I Get Mail – Why I haven’t been blogging

Well a few people asked me why I haven’t been keeping up with my prolific blogging as normal.

The sad fact of the matter is that I have PTSD and that it sometimes becomes very hard to feel like doing anything.

I was extremely depressed because of the way my parents behaved. I was shocked and appalled and it made me depressed. I had a “bad time” ™. It’s a beast I struggle with daily. I normally have it under control, this is the first time I have felt it’s lash in nearly 4 years. [Read more…]

Vulture Brigade

There is a tendency among a lot of people who cannot understand a tragedy to utilise it to strengthen their delusional world view.

The Boston Marathon Attack has had these “fine” outstanding individuals come boiling out of the woodwork. They cannot accept any such attack without a nefarious plot (well more nefarious than kill random people) by government officials to benefit from this.

[warning]The following contains debunking and gory and traumatic pictures. Read it if you wish to see the true depths to which idiots will sink.[/warning] [Read more…]

Hags of Lag – You Called?

If you haven’t heard it elsewhere then you should know that Anita Sarkeesian’s series on Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is up…

If you haven’t heard about it then here are some simple facts. Anita is a feminist. Anita wanted to analyse a hobby notorious for it’s racism and sexism. Which is “Videogames”.

When she pointed out she was going to do this the response was not positive. She was subject to a campaign of harassment and bullying (because nothing says “No Sexism” like screaming “Shut Up Bitch”) which ironically lead to more people hearing about her project and kickstarting her project so hard that it expanded to “ridiculous levels”. Some of the arguments were vile. Some of them were the old “There are Starving Children in Africa and You Want to Donate to Frivolity” Arguments. Charity One-Upmanship and Overt Sexism proved the need for such a project.

So come the new year the ugly head of the naysayers began rattling again. There were plans from people to report her for breaking the terms of her Kickstarter because she had posted a image of her next to a pile of games. The muckraking began again.

Guess what? The first episode of her series is out.

Age of Kali – Moral Police

The Indian rule of mob is well known. When my bus ran over a drunken pedestrian who slipped and fell into traffic the result was the entire population of the bus doing a collective hit and run and fleeing the scene. I didn’t. Me and a few other medical students tried (well succeeded) in saving the man’s life.

It was my first run in with India’s “Moral Police”. The Moral Police is the impromptu mob that forms to fight perceived injustice or immorality. It is the worst aspects of “speaking as a mother” and lynch mob mentality put together. A mob had formed to “avenge” the unknown drunkard and the only visible victims for their justice were the blood soaked medics who had saved a man’s life. Medicine has the kind of power to deflect these mobs (No one wants to irk the people who can save your life) so in  this case the white coats prevailed over the mob, but it could have very easily turned into this.

If the link is down? TL:DR in an incident of Moral Policing, a muslim woman and a hindu man were attacked by a mob for travelling together.

On Wednesday night a group of 20 individuals attacked the two individuals who were believed to fit the dubious indian concept of “misbehaving”. Which is apparently “Two people travelling together of different genders and maybe different religions”. Because forming an angry mob to beat the crap out of two people is perfectly moral but people with different genitals hanging out together is totally wrong.

This could be “politics” as usual but it could just as well be a bunch of people who went out looking for trouble based on the perceived destruction of morality. It’s happened before. Usually fast food joints, “western” clothing stores and people in clubs and bars feel the righteous sting of these pillars of the community. Most infamously is the assault on Valentine’s Day which has become an annual practice.

This is nothing. This is par for the course for this kind of behaviour.

This also didn’t really make the papers.

If that goes down? Well… Two people fell in love and got married. Aww… The problem is one of them was a high caste girl and the boy was a dalit (Graphic Photos are linked here). A harijan. An untouchable.

What ensued was the formation of the morality police who even held their own goddamn court to decide to break up this marriage. The police stepped in (rightly) to protect the couple. The mob decided to take revenge by torching and robbing the dalit community in Naikkankottai in the Dharmapuri district. A 268 homes were destroyed in the violence.

Why? Because of caste. Because the perceived shame of a man whose daughter married an untouchable. In that shame and loss of honour he committed suicide. The Morality Police don’t see it as “two people who love each other getting married and a some idiot behaving like a spoilt brat” but “Untouchable steals woman to sexually violate. Stupid girl doesn’t know anything. Father kills self because his honour is besmirched. Let’s go beat some uppity untouchables and steal their shit.”.

This is unacceptable. It’s nearly 70 years after Gandhi’s dalit army marched for Indian independence. Where the Harijans (Children of God) laid their lives on the line for India as a whole. The fact remains that most harijans still face incredible discrimination. (edit – I noted a lot of statements about the Gandhi Harijan dealie. I was unaware of this issue. The OP will still stand but I accept that perhaps Gandhi isn’t the best example of uplift considering his rather quaint beliefs.)

And it won’t change. Caste is still going strong, especially in the digital age. There is too much money in the politics of caste for it to be stamped out. It is a lead weight on the progress of India as a country. If you must have honour then we should be disappointed. There is more shame in Indians still follow this bullshit than in two people loving each other.

A New Cardinal Sin – Congratulations on Being A Bigot

It’s official! British GLBT charity Stonewall has declared the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in the UK as this year’s bigot. Needless to say the Catholic Church is not pleased. Why would they be? It’s negative propaganda and the Catholic Church are hurting in Europe. Already widely pilloried for the systemic abuse the Catholic Church is not in the best shape in the UK.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien is a bigot. His statements on gay marriage being legalised in Scotland prompted me to write the Church a letter, but to be recognised as a bigot publically helps. Yes, Christians who complained about this are MAD. Not because it’s a lie but because it’s the truth. Because it makes them look bad. The bigot category of the awards given out included people who actively denied the rights to gay people. These aren’t people who “disagree”, these are people who would be happy to stop gay people being treated as human beings.

