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Discussion (180)¬

  1. tfkreference says:

    Jesus had a bad weekend for your sins.

  2. PeterN says:

    tfkreference, not just a bad weekend: a bad long weekend, which he needed like a hole in the extremities.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Now, this is temptation. Author, have you any idea how this happens? And how to stop it from happening? The latter being the more important, of course.

  4. Author says:

    What do you mean, Anon?

  5. David ashton says:

    I recall that the lead singer of Disaster Area in Hitchhikers spent a whole year dead for tax purposes. A weekend repose to save the World seems like a decent deal really.

  6. David ashton says:

    When I opened the page, it appears I was logged on as “Author”. I logged out and in again. I guess this is what anon is referring to. A glitch your end maybe?

  7. Author says:

    Oh, yes. That old glitch. It’s just a cached page. You aren’t actually logged in.

  8. Walter says:

    If you take Frea’s day and the Sabbath as a long Frea’s day at the office?! Haven’t most of use had a bad couple of days at the office?
    On the Sun’s day he got better.

  9. Chiefy says:

    I find this “offensive” – and funny.

  10. David Amies says:

    I am no fan of Mo but in this case he is right on the money!

  11. The Real Anon says:

    Yes, Author, Mr. Ashton is right, I was “logged in as Author”. I thought you would see that from the headers of the comment I sent. sorry if those weren’t as obvious as they should have been.
    I take it that it’s not a real log in and that I didn’t have the power to overwrite the comic. That is good. I was tempted to try. I really, really was tempted.
    Maybe I should start my own comic so I can fiddle to my heart’s content with the page’s content?

    Anyway, I only wanted to let you know that your log-ins seemed to be going viral or something and that someone not so good, altruistic and lovely as me might have done a bad thing with it.
    That could have been bad. Ever so very bad.

    “Javascript not enabled” then “duplicate comment”. Damn, but my security is bugging me today. Now “CleanScript” thinks I’m a spammer.
    I think I’ll give up.
    Unless I consider it as a game between me and the cosmos and continue until it works?

  12. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hey, look, Joe Mello has been resurrected as The Real Anon, and if that ain’t the perfect name for his God then nothing is.

    Anyhooo; the last time I managed a reserection (sic, before POTWA attacks) and second coming in the same weekend, blue pills were involved.

  13. The Real Anon says:

    Hey, Accy, old man, I am not Joe. I didn’t comment on religion, faith, ritual, magic or anything else, just on a technical issue.

    I’m only back to see if any of the droppings I dropped arrived after all of the subsequent technical issues I experienced. Javascript and such. Apparently, one did. After Author’s gentle moderation, no doubt.

    I was being nice to the Author by pointing out a potential security flaw. You are being an obnoxious, petty poltroon.
    And a mistaken poltroon, to boot.

    Bad Accy, no biscuits.

  14. E.A. Blair says:

    Starting next year, there will be no Easter…yeah, they found the body.

  15. Body found here in Oz. Smell not too bad for old corpse. Corpse currently masquerading as singer/songwriter NEKAICHOH at facebook.com. See what you think.

  16. Anonnynonnymouse says:

    What Mark A Willis says !

  17. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well, I was about to apologise for my error until I got to the insults. However, I acknowledge my mistake as a second reading of your posts reminds me of another chap who used to post here under a ‘nym or two that my rusty mind cannot quite recall; a rather verbose individual wont to commenting when firmly in his cups, as they say. You have a definite hatred of Marmite, if memory serves.

  18. M27Holts says:

    We are all a bit jumpy. The Jesuit may be finding out where we all live via his invisible friends omniscience. Then his omnipotent friend will make a penis grow out of our foreheads. We have been warned!

  19. Anonnynonnymouse says:

    This http://www.facebook.com/nekaichoh looks a little corpse-ish I reckon.

  20. Michael says:

    And remember folks, Jesus died for your sins. So if you aren’t sinning then Jesus died in vain.

  21. Anonnynonnymouse, what’s with the link to the ugly guy with the ring in his nose and his caps lock key stuck writing in the third person as NE. Are you trying to attract a new troll, or proposing a candidate. Explain please.
    BTW, I can’t imagine being comfortable with a ring in my nose. My nose runs too much and too often. Blowing it, or dealing with the snot, would be just impossible. And it has to be the most unsexy look anybody ever came up with. I just don’t get it. Can anybody explain the attraction?

    Author, once again, brilliant. Note: No quotation marks around that word.

  22. M27Holts says:

    Facial piercings are essentially primitive. Like tattoos. I prefer to wear any slogans and literary statements on garments I can remove. Permanent inking has to be hidden if not intended to be advertised. Still, a person over 17 is entitled to put a bone through their nose if they so wish.

  23. Anonnynonnymouse says:

    Hi, Darwin, I am a great admirer of your posts, thanks for your intelligent contributions. My understanding is that NE is a creation of a guy who has magnificiently survived a fundamentalist upbringing. The guy is as sweet as a bun, if I say so myself, and has, for instance, in one of his posts ” THE BIG ONES ” demolished christianity. He draws attention to the similarity of christianity to primitive people’s religious practices ie the conflatioon of magical thinking and prayer, cannibalism and the holy communion and human sacrifice with the death of jebus. I meant to include the link to his facebook page and do so below.I commend THE BIG ONES to all hear as source material for arguments with fundamentalist christians. Go to http://www.facebook.com/mark.willis.90281943 and check it at March 14, 2018. My understanding is that the nose ring is in fact detachable and there for a Votive reason, also explained in Mark’s timeline.

  24. M27Holts, yes, I get the primitive quality of piercings. I’ve worn a ring, or sometimes a stud, a diamond, or a hand made tiny gold and silver film reel, in my left earlobe since 1966. Back when I got it pierced it was a real statement and a slightly dangerous thing to do. Seeing it caused my father to actually vomit. Now it means nothing. I just don’t get the ring in the nose thing. Aside from the difficulties with snot, there’s the symbolism. After all, a ring in a bull’s nose allows a puny human to lead the animal around. Is that a conscious statement, i.e. you can lead me around by the nose?

    Anonnynonnymouse. thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the appreciation. I shall check out the link your recommended.

  25. FreeFox says:

    Hey Michael, if Jesus died for our sins, wouldn’t he have died in vain if we didn’t sin? So I’m gonna sin with body, mind and soul. Wouldn’t want Him to feel like He didn’t get his full death’s worth and really accomplished something. ^_^

  26. Someone says:

    One of my first cynical thoughts about Jesus dying for our sins was there would be no way in hell (heaven?) he’d make the effort if he could see the modern world. Every year, nay every decade, this becomes more evident.
    Then again, so does the notion that religion is a man-made construct designed to control the masses as per the whims of the greedy and psychotic.

  27. Nassar Ben Houja says:

    With islam, the koran said
    The expired are inclined to stay dead
    Until the last day
    Then they get to play
    With virgin live stock in their bed.

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    FreeFox, what do you mean, you’re ‘gonna sin….’? Surely ‘gonna carry on sinning…’ is more like it for one who has in all likelihood already sinned several sacrificed Messiah’s’ worth.

    Good to hear from you, how’s you and your cub doing these days?

  29. Just Jim says:

    Wait, *Jesus* lives? I thought it was Frodo. Sure, that was in the sixties, but still more recent than Jesus’ attempt.

  30. M27Holts says:

    Isn’t that the whole idea about the immolation of Christ? He died so we could all carry on wanking ourselves into oblivion. Remember kids… Jesus watches while you wank!

  31. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    How can someone die for the weekend?

  32. I just went back and read the tail end of the discussion on the previous thread. All I can say is that it makes me proud to know you all, mates. You understood Joe Mello perfectly, explained to him what and who he is with patience and dignity, and left him exactly where he wants to be without rancor or vitriol. Damn but I love the C&B.. I read a thread like that and feel warmly, thoroughly, at home among friends.
    Cheers. Next virtual round is on me.

  33. M27Holts says:

    Nice one. I will have a bottle of king goblin please with a fine single malt chaser if at all possible. I’m sure those items will be found in my beer garage at home. It’s a miracle!

  34. Joe Mello says:

    I’m having a hard time finding the dazzling reason and science above. I seem to only see a cult-like group of ridiculing guys holding a religious service of shits and giggles.

    I guess I am so far beneath the level of reasoning and scientific acumen of you guys that I simply can’t rise up and observe your brilliance.

    Maybe the cheerleader of your group, Darwin, can put down his pompoms and help me to see the dazzle I am missing.

    Oh … and to the guy who asked how “someone” could die for only a weekend:

    You might want to read the story a bit more closely, because the Resurrection is not a story about just “someone”.

    Thanks. Hope you guys can help my confusion.

  35. M27Holts says:

    One…two…three…OY! MELLO! Harry Potter is more real than the Nazarine. And he does real magic! Mohammed did exist and a right first millennium savage he was too. But like I said before. ON THE BALANCE OF MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITIES A FLESH AND BLOOD JESUS WAS UNLIKELY TO HAVE EXISTED! That is based on archaeology and study of roman historical documents from around the presumed turn of the first century CE. The bible is a fourth century fiction novel. No more no less. And no metaphysical bollocks reply is required.

  36. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Joe, the ridiculing is of beliefs rather than persons, and this will continue for the forseeable future.
    There is some unfortunate overspill, in that if people hold ridiculous beliefs, then they may get some of the ridicule all over them during the spillage. Some of this will come off with a good absorbent cloth and some vigorous rubbing…
    Another good tactic is to make sure that a sober and accurate description of your sincerely held beliefs does not sound like abuse. Other people cannot really be held responsible for it if it does.

  37. Someone says:

    M27Holts, I will play Devil’s advocate and say Jesus did likely exist and was indeed the Messiah for some, in the same way Brian was the Messiah in another (more probable) piece of fiction.

    Jesus may not have been the son of a virgin and a deity but he could have been a Jewish man rambling away in the streets, perhaps preaching common sense whilst glorifying the Tanakh and teachings therein. He may also have been protesting against Roman rule and their systems and values, deferring to scriptures and the heritage of the Hebrew people.

    He might have been so erudite that it captured the attention of those seeking out a Messiah and thus gravitating to what he had to say. And so, like L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith (albeit several centuries before those loonies), Jesus became a leader of a new movement in his image; his interpretation of the Hebrew god.

    It could be that as a result of this, the Romans took offence to his sedition and crucified him. Since martyrdom plays a large part in the psyche of people in that part of the world, and of course in that fairly volatile era, stories of his messages and charisma reached the masses and people suffering stages of grief might have prophecised his return in the hopes he would. Maybe somebody hallucinated and/or dreamed that he had and like the phenomenon of mass hysteria, many others began to attest to to this.

    Word of mouth spread like wildfire and those he wanted/needed a Messiah suddenly found one. Stories became exaggerated, misinterpreted and new Testament was drawn up as a counterpart of the old. After all, the bulk of the NT as I recall is the same story as told by different disciples and while they tend to say the same message, there are a few differences between each iteration. As the Christian religion has a myriad of varying denominations, it is little wonder that those desperate to believe the Word do, for it has been revised and perfected by its preachers for millennia.

    Now whether Jesus himself believed that he was the son of God (and thus was God) or was a simple man trying to make sense of the world and becoming a touchstone for those with existential issues (who subsequently made him the godhead he became) is different kind of speculation. Nevertheless, time and distortion have done their work.

    Then again, if archaeological studies and evidence shows no sign that Jesus could have existed, I am happy to leave it at that. It’ll make Indiana Jones look more comedic but it’s not like I treat those movies like scripture anyhow.

