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Comments by black wolf

Go to: Atheist wins "The American Bible Challenge"

Go to: German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by black wolf

As Schrodinger's Cat has mentioned, the parliament's plan runs into problems with the German Constitution (Grundgesetz). 1. The articles in the GG are ordered by rank. Lower numbered articles supercede later ones. Provisions against gender discrimination as well as religious freedom come after the sanctity of bodily intactness. 2. Singling out religious male circumcision to be allowed while continuing to prohibit female genital mutilation of all types violates the principle of non-gender-discrimination. 3. Parents have the right to educate their child in any manner that does not decrease the child's wellbeing. This is why corporal punishment was also banned, religious reasons or not. 4. Nobody may be forced to participate in religious rituals against their will. Most rituals are non-invasive and are therefore protected by the right to educate, but -> 3.

That's just the first problems that come to my sleep-deprived mind. Our parliament would have to make severe changes to some of the most important articles of the GG, and would open a Pandora's Box by forcing courts to re-evaluate sub-laws and rulings on literally thousands of cases.

I don't think that's going to happen. They just haven't thought this through. And as the speeches on this issue have shown, none of the circumcision favoring representatives have substantially considered, or are willing to consider, both the above legislative problems and the medical facts. It was a knee-jerk reaction of a religious leadership to assist fellow faith-heads against "aggressive secularism". It's not at all surprising that with such a mindset, considering reality and the ethics following from that, is not the first thing on their minds. Could there be anything more ridiculous than a religious head of government accusing opponents of child abuse of dragging the country's international image into looking like "a nation of comedians"? That's what Mrs. Merkel, a doctorate physicist, thinks of this discussion. She apparently thinks there are no arguments against circumcision that could possibly overweigh religious tradition. She thinks Germany would be isolated internationally (because of course suffering of children needs not be considered if Saudi-Arabia was annoyed, and they'd stop buying our weapons, right?).

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 01:49:39 UTC | #949784

Go to: Rupture With Vatican Reveals a Changed Ireland

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by black wolf

Hey, Ireland. There is no God, and Jesus wasn't magic. Glad to help. Now get over it.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:34:19 UTC | #873041

Go to: Protesting Herr Ratzinger's visit to Berlin

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by black wolf

Were you at the seminar at the TU last weekend, by any chance? I saw a couple speaking Italian. Anyway, cool. :)

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 17:53:14 UTC | #871953

Go to: Protesting Herr Ratzinger's visit to Berlin

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by black wolf

By the way: Michael Schmidt-Salomon (German philosopher, humanist, recently with AC Grayling in the first German IQ² debate) will be on "Hart aber Fair", Monday, 21:00, ARD. Title: "Oh Gott, der Papst kommt - was denkt Deutschland über Benedikts Kirche?"

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 11:22:07 UTC | #871886

Go to: Protesting Herr Ratzinger's visit to Berlin

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by black wolf

I'll be there. I'm a member of the ehbb (Evolutionäre Humanisten Berlin Brandenburg) group. Me: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1034053621

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 11:19:10 UTC | #871885

Go to: [UPDATE 9/14] AUDIO ADDED - Richard Dawkins talks about his new graphic science book

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by black wolf

I'll have to wait - my bookstore's supplier is already out of stock.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 18:36:48 UTC | #871644

Go to: Washington Post essay and replies to Discovery Institute and Pat Robertson Institute

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by black wolf

"It’s such a weird stew of incongruities that it sets one’s head spinning. Social researchers like myself ask, how did these internal conflict come about?"

Cognitive dissonance reinforced by religious confirmation bias. Flippantly said, they're insane and proud of it.

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 07:10:15 UTC | #868493

Go to: Scientology: Game Over? Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Church Operations Down Under

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by black wolf

Comment 16 by species8472 :

Also, if this is the level of abuse a self regulating and unaccountable organisation gets up to after 50 years, imagine the crimes that could be perpetrated by an organisation with 2000 years' experience of getting away with it!

See Karlheinz Deschner, Criminal History of Christianity (Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums), Volumes 1 to 9, continues, 5000+ pages so far.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:28:36 UTC | #866735

Go to: Scientology: Game Over? Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Church Operations Down Under

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by black wolf

Comment 4 by pwuk :

Cool, xtian churches next.