What I am disappointed in is Barclays and Coutts who sponsor Stonewall. They have spoken out against the “bigot” award and their stance has been championed by groups such as Christian Concern. I bank with Barclays… I am deeply disappointed. I understand why a multinational bank doesn’t want to sponsor an award that pisses off the world’s biggest christian sect and thus lose money through strongarm tactics but I get the feeling that a lot of Barclays employees and customers would agree with Stonewall.

Do not confuse politeness for submissiveness. There are bigots and fools across the planet and if we don’t specifically define them for what they are then we validate their arguments. Cardinal Keith is not “my respected opponent”, he is a bigot. A homophobe. He is a wanker and should be treated as such because he shouldn’t be given the respect he recieves based on his imaginary friend and his imaginary taste in fashion.

Everytime I hear about “Gay marriage” all that goes through my head is “WHY! WHY! WHY SHOULD I EVEN CARE?”. Because this is not even something we should debate. Legalising gay marriage won’t change anything for me. It won’t change anything for the 92 to 94% of us who are straight. It changes things for just 6 to 8% of us. Most of us will go through our lives never being invited for a gay marriage. We won’t have to do anything except go “Hm? Oh? Your other half is Steve? Goodness! How daft of me!”. Legalising gay marriage doesn’t mean that you are going to get a post about me going “That’s it! Legalised Gay Marriage made me Gay. I am now marrying Ricki Martin in a shock twist that even the Papparazi didn’t see coming! FIERCE and other stereotypically gay things I learnt from watching a lot of Will and Grace.

But then again… It does explain why I really like Glee.

So I (and I am sure all of FTB) would like to congratulate Cardinal Keith O’Brien for winning The Bigot of the Year Award (Category Homophobe). I would take the time to write him and the church another letter but I figured I should fight homophobia through something very nerdy, very gay and very very welsh…

Oh yes… It’s Torchwood Time. Damn you Barrowman. You magnificent bastard…

Dear Melanie Phillips

Ah Melanie Phillips! The United Kingdom’s answer to the question “How can we beat the american right wing pundits at right wing dickery, racism and general ignorance”. In her latest offering she tries to take on atheism and secularism with a series of tried and tested strawmen.

It’s a ludicrous post/speech. There is no british war on religion. It’s a goddamn motherfucking theocracy where we actually have enshrined in our constitution a bunch of nonsensical bullshit about the Church of England. We just choose to not follow that bullshit because it is bullshit. Melanie Phillips would be weeping her eyes out of it was enforced because one of the PRIME enemies of the goddamn church were Jews. Lest we forget the Passion and the Four Stations of the Cross are not religious practices so much as a method of whipping up christians into a jew killing pogromic frenzy. Modern society has no place in our world for the likes of such dickery. There is no war between atheism and Richard Dawkins is not our high priest. The Church can go fuck itself rather than our children, the Church has lost all rights to being a moral body when it was complicit in the defence of paedophilia by actively subverting the goddamn laws. If there is any justice in the world every single priest and nun and worker who was involved in subverting the law to enable priests to escape justice should be jailed as paedophiles and for abetting. I don’t care about any heaven, let the rule of whatever gods you may worship hold true there but on my planet you follow the rules of mankind and the rules of mankind say “Child Fucking Is Bad”. And Melanie simply does not understand why we think the separation of church (and indeed every bloody faith) and state is vital to the functioning of society.

She claims that Christians are being discriminated against because they are not allowed to wear a crucifix a right they claim is similar to the hijab or the sikh bracelet and turban. They are not being prevented from wearing the Crucifix at work but are being told to not explicitly demonstrate their faith. It’s the same as the Sikhs surreptitiously wearing the Kirpan. The crucifix is a choice. Not one part of the bible says “Thou Shalt Wear Tiny Versions of A Torture Device In Precious Metals in Memory of My Son’s Sacrifice And His Teachings of Humility”. The fashion of wearing crosses is a relatively recent one and is not a requirement. While the Hijab is (sadly) one. The Turban of Sikhs is not a religious requirement but is a fashion choice. Sikhs grow their hair out. The turban is merely a method by which they control their hair either wearing it in the well known idea of a turban which is the dastar or in the type generally used by younger children called a Patka. If they do not wear this their hair is unruly. The arguments being made to defend the wearing of the crucifix is ridiculous since it is a fashion statement rather than one of necessity by faith.

Let’s just say that it’s lucky he was crucified before the Inquisition got their hands on him .

They aren’t being barred from adoption panels for their christianity, they are barred because they are homophobes. In the same way that the BNP aren’t barred from adoption panels because they shave their heads but because they are racists. The christianity of the individuals involved is only incidental. You cannot defend your right to be a bigot on a government service.

We aren’t but we do have a lot more scientists and people who believe in progress and freedom. There are “really stupid atheists too”. I can name medical luddite atheists from the Anti-Vaccine and Animal Liberation movements. I am sure there are plenty of atheists who do believe in bizzare conspiracy theories. However we do pack a rather larger number of skeptics and rationalists while by definition a person with a religion is making a completely irrational and non-skeptical decision to believe in magic. You probably won’t undo all the science we have achieved but you certainly will make it harder to do science because religious believers do not grasp what an unbiased look at the world is. Religious Scientists do Applied Theology, we do Science.