  38. DC Toronto says:

    Troll Mello is back for more. Magic and fairies and zombies – oh my! You are correct Joey. We wouldn’t understand. We don’t inhabit your delusional mind. We are comfortable taking responsibility for our actions and our successes and failures. We aren’t so afraid of the world that we need to blame someone else (god) for success and failure. Because that’s the real reason people look to god. When they fail they can abdicate their responsibility as part of “gods plan”. As if some magic entity has a plan for each individual. Absolutely the most self centred and egotistical thought that could have ever been put in your head. And you’ve shown it in spades.
    Thanks for coming out Joe. Your utter failure to convince is on you. It’s on your 2 degrees, it’s on your inability to articulate any actual evidence and it’s on your pathetic attempts to bully others into believing as you do.
    I don’t expect you to change though joey. As the end approaches your fears will rise up and you’ll most likely dive deeper into the safety blanket of your imaginary god. Hey, whatever gets you through the dark and lonely night joey. I understand. I’ve been there and it can be a scary place. I came out the other side with an ability to look fear and death in the eye and not run to an imagined father figure to make it all better. But that’s me. I won’t judge you for your need to imagine there is someone looking out for you … unless you bring it up and judge me. Then I’ll call you the fool that you are.
    Rather than try to read the story of the resurrection more closely, why not answer the issue of genesis that I raised on the previous thread? You began that conversation and retreated when you were again shown to be incorrect. Care to finish that conversation? Or would you rather talk about your grandkids some more?

  39. machigai says:

    Matthew 6:7

  40. Someone says:

    Sometimes the Edit button doesn’t work; this tends to be when I go to correct a spelling mistake, hit Backspace and suddenly find myself on the previous comic or the last web page I was browsing. Not sure if this is a glitch with the text box but I wonder if anyone else has experienced this.

    Anyway, I just wanted to correct a couple of bungles in case anyone actually reads my comment:
    “Deferring to scriptures” should say “Referring to scriptures”.
    “Those he wanted/needed a Messiah” should say “Those who wanted/needed a Messiah.”

    (Several minutes of self-scrutiny later)
    That’s all. Carry on, everyone.

  41. FreeFox says:

    @Acolyte of Sagan, I guess I did my share of justifying Jesus’ suffering, but I like to renew this sacrifice every year. You don’t want him to feel unappreciated, do you? Anyway, as to all those mocking the brevity of his death, I must say, isn’t it really the brevity of his resurrection that is more noteworthy? I’ve been technically dead at least twice, and that was years ago and I am still here. Jesus came back for a mere 40 days before ascending to heaven, and although he’s been promised to return, we’ve been waiting for nearly two thousand years now. So if you weigh those 6 weeks after the crucifiction against the 2 millennia he’s been pretty much dead since, I guess the resurrection was more of a dragged-out good-bye tour.

    But thanks for asking. The lil’un is doing fine. He has his own little gang of good-for-nothing urchins, he’s driving his mother insane, and he’s doing pretty much perfect at school – good enough for now to give us no worries but not so good as to get a bad name with his mates. But of course puberty is still a ways off, so we’ll see how things develop.

    Myself I am, er, staying busy. Spent a good bit of the winter at sea, reprising the life of a fishermen and doing the odd unobtrusive delivery. Still finding my land legs again. Have met a very sweet chap and get to share his bed and balcony whenever I am in his town. Been enjoying spring on that balcony very much in the past week. (And doing much of the aforementioned sinning.) So that is rather enjoyable. Though of course the ongoing war South and the new conflict in Northeastern Iraq is pretty heartbreaking to witness, and the political upheaval and shift towards more and more ruthless authorianism here has me putting more time and resources towards keeping several boltholes open than I would prefer. So I guess it’s all a bit of a mixed bag.

    How are you, Mrs. Sagan and your own (2nd degree) lil’uns? Of good health, all of you, I hope.

  42. M27Holts says:

    Someone says. My Jesus as a myth is based on reading these four books. “The Jesus Mysteries”,”The laughing Jesus”, and “Jesus and the Lost Goddess” which are all by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy. Plus the very convincing “There was no Jesus, There is no God” by Raphael Lataster. Certainly enough evidence to suggest that Jesus is just another name for any number of pagan myth men like Dionysus.

  43. LD50 says:

    Hello again Joe.

    You’re having a hard time discerning any “dazzle” and science because nobody was employing either. Sometimes we just chat: so there’s a photo of some guy with a piercing, a ring through his nose, like a bull. Darwin is puzzled as to why anyone would do this. So am I.

    ‘Oh … and to the guy who asked how “someone” could die for only a weekend:

    You might want to read the story a bit more closely, because the Resurrection is not a story about just “someone”.

    Thanks. Hope you guys can help my confusion.’

    I’ll try. Imagine that we haven’t had any mystical experiences. Imagine that we simply don’t believe that anything in the bible is a realistic description of anything that actually happened on earth. To us it looks like a collection of fables.

    So “reading the story a bit more closely” doesn’t help. We know the story. It just looks like a story.

    I’m not sure what it is, exactly, that you’re confused about. Is it “how on earth can they make fun of Jesus (and Mohammed, and Moses)?”

    I’m confused too.

    Believers often shake the bible in front of our faces and scream “it’s all in here! This explains everything! Read it and let Jesus into your hearts!”

    Why do you think the bible constitutes any sort of evidence? Any more than a book of fairy tales? Why?

  44. M27Holts says:

    I have just got out my old (long dead) nana’s New English Bible 1970 edition. OUP. Genesis definately states that the earth was without form and void. Then a mighty wind over the surface of the waters. So water before it’s constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms! Religious dicks don’t ever accept that their holy book clearly is a product of bronze age intellect. Imagine if Genesis contained the full periodic table and then the equations that make up the standard model. Even I would be forced to concede that the authors were in contact with an intellect capable of being classed as godlike in the first millennium bc.

  45. You know, folks, I suddenly got a bit of a soft sport for old Joe when he started to tell us/brag about his life. Especially when he went on about his accomplished grandson. Suddenly he seemed more real, more human. I was actually touched.

    In truth he’s an ugly sort, abusive and argumentative. Maybe that’s just the way he is. Maybe he thinks calling people idiots is persuasion. Maybe he really thinks he can educate us. That’s okay. What he thinks is not very important to me, mostly because he has shown very little interest in us as real flesh and blood human beings who may have kids and grand kids and actual, real and interesting, lives full of accomplishments. As I said in a previous post, he knows nothing at all about any of us but he assumes everything.

    I remember the exact moment when I stopped arguing religion with my mother. I looked at her and finally saw a frightened, indoctrinated old woman who thought that her religion gave her answers. She wasn’t looking at the dark side, and when I pointed it out to her – for example I asked her why a loving god would kill the children in Sodom and Gomorrah – she could only look confused and say “What chance would those children have growing up in that environment.” And that was it. Her god murdered kids and she was okay with it. I instantly had no desire to talk to her about her beliefs any more. I suddenly saw her as simply old and pathetic.

    I’m now feeling the same about Joe. He has no social skills. That’s okay. Why would I want to argue with him? Now I’m doing my very best to like him. He sounds like an okay guy, in his own way. Family man. Hard worker. Gives to charity. I can overlook his social ineptitude and treat him the way an anthropologist treats a visiting head hunter.

    Welcome to the C&B, Joe Mello. Have a pint on me.

    FreefFox, good to hear your sinful life has settled down and you have found some love. Sounds lovely.

    Someone Says, yes, I have had that exact issue with the edit function, to the extent that I have given up on it and do my best to proo fread before hitting the “submit comment” button. Then I accept whatever typos I have made. Only Allah can make a perfect post, eh.

  46. DC Toronto says:

    hahaha … Darwin … was proo fread intentional? Or just god playing tricks on you at an opportune moment …
    good points about joey. I’m not sure I’m there yet though.

  47. Son of Glenner says:

    Someone: (and anyone else) I strongly recommend that you do all your editing in the comment box before hitting “submit comment”, even if it means a bit of re-reading and checking. You could even do your composing elsewhere then copy and paste into the comment box, if it’s going to be a long post like what Darwin and Joe Mello write.

  48. Someone says:

    Thanks all. Son of Glenner, I know but when it’s pushing midnight (my time) and my brain is in the zone, sometimes I forget simple things like that.

  49. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    FreeFox, good to hear all’s as well as can be for you and yours. We’re pretty much OK; Mrs o’S is suffering more than ever with both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis but we’re still coping. The boys are a constant source of delight (even if their headmistress has likened them to the Kray twins, but that’s another story for another time).

    Joe, you said ‘You might want to read the story a bit more closely, because the Resurrection is not a story about just “someone”.
    If it were true, that would be inarguable, but the thing is, Jesus was never meant to be a literal god incarnate, not according to the O.T. prophecies that his existence was said to fulfil. The prophesised Messiah of the O.T. was ‘only’ supposed to be a warrior-king who would lead the Jews to victory against their Roman oppressors; he wasn’t said to be coming to save all mankind, or to be a conduit to the God in Heaven, he was to be the Saviour of the Jewish people, and in all other respects just a normal human.

  50. Laripu says:

    Yes, it’s all nonsense, all the religious stuff. But there is a tiny baby in the bathwater, in the context of the time, 2000 years ago. Here it is:

    At the time (and to some degree still today) Judaism was a rule-following religion. Christianity represented a small advance, in that conscience became as important as rule following.

    Of course, one problem with that is that many people either have no conscience, or are too stupid to know when they’ve done wrong. Rule following is easier. And today, conscience has become an important component of western thought, so we no longer need the religion. (And there are still many people too stupid to know when they’ve done wrong.)

    So that’s my tiny appreciation of a minor aspect of Christianity, coming from an old
    atheist Jew.

    To get back to the idea of Jesus dying for our sins … I highly recommend the Green Day record “American Idiot”, on which you’ll find the song “Jesus of Suburbia”, in which you’ll find the lyric:
    The bible of none of the above
    On a steady diet of
    Soda Pop and Ritalin
    No one ever died for my
    Sins in hell
    As far as I can tell
    At least the ones that I got away with

    A great record!

  51. Joe Mello says:

    basket, you overestimate the power of your ridicule because you vastly overestimate your capabilities to judge what should be ridiculed. Your warning to me and others is not a little pathetic. When I walk past a pile of dog shit I expect it to stink, and if I get any of it on the bottom of my shoe I just clean it off, I don’t throw away my shoe. Likewise, I think my “beliefs”, as you call them, are safe from any permanent damage from your judgment of them.

    Here’s a thing: The Resurrection is seen by the skeptic such as yourself as “ridiculous” because the skeptic equates himself to his physical body. So the skeptic reasons in a circular manner that when his body dies he is snuffed out like a candle. What I find “ridiculous” about this belief of the skeptic is the equaling of a human being to a snuffed out candle. For the skeptic to judge his marvelous existence according to neuroscience alone, forgetting altogether that the richest and most profound aspects of his life cannot be measured on a machine, is for the skeptic to be the most ridiculous person on the planet.

    And who doesn’t know that our bodies die and get put into graves? This is not what the Resurrection denies. The Resurrection denies the impossibility of God to make an exception for the purpose of revealing to humanity the eternal life that awaits.

    And only the skeptic can find some ridiculous reason to judge living eternally as something less than the greatest reality we could ever hope to have.

  52. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oh, Joe, enough with your scatalogical obession; there’s really no need.
    Now, if Jesus is the living God as you believe, then getting himself crucified and resurrected says nothing about the possibility of humans living for eternity, either in bodily form as per Revelations, or in ‘spirit’. What it does say is that this particular God can resurrect itself.
    As for eternity, well, it’s a long time, Joe, a very long time.

  53. M27Holts says:

    Xtian. BULLSHIT. This is all the Jesuit has to offer. Dogmatic responses steeped in metaphysical bollocks. When the subroutines in your brain cease to execute and your brain dies. You will then soon fall prey to the physical rule of entropy. You may not like that idea. But hey physics does not care what you like. You are just a set of fundamental particles get over it and watch that you don’t slip in the verbal diarrhoea you have introduced to the C&B.

  54. DC Toronto, yes, proo fread was intentional. I have always found it amusing to make a typo in those words. Glad you laughed at it.

    I see Joe is still having a go at us all. He is rather amusing, isn’t he. I can’t help wondering what it would be like to sit down with him across a real table at a real pub. Would he still try to persuade with insults? Or would he seem more socialized?
    We’ll never know, I guess. For now, no matter what we say to him, his approach is to insult our intelligence and learning, which he has pretty much proven does not do anything to win the hearts and minds at the C&B.

    Joe, Joe, Joe, calm down. You should be able to figure out by now that nobody is taking you seriously. Chill, dude. Tell us more about your family and your life. I’m actually interested in that, far more so than in your futile proselytizing.

  55. LD50 says:

    Joe totally ignored me again. 🙁

  56. Joe Mello says:

    Yes, I am emotional, insulting, and funny. Well, at least you get to focus on me rather than the errors in your ridicule of the Resurrection that I pointed out.

