Been a while, ain’t it?
AndromedasWake and I attended a conversation between Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers yesterday. Well, we tried. But we were slightly obstructed by the protesters who forcibly entered the theatre and then hippied up the whole damn shooting match.
Protesters? Oh, yes. You may count upon it.
Continue reading The Dawkins/PZ Protest, 9/6/11
Most of you will have realised that I get the vast majority of my newsing from free London rag The Metro, distributed around the Underground every morning in order to allow bleary-eyed businessmen to further realise that the world is falling gracelessly towards the sun. I don’t think the Metro is a bad little paper, really; the quality of writing is generally good, and it catches stories earlier than other papers you might come across in the day. And you’ll find articles of comparable quality on the same subjects in “real” newspapers.
However, you develop an unfair bias of a newspaper when you peruse it mainly to find new nonsense to write about in your blog. You ignore all rational articles about politics\current affairs\crossbows to the face and concentrate only on articles that guarantee a spout of vitriol frothy enough to incur a transparent sense of self-righteousness. And as a result, your perception is that the chosen paper exists only to print stories about religion, druids and the supernatural. Unfair, since the Metro regularly dishes out reasonably informative articles about modern science and astronomy.
Continue reading There’s A Reason The Metro Is Free
It goes like this:
[Item] or [practice] nullifies or negates the effects, presence, activity or consequences of [entity], [energy], or [phenomenon]. How can you tell? Because absolutely nothing is happening, and so the [item] or [practice] is a legitimate success. This stone keeps away bears. You can tell because you don’t see any bears around here . . . yes, this stone IS for sale. How expensive? Completely. Continue reading Lisa, I Would Like To Buy Your Rock
No good can come from not having the heart to write a blog, and for this reason I found myself plundering my hard drive for material that might sort of work.
Fortunately, anything relating to WLC – the lord of untruth – is worth a gander. I, along with Theo Warner and AndromedasWake and others, have recently been the bemused victims of our very own Craig fantroll; I would link but the nugatory traffic that such an action would result in seems too generous.”Victim” is, of course, subjective. Being a victim implies some sort of damage or loss, and I can detect neither, though in reality I say this only to numb the hurts. The trolling typically takes the form of either a) a short out of context clip of a video titled to inspire ridicule or b) a marginally longer but still often out of context clip of a video conjoined with a longer clip of William Craig apparently schooling us. I’m informed that Theo is reduced to a shambling mass of jelly by this stern treatment; AndromedasWake has resorted to watching videos of cats falling into boxes in order to counteract the vicious pwn, and as for myself . . . well, I’m eating a lot of chocolate and weeping into net curtains. We are pain. Continue reading My Letter To William Lane Craig @ Reasonablefaith.com
Seen this? A few days late with it, but I’m blithely unconcerned.
A Muslim woman has been fined for wearing a burka in a post office in Novara, Italy, after the mayor passed a law forbidding face-covering garb inside public buildings. Mayor Massimo Giordano could maybe be described as an Islamophobe, but as far as I’m concerned that’s like calling someone a murderophobe or a rapistophobe. It’s entirely rational to dislike or fear Islam, which makes it not a phobia but a very sensible intellectual stance.
Continue reading If Men Look At My Wife The Universe Will Fold In On Itself
I can’t really apologise enough for that title.
As I anticipated would happen, Rabbitpirate beat me to laying the first League blogstone on the subject of Simon Singh and his sudden victory. Since I’m not a petty man/as good as Rabbitpirate, I’d love to see him do a longer musing on the subject without the dilution that my opinions would create. However I just wanted to highlight one thing.
Quoting from the BCA’s press release, “The BCA has considered seeking leave to take this matter to the Supreme Court and has been advised there are strong grounds for appeal against the Court of Appeal judgment. However, while it was right to bring this claim at the outset, the BCA now feels that the time is right for the matter to draw to a close. ”
Isn’t that beautiful? The legal equivalent of saying “I could smash your face in, I could . . . any time I wanted . . . only I’m not going to. Any time. But now I’m going home.” For “been advised there are strong grounds for appeal” read “quick, save face ANY WAY WE GODDAMN CAN.” And what’s the best way to save face? Lie. If there were truly strong grounds for appeal the BCA, an organisation that has happily made a decent, genuine, intelligent and (I’m fortunate to know this from personal experience) really lovely man suffer tremendously for years, would without hesitation appeal to continue. Of course they would. Singh said mean*, hurtful** and unfortunately absolutely true things about them so they responded with petty legality. If there was the slightest chance the case could be pursued, don’t you think the BCA would go for it? Just to hurt Simon?
I love seeing people forced to back down after attempting to use laws to censor dissenting voices. We’ve all had our run-ins with DMCAs on Youtube, but Singh has become the poster boy for hope and reason against the odds. And as the BCA sidles grumbling into the shadows, we can only hope that libel laws everywhere face a swift dissolution.
Rabbitpirate? Over to you, sir.
* “You are all frauds”
** “Your mothers are ladies of questionable moral integrity”
I imagine it’s likely that Rabbitpirate is even now putting the finishing touches on a significantly better article on this subject. But hey, I’m a Leaguer – it’s my oft-shirked duty to expose the belly-white viscera of religious arse wherever it may show.
I’d hoped that childishly ripping on Gabriele Amorth, Righteous Exorcist 1st Class Of The Holy Vatican, might be the last slur I cast in the direction of Catholicism. My hope was in vain. Continue reading God Love ‘Em, Because Someone Has To
You’ve really got to admire Catholicism sometimes. I mean, really admire that thing. Not in a pretty way, of course. No. Not in the way that sunsets or elderly couples or kittens on springs or rubber corsets might be admired. More in the sense that I might admire, with horrified fascination, a trembling knot of worms drawn reluctantly from their gastric nest. Or a giant centipede blindly destroying a mouse. Or a botfly larva emerging from the withered husk of its host. I mean, none of us could profess a liking for Hitler but damn, did he get shit done.
Continue reading All Hail Satan, Lord Of The Scots
Usually I refrain from pouncing on superstitious or irrational beliefs for entirely selfish reason. If a woman mentions an interest in astrology, I’m more than likely to tone down or censor entirely any strident protests along the lines of “You what? ” unless I have no superficial manly interest in her at all. For the record, it would take a brick wall in a dress before I stopped wanting to make with the penis.
Continue reading A Hitherto Unheeded Level Of Tact
Here’s a riddle for you.*
Is it better to have flexible, socially contextual morals that may dip below what many people view as laudable behaviour as a result of free will and personal choice . . . or is it better to have a uniformly high moral standard followed, in part or even in whole, as a result of fearing the perceived consequences of not following it?
Of course, you might say that I’ve used Wordification to bias the issue somewhat – and because I have no higher power to feel accountable to I’m perfectly happy to lie, and say that I didn’t bias the point in the slightest.
The question, I suppose, is how worthy or altruistic can a high moral standard be truly taken to be when it’s prescribed rather than acquired? It becomes little more than Utilitarianism if your moral compass is constantly aware that behaving immorally will result in hell, or a few lost brownie-heaven points from God. You’re not acting morally, you’re just protecting your own skin – which is exactly what I would do, of course.
Continue reading Moral Castles Made Of Sand