A resurrection from 2008 today. Currently in Copenhagen, where they’ve been having a bit of trouble with people who think they really do know the truth.

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Discussion (56)¬

  1. Matt says:

    Nice one. I love thinking about all those true-believers internally smiling and saying to themselves, “ah, but I REALLY know the truth, not like all those other idiots”.

  2. Sparky_shark says:

    Its not quite that simple – as atheists quite cheerfully fit into the same chum-bucket Author is setting out here. All true believers are idiots – healthy scepticism and an appreciation that what we “know” now will be surpassed and made less relevant in time is the only healthy stance to take.

  3. K+P+Spong says:

    Precisely why “inter-faith dialogue” always seems hypocritical, to me. And why intra-faith dilogue has been known to get “a bit lairy,” shall we say?

  4. caliban27 says:

    Sparky_shark, it absolutely IS quite that simple, because Barmaid and I are not true believers in a not-god. We are disbelievers in any god or gods, and our disbelief does not equate, in any way, shape or form, with any belief.

  5. white+squirrel says:

    presumably there has to be a ‘real truth’ out there [concerning the true state of reality]
    problem is -how would we ever know for certain we have found it
    Anyway who says they have THE TRUTH is actually only revealing that they are ignorant

  6. henry+Ford says:

    I am a firm believer in the universe. No doubts. It is out there. I am here so it can find out about itself.

  7. Shaughn says:

    Ugh. This ‘the’ truth being that what is falsifiable but not yet falsified? Any definition?

  8. pomponijada says:

    thank you caliban27 for finding the right argument; that is the difference between the believers and atheists-“We are disbelievers in any god or gods, and our disbelief does not equate, in any way, shape or form, with any belief”.

  9. Lewis+R.+Lowden says:

    The 360 degrees of the Circle of Truth.

  10. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I read the punchline and my first thought was ‘how long before the “truth is relative/there are no truths/you can’t prove a negative/atheist truth is as much a matter of faith as is religious truth” wannabe philosophers turn up?

    Turns out they are already here!

    Philosophy: why use fifty words to clarify a point when one could use fifty thousand to really muddy the waters?

  11. Acolyte+of+Sagan says:

    Author, please keep your feckin’ head down over there, and never sit with your back to the doors or windows.

  12. Shaughn says:

    Q.: why use fifty words to clarify a point when one could use fifty thousand to really muddy the waters?
    A.: because one is in politics, I’d say.

  13. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    The truth is lies subject to interpretation
    “Profits” sell it like vegetation
    Submissive sheep eat it
    when they should beat it
    Back to the gutters of its creation

  14. plainsuch says:

    Recycling an old joke. Those of you who think you know the Truth are very annoying to those of us who do know.

  15. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Author, Denmark needs your support
    people can’t rely on the court
    Multiculturalism doesn’t give a damm
    about the crimes of islam
    But lampooning the bastards is fair sport.

  16. Shaughn says:

    The truth about truth is
    hidden in the dark realms of
    magical thinking

  17. plainsuch says:

    …But lampooning the bastards is fair sport.

    I second all of that.

  18. plainsuch says:

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A gunman who killed two people at a synagogue and a free speech event spent time in a prison filled with extremist Islamists violent lunatics who cheered when terrorist attacks took place, according to a union leader.

    Prison guards in Denmark fear Hussein, 22, was the latest case of
    prison radicalization prisoners driven insane — in which criminals become devotees of militant Islam.

    There, I fixed it.

  19. Mary2 says:

    I’m with KPSpong. I’ve never understood why anyone would bother with interfaith dialogue. It seems pure hypocracy when each person at the table believes all of the others to be fundamentally wrong about the topic under discussion.

  20. white+squirrel says:

    The 360 degrees of the Circle of Truth.

    only if its Euclidian

  21. DocAtheist says:

    Stay safe! Do what AoS said, and, please, stay safe!

  22. plainsuch says:

    ISIS has released images that appear to show gay men being hurled off buildings and then stoned to death, part of the militants’ self-professed mission to crack down on “sexual deviance.”

