forms

Hello again, Moses.


Discussion (156)¬

  1. hotrats says:

    Does the addition of Moses make this Jesus and Mo and Mo?

  2. jean-françois gauthier says:

    the ancient middle east seems to have seen some sort of power struggle between a patriarchal and a matriarchal order before and around the early biblical times, of which patriarchy would have come out victorious. robert crumb’s wonderfully illustrated book of genesis refers to savina teubal’s “sarah the priestess”. the core of her argument is that the jewish bible has an underlying matriarchal narrative that was partly scrubbed by later exile-period priests and scribes. she points to the agency shown by characters like sarah, rebekah, rachel, and leah, as well as documentary evidence of female priestess orders in mesopotamia.

  3. HackneyMartian says:

    Just as I tear myself away from Socratic dialogue with a flat-earther on twitter, J&M publishes. I have things to do, dammit.

    Just wondering if our overseas friends have picked up on the witty and subversive JewDas
    https://twitter.com/geoffreyjewdas
    https://www.facebook.com/oiveyitsjewdas
    Their site http://jewdas.org/ hasn’t got the bandwidth to cope with their rocket to fame. (Unless someone’s DOS’ing them).

  4. PeterN says:

    @hotrats: According to http://www.che.vt.edu/Cox/Mo2C.html, hemicarbide of molybdenum Mo2C exists in two stable crystalline forms. I used C for Christ as [fun fact] no element has the letter J in it. The name to reference the two structures are a- and b-. So b-Mo2C could be the stable crystal standing in for the bartender, the two Mos and Christ.

  5. Someone says:

    Amusing and poignant on so many levels, as always.
    Can’t help but think of Mo’s closing line as a reflection of the previous two discussion threads.

  6. HackneyMartian says:

    PeterN, your work here is done …

  7. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Really how dreadfully pathetic
    The degree to which religion’s become misogynistic
    A club for some men
    Who are afraid of women
    A planet wide nasty epidemic.

  8. 1happyheathen says:

    can we as atheists be called islamophobes or anti-sematic? we treat all religion as the rubbish they are.

  9. Dr John the Wipper says:

    HackneyMartian:
    PeterN, your work here is done …
    Speak for yourself, AFAIAC, it was an interesting start for a corner of chemistry I had not yet visited!

  10. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    1happyheathen, what does an anti-sematic object to?

  11. cjsm says:

    In reference to the rise of patriarchy in the middle east, some researchers are hypothesizing climate change as a trigger to cultural change. A couple of the articles I found for a proposed paper that was not approved:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/146141010X12640787648892
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10963-009-9016-4
    https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1551-8248.2012.01039.x
    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959683610386819

    I had only half started the research…..

  12. Some Dude says:

    I like the underlying grading of the 3 main Abrahamic religions that is displayed here. To me, all of them are bullshit, but Islam is substantially worse than the other two.

    It’s a bit ironic how things turn out: today, the religion that’s clearly the worst of the three –Islam– is the one you can talk about the least freely.

  13. Donn says:

    Well, a little of it is healthy – it’s the worst of the three, but it’s the “them” religion, and it’s good to keep an eye out for a tendency to demonize “them.” They demonize themselves pretty effectively anyway. J&M keeps it cool by making sure J gets his.

  14. M27Holts says:

    Well any society that still allows religious parents to make a legal blood sacrifice of their infant son’s foreskin is a broken one. Yes. That statement will be considered anti-Semitic and islamaphobic. The fact that FGM is illegal is also testament of a gender bias against men. Why male circumcision isn’t illegal for non consenting boys is also a display of religious power over secular values.

  15. M27Holts says:

    Oh. And PeterN- well impressive knowledge. My chemistry is a scraped C in a level in 1983.

  16. Some Dude says:

    @M27Holts: I would say that the consequences of male circumcision are not as severe as the consequences of FGM (many little girls die every year because of FGM, whereas male circumcision in certain cases is even considered beneficial). However, I totally agree with you on the consenting part: I think nobody should be allowed to mutilate any part of a child’s body, since they have no power of decision whatsoever. If anyone wants to get circumcised, let them do it when they’re old enough to make such a decision on their own.

  17. M27Holts says:

    Some Dude. Aye the severity of FGM rightly makes it illegal! My point is that the foreskin is designed to keep the glans penis covered. Removal of foreskin desensitizes the penis and makes sex less pleasurable. Which is the same reason religion removes a girls clitoris, to make her sexual pleasure less. Unless a boy has to have the foreskin removed for clinical reasons. His penis should go as evolution designed it unless at the age of 18 he wishes to modify it in any way he chooses. I don’t think that any country on planet earth has made it illegal and that is a monstrous state of affairs in the 21st century! And the thin end of the wedge.

  18. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, you wrote “Removal of foreskin desensitizes the penis and makes sex less pleasurable.”

    I don’t think that conclusion is based on sufficient evidence. I haven’t heard of significant numbers of men (or any, really) who have commented on the pleasure of sex before and after adult circumcision.

    Indeed, orgasm, once attained, is a set physiological events that don’t even involve the foreskin. So the foreskin is not involved in ultimate pleasure. (Perhaps only in how you get there.)

    As with any medical procedure, there are risks; but the occurrence of problems is exceedingly low. And there are some health benefits; but the benefits help prevent the occurrence of low-probability problems. So I think that both the risks and benefits aren’t important.

    (The Mayo Clinic site spells out the risks/benefits nicely: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/about/pac-20393550)

    My view is that the procedure is only a problem when it’s performed in an unsanitary way. The case in point is a version involving oral suction, performed by some ultra-Orthodox Jews, called in Hebrew “metzitzah b’peh”. Here’s information:

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1598281

  19. Laripu says:

    In the other hand, I’ve teased one ultra-Orthodox Jew I know, saying that if it’s so important, it ought to be done twice. Meaning, when a male reaches 70, he should have plastic surgery to attach a foreskin, so that after it heals it can be removed again, resulting in extra holiness.

    The suggestion wasn’t met with all the enthusiasm I expected. 😉

  20. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. “The human foreskin is highly innervated, and vascularised sensitive erogenous tissues. It plays an important role in normal human sexual response and is necessary for normal copulatory behaviour. It has been put there by evolution. Don’t try and justify that removing it as a religious ritual has benefits! If you are clean and teach sons the importance of penile cleanliness there is no reason to go near it with a fucking knife. Americans Really piss me off with this justification. It should be made illegal unless clinical necessity requires a removal. There are no grey areas here. And religious apologists can all fuck off!

  21. M27Holts says:

    And… circumcision is the paradigm for religious fuckwittery in the 21st century.

  22. M27Holts says:

    And obviously if the foreskin didn’t cause men to die before they reproduced it couldn’t be acted on by natural selection. Stop religious knobs from interferring with people’s sex lives before they are able to experience It!

  23. Someone says:

    TMI alert.

    Being circumcised since birth myself, I have never had a problem with arousal or infection. I have previously read the points M27Holts has raised in regards to foreskin playing a part in arousal, and that the foreskin also acts as a natural lubricant.
    Thing is, while his points might be correct, I don’t think I’ve ever missed out. I also glad I was cut when I was younger after one of my cousins developed a foreskin infection of his own, albeit from lack of hygiene. This was before either of us reached puberty, mind.

    Sadly, the main reason why Americans think circumcision is a healthy practice for males stems from the antisexual views of John Kellogg, who is mainly known now for breakfast foods named after him. He was also an extremist Christian who recommended circumcision as a way to curb masturbation, and that’s not even the worst of it.
    Doubtless a few here are aware of Dr Kellogg and his century-long legacy. Take comfort in knowing he ultimately failed, as male circumcision has little impact on one’s sex drive.

    That being said, as an adult I am inclined to agree that males be circumcised by their own personal choice, preferably as a grown man, barring a medical emergency.
    The mere thought of female circumcision I find appalling, unless it is truly a medical requirement (granted I haven’t heard of one).

  24. M27Holts says:

    Someone says. You can never have too much information. Any good statistician would tell you that. Argument from personal experience is irrelevant here. I myself am no roundhead. I’m a cavalier! I have certainly had no problems with arousal. Up and down like the Assyrian Empire I am. Neither of us can experience what the other does currently. So that is pointless in expressing. But I COULD have a circumsision! you on the other hand would find it hard to have a foreskin grafted on. Your parents may have impaired your sexual enjoyment by an amount which it would be hard to quantify. You should consider legal proceedings. I would!

  25. Someone says:

    M27Holts, personal experience aside, there are benefits and drawbacks alike to circumcision. At least we can agree there should be consent.

    As for legal proceedings, I’d rather not sue my mother. It would be rather backhanded of me, seeing as how she carried me to term.
    I could sue my father but he’s dead. That’s compensation enough.

  26. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    There is an interesting ongoing case in the UK where a woman is suing a doctor for assualt after he circumcised her son without her permission or knowledge.
    The woman had a very brief relationship with a man, resulting in a son. The relationship was over long before the boy was born, and the father was not on the birth certificate, nor did he have any parental rights. The woman had allowed the father to take the boy for a few hours to show his family, and he was returned without his foreskin.
    The father’s excuse was that he had to do it otherwise the boy couldn’t be a Muslim, so he’d taken him to his family doctor for a crafty snip.
    It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, being the first case of this type in the UK.

  27. jb says:

    From a purely rational point of view you can certainly make an argument for outlawing infant circumcision. We wouldn’t allow the ritual removal of a normal toe or finger, even though most people could get through life just fine without it. And there is always the issue of consent, which you can’t get from an infant.

    The trouble is, if you did this you would effectively be outlawing certain religions, and this is a matter of huge importance to a fairly substantial group of people who — to put it mildly — are not without influence, and who would be extremely unhappy about you trying to force your morality on them. Is this really what you want to do? Society is all about people who don’t agree with each making compromises so that they can live together without going for each other’s throats. Banning infant circumcision would be going directly for the throats of traditional Jews and Muslims. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  28. M27Holts says:

    JB. Maybe once we allow certain religions to chop bits off with their get out of jail free card. We should also allow them to kill apostates? Just a thought like. We make it illegal and if they do it we put them in prison. Simple!

  29. Joe Mello says:

    More bigoted ignorance posing as concern for a segment of humanity …

    Why is the woman in the cartoon a “barmaid”? Can’t a woman be a “barkeep” who owns the bar?

    And wouldn’t circumcision have been a healthy thing in the ancient world without warm running water?

    Here’s a thing:

    There was a lot of down time in the ancient world. People hung out in their tribes and depended upon each other to do each task suited for them. Without a doubt woman were the hardest working people, and the most loving, so they were also the happiest people when they worked.

    To read a historical account of men doing great things outside of their tribes, and to judge that women were left out because of male dominated religion is idiotic.

    Men were men and women were women.

    Think more and bitch less.

    Yes. Muslim women is certain countries are suffering because of oppressive traditions. Let’s get to work on helping these women rather than helping bigoted fools spread generalizations while sitting on their asses at their computers.

