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← Bad Faith Awards 2009: the polls are open

Bad Faith Awards 2009: the polls are open - Comments

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins

How BORING that the Pope Ratzinger is notching up the most votes. I'm not sure who I'd vote for, but I'd surely choose a less obvious candidate than the pope.


Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:09:00 UTC | #415030

thesavage's Avatar Comment 2 by thesavage

As with last year, I've gone for Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya as my standout global God bothering nut job.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:23:00 UTC | #415032

AllanW's Avatar Comment 3 by AllanW

Richard; Darth Ratzinger is the obvious choice for many people because of the sheer scale of the horror he causes. If he doesn't get the award what does that say about our humanitarian concerns versus petty political points?

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:26:00 UTC | #415033

John Locke's Avatar Comment 4 by John Locke

i see your point richard, after all it is less fun - but as the worst offender i think he deserves the gong.

i think people are voting for him because he is a genuine serious target for criticism and his comments and actions go beyond the light hearted nature of the poll. even if it is a (relatively) meaningless online poll.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:27:00 UTC | #415034

bruceeverett's Avatar Comment 5 by bruceeverett

I'm undecided between Tony "Atheists are The Enemy" Blair, and Cormac "Atheists are sub-human" Murphy O'Connor. What unreconstructed bigots they are, and a real litmus test of anyone who courts them.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #415035

Thurston's Avatar Comment 6 by Thurston

The unlikely pairing of Eagleton and Armstrong get my vote, just because they don't have anything to say that can be argued with. At least creationists have the courage of their convictions and say they really believe what they do.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:37:00 UTC | #415037

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 7 by Paula Kirby

Talk about stuck for choice! Any one of them would make a worthy winner. In the end I went for Tony Blair, on the basis that it’s not realistic to expect any better of the others but I do think we have a right to expect our statesmen to make their decisions based on solid evidence and rational thinking rather than floaty feelings and scary voices in their heads. Add to that his sheer clout on the international stage, and his irrationality becomes a very serious matter indeed.

The Pope’s is too, of course, but on that basis he could win it every year. So for my money we might as well take the Pope's dangerous irrationality as read, and highlight the dangers posed by other irrationalists instead.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:41:00 UTC | #415038

Opisthokont's Avatar Comment 8 by Opisthokont

I suspect that Ratzinger and Oktar are each individually responsible for more damage against the humanist cause than all the remaining candidates combined. For instance, Aherne's blasphemy law will likely be only symbolic until it is overturned in the courts (which is only a matter of time, although I will not hold my breath until that happens), and Murphy-O'Connor is on the list merely for one quote (albeit the sort of stupid, insulting, and patently wrong quote that we get branded as "shrill" and "strident" for objecting to). Granted, the latter has participated in a number of other serious affronts to humanity, but the majority (if not all) of those are just business as usual in the Catholic church, which is ultimately Ratzinger's responsibility. Ratzinger is probably the most influntial of the lot, while Oktar's fostering of Islamic creationism and aiding of Turkish antisecularism is likely to be the hardest to undo.

So the question comes down to what the Bad Faith award is actually supposed to highlight. If it is individual acts of faith-based idiocy, then for certain all (except perhaps the BCA) are qualified without question; if it is more of a reflection on career achievements, Oktar and Ratzinger are going to be hard to top.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:48:00 UTC | #415039

Twatsworth's Avatar Comment 9 by Twatsworth

Vote for either Tony Blair or the British Chiropractic Association.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:49:00 UTC | #415040

George Lennan's Avatar Comment 10 by George Lennan

I would have voted for Saint Tony, but now his ambitions to have Europe marching on for jesus have been scuppered (yeehah - champers anyone), I think he's more or less had his last crack of the whip and won't be bothering us any more.

I went for Armstrong / Eagleton, well, Armstrong after her recent hilarious 'god doesn't exist which is why we must believe in him' vaudeville. Bad faith in every way.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:51:00 UTC | #415041

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 11 by irate_atheist

After some reflection on the points made by Allan and Paula, and despite my visceral contempt for Tony, I have plumped for Nazinger.

