Discussion (56)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:

    😀 😀

  2. Shaughn says:

    So that’s why reli-speak is incomprehensible…

  3. R. E. Moran says:

    Excellent! Kind of sums up what religion’s all about. 🙂

  4. Ben says:

    One of my favourites!

    Religions irony deficit write large

  5. jerry+www says:

    Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no…..
    Hold on a minute, I need to find a better way to end this statement.

  6. Irony Meter = broken

  7. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    To get to the issues root
    One must consider the factor of loot
    When choosing infidels to bash
    First notice what they have for cash
    It’s the money, religion? Who gives a hoot?

  8. Pete says:

    Or heads I win, tails you lose

  9. Fred Flintstone says:


    I am good at making stuff up, and giving it ‘divine authority’

  10. Macha says:

    I’m outside of space and time – immutable, mysterious and unknowable.

    But I’m bloody well going to tell you what to do, think and behave. If you don’t, then I’ll screw you forever.

    … and forever is a very long time (especially towards the end)

  11. plainsuch says:

    and forever is a very long time (especially towards the end)

    well said, Macha

  12. Shaughn says:

    Beware! The end is near says he:

  13. Author, brilliant and inspirational.

    That’s always my question when the Pope tells me that my dog will go to heaven, or gays are not necessarily going to burn in hell, provided the don’t have any sex. How the Hell does he know?

  14. Richard Runciman Blake says:

    The “Abrahamic” religions all see as their founding father someone who thought God wanted him to cut the throat of his young, perfectly innocent son. No wonder they are all subject to violent and murderous action against innocent people with very little provocation; and to accepting lots of other weird legends as historically true.

  15. two cents' worth says:

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” – Susan B. Anthony

    I distrust people who “know” what God wants me to do, because it always coincides with their own desires.

  16. two cents' worth says:

    I used html tags to underline “me” above, but they were ignored. This Web site seems to prefer tags for bold type, instead.

  17. charlie bear says:

    Author, you have hit this one straight out of the old ball park with a simple TRUTH.
    Some claim to know this doG so well, they even claim to know exactly what this doG wants us all to do, think, feel, etc.. Yeah, but if this is try, why do none of these dog botherers ever seem to agree on what this doG wants us all to do, etc., etc., etc.?
    As Alice said, curiouser and curiouser.

  18. hotrats says:


    Underline? Really? Like the single text styling available on a typewriter? Why would you want to do that?

  19. white+squirrel says:

    So Darwin – does your heaven bound dog know jesus in the biblical sense?

  20. white sqirrel, my heaven bound dog is asexual, as far as I can tell. She’s had her puppy factory removed and has never shown any signs of wanting to know anybody in the biblical sense.

  21. Bruce says:

    Ah, the human condition.

  22. white+squirrel says:

    what this doG wants us all to do

    well if the ‘holy’ books are anything to go by

    what it wants is for humans to hate each other, with an especial hatred for women and gays

  23. FreeFox says:

    We all like to laugh at religious hypocrisy, but really, maybe we should reconsider. Maybe hypocrisy is really one of our best friends.


  24. jerry+www says:

    A question for the pope, what happens to gay dogs?

  25. Shaughn says:

    I’d say, the queerest of them becomes headdog of the Caninephate and the others will be his wooffahs.

  26. wnanig says:

    On the subject of following ideologies blindly I really hope the professor emeritus of Russian litterature who just published an article in the largest Swedish newspaper about how Putin is quoting the Russian philosopher Ivan Iljin (who apparently worked for Goebbels for a while) is not on to something. The account of Iljins life and ideology really did not sound good. Combine that with using the threat of terrorism to drive the West towards right-wing extremism and ISIS might have their apocalypse sooner than even they think.

    The really interesting part is that the Wikipedia entry on Iljin tells a completely different story. Someone is at best doing extreme cherry-picking, and perhaps we need to be quite cautious of getting information from only one source on the internet.
    BTW, how many parliaments across Europe received the letter from the Russian duma putting the Charlie Hebdo shootings in the same category as the situation in the Ukraine and making veiled threats about the end of peace for millions of Europeans? Or was it just those of us further to the east?

    Sorry about the length of this but since the article is not in English a link probably doesn’t help in most cases…

    Article:”In a larger pulication 1935, ”Bolschewistische Machtpolitik”, he declared that the Soviet materialism was an infernal Jewish conspiracy against The Russian Spirit”

    Wiki: No mention of working for Goebbels at all:
    “Between 1923 and 1934 Ilyin worked as a professor of the Russian Scientific Institute in Berlin.

    In 1934, the German Nazis fired Ilyin and put him under police surveillance. In 1938 with financial help from Sergei Rachmaninoff he was able to leave Germany and continue his work in Geneva, Switzerland.”

