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Comments by Scruddy Bleensaver

Go to: The 'Witch Children' Condemned by Christians

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 91 by Scruddy Bleensaver

[Comment 83](/discussions/645156-the-witch-children-condemned-by-christians

Here's an earworm for you all - got me up dancing - 'I met a gin-soaked bar room queen in Memphis....do-do-do...'

Goodnight all!

Hi Eve, we've had our differences in the past but I'm glad to see you here again. I'm a fellow agoraphobic, atheist and hard (bloody hard!) drinker. What works for me is to go into "anthropology mode" when I go outside. I try to keep a sense of detachment and experience other people as though I were an alien trying to make sense of a primitive race of people and their rituals. All the best of luck of you,.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 22:01:19 UTC | #927612

Go to: Heaven Can Wait - Was I wrong about the afterlife? No.

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Scruddy Bleensaver

The strange thing about theist afterlives, is that many think they personally have an afterlife, but their pets do not!

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -- Will Rogers

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 20:33:12 UTC | #927583

Go to: Heaven Can Wait - Was I wrong about the afterlife? No.

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Damn! That was immense!

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:25:36 UTC | #927154

Go to: Marriage - two viewpoints

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Scruddy Bleensaver

The way to square this circle is to admit that the state has no business choosing between different configurations of genitalia, or (in my view) even the number. Where it does have a role is in promoting stable family units in which to raise children.

Agreed, but where's the justification to discriminate against polygamy then? Are there statistics to show having multiple mothers is harmful to the children?

Well, I guess you said that already with your "even the number". Is there anybody who can cogently argue for gay marriage, but against polygamy? How would you phrase that in a non-discriminatory fashion legally?

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 17:14:04 UTC | #927027

Go to: Marriage - two viewpoints

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Scruddy Bleensaver

My opinion .... Marriage should simply be a civil / government issued license between 2 consenting adults.

It's not that I disagree, but I wonder how we could - with a straight face - legally end discrimination against gay marriage and yet keep the ban on polygamy in place. Why just two people?

I think civil unions - a legal contract - should be open to anyone. 3 people, 5 people, cousins, a brother and sister, two brothers, anyone. When it comes to visitation rights in hospital, survivor benefits and the like, to deny anyone to designate whom they would like to receive these benefits would be bigotry in my opinion.

When the state gets involved with tax benefits, etc, however. you're looking at social engineering. Clearly society benefits when children are raised in stable families. Just as clearly, society is not helped by incestuous unions between brothers and sisters, therefore those are not to be so encouraged.

Gay marriages fall in the middle. I can easily see why the benefits of the social contract (again, hospital visitations, etc) should be allowed. I can't see the benefit of same-sex marriages to society, though, nor do I see why they are (from the point of view of society) superior to polygamous unions.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 16:37:03 UTC | #927007

Go to: No blood on the carpet. How disappointing. [Also in Polish]

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 47 by Steve Zara :

By the way, as you probably know, I am a 7 on the Dawkins belief scale. If I remember correctly, so is A. C. Grayling.

I must confess that you lose me a bit here. Is such certainty ever intellectually justifiable? Is it possible to be 7.0/1.0 sure about anything and then later change your mind? I'm sure (ha!) all of us have been absolutely certain at one time or another about something and nevertheless been forced to admit we were wrong later.

For me, once, when I was about 16, I had a ghost sit on my bed in the middle of the night. I was absolutely certain it was real -- I was there! I felt it moving against my body, touching me, and I absolutely knew I was awake, even though I couldn't move or breathe. I must have passed out and woke up a few hours later with chest pain. It was the most terrifying experience of my life up to then and despite the fact that it ran counter to all I thought I knew about the world, I treasured it, as having experienced something really remarkable. I was 7.0/1.0 certain ghosts existed.

I'm sure most people reading this already guessed: it was a simple case of sleep paralysis. When I read about it a few years after the event, I found it described my experience to a T. My 7.0/1.0 certainty could not have been justified, and I now cannot assign absolute certainty to anything anymore.

