A resurrection this week from May 09. Here’s the article which prompted it.

Discussion (61)¬

  1. Yes, but not in Texas. They’ve passed a law saying that critical thinking should not be taught in schools. I’ll try to find the link.

  2. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Fucked indeed!
    Reading the article i wonder; has the word ‘Radical’ lost its meaning since Thatcher’s regime conflated it with ‘Reactionary’? I see it waved about like a stick in a child’s hand; probably harmless but portending danger to the paranoid tendency, and invariably revealing more about the writer than the subject.
    And then there is the word ‘Fundamentalist’ (there’s a clue to its inevitable consequences in the very word).
    Is it possible to be a fundamentalist atheist? Please discuss.

  3. machigai says:

    Let’s hope so.

  4. Swisswatch says:

    Love this, and following and albeit slightly of tangent, I though the regulars here would enjoy this rather thought provoking read.


  5. freethinkin franklin says:

    we, as a nation , use to embrace freethought, in fact that is exactly what our nation was founded on and from….

  6. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Hey, Swisswatch, well posted. Shahid’s article his several nails right on the head.
    I have writen before my contention that Moderates serve to give room for fundamentalists to exist and are therefore complicit. I appreciated also the acknowledgement that Islam has had no reformation nor period of enlightenment; it is indeed stuck in its dark ages which makes it particularly invidious.

  7. machigai says:

    Why is my comment in moderation?
    Bad email address.

  8. machigai says:

    Why can’t I get to the comment page unless I make a comment?

  9. Efogoto says:

    @WalterWalcarpit: ‘Fundamentalist’ (there’s a clue to its inevitable consequences in the very word)

    Are you referring to the fundament up which they’ve thrust their heads? If so, there are plenty of atheists who’ve managed that trick. It seems to be a common human ability.

  10. Dan says:

    People do this thing about holding up the gradually diminishing number of well educated people who believe religion but what is clear is that religion is the first casualty of the critical thinking mind.

  11. WalterWalcarpit says:

    @ Efogoto: LoL very much.
    I had been thinking of mental, of course, but I now cannot get your suggestion out of my head.

  12. UncoBob says:

    See what the opposition are up to in this location: http://ri.bne.catholic.edu.au/ree/RE/SiteResources/RE_Guidelines_for_the_Early_Years.pdf.

    The curriculum could possibly be modified for a better purpose. The mother in Victoria who recently lost a discrimination case in relation to her child being singled out when the other kids in the class were doing religious education might have been better off trying to get a module on secularism for her child and others.

    Not sure how we’d go in getting it into Queensland schools at the moment though. After the last elections, we have a virtual one-party state controlled by a party whose power block is very christian fundamentalist.

  13. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    An atheist thinking critically
    It might happen, eventually
    The critical part
    Natural as a fart
    Thinking, atheist, an impossibility.

  14. UncoBob says:

    Ah, I was wondering if Nasser had given up his doggerel.
    Is it a coincidence that Ben Houdja is shown up on a couple of language translators as ‘Hodgson’?
    Maybe one day we’ll see him giving up his brainwashed drivel, start thinking and join an atheist group.

  15. Antidiluvian says:

    @Walter: I feel your pain with regard to the misuse of language, although ‘Radical’ being attached incorrectly doesn’t get me nearly as riled up as the misuse of ‘Socialism’. 🙁

  16. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Cornered rats and religions. The more they feel threatened the louder they squeal.

    Nassar, my old darling, take a look at http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap121114.html to see what critical thinking has taught us. Go on, it’ll only take a minute, honestly. It’s called ‘Our story in one minute’. 14.6 billion years or thereabouts distilled into 60 seconds, and not a deity in sight.

  17. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Acolyte, I suspect he doesn’t want to know what most of the clip is about and won’t let any of it affect him. At least he’ll recognise the sky scraper for what it is, but not much of the rest, methinks.

  18. WalterWalcarpit says:

    @antidiluvian. Yes, and Anarchy also gets bandied about with no consideration nor respect for it actually being a serious political philosophy. In fact the thinking parts left-right spectrum feel threatened by anarchism in much the same ways as religionists are threatened by atheism.