    Forty years ago I was debating atheists and skeptics in writing. So it is pure speculation and psychological projection to assume that your cult-like behavior in this forum is creating any emotions in me. I know some of you are besides themselves when you can’t bring the debate down to reading about God in the Bible and what religious people believe, but I’m not going to join you in your projections.

    I am debating you on the level that takes more than reading to reach.

    So far, none of you has been able to pull himself up to that level.

    The groupthink here is as thick as molasses.

    Anyway …

    My post above had in it much to discuss about where the skeptic goes wrong in ridiculing the Resurrection.

    If you want to discuss my use of “dog shit” as an analogy that’s another matter. I told you that I sometimes use emotional appeal in my arguments against the skeptic who is sometimes a fool. And that’s what I did by telling you that ridiculing humanity’s greatest hope is like putting down a pile of dog shit.

  57. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Chin up, LD50, he doesn’t answer the hard questions. Actually, he doesn’t answer the easy ones either, just spouts some metabollocks about ephereal spirit and gets angry when we don’t drop to our knees in praise.

    Come on, Joe, tell me how and when Jesus turned from a prophesised warrior-king destined to lead the Jews to victory against the Romans into a literal god and saviour of mankind. Pretty please, with a communion wafer on top.

    Also, did Jesus die for a weekend? He was nailed up on the Friday, and his wealthy uncle Joseph managed to get permission to take him down before the Sabbath. Now, the Jewish Sabbath runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, if memory serves, so it’s highly debatable whether he was up long enough to die of his wounds. The chances are, he had probably gone into shock but not died when he was taken down. No Roman examined the body before it was taken away.
    It’s all there in your book, Joe; you might need to read it again, but it certainly points to the idea that the resurrection was a…..con!

  58. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe Mello says:
    April 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm
    Yes, I am emotional, insulting, and funny.

    Two outa three ain’t bad.

    My post above had in it much to discuss about where the skeptic goes wrong in ridiculing the Resurrection.

    No, Joe, it didn’t have anything to discuss. You merely said to read the story again.

    […] can’t bring the debate down to reading about God in the Bible and what religious people believe,

    But the Bible is the only ‘proof’ of God you have to offer. All the rest is just emotion and wishful thinking.

    Sorry to make your conversion attempts here so difficult, Joe, but you need to offer far more than your personal testimony.

  59. DC Toronto says:

    That was well done Darwin. Made me actually lol.
    I don’t find Joey’s family any more interesting. He’s not honest about them just as he isn’t honest about himself. He has grandiose ideas of one grandkid over the others. Based on what I’ve seen of him, he likely treats his favorite differently than the others, who all have their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Typical of the religious stereotype where they want to break the world into us vs them. typical of a god who has a “chosen” people.
    Joe’s only redeeming quality is that he reminds me of the worst of the religious folks. I was at the airport a while ago. There was an obviously jewish man in front of me getting food. The server placed his change on a napkin and pushed it towards him and remarked “I’ve learned not to hand people like you the change directly”. Turns out she had a strip torn off her by a religious nut who felt he couldn’t touch a womans hand when she gave him change for his muffin. The guy ahead thanked her, told her it wasn’t an issue for him and apologized for what she endured.
    Joe is not interesting. he’s a small step from the guy who won’t sit next to a woman on a plane or the American v-p who won’t attend meetings with women. He claims he is not religious all the while espousing the religious dogma without missing a beat. He runs from real questions (what did you expect LD?) and sets his response on repeat ad nauseum.
    He is a fool or a troll ,,, or both. If he truly wanted to debate his first post would not have accused a group of random people (none of whom he knows) of being cruel to children who are ill. If he truly wanted to explore the differences between our ideas and his he would engage rather than berate. He wouldn’t fall back on imaginary degrees (or real ones from a Christian college?). He wouldn’t try to bully his way to being believed. He would have an honest and open curiosity like most of the people here. I don’t ever expect that from joey. HE doesn’t have it in him and most people (in my experience) become more religious as they age rather than less. He’ll soon realize that the group here isn’t easily bamboozled by his BS and move on to easier targets. Probably his poor grandkids.

  60. DC Toronto says:

    Ok Joey, I’ll take another crack at your post regarding the resurrection.
    “The Resurrection is seen by the skeptic such as yourself as “ridiculous” because the skeptic equates himself to his physical body. So the skeptic reasons in a circular manner that when his body dies he is snuffed out like a candle. ” and this “And who doesn’t know that our bodies die and get put into graves? This is not what the Resurrection denies. The Resurrection denies the impossibility of God to make an exception for the purpose of revealing to humanity the eternal life that awaits.”
    Based on your superior writing skills, I will accept this as your view of the resurrection. Your view is in opposition to the scriptures which state that Jesus body lived on, not just his “spirit” How is it that you know this? How did you come to this belief? What was it that provided the evidence in your mind that this was what happened?
    Give it a go Joe. I’m all ears my friend.

  61. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC Toronto;

    Turns out she had a strip torn off her by a religious nut who felt he couldn’t touch a womans hand when she gave him change for his muffin

    At the risk of going all-out Carry On…, Ooh, Matron!

    Joe’s writing skills are so superior that I can’t make out whether he believes that JC’s temporary resurrection* was meant to show that eternal life awaits us in bodily form or in spirit. Earlier posts from him suggest the latter, but Revelations clearly states that we will all be called bodily from our graves for the penultimate judgment (the final one being 1000 years later), the ones who pass getting to live on Earth for ever.
    But, of course, Joe dismisses the Bible as irrelevant because he’s not religious; he has no need of religion because he knows the truth through his personal relationship with Jesus (the guy from the Bible Joe dismisses) the living God.

    *if there was a resurrection at all; see my earlier post above.

  62. M27Holts says:

    Since the jesuit seems to accept the universe is in fact over 13 billion years old. Let him try to explain the fact that Genesis doesn’t really express that fact. Nor the fact that eve evolved from a common ancestor of chimpanzees. Let him attempt to refute those two facts without resorting to metaphysical bollocks. I’m all ears.

  63. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Joe Mello:

    Until now I have been just lurking, but I can’t resist anymore.

    You ask that we read THE bible.

    Well, being raised a true catholic, I HAVE. The then (~1960) modern version, as well as the “old” version. And later the original Calvinist translation (the Statenbible, in medieval Dutch) as well as modernised versions of that. And as part of my English teachings, the King James translation.
    All together they were, if anything, only promoting my conversion to atheism.

    If you go through the archieves of J & M, you will find that a decent portion of the regulars have similar knowledge of Scripture(s). Some in different languages, some more in jewish, islamic, hindu etc scriptures, others in various xtian denominations, even archaic babylonian. And each is slightly different in such ways that on most aspects fully contradictionary texts can be found in some pair.

    Even if I would be fully willing to believe, WHICH one should I pick?

  64. M27Holts says:

    I would second the above post. I was exposed to the bible by my nana and classical studies and ‘RE in junior and high schools. My science epiphany came when the uber-fit biology teacher Miss Glover told us the most important book written was “on the origin of species”. I got a copy and read it. My real education was fuelled by my first boyhood crush. I await the Jesuits responses. We won’t get anything worth reading. Just subjective bollocks!

  65. Joe Mello says:

    John, you gravitated to Bible reading as the foundation under my posts like you have heavy weight around your neck. Nothing I have written so far even remotely suggests that I read the Bible and now am telling you what I “believe”. I told you skeptics to read the Resurrection story more closely because you were ridiculing it in a superficial way.

    You should read “less”, for it’s quite obvious that the foundation under what you believe is reading.

  66. M27Holts says:

    I am beginning to think that the Jesuit it just a two bit troll. He spins contradictory threads throughout his metaphysical bollocks. Spins all that defence of genesis yet he has never read it? What a forked tongued deceiver he is. I am suddenly reminded of Grima Wormtongue! That’s his moniker from now on!

  67. I can still recite the Apostles’ Creed by heart, but I’ll admit I’ve never had the patience to study the bible, though I’ve dipped into it enough to dismiss it. So, like the fundies who only read the cherry picked excerpts from Dawkins provided by Answers in Genesis, I am only familiar with the bible quotes that show up on atheist discussion threads. Atheist talking points I guess. My bad.

  68. DC Toronto says:

    another lol on the same thread.
    good job joey. spin spin spin like a little top. where will joe land next??
    joey is none of the things he says he is. he’s a sad little man with nothing going for him. Too bad. Little joey has nothing to offer with his 2 degrees and his 5 years in a monastery. He learned nothing from giving away his sportscar and missing his cat. He is the worst stereotype of a religious zealot and carries that over as a hockey (grand)parent.
    I think he’s dehydrated from working 12 hours without EVEN ONCE drinking any Gatorade.
    spin around little joey. our heads are certainly bobbling now … bobbling with laughter.

  69. Joe Mello says:

    John, I’d like to add that the skeptic’s demand for the Gospels to be aligned perfectly and free of all contradictions for them to be true accounts of Jesus has been proven to be a biased application of hermeneutics.

    There is no account in the Gospels of someone writing down what Jesus was saying and doing. Jesus did not surround himself with scholars. So common sense tells us that much was written down in scraps and from memory and from different perspectives. Many scholars see the authenticity in the Gospels because they differ slightly and are therefore not some scheme by the Apostles to deceive people into becoming Christians.

    Matthew wrote his Gospel from the perspective of the inner circle.
    Mark from the perspective of being in the crowd.
    Luke from the perspective of collecting first hand accounts.
    John from the perspective of someone who loved Jesus and became a mystic.

    But you will only see these things in the Gospels if you are not a skeptic who is under the delusion that certainty is only arrived at through a collection of “perfect” facts.

    And I know you believe that the many different translations of the Bible makes it impossible to understand what is in the Bible. But this is blatantly false. It is not only the devil who is in the details, but also the skeptic with an agenda to promote.

  70. Joe Mello says:

    I see four mutts have showed up to leave piles of dog shit around.

    I’m reading the “NOTE” above and noticing that “to engage in profound philosophical discussion” is sandwiched between “jokes” and “ridicule”.

    What a stupid forum …

  71. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue, I thought you didn’t read the bible? Answer the questions you imbecile.

  72. Son of Glenner says:

    Hooray! Joe Mello has finally come up with a reasonable argument about the nature of the bible, specifically the new testament and, more specifically the four gospels. He mentions “hermeneutics” – I must look that up and find out what it means; it sounds quite scholarly, maybe too difficult for a mere BSc like me. But his remarks about the four gospels make a lot of sense. Makes me think of different accounts of the same current events in different newspapers and on different other media in the present day.

    Then Joe has to go and spoil his sensible account of the gospels with abusive remarks about mutts and dog shit.

    If he thinks this a stupid forum, why does he still bother with it?

  73. jb says:

    @Joe Mello

    I asked you a very straightforward question under last week’s comic, and got a rambling response which did not provide a clear answer. So I’m going to ask again: do you accept the current scientific consensus that the Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old, and that humans and chimpanzees are descended from an ancestral species that lived within the past few million years?

    I’m asking for two reasons. The first is that I think it’s possible that you may actually be a young Earth creationist, and have been concealing this from us. And second, I’m interested in finding out whether you are even capable of giving a concise and unambiguous answer to a simple question. If you are then you might be worth debating. If not, then not.

  74. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue was telling us nothing we didn’t already know. Whereas the skeptic sees the garbled and cobbled together inconsistencies as proof of its obvious human fallibility and nonsense. Wormtongue sees that same inconsistency as cast iron proof of its veracity. He is a prize plum! Hey jb. I asked that too!

  75. jb says:

    “Makes me think of different accounts of the same current events in different newspapers and on different other media in the present day.”

    I don’t believe everything I read in the newspapers, even though I could in principle walk into the reporters’ offices and query them about their stories. So why then should I trust everything (or even anything) I read in a handful of anonymous 2000 year old religious pamphlets? 🙂

  76. Son of Glenner says:

    Joe Mello: I have now looked up “hermeneutics” and now know roughly what it means.

    Your first paragraph, where you use that word, now makes more sense to me.

    Please note, when I describe your remarks as making sense, that does not mean that I agree with them, but it does mean I understand your meaning.

    It would be great if you now give an equally clear reply to the “very straightforward question” from jb. A simple “yes” or “no” would be a perfectly satisfactory answer.