In Germany, Christian church-run charity organizations have been brought to court over paying their employees unethically low wages (while receiving state subsidies and being tax exempt). Research into church finances shows that the churches don't even have a clear picture themselves, about how much money they have and how much all their assets are worth. Since they don't have to disclose much to tax authorities, let alone the public, they never cared to keep a rigorous account. Who knows how much they funnel to Rome? Exploitation is a feature, not a bug, when we look at religious groups.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:21:47 UTC | #866730

Go to: 'Jesus' Ultrasound Featured In New Billboards

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by black wolf

He came as a baby.

The Holocaust starts with Hitler.

Well, there was Luther to inspire him. And then there was this guy who inspired Luther, can't put my finger on whatsisname...

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 20:40:03 UTC | #568121

Go to: Obsessive Compulsive Control Freaks

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by black wolf

John, you are aware that all muslims in the world are required to perform the Hadj at least once, no? You are also aware that there is a large contingent of religious police present, monitoring correct adherence to the rules, no?

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 18:44:24 UTC | #568050

Go to: Obsessive Compulsive Control Freaks

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by black wolf

To think that my country is hell-bent on bringing Islamic education into public schools in addition to Protestant and Catholic is nauseating. My consolation is that the discussion about secularism and religious influence on politics and finances has just reached the large stage of public discourse in our legislature, thanks to the efforts of members of all but the Christian label parties. Ironically, the latter are still claiming that we owe our freedom to the mythical "Judeo-Christian" culture, but they'd rather see Islam embraced before acknowledging that enlightenment and secularism have been established against that culture.

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 18:42:31 UTC | #568047

Go to: Taliban poison attack on Kabul girls school

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by black wolf

... I feel for the Afghan people, but the West is now probably more of a hindrance than a help: our presence there becomes a justification for Taliban atrocities.

...

They never needed any justification. When Pakistan gave them a a whole region to control, the atrocities began in earnest after the threat from the military was gone. In Iraq, the terrorists have already announced a widespread terror campaign against civilians and non-barbarian politicians as soon as they have the freedom to move around. Western troops aren't accomplishing many long-term successses, that is true. Whether they leave or stay, Afghans suffer and cowardly old instigators rub their hands. They're not enemies of the West, they're enemies of humanity, both morally and physically. I hope there will be an indefinite counter-terror campaign conducted by various special forces. The terror can only end when the old fucks who keep stoking up the flames live in mortal fear, year after year. It's equally important that they lose their sources of funding. Cutting those off would, I expect, cause quite some ill humor with our "allies".

Fri, 27 Aug 2010 22:20:11 UTC | #506742

Go to: Taliban poison attack on Kabul girls school

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by black wolf

Waiting for the news item: "Last Taliban Militant strangled by last Woman to burn Burqa"

Updated: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 22:08:27 UTC | #506735

Go to: Ireland's sons turn their backs on the priesthood

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by black wolf

I'll be happy when the Church announces that they have two new recruits and that these two are quite sufficient to serve all the functional parishes.

Fri, 27 Aug 2010 21:53:32 UTC | #506725

Go to: Kids need protection from ads - and Bible bashers

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by black wolf

Browsing the comments at the article, it appears that a great number of people are utterly incapable to understand that it's quite possible to teach reason-based, compassionate and consistent ethics without resorting to ancient scripture. They sugar-coat Jesus, as if all that slavery endorsement, magic sideshow peddling, demon excorcising and misanthropic apocalyptic preaching weren't in the same book. It's a despicable sleight of hand to purport that the alternative to The Bible was The Playstation. A false dichotomy that always comes from those who want to sell religion. I have little hope that I'll see the glorious day when religion hawkers will be viewed on the same level as grubby men who offer candy to children on the playground.

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 10:01:39 UTC | #482217

Go to: Pseudoscience Frees Rapists

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by black wolf

How is this man a doctor and what's he doing at a hospital? Interestingly, average life expectancy in Vietnam was 40 years (1955) and less before evidence-based medicine had been introduced. Centuries of tradition and woo worked exactly as well (i.e. badly) as they did in Europe. Yet, Western medicine has progressed and left behind most ancient absurdities, but we're still supposed to respect and awe the same nonsense just because it's from Asia. Are things better if they look exotic to us? It's just racism and chauvinism in prettier clothes. Asian people have the same right to be told the truth as we do. Affording pseudoscientists and quacks meritless respect is an insult to the humans who are kept in ignorance.