  19. WalterWalcarpit says:

    AoS: great video post, if anthropocentric. APOD is a great follow.

    But IMHO there’s no need to get personal with NBH, I can’t see why he riles you so much. Nor am I convinced he has shown consistent colours let alone his true ones. I’d go so far as to say he has developed the perfect style for a troll but I can only say that because of the way you and others respond with such vitriol. Some of his work is lame, occasionally he is a hoot, but I kind of like the way he has challenged himself to reply always to Author’s subject with pertinent verse; with that brief it is some wonder he does not fail more often and little wonder he struggles for consistent position in a debate.

  20. FreeFox says:

    What’s an anti-diluvian? Someone who strictly opposes floods? A warrior against tsunamis? Someone virtuous enough to prevent God’s wrath?

  21. FreeFox, I am pretty sure he is saying he doesn’t believe in Noah’s flood.

  22. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    JohnnieCanuck says:
    November 15, 2012 at 3:36 am
    ….. At least he’ll recognise the sky scraper for what it is, but not much of the rest, methinks.

    OUCH! Nice one, Johnny 🙂

    Walter, Nassar doesn’t rile me at all, I find him highly amusing and actually enjoy his contributions to each comic. I’ve said before that I see him as the ‘acceptable face of Trollism’; he doesn’t rant and rave IN great BLOCK CAPS POSTS or threaten us all with lakes of fire and such shit, and I’ve also recognised that the ideas behind his ‘poetry’ are often very clever, even if the execution doesn’t always do the ideas justice.

    FreeFox, I think it’s King Canute’s nom-de-plume.
    I was only wondering the other night where you’d got to. Pleased to see you here again. I assume you’ve been busy with that cub of yours.

  23. JoJo says:

    If its any consolation, the Telegraph article is a repeat as well. Yawn.

  24. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    JoJo, it’s true what they (who is this omniscient ‘they’?) say; there’s nothing new under the Sun.

  25. hotrats says:

    JoJo, what does that 2pt caption on your avatar say?

  26. JoJo says:

    Hotrats – It doesn’t shrink down so well. The text reads “The British are coming?”

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, on the subject of avatars, what’s yours? I really cannot make it out at all, which probably says more about my eyes than it does about your avatar.

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Walter I’ve just realised that you might have thought that my comment about ‘rats and religion’ was aimed at Nassar, hence your reference to vitriol. That part of my post was a reference to the comic, and more especially to the Telegraph article; only the second part was for Nassar as a teasing reply to his own teasing ‘critical thinking’ gag. Of course the boy can be frustrating at times, particularly in his refusal to engage in conversation – which is after all part of his trolling style – but J&M wouldn’t be the same without him.

  29. hotrats says:

    # Is it possible to be a fundamentalist atheist? Please discuss.#
    I’m beginning to think so. The more I hear about religion, the less tolerant I have become. I meet any talk of God, Jesus, scripture, prayer, heaven, hell, ghosts, miracles, redemption, popes, priests or prophets with open scorn.

    I long ago concluded that religious belief is a symptom of an inherited mental illness, and in the words of William Burroughs, ‘Do not waste your sympathy on the mentally ill, it is a bottomless pit.’ I can no longer debate with believers for the same reason Dawkins won’t debate creationists; they are too full of certainty in the supernatural to appreciate the significance of the issues in the real world.

    I find myself beginning to wish the Israelis and the Iranians, and the Shia and Sunni, good luck in blowing each other up, and would like our troops to stay longer in Afghanistan, because there should be somewhere in the world where it’s legal to shoot fundamentalists on sight.

    Does this count?

    It’s a photomontage of, what else, Zappa’s ‘Hot Rats’ album cover and a blue eye, with Ultra Violet’s face replacing the pupil, and the shadow of the trees creating a kind of eyebrow. Like JoJo’s, it looks a lot better when it hasn’t been shrunken, or in Frank’s own words, ‘horribly foreshortened’, by the site engine.

  30. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “Does this count?” A rhetorical question, I presume?
    Thanks for the info n your avatar, I can see it now. Hindsight, always 20/20.