    The horrific execution tactic is the latest in a string of brutal punishment methods applied by ISIS under its strict interpretation of Islamic — or shariah — law, from crucifying Christians to stoning alleged adulterers to flogging young men for drinking.

    ISIS featured a lengthy article in the latest version of its propaganda magazine

    Shock and Awe. There’s the TRUTH. It was an ancient truth when the Romans controlled their empire. It’s still true when the heads of drug cartels are keeping their subordinates in line. Find some pretext to separate someone from the main herd, then demonstrate that you are not just any vicious bastard – you are the sickest, vilest, most psychotic vicious bastard that they never wanted to meet. Convince people that the benefits of submission outweigh the potential benefits of opposition.

    Having a photographer assigned to the story is a modern convenience.

  23. Shaughn says:

    For truth read method, Plainsuch.
    The ancients knew the method and its short term effectivity as we do now. In the long run, the less coercive strategy wins.
    That’s why the Romans did so well: not by coercion but by luring barbarians into roman citizenship.


    where the big sized carrot
    precedes the donkeys eager mouth
    the stick rests in peace

  24. suffolk blue says:

    Agreed with both Mary2 and Spong – I’ve always found interfaith dialogue to be an inherently weird concept.

    It’s odd in the same way as when Superman turns up in a Marvel comic or Spiderman turns up in a DC comic.

  25. white+squirrel says:

    what has ISIL/ISIS got to do with religion or truth?

  26. Innocent Bystander says:

    The curse of the strongly held belief is something everyone suffers from to some extent, even if it’s about the correct way to make a cup of tea. However when such a belief is retained as a result of willfully ignoring the evidence, the wrongness of the believer tends to be very irritating and off – putting. I think this is why religion is in decline among the educated and education in decline among the religious.

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Maybe we should be grateful that religion is so inherently divisive. Imagine the collective power they would wield if just the three Abrahmic faiths really did manage to come together as a single ‘super-religion’.

    Luckily, even the sub-sects of a single religion can barely get through tea and biscuits before the squabbling starts, and if they can’t even agree over their own god I’d say we were a long way yet from Judeochrislam.

  28. Shaughn says:

    2 white+squirrel :
    They claim it, they just claim it. That’s all.

  29. two cents' worth says:

    white+squirrel, from what I’ve read, ISIL/ISIS has nothing to do with the truth, but they’re all about religion. They’re a Salafi sub-sect that has gone far beyond mere squabbling over differences in belief. A good article about this is available at

  30. Mark S. says:

    Sparky_shark: I am not in the same chum bucket with the true believers. I am really really confident that I know the truth. But I am willing to consider evidence to the contrary, assuming that anybody is ever able to provide any. Unfortunately, too much of the claimed “evidence” is like this:

    (Atheists should watch that video for a few giggles. Theists … well I’m not so sure.)

  31. Plainsuch, “ISIS has released images that appear to show gay men being hurled off buildings and then stoned to death, part of the militants’ self-professed mission to crack down on “sexual deviance.”
    And on that thin excuse I will indulge in some more shameless self promotion and invite any fans of Darwin Harmless Sings to hear the latest, intended to be the credits sequence theme, once properly elaborated and produced, for a new webisodic series. Comments most welcome.

    Author, I think this one is my favourite. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a former “professor of Creation Science” at some fundie university, who claimed that his brand of Christianity was NOT religion. Because. It. Was. The. Truth. Therefore science.

  32. white+squirrel says:

    ISIL claim many things in their deluded fantasy world

  33. two cents' worth says:

    DH, thanks for the link! “QUILTBAGS” is a fun acronym, and the song reminds me of one by Steve Goodman ( ) . When the series has some webisodes that are ready to watch, I hope you’ll share the links here at the Cock & Bull.

  34. Two cents’ worth. thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately the video at the link you gave me is not available any more.
    I will certainly keep my mates at the Cock and Bull updated on our progress. We’re shooting the first webisode this evening, but we’re planning on banking a few before we go public. Cheers.

  35. mist42nz says:

    Haven’t seen Moses for a while. Did he disappear because people weren’t thinking about him?

