Discussion (51)¬

  1. Son of Glenner says:

    Hi, fellow-regulars at the old Cock & Bull pub. I shall be attending the Humanists UK Convention in Belfast this weekend. Some of you may also be there. We may be able to meet up under our real names.

    My real name is Etaoin Shrdlu.

  2. Henry Ford says:

    I love those dollar signs. 🙂

  3. Ackshly, Mo, it’s even simpler than that – the word “freedom” is a dog-whistle all by itself. It’s a dog-whistle for the whole idea that Submission to God/Allah is in practice submission to clerics and a Very Bad Idea.

  4. PS Freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom freedom

  5. M27Holts says:

    As a reprise…”Isn’t constantly lying to yourself” a primary driver of delusion? And intellectual dishonesty is just a delusion dressed up in mental finery? The brains eqivalence to all Fur Coat and no knickers…

  6. M27Holts says:

    Faith sits there stark bollock naked and yet everbody declares the finery of its appearance…this has to stop if we are ever going to be rid of the useless twats who all together are the clerical leeches on the arse of mankind…

  7. postdoggerel says:

    No. Not a pitfall on the path of progress. I said a pimple on the ass of progress.

  8. DocAtheist says:

    And, for those in the know, “Globalists” is a dogwhistle for Jews trying to take over the world, as in Protocols of the Elders of Zion bullocks.

  9. Donn says:

    Thank you, I’m embarrassed to say I missed that.

  10. M27Holts says:

    I thought uñit was the illuminati…shape shifting lizards from area 51…

  11. Laripu says:

    Regarding Icke, lizard people ruling the earth, illuminati and a Jewish conspiracy to rule the earth:

    The idea of freedom of speech was invented by intelligent people, with the goal of allowing good ideas to flourish. Then it became possible for stupid-nuts to widely propagate idiocies to billions of other stupid-nuts. Like the internet, and with the internet, freedom of speech was a great idea that has been harnessed by selfish people for influence and greed.

    Physics, biology, and biochemistry are difficult to understand. Conspiracy theories are designed to be easy to understand. Stupid-nuts convince themselves that they’re smarter than scientists by believing conspiracy theories. And there are way more stupid-nuts than there are intelligent people.

    Which brings us to democracy, another idea invented by intelligent people…

  12. M27Holts says:

    Aye. Giving numb-nutz the vote is a very bad idea….who thought it would be the right way to go….like islamist sheep voting in hardline islamist nutters then wondering why their country and economy has gone to shit…

  13. Laripu says:

    M27Holts, here’s what I’ve been thinking:

    Big business always wins, and this time it might not be so bad.
    Times have changed. It used to be that business needed lots of assiduous workers doing the same thing over and over. Now, there’s a great need for talent that can think logically while simultaneously being creative.

    It used to be that business could oppress workers because there were always more where they came from. Not anymore. Talent is rare, and intelligent creativity can’t flourish in an atmosphere of societal angst.

    So I think big business will influence government to create societies in which smart people can be happy and productive. But it will take time until they figure out how to remove most of the political power from stupid-nuts.

    It may have something to do with cheap food, drugs, and television. Bread, wine, and circuses updated to modern times.

    Whatever it is, business will minimally respond to the needs of the rare talent. That’s what I’ve been thinking.

  14. Donn says:

    Does Amazon have warehouses where you are? If you know anyone who works in that situation, see what they think about the future of work.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Donn, Amazon does have warehouse here, and the workers have complained. I was referring to different kinds of workers. The warehouse workers will eventually be replaced by robotics.

    I do agree with you though. The majority will be well and truly f√¢ked.

  16. Laripu says:

    Sorry, that was me. I forgot to put my user name. As if you didn’t know. 🥴

  17. jveeds says:

    Thank you Doc, I also didn’t catch that dog whistle. Although there is a neutral sense– planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world– the antisemitic sense used in this edition is: a term used to promote the antisemitic conspiracy that Jewish people do not have allegiance to their countries of origin (like the United States) but to some worldwide order—like a global economy or international political system—that will enhance their control over the world’s banks, governments, and media

  18. Choirboy says:

    You don’t need lizard people or Islamic sheep to take over when you have the SCOTUS, packed by the Orange One before he was ‘robbed’. Their recent two “judgments”, entirely and cynically against the known wishes of 75% of the public clearly show their allegiance is firmly with what their imaginary friend is whispering in their ears. Separation of church and state? As if.

