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Comments by Jamougha

Go to: Open Letter to a victim of Ben Stein's lying propaganda

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Jamougha

A letter? As in, on paper? Wow.

Sun, 20 Apr 2008 16:03:00 UTC | #156622

Go to: Launch of 'Atheists in Foxholes' Book Anthology

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Jamougha

my impression is that there's a big difference between the motivations of the typical American and British soldier. Most Americans seem to join up and fight for the sake of their country and nationalistic pride. The British soldiers I've spoken to or read from seem to consider it a job like any other.

Sat, 26 Jan 2008 00:13:00 UTC | #110751

Go to: Shermer's 'Mind of the Market' Reviewed in L.A. Times

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Jamougha

I'm biased against Shermer's position, but the review still seems biased to me.

Sat, 26 Jan 2008 00:07:00 UTC | #110748

Go to: Man and God

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 106 by Jamougha

in the name of reason, they have heaped scorn and ridicule on those stupid enough to believe the myths and the obscurantist cosmology of religion. Believers, Dawkins asserts, are "malevolent... vicious, sado-masochistic and repellent... dodgy, perniciously delusional... sanctimoniously hypocritical... cockeyed".

Stopped reading about here.

Wed, 26 Dec 2007 10:42:00 UTC | #98782

Go to: Survey finds most Americans believe Jesus born of virgin

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Jamougha

I imagine the 15% stat is simply the result of 15% of people having a bad sense of humour.

Tue, 25 Dec 2007 06:56:00 UTC | #98493

Go to: Al Qaeda: We're open to questions

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Jamougha


The Wahhabi theology would dictate that all Shi'a, Sufis, and several other variants are "disbelievers", worthy of death. You can't get a public statement to that effect.

Oh yes, but the Qutbist theology (which they appear to follow) should effectively mean that everyone outside AQ is currently an apostate. :)

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 13:53:00 UTC | #96865

Go to: Al Qaeda: We're open to questions

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Jamougha

What I'd really like to know is, what proportion of Muslims they believe to be apostates. I doubt you'd get a straight answer to that one tho.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 10:13:00 UTC | #96726

Go to: Three wise men just legend: archbishop

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Jamougha


The problem of evil on the other hand is a very difficult one to get around. Some (including me) would say impossible. That's my proof that the Christian god does not exist.

I don't think evil is really inconsistent with the god of the Bible. :)

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 10:03:00 UTC | #96720

Go to: Interview with Richard Dawkins: On Christmas

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Jamougha

I think Jeremy was entirely in line. Perhaps some of the Americans here don't understand British etiquette for interviews - the interviewer is expected to be aggressive and challenging.

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 23:07:00 UTC | #95954

Go to: Creation vs. Reality

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Jamougha

That was fun. :) No idea how people could interpret it as anti-science.

Fri, 14 Dec 2007 13:03:00 UTC | #94264

Go to: U.S. Congress Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Jamougha


Thu, 13 Dec 2007 04:29:00 UTC | #93576

Go to: In the Beginning was the Song

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Jamougha


useless for genes, not for people.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:44:00 UTC | #92568

Go to: 'Boycott Worked': Compass Flops - Opening Weekend $26 Million; Narnia $63 Million

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Jamougha


there is a difference - a fairly big one usually - between gross takings and profits.

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:40:00 UTC | #92565

Go to: Former Evangelical Minister Has a New Message: Jesus Hearts Darwin

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Jamougha

I think we should support this guy (although very discreetly). AFAICT from the interview, he's preaching naturalistic pantheism. We can [i]definitely[/i] live with NP replacing current popular theology.

Sat, 08 Dec 2007 09:35:00 UTC | #91035

Go to: The Scientists Speak

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Jamougha


1. Doesn't the historical record say the CO2 levels increase after warming occured and thus may not have that great of a green house effect?

This is a half-truth that has spread pretty widely. the earth's climate is a set of positive and negative feedback loops. One of the positive loops is the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When temperatures increase, this causes greenhouse gases to be emitted naturally; they warm the earth further, causing more warming, and so on. This is obviously a cause for concern, not complacency.

2. Doesn't the historical record show (to the best of our knowledge) that these warming spells happen routinely and do in fact happen over short and long periods of time.

The climate is in constant flux. Yes, it's still possible that the warming we've seen in the 20th century in mainly due to natural variation.

Realistically though, if you pump a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere it's going to change the climate. This isn't a real area of debate as it's basic physics. The question is, how much will the climate change for a given amount of CO2, and how? If we maintain 'business as usual' then the effects of global warming may be quite mild and manageable. They may also be extreme and near-catastrophic.