  30. Dr John the Wipper says:

    AoS:

    Would you do us (at least me) a favor, and keep us informed?
    TIA

  31. HackneyMartian says:

    It seems a man in the US in 2000-3 successfully sued the doctor and hospital which snipped him without parents’ consent
    http://www.cirp.org/news/mndnewswire04-29-03/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8szj1jFCWM

    Funnily, the hospital was RC.

    It’s an issue in Oz too:
    https://www.uts.edu.au/about/faculty-health/news/rise-and-fall-male-circumcision
    According to this, the secular snip boomed in USA & Oz after the boys started coming back from imperial adventures, and later from world wars, with embarrassing infections. It says the UK was similarly affected, but I don’t recall any such thing growing up in the 50s-60s. I would have noticed, I expect.

  32. HackneyMartian says:

    Why is the woman in the cartoon a “barmaid”? Can’t a woman be a “barkeep” who owns the bar?
    Well of course we don’t say barkeep in the UK. Landlady would probably be the word, though that, alas, raises further equality questions. But Jolly Joe is right. Author must publish the gender pay differential. Though I find it hard to imagine that this competent woman is earning less than those three layabouts.

  33. DC Toronto says:

    Troll Mello is back again.
    .
    If he had any education at all he would have learned to read for comprehension. It is particularly laughable that he has made such a mistake on this strip which skewers his favourite religion.
    .
    Simple English Joey – the religion is misogynistic. It’s fake prophet is the chief misogynist – therefore the misogynist Jesus calls her barmaid.
    .
    can you keep up now little troll?
    .
    as for sitting on asses – don’t you have a house to paint Joey?

  34. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. I hate to state the obvious. But homo sapiens males had foreskins for hundreds of thousands of years before the stupid primitives thought that by making a blood sacrifice by cutting off a bit of their male children and in effect sacrificing their sons sexual experiences they might get into an invisible friends good books! Ask your invisible friend if such sacrifices please him. And don’t dribble too much. Nurse will scold you again.

  35. jb says:

    DC Toronto & M27Holts — It’s always tempting to insult a troll, but it isn’t a great idea. I’ve seen forums disrupted literally for years by trolls who couldn’t go away because there was always another insult that needed to be refuted. Plus many trolls aren’t even really trolls — i.e., their goal isn’t to deliberately stir up trouble, they’re just clueless and can’t help it. One way or the other, it’s best to ignore them, or respond politely if they say something worth responding to.

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe asks ‘And wouldn’t circumcision have been a healthy thing in the ancient world without warm running water?’ Possibly so, although they had invented rivers by that time, and mastered the art of heating water in metal containers over fire, so a wash wasn’t out of the question.
    However, whilst your religion is still as it was back then, the world has moved on. We do have warm, running water, and soap. So why are they still performing a procedure which, by your own logic, is no longer necessary, if indeed it ever was?

    Then you say ‘Without a doubt woman were the hardest working people, and the most loving, so they were also the happiest people when they worked.’
    Where’s your evidence for this? There is a major leap of logic required to claim that women were hard-working and loving, therefore happiest when working. Really, Joe, how did you reach that conclusion? You’d might as well claim that slaves were happiest when working because work took their minds off their plight.

    Then we get ‘To read a historical account of men doing great things outside of their tribes, and to judge that women were left out because of male dominated religion is idiotic.’
    I mean, never mind that those same men saw wives as possessions, and the women and girls of conquered enemies as the spoils of war to be taken as wives or slaves; that’s totally not the same as male domination, is it?

    And finally, ‘Let’s get to work on helping these women rather than helping bigoted fools spread generalizations…’
    Helping bigoted fools? Joe, we’re only trying to help you see what a fool you are, not trying to spread your sweeping generalisations.

  37. HackneyMartian says:

    AoS:
    what does an anti-sematic object to?

    Paying the sin tax.

    {boom-tish}

  38. Anonymous says:

    I go away for a few days, and it takes me a week to catch up! I’ll repeat my recent post on the previous comic: Joe Mello seems to me like the living definition of the Dunning Kruger effect. Best to ignore him.

  39. HaggisForBrains says:

    I go away for a few days, and it takes me a week to catch up! I’ll repeat my comment on the previous comic: Joe Mello seems to me like the living definition of the Dunning Kruger effect. Best to ignore him.

    Oh, and nice one, HM 😀

  40. Joe Mello says:

    Yes, don’t look at me, I’m hideous.

    You do know that the psychological “effect” you found on the Internet can describe a certain group of people, like today’s poorly educated skeptics claiming certainty about things they cannot know so gather together and engage in groupthink, don’t you?

    If your certainty is logical and profound, why does it only exist within a bubble that keeps out all knowledge that doesn’t support it?

    The arguments against my last post were pathetic not profound, opinionated not knowledgeable, and simply bubble friendly.

    Google searches and giving each other undeserving flattery is the measure of your worth.

    And you won’t be able to look away, ‘cause my posts, which I write from experience and the proper education not from Google and a bubble, move past your dry intellects and rattling opinions at the speed of light.

    At least be somewhat honest with yourself.

  41. Someone says:

    Hm, another post from a certain troll that offers weak insults and self-aggrandizing claims of superiority. Boring.

    Meanwhile, here in Oz the government has predictably over-funded a group of already wealthy private Catholic schools while giving public schools peanuts by comparison as part of their “revised” funding model. Link for those interested.
    Little wonder why people are so upset this, to say nothing about the attitudes of the schools themselves.

  42. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    HackneyMartian, consider my cap doffed in respect for that punchline.

    Haggis, I’m trying to ignore it, Lordy knows I’m trying, but its like ignoring tinnitus or a boil on the bum.

  43. helenahandbasket says:

    Joe, c’mon give us something! That response was truly dismal. Give us a quote, at least a semblance of argument. Your latest is of the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” school (and I do mean “school”) of response. Try harder.

  44. Joe Mello says:

    basket, I asked two questions and you answered them by telling me I didn’t ask them.

    You embody perfectly the modern thinker who doesn’t know basic philosophy so claims philosophy is bogus, who never learned the details of theology so claims theology is useless, who is poorly educated so claims education is unimportant, who is inexperienced so claims experience is invalid.

    You wrote your post for your fellow cult members.

    Don’t try harder, because given who you are it won’t help.

    Become fully alive on your own. Leave this cult. You’re making a fool of yourself.

    And you didn’t answer my questions because you can’t answer them.

  45. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, you wrote “It plays an important role in normal human sexual response and is necessary for normal copulatory behaviour. It has been put there by evolution.”

    It is not necessary for normal copulatory behaviour. You can’t tell from my advanced years, but in the 1970s I was a good looking and charming young man, and engaged in much pleasurable normal copulatory behaviour, all without a foreskin. My father didn’t have one either, and yet fathered four children (two still alive). His life was not cut short due to a lack of a foreskin either; he died at age 81 of cancer unrelated to the missing foreskin.

    The fact that foreskins are evolved doesn’t guarantee a salutary nature. Evolution gave us Donald Trump too, and it would be better for everyone if Congress could remove him.

    I’m not saying that men should have circumcisions. I’m saying that given available evidence, I’m not against it if parents want it, done by medically qualified individuals.

    You also wrote “Americans Really piss me off with this justification”. There’s nothing I wrote that has anything to do with my citizenship. I’m American now, but was born Canadian.

  46. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. Read “galileo’s middle finger”. How do you know that playing with yourself or having a partner playing with you isn’t more pleasurable with a foreskin? Medical procedures that are not clinically required should not be undertaken without consent. And that should be enforced with statute law. And as somebody said earlier…We can’t do that as we would be criminalizing religious tradition. I say “Fuck Yeah!”

  47. machigai says:

    Joe Mello says

    “There was a lot of down time in the ancient world.”

    That’s silly. No there wasn’t.

  48. machigai says:

    “Without a doubt woman were the hardest working people, and the most loving, so they were also the happiest people when they worked.”
    I think this could be classed as sexist.

  49. Someone says:

    I wondered if it was coincidence that the Jesus freaks around the main train station and city hall were upping the ante of their attention-seeking by graffiting local businesses and even trees by writing REPENT (among other messages) on them, as well as leaving scripture cards littered everywhere; all while the Melbourne Comedy Festival is in full swing.
    Then again, there are some comedians who make blasphemous jokes (shock horror!) and larger crowds in the city right now, so it’s little wonder the more apocalyptic and verbose street preachers are trying to get their attention.
    I don’t think they realize or care they’re providing free entertainment and material. Whatever, their choice.

  50. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Someone, wouldn’t it be nice to troll the religidiots for once? Personally, I’d tell everybody I know to keep an eye out for the ones leaving the scripture cards, and when they spot one to quickly pick it up, read it and laugh, and take it back to whoever left it and ask really loudly for their autograph on account of them being the best comedy act at the festival.
    For added points, they should treat the religidiots’ claims to be serious as part of the act and just laugh louder.
    If they could draw a crowd to watch, so much the better.

  51. M27Holts says:

    Not seen any decent street preachers lately. Apparently the god botherers are picketing abortion clinics in the UK. That lot must be left footers I suppose.

  52. Joe Mello says:

    Yeah, those religious people in train stations — focus on them, that will make your atheism a truly superior world view to all of theism. I bow to your logic and evolved intellectual capabilities.

    machigal, so you studied social anthropology, like I did and David Attenborough did and Hugh Laurie did and the lead singer for Simply Red did, and felt the need to correct me?

    So you took your personal experience of love as the greatest motivation of selfless work and a mother as the most loving family member, and you put it all together through your intellectual talent and honest interpretation, and you came away with “silly” and “sexist”?

    I bow to you, too.

    I mean, what an amazing thinker you present yourself to be.

  53. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    M27Holts, I saw a report on the news last night about that. It said that plans were being drawn up to make it illegal to picket directly outside the clinics to prevent the harassment of women – many of whom are attending the clinics foor services other than abortions anyway.

    Aprop of nothing in particular, I don’t recall hearing Attenborough, Laurie, or Mick Hucknall arguing out of their arses about anthropology.

  54. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Not only did Attenborough study anthropology he contributed research into one of the more fascinating findings in it–cargo cults (although he modestly downplays his contributions).
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0108z9b
    In the 1940s the Americans were island hopping across the Pacific and many of the islands contained people who had never seen a white person or an airplane before. Their astonishment can readily be imagined–these huge metal birds came down from the skies because of weird rituals that the white people performed and then unloaded precious cargo.
    When the Americans left the folk left behind statrted producing planes and conning towers made of bamboo and marching up and down shouting gibberish into fake radios to attract the planes back. Some of them started worshipping a man called John Frum (who may have been a real American pilot lost to history?) They thought that by doing the proper rituals John Frum would come back and bring the cargo.
    Attenborough interviewed one of these guys and aaked him,”Isnt it a bit of a long time now–don’t you think this John Frum isn’t coming back?”
    Without missing a beat the shaman looks him in the eye and goes “Not really, you’ve been waiting 2000 years for YOUR savior to return”
    Of course this natural disposition to worship status and power and deify it while falsfiying history and creating superstition on the spot has nothing whatsoever to do with whatever god YOU are worshipping. Yours is the true one–dont worry about that!

