned sliver of potato that tastes crunchingly delicious without all of the fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol of a traditional chip. Sure, it’s not as healthy as, say, a carrot, but it’s a darned sight healthier than fried butter. Or Jersey Shore. (Hey! See? Pop culture! I can handle this.) There are Barbeque Popchips, Sour Cream & Onion Popchips, Cheddar Popchips, Sea Salt & Vinegar Popchips, Salt & Pepper Popchips, Parmesan Garlic Popchips, and, of course, Original Popchips. No sign of Tauntaun Jerky Popchips or LEGO Popchips or Bacon (Mmmm, bacon!) Popchips, but if I am elected to this highly prestigious position, I will do everything with my moderate amount of power to get these Popchips passed. On my honor, I will do my duty…
Well, I’ll talk it over with President Ashton, anyway. Probably over tea with P. Diddy (or Puff Daddy or Puffy Combs or Lumberjack Danny or whatever he’s calling himself these days) on a private jet to an elephant golfing match in Thailand or whatever it is that these executive types consider recreational. Whatever you’re looking from in a Popchips Pop Culture Vice President, I’ll make it so – but I need your votes! I’ll pander to pandas. I’ll cajole Cajuns. I’ll butter up bagel bakers. I’ll soft-soap swineherds. I’ll beguile bold billionaires. I’ll charm Channing… Carol Channing. I’ll sweet-talk Sweet Sweetback. I’ll enthrall entomologists. Please! I’m begging you! Help the geek who helps the geeks!
And being a geek, I understand chips (admittedly microchips, usually). But certainly, technology could be leveraged for this position, and I’ve started work on a mind control prototype to help plant the desire to eat Popchips subconsciously to all who might hear our message. But if that fails, there’s always hypnosis.
And I have a plan.
I’m Chris Pirillo, and I approve of the
Empire Rebel Alliance.
Just like all of us, the folks at Google spent the weekend watching the events in Egypt unfold. They were flabbergasted, feeling helpless as they watched the people there who are desperate to be heard. The engineers knew that if anyone could help give them a voice, it would be them. They put their collective brains together and came up with a service they are calling “Speak to Tweet,” which gives anyone the ability to Tweet using just a voice connection.
The hope is that this project will help the people of Egypt to stay connected during such a horrific time in their lives.
We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to the official Twitter account.
According to reports, the only remaining ISP holdout over in Egypt was taken offline earlier today, leaving the entire country paralyzed with no Internet connection. I cannot begin to imagine the horror of what these people are already living through. People from all over the world have been working together to try and find ways to reconnect the Egyptians with the outside world. It’s fantastic to see that the team from Google, Twitter and SayNow have come up with what appears to be a perfect solution.
If you didn’t already know, I live in Seattle. There’s a bill that’s currently in the Washington State Legislature that, if passed, will levy a tax on all software customizations done by businesses (at least, for now, those businesses residing in the state of Washington).
You may not think this impacts you directly, but if other states (or governments in other countries) see it as a viable option, they may consider doing the same thing where you live.
Check out the legislature’s proposed HB 3191. Page 90, Part XV, Point 2, as put forth by Representatives Hunter, Conway, and Hasegawa:
In order to preserve funding for higher education, it is the legislature’s intent to use revenue generated from assessing a sales and use tax on custom software to support the state’s institutions of higher education and financial aid programs including the state need grant.
What the hell does THAT mean? Well, if you’re a business in the state of Washington, you’ll be subject to a state sales tax (currently 6.5%) on any “custom software” or customization thereof.
As Übermind points out, there are two likely scenarios:
- Scenario 1. If [a Washington company] hires an in-state consultant or consulting company, the in-state consultant or consulting company will have to collect the sales tax and pay it to the state.
- Scenario 2. If [a Washington company] hires an out-of-state consultant, they will have to pay use tax (paid in lieu of sales tax) on their next tax bill. Again, ANY company in Washington will suddenly have to pay at least 6.5% more for these services.
I spoke with Ken Myer, President and CEO of the WTIA, to find out more about this bill – and why it’s probably not the smartest thing for small businesses here. The Washington Technology Industry Association has been fighting hard against this change.
