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Comments by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Go to: Three articles by Steven Pinker, Russell Blackford and John Gray

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

John Gray used to be something of a progressive liberal in the 19th century sense. He was an enthusiastic Thatcherite for a while. But he kept changing his mind, and in the noughties he decided that if Darwin was right and we are animals, then there can be no such thing as 'progress' - it is an arrogant illusion of an arrogant animal. After all, we don't talk of other species 'progressing', do we? Since he had this startling revelation, he has spent his time carping at science from the sidelines and sneering at what he sees as the naivety of those who cling to the Enlightenment tradition. He's always arguing that people like Dawkins and Hitchens believe man can transcend his animal self and attain perfection (they don't) and that this atheist 'faith' is itself a Christian inheritance (because of course atheism = Christianity). In other words, he is the kind of pseudo-intellectual who wastes his mouth arguing that there is no discernible difference between man and a nematode worm, that black is white, and that science is wrong because of Darwin (conveniently forgetting that Darwin IS science. You can't have it both ways). As he is so emotionally invested in this thesis of his, I knew exactly what he would say about Better Angels... before the book had even been released

Needles to say, almost everything Gray writes about Pinker's work in this piece is wrong. Anyone who has made the effort to actually read Pinker's books, rather than scan the Amazon reviews like I suspect Gray of having doing, will know this. Gray's attacks on science and scientists sound an awful lot like the panic-induced defensive manoeuvres of a man out-of-time, who knows that his own discipline (philosophy) has lost large amounts of ground to a more rigorous one (science). When was the last time a philosopher made as big a contribution to the sum of human understanding as, say, Darwin or Einstein? The simple fact is science has made more progress in answering the fundamental questions of existence than philosophy has in the last 3000 years (I say this as someone who reveres philosophy nonetheless). I know it. You know it. And Gray knows it and it shows.

In sum:

John Gray and science: not even wrong.

John Gray and Steven Pinker: an intellectual newt nibbling at the toes of a giant.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 18:37:46 UTC | #930988

Go to: Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Comment 18 by richard7766 :

Personally, I have no qualms over atheists feeling indignant over the pernicious ways of apostate Christianity.

But, it's another thing again for atheists to claim some superior capacity, in the way they look at things, to determine whether the bible is true or false.

In short, it's not allowable to conclude that the bible is not true upon examination of traditional Christianity. All you are doing is observing apostate Christinity, which cannot tell you anything about whether the bible is true or false.

Perfect right to feel indignant though about what you take as being religion. Which isn't the real deal anyway.

I've seen this cognitive sleight performed in countless ways over the years. It always boils down to the same argument - "oh, that Christianity you don't like and rightly criticise isn't the real Christianity. The real Christianity is what I partake in and what I believe." Problem for the sceptic, though, is this: all believers say that. It follows that they can't all be right. (They can, though, all be wrong.)

Besides which, it is an enormous pain trying to get the religious to even comprehend that most atheists are equal opportunities heathens; that is, we reject the theistic claims of all religions no matter how warm and fuzzy and superior you might imagine your own beliefs to be. It is your beliefs we reject as having failed to meet their burden of proof. You may not like that, and you may therefore try to convince yourself that if we only knew the real you, you could convince us that your version of the faith is the correct one. But, I'm afraid, while that may make you feel sheltered and immune to the criticism of the godless, we emphatically reject your god along with the rest.

Wed, 21 Mar 2012 20:20:07 UTC | #929402

Go to: RDFRS UK/Ipsos MORI Poll #1: How religious are UK Christians?

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Doesn't surprise me. Most of those who self-identify as religious say "I believe in something" and don't bother to follow their thoughts past that point.

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 06:18:05 UTC | #917521

Go to: Bath Christian group's 'God can heal' adverts banned

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

This is all to the good. However, one only has to trawl the outer limits of digital television to hear similar claims to magical healing powers - and worse - all the time. There are currently well over two dozen "God" channels available to the viewer of British television, most of which seem to me to serve no other purpose than naked and shameless begging. (Why the all-seeing, all-knowing creator of the universe feels the need to advertise himself in this tawdry manner is beyond me, but that's by the by.) The bouffant-haired babblers and silver-tongued swindlers of this morally squalid milieu think nothing of claiming credit for "miracle" cures of everything from cancer to blindness. "Preachers" like Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, and Don Stewart, consistently and brazenly tout their prowess to bring about medical marvels, which, it is implied though never plainly stated, can be yours for a nominal, conveniently tax-free fee. Make a "love gift", receive your "prayer hankie", and God will cure you of your ills. Making medical claims in this manner without training or license ought, in my view, to be a matter for the courts.

