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Comments by colluvial

Go to: If by "Christian love" you mean hatred & contempt...

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by colluvial

Not just hateful but threatening, and filled with vengeful but impotent fantasies of the girl being raped in this life or going to hell in the next. My untutored guess would be that they are frightened and insecure about their own beliefs and therefore feel deeply threatened by a challenge such as this.

It's likely there are other social dynamics going on here that may have little to do with Christian ideology, for example displaying loyalty to one's perceived group (Christian identity may be only one of its characteristics), feelings of antipathy towards outsiders, and publicly establishing social distance from someone who's been ostracized in order to bolster one's status. Regardless, the inability of Christianity to install basic civility in many of those raised under its influence, once again demonstrates its impotence as a source of morality.

Sat, 14 Jan 2012 18:16:32 UTC | #908274

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

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by colluvial

It's interesting to see how God's select representatives set an example for all humankind. Didn't see much turning of the other cheek, though.

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 04:10:35 UTC | #904752

Go to: Europe's crisis of faith

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by colluvial

...regular churchgoers are growing older all the time and that their number is constantly diminishing ... The essence of the crisis of the church in Europe is the crisis of faith ... On this point, the encounter with Africa's joyful passion for faith brought great encouragement. None of the faith fatigue that is so prevalent here, none of the oft-encountered sense of having had enough of Christianity, was detectable there. Amid all the problems, sufferings and trials that Africa clearly experiences, one could still sense the people's joy in being Christian, buoyed up by inner happiness at knowing Christ and belonging to his church.

Is the pope preparing us for an announcement that the Vatican will be moving south?

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 15:00:41 UTC | #904214

Go to: Evolution, Christmas and the Atonement

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by colluvial

Next up: How Tolkein's The Hobbit is actually a true and insightful account of the life and culture of Homo floresiensis.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 15:08:08 UTC | #902629

Go to: Religious groups cry foul over Ontario anti-bullying bill

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by colluvial

Comment 65 by huzonfurst: @49: Yes, really. Or perhaps more accurately chose to engage in homosexual rather than heterosexual sex.

Uh oh, are we starting the free will debate again?

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 21:09:32 UTC | #897274

Go to: Religious groups cry foul over Ontario anti-bullying bill

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by colluvial

Comment 14 by 78rpm: "If it had been nowadays, I would have been labelled a lesbian, put into a cohort with other lesbians, and that would have been my life thereafter. As it was, though, a little while later I found that I liked kissing boys, and I never looked back."

Are you saying that her heterosexual lifestyle was preferable to a homosexual one because she ended up having children and grandchildren? You seem to think that the only way she would have been heterosexual was to have been forced to do so and that if she identified openly as a lesbian, she would never have another choice. Is there a basis for any of these assumptions? Perhaps one day, support groups for non-heterosexuals won't be necessary, but in the face of discrimination that sexual non-conformity still inspires, they are.

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:59:33 UTC | #897067

Go to: Nigerian senate passes anti-gay bill, defying British aid threat

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by colluvial

David Cameron, threatened to withhold aid from nations violating gays rights, sparking outrage in Africa where leaders interpreted it as "colonial" display of power.

Huh? Never thought that 'display of power' could mean failing to support the violation of human rights.

Sun, 04 Dec 2011 17:21:16 UTC | #895596

Go to: Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by colluvial

Why would you count money donated to the RCC to support the local priest and put a new roof on the church as charity ?
Because the believers are giving to at least what they views is a good cause, it does not matter if you disagree or if they use it to molest children the same as it does not matter if cancer research money gets redirected.

Little did I know that I was making "charitable" donations to my local microbrewery and the farmer down the road. Supporting local business is a good cause. And, as an added bonus, they're not raping children!

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 14:08:38 UTC | #893291

Go to: Girls Beaten and Raped? Or The Catholic Church? Who are the victims?

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by colluvial

"I think it might be worthwhile separating those who are truly guilty, the church royalty, and the followers of the RCC. I'm not defending the beliefs of the followers, but the vast majority of believers are not the problem."

Unfortunately, the believers are the problem. Do you think that American politicians would otherwise care about offending some religious despot and his cronies? It's the same old issue of the religious moderates providing cover and tacit support for the crimes against humanity perpetrated by extremist religious elements. Although it's likely that most catholics have a more liberal view than the catholic hierarchy, few of them would ever be openly critical about what church leaders have to say.

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 22:54:29 UTC | #890859

Go to: Atheism on the upswing in America

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by colluvial

". . . only a transcendent supernatural intelligent designer can provide the absolute and perfect morality and the wisdom necessary to run successful societies."

I see this kind of statement thrown around every time the subject of morality based on religion comes up. The only religious source the faithful have for their morality are the human interpreters of their holy books. Fortunately for all, those interpreters have been dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age at least to the extent that most no longer support stoning or slavery. No atheist should ever repeat the claim that religious morality is based on a supernatural entity (that's their fantasy, not ours) without pointing out where it really comes from; that is, the same place as the rest of us, but unfortunately with token female-subjugation, gay-bashing, and other distasteful things thrown in for local flavor.