  19. Donn says:

    Well, I hope I can say this and not be burned for a heretic, but I’m somewhat sympathetic to the view that the Roe v Wade decision was bad law, that hanging this on a right to privacy that was distilled from a “penumbra” was not the kind of business the Supreme Court should have been in. Regardless of the preferences of 75% of the public, which is really quite immaterial.

    The real win will be, if this can ever happen, that public will shuck off the bogus moral dilemmas inculcated by the priests, and come to see this as simply a medical decision that doesn’t need to be subject to legal constraints, whatever the trimester. Until then, Americans don’t deserve the freedom they ambivalently want. If people genuinely want to revere and foster “life”, there are many good ways to do it that are crying out for resources.

  20. M27Holts says:

    What was bad about it? All laws with arbitrary parameters are essentially scuppered and do have grey areas that need to be flexible enough to prosecute sensibly?

  21. Laripu says:

    To begin with, Roe v Wade wasn’t a law, it was a decision by the Supreme Court.

    It didn’t go nearly far enough. The Court should have made it clear, from the beginning, that government shouldn’t interfere in private medical decisions.

    As it stands now, each state will make it’s own laws concerning abortion. Some have no exceptions – even in the case that the fetus is dead and is endangering the life of the mother – even in the case of rape and/or incest.

    Simply put: women have lost rights.

    At least one Justice also wants to re-examine the rights to homosexual sex, same-sex marriage, and to contraception.

    We have a minority that is making us a theocracy. Every sane person should vote those phuckers out, permanently, and pass appropriate laws. Given the structure of the United States, which gives states with low populations disproportionate power, that’s unlikely.

  22. jb says:

    Donn — I tend to agree. The wishes of the people are not the issue here; it’s all about legal principle. If I had my way even late pregnancy abortions would be legal, but it’s never been clear to me that the American constitution had anything to say about the matter.

    I’m not a legal scholar, so I wouldn’t be able to get into the weeds. but it seems likely to me that the liberal judges who decided Roe v Wade essentially just wrote their personal moral thinking into law. Even when their beliefs happen to be the same as mine, that’s not what judges are supposed to do! I was outraged when five liberal Supreme Court justices redefined the institution of marriage in 2015 according to the way they personally felt it ought to be, because it was a clear case of judicial activism. (Every last framer of the Constitution would have been similarly outraged!) So even though I’m strongly pro-abortion, I’m conflicted about the overturning of Roe v Wade, which can be seen as undoing a similar instance of judicial activism.

  23. Choirboy says:

    In a democracy how can the wishes of 75% of the population be ‘immaterial’?
    This is quite obviously a cynical trick to bypass the legitimate votes of the majority, deprive women of their rights and entrench religious/right imposed values for generations to come.
    It is certainly becoming a theocracy and unless actions are taken now either to expand the SCOTUS to rebalance it or impose limited terms the future is bleak. As ever the GOP, claiming to be the party for individual freedom imposes its minority views to limit the rights of millions. The hypocrisy is astounding and it’s always interesting to see the ‘pro-lifers’ sudden blood lust when it comes to hanging, shooting, gassing, electrocuting or injecting the poor souls they’ve kept in a box for twenty-five years.
    The gross misinterpretation of the Second also needs to be challenged more robustly if the wasted 32,000 innocent lives p.a. are to be avoided but the other ridiculous SCOTUS ‘judgment’ has only given new impetus to all those sad characters who think they are John Wayne on the frontier.

  24. Donn says:

    There are avenues for the population to assert their wishes. Today that 75% should be reviewing their votes in elections of the past couple decades, that among other things led to the appointment of these justices, but more directly they are in a position to influence legislation governing abortion. (Ideally, not governing it, since it isn’t an appropriate exercise of the state’s regulatory power.)

    Interpretation of the US constitution is also in a way influenced by popular opinion, inasmuch as there has been some obvious evolution of societal norms over many generations. But there’s a limit to what can honestly be conjured up from that document, and the question here is whether Roe v Wade was an abuse of that power, however well meaning or popular it may have been.

  25. Choirboy says:

    The point is surely that those legitimate avenues are being cynically undermined so that, however the public vote, gerrymandering and the packing of the SCOTUS with clearly biased judges results in unpopular minority views being imposed.
    The irony again is that the Right, so keen, it claims, on small government, spends so much energy on using government to impose its will against the known majority views.
    Roe v Wade was if anything an attempt to keep government from interfering in the individual rights of women (itself a discrimination by sex) and as the Constitution rightly made no provision for such state interference the 14th was about as near as the Founders got.
    The ‘ liberal judges’ did not ‘write their personal moral thinking into law’. They said that the Constitution gave no power to impose a pregnancy to full term upon a woman against her will. Had they said that the Constitution makes no provision with regard to the choice of hat would that have been imposing a moral judgment?
    I strongly suspect that Amy Coney Barrett and co are firmly of the opinion that not only does life begin at conception but that a sperm has God-given life and therefore the rights of an individual. How long before these nutters decide that the Constitution bans contraception?

