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Jul 12 2013

[Thunderdome]

This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

670 comments

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  1. 501
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Hail Tpyos and Her Sacred Wherewolf:

    were where

    {pours libations}

  2. 502
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Fucking portcullis! Now my long and elaborate screed at #500 will never get read.

    {sobs}

  3. 503
    Lofty

    Fucking portcullis! Now my long and elaborate screed at #500 will never get read.

    Why not? I did, enjoyed it too.

  4. 504
    Menyambal

    Folks, thanks for the links. There does appear to be more of Hell in the Bible than I thought.

    But I can still say that it is a confused and incoherent account. The various references don’t mesh together, and aren’t distinct from other mythologies. It doesn’t seem like a real place being reported on.

    I can also say that the Biblical Hell cannot be precisely matched with the popular idea of Hell, because neither one is really defined. So if I was feeling stubborn, I could still say it Hell isn’t in the Bible. But I’ll give it to Txpiper—there is a lot of damnation and fire and torment in the Bible, more than I’d realized. Yay, Tx! You happy now?

    I’m going to say that Hell being in the Bible doesn’t really matter to me a whit. It’s still a gruesome idea, and people do not have to believe in it. I’ve been thinking that accepting Hell in order to get into Heaven is kind of like being a hit man—you are killing folks for pay—while my earlier position that people were building up Hell from a few scattered references made them more like serial killers—killing folks for the fun of it. Either way. folks are dying.

    Except, of course that with Hell, people are burning alive forever. And the whole thing is a matter of belief, either way. Myself, I’d not go to Heaven if it meant anyone else going to Hell. But I’m just an atheist.

    By the way, I don’t want to read any more about Hell—-that is one sick and twisted concept. I’ll just go back to reading E. M. Goatthwacker’s _Techniques of Forcible Sodomy_, it’ll make me feel clean by comparison. (No, not a real book.)

    Theophontes and others, there seems to be some good sense in your speculations about the value of vagueness in the myth business. I wonder if the work of patching it all together makes it more valuable to the chumps.

    I know that the Nigerian scammers are said to put out such crappy come-ons to filter out the non-idiots.

    And, in a friend’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual, there was a caveat after one description/diagnosis of psychosis or some such, that if enough people had the same symptoms, it was considered a religion.

  5. 505
    Menyambal

    Theophontes, I read your #500, and appreciated it.

    I was typing a long screed while looking at comment #500, but not noticing it was #500. My comment wound up on the next page, but my screen refreshed to the page with #500 on it. I panicked, and nearly hit Submit again. I didn’t know it would do that. Oy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xITLBRkOd2k My music video for tonight: P-51 Mustangs in the air, accompanied with guitar by Buckethead

  6. 506
    Lofty

    Cute tortoises

  7. 507
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    {enter theophontes, wearing “I survived the portcullis” tee-shirt.}

    Thanks Lofty and Menyambal.

    I sometimes wonder if we don’t approach this whole assault on god in the wrong way. As much as we take science very seriously, most people have no need for it in a practical sense. At least in the very first instance. Technology yes, but a hard-nosed scientific approach?

    What IS important, to all of us, is the social realm. We can ignore science (as willful idiots such as txpiper, joey, annejones et al so clearly prove) far more easily than we can ignore our need to insinuate ourselves into the social domain. In the social domain there is always intent. There are always causes underlying our life trajectories. If we could but transpose this to the (unsociable) reality of the universe we live in. Why, we would only need to assume a magical super-ape that is the cause of all things. Fear, doubt and uncertainty would disappear.

    Or:

    The social and scientific. These things are fundamentally different. In issues concerning STEM, we can make accurate projections about the future. We can understand cause and effect (often) with incredible precision. This answers a very powerful human need. But more than this. Through science we have the mechanisms in place to handle doubt. We have the tools to deal with any shit that happens. We can adapt. Fear, uncertainty and doubt evaporate.

    In the absence of a scientific worldview, we are left to our own devices. The desire is there to see causality, yet there is no means to attend to the uncertainties of life. Further, as an integral part of how our minds are wired, we have all evolved as the weavers of narratives. As spiders spin webs, we weave these narratives. We make “sense” of the world about us. We live out our lives in narrative space that only maps to reality indirectly and imperfectly. Even our “scientific” worldview suffers this problem. Our very real, critical, advantage – in science – is that we adapt to ever changing realities. We can compensate for our very human fallibility.

    On the other hand, there is no reason one couldn’t, in principle at least, live out one’s entire life in a narrative quite at odds with reality. We see enough evidence in people like txpiper, who can survive in modern society in spite of (and certainly not because of) his godfapping.

    Why then, if one can happily go through life in a GAWD-induced haze, should we care? I’ll leave it there as I seek out a couple of cans of beer … thereby suppressing my consciousness and seeing the world as the religious do.

    Sláinte!

  8. 508
    anteprepro

    I don’t have an answer, just an opinion.

    txpiper accidentally giving us “txpiper in a nutshell”.

  9. 509
    anteprepro

    We see enough evidence in people like txpiper, who can survive in modern society in spite of (and certainly not because of) his godfapping.

    Why then, if one can happily go through life in a GAWD-induced haze, should we care?

    I believe the best answer is “politics”.

    (I’m sure you already knew that, but I love pretending to contribute.)

  10. 510
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    I don’t have an answer, just an opinion.

    txpiper accidentally giving us “txpiper in a nutshell”.

    He doesn’t have an answer, nor an evidenced opinion. Which means he has nothing to contribute, but delusionally thinks he does. Obviously never learned the concept of shutting the fuck up and listening….

  11. 511
    txpiper

    “with Hell, people are burning alive forever”

    Excepting one specific category, this is probably not correct.

  12. 512
    anteprepro

    Excepting one specific category, this is probably not correct.

    Do I smell some Sophisticated Theology a-brewin’?

  13. 513
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Do I smell some Sophisticated Theology a-brewin’?

    Like anything based on an imaginary deity and mythical/fictional holy book is sophistimacated….Nothing but lies and bullshit from start to finish….

  14. 514
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The thing where people admit that the images of Hell are based on Dante and then immediately pivot to “Hell is fire” give me a lot of stress, because Dante has Hell being 70% non-firey. The “worst” part of Hell (i.e. for the worst sinners), in fact, is a fucking frozen lake.

  15. 515
    anteprepro

    The thing where people admit that the images of Hell are based on Dante and then immediately pivot to “Hell is fire” give me a lot of stress,

    Cafeteria Christianity: Not just for Bibles anymore! (Or, ever, really)

  16. 516
    Menyambal

    Hell is people on fire—I learned that in Sunday School, church, VBS, revivals and tracts. If Hell really isn’t all about folks in flames, you’ve got some serious communicating you need to do with your fellow-religionists, not with the atheists.

    Tx, every argument you make that Hell isn’t what Christians think it is, is confirmation of my earlier statement that Hell isn’t in the Bible. Remember? You gave me shit for saying exactly that, now here you are arguing MY point as evidence for whatever-the-fuck-it-is that you think that you think today.

    If Hell is in the Bible, people chose to believe it, perhaps because the fell they have to—that’s bad. If Hell isn’t in the Bible, people chose to believe it just because they want to—that’s very bad. People believe that something is in the Bible when it really isn’t in the Bible—that’s nothing new at all. And it’s a blistering condemnation of the entire religion.

  17. 517
    Menyambal

    txpiper:

    They aren’t the same concept. In the Luke passage, hell is the residence of everyone prior to the resurrection. This is where the Lord was for “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”. Hell, in either Hebrew or Greek, means ‘the grave’, the abode of the dead. In Revelation, hell, along with death, are consumed in the lake of fire.

    Except it wasn’t “three days and three nights”, it was one night, a day and some part of another night. Remember? Friday evening entombed, Sunday morning long gone—Jesus skipped a Saturday for your sins.

    That “heart of the earth” is poetic, but what does it mean? Does it mean in Hell, the center of the Earth, maybe? If so, which kind of Hell, hot cold, boring? Or was Jesus just not alive? (I don’t care if he spent all that in the fiery Hell, as some folks believe, that doesn’t pay for even a fraction of any one person’s eternity, let alone everyone’s.)

    I’m going to say that as a heart has chambers, and a tomb is a chamber, it probably just translates properly as “in a tomb in the earth”, which is just “in a grave”. He was dead, then he got better—that’s the entire trick.

    Coming back from a completely flat-lined dead, reconstructing just from force of will while the will isn’t even there, is a lot better trick than sneaking back from an immaterial after-party where all the souls are awake, aware and looking for the exits.

    So “hell, along with death, are consumed in the lake of fire”. Death dies? Hell gets burnt up? See, this is the crazy shit that the religious have to try to make sense out of. No wonder their brains are twitching all the time—they are in a lake of fire.

    I can make a poetical interpretation of it, but I’m disgusted again. The afterlife of your immortal soul is on the line, and this is the kind of help you get from the instruction manual?!?!?

  18. 518
    Menyambal

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23410858 Female genital mutilation: 30 million girls ‘at risk’

  19. 519
    txpiper

    “Obviously never learned the concept of shutting..up and listening….”

    Yeah Nerd, but it’s what and who you listen to that is important. I’ll give you a good example of the kind of things that prevent me from becoming a science guy like you.

    Your teeth are a remarkable collection of complex devices. And they are functionally arranged in mirroring pairs from incisors, to canines, to premolars, to molars, with complimentary matching counterparts in the opposing jaw, sitting in a bed of nerves in your jawbones which signal your brain that something foreign only a fraction of a millimeter thick is stuck on the surface of any given tooth.

    Now you believe that random mutations resulted in the precise and specialized shapes, and that natural selection removed countless failures, but persevered until all the aberrant contending designs were eliminated, and the molars quit showing up in the front…or some such frimp, till a tidy arrangement and sequence was conserved in human DNA, or perhaps that of a distant ancestor, with accidental refinements and improvements occurring between their teeth and yours. And you also accept, without any hesitation, that the neuro-detection apparatus between your teeth and your brain, which is the real show, is an accidental system produced by DNA replication errors.

    So my question to you, which you will not answer, is about who you listened to until you started believing in stuff like this? Was it a landmark, peer-reviewed paper? Whoever it was had to be a heavy-hitter with airtight explanations, because you are a cool, objective science guy who accepts nothing but conclusive physical evidence.

  20. 520
    Amphiox

    Your teeth are a remarkable collection of complex devices.

    The more complex a thing is, the more complex and unlikely your designer has to be to design it, and the sappier and more useless your creationism becomes.

    E pur si evolves, texpip.

  21. 521
    chigau (違う)

    txpiper
    I don’t believe you.

  22. 522
    Amphiox

    It would be interesting to ask the texpip’s designer why it thought impacted wisdom teeth were a good idea.

    WHY OH MIGHTY MAKER, WHY?????

  23. 523
    Amphiox

    Or why chickens possess the genes necessary to grow teeth, which can be turned on by mutations.

    WHY OH MIGHTY MAKER, WHY?????

  24. 524
    chigau (違う)

    The SO never grew wisdom teeth.
    He is

    2122
    ____
    2122

  25. 525
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    cm’s changeable moniker @496:
    Thanks. Your response forced me to reevaluate my thoughts on the drone strikes. I realized my thinking lacked sufficient nuance. There is more to the drone strikes than ‘innocent civilians’ and ‘militants’.

    (I will say that the numbers I used were specifically about drone strikes in Pakistan, not the total number of people killed in FATA insurrections. I should have been clearer that my response was to StevoR and his ilk that support US-led drone strikes).