He may seem like the obvious choice, Richard, but the damage he and his organisation does to peoples lives is far greater than the others. And that, IMHO, trumps any personal feelings of disgust. Unless a certain Scottish clergyman ever appears on the list, of course. In which case - like him - it would be a no-brainer.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 12:59:00 UTC | #415043

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 12 by Mark Jones

Very tough call, but I've gone for Eagleton/Armstrong, or EagleStrong, as the kids are calling them.

Although to my mind Armstrong is less culpable than Eagleton, who seems to have created his own special blend of malice and cant. Armstrong is a capable writer whose beliefs have run away from her, so she's ended up writing nonsense like The Case for God, full of sentiments which don't add up to anything.

Eagleton; well, he's just an awful writer with a chip on his shoulder, IMO.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:00:00 UTC | #415046

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 13 by hungarianelephant

I toyed with the idea of picking Dermot Ahern, only to find that instead some chap called Dermot Aherne is listed. Who he?

Ahearne is the only one who has managed a concrete reversal in a progressive country. But in the end, I don't believe this nonsense is religiously motivated. Furthermore, there were 165 other TDs who were given an opportunity to vote it down, 159 of whom didn't turn up at all, and the other five of whom didn't get off their superannuated arses to stop it. Singling out Diarmaid O'Hurne amongst such a pathetic bunch of losers seems rather unfair.

So I went for Tony Blair, for basically the same reasons as Paula Kirby (433429).

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:02:00 UTC | #415048

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 14 by Peacebeuponme

Surely John Denham must be in with a shout now?

[EDIT: Obviously he's not on the list. It's Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor for me, the man who said that atheists are something less than human and said of The Da Vinci code: "There is a real danger that people will start to believe this fairly story.]

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:07:00 UTC | #415051

Nisus Wettus's Avatar Comment 15 by Nisus Wettus

BCA, because the more bad publicity they get the better for everyone.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:15:00 UTC | #415053

Bormotun's Avatar Comment 16 by Bormotun

But why shouldn't it be Ratzinger?! I was very surprised to hear this from the author of "The God Delusion"!

After all, the aim of the poll is formulated as determining "the person deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to the cause of unreason."

I know there could be more people on this list, but still: can there really be found any single person who did more for unreason than the Pope? We are talking about direct influence on over a billion people on the global scale here!

Various muslim and other fanatics may be doing more immediate harm, but their harm is much more localised...

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:45:00 UTC | #415069

Bribase's Avatar Comment 17 by Bribase

Had to be Harun Yahya for me. His particular brand of misinformation has this breathtaking transparency to it. I'm a little tired of creationists searching for tiny fissures in the theory of evolution to inject their corrosive babble. Their cause really needed Oktar to act like a giant traction engine, trundling over the pithy details like taxonomy, phylogeny and whether or not the examples are made of plastic.

No one can do denial like he can


Fri, 20 Nov 2009 13:47:00 UTC | #415071

daftness's Avatar Comment 18 by daftness

I was tempted sorely to plump for Conman Numpty O'Nutter but opted instead for the smiling malevolence that is Phoney B-Liar

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:25:00 UTC | #415084

serendipity1's Avatar Comment 19 by serendipity1

Bad Faith Award, presented each year to the person deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to the cause of unreason

Given that this is an annual award, presumably your nominee should have made a particular, outstanding contribution to the cause of unreason within the past year.

I'm sure we could all agree on a shortlist (or perhaps a not-so-shortlist) of potential recipients based on their historical, accumulated demonstrations of a lack of, or opposition to, reason. However, as I see it, this is an opportunity to draw attention to those who have perpetrated particularly outrageous happyslap attacks on reason during the course of this past year.

Given that I’m Irish, I am veering strongly towards nominating Thierry Henry ……. no, sorry, I mean Dermot Ahern ……….