  26. Donn says:

    In order to rule that the constitution says ___, the court has to lay out a rationale for that interpretation. When that rationale looks thin, we say the court is writing their personal views into law.

    The notion of a right to privacy isn’t weak per se, but it can’t reasonably be used to bar every state action that would incidentally impinge on privacy. In the present case, there’s a “life” at stake, as the majority of Americans understands it, they just have a fuzzy notion that it’s negotiable depending on the age of the fetus. That “life is sacred” principle puts the state in the position of having a compelling interest. We’re going to be under the thumb of the mullahs until we clearly, completely reject them.

  27. theovinus says:

    Life doesn’t “begin” at conception, or at birth, or at any time in-between. Life began roughly four billion years ago. Every living cell, every strand of DNA, is descended from a long line back to that time. We know of no cases where life springs from non-life, only living tissue augmenting itself with raw material.

    “Human life”, in the sense of viable DNA of the species Home sapiens, began at least 200, 000 years ago (recent finds suggest it might be closer to 300,000).

    Just sayin’.

  28. M27Holts says:

    ^ this is the correct answer….The SCOTUS morons would not be capable of understanding the nuances of Darwins dangerous idea….man made laws are based on shifting sands and only the immutable lsws of physics are constant (so far) The USA is fucked…

  29. M27Holts says:

    Scotty was right. Ye cannae change the laws of physics captain….

  30. suffolk blue says:

    Uncle Frank tells is like it is … “The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It’s moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that’s happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe … I really think that. … When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very, very right wing, almost toward Attila the Hun…”

    Interview with Frank Zappa (1986)

  31. Choirboy says:

    In this context the origin of life on earth is a red herring. The issue is about the point at which an individual human conceived today is recognised as having ‘life’ and thus entitled to rights in law. I’m pretty certain that the SCOTUS ‘morons’ understand Darwinism but having long been brainwashed by various sects to believe all the seven days and then rested garbage they reject it.
    More hypocrisy of course in that they were quite willing to lie about their stand on Roe/Wade in order to gain appointments.
    A man got a flat tyre outside an asylum and lost the wheel nuts down a drain. He saw another man observing over a high wall and asked him where the nearest garage was.
    The man told him that he didn’t need a garage if he removed a single nut from each of the other wheels and used them on the spare. The driver was really grateful and asked why on earth the man was in the asylum, to which he replied,
    ‘ I’m in here because I’m mad, not because I’m stupid.’
    Not much doubt in my mind which of those applies to Amy, Bret et al.

  32. M27Holts says:

    Perhaps its just me. But I think that most religious people DO NOT understand the science/physics that inderpins evolution…end of…

  33. M27Holts says:

    Fact A. We are Primates not evolved from apes but are literally big-knobbed apes…

  34. Donn says:

    Snared by your religious upbringing.

    That thing is entitled to the community’s protective intervention because “life.” Why?

    As theovinus points out, you can find “life” in whatever cell. You can find sentient life in a pig. Does our society leap to protect “life”? Or is there something real that’s different here, a special attribute that goes along with that life, like … you know, a soul or something?

    Until we can embrace reason, we don’t deserve to have the mullahs off our backs.

  35. Jim Baerg says:

    See this on where in the bible God aborts fetuses
    Concluding with

    “the central issue for the Religious Right is not the protection of fetuses. It’s a response to the rise of feminism and equal rights, a centuries-old effort to control women, keep them silent and subordinate,”

  36. Choirboy says:

    Isn’t to start invoking souls in obviously material entities in the absence of any evidence the antithesis of embracing reason?
    Snared by a religious upbringing indeed.

  37. Choirboy says:

    The anti-feminism idea is interesting but the church’s attitude to the ‘mortal sin’ of preventing the creation of God’s progeny by any means predates the forty year old feminist movement by several hundred years.
    Interesting too that one of the main movers in this appalling decision is Amy Coney Barrett, someone of a female persuasion, I believe.

  38. M27Holts says:

    She is like that Stepford wife that Dawkins tried to reason with a while back….I think he realised at that moment that Americas dive back into the dark ages was inevitable….

