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Comments by DanDare

Go to: Simply ... should I read the bible?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 120 by DanDare

What teacherteacherteacher says about the kooraaan is mostly rubbish, but at least the tales of islam have a flying horse that can double as a space ship in there. That's fun, and also useful for would be Dungeons and Dragons dungeon masters.

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 12:03:46 UTC | #951372

Go to: Simply ... should I read the bible?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 119 by DanDare

I found bits of the old testament inspirational for some Dungeons & Dragons scenarios.

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:59:08 UTC | #951371

Go to: Why Women Are Bound to Religion: An Evolutionary Perspective

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 217 by DanDare

The vulnerability of infants and children would have led our ancestral females to select mates who were more likely to stay around, as well as to rely heavily on support from the group. Women would have relied on close female relatives to provide both emotional and practical support. Males within the group would have provided protein and defense against invading males.

This is unsupported just so story telling. Why would selecting mates that "hung around" be necessary? Why would only female relatives "provide both emotional and practical support"? Women gathered substantial food in all primitive societies so hunting was an unreliable supplement to the diet. This article is full of question begging, assuming its answers in its"explanations".

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 09:30:23 UTC | #951303

Go to: [Update] How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by DanDare

In the majority opinion that opened the door to Good News Clubs, supreme court Justice Clarence Thomas reasoned that the activities of the CEF were not really religious, after all. He said that they could be characterized, for legal purposes, "as the teaching of morals and character development from a particular viewpoint".

Really? The US is doomed with dickheads like that in your highest positions in the legal system. Of course its not very good here in Oz either. The Good News Clubs are part of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and we have them all over the place here.

Thu, 31 May 2012 14:06:53 UTC | #944749

Go to: Richard Dawkins and Michael Aus discuss The Clergy Project (with Polish subtitles)

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by DanDare

A thing that has struck me about these "awakenings" is how kind and compassionate our ex-clergy friends are. This means something, has something to say about what is going on but its not simple and I haven't fully parsed my own thinking about it.

I get a feeling that after a while the clergy will be bereft of those members that actually do do good. Hopefully those that leave will continue to reach out to their communities and make even more of a difference than they do now.

Wed, 30 May 2012 13:31:11 UTC | #944491

Go to: Take a stand for public access to taxpayer funded research

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by DanDare

Conflict of interest alert: I am a founder of and so I have an axe to grind in this discussion.

I have been studying the whole edifice of peer review, publication, and the cost of subscriptions. Even isolated article purchase is high. Libraries generally have to purchase large, expensive bundles that have more than their students are interested in. Reviewers constantly gripe about doing review as an unpaid duty, in fact there is a lot of unpaid and unrecognised effort in science publication. On top of that the publications are not non-profit organisations. They are out to make a buck and they see their articles as a low volume sale, so they put the price up as high as the market will bare. Cost of publication is not the issue.

Open Access has been around for a long time and seems to have acted more like a poison chalice than an improvement. Partly that is because the people that get government funding are usually financially flat to the boards already, and paying to give away their publications breaks the camel's back. The organisations that are willing to put lots of funding into R&D and have government funding as a small part of the overall budget don't want Open Access to turn their investment into a giveaway. It seems very counterproductive to me.

I would think that a better focus would be to try and bring the cost of accessing papers down, increase their distribution and make sure there is fair exchange, that everyone contributing gets some fair and equitable return on their work.

Sun, 27 May 2012 03:47:03 UTC | #943758

Go to: Protest against the “Punch your gay kids” Pastor – Sean Harris.

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by DanDare

I thought inciting violence was a crime in the US? People have phoned the police about this but nothing has happened? Will nothing happen?

Sun, 06 May 2012 12:03:40 UTC | #940138

Go to: The problem in public life isn’t Islam, but religion itself

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by DanDare

I get a bit disturbed by this use of the term "public sphere". It seems to extend to people chatting about their beliefs in the pub. State Secularism is about governments not having purely religious laws, and not taking sides on religious subjects. By phrasing it as a dichotomy about speaking out about religion and about keeping it private it is making secularism out to be oppressive.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 12:43:36 UTC | #920714

Go to: Tunisian Secularists Fight Back

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by DanDare

So, what is Nadia El-Fani's movie? I'd like to know more about that rather than have it drowned out by the religious fucknuckles.

Tue, 12 Jul 2011 14:17:50 UTC | #848943

Go to: Why Are Atheists So Angry?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 170 by DanDare

Too many atheists assume that a couple of insults will substitute for argument.

Not that many. Too many theists put their fingers in their ears and go "la la la la can't hear you". That pisses me off.

Finally, I will go so far as to say that there is sometimes in the atheist a want of wonder. In a world in which so much is still not understood, in which multiple universes are possible, in which we have not pierced the mystery of consciousness, to discount the supernatural is to lack the openness to mystery that should be a human hallmark.

