Using Kalin’s PDF Creation Station when wp-config.php is in a Non-Standard Location

If you are trying to use my PDF Creation Station WordPress plugin and you have moved your WordPress installation’s wp_config.php file to a different location, the creation script will fail. You can fix this easily (I’m assuming if you know enough to move around your wp_config.php file that you know a little about PHP) if you go into your plugin directory /kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins_pdf_create.php and go to the line, require_once("../../../wp-config.php"); and simply change this to refer to your wp-config.php location.

Even More Atheist-Theist Debate

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post, More Atheist – Theist Debate. Here’s what he had to say about my response:
You responded:”That’s interesting you say, “That stuff is messed up” but that kind of ‘determinism’ is a very common way that Christians see it, and it seems to me that the more devoted a Christian is, the more likely they are to see it that way. I always hear that people should ‘just have faith’ and trust in God and ‘God works in mysterious ways’. I simply took those concepts to their logical conclusion and came to what you called ‘determinism’.”

^ That view of God and “providence” is prevalent, but totally baseless. It’s often the theology of self-consumed “Christians”, who thing the world revolves around them. I find theistic determinism (i.e. classical theism/calvinism) to be even more disturbing then materialistic determinism.

You also commented:”Moral values are one of the things that motivates me to be an Atheist, because when you place all your moral willpower on an invisible Guy In The Sky, the moment you have a little doubt in His existence, your whole moral structure collapses, and you fail to recognize the myriad of biological, emotional, spiritual and logical reasons to be a good person.”
I agree with you that it is (typically) advantageous to “be good” or “do good”, both personally and societally. I believe is good because it IS good, not simply because “God” says it’s good. And I agree with you, people’s decision to do good should be based on their desire for mutual good for all (i.e. their character and compassion/love for others). And I think that many atheists know and do what is right because I think that everyone has been given the grace to discern both good and evil to a greater extent (i.e. conscience).But the flip side of this (like I was mentioning before) is that if there is no “God” and we’re not “accountable” for what we do in this life, then why not do whatever the hell ya want. Maybe Stalin and Manson have it right… Do whatever the hell you want before ya die! Cause it’s all meaningless anyways.

So I replied with:

Okay, you said “I find theistic determinism (i.e. classical theism/calvinism) to be even more disturbing then materialistic determinism.” and that’s cool, but you’re acting as though your disagreement with them somehow means that I shouldn’t be counting them as Christians. If you’re defending Christianity as a whole, you need to accept that there are many Christians who don’t see things exactly the same way you do. You can’t just say that they don’t count because you happen to disagree with some of the details. They’re still coming from the same holy book and the same network of churches.

When you mentioned Stalin, I could have used the same argument. I mean, my website clearly shows that I disagree with Stalin on a fundamental level. I believe that atheism is about (or at least should be about) more than just not believing in God. It’s about replacing your God-based decision making structure with something based on logic, reason, compassion, and of course, science, and it’s about not having blind faith in un-proven concepts. Stalin didn’t really use good psychological science in his overall policy of forcing atheism on people. I mean, you can’t use brute force to affect people’s feelings. It just doesn’t work and basic psychology would have told him that. He supposedly also rejected the theory of evolution, which seems to be a standard atheist rallying point. By this argument, I could say Stalin was not a true atheist, so he doesn’t count. But that would be unfair to the argument, and that would be me simply trying to avoid the real issue of the example of an atheist doing horrible things.

And for your comment, “if there is no “God” and we’re not “accountable” for what we do in this life, then why not do whatever the hell ya want”, I have a few responses.

First, is that this seems like a nice theory, but without real-world examples or statistics, it’s still just a theory. If it were really true, we’d be seeing it happening, and we’d see many violent criminals who don’t have any faith in God, but we don’t.