    And please stop going on about dog shit, it’s not even funny.

  77. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Interpretation of scripture. Again subjective nonsense. The new testament is toss. The Gnostic xtians (pagans) had plenty of spiritual Buddhist like writings that was all destroyed by the mainstream xtian s around the samevtimethatthe main canon was created. Omissions of pagan FLESH worshipping is more revealing than the horseshit that was agreed upon by the misogynist tossers who created the patriarchal nonsense

  78. DC Toronto says:

    ” I’d like to add that the skeptic’s demand for the Gospels to be aligned perfectly and free of all contradictions for them to be true accounts of Jesus has been proven to be a biased application of hermeneutics.”
    You’ve got that backwards joey. You will see him when you believe!
    would you care to cite the proof you refer to above joey?

  79. LD50 says:

    AoS and DC, I’m not too put out by Joe’s inability to answer simple questions. Just slightly disappointed. I expected more from a Franciscan. You know, like the Sean Connery character in The Name of the Rose.

    M27, you shouldn’t call him a Jesuit. I thought the Jesuits had spent centuries coming up with wonderfully intricate and contorted arguments. Joe just runs away from them.

    I thought that St Francis was all for plain speech. And humility and love for all of God’s creatures- humans and animals. Joe does not remind me of any of these attributes.

    I may, of course, be very wrong about Jesuits and Franciscans. I don’t spend that much time on them.

    BTW, if anyone’s interested – there’s a nice lecture course from Yale about the origins etc of the New Testament: https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152/lecture-1

  80. Joe Mello says:

    jb, I don’t remember your question, and now that I see it, I can’t help but tilt my head at it. The age of the Earth and the evolution of life leading up to the Age of Man is not very difficult to look up on the Internet.

    You must spend a lot of time looking for religious people to make you can feel superior.

    But you should be more sophisticated in your approach to science, if you want to claim your and its supremacy as you do.

    What I accept about science is that it couldn’t function without intellectual principles, and intellectual principles could not be an evolutionary reality but must be true because they were always true and will always be true. “No two contradictory statements in the same sentence can both be true.” This principle will always be true. It did not evolve.

    So, when I look at the evolution of our planet and on our planet, I don’t include, for example, “thought” but only the quality of the “seat” for thought, the brain.

    I’ve known the age of the Earth for quite awhile now, along with the timeline of life leading up to the Age of Man.

    But nothing in the theory of evolution proves that the human being does not possess divine gifts that did not evolve but were given to us directly by God as they are in God.

    In other words, and as an example, the evolution of the eye does not tell us what it means for something to be seen, it just gives to us a theory of how a physical eye evolved from the first bacteria sensitive to light.

    And it is completely illogical to assume that natural selection and mutation working together are responsible for the evolution of the eye. The logical conclusion is that something even greater was present giving to nature a purpose and power it could not have otherwise.

    “No combination of lesser things can create a greater thing unless something even greater than the greater thing is added to the lesser things.”

    Look up this metaphysical principle, and you’ll find me. That’s how stupid people in the world are, whether they are scientists or not.

  81. jb says:

    Joe — once again you have avoided giving a clear answer to my questions. If you agree that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, then say so! If you agree that humans and chimps share a common ancestor, then say so! If you disagree, then say so, and let us know what it is you do believe! If you are genuinely unable to do this, then tell me, why shouldn’t I feel superior to you???

    Bottom line: unless you give me some reason to believe otherwise, I’m going to see you as a young Earth creationist who is being deliberately evasive about his beliefs. The creationist thing I could deal with, but people who are deceptive aren’t worth talking to.

  82. Joe Mello says:

    You poor thing …

  83. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe, you disappoint me.

    What I accept about science is that it couldn’t function without intellectual principles, and intellectual principles could not be an evolutionary reality but must be true because they were always true and will always be true.

    Sorry, Joe, but that is making the assumption that Homo Sapiens Sapiens has always practised science, and that claim is laughably false. Yes, I suppose that using fire was science of a sort, but until we left the Stone Age and started using it to smelt metals from ore, it was just a means to keep warm and make meat easier to eat. The basic form of agriculture that developed around 10,000 years ago could also be termed a basic science, but we had to wait for our intellect to develop before we learned to record by writing and develop mathematics and basic engineering. True science had to wait much longer, and not until the industrial revolution did science really begin to flourish. It may be true that our brains are no bigger than those of the Bronze Age, and it may be possible that if we could bring a baby from then to the present, it could be taught as easily as any other baby, but that’s because Bronze Age humans had the potential for our level of intellect, but not the means to develop it. Science had to wait for our intellect to develop to begin fulfilling that potential.

    And it is completely illogical to assume that natural selection and mutation working together are responsible for the evolution of the eye.

    Why is it illogical? Even now, in nature eyes run the gamut from the most basic, light-sensing organs, through all stages to our limited and back-to-front, highly inefficient organs up to the eyes of birds with vision vastly superior to ours, and insects that can see wavelengths of light that we need technology to detect. When things develop in gradual, infinitesimally small stages, over great periods of time great things are possible, and with no need of any help from a higher power. In fact, it’s the unnecessary hypothesising of a greater power that is illogical since it is neither required nor in evidence.

    “No combination of lesser things can create a greater thing unless something even greater than the greater thing is added to the lesser things.”

    Are you by any chance Deepak ‘Deepity-Deep’ Chopra? Or using a random post-modernist bullshit generator? That is nonsense of the highest order. Unless you’d care to explain what the greater thing was that created your God, of course. Or are you like all other believers who require a greater power to explain everything except for the power itself?

    Joe, you’re a fraud, and your homespun philosophies are just nonsensical. Whomever gave (sold?) you that philosophy degree should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  84. M27Holts says:

    I have woken up to Wormtongue the creationist!
    He is like Canute. Sitting in the path of stupendous learning with his fingers in his ears muttering the lords prayer to avoid him listening to inconvenient truth! Hopefully he will metaphorically drown with all his fellow ignorant backwards looking ilk. Religion is surely in its last century. Soon the meme will be replaced by better humanity serving ideas. Unless the religious knobs get the Armageddon that they crave!

  85. M27Holts says:

    I find it Ironic that a often used phrase “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”. (John 8:32) is seen as a pivotal quote from the new testament. Along with the oxymoron “Gospel truth” it just makes me snort with contempt at the post modernists who claim equivalency between the bible and the principia (Newton) or “on the origin of species” or even “Brief History of Time”. Its like comparing a plate of speciality meatballs with spaghetti with a pile of fetid dog shit Isn’t it Wormtongue?

  86. Someone says:

    I just received (and blocked) an email in my junk folder addressing me as “Beloved of Christ”. Myself and who knows how many others it went to, of course.
    It occurs to me that I’ve had several instances of junk mail, be they physical or electronic throughout the years that pushed some sort of religion, mostly of the Christian variety but occasionally another cult like Scientology; yet not once have I ever received any spam that promoted atheism.
    This may mean nothing but it is funny how sects and scams tend to go hand in hand.

  87. Joe Mello says:

    Yeah, I get about 40 emails a day.

    I get emails every day telling me to send money to get money, telling me that my grandson who rarely goes on Facebook posted something for me to see, and telling me to buy this or that.

    For years now I get a bill for over a thousand dollars from Yellowpagesunited, which reads exactly as an invoice until the last line in tiny print saying it is a solicitation for services.

    And so many more things happen to me constantly from the sheer greed of human beings, a greed that religion has claimed to be a “mortal sin”. Yet many atheists seek a religion-free world of pure secularism.

    And you, Someone, are incredulous because you got an email addressing you as “Beloved”.

    Your focus on religion as a problem in your life is more than stupid — it’s bigoted and reveals your sickly personality.

    Get free of your bigotries and get well of yourself.

  88. Joe Mello says:

    Yeah, “The Principia” … Newton really taught us deep truths about reality and moved science very far forward.

    Here are two of my favorite quotes from it that have helped to shape my thinking, as you can easily see above in my long quote:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

    “Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things.”

    “the fraud”

  89. M27Holts says:

    Considering the year it was published. I would expect Newton to be happy with the notion of a supreme being of creation. I was more concentrating on its mathematical proofs. That could be used to accurately predict the motion of the planet’s round the sun. As we know the maths is just an approximation (but good enough for most applications) and that Einstein improved the model as have modern physicists. And yet Wormtongue you concentrate on his mistaken nod to a creator. Darwin soon started the ball rolling in terms of god the creator. Suppose you will tell us that Darwin was also a devout Christian with a deathbed plea for salvation! What about oolon colluphids final blockbuster…”That about wraps it up for god!”

  90. Joe Mello says:

    Yeah, Darwin … he really taught us about the evolution of life after it was up and running. He was a true scientist, giving to science its due and taking from science what it wasn’t due.

    Here’s a quote by him that shows him to be a true scientist and not an agenda-driven atheist who steals from science things it doesn’t even have:

    “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

    Science simply has not answered the hard questions. So for the atheist to claim that science one day will answer all the hard questions, so all other avenues of thought must be abandoned in the search for these answers, is for the atheist to engage in wishful and poor thinking.

    Here’s a thing:

    When life showed up on our lifeless planet it was basically eternal, for it increased through “a splitting up” of itself. Death was not an inevitable part of life. It was only when life increased by a “joining together of genders” that life became temporary and death became an inevitable part of life.

    So, it seems, the story of Adam and Eve has an evolutionary scientific element to it.

    Imagine that.

  91. M27Holts says:

    Yeah the bible story mentioned RNA, DNA and of course how we have bacterial ancestors in every cell. Do tell us which part of Genesis gives us that info?

  92. Someone says:

    Joe Mello, once again you have proven yourself clueless. But that doesn’t surprise me.
    You think my reaction to receiving spam addressing me as “beloved” as one of incredulity. It wasn’t. If anything, it was mild amusement, in the same league as a scam artist offering guaranteed sex. A roll of the eyes and a click of a button removes such emails from my inbox forever, no worries.
    Speaking of worries, you seem under the impression that I view religion as a major problem in my life; that I have a bigoted and “sickly personality” because of it. To borrow a line, wrong again, God boy.
    I make no secret that I detest religion (or rather, the hypocrisy and intolerance it spawns). I also detest Donald Trump. Neither of them however are a direct personal problem for me. That doesn’t mean that I cannot disagree with them on a fundamental level, nor does it mean I cannot decry their words and actions. I’m sure you aren’t directly affected by people such Kim Jong-un but that doesn’t mean you cannot disagree with them, either.
    However, if you want to keep supporting religion with such lack of civility, go right ahead. After all, considering your replies all carry a theme of a self-righteous dogmatist with a superiority complex, it is little wonder I cannot take you seriously. Nor can anyone else here, for you seem to be the only one with a personal problem with belief (or in this case, lack thereof). Naturally, I could have ignored you and your petulant assumptions but it’s more satisfying to share my thoughts. It wouldn’t surprise me if you responded with an equally asinine reply.

  93. Efogoto says:

    Here is the argument that Joe made that really stuck in my craw, and my response:

    “What I find “ridiculous” about this belief of the skeptic is the equaling of a human being to a snuffed out candle.”

    They’re not the same at all Joe. You can snuff out a candle any number of times, relight it, and it will function as before until it runs out of wax or wick. I’ve not been able to “relight” any one of my deceased family and friends, much to my sorrow. I’ve also not met any of them since except in the memories which exist only within the confines of my skull, along with my thoughts and ideas.

    “For the skeptic to judge his marvelous existence according to neuroscience alone, forgetting altogether that the richest and most profound aspects of his life cannot be measured on a machine, is for the skeptic to be the most ridiculous person on the planet.”

    The realization that I am equated with my physical body in no way removes my ability to think and dream, to appreciate the beauty of a sunrise, or to be carried away with emotion as the Ode to Joy plays either on the stereo or in my head. That there is no machine to measure my happiness does not mean I am not happy. But that I have been happy, or been aware of my happiness, that I have thoughts and dreams, does not mean that there will be anything left of my mind once my body dies. My mind, for all its richness and profundity, is a product of the functions of my body, and all the wishful thinking in the world will not alter that.

  94. Dr John the Wipper says:

    So, it seems, the story of Adam and Eve has an evolutionary scientific element to it.

