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Comments by Aussie

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 316 by Aussie

The "Sins of the Fathers" doctrine says that a sin will affect the innocent descendants for up to 4 generations.

That's getting off lightly in Biblical terms.

Take the case of Gahazi, servant of Elisha who had just cured Naaman "Captain of the host of the King of Syria" of a particularly persistent case of leprosy. Elisha had refused any payment for his services but unbeknown to him his enterprising servant Gahazi later chased after the departed Naaman and spun a story about two sons of the prophet requiring a talent of silver and two changes of clothing. The grateful Naaman was only too happy to oblige and provided two talents and two changes of clothing which Gahazi kept for himself.

When Elisha found about this he dispensed a most appropriate and proportionate punishment saying to Gahazi:

II Kings 5:27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Thus Gahazi and all subsequent generations of his descendants were condemned to be afflicted by leprosy in perpetuity. No Statute of Limitations there!

Elisha was similarly compassionate and proportionate in his dispensing of justice to little children:

II Kings: 2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Seems like the Lord obliged by sending two bears to tear up 42 children for calling Elisha a baldy head. A most appropriate punishment don't you think.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 05:47:04 UTC | #920226

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 140 by Aussie

          [Comment 138](/articles/645002-the-sins-of-the-fathers-also-in-polish/comments?page=5#comment_919486) by  [Mr Notsure](/profiles/186189)          :

                 but I can't quite see the point you are groaningly trying make.

I am not at all surprised

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 05:50:22 UTC | #919490

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 133 by Aussie

          [Comment 132](/articles/645002-the-sins-of-the-fathers-also-in-polish/comments?page=5#comment_919467) by  [Aussie](/profiles/1626)          :

                 > [Comment 112](/articles/645002-the-sins-of-the-fathers-also-in-polish/comments?page=4#comment_919429) by  [Mr Notsure](/profiles/186189)          :> >                  [Quote of deleted comment removed by moderator]

I would like to point out to Mr Cocksure that Richard's 2 Million pound share of this property is really quite a modest holding in the scheme of things these days and was possibly only capable of being retained by him by being subsidised from external earnings from his own personal exertion. I have experience of that from having had to subsidise my own farm from my work as a scientist.

Expanding on my own ancestry mentioned in an earlier post (comment 100 above) not only am I descended from slave traders and slave owners but I am also descended from two "slaves" or convicts who were shipped out to Australia (quite possibly by ancestors of Mr Cocksure and Mr Lusher) for trivial misdemeanors to work the farms of the privileged. Maybe they would be happy to compensate me for the possible actions of their ancestors.

Pursuing lines of illogic like this is not only mischievous and offensive it is also totally stupid.

Sun, 19 Feb 2012 03:34:38 UTC | #919468

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 132 by Aussie


Sun, 19 Feb 2012 03:32:44 UTC | #919467

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 100 by Aussie

It may provide some comfort to you Richard to know that my own ancestor David Duncombe II also owned sugar and coffee plantations in Jamaica at the same time as your forebears and was probably a neighbour. His operations were of course worked by slaves and I have a copy of his will including details of how he wished to bequeath his slaves to the beneficiaries of the will.

His own father David Duncombe I (the son of a vicar no less!), owned a shipping line operating out of Bristol, picking up slaves in West Africa, shipping them to the east coast of America and the West Indies, and then backloading sugar to the UK. I have copies of the official records of each journey detailing the specific ship, the name of the captain, the number of slaves that boarded and the date and port where they embarked, and how many were eventually delivered to the specific destination in the New World. (Typically each load included about 500 slaves). The attrition rate can therefore be easily calculated from the embarkation and disembarkation numbers.

I have in my possession a very disturbing transcript of the detailed and graphic evidence that David Duncombe I gave to the Wilberforce Parliamentary enquiry on slavery that is so harrowing that I have not been able to bring myself to show it to the rest of the family.

The tradition of bonded labour continued when David Duncombe III, the son of the plantation owner David Duncombe II above, migrated to Australia and was granted several parcels of land as well as a number of convicts to work the properties.

As far as inheriting any benefit accruing from these ill-gotten gains is concerned the fact is that unless you institute a system of primogeniture any wealth from previous generations is very rapidly diluted (much more rapidly even than gene dilution).