This may still be a viable theory, however, and I believe it probably is true to a certain extent, particularly with people who are raised on a God-based moral structure, then for some reason suddenly lose their faith in God when they don’t have time to re-evaluate their moral code and motivations. However, if you’ve read my page 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime, I have 22 counter-theories that I think turn the scales in the other direction.

Third is that many religions, including Christianity, don’t actually hold people accountable for their actions. I’ve had several very devoted Christians tell me that it’s really just a myth that God rewards or punishes people based on how good they are. Getting into heaven is about accepting Jesus, not about whether or not you actually do good in the world. Granted, most Christians don’t see it this way, and do equate heaven and hell with good and evil deeds, but I’ve been told by people actually quoting scripture that it’s about what you believe, not about what you do. So in a way, your argument is based on the assumption that people are not going to be absolutely true to their religion.

I also had this random comment about bees:

Have you ever watched bees coming and going from a bee hive and wondered what they’re thinking? Do they have a God that has been taught to them by the queen and they’re collecting pollen out of a desire to avoid retribution in the afterlife? I’m certainly no biologist, but I think they are just doing “whatever the hell they feel like” in a world where “everything is permitted”. It just happened that their biology tells them to support the hive and that’s what they want to do more than anything else. I believe this is inherently the same with humans. We are a hive culture. We need each other for our basic survival and comfort so we’ve been hard-wired with a desire to support the greater good, because supporting each other and helping our society grow is how we’ve survived and thrived as a species. I believe that religions and governments too often teach us to ignore these hard-wired desires.

Unfortunately I haven’t heard back from this person since I wrote this :(



Here are a few more blog posts about my theory that religion promotes crime:

New study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour
Religion vs Methamphetamines
Masturbation, Homosexuality, and Christian Impostors
Atheists Don't Believe in Love?
Religious Criminals are Liars?
Response to 22 Ways
More Atheist-Theist Debate
Jeffrey Dahmer Interview Segment
Crime is not Logical
About My Page, 22 Ways

More Atheist-Theist Debate

Yesterday I posted a video (Jeffrey Dahmer Interview: Segment 1) someone had sent me along with my response where I wandered off on a tangent about the attitudes I had back when I used to be a heavy believer in God and spirits. Here’s his response:

Sounds a little like theistic determinism as well (all ends well, because God’s in control and everything happens for a reason – ultimately a good reason). That stuff is messed up. 

I’m a freewill theist (not a Classical theist or Calvinist). And I tend to lean toward Open Theism or an open view of the future. I’m probably a year or two from working it all out and probably affirming it as part of my beliefs about reality.
It appears (from what the father was saying) they weren’t a “Christian family” (more like irreligious), at least when Dahmer was growing up. But that article’s pretty interesting, and that church obviously had affects on the family/upbringing.

And I replied with this:

That’s interesting you say, “That stuff is messed up” but that kind of ‘determinism’ is a very common way that Christians see it, and it seems to me that the more devoted a Christian is, the more likely they are to see it that way. I always hear that people should ‘just have faith’ and trust in God and ‘God works in mysterious ways’. I simply took those concepts to their logical conclusion and came to what you called ‘determinism’.

As for Jeffrey Dahmer, yes his family was not quite as religious as say, Ted Bundy’s, (his abusive father was the Deacon of their church until about age 5), but Dahmer still attended church regularly until age 5, which is when most of our world views form their foundations, and most people I know (some of whom still think I’m crazy for claiming God doesn’t exist) would never take their kids to church. And Dahmer was quite adamant at the end of the video that you can’t really care about right and wrong if you don’t have a God to hold you accountable. I have met many religious individuals, but I have never actually met, in person (that I know of), someone who was so hard-core with their belief in God that they actually felt you couldn’t be good without Him. I’ve seen this theory a number of times on the internet, of course. But it’s clearly statistically untrue. Moral values are one of the things that motivates me to be an Atheist, because when you place all your moral willpower on an invisible Guy In The Sky, the moment you have a little doubt in His existence, your whole moral structure collapses, and you fail to recognize the myriad of biological, emotional, spiritual and logical reasons to be a good person.