    Has it ever been brought to your attention, that even THAT part of the bible was eh… what we nowadays call Censored?
    In the oldest version, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. She became a little, what we now call, feministic; Adam could not cope, and rejected her (yeah those good old patriarchal times!!). Then Yhwh decided he needed some “means” to procreate, and if he made that out of Adams own body, he could fully control her.
    (they already had child(ren?), that way Kain was able to find a wife after murdering his brother)

  95. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe, there’s one Hell of a leap of logic from ‘science hasn’t answered a particular question’ to ‘therefore God’.
    You’re not engaging in debate, you’re throwing out a lot of nonsense but neglecting to answer our responses. Stop being a coward, Joe, and answer my question. If everything complex requires a higher power, what is the higher power that created your God?

  96. M27Holts says:

    I’ve just seen the face of god…Above the Etihad as my beloved team managed by another Portuguese geezer put the forces of darkness to the sword. Goodnight all!

  97. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    What Joe is overlooking is that science constantly updates itself as the limitations of previous generations are removed by fresh discoveries, new ideas being tested, and technology of such complexity that it couldn’t have been dreamed of even 100 years ago.
    Darwin was limited by the uncertainty of the age of the Universe and no genetic theory; there didn’t appear to be enough time for evolution to have played out fully, nor did he understand the underlying mechanism of evolutionary change. However, he was confident enough to publish his theory and trust to future generations to fill in the gaps. Note that Darwin wasn’t wrong, he was simply honest enough to acknowledge the limits of his time’s knowledge.
    Meanwhile, Joe – and all belevers of his ilk – have their hopes pinned to the onset of life; for as long as science has no definitive proof of how and where life began, that’s where Joe’s God resides. Where they’ll move their God to as and when science answers that question is anybody’s guess.

    Joe, I recommend you read Steve Jones’ excellent Almost Like A Whale, a chapter-for-chapter re-working of Darwin’s Origins in light of modern scientific knowledge. It is pretty much the book that Darwin would have written had he had the knowledge we have today, including a 13.7 billion-years-old Universe, a vast fossil record, radiometric date-testing, DNA, RNA, etc. etc. If nothing else, it’ll settle your confusion over the evolution of the eye.

  98. Joe Mello says:

    Someone, if you “detest” religion, all religion, the thought of religion, then you have a serious personality problem, and a thinking problem. Secular governments, greedy corporations, and selfish godless assholes are the biggest problems humanity faces, not people going to church and believing in an atheist’s flying spaghetti monster.

    So, Holts, the more complexity we find in living meat the more proof we find that God couldn’t be responsible for this complexity? Sound reasoning you’ve got there.

    Efogoto, so your inability to see your dead relatives while you are alive is proof that when you die you won’t see them then? That doesn’t make sense, and theism doesn’t say it makes sense. And chemicals moving around in the flesh of your body is what is responsible for your human existence of love and joy and talent and etc.? That also doesn’t make sense, and science doesn’t say it makes sense. And I never said that the atheist who equates himself with his body lives his life differently than a theist, but the opposite. I said that the richness of an atheist’s life makes it absurd for that atheist to equate his life with his body.

    Acolyte, I didn’t say science cannot answer a “particular” question, but that science has not and can not answer the “hard” questions, all of the hard questions. Do you know what a hard question is? Can you understand what Darwin was referring to in the quote I posted? If you answer yes to both of these, then changing my point to “a particular question” was dubious and self-serving. Either way, it was stupid. And your reading assignment for me supports what I am talking about, for the more complexity we discover the more questions arise, more hard questions. Can you tell me how genetic “information”, which is an intellectual matter, is stored in DNA? Of course you can’t, because no scientist you can Google can.

  99. Someone says:

    Joe Mello, regarding your reply to me, I find it amazing. Practically every word in that sentence was wrong.

    I don’t dispute greedy corporations (we agree!) but the rest of your examples are bullshit. Saying that I have a thinking problem because I detest religion is typical of the fundamentalist who detests atheism.

  100. Someone says:

    By the way, would you like to know why I have such a view towards faith? No? Too bad.

    The reason I allow my my brain to be stunted is because I cannot stand the hypocrisy of its messages. For instance, when Jesus tells his followers to cut out their eyeball and throw it away if it looks into the direction of something that might cause that person to sin; in the same breath he talks about chopping off other “sinful” body parts and appendages if they were to do the same thing. No critical thinking for prevention, no empathy, just self-harm.

    I’m sure you would look at that metaphorically and say one must turn a blind eye to the things that would make them sin but imagine how many people took that literally (and still do, depending on where you are from). Clearly their thinking skills are more advanced than those who reject such a barbaric message from the outset. And yet, how many people have turned to acts of debasement and violence whilst preaching what they heard in church or read in their bible? How many people have been wiped clean of their sins by walking into a building, confessing their sins and having a priest absolve them because they went to church – only to go out and do it again?

    I also resent being told that I should give up all my life’s ambitions in favor of Christ, that I should stop whatever it is I’m doing and grovel before a god who can’t stand grovelling. I don’t particularly care for people knocking on my door and trying to convert me, however I have been fairly civil in turning them all away. I even resist the temptation to approach the apocalyptic fundie with the amplifier next to the train station who lambastes all passers by for not listening to him, God or whatever challenge he aggressively wants answered on the day; this tends to be why people aren’t concerned about going to Hell for living a normal life and not cowering in fear of God’s judgment.

    While some minds (again, more advanced than mine) need religion’s security blanket wrapped around them to assure them that when they die, they go to Heaven or paradise or whatever, rather than return to the earth and live on only as memory, it is astounding what some people will do to ensure that false sense of security is justified.

    Keep in mind, I have only pointed out my observations of Christianity and this is still the short version. My views towards Islam and Judaism are quite similar, though I have less problems with the latter (less doesn’t equal none). However, even with all the things about religion that irritate me as above, I recognize that it also brings out the good side of people. Be it via morality or charity, or perhaps as a way of learning patience. All humans can learn and experience these thoughts and feelings and don’t need religion to tell them how do it, but if that’s what they want, they can have it. How they exercise their morality and empathy is entirely their decision but ideally, it will be in a way that allows them to be faithful without being extremist or elitist against other people who may feel/believe differently to them.

  101. jb says:

    Guys, Joe is a run-of-the-mill village theologian who appears to be incapable of writing clearly. You are not going to learn anything from him and he’s not going to learn anything from you. You are wasting your time.

  102. Efogoto says:


    Not seeing my dead relatives is evidence that there remains nothing to be seen. Wishing otherwise won’t make it so.

    “And chemicals moving around in the flesh of your body is what is responsible for your human existence of love and joy and talent and etc.?”

    Yes. Chemical reactions allow me to see, to move, to think. The richness of my life is due entirely to the brain that allows me to perceive the world around me and to process it all. Our minds can be affected by the addition of chemicals, like drugs and alcohol, to our bodies or by damage to the brain, which science shows will affect our memories, thought processes, and emotions – the very things that make us who we are. It is absurd to think that anything of us can survive the destruction of our bodies.

  103. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oh, Joe, you’re being disingenuous, evasive, and cowardly. What you call the ‘hard’ questions are just the questions that science hasn’t yet answered, and they are where you posit your God’s influence. Not so very long ago, the composition of the stars was a ‘hard’ question, thought to be forever beyond the ability of science to solve. The truth is, Joe, that the ‘hard’ questions are getting fewer as they are answered one by one.
    Of course I understood what Darwin meant; he was shackled by the limitations of 19thC knowledge but still wasn’t prepared to credit the supernatural for the onset of life without evidence. In fact, his opinion was that life was a result of natural chemistry, but he lacked the evidence to prove it. If you’d read ‘Origins’ instead of cherry-picking those out-of-context quotes that creationists are taught to use (alongside the ‘eye problem’ and ‘simple things can’t make things more complex’ nonsense) you’d know that. If you read ‘Almost a Whale’ or any other modern book on evolution and/or genetics, you’d understand how complexity arises from simpler beginnings by entirely natural processes. But you don’t really want to learn all of that, do you Joe, because your entire faith rests on remaining ignorant of the facts.
    You are still evading my question regarding the higher power behind your god, but that’s OK. I’m done with you. You’re too dishonest to debate and too stupid or too scared to learn. Oh, and your writing is no better than high school level. Nobody with a degree in writing would write ‘and etc.’

  104. Joe Mello, you have caused some very interesting points to be brought up in the old C&B, albeit none of them coming from you. We need a good troll now and then just to get my mates to state their views. Thanks for that.
    I think you’ve shot your bolt by now. We’ve all heard you. We’re all fools and illiterates and you are ever so smart and learned, not to mention righteous. Did I get that right? Anything more, or are you just going to keep repeating yourself? If so, fill yer boots. I think I shall just skip over anything you post from now on. Too much repetition. Too little substance. No facts at all. Ta ta.

  105. Joe Mello says:

    Darwin, in every language there’s a wise saying warning against the tongue of a flatterer, and for good reason.

    Flattery is in search of flattery, not of honest judgment and true intentions.

    You flatter those who you agree with because you are not a true man, but a slippery weasel trying to avoid capture.

    But the truth has captured you.

    You will not get away so easily as a lie or two about the quality of my posts.

  106. Joe Mello says:

    Acolyte, read my use of “and etc.” again to see that the list it ended was not separated by commas but by the repetition of “and”.

    This is a literary device I often use for emphasis on each word. So if I ended this list without putting “and” before etc., it would have ruined the device.

    And I have a “Graduate” degree in professional writing, not simply a degree.

  107. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue has painted himself into a corner and the truth he clings to definitely will not set him free. I’m about to read “Homo Deus” which is the sequel to “Sapiens”, hopefully as good a read as the Alice Dreger book I just finished.

  108. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue, ” A Slippery weasel”? I Daren’t put that into Google. Who knows what strange paraphilias it may find!

  109. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    M27Holts, that slippery weasel taunt at DH was a bit rich, wasn’t it, coming as it did from a lukewarm two degrees who has dodged, feinted, and evaded every direct question put his way.
    Let he who is without sin, &c (that’s how you use etc. as a literary device when you need to pronounce the word ‘and’).

  110. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Joe, unlike yourself (apparently) I have read the Bible (also, the Q’ran, the Torah, The Bhagavad Gita and similar–I’m interested in what humans think and why…)
    That’s why I have the hilarious duty of informing you that you’ve rather got your theology cock-eyed. Jesus said nothing about souls being reborn. His resurrection (if it occured) was physical (e.g. Luke 24, 42-43) and the one he promised his followers was also physical. Its laid out in black and white in 1 Cor. 15:53-54
    Bodies would be reborn, the kingdom of heaven would happen, here, on earth, within the lifetimes of his followers.
    None of the floaty to heaven crapola that medievals tried to fob people off with…
    That’s what we scientists call a testable prediction. And, I have to say, as I look around, I find myself not witnessing the kingdom of heaven here around me (this may be the weather, its a bit overcast). Maybe the surroundings look a bit more heavenly where you are?

  111. Joe Mello says:

    Reading books and Google searches are the measure of your posts above. That means you have nothing of your own to offer.

    And, no, putting in a comma and writing “&c” is not the correct way to write “etc.” in the literary device I placed it in.

    And you forgot to put “etc.” in quotes when you were writing about “etc.” and not simply writing “etc.”

    This is today’s skeptic in a nutshell — he believes that all credentials are useless, all philosophy is bogus, all thinking is based upon reading, and many more self-serving lies that benefit his lack of accomplishments in any traditional forms of what it means to know something.

    It’s gimmicks and groupthink all the way down.

    And now one of you thinks he can teach me about Jesus because he has a few books.

  112. Laripu says:

    Joe Mello wrote: “And now one of you thinks he can teach me about Jesus because he has a few books.”

    You’re not teachable. You’re a fool and a troll. Your presence is unwelcome.

  113. Laripu says:

    Acolyte, you mentioned ” ‘simple things can’t make things more complex’ nonsense “.

    Not only is that nonsense, as you say, but mathematically wrong. Most of the structure of mathematics can be built up from the simple idea of sets.

    See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implementation_of_mathematics_in_set_theory

    I’m a software engineer. Every complicated thing I do is built up from simpler things. It’s how everything in the world actually works. Whoever wrote that nonsense you rightly called out as nonsense was greatly ignorant.

