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HardNosedSkeptic's Profile

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Joined over 4 years ago
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Latest Discussions Started by HardNosedSkeptic

The Census Campaign - last commented 26 March 2011 09:09 AM

Have You Lost Friends Over Religion? - last commented 11 January 2011 05:27 PM

Which Laws Would You Abolish? - last commented 01 June 2010 08:24 PM

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Go to: Prayer at a working lunch?

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by HardNosedSkeptic

Comment 18 by xmaseveeve :

(A little humor can go a long way sometimes!!!!!!)

Not with religious fanatics, as poor Red Dog's story proves. It reminded me of the Pope email and the 'weasel' in Glasgow...

Ahem. It wasn't Red Dog's story. It was mine.

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 22:16:20 UTC | #948701

Go to: Prayer at a working lunch?

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by HardNosedSkeptic

Comment 8 by Red Dog :

You don't need to be Sigmund Freud to understand that someone doesn't want to mess up their work environment by introducing an un-necessary conflict. And when confronted with a surprising and uncomfortable situation, staying silent and thinking through what if anything to say is a very rational response.

Yes, exactly.

I think we all know how annoying open displays of religiosity like that can be, especially in the workplace. But before you respond LIEBORE, you need to think carefully about the wider implications of your actions. I think it was PZ Myers who said: “never underestimate how sensitive religious people can be”?

To illustrate this, here is a little “religion in the workplace” story of my own. I work for a UK company that does a lot of business in South Africa (which is a much more religious country than the UK). Many of the emails I see coming from South Africa have footers containing religious messages; things like “Trust in the Lord and You Shall Want for Nothing”, and other such nonsense. One day, I was dealing with an email which ended with the following:

Seven days without prayer makes one weak.

I was completely fed up with seeing perfectly good bandwidth wasted like this, so before I sent the email on, I decided to “improve it”, and so I changed the footer to:

Seven days with prayer makes one weak-minded.

I thought (silly me) that this was just a bit of harmless fun, but you can guess what happened next. The original sender found out somehow, and he complained about how his email had been “vandalised” and how he had “felt personally violated by this” (I know, groan).

I ended up being told off, and forbidden from doing anything like that again, which could have been much worse I suppose. You LIEBORE, of course, risk far more than that where you live. Rising to religious stupidity might make you feel better at the time, but it can come back to haunt you, so I hope that you will be very careful.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 20:57:43 UTC | #948653

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by HardNosedSkeptic

I think that was a very clear and helpful discussion of the issues, se well done to Kenan Malik for writing that.

I have a comment about Point (2):

Many believers point out that faith plays a unique role in their lives. That is often true. Those atheists who dismiss belief in God as no more credible than belief in Santa Claus or in fairies miss the point. Religion is more than an intellectual exercise or a matter of logic; it often has, for believers, a vital social and spiritual function. But acknowledging the vital and unique role of faith in the lives of believers does not commit us to providing it with a privileged position in society.

Atheists miss the point do they? Not by as much as certain kinds of religious people I think. I don’t care if religion plays an important or “unique role in their lives”. That doesn’t mean it should play any role in my life or in other people’s lives. What I say to theocratic bigots is it doesn’t matter how strongly you feel about it and it doesn’t matter how passionately you believe it, at the end of the day your religion is only your opinion, and there is no reason why it should affect anybody else’s life apart from your own.

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 21:55:34 UTC | #947980

Go to: We Are Viral From the Beginning

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by HardNosedSkeptic

That primordial sphere produced the ten trillion cells that make up each of our bodies.

Really? Not all of them surely? What about the trillions of microbes that live on and inside our bodies? There are at least 10 000 different kinds of them. Scientists are only just beginning to understand the part they play in helping us to survive.

Human Microbiome Project reveals largest microbial map

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:50:33 UTC | #947615

Go to: Search for truth leads to rejection of religion

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by HardNosedSkeptic

Comment 6 by Stafford Gordon :

I've been waiting for about two hours for my comment to appear. Has anyone come across it I wonder?

Have you tried closing and re-opening your browser? Or even just closing the tab and opening the website in a new one? That often works for me (in Internet Explorer anyway).

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:30:27 UTC | #947107

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