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Discussion (44)¬

  1. DocAtheist says:

    The worst of it, of course, is that those who say such things keep a total mental block against the hypocrisy. I tell such believers, “If you reject evolution and scientists, you reject science and all it has produced. Okay, prove it: Give up your car, cell phone, internet access, modern medicine including the current flu vaccine and any cancer care, and just pray your way through life. Oh, and by the way, better start growing your own food and without store bought fertilizer, too. Pray you don’t starve. Don’t forget your clothing: It’s made of modern materials through technical processing…”

  2. NoAstronomer says:

    But aren’t the Internet, Facebook and Twitter all predicted in the Quran?

    Mike.

  3. Patrick says:

    Well, of course!

  4. Mary - Canada says:

    These guys need to give it up!

  5. Marko says:

    I’m going to memorize and use your reasoning mr. DocAtheist

  6. When I was about ten I got an excellent piece of tutelage on the absurdity of pining for the “good old days”. I was watching “The Lion in Winter” with Peter O’Toole. He is the King. He is in his kingly bed complete with bearskin blanket and non-wife strumpet. His bedroom is huge… fit for a king. He gets out of bed and walks over to wash his face in a wash basin that has been set out for him (it is good to be king). Then he breaks the ice and washes his face. BREAKS the ICE!! It is below freezing in the best bedroom in the realm!

    Return to the good old days is just one more way that people express their preference for make believe over reality.

  7. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    A return to the ‘simpler times’ that Mo yearns for is such a good idea. I mean, just look through the O.T; ’twas all peace and harmony, was it not?

  8. Pavel says:

    The picture is still not being displayed in the RSS feed.

  9. John Mattson says:

    Yes! Please use modern technology to take us back to the dark ages. Here’s a couple of options: Nuclear war, just need to hold off enough so we don’t kill everyone; Global warming to destroy the environment. Wait, I think we have that one in progress. Never mind.

  10. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    The words of the profits on twitter
    Geeks united like piglets in a litter
    The new enlightened age
    Follow an electronic sage
    If ever motivated to get off of the shitter.

  11. Darwin Harmless says:

    How else? :-)
    As usual, spot on, Author.

  12. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Is Nassar’s use of ‘profits’ simply a mis-spelling, or a very clever play on words?

  13. Tweet the good old way our ancestors did. #respect

  14. steeve says:

    Over the Christmas holidays I saw someone walking around with an ‘End of the World’ placard. Does that count as ‘good old days’ communication?

  15. Myrhinne says:

    I’ve read that the internet makes the concept of a global Muslim community more of a reality now than it has been since the early days of Islam.

    Also reminds me of an article I read that claimed that science is the rape of nature. I imagined the author using his computer – horrifically abusing mother nature – in order to write the article.

  16. Dan says:

    @botanist (in further reply)

    Aaah, yes. We all have something to look forward to while we have Author.
    Perhaps we should ironically deify Author and tell exaggerated tales of his/her power to heal the sick in the hope that future generations confuse obvious fiction with fact.

  17. HaggisForBrains says:

    Nice one!

    Gosh, it’s quiet here. I got the email, and noticed that you’ve changed your site. I hope you’ve not lost the gang.

  18. HaggisForBrains says:

    Ah, now that I’ve posted, everyone has appeared! Glad you’re all still here.

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Of course we’re here, HFB, we were just playing hide and seek. We’re nowhere near as good at it as god, though. Six thousand years; obviously a player that doesn’t like to lose!
    I get the feeling that it’s waiting until humans have given up the search and declared religion dead, before jumping out, sending them all to hell and bringing back the dinosaurs.

    Dan, what do you mean ‘ironically’? Author is a deity, and there’s no need to exaggerate His powers; he freely gives the Universally acknowledged best of all medicines, laughtercillin to all of mankind through His works. And Lo! His works are great.

  20. botanist says:

    hotrats – thanks, award graciously accepted. I must thank my parents, my family, my cat, but not perhaps my teacher lol. (see previous comic for my ‘transgression’.
    Dan – thanks also!
    AoS – love laughtercillin :-)
    Reading all the posts here gives me as much pleasure as reading the comic.
    Heaven, I’m in heaven. ie a happy state of mind caused by feeling part of this lovely group. Certainly not a reference to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ or an everlasting home for a part of me that does not exist.

