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Comments by satan augustine

Go to: Depression Defies the Rush to Find an Evolutionary Upside

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by satan augustine

Excellent article that points out the utter absurdity in thinking that depression - and it's clear from the article that's he's talking about clinical depression and not the very transient mild, non-clinical depression that everyone experiences from time to time - is in any way adaptive. And some of the commenters here are clearly misunderstanding much about depression and evolution. The number one misunderstanding about evolution seems to be the assumption that everything, including every aspect of behavior, is adaptive. I should think I wouldn't need to say this here, but: Not every trait an animal possesses is adaptive. And certainly not something that is clearly a pathology.

I've read some of the papers and summaries of the papers that claim depression is an evolutionary adaptation. All of these I found at Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Be sure to read these and Jerry's (unfavorable) take on them. None of them actually deal with even mildly clinically depressed individuals. The manner in which they attempt to induce "depression" would be laughable were it not so offensive to individuals who genuinely suffer from clinical depression.* In short, none of them even study depression at all and the methodology is severely flawed.

I'm not sure how anyone could think that a disease that severely lowers your self confidence, your self esteem, your libido, your energy, your will to live, your ability to experience pleasure, your ability to think straight, to remember, your ability to feel hope, your motivation to do anything, (including get out of bed, take care of basic hygiene, socialize, sometimes even eat), and increases feelings of (irrational) guilt, helplessness, physical pain, makes you suicidal, unattractive to potential mates (or even to friends for that matter - seriously, being around a severely depressed person is depressing and frustrating even to professional therapists), leaves you feeling unbearably sad even though no matter how hard you try you can find no reason for the source of the sadness, and, oh yeah, lasts weeks or months, even years. How could anyone think that's a good plan for reproductive success?

*I'm speaking as someone who has, and has had for the past 27 years, chronic mild clinical depression (dysthymia) and recurrent major depression, has been receiving treatment for 25 years (individual and group therapy, I've tried 8 different antidepressants, currently take 2 of these), has read about depression extensively during the past 25 years and worked for a mental health agency for 18 years (though I worked primarily with schizophrenics, not depressives). I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I just know a lot about depression.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 01:30:45 UTC | #910030

Go to: The Reason Rally!

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by satan augustine

This certainly isn't the best advert for the Reason Rally, but it is a very important event. Click on "Reason Rally" directly below the video for more info.

Functional Atheist at Comment 5: I agree that it would be cool to hear/see Stephen Fry and/or Ricky Gervais speak at the Reason Rally, it will feature one Brit who you may be familiar with: a certain Richard Dawkins. : )

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:19:10 UTC | #888335

Go to: Blinded and Blindsided:

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by satan augustine

But first can we all stop insulting people with disabilities, none of you would say it was a "womanish vote" by congress to cave in on the telescope. Most people over thirty would get the meaning even if it was a rude adjective. Blindness and loss of vision as the number of people using glasses demonstrates, is part of the human condition. Making disability mean something bad or evil, seems to be a cultural carry over from when the church denied priesthood to men with apparent diabilities and also part of the cosmic blackmail con, if you don't give to the religion, god or karma will get you. Disability was a sign of cosmic punishment on the person or their parents.

Aside from complaining about wording, this comment has nothing to do with the original article. Metaphors are useful. Should someone suffering from severe, lifelong depression (me) get upset when the media says were heading for another depression? No. Like I said, metaphors are useful. In fact, my depression is crippling. Does that mean I'm insulting someone who is physically crippled? No. It's a useful metaphor.

On the subject of the article: This is sadly not surprising given that conservatives and tea partiers (who tend to make up a large part of the religious right in governement) are extremely anti-science and I can imagine them being particularly opposed to a project like this - one that might give us clues as to how the universe actually began. They don't want to hear about that. Their god has very few hiding places left. They certainly don't want the "way something rather than nothing" argument (if you can call it that) for god taken from them. I know Lawrence takes this on in his next book, but it seems like the James Webb Space Telescope would provide even more data to explain that question. They don't want that. Add that to their complete and utter failure to do anything positive about the budget aside from a general "take from the poor, give to the rich" plan and it's easy to see their "reasoning" behind cutting funding to a program like this.

Oh how I hate our current congress (the majority at least - a bunch of know-nothing-and proud-of-it twits).

Thu, 04 Aug 2011 22:41:06 UTC | #858005

Go to: Atheists Get Their "Brokeback Mountain" Moment in the New Sundance Film, "The Ledge"

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 108 by satan augustine

I have actually seen this film.

