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petty

petty

On hols for the next 2 weeks, so the next to comics will be auto-posts. Hope there are no typos.

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Discussion (57)¬

  1. European says:

    Never been the first in line, enjoy your holidays, may they be halal…

  2. Graham+ASH-PORTER says:

    Bossy & preoccupied with death!

  3. Canneloni says:

    When you take a close look at these rules, which specify the order in which finger-nails should be clipped, which foot should be used to enter a bathroom, how many pebbles to use to wipe your bottom, and so on, an obsessive list that covers every known human activity, it becomes obvious that this isn’t simply petty – it’s full-blown OCD!

  4. Be reasonable says:

    OCD – obnoxious controlling deity.

  5. MONO says:

    Canneloni, I just looked this up. I can’t believe it. I think Islam was super-sophisticated in its day – several hundred years ago – but doesn’t seem to have moved on. People will.

  6. Alastair says:

    @Canneloni – I thought the finger nails thing was a joke so I had to look it up. OMG!
    “He who cuts his nails on Friday, will be in Allah’s (The Exalted) protection for the following week. He who cuts his nails on a Saturday will be spared from illness, and he who cuts his nails on Sunday will have poverty taken away from him. If someone is mentally unstable then by cutting his nails on Monday, this illness will be cured. He who cuts his nails on a Tuesday will also be protected from illness. It is better not to cut nails on Wednesday as there are hadith for and against, as Imam Tahawi said, paring nails on Wednesdays can cause leprosy. To cut nails on Thursday will cure illness such as leprosy. ‘”
    http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/69/110/

  7. floridakitesurfer says:

    I wonder what the rules would be for adding a member function to a C# class to aid in analyzing data from an experiment that had just been performed. Would it matter what the experiment had been? I suspect the rule would be to shut up and pray to Mecca.

  8. david says:

    When you read the sort of nonsense listed about cutting nails, removing hair, disposal of nail clippings and removed hair and so on, you are obliged to conclude that those who made them up were barking mad. What does it say about the mental competence of those who follow such intructions closely? Surely, an almighty, all merciful, all knowing guy like Allah would have better things to do than agonise over where Ali (May peace be upon him) has put the fragment of nail he cut from his left pinkie last Tuesday!

  9. Sinnataggen says:

    Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Religion as the easy route to power: the many thousand year old story. So much easier for subjugating the masses – and keeping them subdued – than using costly and unreliable armed forces.

  10. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    The problem with so many religious rules
    Is they are the product of control freak fools
    Who exploit the masses
    Who, to the west elevate their asses
    Grovelling to the east, like submissive tools

  11. musicalteapot says:

    Did some interesting reading on the Sunnah (which is where all these rules come from). It appears to be comprised of observations from various holy leaders and there is no requirement for them to agree with each other. In a sense, it’s a book of traditions based on observations, much as you get magic spells in primitive tribes based on apparent cause and effect but without any understanding of science and nature.

    It’s no more ridiculous than many older western medical texts or some pagan and christian traditions. The difference tends to be around the fact that Islamic Scholars insist that the traditions are enforced.

    Incidentally, also made me think of the Infinite Monkey Cage (podcast by the BBC, the most recent episode looks at genetics vs nurture. One of the more interesting correlations mentioned is that religious fundamentalism tends to correlate with lower intelligence… (draw your own conclusions here!)

  12. Here’s an interesting read on Islam and our attitudes toward it. Nice to find some balance for a change. https://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/is-there-something-about-islam/

    We have some new (I think) visitors to the C&B making valuable contributions to the conversation. Welcome musicalteapot, sinnataggen, canneloni, david,MONO, Alastair, Graham+ASH-PORTER. I haven’t noticed any of you here before, which might just mean I haven’t been paying attention. Anyway, I appreciate your comments. Good to see some fresh faces among the regulars.

  13. The great bulk of these rules come from the hadith, reports of the doings and sayings of Mo himself. They were passed on word of mouth until the middle of the ninth century (some two hundred years after Mo’s earthly lifetime) when various scholars decided to write them all down.

    One of the most famous was al-Bukhari, who collected over 600,000 hadith and sorted out some 7225 which he judged to be reliable. Apparently, he had a foolproof system which enabled him to ditch 592,775 hadith.

    It really is most impressive as in those days you could only get around at camel speed.

