Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Changing blogs

For a number of reasons, I have decided to switch blog sites. I will no longer be posting on this blogger page. Instead, I will be posting on my new wordpress page. See you there.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Marketing of Religion

     Let me start out by saying that I am a Marketing Major. "Advertising Management" to be more specific. This tends to be more of a controversial major and subject because it often has so many negative connotations. For instance, it is true that many of the downfalls of American media and entertainment are directly due to their marketing and promotions. Women strive to be an unrealistic image of "beauty" because this unrealistic image of "beauty" is marketed very effectively. The list goes on.

     What kept religion alive all this time? What kept Christianity thriving? From any angle you look at it, it boils down to marketing. Christianity (along with other religions) are marketed effectively. Possibly the best examples of marketing one can come across.

I look at it this way: with any major or specialty, you can use it for good or you can use it for evil. If one becomes a chemist, he or she can  make a living creating new medicines for sick people (good), or they can create new hard drugs for addicts and become drug dealers (evil). The same concept applies with all specialties, including marketing. One can spread good ideas and messages (good), or one can make a living selling and marketing Power Bracelets and other scams (evil).

Science and reason can be promoted (good), and religion and superstition can be promoted as well (evil).

     Nearly ever tenet of consumer behavior is exploited for the benefit of religious propagation. Appeals to fear with the threat of Hell, appeals to emotion with the idea that Jesus died for you so you should live for him, behavioral influence, celebrity endorsement.. almost every single one except for the sex appeal. One can imagine, though, how religions would be if they allowed themselves to use the sex appeal in their advertising, marketing, and propagation.

     With every new product, there's what's called the "product life cycle." The introductory phase, the growth phase, the maturity phase, and the decline phase. Most products last a few years to a couple decades, while religion has lasted an immense amount of time. Christianity is well past the introductory phase. The parts of it's introduction and beginning story have long come and gone. Over the past couple thousand years, it has spend a lot of its time in the growth phase. More and more people becoming Christian, being loyal to Christianity, and becoming increasingly reluctant to switching brands. Right now, I believe it is safe to say Christianity (and I think religion as a whole) is jumping up and down around the maturity phase. If there weren't new promotions and more market penetration, religion would eventually slip into the decline phase and go out of style. Alas, there are new religious promotions and market penetrations pretty frequently which raises the stocks of religion yet another spike. There new rapture predictions every few years, Noah's Ark is found every few years, religious holidays are sprinkled throughout the year, and every passing year, we are apparently getting ever closer to the "end times." When people start doubting the scriptures, a safeguard comes along and blows the whistle exclaiming that the bible predicted that there would be doubters in the end times, therefore the bible is true... and there is yet another spike.

     Of course, there are competing brands of superstitious belief that exist, such as Islam, Judaism, Hindu, etc. and some of those brands are more competitive than others- wanting a higher share of the market. Like cell phone companies, some will engage in deception, misleading claims, and will always claim their brand to be the best.

     Some major brands and names in the world have smaller companies under them. Christianity has many denominations under its name. The major brands and bigger brands that have been around longer have a higher customer loyalty base than the new brands that come out. Christianity is a big religion, has been around for quite some time, therefore it has many followers. Occasionally there will be knockoff brands, spoofs, frauds, counterfeits, etc. just like how Scientology, Mormonism, and some of the New Age stuff popped out of virtually nowhere. This of course is definitely not to say that the original brands or religions are the best, more real, or more true- but it just goes to show a stiking parallel.

     Religions have simply been the masters of marketing. They utilize almost every human weakness (except sex appeal) and only those who see them for what they really are, are the ones who have the knowledge to break free.

As a Marketing major, I began to see religion as a perfect example of the evils of marketing and the potential it could bring to an entire society of possibly billions of people. If all it takes is marketing to promote such mental atrocities, then marketing can indeed be used for good to promote clear thinking, rationality, and science.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The World Can be Changed With a Single Idea

This is going to be a slightly different blog post; possibly something quite different than any of my other material. It's something I thought of.

The world can be changed with a single idea. All it takes is one person, one mind, one single thought. One person can say "you know what? This would be kinda cool," and from that, a chain of reactions can set off which could revolutionize the world. ("revolutionize" in this sense does not mean start a war against an oppressor).

I feel that people are too silent at times. Someone might have an idea to make something or to improve upon something. Perhaps they are not confident that their idea will be taken seriously. Maybe they are too afraid their idea might fail. Possibly, they tried one time and failed once before and got discouraged.

Or maybe some people simply don't have any ideas at all. Maybe they have no imagination, or possibly severely lacking one.

I've had many ideas in my life- many of which I've acted upon. I've failed many times as well- more times than I've succeeded. My YouTube channel was an idea. After watching a lot of videos, I thought, "you know what? It would be pretty cool if I got involved in this." And now I have a channel with almost 5,000 subscribers. I am currently at a slow point, my last bunch of videos got very few views and I have very little time to make videos anymore, but I'm not discouraged. I have a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

I had an idea to make a parody campaign of creation.com' "Question Evolution" campaign. It started the same way. I also have an idea to start my own website with content completely unrelated to the evolution/creation/theism/atheism game. An idea that I think has the potential to take off and be successful. The machine is turned on and the gears are rolling. If it takes off, you will know. I will look back at this blog post and smile knowing that once again, through a sea of failures, another idea has succeeded yet.

The human mind is too great of an asset to waste. I think time is better devoted to setting good ideas into action, than mindlessly feeding off of and consuming premade concepts.