If you as an adult claimed to believe in the tooth fairy or that you still write letters to Santa Clause and sleep with a security blanket to keep away the Monster under your Bed then you aren’t cute you have serious psychiatric issues particularly in the fact that you believe in things like a child does. Why should we treat religion with reverence when we wouldn’t treat these beliefs with the sort of reverence that Melanie demands? At their core there is no difference between the ludicrous tale of Moroni or Xenu and the tales of Jesus or Shiva or Allah yet we are expected to respect them to varying amounts because of their age.

Melanie fails to understand what religion is defined as. We are not in a post biblical or post moral age. We are actually far far more moral than a 2000 year old religion written by a bunch of people who fuelled an empire through slavery and who maintained gladiators and animal bloodsports. Her assumption is that a lack of kowtowing to imaginary beings makes us immoral. It doesn’t. Crime has generally gone down year after year, people are generally more and more accepting year after year. No what she doesn’t like is the fact that Melanie’s beliefs are no longer moral. In particular is the fact that she supports a regime based on the mythical notion of prior ownership of a state based on religious/racial grounds which actively seeks to destroy another group of individuals who are kept without any irony in a fenced off area and discriminated against because of their faith and ethnicity. Oh and let’s just say that I don’t think Melanie Phillips will be releasing an “It Gets Better” video any time soon. Like every person who follows a rigidly proscribed set of rules that remain unchanged she has been met with a situation where her rules cannot cope and rather than declare the rules in need of change she has basically tried to call a Waaahmbulance in order for us to adhere to her rules in order make them more relevant.

Her understanding of secularism in this article is shocking. We don’t have any dogma in secularism or atheism. Atheism is based on a very very simple concept.

“I Do Not Know”. What we know is very very little. There is an entire universe of knowledge and we barely can understand our own planet! We have a long way to go as a species and there are far loftier heights that we can reach but as for now “I don’t know” is the most important phrase an atheist can know. We don’t know if there is or isn’t a god. No one does. There is no proof. As there is no proof we chose not to worship an entity that doesn’t have any proof of existence in the same way that Melanie doesn’t pray to Ganesh or Allah. Because they are things like the Santa and the Tooth Fairy to her.

There is faith in atheism. She is right on that. Atheism is based on the faith in humanity and social structure that isn’t based on collective faith in a myth. And there is an intense hypocrisy in utilising Hindu numerals and the decimal system while claiming that Judaism gave the world reason and science. It’s a shocking lie since I know for a fact that
Melanie Phillips was educated in the United Kingdom whose history classes specifically teach some Medieval and Roman History. It’s actually pretty safe to say that the rennaisance in Europe was driven by the plunder of the west and east and the intellectual knowledge gained from reading islamic literature. The rennaisance was a period where the boundaries of Judeo-Christian morality and control over the scientific intelligentsia was sorely tested and where the pragmatic creations of the scientific community over ruled church sensibilities and the reduction of faith encouraged growth.

And yes we proselytise. There is far more wonder in the universe than Melanie’s petty faith. Melanie’s idea of a god is so intensely childish that she cannot grasp how utterly small and insignificant we are. That same childish faith also makes her forget that despite our lack of significance in the grand scheme of things we are humans. We walked to the top of Everest to prove we could, we live on Antarctica to prove we can and we live in goddamn space to prove that we can. We touched the moon and we are even planning to touch Mars. In short? Our species is characterised by an insatiable appetite to do the seemingly impossible solely for the joy of education, experience and to say that we can. To borrow the idea from the Bard, There are more things in the heavens and on earth, Melanie than dreamt of in your tired faith. And all of these answers and wonders stems from someone out there saying the most important words in atheism and skepticism and indeed in human existence. I don’t know, but I am going to go find out. You can call that dogma if you wish but it’s not a bad thing to remember.

God has not been pronounced dead, god never existed. None of the gods we have created to explain the things that go bump in the night have ever existed. Religion is a man made ideology and the divine presence is only present to those who believe. The same religious euphoria that applies to the faithful applies to the faithful of a different kind. Ever sat in a stadium? With thousands of people around feeling the roar of the crowd vibrate through you in support of our modern gladiators of choice (Mine is football. I am a Manchester City fan). It doesn’t matter what the sport is as long as the crowd is present the spectacle will affect you by making you feel part of something bigger. And that is what religion is. It’s faith in something that makes you feel like you belong. And like in football, atheism is driven by dissent. We disagree on a lot of things. I think Penn Jillete’s Libertarian Atheism stance is terrible. It’s a horrid world driven by greed and monetary gain. There is no “Party Line” in atheism. And unlike the god of the hebrew bible, atheism hasn’t destroyed human civilisation for disobedience or encouraged you to rape people and own slaves. He doesn’t get bad press because he is “an authoritarian”, he gets it because he is a fantasy genocidal, slave owning rapist who you are encouraged to treat as a moral source.

No Really. I am blue.

I actually think the debate argument made by Richard Dawkins is a poor one. The origin of matter created by the spontaneous event of the big bang is something I am not familiar with. Neither the theories nor the evidence for them. It’s safe to say that I am ignorant on the topic. And I am extremely sure Melanie Phillips and Richard Dawkins are both equally as ignorant. We don’t know. If I ask a physicist, their answer is also “I don’t know, but I am going to go find out”. It’s not an excuse to make shit up. And religion LOVES to make shit up.