    And even more impressive, when you think about it, it means Mo came up with something new and impressive and worth passing on, nearly every day of his prophethood. (610-632AD – about 8000 days).

    How on earth did he manage to spend any time at the pub!!

  14. JohnM says:

    I spend so much of my time every day banging on about how religion, especially Islam, is OCD on drugs, I suspect I may have a form of OCD myself.

  15. djdummy says:

    Badges?…

  16. Mike N says:

    …we don’t need no stinking badges.

  17. Mike N says:

    Damn, now I’m goind to have to watch the movie :-)

  18. Mike N says:

    going not goind

  19. be reasonable says:

    Islam surveyed,
    “Apparently, he had a foolproof system which enabled him to ditch 592,775 hadith.”
    I have an image of him reading through them, thinking ‘you’d have to be nuts, I mean really, moon-barking mad to believe this stuff. Oh, hang on…’

  20. Canneloni says:

    Sorry, Darwin Harmless, but I don’t think an article that mentions “Israel’s current assault on Gaza” without pointing out that it is a response to ongoing rocket assaults carried out (and still being carried out) by Hamas can be called ‘balanced’.

  21. JohnM says:

    @canneloni & DH
    Let’s try to leave religious wars to the religious.The best anyone can hope for is that both sides to come to their senses. In the C & B we all know that’s a rather distant hope.

  22. hotrats says:

    JohnM:

    Waiting for both sides to come to their senses; a recipe for indefinite inactivity.

  23. Canneloni, that is one instance of imbalance but beside the point. I was more interested in labelling all Muslims as extremists, rather than seeing them as a spectrum similar to the Christians.

    But if you want to get into the Gaza thing, here’s some reading for you:

    Here is Sam Harris on the subject: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/why-dont-i-criticize-israel

    And here is PZ Myers with a critical response: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/07/28/apparently-stated-intent-is-magic/

    Just so you know, I’m with PZ on this. I’ve always been very sympathetic to Israel but they are losing me on this one.

  24. JohnM says:

    @ DH It’s not Israel losing you – it’s Israel losing the propaganda battle in a notionally secular environment that’s been hijacked by wannabe liberals sucking up to Islamists.
    @ hotrats Waiting for both sides to come to their senses; a recipe for indefinite inactivity. Perhaps much better than the current blood-letting

  25. Canneloni says:

    OK, I’ve read both of your linked articles, DH, and I have to say that I am more inclined to agree with Sam Harris…
    The bottom line for me is that I know that Israel does not want this war; Hamas does. If Hamas unilaterally laid down it’s arms, there would be peace. But if Israel did that, there would be mass slaughter.
    However, there’s a cease-fire at the moment; I hope it continues, and becomes a lasting peace. If Jesus and Mo can share a bed (in a companionable way), surely Israel and Hamas can do the same?

  26. suffolk blue says:

    Thanks for the two links DH. It’s clearly a complicated and centuries old (millennia old?) problem. But Sam Harris sums up my feelings on the current issue.

    Something of which you can never accuse Judaism is being evangelising / crusading. Unlike their younger and brasher Abrahamic cousins, the Christian and Islamic faiths , they don’t want the whole world to “accept our saviour” or “convert or die” or “just die”. They are happy to belong to their own club.

    And of course, as Sam says, for many Jews their Judaism is a cultural rather than a faith thing.

  27. Mark S. says:

    I’m not really interested in any more explanations of which side of the Israel / Hamas conflict is the badder bad guy or the gooder good guy. I understand why each of them engage in the conduct that they do, and I know it doesn’t matter if I tell them “stop doing that” or call them “bad”.

    But if somebody has a suggestion of the form “do this”, that might be interesting. Of course, “unilaterally withdraw from the conflict and let the other side blow up your people and your stuff as much as they want” is not a practical suggestion…

  28. Holms says:

    @JohnM
    Alternatively, Israel is losing defenders in droves because they have crossed the line several times too often. Hint: war crimes.

  29. JohnM says:

    @Holms In the 21st Century, war itself should be the crime – and ‘war crimes’ demoted to a redundancy in terms.

  30. JohnM says:

    @Mark S
    Tim Minchin may have an answer to your prposition:-)

  31. JohnM says:

    Or “proposition”, even

  32. J Ascher says:

    For Jesus to complain of Islam being “rule-bound” is the height of hypocrisy – doesn’t he remember there are some 600 dietary laws in the Old Testament? Not to mention all the other laws and rules in that set of books.