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:47:16 UTC | #482211

Go to: Radial tree of life

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by black wolf

Comment 13 by foundationist :

"You are here"

Nice one! I also like the variations and tattoos. I think the radial version somehow is more appropriate than the traditional bottom-up trees. Couldn't say why, just a feeling.

Love

You're correct. A radial shows us that evolution isn't an upward development, but just goes on and on from one starting point. People who have little or no knowledge about evolution tend to assume that everything would develop to perfection, every life form always getting faster, stronger and more intelligent. That's why we constantly get these naive questions, why don't humans have four arms, why aren't chimps building cars, why haven't whales learned to fly, etc.

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:19:39 UTC | #482206

Go to: Richard Dawkins among academics calling for compulsory evolution teaching at primary school

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by black wolf

Theories.

that word again.

They wont ever learn it, will they?

Once again, very slowly:

scientists have theories. muslims and christians have other theories. They. Are. Not. The. Same. Thing. They.Are.Not.The.Same.Type.Of.Theory.

Calling it "Intelligent Design Theory" doesn't make it scientific - ID has no method to discern designed from non-designed life on any level, no definition of that mysterious complexitiy stage when things cease to be evolvable, no mechanism for designing life, no time frame, nothing. Just an assertion. Putting that and evolution by natural selection on the same level is fraud, plain and simple. Religious theories are on the same level as aliens-tipped-over-my-cows theories and my-cousin-Bubba-took-a-photo-of-sasquatch theories.

Dear journalists, please learn the difference between the terms "colloquial" and "scientific". It can't be that hard.

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:10:17 UTC | #482203

Go to: Charles, Prince of Piffle

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by black wolf

I sure hope this guy's muddled thinking hasn't rubbed off on his progeny.

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 17:59:24 UTC | #480379

Go to: Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door:* Black Atheists, Urban America

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by black wolf

Comment 10 by DerekMorr :

Black atheists have been in the news recently. Last month, NPR ran a story the cultural isolation many black atheists experience, which was prompted by an article at theroot, ' Black Women Who Use the "A" Word'.

I wonder how the predominately white atheist and secular humanist movements can reach out to our fellow freethinkers.

AfaIk, there's nobody who advocates labeling freethinker groups as "white", let alone to the exclusion of non-whites. The doors are wide open, anyone can just walk in. I'd find it quite vain for someone to wait for an invitation.

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 11:14:21 UTC | #480296

Go to: Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door:* Black Atheists, Urban America

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by black wolf

Next time gays will be herded into camps and behind barbed-wire fences, the watchtowers will be manned by black men in black uniforms. Yeah, Godwin FTW. Some things need drastic words.

Sun, 13 Jun 2010 09:31:55 UTC | #479848

Go to: Call for creationism exhibit at Giant's Causeway

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by black wolf

Comment 28 by epeeist :

Comment 26 by hypnoticbob :

But, even with that in mind, all deserve to speak freely, even if we disagree. A basic human right; if only respected everywhere.

I can go with that, provided we also have the freedom to point at such people and laugh derisively.

Sadly, it's still common practice to expect us to show respect and not "violate their human dignity" by laughing at laughable claims. It's sometimes painful to hammer the point home that it's just not an issue in critical and open public discourse, and that their human dignity will not really be harmed one bit by something someone says to them, however impolite. Of course they'll leave in a huff, mumbling about persecution, and come back with the next bill or public regulation to make "militant atheists" shut up. Unfortunately most countries still make it possible to cut off free speech to spare someone's offended feelings.

Sat, 12 Jun 2010 09:04:09 UTC | #479558

Go to: Self-incurred immaturity

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by black wolf

Comment 5 by Chuk15 :

I'm not sure I agree with this part of Kant's essay: "If I have a book to have understanding in

place of me, a spiritual adviser to have a conscience for me, a doctor to judge

my diet for me, and so on, I need not make any efforts at all. I need not think,

so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresome job over for me."

I could be wrong, but is Kant actually saying here that it is not ok to allow experts to show you how to do things?

Since I am not very well versed in nutritional science and I don't care to learn it at the moment (I'm already very busy in my daily life), wouldn't it make sense to allow someone who has done the work in the field to formulate your diet? Isn't that why we hire lawyers? It just makes sense to seek help from experts.

I think he's criticising the idea that you just let the experts tell you what to do without trying to understand why they are correct. He's saying we should choose advice based on merit, not on authority.

