Well, it’s a step in the right direction.

Discussion (81)¬

  1. henry Ford says:

    The pleasure of hating, like a poisonous mineral, eats into the heart of religion, and turns it to rankling spleen and bigotry; it makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands: it leaves to virtue nothing but the spirit of censoriousness, and a narrow, jealous, inquisitorial watchfulness over the actions and motives of others. What have the different sects, creeds, doctrines in religion been but so many pretexts set up for men to wrangle, to quarrel, to tear one another in pieces about, like a target as a mark to shoot at.
    William Hazlitt: On the Pleasure of Hating.

  2. All of the holy books encourage toxic behaviour, so extremism among the religious is inevitable. Check out “S” under the ABCs for Salad Bar Christian. http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/20429/abcs-evangelical-christians-2/

  3. Max T. Furr says:

    Faith and xenophobia, at this point in our ethics evolution, will most often override Reason. People are too easily motivated by the emotional rhetoric of self serving clerics and politicians. The ONLY way forward is education, especially in critical thinking and ethics (including lifting people out of poverty). and that will be resisted fang and claw by conservative clerics and conservative politicians. We have a loooong way to go.

  4. Max+T.+Furr says:

    @ henry Ford, well stated! And, thanks for the link.

  5. Dan says:

    Funny because it’s true.

    I religion is neither good nor bad. It’s made up. Religion made up by good people encourages good and religion made up by bad people encourages bad.

    The best course is have a debate based on facts rather than the obscuring fog of religious nonsense.

  6. Paddy says:

    The argument between those who would build, and those who would tear down, will never end. Especially since there may well be a time for either… and two people wishing to build different things may also wish to tear each other’s buildings down, for want of space.

    And it isn’t truly even an argument between war and peace… For many a “peaceful” situation is chock full of institutional violence, and very few people are truly opposed to peace per se; the only issue is that they don’t agree on the terms. And too few are willing to settle for peace not on their terms.

  7. Maajid Nawaz’s recent video on Raif Badawi versus cartoons is useful.


  8. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    On the subject of cherry picking, the Archbishop of Canterbury this morning criticised large organisations that exploit the tax laws to avoid paying tax.

    Irony will be buried in a private service next week.
    There is no word yet on whether Welby will face charges over Irony’s death.

  9. jb says:

    You can accomplish a lot with cherry picking, but the cherries have to be there in the first place. The thing about Islam is that its holy books seem to have a lot more bad cherries than the holy books of other religions.

  10. Jobrag says:

    The trouble is that there are cherries with totally opposite characteristics growing on the same tree.

  11. Gary+Kleppe says:

    jb, if by “books of other religions” you mean the Bible, then not really. See http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news1001/viciousgodquiz.html

  12. Nice to see that Jesus and Mo are at least aware of the problem and looking for a solution, however foolish and impractical. I sometimes thing that many religious leaders secretly admire the commitment level of the extremists.
    As usual, food for thought, Author. Thanks yet again.

  13. Michael says:

    Like most “holy books” both the Bible and Qur’an are so self-contradictory that finding parts to support almost any philosophical or social argument is easy.

  14. plainsuch says:

    Ophelia Benson

    That’s odd. It must be a different Saudi than the one sharing common goals with us. Was the flogged blogger inciting violence against Western targets.

  15. “I sometimes thing”???? No, I sometimes think. Oh how I miss the edit function.

  16. Author says:

    I’m sorry about the edit function. It just stopped working one day, and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

  17. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Cherry picking, what a crime
    The last contribution sent of mine
    Apparently was left on the tree
    Which somewhat does depress me
    A work of art, lost for all time.

  18. Author says:

    I very much appreciate your contributions, Nassar, but sometimes they cross the line.

  19. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    It’s well worth it to proffer
    A bit of cash to the author
    But commitment, some resent
    Individual donations can be sent
    Paypal eliminates much of the bother.

    This is my referred method, the monthly thing sounds very workable as well

  20. I don’t think anybody is holding the loss of the edit function against you, dear Author. I won’t mention it again. We’re all sure it’s not your fault. 🙂

  21. djpdummy says:

    Thank you for the link,
    It is hilarious or it would be if i could spell hilarious.
    Author, you can see it in mos eyes.