  21. botanist says:

    And before I get another UPOTWA – so SORRY I forgot the closing bracket…….

  22. hotrats says:

    Welcome back Haggis.

    This sounds all well and good, but the Mo’s golden age seems to be pretty damn hard to chase down. Despite all the moral and practical benefits claimed for Sharia Law and Islamic faith in general, centuries of their influence have combined to produce the poorest, most corrupt, repressive, and dysfunctional countries on earth, most riven with timeless sectarian conflicts, and none of which manufacture anything except weapons.

    In a public-access TV slot in the UK this week, it was surreal to watch a muslim apologist, apparently blind to the irony, complaining that all most people know about sharia law is its harsh side, like amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and beheading for atheism.

    Somehow he was convinced that one needs to know more detail before making a decision whether to adopt it or not – or as a friend put it, “Oh yes, when most people think about murder, they think it just involves killing someone in cold blood: but you need to know more before you go condemning it out of hand”.

    Anyone needing chapter and verse to counter the assertion that sharia law is a force for good (the show’s topic this week), would do well to visit
    http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm
    which ranks nations according to their degree of democracy, or what most people would call civilization generally. To quote their rubric, “We define democracy via the criteria of Human Rights; Political Rights; Free Speech; and the Absence of Public Corruption”; the last, as we are currently being reminded in Pakistan, being a prerequisite to all the others.

    Excepting relatively moderate and secular Turkey, every single state with a majority muslim population over 1m is in their ‘Division 4′ – states where democracy is not only non-existent, but there are no active steps being taken in its direction; and of the bottom 10, only Burma and North Korea are not islamic. They are essentially prison nations, run according to the iron whim of self-appointed religious fanatics, where rights of any kind are permanently locked out of the social structure.

    But it showed the true value of the freedom this guy would love to deny the rest of us; his right to stand up and talk poisonous bollocks is balanced by its being judged strictly on its merits or lack therof, rather its conformity with the ravings of an illiterate medieval warlord.

    The speaker was a dangerous moron, but just by being allowed publically to flaunt his obvious intolerance, arrogance and willingness to gild a turd, he became an almost unanswerable advertisement for compassionate secularism.

  23. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    (……., complaining that all most people know about sharia law is its harsh side, like amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and beheading for atheism.”

    Hotrats, did this guy study at the Ann Widdecombe School of Apologism? Or maybe he only saw her part of the debate when she claimed that atheists “never talk about the good…[in religion]..always the bad“, and missed Stephen Fry’s counter-punch with his comparison of the guy in the dock, complaining about the court focusing on his crimes and nobody talking about how he loves his mum. I’m sure that the debate’ll be on youtube. I would supply a link to it, but if you know me at all by now you’ll know that I encourage others to do their own research. Or, in other words, look for it yourselves, I can’t be arsed.

  24. Simpler times like when you couldn’t have images in your RSS reader. :)

  25. HaggisForBrains says:

    OK AoS, you lazy bugger, here’s the link to 4Thought, where this week’s speakers are giving their opinions on Sharia. Monday’s Abu Usamah seems to be totally disconnected from the reality of the British legal system, and is the one who tells us it’s not just about chopping off hands and stoning to death (the rest of it is even better ;-)).

    Wednesday’s John Clough likes Sharia because he wants revenge to be part of our judicial system. Dark ages here we come!

    Boy am I relieved to see you all here. I followed a new link given by Author in his email, and after checking for a day, still saw no comments. In a panic I posted, and suddenly all the comments appeared.

    As I seems that I’ve been following this cartoon forever, I went back to the beginning (again) and worked forward to see where I started posting (great fun BTW). I was surprised to discover I’ve only been here two years. I noticed that AoS has been doing the same (and having a testing time of it). I also noticed that many regular commenters from the early days have slipped out of sight. Where are you, Nina, JohnnieCanuck, grouchy-one, Hobbes, MrGronk, and loads of others?

    I also noticed that Nassar Ben Houdja started off with non limerick posts, most of which were very good English, if usually a bit oblique, before he became hooked on “poetry”. On a couple of occasions he even entered into a dialogue, albeit briefly.