According to Ken, approximately 2,000 Washington companies that do custom work on software will be directly impacted by this bill if it is passed. Yes, that would include the giants such as Microsoft. However, it’s also going to hit the small startup down the street… and hit it hard.
In order for small businesses to set themselves up to charge sales tax for their services and goods, they will have to raise their prices by 8% or more, just to continue breaking even. Therefore, the tax isn’t only impacting the business owners… it also just impacted YOU, the potential consumer.
As Ken says, this is the first time that a professional service is being turned into a product (and being taxed as such). As we discussed this point, a regular user in my live chat room couldn’t help but ask how a government could possibly tax something that isn’t technically “tangible,” which is a good point. A physical disc is tangible, yes. However, the services provided by businesses who are doing custom code work are not truly something tangible. Where do we draw the line here?
Pardon me, but I thought marijuana was outlawed? How else could Representatives Hunter, Conway, and Hasegawa come up with such an asinine idea? More politics behind the bill are outlined by Todd over at TechFlash.
Why sock it to small business owners who are struggling enough in a challenging economy?
It’s getting to the point where owning a small business in the state of Washington is no longer viable. There are very few incentives for me to stay here (as an operating business entity). I love the weather, I love the people, but these f*ckwits in the House have got to go.
There’s not a state in the Union that’s truly friendly to small business owners anymore.
Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:
You saw it here first, folks. Actually, you saw it from @jennyjenjen if you were following her tweetstream today.
A few months ago, Guy Kawasaki (yes, that Guy) asked if I wanted to join him on a trip aboard the US Navy’s USS Nimitz with a handful of other bloggers. I didn’t accept the offer straight away, considering I’d have to pay for travel, expenses, etc. In the end, if it wasn’t already obvious, I decided to embark on what would be the only direct experience I’ve ever had with the US military.
Originally, I was supposed to do this with Guy (and other social media types). Everything was set until there was a schedule change, and I didn’t want to pull out of my speaking engagement at WordCamp. Instead, I was thrown into another group – this one, comprised of DARPA scientists and university professors. I swear, I was the only one in my tour who didn’t hold a doctorate.
Given that I’m not really into following military operations beyond what’s seen in the news, I had virtually no expectations. I was along for the ride – and what a ride it was. I met a few of the Navy’s ardent social media supporters (albeit briefly), and rubbed shoulders with people who are putting their lives on the line for my security.
The memory of standing on the flight deck, feet away from jet fighter operations, is one that I will likely never forget. I was there – in the middle of it. There!
The skill and pride of the crew aboard today’s USS Nimitz is palpable. For a while, they’ve been training off the coast of San Diego – and I was able to witness what would be the closest thing to “daily operations” in the field (including night retrievals). I was a fly on the wall of a very structured home. The primary directive of an aircraft carrier is focused on flights – but while there is only one pilot to a plane, it takes 5,000 people to make it fly.
I’m humbled by the Navy’s efforts, both military and humanitarian. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have boarded and recorded some of my experiences on this carrier. I’m grateful that they’re doing what they do so that I can do what I do.
If I have any disappointment to express, it would be from fellow citizens who don’t stand in awe. This isn’t about patriotism so much as it is respecting a job very well done. My dad served for a number years in the Marines, but he was out by the time I was born. This is about as closest I’ve ever come to experiencing military life – but it was enough for me to value the lives that some of my countrymen (and women) lead.
Though I didn’t document everything, I’ll be uploading a few videos over the next couple of weeks. I’ve already uploaded a couple of them (as embedded in this post), although the flight retrieval compilation on YouTube seems to have audio sync issues (so, you can download the MP4 video, too):
Everybody has a job to do. In speaking with several people aboard the Nimitz, I quickly discovered that every one of them believes they’re the linchpin that makes the entire thing work. And you know what? Each one of them is correct. They’re working independently together – as a team. It’s important for me to note that they’re not politicians, either (at least, not yet); it’s improper to hold them accountable for your elected officials’ decisions.