    Article: “In the end it was Russia, the resurrected empire, that would save the world. Because only here were the sacred sources, the pure and high moral that Europe longed for. Thus was the message in a number of articles and lectures that he was now producing – with Berlin as a base of operations.

    It was of course not long before he was driven into the arms of the Nazi movement. He started calling out loudly for a Germanic leader, the only protection from communism. Together with his new partner Adolf Ehrt he in 1932 published a book entitled ”Entfesselung der Unterwelt” (The liberation of the underworld), where he detailed the tasks of the Leader. Voltaire had poisoned the European spirit. The German ”soul of the masses” was in confusion and crisis. It had to be tamed by the Leader: ”The mass seeks guidance. The Führer has been summoned and is obligated to provide an idea”

    “Eventually Iljin started questioning some things in the Nazi image of Russia. It was not so easy to be there in Berlin, close to Joseph Goebbels, and be a “Great Russian” (not sure of the translation…). 1938 he was held for questioning by Alfred Rosenberg’s closest associate. After that he was forced to emigrate again – and ended up in Switzerland.”

    Wiki: “Ilyin writes: “It is impossible to build the great and powerful Russia on any hatred: social class hatred (social-democrats, communists, anarchists), not in racial hatred (racists, antisemits), not in political hatred.”

    (Might be a quote from earlier works since he according to the article changed views several times.)

    Wiki:”In his 1949 article, Ilyin argued against both totalitarianism and “formal” democracy in favor of a “third way” of building a state in Russia”. Facing this creative task, appeals of foreign parties to formal democracy remain naive, light-minded and irresponsive.

  27. white+squirrel says:

    A question for the pope, what happens to gay dogs?

    how would the pope know – he cant even decide where un baptised babies allegedly go

  28. Shaughn says:

    perhaps we need to be quite cautious of getting information from only one source on the internet

    Leave the ‘perhaps’ and ‘on the internet’. What’s left then is what I painstakingly try to teach my students.

    But their dearly and deeply held belief that the first entry at google is holy scripture and eternal truth…

    Student’s brains are definitely proof of mass inertia 😀

  29. wnanig says:

    Shaughn, I agree, but I think more people trust Wikipedia than any given random link found by Google. The peer review seems to need more resources and we may need to consider how large repositories of information should be maintained. It is interesting the way information at several sites gets filtered/sorted according to your IP to “provide service” to you as well – the road to hell and good intentions (or possibly greed) and all that.

    It is also getting easier to fake or spoof pages for large numbers of people without having to go around to every library. If the internet infrastructure is left vulnerable to surveillance, it is most likely also vulnerable to not just censorship in terms of blocking, but also re-routing. So in establishing 1984, we are now adding editing of history to the surveillance. It unfortunately also seems there is a chance that some countries are now coming full circle on the farm – some men really are more equal than others, because this is not going back to the cold war, we are going further back. With Chinese representatives apparently talking about the benefits of learning from peasants again, there are quite a few places where that seems to be happening currently.

    Oh, and concerning the previous political correctness discussion, remember – “Don’t mention the war!”

  30. Shaughn says:

    Wnanig, re your last remark – I’ll mention Filthy Towels instead 😛 Or is that too much reminiscence of Showering Inferno already?

    Meanwhile, let’s continue the war on error, ignorance and uncritical minds.

  31. FreeFox says:

    Oh, you’re a teacher, Shaughn. Hmm. Okay, I get it. ^_^

  32. Shaughn says:

    Pedantic by profession, FreeFox, does it surprise you?

  33. two cents' worth says:

    hotrats, just call me old-fashioned–or just old 🙂 . Given how my eyesight has been lately, it’s sometimes much easier for me to distinguish between underlined and non-underlined text than between bold text and regular text.

  34. FreeFox says:

    I’m not sure that’s the word I was looking for. It’s just that the sort of argument we had – I used to have that with teachers all the time. About everything. It’s probably me, though. Just something about teachers that makes me dig in in a bad way…

  35. Shaughn says:

    😀 Yes, you’re that kind of student…

    They may end up as excellent teachers themselves; every teacher should have a few of them. Not because they’re easy, but because their arguments learn the other students to think and doubt and decide for their own.

  36. Shaughn says:

    And, I should add, for the very same reason, every priest, mullah and all that sort of guys, should have them too with greater necesity.

  37. white+squirrel says:

    continue the war on error, ignorance and uncritical minds.

    Sispyhus and Knut come to mind

  38. Shaughn says:

    Look at the bright side: as human dumbness is infinite, there will always be a job for teachers.