Although I certainly abhor their actions in the light of the current zeitgeist I have never felt any guilt or sense of responsibility for the actions of my ancestors whether they be slave owners or vicars. I consider myself responsible for my own acts alone.

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 22:37:31 UTC | #919398

Go to: Questions Delay Creationist Master's Degrees

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Aussie

I would be well qualified to be on this faculty teaching "Creation Science" in my capacity as an "Evangelical Christian Atheist".

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #107387

Go to: 'Letter to a Christian Nation' now available in paperback

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Aussie

Several months ago I loaned my copy of Letter to a Christian Nation to someone and never got it back.

It was obviously successful in convincing them that there is no afterlife where they will have to attone for their sins.

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 23:05:00 UTC | #105945

Go to: US 'doomed' if creationist president elected: scientists

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 117 by Aussie

What we need for president is not a Creation Scientist but rather an Evangelical Christian Atheist.

Tue, 08 Jan 2008 01:14:00 UTC | #103810

Go to: 'Growing Up in the Universe' now available free online

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Aussie

A brilliant introduction to the wonders of evolution.

Capable of being easily understood by small children and creationists alike.

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 20:38:00 UTC | #84439

Go to: God Talk on 'The View'

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Aussie

Is this a representative cross-section of American Womanhood?

Wed, 19 Sep 2007 00:28:00 UTC | #68035

Go to: Charles Brooker's screen burn

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Aussie

People on this site are so closed minded.

It does not follow that just because the concentration of active ingredient in a homeopathic remedy is less that one molecule in a volume equivalent to the water of all the seas of planet earth that it cannot be medically effective.

Only the other day I was told of a woman who had an incurable case of ..........

Fri, 10 Aug 2007 23:19:00 UTC | #59419

Go to: Eight-million-year-old bug is alive and growing

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Aussie

I couldn't agree more with Happy Hominid. Reading this stuff is exciting and nourishing to the mind and one comes away with a feeling that something new has been learned.

Bellyaching about faithheads is necessary and is certainly the principal purpose of this website but it is usually a matter of constantly restating the obvious. Very little new is being revealed and so it does not produce the same sense of satisfaction as reading of breaking news of discoveries in science.

For those with an open mind you may be interested to know that I have just finished reading a book by Bishop John Sheldon Spong "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism" and I found it brilliant. It was hard to disagree with most of it. No wonder he is the bane of Fundamentalists the world over.

I would be more than happy to cohabit a world with religionists if they were all like him.

Tue, 07 Aug 2007 23:48:00 UTC | #58758

Go to: Aiming for knockout blow in god wars

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Aussie

Yes Richard come to Oz and see Robyn Williams again and meet the rest of us.

Although you are not needed here as desperately as in some other countries that will remain nameless we would love to see you again nonetheless.

I am looking forward to seeing Part II of TROAE tonight even though I have seen it before. Great that it is raising some controversy here in apathetic old Oz.

Sat, 26 May 2007 23:24:00 UTC | #42411

Go to: Prayer can improve physical health

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Aussie

My old University.

I thought that we had better standards than that.

Wed, 23 May 2007 05:17:00 UTC | #41207

Go to: The Cyclic Universe: A Talk With Neil Turok

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Aussie


Fri, 18 May 2007 01:45:00 UTC | #39535

Go to: Global Warming (includes commentary about creationism)

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 101 by Aussie

If people wish to play amongst the garbage of junkist websites with the intellectual fringe-dwellers of our society then they are free to do so. But if they bring home this rubbish and expect to be able to sell it to an increasingly discerning population then they are engaging in an activity that will prove as futile as that conducted by the flat-earth enthusiasts of the nineteenth century.

If anyone has new data, or interpretations of new or existing data that is at variance with that accepted by an overwhelming consensus of the world's leading scientists then by all means they should submit it to a respectable journal for peer-review and possible publication – as everybody else must do.

Bleating soviet-style slogans from the sidelines from within junkist websites bunkers, attempting to discredit robust scientific findings by smearing the characters of most of the world's scientific community and invoking grand global conspiracies amongst fiercely competing researchers is both delusional and futile.