    [My reworked thoughts...]
    Is the threat level of the drone targets in Pakistan sufficient to justify the loss of civilian life and the state of fear many Pakistanis live in?

    No.

    As noted in the link you cite, the percentage of militants killed has increased to 89% under Obama. However, these numbers are quite possibly inflated as this report does not distinguish between high level and low level ‘militants’. Nor does it touch on the legality of those drone strikes.

    Major media outlets in the US, Europe, and Pakistan that report on drone strikes tend to divide all those killed by drone strikes into just two categories: civilians or “militants.” This reflects and reinforces a widespread assumption and misunderstanding that all “militants” are legitimate targets for the use of lethal force, and that any strike against a “militant” is lawful. This binary distinction [...] is extremely problematic, however, from a legal perspective.

    [First] use of the word “militant” to describe individuals killed by drones often obscures whether those killed are in fact lawful targets under the international legal regime governing the US operations in Pakistan. It is not necessarily the case that any person who might be described as a “militant” can be lawfully intentionally killed.

    Even if one buys into the drone program, he or she must acknowledge that

    … in order for an intentional lethal targeting to be lawful, a fundamental set of legal tests must be satisfied. For example … the targeted individual must either be directly participating in hostilities with the US (international humanitarian law) or posing an imminent threat that only lethal force can prevent (international human rights law).

    But that’s only the beginning of the criteria that should be used in determining if someone is Predator or Reaper fodder.

    [First] members of militant groups with which the US is not in an armed conflict are not lawful targets, absent additional circumstances … Further, simply being suspected of some connection to a “militant” organization—or, under the current administration’s apparent definition, simply being a male of military age in an area where “militant” organizations are believed to operate–is not alone sufficient to make someone a permissible target for killing.

    … Second, the label “militant” also fails to distinguish between so-called “high-value” targets with alleged leadership roles in Al Qaeda or [the Taliban], and low-level alleged insurgents with no apparent … means of posing a serious or imminent threat to the US. National security analysts—and the White House itself—have found that the vast majority of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan have been low-level alleged “militants.”

    http://scholarsandrogues.com/2012/11/12/drones-obliterate-shades-of-gray-between-militants-and-civilians/

    (The source for the link above is from http://www.livingunderdrones.org/report/ . For some reaason, my phone is acting up and preventing me from copy/pasting anything from the link ((aside from the quote I have below, which is annoying the crap out of me)) ).

    Exact numbers of civilians deaths are difficult to ascertain (the problems with the use and defining characteristics of ‘militant’ as seen above, as well as lack of transparency from US government, unreliability of reports ((such as those produced by the US stating few or single digit civilian casualties)), conflicting media reports, the US’s questionable use of the ill-defined ‘combatants’ and possibly more), but the extensive study at the link below finds that:

    The best currently available public aggregate data on drone strikes are provided by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), an independent journalist organization. TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children.[3] TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362.
    http://www.livingunderdrones.org/report/

    The 182 page report was crafted by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law and is a strong indictment against the US led drone policy and its supporters.

    ****
    And of course there is the news today:

    The non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism said Tuesday it obtained the Pakistani report from anonymous sources and published the full version on its website. The document lists U.S. drone strikes between 2006 and 2009 and shows at least 147 civilian deaths from the attacks, representing about one-fifth of total fatalities. It says most of the rest were militants. A similar study issued this month by the New America Foundation said U.S. drones killed 191 civilians in the four-year period, from a total of 1,004 fatalities. The Washington-based public policy institute said the casualty figures were based on “credible” reports mostly from Western news agencies. In a statement provided to VOA, the U.S. official said “the notion that the United States has undertaken operations in Pakistan that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Pakistanis is ludicrous.” The official said the Pakistani document listing drone casualties is not credible because it relies “in part on erroneous media reporting.”

    My emphasis.
    The God of Irony is in stitches (the Stanford/NYU report details the difficulty facing any attempts to obtain accurate information whether from “credible” US sources, media outlets, or even the Pakistani government).

  26. 526
    Amphiox

    Evolutionary theory explains the origins of teeth and their shapes so well that mammal paleontologists can reconstruct entire phylogenies based only on the shapes of teeth.

    The texpip’s sad, useless creationism concluded that tyrannosaurs used their teeth for crunching coconuts.

  27. 527
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    txpiper:
    You presume Nerd will not answer and assume he was born into an appreciation for science. Your presumption is without merit unless you know Nerd quite well. Do I have to even mention how unlikely THAT is?

    You assume your god is responsible for human teeth.
    A Godidiot Laden with Presumptuous Assumptions*.
    Never seen one of those before.

    __
    *I really wanted to have a witty acronym for this, like P.L.A.G.U.E., but could not come up with the appropriate ‘U’ and ‘E’…

  28. 528
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Amphiox:
    Come on be fair.
    Txpipers mythology states that early humans domesticated T-rex’s and trained them to open coconuts.

  29. 529
    Amphiox

    Txpipers mythology states that early humans domesticated T-rex’s and trained them to open coconuts.

    And yet, “coconut”, like “hell”, is a word that is not found anywhere in the bible.

  30. 530
    Amphiox

    It is notable to see the texpip once again justifying “skepticism” of the scientific worldview by raising an example of something “complex” which he thinks science does not fully explain. And yet the example he gives is one where science provides at least a partial explanation (if not a very complete one which the texpip has simply been too intellectually dishonest to bother looking up), while his own creationist worldview provides NO EXPLANATION WHATSOEVER.

    A partial explanation should trump no explanation, which by the texpip’s own metric should lead him to favor science over his religious fantasies.

    If the texpip were actually an intellectually honest dealer.

    But of course he is not.

  31. 531
    Amphiox

    And they are functionally arranged in mirroring pairs from incisors, to canines, to premolars, to molars, with complimentary matching counterparts in the opposing jaw

    Said arrangement existing only in the mammals, with a long series of already known transitional forms demonstrating how it arose from the mammals’ synapsid ancestors.

    Why this arrangement is unique to the mammals, even though many other lineages could have benefited from it, but do not have it, is yet another example of something evolutionary theory explains very well, and which the texpip’s sad, useless creationism can’t explain at all.

    (And “mirroring” part of course is simply a consequence of bilateral symmetry, which again is something which evolutionary theory explains very well, but which the texpip’s sad, useless creationism can do nothing but presuppose.)

  32. 532
    Menyambal

    txpiper:

    … it’s what and who you listen to that is important …

    No. It’s how you think about what you hear and read that’s important. Txpiper, your authoritarian assumptions are strong in that one.

    Your teeth are a remarkable collection of complex devices.

    Actually, they are bits of bone grown in a few layers, with some repetitive simple shapes. Not a lot of complexity, compared to the brain, really, just a bunch of budded-off bits that kinda work.

    … which signal your brain that something foreign only a fraction of a millimeter thick is stuck on the surface of any given tooth

    Txpiper, you’ve got some spinach or something stuck on your front tooth. You’ve also got something stuck in your brain if you think all that information-reporting happens. I can barely tell that something is stuck between two teeth, and then I have to feel around to find where it is. Your complexity is once again ‘way overdone.

    Now you believe …

    No, it’s not a matter of faith. It’s accepting evidence, more like. Or understanding.

    … natural selection removed countless failures …

    Yep. Except they weren’t failures, just not quite as good. And be careful of the purposefulness, there.

    … but persevered …

    That. Don’t do that.

    … tidy ..

    I’d not call it tidy.

    … accidental refinements and improvements occurring between their teeth and yours.

    Random variations, rather than accidents, but yeah, pretty much.

    And you also accept ….

    “Accept” is good, but not in the sense that someone is just shovelling shit and we take it.

    … without any hesitation …

    Of course there’s hesitation. Call it skepticism, or science. Again, you seem to not get that we aren’t just sucking down some preacher-man’s spewing.

    … that the neuro-detection apparatus between your teeth and your brain, which is the real show ….

    Again, what show system are you raving about? My teeth are very sensitive to pain, these days, and that’s more info that they’ve ever given to my brain. We can tell when we’ve bitten something hard, but that’s about it.

    You make it sound like we have Conrad Pooh’s Dancing Teeth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IvXNo_5LMk

    …. is an accidental system produced by DNA replication errors.

    No, evolved systems are useful systems, produced by variations about other useful systems. And I’d not call the DNA replication an error—the gene-mixing from sexual reproduction is a feature, not a bug. The errors in replication occur at a level that adds useful variation—we’ve adapted to it, you might say.

    If your designer doesn’t like errors, he did a damn bad job.

    … who you listened to until you started believing in stuff like this?

    What? I listened to my Sunday School teachers, myself, but you seem to be asking what triggered a conversion event.

    It wasn’t a conversion event, because abrupt conversions based on single authority is a religious thing. You really don’t understand how different science is from religion, and how scientific thought differs from religious faith.

    … a cool, objective science guy who accepts nothing but conclusive physical evidence.

    No. I accepted a coherent, well-rounded, robust and logical theory. You again are being religious, not scientific—your strawman is your own way of thought.

    Txpiper, variation happens—that’s a fact. If that variation keeps up, there’s gonna be evolution. If that variation makes a difference in reproduction, that’s natural selection.

    Our teeth, with their kludged-up arrangement and their resemblance to the teeth of every other mammal, and their very poor sensory nerves, are exactly what we expect from evolution.

    That’s partly because evolution was figured out by looking at things like teeth and working out the best possible explanation for how they got the way they are. Then looking for predictions based on those explanations and working from there. That system of working is a coherent, well-rounded, robust and logical way to work.

    Science works, and it has produced a coherent explanation of teeth, and everything else, called evolution. One fact—evolution—and a coherent theory of how it happens—one theory. Ir’s like it true. (It is true, but scientists always deliberately keep some doubt going.)

    Religions, on the myriad other hands, have produced a cacophony of competing crazinesses. There, in all the religions, is the accidents, there is the errors, there is the impossibility, there is the misunderstanding, there is the belief, there is the assurance. There is not the truth.

  33. 533
    Lofty

    catholic church up to no good, as usual.

  34. 534
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Lofty:
    Fuck the fucking fuckers.
    Putting the privacy of the priests and the name of the church ahead of the sexual abuse of childen. That is evil.
    ****

    Immigration Minister Tony Burke says he will travel to the Manus Island detention centre within days to assess what he says are “horrific” claims of rape and torture at the site.

    A former senior Manus Island security manager has told SBS’s Dateline program that detainees there have been raped and abused with the full knowledge of staff.

    Mr Burke says the allegations are appalling, but says the Government still intends to massively expand the Manus Island facility.

    Meanwhile three people, including a young girl, are believed to have died after a boat carrying more than 100 asylum seekers sank off the coast of Java.
    [...]

    He also confirmed an instance where a man was left with a perforated eardrum after solvent was poured in his ear.
    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-24/am-manus-follow/4839384

  35. 535
    John Morales

    PZ, the commenting rules need updating would benefit from an update* , for the Dungeon is no more.

    * In your copious free time! ;)

  36. 536
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your teeth are a remarkable collection of complex devices.

    All explained by evolution. Your presupposiiton of an imaginary designer is sophistimicated philosophy, built on the quicksand of lies and bullshit. Which is why everything you say is lies and bullshit, not one citation to the peer reviewed scientific literature. Where is your imaginary deity???? Prove it exists, or shut the fuck up about it. Without a deity and an inerrant holy book, nothing but bullshit on bullshit on bullshit. Which is religion.

  37. 537
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So my question to you, which you will not answer, is about who you listened to until you started believing in stuff like this?