We can all be wrong, and we can all be fooled even if we just can't see it at the moment.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:50:34 UTC | #922290

Go to: No blood on the carpet. How disappointing. [Also in Polish]

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Scruddy Bleensaver

The dictionaries don't really agree with me but I think there's a subtle difference between being "sure" of something and to be "certain" of it. The former implies to me very little doubt, whereas the latter implies no doubt whatsoever. Therefore, like most people here, I'm sure there's no God, but I'm not certain, i.e.I'm your typical 6.9er.

Along the same lines, I'm sure the sun will come up tomorrow, but I don't think I'm certain of it as some very tiny possibility exists that something will affect the earth's rotation in my lifetime.

That said, once again people with a religious perspective show how they just don't understand us. No atheist can intellectually claim certainty about the existence of god(s), since we think all knowledge is provisional and we're always ready to change our mind if evidence were to be presented. Religious people, like politicians, think this is a sign of intellectual weakness rather than the intellectual strength and integrity we consider it to be.

I think we understand their position so much better than they understand ours.

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 23:11:40 UTC | #922249

Go to: Richard Dawkins in ‘single-celled ancestor’ shock

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Such a silly story to begin with. One of my ancestors was hanged for stealing a horse and we're pretty sure another served on a slaver. However, it's the 21st century now and I only rarely engage in these activities today.

I encourage everybody to trace their ancestry, though. It's fascinating the kind of sketchy characters you'll likely encounter and without whom you wouldn't be here today.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 02:33:58 UTC | #920622

Go to: America and Eurasia 'to meet at north pole'

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Scruddy Bleensaver

America and Eurasia will crash into each other over the North Pole in 50-200 million years time, according to scientists at Yale University.

Man, that's not for months yet. What a great way for your PhD thesis to never be disproved.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 22:00:49 UTC | #916031

Go to: Komen’s Planned Parenthood decision all about politics

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Scruddy Bleensaver

She also attacked Planned Parenthood. “First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” Handel wrote.

Funny then, that Planned Parenthood has almost certainly done far more to prevent abortions than any so-called "pro-life" organisation you'd care to name. Abortion rates have always been highest in those parts of the world were contraception is difficult to get or frowned at. Funny also, how no "pro-life" person ever advocates for sex education and government-funded contraception -- proven methods that greatly reduce the need for abortions.

I can't relate to these people.

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 03:13:08 UTC | #914130

Go to: Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Surely everybody knows Einstein was the Elvis of science? Agreed, blech!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:07:54 UTC | #909031

Go to: New religion recognised

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Scruddy Bleensaver

For religiuse pirates the act of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V is a holy act.

Blasphemy! God always intended this to remain Ctrl-INS and Shift-INS! Splitters!

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 23:06:42 UTC | #906084

Go to: A Clash of Cultures in the Holy Land

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Scruddy Bleensaver

I'd love to see a tough, battle-hardened female soldier strike one of those hirsute parasites hard across the face and tell him to mind his own fucking business the next time something like this happens. The look on the man's face alone would be priceless. A youtube video of such an incident would, I suspect, quickly go viral.

Not that I'd advocate violence ordinarily, mind.

Sat, 31 Dec 2011 20:51:34 UTC | #904116

Go to: Thousands demonstrate in Maldives over Islamic law

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 1 by Schrodinger's Cat :

I cannot understand people who have the chance for genuine freedom...not taking it.

A combination of fear of change and the fact that when you're raised in prison, the outside world seems a mighty scary place, I suspect. Having to think for yourself, being responsible for your own actions, having to make decisions, etc. Terrifying if you're not used to it, apparently. It's not unknown for newly-released long-term convicts to immediately commit another crime in order to get back inside.

For that matter nostalgia for the old days in East Germany is commonplace enough that it warrants a dictionary term, "Ostalgie".

The most effective prison bars are virtual and installed in the minds of the very young. Usually it's too late to reach them after that when they're adults. There's a reason religions and authoritarian regimes like the ones in the story hate "Western Education".

It's especially hard to understand the women in the picture, since they've always gotten the rawest deal in Islamic societies.

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 19:43:58 UTC | #902810

Go to: Tim Minchin song mocking Christ pulled from Jonathan Ross' Christmas special

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 47 by RationalConclusion :

Am I the only one who doesn't find Tim Minchin remotely funny?