Anyone want some spoilers?

Too bad, I'm not giving any.

It was screened at the American Atheists Conference in Des Moines, Iowa this April. I was skeptical, based on the trailer and the way it was promoted, but was pleasantly surprised that it really was quite a good film. In fact, I highly recommend seeing it. I'm not saying, based on one viewing, that it's a great film, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it again. I'm sure there were some subtleties I missed (especially since the chairs there were horribly uncomfortable, which was distracting).

When I saw the preview, prior to the conference, I, like many here, thought, "What crap." One the first day of the conference though, the director gave a talk. Afterwards I thought, "I've got to see this movie." I'm glad that I did.

I can't even hazard a guess as to how religionists of various stripes will react to the film. I'm sure most of them will see what they want to see. Maybe it will make some of the more open-minded of them think. I'm guessing most nonbelievers will like the film, even though they won't all agree about some of the decisions Matthew (the director) made. (After the screening, many people questioned his decisions).

As far as "A-list" actors, perhaps some will remember Liv Tyler playing a lead role in a (not-so-little) film trilogy called "Lord of the Rings." It was kinda popular. And Terrence Howard is an excellent actor.

Now that I've made a short story long, I'll just say: SEE THIS FILM!

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 18:12:19 UTC | #636843

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

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 385 by satan augustine

So when is "Everybody Burn a Koran Day"?

There were too many comments to read them all.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 23:00:36 UTC | #611512

Go to: Jewish fundamentalist attempt at refuting Dawkins

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 269 by satan augustine

I predict that this irrelevant flea's book will go over like a lead balloon. His arguments are old and tired, but he seems completely unaware of this. Poor fella.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 23:39:20 UTC | #600601

Go to: Foxhole Atheists Fight Back Against Discrimination at Fort Bragg [Urgent and Time Sensitive!](Ultimate Cat Herding, for great justice!)

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by satan augustine

First off, everyone please do whatever you can to support Rock Beyond Belief. I will!


Assuming that the percentage of nonbelievers at Fort Bragg that you gave (18%) is accurate and given that the population of Fort Bragg was 39,457 as of the 2010 census, there are approximately 7102 nonbelievers at Fort Bragg. The theater that Colonel Stephen Sicinski offered to Justin for Rock Beyond Belief has a maximum capacity of 700 (per Justin's letter to the Colonel, here: link text). So in a way you're right about the numbers not adding up: 700 =/= 7102.

Also note that with regards to the evangelical Christian Rock the Fort event:

Every flyer, poster, and newspaper / radio advertisement contained official Fort Bragg phone numbers, and the press releases were all on Fort Bragg letterhead.

while Sicinski's letter to Justin regarding the Rock Beyond Belief event states:

...all advertising materials should indicate by disclaimer that there is no endorsement for Fort Bragg, the U.S. Army, Department of defense

The discrimination is obvious and your concerns relating to budget are mentioned nowhere in Sicinski's letter to Justin nor, apparently, in any of the communications that Justin received prior to this.

Atheists are a hated minority in America so I don't understand why you think, given this fact and the above, that the budget is the issue and not the blatant discrimination that seems obvious to everyone but you. Dawkins' site has gotten plenty of visits from religious apologists over the years, but I must say that this is the first time I've encountered a U.S. Army apologist. If this label is off base then I apologize, but given that this is the first and only article that you've commented on thus far and that you seem to be trying to make excuses for blatant discrimination simply makes me a bit suspicious.

BTW, I suggest reading not only the first article I linked to, but also this one: link text in which he gives an in-depth reply to a naysayer who commented on the first article and explains where the funds for Rock Beyond Belief are coming from.

Richard, Robotaholic, SourTomatoSand:

Google Chrome gives me 4.75 millions hits for Richard and 2.84 million for Billy Graham. Richard wins! Where's your messiah now, Billy? ; )

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 23:28:00 UTC | #600293

Go to: Last minute crippling restrictions forced us to cancel

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by satan augustine

FFRF has gotten involved:

It seems that many people are asking who they should send letters to. FFRF has graciously put out an action alert that contains a few extremely relevant addresses. I will be cross-posting the alert in a new post when I coordinate with all the other amazingly helpful secular organizations too.