  55. machigai says:

    Joe Mello
    As a matter of fact, I did read Anthropology.
    (you, David Attenborough, Hugh Laurie, the lead singer for Simply Red.
    One of these things is not like the others.)
    .
    I also know how to copy/paste.
    Other commenter’s nyms, for example.

  56. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. I have lots of books that cover anthropology. You have not forwarded any information from your education in the study of mankind that I couldn’t look up and pretend that I too was a professor of anthropology. Put up or shut up. Do you believe in the afterlife. Yes or no? A Boolean for you to pick from. Simple non?

  57. Someone says:

    I know I should resist, but:
    “Yeah, those religious people in train stations — focus on them, that will make your atheism a truly superior world view to all of theism. I bow to your logic and evolved intellectual capabilities.”

    Have you heard them talk? I hear them nearly every day, whether I wish to or not and I’d say with full confidence my intellectual capabilities outweigh theirs. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of them, judging by your endless petulance and empty criticism.

    Acolyte, funny you should ask. One of my colleagues just the other day mentioned somebody trolling one of the street preachers with Satan worship, rocking up with his own mic & amp to ensure his voice was just as loud as the guy harassing people to worship Jesus or burn in hell.
    Of course, the ‘Satanist’ in this case was calling out the messages of the preacher, using Satan as a symbol to tell people to enact their own free will and not to listen to dogmatic BS. Praising Satan as a counter-deity was also thrown in but with tongue-in-cheek, as it should be.

    As for the crowds themselves, apparently it was fun for the passers-by (Andrew mentioned his temptation to ask the new guy for his autograph). Wish I’d seen it.

  58. Donn says:

    Long ago, at the campus we’d get a visit once or twice a year from an itinerant preacher, Holy Hubert, worn old guy with a tooth or two missing and a very loud voice. Not today’s youthful lobotomy case with a microphone and a placard, this guy was ready to take on all comers, and we’d pitch it at him. The only exchange I particularly remember is in answer to a homosexual – “Yes, the bible says you should die by my hand, but …” OK. I tell you, a lot of the fizz has gone out of religion.

  59. Oh no. Not the stupid circumcision debate again. I am so sick of that. But what the hey, here goes.

    Fun fact: Everybody claims that “female circumcision” or FGM is far worse than male circumcision. They don’t seem to know that in many cultures, all that is required is a ceremonial prick on the clitoris hood. Nothing at all. Yet that is illegal in America. Yes, the extremes are equivalent to cutting off the head of the penis in a male, but most forms are not as bad as male circumcision. Trimming back the labia may have some influence on enjoyment, but not nearly the influence of taking the frenulum (something most circumcised men don’t even know they are missing, but which is an important part of natural sex) from the penis.

    Iceland recently proposed banning infant male circumcision. I cheered. Then the hornets nest of religious assholes woke up and screamed. It will never happen. Fucking religious jerks.

    I will leave those who think circumcision is trivial with just two links. Please check them out. Then please stop justifying this barbaric practice.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgoTRMKrJo4

    http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/maimonides/

    This second link is informative. It gives the reason why the Jews originally supported circumcision, and why it had to be done early. No surprise. Circumcision reduces sexual pleasure and sex should only be for procreation. And if it isn’t done early, the father will bond with his child and object. Gaaaahhhhhh.

  60. Yes, I was circumcised. Yes, I deeply resent it. I found out when I was seven years old and it pissed me off even back then. How fuckin’ dare they.
    There’s lots about this issue on my website, including a long discussion with a rather arrogant doctor.

    Yikes. I just tried to go to my site and found that ALL my posts are gone. My server warned me they were taking action against some malware infection. I guess that was the action. Years of writing vaporized. Time to learn about The Way Back (I think it’s called. The big record of Internet sites.)

  61. Son of Glenner says:

    Darwin: Coincidentally, just two days ago, I accidentally deleted the entire contacts list from my mobile phone while trying to add a new entry. Since then, I have managed to reconstruct some of the list from my log of calls and texts, but that has only given me back 18 – the lost list had around 200 entries.

    Hey-ho – all my own stupid fault!

  62. oake says:

    Son of Glenner
    You probably know this, but just in case…
    If you have an Android phone, with google play on it, and you’ve given it your email address, you might find all your contacts backed up on your email server.
    This might help:
    https://support.google.com/contacts/answer/7199294?hl=en

    Sorry if I’m preaching to the converted!

  63. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, you said: “How do you know that playing with yourself or having a partner playing with you isn’t more pleasurable with a foreskin?”

    Well I don’t know, no-one can know whether it’s more or less pleasurable. Perhaps without a foreskin a person can withstand harder contact that also gives pleasure of a different kind. I don’t know and neither does anyone else. Perhaps not having a foreskin allows male orgasm to be delayed and makes female orgasm more likely. If that’s the case it will eventually have a positive evolutionary benefit as long as we live in an egalitarian society and not a tribal society that expands by kidnap and rape of the next tribe, as might have been the case 1,000,000 years ago. If rape was the typical means of reproduction, it would have been evolutionarily important to come quick.

    Penises are quite an emotional topic to men. But we can look at other examples of things we do that go against whatever evolution has endowed us with. For example, all mammals use scent in choosing mates. Instead, we wash. A PhD biologist, a now-deceased father of a friend, told me that excessive washing and deodorizing was a cause of divorce. He held that when people stopped courting and were married, and finally smelled each other, they sometimes found that they were biochemically incompatible. I thought he was a crackpot, until I mentioned it to my brother, also a PhD biologist. My brother said that that was not only not a crackpot idea, but rather probably true. And yet we go against evolution, and for cultural reasons, we wash the stinky sweat right off us.

    For cultural reasons people pierce all sorts of body parts: earlobes, noses, lips, and … I shudder to think what else. Sometimes these parts get infected. But it’s a cultural activity, not one in which our ancestor primates participated – probably because they couldn’t refine gold.

    So foreskin removal is another cultural activity that has negligible benefits and negligible risks (when done properly). And the pleasure aspect is unknowable.

    I think the consent aspect is one where you may have a slightly stronger point, but parents have the responsibility for such decisions, and that’s important. I’m not in favour of government dictating such decisions by making harmless cultural activities illegal. And as I’ve written above, I do think it’s harmless. I don’t want my foreskin back and would never have considered suing my parents for having had me circumcised.

  64. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Laripu, I don’t want to enter into the circumcision debate but I saw that you’ve written “Perhaps not having a foreskin allows male orgasm to be delayed and makes female orgasm more likely. If that’s the case it will eventually have a positive evolutionary benefit“.
    Modifying our bodies has no bearing on evolution; that’s Lamarckism, the idea of one’s offspring inheriting acquired characteristics, whereas evolution operates via genetic change. Were Lamarck correct, then people who had limbs amputated before breeding would have similarly de-limbed offspring.
    That’s all.

  65. Laripu says:

    Acolyte, what I mean is that people with that cultural feature may find it easier to mate, over time. I wasn’t suggesting that the circumcised foreskin would somehow be inherited, in a Lamarckian way.

    But I can see why it looked like that. 😀

    But have you seen anything about epigenetics? I think it’s kind of pseudo-Lamarckian.

  66. Joe Mello says:

    Well, I have to say that I didn’t think you guys were ever gonna be honest about yourselves, but you proved me wrong.

    You put it right out there that you’re just a bunch of dickheads.

    I stand corrected.

  67. Someone says:

    In case anyone missed this video from the last thread, Joe aka the White Rabbit’s chorus remains the same.

  68. machigai says:

    Joe Mello

  69. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Laripu, I see what you were getting at now, but it still has problems. First and foremost is convincing half the population that Roundheads make for better lovers, and that’s not going to be an easy sell. Us bald blokes have been promoting a similar idea for ever, with very limited success. 🙂
    I’m not really up on epigenetics past the basics. The idea as I understand it is that as well as the usual agent of change – an error in DNA copying causing a slight change in the efficency of the function controlled by the altered gene, with epigenetics a gene doesn’t change at the DNA level but instead, a gene that is ‘on’ in a parent might be ‘off’ in the offspring, or vice versa, and that the change in gene expression can be caused by certain environmental factors.

    Quite how much research has been done on this I have no idea, but I would be surprised if the effects attributed to epigenetics couldn’t also have more mundane causes. For example, one report I have seen claims that a foetus being carried by a woman in famine conditions could be at greater risk of developing certain mental or physical health problems owing to a change in genetic expression whilst in the womb, but it seems obvious that a foetus has less chance of developing fully if it receives too little nutrition.

    It does sound like a neo-Lamarckism, but time will tell, I suppose. Science does have a way of sorting the wheat from the chaff, so for the time being I’m rather sceptical about it but not quite ready to write it off just yet.
    Maybe the only reason it’s getting any attention is that the originators didn’t follow the fashion for prefixing the names of pseudo-scientific ideas with ‘quantum’ (hijacking a perfectly good word with a specific meaning in the process).

  70. machigai@telus.net says:

    Most versions of TheBible agree that *lying* is a sin.

  71. machigai says:

    So Joe Mello is done, neh?

  72. Son of Glenner says:

    oake: Unfortunately, I was not backed up to my email server or anything like that, but thanks anyway for your kind and well-meant suggestion. Sadly, I’ve provided the lovely Mr Mello with incontrovertible evidence of the stupidity of one member of this forum, and thus (obviously) by extension, every other regular in the old Cock & Bull pub.

  73. postdoggerel says:

    the cutting of children’s prepuces
    is but one of religion’s abuses
    its a physical pain
    the soul makes no gain
    the effect it produces reduces

  74. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Epigenetics is fascinating but it isnt Lamarckism (inheritance of acquired charcateristics) because information only flows one way. Eipgenetic effects are really a fancy way of saying that adaptations to conditions have tweaks that are visible at a finer grain of magnification then we might have otherwise imagined. The best studied are probably the adjustments to the hypothalamus via GR gene methylation prompted by maternal grooming. This is illustrated in rats but the mehcanism is quite general in mammals–in essence the mother is callibrating the offspring to high or low risk environments. For a great video of this in action I would recommened http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/rats/
    This is not new by the way. Its utterly well-documented and a standard pillar of life history theory (and has been so for decades). See Stearns, S. C. (1976). Life-history tactics: a review of the ideas. The Quarterly review of biology, 51(1), 3-47. for a review

    DArwin–have you tried https://web.archive.org/ ? That can recover websites sometimes

  75. LD50 says:

    My friends, I’ve done a bad thing. And I’m not even sure why I did it 🙁

    I’ve gone and bought (ordered) a bible. I don’t know what came over me.

    I like books. I have books on quantum field theory and general relativity. I bought the three Feynman lectures on Physics books as a student because they looked nice. I wasn’t even studying physics. I also got An Introduction to Old Norse (which is fun) because I liked sagas and mythology. It took ages to find The Kalevala (in those days, before the www). Some decades later a rather beautiful Finnish lady was impressed that I knew of Väinämöinen, so that was useful …

    I have books on lasers and lens design. Books on radio antennas and propagation. Microscopy. Astronomy. Microbiological Protocols. Assyriology. Italo Calvino’s collections of fables (in Italian), Grimm’s collections (in German). High speed digital design. Database design. Knuth’s Art of Programming. Inorganic Chemistry and Crystal Field Theory. Ansel Adams’ books on photography. Wittgenstein. Handbook of scripts & alphabets. Medical physiology. The Nature of Boats. The Decipherment of Linear B. The Last Days of Socrates. Loads of books on ancient and prehistory. And so on.