  33. Sam+Huff says:

    @J Asher

    This Jesus is the Christian Jesus and is distinct from the Jewish man who was crucified for treason. Following the Jewish mitzvahs could get you tortured and killed in some Christian communities.

  34. J+Ascher says:

    @Sam+Huff: Yes, the Christian Jesus is different from Jewish prophets, but he’s also alleged to have said “I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.” Similarly: “I tell you truly, not a jot or tittle of the Law shall be removed until the day of the coming of the son of Man.”

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Mark S, the Aussie comedian Adam Hills gave an excellent ‘do this’ suggestion for both sides on his The Last Leg programme last week: “Stop being dicks!”

    His overall view of the conflict coincides very closely to my own; two brothers, each holding a slightly different version of their father’s will, fighting over the house that both claim their father intended them to have for their sole use.

  36. JohnM says:

    @ AoS “Stop being dicks!”
    The perfect solution, of course, and one much discussed and approved by regulars in the C&B for all kinds of past and present situations. The devil is not in the detail, which couldn’t be more clear. It’s in the implementation.

  37. LastResort says:

    A point of semantics, Acolyte, if I may?
    Would it be correct to call it a “will” if only one third of Big Daddy was ever dead and that third was only dead for something on the order of 0.0001368925394% of its life span? Being as that makes Big Daddy JHV only 0.00000456308465% dead it is far more alive than any human with a full head of hair so a “will” would not be legally enacted, yet.
    It would possibly be more apt to call it a “to-do-list” or a “to-don’t-list”, or maybe a suggestions list as many of the instructions do seem to be optional.
    Or is quibbling about the difference between being dead for only three days out of three lots of six millennia and being really, really dead moot for all-powerful beings that make the rules?
    Sorry, I’m tired and strange things strike me as funny.
    I need beers. Many beers. Now, which god can I support to gain the obligation to drink many beers? Not Bacchus/Dionysus, he’s only good for wine and I dislike wine. Maybe Ceres, lovely goddess of cereals? Yes. The goddess of the breakfast of champions: corn-flakes and beer. She sounds nice. One wonders, though, if such a chaste and elegant goddess would do beer?
    Or would Siduri be more appropriate?
    Yes. I think I like Siduri.
    The nineteenth day of August shall henceforth be Siduri’s Day.
    So say all of us.

  38. LastResort says:

    Now that we’ve given Siduri the nineteenth day of August as her special “drink a beer to humour Me day, we will need one each for Siris, Nephthys, Tenenet and Kumiko Goto, and a whole week for Ceres who promotes and protects the vital ingredient for beers.
    I humbly offer the suggestion of using the 24th of December to sometime around noon-ish on the Fourth of January for the Cerean Celebration as that is already almost a mandatory holiday in many countries.
    Or would noon-ish be too early?
    Miss Goto, one notes, is the only goddess of beers likely to appear on her own goddess day, but that’s no reason to deprive the other worthy ladies. After all, Thor gets a day of his own every week and he only gets us damp.
    Suggestions for dates for the beer goddess’s days are welcome. Multiple copies are probably not wise.

  39. LastResort says:

    Hmm, faulty memory. Nephthys is more likely to be an oh-goddess of things like hangovers, she’s death and sadness orientated. Ninkasi would be the primary goddess specifically charged with ensuring a goodly supply of fine beverages. And a fine lady she is.
    A day for each? With Nephy’s being a rainy day in Georgia?

  40. Holms says:

    @JohnM
    Yes I agree that war should have no place in modern dialogue, but attempting to end all war in one sweeping treaty is simply doomed to fail while so long as the causes of war remain. Instead, there have been various treaties that take the pragmatic approach of limiting their scope; rather than trying – and failing – to ban war, they instead try to define and ban the worst excesses and cruelties of war. Hence the term ‘war crime’ is not redundant, as much as we would like it to be, because the term applies not to war in general but to the worst of the worst that can be committed in the name of war.

    One such excess is the concept of collective punishment, in which the general populace is punished as a proxy for the military defending them. It is an attempt to erode the willingness of that nation to continue the fight, but usually only entrenches the enmity and helps perpetuate the violence. It specifically targets the defenseless on a large scale and is thus one of the worst cruelties of war.