  22. white+squirrel says:

    how about Mo cherry picks the first four words of the quran=

    “There is no god’

  23. white+squirrel says:

    ps is it theologically significant that their car has no rear veiw mirrors anywhere

  24. machigai says:

    Two Nassar submissions.
    One with a non-limeric statement.
    As I live and breathe!

  25. white+squirrel says:

    cherry picking – another name for quote mining – to be expected from those with creationist level intellect

  26. henry+Ford says:

    No rear view mirror, but they have an car radio. I wonder what they listen to….

  27. Canneloni says:

    How can you tell if they have a radio or not? That looks more like a large nail sticking out of the roof.

  28. plainsuch says:

    They are only prophets after all. They need a hotline from the omniscient creator to warn them of traffic problems ahead. But they are *religious* prophets and have no reason to look back. Why revisit your own absolutely prefect correctness?

  29. plainsuch says:

    sigh Why revisit your own absolutely prefect correctness?
    Why revisit your own absolutely perfect correctness?

    Turns out – I can’t even trust spell check.
    The lack of an edit function is mostly a problem of my frustration at seeing my mistake, that and my own vanity. When I see other comments with a typo I simply smile at our common fallibility. When I see my own the perfectionist in my head starts abusing me.

  30. Shaughn says:

    I guess the sticking out thingy is their HPS (heresy position system, or maybe, holyness position system) Either it points towards heresy, or it shows the level of their own holyness. 100% upright 100% holy, 100% flat 100% heretic, or something.

  31. blackflag1961 says:

    They don’t want a rear-view mirror, as it would entail some reflection.

  32. jerry+www says:

    In the U.S. there’s a controversy raging at the moment over injecting children to prevent an epidemic of measles. The real question is why there isn’t an injection to prevent the epidemic of stupid, a.k.a. religion.
    O.k., this scourge isn’t limited to the U.S.

  33. hackneymartian says:

    And in the UK the Anglicans have been opposing mitochondrial gene therapy – despite having a bishop on the committee which has been drawing up the legal proposals for the past six (I think) years.

  34. hackneymartian says:

    … though, as someone said on The Now Show tonight, Jesus himself had three parents …

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    That’s nothing, I’ve got forefathers.

  36. Acolyte, I love you, mate but…groan.

  37. jerry+www says:

    Acolyte, I also have forefathers, but no foreskin.
    I suppose it’s a Semitic thing.

  38. Shaughn says:

    Forefathers and foremothers, anyone?

  39. FreeFox says:

    Hehehe… loved that pun, AoS! *giggles*

    About last week’s debate, sorry I missed out on it at the time, but, well, I was out of reception range. So, Shaughn and LLBeer, etc. I don’t really need a tin foil hat – using burner phones, TOR, end-to-end encryption, and regularly change my VPNs should do the trick, though of course any selfie or voice sample will open me up online like an oyster. Unless I really get the NSA on my case, I am afraid then nothing short of living in caves will do me any good. ^_^

    Most of what I am talking about is just the inherent power bias of post cold-war capitalism (ie. the capitalism that coincides with my life span, pretty much.) There is little Big-C Conspiracy in this, though a LOT of small-c conspiracies. What do you think “lobbyism” is, if not people using money to “conspire” with elected officials to force their agenda on you – and in most cases they try to do so more or less in secret. And yeah, when all the big corporations get together with nominally “democratic” politicians world wide to discuss trade treaties behind closed doors, that is already a pretty big conspiracy. And when intelligence services for years have been abusing civil liberties and lie about it to the controlling elected officials, the way the CIA has done about torture or the NSA about spying, well, I guess that counts as conspiracy, too. And last but not least, if a group of people from the military, intelligence agencies, and politicians agree to consciously tell the public (and other politicians) a lie about weapons of mass destruction in order to force a war they couldn’t otherwise get – that is a pretty big-C Conspiracy. And when the same company and family names keep cropping up in several of these conspiracies… we are getting close to the THEY of tin hat conspiracy theory.

    I don’t believe that the Bavarian Illuminati or the Knights of Malta or the Elders of Zion or the Reptoids are behind “everything” (though IF there exists such a conspiracy I sure hope it is the Reptoids… I would love to make out with a humanoid saurian!!!), but some things are hard to swallow without supposing some kind of coordinated conspirational activity.