They know even less than we do about the origins of our universe. Admitting you don’t know how the universe was created isn’t a crime. Claiming you know how it was created when you have no proof is. I am sure Dawkins made no comments with regards to Panspermia and is one of the people who explicitly states that Panspermia does not answer any questions and is a poor hypothesis. And most importantly? Panspermia is not a theory it is a hypothesis with little to no evidence for it. Yet again someone religious fails to understand the difference between a theory and a hypothesis. Irrespective of who makes the goddamn claim, it is still a hypothesis and is unproven.

Oh and Francis Crick’s directed panspermia hypothesis was shot down by the more sensible RNA world hypothesis which states that RNA based life forms may have existed prior to DNA life forms. However work is still taking place on it. Like the creation of the universe? We do not know, but there are people who are working to find out. What we do know is that there are viruses that are RNA based and that RNA based life is possible.

And Melanie fails to understand the difference between a hypothesis and a fantasy. See the issue with this hypothesis is that it is stupid, inelegant and clunky. There is no observable evidence for this in much the same way that there is no observable evidence for her god. However there is a greater probability that intelligent aliens exist than magical space daddies. It’s actually a more valid hypothesis than “God Created The Universe” and that’s utterly hilarious since the craziest of theories to come out of Francis Crick is still less stupid than the idea of a god.

She continues the stupidity by claiming judaism (A faith that believes that the world was created 6000 years ago through biblical levels of incest) is the source of rationality. And that you cannot be rational if you don’t believe in the bible or the torah. Because fuck all the Hindus and Sikhs right? I may be an intolerant atheist but I am intolerant against all bullshit, not just bullshit I don’t personally believe in.

Melanie is wrong in her claims about Reason and Science. Her grasp of technology is so tarnished by faith that she cannot understand the simple wonder of something like the wheel or fire. There are civilisations older than Greece and there was technological development prior to them. Infact human evolution is so intrinsically linked to our technology that the technology we possess is part of us as a species and taking us apart from technology actually changes the context of our capacity to survive. We are in effect cyborgs. To Melanie a pointed stick or a sharpened rock is not technology. Animals can do that right? All our technology began as a pointed stick or a sharpened rock. Not from the greeks. The manufacture of stone tools (we cannot confirm wooden tools as they tend to rot away and bone tools are harder to explicitly identify) dates back to roughly 2.6 million years ago as seen by pebble struck tools present in Ethiopia. Modern human behaviour and tools began to be seen roughly 50000 to 40000 years ago. Unconsciously, the people who produced these stone tools were doing science producing improvements to tools and indeed finding new ways to improve them from the humble sharpened pebbles we began with and this making of tools drove our evolution. By contrast? Ancient Greece began at around the 8th century BC. Now don’t get me wrong, they did some amazing things which influenced western society but they aren’t the masters of science, not when humans have been doing sciencey things for 2.5 million years.

Not Science! Just Random Whacking Of Rocks!

Science did not grow from the idea that the universe is rational but that it can be explained by rational thought, experimentation and understanding of natural processes. It’s not a belief born out of Genesis which states that the goddamn world was created by a magic sky wizard. And Genesis is not revolutionary in claiming that the universe has a rational creator. Brahma is the creator in Hinduism and he is the very epitome of rational thought and he predates the Bible and Judaism by a fairly hefty amount particularly in his pre-vedic format. It’s an empirically wrong stament. As is her frankly nonsensical argument of linear time. Time is a measuring system used to sequence events. It’s one of the earliest concepts of humanity because it’s vital for planning (Like “When the Moon is Full we Meet Here” or “In hundred grognaks we jump those buffalo”). Seriously? How the fuck did the Romans or the Egyptians build Empires with no concept of time since they predate the bible?  

She continues with the assumption that the universe’s values are set by a divine thermostat rather than these values being innate to nature anyways. Gravity may just be something that functions like that without the need of any god being there. The problem is she assumes that the Laws of Nature indicate that there must be a Lawmaker because she assumes Mathematical Law is similar to Social Law.

These arguments that she makes simply are not reasonable. Well par for the course really considering she thinks Atheists worship Man. We don’t. We really have better things to do with our time than worship. We do however recognise that every single fucking achievement we have done as a species is built on the achievements of men rather than some mythical entity. The maze puzzles on trays in fast food places and on the backs of cereal boxes are not due to Daedalus and the Minotaur. Even religion is an idea created by man. It’s why there are so many of them and why the followers of religions are constantly getting into slapfights over whose imaginary being is the most real.

We brook no dissent and no argument because we crush your arguments with evidence. The fact remains that Melanie Phillips argument has absolutely no evidence for her stances and will probably never will. I will believe in her genitally mutilating sky wizard if she can prove his empirical existence. Otherwise he goes on the giant pile of gods who probably don’t exist. It’s impossible to argue from a position of fantasy versus evidence. You wouldn’t accept a child’s imaginary friend as a witness in a murder trial right? Yet somehow we are supposed to accept yours?