    Isaac Asimov Wellsprings of Life.

    Now you answer me txpiper, where is your conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural, origin. Something equivalent to an eternally burning bush. The same level of evidence is reqiuired for babble to be anything other than a book of mythology/fiction. No such physical evidence exists, ergo, your argument that your deity isn’t imaginary is false. And your “arguments” are nothing but bullshit and misunderstanding of a delusional fool.

  38. 538
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents love bringing up the things that are “too complex” to have evolved.

    Well, dammit, let me turn the tables.

    If god (or your “designer”) did in fact design and build us from the ground up, please explain the following. In detail. Justify these things:

    (1) The rabbit hindgut.
    (2) The mammalian vermiform appendix.
    (3) The male prostate.
    (4) The human spine.
    (5) The human female genitourinary system.
    (6) Autosomal dominant genes that cause devastating phenotypes.
    (7) The venom of the Ornithorhynchus anatinus.

    That’s just a few. Let’s hear your justifications of why any benign and wise creator would make those things.

  39. 539
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    While we’re at it, can your creator justify persistent idiopathic itching? Or chronic pain disorders?

  40. 540
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ anteprepro

    Why then, if one can happily go through life in a GAWD-induced haze, should we care?

    I believe the best answer is “politics”.

    The question was more in the sense of why we keep resisting slurping on the religious kool-aid. Our natural proclivity is to flop down on the (intellectual) sofa that YHWH provides. What motivates us? We could simply let go of the intellect, and do as people like txpiper, Jim Bob “Fucking-for-jeebus” Duggar, Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, etc. Jeebus Soma is so seductive.

    Our natural inclination, as naked apes, is to be intellectually lazy, make up shit and grant equal weight to fantasies as to facts. Religion is the most obvious outcome of the way our minds are wired. It is very much “going with the flow”. Why do we put ourselves through the tedious exercise of engaging our intellects?

    This brave new world that we, through science, seek to create. It should be to make our lives simpler?

    @ Nick Gotts

    Al-Sisi’s desperate scramble for legitimacy: Egyptian army chief calls for street protests

    African Proverb:

    When the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

  41. 541
    LykeX

    One thing, concerning the issue of how do you explain x?” When proposing an explanatory model, it’s not sufficient to simply explain why we see the evidence we do. The model also has to explain why we don’t see what we don’t.

    So, it’s not enough to say that “god did it.” You also how to explain why god didn’t do it in one of the other billions of ways that a supposed omnipotent deity could have done things.
    The more possible outcomes a theory allows, the less support that theory receives from any given outcome.

  42. 542
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ txpiper

    I am fascinated to know how a goddist, like yourself, explains away animal breeding. You reject the truth of evolution, yet when we look at transformations to animals wrought by mere humans, I cannot say I understand your position.

    This is a special case of evolution where the issue of “survival of the fittest” is under the guidance of human agency. The breeding of dogs is particularly interesting, in that breeders determine the evolution of features with intent and that the process has been well recorded. Godlike, they have had a pretty clear idea of the intended outcomes. They have molded the animals as they have seen fit.

    Classic examples would be the Staffordshire Terrier or the Bulldog. Teeth, musculature, size of body parts (they have relatively large heads and jaws), fur … even temperament have been very carefully controlled. The breeders essentially forced their animals onto a very extreme evolutionary trajectory. Those dogs that were not extremely aggressive towards other dogs (Staffordshire) or highly impervious to pain (both Staffies and Bulldogs) did not get the chance to breed. Those that displayed aggression towards humans were quite simply killed. The result of these actions was to evolve the breeds that we know today. They are very different from their common ancestor.

    My question is simple. Did your imaginary sky-god have to get involved in these evolutionary processes, or do we get to thank the breeders for transforming dogs into such breeds?

  43. 543
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Second, the label “militant” also fails to distinguish between so-called “high-value” targets with alleged leadership roles in Al Qaeda or [the Taliban], and low-level alleged insurgents with no apparent … means of posing a serious or imminent threat to the US

    I have yet to be convinced that anyone in Pakistan has any means of being a ‘threat to the U.S.’ This is a major reason why I’m categorically opposed to military action there, be it drones or boots on the ground.

  44. 544
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Dalillama:
    Sadly, unconvinced you shall remain since the US government does not comment on the drone strikes. I would be interested in hearing the justification for our continued attacks in that region. I guess since they are ‘others’, the loss of life simply is not an issue. ::pukes

  45. 545
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Given that the US has been caught defining “14+ and male” as “combatant” …

  46. 546
    myeck waters

    If only the USAF would air-drop thousands of packs of Skittles into the areas they plan to hit. Then there would be no question who was innocent and who was guilty of being suspected of possibly holding terrorist candy.

  47. 547
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Tony
    Indeed, I will go further and say that I have yet to hear a convincing argument that anyone at all who is not currently a member of the U.S. government or major lobbyist to same poses a plausible threat to the U.S., military or otherwise.

  48. 548
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Myeck:
    Wouldn’t they also have to drop some firearms to ensure vigilantes perform their duties? Pshaw! Like the US would ever deliver arms…

  49. 549
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Ok, correction. Some state governments can screw the country pretty bad too, especially when they cooperate.

  50. 550
    txpiper

    “The more complex a thing is, the more complex and unlikely your designer has to be to design it”

    Fair enough, but if He can steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago, I don’t think that is much of a problem.

    ===

    “I am fascinated to know how a goddist, like yourself, explains away animal breeding. You reject the truth of evolution, yet when we look at transformations to animals wrought by mere humans, I cannot say I understand your position.”

    What is there to “explain away”? That is only evolution if you think that Mendel’s peas were evolving.

    “Classic examples would be the Staffordshire Terrier or the Bulldog. Teeth, musculature, size of body parts (they have relatively large heads and jaws), fur … even temperament have been very carefully controlled. The breeders essentially forced their animals onto a very extreme evolutionary trajectory. Those dogs that were not extremely aggressive towards other dogs (Staffordshire) or highly impervious to pain (both Staffies and Bulldogs) did not get the chance to breed.”

    Pit Bulls, not Bulldogs. Rotts rule.

  51. 551
    txpiper

    Sorry Theo, I misread your wording. Yes, Bulldogs.

  52. 552
    John Morales

    I see Morton’s demon is manifest in the piper’s plaintive piping.

  53. 553
    chigau (違う)

    …He can steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago…

    He’s ‘steering’ humans along a pre-destined path?

    How does that work?

  54. 554
    Amphiox

    Fair enough, but if He can steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago, I don’t think that is much of a problem.

    The ability to steer the destiny of one small species for a mere couple centuries is utterly insignificant compared to the mind-bogglingly unlikely level of complexity required to design an entire universe and an entire biosphere of life.

    An ant would have a better chance of moving a mountain.

    And of course, even for that first criteria, he can’t. He couldn’t even erase a single puny city and prevent it from being found again.

    Face it texpip, your pitiful, useless creationism is simply the sappiest of all sappy ideas that have ever been sapped.

  55. 555
    Amphiox

    What is there to “explain away”? That is only evolution if you think that Mendel’s peas were evolving.

    We can now add Mendel’s pea experiments to the long list of topics about which the texpip has been shown to know nothing about, or been caught lying about.

  56. 556
    Amphiox

    The texpip’s poor, useless creationism couldn’t even predict the establishment and founding of the texpip’s own nation. Nor does it even mention that nation, at all, (merely the most powerful and most influential nation that has ever existed in the history of humanity) in its prophecies about the end times.

  57. 557
    Amphiox

    It also failed to predict, or indeed say anything at all, about the bloodiest, most destructive conflict involving the most populous nation on the planet. Or indeed anything at all about most of that nation’s history.

  58. 558
    John Morales

    Sometimes…

  59. 559
    Menyambal

    The easiest way to steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago, is to shoot everybody who isn’t cooperating with the program. Which is artificial selection.

  60. 560
    John Morales

    Menyambal, look deeper.

    (It’s pure Panglossianism)

  61. 561
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Fair enough, but if He can steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago, I don’t think that is much of a problem.

    Yet you cowardly evade the answer. Godbots lie and bullshit to avoid the answer.

    What is there to “explain away”? That is only evolution if you think that Mendel’s peas were evolving.

    Still no evidence for your imaginary deity. Nothing but evasions and bullshit.

    WHY ARE YOU AFRAID TO PROVIDE CONCLUSIVE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE FOR YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY? ALL YOU QUESTIONS DON’T NEED YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY, EVOLUTION RULES, YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY DROOOLZ.

  62. 562
    Amphiox
    Fair enough, but if He can steer human history to a conclusion forecast many centuries ago, I don’t think that is much of a problem.

    Yet you cowardly evade the answer.

    It is also a category error. It makes no more sense than saying that if beavers can build dams, then it isn’t a problem to assume that the white gloop that just fell five hundred feet through the air and plopped all over the texpip’s face could not have been deposited by anything other than a flying beaver.

  63. 563
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    All I’ve gotten from this thread is that now I want my own coconut opening T-Rex

    Oh and that the pip is as mindnumbingly dense as ever.

  64. 564
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Rev.
    Here at Casa de Groupthink Hivemind we prefer tentacled helpers to open our coconuts.
    Me, I need no help with nuts. Coco or otherwise…

  65. 565
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Because a bar is a great place to bring a gun:

    On Tuesday, North Carolina lawmakers approved a bill allowing gun owners with concealed-carry permits to bring their weapons to playgrounds, bars, and public recreation areas, although bar owners will still be permitted to deny entry to armed patrons. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is expected to sign the expansive bill into law soon. The measure will also allow concealed-carry permit holders to keep their guns in cars parked on school campuses. The bill was stripped of an especially extreme provision that would have eliminated the requirement for background checks or handgun permits.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/24/2349961/north-carolina-gun-owners-will-soon-be-able-to-carry-firearms-at-bars-and-playgrounds/

  66. 566
    txpiper

    “Nor does it even mention that nation, at all, (merely the most powerful and most influential nation that has ever existed in the history of humanity) in its prophecies about the end times.”

    No, the US is not a player. Little surprise there.

    There are some who think that a reference in Ezekiel 38:13 to young lions could be referring the US and perhaps England. The chapter is decribing a future invasion of Israel by a alliance of nations/peoples, and the lions and other merchant nations sound concerned, but are apparently unable to intervene.

    There are also some who think that Babylon, whose quick destruction is described in Revelation 17 & 18 could be the US.

  67. 567
    Menyambal

    txpiper:

    There are some who think ….

    “Some”?!? How there be any disagreement? The book was written by God himself, for the edification of the people. Wasn’t it? Why put out a prophecy that nobody understands? Why put out a prophecy at all, and then half-ass it? Aren’t you guys in touch with God?

    Or is the point of the religion to deal with shit like that? I think Theophontes is right, the religious get off on that confusion. I have argued before that faith has become the point of modern Christianity, with the ability to believe impossible things as the goal.

    These folks have sacrificed their minds to their god. They do not realize how bad they make their religion appear. Txpiper, I used to be an agnostic—not the God-is-unknowable kind, just the I-have-no-proof-God-doesn’t-exist kind—then I found people like you. You, Txpiper, and your little friends are what convinced me there cannot possibly be a god.

    By the way, your book says you’ll go to Hell for that.

    … think ….

    Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  68. 568
    Owlmirror

    So let’s see if I have this down:

    txpiper: Teeth are complex (and so are brains, and nerves, and jawbones, and ears, and bears, and dolphins, and whales, and and and . . . ), therefore, they must have been made by a magic man using magic, and they cannot possibly be the result of naturally occurring mutations and natural selection over the course of several hundred million years . . . because I say so.