  36. two cents' worth says:

    DH, sorry–the link takes you to an audio clip, not a video. I hope you were able to hear the song, at least. I tried the link just now, and it worked for me.

  37. jerry+www says:

    The old adage “The truth shall make you free” may be (excuse me) true, but the only thing that’s likely to be free at the C&B is the bowl of beer nuts.

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Sorry, jerry, but the C&B is a British establishment and we don’t generally have communal bowls of snacks on the bar. Too unhygienic, you see. Not everybody washes their hands after going to the loo, and who wants to share a bowl with those people?

  39. Acolyte, now you’ve done it. You’ve cut me off from a major source of protein. Never thought of it that way.

  40. Shaughn says:

    Darwin Harmless, remenber: if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

    Only the powerful
    withstand the storm and live on
    as do the very tiny

  41. plainsuch says:

    if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

    What about old-age?

  42. plainsuch says:

    Darwin Harmless

    Alcohol kills germs, right? So, if you’re worried about who washed their hands, I’ll order you another drink.

  43. jerry+www says:

    Here in the U.S. we are taught in primary school to not pee on our fingers, but your point is well taken. That being said, I always assumed the nuts were of the friendly persuasion since they are described as “complimentary”.

  44. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    My apologies, Darwin. Years of being a doorman (doorperson? We were just called bouncers back then) and therefore a sober observer of the habits of drinkers certainly informed my opinion on this.
    And it’s not just a matter of the loo visits.
    Think about – or don’t, if you ever want to eat shared snacks again – any group of people in a pub or at a party. If you watch for only a short time you’ll see hands being run through hair, fingers exploring the insides of ears and nostrils and picking bits out of teeth, scratching of arses and adjustments of crotches, sneezing and coughing into hands………..then going back into that bowl for another handful of nuts or rummaging around that plate of sandwiches or chicken wings looking for the best one.

    And don’t get me started on kids – and adults of course – spraying their germ-laden spittle all over their birthday cakes on the pretext of extinguishing the candles. :-0

  45. Shaughn says:


    What about old-age?
    That’s a measure of strength. Just as degrees F or C are measures of heat, but not heat istself.


  46. plainsuch says:

    Hmmm. If it doesn’t kill you, you will keep getting older. That is one way to look at it. OTOH Being very old doesn’t actually kill anybody by itself, but it does make them frailer rather than stronger.

  47. Shaughn says:

    If nothing kills you, you’ll live eternally.

  48. white+squirrel says:

    taught in primary school to not pee
    fresh pee is actaully a sterile germ free disinfectant
    its not pee which is the problem -its everything else the hands come in contact with

  49. plainsuch says:

    If you live long enough, something is going to come along and kill you.

  50. plainsuch says:

    Here is a true True Believer.

    BAHFest West 2014 – Matt Inman: Jibbers Crabst

    mostly safe for work, some language

  51. Shaughn says:

    If you live long enough, something is going to come along and kill you.

    How do you know for sure? That it may have been so in the past, does not guarantee anything for the future.

  52. white+squirrel says:

    If you live long enough, something is going to come along and kill you.

    this will always be true – as even if you find /obtain some way to ‘live forever’ eventually something will kill you even if its the ultimate end of the universe

  53. Shaughn says:

    this will always be true etc.

    Again: how do you know for sure? Only one, and one only, counterexample somewhere in the future and that hypothesis is falsified.

    Why shouldn’t a supposed immortal survive the imaginary end of teh universe? It’s an SF theme, by the way. That immortal usually ends up saying words like ‘Let there be light’

  54. plainsuch says:

    Human cells only divide so many times before they stop replacing themselves. This prevents most rogue cells from spreading very far. To become cancerous a rogue cell must both go rogue AND have a mechanism for infinite replication. As the different cells in an organ reach the limit on replication, the function of that organ declines. The general decline in the function of organs is called old-age.
    Old-age and cancer, each one prevents the other.

  55. aaron airee says:

    I don’t know anything about any truth, not do I care to. That’s why I’m right and everybody with beliefs are idiots

  56. Raymond says:

    Don’t let’s forget science. And rational scrutiny. And reason itself. They, too, can trick us.


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