And to wail on environmentalism? The idea that resources are finite and demonstrably finite and that human activity affects the environment in a demonstrable fashion and that we should kind of take care of what we do to it so that it doesn’t ruin the environment? Yeah that’s not based on the fact that there is no God that’s based on the fact that if you don’t take care of the environment it will screw you over. I mean do we really need to show Melanie statistics about not dumping waste into our water systems, treating sewage and using cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy? How are these bad things? Scientism? Again? Oh I know why she doesn’t like that. We keep stomping heavily down on human ignorance and it’s really hard to believe in her god when she cannot claim that he will strike us all down with lightning and leprosy. Moral relativism? Well? Different people have different beliefs in what moral is. It’s how Melanie Phillips believes in a book where she can own slaves. She may be uncomfortable with it now and will possibly jump through a series of hoops to philosophically argue away the whole “slavery” bits in the Torah but frankly it’s moral relativism at it’s finest. Early jews lived in a society where slavery was acceptable for various social and economic reasons. Modern society acknowledges the universality of mankind and equality and therefore no human can be a slave to another. Moral Relativism between modern and ancient jews despite belonging to the same (Alleged) group of people. Multiculturalism is a political ideology where people are allowed to maintain their own cultures rather than forcing a single culture on all people. This results in the interaction of cultures often creating new ideas about old things. For examples? The Beatles later works are due to the interaction of western musical culture with eastern musical culture which created a unique sound. Neither of the two parent cultures were destroyed to create it but what happened was the culture of music changed. It’s a response to the idea that Melanie Phillips thinks I should trade in my culture for hers. Nearly every single argument against multiculturalism boils down to “I don’t like those darkies” and “Why won’t you tolerate my dickery”. The core of her argument against multiculturalism is heavily entrenched in racism. Egalitarianism? It’s the idea that every single person is fundementally equal. If atheism has indeed given us these lofty ideals and goals to achieve  then Melanie Phillips is arguing for a society that fucking sucks. It’s simple, Melanie argues against a cleaner environment, technology, a society made up of different people, a society where we understand different attitudes and one where we are fundementally equal in the eyes of the law. If these ideas undermind her belief or ethics then those beliefs aren’t very ethical to begin with.

Melanie Phillips then proceeds to unleash a smokescreen of bullshit in her use of Millernarianism. Her usage is incorrect. It’s a primarily judeo-christian belief that massive changes happens every 1000 years. Think the big fuss over the 2000 Millenium Bug. It is not the belief in the perfection of mankind and of life on earth. It’s absolutely shocking that Oxford doesn’t teach the correct usage of a dictionary or more likely that Phillips probably just thought it meant this and it was too difficult to fire up Google. And yes. What the fuck is wrong with improving the world? Melanie has the benefit of being born to a bunch of rich brits who could afford to send her to university. Why the fuck should she have that opportunity while Naresh, my eleven year old patient has an abscess on his foot the size of a tennis ball because he didn’t have shoes to wear. This stance of hers irritates me the most because I do think we can make the world a better place by our actions mainly because I do make the world a better place in a small way by my actions.

I seriously do not understand what her gripe with progress is? She sits in one of the most advanced and comfortable societies on earth whinging about progress while we still live in a world where people don’t have shoes and then claims that progress is bad? She is like a Disney Villain.

We don’t offer redemption, we offer a chance. We aren’t that many despite what Melanie thinks. we can differentiate between the different people responsible for different bullshit. Opression of Third World Nations occurs usually due to the nature of the free market and due to tribalism and faith. Despoilation of the Natural World? Usually Imperialism, Neocons and “Big Oil” (A term I don’t like. Oil is just a resource that we need. It’s pretty nasty stuff and it would be better if we had alternatives). Bigotry? (Well the Neocons are pretty good at that, religious right wingers and racists and misogynists also come to mind) war? (Neocons are again at the fore as are the Imperialists). We don’t blame Jews so much as blame Zionists who think Israel can do no wrong and that building
walls around groups of people based on their ethnicity and faith without any irony is rather bullshit. Yes, palestinians support terror groups but guess what? No one else is willing to step up to bat for them. Of course they are going to take their help.

Yes, you may have noticed I have pseudo-Godwinned the argument but I see this as no different from her ridiculous usage of Stalin and Mao. Stalin’s casualties were not caused by his atheism. There is no rule in atheism or humanism that states you should kill any dissenters. Infact we rather look down upon people who do that. Stalin was a totalitarian dictator whose paranoia meant he killed off any dissenters real or otherwise. Mao’s deaths were due to fighting a near bamboo spear guerilla war in a country ravaged by imperialism, WW2 against a Christian opponent whose casualties were merely added to Mao’s. Again Mao was driven by his ideology rather than his lack of faith in anything in particular. And if anything? Stalin and Mao were not environmentalists or “Darwinists”. Stalin was infact a Lysenkoist and considered “Darwinism” bourgiouse. Darwinism is merely the idea that humans have evolved from apes and I fail to see the connection with a superior plane of humanity. It merely means that I believe in biology. I think the problem Melanie has with evolution is that she thinks it will stop if she doesn’t believe in it like Fairies or Religion. She also doesn’t really know what a Gnostic is. Or what environmentalism entails.

There will always be ills in the world. Even in the safest of societies there are still murders. It won’t be a paradise but it will be damn close. It’s just that we are trying to make the world have a lot fewer of those ills. In the UK only 4 children die out of a thousand in the first year of life. It would be nice if fewer died… In India 70 die per 1000. It would be nice if only 4 died. Fewer ills is something the could all do with. And yes it’s great to live in a world without persecution, tyranny, violence and bigotry. We can never achieve a world free from all this because people like Melanie will always exist. There will always be bastards.