My next post will continue this discussion tomorrow: Even More Atheist-Theist Debate



Here are a few more blog posts about my theory that religion promotes crime:

New study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour
Religion vs Methamphetamines
Masturbation, Homosexuality, and Christian Impostors
Atheists Don't Believe in Love?
Religious Criminals are Liars?
Response to 22 Ways
Even More Atheist-Theist Debate
Jeffrey Dahmer Interview Segment
Crime is not Logical
About My Page, 22 Ways

Jeffrey Dahmer Interview Segment

Someone sent this video to me about Jeffrey Dahmer as an example of how atheism can cause violence, since Dahmer talks about his belief that you can’t be a good person without God.

Here’s the rambling, disjointed response I sent back:

Hmmm… well, the video clearly showed that he was definitely a believer, raised in a religious household. His atheism amounted to a couple years that his father “fell away” from the idea of a creator. Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t seem to be anything close to an atheist. Are there any examples out there of murderers who were raised in non-religious households and/or chose not to believe in God for a notable portion of their lives?

According to this page:  http://www.adherents.com/people/pd/Jeffrey_Dahmer.html There’s a consensus that Dahmer had a deep hatred for homosexuals, yet he was a homosexual himself, and the video made it clear that he felt as a child it was something to repress. What could have instilled him with that attitude if not Christian anti-gay values?
He also mentioned accountability for actions, but that is exactly what motivates me and many other atheists, is accountability for actions. I recall around the turn of the century, when I became a hard-core believer in God, I felt like anything I did didn’t matter. My old desire to make the world a better place just kind of drifted away because I figured that God would take care of everything, and if I did something to hurt someone or hurt society I felt like I could just shrug it off because I had been following God (or The Great Spirit – I kinda had different names for Him), and letting Him guide my decisions, and figured any harm I did must be part of His plan. It felt absolutely wonderful, I’ll admit, but looking back I realize my main motivation was to avoid that sense of urgent responsibility I’d always had to help prevent things like global warming and nuclear war.
I remember one article I wrote during that time for my first website was about serial killers and I said, “Hey, whatever floats your boat”. I figured they’re all just a part of this big, magical experience and we should embrace the bad along with the good because it all has a purpose and it all serves to balance everything out. I wasn’t promoting serial killing for sure, but I essentially said that if you are certain it’s what’s right for you, then go for it. It’ll just help make the world more interesting in the long run, and the spirits must have some purpose for you and some reason behind it. I removed the article after a few months upon re-reading and re-thinking it, and now I can’t believe that I seriously used to think that way. That’s just one way the concept of God and spirits warped my sense of reality. I have a bunch of other examples too. It’s what was going on in my head during that time, more than anything else, that makes me such a devoted atheist now.
Tomorrow I will continue this discussion: More Atheist-Theist Debate.

Dumb Things Americans Believe – Newsweek

Dumb Things Americans Believe – Newsweek. Examples of just how insane the voters are in America. If Obama really is a Muslim and Saddam really did have WMDs, then how are these things being covered over? We’re talking conspiracies on the epic scale. In a world like that you pretty much have to assume everything anyone says to you is a lie and just go on believing (and voting on) whatever your Hollywood and religion filled mind feels like believing.

Perhaps believing that police and criminal justice are counter-productive to peace on earth and crime prevention is not so crazy after all… except for the fact that people gauge “crazy”, not on the amount of logic and reasoning that’s used to come to a conclusion, but by how popular that conclusion is.

Thou shalt place thyself into the perspectives of others

I ran into some old writings from a religion I tried to start years ago called Kalinism. Pretty funny idea, I must admit, and most of the pieces to my religion were lost when my old website was stolen from me by an advertising robot. However, the idea here is not such a bad idea and worth re-posting here. This is commandment 10. If I remember correctly, I got up into the 20’s before I decided to change their name from ‘commandments’ to ‘recommendations’.

