A really trashy troll
I normally don't get too bothered by trolls - don't feed them is good advice, and responding IS feeding - but one of this species has truly angered me with his nastiness. I refer to an individual using the internet nickname 'CartesianTheist' or 'TheCartesianTheist'.
Let me be quite clear - I did not like Thatcher. Let me be crystal - I come from a mining town in the North-West of England. My politics are left-wing and Thatcher became PM when I became of voting age - I really did not like her....ya getme? Naturally people have been asking me if I'm partying now she has died or whether I bought a copy of the 'ding dong the witch is dead' that seems to be the most organised show of defiance.
Carey - whining tosser
Now ex-archbish Carey has joined the growing list of whining gits who are crying about 'discrimination' against Christians.
It makes me SOOOOO angry......
As an atheist I HAVE been discriminated against. Not so much nowadays, but in my younger days I was set-upon several times and had disapproval openly directed at me by authority figures, including teachers.
The most senior Catholic in the UK has been forced to resign amidst rumours of homosexual acts with fellow clergy. O'Brien recently hit the news with his vitriolic comments concerning Gay marriage, comparing it to slavery, proving that good old-fashioned hypocrisy is alive and well in the Catholic clergy.
So, it seems that Ratzinger has decided to resign as Pope. I'm not sure if there is a precedent for this - I'll check later - but it is certainly very unusual.
He is, as many know, widely despised by those, like myself, who consider him to have been the most important and influential figure behind a policy of cover-up, denial, intimidation and just plain lying, that was the Vatican response to the child-rape scandal as it began to break.
It has been quite amusing watching a large number of politicians wriggle and squirm over the last few days, as the issue of gay marriage finally comes to a vote in the House of Commons.
Many Tories, and a few others, are hostile - no surprise there. The amusement - at times positive hilarity - has come from watching these posturing fools desperately try to find a way to say that they are NOT homophobic bigots.
So the Italians have decided to lock-up scientists. Specifically they have imprisoned 6 scientists six years each, for failing to warn about the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009.
The outrageous guilty verdict could only, surely, have negative consequences. Certainly if I were an Italian vulcanologist studying Etna, I would be thinking seriously about a career move, or at least a change of active research project.
Nick Clegg almost right shock
Nick Clegg is not someone I have any particular admiration for. I think his decision to enter coalition with the Tories was self-serving and actually profoundly undemocratic - despite all his atempted justifications.
A couple of days ago, however, Clegg very nearly got a point of principle correct. I say very nearly, because once it became clear that expressing that point of principle was going to get unconfortable, he dropped it like a hot coal.
Shameless Bigots in Frocks
Members of the Scottish Catholic Crew spouted their bigotry from the pulpit last weekend (26th Aug 2012), launching a concerted attack on the plans to introduce gay marriage in the Scottish Parliament. It would actually be funny were it not so damn irritating. What a bunch of hypocritical, un-self-aware bigoted tossers they really are.
Can we agree on one thing?
I'd like to suggest, to theists and atheists alike, that we agree on one thing, and that we do so for sound, pragmatic and ultimately self-serving reasons, if not for higher principle.
This is what I would like us to agree - stop using the term Intelligent Design as anything other than a synonym for 'creationism'. Now, before anyone reads something into this which is NOT THERE, let me elaborate.
One of the most frequent charges laid against me, in various debates, is that of being a 'militant' or 'strident' atheist. I find this a little ironic because it invariably happens in forums which exist for such debates - on, against or about theism, so what do people expect me to say and why do they think I'm posting at all? I also find it annoying because it carries the implication that religious faith is, somehow, a taboo area and by criticizing it I am, at the very least, being insensitive. This special pleading needs to stop.
Few groups in society are as hypocritical as the religious, yet this hypocrisy is often lauded and rarely, if ever, challenged. Most people will be able to recall instances of this. Think of the survivor of a plane-crash or other tragedy who blithely states that they 'thank God' for their survival, or assert that 'God must have been watching over me'.
I have never had much time for theologians. As far as I am concerned, the granting of degrees and postgraduate qualifications in 'theology' cheapens academia and devalues real academic qualifications.
My disdain turned to disbelief and then contempt, however, when I fairly recently became aware of the latest 'trend' in Christian apologetics /theology - presuppositionalism.
People sometimes ask me if my view of religion is unremittingly bleak - whether, in short, I see any 'good points'. The honest answer is yes, and here are some of those points:
i. I am a lover of religious architecture and can happily spend large amounts of time wandering around old churches and cathedrals.e good points:
Here in the UK discrimination against atheists is now, thankfully, becoming a thing of the past. That is not to say that it has completely disappeared - there are still some bigoted idiots who really think that atheists are immoral simply because they do not believe in a magic sky-fairy. We also have to put up with religious leaders spewing their anti-atheist bile in the national media. Their efforts to scaremonger would be pathetic, were it not for the fact that some people apparently take them seriously.
Apparently the answer is when their bigotry is religiously inspired. As a society we seem to have some profound double-standards. Currently the Church of England are debating (or more accurately, avoiding debating) the issue of whether women priests should be allowed to become Bishops. Can ANYONE think of another context where this would be acceptable?
Religiosity vs honesty
As a confirmed atheist, and occasional anti-theist, I have been debating religion with the religious for over 30 years. I cut my teeth debating Jesuits - and my deep antipathy towards the Catholic Church does not cloud my memory of just how good they were in debate. Here's the thing though - I began to notice that the more religious a debating opponent was, the more likely they were to be routinely dishonest in debate.
Anyone who has been out of the Solar System for the past decade might not yet be aware that Creationism (the dumbest form of Christianity and Islam) is on the rise. The movement is essentially an American creation (ouch), and you can trace the history in a considered article on the matter HERE.
Texas Must Go
I've just spend an hour reading a document that had me alternating between incredulity, anger and disbelief. The document concerned is the Platform document of the Republican party in the state of Texas - by far the largest party in the state.
So what got me so worked-up? Well, I've known for some time that Texans tend to be, to put it kindly, dim. This document, however, takes it to a new level.
I am SICK of smiling idiots preaching 'respect for beliefs' - absolutely arse-grindingly SICK of it. If these morons had an ability to THINK that matched their ability to vocalize CRAP, then a moment of thought would tell them what a dangerous, idiotic message that actually is.
Should we respect the belief that sex with 11yr olds is fine? No? So clearly not ALL beliefs should be respected.