When anyone puts up a theory that religious people do not like, they attempt to dismiss it using the word “Scientism”. Scientism caricatures actual scientific development. To use it in this context is to demonstrate a fundemental inability to understand how the world functions. There are serious empirical methods to generate inferences and the procedures involved are aided by a vast array of tools that is ever improving. Science is the most authoritative method of explaining the function of the universe. Just because something is inexplicable today does not make in inexplicable in the future. Scientism doesn’t say that there is no place for religious belief, it is merely the universal application of scientific method and approach. Aesthetics do follow scientific principles, it’s madness to assume that they are random. It’s why we dress according to fashion, why we like colours to match or contrast. Love? Love is driven by three different neurological circuits which control Lust, Attraction and Attachment. They use specific neurotransmitters and are each vital in mate selection ranging from physical attraction, commitment to a mate and attachment to a mate over time. The evolutionary function is to provide a stable family group for our children who require a long period of care before they are capable of independance. An appreciation of beauty and aesthetics changes with culture, there is no single right way to appreciate beauty. A belief in right and wrong can be answered by science. We can empircally see the effects of the decisions made and use those effects to come to a conclusion about a course of action. It greatly amuses me that Melanie lives under the assumption that one cannot understand aesthetics and beauty or love because one is a scientist. That’s like saying that one cannot appreciate music if one is a musician.

And Melanie fails to understand how science works. Just because something cannot be answered right now by science doesn’t mean it works through magic. We don’t know how Quinine fights malaria. We think it’s by increasing fragility of RBCs causing lysis of sporozite infected RBC but we honestly don’t know. It doesn’t mean that Quinine is magic. Science can answer the question of ultimate purpose. You exist solely to pass on your DNA to the future generation. To ensure survival of the species. That’s our “Ultimate Grand Purpose”. However we as humans find that we can do other things along the way to add meaning to our lives. What meaning we add is entirely upto us for some it’s merely survival. For others it’s a lot more. But that’s the thing, no one can prove the existence of a god let alone Melanie’s. The argument she uses means she has to accept that Tlaloc (Aztec God of Rain and baby eating) and Shiva also exist since whatever argument she uses (Nope! She is not allowed to quote from the Torah otherwise I declare myself as the emperor of the universe based on a tablet of space platinum given to me by the Astral Lord Gullibilo. Send tribute)

The true aim of science has always been to change the world. Melanie has lived through the formation of the Internet. She has a website and she uses Twitter and thinks that science doesn’t change the world? The invention of the airplane changed the world as did nearly every invention before it. Some changed the world in bigger ways (Penicillin, Vaccines, Planes, Cars, The Nuke, Internet, Wheel, Fire) than others (Left Handed Can Openers). In Melanie’s ludicrous world we would be able to explain how the world worked without the technological benefits that come from the explanation. I have no idea how she expects scientific progress to occur without us utilising the benefits. I seriously don’t think she has any fucking clue that as we reveal more about how the world works we gain more things out of it. If her greatest fear is that science changes the world then she should just go live in a cave rather than post her ludicrous anti-science bullshit on the greatest human achievement that has occured (so far) in my life (The Internet).

Cultural Totalitarianism cannot be the rule by the subjective individual and the privatisation of morality. The very definition of it an oxymoron. Morality has not become privatised, it’s just that we don’t follow her bronze age morality anymore and she just wants to have a hissy fit about it. The laws and traditions rooted in Christianity in europe were for centuries used to hunt down Jews. Do we really want to allow christianity that right again? Instead we created a society so free of racism that idiots like Melanie Phillips can hanker for the good old days of pogroms. Oh well, I suppose she assumes that the first on the list would be those uppity muslims. And yes, any attempt to prioritise any culture or lifestyle over others is illegitimate IF there is no issue with those cultures and  the lifestyle is one of choice. Yes, I know Melanie is making quasi vague rumblings at Muslims and Homosexuals but frankly she doesn’t understand what a multicultural society is particular since she (as a Jew) assumes she would be at the top of the Old Order of Western Civilisation. Bear in mind that the USA during WW2, for all it’s flag waving about freedom still had places where Jews and Irish people couldn’t go (Oh yeah! And treated black people as less than human). Bear in mind that the UK treated my ancestors as slaves. The old order of western civilisation deserves to be dead and buried. The new order is way nicer. For starters it doesn’t hunt down Jews and I won’t get thrown off a train.

As for Lying for Jesus? Well let’s just say that she is Lying for Moses then. I clearly pointed out bits where she lied or misrepresented information here. So what does that make her? I must remind her of her commandments, it’s shocking how many of the children of
Abraham (Jews, Christians and Muslims) forget their commandments.

Oh Melanie! The only way you would be more of a martyr than this is if you were the second coming of Christ. The greatest injustice you probably feel in British Culture is the fact that we aren’t rounding up all the darkies and shipping them back to where they came from right? Or that you cannot hate on gays without suffering the consequences for your statements. And does she even understand the problem of saying that the eradication of Prejudice will cause more Injustice? I am well aware of what jews believe in on the basis of I was in love with one for a long time and my flat mate was jewish, but maybe Melanie is one of those Opposite Jews (OJs… not to be confused with Orange Jews which is a horrible beverage based pun).

Basically Melanie really wants to go back to the good old days where we follow the ethical code of the bible and therefore can torment gays till they die and forcibly convert people to christianity. Oh and where we don’t let women talk and hold manly jobs. Like writing for a newspaper…