Fri, 11 Jun 2010 10:44:17 UTC | #479221

Go to: Russia Church wants end to Darwin school "monopoly"

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by black wolf

Comment 23 by Warmonger :

"The time has come for the monopoly of Darwinism and the deceptive idea that science in general contradicts religion. These ideas should be left in the past"

If science doesn't contradict religion, then why are you so afraid of Darwinism being taught in schools?

Default answer: 'because Darwinism isn't science.' These people don't understand the difference between scientific law and theory and hypothesis. They think it's only credible when scientists call it a law, but a scientific law is a formulaic expression of the relation of constants and simply doesn't have the same purpose as a theory. It's like claiming that cars are useless because the only rolling parts are the wheels. I've seen creationists flat out deny that there's a law of gravity and a theory of gravity. They begin with unfounded assumptions, build their argument with false assertions and inevitably come to completely wrong conclusions - but they're unable to understand why, since they never learn to differentiate a sound argument from arbitrary claims. And they never will learn, because the moment they drag out their dogmatic belief that "materialism is just another dogma" or "there's no foundation to assume naturalism", they reject the basics of forming a robust epistemic framework about anything. If Russia wants to go down that road, Russian universities will no longer be able to teach biology. The fundies will of course not stop there, they'll continue to shove myth to replace astronomy, paleontology, geology and physics. Any Russian graduate will make himself a laughing stock trying to apply for studies anywhere else but perhaps Islamic states. And we all know how sophisticated their scientific output is. If it's true that other former East Block countries would follow Russia's lead, we'll have a whole new federation of the scientifically illiterate. Looks like some great fodder for Western companies looking for cheap, ignorant, exploitable workforce and a multinational economy dependant on Western and East Asian expertise, just like the Islamic world is today. Somehow I don't think they'll find oil deposits by having some authocrat yell at them, or conduct genetic research on billows of incense.

Updated: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 10:20:57 UTC | #479214

Go to: Has life on Titan been discovered? No.

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by black wolf

...

I predict you will return here soon with some random asinine, idiotic, and ignorant reply...

I expect a reply containing advice that we're not supposed to mistake real scientific astrology with popular magazine horoscope pages, and a vague reference to some studies that allegedly prove the predictive power of such systems. I also predict that these studies will be not actually named, or that eventual links given, presumably to astrology magazine articles, yield no credible information of the sort.

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 14:31:10 UTC | #478478

Go to: Has life on Titan been discovered? No.

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by black wolf

Comment 13 by adol33 :

If this theory proves to be true, then the official discovery date of life beyond Earth will be early June, 2010.

This is consistent with a prediction made by an astrologer 5 years ago that extra-terrestrial life might be discovered around June 7, 2010.

(Archive proof: http://web.archive.org/web/20060709164705/www.luckydays.tv/astrology-and-science.html )

The link explicitly speaks about proof of life or a landing on another planet. I think it's plausible to assume that the astrologer was thinking of some form of intelligent life, not microbes (as possible evidence of extraterrestrial microbial life was already in our hands from meteor finds when he made the prediction), but there's no way to tell from his text. Speculation about the possible presence of evidence indicating a possible presence of primitive life forms is not consistent with this astrological prediction. Any person without the slightest knowledge of any astrological system could have made the same prediction from just a modicum of layman scientific and technological knowledge, i.e. from reading a few popular science articles. Even if it was an accurate, precisely phrased prediction, how many astrologers are there making similar predictions? There must be thousands, tens of thousands probably. So, one of them vaguely guesses the correct time frame. Not very impressive.

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 14:23:25 UTC | #478476

Go to: A wanderer from Islam with a message for the West

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by black wolf

...

We would all love if everyone could embrace reality and throw off the shackles of a fantasy hand-holder-in-the-sky but we need to embrace the reality that most people do not want this.

Hmmm. For now, I think I'll let that reality walk beside me for a while. I'm not fond of the thought of embracing it.

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 13:14:44 UTC | #478459

Go to: A wanderer from Islam with a message for the West

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by black wolf

Comment 5 by arah :

History proof Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUhe89q-6X8

Not at all. The times of Islam's scientific, medical and mathematical leadership are long past. They ended exactly when muslim theology decided that religious scripture was a better guide to truth than the human brain. Otherwise, the whole world would unto today have been glad to be led by such great minds. In declaring the imam supreme authority on truth, the muslim world castrated its intellectual potential.

Wed, 09 Jun 2010 13:07:26 UTC | #478456