Just a thought.

And with that said, I couldn't give a shit about Kim Kardashian's love affairs or what's tattooed on Selena Gomez's wrist.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We are Primates

The following is the entire post from Ray Comfort's blog, broken up, with my commentary in between. His words are in quotes.

"“180” is unique from other pro-life movies in that it appeals to the intuitive knowledge that God has given to human beings."

No. It appeals to emotion and the exploitation of loaded questions and false analogies.

"We are not primates as so many of this Darwin-embracing generation believe.  Man is above the beasts in that he has a sense of justice and truth. Animals don’t care about setting up court systems and punishing wrong-doing."
We are primates in every way possible. Primate does not mean shitflinging monkey. Look up what primate means and be amazed. 'Justice' isn't a sense and neither is 'truth,' so no it doesn't set us apart from animals. We have bigger brains and stronger nervous systems and therefore are able to discover more aspects of the universe. Animals don't care about setting up court systems. True. Congrats on that.

"That is unique to human beings because we are made in the image of God. We intuitively know that it’s wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, and to murder."

Yeah because think of how many of us would be around if 150,000 years ago, murder wasn't frowned upon. Please..

"When a person has been brainwashed into being pro-choice—believing that the baby that is growing in the womb isn’t a baby, then termination of this substance isn’t murder at all."
When a person has been brainwasehd into being pro-life-- believing that the substance that is growing in the womb is actually a person, then termination of this person is indeed murder. Gasp!!!

"However, when the person becomes convinced that a “fetus” is a human being, the conscience begins to do its God-given duty and say “You shall not kill.” It’s then up to the individual as to whether or not he or she will listen to its voice."
There's a difference between something that is genetically considered a "human" and something that is considered a "person."

"Notice that this person (after watching it three times) said that her “perspective” changed.  Allow me to change your mind about something of which I think you are probably sure, by giving you another perspective.  Where is up? If you are normal, you will probably point above your head.  But someone from New Zealand (down-under) would tell you that you are actually pointing down.  We live on a big ball called “earth,” and up and down don’t really exist. They are relative to where you are standing on this earth.  This new information gives you knowledge so that you can see things from a different perspective, and therefore change your mind about something of which you were sure a few minutes earlier."

I'm pro-life now

"That’s what “180” does. It gives new information and that gives people another perspective, causing them to change their minds about something of which they were sure just a few minutes earlier."
I think 180 is preaching to the choir. If it changed your mind, great. More power to you. I guess loaded questions and appeals to emotion are still alive and well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

RE: Evolution and Blood

I just love it when Ray Comfort pretends to be and sound scientific only to predictably turn around and willingly shine the spotlight at his own ignorance.

In this article, Ray Comfort explains the blood clotting process in a little detail. I have no problem with this. If he would have stopped at the end, this would have been the most educational piece of work Ray Comfort has ever made. However, that is easily counterbalanced by what he said directly afterwards. He wrote:

If evolution is true, and if this 12-step process didn’t happen in the first generation (i.e., if any one of these specific reactions failed to operate in their exact reaction and order), no creatures would have survived. They all would have bled to death!

Now, he could have made at least a topically compelling argument which would be somewhat up to the standards of other Intelligent Design proponent by saying that the process of blood clotting is irreducibly complex and therefore would have had to have been designed. He could have said that, though it would have been undoubtedly refuted, but he didn't. He chose to go the whole crocoduck route.

If the process didn't happen in the first generation? This is yet another example of him not having the slightest idea of what entails evolution. With evolution, there is no "first generation" which would suddenly have this blood clotting process and gosh it better work correctly otherwise they would have bled to death!! Oh gosh!! No.

This is right up there with his "first dog" evolution story. He famously claimed on the 700 Club (With Pat Robertson) that if evolution is true, than the "first dog" would have had to have two eyes, four legs, a tail, ears, evolved at the right place, at the right time, with the right reproductive organs and a desire to mate. If you don't see what's wrong with this statement, please look up what evolution actually is. Please.

I'm not a biologist so I can't say exactly how blood works or how it evolved. So if someone were to ask me, I would simply say I don't know, and I would refer them to a biologist. Ray Comfort on the other hand is not a biologist (very far from one, might I add), he does not know, he only makes assertions, and he thinks he's right.

This is too easy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christians defending against abortion.. irony?

You can be an atheist who is pro-life. You can be a christian who is pro-choice. Your stance on abortion is just that.

I've heard numerous arguments from all sides of the abortion issue. What I find interesting is people like Ray Comfort who go out of their way to make the 180 Movie, which is a nicely put together but crappy pro-life propaganda video which compares abortions to Hitler and the holocaust. Seen that argument too. However, I find it odd how Christians who take this position (Ray Comfort included) call abortion murder and then call murder a sin.

I understand that they have a big problem with "sins." Ray Comfort has a field day with his "do you think you're a good person" test. But what I don't understand is this: In their view, since God see all sins as equal (lying about your wife not looking fat in those jeans is just as bad as raping and murdering an 11 year old girl in God's eyes), why are they spending so much time on getting people to turn against abortion? They are spending more time on one sin than another. Does that mean... that they are coming to terms with the idea that SOME issues are worse than others? You don't see Ray Comfort making a 180 movie about Theft do you? No. No you don't.

So what I'm saying is that Christians are, once again, being inconsistent. They say that all sins are equal, but spend more time defending against specific sins as opposed to treating them all equally. Make sense? Hope so.