Probably not. I first heard of him when somebody forwarded a link to his "Fuck the Pope" song, and I thought it only mildly funny in a South Park sort of way. However, I've since seen more of him, and I now think he's brilliant. In his own words, he's pretty funny for a musician and a pretty decent musician for a comedian.

Watch "Ten foot cock and a few hundred virgins", "Happy little Africans", "Fuck the poor", or "If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out" on youtube if you want to give him another chance. Offending for the sake of causing offence isn't very funny to me either, but TM is much more than that. Maybe not a Tom Lehrer, as someone said, but different eras and all that.

Sat, 24 Dec 2011 01:07:44 UTC | #902314

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

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 366 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Sounds like Hitch lived his final days with courage and dignity.

The next person to come to me with a deathbed conversion story or a "he knows the Truth now" type of comment gets a black eye.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 22:09:32 UTC | #900033

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

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Scruddy Bleensaver

I've nothing worthwhile to add here, and yet I feel compelled to echo previous posters' sentiments and say how I sad I am to hear this news. I will raise a toast in the Hitch' honour tonight. In fairness, I would have had a few drinks in any case.

I haven't started my copy of Hitch 22 yet. Now would be a good time to start, and I'm between books anyway.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 06:31:15 UTC | #899442

Go to: Obama administration’s bad call on Plan B

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Scruddy Bleensaver

we understand Mr. Obama’s instinctive reaction, as the father of two daughters, that parents should be involved before girls resort to emergency contraception

So they're not old enough to decide to take plan B, but they're old enough to bring children into the world? I can't relate to this kind of thinking. Trying to get a prescription in many parts of the US will likely make the issue moot, as it will either take too long or the only doctor in town is likely to be an anti-abortion right winger.

Doesn't Obama realise yet that no amount of pandering to the extreme conservatives will make them stop hating him?

Sun, 11 Dec 2011 00:10:46 UTC | #897673

Go to: Superstitious mindset

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Well, you're certainly not alone. I "know" my team will score a goal when I leave the room, and I sometimes do so if they're behind. I almost never return home the same way I went out because doing so feels wrong. I also know I'll have a good day if it starts off well, and that everything will go wrong on other days. I don't open the mail on bad days.

I'm also a lifelong atheist and sceptic, and I certainly know better than any of that.

I think experiments on rats have shown that nothing reinforces behaviour so much as random and unrelated rewards. When pushing a button rewards with a food pellet every time, the rats will push it every time they're hungry. When the pellets stop coming, they stop pushing the buttons almost immediately. When the pellets arrive randomly however, all sorts of ritualistic behaviour can be observed in the rats and the behaviour persists much longer. That's probably the roots of superstition and religion both right there..

As long as you're not OCD, I wouldn't worry about it.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 20:23:09 UTC | #897250

Go to: Crazy theist mother

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Are your parents still together? I'd try talking to your father about this if you'd think it might help.

Other than that, and you might not like this advice, I'd say don't worry about it and stop trying to raise the issue while you're living at home. You're never going to change her mind, and you wouldn't believe how fast the years will go by before you're out of the house.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 19:33:19 UTC | #897228

Go to: Islam, Charles Darwin and the denial of science

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 11 by BigJohn :

@Comment 3 -- I usually just temporarily allow everything when there is a long list being blocked by NoScript. It saves time trying to figure out which one is the one you need.

I usually do the same, but there were some scary domains listed there, and I often go for weeks or even months without restarting my Firefox. It's as well to keep IE around for these sorts of cases.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 22:00:36 UTC | #896594

Go to: Islam, Charles Darwin and the denial of science

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Interesting article. Can anyone who also uses Firefox with NoScript enabled tell me which one of the 17 domains listed I need to grant script access to in order to read the comments on the original article in the telegraph? Just enabling the Telegraph and disqus appears to be insufficient.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:39:46 UTC | #896546

Go to: Another example of Americans not understanding basic science

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 3 by Mr DArcy :

Yes, Richard, ignorance is truly international!