    I personally know, um, let’s call them “experts for alternative trade routes” that were involved in getting the CIA supplied heavy weapons from the islamist Libyan rebells via Turkey into Syria. I have talked to people in the Peschmerga that are trying to coordinate the fight against the IS with Western “allies” and know how frustrated and baffled they are about some decisions that hamper their efforts. So, yes, from what I know personally, it does seem as if there are strong influences in the Western (mainly US/UK) military response to the IS that are prolonging the conflict. But I admit that I am too close to the ground and also to far removed to have an unbiased, undistorted view.

    But if I add what I know to the overall picture of a century of US/UK/French interests consistantly arming patently crazy religious extremists and then losing control over them, it becomes very, very hart to believe that it is just the inability to learn from past mistakes. There seems to be a pattern.

    One part of the pattern is indubitably the impatient wish to overthrow someone unwanted, and simply arming the opposition can be tempting because actually going in to educate a population, build up infrastructure, and raise wealth until a middle class emerges that tempers the local regime (qv. Marshall Plan in Europa after WWII) seems like too long term. Connected to that is of course the desire to regain control over local resources (hereabouts until recently usually oil or gas or land for pipelines), and the need to control them NOW and not in 15 or 20 years. That alone would already be a conspiracy, but just one with a focus HERE.

    But really, given how patently that approach misfires, it seems a thin reason to spend billions of dollars and waste hundreds of thousands of lives. So I posit there are other reasons. Like having a pretext to undermine civil liberties in the West. I mean, seriously, what is the main reason your governments are consistantly giving to reserve the right to keep constant tabs on your movements, your communications, and your finances? Terrorism. Consider how many billions of dollars – that is YOUR OWN TAX MONEY THAT YOU HAD TO EARN AND FORK OVER! – is being spent to fight this “terrorism”? How does that compare to the money spent to protect you from, say, medical malpractice? (In 2011 – unquestionably the year with the highest rate of Americans dying of terrorism, right? – terrorism claimed 3,000 US victims, while according to official statistics 50,000 people died from preventable medical malpractice. That is more the 15 times as many deaths caused by doctors than by terrorists. At the worst year of terrorism in recent history. Was there a War of Doctors? Where is the Medical Act that all parties got behind, giving the executive branch wide sweeping powers to control doctors and protect citizens? Why aren’t the 55,000 employees of the TSA spending their 8 billion dollar budget on controlling hospitals?) So, do you really believe your collective governments are being honest on why they invest so much on spying on their own population?

    I don’t claim to know why they do it. Though given who is spending billions and billions on influencing the same politicians that are running these organisations, well, it is not really a bad guess that something this big is probably going to end up funnelling way more money back at those backers than they are dishing out, right? But hey, that’s really just speculation.

    But yeah – given how insane US/UK foreign policy is in the middle east and how much it de facto keeps the region constantly destabilised, given how the major influence on US/UK policy are big corporations and banks, how the same corporations and banks are trying to secretly consolidate their extra-legal influence and push democratic checks and balances out of their way through trade agreements and lobbying, given how terrorism is painted as a threat completely out of proportion with reality and how that is used as a justification for reducing civil liberties and exposing citizens to total observation… well, yeah… I don’t think it is particularely paranoid to assume that the situation in the middle east is kept intentionally unstable, amongst other reasons, as a diversion from the real coup.

    (Full disclosure: I have worked as a thief and confidence artists for several years. So, yeah, maybe that has skewed my point of view. On the other hand, maybe it allows me to see that particular pattern. And in all honesty to me all of this smells of a con. I don’t know exactly who is pulling it, though clearly the major western intelligence agencies are at least being used in it, if not complicit, and I don’t know exactly to what end. But I want to guarantee you, that classic two step of misdirection and misappropriation is happening right now – and who is more likely behind it than those whose pockets are filling faster than anyone elses?)

  40. FreeFox says:

    Um… the year I talked about was of course 2001, not 2011… >.>

  41. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    I always assumed one problem was that the policy makers have a set of presuppositions about what works that aren’t affected by experience.

  42. Shaughn says:

    …but some things are hard to swallow without supposing some kind of coordinated conspirational activity

    it does seem as if there are strong influences in the Western (mainly US/UK) military response to the IS that are prolonging the conflict. […] But if I add what I know to the overall picture of a century of US/UK/French interests consistantly arming patently crazy religious extremists and then losing control over them, it becomes very, very hart to believe that it is just the inability to learn from past mistakes. There seems to be a pattern.