Thu, 17 May 2007 16:54:00 UTC | #39411

Go to: Faith-Based Fraud

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Aussie

Could not atheists award the title "Reverend" to their own and hence compete on an equal footing:

Archbishop Dawkins

Rabbi Harris

Pastor Dennett

Reverend Hitchens

Intense respect would then be due to such holy men.

Thu, 17 May 2007 16:48:00 UTC | #39410

Go to: The Creation Museum: Prepare to believe

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by Aussie

The $1000 Lifetime Membership seems the best value and the smart way to go.

Crap like this will be much more effective than terrorism at undermining the foundations of American supremacy.

Wed, 16 May 2007 04:14:00 UTC | #38701

Go to: Global Warming (includes commentary about creationism)

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Aussie

For a hilarious afternoon's entertainment we would suggest a visit to one of the well-known junkist websites. There are in fact several to choose from. We can assure you that it will be the cultural experience of a lifetime as the residents delight you with their quaint beliefs and endearing customs.

The standards of hygiene, however, leave something to be desired as they are not quite up to what we have come to expect in the first world. For this reason care should be taken when negotiating these sites to avoid the piles of trash that litter the area. Particular care should also be taken to avoid the dangerous groups of junkist-website junkies loitering in the shadows of the Forum and Coliseum - desperate for a comfort fix.

A phrase book is not really necessary as they do speak a form of English but you need to be aware that some words and technical terms do not have quite the same meaning that they do in the developed world. This takes a little time to get used to but it will not be long before you are conversing with the best of them.

Whatever you do it is important to avoid questioning the beliefs of the residents as you will more than likely become the target for vicious ad hominem attacks and ridicule. You may even be regarded as the incarnation of one of their many evil spirits.

With luck you could be fortunate enough to recognise the friendly face of one of the McExperts from our very own forum, there to collect their weekly global warming supplies at knockdown prices. Some questions have been raised from time to time about the quality of this merchandise but our McExperts nevertheless appear satisfied with their acquisitions. However, we would strongly suggest that you source your own supplies from a reputable dealer in the West as we believe that the superior quality is well worth the extra cost.

As with any travel, health risks are a danger on these sites. Paranoia and logic impairment - to name just two - are endemic in this area and for this reason we strongly recommend a full course of IPCC shots several weeks before your intended visit to fully protect you against any infection that you might otherwise contract.

However, provided a few sensible and timely precautions are taken beforehand, a rollicking good time should be had by all.

Wed, 16 May 2007 02:55:00 UTC | #38670

Go to: Global Warming (includes commentary about creationism)

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Aussie

Have you noticed the extremely strong correlation between fundamentalist Christianity, anti-Darwinism and global warming denialism.


Wed, 16 May 2007 01:59:00 UTC | #38659

Go to: Top Scientists Warn of Water Shortages and Disease Linked to Global Warming

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Aussie

Has anyone checked out the data presented here?

Sun, 18 Mar 2007 06:20:00 UTC | #24003

Go to: Top Scientists Warn of Water Shortages and Disease Linked to Global Warming

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Aussie

Isn't it ironic that those whom you might expect to be the most conscientious stewards of Gods' creation are those who seem to care the least.

On Judgement Day these people will wonder why it is they who are the ones that have been Left Behind.

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 03:47:00 UTC | #23184

Go to: Top Scientists Warn of Water Shortages and Disease Linked to Global Warming

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Aussie

Total impact = PopulationSize x AverageIndividualConsumptionRate

Hardly rocket science but it is not politically correct.

Tue, 13 Mar 2007 03:28:00 UTC | #23182

Go to: The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism ad absurdum

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by Aussie

So first, it is far from obvious that Gods are complex. But second, suppose we concede, at least for purposes of argument, that Gods are complex. Perhaps we think the more Beings know, the more complex They are; Gods, being omniscient, would then be highly complex. Perhaps so; still, why does Dawkins think it follows that Gods would be improbable? Given materialism and the idea that the ultimate objects in our universe are the elementary particles of physics, perhaps Beings that knew a great deal would be improbable, how could those particles get arranged in such a way as to constitute Beings with all that knowledge? Of course we aren't given materialism. Dawkins is arguing that theism is improbable; it would be dialectically deficient in excelsis to argue this by appealing to materialism as a premise. Of course it is unlikely that there are such people as Gods if materialism is true; in fact materialism logically entails that there are no such people as Gods; but it would be obviously question-begging to argue that theism is improbable because materialism is true.

