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Comments by Thurston

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

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 464 by Thurston

Though I never got to meet him, I saw him debate twice - in Edinburgh (against John Lennox, 2008) and against the Catholic Church (with Stephen Fry). I consider myself incredibly lucky. His death, though expected, has affected me far more than I thought it would. Of course his words remain (and what words!) but I feel its the end of an era in atheism, though certainly not the last era. ALWL - A Life Well Lived!

Sun, 18 Dec 2011 23:18:16 UTC | #900790

Go to: 'You just don't understand my religion' is not good enough

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Thurston

I tried meditating on the question mark. I kept sliding off!

The A of C is one of those people I find delightful and very hard to dislike, even knowing that his brand of obscurantism enables all manner of more pernicious theological drivel to thrive.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:44:41 UTC | #888399

Go to: Christopher Hitchens makes first public appearance in months

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Thurston

Jerry Coyne's blog is v. moving about Hitchens. This photo is great, you can see the respect in the body language. It's such a shame Hitchens seems to be nearing the end, he's worth any number of other public figures we have at the moment!

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 22:43:43 UTC | #879256

Go to: My Take: Doomsdayers show what’s wrong with all religion

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Thurston

It is interesting to hear "sophisticated" Christians attacking Camping as a false prophet whose teachings are contrary to the spirit of Christianity. The Christ of the Gospels and the Christ that has been reconstructed by historians, as well as they can, are both apocalyptic preachers convinced they are living in the "last days" - an idea that was subsequently taken up by St Paul. It seems to me that Camping and his followers are actually quite faithful to the original, apocalyptic, spirit of Christianity. The only difference I can see is that Camping is specific whereas Christ was vague with regard to the time of the end. The problem is not bad religion, but any religion with end times fantasies which Christianity - sophisticated or fundamentalist - has in abundance.

Sat, 21 May 2011 12:23:31 UTC | #629158

Go to: A.C. Grayling interviewed by Stephen Colbert

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Thurston

Comment 9 by weavehole :

You may be interested to know that A C Grayling is one of 500 or so people whose Desert Island Discs have been released by Radio 4 as a series of podcasts.

Grayling's DID is one of the most moving I have heard. His voice cracking when talking about his murdered sister is unbearably sad. Thank you for reminding me about the program.

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 21:20:36 UTC | #620387

Go to: A.C. Grayling interviewed by Stephen Colbert

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Thurston

There are links to watch it in Britain from here: Stephen Colbert and AC Grayling

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:17:00 UTC | #620344

Go to: How things work: religion and politics.

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Thurston

That was horrendous.

But he seems to be a horrible individual. Persistently denying his sexuality until it was beyond doubt then fawning over a religion that is contemptuous of anything other than heterosexuality.

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 23:12:48 UTC | #616314


Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by Thurston

If she is serious then she is repulsive! If she is joking then she is repulsive! Either way it is attention seeking nonsense and should be condemned.

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 01:25:46 UTC | #602816

Go to: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Thurston

A very compelling article. His comparison of religion with a Rorschach test was particularly interesting.If this were the case you would expect innately nice and intelligent people like Rowan Williams and Desmond Tutu to preach a nice Christianity and the more ignorant and intolerant of society to preach a message that focuses on Christ's less benevolent preachments ("Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire"). This seems to be what you find.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 01:49:01 UTC | #598562

Go to: Richard Dawkins - Absolute Morality

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Thurston

Lovely. For what is a brief explanation of a complex subject, its just about unbeatable.

Sat, 01 May 2010 14:30:00 UTC | #464572

Go to: World, Have Your Say

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Thurston

I found it very hard to listen to Ray Flynn (a Bill Donohue clone, it seems). He claims that Dawkins and Hitchens have an atheistic axe to grind but isn't willing to admit his own (more apparent) pro-Catholic bias. Maybe, just maybe, atheists have a moral committment to this issue that is untrammelled by religious allegiance.

Wed, 14 Apr 2010 18:51:00 UTC | #459467

Go to: Five Minutes With: AC Grayling

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Thurston

I am so nosey about other people's books and I feel sure I could happily spend the rest of my life in his office.

Yet again AC Grayling manages to be intelligent, charming and interesting.

Sun, 04 Apr 2010 01:30:00 UTC | #455708

Go to: AC Grayling Interview

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Thurston

I think that MondSemmel meant that HE wasn't a native speaker, not Grayling.

A great interview from Grayling, but he seems incapable of being anything but straightfoward and clear. A modern day Bertrand Russell.

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 01:10:00 UTC | #454236

Go to: Happy Birthday Richard Dawkins!

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 137 by Thurston

Happy Birthday and best wishes.