  114. Dr John the Wipper says:

    And now one of you thinks he can teach me about Jesus because he has a few books.

    Ah, and you have read one (THE) book, and that proves all others wrong.

    Well, I have had “some” education in mathematics. I graduated in chemistry, during which I had to do quite a lot of copying what was written previously by varios investigators (in varios publications), to confirm what they did, and go on from there. And others picked up what I did, to confirm it and expand.
    THAT process it is what is called Science, which leads to Knowledge.

    Defining ONE book as THE knowledge does NOT qualify, and in fact is all too easily to refute.

  115. DC Toronto says:

    This has been an interesting few weeks of J&M comments. It was obvious early on that Troll Mello didn’t have much to say but my hat is off to the patrons here that have tried valiantly to engage with him.
    What I find most interesting now is the reaction his trolling has wrought. His style of “debate” reminds me somewhat of hearing Trump speak and tweet. He throws out a large amount of contradictory verbiage and lets people spin around as they attempt to engage with him. He then follows up with a post that reverses position or confuses his original post and waits for more spin. And on and on.
    I’ve tried myself on several occasions to enter a discussion with our troll. What I find most curious is why we are caught up with someone who obviously has nothing of interest to say. Is it his claimed 2 degrees and time in a monastery? Like Trumps claim to be a good businessman there is no evidence that this is true (and strong indications that it is not true). Is it a need to be heard? A need to be correct or win an argument? What is it that draws people to trolls? Because as the saying goes, if you don’t feed the troll they will eventually disappear.
    I’m genuinely curious if anyone has any thoughts. For myself, part of it was to troll him back. Part was something to do on a cold day. But I thnk there was a bit more … and I’m not sure what drove that.
    Hopefully this will be a more enjoyable conversation than going in circles with our current resident troll.

  116. Joe Mello says:

    John, your ignorance of scholastic theism is staggering.

    A Catholic seminarian doesn’t study the Bible or theology until he has studied everything from atheism to Zoroaster while achieving a philosophy degree as a foundation for theology.

    Your atheism is a groupthink sham as an intellectual commodity. You have revealed the truth of it by equating Catholic theism with Protestant Bible-thumping.

    Furthermore, every Catholic prelate has at least a Graduate degree while many have Doctorates or multiple Doctorates.

    And these Doctorates are often in the sciences.

    How have you not heard of the Vatican Library and Observatory?

    Did you not know that the scientist behind the Big Bang was also a Catholic priest?

    Have you not read Francis Bacon’s mathematics?

    Did you not know that William of Ockham was a Franciscan friar?

    What about the rich history of Islamic scholars? Do you even realize that our numbers are from these scholars?

    Anyway …

    I have a personal library of a few thousand books, with my favorite being the “Works of Francis Bacon” published in 1869.

    Putting “Dr.” before your name is fine if you did more than read and memorize to earn it. So far, I’m getting the feeling that in your case it’s more of a distraction than anything of value.

  117. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. It is good that you have a love for the written word. I myself have thousands of books. But most of them are in the loft as my minimalist wife considers books as clutter!. I will have to read some Francis bacon as I’m interested in maths books. It is true that in the past ten years I have read a lot of science that makes the gaps where gods can hide shrink with every advance towards understanding the universe and our place in it. However, your insistence that there is separation of spirit and the physical universe suggests that your reading of philosophy is probably a bit leaning to Cartesian dualism to be objectively non dogmatic about subjective metaphysical nonsense.

  118. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Laripu, the troll would tell you that mathematics and software engineering might be built up from simple bases, but it needs a higher power – a mathematician or engineer – to put the bases together. I understand your point, and think it’s sound, but to paraphrase the tagline from one of the Batman movies, to understand the troll, one must think like the troll (yeah, that was bad). A better example might be a snowflake; just simple water molecules and low temperatures (below two degrees, ironically) is all that’s required to create beautifully complex geometric shapes, and each one unique in its form.
    The troll seems to accept evolution as a concept, but rejects natural selection as the main agent of change, opting instead for a divine guiding hand because he just doesn’t understand the subject and refuses to learn about it. His comment about the complexity of the eye proves that he has no intention of learning because virtually every book that I’ve read on evolution that was written in the last twenty years or more has specifically dealt with exactly that (because it’s one of the most common creationist/I.D. tropes; the eye is too complex to have come about by chance), so if he genuinely wanted to know how the eye came about without divine intervention, the information is all-to readily available.
    The thing with religious people like our Joe is that they are afraid of the dark and their god is their nightlight, so they ignore anything that might dim the light and wedge their gods into gaps in scientific knowledge, giving themselves a little solace ‘knowing’ that the god has a function. It’s wilful ignorance, and the less they know of reality the more places they have to hang their nightlights. Science hasn’t answered some things therefore…….God. It keeps them happy, I suppose.

  119. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. I was once a software engineer. I now am a scrum master and business Analyst. I would agree that all computer technology is based on Boolean algebra! I still find it amusing that most people think that to represent the bible electronically you would need the Roman alphabet plus the numbers 0-9. However you just need 2 symbols. 0 and 1! And a combination of those two values can create any text or image you like!

  120. pink squirrel says:

    fascinating how much text can be generated over whether Shrodinger’s jesus is dead or alive

  121. Efogoto says:

    Joe Mello,

    “How have you not heard of the Vatican Library and Observatory?” Sure … and the Inquisition, and The Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Catholics are human, making human mistakes, but achieving human triumphs. Just like Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and atheists.

    “Did you not know that the scientist behind the Big Bang was also a Catholic priest? Have you not read Francis Bacon’s mathematics? Did you not know that William of Ockham was a Franciscan friar?” They were also human, male, and European. None of those factors adds to or subtracts from the ideas of the Big Bang, mathematics, or logic, nor does their having been Catholics.

    “What about the rich history of Islamic scholars? Do you even realize that our numbers are from these scholars?” You’re ignoring the contributions of the Indians before them, but so what? I don’t have to be a Hindu, nor a Muslim, nor a Christian to do mathematics.

    What is the relevance of religion to reality, other than a fantasy to provide comfort to those who fear what they do not understand? That’s what needs to be shown. If prayer helps with sums, show it. If belief cures disease, show it. If there’s a god keeping the planetary orbits in order, show it.

    What someone believes influences their work and how they go about it, but it’s whether the results are useful that make them memorable.

  122. Joe Mello says:

    If sums shares reality with your love for your family, show it.

    If medicine shares reality with your talent, show it.

    If physicality shares reality with ideas, show it.

    Your judgment of reality is based upon your senses. Who made you the spokesperson for reality?

    You do not take into account the complete reality you experience, so your “sums” are incomplete.

    And your judgment of the reality of religion is simply bigoted opinion without merit.

    The reality of the living God is called religion by the person who experiences only himself, trusts only himself, loves only himself.

  123. Joe Mello says:

    What kind of a person looks up an insignificant person called Shrodinger on Google, and then places this insignificant person before [J]esus in importance?

    A truly stupid mf trying to appear intelligent, that’s what kind of person.

    Our calendar is based upon Jesus.
    There are crosses in every sky.
    For two thousand years humanity has called upon Jesus in faith, hope, and love.

    And this pink stupid mf places all this accomplishment below some intellectual idea from an insignificant source.

    What a bunch of fools you are.

  124. Efogoto says:

    “Your judgment of reality is based upon your senses.”

    Of course. Is not sensing fairies evidence of fairies?

    “Who made you the spokesperson for reality?”

    I feel free to express my view of it, just as you do.

    “And your judgment of the reality of religion is simply bigoted opinion without merit.”

    Your judgment is simply bigoted opinion without merit.

    “Our calendar is based upon Jesus.”

    Because it’s the Year of the Dog?

    “There are crosses in every sky.”

    There’s more than one sky? Do you mean physical crosses, or playing connect-the-dots with stars? If the latter, are you counting only those crosses with precise perpendicular lines and equal lengths on either side of the intersection between stars equidistant from Earth, or is there a fudge factor for these?

    “For two thousand years humanity has called upon Jesus in faith, hope, and love.” And not just him, but thousands of other gods, angels, spirits, saints, ancestors, &c. Doesn’t make any of it reasonable.

    Thank you for “mf”. It puts me in mind of Dorothy Parker’s remark to Norman Mailer: “So, you’re the man who can’t spell ‘fuck.'” She was real.

  125. Someone says:

    It’s official, the plot to Jaws: The Revenge makes more sense than the troll’s ramblings and is less insulting to one’s intelligence.
    Take that as you will.

  126. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    The Hebrew calendar isn’t based on Jesus. The Islamic calendar isn’t based on Jesus. The Chinese calendar isn’t based on Jesus. The Hindu calendars aren’t based on Jesus. Neither are the Ethiopian, Buddhist, Tibetan, Japanese, or Armenian calendars, to name but a few. Not even the Gregorian calendar is accurately based on Jesus, what with it starting several years after the alleged birth of Christ. It’s only because the Romans converted to Christianity that an incarnation of theirs is the calendar in use today. Well, with a couple of months added in, and several of the months being named after Roman deities; Janus, Mars, Aphrodite, Maia, and Juno. Two more are named for Roman emperors. Jesus didn’t get one named for him, whilst Pope Gregory has the whole thing named after himself.
    So, the calendar most commonly in use in the West has an approximation of an unproven birth of a possibly historical person as its starting point, and that person just happens to the focus of the most common religion in the West. What does that prove except that the people responsible for the version of the calendar we use in the West were Christians?

    There are crosses in every sky,; and straight lines, and squares, and triangles, regular patterns, irregular patterns. We can make all kinds of pretty patterns amongst the stars by playing stellar dot-to-dot. So what if we can make some stars into an instrument of torture and execution? You could make an electric chair or a giant dildo if you so wished. The sky is very much the limit, as they say.

    For the better part of two thousand years, Western humanity has been forced to worship Jesus and God on pain of death. Those Popes sure knew how to create a monopoly, and after the split with Rome, the Protestant bishops and Kings and Queens wasted no time in joining in. It’s rather easy to keep a religion going when there was no option but to believe or die. For quite a lit of those two thousand years and on into the present, countless thousands of unfortunate women, men, and children have been and are being mercilessly slaughtered because of Christianity, specifically its order not to permit a witch to live. Never mind that there is no such thing as ‘witchcraft’ except as a delusion; it didn’t stop pope after pope, king after king, bishop after bishop ordering the cleansing of witches from Christendom. What a way to enforce Christianity, eh?
    Let us not forget the victims of the inquisitions, or the hundreds of thousands of Europeans sent to kill and die for possession of a scrap of worthless desert, on a promise from the popes that all Crusaders’ sins will be forgiven for taking part. Then there’s all the in-fighting, the Catholics and Protestants lopping chunks off of each other for centuries.

    Sorry, what was your point again, Joe?

    Oh, and the Schrodinger’s Jesus joke by pink squirrel was actually very clever.

    All of the above was written by me without having to resort to Google. Some of us actually know stuff; we can even store knowledge in our brains and recall it at will. Fucking amazing, eh Joe?
    By the way, ‘sums’ is plural and should be followed with ‘share’, not ‘shares’.

  127. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Calling people stupid mother fuckers is not going to win you any argument. Like I have said before and I WILL SAY AGAIN. Jesus is very likely a straw man. Adopted by one set of people against another similar set (gnostics). You yourself have quite a lot in common with Gnostic beliefs. They tended to believe in the duality of spirit and matter and did a lot of meditating and such like. They created a myth and that myth was Jesus. Now if you can prove with archaeology and also with a lot of corroboration with Roman texts that Jesus did exist then we can open the box and the wave form will be broken. However a lot of intelligent people have spent their whole careers studying middle eastern and Roman history. Most of them concede that ON THE BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES BASED ON CURRENT EVIDENCE…It is unlikely that a FLESH and blood single human is the geezer talked about in the new testament.

  128. Donn says:

    Not that it makes any real difference, but … probabilities? I gather this is about Carter’s “Bayesian analysis” of the historical evidence. I confess I’m totally ignorant of the use of Bayesian methods for this kind of thing, but it sounds like hocus pocus. The problem, as best I can make out, is that there aren’t any records of Jesus or anyone else from that era, other than those derived from the subsequent religion. Easy to be skeptical about his existence, but one might also be skeptical about someone applying statistical methods to no data.