    Response: If being complex means that a magic man is required to make it by magic, then your magic man needs an even more magic man to create it, using even more magic. The amount of magic and the number of magic men required becomes infinite! And yet there’s no sign of any magic men using any magic at all.

    txpiper: My magic man can magically make things happen by magic after a few centuries, while leaving no sign whatsoever that it happened by magic, so that’s not a problem.

    Response: That doesn’t even begin to address the previous response. Say, what about dogs? There’s a large gene pool, the result of many mutations in the population, and additional naturally occuring mutations as well. Do you think that breeding dogs — human-originated selection on the gene pool — is magic as well?

    txpiper: Magic happens magically from the magic man! Dog breeding is not evolution!

    Response: That’s… even more of a non-sequitur.

    txpiper: Magic man does magic!

    Response: What?

    txpiper: Magic magic magically magical magic!

    Response: Is this some kind of weird mantra? Can you even try to address the problem demonstrated with your argument?

    txpiper: You can’t fool me! It’s magic all the way down!

  69. 569
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There are some who think t

    Nobody who is ration thinks about what the babble says, unless they have shown it isn’t a book of mythology/fiction. And you haven’t done so, and your presuppositional fuckwittery is rejected before you complete your inane argument. Where is the solid and conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity and your babble not being a book of mythology/fiction. It has been missing in action for several years, like it doesn’t exist. Which is why you are a confirmed liar and bullshitter. Either prove your claims with real evidence, or shut the fuck up about them. In which case, you should have been silent before you said anything if you were intelligent, honest, and had integrity, and understood real evidence…..

  70. 570
    omnicrom

    Or is the point of the religion to deal with shit like that? I think Theophontes is right, the religious get off on that confusion. I have argued before that faith has become the point of modern Christianity, with the ability to believe impossible things as the goal.

    And yet Txpiper and their ilk believe they traffic in absolute certainty. You can bring up any number of incoherent prophecies or deranged divine visions like burning chariots with rims covered in eyes and the Fundamentalist stripe will fall back on bullshit like “God works in mysterious ways”. Then they’ll say that their god put forth absolute truth in their mythology book which is totally clear and inerrantly convincing so if we aren’t believers it’s because we’re stubborn children rebelling against an authority figure because we don’t want to be accountable for our sins. That’s some heavy-duty doublethink there.

    You can’t have it both ways Txpiper. If the god hypothesis has the smallest glimmer of truth prove it. If your holy book holds the mysteries of life then back it up. If the bible really did tell us how the world works then surely you could back it up with secular evidence? Or once again do we fall back on the idea that god works in mysterious ways so turn off your brains and commit faith? Isn’t it funny that whenever god works his mysterious ways on the world it’s literally as though he never did anything at all? Ever?

  71. 571
    LykeX

    @txpiper
    Why is god acting like a second-rate psychic? Making vague predictions that can be interpreted a million different ways is a common strategy of scam artists. If he’s got something to say, why not simply say it?

    Extra point if you can answer without appeal to “god works in mysterious ways” or equivalent.

  72. 572
    Owlmirror

    And yet Txpiper and their ilk believe they traffic in absolute certainty. You can bring up any number of incoherent prophecies

    Like “[Tyre] will never be found again!”

    (Oh, look! Tyre!)

  73. 573
    txpiper

    “Why put out a prophecy that nobody understands?”

    The presentation depends on the subject. Future things are dependably accurate, but deliberately obscured so as not to eliminate the single required element of faith. In other words, there is enough to work with.

    There are lots of details about the events that occurred during the crucifixion. But they are scattered and buried so that they only make sense after the fact. Psalm 22, composed a thousand years before Christ is a good example:

    15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
    16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
    17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
    18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

    There is no record of any of these things happening to David. This is a pre-record of the Lord’s experience while He was on the cross. You can find the references in the Gospel accounts for yourself if you are interested.

    Another interesting example would be Psalm 69:

    21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    Again, this appears in a narrative that King David wrote about himself, but it has nothing to do with him. It anticipates this, from the Matthew 27 account:

    34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
    48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

    The reason for the deliberate vagueness is not that hard to figure out. A clear, blow-by-blow account before the fact would be an invitation to fraud, but an imposter would not be able to manage scattered details.

    What do you want to do next? Isaiah 53, the Tabernacle of Exodus or the Levitical Feasts?

  74. 574
    Menyambal

    Rebelling against God because we …. yeah, nothing they put after that can make any sense at all, given the prospect of Hell. I may eat ice cream even though I’m going to be fat for the rest of my life, but there’s no way I’d be eating ice cream if it meant I’d be in Hell for eternity.

    The fundies accuse atheists of mind-bogglingly stupid stupidities, like choosing Hell from petulance, and they act so wise for having made up that shit about people they can’t comprehend. And, actually, they’ve copied that shit off some dumb-ass preacher man that they give money to—they haven’t thought it up themselves.

    If I thought there was any chance of Hell, I’d be studying the holy books with both eyes and doing good works with both hands and have both cheeks of my ass in a pew of every church in town until I found just the right church. Then I’d get out and really work on communicating with the unbelievers. None of which the fundies do, they just assume they are already right with God, then go harass people in the least convincing way possible.

    Protip, fundies: The best market for your religious crap is other religious people. They are already halfway to your version of God, just help them along the rest of the way. Then, when all of God’s children are once again in one church, come out after us unbelievers, and say, “Look, we aren’t a bunch of squabbling schismatics anymore. You now have a chance of believing we have a central truth and are communicating with God.” (By the way, I’ll still need convincing, but until the churchly are in one small-c-catholic church, you haven’t got a prayer.)

  75. 575
    chigau (違う)

    So, Jesus knew the prophesy and set out to fulfil the prophesy (by sending his minions to steal a couple of donkeys) and that is miraculous?

  76. 576
    Owlmirror

    The presentation depends on the subject. Future things are dependably accurate, but deliberately obscured so as not to eliminate the single required elements of faith paranoid apophenia, cherry picking, strained interpretation, and outright bullshit.

    Your sentence was broken, so I fixed it.

    In other words, there is enough to work with, just like with the Oracle at Delphi, tea leaves, haruspexy, and the I Ching.

    Moar fixed!

    There are lots of no details about the events that occurred during the crucifixion but Christians love making shit up. But they are scattered and buried cherry-picked so that they only don’t even make sense after the fact.

    Helping!

    For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet.

    Oh, look! Your translation was broken, too!

    There is no record of any of these things happening to David.

    Which is irrelevant.

    This is a typical example of Christian post-hoc cherry-picking of Scripture, claimed to be a pre-record of the Lord’s experience while He was on the cross

    Not quite done fixing your broken sentences…

    Another interesting example of Christian post-hoc cherry-picking of Scripture would be Psalm 69:

    Onwards.

    Again, this appears in a narrative that allegedly King David wrote about himself, but it has nothing to do with him although there’s nothing stopping it from being either apocryphal, or a much later composition by someone else .

    Note that the attribution of the Psalms to David is traditional but unsupported. There’s lots of them which are obviously not about David, or about “recorded” events in David’s life, so claiming that point does not at all support Jesus. It supports a greatly varied body of composers, in time, place, and personality.

    The reason for the deliberate vagueness is not that hard to figure out. A clear, blow-by-blow account before the fact would be an invitation to fraud self-fulfilling prophecy, like so much other claimed “prophecy”, but an imposter would not be able to manage cherry-picked scattered details.

    Lots of help needed here!

    What do you want to do next?

    I can fix anything you can dish out.

  77. 577
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But try to understand
    Try to understand
    Try try try to understand
    He’s a magic man, Mama
    He’s a magic man

  78. 578
    Menyambal

    txpiper:

    …. the single required element of faith.

    Now see, we’re done right there.

    What, precisely, is faith? Define it so everyone, including the faithful, will agree, and so that I, a dog of an unbeliever, can distinguish it from obsession and insanity.

    Seriously, you’ve just said that you have to believe that this stuff is true. Which is another way of saying that it isn’t.

    There are lots of scientists picking out obscure threads of fact from the world, but when they are done, the findings are no longer matters of faith, they are facts. One guy may believe that he has something, but by the time he is done, and it becomes science, Science, as a whole, is not taking it on faith.

    Religion and Science are dead opposite, there. They really have no common ground. Religion, now, is all about faith. Science is about facts, with a healthy element of doubt.

    But they are scattered and buried so that they only make sense after the fact.

    Why?

    My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

    Jesus was strong enough to carry a cross, he gave tongue to several verses while on the cross, and the cross was up out of the dust.

    For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

    Dogs, where? Assembly, like a congregation? The dogs pierced his feet? Oh, I see, the dogs bit his hands and feet.

    BTW, tests have shown that hands can’t take the strain of crucifixion, the spikes go through the wrists. Notice that no mention is made of piercing his side. (So it was said while he was on the cross, right? But see above about talking.)

    I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

    Does that mean that he can see all his own bones? When was that ever the case? (The language is very obscure, here, but I’m sure it means he was skinny as hell. “Tell”, as in telling one’s beads.)

    They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

    I like the poetry here. But lots of people have had their clobber divvied up (I have), and the casting lots business is one way to make a fair split. (Also, this is the kind of stuff that can be added into a story for a little verisimilitude.)

    But, yeah, haunting.

    There is no record of any of these things happening to David.

    David was a psalmist, which means he made up songs. He is also the guy who was once accused of prophesying poorly, when the context makes it clear he was singing. There’s some translating error, at least.

    There are also a lot of psalms that didn’t predict anything, like some of the verses above. You’d got to have faith to figure out which is prophecy and which is just poetic imagery.

    You can find the references in the Gospel accounts for yourself if you are interested.

    You can also find a few spots where Jesus allegedly said something, just to fulfill prophecy, and it says so right there that that’s why he said it. It really sounds like doctoring the books to me.

    They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    Who is “they”?

    Again, this appears in a narrative that King David wrote about himself, but it has nothing to do with him.

    If he wrote it about himself, was he lying? Or was he just making music?

    They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

    So the gall wasn’t for his meat? It was for his drink?

    BTW, the Roman soldiers used vinegar in their water as a germicide and to give it some taste. I did that for a while, and did fine with it. So they weren’t just being mean to Jesus if they actually did offer him vinegar and water. Most vinegar is 95% water, anyhow. (The sponge may have been a cruel joke, though, but I’m not gonna explain.)

    And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

    Did he drink, or not? That verse sounds like he did. (No, I can’t be arsed to look it up. I’m just going off what was posted.)

    The reason for the deliberate vagueness is not that hard to figure out. A clear, blow-by-blow account before the fact would be an invitation to fraud, but an imposter would not be able to manage scattered details.

    That makes sense to you? A clear, blow-by-blow account before the fact, of things that no-one could control, such as weather and Roman soldiers uniforms, would be impressive as all hell. When the audience turns, and there come the dancing blue elephants, just as predicted, there could be no doubt.

    As for fraud, there were lots of frauds. And since your crucifixion did not manage all the scattered details you just gave—the dogs, the bones, the hand-piercing, the meat—it’s obviously a fraud.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  79. 579
    LykeX

    Future things are dependably accurate, but deliberately obscured so as not to eliminate the single required element of faith

    How exactly can something both be dependably accurate and also obscure enough to require faith? If you need faith, then clearly, the prophecy isn’t clear enough to convince people on its own merits.