    You named it: the pattern is the inability to learn from past mistakes. ”The problem with ‘lessons of history’ is that they are learned only after going flat on your face.”. The phrase isn’t mine, you’ll find it in Davy, king of fools by Edgar Pangborn. The pattern goes back to the Pharaos and beyond. Robert,+not+Bob puts it more gently.

    One element of the pattern is that an actor can one-sidedly decide to engage in something. Thereafter he cannot decide to disengage on his own. US/UK/French engaged, the latter two more than 125 years ago, not even thinking about an exit strategy – so now they are entangled in the consequences and probably will for the rest of the century.

    One part of the pattern is indubitably the impatient wish to i.e. the usual short sightedness and a preference for supposedly ‘quick’ wins. Which is, again, as old as the Mesopotamian empire. Politics is all about the reduction of uncertainty. It’s what short term solutions offer (but rarely result) and long term objectives (such as education and building a middle class) certainly do not.

    The problem of all these ‘scheming actors’ is that they are faced with too much actors and factors that are not under control and the mechanism that Paul Kennedy named ‘imperial overstretch’. It is just business as usual for the previous 6000 years of recorded history. Only the scale and openness have grown: society knows now a lot more on what’s happening than it did in the Bismarck-era (Der Otto was the one and only in the 19th century who plotted and conspired for such a limited goal as a unified Germany under Prussia. He got that and see how it did not evolve as he wanted. The other successful plotter/conspirator was Lenin, to overthrow Czarist Russia and start the proletarian revolution. Only the first goal was achieved, and we all know by now where that ended. In both cases: too many actors that were not controlled and no exit strategies.) Meanwhile the usual traders and financiers sell their stuff and services as usual. They don’t need a ‘real coup’ to divert from, never did either.

  43. Shaughn says:

    Nothing has changed since the mid 16th century:

    An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia regatur mundus? (Pope Julius III)

    Don’t you know, my son, with how little brains the world is ruled?

  44. FreeFox says:

    @shaughn: Meh. Maybe. My nose still says con. But you might be right. Either way, big business seems to be the far more dangerous and deadly player. (But yes, @DH, religion remains a toxic tool to spread misery and death on all sides.)

  45. FreeFox says:

    @shaughn: I’d love to hear your theory on the incredible effort spent on the surveillance/police state Five Eyes has been building up in the past two decades.

  46. plainsuch says:

    the surveillance/police state
    Cynicism tells me that the amount of money being dumped into this particular rat-hole, plus the fact that no one is accountable for it, is a great example of, ” that classic two step of misdirection and misappropriation”.

    My own experience tells me that storing every communication of every person is just information overload for finding criminal activity. There were several known data points foreshadowing the 2001 terrorist event, but nobody bothered to connect the dots. Collecting a gargangazillion more dots is just going to make it more difficult to pick out anything meaningful.
    We have a lot of federal laws in the US. vague laws with big penalties Connecting to an unsecured wifi, using a fake name online or singing “Happy Birthday” in public can all be interpreted as illegal. Given enough of your information, a prosecutor can pick out *something* to charge you with. That could be very handy for silencing dissent, enhancing the cooperation of the unwilling and damaging political rivals. That would not be a conspiracy. It would, of course, just be a right-wing police state doing what a police state does to benefit the oligarchy that owns it.

  47. Shaughn says:

    Business as usual, Freefox. Haven’t you noticed the similarity with Roman-Catholic Inquisition 16th-18th century, or Soviet secret service in the previous century?

    I’m not saying it’s not a threat or that it can be neglected – au contraire. But a single fact of life is that the bigger the organisation grows, the less effective it gets. The ‘imperial overstretch theory’ goes for them too. And although their resources are big, they are limited, while the counteractivity is virtually unlimited. There will always be more intelligence generated than they can monitor.

    My guess is that Five Eyes is now more interested in securing its budgets than securing safety or intelligence. Probably using the old tactics of creating external mayhem to cover up internal troubles. Exactly what the Argentine junta did with the Falklands. As I said, business as usual.

  48. Shaughn says:

    By the way, I shouldn’t interpret “old tactics of creating external mayhem to” as conspiracy. It’s too obvious to be a secret or even just a little hidden. All services have to cry ‘WOLF” every now and then to secure their budgets and to unify and discipline internally. They don’t generate their own budgets, as states and businesses do, so it is a matter of survival for them.

