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Comments by Cestriana

Go to: Are You a Believer? Take The Dawkins Test.

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Cestriana

I'm at 7. No point in shillyshallying about.

(Mr DArcy: oh yes, Bach is unbeatable. I hope Handel's 'Dixit Dominus' also does it for you, though.)

Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:53:30 UTC | #933279

Go to: Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Cestriana

I'm a member of the NSS too and agree with Spawny Rosary that they do a good job. Personally, I see this issue of trying to promote faith through state schools as more evidence of desperation. The religious are losing the battle and they know it. You only have to look around the churches in the UK on a Sunday to see how few people there are. Without doubt the kids have got better things to do.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:38:07 UTC | #925371

Go to: Richard Dawkins: 2 live TV appearances later today

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Cestriana

Comment 52 by Steve Zara

Oh but I am! I find the latest doings of Warsi a comic delight.

Well, Steve, if you haven't already read the latest from the Baroness, feast your eyes on this comment by Mark Steel:

The Independent

Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:02:56 UTC | #918022

Go to: Richard Dawkins: 2 live TV appearances later today

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Cestriana

I think you mean Gavin Esler and, yes, he was pretty fair, especially as Richard was outnumbered 2 to 1. As for Nazir-Ali, he always comes across as arrogant and aggressive.

Warsi can bleat on all she likes about religion. As a nation we're just not interested anymore.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 23:39:50 UTC | #917883

Go to: Freedom of speech for street preachers

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 177 by Cestriana

Alan4discussion has it exactly right in comment 175. I would say the incident with the preacher in Taunton passed from being one of free speech to a public order offence because the bloke's disorderly behaviour was intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress. I don't know if this preacher followed the complainants down the street while bawling and shouting at them, but if he did so then he has committed a public order offence. What makes it worse is that the behaviour is specifically targeted against particular victims.

Sun, 12 Feb 2012 11:37:11 UTC | #916834

Go to: Freedom of speech for street preachers

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Cestriana

The difference between this being simply a matter of uttering free speech and that of aggravated disorderly behaviour is that the incident was enacted twice, against the same people and with the intent to cause harassment, alarm and distress. A factor indicating greater degree of harm is the fact that it was enacted in the vicinity where a large number of people are likely to be within immediate earshot.

If found guilty, this preacher could end up with a community order. He'll certainly have a criminal record if the prosecution is successful in proving its case against him.

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 19:09:10 UTC | #916344

Go to: Worrying developments for freedom of expression in the UK

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 214 by Cestriana

Well, Amos, I always enjoy reading your comments. You're such a great character. Make sure your degree studies don't get in the way of posting on RDNet, though! Ok?

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 17:03:59 UTC | #910543

Go to: Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Cestriana


I'm inclined to think that you rather misunderstand the nature of the autistic savant. It is not so much that they are born genius, rather that their excessively compulsive nature compels them to concentrate on narrow interests, often to the exclusion of all else in their lives. This obessessive adherence to the things that interest them can lead to their becoming experts in their particular field of learning. Temple Grandin, for example, is one individual who has singularly contributed massively to the world of animal science. Of that there is no doubt.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:26:55 UTC | #909175

Go to: Spanish version of "La magia de la realidad" now available

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Cestriana

Bueno, Amigos:

I've ordered a copy for myself from

(A ver si entiendo lo todo cuando llegue - ojalá!)

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 11:52:00 UTC | #905825

Go to: Shocking news on state-funded religious schools

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Cestriana

While I abhor the very idea of faith schools and the CoE running schools, I'm not entirely convinced that this initiative is going to have the desired effect of getting more young backsides in pews. We've had centuries of Anglicanism in the UK, but these days the churches are half empty and a lot of kids just aren't interested because they've got better things to do - at least, that's how it is in my neck of the woods. What does bother me, though, is the potential for increased political power emanating from this kind of crafty manoeuvre. The last thing I want is for the bishops in the House of Lords to be calling more shots.

Last year I wrote to my (Tory) MP to register my concern about faith promotion in new academies and free schools, citing Northern Ireland as a prime example of how religious sectarian can cause such terrible division. His stock reply was predictable: 'The government believes that parents should have a choice.'

Nobody asks the kids if they would like a choice, though, do they?

Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:25:51 UTC | #905557

Go to: Spanish version of "La magia de la realidad" now available

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Cestriana

I've also seen it on (De hecho, se puede comprar otros libros de RD ahí)

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 11:02:45 UTC | #904184

Go to: Atheism: A New Strategy. Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, US

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Cestriana

Yes, terrific speech and he is such a fluent and convincing speaker. I was really impressed. Just what America needs!

Sat, 31 Dec 2011 11:36:34 UTC | #904017

Go to: Atheist Spirituality by a former Muslim Apologist.

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Cestriana

Hi Farhan. May I begin by congratulating you wholeheartedly for abandoning Islam. I left Catholicism behind some years ago and what I felt when I walked away from it was pure liberation; I certainly didn't experience a sense of loss. And although I don't care if others want to follow their religious beliefs slavishly, I do regard faith as abject nonsense and think it should know its place - that is, it has to be kept out of politics and other spheres of influence.