  39. Donn says:

    The point I’m trying to get across here:

    … “recognised as having ‘life’ and thus entitled to rights in law” is apparently a predicate based on some religious notion. Your words, and reflecting an understanding that is widely shared in America.

    As long as that’s going on, we’re going to have to live with this. This isn’t just the fault of some minority of religious zealots who are imposing their exotic beliefs on the rest of us.

  40. Choirboy says:

    I don’t see how ‘recognised as having life’ is ‘predicated on some religious notion’.
    In the total absence of religious belief the decision to abort a foetus still presents medical, practical and ethical issues. Do we accept that abortion is fine at any point during pregnancy, assuming that a blob of a few cells is exactly the same as a foetus within moments of being born? How about while it’s still attached to the umbilicus but external to the mother? Is the concept of murder only applicable via ‘thou shalt not kill’?
    You don’t have to be religious or believe in an imaginary ‘soul’ to have concerns about this and presumably the rational line is to take guidance from medical professionals in relation to potential suffering and viability. I’m not sure how suggesting this is pushing some ‘exotic belief’.
    The point about being entitled to rights in law was to distinguish between the current issue and the red herring of the origins of life on the planet.

  41. Donn says:

    The concept of murder? Well, you tell me. I’m not aware of any fundamental principle that you can apply here, that determines whether killing is murder. What we do instead, is go by the rules that our society develops over many generations. This area is pretty well traveled by medicine – everyone dies, and sometimes the doctor can become involved in that process in a way that’s better for everyone.

    Or you can go with the religious nuts and decide that it’s about whatever fundamental principle they pull out of their ass, and make sure if the doctors are cutting corners, they keep it real quiet.

    If you have a basis in principle for “life” = “entitled to rights”, and it isn’t religious, what is it? It isn’t enough to say “but everyone knows that” – in fact, everyone realizes it’s more complicated than that, and while they have learned to say things like “life is sacred”, reality isn’t that simple and at some level they know that.

  42. M27Holts says:

    The fact is most people have a problem with the concepts of thermodynamics which underpins entropy and thus their arbitrary rules never fit all the cases…and religious dogma is just an older version of post moderism…physics envy and its practioners get undue respect for their “faith”. Should be mandatory for them to dress up as clowns….

  43. postdoggerel says:

    just as salmon return to fresh water
    in a manner anadromous,
    justice regresses in short order
    thanks to Clarence Thomas.
    to make each woman a wench
    and keep their conservative promise,
    his cronies on the bench
    are damn near Islamists.

  44. Choirboy says:

    Of course it’s complicated. The word ‘life’ is carrying a lot of weight here and a more helpful term is probably the Humanist ‘a life’.
    Most people who have no belief that life is created by ‘God’ respect that their fellow humans have ‘rights’. The church does not have to impose commandments for humans to recognise an immorality in stealing or killing. There’s plenty of nonsense from the religious that morals can’t exist outside their tinpot beliefs.
    The fact remains, though that if you are going to decide, in the complete absence of religious belief in the sanctity of ‘life’, to terminate a pregnancy, it’s as well to know what you are destroying. Presumably there is a point at which ‘a life’ (ie a fellow human) is ‘entitled to rights’ – an important one being not to be murdered.
    Is post partum the point at which our fellow human gains the same rights as us or does my question about the umbilicus apply?
    I happen to support the right of women to decide, along with the well established medical view on the reasonable point up to which it is allowed. To accept that point where a foetus is ‘viable’ is the same it seems to me as the judgment that ‘a life has rights’. I, along with most I suspect, would find the destroying of a foetus at partum as close as damn it to what would generally be termed murder. That is, taking away the life of a fellow being. God has nothing to do with any of this.
    As to the role of entropy in the subject of abortion I can only invoke the old joke about the miner in court whose lawyer was asked by the judge if his client was aware of ‘ Res ipsa loquitur’.
    ‘My Lord, they speak of little else in Barnsley’.

  45. Donn says:

    OK, apparently Humanism serves in a quasi-religious role here.

    You assert that at “some reasonable point”, a fetus acquires some principle that makes its death murder, and the only thing I can see here in support is “Humanist” and “most people.” I think you’re going to find that Humanist thought on this is not super clear, and “most people” are heavily influenced by religious ideas.