So why think Gods must be improbable? According to classical theism, Gods are necessary beings; it is not so much as possible that there should be no such people as Gods; They exist in all possible worlds. But if Gods are necessary Beings, if They exist in all possible worlds, then the probability that They exist, of course, is 1, and the probability that They do not exist is 0. Far from its being improbable that They exist, Their existence is maximally probable. So if Dawkins proposes that Gods' existences are improbable, he owes us an argument for the conclusion that there are no necessary Beings with the attributes of Gods - an argument that doesn't just start from the premise that materialism is true. Neither he nor anyone else has provided even a decent argument along these lines; Dawkins doesn't even seem to be aware that he needs an argument of that sort.

The above is a short sample of the above article where a simple search-and-replace has changed all the singulars to plurals leaving us with an argument with just as much validity as the original. The advantage of the modified version is that it is more general and inclusive than the original because it could be happily be embraced by our Hindu friends amongst others as well as by Christians.

The writer of course could never accept this more generalised version even though the original thesis is a subset of it. Theism, like its appalling fellow travellers - racism, sexism and speciesism always seeks to exclude the outgroup as being of no importance. In any discussion of theology it is always exclusively the Judeo-Christian God that is considered by default. The other fellow's belief is so ridiculous it does not even warrant acknowlegement.

Thu, 01 Mar 2007 23:24:00 UTC | #21445

Go to: Native American populations share gene signature

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Aussie

Does anybody have a view on where the native US populations got their ideas on city building from. Some incredibly elaborate cities have been found in Central and South America with quite advanced civilisations.

Did cities develop independently in the New World and the Old World or did the city building technology come across from Eurasia in migrations later than 11,000 years ago.

There were no cities anywhere 11,000 years ago.

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 22:54:00 UTC | #20453

Go to: Believing Scripture but Playing by Science's Rules

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Aussie

Never underestimate the ability of the human brain to compartmentalise mutually and grossly antagonistic paradigms.

A good example was how SS guards in Nazi concentration camps were able to go home after a grizly day's work at the ovens and then blithely perform their domestic responsibilities as loving and caring husbands and fathers - even playing the violin sublimely (eg in the case of the notorious Heydrich).

Given that compartmentalisation at this gross level is so easily achieved, Ross should have had no difficulty coming to terms with his comparatively innocuous intellectual conflict.

I also think that it could be a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 22:51:00 UTC | #20147

Go to: Guinness 'Evolution' Ad

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Aussie

Guinness is also a very good drop.

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 03:51:00 UTC | #20019

Go to: Debate between Sam Harris and Reza Aslan

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Aussie

I found this debate incredibly frustrating. Aslan monopolised the time inexcusably. He constantly patronised Harris by frequently attacking Sam's approach as lacking sophistication and by implication claiming his own was intellectually superior.

I found this guy arrogant, inconsiderate and dogmatic in the extreme.

He did raise some points that were worthy of further exploration but then did not allow proper dialog to proceed as he singlemindedly pursued his myopic diatribe in an unforgivable monologue.

Tue, 13 Feb 2007 03:33:00 UTC | #20014

Go to: Out of Africa, in the Gut

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Aussie

Fascinating! I am passionately interested in this type of research. This particular work has added another confirmatory layer to the evidence already available.

Sun, 11 Feb 2007 03:45:00 UTC | #19662

Go to: Does Richard Dawkins exist?

Aussie's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by Aussie

The God Delusion has been on the NY Times Bestseller list for almost 5 months and is still at no 8 position.

Publicity like this video can only keep interest in the book bubbling along and so maintain its position as a bestseller.

I have almost completed my second reading of it and recently gave, as a birthday present, a copy to my close friend who is a devote Ba'Hai. He says is enjoying reading it.

Fri, 09 Feb 2007 15:33:00 UTC | #19409