Pumpkin Spice Latte of DOOM!

I’m so very, very tired of the scare tactics used about GMO, FDA, Vaccines, corporations, etc., etc..

Here’s an example:

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Scare Tactics

On the surface, it looks so very scary, using bold text to make sure that the scary bits are emphasized.

I’ll highlight a few of the more questionable parts.  “After really putting the pressure on, I was finally able to get the complete list, but it wasn’t easy” and “Case In Point: You’ll get 2 doses of Class IV Caramel Coloring” (the later is in absolutely huge text, because we can’t simply read, we have to be beaten over the head with the scariness).

Then there’s a nice picture that has a series of bullet points, using scary terms like “made with ammonia and considered a carcinogen”, and my personal favorite “Ambiguous Natural Flavors that can be made from anything found on earth”.

It goes on and on, and continues to add more and more scary language and references.

The issue here is this… Most of this is just hyperbole to enhance your fear.  There are many a logical fallacy at issue here.

Let’s take a look at the snopes breakdown of this, what I’m now terming the pumpkin spice latte of doom, because I’m scared of it now.

Snopes take on the pumpkin latte of doom

Note that, right off the bat the ingredients are readily available, and in fact you can do a build-your-own style nutrition count, letting you put in size, milk (or non-milk) type, and whipped or non-whipped cream.  This seems to fly right in the face of the claims of this so-called foodbabe.

Not addressed in the snopes article are claims like the “made from anything found on earth,” and I, for one, couldn’t be more scared!  Perhaps there is some sort of controlling body that could protect us from them flavoring our beverage with arsenic and dog feces!  Who will protect us from the addition of lead?  Oh, wait, I remember now, the FDA.  Food products must be verifiably tested to be safe for human consumption, you can’t simply make something out of “anything found on earth”.

Now, just fair warning, I heard from an starbucks ex-employee’s cousin’s friend that if you don’t drink a vegan soy chai from starbucks, you’ll get goiters!  Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Did you know Tom Cruise is a scientologist?

The title is a joke, not a joke in the sense that he’s a scientologist, I knew this, but a joke as a preface for the rest of this entry.

Often, I see or hear of people that are believers of religion X or Y. To be fair, I also see or hear of people that are atheist, there are big lists you can look up.  I used to care, but I don’t anymore, and here’s why (well, I still sort of do on the atheist side, but I’ll explain that later)…

So, let’s take an example… When I was a kid, raised in Utah, not mormon, a girl I was interested in invited me to go see a band she liked.  This was not done on the up and up, it wasn’t stated that it was at a church or involved church, it was just to meet the band.  She knew I wasn’t mormon, and I knew she was.  Well, it turns out that this was what is commonly called a “fireside” (quotes aren’t for emphasis, it’s because there was no fire involved).  The band that was there was the Jets (anyone remember the Jets… anyone?).

The band didn’t play any music (which is good, as I was there because I was interested in the girl, not the band), but instead simply told parables of how their own faith has been strengthened through experiences.  And, for those playing the home game, this comes to my point.  The logical fallacy here is anecdotal.

This is the entire point of people telling you that Chuck Norris is a christian and believes in biblical creationism.  They’ll point out that Donny and Marie (and the rest of the Osmonds, but we can forget about them, they aren’t famous) are mormons.  Or, to a smaller scale, they’ll tell you that some person you know is of religion X or Y. As though that should cause any sway of personal belief.

But, we shouldn’t care!  What does any of that have to do with any reason for becoming a believer?  These people are just people. Famous, or well known, or just someone you know personally has no bearing on why you should be a believer.

In fact, many famous people act horribly, and are of some faith or another. Just look at Mel Gibson, if there ever was an anecdotal reason to not be a christian, it’s him.

As to the list of atheists, and why I still care a little about those lists, I care because it’s people we teach about, because they were contributors to society in some important way.  People like Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Sartre, Neil Degrasse-Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Alfred Nobel, and the list goes on…

Oh, I believe in Crom, tell your friends…

the mysteries of god (or god, what an ass)

“God works in mysterious ways”

*sigh* sure.

I love the quote by Epicurus:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?  Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

It’s not infrequent that I see on my social media feeds people dragging god out as the answer for the great things that have happened to them, things like finding a lost knick knack, or having a loved one (or themselves) recover from some hospital stay requiring malady. Yet, all the horrible things that happen out of sight are forgotten.  Starvation, rape, torture, kidnapping, tsunami, earthquakes, murder, mayhem, theft, and the list goes on and on.

I cannot fathom a just god, unwilling to provide some sort of measurable evidence of his existence, looking out for your long lost signed Ratt poster, and letting all the other stuff happening to people worldwide just slide.

I realize I’m simplifying, and poking fun.  Many people thank god for the “large” things in their own personal life.  Things like family and friends.  Those things are worthy of being thankful for.  Why though are you so “blessed” when others are living a life of abject terror and suffering?  Why, if god has all the power, can he listen to your prayers to bless your food, and somehow does not prevent child rape?  Why do we hear people thank god for the return of their terrified, and brutalized family member, who likely will never recover mentally?  Why didn’t god step in, in the first place?

 How is that god just?  Oh, I forgot, he just works in mysterious ways, and I shouldn’t question. *wanders off to thank god for the latest touchdown*

god ain’t got no checks and balances

Georgia student’s family disowns and assaults him in nightmarish gay ‘intervention’ video

People can make “No True Scotsmen” arguments all they want, but, the fact is that in the world of religion, there are NO checks and balances. One persons interpretation (or that of many people) cannot be validated or dismissed. 

The parents in this 
video quite obviously feel justified by their god in doing what they’re doing, and that’s horrible. I love many people that are religious, but I don’t love religion. You can have spirituality, but the moment you feel justified in treating another living thing as less than, etc., then your religion is horrible. 

Utah has a very high teen suicide rate (5th in the nation according to a ksl article, which I’ll link below), and according to another source I found, up to 1/3 of those are homosexual teens. We cannot treat these people like they are diseased! We cannot tell them it’s ok to be gay, but just don’t have feelings for anyone that your biology tells you to. Even the Mormon church is now admitting that homosexuality isn’t a choice, yet they continue to tell them “It’s ok, as long as you don’t do gay things”

That’s nearly as bad. Imagine that someone told you that the feelings you had for your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend were bad, or evil. Sure, they acknowledge that you were born that way, but you can’t BE that way.

As an atheist, my morals come from my own place. I know that things are wrong, because I can empathize. I don’t have to have some book (or books) provide my moral compass! I don’t have to have religious leaders telling me what’s right and what’s wrong. I come from a simple place of “Would I like to be treated that way?” If the answer is no, then it’s simple, I don’t treat a person that way.

I look forward to the time that homosexuality is treated the same way as all of the stupid, horrible treatments of people we’ve already decided are wrong. I look forward to the day when those that continue to tell homosexuals that how they live is wrong are relegated to the ‘racists’ and ‘bigots’, like racists are now.

What side of history are you going to be on?

(References: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24937434 http://mormonstories.org/teen-suicide-in-utah/)