    But not a single bible.

    So I thought I’d get one. Because I like books — particularly nice ones like the George Allen & Unwin Deluxe editions of The Hobbit and TLOTR. But, possibly, I was moved by God or merely Joe’s inspirational example. Who knows?

    Anyway. I started looking for a nice bible and came across Cambridge University Press’s books.

    Arrgh! I had no idea there were so many different versions! Last time I heard any of this stuff was at school and it appears that was KJV. Ok, I knew there were kiddy versions with pictures etc, but, you know, I just wanted THE bible. For grownups.

    So I had to start reading about the different versions (and – grrrr – Cambridge don’t offer each version in each binding/size/text-style). I had to watch YouTube videos. And I just had to go and read the comments, didn’t I? 🙁

    My friends, if you didn’t know it already, these guys are insane. And stupid beyond belief. Not just the usual internet sort of stupid. But like really, really kinda like OMG stupid, like ya know? Not all of them, it has to be said, but an awful lot.

    It turns out that translating ancient texts is not a trivial problem, to put it mildly, even if you’re a disinterested party (disinterested in the sense of not having a vested interest, hidden agenda or “message” you want to get across).

    It’s really put me off, actually. But, oh well…

  76. HelenaHandbasket says:

    LD50 Everyone remotely interested in history, politics or psychology should have a copy of all the major holy books otherwise a lot of stuff happening just doesn’t make sense
    Or, the other possiblity is that Joe’s shining example of christian humility and forgiveness has impressed you–as I’m sure it has impressed all of us.
    Why, if only more Christians were like him I’m sure the footling objections of atheists would be overcome in seconds, and we would stand before the earth-bound examples of such transcendant other-wordly love in awe and gratitude–thinking to ourselves “Surely this is a wonder, that demands an explanation equally wonderful”.
    For did not the savior himself look upon the unbelievers and curse them “As dickheads you were born and dickheads ye shall remain”? Blessed be.

  77. Donn says:

    O LD50, of course this is quite a fundamental problem, as God himself is to be held responsible for all the translations and rephrasings, and when there are multiple competing versions it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that one of them isn’t really the bona fide word of God. (Not to mention various Mayan texts etc., but let’s not get distracted.) Thomas “Man for All Seasons” More got so cranked up about this that he liked to burn people at the stake over translation issues. Hope your research led to the genuine article.

  78. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    LD50, surprising, isn’t it, how many different versions there are of the unchanging word of God?

  79. Laripu says:

    HelenaHandbasket, thanks, that was a good explanation. Your phrase “tweaks that are visible at a finer grain of magnification” rings true and positively directs how I think.

  80. postdoggerel says:

    its a nice thing to have a thesaurus
    to pick what the best words are for us
    to slice or to cut
    or to chop is fine but
    please not on a dick or clitoris

  81. M27Holts says:

    Handbasket. The female sexologist in the first video, has summed up virtually all I wanted to say about the literature that I have read, about the ignorance of the religious morons that still demand a blood sacrifice from their infant son’s. Surprised Laripu hasn’t tried to justify his claim to have more women orgasmically fettled by round heads than by Cavaliers. Most women don’t usually climax via vaginal penetration anyway….

  82. LD50 says:

    HH: im not going to read thousands of pages about blue elephant gods having sex, even if Sanskrit is interesting from an Indoeuropean languages perspective.

    And the Qur’an? I started that. “Umm. I had a dream. I mean, an angel told me that these words were from God: do whatever Mohammed tells you to do. If Mohammed wants to marry your little daughter, or in fact any number of them, then let him. Mohammed is the last prophet, so if anyone else tries this, kill ’em ‘cos they’re stinking liars. Oh, and kill everyone who doesn’t believe this.” It explains a lot.

    Your quote about dickheads is actually from the Gospel of Bigus Dickus — a contemporary of Jesus. It’s authorship is undisputed in contrast to that of the canonical gospels. Oddly enough, it didn’t make the cut.

  83. Joe Mello says:

    When are you guys going to realize that because you have dismissed “spirit” from your vocabulary and considerations of “scripture” and all other considerations of God, you just keep going around in circles? Your posts above about the Bible read like a group of adolescents wrote them. All the Google searches in the world to build up your posts with complicated ideas of others can’t hide the plain fact that you guys simply don’t know anything about the subject of scripture. So when you claim scripture to be full of holes, you don’t even realize that the holes are in your heads.

    I believe I told you guys at some point that God reveals himself continuously through his “spirit”, not as he is in himself. This is so we can have our time to shine, for if God were to suddenly appear as he is in himself, we would kiss his ass and become unable to freely be ourselves. He’s invisible to us for this reason.

    The Bible was written long ago, pieced together, rewritten, interpreted, etc. But none of this negates the “spirit” of God behind it all. And when a person is tuned in to this spirit, the Bible speaks to him.

    To analytically read the Bible is to miss the point of the Bible, which is to give to us the rich human history of God working in the midst of humanity. The concept of the “unerring word of God” is small-minded and uninspired. Analyze yourselves first before you make an analysis about something else.

    But none of this matters to you guys. You have your agenda, and it isn’t to learn a damn thing beyond what you think you already know.

    So buy all the scripture you want. It won’t help you to understand a damn thing about yourself or God. And the reason for this is who you are, not what scripture is.

    We possess a body, a mind, and a spirit. You guys think we are just a body, and you think you are a bunch of geniuses for thinking it.

    One day you will discover that you are dumb as toast.

  84. LD50 says:

    I think a lot of us know more about scripture (i.e. what was written) than a lot of Christians. I admit that I know nothing of this “spirit” of which you speak.

    It’s a shame that God will only reveal himself in ways which are totally invisible and insensible in every way. I.e. by not revealing himself at all.

    So, the bible was “written long ago, pieced together, rewritten, interpreted, etc.” I think we can agree then that the new testament was written by a bunch of guys who had heard stories told and retold lots of times and wrote them down using the bits they wanted to make their points. Leaving bits out that contradicted their views and making stuff up when it suited them.

    But this is all ok because ‘the “spirit” of God behind it all. And when a person is tuned in to this spirit, the Bible speaks to him.’

    This might be so. But it seems the bible only speaks in this way to those who are already “tuned in to this spirit”.

    By the way, have you tried peddling this idea to fundamentalist Christians? Or to the RC church?

    “So buy all the scripture you want. It won’t help you to understand a damn thing about yourself or God. And the reason for this is who you are, not what scripture is.”

    I suspect this is perfectly true. So, scripture is simply old writings by people convinced that supernatural beings like angels and fairies exist. It’s not magical. Reading it won’t do anything at all, except pass the time.

    We agree!

    Now. What makes you think that you have a “spirit” or that gods exist? Obviously God didn’t make you believe or be receptive to his undetectable vibes. How did you decide to be tuned in? Those are three genuine questions.

    Because I can’t do it. I can’t just say “tomorrow I am going to be utterly convinced of the existence of unicorns, elves and djinnis.” Well, I can say it. But it won’t happen.

  85. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    As dumb as toast? That’s feckin’ blasphemy:
    https://www.amazon.com/Burnt-Impressions-The-Jesus-Toaster/dp/B0042QRYO8

  86. Joe Mello says:

    No, you don’t know the Bible at all.

    How delusional are you?

    If you read the New Testament, even once well enough, you would have realized over and over again that from the first sentence to the last it was written by people who “saw and heard”, not people who thought about things and gave an interpretation.

    John said it. Peter said it. Paul said it.

    The New Testament begins with an account of three years when Jesus did and said great things that people “saw” and “heard “. Then it gives an account of people “doing” and “saying” great things after receiving on one particular day the “SPIRIT”, which was “seen” and “heard” by a very many people from many countries. Then one person named Paul “saw” and “heard” Jesus, and became the writer of many letters to the churches that sprung up all the way to Rome. And Paul always mentioned what he “saw” and “heard”. Others letters were written by people who “saw” and “heard”. Then the New Testament ends with John writing down what Jesus tells him to write down as John is “seeing” and “hearing” him.

    No, you don’t know the New Testa

    That’s why when a person like me shows up in your life, you can’t accept that they are telling you what they have “seen” and “heard”, for “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.

    That’s in the New Testament, too.

  87. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. You sexed your spirit guide. Is he circumcised?

  88. Dr John the Wipper says:

    JM:
    If you read the New Testament,
    Again I need to ask: WHICH version?
    KJV, Statenbijbel (original Dutch protestant version, rather sloppily translated from ancient Greek translation of Aramees), old RC version (from limited understanding of Aramees), modern RC version (from better understanding of Aramees, but with prudish RC censoring).
    Even a synthesis of the common parts seems rather far-fetched.
    In comparison the Harry Potter books are a lot more realistic, but still I do not endorse immediately enlisting at Hogwards.

  89. Joe Mello says:

    John, get a NIV Bible. And when you read the New Testament, remain open to the reality that it was written through a human movement, not a collection of religious ideas.

    Jesus “did” and “said” things, and only spoke about establishing a “church” once, and seemed to bemoan the fact that he had to establish one. And he put Peter in charge of it because Peter was the one person who was listening to the “spirit” inside of him.

    Jesus seldom went into a temple, but when he did it was significant and about him. At his birth when he was got circumcised in a temple, a prophet Simeon showed up and told his parents that Jesus was the person who would change the world; when he was 12, he was discovered by his parents in a temple teaching the old scribes what the Old Testament was all about; when he read a passage from Isaiah in a temple and told everyone there that it was about him, they chased him out and tried to kill him; and at the end of his life when he spoke in the temple at Passover, the priests and scribes argued against him at every chance, and then plotted to kill him because he won every argument against their strict Biblical teachings and accused them of not knowing God at all.

    This is the true message of the New Testament — the law and the prophets has become “spirit and truth”.

    No longer do we search for God in old writings and the words of others.

    God is revealing himself at every moment through his “spirit” that is given to us all.

    This is why today’s skeptic must continually bring up the Old Testament as examples of God’s limitations, and the subjective experience as unreliable.

    Today’s skeptic must remain ignorant of the New Testament to hide that his arguments are old arguments that Jesus won a long time ago.

    A couple of days ago, a very old and very disheveled man was standing at an intersection holding a can. When the light turned green I beeped my horn and slowed down to give him a five dollar bill that just happened to be sitting there in my console. When I handed it to him I looked him in the eye and said, “Take care of yourself”. Then … as I drove away tears welled up in my eyes and one word came out of my mouth — “Humanity …”.

    This is what “Spirit and Truth” is all about. I didn’t use my intellect for a moment, for if I did I would have missed this opportunity for God to speak to me in this most powerful way.

    You will find in the New Testament Jesus saying, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in Truth.”