Commandment 10

Thou shalt place thyself into the perspectives of others.

Being able to understand the motivations and emotions of others is very important to understanding and dealing with the world in which we live, and is very important for people to get along with each other with so many widely varying viewpoints. As a result, a good Kalinist must strive every day to not only understand the perspectives of others, but to feel those perspectives for himself. Essentially, you are expected to at least occasionally imagine that you are someone else, and to really feel the emotions of that person, and to examine the cause and effect that caused that person to evolve.

Doing this will help build a stronger community, as people will be more understanding of each other, and having a better understanding of various common viewpoints will help you to figure out your own.

But this commandment is even more important with people you dislike. It might seem evil or wrong to imagine yourself as a Nazi or child molestor,and to feel those kind of emotions, but you must have faith that understanding the thoughts and feelings of horrible people is condusive to helping cure those people, despite how creepy and wrong it may feel… however, you should also have the confidence in yourself to know that you will come back from those feelings, and that you will use them to help understand and to put an end to the types of actions in the world that harm the Happiness Graph.

Under Kalinism, it is not acceptable to merely say, “Oh, well, that person is just stupid”, or “that person is just evil and corrupt”. You must always think deeper than that, and examine what specifically caused the person–using REAL WORLD cause and effect–to come to make the choices that they’ve made.

In order for the human race to attain peace, we must have understanding and compassion, and allow basic human dignity for even the most monstrous of people.

How to End All Fear-Based Crime

Yesterday I posted a new true story called Alekson about a couple Wiccan/Pagan friends and a little fight they had over the spells and “auras” they were throwing at each other. Normally with stories this dramatic I will change the names of the players, but this time their names are an important part of the story.

In my opinion there are two very important aspects to this story. The first is obvious: belief in spirits, magic, telepathy and other supernatural entities can have deeply disturbing psychological impacts on individuals. I think I’ve re-hashed this point enough on this website, so I’ll let the story speak for itself in that regard.

The second point is about how I believe the human race has the ability to put an end to all fear-based crimes such as muggings, holdups, bank-robberies and even some car-jackings, if all victims of these crimes were to have the courage that my friend Allison showed as a maniac was pressing a knife to her throat and screaming in her face.

We have this pervasive attitude in our culture that says that if someone threatens you, it’s okay to do whatever they say, even while we know that this is what the criminal is relying on. This attitude opens all kinds of doors for criminals. One of the most profound examples for me is the fact that the Nazi gas chambers were run almost entirely by Jewish people after threats of a death that was not as painful as what they were doing to their own people. Why do we never hear anyone discussing the moral implications of this?

I once read a book called What Cops Know, which was nothing more than a collection of interview transcripts from police officers. One of the officers mentioned that he could not understand why anyone would get in a car with someone who had a gun to their head. If they’re willing to put a gun to your head, chances are they’re willing to kill you, and why else would they want you to get in the car if not to take you somewhere that’s more convenient to kill you?

But my friend had the right idea in my opinion. The maniac in this story was not asking very much from her, yet she still refused, putting her own life in danger simply to teach him that you can’t get what you want through threats. If we were to teach this attitude in society as opposed to teaching obedience, and if people were to simply make a stand against threats of violence, we could make a major difference in the quantity and destructiveness of many crimes. This would empower the people, reduce our fear levels, and teach personal responsibility. Instead we are taught to be ruled by fear and to think only of ourselves when our lives are in danger, and to place our expectations of protection on outside governmental forces instead of on our own wits and courage. Until this changes we will continue to be victims of these kinds of crimes, we will continue to live in fear and will continue to have that fear used against us.

YouTube – Trapped in an elevator for 41 hours

I read the article about this guy after watching this and learned that there had been security guards tending to their station, seeing this over the weekend, but this guy was so calm and normal that they never thought anything was wrong with him. Sometimes people should recognize when it’s necessary to break the rules and take off all your clothes to try and get some attention.