May 01

RDFRS: When "Respectable" Supernatural Beliefs Come Home to Roost.

Feb 13

So with the organised crime connection to the horse meat scandal why haven’t they told us the results of the tests for human DNA in those burgers and lasagne?

Jul 12

Jesus and Mo.

Jul 07

Under the tutelage of the estimable Eric MacDonald, I have spent several weeks reading Christian theology. And so far, I have learned only three things:

[1] I am spending my middle age reading drivel about beliefs that have no basis in fact. This seems a total waste of time. I could be reading books about real things instead.

[2] Theologians can’t write. A lot of what they have to say is postmodern or obscure bafflegab, and I’m starting to believe that this obscurantism is deliberate because of reason 3 (below). I have for example, just opened my book (An Introduction to Christian Theology, edited by Roger A. Badham) to a random chapter, which turned out to be “Process theology and the current church struggle” by John B. Cobb, Jr. (Process theology holds that god is not immutable but changes over time, and so does his creation, not totally under his direction.) And there I find this, in a discussion of Alfred North Whitehead (one of the founders of this “school”):

But each occasion transcends the
causality of the past by responding to
it with more or less originality.
This requires that physical
prehensions are supplemented by
“conceptual” ones. Thus, in addition
to prehending past events, an occasion
also takes account of possibilities
ingredient in those events or closely
related to them. Just how it relates
these possibilities to the actualities
it feels is its “decision.” That
means that in a situation that is
inherently indeterminate, there is a
determinate outcome Other
possibilities are cut off.

Believe me, the book contains paragraphs far more obscure and pretentious than this one. Can you imagine reading this stuff night after night? Do you see why my head feels about to explode? Eric, why are you doing this to me?

Read on [From Why am I reading theology? – Jerry Coyne – WEIT]

I’ve debated with religionists online sometimes, and it doesn’t take long before they start ‘speaking in tongues’ 🙂 Pure gibberish. And they don’t seem to realise it. Must be a brain thing.

Oct 01

Thanks to -DRF for the link

Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.
On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.
Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.

“Even after all these other factors, including education, are taken into account, atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons still outperform all the other religious groups in our survey,” said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew. That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair. “I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people,” Mr. Silverman said. “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.” … continue reading [From Atheists excel in religious knowledge – Laurie Goodstein – The New York Times]

The first thing one discovers when one tries to debate with a religionist is that they don’t know anything. Not even about their own religion. Religion is fuelled by and requires ignorance.

Sep 17

(news/international/pope-congratulated-on-size-of-his-balls-201009173095/) POPE Benedict was congratulated on the sheer heft and girth of his testicles last night after the former Hitler Youth member said atheists were Nazis and accused Richard Dawkins of plotting a new holocaust. [From POPE CONGRATULATED ON SIZE OF HIS BALLS]

Hilarious 🙂

Sep 13

Religion’s voice is that of a spoiled child having a temper tantrum.

I have been accused by PalMD of lacking empathy for believers; that’s not quite right. My response to the Islamic uproar over the Florida preacher who was planning to burn the Koran on 11 September was to say that that’s too bad, we have a right to destroy our own property, and that the responses people were making to this trivial event were hysterical and inappropriate.

Informing me that the Muslims are genuinely and sincerely and deeply offended is not informative — contrary to the suggestion that I must have an empathy deficit to be unaware of that, I know that and appreciate the fact that their feelings are hurt and they are angry and outraged. My point is that I don’t care, and neither should anyone else. The Abrahamic religions are all about fostering that feeling of oppression, even when it isn’t there, and hearing yet another one of the more deranged members of the People of the Book whine that we show insufficient respect for their mythology gives me the same feeling of exasperation I felt when my small children would wail about not getting a candy bar in the grocery store. Fine, you can be mad about your deprivation, but that does not obligate me to serve your whims.

Read on [From Sunday Sacrilege: Respect is not the same as obedience – PZ Myers – Pharyngula]

Well said.

Sep 11

This week the pope is in London. You will have your own views on the discrimination against women, the homophobia, and the international criminal conspiracy to cover up for mass child rape. My special interest is his role in the 2 million people who die of Aids each year.

In May 2005, shortly after taking office, the pope made his first pronouncement on Aids, and came out against condoms. He was addressing bishops from South Africa, where somebody dies of Aids every two minutes; Botswana, where 23.9% of adults between 15 and 49 are HIV positive; Swaziland, where 26.1% of adults have HIV; Namibia (a trifling 15%); and Lesotho, 23%.

This is continuing. In March 2009, on his flight to Cameroon (where 540,000 people have HIV), Pope Benedict XVI explained that Aids is a tragedy “that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”. In May 2009, the Congolese bishops conference made a happy announcement: “In all truth, the pope’s message which we received with joy has confirmed us in our fight against HIV/Aids. We say no to condoms!”

Read on [From Pope’s anti-condom message sabotages fight against AIDS – Ben Goldacre – Guardian]

A very evil man.

Sep 06

The wretchedness of door-to-door evangelists. [From Drunk on religion – Pat Condell – You Tube]

Aug 22

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