No, filling the world of wonder and its attendant mystery with supernatural goddiditedness is the best way to close your mind to mystery. "I don't know" is the way to open your mind when you don't know.

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:45:04 UTC | #602588

Go to: Some things children should not be taught

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by DanDare

Batter start than a stupid commission. Remove all faith schools. Teach about religions and their history in schools but do not allow indoctrination or religious functionaries in schools. That would be a big start.

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 13:19:48 UTC | #543684

Go to: Religious Predators

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by DanDare

Comment 26 by Kiwi :

A religious predator is a person who attempts to instil in children a religious belief, who cuts them off from other ways of thinking, and attempts to suppress or mislead their critical faculties, or a person who grooms them for others who will try to perform these tasks, or a person who intentionally enables religious predation.

I think many religious parents also fall into this category, so don't let this definition get into the media!

Why not ? I thought that was the idea, to point out that there is a huge difference between religious education and religious indoctrination. Parents are often the cause of introducing delusional beliefs to their children. They do have a right, or so I understand, under the declaration of human rights, to do this, but why not make the point that there are very good arguments against it on the basis of both the child's "right" to truth and the child's "right" to make up its own mind. Just because a parent thinks they are doing a good thing by telling their children they will not actually die one day, because someone was tortured 2000 years ago in their name, does not make it so.

We call parents that sexually abuse their children sexual predators.

It used to be unmentionable, and a crime that often went unpublished. It changed significantly when it became possible to call the abusers out for what they are.

And if I have to get labelled as a gnu atheist then so be it.

The chaplaincy program in Oz, pushed by the International Scripture Union is a vehicle for religious predators. There is no mitigation there. Their stated goal is to get to "the unchurched". These guys are winning and being polite is not going to hold them back. We are dealing with school administrations happy to be religious predators. We are dealing with governments happy to fund religious predators for votes. We have the predators running around saying Oz is a christian nation and so we should stop complaining. We are being slowly baked into a theocracy and the average Australian doesn't know its happening because "its not the kind of thing we talk about".

Nope, if speaking out about this is loud, shrill and rude then I'm going to be loud, shrill and rude on this one.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 13:00:22 UTC | #540864

Go to: Religious Predators

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by DanDare

@nickhealey what you say is logically true. Child abuse is the correct term. Unfortunately it just doesn't stick with many people in this context. I'm not talking about people like us who haunt websites like this, I'm talking about the many other parents I meet and associate with who really need to be up in arms about the problem. They have a preset concept of how good and safe chaplains are and how harmless SRE teachers are. The child abuse label doesn't hold. On the other hand sexual predator grabs hold easily even when it is untrue! So, I have tested religious predator out and guess what? It grabs hold. Suddenly parents who felt ok about those harmless chaplains who help their kids are seeing that they are interfering with their kids.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 13:44:40 UTC | #539860

Go to: Religious Predators

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by DanDare

@0penM1nded Sorry to say that reasoned argument is less effective than something that produces a perception change by startling people.

"I hope the media doesn't pick up that atheists are now calling anyone that teaches religion 'religious predators' - the majority of parents!"

You obviously did not read the article or you would know that is not what religious predator is about. Its about people intervening between child and parent without their consent.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:39:23 UTC | #539831

Go to: Religious Predators

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by DanDare

@T-Porter The government program includes a template consent form with the following section:

Voluntary Student Activities without Religious, Spiritual and/or Ethical Content These activities are available to students on a voluntary basis if a parent or guardian has given consent in writing.

  1. List activities without religious, spiritual and/or ethical content provided at the school through the chaplaincy program. e.g. breakfast clubs, coaching sporting teams, mentoring programs, outdoor education programs
  2. Include a short descriptor of each activity for parental information.

Please tick one of the boxes below: I give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities I do not give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities.

Voluntary Student Activities with Religious, Spiritual and/or Ethical Content These activities are available to students on a voluntary basis if a parent or guardian has given consent in writing.

  1. List activities with religious, spiritual and/or ethical content provided at the school through the chaplaincy program. e.g. SUPA Club, one-to-one meeting with chaplain for religious and spiritual support, Prayer Meetings, Groups Visiting School for Performances e.g. Christian Band
  2. Include a short descriptor of each activity for parental information.

Please tick one of the boxes below: I give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities. I do not give my consent for my child/ren to participate in these activities.

Notice that the form carefully states that you are consenting to your child participating in the activities, not to the child's exposure to the chaplain. If you say no to section one your child misses out on sports run by the chaplain and outdoor education activities, never mind breakfast clubs and mentoring (which is one on one with a person introduced to school from outside on the say so of the chaplain and the employing body, Scripture Union).

As this is a template schools are free to create their own. My daughters school included the visiting christian band in the activities of section one, and from memory also the prayer clubs and school assemblies. So, how can I allow my daughter to attend standard school activities without consenting to giving the religious predators access?