    It sounds like you’re saying that if you believe the prophecy is accurate, you can find some interpretation, which allows you to claim it hasn’t been disproved, which is exactly what I was criticizing in my previous comment.

  80. 580
    Rutee Katreya

    The presentation depends on the subject. Future things are dependably accurate, but deliberately obscured so as not to eliminate the single required element of faith. In other words, there is enough to work with.

    Asinine. Even a clear prediction would require faith.

    There are lots of details about the events that occurred during the crucifixion. But they are scattered and buried so that they only make sense after the fact. Psalm 22, composed a thousand years before Christ is a good example:

    Fuckboy doesn’t even know how Messiah work? Well I’m fucking shocked. YEshua failed to kick the Romans out of Judea, and the predictions called for a military king next. He isn’t the Messiah. It’s that simple.

    The reason for the deliberate vagueness is not that hard to figure out. A clear, blow-by-blow account before the fact would be an invitation to fraud, but an imposter would not be able to manage scattered details.

    Your God can direct human history but can’t stop individual charlatans?

  81. 581
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I would so read a column by Owlmirror that fixes the delusions of the deluded. The corrections made to txpiper were quite entertaining.

  82. 582
    Menyambal

    Jules Verne “prophesied” that the first trip to the moon would be done by Americans, launch from Florida, in a ship made of aluminum.

    Scientists “prophesied” that the microwave background radiation curve would be of a certain shape, and it was.

    The Bible “prophesied” that Jesus would be in the tomb for three days and three nights. He only made it one night, one day, and part of another night.

    What is the point of Biblical prophesy, anyhow? “In two thousand years, some crazy shit will be going down? Um, okay?” Wouldn’t something more immediate be handier? “In two years, goat-meat will be out of fashion? I’ll start selling off.”

    Prophesy is another case where doctoring the documents can easily be done. And, in the Bible, much is now claimed to be prophecy that clearly wasn’t. Anyone without faith can clearly see that.

    I think the importance of prophecy is something that has grown over time. It really wasn’t a thing, at first, but it has grown into a fashion, and become the greatest “evidence” for the accuracy of the Bible. It’s like faith becoming the purpose of the religion—prophecy is now the purpose of the Bible.

    I have evidence of that, but you’ll just have to take it on faith. I prophesy that you will.

  83. 583
    mikmik

    Another interesting example would be Psalm 69:

    21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    Again, this appears in a narrative that King David wrote about himself, but it has nothing to do with him. It anticipates this, from the Matthew 27 account:

    34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
    48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

    Are you fucking kidding me? Matthew misinterpreted David’s words to think they were a prophesy and so the(Matthew) account reflects that. People think David is talking about himself because he is, FFS!
     
    Anyways, WTF?! A fucking storyteller repeats something written in the past is not fucking prophecy! It is such a pathetically transparent attempt at creating credibility that my mind boggles.
    And what’s this shit about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on an ass. That Matthew author, eh, what a little dickens, eh?
      – - -
     
    Enough of your red herrings. Let’s hear your attempt to explain how ‘Mendel’s peas must’ve evolved’:

    What is there to “explain away”? That is only evolution if you think that Mendel’s peas were evolving.

    is a reasonable conclusion. Tell me what Mendel’s experiments had to do with evolution?
    Evolution can only work if characteristic’s are inherited! What The Fuck was your point? How do arrive at the conclusion that we have to equate inheritance with evolution? Where do you get that?
    It’s akin to you saying that because overeating can cause obesity, eating obesity!
     
     
     
    Fuck your tap dancing.

  84. 584
    Lofty

    texaspip’s theology resembles the cheshire cat, scrutinize it closely and all that remains is the sneer.

  85. 585
    mikmik

    How about Jesus’ prophesy that he would return before the next generation, before His disciples died?

    Failed. The one thing, the one prophesy, that would’ve made everything else irrelevant, it was wrong.

    (It wasn’t the only one)

  86. 586
    mikmik

    I’m a prophet and you know it
    For my words they clearly show it

    The truth, it seems that it does ring
    From songs that foretell anything.

    My words are vague and they can mean
    What it might be you want to glean

    They are not deep but merely shite
    Fit for minds that are truly trite.

  87. 587
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Looks like txpiper has shrunk his inane and stupid arguments to straight proselytizing of his imaginary deity and holy book of mythology/fiction. Not convincing at all. And unlike evolution, it must be accepted on faith, not on evidence (those pesky million or so scientific papers that txpip never, ever, refuted with more science).

    By the way txpiper, proselytizing is banhammer offense everywhere on this blog.

  88. 588
    John Morales

    Menyambal:

    What, precisely, is faith? Define it so everyone, including the faithful, will agree, and so that I, a dog of an unbeliever, can distinguish it from obsession and insanity.

    What is this, Reverse Babble Jeopardy?

    (A: Hebrews 11:1)

  89. 589
    John Morales

    [ObChristianistJoke]

    A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.

    The wife said, ‘You should do it because you get up first, and then we don’t have to wait as long to get our coffee.

    The husband said, ‘You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.’

    Wife replies, ‘No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.’
    Husband replies, ‘I can’t believe that, show me.’

    So she fetched the Bible, and opened the Old Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says

    ‘HEBREWS’

    (Provenance uncertain)

  90. 590
    Lofty

    Faith is the froth on the cup of coffee of life.

  91. 591
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    every time i read the pip shooting himself in the foot, this song comes into my head

    I could wile away the hours
    Conferrin’ with the flowers
    Consultin’ with the rain
    And my head I’d be scratchin’
    While my thoughts were busy hatchin’

  92. 592
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ txpiper

    Your quotes sound like they describe younger me, back in the day, when I did super-triatholons:

    15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

    Anyone who has done a major endurance event (particularly in a semitropical climate) will recognise these symptoms precisely. Particularly when an idiot, like myself, heads off into the hills without sufficient water.

    16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

    Yeah, I usually just “KLAP” the fuckers with my bicycle pump. A bulldog once attacked me so badly I broke a large stick over its head … and it just kept coming. Never mind my feet, the vindictive hound started biting my bicycle! They can be deadly. Jesus had it easy.

    (For those of the horde foolish enough to cycle, a squirt from your water bottle often does the trick … that is, if you have any water left.)

    17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

    Want to lose that kind of weight? Over-train and then go vegetarian. I seriously warn against this.

    18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

    Anyone who has donated their clothing to Oxfam knows how this goes. Donate when you’re up, buy when you’re down. Actually, it has worked very well for me.

    21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

    Obviously you haven’t lived in China. Apple vinegar is delicious and (supposedly) very good for one – I drink it all the time. Gall? Fuck. I’ve eaten a shitload worse stuff than mere gall. (Bear gall is a major (and appalling, like shark’s fin soup) luxury out here. Jesus would have starved to death if he was that fussy.)

  93. 593
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    A squirt of vinegar works even better on the doggies.

  94. 594
    omnicrom

    texaspip’s theology resembles the cheshire cat, scrutinize it closely and all that remains is the sneer.

    Let’s be fair to the Cheshire cat, it actually was knowledgable, helpful, and had predictive power. The directions and information it gave to Alice were both fully accurate. It wasn’t really a sneer either, it was just jazzed all the time on account of being mad. Additionally as we know from Alice 6:38 it only left behind its grin at Alice’s own request making it better at intercessory prayers than YHVH.

  95. 595
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Menyambal

    I think Theophontes is right, the religious get off on that confusion.

    Just to be clear on a few points:

    1. Yes, religion allows for cherry picking and personalisation of the narrative. The implication is that an infinite number could be generated. This is, however, much less the case than one would, at first, think. There are only a fairly limited number of strong religious narrative elements. They tend also to be universal both in time and geography. They tend to evolve to the same restricted number of tropes.

    An example,
    is the idea of a Superior Moral Agent ™ . These may take the form of a single “Supreme Being”, but are usually extended over a number of metaphysical (overtly human) beings.

    The idea is very much that, because we are judged by the people about us – who inevitably lack the full picture of any situation – we can envisage an agent that, in order to fully understand the situation and thereby pass judgement, is all-seeing. Only such a being would know that I (always “I”, this is the ultimate ego trip. In txpiper’s case, the “I” is txpiper) is a Good Person ™ and a Worthy Person ™ . “I” is always decent, and justified. In the absence (and even prevalence) of mere human endorsement, a figment delivers on just such a requirement.

    2. Superstition, “intuition” and emotion is the normal way for humans to interact with reality. The scientific method, even mere conscious consideration… mindfulness, is exceptional. We are the so called “freaks”. Not txpiper. The human mind is exceptionally well suited for brute survival, relatively well evolved for complex social interaction and pathetic at logical thought.

    3. Human apes have evolved to consider “other minds” (at least those that do not suffer from Autism). It matters not that the agent considered is real or not. It will be given equal weight. (WWJD), What Would Jeebus Do? That he is a (rather cheesy) fictional character is of little consequence. The question is as coherent as asking: What Would My Own Mother Do?

    4. Humans grant salience not to the reality of the situation but to the coherency of the narrative. This is very hard for a sane (by our lights) person to understand. What to us looks, and sounds, like complete gobbledygook, is to a person such as txpiper a fully coherent story. When his tale jars with reality, he patches up his narrative. It would take a level of intellect above his capability to think himself out of such a situation. We are quite simply incapable of changing this. (I find it a worthwhile exercise only in that we learn to argue such, and that uncertain lurkers may form their own opinions.

  96. 596
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    theophontes
    A squirt of vinegar works even better on the doggies.

    Jeetje! Where were you when I needed you

    It was actually one of our neighbours’ dogs. Perhaps it thought of me a galloping metal gazelle, … or more likely a very thin metallic bull?

  97. 597
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes

    I expect that the neighbour-dog knew exactly what it was doing.

    by the way
    If you carry a bottle of water and a bottle of vinegar, be sure to LABEL them.
    Watching a yuman after it takes a big gulp of vinegar makes the dogs laugh so hard, the poor dears can’t even stand up.

  98. 598
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    It would have killed me, back in the day, to have carried all the extra weight of a extra waterbottle of vinegar (which, by the way, weighs in at an extra 10% , by volume , to water!!!).

    Molly Awards: Ms Molly has volunteered her services (she’s a cat, how the hell could she refuse) as a model for the very first Ms Molly Awe-wards (pronounce “mizzz molleeeh”). To my mind Meyanbal (#574) and Owlmirror (#576, in spite of being thee public enemy number one) are major contenders.

  99. 599
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Speaking of: Owlmirror

    FIFY:

    eideticapophenia

  100. 600
    Owlmirror

    FIFY:
    eideticapophenia

    *frowns*

    The “random or meaningless data” is the corpus of the Old Testament. The “seeing meaningful patterns” is the cherry-picking part of one verse, ignoring the parts that don’t match with the life of Jesus, and claiming that a strained interpretation of the part of one verse so cherry-picked out sort of matching up with one of the gospel narratives of Jesus, is “prophecy”.

  101. 601
    Howard Bannister

    Yeah, the new testament stuffs where it’s “this is prophecy and was fulfilled”?

    That’s all good and well, with grabbing obscure texts and screaming ‘fulfilled!’

    Except when it cites prophecies that are NOT IN THE BIBLE and screams ‘fulfilled!’

  102. 602
    Howard Bannister

    Example: Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    Spoken by which prophet, where? That’s not in the Old Testament in any way, shape or form.

    Matthew mangles what he does quote, to make it fit.

    13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

    Only that’s not what Psalms actually says.

    Psalms 78:2-3 “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.”

    So secret that your fathers told them you?

    Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

    Jeremiah has absolutely nothing like that. Anywhere.

    Zechariah has one that’s ALMOST like that. But misquoted, again.

    Tell me again how perfect this bible is, and how prophecy is fulfilled perfectly, to the letter, indisputably?

  103. 603
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Heh…
    John told a funny

  104. 604
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Txpiper needs to show, based on when the books of babble were “set in stone”, that the alleged prophecies aren’t right based on selective memory, and painting targets around the holes in the barn….

    If you don’t write something down, and keep it “in stone”, you can toss it out. Only those predictions that sound right will be recorded as fulfilled. This is typical of how modern day psychics operate, who only remember that which came true, not the 1000 other predictions that didn’t….

  105. 605
    consciousness razor

    Because sometimes the thunderdome just isn’t depressing enough….

    I just noticed this on Dan Fincke’s blog: AA and the FFRF are opposing a holocaust memorial in Ohio.

  106. 606
    Amphiox

    Txpiper needs to show, based on when the books of babble were “set in stone”, that the alleged prophecies aren’t right based on selective memory, and painting targets around the holes in the barn….

    It is notable how the texpip demands that the evidence for evolution and abiogenesis has to be exact to the finest detail, with every gap explained, every transition documented, every mutation identified, every selection pressure described, without which he refuses to believe it, but for his biblical prophecies he will happily accept language vague to the point of near-incomprehensibility.

    The double standard is tellingly dishonest.

  107. 607
    boskerbonzer

    Oh, ffs! http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jul/24/in-god-we-trust-sign-prompts-move-to-dismiss-try/ If you don’t want to click the link, a courthouse in Tennessee decided it was a good idea to hang a sign over the front entrance that says only “In God We Trust,” and have only Baptist preachers and an ex-mayor speak during the hanging ceremony. It’s working out real well for them ::snicker::

  108. 608
    Rutee Katreya

    If that holocaust memorial only memorializes Jews, it’s kind of shit. I find it very suspect that Michael Weinstein, himself at the least a cultural Jew, is attacking something secular merely for having a Star of David, but it isn’t impossible. Let’s see here.

  109. 609
    Rutee Katreya

    Actually, knowing Weinstein’s track record, I’m INSANELY skeptical of any claim that he’s acting out of ‘blind, reactionary atheism’. IT’s only been said a hundred times by fundies.

  110. 610
    Rutee Katreya

    …I’m also extremely skeptical that the monument gives real mention to other groups. I mean, I guess it could put a good chunk of space into how it fucked over the Communists, Romani, Gays and the like as well, but holocaust museums and memorials pretty much always only provide a footnote for the rest of us.

  111. 611
    Rutee Katreya

    Oh wait, Weinstein is the MRFF. That’s more plausible then. I’m still skeptical that the monument actually gives relevant amounts of space to non-Jewish victims. Especially when the Patheos writer seems to be focusing on a Star of David in his shot with, well, nothing else visible.

  112. 612
    Rutee Katreya

    And reading a bit more… non-Jews are a footnote. Again. Big ol’ Star of David, no rainbows, blue ribbons, sickles… but it’s just mean ol’ reactionary atheists who are the problem. Fucking christ.

  113. 613
    consciousness razor

    If that holocaust memorial only memorializes Jews, it’s kind of shit. I find it very suspect that Michael Weinstein, himself at the least a cultural Jew, is attacking something secular merely for having a Star of David, but it isn’t impossible. Let’s see here.

    You could say the same of Dave Silverman.

    And reading a bit more… non-Jews are a footnote. Again. Big ol’ Star of David, no rainbows, blue ribbons, sickles… but it’s just mean ol’ reactionary atheists who are the problem. Fucking christ.

    They could actually do something to make sure it’s not just a footnote. There’s no reason the Star has to go away. They’re just whining, and I don’t see how it’s productive.

  114. 614
    Rutee Katreya

    You could say the same of Dave Silverman.

    That wouldn’t appear to be a vote for “Mean ol REactionary Atheists are the problem”

    They could actually do something to make sure it’s not just a footnote. There’s no reason the Star has to go away. They’re just whining, and I don’t see how it’s productive.

    If you actually read the letter explaining their reasoning, they’re pulling for one of the non-sectarian finalists that wasn’t the winner, not to just arbitrarily fill in the hole. They even state in their reasoning that the lack of other symbols is the problem with the Star of David.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t honestly think these guys have the best interests of anyone at heart, absent particular evidence (IIRC, American Atheists did the horridly racist ads about black people, slavery, and the bible), but in this case, they’re still basically right. You can call it ‘whining’ if you want, I guess, but it doesn’t change that the memorial’s minimalizing other people. FFS, it pretends the holocaust started with Jews. Hint: It started with people who rhyme with ‘Crommunist’, and the Jews were part of a broader dragnet when they were added. They were the majority of victims – we don’t need to embellish the story to justify giving them pride of place. But really, they were the only victims that mattered, time and time again.

  115. 615
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang, sounds like context is being ignored. I don’t mind the Confederate Battle flag in a parade showing military uniforms through the years, or at a civil war cemetery. Correct history, not something else. Anywhere else, I have a problem with it.

    I have no problem with a holocaust museum showing the Star of David, being essentially a war memorial for the dead, although a rainbow flag and/or gypsy flags or flags for the gays would be a nice touch. Why are fuckwits bothering? This isn’t a large cross in the middle of nowhere with no proximity to the dead. etc.

  116. 616
    John Morales

    Rutee:

    Hint: It started with people who rhyme with ‘Crommunist’, and the Jews were part of a broader dragnet when they were added.

    What?

    (Such ignorant, ahistorical nonsense!)

  117. 617
    Rutee Katreya

    (Such ignorant, ahistorical nonsense!)

    Literally the first thing the man did after he stopped having to rely on unstable coalitions was ban the communist party, and he founded the SA and SS for the explicit purpose of fighting the communists. I don’t think I’m taking things too far here.

  118. 618
    Rutee Katreya

    I have no problem with a holocaust museum showing the Star of David, being essentially a war memorial for the dead, although a rainbow flag and/or gypsy flags or flags for the gays would be a nice touch. Why are fuckwits bothering? This isn’t a large cross in the middle of nowhere with no proximity to the dead. etc.

    Jews, proportionately, were fewer of those killed in the holocaust than Christians proportionately were those KIA as WWII soldiers – You all have opposed Crosses for WWII memorials as a sweeping statement on all the dead soldiers (although, to my knowledge, never on individual soldiers’ tombstones). Now, unlike Christians, Jews are marginalized, and that’d be an argument for it if the *other* groups weren’t also marginalized groups. But they are.

  119. 619
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    You all have opposed Crosses for WWII memorials as a sweeping statement on all the dead soldiers

    Right, and notice my replay also mentioned those selected for “Final Solution”, and that they should be included.

  120. 620
  121. 621
    consciousness razor

    That wouldn’t appear to be a vote for “Mean ol REactionary Atheists are the problem”

    I was saying he’s culturally Jewish and an atheist, since in your half-dozen comments of figuring out what exactly this was about and what you had a problem with, you didn’t mention him even though he’s a pretty big player in this apparently. But I’m trying to be fair.

    If you actually read the letter explaining their reasoning, they’re pulling for one of the non-sectarian finalists that wasn’t the winner, not to just arbitrarily fill in the hole.

    I read it. Are they supposed to get a veto or something on who was the winner? Or is this really a Constitutional issue? Are they going to dump some money into a lawsuit? Are they going to work on expanding the “winner’s” version of the memorial, so it’s not so dismissive of non-Jewish victims? The way they’re going about this doesn’t seem…. constructive, like I said. It’s depressing.

    And the FFRF’s conclusion in the letter that the holocaust would’ve been prevented if Germany had enforced a separation of church and state — presumably one every bit as strict and paranoid as they’re setting out here — what do you think about that claim?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t honestly think these guys have the best interests of anyone at heart, absent particular evidence (IIRC, American Atheists did the horridly racist ads about black people, slavery, and the bible), but in this case, they’re still basically right.

    That doesn’t look like much of a vote against “Mean ol REactionary Atheists.”

    But really, they were the only victims that mattered, time and time again.

    I want more than a “footnote” too (assuming that one quote is it, since that’s all I have to go on, though there does seem to be a lot more text in the photo). But if I saw a big monument like that with a Star of David, I’m pretty sure the first thing that would come to my mind is that it’s a holocaust monument. So I would be thinking about everything and everyone that’s about, not just Jews. In that kind of situation, the symbol just doesn’t carry the same meaning, for me or a lot of other people. It wouldn’t even cross my mind that it’s somehow establishing Judaism in fucking Ohio, because that’s just bizarre to me.

  122. 622
    Rutee Katreya

    I read it. Are they supposed to get a veto or something on who was the winner?

    Given that the winner was a clearly preferential monument, I don’t think they need a veto. If you’re asking me what I think they should have done, backed the fuck off and handed it to other advocacy groups (Who I’m reasonably sure would drop it, because pushing for holocaust recognition is a very good way to piss people off, unfortunately, but them’s the breaks.)

    And the FFRF’s conclusion in the letter that the holocaust would’ve been prevented if Germany had enforced a separation of church and state — presumably one every bit as strict and paranoid as they’re setting out here — what do you think about that claim?

    That it’s appropriative bullshit, an unfortunate norm for Atheism. Like I said, I don’t think these people are on anyone else’s side.

    I want more than a “footnote” too (assuming that one quote is it, since that’s all I have to go on, though there does seem to be a lot more text in the photo). But if I saw a big monument like that with a Star of David, I’m pretty sure the first thing that would come to my mind is that it’s a holocaust monument. So I would be thinking about everything and everyone that’s about, not just Jews. In that kind of situation, the symbol just doesn’t carry the same meaning, for me or a lot of other people. It wouldn’t even cross my mind that it’s somehow establishing Judaism in fucking Ohio, because that’s just bizarre to me.

    I wouldn’t read it as establishing Judaism, but I would read it as a clear dismissal of all other groups – because it usually is. IT’s also sectarian, and generally bad.

    Rutee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers%27_Party#Origins_and_early_existence:_1918.E2.80.931923

    So you saw me object to “IT STARTED WITH THE LAWS THAT WERE PASSED”, I point out which laws were first, and you then treat it as a defficiency on my part that I don’t instantly recognize you’re trying to say “The racism was there first”? You’re a funny one. Especially since you can’t even read your own PFFT article.

    From the PFFT.

    The party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In 1918, a league called the Freien Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden (Free Workers’ Committee for a good Peace)[22] was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich called the “Committee of Independent Workmen”.[23] Drexler was a local locksmith in Munich who had been a member of the militarist Fatherland Party[24] during World War I, and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and the revolutionary upheavals that followed. Drexler followed the typical views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having antisemitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views

    Your own PFFT also discusses the anti-marxism, ffs. Stop lobbing them over the plate, you’ll spoil me. I can’t say for sure out of hand and sure as fuck don’t have sources here, but I’m pretty sure the anti-marxism was a much bigger component for the majority of the party at its inception (Although anti-semitism was by no means of the imagination a limited phenomena in Germany at the time.)

    Right, and notice my replay also mentioned those selected for “Final Solution”, and that they should be included.

    I misinterpreted, based on diction. Saying it’s a ‘nice touch’ made it seem optional to me. The FFRF’s argument is, in no uncertain terms, that multiple symbols would be fine, and the problem is that it’s just the Star though, so I don’t know if you’re disagreeing with their argument?

  123. 623
    Rutee Katreya

    That doesn’t look like much of a vote against “Mean ol REactionary Atheists.”