Melanie Phillips shows and incredible shortsightedness and a complete lack of any education on world affairs. Yes of course the USA is responsible for Islamic Terrorism that lead to the events of the 11th of September. It is the CREATOR of Osama Bin Laden who lead Al-Qaeda. It created a heavily islamic Jihadi institution to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then upped sticks and left when the fighting was done. In a complete act of belligerence it angered  these individuals through continued support of Israel and the percieved trespass of the USA on Saudi soil which is considered Holy. So here is the thing… Do you think Al-Qaeda would exist if not for the fact the USA helped create it? The entire region is destabilised by this action. Many thousands of people have lost their lives due to this and all because the USA wanted to fight a proxy war against the Soviets. And my memory is awfully hazy but a lot more Iraqis and Afghans died than our boys. And Israel is responsible for it’s indiscriminate killing (Including the use of carpet munitions with time delay fuses and mines in fields and in urban areas) such as Cast Lead where in exchange for 13 casualties (4 of which were friendly fire) they butchered 1400 Palestinians and wounded 5000. Does that seem fair? For what? Rocket Attacks that killed less than 30 people over a whole 10 years? Why do you think Palestinians are fucking pissed off? Ask any american what they would do if you took their land? How many people in the NRA sprout the same words as the Palestinians. What anger you witness from Palestine is the impotent rage of a people who were betrayed by every fucking person in the world. The fault of the Israel Palestine conflict lies in so many Hands. It’s the UK’s fault for setting it up in the first place. It’s Nazi Germany’s fault for creating the Holocaust which made sure Jews felt that there was no place to return to in Europe. It’s the USA’s fault for blind faith in Israel. It’s The arab league’s fault for using Palestinians as political pawns. It’s Israel’s fault for learning everything and nothing from the Holocaust. It’s Palestine’s fault for falling to the lure of the only people to respond in their time of need and It’s the Islamic Militant’s fault for damaging the peace process just as much as it is the zionists like Melanie Phillips fault for encouraging Israel’s hawkish behaviour. The only actual solution we have really is that Israel recognises the borders of Palestine and dismantles it’s fences and begins to treat Palestine like a country rather than a ghetto.

It shows that I have a greater understanding of the issue in the formation of Israel than Melanie has and she is a goddamn zionist. Oh right! I forgot… Blind Faith = No grasp of reality. It certainly explains why she thinks Barack Obama won because America wanted to redeem itself of the original sins of slavery and racism rather than because he was far more competent than his opponents whose political party are a series of strawmen arguments, jesus freaks, homophobes and misogynists. Or why she thinks environmentalists want to redeem human existence, because last I heard they just want us to stop being so wasteful and polluting so much.

I feel Melanie hates the idea of a human utopia, mainly because it will make heaven pointless. She produces a barrage of strawmen using fancy words which don’t mean what she thinks they mean (or more likely considering she went to Oxford… she knows what they mean but hopes we don’t google it).

Melanie Phillips wouldn’t know religious extremism if I held a mirror in front of her and danced around saying “DO YOU GET THE HINT”. She even takes the time to take a kick at paganism (A hilariously tame attempt to recreate pre-biblical faith minus all the bad bits) which I assume she has learnt about from watching the Wicker Man. And she also lives under the assumption that skeptics and atheists do not combat the occult and parapsychology.

So to answer her final question? Why do I despise religion? Because when you fail to think rationally you end up accepting any garbage put in front of you. And I am sure Melanie would not appreciate me turning up to her Synagogue and demolishing the Torah’s veracity using my science. Why should I tolerate her trying to fuck with my biology? If she wants a stand up fight between her faith and my science I would be happy to give it to her, but I must point out that it tends to end poorly for the organisation that thinks a 2000 year old book is sufficient proof to play science with. And yes, religion puts nasty constraints on you. It makes you hate and treat women as second class citizens who are beholding to men. It makes women slaves in their own minds. It makes you hate gays. In Melanie’s case it makes her hate Muslims. It makes Muslims hate others. It makes Hindus hate muslims and it makes everyone forget the most important thing. That we are human beings. If you cut us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh?

People do really believe in all sorts of rubbish. The difference between me and Phillips? I am prepared to believe in a dozen impossible things before breakfast but I am willing to go try to make the impossible happen. It’s impossible to see a 150 patients by yourself. I atleast saw 52… In Melanie’s world I failed. In my world? I saw 52 patients who don’t think I failed. Melanie claims to have evidence? I wish to see it. Because so far it’s just strawman after strawman.

That’s right Melanie, I am calling you out. You claimed to have evidence for the existence of the penis mutilating god of Judaism and I would very much like to see it.

It Gets Better – Chess

It is under your bed!!!

Apparently the gay agenda is in full swing again.

The american religious right simply does not get it, the gay agenda is the same as the straight agenda. To have sex with people we want to have sex with. There is no difference except in the target market.

Basically the fuss is about a play where the lead portrays a gay chess playing ultra geek who is a pastiche of every bullied student in bizzaro land (because let’s face it, there are rather few chess millionaires than there are ones of the outdoor sport). In a world where we are trying our level best to stamp out bullying, be it based on race, intelligence, social status, awkwardness or who you like. It basically is meant to provide a look into a school if the popularities of activities and cliques were reversed.

It’s alright! It’s very easy to confuse
vampires and gay people.

Instead we are treated to a tale of incredible amount of homophobia from the audience. The play has done it’s job in proving to us how deeply ingrained the problem is. The people who formed the audience were shocked by something so utterly natural as a kiss that many left as if you could be turned gay from watching a kiss or even if you were kissed by another man. And the thing is despite all this the anti-gay brigade simply don’t get what the problem is. This is hatred, if it were a straight kiss there would be no complaint, despite many thousands of gay teenagers trying to come to grips with their sexuality in a similarly awkward way.

The USA’s education system is failing because of the SATS, standardised testing forces teachers to teach towards a test rather than towards and education. Yes, I understand the value of competitive exams but kids across the years don’t require it. Because kids are expected to only read what is necessary it reduces the breadth of knowledge they possess as they aren’t really working to produce education but are working to produce parrots.

A parrot does what it’s taught to do, in this case pass exams and be homophobic. The fault lies not in the parrot but the person who is teaching the parrot these things. There are no moral objections to homosexuality. There are only religious objections and those are usually based out of superstition and a section of the bible that also claims we should throw our children out of the house dressed in sack cloth if they have any pimples and that we should eat locusts but not pork.