  129. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Putting “Dr.” before your name is fine if you did more than read and memorize to earn it.

    Never expected that I would ever be compelled to explain my nom-de-plume, but you achieved at least that.

    As the oldest of a bunch of farm kids, it was a surprise when I went to high school.
    Promptly my siblings nicknamed me after a then-popular comic character: Dr John.
    Several years later I was the first of the lot to get serious about a girl (now my wife, the mother of my children and the granny of my granddaughter). Somehow one brother caught us having sex, and one of the many Dutch words for fucking is Wippen (litterally riding the see-saw). So, “the Wipper” was added. It took several more years to legally acquire the Dr title….

    For your other questions, I have some for you too.

    Have you read Gilgamesh? Did you notice how the much later story of Moses in the river is a pretty exact copy?

    Did you know that the so-called christian calendar is just the one dedicated to Mithra? Even with the birth of jesus moved to (about) mid-winter to make it easier for mithrians to accept? Early Koptic texts put it at the spring equinox.

    Even the gospels got very heavily censored. Originally there were several dozen (numbers vary). Only when christianity became the state religion did the pundits have the power to define which was to be believed, and what contradicted that was deemed blasfemy, leaving only 4. (and that was also the moment when it was voted by a bunch of old lechers that Mary was dedined to have been virgin, some 300+ years after the alleged fact).

    I readily admit that there is a lot I do NOT know, but the things I DO know make a lot of your ramblings just that: ramblings.

  130. M27Holts says:

    Donn. I agree with you entirely. History is clearly very difficult to prove without archaeology to back it up. And even In my short lifetime. A lot of the history that I read about in the mid seventies has been proven to be false. Mind you that is also true of hard science but to a lesser extent.

  131. M27Holts says:

    And what I should have also said is that the onus of proof is on the xtian apologists to prove that Jesus existed outside of the canon of the new testament. Good luck with that!

  132. Son of Glenner says:

    Joe Mello: Nobel Prize-winner Erwin Schrödinger is hardly an insignificant person just because you have never heard of him.

  133. Dr John the Wipper says:

    Re history.
    A point in case is the local history of my hometown.

    The proceedings of the reformation are rather detailed. I was raised with the catholic view, and from highschool times on was submerged in the protestant tale.
    Pretty much heads-on collision!

    For instance, the man who killed Willem van Oranje is about the biggest villain in official Dutch history. The catholics have for a long time worked to have him sainted! (It finally was rejected on some fine technicallity)

  134. M27Holts says:

    Presumably someone different than William III of England because he fell off his horse and died!

  135. Joe Mello says:

    Take off your tinfoil hats.

    Jesus’ existence is not in question. He has been the number one topic in writings from the first century until today. We are writing about him right now. Ancient libraries were all destroyed. Writing at the time of Jesus was done on materials that deteriorated quickly. Jesus was born “at the fullness of time” smack dab in the middle of the “Classical Period”, the latter of which his life dominated in every way possible.

    And there are crosses in every sky because Jesus mattered far more than politically. He mattered to each person living an individual human life.

    As individuals we are far more meaningful than as a part of a group, even a group as large as the whole of humanity.

    And I used “sums” in two different ways above, using the singular verb to treat “sums” as a singular idea in the first way, and using “sums” as acts of addition in the second way.

  136. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Thats some top trolling Joe! Well done
    Small problems with that whole “I believe what I’m told” theory of yours.
    1) No contemporaries wrote about Jesus. The best we have is St Paul, many years after his death
    2) What we do have is copious records of censuses that the Romans carried out and obsessively documented. And guess what? That whole “Mary and Joseph had to go back to Nazarreth” bit would have been documented if it happened. Which it didn’t.

  137. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Julius Caesar existed and there is an an abundance of evidence to support his FLESH and blood existance. The same cannot be said about the nazarine. These two men were of similar times supposedly. Plus archaeological evidence also supports the Romans existance. No archaeology supports Jesus as a corporeal being. As usual you are wish thinking and have no stomach to read anything that would undermine the dogma imprinted into your brain. Putting it bluntly. You would be unable to change your mind on Jesus regardless of the evidence against him building to an almost unassailable level. That’s the difference between a scientist and a religious zealot.

  138. jb says:

    I can’t believe anyone actually arguing with Joe! Isn’t it obvious at this point that he’s a loon? Has he responded rationally to anything that anyone has said to him? Anything??? The only things we really know about Joe at this point are that he has a passing familiarity with Christian theology and that he argues like a fool. If I were stuck in a train station for an hour with nothing else to do I might be willing to spend some time talking with him, but I wouldn’t expect anything I said to register. Does anyone really expect a better outcome here?

  139. Someone says:

    No, but it is comforting to know he will not receive any outcome in his favor, despite what he appears to think.
    At this stage, we may as well be discussing whether or not Jesus was a raptor, for as that silly meme mentions, there is nothing in the Bible or scriptures to say otherwise. And if this guy really wants to go full fundamentalist/creationist then such a proposal is not entirely outside of his logic. Not that it isn’t now.

  140. Joe Mello says:

    Wait …

    Do you guys actually think that the hyper-skeptical conspiracy theories against Jesus existing have been proven to be true?

    That the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament were written about an imaginary person?

    That not finding Joseph and Mary in a Roman census is “proof” that the last two thousand years of Jesus becoming the most important person who ever lived were spent on a person who never existed?

    What? Are all of you from England?

    I don’t even have to use Google to tell you ridiculous persons that Maurice Casey and Bart Ehrman, two atheists, have some stinging criticisms for you. You use Googele, and let them tell you how delusional your thinking is. I see someone wearing a tinfoil hat and I cross the street.

    Here’s a thing:

    Since none of you are writers, but only try to write, none of you understands how long it takes to write a finished work even today, never mind two thousand years ago.

    The first Gospels were “finished” about thirty years after Jesus died, which is about right. The research that went into writing them took far longer than it would today. For example, to travel the 80 miles between Nazareth and Bethlehem, it took over a week. Any writer would do many interviews, and we know that back in that day weddings were a week long because people seldom saw each other from far away, and people needed to rest for the return home, so each interview was probably an extended visit. Add to this the plain fact that there is no account of anyone writing down anything while Jesus was alive, or that there even was much writing going on at all in the Jewish community, the community that Jesus mingle in. All these things have to be taken into account for any scholar to make “good assumptions” about the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. To just fart out that the Gospels and the New Testament were written “many years” after Jesus died stinks the high heavens.

    And nothing you guys are saying is registering because everything you guys are saying is not worth opening the register and putting it in.

    Your grandiose delusions about reading skeptic writers to become the smartest people in the room have made you misinformed not worth a listen.

    Less pride and more humility … it’s your only hope.

  141. DC Toronto says:

    Acolyte and Dr John. I understand that there are a lot of calendars out there. What intrigues me is the days of the week. I know MOST people here realize the origins of those days … after all we spent a number of weeks discussing Thor (and some of the best strips in a long time). Poor guy gets no respect from the Christians or from the trolls. Even though one of my favorite days of the week is named for him.
    I guess that is proof that he is real …. right?

  142. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Ehrman, Bart D. “Did Jesus Exists” , “Lost Christianities” and “Misquoting Jesus”. I have read these. Ehrman is most definitely a theist. Most of his arguments and hypotheses are torn to shreds when Roman historians take him to task on some of his clearly false baseless claims. Not surprising that you would wish him to be an atheist. Because he is wrong. Besides, if the Nazarine was a Jerusalem rabble rouser whom the Romans needed to make an example of (No proof in Roman records) he wasn’t the son of a fictional god was he?

  143. Son of Glenner says:

    Joe Mello: What have you got against people from England? Are you secretly Scottish, only pretending to be Portuguese-American? There are already a few Scottish people on this forum, including yours truly.

  144. M27Holts says:

    I’m from England. Manchester. To be fair religion is in decline where I live. Church attendances are dropping as the aged die off leaving their more enlightened kids. They are shutting the Catholic church where I got married! My Mrs wanted to get married in a church and I didn’t care but thankfully my nana had me christened when I was a baby otherwise I would have had to be christened and that may have been a deal-breaker haha!

  145. Someone says:

    Wow, he assumes that none of the other people who contribute to this forum are writers, but only pretend to write. Are you a published author, Joe? Should I have something of yours in my library? Actually, I don’t care whether or not you are. I can say without reservation that I write fanfiction and have read, and even uploaded, stories with more substance than anything you have submitted so far.

    Add to that the rest of the (poorly-written) assumptions about forum user origins and personalities whilst justifying how the NT came to pass is yet another sign you truly have nothing but indignant repetition to fall back on.

    In the name of Raptor Jesus, peace be with you.

  146. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Poor Joe doesn’t understand how stars work any more than he understands pattern recognition and how the biases of the observer can largely influence those patterns.
    What Joe sees as ‘crosses’ in the stars are but a fleeting and transitory illusion. All stars are moving in relation to one another in their orbit of the galactic centre, at speeds and distances too great for our minds to truly comprehend. However, what Joe sees as a cross today – because that’s what his biases tell him he sees, so his mind connects the stars with one imaginary horizontal line and one vertical; another person might have the lines outlining the stars, making a kite – would have looked nothing of the sort 40,000 years ago, and will look nothing like a cross 40,000 years hence.
    Even today, the only reason they are forming any particular perceived shape is because we view the stars from too great a distance – ‘optical infinity’ is the phrase, I believe’ – for us to perceive any depth, therefore we are seeing an apparently two-dimensional image, just like a painted backdrop. Travel a few light-years in any direction and the stars will all appear to change position in relation to each other and begin to form new ‘pictures’ with other stars.
    If one could view a constellation such as The Plough (or ‘Big Dipper’ or ”Emperor’s Chariot’ or the torso and tail of the ‘Great Bear’, depending on those pesky biases’) from an angle of, say, 45 degrees west of our line of sight, it would look nothing like it does to us, because the stars forming the outline are each at vastly different distances from us, and the new line of sight would introduce new stars into the potential for pattern, so our familiar view would change to one of a wood-saw, maybe, or a Lunar Orbiter, or an ant.

    But, No, No, No. That’s just scientific irrelevance. The stars are where they are because that’s where God put them, so that every time poor Jesus looked to the night sky, he would be taunted with images of the future instrument of his own torture and death. So that’s nice.

    Let us also not forget what Joe actually believes.
    At lowest estimates (and bearing in mind that even using the median for estimates gives results orders of magnitude higher), for a Universe of one-hundred billion galaxies, with one-hundred billion stars each, and given five planets per star, Joe believes that God created a Universe containing 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in order to have life on just one of them, in order to judge us for thinking naughty thoughts.

  147. machigai says:

    Joe Mello

    “Less pride and more humility … it’s your only hope.”

    There is not an intact irony meter … anywhere …

  148. machigai says:

    Somehow, in all of this, I forgot:
    Author, “this” “comic” “is” “brilliant” “!”

  149. M27Holts says:

    My ironyometer is intact. I switched if off as soon as my joo-janta dogomatic reading glasses went opaque!

  150. machigai says:

    Well, lucky you, you didn’t see a thing.
    look out, don’t step ther…

  151. M27Holts says:

    I’m no conspiracy theorist but considering our new troll’s obsession with dog shit. I cannot ignore the fact that dog shit is an anagram of “god hits” …

  152. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    It’s also an anagram of ‘shit god’, which ironically describes the god that our new Franciscan friend, Liar Tuck, believes in.

  153. Joe Mello says:

    What “Joe” actually [knows]:

    All the matter and energy in the physical universe combined is far less of a reality than a single thought.

    The destruction of a star is far less of a reality than the death of child.

    Here’s another thing:

    Even Rembrandt, when he painted, painted faces that were quite similar. With all his genius, he just couldn’t paint faces that were completely different from each other.

    But if we walk through a vast crowd or think about everyone we have ever met, we come to the realization that every face we have ever seen, even in families, is completely different. So, it seems, DNA has tapped into an infinite source of “information”, not a finite source. This is the logical conclusion to make.

    Try to draw three faces to see what a finite source looks like.

    This is also something that “Joe” actually [knows].

  154. Laripu says:

    I imagine many of you have heard of Gödel’s Theorem. One consequence is that even if every word about religion is true and consistent knowledge, and god can count, there are still real facts about reality at which you can’t arrive by reasoning from that knowledge.