If you’re in the US Navy, serving (or having served) on the USS Nimitz, a current or former member of our country’s armed forces, let me just thank you for making that decision for yourself. I don’t think if I have half as much courage as you have likely shown, and recognizing that makes me appreciate you even more.
I’m not here to help promote the Navy’s message. I’m just here to tell you that this experience gave me a completely new level of respect for our men and women of uniform.
I read an article yesterday that disturbed me. Do you remember the news last year about the task force appointed to look into the problem of online sexual predators? Apparently the threat isn’t as big as once thought. Or is it? That task force released a report yesterday stating the problem of bullying – both online and offline – presents a larger threat than sexual predators. If you recall, MySpace and Facebook were thrown into the light with the fear that social networks such as these harbored sexual predators. Many popular perceptions of online danger were heavily fueled by the media. Certainly the trouble hasn’t just disappeared, so where lies the truth? The report states that the only online predator cases that exist explain the children and teenagers were already at risk – being troubled by depression, drug abuse, or problems at home.
How much difference exists between these issues? If you think about it, both problems are predatory in nature. Situations of either sort have ended tragically. One could easily turn into the other. It is sad to consider we live in a world where the issue of online sexual predators and pedophiles waiting to pounce on innocent children takes a back burner to the increasing problem of bullying.
I remember bullying when I was younger. Kids are not nice, and they have become more brutal every day. Thanks to the advances in technology these bullies can do their thing all on their own, without assistance from their friends to taunt and tease. All they need is a cell phone or a computer and they are fully armed. You’ve seen the headlines; children (and in some cases, their parents) taunt and tease unrelentingly, causing these kids to commit suicide to ease their pain.
If you think bullying exists only in schools… you’re wrong. These bullies grow up – and if not corrected, continue their abusive behavior in the workplace. They take their hate and contempt through every part of their life, online and offline. They park on social networking sites, blogs, forums, chat rooms, and easily become comfortable in the practice known as trolling. This doesn’t mean all trolls are predators, but the behavior strikes an alarming similarity.
Are you being bullied? Don’t just sit there and take it – report it! Nobody will think you are a wimp or a baby. Go to your parents, a teacher, your boss, or an adult you trust that would do the right thing. If you know of someone who is being bullied, don’t assume that it’s all in good fun or the person can take care of themselves. You just might be wrong.
Have you been bullied? Share your success stories with us so others may learn from your difficulties and find strength to fight back.
The Motion Picture Association of America has been working hard since 2007 to bring movie piracy to a halt. Wednesday, the MPAA filed suits against three more allegedly illicit movie web sites. This brings their total number of lawsuits to 13; though somewhat of a piecemeal approach, they have been successful in combating underground trade and winning by settlement or default judgment. Even though they have been successful, illegal downloading is even more prevalent than before.
There are other ways of getting a movie, people. Here’s a few:
- Hulu.com – One of the best services to watch movies and television right on your computer. It’s legal, and it’s free. You can subscribe to shows and get email alerts when a new episode is posted.
- Fancast.com – Their byline – “Watch full TV shows and Movies FREE online!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
- Joost.com – Wow, another FREE AND LEGAL place to watch movies and TV shows. This has a social feel to it, where you can get recommendations from others on what to watch.
- Major TV Network sites – NBC, ABC, CBS, USA, FOX… you get the idea. They have their exclusive shows you can watch right online just like the other websites.
Let me make one thing very clear – movie piracy is a CRIME, and it is punishable by law.
On Monday, President Bush signed legislation creating a new cabinet position, the Copyright Czar. This office will be charged to create, implement and enforce plans to combat piracy and reports directly to the president. In addition, the MPAA is already lobbying President-Elect Obama to embrace Internet filtering that will automatically detect and remove copyright infringing content. Internet filtering is being embraced worldwide and it will not be long before these filters are in place throughout the Internet. What does this mean? A much higher chance of getting caught red-handed. Not fair, you say? A copyright infringement lawsuit is no walk in the park – more like your worst nightmare. Because of current US laws protecting copyright owners, you could face incarceration and hefty fines if found guilty.
What about fair use? Well, this is the criteria for “fair use” – you determine how you are using the works of others:
- Is the new use of a commercial nature?