    Being appropriative doesn’t mean their arguments are wrong – the fact of the matter is the primary problem is the exclusionary monument. I’m not going to pretend for a second that they wouldn’t be appropriative without it; they would be. But it doesn’t change that the monument needs to change, and AA’s the one taking the fallout. This is pretty much a no-lose for me, at least.

  124. 624
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    But if I saw a big monument like that with a Star of David, I’m pretty sure the first thing that would come to my mind is that it’s a holocaust monument.

    But not necessarily an official Holocaust memorial. Loads of Jewish groups have paid to put up holocaust memorials all over the place, with bigass Star of David emblems on them, and that’s their prerogative; it is understandable that Jewish groups would tend to focus on Jewish victims. However, for an official monument erected by the government as a memorial for the victims of the holocaust, particularly since many, many Americans do not ‘think about everything and everyone that’s about, not just Jews;’ they only think of the Jews. American history books and classes tend to focus almost entirely on Jewish victims to the point where many Americans aren’t even aware that there were other targeted groups, and a disturbing number of Americans wouldn’t have a problem with gay people being sent to camps and/or exterminated (the latter does no small part to cause the former).

  125. 625
    John Morales

    Rutee, pogroms and ghettoes.

    (It was not the ideology, but rather the other that was the monster against whom the volk would unite)

    (Not one of us)

  126. 626
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Owlmirror

    *frowns*

    I think the word apophenia is great. I just thought adding the adjective eidetic would make for an even more apt term.

    “De klap op de vuurpijl” ,als het ware.

  127. 627
    consciousness razor

    Being appropriative doesn’t mean their arguments are wrong – the fact of the matter is the primary problem is the exclusionary monument.

    The Star’s very prominent, but (1) it isn’t merely a religious symbol and (2) non-Jewish victims weren’t, in fact, excluded. So I don’t see how it’s exclusionary. And again, I would certainly like it if the representation were more balanced and more nuanced, but I wouldn’t go around calling it “shit” because it isn’t ideal.

  128. 628
    Rutee Katreya

    Rutee, pogroms and ghettoes.

    The Jews were taken away in 1940, after being exposed to terrible oppression since 1938. The communists were taken away in 1933. ARe you really this much of an asshole?

  129. 629
    Rutee Katreya

    (1) it isn’t merely a religious symbol

    If I accept this argument, explain in what way that makes it less dismissive to have only it as a symbol?

    (2) non-Jewish victims weren’t, in fact, excluded. So I don’t see how it’s exclusionary.

    Horse hockey. A throwaway footnote is not inclusion. Especially not since I’m apparently wrong, and the majority of victims were most likely ethnic Slavs, not Jewish people.

  130. 630
    consciousness razor

    If I accept this argument, explain in what way that makes it less dismissive to have only it as a symbol?

    It doesn’t. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that it’s dismissive. We’ve been agreeing this whole time that it is. It’s about the argument that it’s oh-so-obviously in violation of the establishment clause.

  131. 631
    John Morales

    Rutee:

    pogroms and ghettoes

    The Jews were taken away in 1940, after being exposed to terrible oppression since 1938.

    1938?

    (You have no idea of those terms’ significance or origin, do ya?)

  132. 632
    consciousness razor

    John, I don’t think it’s helpful or even remotely fair, to insinuate Rutee just doesn’t know there was a long of history of anti-Semitism all over the place. And it’s not relevant.

  133. 633
    John Morales

    CR, yeah, it’s relevant, particularly when Rutee contends the Nazis were primarily against ideology rather than against the other.

    (Most particularly, the Holocaust is rightly associated with the attempted genocide of Jews, and attempting to gaslight that is … well, obscene is the mildest I can put it)

  134. 634
    John Morales

    PS Which is strange, from such an avowed anti-racist as Rutee.

  135. 635
    Rutee Katreya

    It doesn’t. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that it’s dismissive. We’ve been agreeing this whole time that it is. It’s about the argument that it’s oh-so-obviously in violation of the establishment clause.

    I don’t think I’d buy this argument with Crosses in, let’s say, Denmark either though. Yes, it’s also a cultural symbol. That doesn’t mean it stopped being a religious one – and I’m pretty sure most Meriken still haven’t wrapped their heads around the concept of cultural judaism.

    CR, yeah, it’s relevant, particularly when Rutee contends the Nazis were primarily against ideology rather than against the other.

    That wasn’t the claim made. The claims made was regarding their inception, and who they attacked first – and who they attacked first is a matter of very, very accessible public record; it was the communists. Your very first posts on the matter, in line with your usual jackassery took issue with that. Everything after that has been insipid attempts at gotchas. Yes, anti-semitism predates anti-communism – the Jews have only been around for at least 3500 years. That’s not the fucking point.

    (Most particularly, the Holocaust is rightly associated with the attempted genocide of Jews, and attempting to gaslight that is … well, obscene is the mildest I can put it)

    Gaslighting, to attempt to bring to say the othert 40% of holocaust victims (Not even counting Russian POWs or Slavs, the latter who are estimated to be almost double the number of Jewish victims)? Do you ever stop being a tool? Because right now? Great time to start trying.

    (You have no idea of those terms’ significance or origin, do ya?)

    Okay, apparently you’re too fucking busy being an arrogant douchebag to actually read any of the fucking materials, so here ya go.

    The Holocaust did not begin in concentration camps in the ovens with smoke stacks and mass graves. It began in the halls of government with the passage of laws that targeted Jews, taking their properties, their businesses, their home, their freedom and ultimately their lives.”

    This is part of Ohio’s stated reason for the memorial. Hence why I pointed out that no, actually, the holocaust did not begin with the passage of laws that targeted Jews – it began with laws that targeted the fucking Communists. And after them was the fucking disabled. Because the Holocaust was never just about the Jews. And everyone forgets it. And then when we fuckin’ say it, we have morons like you pretending it’s gaslighting. Fuck off now, kthxbai.

    PS Which is strange, from such an avowed anti-racist as Rutee.

    Intersectionality, motherfucker. Do you still not speak it? Race is not the only axis upon which oppression turns (and even if it were, there’s certainly… something to be said about ignoring the mass murder of Slavs and Romani)

  136. 636
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    I really do not get why the racist asshat posts anything in the Lounge. I am almost certain I am not the only one who sees anything from him and skips it. Onlybreadon I dont comment is the jindness rule. Otherwise I would tell him to shove it and get lost.

  137. 637
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Getting back to the issue of txpiper and his god:

    The object of man is nothing else than his objective being itself. As man thinks, as is his understanding of things, so is his God; so much worth as a man has, so much and no more has his God. The consciousness of God is the self-consciousness of man; the knowledge of God is the self-knowledge of man. Man’s notion of himself is his notion of God, just as his notion of God is his notion of himself – the two are identical. What is God to man, that is man’s own spirit, man’s own soul; what is man’s spirit, soul, and heart – that is his God. God is the manifestation of man’s inner nature, his expressed self; religion is the solemn unveiling of man’s hidden treasures, the avowal of his innermost thoughts, the open confession of the secrets of his love.

    But if religion, i.e., the consciousness of God, is characterised as the self-consciousness of man, this does not mean that the religious man is directly aware that his consciousness of God is his self-consciousness, for it is precisely the absence of such an awareness that is responsible for the peculiar nature of religion.

    [my emphasis]

    Above quote from Feuerbach (link to “The Essence of Christianity”, in HTML). It is interesting that he came up with all of this so long ago, whereas much of the understanding of the workings of the human brain, and its relationship to superstition/religion is quite recent.

    txpiper, do you realise the implications? Your god is not to be found in the babble, or in the atom, or the vastness of space. Your own little god, your unique little god, is to be found between your own ears. And nowhere else.

  138. 638
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    …Only reason I dont comment is the kindness rule…

  139. 639
    Menyambal

    Theophontes, I have bookmarked Feuerbach. Thank you.

    Yeah, whenever Christians try to tell me that by saying there is no god I have set myself up as God, I want to tell them that they are the ones who have set themselves up as speakers for God, and that the god they speak for is their own subconscious impulses.

  140. 640
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @(prev. page) 422. Chigau & 465. vaiyt – 21st July 2013 at 9:56 pm

    “The British Empire helped end the slave trade?”
    Reminds me of Dragonheart, where the “hero” went around “saving” people from the dragon he sicced on them in the first place.

    Slavery long pre-dated the British and for that matter even the Roman Empire. (It still exists in practice today albeit its illegal.)

    So, no, the British Empire didn’t create the slavery and, no, there’s no question mark needed. The British Empire did much to end slavery albeit in a number of steps such as the (abolition of the) Slave Trade Act 1807 :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_Trade_Act_1807

    &

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_trade

    Bonus trivia – the last nation on Earth where slavery was legal was the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in North Africa which only outlawed slavery in 1981.

    Thought at least the British empires work in ending slavery was common knowledge. Seems not.

  141. 641
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @434. Tony! The Flaming Queer Shoop :
    21 July 2013 at 12:37 pm (UTC -5)

    How does one support deliberately inflicting pain and suffering on another human, while simultaneously claiming to be empathetic, sane, and desiring the best for the world? Pain and suffering became part of whats [sic] “best” for the world…when, exactly?

    I do NOT support deliberately inflicting pain and suffering on anyone unless the individuals in question have or are seeking to cause equal or worse pain and suffering on others and can’t be reasoned out of it or otherwise prevented from doing so.
    There’s a statistic quoted by you at #436 claiming that there’s “1 terrorist (eliminated-ed) per 49 citizens.”
    That raises the big question – how many people would each of those terrorists kill or be involved in killing or maiming or harming? It only took a group of about a dozen terrorist to murder over three thousand innocent people on the 11th September 2001. Other terrorist attacks eg,. bombings of marketplaces, mosques etc .. kill hundreds of people.

    So if we make the conservative estimate that each terrorist left on the loose and not taken out by drones (or whatever other mechanism) would kill, say, an average of sixty people then in terms of sheer lives saved versus lost it is worth it. If its even the case that on average a terrorist kills only fifty people then its still a civilians life ahead as opposed rather than behind – and how much value can you put on that one innocent human life? Especially versus the life of a guilty Jihadist warrior out to kill innocents and an enemy combat almost certainly bound for what they disgustingly consider “martyrdom” anyhow?

    (Moreover, drone strikes could also deter others from joining Jihadist groups and so play a preventative role in that sense too. Not sure how you’d get honest figures for those more life–loving Islamists who decided not to become terrorists because of drone actions but surely there’d be cases.)

    It’s a cold and hard to make calculation and I’m glad I’m not in charge of determining drone strike policies – but also glad you’re not in charge of determining it either. I’m sure those who are tasked with making the decision here do so with a lot more awareness and thoughtful consideration than any of us who don’t have to contemplate doing it appreciate. Its on their hands after all, not ours, and they, not we, are the experts in what they do and have all the information –mostly classified and unavailable to us – they need to make it correctly.

    I guess to some people, civilians in Pakistan are not innocents.

    Well, I am not one of those people. I’m sure there are plenty of innocent civilians in Pakistan. Just as there are everywhere on Earth. In fact it’s the innocent less fanatical Muslims that are most likely to be murdered by the Jihadists so those are the ones who should logically be most supportive of drone strikes. It is ironic that many of those protesting at the “Death to America!” rallies may well not be alive to protest had the drones not taken out the Jihadists who would otherwise have killed them.

    PS. Also what #496 cm’s changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) wrote.