  49. plainsuch says:

    As for you saying “Can we agree that wealth begets wealth and power brings power?
    Can we agree that those are both positive feed backs and any system with unchecked positive feed backs will oscillate out of control? (Or, ‘will accelerate towards extreme states’, however you prefer to phrase it)” – of course we can. It’s just what I said before to AoS
    (February 4, 2015 at 8:34 am)

    The key word is unchecked positive feed backs. A stable system (and by system I mean social and economic systems too) has to have checks and balances in place. The Soviet Communists concentrated power in the hands of a few, Corporate Capitalism is concentrating money in the hands of a few. Either way leads to an oligarchy much like a theocracy does. Living in an oligarchy is still better than living in the Libertarian Paradise of Somalia, but any stability has to be maintained by force from the top.

  50. And in Canada our fearless leader has responded to the threat of terrorism with legislation that will allow him to declare ecological protestors terrorists, particularly if they are trying to stop the pipeline intended to take dilbit through pristine wilderness to a very dangerous coastal port from whence it can be shipped off to China. I would despair, but at least I don’t live in Syria.

  51. Shaughn says:


    There is no such thing as a stable system unless it is dead as mutton and then it need checks nor balances. Checks and balances are a necessity because of the inherent instability of those dynamic systems. And those checks and balances will always be one step behind the disturbances (or feedbacks, pos or neg) of the system, for the sole reason that you need a disturbance to activate the check-and-balance reaction.

    Maintaining stability from the top (as soviet communists did!) against the systems dynamics will eventually cause its opposite effect. Open societies (mind Karl Popper) deal with disturbances a great deal better. Oscillation to a new more or less stable equilibrium tends to grow less. On world scale the same development is taking place, if we are to believe Pinker’s Better angels of our nature. Meanwhile we live in interesting times, as is an old chinese curse.

  52. Shaughn says:

    Darwin Harmless, don’t despair.

    In a generation or two the ecologist protesters children and grandchildren will have replaced the now-a-days fearless leaders, undo their harms and replace it all with their own wrongdoings.

  53. HelloDayr says:

    This is either the story of a very lucky man or a very unlucky one, either way it does show that they don’t respect the wishes of their gods:

    Their daddy wanted him to survive. Obviously. Naughty ISIS-critters.

  54. HelloDayr says:

    And, FreeFox, there is a difference between a tin-hat wearer and a tin-foil hat wearer. Tin hats are heavy, protect you from small rounds, protect you from shrapnel and other debris (sometimes if it’s small enough), are heavy and are worn by sane, strong, dedicated professionals. Tin-foil on the other hand only blocks secret energy waves from controlling or reading your brain.
    In England, the latter used to be called “silver paper” for obvious reasons. I quite like that term. It’s sort of Christmasy.
    Tin hats are often made from assorted steels, that is iron and carbon with other ingredients. Tin-
    foil is mostly aluminium with an oxidate surface layer. Neither, weirdly, contain tin.
    English is a great language.

    Yes, FreeFox, that is all I took away from all your hard work. Sorry. I really couldn’t care whether LLB’s Illuminati are in charge or not. All I see is that whoever’s in charge is a bloody incompetent twat. And none to bright.
    I’m just hoping it isn’t some sort of god or pantheon.

  55. HelloDayr says:

    Bugger. There should have been a close-italics after the first “foil”. It would have been slightly funnier. Too late now, I guess.

  56. HelloDayr says:

    Last one: why am I hoping it isn’t some sort of god or pantheon? Well, if I insult human Illuminati the worst they can do is torture and kill me and that could be interesting. Gods, in contrast, are reputed to hold a grudge for a hell of a long time.

  57. jb says:

    In a generation or two the ecologist protesters children and grandchildren will have replaced the now-a-days fearless leaders, undo their harms and replace it all with their own wrongdoings.

    The ecologist protesters, like most secular Westerners, aren’t bothering to have many children. Most likely both they and fearless leader will be replaced by the children of more fecund peoples, who are likely to be too wrapped up in their own problems to worry about the environment (even if that actually is one of their problems). Given the infatuation of Western elites with mass immigration as a way of showing off their own high moral virtue, this will probably mean Africans, who are the people having the most children these days, and who don’t appear to be stopping any time soon. (Have you looked at population projections for Africa recently?)