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:27:00 UTC | #415085

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 20 by Peacebeuponme


Thierry Henry
This man has performed so much magic for Arsenal that I can't lose respect for him. However, he seems to be on some sort of gentlemanly time-delay.

He tells the referee and Richard Dunne that, yes, he did handball, just after the goal is awarded and match ended.

He say that, yes, a reply would be fair, just after FIFA unequivocally rule it out.

He's a fair guy who's watch has stopped, it seems. Cynics may suggest otherwise.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:52:00 UTC | #415093

halbard101's Avatar Comment 21 by halbard101

Damn, I can’t vote from work as the page is blocked for some reason 

I’ll be definitely casting my vote for Tony Blair though, I can’t stand this man. Not only do we have troops stuck in the Middle East on bogus reasons because of him, but we now have faith schools. When did segregating people by religion ever make anything better£ These are a time bomb…

But at least muslim girls will receive the correct “training” so their Dad’s won’t have to kill them to restore “honour”.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:02:00 UTC | #415099

lordpasternack's Avatar Comment 22 by lordpasternack

1. Comment #433421 by Richard Dawkins:

I'm not sure who I'd vote for, but I'd surely choose a less obvious candidate than the pope.

I personally would vote for the candidate who most fully fulfilled the outlined criteria - obvious and boring or not.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:03:00 UTC | #415100

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 23 by Tyler Durden


I don't mean to derail this thread but Thievery Henry has admitted it was "ball-to-hand" i.e. accidental.

He did not admit to handball.

But video evidence clearly shows him nudging the ball into play after it had hit his hand i.e. deliberate.

FIFA won't change its minds but the French Federation could ban Henry for two matches (unsportsmanlike conduct) thereby missing games during the World Cup 2012.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:08:00 UTC | #415102

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 24 by Peacebeuponme

Tyler - I'm the tree across the track, sorry.

Henry has recently said he handled the ball 'instinctively'. It's rather like when Marc Overmars 'instinctively' ran 30 yards and smashed the ball into the net during a cup tie against Sheffield United a few years ago. That match did actually get replayed.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:18:00 UTC | #415105

root2squared's Avatar Comment 25 by root2squared

Blair for me. Not too hard. Even the pope is a saint compared to Bush's puppy dog.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:19:00 UTC | #415106

mixmastergaz's Avatar Comment 26 by mixmastergaz

Obvious and boring is rather missing the point of the Bad Faith Awards; it's unlikely the winner will turn up to collect his or her prize! A vote for the Pope makes us New Humanists (and I'm a subscriber) look humourless and predictable. Voting for Pope Palpatine is about as funny as a "You Don't Have To Be Mad To Work Here..." sign. The publication which gave us "God Trumps" deserves better than the obvious and boring choice.

Of course I agree that the Catholic Church in general, and Pope Benedict in particular, are very far from being positive influences in the world, but these aren't the "Who's The Biggest Bad Guy" awards...

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:22:00 UTC | #415108

Mr. Davies's Avatar Comment 28 by Mr. Davies

I had to go with Bush for using his creationist 'Zoo" to poison the minds of the young.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:33:00 UTC | #415111

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 27 by Tyler Durden

Sorry Peace, Henry says "the ball hit my hand..." but he never admits to the second touch where he controlled the ball with his hand.

Henry is blaming the ref, anyone but himself.

I admired Wenger for that gesture against Sheffield United a few years ago.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:33:00 UTC | #415110

Fuzzy Duck's Avatar Comment 29 by Fuzzy Duck

I voted Adnan Oktar, a.k.a. Harun Yahya.

Strangely, there was a fairly large stockpile of copies of "Atlas of Creation" at my college, Bard, earlier this semester. In what in Allah's name is going on?...


Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:41:00 UTC | #415115

OlavRokne's Avatar Comment 30 by OlavRokne

I have to vote for the Chiropractors.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:47:00 UTC | #415117