- Did the new work harm the market of the original work?
- Is the new work a parody?
- How much content of the original was used?
Basically, if you are uploading a copy of a movie or other copyrighted work to the Internet as a torrent or onto a P2P or file-sharing network, you are infringing on copyrighted content. Piracy is a big reason that legitimate consumers pay higher prices for the same product. Do you still think that is fair?
What are your thoughts about fair use of copyrighted content? If you are copying movies, why?
This is John Kennedy’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
Recently we marked the 67th anniversary of December 7, 1941; the day the nation of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and brought the United States into War with Japan and the wider conflict of World War II. As the nation reminisces on those events we Must not forget the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are sacrificing for this great country of ours. Soon it will be Christmas, not a holiday, but a holy day.
We also must not forget the events of September 11, 2001, another day of infamy for the United States that most of us should remember. We are a nation at war. Some children will not celebrate Christmas with their father; some children will not celebrate Christmas with their mother. Many fathers and mothers, sons and daughters will be on the front line protecting another country struggling from the effects of an evil tyrant. More and more we are hearing encouraging words of progress. As for a free and democratic Iraq, time will tell if the sacrifices that were endured made a difference. At present, and all around us what we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan is humanity at its best — feeding and helping the needy children and distributing toys to young children. It is not easy to explain why God permits evil but in it all we see a lot of good being done to the neediest of the needy in the Middle East. The United Service Organization (USO) and Gary Sinise’s Operation Iraqi Children are two examples of humanity and hope at its best.
So, how can we help a soldier this Christmas? How can we employ our talents and say: “Thank You” for a job well done?
Don’t forget the soldiers. The best way to help a soldier, sailor, or airmen is support your local United Service Organization (USO).
Help the children cope with parents being overseas. For children, the producers of Sesame Street have produced free videos to help children cope with a parent who has been called to go overseas. Sesame Workshop has videos, pamphlets and learning materials on the topic of deployment. Their video on “deployment” is a good one to watch. You can either play or download the video. These videos and pamphlets can also be ordered and delivered through the mail.
Care packages are always welcomed by soldiers. Sometimes I have received a letter or e-mail from a soldier in Iraq for special items. If I could not meet the need immediately, my local American Legion Council in my neighborhood has a board for just that purpose.
As we move into the New Year, let us pray that all our young men and women come home safely. Sharing the Christmas joy is what this article is about. A simple note of thanks can mean so much to a soldier. So let’s not forget them, their sacrifice, their commitment, and patriotism this Christmas season. If we do our part we can be assured that our soldiers will do theirs. May God Bless them and May God Bless America!
This is Richard Dicter’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
Last Tuesday, with relatively little notice from the public, two arguments were taking place in the San Francisco US District courtroom of Judge Vaughn Walker The arguments generated little scarcely any buzz last week, but OS X 10.5.6, a possible new Apple netbook, Snow Leopard, the vision of a sugarplum of a $99 iPhone, Vista SP2, and leaked Windows 7 Build 6956 did. At stake was whether the Telcom and Comcom companies, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Comcast and others, whose past employees have verified have been warrantlessly wiretapping your phones and email for the U.S. government, could be sued – and two major lawsuits against them could go forward, or whether a bill passed recently by Congress could confer immunity on them.
The Bush administration – and a number of your Senators, as well as the respective companies – reasoned that they have broken no laws. If this were the case, there wouldn’t have been such a monumental fight in Congress to grant them immunity. When these companies wiretapped you and collected your email, they were hardly naïve. Their corporate counsel were very seasoned litigators who came from the ranks of a little known division of the DOJ called the National Security Division, or NSD. They wrote the laws on wiretapping that have been passed in the past 20 plus years.
Immunity is not really about protecting these large companies from suits. It was specifically designed to cover the backside of the administration who trampled over the laws to protect you from being spied upon by your government for the last eight years. The Bush administration has insisted for the past several years that no innocent Americans were being wiretapped. Nothing could be further from the actual truth. A recent book written by an attorney who was a former ABC News producer, naval intelligence officer, and former CIA employee James Bamford called The Shadow Factory details how every word you speak or write electronically is being listened to and catalogued in stunning detail.