Why is nothing done about this?

Sat, 04 Feb 2012 11:27:58 UTC | #914483

Go to: 10 things you didn't know about Rick Santorum...

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Comment 1 by keith :

Yes, scary, but only slightly more scary than slippery Mehdi Hasan, author of this piece.

I couldn't agree more. The unfailingly irritating Mehdi Hasan is self-obsessed to a quite extraordinarily insufferable degree. His leftism is of the totally unthinking and unreflective kind; that is, one knows what he thinks and how he feels about an event before it has even happened. This man is no friend of the left.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 12:06:23 UTC | #909121

Go to: Act of God

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Is it me, or does Jesus look like a terminator under all those robes?

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 19:54:45 UTC | #907024

Go to: Krauss finds something in nothing

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

I had an argument with a street preacher just before Christmas that went a little something like this:

PREACHER: What happened before the big bang?

ME: Time began along with space.

PREACHER: But what happened before then?

ME: There was no 'before then' - time began along with space.

PREACHER: .....but what happened before then?

Wed, 04 Jan 2012 02:34:39 UTC | #905152

Go to: Priests brawl in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

I'm sure it's what Jesus would have wanted. Everyone loves a good scrap at Christmas!

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 00:35:14 UTC | #904702

Go to: Cee Lo Green Changes 'Imagine' Lyrics To 'All Religions' From John Lennon's 'No Religion'

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

Now this is just silly Mr. Green. They can't all be true. All the same, surely nothing to get worked up about, is it? (I like the way Richard flaunts his ignorance - "whoever he may be" - as a virtue. In my view, this man is in possession of the finest male soul voice since Prince.) As far as religious offences go, tweaking the lyrics to a Lennon song - no saint himself, need I remind people - must rank as amongst the least important and least concerning.

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 01:37:33 UTC | #904406

Go to: Christopher Hitchens obituaries

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

The only writer I have ever felt moved to write and thank. I will sorely miss him. That's all.

"The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks."

Christopher Hitchens, 1949 - 2011

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 12:53:08 UTC | #899734

Go to: Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Don't Watch Any News: Study

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

I imagine I shall be alone here in admitting to absolutely loving Fox News. Not, I should hasten to add, for its news (there isn't any), nor for its views (which I despise for the most part), but for its entertainment value. There's simply no place on earth quite like Fox HQ.

I find it interesting that many on the liberal/left would like to see it banished from the airwaves for being "biased". (This despite their avowal of free speech.) So what if it's biased? I am adult enough to cope with the fact that people in the media have - sometimes extreme - biases. I can make up my own mind.

The real objection come from surveys like this one, which tend to support the liberal bias that organisations like Fox are "brainwashing" the credulous masses. The accusation of brainwashing is a useful one: it allows those doing the accusing to avoid the difficult truth that people may disagree with them. Not because they are automatons powerless to resist the pull of that sexy siren Bill O'Reilly, but because they have their own inclinations. If only people got their news from the right sources like me, runs the implication, if only they followed the media I like, then they wouldn't be so right-wing and stupid.

The idea that people watch Fox because they are right-wing, and are not right-wing because they watch Fox, is simply lost on those critics.

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:35:35 UTC | #892995

Go to: Let's Talk About Evolution

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

One of the difficulties of combating the creationist mentality comes from the fact that creationism is essentially a conspiracist movement; that is, creationists assumes a vast conspiracy of evil godless scientists who are supposedly suppressing the "truth" of creation in order to promote their wicked 'Darwinism'. Creationism is like other conspiracy theories, therefore, in being immune to rational refutation - any piece of conflicting evidence can be neatly folded into the fabric of the conspiracy. This being the case, videos like the one above are, for all their good intentions, unlikely to win the hearts or minds of the committed literalist. It isn't about science for these people: it's good versus evil.

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:24:20 UTC | #892232

Go to: Site Redesign Input

The Notorious B.I.N.G's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by The Notorious B.I.N.G

I should like to be able to filter my searches more thoroughly. Instead of just pages and pages in list-form, I should like the ability to sift through the result in a way that makes the archive more research friendly.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 19:34:17 UTC | #862809