This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← I believe in the god of thunder ...thank Thor our politicians agree

I believe in the god of thunder ...thank Thor our politicians agree - Comments

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 1 by Follow Peter Egan

and that if you go to where prepubescent girls claim to have seen The Virgin Mary appear and light some candles then your terminal cancer might be cured or your brain-damaged child made to talk.

The article is eminently sensible, thank you Muriel. I'm writing a piece at the moment on Lourdes, and its sinister purpose. Having pushed wheelchair-bound children around there at the age of 16 (and already an atheist) I couldn't accept that I was "doing good", as everyone was keen to tell me. How dare I pretend to the children that if they believe enough in Jesus they may be "cured" and may become "just like me"£ How dare anyone tell them there is anything that ought to be cured£

A bit of a tangent point, but it's been on my mind a lot of late.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:29:00 UTC | #445359

billzfantazy's Avatar Comment 2 by billzfantazy

Great article by a Scottish icon!
BTW if you're not Scottish OXTERS=ARMPITS

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:36:00 UTC | #445362

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 3 by irate_atheist

Thank you Muriel. Thank you for reminding me that, amongst the madness, there are still some voices of sanity crying in the wilderness.

Few and far between, it seems to me, but they still exist.

So thank you.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:40:00 UTC | #445366

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 5 by Stephen of Wimbledon

A timely article.

It is a sad fact that the professional politicians have got it into their heads that the religious are more likely to vote and so need to be stroked.

Only yesterday I was listening to politicians on Radio 4 saying that religions have something to contribute to politics. Significantly, they stopped short of saying exactly what value religion has in politics.

If you live in the UK, make sure your local candidates know that you would prefer to stick with a more enlightened, Enlightenment illuminated, politics.


Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:41:00 UTC | #445368

moniz's Avatar Comment 4 by moniz

I too believe in the God of Thunder...and Rock 'n' Roll! (sorry, couldn't help myself with the easy KISS reference!)

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:41:00 UTC | #445367

serendipity1's Avatar Comment 6 by serendipity1

with a degree of uncertainty introduced, agnostic might be a better descriptor than atheist for the ads

Wrong – and apologies but it’s the pedant in me – certainty is simply irrelevant with regards to whether one is a theist or an atheist. What is of relevance is belief, ie if, having considered the matter, you believe in a creator god along with the typical related paraphernalia, then you are a theist. If you do not so believe, then you are an atheist by definition. It is not a continuum with potential middle ground - in precisely the same way that you are either pregnant or not pregnant.

Agnosticism relates to knowledge/certainty, eg I am both an atheist and an agnostic – ie, I do not contend that I know with certainty that there is no god (agnostic), however, I do not believe there is a god (atheist). Similarly, one could be both a theist and an agnostic (and I suspect most theists are) – ie, not professing to know of gods’ existence with certainty but believing nonetheless.

As an illustrative point, consider for a moment whether a new born child is an atheist or an agnostic (presuming we could agree that, without the capacity to consider the matter, they could not be a theist)£

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:59:00 UTC | #445374

FishNChimps's Avatar Comment 7 by FishNChimps

As an Olympian polytheist, I am holding my breath for the promotion of Zeus's family morals as a basis for sex & relationship education in my children's schools.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:01:00 UTC | #445376

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 8 by Tyler Durden

So we will be insisting that armpit reproductive health will trump all other considerations. We will teach young boys and girls to cover their armpits modestly, and how to avoid unwanted pregnancies from the oxters.
But this contradicts the long-standing Story Theory of Reproduction. Teach the controversy I reckon.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:08:00 UTC | #445380

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 9 by SaganTheCat

I spent a week in lourdes and it certainly helped cure me of a debilitating condition

such big business all on the basis that if-you-come-here-you-will-be-cured-unless-you-don't-get-cured-in-which-case-you-have-been-given-an-even-greater-gift-from-god-but-one-you-didn't-ask-for-because-it's-rude-to-ask-god-for-something-you-want-the-best-bet-is-to-pray-for-someone-else-like-a-martyr-caring-not-for-your-own-cure-sometimes-you-can-trick-god-like-that

I took that message home with me and was enlightened! In truth I did go home with a greater gift. damn they were right.

to end religion, just make it adhere to the same advertising standards as any other product

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:27:00 UTC | #445389

Thurston's Avatar Comment 10 by Thurston

Great article, I loved the conversational intolerance is showed.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:31:00 UTC | #445392

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 11 by Follow Peter Egan

Comment #465269 by billzfantazy

Great article by a Scottish icon!
BTW if you're not Scottish OXTERS=ARMPITS

Thanks for the translation! I had wondered.

And I lived in Glasgow for four years but never picked up that one...

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:34:00 UTC | #445395

Am I Evil?'s Avatar Comment 13 by Am I Evil?

Good article, but my question is: which party out there addresses secularism properly? The Tories and Labour certainly don't. The LibDems have kind of hinted at it. Hardly any of the minor parties even mention it. Unless I'm missing one out there?

I know the Aussies have a secular party, pretty sure the UK doesn't. I'd like to see one in the near future.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:50:00 UTC | #445403

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 12 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #465281 by serendipity1

Wrong thread! (But, naturally, I agree with you.)