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 00:53:26 UTC | #873791

Go to: Why 9/11 was good for religion

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by colluvial

The aim is for priests, imams and rabbis to enter imaginatively into each other's ideologies, rather than simply agreeing.

Does anyone seriously believe that there is any future in constructive interfaith dialogue except while embedded in the matrix of a secular culture? How can faiths cooperate when each one views the others as blasphemous infidels destined for hell? It's only the lingua franca of secularism that suppresses religiously-motivated violence.

Sun, 11 Sep 2011 17:33:34 UTC | #869430

Go to: You do not choose what you choose

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by colluvial

Before this can be a meaningful discussion, the participants must be clear about the definition of "you". Otherwise we're up against a forever morphing concept, like God, that changes on a whim because it's undefined. The statement "... who you are is completely determined by the physical state of your brain" (Drosera #28) cuts close to the bone, but only if taken in the sense that the state of your brain is you.

To accept free will as reality, you'd have to assume there is an uncaused "you" who can choose between alternatives and yet not be affected either by the environment or the consequences of your choices. This is the basis of body/mind duality that we all know doesn't hold up too well even under the influence of a remarkably small volume of alcohol.

Maybe this sounds like Buddhism to some, but not defining the concept of "you" is apt to lead to a place firmly in the territory of the Christian concept of soul.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 15:14:58 UTC | #637594

Go to: Superstitions Have Evolutionary Basis

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by colluvial

Superstitions are just reflexive behaviors that are not weeded out because usually nothing decisively bad happens by following them. When thinking about animal behavior, it's necessary to throw away the soul-like concept of a unified mental core from which emanates all behavior. We don't work that way, we experience that we don't every day, and we need to look beyond the software in our heads that tells us we are a unity when we're not. We each function like committees where the members that are most persistent and have the loudest voices have their way - and sometimes the loudmouth is the guy who has a preoccupation with lucky amulets or about what's going to happen after you die.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 12:17:28 UTC | #637537

Go to: Sam Harris on accommodationism

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by colluvial

#4 Adrian A Bartholomew: "However at this point I would like some actual study evidence to clear it up."

It seems that the central issue for Mooney is to strive for marketing campaigns that shape religiously unpopular ideas into palatable forms. What you're suggesting is to research ways to determine the most effective campaigns.

On the other hand, Harris' strategy is to treat people as mature, rational adults. I suspect that, even if there was an advantage to sugar-coating scientific ideas, Harris - and many of the rest of us - would find that type of pandering objectionable.

Fri, 13 May 2011 11:08:42 UTC | #626418

Go to: Lord Patten attacks 'intolerant' secularists

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by colluvial

"Their books would be a lot shorter if they couldn't refer to the Spanish Inquisition, but it is them who tend to have a level of Castillian intolerance about them."

Those intolerant secularists and their books! Give me the rack or burn me at the stake! But, dear God, not those books!

Sun, 24 Apr 2011 20:48:06 UTC | #618959

Go to: Do we have the right to burn the Koran?

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 175 by colluvial

Almost all of us would agree that Jones is a moron. But I think the central question is whether what he did should be illegal, i.e. that he should be held responsible for the deaths. Otherwise, what's the point of this discussion?

If you think he should, then you need to explain where the line should be drawn. How are your anti-religious comments so different from his anti-Islamic ones? Do you think that you should have to be careful about what you say or write so that it doesn't inflame some religious nutjob?

Such a change to our laws would probably not always be applied in a surgical manner, but often used to bludgeon those (like atheists) who express their opinions. Remember the gentle, often insipid, bus signs that offend so many Christians.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:38:13 UTC | #610954

Go to: Do we have the right to burn the Koran?

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by colluvial

@Stevehill #30: "He's as big an embarrassment to the USA as the Taliban is to Afghanistan."

Let's see: 1) The burning of a small quantity of wood pulp. 2) Executions and amputations, oppression and abuse of women, supporting terrorism, etc.

In which universe are these things even vaguely similar? Or are you saying that the Afghans have an incredibly high tolerance for embarrassment?

If you want to make the burning of the Koran illegal, I would assume you would extend the same edict to the burning of the Bible, drawing cartoons about religious icons, or maybe even saying anything critical about any religion. Or perhaps only the religions that threaten violence?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 13:52:47 UTC | #610745

Go to: Fertility Goddess Asherah: Was 'God's Wife' Edited Out of the Bible?

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by colluvial

I don't suppose we'll soon be hearing from the rabbis, imams, or the pope about how they've been wrong and that their respective delusions will now be referred to as bitheisms.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:34:47 UTC | #607580

Go to: Happy Birthday to Richard Dawkins

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 148 by colluvial

Happy Birthday, Richard! I wish you decades more of deep thought, fame among the sane, and notoriety among the delusional.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 20:20:58 UTC | #607571

Go to: Who wants to go through life defining themselves as a 'non-believer'?

