This They Believe

farside godThere Is No God, a thoughtful essay by Penn Jillette:

Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there is no God means the suffering I’ve seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future.

It’s from a radio program called This I Believe, starting on CBC radio May 14.

(via Inside the CBC)

“If You Want History Or Fact From Your Bible, You Are So Screwed”

Penn & TellerPenn & Teller’s television show, Bullshit!*, is about debunking myths, sort of like Mythbusters without the science experiments and with a lot more profanity:

…Penn & Teller have been dying to do a show like this. Confirmed skeptics and pro-science atheists (they refer to God as “an imaginary friend”), these magicians are big fans of the art of debunking.
No matter how popular a form of bullshit is – and regardless of what deep pockets or beloved figures support it – Penn & Teller are pit bulls for the truth, poised to tear down these myths in the most jaw-dropping fashion possible with their trademark wit and off-center comic sensibilities.

Their Topics webpage features lots of clips from past episodes. The Bible segment:

We take on the most sacred of sacred cows: The Bible! We’ll reveal the many discrepancies and contradictions in THE GOOD BOOK. Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t anything that is “divinely inspired” be crystal clear? Did Noah build an ark big enough to hold all those animals? Did Moses part the Red Sea? Did Jesus even exist?

Their presentation, no matter what the subject, is what makes it interesting.

*A side note: Bullshit!’s website is . When I click that link I get a blank web page with the text:

Sorry. We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.

Stupid. I had to use a free proxy server to enable it. Stupid.

Update: The Bible episode is sometimes unavailable from the link noted above. Here’s their episode about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).