Included is the contact info for Colonel Stephen J Sicinski. Alas, no email address:

Col. Stephen J. Sicinski Garrison Commander XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg 2175 Reilly Road, Stop A Fort Bragg NC 28310 E-mail address unavailable

Sat, 05 Mar 2011 17:12:00 UTC | #599049

Go to: Last minute crippling restrictions forced us to cancel

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by satan augustine

Very sorry to hear about this Justin. Is it wholly about money - or do you just no longer have consent to do the thing at all?

Reading the full post and the letter from the Colonel who went against legal advise which Justin linked in one of the comments, it appears that the main issue is the size of the venue they have relegated to in addition to the lack of money.

From Justin's letter to Colonel Stephen J Cicinsky:

The post theater that you offered has a maximum capacity of 700, and prevents us from receiving further requested equal treatment, such as the Golden Knights paratroopers jumping at our event, room for vendors and booths, as well as a kiddie-land with rock climbing and bounce houses.

Here's the Col.'s justification for the venue change:

As you planned program consists primarily of speakers and musical performers (who are not chart-makers), the venue for your event will be the Main Post Theater or the York Theater. In addition, I despise you godless scum and prefer to lord my theocratic pretensions over you because I am a dick and because I can.

OK, I made that last sentence up. The colonel didn't write that, but was probably thinking it. Either that or he was just pondering how he could get more guns, Jesus, and boobies into his life and was annoyed that he had to deal in any way with someone who does not accept his cosmic Jewish zombie friend as his savior.

Sat, 05 Mar 2011 03:16:19 UTC | #598903

Go to: Posters banned from railway stations published here

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by satan augustine

I say "For Fuck's Sake" is the appropriate wording. It doesn't attack anyone's race, religion, gender, or sexual preference, therefore no one can say it's likely to cause offense. Case closed. Someone contact the BHA with my recommendation.

; )

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 18:50:54 UTC | #598813

Go to: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by satan augustine

Fantastic article. I'd like to read his book Society Without God. Anyone here read it?

I've read his book and I highly recommend it.

However, as other commenters have pointed out, this article presents a lopsided view of the biblical Jesus and focuses only on the positive side of his alleged teachings (he may be a complete myth - see "Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All" by David Fitzgerald for an excellent primer on this subject) and leaves out one of his most prominent motivators for faith - the doctrine of hell. Add to that his insistence that his apostles must hate their families to follow him, that anyone who doesn't accept him as the messiah should be brought in front of him and killed (yep, sweet and gentle Jesus), who pettily curses a fig tree to die for not bearing fruit when figs were not even in season amongst other not-exactly-nice proclamations (“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34) and you end up with a very contradictory Jesus.

Zuckerman and Cady's article makes some good points, but it's one-sided portrayal of Jesus is totally off the mark.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 18:32:50 UTC | #598807

Go to: Defending Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists from the Irrational Theist

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by satan augustine

I picked up Vox Day's book in a bookstore and opened it to a random page - just out of curiosity - and found a reference to him witnessing a miraculous vision. I immediately reshelved the book. When bullshit like that makes up part of his argument, I know to just walk away. I genuinely expected something at least a little bit better.

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 04:56:08 UTC | #597100

Go to: Sam Harris's Guide to Nearly Everything - review

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by satan augustine

Comment 6 by bendigeidfran I've read Mill and Hume but not Sam. I've watched him on youtube etc for hours and I think he's gone mad. It only matters because he was once the sharpest wit in town. The funniest horseman. I hope someone posts some vintage Sam.

I suggest reading the book before making a diagnosis of madness in Sam. Also, Atran's article misrepresents Sam's argument, builds a strawman, and claims that Sam offers no science in his book which is utter bullshit. Most of the science was in the endnotes. Maybe Atran couldn't be bothered to read them. And it's quite obvious he has a ax to grind with Sam.

Fri, 25 Feb 2011 05:50:29 UTC | #595849

Go to: Atheists head for high schools with new clubs for Godless teens

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by satan augustine

Humanism isn't just; it's clearly speciesist & thus wrong, but an anti-religion group is exactly what belongs in schools!

Eliminating speciesism is certainly a noble cause to work towards, but until all humans are treated equally, I think I'll stick with working towards human equality. Once that's achieved, then maybe humanity will have the time and resources to tackle speciesism. It's maybe possible to work towards both, but this would require a division of time, resources and labor (which, like I said, in my opinion should be used to work for equality for our own species first) and thus would inevitably slow the process for both goals. And once humans have achieved equality - or as close to it as possible - far more humans will be available to work against speciesism as well as have the luxury to give a damn about anything aside from trying to meet their own basic needs, including the need to be free (BTW, I'm thinking right now of women in Muslim countries, though there are many other examples as well).