    When you do, try not to let your intellect miss it.

  90. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. You are very entertaining. What has altruism to a member of your own species, got anything to do with your assertion that your spirit is some kind of controller outside of your evolved brain. You mistake your particular flavour of psychosis as a benevolent spirit. Like I said. Jesus did not exist. So your argument fails at stage one. If you can prove he exists beyond the fiction of the new testament I may start to listen to your unending unprovable bullshit. I think I may have a long wait as you have provided nothing new to add to the ignorant of the 4th century CE.

  91. jb says:

    Hey Joe, do you believe everything you read in the newspapers? If you do, then you are extremely gullible. If not, then can you explain exactly why you expect us to believe everything written in a handful of anonymous 2000 year old religious pamphlets?

    Oh, and I’d still be interested in an answer to my question about your beliefs in regard to the age of the Earth and the common descent of humans and chimpanzees. You never did answer that question for some reason.

  92. Laripu says:

    Joe Mello, that stuff you write about spirit and truth is literally really about using lies to control people. Those stories about Jesus are made-up stuff to enhance the ability to control others, by giving them a mythological basis for belief.

    Here’s the thing about intellect, that which you deprecate: it’s useful. Intellect is what you use to build systems that improve life, that make poverty rare and less severe. (Compare to, say, 100 years ago, 500 years ago, or 2000 years ago.) Dollar bills to bums is what you use to make yourself feel good, feel like you’ve done something; but it is fundamentally useless.

    Bertrand Russell said (I’m paraphrasing, it’s not the exact quote) that what is needed for the good life are intelligence and good intentions. Without intelligence, good intentions are unproductive. Without good intentions, intellect can be used for purely selfish goals or even for evil. I’m presumptuous enough to want to add one more: we also need, along with intelligence and good intentions, the will to act. The “get-off-your-arse-ness”.

    The attempt to convince people to believe this crap about spirit, is the use of intelligence to make them believe in something that is definitely not the truth. It is the use of intelligence for evil. It is evil.

  93. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Shorter Joe: the Bible only makes sense if you believe in God. Sudying the Bible won’t help you believe in God if you don’t already believe in God. Trying to apply logic to the Bible goes against the spirit (sic) of the Bible.

    Also, the Bible is an imperfect document because it was written by imperfect humans, but you can trust it because John, Paul and Ringo Peter heard it and said it (or rather ‘heard’ and ‘said’ it. I believe those apostrophes denote something we humans call ‘hedging one’s bets). Ignore the O.T., that’s just Jewish nonsense. Well, don’t ignore it as much as read it as an early Christian document hijacked and altered by the Jews.

    Finally (shit! Did I say ‘shorter’?) the New International Version of 1978 is the Bible to read. It’s a Protestant interpretation (because fuck those heretic Catholics) and written by a bunch of biblical scholars, each producing English translations from the earliest ‘reliable’ (whatever that means in this context) copies of scripture in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Then.. well, from Wiki:
    Each section was subjected to multiple translations and revisions, and those assessed in detail to produce the best option.
    In other words, once they had produced their individual translations, the best, most convincing, most likely to be believed interpretations were cherry-picked then tested. How? Wiki again:
    Everyday Bible readers were used to provide feedback on ease of understanding and comprehensibility.
    Not other biblical scholars or Franciscan friars; no theological peer review, just yer average Mr. and Mrs. Churchgoer, who are less-likely to point and laugh. The 1978 ‘original’ isn’t the final word, though:
    […]plans were made to continue revision of the Bible as new discoveries were made and as changes the use of the English language occurred.
    Or, to put it another way, if they can use modern English to make scripture sound more convincing or acceptable to the modern reader, even though the modern use of words bears little or no relation to what the original-language versions meant back then, and no matter how dishonest the practice might sound, do it, because lies ain’t lies when they’re done to bring the rubes in. So the bloody thing was revised in 1984, then again in 2011, so the version to read is the latest version, not the 1978 or 1984 versions which, one has to suppose, won’t bring you to God so easily, but the up-to-date 2011 version.
    It’s like science*, kids, constantly updated!

    So, the NIV is a one-size-fits-all Bible, each part selected from a host of differing translations and interpretations to produce maximum appeal to the maximum number of people. Quite possibly the most cynical version of the Bible ever.

    *like science if science advanced through wishful thinking and selective interpretation, that is.

  94. Joe Mello says:

    Laripu, there’s no proof that controlling others is the reason people claim experiences of God. And you’re delusional to think anyone gives a shit about you at all. I don’t. I wouldn’t want to even meet you, never mind control you. Get over yourself. And I think getting two college degree means I respect my intellect. And getting a magna cum laude undergraduate degree in three years by carrying as much as 28 credit hours in a single semester means my intellect is above average. I’m telling you about how the intellect is not the spirit, not that the spirit replaces the intellect. You simply can’t think at many levels. And evil happens when we do things that go against our conscience. And giving money to a poor soul was the most insignificant part of what I was talking about. The experience of looking at him, really looking at him, and then the immediate welling up of tears through the revelation of him as a broken piece of humanity was what I was talking about. Again, your superficiality is all you have, so your words to me are empty noise.

    jb, reading the New Testament gives to us an account of God at a particular time in human history and at a particular place and in the midst of a particular group of people. What I “believe” is what I personally experience, not what I read. And when I experience exactly what took place during the time of the New Testament, then I come to “know” the truth that the New Testament gives us a witness to. You stop at reading because your experiences of God don’t exist. Then you project upon me your inexperience and ignorance of what it means to read the New Testament and find the truth of it. And the evolution of our human bodies is still a theory in progress. Yes, we share a lot of DNA with chimpanzees. But who our common ancestor is may go back a lot further than the theories show today. However, if God decided to give to human beings more of his divinity a long time ago to help us become so very different than chimpanzees in the most important ways, then he could have done so. The difference between a human being and a chimpanzee is not a little one.

    Holts, if you’re smoking weed, stop. You act and think like a moron. If you’re always here maybe you’ve got no place else to go.

  95. Joe Mello says:

    Acolyte, that goes double for you — if you’re smoking weed, stop.

    Your post above is about as idiotic as thinking can get. You keep going around and around and around to make the same point that all belief in God is an exercise in reading.

    You missed the part in the New Testament where it says, “the Word was made flesh”. The “Word” is the complete message of God to us. And the complete message is that we are his children, not readers.

  96. Laripu says:

    Joe Mello writes: “Laripu, there’s no proof that controlling others is the reason people claim experiences of God.”

    Well, not unless you count all of human recorded history. lol.
    Mello, you’re a liar and a terrible human being.

    Joe Mello writes: “Again, your superficiality is all you have, so your words to me are empty noise.”
    1. You don’t know anything about me.
    2. One doesn’t respond to empty noise. What you’re doing isn’t empty noise, which is why I respond. What you’re doing is going to a place where you’re unwelcome, and polluting it with lying trollery.

    All talk and writing relating stories about god or gods is ancient mythological nonsense. Joe Mello is a vile liar intruding where he isn’t welcome. Go away troll.

  97. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe Mello says:
    April 15, 2018 at 6:28 pm
    Acolyte, that goes double for you — if you’re smoking weed, stop.
    Your post above is about as idiotic as thinking can get.

    Of course it is, I was summarising your comments to us.

    You keep going around and around and around to make the same point that all belief in God is an exercise in reading […] You missed the part in the New Testament where it says, “the Word was made flesh”.

    Can’t you see the glaring contradiction in those two sentences? ‘Belief is not an exercise in reading, and you can read why in the N.T.’
    That, Joe, is about as circular as an argument can get.

    As for smoking weed, even God liked to burn some bush now and again. It says so in the Bible.

  98. Laripu says:

    The link below describes exactly how much space ought to be devoted to religion, and indicates the technology to do it, from back in 2007. I’d bet we can do better (i.e. smaller) today.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22380819/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/scientists-inscribe-entire-bible-head-pin/

    That’s my smile of the day. 😀

  99. Anonymous says:

    –No, you don’t know the Bible at all.
    Not true. And I haven’t even got it yet.

    –How delusional are you?
    Less than you, I think, but how can one know?

    –If you read the New Testament, even once well enough, you would have realized over and over again that from the first sentence to the last it was written by people who “saw and heard”, not people who thought about things and gave an interpretation.

    “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you”

    Luke is fairly clear that the stories were written down by people who had had them handed down from eyewitness/disciples.

    John said it. Peter said it. Paul said it.

    None of the gospels themselves says who wrote them (you know, like “I, James, son of Zebedee, do bear witness to the following events…”)

    The only gospel which even has one of The Twelve’s name attached to it (later) is Matthew.

    Paul doesn’t even pretend to have witnessed any event or heard a single word spoken by the living Jesus. He’s even explicit that he got no teachings from any of Jesus’s disciples (i.e. actual witnesses).

    But you say ‘it was written by people who “saw and heard”‘.

    Are we even speaking the same language? None of the people who wrote the gospels actually saw or heard Jesus. Not even “Matthew”. The bible itself doesn’t even claim that they did.

    –The New Testament begins with an account of three years when Jesus did and said great things that people “saw” and “heard “.

    You’re just falling to pieces now. When’s the last time you read any of this???

    Matthew begins with a genealogy and a bizarre story of Jesus’s birth.
    Marc mentions John the Baptist but does then pretty quickly get into Jesus’s ministry.
    Luke begins with John the Baptist, a different birth story, a different genealogy etc.
    John starts with “in the beginning was Jesus, who was with God. In fact, he was God. Right from the very beginning. Not afterwards. Honest!!!”

    So “The New Testament” does not actually start with an account of Jesus’s ministry. But never mind. It’s not important. I was just pointing out that I know how the New Testament begins.

    You quote “seeing” and “hearing” a lot. Obviously people saw and heard (“blessed are the cheese makers”) things. But they are not the ones who wrote it down. In Greek. I don’t think they even talked directly to actual eye witnesses. If you had Simon (Peter) to talk to while you were writing your story, why would you copy verbatim from Mark or Q?

  100. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Laripu, if they inscribed the entire Bible on a pin-head, can angels still dance on it?

  101. jb says:

    What I “believe” is what I personally experience, not what I read. And when I experience exactly what took place during the time of the New Testament, then I come to “know” the truth that the New Testament gives us a witness to.

    Joe — It seems to me that you are acknowledging here that, other than your own personal internal experience, you can offer me no evidence for the truth of the New Testament. I can actually live with that!

    Your experience is yours, and I understand why it might be good enough for you. But can you understand why there is no reason for it to mean anything to me? The world is full of people who will attest to all sorts of crazy experiences. There are all sorts of reasons for this. Some of these people are literally crazy: according to Wikipedia “About 0.3–0.7% of people are affected by schizophrenia during their lifetimes.” (And we are talking clinical schizophrenia here — there are many more who are afflicted subclinically). And even people who are not mentally ill can have bizarre ideas and enthusiasms.

    I’m not saying you are nuts. Maybe you really did experience what you say you did. But can we agree that I would have to be nuts to give any weight to the reported experience of a random commenter on an internet forum? If we can agree on that much then we may have come to some sort of an accord, and that would be an achievement.