    Even with a sensible immigration policy, any local group with a sustained high birth rate, such as Mennonites or Hassids, would eventually come to dominate, but it would take longer, and there would be more chance of some sort of reformation. I’ve never understood why environmental groups aren’t solidly in favor of restricting immigration. Immigration is a major contributor to population growth, and population growth exacerbates every single environmental problem that the ecologist protesters are concerned with, so you would logically expect environmental groups to favor immigration restriction. But they don’t. In fact some (like the Sierra Club in America, which I have been involved with) even forbid their branches from taking positions.

    My only explanation (and again, it’s somewhat informed, since I’ve actually been involved) is that environmental activists, for all that they like to think of themselves as brave, aren’t actually willing to take a politically incorrect position that would probably cost them friends and get them uninvited from parties, no matter how much it would help in preserving the environment. Everyone has their priorities, and for most people feeling good about themselves is priority #1.

  58. Shaughn says:

    All right, jb, but don’t underestimate the conversion rate to ecologists views through education. And there are those who are attracted to power and will join the powerful elites. First generation immigrants are unlikely to do so, only a few of the second generation (who will be role models) whereas the third generation will be ready for power – and educated or indoctrinated.

  59. Shaughn says:

    Besides, why not lure all the africans to our nasty climate zones and let them wreck or keep what they find, while we go to africa and rebuild our society in a wonderful climate on a beautiful continent?

  60. plainsuch says:

    Besides, why not lure all the africans to our nasty climate zones and let them wreck or keep what they find, while we go to africa and rebuild our society in a wonderful climate on a beautiful continent?

    Slash and burn on a continental scale? ☺

  61. plainsuch says:


    The surest way to drop population growth is to educate the women.

  62. Shaughn says:

    Slash and burn on a continental scale?

    Mwaoh, just swapping real estate.

  63. jb says:

    All right, jb, but don’t underestimate the conversion rate to ecologists views through education. And there are those who are attracted to power and will join the powerful elites.

    Risky. It might work out the way you hope, but it might not. But really, that’s missing the point. From the environmental point of view, the important thing is population size. Whether the immigrants assimilate or not, immigration is still growing your population. And as I pointed out, a larger population makes every environmental problem you have harder to solve.

    The surest way to drop population growth is to educate the women.

    Probably true. So logically what we ought to be doing is making every effort to educate the women over there, without pumping up our own population by letting them come here. After all, we can never bring in enough immigrants to put a dent in population growth in the rest of the world, so from an environmental point of view immigration is just hurting us without helping them.

    (In fact, I once had a long conversation with an anthropologist — I think it might have been David Stoll — who was active in Central America, and who told me that the women in the villages where he did his work believed that the more children they had, the more likely that one of them would succeed in sneaking into the United States and sending back remittances, and that this encouraged them to have larger families than they would have otherwise. I can’t say for sure whether this is true, but it isn’t entirely implausible. And I can imagine a similar dynamic in play in many other places. It would certainly be kind of ironic, wouldn’t it, if we were actually encouraging population growth in other countries by allowing them to come here?)

  64. Shaughn says:

    It might work out the way you hope
    That’s not hope, it’s prediction. That it will happen is about as certain as US presidential elections. It is the necessary outcome of a process that’s going for decades. 55 years ago it was hope, when practically nobody cared. Ever since the issue has grown in importance and been confirmed. Greenpeace (1971), The report of Rome, The Limits to growth” (1972), the oil ‘crisis’ of 1973 and 1979, Chernobyl 1986 are some milestones in that development that has led to the subject being politically relevant.

    The population is the problem regardless of its place. Being there, wherever that may be instead of here, wherever that may be, doesn’t alter the problem. And keeping them elsewhere, wherever that may be, will not solve the problem. At best it will cause blindness for the consequences.
    Higher education and through that higher standards of living and health reduce the need for big families to ensure family income in the long run. There is a strong negative correlation between education and fertility. So if you cannot educate them there, educate them here. It’s probably the one, only and last peaceful chance to solve the problem.

    There are about 7 billion of us. Half a billion would be more than enough (around 1500 CE that amount was the world population). How to get rid of an overpopulation of 6.5 billion? Where is Malthus when you need him?

