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Go to: New Rule: Atheism is not a religion! Unbaptizes Mitt Romney's Dead Father-In-Law!

Greyhound1405's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Greyhound1405

Outdoing the Mormons by debaptising an atheist who had been posthumously baptised! Lets have more of actions like this.

Sat, 04 Feb 2012 22:13:20 UTC | #914668

Go to: Christopher Hitchens obituaries

Greyhound1405's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Greyhound1405

The man who did the best to rid the world of FEAR, SUPERSTITION and IGNORANCE. Sorely missed, and condolences to your wife and family. Only 3 horsemen left now...

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 12:09:54 UTC | #899700

Go to: God and Disaster

Greyhound1405's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by Greyhound1405

At least their not blaming the gays like church in New Zealand did for their Quake.

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 07:08:02 UTC | #602473

Go to: The Poetry of Science: Neil deGrasse Tyson & Richard Dawkins

Greyhound1405's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by Greyhound1405

I have a question for Neil de Grass Tyson, perhaps Richard you could pass it on to him, as I was having some of the same difficulties as you in grasping some of the concepts?

If there was a big bang, as evidence seems to suggest from the scientist new toys sorry tools, then how come everything is seen as expanding away from 'us'?

Horizons from a ship were suggested as means to understand that we don't see all that is out there, BUT if there was a single point of beginning, surely everything (including us), is sailing or flying through space AWAY from that one beginning point and not sailing or flying away from us?

Which gives me the problem that, when facing that one point of beginning (difficult on a rotating planet), surely everything in its path would be travelling towards us and maybe past us and perceived as relatively stationary as we are all travelling roughly the same speed and outward direction? The only motion being percieved when facing toward the beginning as the big bang sphere is growing like an expanding chest rising, thus only moving relatively slowly away from us as the bubble of energy expands seen out of the corner of our eyes (tools) so to speak.

Surely facing away from the beginning one point would be the only direction of seeing stuff moving away from the beginning point in a realistic manner?

Thank you from a non-scientist but yet enthusiastic amatuer. I look forward to NdGT's answer.

Incidentally, NdGT's sense of humour was infectious including his slight teasing of you Richard. It was so refreshing to hear 2 scientists talking instead of the Religious battles we normally see. It was just like 2 intelligent friends sitting by the fireside chatting and we were being given acces to their private conversation. Great format. Although his infectious enthusiasm could have been seen as rude butting in, I feel that he had a genuine respect for the 'Oxford Professor'. Although the astute would have noticed that religion was knocked covertley by him a few times as well lol.

By showing the limitations of our senses and the tools that science has come up to explain the things we don't normally see was (in my opinion) the best weapon against Religion. Although no one mentioned that the Hindu mythology talks of the big bang in terms of god breathing in and then out, so eventually we might get a big shrink. Sounds like old age lol.

The only low point of the evening was the suggestion that philosophers had nothing to contribute to science! Shame on you NdGT. The best gift philosophers can give all thinkers is how to think, the avoidance of fallacious thinking (the greatest weakness of the Religious and some scientists). And moral philosophy can show the weakness of relying on religion for its morals, and philosophy of ethics is a better guide to what is acceptable in areas like 'stem cell' research. So, think again NdGT, please.

The questioner who asked how we could educate the Religious bigots was difficult, because childhood brainwashing is difficult to erase, therefore Richard keep up with the good work of keeping religion out of science education project, if not out of schools altogether unless strictly monitored for equal time for all systems of belief. I have personally had a letter from the Secretary of State (via my MP) in answering my concerns, stating that Creationism would be kept out of science classes as their ideas have 'no underpinning scientific principles, or explanations and are not accepted by the scientific community as a whole' That is a heartening start. Just got to get them to recognise all the religious prejudice that abounds in faith schools, as evidenced by your great programme on faith schools. Other forms of prejudice are not tolerated, why is Religious intolerance allowed? Keep religion for children in Sunday school, until no-one is left who is interested in Religion except for cultural and historical reasons.

Suggest that the best tack against Religious bigotry is to expose their total lack of morals in their so-called holy books. Skeptics annotated bible website and expanded by Sam Harris's similar site is replete with example of totally inadequate and even evil guidelines for teaching morals from the 3 Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Thank you Richard, from Graham ASH-PORTER

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 10:33:03 UTC | #537605

Go to: Can the rest of us have our planet back?

Greyhound1405's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Greyhound1405

“Hello. I’d like to start this week with a request, and this one goes out to the followers of the three Abrahamic religions: the Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It’s just a little thing, really, but do you think that when you’ve finished smashing up the world and blowing each other to bits and demanding special privileges while you do it, do you think that maybe the rest of us could sort of have our planet back? I wouldn’t ask, but the thing is, I’m starting to think that there must be something written in the special books that each of you so enjoy referring to that it’s okay to behave like precious, petulant, pugnacious, pricks. Forgive the alliteration, but your persistent, power-mad punch-ups are pissing me off. It’s mainly the extremists obviously, but not exclusively. It’s a lot of ‘main-streamers’ as well. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.

“Muslims: listen up my bearded and veily friends! Calm down, okay? Stop blowing stuff up. Not everything that said about you is an attack on the prophet Mohammad and Allah that needs to end in the infidel being destroyed. Have a cup of tea, put on a Cat Stevens record, sit down and chill out. I mean seriously, what’s wrong with a strongly-worded letter to The Times?