As for 'spirituality', to me that means experiencing a subjective emotional reponse to certain stimuli. Classical music is my fix and it's what gives me goosebumps, but I know it doesn't do it for eveybody. Feelings of exaltation are the result of a personal response to those things that 'turn you on'.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 17:14:12 UTC | #902651

Go to: David Cameron says the UK is a Christian country

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Cestriana

I see our Dave gets a good old drubbing in the Huff Post link text

Sun, 18 Dec 2011 12:13:54 UTC | #900587

Go to: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 171 by Cestriana

I never met Hitch, of course, but still feel bereft at his loss.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 10:15:38 UTC | #899612

Go to: Complaint to the BBC

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Cestriana

I think there is a lot we can learn from each other

I'm sure you're sincere with this comment, but I don't think there's anything that I personally can learn from you about Christianty. You see, I've already been there, seen it, done it and I won't be back.

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 20:18:53 UTC | #897956

Go to: Catholic Answers Live with Sean Faircloth

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 153 by Cestriana

most people here know the positions of the RCC

Too right. I recovered from Catholicism years ago. I was brought up on it, but it later dawned on me that the whole thing was an almighty con. The RCC exists purely for its own self-satisfaction. It may lay claims to doing some good work in the world, but that comes with a price. The Catholic church is obsessed by sex, power, control freakery and greed.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 21:07:36 UTC | #896582

Go to: Arguments that just don't make sense in the first place!

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 153 by Cestriana

That atheists are abnormal humans.

In my opinion, lawyers who adopt this kind of attitude are not fit to practise.

Sat, 03 Dec 2011 18:52:33 UTC | #895359

Go to: Archbishop calls for NHS bill to cover spiritual health

Go to: Gingrich says atheists can’t be trusted, disregards 50 million secular Americans

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by Cestriana

How can you have judgment if you have no faith?

You could always try using your brain.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:38:24 UTC | #886589

Go to: Atheists are as big a threat as climate change deniers

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by Cestriana

I listened to part of this discussion between Williams and Skinner on Radio 4 this a.m. and I can tell you that Skinner, in his usual cock-sure and pig-headed manner, made a bloody fool of himself.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 09:20:46 UTC | #872199

Go to: Rick Perry, Texas governor, speaks at "The Response", August 6, 2011

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 164 by Cestriana

@educationsaves: Although I live in the UK, I share your frustration. Likewise, I'm equally appalled at the prospect that Rick Perry might get elected. A friend has just returned from a trip to the US and he told me that on virtually every street corner there's a church these days. He says religion is a massive enterprise in the States, as rich and as powerful as any multi-national you could care to mention.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 15:08:48 UTC | #862988

Go to: Social deficits associated with autism, schizophrenia induced in mice with new technology

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Cestriana

I agree with Graxan. While ASD is said to be a disorder, there are individuals on the spectrum who develop phenomenal expertise through focusing inexhaustingly on their individual interests. My own son has Asperger syndrome and has developed a wealth of knowledge in IT. His autistic friend is studying maths at Oxford and is so advanced, his tutor regularly advises him to skip lectures because he's way ahead of all the rest. While both young men have their difficulties with socialising, each has a wicked sense of humour and say that they couldn't imagine being any other way.

If I'm not mistaken, the Enigma code cracker Alan Turing had Asperger's.

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 15:51:36 UTC | #855188

Go to: 50 Famous Academics & Scientists Talk About God

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by Cestriana

Comment 52 @ bluebird

Yep, the opening theme is from Mozart's Requiem.

As for the speakers, Rabbi Sacks sure looks convinced by what Colin Blakemore is saying.

Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:20:03 UTC | #854813

Go to: Vatican recalls Irish papal envoy after Cloyne report

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Cestriana

If there is a big demise in the power of Catholic Church in Eire following this latest appalling business, and assuming we do see a haemorrhage in the Orange Order in Northern Ireland, I wonder what the religious/political fallout will be for the 6 northern counties, especially in the wake of an independent Scotland. Will the loosening of the strangehold that Catholicism has had on Eire make it a country more appealing to Protestants? According to people I know who hail from Belfast, Irish Catholicism and Papism have always been massive stumbling blocks to integration with the south.

Amos: what are your thoughts on this?

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 14:08:39 UTC | #853821

Go to: The sun: beautiful and dangerous

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Cestriana

Wow, that video is mesmerising and the accompanying music is fantastic. Thanks for posting. Brilliant.

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 20:04:44 UTC | #845302

Go to: [UPDATE 10-Jun - final version of UK jacket] The Magic of Reality - new book by Richard Dawkins this Fall

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Cestriana

Marvellous! Let's hope the public libraries all order a copy or two for the kids to borrow.

Wed, 11 May 2011 13:31:05 UTC | #625825

Go to: Afghan women risk death to learn

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Cestriana

The oppression of Afghan women also has its roots in that country's tribal/cultural heritage, but I suppose it wouldn't take much for the Taleban to justify maintaining the status quo along religious lines. What gets to me is that by denying these women the right to be educated Afghanistan could be missing out on a very useful resource. There will be females there who have (potentially) very sharp minds.

What price stupidity, eh?

Sat, 07 May 2011 10:01:24 UTC | #624102

Go to: Demographics that favour religion

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Cestriana

Have to agree with Matt B, this site is an oasis for like-minded people and a source of learning for lesser mortals like me.

Raytoman: as for having to swear on the bible in court, well I don't know about the US, but in the UK you don't have to; you can merely affirm to tell the truth.

Wed, 04 May 2011 09:45:42 UTC | #622893

Go to: Guilty of the sin of anger

Cestriana's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by Cestriana

Oh, I don't know, Prof D, I think you were within your rights to call this bod 'ridiculous' and to tell him that his comments were 'fatuous' and 'stupid'. Just maybe what you said to him will make him stop and think.

Mon, 02 May 2011 09:14:05 UTC | #621931