  26. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    HFB, those test posts were from when I was having trouble getting recent comments. I’d come to the site and see nowt new, but going to a random comic and leaving a ‘test’ updated the current page (something to do with cookies, I hear, though what chocolate-chip biccies have to do with computers is beyond my ken).
    Glad I’m not the only one to have noticed that Nassar’s English hasn’t always been as bad as his more recent efforts would have us believe.

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks for the link, Sondra, even if it does end up costing me.* Well, how can any bibliophile not want that book in their collection?

    *On the other hand, if you all want to start collecting for my birthday present there’s not much time. It’s on Monday!

  28. HaggisForBrains says:

    Yes Sondra, what a lovely, amazing character was Richard Feynman. His book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!” is hugely entertaining, and gives a glimpse of what a broad genius he was – a great polymath.

  29. Dan says:

    I’m surprised that people are going back to the “The only reason you don’t like Sharia is because you don’t understand it” argument.
    Every time I’ve learnt more about it, the more I’ve disliked it. I don’t know anyone (who is isn’t Muslim) who says different.
    The more you know, the less you like.

    Sharia appears contrary to almost every value of a civilised society. You don’t want any of that near you and its unethical to be complicit in anyone being exposed to it.

    It’s important that all right thinking people resist the use of Sharia by or on anyone.

  30. hotrats says:

    At the risk of wasting space, here is a verbatim transcript of Abu Usamah’s broadcast:

    “I believe genuinely that there is a lot of ignorance about the sharia. The knowledge of the sharia amongst many people doesn’t really go beyond certain topics, like halal meat, and perhaps cutting the hand off the thief, or stoning the adulterer. So with that in mind, it becomes very difficult for some people to appreciate how beautiful the sharia is.

    When you present the sharia as a complete system and as a personal system, I find that people are attracted towards it. Indeed the sharia and islam is designed and created by our lord allah, and so it is in harmony with the nature of man.

    Under the sharia there will be no poverty, there will be no racism, there will be no abortion, there will be no kangaroo courts. There will be none of the ills of the society that we face today. The sharia it is the answer for the people of Britain, it is the way forward for the whole world.”

    I have gone from marvelling at his capacity for self-delusion to thinking that he must be a victim of relentless brainwashing. This is in no sense ‘his’ personal view, just the lifeless lies of indoctrination, pounded into his ears until nothing else comes out of his mouth, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he fails to detect the irony of a system of law reflecting ‘harmony with the nature of man’ that regards whipping, dismemberment and murder as just punishments.

    I leave it to other correspondents to refute his other astonishing claims one by one, but to quote George Carlin, you just have to stand back in awe at his inclusion of ‘freedom from poverty, racism and kangaroo courts’ in the list of benefits of sharia.

    Again excepting the exceptional Turkey, here is not one islamic countrty where all these evils are not entrenched, or one decadent atheistic country where they are. He has turned reality inside-out, like an Escher print; it defies gravity and common sense, while sounding superficially plausible when presented one sordid detail at a time.

    Mark you, that he says Sharia ‘will’, not ‘would’, bring these benefits. In his deluded, sadistic dreams, everything is all already in place to slice off your worthless, decadent, atheistic head with an edged tool, and any hope of progress or human dignity with it.

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I got as far as ‘no poverty’ before “SPOOOIIIINGGG!”
    It’ll be a lot easier to argue against shite like this when people – especially the bleeding-heart liberals (or ‘cultural relativists’ as they prefer to be known) – who just love to get offended on behalf of others can accept that criticism of Islam is not racism, just as voicing concerns about immigration isn’t racism.

  32. botanist says:

    Happy Birthday AoS.

  33. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Cheers botanist :-).
    It’ll be a strange one today, for sure. The ‘festivities’ kick off with my the funeral of my best friend’s sister-in-law, herself a long-time friend of my wife and I, and it’s the first time I’ve had to attend a funeral on my birthday; rather ironic really, considering the fact that so many of my birthday celebrations in my mis-spent dim and distant should by all rights have led directly to my own funeral, and the reason I’m still here remains a complete mystery both to me and to medical science!
    Luckily it’s to be a religion-free service, so no godswallop to sit through. And having wrestled with my conscience (an easy fight, considering I barely possess one) I’ve decided that I am going to wear, atop my suitably solemn attire, the enormous ‘IT’S MY BIRTHDAY’ badge that came attached to the card from my grandsons, just so the congregation all appreciate the sacrifice I’m making to be there without me having to push the point.