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 00:36:19 UTC | #591113

Go to: Atheists head for high schools with new clubs for Godless teens

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by satan augustine

RD Fan at comment 11

Yes, loneliness due to a lack of like-minded peers is a danger. It's particularly dangerous because it can lead the lonesome person to seek company, any company, as long one can evade being alone. I can understand that, almost. But, but, you do not have to seek company with like-minded people. The danger in so doing is that you end up having a mutual-appreciation club; your ideas can quickly calcify in that situation; and, who knows what might follow from that...religion...or mutually-supporting narrow-mindedness? I sometimes think that being somewhat detached, even or especially from that which you feel a great affinity for, is always healthy; that's the skeptical approach. Such an approach is suspicious of "clubs".

Are you basing this on some evidence or opinion and personal preference?

I have to disagree based on experience and to some extent based on what I've read - in books, on the internet, etc. It's much better to be able to find like-minded peers than to befriend others just because you need a friend. Loneliness can lead to befriending people you've nothing in common with, which can leave you always feeling like an outsider. Would you encourage a young atheist to go find friends at the local church or mosque? Probably not, so I don't understand your aversion to meeting with like-minded individuals. Like-minded does not mean exactly alike. If you are part of a fringe group who often hide what it is that keeps you and others like you on the fringe - atheism for example - then the existence of atheist clubs help these individuals find each other and realize "Hey, I'm one of those people who US society demonizes for not believing in nonsense too!" One of the most important things that religion offers people - that keeps them coming back - is community. Humans are social animals. Early in our evolution our lives literally depended on other people. They often still do. Most (maybe all?) people absolutely need other people in order to stay sane and alive. Atheists are humans, therefore we need community too. We want and need to spend time with people who are likely to understand us, just like religious people do. What I've written seems to me obvious and uncontroversial. I'm going to guess you would probably not disagree.

All that said, you do bring up a good point that any group - especially a freethought group - should always be wary of falling into groupthink. But that doesn't mean that the group itself should not exist or that the existence of the group a bad idea in and of itself. In fact, I can see nothing negative about the idea of atheist clubs. Especially for high school atheists! High school is difficult enough for the most "normal" and mainstream kids, but any difference can make it that many times harder. Finding a group of individuals with whom you have a pretty important thing (in most people's minds) in common is going to help improve your mental health. What the individuals have to do is to try to keep themselves and others in the club from falling into the trap of groupthink, and the way to do this is to be conscious of it. In my experience, and I can imagine this being true in general (though that doesn't make it so), this is much easier to do in a freethought setting because of the nature of freethought - you question things, you don't accept easy answers, you challenge your own BS and the BS of others in the group. Like I said, this has to be kept conscious and it's much easier to do this with the help of others than it is to do so alone. I know, this sounds like a complete contradiction: a group will keep a group from falling victim to groupthink? But the group is made up of individuals, individuals who are, due to the fact that they manage to remain atheist in modern US culture, perhaps more inclined to think independently and thus keep each other on track. Is there any guarantee that they won't still succumb to groupthink? No, but I'm sure the SSA know a thing or two about helping to get groups of helping nonbelievers started and keeping them on track.

I think SSA high school initiative is a great idea.

To celiamn at comment 8: Keep at it. I think you'll find that it's a very worthwhile thing to do, and I'd be willing to bet that there more than 1-2% of the Indiana population who are atheist; I'm sure there are a lot more who are in the closet, so your group might be bigger than you think. Contact JT. I've met him once and had some contact online - he seems like a really good guy. Good luck! : )

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:41:28 UTC | #590733

Go to: U.S. Rep. Pete Stark Sponsors National Darwin Day Resolution

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by satan augustine

Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer I wonder if the global warming thing was put in so the opposition could amend it to remove that part, and let the Darwin part of it go through.

I suspect that you may be correct here, Rod. Apparently this sort of game-playing is sometimes necessary in US politics. However, I don't know which scientifically-backed theory scares US Congresspeople more - Global Warming or 'EVIL-lution.' Probably Global Warming because acknowledging GW would cost them some money (from dirty-energy corporate campaign financing), whereas acknowledging evolution would only cost them their soul, and surely no one in the US government believes in such nonsense as a disembodied soul!