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by colluvial

Does Brendan go through these mental gymnastics every time he answers a question? Why is he worried about defining himself "by what he isn't rather than by what he is"? It's just a census form. Maybe someone should let him know that after he checks the box, he doesn't have to tape the form to his forehead, nor will he issued a mandatory armband.

Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:03:55 UTC | #607360

Go to: God and Disaster

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by colluvial

It's hard to imagine how a god-believer can claim allegiance to an imaginary being that exhibits so little care and concern for humans. This could not be a parent-child relationship, nor even a farmer-livestock relationship. More like the way we treat mice and termites that invade our homes. I think they'd do better to drop the omniscient/omnipotent story, then at least they could claim it wasn't their deity's fault.

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 14:20:39 UTC | #602274

Go to: Scientist Imam threatened over Darwinist views

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by colluvial

. . . Muslims who use evolution as a way of discrediting imams whom they deem to be overly progressive or "western orientated".

Did the idea that progressiveness or western-orientation is inherently evil originate among Muslims living in the west, or is this what visiting imams from non-western countries tell their fawning adherents? In any case, perhaps they should consider that the reason they emigrated might be connected to these fundamentalist ideas.

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 14:28:33 UTC | #599358

Go to: Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by colluvial

Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns

Although it's an old report, it does demonstrate that the RCC haven't been getting their morality from godless secularists for a while. It reminds us that little boys aren't the only victims, no matter how much the Catholics have been trying to blame all their problems on the gay clergy. The church is an equal opportunity exploiter!

In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

Was the reason they weren't visiting the local prostitutes because of the Vatican prohibition of condom use? How conscientious of them!

No other organization that exhibited this level of moral bankruptcy and criminality would be allowed exist.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 21:07:14 UTC | #596695

Go to: Christianity: a faith for the simple

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by colluvial

Our conviction that scientists, elite or otherwise, are somehow better qualified to discern the nature of reality is dubious.

Is this to say for example that biologists are only on equal footing with barbers, bus drivers, and athletes regarding their understanding of geology or astronomy? Or maybe biologists are even less qualified in those other fields because they invested so much of their mental capacity in one field of science.

Perhaps Spencer means something else when he uses the phrase "discerning the nature of reality". Could it be the ability to invent uninformed fairy tales that people with little knowledge of the way the universe works will swallow? Like Christian mythology?

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 11:58:57 UTC | #586625

Go to: Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by colluvial

Why use the word 'spiritual'? Too many delusional and supernatural connotations. 'Emotional' serves the purposes of a rational person. A feeling of awe is an emotional, not a spiritual experience, unless you have reason to believe you are ascending into heaven.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 17:44:39 UTC | #582595

Go to: God was behind Big Bang, pope says

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by colluvial

Benedict said that some scientific theories were "mind limiting" because "they only arrive at a certain point ... and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality."

The "point" that science has arrived at is capable of stretching our sense of vastness and majesty beyond its limits. Benedict, on the other hand, has invested all his intellectual capital in a silly little idea that involves sky fairies and funny hats. No wonder he's a bitter old man.

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 17:04:10 UTC | #579421

Go to: Bill O'Reilly vs. David Silverman: You Know They're All Scams

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by colluvial

If you're familiar with O'Reilly's method of interviewing, otherwise known as only being interested what comes out of his own big mouth, you'll know that Silverman did a very good job. Just maintaining composure when confronted by O'Reilly's willfully ignorant, arrogant, and insulting demeanor is a win. To be able to make a few points on top of it - the signs aren't insulting, religion is a scam, many people filling the pews are non-believers, not to mention getting in a plug for his organization's website - is a very respectable performance.

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 02:31:16 UTC | #573909

Go to: Bishop of Winchester: legal system discriminates against Christians

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by colluvial

He could just as well be lamenting the end of slavery and the stoning of adulterers, something I assume the Bishop finds as appalling as the rest of us. On these counts, he can thank his ancestors who exhibited more good sense than he currently does.

It must be difficult being an anachronism.

the death of “religious literacy”

Interesting use of the word 'literacy'. I never knew it was a synonym for 'kowtowing'.

secularist views are statements of the obvious and religious views are notions in the mind


Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:20:49 UTC | #569278

Go to: News World news Pope Benedict XVI Pope's visit: Six held by counter-terror police hours before historic address

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by colluvial

Some of the men arrested are believed to be of Algerian heritage.

Considering they're from a country where the state religion is Islam, I'm guessing they're not suspected of being militant atheists?

Sat, 18 Sep 2010 11:56:47 UTC | #520540

Go to: ‘Rendering unto God that which is Caesar’s’: the fatal flaw at the heart of the Vatican

colluvial's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by colluvial

Paula, very interesting article. You point out something I had never considered - that there is a moral dimension to the RCC's position on raping children. Only it's the morality of a self-serving organization, designed to advance the interests and secure the power of that organization. When believers pose the question of how atheists can be moral "without God", I had always assumed that the morality they're referring to is one that benefits humanity, rather than a religious patriarchy.

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 11:13:09 UTC | #514534