Agreed, and I was about to post something similar, but I think the thing that sets Americans' ignorance apart is the loudness and pride with which they proclaim it. It's a kind of yokelism that manifests itself in loathing for expertise and intellectual endeavors of any kind. 30+ years ago when I was in High School, the nerd was the most hated, despised and loathed creature on campus, and if you had any interest in, Chess, say, reading books for pleasure or a passion for scientific pursuits you'd do well to keep it to yourself. I'd encountered nothing of the kind in Europe at the time. A bit of gentle ribbing perhaps at those perceived to be studying too much, but that's all.

The causes have been debated many times, I believe.

On Edit: The 80's movie 'Revenge of the Nerds', wasn't really that much over the top in describing the situation.

Wed, 07 Dec 2011 17:58:32 UTC | #896515

Go to: Team pinpoints date and rate of Earth’s most extreme extinction

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 1 by Alan4discussion :

The conclusion of this study says extinctions of most marine and terrestrial life took place at the same time. And the trigger, as suggested by these researchers and others, was the massive release of CO2 from volcanic flows known as the Siberian traps, now found in northern Russia.

AGW deniers take note!

I fear this would only add fuel to their fire, so to speak, in that they can claim with some legitimacy that climate change is a "natural" occurrence. While at the same time denying it's happening, of course, and that it's beneficial anyway.

Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:24:43 UTC | #891764

Go to: Rick Perry's God

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Scruddy Bleensaver

My friends from Texas (and I lived there for more than 8 years), assure me Perry ("Governor Good Hair") has lost so much popularity because the famed "Texas Model" has fallen apart so spectacularly, that he might not even carry his own state in a contest against Obama.

That may tell you more about the kind of friends I have than about Texas, and I'm frankly rather sceptical myself, but it's given me some hope that this moronic cretin is as unelectable as he ought to be.

Of course, that's what I said about Bush too.

More than $20 billion in debt, ranked 50th when it comes to jobs paying minimum wage or less, and unemployment that's actually increasing despite those famed new jobs, the Texas model simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

In any case, like all confederate governors, the governorship of Texas is largely a ceremonial position without any real power except for denying clemency to innocent people about to be executed, so neither credit nor blame for conditions down there is even applicable in the first place.

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 23:27:42 UTC | #866105

Go to: Evolution threatens Christianity

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 24 by Atheist Mike :

Evolution: A self-replicating molecule arose out of primordial elements and gave rise to complex organisms culminating with the human intellect.

That's nothing to do with the theory of evolution, which only explains the diversity of life rather than its origins. And evolution doesn't "culminate" in anything whatsoever.

Wed, 24 Aug 2011 22:10:49 UTC | #863892

Go to: US cigarette makers sue over graphic warning labels - freedom of speech?

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 1 by epeeist :

Can a corporation have a right to free speech? Shouldn't this be reserved for real as opposed to pretend people?

In 2011 America, corporations are people according to the supreme court.

Tue, 23 Aug 2011 19:49:29 UTC | #863470

Go to: Site Redesign Input

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 45 by Moderator :

No problem! I don't think the url is necessarily widely known. We can perhaps show it more clearly when the site is redesigned.

Hell, I didn't know about it. That's fantastic, and takes care of the request I would have had.

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 00:09:32 UTC | #862867

Go to: Heritability of Intelligence

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 36 by UGene :

It was recently shown that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of all human populations (which is reflected in the disproportionate amount of Nobel prizes for Jews)

Maybe centuries of persecution and pogroms have progressively weeded out the dumb ones and favoured those clever enough to escape. Maybe there wouldn't have been an Einstein if it hadn't been for those centuries of persecution. That's a disturbing thought. On the other hand, maybe I'm talking complete bollocks.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 20:43:11 UTC | #862830

Go to: Heritability of Intelligence

Scruddy Bleensaver's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Scruddy Bleensaver

Comment 37 by Vicktor :

Perhaps that's a test of intelligence too (i.e. intelligent people being able to find ways to have more babies).

Based on my observation, the opposite seems to be the case. Permit me to recommend the cult comedy movie Idiocracy here, which addresses this very issue.

Sat, 20 Aug 2011 20:36:59 UTC | #862827