    PPS. Oh & if you meant to refer to me with your “racist asshat” slur please recall that saying something doesn’t make it so. You are entitled to your erroneous opinion but it is exactly that. As for those who don’t read my comments and links, meh, your loss not mine.

  142. 642
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @444. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! – 21st July 2013 at 4:00 pm :

    “Those are clearly all false claims of “self-defence” rather than ones based in reality.” -StevoR

    Bingo, you asshole. That is the point..

    Name-calling abuse even when you agree with me and get my point. Yawn.

    You keep making the claim that Islam, or Iran, or some other bogeyman, is an existential threat to the United States, or to your vaunted idea of western civilization and, therefore, we should nuke them back to the stone age.

    False. That misrepresents my beliefs although I admit I haven’t always been clear enough in the past.

    I do NOT advocate nuking anyone back into the stone age.

    I do NOT advocate and reject entirely the idea that we nuke Muslims (Islam is the religion and as an ideology or set of related ideologes cannot be “nuked” at all.)

    I do, reluctantly, concede that we have to defend ourselves from Jihadist terrorist groups and Islamic dictatorships when they seek to attack us.

    And Iran is as much a threat to western civilization as Poland was to Germany in 1939. None.

    Really? I don’t think Poland was secretly trying to gain WMDs incl. nuclear nor, to the best of my knowledge did the Polish leaders ever use rhetoric about wiping Germany off the map! (Plus Godwin so you lose automatically too.)

    BTW. I don’t support Iran being nuked.

    I don’t know what the best way to handle Iran’s dictatorship and belligerence towards the Western world is but I hope it doesn’t end in anybody being nuked – or hit with daisy cutters either.

    That was the point. Your scaremongering has as much reality in it as the Turks claims against Armenians. But you are too bigoted to see that your piddly fears do not define reality.

    Reality is the Armenians weren’t any threat to the Turks whereas the Iranians very clearly pose a threat to Israel and the region (including arming Jihadists like Hezbollah in Syria) and Jihadist terrorism clearly poses a major threat to the Western world see :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism

    Yes, I am aware that my views don’t define reality. Neither do yours or anyone else’s.

  143. 643
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Menyambal

    [Feuerbach] Thank you.

    My pleasure.

    I am thinking of putting together a stub for the Pharyngula Wiki called: “Psychology of Religion”, to match the existing one I put up for “History and development of religions” (with help from SG and CR).

    The idea would be to the gather reading matter on this interesting subject in one place. I mainly seek out free books, so the whole thing is rather affordable to frugal Pharyngulites (and education should be free damnit!). It might take a few months to cobble together though, as I have quite a way to go through my ever expanding reading list.

    I do think it a very worthwhile exercise, as this is a fresh angle of attack on the goddist position. It is here (rather than in the “religion vs science” debate) that I think their defences will be breached.

    Ultimately it would be wonderful if we could edit together a Pharyngula Reader. I realise that would be a monumental task. But we can dream …

  144. 644
    Nick Gotts

    Aside from Jews, the other ethnic group specifically targeted for total extermination by the Nazis were Gypsies/Roma; they are currently the target of much more overt violence and persecution than Jews in Europe. A French MP is currently under investigation for saying Hitler did not kill enough of them, and some will remember that I recently told of encountering this kind of hate-speech myself.

  145. 645
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place

    “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

    Archbishop Tutu

    (Will he now become an atheist?)

  146. 646
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Name-calling abuse even when you agree with me and get my point. Yawn.

    Yawn yourself. You missed my point. Both times.

    Every group that has committed genocide claims they are doing it to protect themselves. Well over half of wars begin because a nation decides to preemptively defend themselves by invading another country (and most of the rest can be chalked up to irredentist nationalism). Your continued contention that the west needs to attack in order to prevent Muslim nations, or the multinational boogyman of Islam, or just non-westerners in general, destroying western civilization makes just as much sense as what Turkey did to the Armenians, or Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge did to Cambodia. Which is none at all. I was not agreeing with you, I was pointing out that you keep missing the fucking point.

    I do, reluctantly, concede that we have to defend ourselves from Jihadist terrorist groups and Islamic dictatorships when they seek to attack us.

    Reluctantly? Bullshit. You are a warmonger. You are a bigot. You are an asshole.

    Reality is the Armenians weren’t any threat to the Turks whereas the Iranians very clearly pose a threat to Israel and the region

    Iran is not an existential threat to Israel (nice goal post moving, by the way. in the past you have repeatedly insisted that Iran, or Muslims, or some fantasy Islamic supranational organization, is an existential threat to western civilization). The only way that Iran can seriously disrupt the west, or Israel, would be if they screw up and end up in a shooting war with a western power — no oil from the Persian Gulf would actually be an existential threat — but one that will only happen if, and only if, warmongers like you get their way.

  147. 647
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    (Islam is the religion and as an ideology or set of related ideologes cannot be “nuked” at all.)

    I have asserted in the past that you use definitions to weasel out of things. Whether it is you denial that racism exists (because we are all Homo sapiens) or this ^. Western authoritarians, militant Christians, and militarists use the term ‘Islam’ to refer, not to a religion (or ideology? what the fuck?), but to a claimed supranational conspiracy seeking to establish a world-wide caliphate. It also is a religion.

    Fuck off, you bigoted weasel.

  148. 648
    ChasCPeterson

    Oh hello. Housesitting, therefore using somebody else’s computer; runs Chrome instead of Fiefox so no Adblock and wow! Imagine my surprise, given the afaik unqualified support for Anita Sarkeesian’s vid project from these parts, and rightly so of course, to see a banner ad that’s all “MALE GAMERS ONLY” with a picture of a cartoon babe w/ big ones and the cleavage to prove it, beestung pouty-lips, and oh, her head sewed on at the neck, Frankenstein-style. “Too hot for you to handle?” etc.

    I know it’s Ed’s thing and if he knew a better option he’d do it but it just seems bush-league for your ads to directly contradict your content.
    (That and plus the stupid Preview STILL doesn’t show simple freaking html hyperlinks correctly, and come on.)
    I’d be embarrassed.

  149. 649
    LykeX

    (Will he now become an atheist?)

    Judging from how Christians usually deal with things like this, he’ll simply equivocate over what exactly “homophobic” means. There are plenty who will claim that any homosexual act is a ticket straight to hell, all the while maintaining that their god isn’t homophobic. Because “love the sinner, hate the sin”.

    This is yet another indication of how religion acts like a Rorschach test. It ties directly back to what we’ve been talking about with regard to the vagueness inherent in theology.

  150. 650
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    StevoR, the lying, racist shistain:
    You fucking lying piece of shit.
    You have advocated bombing regions in the Middle East to ‘get the terrorists before they get us’. In every one of your warmongering or genocidal comments advocating daisy cutters, drone strikes or preemptive attacks that I have read, you have NEVER once uttered a word of concern for the innocents killed in such attacks.
    Yes, you are a fucking scumbag, lying, shithead, racist asshat, and that is my opinion based on what you write.

  151. 651
    Ingdigo Jump

    Is stevoR again treating people like idiots by assuming they won’t remember what he said? Must be a day that ends in Y

  152. 652
    chigau (違う)

    to paraphrase somebody or other
    I know that you believe you understand what you think he said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what he meant.

  153. 653
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Chigau

    Who is that referring to?

  154. 654
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Chas
    The ads are selected by a Google algorithm that matches keywords, leading to ridiculous mismatches such as you describe. When I’m on my phone, I see ads for Liberty University and suchlike as well. AFAICT, all advertising that’s available on WordPress uses the same process, so there’s nothing Ed can do about it.

  155. 655
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Dalilama

    Well I think he CAN remove an ad from rotation if it’s reported? I think I recall him saying he can do that?

  156. 656
    Ingdigo Jump

    But I think maybe they should try to get some active sponsors or something? Targeting ads that far off has to be lost revenue right?

  157. 657
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    It refers to all of us and StevoR.
    It’s all just a Misunderstanding™.

  158. 658
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Chigau

    No I think StevoR’s problem is that we completely understood him.

  159. 659
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Dedicated cmlinologists will be aware of my dissatisfaction with my department of why was I not informed about this before. Actions have therefore been taken, and my new head of w6b has delivered!

    Psy — Gentleman. As originally performed in the 1920s. (Do note the dancers at 3:00.)

  160. 660
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    Yes. That’s what I meant.
    (See how it works?)

  161. 661
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    I miss the 1920s.

    /inb4

  162. 662
    chigau (違う)

    Does anyone want to play Race For 666?

  163. 663
    Menyambal

    http://www.av8n.com/how/ _See How It Flies_

    In addition to describing how the airplane behaves, this book describes in some detail why the airplane behaves that way. This may not be strictly necessary, but it is often very helpful, because: (1) Knowing why gives you more confidence that you are doing the right thing. (2) Knowing why helps you know what to expect in unusual situations. (3) Explanations that make sense are easier to remember than explanations that don’t make sense. Human beings hate being told to do something without any explanation. If they are not told the true explanations, they will make up their own pseudo-explanations. All too often these pseudo-explanations cover only the everyday situations; they go haywire when applied to unusual situations, let alone emergencies.

  164. 664
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Rappin’ Einstein covers Ke$ha–TiK ToK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D32pxPnKQ4

    Space-time curvature never sounded so good.

  165. 665
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Nearly getting killed in 90s LA, but making a career out of it?

    You will be mocked in music.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7TuoIcyBDE

    .

  166. 666
    chigau (違う)

    Can it be?

  167. 667
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Boom

  168. 668
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Neighbor of the beast /\/\

  169. 669
    txpiper

    “I can fix anything you can dish out.”

    Of course you can.

    You rely heavily on the idea of cherry-picking. I’m supposing you see it as a dishonest basis for the writers of the Gospels. That would require a lot of coordination, collusion and commitment. What would have been the motive? Go into all the detail you need to. I’m interested in seeing the transition from the usual ignorant goat-herders to shrewd and dedicated conspirators.

    Speaking of the Gospels, do you know that the Tabernacle as described in Exodus was structured to exhibit the four Gospels and the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses? There’s lots of striking imagery going on there, though not many people have cherry-picked much of it.

    “like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet”

    But that is not really quite under the rug. The statement is coming from the point of view of the victim, and iterating the viciousness He would endure. There is also another variant of the word which means “dig” as in digging a well. Either one makes the point.

    Two other Messianic passages speak of the piercing. One is Isaiah 53, all of which can speaking about none other than Christ as portrayed in the Gospels. Another is Zechariah 12:10 which occurs at the Second Advent, when remnant Jews finally see the Messiah. (This chapter also speaks of the peculiar preoccupation of the world with Jerusalem in verses 2 and 3.)

    ====

    Theo,

    “Obviously you haven’t lived in China.”

    No, only a week in Beijing. I ate very good duck, saw the wall, and bought phony jade at the government jade shop. Not much of a sampling. I regret having to cancel plans to go to Lijiang.

    “txpiper, do you realise the implications? Your god is not to be found in the babble, or in the atom, or the vastness of space. Your own little god, your unique little god, is to be found between your own ears. And nowhere else.”

    Ha ha….I wouldn’t be caught drunk off in such philosophical nonsense. And honestly, since you’re stuck believing that what is between your ears is the result of DNA replication errors, I don’t know why you would.

  170. 670
    PZ Myers

    NEW THREAD.

    By the way, txpiper, this thread is not completely unmoderated, and we do have a prohibition against godbotting. If you can’t make an argument without relying on the pseudo-authority of that piece of shit book, the bible, you’ve got nothing intelligent to say and can just leave now.

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