    On a philosophical note:
    “One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere.”
    ?William the Silent

  39. FreeFox says:

    Speaking of school and hope: My main (indeed only) ambition in math class used to be to find the one flaw in the whole logical edifice that would let it all crumble in on itself. Not only didn’t I find it myself, to my great initial disappointment did other find them and, like Gödel, use it to strengthen the structure instead. It took me a while to appreciate the beauty of it.

    Of course I went to juvie and then on the road at 15, and for a while my interest in math was reduced to counting stolen money, and a bit of probability in poker, so I guess I quit on my battle for being right on my teachers.

    Just recently, when I set up shop here and met someone who taught me a lot on the local social structure, and behaviour, and (sub)culture and I found myself in my old anti-teacher mode I thought about it again. I think for me the cause is a massive distrust of authority. Most teachers make truth claims. Maybe it’s necessary because time is limited. Maybe they think, I got a degree and a job, I don’t need to prove myself trustworthy anymore, just shut up and swallow what I tell you. I just cannot do that. Either a teacher needs to have proven himself, personally, individually, trustworthy and have earned my respect for his intelligence and wisdom, or he needs to prove every step of every argument to me for me to accept it. Which can be tedious, I bet, but I can’t change it anymore than I can make myself fall in love with someone.

    As for the William the Silent quote, I love it. I want to believe it. But I’m not certain I can. I grant that pride, stubbornness and simple desperation all suffice to persevere in the face of defeat. At least I am really good at stubbornly sticking to courses that seem insane and headed for disaster. (Hence juvie and living on the street for 2 years ;). But undertaking without hope… I don’t know. Hope is tricky, it can sit deep, hide, marshal other feelings and rationalisations to act as outward agents. Maybe even the hope can be *on* the failure – to fail can be a goal, to hurt others, to prove a point,or for many other reasons. But to begin an undertaking with the utter conviction that your true innermost goal is unattainable…? I think good old William was just good at not acknowledging his true hopes.

    (See, I did it again…) ^_^

  40. oldebabe says:

    FF et al: While it’s always a good thing to let our thinking range around – even far afield – ISTM that one should remember that every one of us is unique in every way, especially as we keep experiencing more and more the longer we live. Actually, no one is immune from this changing… especially if one thinks about it…

  41. wnanig says:

    You can undertake as a mere act of defiance in the face of the impossible if nothing else. Looking at the world humanity seems incapable of avoiding creating a mess, but what other viable choice do we have but to persevere? You can of course put your hope in an afterlife instead, provided that you can convince yourself that there is one, but if you can’t, that mainly leaves trying to make the best of it. Hope is nice to have and we probably at least suggest ourselves into some level of it even when we don’t know exactly what we hope for, but success might be something we focus too much on anyway. We also seem to define success quite poorly a lot of the time (In the name of the fame, the wealth and the holy growth).

    I once spoke to someone who had asked someone who had been in the Chinese cultural revolution how they survived, and he had answered “if only it gets a little better every day, if it goes in the right direction”. We operate on gradients – everything from our cells to our desires. You may not need to think that the ultimate goal is attainable as long as it goes in the right direction…

  42. white+squirrel says:

    hope in an afterlife instead, provided that you can convince yourself that there is one
    even if you do there is still the problem of which ‘afterlife’
    most see the good version as only being for the chosen few
    such as the JW’s who state that only 144,000 get to heaven – inferior humans need not apply

  43. Shaughn says:

    … the superior being the crippled, the weak of mind and sociopaths, if I gather Jesus’ preferences. No offense, Mo.

  44. Shaughn says:

    You have a point there, FreeFox, never trust authority. When at school, I didn’t trust teachers either. Being a teacher, I say the very same to my students: don’t trust authority, always check authority. It makes them desperate for most of them want certainty from authority.
    So whenever I teach management theory, I tell them it’s spucatum tauri not worth the bits and bytes it’s displayed with and come up with its failures. Every course again some smart guy asks why I teach it and why they should learn it. The answer is of course that outside, there are the managemorons who believe that nonsense and expect them to do also. So it comes in handy if they can pretend. But. Just like a psychiatrists studies lunaticism, he does so to understand and treat the loonies, not to become one.
    In hindsight, I treated school and my teachers pretty much the same way, to a certain limit.

    On a slightly more serous note, there is a vast body of knowledge. You cannot teach it all in 6 or 12 years of primary and secondary education. It’s all very basic and simplified what you can teach a 6yo, a 12 yo, an 16yo and even a 20yo. They have to take an awful lot on face value and check it, if so they want, later in their professional career.
    All you can do is give them the basic tools and principles. Students like you simply go too fast. Often wanting to run before they can properly walk. And sometimes outrunning the teacher, being potentially smarter than the teacher, but lacking the advanced knowledge to outwit that teacher. Which is awfully frustrating.