  102. machigai says:

    Joe Mello
    How many people are there in your church or prayer-meeting or bible-study group?
    Or are you completely alone in your system of beliefs?

  103. Undeluded says:

    Greetings all.

    I’ve been lurking for several years – mainly because the conversation in the C&B has been mostly “more of the same old…”; I didn’t feel I could contribute anything new.

    And then Mr. Joe Mello appeared on the scene a few weeks ago and I felt the atmosphere changing a bit.

    So here I am, mainly to respond to Joe, but also to greet you all and wish you well.

    My apologies in advance for the length of this post.

    Joe, I do not use the same words and phrases you do. In fact, it seems as if we even use totally different dictionaries of the English language. Having said that, I would like to find common ground with your statements, esoteric as they may seem to some. True, we may have to overcome a couple of definition issues before further progress may be made, but I shall begin with assumptions at the very basic level, and you’ll enlighten me first (and perhaps we’ll posit a definition or two) and then I’ll enlighten you, and we’ll do this back and forth thing (at your convenience) until we agree to stop – either by agreeing with each other or by disagreeing (or, could be, one of us drops out).

    Furthermore, I also believe we can omit ad hominem and other derogatory terms from our conversation. Okay?

    So – here goes.

    Assumption – evolution (Darwin type) exists. All existing life forms evolved from previous (presumably less developed) life forms all the way back to the first replicating molecule. At a certain point, a particular species – homo sapiens – developed speech skills, enabling the communications of notions in addition to signals of “danger/safe” or “yes/no” or “come/go.” These notions, such as “right/wrong,” “pretty/ugly,” “love/hate,” together with evolved brain capacity, allowed the development of “teaching/learning” and, subsequently, “culture.” And now, culture, too, began evolving (along with the accumulation of “knowledge”) – but far more rapidly than biological evolution. And this very same species also developed/evolved the “mind” – that elusive concept that everyone knows s/he has but no one can really explain – and with it: “morals,” “ethics” and “values,” concepts that are understood differently by different minds (and mindsets). At the very least, the mind is that part of us that gives us consciousness and identity.

    Perhaps the most influential of all effects this “mind” had (and still has) is IMAGINATION. It allows everything (consider that word: everything) to occur! As ideas. And when you communicate these ideas, some may become very powerful, resulting in grouping and leadership. Among many other beneficial developments, stories (including those sprouting from the imagination) had a larger audience.

    Imagination included curiosity. Questions arose. And the issue of “truth” and “reality” became very significant in answering questions.

    Assumption – throughout the development of our species, “reality” was a given – something everyone agreed on (this took on different forms only way after writing was invented). Possibly, you have a different interpretation of the term than I, but I’m pretty sure that had we lived 10,000 years ago, we’d both see reality the same way.

    However, the meaning of “truth” was/became very flexible! Here again, we might differ in our definitions. You use the term quite frequently, and I’m not sure that the reader understands it the way the writer intended. Obviously, a “lie” is when a statement is in contradiction to the “truth.” That’s “logic” – and yet again we might differ here, too, as you also use this term a lot in your posts. But lies were/are definitely man-made, right? Our fabulous imagination sometimes made up things as answers to questions. Why? Well, sometimes to cover lack of knowledge and sometimes for deliberate purposes of deception.

    Skip to the present.

    Assumption – that inner feeling I have, which I cannot express in words (but I’ll try): the surge of happiness when my baby daughter smiles at me, that overwhelming sense of completeness when I hear a Bach choral piece sung, that breath-taking awe of insignificance when contemplating the cosmos, the sheer delight in a mathematical proof or a brilliant chess coup – I call all those (and more), my SPIRITUALITY. And I am there a lot. What’s more, I love to share it, though sharing is never absolutely complete, just my best effort to have the satisfaction of seeing the pleasure I have transferred to my audience, be it a single partner (including my dog) or a stadium-full of paying listeners. It is apart, but strongly connected to, my rationality – and I use them both constantly.

    Now – I wonder if anything I described resembles in any way what YOU mean by “spirit.”

    Assumption – what is belief? I think it’s that part of our mind that takes part in our decision-making process when we don’t really KNOW.

    Assumption – what is knowledge? I think it is the accumulation of things (fact or fiction; we’ll probably need definitions for these, too. Whew!) stored in my memory, available at will through a system of associations handled by my brain. Admittedly, some of my “known” facts may be fiction and vice versa.

    Science helps me by giving me a method of thinking. I don’t “believe” in science, but I certainly hail the scientific method as the most reliable means humankind has ever come up with for making sense of what’s around us. Answers that are given to questions by this method appeal to me because they are, by and large, reproducible, and I find that convincing.

    Perhaps nobody thinks of himself as a fool. I certainly don’t and I assume you don’t either. So how do I, a non-fool, approach those questions unanswered by science? Like “Is there an afterlife?” and “What made that molecule replicate for the first time?” My first response is “I don’t know!” (though I may have a hypothetical answer in mind). My second, if I care at all, is “What do you think?”

    You may have noticed I have not mentioned god. God might enter later in the discussion, but just for now, do you think you could come down to my level of understanding, and allow me to see if our thinking converges anywhere? Without god, without internet searches, skeptics, groupthink, experience, academics and all the rest? And mainly without prejudgment? Just plain basic concepts to build upon. That would be the starting point for the continuation of this discussion (and I expect to be long and arduous – but also possibly rewarding for all sides).

  104. Joe Mello says:

    Acolyte, I didn’t contradict myself. I told you that the New Testament is a revelation from God at a particular time at a particular place and to a particular group of people. And I told you that simply reading about it means nothing because you have to be in tune to the spirit to see the truth of it. You see a contradiction because you are stuck in reading and regurgitating and can’t get out.

    jb, I told you about one internal experience and you jumped to the conclusion that I only have internal experiences of God. In a book called “My Other Self”, there is a chapter in it titled “A Foretaste of Heaven”. Forty years ago, this book was in the glove compartment of a car that I sat in the passenger seat to and from work on a 70-mile drive when I was painting a Naval base in Groton, CT. A few minutes before the end of a work day, I was painting a water tower when I realized that I had unknowingly stopped painting. I realized that something had happened to me that I had no memory of, and I was extremely depressed like a dark cloud hovered over me. The bell rang at that moment for me to stop work. A half hour later I was in the car heading home, still extremely depressed, and I am never depressed, never. I opened the glove compartment to continue reading this book. The moment I touched the book my depression turned to immense joy and the memory of what happened to me on the water tower came back to me. I opened to the bookmark and read the title of the next chapter I was going to read, “A Foretaste of Heaven”. In this chapter the writer, Clarence Enzler, tells about how God gives to certain people a foretaste of heaven, revealing to that person his existence, his power, and the meaning to our lives. I had no idea such a thing was possible, but everything in that chapter happened to me 30 minutes before I read about it. … I cry nearly every day in the same way I did seeing the poor soul at the light, because forty years ago I received a “Baptism of Tears” some mystics speak about. During this baptism I cried nonstop for 90 minutes, trying the whole time to stop, not feeling sad at all, and having it instantly start and instantly stop, both without me doing a thing. This baptism washed me of my selfish life that I had lived up to that day, where I had many girlfriends, enjoyed partying constantly, and had a girlfriend abort a baby. … Forty years ago I fought a demon on three consecutive nights as he stood at the foot of my bed. This large black figure was so fearsome that all I could do was shut my eyes as tight as I could and call on God for help. I remember feeling so much fear, and something like a freezing wind, that I wondered how I wasn’t killed from it. This too passed instantly and turned into an intense joy, and me dancing around the room happily knowing that I passed the test, which each night grew easier for me to pass. … And I have dozens of experiences such as these that took place long ago and changed me into a person who knows God rather than believes in God, and who loves God rather than thinks about God. …
    Nothing like these experiences have happened since this time in my life, for these experiences were meant for me to become who I am today — a hard-working grandfather who just happens to know and love God with such a certainly and power that everyone I meet, from a perfect stranger to my grandchildren, experiences God in some way also, and are better for it. Look around you. See the weakness, the confusion, the evil, etc. God doesn’t want it to be so. But it is so because we refuse to allow him to be the love of our lives and then love all others, including ourselves, through him.

    Nothing I have written above is a lie or a delusion. It all happened just as I said it did.

    God is a living God. And when we do not mock him or ignore him, but respect him and seek him out, we will find him.

    The living God will meet us as soon as we turn to him, and he will say to all the powers that be:

    “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

    It happened to me. And I’m just a Portuguese house painter.

  105. jb says:

    Joe —

    As far as I can tell — and I’m trying to be fair here — your entire argument for the New Testament boils down to “trust me.” But can you give me a good reason why I should trust you to that degree, rather than just seeing you as yet another borderline schizophrenic who imagines that he directly experiences God? (Such people, after all, are hardly rare).

    Do you even understand why I need something better than “trust me, my personal experiences are all real” from a random internet commenter to make me change the beliefs I have held for most of my life? If you honestly can’t understand even that much, then there really isn’t much point in trying to talk to you.

  106. DC Toronto says:

    wow …. knowing a living god yet still acting like the worst type of troll …. who knew that’s what god admires in us puny humans.
    .
    oh, wait, this discussion began with Joe asking how we know that the voices Abraham heard weren’t really god … So I guess we all knew what to expect from Little Troll

  107. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe, do you really not see how ‘reading the Bible won’t lead you to the truth’ is in direct contradiction with then quoting part of the Bible to back up that statement?
    However, in light of your last comment, I can now better understand what you were trying to say – even though I disagree with you – which seems to be that although the Bible contains the truth about God, the stories are so far removed from reality as to be unbelievable, and so one cannot possibly know it’s true until personally experiencing God directly.

    Your experience of 40 years ago obviously affected you profoundly, but given what we know about the brain nowadays, and bearing in mind that we have no idea what discoveries will be made in the future, a more rational physiological or psychological cause is infinitely more likely than the conclusion you arrived at.
    Let’s be honest, Joe, that book you were reading on the commute had you primed to interpret an unusual experience in a religious way; that simply touching the book was enough to turn your depression into euphoria tells me that much; that the chapter you read described exactly what had happened to you suggests very strongly that the book was forming your memories as you read rather than confirming them – the mind does play tricks like that, just as some people who experience a similar spell of missing time will later read an alien abduction story and suddenly ‘remember’ their own.

    If your experience has led to your personal happiness and led you to increase the happiness and well-being of others, well, nobody could have a problem with that, and I can understand you wanting to tell your story, but you really need to work on your presentation skills, because all you’ve done so far is antagonise and insult a lot of decent, intelligent people.

    One last point, Joe. You state that your experience was not a delusion, but the problem with delusions is that the person experiencing them is not aware that they are experiencing anything other than reality, and there is very little – sometimes nothing at all – that will convince them otherwise. For proof of that, just watch any of the current crop of tv ‘talent’ shows.

  108. machigai says:

    on another topic
    Acolyte of Sagan
    I think we are approaching an anniversary of when God shoved you off a mountain.
    (I have been cruising the archives an stumbled across … stuff.)