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 21:23:00 UTC | #452778

Go to: Ray Comfort in NZ

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Thurston

I am uncomfortable (no pun intended, but the word is apt) with deriving humour from Ray Comfort. The man spreads misinformation and ignorance which is dangerous in a society that demands a scientifically literate public to make far-reaching decisions. Even Richard has confessed to being able to feel a "wry (if not affectionate) amusement" at his antics. But what to do about the man is a problem. Ignoring him doesn't seem to work (he seems to have considerable financial resources) and pointing out/laughing at his idiocy only gives him more of the attention he craves.

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 21:07:00 UTC | #447848

Go to: Christian schools angry over ban on teaching creationism

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Thurston

The chief executive of Christian Schools Australia, Stephen O'Doherty, said the board statement was too strident, removing the right to teach ''biblical perspectives'' as part of science.

It seems that creationists have become so divorced from sense and reason that reality itself is perceived as "strident". The South Australian Non-Government Schools Registration Board's definition of science is perfectly fair and conventional. Who could possibly have problem with it?

Wed, 03 Mar 2010 15:59:00 UTC | #446296

Go to: I believe in the god of thunder ...thank Thor our politicians agree

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Thurston

Great article, I loved the conversational intolerance is showed.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 14:31:00 UTC | #445392

Go to: Essay of the week: The New Puritanism

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Thurston

I am interested in reading some of Professor Grayling's books; would someone be so kind as to recommend a good one to start with?

I have his collection of essays The Meaning of Things next to me and it is fantastic. Towards the Light, about how we one our civil and human rights throughout the centuries is another great read. On religion specifically, Against All Gods is short and to the point.

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 01:46:00 UTC | #442987

Go to: Essay of the week: The New Puritanism

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Thurston

It has been said that the people best qualified to govern are too intelligent to want to govern. I wish AC Grayling would refute this and consider a political career.

Sun, 21 Feb 2010 23:08:00 UTC | #442922

Go to: Ray Comfort's Darwin Comic,

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Thurston

Ray Comfort's nonsense seems to be spreading like a biblical plague. He is a walking, talking illustration of Dr Johnson's parody of Falstaff: "He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 00:01:00 UTC | #437252

Go to: The God Delusion paperback - moved up to #24

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Thurston

Great to hear. Congratulations. It has been on a number of "The Decade's Best Books" lists in various newspapers.

Thu, 07 Jan 2010 00:43:00 UTC | #429520

Go to: Bertrand Russell on God (1959)

Go to: A Christmas Offering! - Jeeves and the Family Tree

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Thurston

V. entertaining.
I hope these forays into fiction are practice for a scientific novel in the spirit of Sagan or Asimov.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 01:44:00 UTC | #425561

Go to: Believers in denial

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Thurston

Well said. I just hope we're not too late. David Attenborough has said some great things about the Judeo-Christian connection with AGW: that a book that tells humankind that it has dominion over the earth is sure to be catastrophic.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:54:00 UTC | #422616

Go to: Kent Hovind's Doctoral Dissertation

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Thurston

"Erasmus Darwin was an extremely fat person."
"Lamarck died in poverty and was unwanted when he died."
"Racism started or was greatly enhanced by Darwin and Thomas Huxley."

Those quotes are enough to have the man branded a dangerous imbecile, an uneducated half-wit or just plain strange.

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 00:25:00 UTC | #422036

Go to: Bill O'Reilly: Atheists Are Jealous Of The Holiday

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Thurston

I clicked on this expecting full-on cretinism, but it seemed OK. I even found myself smiling with them. I'm tempted to say that Bill O'Reilly is an atheist, he was clearly having fun (and I suspect he knows the women he is talking with are not the sharpest pencils in the pencil case) and his comments about atheists being jealous was obviously tongue -in-cheek.

Sun, 06 Dec 2009 23:34:00 UTC | #420802

Go to: Comic referenced by AC Grayling

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Thurston

Shit, he died the day AC Grayling said: "The artist who drew that will be very pleased. That's really sad. RIP.

Fri, 04 Dec 2009 00:52:00 UTC | #420090

Go to: Atheism is the new fundamentalism

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Thurston

I have my ticket.
The poll on the Intelligence Squared website looks encouraging: 93% against the motion.
I'm looking forward to hearing AC Grayling, as he wrote a great essay on this subject in Against All Gods.

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 22:12:00 UTC | #417459

Go to: FOX: Atheist Billboard Stirs God Debate

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Thurston

"Don't believe in God? You are not alone" is a statement of fact. What can Christians object to? Simply, they do not want atheists who may feel alone in their disbelief to find comradeship among like-minded non-believers. They want disbelievers to continue to think they are alone. That is an important point to bear in mind when theists accuse atheists of wishing to take away the consolation of religious belief. They seem to have no problem denying consolation to others.

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 12:46:00 UTC | #417005

Go to: The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Thurston's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Thurston

That was a really interesting play. It's interesting the parallels in the script between this and Inherit the Wind. I guess that's where both productions used the same original trial transcripts.

Mon, 23 Nov 2009 15:06:00 UTC | #415753