“Christians: you and your churches don’t get to be millionaires while other people have nothing at all. They’re your bloody rules; either stick to them or abandon the faith. And stop persecuting and killing people you judge to be immoral. Oh, and stop pretending you’re celibate — it’s a cover-up for being a gay or a nonce. Right, that’s two ticked off.

“Jews! I know you’re god’s ‘Chosen People’ and the rest of us are just whatever, but when Israel behaves like a violent, psychopathic bully and someone mentions it that doesn’t make them anti-Semitic. And for the record, your troubled history is not a license to act with impunity now.

“So, when the letters come (and I’m guessing they will), I can guarantee that each one of those faiths will be convinced that I’ve singled them out for special criticism.

[In mock Arabic accent] “Why did it have to be us? Islam is a peaceful faith!

[In upper class British accent] “I don’t see what’s wrong with being Christian? We’re a peaceful, loving faith.

[In affronted, huffy voice] “How dare you after all we’ve been through! We Jews know how terrible violence can be.

“You see, all of them will be convinced that they’re the ones being picked on. The Abrahamic faiths are like scousers: they’re always convinced they have it harder than everyone else.

“And why is it that all of these faiths claim to be peaceful, when even a most fleeting glance at a history of warfare will tell you otherwise? The relationship between religion and warfare is very similar to the relationship between Ant and Dec: you could have one without the other, but I’m not sure anyone would see the point. I wouldn’t actually like it, but it would be refreshing to hear one of them come out and say, ‘Our faith’s violent as you like. We love a scrap, us lot, we do. Our special book says “fight fight smash maim murder kill fight fight.” That’s why I signed up to be honest. I’m a bit naughty, know what I mean?’ But yet all of them claim to be peaceful religions. Yeah, peaceful right up to the point where someone takes something they think is theirs, or says the wrong thing or looks at them funny. Then it’s fighty smashy kicky punchy all the way. I know this’ll upset a lot of people and frankly I don’t care. I’m getting so sick of religious people screwing it up for the rest of us.

“Please don’t kill us, seriously. As far as I’m concerned this is the only chance we get. When we die it’s all over — there’s no virgins and pearly gates waiting for us, no big, beardy man saying, ‘Right, so how do you think that went, then? Killed a lot of people in my name I see. Not really what I had in mind. Um, tell you what, have another go as a worm.’

“While we’re at it, I’m sick of religious people forcing their children to define themselves by their parents’ faith. A four-year-old is no more a Christian than he is a member of the Postal Workers’ union. [in child's voice] ‘We want a fair working wage, decent working conditions, and time allotted to see the new Transformers film.’

“This week Lydia Playfoot, who took Millay School in Horsham to the high court so she could wear jewelry to prove she’s staying a virgin for Jesus, lost her case. Good. I’m glad. I don’t care how many times her parents claim it was her idea, rules is rules, and if you want to wear a ring that tells everyone you’re not having any sex you can get married like the rest of us. Now, the lawyer for the chaste Miss Playfoot said the question for the judge was ‘What are the religious rights of school children in the school context?’ Well, I’m no judge (not yet, anyway), but if you want my opinion, none. No rights. No religious rights whatsoever. School’s for learning. Okay? If you want to have a little pray before math so that God will prevent Mr. Figures from setting too hard a test, or prevent the P.E. teacher from being a colossal pervert, then go head, fill your boots. If you want to pop on a feathered headdress and chant and mumble and sacrifice something you can do that on your own time. (Or take a drama course, pretend it’s art, and get a degree in it. That’s what I did.) The lawyer, Mr. Diamond, argued, ’secular authorities cannot rule on religious truth.’ Hmm. Well, Mr. Diamond, I’m going to assume you’re not related to Neil Diamond, because he rocks. Yes, I like Neil Diamond. And Prince. And I’m married — go figure. But the point is ‘religious truth’ is a foxy one, because religion, by its very nature, doesn’t tend to concern itself with truth. There simply isn’t time for truth. By the time all the singing and candle-lighting and toadying and condemning and hiding from science is done, truth has given up and gone down to the pub for a pint. Here’s the truth: faith is about as interested in truth as I am in hanging out with Anthony Warrel Thompson, i.e, not very.

“Now, I know that most religious folk are moderate and reasonable and wear tidy jumpers and eat cheese, like real people. And on hearing this they’ll mainly feel pity for me, rather than issue a death sentence. But they have to accept that they are the power base for the nutters. Without their passive support the loonies in charge of these faiths would just be loonies, safely locked away and medicated — somewhere nice with a view of some trees where they can claim they have a direct channel to god between sessions making tapestry, drinks coasters, watching Teletubbies and talking about their days in the Hitler Youth. The ordinary faithful make these vicious, tyrannical thugs what they are. See, I get angry that shows like Celebrity and Big Brother and insert-title-of-wretched-show-here still fill our lives with vapid, pointless emptiness, and I wish the producers and development executives would crawl back under the rocks they emerged from, but the truth is they sell stuff that people consume. Without the audience to prop it up, Heat magazine and fundamental religious fanaticism goes away. Imagine what humanity might be capable of if we had that much spare time! We could explore space properly, have decent look in the sea, find a cure for James Blunt, anything!

“Thank you very much. Letters to the usual address.”

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 11:54:00 UTC | #428727

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