    More importantly, you describe an ideology that conflicts with reality. Did I mention that this area is well traveled by medicine? Topic for your consideration: “Child Euthanasia”. In the US, illegal – but as I understand it, practiced. This is a similar case, where society at one level understands and accepts that the best course of action in the real world can’t really be built on principles like that, but on another level feels compelled to legislate those principles.

    Until we can all, or at least mostly, consciously become comfortable living on the level of the real world, we’ll be at the mercy of the religious. We’re playing their game.

  46. Choirboy says:

    I don’t see how ‘ quasi-religious’ applies. What elements of religion are actually present? No assertion of a super being or deity; no form of ritual; no following of principles claimed to be divine; no following the ‘teachings’ of a leader claiming special powers. The nearest I can see is a degree of trust in the expertise of the medical profession although I’ve never thought of my occasional prostate examinations as in any way approaching the divine.
    Topic for your consideration: ‘child abuse’. In the UK illegal but as I understand it, practised. Is the suggestion that for society to act upon principles to prevent it is quasi-religious, a failure to ‘live in the real world’ and being at the mercy of the religious. Certainly many of the poor kids abused here were at the mercy of the religious.
    I made no assertion about the murder of a foetus but asked a question about the point at which you would consider it to have rights, to which I don’t seem to have received an answer.

  47. Donn says:

    But you can’t say where this principle comes from, that would make an abortion murder under some cases. It is a principle, right? I mean in the sense that it applies regardless of circumstance – once the embryo arrives at that state, it’s murder.

    Child abuse is a great example. What is today child abuse, would not long ago have been ordinary and indeed salutary discipline, and at that it depends on whom you ask. Is there a fundamental principle here? If so, let’s have it! We should be able to use it to clear this up. But that’s just why it’s an evolving story, because there isn’t any fundamental principle, just an evolving sense of what fits with the society we want to be.

    When we can stop trying to address this issue with things like personhood, rights, “life”, etc. of a fetus, we’re free. Until then, we’re playing the religious game – there isn’t any other source for a solid, identifiable basis for these principles, so while you can arbitrarily arrive at whatever position you want, they’ll win the game.

  48. Choirboy says:

    I don’t know at what state which is why I ask the question. Even officially atheist states like The Soviet Union and China had/have laws prohibiting murder, rape, theft etc which are based on the principle of individual rights and applied as evenly as possible ( within the limits of human efficiency) Nothing to do with religion but seen as principles nevertheless. Where do those principles come from?
    I was referring to the systematic sexual abuse of children, not the good old smack around the legs. There are laws against priest fiddling with kiddies in their care. Where did that principle come from.
    Unless you are suggesting complete lawless anarchy such laws will persist and if you accept them then it’s important to know who you cannot murder, rape etc. Of course there have been places/times where slavery, apartheid, taliban have restricted access to certain groups but I don’t see that bears on this.
    If you concede that murder is wrong, who is protected? If two cases of killing come before a court, one of a foetus just pre partum and one of a post partum baby thirty seconds later what is the judgment? If the latter is protected but the former is not then we are back to my question about a blob of cells/fully formed foetus.
    Presumably all the judge has to say is, ‘It’s an evolving story because there isn’t any fundamental principle, just an evolving sense of what fits with the society we want to be’ and everyone will feel ‘free’ and ‘they’ will have lost?

  49. Donn says:

    Sure, we have laws, that prohibit various actions, such as murder. People come to trial under those laws all the time.

    Now here’s your pre and post partum cases – do they come to trial? No. Because it’s an imaginary issue. Not because it can’t happen, but because when it happens, it’s for reasons that are compelling to the people involved, and society has no valid interest in getting involved. It happens, actually, in both cases. We don’t need a rule of principle to decide the matter, because it isn’t really our business.

    Of course I’m speaking about a secular society. And in a society like ours, until the matter becomes a religious football.

  50. Choirboy says:

    But they do come to trial. There are cases of child murder all too often coming to trial and the perpetrators are dealt with in law by punishment or treatment. There are also cases of illegal abortions which come to trial with the same result. In my hypothetical case the judgments are likely to be similar, given the developed nature of the foetus. In the case of the termination earlier in the pregnancy the perpetrator is likely to be treated more leniently or not at all, the action being within legal parameters largely based on medical judgments.
    It’s an interesting idea that the murder of a baby is for reasons ‘compelling only to the people involved and society has no valid interest in getting involved’. If the murder of a baby isn’t our business what is?
    Not really sure what to make of that one!

  51. Donn says:

    I guess it depends on whether you come to the question from a fundamentally religious place or not. Even if you apparently don’t recognize its theological origins.


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