    It is also quite literally one of Israel’s favoured methods of waging war. Hence it is why Israel is losing international support as I mentioned to you earlier.

  41. Holms says:

    @JohnM
    Yes I agree that war should have no place in modern dialogue, but attempting to end all war in one sweeping treaty is simply doomed to fail while so long as the causes of war remain. Instead, there have been various treaties that take the pragmatic approach of limiting their scope; rather than trying – and failing – to ban war, they instead try to define and ban the worst excesses and cruelties of war. Hence the term ‘war crime’ is not redundant, as much as we would like it to be, because the term applies not to war in general but to the worst of the worst that can be committed in the name of war.

    One such excess is the concept of collective punishment, in which the general populace is punished as a proxy for the military defending them. It is an attempt to erode the willingness of that nation to continue the fight, but usually only entrenches the enmity and helps perpetuate the violence. It specifically targets the defenseless on a large scale and is thus one of the worst cruelties of war.

    It is also quite literally one of Israel’s favoured methods of waging war.* Hence it is why Israel is losing international support as I mentioned to you earlier.

    *Look up ‘Dahiya doctrine’.

  42. Holms says:

    Well that is odd. The first comment attempt did not actually post, so I tried again without the link and then both went up. In the interests of reducing clutter, Author might like to delete one of those replies along with this one.

  43. JohnM says:

    @ Holms
    The saddest part of the conflicts that have surrounded Israel is the slow-but-steady emergence of that line of thinking encapsulated in the Dahiya doctrine. A slow but steady swing from middle-of-the-road government to extremist right-wing has also occurred. During the first intefada, ordinary Israelis shrugged off the attacks, believing reconciliation was possible. By the time the second intefada had been halted by construction of the wall, ordinary people in my circle had hardened their views considerably. Everyone knew someone either killed in a suicide attack or a relative or friend of someone killed. I heard the sentiment,”let’s just kill them all”, directed towards Palestinians, uttered more than once. Some good humour still exists, but the satire here is pretty uncompromising in its tone. Hamas have succeeded in making this conflict very close to becoming a them-or-us armageddon, which is what their charter calls for in any case. Though, of course, they “know” Allah will ensure it goes in favour of them

  44. Jim Baerg says:

    Re: ending war
    http://markhumphrys.com/end.war.html
    has a discussion & a bunch of links on the idea that democracies don’t fight *other democracies*.

  45. Empiricist says:

    Holms: ” Hamas have succeeded in making this conflict very close to becoming a them-or-us armageddon, which is what their charter calls for in any case. Though, of course, they “know” Allah will ensure it goes in favour of them”

    One wonders what the feelings would be in world-wide Islam [the fraction that survived] were we, the non-deluded, to experiment on that subject? Say, drop four or five Tzar Bombas on Mecca and a couple of other large, prominent and fairly holy sites to test whether their spooky papa protects them or satanic science and evil engineering “wins”.
    I’m betting on the result being glow-in-the dark craters that are not healthy living areas for about a million years or so, but I wonder if the Muslims would be willing to take the chance on their protector preventing their sacred cities from being obliterated?

    “Here’s the bet, folks: we’ll drop these devices here, here and here and if they don’t go off we’ll all convert. If they do, you will, to utter atheism and English Common Law. Deal?”

    Now you just know there would be millions of nuts willing to take the bet and even to move into the doomed domains to congregate in prayer. That would be no bad thing.
    What would be interesting is the result. Whether the reduction of their sacred stone-works to vapours and vibrations would be effective in shocking the survivors into some semblance of a sense of reality or whether they would further retreat into delusional fantasies and just jihad us forever.
    Having little faith in the rationality of humans, I’d bet on the latter. Every time.
    Still, apart from the damage it would be a fairly cheap experiment …
    Certainly cheaper than the constant crusades we keep having.

    Does Israel *have* hydrogen weaponry?

  46. Empiricist says:

    Oh, dear. Sorry, Holms I should of course have attributed the quoted text to JohnM.
    Sloppy cutting and pasting on my part.

  47. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Here’s a thought: if the Jews are really God’s chosen people, then how come it stiffed them with the only part of the Middle-East that isn’t oil-rich?