  45. plainsuch says:

    Student’s brains are definitely proof of mass inertia

    Most people are teachers AND students, with or without the official status. We are social animals that ask questions to learn and tell others what we learned. With the exception of those who cannot learn because they’re sure they already know everything worth knowing. Those with the official title of Teacher or Student can both be found in that last group, among many others.
    It’s been a long time since I considered Professors as authorities. I just want logical consistent answers that matched empirical evidence. Often my questions fall outside their actual knowledge of the subject and that makes them uncomfortable. I understand that, nobody has all the facts ready – even within one specific field. But they have internalized the label of ‘expert’ and they can’t quite live up to it. It’s only a problem if they truly believe they already know everything worth knowing then they have to smugly use a sophist trick to pretend they answered, or resort to glib simplistic aphorisms much the same way the fundamentalist ‘authorities’ of my youth.
    I’m sorry if I’m rambling. It’s late here and as I read the comments it struck me how it’s not a matter of religion, self-confident authorities in every subject have their own versions of, “the ways of God are beyond the understanding of Man.”

  46. white+squirrel says:

    the superior of Jesus’ preferences. No offense, Mo.
    Well for Mo ‘superior’ is clear
    according to islamic sources [maybe only some not all] Mo was ‘white/pale of skin’
    and also laughed at black skinned people while stating ‘their heads look raisins’
    cant be racist if such a perfect man as Mo said it [puke BUH]
    US members of the brotherhood of [the arabic for] ‘submission to slavery’ should take his veiws to mind tho

  47. white+squirrel says:

    Three cheers for Kubra Khademi

  48. wnanig says:

    “The answer is of course that outside, there are the managemorons who believe that nonsense and expect them to do also.”

    Which may also be why reading Dilbert is sometimes a necessity to preserve your sanity when working for a large company. Catbert is a very busy cat – it’s impressive how many companies he manages to work for at the same time. It never ceases to amaze me how, to solve a problem, the most absurd policies get implemented that have the most bizarre side-effects. It’s as if every manager missed psychology 101… not that schools provide nearly enough of it. We had to choose between philosophy and psychology in high school – “So you can either learn some logic and ponder the meaning of life, or you can get some basic understanding how you work as a human being, you can’t have both, sorry”. How pathetic is that? No wonder there is a void left that can be filled with fundamentalist nonsense. Just producing good little producers and consumers is not nearly enough. Unless we actually aim for completely replacing us all with robots (even as consumers), then it might suffice. Not entirely clear on what the purpose of that would be from the perspective of humans though, but hey, the key figures look good.

    As for not trusting authority – welcome to the club. The trick is picking your battles carefully to avoid tilting at windmills too much, and in recognising how your own psychology enters into it. The general rule is also that the more you learn about a subject, the more you realise how little we actually know. You never know as much as after that first, basic course, and do avoid research, it’s like walking around in the fog and occasionally stumbling across something.

    We all use different psychological crutches to cope (religion being one of them – or to quote Derren Brown “the biggest placebo of them all”). Having them removed is a painful process and most often causes you to find another one instead to lean on. Personally I use ironic humour. At least you can get some amusement out of the misery.

  49. Chiefy says:

    On a vaguely related note, one of the reasons religion convinces people is explained in this post on astrology: https://bogardiner.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/a-professional-astrologist-realizes-astrology-isnt-real/

  50. Shaughn says:

    Apparently, astrology truth-saying is paying politically correct lip service to the client: howling what the paying wolf wants to hear.


  51. white+squirrel says:

    In 1934 astrology added Pluto
    As of July 2014 over 1,500 trans-Neptunian objects appear on the Minor Planet Center’s List Of Transneptunian Objects.
    Is Astrology keeping up ?

  52. Shaughn says:

    Whichever answer makes you happy. 😛

  53. FreeFox says:

    You really love that howling wolf image, don’t you, Shaughn? ^_^

    (Personally it irks me that you keep comparing these beautiful creatures with savage human tribalists. Even hyenas are more majestic. Maybe you could coin some new phrase about baboons and following the reddest bum?)

  54. Shaughn says:

    Didn’t it occur to you, FreeFox, that humans are the only mammal other than wolves, that can actually and deliberate howl with wolves? I’m not sure about parrots, I guess they can too.


  55. wnanig says:

    Parrots? Well, not the Norwegian Blue, I expect. Or, no, wait, it’s probably howling with the wolf choir invisible, isn’t it?

    I had missed this one by the way:

  56. two cents' worth says:

    Shaughn and wnanig, thanks for the links! I’ll pass them along to others who will also enjoy the videos.


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