Unfortunately, if we wait around to find out then it will be far too late to change our minds. The best available climate models give enough probability to negative or highly negative outcomes that it seems to make economic sense to deal with the problem.

Tue, 20 Nov 2007 12:19:00 UTC | #85255

Go to: The good that comes from belief

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Jamougha

"The Spirit of Generation Y project (2003-2006), conducted by Monash University, the Australian Catholic University and the Christian Research Association"


Yeah call me a cynic...

Sun, 11 Nov 2007 06:20:00 UTC | #83114

Go to: Muslims tell Christians: 'Make peace with us or survival of world is at stake'

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Jamougha

OK. So how do they regard atheists/humanists? I think that is very clear, they threaten them with murder, and regard them as less than human, venomously describing them as "kaffirs", or "infidels."'

I don't think these people really grasp the concept of atheism. The Council of Ex-Musims of Britain was met with a 'What? Haha, whatever' type reaction.

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 17:00:00 UTC | #74722

Go to: Radical Christians in Iraq

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Jamougha

'they call themselves martyrs'

Yah no shit.

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:30:00 UTC | #67927

Go to: Who's Minding the Mind?

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Jamougha

'The best demonstration by Derren Brown I've seen is from his live show "Something Wicked This Way Comes".

At the end of the show he gets a few persons to make a series of choices which lead up to them selecting a word from a newspaper. Derren of course had predicted which word it was.'

I'm pretty certain that that was not done using psychological manipulation. He uses that as his patter.

Here is one that I believe is done using manipulation and it's a pretty stunning and powerful effect;

Sat, 04 Aug 2007 12:07:00 UTC | #58033

Go to: Floods are judgment on society, say bishops

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by Jamougha

I can hardly believe this...

Anyway, next time someone challenges Dawkins about his books not representing 'real' religion he can point them straight to this. No better example of religion producing ignorance and bigotry among well-educated, decent people.

Mon, 02 Jul 2007 01:39:00 UTC | #50461

Go to: Rival to evolution may enter schools

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Jamougha

"I see, and how many people were surveyed, which demographics were chosen, what was the exact question asked?"

Why do people ask dumb questions when they have the internet?

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 07:23:00 UTC | #49781

Go to: Rival to evolution may enter schools

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Jamougha

Oh fuck.

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 23:51:00 UTC | #49669

Go to: Messiah

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by Jamougha

'I have a strong suspicion that whereas Uri Geller claims supernatural, Derren Brown claims psychological manipulation but both claims are false. I agree he does very impressive tricks, however, I suspect he has no more powers of psychological suggestion than I have (which is none, other than those every human probably has to some extent).'

He uses both. Certainly in many, probably most, of is tricks he uses classic magic and passes it off as psychology, but he also uses psychological tricks, and sometimes he uses both in one trick to achieve an effect. You can download 'The Devil's Picturebook' via bittorrent, which contains his card magic repertoire, and goes through from standard card magic to psychological 'forces' for specific cards.

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 16:30:00 UTC | #49610

Go to: Messiah

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Jamougha

Ppl who want info on how he does this stuff -- I'm no expert but I know a bit about his techniques, I'll try my best to give an idea.

Reading pictures in another room
As he says himself, if he can't know what the person has chosen and he predicts/reads it then it has to be a force. The editing removes too much of the trick to work out how the force is done, excepting the 'overboard' and 'sail' bit that someone already pointed out.

Instant conversion
This is basically just a normal stage hypnosis show, but instead of getting them to hop on one leg while quacking like a duck he gets them to say they believe in god. He uses enhanced suggestability, social compliance and hypnotic language. He's supposedly a very, very good hypnotist and used to do stage hypnosis for a living. Note that more than half the audience leaves before the really amazing stuff goes down - those are the people who are resistant to hypnosis!

Dream Machine
Standard cold reading. He's astounding at this and it's being heavily edited to make him look even better.

Medical History
Pay a private investigator, he gets their medical history from a bent employee at their insurance company. The thing about her not taking drugs is probably public knowledge. Heck all of it could be.

Like he says, cold reading. Plus some editing.

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 13:36:00 UTC | #49559

Go to: Dobson, Armageddon, and Foreign Policy

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Jamougha

'Are there any secular nations that offer automatic citizenship to American refugees that are too rational to live here? I want to leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeave!'

America is supposed to be the only secular nation. :)

Fri, 18 May 2007 03:04:00 UTC | #39569

Go to: A Split Emerges as Conservatives Discuss Darwin

Jamougha's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Jamougha

So Darwinism is right because they 'need' it? Because its 'is' suports the 'ought' of social darwinism? This is not much progress.

Mon, 14 May 2007 22:23:00 UTC | #38065