  31. Mahatma Coat says:

    This is one of those times when I might be amazingly sorry I posted because I might be spoiling Antidiluvian’s joke and Freefox’s response in similar vein.

    The word ‘antediluvian’ means before the flood. Oh god! Now I’ve just told you something that everybody knows. Ah well.

  32. Mahatma Coat says:

    And I suppose that flood should be capitalized.

  33. HaggisForBrains says:

    Yes, Mr Coat, I went through a similar thought process, and decided that antidiluvian must be a clever pun, indicating a lack of belief in the biblical flood. floridakitesurfer got there first.

  34. anonnynonnymous says:

    I used to think that, like R Dawkins, my scale of Atheism might be 6 out of 7, right on. These days, I’m just 1 out of 7. I don’t know about the other 6, but I’m damn sure the 1s on offer are not correct. They have fucked themselves.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Anonnynonnymous, what are you blathering on about? I’m usually quite quick at picking up on subtle – and not-so subtle – humour, but that went straight over my head.

  36. hotrats says:

    …in fact, roll on Armageddon. The sooner the Promised Land becomes a permanently uninhabitable, irradiated wasteland the better. Nothing else will stop the settlers, or end the Palestinian problem.

    Then maybe the Jews will finally realise that their God is a figment of their own misplaced sense of entitlement, parochially, stupidly wrong about everything from the need to mutilate infant genitalia to the avoidance of bacon sandwiches, and embrace the tolerant secularism which has been the hallmark of it deepest thinkers.

  37. JoJo says:

    Back to the big picture, if he Church of Ngland votes or women bishops next week, I shall, despite not being a member of the church, no longer be able to ‘bash the bishop’ because of the disturbing mental imagery. This is highly unfair.

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    JoJo, that particular euphemism summons up disturbing enough images as it is. I mean, just who wants to have Desmond Tutu in mind during such a personal moment? That’s more the sort of thing you think of when there’s no cold shower nearby.
    Ditto ‘polishing the Pope’.
    I much prefer ‘stroking Satan’s spitting snake’.

  39. percyferry says:

    Mo: “We’re fucked.” sublimely succinct.

  40. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Hotrats, I’m close there; I can’t seem to hold back these days. I feel an urge always to tell people that they are stupid. The thing is we used not to. One used to tolerate people’s religious beliefs out of some kind of respect for belief itself – as if to hold such beliefs was somehow noble – or was it always as if in pity, perhaps, for their illness?
    Anyway, I can’t be bothered anymore. Nowadays I call a spade a spade and when religion rears its ugly head … well … as often as not I just laugh at it.

    Does that count?

  41. WalterWalcarpit says:

    AoS, I should respond re NBH. I’m glad you agree that this space wouldn’t be the same without him. For my part I see such divergence that I don’t conclude any theosophical position at all, and the appearance of an Arabic moniker is no more convincing of any particular religion so references to skyscrapers are frankly racist.
    Having said all that, it is not for his erudition that I follow these threads with eager anticipation.

  42. WalterWalcarpit says:

    I off now to find myself an avatar …

  43. MrGronk says:

    AoS, a secular alternative could be “siphon the python”.
    Not that we should be digressing into schoolboy humour, of course.

  44. hotrats says:

    I think you will find ‘siphon the python’ already taken, at least in Australia, for straining the potatoes or pointing Percy at the porcelain. My own favourite euphemism for bish-bashing is ‘milking the lizard’.

  45. FreeFox says:

    @Hotrats: You know, it’s funny, I have pretty much the feeling towards stupid atheists. Not the atheist bit, that I can understand, but the annoying superiour self-congratulatory conviction that their simple-minded model or reality is actually “it”, and anything beyond it must be false (because they claim to know how “it works, bitches”, which in most cases they just really don’t.) (Stupid flat-earther religious people are just silly and not worth talking to in the first place.)