  65. white+squirrel says:

    the latest statement from mo’s lot is cherry picking of the worse sort
    they are calling for ‘global civility’ given the world wide islamic treatment of gays lesbians and non muslims this is hypocrisy of the highest order

  66. plainsuch says:

    Along with education there needs to be health care, access to birth control and a very good chance that your first one or two children will live to adulthood and prosper without sneaking into a foreign country. Social justice for the third world is in our enlightened self interest.

  67. plainsuch says:

    re: education vs breeding like rabbits

    All we have to do is cherry pick some verses to trick the theocrats into treating their women like humans and educating their children too well to accept their religion. It’ll be a cakewalk.

  68. white+squirrel says:

    cherry pick some verses to trick the theocrats into treating their women like humans and educating their children too well to accept their religion.

    one way this might be done is to point out that
    IF you accept the idea that mohammed heard the voices reciting the quran – who is to say that he realted all truthfully- maybe the bits enhamcing womens status were selectively omitted or modified either by mayhem mad himself or in later centuries when the bits of palm leaf and wall graffiti were collected and transcribed

  69. Shaughn says:

    Along with education there needs to be health care, …
    First of all: education. For if they are not educated, where do they get enough educated staff for their health care and the rest?

  70. white+squirrel says:

    Along with education there needs to be health care,
    well according to the daesh/isis manifesto ‘girls are not to be educated past 15’ and their education is to be focussed on quranic study
    ‘women are not to work except as teachers and doctors’
    given the quran uses the anatomical knowledge of the Ancient Roman surgeon Galen as the forefront of medical knowledge it is clear what level of healthcare will be available

  71. two cents' worth says:

    Regarding population growth, I highly recommend this TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies

  72. plainsuch says:

    I assumed the reason the Taliban forbid medical care for women was that doctors were male. Taking a pulse and looking at a rash would surely arouse their uncontrollable male lust. Most likely the women have been delivering each others babies for a thousand years, allowing them a little training in the use of modern medicine is a small concession to reality. Women can travel anonymously behind burkas and it’s difficult to control what they do and say behind closed doors. And the males in the immediate family that can tell them what to do are also invested in the health of the family.

  73. jerry+www says:

    henry+Ford asked:
    “No rear view mirror, but they have an car radio. I wonder what they listen to….”

    Most likely, the horns of cars they have cut off by doing an unsafe lane change.

  74. plainsuch says:

    re: trickery

    I been waiting to hear the fundie outrage but ” Take Me To Church” must have slipped under the radar. Spiritual? Yes. Pro-religion? Not so much.

  75. white+squirrel says:

    Most likely, the horns of cars they have cut off by doing an unsafe lane change

    only in islam where such dangerous lane changing is called ‘apostasy’ which carries a death sentence
    – A strange concept if there is truly only one ‘god’ because changing to any other religion would still result in worship of the same ‘deity’

  76. two cents' worth says:

    plainsuch, many thanks for the link! I’m so out of it that I’d never heard that song before. I guess the fundies are out of it, too 😉 .

    The upside of being out of it is that I’ve yet to hear The Song (whatever its title is) from the movie Frozen, despite hearing the buzz about it. (No, this is not a hint. No, don’t send me a link to it. Really! Please! I beg you!) 🙂

  77. plainsuch says:

    I have heard The Song, I have no idea what it’s called but this is probably close enough:
    Spamalot – The Song That Goes Like This


    I haven’t seen the movie either. My daughter tells me it had a shocking plot twist. Apparently, hypothetically, princesses can be responsible for their own fate instead of napping until a prince shows up. Scandalous, wouldn’t you say?

  78. Henry+Ford says:

    Regarding population growth. It has been pointed out to me that India wastes more than half its food produce before it reaches the market. With improved logistics india’s population size could be double what it is with no need to improve agriculture. Most population problems are logistic problems, not genetic resource/ agricultural efficiency problems. Must re- read my Malthus for fun……….

  79. smartalek says:

    two cents’ worth, The Song is probably the show-stopper called “Let It Go,” the coming-out (as it were) anthem sung by Elsa, the Snow Queen (but not protagonist; that would be Anna, the younger sister), voiced by Irina Mendez.
    (Apologies for any spelling glitches.)
    Yes, it’s very catchy, so, per your request, no link.

  80. postdoggerel says:

    Romans 13:1-2New King James Version (NKJV)
    Submit to Government

    13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.


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