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 09:24:38 UTC | #539762

Go to: Why Burqa bans are wrong

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by DanDare

Hi Steve, cool article. I find it a bit hard to follow conversations on blogging software so I have started a conversation with your article at my preffered forum.

Tue, 18 May 2010 13:31:00 UTC | #471104

Go to: Utah: Making miscarriages a crime?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by DanDare

I thought abortion was legal all over the US? Roe v Wade and all that. Am I completely wrong?

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 15:22:00 UTC | #444841

Go to: Malaysia canes women for adultery

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by DanDare

I got the cane only once in school.

The reason for it? I was excused to go to the toilet. While I was out some kids pissed off the class and gave them lunchtime detention. On my return, no one informed me. After lunch the deputy principle pulled me up in class and caned my hand for not attending detention. I had piano lessons that evening and had to cancel them.

At that very point I became anti-authoritarian and began a crusade against the school administration, the interschool christian fellowship and the deputy principle who eventually was sacked (due to parent pressure) and years later jailed for buggering boys (who knew?).

Crime and punishment are two edged things. A government meeting out punishment for dubious laws is doomed to produce the seeds of its own destruction.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 04:15:00 UTC | #442533

Go to: Panel approves Bible classes for public schools

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by DanDare

And the Quaran? The Vedic scriptures? What about Mao's little red book?

Lets hope that they do proper literary critique, since the book stinks.

This strategy is world wide by the way. The leader of the opposition here in Oz (Tony Abbot) has suggested the same thing.

Sat, 20 Feb 2010 03:58:00 UTC | #442527

Go to: Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by DanDare

Rapture ready house care. Just sign over your house and we will provide carefully qualified good citizens to live in it while you go off and prepare for the rapture. In the event that you are not raptured we will not give the house back because contracts with such evil people are not legally binding.

Tue, 16 Feb 2010 00:23:00 UTC | #441697

Go to: Religious people do have a clearer moral code than secularists

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 80 by DanDare

There is good reason to think that fundamentalists are working their way into government everywhere. The pope, and Mr Blair have advocated fighting to end secularism.

Here in Oz the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition are both religious wingnuts, as was the former PM. They have instigated chaplaincies in public schools, tried to prevent the removal of religious indoctrination in those schools, funded religious conventions for millions in tax payers money but would not fund the global atheist conference for one dollar.

That's why I gave been trying to help build up the Australian Secular Lobby

Sat, 06 Feb 2010 15:07:00 UTC | #439150

Go to: Religious people do have a clearer moral code than secularists

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by DanDare

Blair should not be a judge because she thinks that being religious counts as mitigation.She is incorrect in her understanding of the law.

Sat, 06 Feb 2010 15:00:00 UTC | #439147

Go to: Secular society upset by Judge Cherie decision

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 121 by DanDare

Ms Blair/Booth is absolutely right of course. We should also stop chasing after Osama Bin Laden. He is a religious man so we should probably just fine him a hundred bucks or some such thing. Now, if he was an atheist then we should hunt him down like a dog!

Sat, 06 Feb 2010 10:05:00 UTC | #439108

Go to: Action Alert: Tell Obama to Reform the Faith Based Initiative Program

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by DanDare

Not being an American I confess I don't know the governmental system there very well. What power does the President have to do things unilaterally within government?

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 13:50:00 UTC | #438784

Go to: Real men find Church too girly

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by DanDare

Real men don't like queueing for coffee. Answer, the girlies can carry the fucking coffee to the men!

Jebus H Chrackers! What about the real men getting in and serving their fellow parishioners?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 06:25:00 UTC | #437366

Go to: Global Atheist Convention - Sold out!

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by DanDare

No, not the "the FALL of religiosity", the bypassing of religiosity. As its irrelevance is further highlighted it must eventually pass not with a bang but a wither.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:55:00 UTC | #437358

Go to: Should Richard Dawkins be arrested for incitement to religious hatred?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by DanDare

Uh, I think they call him "your grace" because that is his title when roleplaying as Archbishop Cranmer?

Anyway, yes, a bullshit article chock with strawmen. I posted a comment. What would be cool is one of Cali's complete dissections on the site itself.

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:45:00 UTC | #437355

Go to: The God Delusion - back on the Times extended list at #24

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by DanDare

It would be cool to have a separate page on the site with a running tally of the sales numbers and versions.

And maybe a thread where people can indicate having found it in their local library and how often it appears to have been read.

Sat, 30 Jan 2010 02:39:00 UTC | #436862

Go to: Killing of Infants by Government?

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by DanDare

I know there is a great deal of mysticism in India. How deeply does it permeate the government? How does a democracy become rational if enough of its constituents are not?

These questions are important because many of us live in democracies where the wingnuts seem to be growing in power.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 12:38:00 UTC | #436279

Go to: Atheism as extremism

DanDare's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by DanDare

Oh fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuuuuuuuck! How can this rubbish keep being put forward again and again and again? I haven't the strength left to refute it anymore. I need a holiday from this shit.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 02:24:00 UTC | #435279