  46. FreeFox says:

    Aah, touchscreen keyboard, how I loathe thee. Meant to say “have pretty much the same feeling”. And “model of reality”. ^_^

  47. FreeFox says:

    @Hotrats: Almost agree on the hope for irradiated holy places, though… (if it weren’t for the innocent deaths, and me and mine getting hit by the fall-out…)

  48. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Red Mann, I was looking at that Blaze item earlier. The comments section is fucking hilarious.
    Here’s a taster, from a post by ‘Oilfield_Trash’;
    ““Evolution” is actually based on “Faith”, misplaced faith to be sure. The only truism of evolution is that it always evolving. If evolution is true, how can we ever have an endangered species? Wouldn’t they have just “evolved”?”

    Then there’s this, by PCDOCTORS4U2;
    “I do not know how a society or “Global, Family, Village” can succeed without a code to live by that incorporates the truths that are the Virtues outlined in the Holy Bible? There is no middle ground here. It is not my job to convince you, The choice is yours and always has been.You are For Jesus Christ or you are ANTICHRIST.”

    BONESIII (they love their BLOCK CAPS names) chipped in with this gem;
    “wow, talk about atheism being a religion. Have you ever wondered why, given that almost everything he taught has now been disproven, evolutionists still idolize Darwin, and not some more modern evolutionist like Gould?”

    But it’s not all atheist-bashing, there’s also a bit of climate-change denial and a whole lot of bollocks quoted as historical fact, such as this, from a full-on ‘I live in JESUS and y’all are going to Hell’ dipshit calling himself ‘EASTINFECTION’ (that B.C’s thing again);
    “..the US has the longest running active form of government on the planet”

    Oh, and that EASTINFECTION idiot, when telling how he told his kids that there was no Santa, left this, a paragraph so deliciously ironic it had me wondering for a second or two whether he’s a genuine comedy genius rather than a complete waste of a brain*;
    “It’s OK to let children be children and let them cultivate their imaginations through fantasy.. Adults sometimes spend their entire lives attempting to reacquire that beautiful innocence.”

    *I double checked his other posts. He’s a waste of a brain.

    FreeFox, I swear that not a one of them claimed the Earth to be flat. Is it OK to feel superior, just this once? 😉

  49. HaggisForBrains says:

    AoS – I checked it out too, and couldn’t believe the stupidity and wilful ignorance. Many are beyond wrong. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    We are definitely superior, and I AM THE ANTICHRIST!

  50. HaggisForBrains says:

    Oops, did I say that out loud? I’m not supposed to announce it till 21 December. Don’t tell anyone.

  51. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I don’t need to tell anyone, HFB, it’s all there in the New Testament. It’s a full one-third prophecy don’t you know!
    The END OF DAYS is coming, prepare for the JUDGMENT of the LORD JESUS CHRIST aka GOD.

    Oh fuck, I’ve caught BLOCK CAPS CHRISTIANITY.

  52. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Quick, AoS, go to bed and sweat it out before you infect anyone else. I’ve heard it spreads over the interweb.

  53. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    It’s OK, Walter, I’ve got the grandsons coming shortly. If anything can convince me there are no gods it’s that pair of little brutes. I love them to bits, of course, but products of a divine creator they ain’t. 😉

  54. steeve says:

    Hot news from the UK; the General Synod of the Church of England have voted today NOT to allow women to become bishops. The (all-male) bishops wanted it. The (currently majority male ) ministers wanted it. Seems the lay members of the church won’t wear it. Here’s a link.

  55. WalterWalcarpit says:

    I think this might be my personal favourite from the Blaze comments:
    “Aethism [sic] is a religion just like Christianity, and they arroantly [sic] proclaim they don’t beleive [sic] in God, but they do believe in the god of secularism”
    (might have been using FreeFox’s keyboard).

    I must say that I am impressed with the mild, even measured, responses of the secularists on the board – they have done well in face of the raving lunacy of the monster nutters.

  56. remoran says:

    Another LOL comic. 🙂

  57. EcclesCake101 says:

    “debate, ask questions, think critically” all required as part of the exam taken by 16 yr olds in most UK (including faith-based schools, which are mostly state funded) schools in which subject? That would be Religious Education. Students can express any views in response to a question. Marks are given for the ability to present a reasoned argument to support their position, not for spouting doctrine.

  58. Amanda says:

    Okay, that one almost made me laugh coffee through my nose!


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.