  109. M27Holts says:

    Wormtongue. I reiterate my position. THE NEW TESTAMENT IS HISTORICAL FICTION. Now. Provide me with the papers and archaeology that can provide enough evidence to suggest that Jesus was as real a human being as Julius Caesar. Oh, never smoked in my life and apart from experimentation with magic mushrooms (half a dozen occaisions) in the early eighties I haven’t taken any recreational drugs either. I am glad you think I am a moron because I would hate to think like you. Delusion doesn’t even begin to describe your mental illness. I think you need to see a psychiatrist to discuss those voices in your head. Before they tell you to kill somebody who tells you that Jesus was a gay hippy or something similar.

  110. M27Holts says:

    I think somebody mentioned a flat-earther in this thread. Wormtongue is of that ilk. His invisible friend is real and we are all curdled dogs-vomit…

  111. Someone says:

    Joe’s tale reminds me of a documentary called The Nightmare, which examines and reenacts people’s subconscious fears and terrible dreams.
    One woman utterly convinced herself that Jesus was real and that the power of prayer saved her from her reveries, which took the form of demons.
    Some such as Joe would consider that concrete proof of the existence of a god. Others in the same documentary, who experienced similarly intense dreams, took either an akin stance or elected to discuss their experiences as an opportunity to analyze their psyches and circumstances in their lives, finding a multitude of factors that needed to be addressed.
    Whether the aforementioned woman had other factors or anxieties that she in essence wrapped in the blanket of religion is anyone’s guess (if I remember correctly, that’s as far as she went), and the same could be said of those who paint faith as an overall solution, though it does make a truism of the phrase “whatever helps you sleep at night”.

  112. Laripu says:

    DC Toronto, you wrote “wow …. knowing a living god yet still acting like the worst type of troll …. who knew that’s what god admires in us puny humans”

    Dead on. 😀
    I wish I had written that.

    But “puny humans”? That’s not a traditional Jehovah quote is it? Sounds more like the Hulk. 🙂

  113. Laripu says:

    Acolyte of Sagan, you wrote “Laripu, if they inscribed the entire Bible on a pin-head, can angels still dance on it?”

    Only the joemello knows
    Whether angels can dance
    On the tips of their toes
    Between letters inscribed
    By a laser’s bright beam.
    But will it be false
    To suggest that they waltz?
    Or undignified
    To imagine they twerk?
    However they dance
    Will it only be seen
    In mendacious dreams
    Of the joemello jerk?

    Acolyte, I’m thinking yes, they can, but they just don’t want to. 😉

    Oh, and thanks for the straight line. 😀

  114. Joe Mello says:

    jb, you probably started writing on the Internet to tell everybody how you became a genius one day by intellectually making a decision that God doesn’t exist because science hasn’t produced him on a petri dish. And along the way from that silly beginning, you found like-minded “geniuses” who you can bounce nonsense back and forth with. Fast forward to today, and now you are projecting upon me your cult’s intentions and personalities. My posts tell you the opposite of you being able to read words formed into sentences and paragraphs in order to find God in your life. But what my posts actually say is meaningless to you because you are swirling around in a bubble that keeps you from breathing in fresh air. Your five cent demand for “something better” is dead on arrival. Something better is getting off your computer and standing before God as a individual person in search of him. Something better is logically saying to yourself that the existence of God, if true, is the most important reality that we can possibly hope for, so God demands far more respect than gathering with potheads and misfits to ridicule him, and far more attention to detail than you have given him so far. Anyway … don’t trust me, trust yourself. But only trust yourself after you have earned that trust. Go to a mirror to see if that is the person who deserves your trust.

    DC, your idea of a good cookie-cutout Christian, who you ridicule the most by the way, comes from your idea of God as a religion and nothing more. In the Bible you ridicule, Moses was a killer; David was an adulterer and a murderer; Solomon, the wisest person who ever lived, was a notorious womanizer; the Wisdom books call the atheist a “fool”, and other such names to the assholes of the world; Jesus got pissed off and called the Pharisees many names. God does not want us to become robots that follow some code of conduct, but to become ourselves and follow his spirit wherever it leads. And when I read the writings and thoughts of a person like you, the spirit leads me to the conclusion that you’re a moron.

    Acolyte, your trust in psychology is based upon you taking the studies done on some persons and copying and pasting these studies upon all persons who you do not identify with as you live your superficial existence. This is called “projection”. I was a youth counselor for twelve years, engaging in group and individual therapy. And I was highly successful at it, getting calls years later from grown men who thanked me for changing their lives when they were troubled teenagers. Psychology was always a backdrop to the therapy I gave, not in the forefront. Schizophrenia cannot be cured. If I was schizophrenic back forty years ago, I would be schizophrenic today. I hate to take even an aspirin, for medication to me is often just a person being a sissy and not wanting the slightest pain. The certain and unusual experiences I had of God were from God, not from chemicals in my brain. This is the logical conclusion because of the nature of these experiences and the many examples throughout human history of other person’s having similar experiences. Today, this very day, there are tens of thousands of persons having experiences of God in the ways I spoke about above. There are monasteries full of persons who know and love God as sure as we know and love our wives and families. For you to psychoanalyze all of this reality happening in favor of delusions is nothing more than you using a branch of science to aid your wishful thinking and bigotries.

  115. FreeFox says:

    This place really has gone to the dogs. Sheesh. Barely dare to peek, so much cringe all around. Guess it’s time to find another watering hole… :/

  116. M27Holts says:

    Moe Jello will insist that If the entire old testament can be etched onto silicon the size of a pinhead by lasers. That was predicted by Jesus when he declared “Blessed are the Cheese Makers” as his spirit guide translates to “In 2018 the old testament will be engraved on a pin-head by Scientists of the holy land”. Or so he will claim.

  117. Joe Mello says:

    Hello, Undeluded.

    First, I have to warn you — I’m incredibly observant, so it will be nearly impossible for you to slip your bigotries past me in the guise of rational dialogue. For example, when you list the names I called the atheist cult members here, you neglected to list the constant barrage of names they have been calling me. And my further observation is that your negligence is a product of you identifying with this cult, and also further identifying with the undeserved flattery within this cult.

    Now …

    Your thinking is first and foremost “bottom-up thinking”. You “believe” and do not “know” that our human capabilities of thought and memory and love and etc. are evolved from the physical elements that turned into the first ancient bacteria and then into the human being. In fact, all you have to support this belief is a superficial glance of reality. Science has certainly not provided us working theories that detail the evolution of the physical elements becoming the first ancient life form, or the evolution of this first life form becoming the human being.

    I’ll let Darwin ask you a question: “Can we believe that natural selection could produce, on the one hand, organs of trifling importance, such as the tail of a giraffe, which serves as a fly-flapper, and, on the other hand, organs of such wonderful structure, as the eye, of which we hardly as yet fully understand the inimitable perfection?”

    Notice that he says “believe”.

    No, you do not “know” through science that the things I am telling you about God are not true.

    I know you are not aware of this, but persons possessing a scholastic education see today’s skeptics, who make false claims about what science has done and will do, as the most superstitious group of people on the planet. For example, the very idea of a scientist going into a laboratory and producing “a single thought” by inducing chemicals into biological tissue is preposterous. Why? Because there is present in reality a greater thing than the physical and biological that gives to these realities the powers that they have.

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

    This metaphysical principle is always true — it didn’t evolve. Just as the metaphysical principle, “no two contradictory statements in the same sentence can both be true”, is always true.

    Science is a wonderful thing, but to attribute to it what it doesn’t possess is a stupid thing. Where did the principles that the scientific method uses come from? The things science observes? Chemicals moving in our brains? No and no. These principles had to come from a divine intellect that did not evolve, and that all of reality other than this divine intellect evolved through the power and will of this divine intellect.

    In a word, we think because God thinks, we love because God loves, we remember because God remembers, and on and on.

    You simply “believe” that theories of evolution have proven factually that we do these things by physical forces acting upon biological materials. And, through personal experience and a scholastic education, I “know” that your belief of this is far more illogical and untrue than you could ever imagine it to be.

  118. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well, fuck it! I tried to engage in rational conversation.
    Somewhere, a village is short of its idiot. Go home, Joe, they’re missing you.

  119. Joe Mello says:

    You may want to hide your close-mindedness a tad more, Acolyte.

    And if I was so irrational, it should have been easy for you to point to these irrationalities.

    Here’s a rational question: What makes you someone that the world needs to hear from?

    I must have missed when you explained that about yourself.

  120. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Joe, I couldn’t give the shortest shit about the world hearing me, you hypocritical old fool. You’re the one who burst in where you’re not wanted, superiority complex on full view and spouting your delusional bollocks. You’d actually be quite funny if you weren’t such a tragic waste of space. In fact, if I were you I’d be going around apologising to every single piece of plant-life I came across for wasting the oxygen they so kindly supplied.
    And if I was so irrational, it should have been easy for you to point to these irrationalities.
    Fuck me! That is exactly what I and everybody else who has responded to you has been fucking doing. That what we all recognise as irrational behaviour you seem to think perfectly normal is alarming. Stop annoying us Joe, and seek psychiatric help. Seriously.

    Machigai, that’s one anniversary I don’t care to celebrate. But…mountain? I’ve told you a billion times not to exaggerate. 🙂

  121. Joe Mello says:

    Acolyte, [plant life] (only hyphenate it if you use it as an adjective) can’t hear. You’re being irrational to suggest that I speak to it.

    And this forum is open to everyone. If this site is a sanctuary on the Internet for atheistic/materialism it must state at the outset that all theists will be immediately booted off the site. But no site would be that stupid. Only Internet trolls who write emotional-looking (hyphen for adjective) language because they can’t write emotion-inducing language would be that stupid.

  122. M27Holts says:

    If we don’t buy into his outside of science bollocks we’re all part of an atheist cult or some such delusional bollocks. I GIVE UP!

  123. DC Toronto says:

    Joe seems to rely constantly on ideas developed before modern technology had a chance to improve our thinking. Our little troll is sadly stuck in the past. I guess the future is too difficult for him without his big brother god to hold his hand.
    .
    Troll away little troll. You only show how sad your “education” is and how little you’ve learned.

  124. DC Toronto says:

    And to set you straight Joey – you don’t know what I think of a “cookie cut out Christian”, or most any other Christian. you only know what I think of foolish trolls who can’t keep their thoughts straight but insist on insulting others.
    .
    Troll on little troll man.

  125. Noreligion2 says:

    “These principles had to come from a divine intellect”

    No. Wishing something to be, does not make it so.

    A likely explanation for JoeMello’s tireless and insufferable rants is that he suffers from a frontal lobe disorder. I appeal to the rest of the commenters on this site to forgive him, for he knows not what he does.

    http://www.christianitydisproved.com/brain.html

  126. Donn says:

    M27Holts, thank you for giving up. I hope others will follow your example. The dialogue hasn’t been very worthwhile, and that’s to be expected when we pick up a religion exponent who’s a full spectrum troll like this.