Oh, wait...they almost all do! (Or pretend to). Still, hopefully this resolution will pass. I sent my message to my Rep.

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:34:25 UTC | #590601

Go to: U.S. Rep. Pete Stark Sponsors National Darwin Day Resolution

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by satan augustine

Comment 15 by ajs261 :

I believe I am correct in thinking that Pete Stark is the only representative who has declared he is an atheist? Congratulations to his constituents for electing an individual who would, in most other areas of the US, be unelectable.
I know he was the first, and I assume he is still the only atheist representative. The next step is to get an atheist representative elected in Texas, or somewhere equally religious.

Yes, Stark was and is the only "out" atheist in Congress. There are supposedly others, but this isn't known for certain. Stark, though, as I understand it, was not an "out" atheist when he was elected. In a survey done by the Secular Coalition for America in 2007, this information was disclosed by Senator Stark.

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:19:40 UTC | #590594

Go to: The Million Dollar Sex Challenge

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 205 by satan augustine

The reason that no one can find a written account of the judgement is that, in England, in 1782, there would be no transcript for such a 'trivial' case. Word got around though; hence the cartoon.

So you admit that there is no written record of the "rule of thumb" being used in British Common Law but insist that it still accurate because of hearsay and a cartoon? I cannot imagine a historian coming to the same conclusion that you have. In fact, you seem quite intelligent, thus I cannot see how you came to this conclusion. Could it be due to confirmation bias? Just asking. : )

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:20:22 UTC | #590322

Go to: How animals made us human

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by satan augustine

helena! - With regards to the link you provided: It's a bit of misinformation mixed in with several silly conjectures without any evidence presented. From that link:

Territoriality, so strong in humans, is not a trait found in other primates. Of course, all canids, including wolves, are fiercely territorial. This trait may have been adopted by humans.

This is an inaccurate statement. Chimpanzees are also fiercely territorial. Mountain gorillas are territorial as well. There's no need to postulate that humans learned territoriality from wolves.

To say that wolves intervened in human evolution (which is sort-of what that link suggests) is as ludicrous as intelligent design and more than a little woo oriented. There may be some merit (we don't know yet) to the hypothesis in the above article, but the site you linked to appears to be based on no scientific thinking whatsoever.


Sun, 16 Jan 2011 05:58:51 UTC | #579182

Go to: Christmas should be for everyone, atheists included

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by satan augustine

Christmas, if it is to be celebrated at all, should be rescheduled to February 29. It would be much more tolerable if it only occurred every 4 years. In the meantime, December could become a month of celebrating none or multiple holidays: Kwanzaa, Festivus, Saturnalia, the Feast of Sol Invictus, Winter Solstice, Human Light. We could tell the xtians that celebrating their savior's imaginary birth every 4 years makes it that much more special. Celebrating it every year just cheapens it.

My backup plan is to move christmas to Jantember 45. In fact, this is my real preference.

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 09:48:52 UTC | #569564

Go to: Scientists find that genes have help in determining our traits

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by satan augustine


Well said. I'm not a biologist or even a scientist, but it irks me to no end when an article is presented as though the information presented is brand new and may result in a major paradigm shift. It's not an insignificant article, but it's far from earth-shattering.

I'm a big fan of Jerry Coyne's website. Everyone should be: Why Evolution is True

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 09:27:34 UTC | #569560

Go to: Christmas should be for everyone, atheists included

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by satan augustine

El Bastardo at comment 21...

Call it what you like really, the point is for people to get together and share some time with each other , enjoy the life they have, think of those who have past, and generally cheer the fk up and chill the fk out

For many people, myself included, Christmas, the holidays, whatever are a time when it is quite impossible to "cheer the fuck up and chill the fuck out." If you're one of those who actually enjoys this stressful, depressing 'holiday' then that's fine for you. But for those of us who suffer from severe depression, especially during winter, and who've grown to absolutely hate Christmas and all the trimmings (the stress, the guilt, the expectation that one should be happy, the shopping, the crowds, the obligatory output of money, all the religious nonsense (including the imaginary "war on christmas," the non-stop christmas music [seriously, how can one not get sick of music you've heard every year since birth?], etc.), telling us to "cheer the fuck up and chill the fuck out" is not helpful, and is in fact downright disrespectful and shows a profound lack of empathy.