    John, do you really think that it’s just Hamas that make it an all-or-nothing conflict? There’s nowt quite like having one’s homelands annexed to get one’s gander up. As much as I deplore their methods I can certainly understand why they are so determined to fight for what has been taken from them, and to be absolutely fair, they’ve hardly the resources to take Israel on toe-to-toe. Are their methods really so different to those of the various resistance armys in occupied territories during WW11? I suppose it depends on which side of the conflict one stands; one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
    But, as implied in my earlier post, the whole thing’s so futile. I just detest bullying, and Israel has been acting the big I-am for too long.
    I think both sides need to take a good look at themselves, decide that what’s done is done, and look to the future rather than the past.
    Fat chance, I know.

    Just one final thought. Does anybody else see a connection between the almost shameful neglect of the Western governments to clamp down on Israeli excess, and the fact that there is not a single Western country that does not have a strong Jewish presence in government, industry, national finance and – yes, I’m going to say it* – the media?
    Or is it just me?

    * Well, you started it, Author. Suit is still my all-time favourite strip.

  48. JohnM says:

    @AoS
    Not a lot of oil in Lebanon nor in Jordan but you’re right, Yahweh seems to have forced Jews to be more resourceful than Allah did with his bunch of wackaloons.

    Netenyahu’s government is a disgrace to a nation which has mostly ordinary, salt-of-the-earth people living in it. Had it not been for religion, and in particular Islam, there would now be a single secular state taking in all of Israel, Palestine, Jordan and perhaps even Lebanon.

    As for WW11 I think we’re still not quite there. I reckon if we count the current conflict – with Australia now volunteering troops to go to Iraq – we’re at around WW6 or 7. Joshing apart, I know you meant WW2, and I’m not sure there were resistance armies targetting civilians, even inside Germany, Italy or Japan. Conflicts have certainly changed their strategies.

  49. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    John, WW11? Whoops! I did of course mean WWII.
    Regarding Hamas, I was referring more to the ‘hit-and-run’ technique rather than the targetting of civilians, but then we Westerners can’t really claim the moral high ground concerning that despicable phrase ‘collateral damage’. The British and German Air Forces specifically targetted civilians on a massive scale in WWII, and things were similar, though on a smaller scale, in both Gulf wars and the subsequent clusterfuck that continues to this day.
    As a great man once said; “War! What is it good for?”

  50. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Not that suicide bombing is exactly hit-and-run of course.

  51. JohnM says:

    Well, for the suicide bomber it is. A straight run to paradise, where they apparently have the misfortune to encounter 72 sexually ignorant persons who haven’t a clue what to do – and aren’t going to find any enjoyment in what comes next. Hopefully the bomber’s dick got blown off in the explosion.

  52. two cents' worth says:

    You might enjoy a short video on the ” history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant”: http://vimeo.com/50531435

    On a more serious note, you might be interested in this campaign for peace (which is based on the divestment strategy that helped to end apartheid in South Africa):
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?q&a

  53. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I was just talking to somebody about this whilst out walking the dog. He said that somebody ought to just bomb the lot back into the Middle-Ages. I don’t think he understood why I found that so funny!

    On a serious note, I would say that the root of the problem lies with the way the State of Israel was set up as a knee-jerk reaction to the Holocaust. They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  54. LastResort says:

    I know I’m late and that this discussion has been superseded by today’s but does anyone really imagine that if Israel moved to Mars there would be peace in that area?
    Take the Jews to Mars, complete with their orchards and industries, take all of the Christians to a slightly terraformed Venus and there would still be eternal wars.
    Indeed, even were one single faction of Muslimism to “win” and to be the last delusion standing there would be wars.
    Scorpion to dog: “It’s in my nature.”
    Bleak, is it not?

  55. JohnM says:

    @ LastResort
    It was a frog, wasn’t it, that had the scorpion on his back to cross the river?

  56. LastResort says:

    JohnM, it depends on the source of your tale.
    I thought the comment may have been criticised for its bleak view of Man or because of it’s blatant religious bigotry but I didn’t consider it would only be taken to task for getting the species wrong.
    I still hold to the stance that war eternal is in the nature of the beast and will not stop for any reason.
    Finding humans willing to die for big daddy isn’t difficult. Finding humans willing to kill for it is almost as easy.
    It’s a bug in the software.
    Maybe we should complain.

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