    In other words, even if every word of religion is true, consistent, and useful, you would still need empirical science to deal with reality.

    But if the world view contained in the use of empirical discovery is the correct worldview, religion is unnecessary (except possibly as a literary device, but certainly not as a tool for understanding our existence).

    Deity, deity, where have you been?
    “I met Bertrand Russell; he called me obscene.”
    Deity, deity, why are you cryin’ ?
    “I’ve been made redundant by L. Wittgenstein!”

  155. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Your second and third paragraphs are definitely candidates for post modern bullshittery of a unsurpassed level of expertise. Congratulations you now have a PhD in physics envy. Go outside and see if you can spot a cross on an approaching express train. You can only do this by standing between the rails facing towards the onrushing mass of metal. Bon Voyage!

  156. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    All the matter and energy in the physical universe combined is far less of a reality than a single thought.

    Try telling that to the dinosaurs! Oh, you can’t, a few thousand tons of that matter and energy kind of ruined their day. Or, to put it another way; Joe, if you attack me with thoughts, and I fight back with fists, who do you think will be the first to feel the reality of pain?

    The destruction of a star is far less of a reality than the death of child.

    Depends how close to the star you are. Never mind that the heavy elements are the very real left-overs from destroyed stars, and without them there’d be no ‘us’ to contemplate reality.

    You have a rather Trump-esque idea of reality, Joe, in as much as it means whatever you want it to mean at any given moment, regardless of the actual state of reality as experienced by literally everybody else in the world.

    Laripu, I love your little clerihew.

  157. M27Holts says:

    Deepak Chopra pseudonym Joe Mello

  158. Joe Mello says:

    Acolyte, you believe that looking up dry and rattling facts makes you highly intelligent, yet you weren’t even somewhat intelligent to understand that I was clearly speaking about Christian crosses in every sky.

    The most intelligent among us do not know some facts and then repeat them, but apply facts into a complete understanding of reality. Today’s skeptic, like you, reads and regurgitates, unable to read and apply, because today’s skeptic has no foundation of knowledge under his thinking, just scattered facts. This is called adolescence.

    And a good example of this unintelligent thinking is the skeptic’s judgment of the Earth as an insignificant planet, when all things, from the scientific to the obvious, point to the Earth as being a true miracle of cosmological evolution. The stupid skeptic judges the Earth by the quantitative rather than the qualitative.

    Our marvel of a blue & green planet is also the perfect home for the wonders of a teeming biosphere.

    And you spend time adding up dead celestial bodies in the slim possibility that one of them became as marvelous as the Earth.

    You’re looking in the wrong direction … the greatest celestial body is under your feet.

  159. Donn says:

    We mustn’t forget that most of the marvelous things in our nice blue and green planet, come from the Sun … all hail, solar source of life! Except for the high molecular weight ingredients, granted.

  160. M27Holts says:

    The Earth may be very typical in the universe. We don’t know as yet because we have limited knowledge of exoplanets that at fall into the goldilocks zone around stars in our galaxy. But since there are billions of galaxies. I should think that there is a good chance that evolution is achieving or has achieved intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. I do hope that they aren’t religious knobs like you Wormtongue!

  161. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, I know it has been said before, but it bears repeating: in our search for intelligent life in the universe, we might remember how scarce it is here. 🙂

  162. DC Toronto says:

    1616 called … they’d like their science back.
    It always makes me laugh when the “true believer” posits the earth as unique in our universe and it’s suitability for life such as ours as proof of magic. As if we could be having this discussion on a planet where there was hot lava instead of h2o.
    Of course this planet seems ideal for us. We evolved based on the nature of this planet to thrive here.
    I’d also like to look back to the strip at the top of this page. Jesus channels the “true believer” in his line that he can sense the air quotes Mo is using. Much like a “true believer” can sense that there must be a magic god that leaves no trace of itself.

  163. Joe Mello says:

    Three “true believers” and two “magics” …

    The cult of the modern atheist/materialist has its own secret language, which it always use when everything fails in it making sense.

  164. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. Just imagine (it’s easy if you try) that you had a beautiful vivacious daughter. And that daughter was blown apart because somebody had been told and they believed that they would be shagging virgin’s in heaven if they slaughtered the daughters of unbelievers. How would you reconcile that with your invisible friend who was too impotent to do anything about It? Do you think that the Muslim god (The one who spoke to Mohammed) is the same spirit who speaks to You? Who is right? You or him? Or are you both very, very wrong?

  165. Joe Mello says:

    I think you better read all my posts again.

    I’m not religious.

    Skeptics are similar to religious fundamentalists, for both groups equate the living God to a written book.

    And only an idiot doesn’t know that wars and human greed kill the most people by far.

    Here’s a question:

    Was Harry Truman and Americans evil assholes for killing and mutilating hundreds of thousands of innocent people in less than a minute?

    And another:

    Was the Civil War, which had battles when 10,000 Americans died in just minutes, a good war because of slavery?

    Innocent people are killed for one cause or another throughout human history.

    To single out religion is just a bigoted act.

  166. DC Toronto says:

    what Troll Mello doesn’t understand (one of many things) is that religion isn’t singled out for causing death and mayhem.
    The “true believers” like our little troll feel put out when they attempt to whitewash the horrors perpetrated in the name of religion and are called out for it.
    virtually every person on the planet attempts some good in their lives. The worst tyrants will dote on their children or family. that doesn’t excuse their other actions, nor the actions of those who facilitate (directly or indirectly) their actions.
    our “true believer” friend feels like he is persecuted when it is he who (once again) has misrepresented the facts.
    religion is a scourge on the human race.
    little troll pretends he is “not religious”. But like most “true beleivers” he is disingenuous and tries to hide the truth. He spouts the religious bs like he ate it for breakfast. He is the saddest of trolls. But occasionally needs to be refuted while he spews out about his evil god and his fake messiah.
    troll on little troll.

  167. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe Mello says:
    April 10, 2018 at 5:00 pm
    Acolyte, you believe that looking up dry and rattling facts makes you highly intelligent, yet you weren’t even somewhat intelligent to understand that I was clearly speaking about Christian crosses in every sky.

    Your reading comprehension isn’t working, Joe.
    From my comment, 2.19am.

    That’s just scientific irrelevance. The stars are where they are because that’s where God put them, so that every time poor Jesus looked to the night sky, he would be taunted with images of the future instrument of his own torture and death. So that’s nice.

    Couldn’t be clearer about what type of cross you’re seeing, could I?

    Travel a few light-years in any direction and the stars will all appear to change position in relation to each other and begin to form new ‘pictures’ with other stars.

    In other words, one can make any pattern one desires, regardless of one’s position in the Universe. So there’s every sky you could possibly want, anywhere in this grand Universe.
    Why are you doing this, Joe. Is it some kind of penance you’ve been given, or do you just enjoy being the least-intelligent person in the room?

  168. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. If you aren’t religious why did you spend time in a monastery? Did you go to provide entertainment for the monks? Or were you once religious and now merely a spiritualist Shyster? Are you suggesting that Jesus hasn’t been the driving force for millions of deaths? Have you heard of the inquisition? Do you know Anything beyond your post modernist platitudes?

  169. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    M27Holts, Joe claims to ‘know’ Jesus the Living God personally, therefore Jesus the Living God is real, therefore Joe has no need of faith in the same way that we don’t need faith about gravity or evolution. One doesn’t need faith to accept proven facts, and faith is the mainstay of religion, therefore Joe is not religious. He thinks he is above all that religious nonsense, and promotes himself as the only person on Earth who knows and understands Jesus the Living God. Just a tad more ego and he’d be proclaiming himself as the second coming.
    What Joe is, is ignorant of what constitutes solid evidence, and confused over what ‘fact’ means.
    As to why he was in a monastery for five years, who knows? Maybe he lived for his regular shift in the communal barrel!

    Joe, Truman’s use of the H-bombs was unnecessary and quite possibly an act of evil, but what’s your point? You don’t think Truman believed himself to be a good, God-fearing Christian?
    Was the (American; there has been more than one civil war in the world) civil war a ‘good’ war. No, Joe, there are no good wars, even if one side has a just cause. But wait; where do you think the justification for keeping slaves come from, Joe. Or, to put it in a different way, where do you think they got the idea that their ‘God-given right to own slaves’ was justified. Wasn’t Glory, Glory, Hallelujah a Confederate battle-hymn, one of the famous American Trilogy?

  170. LD50 says:

    Joe Mello said:
    I think you better read all my posts again.
    I’m not religious.

    And what a monumental waste of time that would be.

    He seems to have his personal definition of what “religious” means and is presumably amused at our lack of understanding (and smug because of his intellectual superiority).

    There’s no point in asking him what he thinks it means though, because he won’t actually answer simple (or any other) questions.

    The quick and easy google translator says that “religious” basically means “pertaining to religion”. I knew that already 🙂 Of “religion” it says “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”. According to that, I think it fair to say that he’s religious.

    But google goes on to give the etymology:
    “Middle English (originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’): from Old French, or from Latin religio(n- ) ‘obligation, bond, reverence’, perhaps based on Latin religare ‘to bind’.”

    So, perhaps, he means that he’s “not under monastic vows” and is feeling smug that we don’t know what he’s trying to say? That would be a fairly stupid way of “communicating” though.

    Perhaps he even means that he just isn’t “bound” by any organised religion’s doctrines because he has entered a mystical relationship with some god and is one of the few people on the planet who *knows* what the deal is.

    So, if cornered on some ludicrous/disgusting/immoral/stupid behaviour committed/advocated by some religious group he just says “I’m not religious”. On the other hand he’s perfectly willing to spout random bits of religious nonsense whenever he feels like it.

    Fairly typical behaviour for religious nutters. They refuse to get into straightforward, honest discussions and shift the goalposts with every sentence.

    As the wise jb has noted, Joe is a troll. He’s not trying to convince anyone here of anything. He’s just trying to irritate people. I’m not even irritated (compared to dealing with local government bureaucracy abusiveness, reading Joe is a blissful experience). My irritation is limited to having to scroll down so far on my iPhone. But even that reminded me of this:



    However, as I’ve said already, I am disappointed. I’ve met Franciscans. I’ve been to Assisi a few times. They seemed nice. Joe does not seem nice. He’s abusive and arrogant.

  171. DC Toronto says:

    LD – he’s not a Franciscan. He never was, He’s just a troll

  172. M27Holts says:

    Maybe he tried to spot the cross on the front of an express locomotive?

  173. two cents' worth says:

    Acolyte of Sagan, you mentioned Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. There is more than one set of lyrics to the tune. During the American Civil War, John Brown’s Body and The Battle Hymn of the Republic were popular with supporters of the Union (the anti-secessionist/anti-slavery side). I don’t know if it’s still the case, but the parody version (The Burning of the School) was a favorite of school children in my generation. For more info., see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Hymn_of_the_Republic

  174. two cents' worth says:

    LD50, thanks for the link! I needed the laughs. It’s a good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking anything when I was watching the video, or I would have been in trouble.

  175. Joe Mello says:

    So intelligent … yet you boys don’t even realize how you’re acting like little bitches.

    I get it, I poked holes in your bubble and the fresh air is freaking you out.

    Take slow breaths.

    You’re hyperventilating … like a bunch of sissies.

  176. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Yeah, Joe, you sure showed us. Showed us what a petty, bigoted, homophobic, short-tempered, egotistical, dishonest little person you are.
    Franciscan Friar? Liar Tuck!

  177. Someone says:

    The troll’s argument in song.
    Ego, ergo sum.

  178. M27Holts says:

    Oh Wormtongue is back! Should have changed the locks!

  179. M27Holts says:

    So we’ve been dogs and dog shit. Idiots and robotic sheep. Now we are supposedly teenage girls. Wormtongue needs to think of better insults. Mind you his gender stereotyping is giving us more information about his personality. I was wrong. Perhaps he is sat furiously typing away dressed as a Victorian schoolgirl (Alice through the looking glass). I bet he has some mild fetishes that cause him great anguish given that his invisible pal sees, feels and hears all!

  180. HaggisForBrains says:

    Joe Mello seems to me like the living definition of the Dunning Kruger effect. Best to ignore him.


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