And furthermore, why does christmas need to be the time of year when people "get together and share some time with each other, enjoy the life they have, think of those who have past"? Why should there be a specified time of year for everyone to do these things? Families and friends can make the decision to do this at any time of year. In fact, why not do it in June when traveling is much easier (no snow!) and most people are more energetic (even if one don't suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, most people experience a dip in mood, energy, motivation during the winter months).

My overall point is that christmas can be a miserable time of year for many people. I think about my own problems with christmas (see above) and then see someone standing outside in the freezing cold, holding up a sign on which is written just one word: "hungry" and my heart just breaks. Think about that while you "eat too much and drink whisky." Which is to say, of course, Merry Christmas.

Sun, 26 Dec 2010 05:21:28 UTC | #568877

Go to: [UPDATE 19-OCT] Morals Without God?

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by satan augustine

So what you're saying, dewaal, is that if atheists don't want to be called strident, they shouldn't be strident. Based on what you have written in your above comment, it appears that your definition of stridency refers to anyone who dares to criticize you. Then you go on to attack those who disagree with you by comparing them to religious fundamentalists, i.e., you resort to childish name-calling.

You then create a straw man by mischaracterizing the comments here as being "simple yes or no vote[s]." The comments have been far more nuanced than that. While I have not read every comment on this thread, I have read several, and many of them say that they thought that your article was excellent (as did I) up to a certain point. In other words they acknowledge agreement with you about, as you state, 90% of your article but criticize the other 10%. What on earth is wrong with that? It appears as though you are the one who "can only accept perfect agreement and get angry when this is not achieved." It seems to me that most commenters here did read your article with an open mind; they simply disagreed with some of it! Your inability to see this and your taking an attack route suggest to me that you need to do a bit of introspection in regards to your intolerance of valid criticism.

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 06:58:06 UTC | #536648

Go to: UK govt minister urges church community role

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by satan augustine

Comment 13 by katt33
Personally, I would like to see private charities and foundations be at the forefront of the community, instilling solid ethical and positive values, very low taxes, with 100% of all charity and medical care taken care of by the private sector and non profits, including grants etc....

Seriously? Far too many charities are religious and most of their money is spent on proselytization and church upkeep. And in the US, medical care is taken care of in the private sector. If you have a severe illness and no (and sometimes even if you have) insurance, you can wind up destitute. Be happy that you have the NHS in England.: )

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 01:22:14 UTC | #519528

Go to: Happy…and not religious

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by satan augustine

Comment Removed by Author

Sat, 21 Aug 2010 05:55:04 UTC | #503284

Go to: "Theology is a crucial academic subject." Is it?

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by satan augustine

I love this description of theology from Bertrand Russell, although he was not actually referring to theology in this quote, it nonetheless seems apt:

"To discuss endlessly what silly people mean when they say silly things may be amusing but can hardly be important."

Tue, 17 Aug 2010 04:57:29 UTC | #501287

Go to: Argumentum ad hominem

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by satan augustine

I do not think individuals who use ad hominem tactics should be banned from the forum. In a heated, emotional discussion, people unfortunately fall back on such childish tactics. It's often done without the commenter's awareness.

I suggest that the best way of handling such individuals is to point out to them the fallacy of the argumentum ad hominem, explain to them what it means and why it's an invalid technique to use in an argument. If that doesn't work...ignore them. They'll go away if left unfed.

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 10:07:55 UTC | #497394

Go to: Death to Apostates favoured by three quarters of Pakistanis?

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by satan augustine

Richard: Were there any statistics about Pakistani views/desired treatment of nonbelievers/infidels, "The People of the Book" (Jews and Christians), Hindus, and Buddhists?

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 09:55:36 UTC | #497390

Go to: Richard Dawkins' Missing Link - A Book on the Evolution of Sex

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by satan augustine

@Phoenix Comment 10

Are you serious?

Have you actually read any of Dawkins' books or any credible books on evolution. My guess would be "no," you haven't.

And the chicken and egg story was based on very poor science and conjecture. It is inaccurate and proves nothing about the Bible (the Bible contains no scientific information). Check out PZ Myers rebuttal.

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 09:47:10 UTC | #497388

Go to: Religious stampings on my food products and secularity.

satan augustine's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by satan augustine

@ Tord M

(And I am certain any true Muslim would agree with me that that's a cruel way to treat animals.)

What exactly is a "true Muslim" and what are you basing your certainty on?

Tue, 20 Jul 2010 07:46:40 UTC | #490690