If one is happily able to accept a BLT as a choice then one is equally able to accept homosexuality as a choice too without frothing at the mouth. Blaming the homosexuals for the fall of the american school system is just icing on the anti gay cake.

Not to be confused with the Gay Cake which is fabulous!

For once I would like the real issue to be discussed. This play is not a product of the Gay Agenda, which basically consists of being left alone to have sex with other consenting adults without people bringing the law and religion into it.

No dear readers… This is obviously the work of the deeply insidious Chess Agenda!

Rights of the Silent Majority – 180

Earlier I spoke of my distaste for the hypothetical game and indeed for Ray Comfort’s take on it.

The problem being that people tend to answer the obvious answer in a hypothetical game, that life seldom is yes or no and more often it is various different shades of grey. And that I promised I would review Ray’s now short movie, 180…

I did it. And it was tedious and faulty to it’s very core.

See two can play at this game. 

This is comedy, they aren’t being serious about americans falling into the stereotype of stupid. The same show ran a joke where they took a big wooden horse around Australia and tried to get people to accept it as a gift (the horse was filled with greek soldiers. They got it into an army base…)

But do you really think Americans are that stupid? That they wouldn’t know where these places were? Or that they editted the responses to look like every american they asked didn’t know?

Likewise Ray probably walked around for hours trying to find someone who didn’t know who the hell was Hitler and what he did. It must have taken him a fair while in fact.

Your hate based tattoos and idiotic hairstyle make you
an excellent commentor on the human condition.
Quick sprout more hatred on the camera!
Next, Ray unleashes the G-Bomb. He Godwin’s the argument torpedoing any credibility faster than a U-Boat in a shipping lane by bringing Hitler into the equation. This is called Playing the Nazi Card. And he does so quite spectacularly, by calling up a neo-nazi with questionable hair choices as a credible example of someone who isn’t christian. The video stops to give this fine individual some time to voice his views on the world which involve how awesome White Man is compared to all the Niggers and Jews. And he proves this through his mohawk and questionable tattoos. This isn’t a man who should be the spokesperson of any movement, even one as odious and twisted with hate as the neo-nazis. This man is not a symbol of hate but an object of ridicule. I understand you are free to tattoo yourself and get a stupid haircut. I mean god knows where my football players would be if not for bad tattoos and even worse haircuts, but they are hired to kick a ball around while this man would only be hired for the sole purpose of proving to kids that individuality doesn’t mean common sense. 

This is the kind of man Hitler would have wanted in a gas chamber. Because atheism and freethought was illegal in German. Many freethinkers found themselves in the same position as the Jews. Staring down the choice of slavery or possible death in the camps. 

Which is rather irritating. Associating people with Hitler isn’t conducive as a serious argument. And what’s more disturbing is his almost gleeful exploitation of this horrid event in human history to push his point across to the stupidest people he could find in the US. The worst crime is forgetting that the very people who perpetrated this crime were christians and theists. That they didn’t do anything wrong by the teachings of their religion, what we found so repulsive about their actions and indeed those of the Japanese was because we embraced humanist principles rather than the superiority principle of faith. That atheists have no reasons to hate jews and that anti-semitism in catholicism was entirely driven by faith.

For his argument to work, Hitler must not be a christian. The world improves by admitting mistakes and changing, not by denial. Denial of Hitler’s origins insults the very act of the holocaust because it changes the reason and fobs off blame onto others who don’t deserve it. Ray Comfort cannot wrap his minds about an evil christian because only muslims, jews, hindus and other religions have arseholes in them. Basically Comfort lies through his lying fucking teeth about the very origins of Hitler and the society that produced such hatred and the role of his own faith in that. For his next trick the effects of the inquisition in South America would be healthcare related and the Spanish Inquisition was more like the Spanish Casual Chat

And lest we forget racism against jews was common in the USA as well with many places outright banning them from entering, consider that the USA spent all it’s time hating on black people at the time often using the bible to defend their racism. It’s not a lone incident in christian history. The atrocities of the USA in the Philippines are rarely mentioned. Because the USA needs to look like heroes and heroes don’t kill a million people for their own greed. Oh it’s okay, they weren’t white and no one cared at the time.

It is then he begins his hypothetical games. These are sick for reasons I have gone into before and because it forgets the role of his faith in this. If you asked a soldier whether he valued human life, he probably would say yes despite his job being to kill other humans. He probably knows the real value of human life, of pain and suffering that has no quantity should the life be lost.

And to compare the holocaust to abortion? The death of actual humans versus undeveloped cells?

There are two responses to this. One is my own “The Nazis Did It” and point out that Hitler was a Pro-Lifer banning abortion and punishing it with the death penalty for “human beings” (bear in mind only aryans were considered human).

And the  second is to point out that roughly 50% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. As in the body rejects or the egg doesn’t implant properly. The biggest abortionist on the planet according to Ray Comfort’s logic is his own God.

These are far less insulting than to denigrate the actual murder of people with the idea that somehow potential means something from the arbitrary line of conception rather than the period of 24 to 26 weeks which is the cut off due to the viability of the foetus during this period.

It’s simple, Ray wants to reduce the rights of women across the world by spreading misinformation and lies about abortion. He has no idea what goes on and simply wishes for people to live in a biblical world where it’s okay to keep women as glorified pets you can fuck rather than as equals. This is just one of those ways of reducing the rights of women and it’s a stupid way of doing so.

And I really bloody hate hypothetical games.