  34. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oops! “…with my the funeral…”? I’ll chalk that one down to the emotion of the occasion.

  35. botanist says:

    Acually, once I got myself past the ‘lip-service’ bit of a religious funeral (I stand silently now) I find I enjoy the celebration of a life. I like the ‘Speaker for the Dead’ style, and finding out more about someone I like(d) but knew only their life since I met them.
    So – have a good day, with folk who like the one you liked. It’s great that you are wearing your badge. Life goes on and that’s important. Enjoy a drink tonight to round off the day.

  36. hotrats says:

    Happy Birthday Acolyte –
    sadly, one can’t say many happy returns on this occasion, but you get the idea. Here’s to many more, mate, and hopefully happier ones.

  37. Let me add my probably belated by this time birthday card to the pile, AofS. May you enjoy many more of them.

    Hotrats, thanks for this:
    “I believe genuinely that there is a lot of ignorance about the sharia. The knowledge of the sharia amongst many people doesn’t really go beyond certain topics, like halal meat, and perhaps cutting the hand off the thief, or stoning the adulterer. So with that in mind, it becomes very difficult for some people to appreciate how beautiful the sharia is.”
    Has to be the funniest thing I’ve read in some time. It’s like the guy who murdered his parents asking the court for mercy because he’s an orphan. No, it’s funnier than that. I can’t find any joke to equal it.

  38. HaggisForBrains says:

    Happy birthday, AoS!

  39. If this thread has a topic I’m certainly off it with this. Natalie Reed, one of the FreeThought bloggers, has been driven off the Internet by the misogynists. She’s also on her way in for reassignment surgery, sleeping on couches with no place of her own, and generally having a tough time of it. She’s a good writer and this is just wrong. I’ve kicked a bit into her tip jar, but far less than the 2K she needs for recovery from surgery. If any one else can spare a few quid to help convince her that atheists have a heart, please think about it.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2013/01/19/big-sad-announcement/

  40. hotrats says:

    DH:
    Depressing news; given an apparently endless supply of relentless, misogynistic trolls, does this mean that eventually all female bloggers will be driven off the internet?

    More to the point, whatever happened to website moderation? I’ve never seen anything on J&M that breaks its restrictions on content, although (presumably!) there must have been *some* offensive posts that have been removed.

  41. AoS I think the harassment takes a much more direct form than simply posting on unmoderated forums that can be ignored. It goes to email campaigns with death threats, rape threats,creating fake twitter accounts to make fun of the woman, photo-shopping obscene graphics, creating video games in which the woman is the enemy and the goal is to rape or kill her, up to and including releasing personal information and addresses in meat-space, all without mercy, empathy or humanity. They get very creative and obsessive, band together and compete to see who can be the most disgusting and cruel. Relentless is the right word. Attempts to block them or dodge them are taken as challenges to be overcome. They make the fundies look like Sunday school teachers by comparison and their stated ambition is to get the “feminazis” to STFU. They are a problem that needs to be solved, but nobody seems to have a solution. Check out this PZ post and the comment thread:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/22/its-about-misogyny-its-about-intimidation-its-about-silencing/
    Closest thing to a solution i’ve seen is the concept of volunteer moderators who could screen ALL the messages to a blogger and filter out the bad ones. That’s a socio-techno fix that will take some time to develop but could work

  42. hotrats says:

    DH:
    Why are you calling me AoS in your reply? Force of habit? Never mind, no offence taken – at least not by me, can’t speak for Acolyte….

  43. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nope! All’s fine by me.

    Are some men (and women) really that threatened by intelligent women? I can’t even get my head around the mindsets of those hurling the abuse and harassment, let alone suggest a solution. The one I’ve seen most bandied around is a ban on ‘nyms / anonymous commentors, but us ‘good guys’ have as many reasons to avoid being identified as the lunatic fringe.

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