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:50:00 UTC | #445402

alexhouse's Avatar Comment 14 by alexhouse

I'm going to vote Lib Dem this time - mainly because their leader is an atheist and prepared to say it. There's little between the parties in reality these days - so I'm voting for intellectual honesty.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 15:38:00 UTC | #445429

Prankster's Avatar Comment 15 by Prankster

"....and contraception being important because we know that the jotuun Ymir’s son, from whom Odin descended, bred a man and a woman from his armpits. So we will be insisting that armpit reproductive health will trump all other considerations. We will teach young boys and girls to cover their armpits modestly, and how to avoid unwanted pregnancies from the oxters."

Ah! Bagpiping explained......?

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 16:07:00 UTC | #445448

Summer Seale's Avatar Comment 16 by Summer Seale

Oh, I don't know...

...I found this article to be another Atheist being "shrill" and "strident"...

(So many religious people can be so incredibly sensitive for ones who think that they have the creator of the universe on their side).

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 16:46:00 UTC | #445471

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 17 by Cartomancer

It's a bit off-topic I guess, but the following link involves British politicians, homosexuality and a prominent "new atheist", so it should probably go well here...

Can somebody pinch me, so I can be sure I haven't just dreamed this headline...

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 17:41:00 UTC | #445504

Denial's Avatar Comment 18 by Denial

This reminds me of a topical picture I'd like to share:

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 18:14:00 UTC | #445520

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 19 by prettygoodformonkeys

Thanks for that, Denial; I have happily passed it on to like-minded fellow Scandinavians!

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 18:34:00 UTC | #445530

Summer Seale's Avatar Comment 20 by Summer Seale


I saved it to my desktop. It's a total keeper. I was laughing so hard that some others in the office came to see it and laughed as well. =)

Thank you. =)

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 18:51:00 UTC | #445537

fossil-fish's Avatar Comment 21 by fossil-fish

That was a fantastic article. So many parallels with our own little society here in Northern Ireland. I grew up in a country were it was more important to pay a man to drive round play parks on a Saturday night chaining up swings than it was to spend money making those same places feel safe and welcoming for families.

I have had to pass it on to a Scottish friend saying 'Good for Scotland'. Although, just like here, there are many places in Scotland where you cannot catch a fish on Sunday. Not sure why that upsets god so much.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 18:57:00 UTC | #445539

High_Evolutionary's Avatar Comment 22 by High_Evolutionary

Great article, Muriel. It will fall on deaf ears, of course. The Creationists and IDers know they are promoting their religion and that only theirs is true but great article anyway.

Yes, definitely "Scientific Odinism" should be taught in schools. Or, since that makes it sound a little too much like a religious belief, maybe just call it, oh, Intelligent Design.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 19:33:00 UTC | #445560

High_Evolutionary's Avatar Comment 23 by High_Evolutionary

P.S. You forgot the part where the fire and ice meeting in the darkness of Ginnungagap caused the Big Bang.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 19:35:00 UTC | #445561

quisquose's Avatar Comment 24 by quisquose

Thank you Muriel, you are officially forgiven for The Clothes Show now.


Mon, 01 Mar 2010 19:46:00 UTC | #445570

Blue Powder Monkey's Avatar Comment 25 by Blue Powder Monkey


Mon, 01 Mar 2010 20:34:00 UTC | #445592

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 26 by the great teapot

"Can somebody pinch me"
If you ask Mr Hitchens nicely cartomancer.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 20:39:00 UTC | #445596

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 27 by prolibertas

Nobody's mentioned it, but there actually are people out there who believe, in all poe-faced seriousness, in Odin, Thor and the rest of the Nordic pantheon and accompanying mythology. They call themselves the 'Asatru Folk', and generally come under the Neo-Pagan umbrella alongside Wicca and the like. We might be made to chew our words here if these people actually DO push to have faith-schools centred around worship of the ancient Norse gods.

But mostly I'm just curious as to how the 'Asatru' would've read this article, seeing their religion used as the obviously-ridiculous-parody against Christianity, on the level of Flying Spaghetti Monsters and Invisible Pink Unicorns.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 20:40:00 UTC | #445600

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 28 by Stonyground

Excellent article, agreed with most of it and laughed quite often.

I do have a problem with the religious who think that they have a monopoly on family values. If there is a single word in favour of family values in the Bible, I challenge every Christian out there to find it. In the unlikely event that they do, for every word in favour I will present them with ten words that say the opposite.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 20:45:00 UTC | #445601

friendlypig's Avatar Comment 29 by friendlypig

Comment #465446 by fossil-fish on March 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

That was a fantastic article....

I have had to pass it on to a Scottish friend saying 'Good for Scotland'. Although, just like here, there are many places in Scotland where you cannot catch a fish on Sunday. Not sure why that upsets god so much.

Don't forget, even the fish are entitled to a day of rest.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 21:17:00 UTC | #445610

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 30 by Crazycharlie

comment#465411 -Carto

Yes it's true. I've seen it at other places on the web. I'm not surprised either. From various things he's said in the past I've suspected Hitch had gay flings. I respect him even more now because he isn't afraid to admit it.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 23:01:00 UTC | #445641