  127. two cents' worth says:

    I smiled when I read Acolyte of Sagan’s post with this quote from the Wiki about the New International Version of 1978: […]plans were made to continue revision of the Bible as new discoveries were made and as changes the use of the English language occurred.

    I smiled because AoS’s post reminded me of an article that others here might enjoy:
    https://www.deseretnews.com/article/700115179/Catholics-shake-booty-out-of-Bible.html

  128. Noreligion2 says:

    Two cents’ worth,
    “Some people will be gravely distressed and others will be absolutely ecstatic and some will just say: ‘I liked it the old way,'”
    They neglected to mention that some of us will be laughing our booties off.

  129. Joe Mello says:

    Good job, two cents, you got to put in your short post three of your cult’s favorite go to things — flattery, the Bible, and Google.

    Holts, so there is nothing outside of science? That’s some serious superstitious nonsense. Prove it.

    DC, so modern technology has improved human ideas? That’s like saying robotics has improved what a ballet dancer looks like. You really can’t think all that well.

    Noreligion, if you’re gonna start to make a claim against a divine intellect behind metaphysical principles that are always true and did not evolve with our brains, you really shouldn’t finish with an ad hominem. Your fellow skeptics would call that a fallacy of reasoning. Oh, wait … not if it supports their agenda. Okay. You’re good.

    Donn, I’m not religious. And I have actually posted against a person joining a group to find God. My posts are about “spirit and truth” becoming our focus in our individual lives, and God doing the work for us when we allow him to. And my posts are about getting a proper education. And … this forum averaged about 30 comments per cartoon before I showed up. Take a look at the number of comments per cartoon since my arrival. Your judgment of a “worthwhile” dialogue here at the end of all things intelligent is as phony as you talking behind my back to your fellow cult members. Come out of the shadows and tell me all about how brilliant you are because you woke up one day and decided that the living God is nothing more than a psychological glitch. No. You won’t because you can’t. That’s why you kissed Holts’ ass for giving up (he won’t, by the way) and pleaded with others like a little bitch for them to join you in the shadows.

  130. M27Holts says:

    I have learnt a lot whilst reading a lot of posts on this site. I think that we have a full spectrum of anti religious fervour shown by its inhabitants. A lot of people accept cultural religion, even on this site. He’ll I’m even going to my first grand sons christening as my son’s partner is from an Irish Catholic family. I try not to talk about religion and just talk about Manchester United instead. I have that in common with her family!

  131. machigai says:

    “…and pleaded with others like a little bitch …”
    I think this is sexist, too.

  132. Joe Mello says:

    It’s only sexist to dogs.

  133. DC Toronto says:

    “That’s like saying robotics has improved what a ballet dancer looks like” – Troll Mello
    .
    wrong again god boy.
    .
    Advances in technology have lead to the sequencing of genomes which has lead to advances in our understanding of evolutionary biology.
    .
    once again, showing how useless your 2 degrees and 5 years in a monastery are when you’re thinking is stuck in the middle ages.

  134. Author says:

    Joe Mello has been banned. For his own sake as much as anyone else’s.

  135. machigai says:

    Thanks be to Author.
    I bet he’ll be back.

  136. Laripu says:

    Author, if you listen very carefully, you might hear me breathing a sigh of relief.

    Thank you.

  137. Someone says:

    Thank you, Author.
    Hopefully we can all now return to conversations with dignity and class.
    The prior circumcision debates made for interesting reading/comments.

  138. LD50 says:

    The circumcision stuff has cleared up something I wondered about. Pornography. Most of it comes from America and an awful lot of the male performers are circumcised. There was me thinking: they can’t all be Jews, can they??? Oh, and sometimes their bits look very weird. Mutilated.

  139. Laripu says:

    LD50, Jews often find out who the Jews are in any particular field. Even atheist Jews, because it’s kind of a tribal thing. It’s for pride (scientists), shame (criminals), and prurient interest (movie stars). Some want to know about movie stars. I like knowing about Nobel Prize winners. To each his own.

    AFAIK, there’s only one Jewish porn star. … but that’s not a field with which I’m overly familiar, so there could be more. My last experience with it was in the 80s: Tracy Lord. 😀 I don’t recall any bits looking weird, but then I was probably more focused on her bits. Hmmm, they rhyme too. 😉

    In the US and Canada, many non-Jewish men are circumcised. I don’t know the proportion for sure, but the web site below says it’s about 80%, but declining. Probably the decline is due to the number of Hispanic/Latino immigrants.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/circumcision-rates-declining-health-risks-rising-study-says/

    The article does mention health benefits far in excess of what I previously thought; I had thought the benefits were negligible. If those are true, then that tips the balance for me. The article shows significantly lower rates of sexually transmitted disease. Lucky for me: I was an active young man, between 32 and 44 years ago. 😀 Now, as Leonard Cohen wrote, ‘that wretched beast is tame’.

    Jews are only about 2.5% of the US population, and 14% if US doctors, so I doubt it’s their influence.

  140. Efogoto says:

    Thanks Author!

  141. DC Toronto says:

    Thanks Laripu. you are correct, it’s not a direct quote. It was intended to communicate what I thought my friend Mr Mello would have said about the relationship between god and humans (other than Mr Mello himself of course – he would be happy to tell you how close to a god he was)
    .
    It’s unfortunate that JM won’t be around, but I understand the reasoning. He did seem to be getting worked up. Interesting that his initials are J and M. Coincidence? Or is there a deeper meaning 🙂
    .
    Laripu, just noticed that you;re a fan of Leonard. Such a great writer. I saw him live 3 times but missed the tribute in Montreal. My father, sister and daughter all made it though

  142. Laripu says:

    DC Toronto, yes, I’m a fan of Leonard Cohen, despite his many references to religion. On the other hand, there’s some evidence on his last record that he may have been tending toward atheism. I mean the song “It Seemed the Better Way”. Beside the song itself, there’s an extra verse in one of his books that ends “you’d have to be a fool to choose the meek today”.

  143. M27Holts says:

    Should be a study. I reckon more people have committed suicide whilst listening to Leonard Cohen than any other artist. Pornography? Funnily enough I don’t usually notice the cocks! I will have to ask my wife. Haha.

  144. raymondm says:

    @M27Holts says:

    “My point is that the foreskin is designed to keep the glans penis covered. … His penis should go as evolution designed it …”

    Ah. An expression of belief in intelligent design.

    Everybody has a god.

  145. M27Holts says:

    Raymondm. Slip of the keyboard. The designer is the “blind watchmaker” or “evolution” The foreskin has a function. The video link from handbasket explains in far more detail. Are you Moe Jello in disguise?

  146. botanist says:

    Thanks dear Author.
    I dropped in to my favourite pub to catch up before my weekly fix tomorrow and found a very bad atmosphere.
    Author ejects the drunk and immediately sense prevails.
    I love spending time with you all.

  147. Son of Glenner says:

    I’m going to miss old Joe (not a lot, but a little). From time to time, among all the drivel, he did sometimes say something worth reading. I suspect that he might be a reasonably OK person in private life, so long as the conversation does not touch on religion, god or spirits. He’s probably a perfectly competent house painter and employer; I’m not sure about his hockey-playing grandson, there may be a bit of wishful thinking about that.

    I know people very like Joe – they genuinely think they are doing you a big favour by preaching to you and are quite baffled when you don’t buy into their weird ideas. One such was very excited about the “four blood moons” a few years ago, and just “knew” that that meant something really really big was going to happen, concerning the Jewish people. And of course nothing like what he expected has happened. (In fact there was an event, something about the citizenship of Portuguese Jews, but when I asked him if that was it, he said no, no, no, it would be something far far bigger.)

    Anyway, “RIP” Joe Mello.

  148. Dr John the Wipper says:

    SoG:
    I know people very like Joe

    Join the club.

    I was a “software nomad”, employed by a softwarecompany, and often rented out to various clients.

    At one site, another hired hand was an (extremely) orthodox protestant, one of the staff was JW.
    Luckily, from the beginning the chef firmly, in writing, forbade all preaching at the explicite penalty of immediate termination of the contract / job. Only personal routines were allowed as long as not disturbing work. The orthodox started and ended each workday with a minute of prayer, the JW refused to congratulate anyone on birthdays (he knew how, because passing an exam was a personal achievement, which he DID congratulate on). The Dutch have a tradition to treat the collegues on their birthday, and he felt he had to reprociate, which he did, usually as the time between two birthdays happened to be somewhat longer.
    Both of them only insisted that we refrain from using god-related terms when swearing.We usually tried to indulge that. (interestingly, they both used sexually oriented exclamations).

    Years later, on another assignment, the orthodox guy was again my temporary collegue, now combined with a Turkish moslem.
    Our chef then was what can be called a vocal atheist. Whenever a religous issue was raised, working hours would get lost to fierce discussions. All in all, the atmosphere in that first location tended to be a lot more pleasurable!

  149. Sparky_Shark says:

    Goddamit. I turn my back for four days and you lot all get all cray-cray on the God Botherer. What are you lot like? 🙂

    Wonderful reading this entire forum from top down – we start with circumcision and end up with a banning! Lawdy.

    Can I check – just to be sure…are we using @username or not using @? I’m worried I’ll get it wrong and get Laripu, AOS, M27 and the Author kicking six bells of shit out of me…

  150. DC Toronto says:

    Laripu – I always thought he was a little too carnal to be seriously religious. And while I don’t believe the god aspect of religions, religion often has something to say about human behaviour – from the susceptibility to believe in the supernatural to the ability to control others to interpersonal or social interactions. I thought that was where he came from in many of this songs. Besides, it’s poetry so you can feel free to choose your own meaning to the words based on how you feel.
    .
    Holts – I thought he wrote more about love than anything else. Often a lost love, but one that was felt greatly. I find that hopeful more than depressing.

  151. M27Holts says:

    Not heard much. But Cohen has a reputation for producing suicide music or am I mistaken.

  152. Undeluded says:

    What? Joe Mello banned?

    And here I was confidently on the brink of the great conversion dialog! Well, that’s the price of joining in too late. Oh, the futility of it all…

    On the other hand, glaring sanity has been restored to the C&B.

    Celebrate, one and all – have one on me!

  153. M27Holts says:

    DC Toronto. Religion flys you into buildings and chops bits off your knob. Scripture has no place in a mechanized ethos!

  154. DC Toronto says:

    Holts – thanks for parroting others thoughts about Cohen. I’ll stop there or I’ll sound like Joe Mello
    .
    And thanks for stating the obvious about religion. Feel free to dig a bit deeper.

  155. M27Holts says:

    Deeper? Nah. Don’t do deeper ever, specially where organised religion is concerned. I have the t-shirt and I modified it slightly. The throwaway comment on Cohen is because I don’t do songs about boy being meets girl being beneath a silvery moon which then explodes for some unknown reason.

  156. Noreligion2 says:

    Not wanting to diminish in any way how elegant and on point Author’s comic is this time around, I still have to admit that I can’t keep myself from imagining Krishna sidling up to the bar, appraising the barmaid’s physique, and then lasciviously remarking on how he, in contrast to those other chumps, REALLY nows how to mistreat a woman.

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