This book analyzes the enormous tentacles of the National Security Agency and CIA, including billion dollar satellites that can hear your whispers on a cell phone, dishes that pull in millions of phone calls, emails, and FAXes an hour, and the largest collection of super-computers on Earth. Few people realize that the NSA also has its own secret military force called the Central Security Service – with a massive fleet of ships, submarines, and aircraft that cover the globe (soaking up your messages, and those in other countries, like a sponge).
This intelligence-gathering eavesdropping force is composed of tens of thousands of people, and occupies fifty large buildings. It occupies an actual city (Fort Meade, Maryland) with 37,000 cars in its parking lot and 70,000 pieces of mail per day. Its police force has 700 uniformed officers.
Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who won the prize for a book he wrote on Al Qaeda. He was wiretapped after he interviewed Intelligence Chief Michael McConnell and confronted him over wiretapping and waterboarding, then wrote about it in a 15,000 word article in the the January 21, 2008 issue of The New Yorker. Every other major media outlet refused to print the story – including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Wright confronted McConnell in his interview with the fact that he had been wiretapped, and McConnell insisted that if this were true, Wright must have received a call from "some known outfit associated with terrorism." In fact, though, Wright had originated the call, FBI counter-terrorism agents visited him, and accused his daughter of calling terrorists when she was off at college and not even home at the time.
You’re being wiretapped – every phone call and email – and you’re doing nothing about it.
This is Jay Jay’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
Before you read this, keep in mind that it is just an opinion.
Religion has always been a controversial topic. Let me begin by stating a few of my views on the concept of a religion, and why I think religions were created. I believe that people cannot understand how it is possible that Earth and the universe came to be, and they want to live forever in the afterlife. What do people do when they do not understand something or cannot find an answer? The answer is simple: they fabricate their own solution. Enter religion. Below is a list of five faults that I find regarding religion.
Praying is a common practice in almost all religions. It is a way people think they can have a one-way conversation with the god in whom they believe. Whether it is a prayer for happiness or a prayer for a new car, people are desperate to get what they want with as little effort as possible – which is why I think people turn to prayer. The fact is that it doesn’t matter to whom someone prays, the chances of their request coming true is the same in any event. If you can prove me wrong, feel free to respond with a prayer of your own.
An Invisible Man
When I was young, I had my own imaginary friend. He was great to play with, and was the perfect person to go to when I was feeling bored. But as I grew up, I realized that Billy was just a fictional character. God is an imaginary friend of the whole religious world (in my opinion). The only difference is that he purportedly has control of the whole entire universe.
Earth and Human Creation
Do you honestly believe that some god randomly decided to create Earth and humans? If God created the universe, what in the world is the point of other planets? Let’s dive in a little deeper. Christians basically believe that God created humans on Earth with a snap of his fingers. If you compare this to something more believable, such as evolution, you might think to yourself: “Hmm… either humans came out of thin air or they evolved over a long period of time.” (with real evidence backing it up). I don’t know about you, but personally, evolution sounds a whole lot more persuasive.
Heaven and Hell
Ah, the concept of a perfect and peaceful place versus a horrible, fiery, flaming death pit is just wonderful don’t you think? If God loves every person on the Earth, why would he want someone to burn in Hell? On the other hand, if you follow his ten magical rules (the Ten Commandments) and live a good life, you will end up in Heaven for eternity. This introduces a new idea that I have not yet mentioned – fear. Many people accept religion due to the fear that they might go to Hell, or live a horrible life if they do not accept that there is a god. Fear feeds religion like oxygen feeds a fire.
Religion vs. Religion
There are many different religions that are popular in the world today, so why is anyone’s religion the only one that is “correct”? Many might respond: “Well, because it is in the Holy Bible,” or: “Because the other religions are just wrong.” In other words, there is no way to prove that one religion is better than another and that is especially true when one believes that all religions all false. Perhaps I am wrong, but I have yet to find a logical answer proving that religions hold any truth; since there is no confirming evidence currently, it looks like I’ll be staying non-religious for quite a while.