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Comments by funkyderek

Go to: Tesco slump due to divine intervention, says Christian pressure group

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by funkyderek

"As the Big Price Drop was launched in September, it seems that almighty God, who operates outside space and time, was well ahead of us, anticipating our prayers, and seeing by our actions that our prayers were serious,"

Hilariously, Stephen Green (the only known member of Christian Voice) claims that his prayers were answered before they were asked. He doesn't just confuse correlation with causation, he reverses the direction of causality in order to support his beliefs.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:56:37 UTC | #907975

Go to: Northern Ireland minister calls on Ulster Museum to promote creationism

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by funkyderek

Given that this minister doesn't believe the Giant's Causeway is millions of years old, I wonder if he believes it was literally created by Fionn Mac Cumhaill. I'd be surprised if the level of ignorance in the six counties is as high as McCausland claims, but if it is, then what is needed is not pandering to that ignorance, but better science education, perhaps at the expense of the religious bigotry which continues to be taught in schools there.

Thu, 27 May 2010 08:39:17 UTC | #473982

Go to: Pope 'could cancel UK visit' over 'offensive' Foreign Office memo

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by funkyderek

One highly-placed source in the Vatican said: “This could have very severe repercussions"

Like what? Is the Vatican going to declare war on the UK? Cease trading? Withdraw its ambassadors and cut off diplomatic ties?
The Vatican has no real power. It can do nothing but be offended. Essentially, it's only weapon is emotional blackmail. It hopes that the real countries will be so worried that they have hurt its feelings that they will let it do whatever it wants. Sooner or later, these countries will stop playing the Vatican's game.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 19:50:00 UTC | #462787

Go to: 1000 Rabbis Warn: Open Homosexuality in the Military is a Disaster and May Cause Further Natural Disasters

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by funkyderek

I've just called this Rabbi to tell him about plate tectonics. It turns out that he is aware of this phenomenon but thinks that it is merely the method used by God to inflict his punishment. We spoke at some length, and at no point could he see the persecution of gays as any way similar to the persecution of Jews, even when I pointed out the common mediaeval practice of blaming the Jews for crop failures, storms and other disasters.
Like many homophobes, he seemed a little obsessed with the more extreme practices (real and imagined) and mentioned "fisting, golden showers and gerbils", and believed that homosexuality but not religion was being pushed on people, that homosexuals were fighting not for civil rights, but for the right "to copulate in the street like dogs".
Oddly, he seemed to have no problem with lesbianism (which I brought up to counter his "argument" that homosexuality is generally associated with increased promiscuity and risk of disease.) He explained that this is to do with the Talmudic prohibition on "spilling one's seed".
He then went in to some detail about his own Talmudic sexual practices (lights off, only certain days of the month).
It wasn't a very productive conversation but we both remained civil. He assured me he doesn't hate homosexuals, and only takes issue with those who promote and flaunt homosexuality. I responded that my view on religion was very similar. He told me he hoped I would be happy - "but not gay". When I replied that I wasn't gay (he had simply assumed I was), he then wished me double happiness! I thanked him for his time and left it at that.

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 16:18:00 UTC | #442153

Go to: Christopher Hitchens: The Orthodox Protestant Atheist

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by funkyderek

I don't believe that human history can be viewed primarily as the struggle between social classes, I adore capitalism and think that it is the key to positive social development, and I oppose vigorously the seizure of power by the working classes. Am I in any meaningful sense a Marxist? Does a right-wing commentator really have no credibility in pointing out that I appear not to be, or at least that I am not the sort of Marxist he talks about when he's talking about Marxism?

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 09:52:00 UTC | #441451

Go to: ‘Aye, those be slighting words against the Lord:' Ireland's blasphemy law

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by funkyderek

What's with the headline? Irish people aren't pirates!

Sun, 10 Jan 2010 14:45:00 UTC | #430712

Go to: Let's get it straight: Irish child abuse was perpetrated by the trendy, modern post-Vatican II Catholic Church

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by funkyderek

Yes, that's where the Catholic church went wrong, too modern. Institutional systematic child abuse is apparently a direct result of abandoning the Latin mass and the Roman collar.

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 12:57:00 UTC | #418441

Go to: Richard Dawkins: 'Strident? Do they mean me?'

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by funkyderek

I'm always slightly amazed at those who refer to Dawkins as "strident" or "aggressive". Haven't they read Hitchens?

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 13:50:00 UTC | #403350

Go to: Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by funkyderek

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that "available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

According to

Sex offenders constitute 4.7 percent of the almost 5 million offenders those in federal or state prisons, jails, on probation, or parole.

That's right. There are more sex abusers in the employ of the Catholic Church than there are in America's prisons.
So, if you visit a prison in the United States and you see a convict talking to the chaplain, which one is more likely to have raped a child?
And the church is using this statistic as a defence?

(Yes, I'm aware of the flaws in this argument as presented but I think with some more detailed numbers and a bit of polishing, it's got something going for it.)

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 09:30:00 UTC | #402165

Go to: The President's Guide to Science

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by funkyderek

So far (15 minutes in), the fears about the dumbing-down of Horizon seem well-founded. The presenter keeps mispronouncing "nuclear" as "nucular". Yes, really! I'd have thought one of the important things the president needed to know about science was how to pronounce words like "nuclear"!

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 12:15:00 UTC | #235541

Go to: Catholic leaders block contraceptive advice for 30,000 Scots girls

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by funkyderek

So, thanks to the interference of the Catholic church, these girls will receive the vaccine and will be told what it's for (or at least somehow find out) but won't be told that there are other risks associated with sexual activity or how to best avoid those risks.
I know the Catholic church desperately wants to increase its numbers but surely allowing teenage girls to think they can have unprotected sex without consequences is beyond the pale, even for them?

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:09:00 UTC | #220146


funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by funkyderek

Apparently "desecrating the host" was a popular thing to accuse Jews of back in medieval Europe. I was at the Jewish museum in Berlin recently and there was an account complete with woodcuts of Jews who had allegedly stolen consecrated wafers in order to stab them and such. It didn't end well for them, flaming torches and pitchforks and the like. Understandable in such a benighted time but today, it's simply ludicrous.
I don't see how it could even qualify as simple theft. The priest gave him the wafer. If he was free to eat it, then undoubtedly he was free not to eat it. It became his property the moment the priest gave it to him. (That is of course, the ONLY way the nature of the wafer changed during the mass.)

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 01:17:00 UTC | #196395

Go to: Can't Darwin and God get along?

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by funkyderek

OK, I see why Bible believers need to embrace Darwin, the same way as they need to accept that the universe is more than 6,000 years old, but nothing in the article suggests why atheists should start believing in gods.

Tue, 01 Jul 2008 11:22:00 UTC | #192197

Go to: Mecca should become core to measure time zones: scholars

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by funkyderek

They'll probably want the world to adopt the Islamic calendar next. Narcissistic egomaniacs

I don't see that happening. All calendars have faults but at least every other calendar since the dawn of history has had a year that's actually (very close to) a year long. The Muslim "year" is off by about 11 days. (The exact figure depends on when an imam sees the moon.)

Mecca as the centre of the world and a clock that runs backwards, that sums up Islam pretty well.

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 06:49:00 UTC | #157032

Go to: Bishop accuses gays of 'conspiracy' against the Catholic Church

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 84 by funkyderek

Shouldn't that be the other way around? The Catholic Church has led a conspiracy against gays for centuries, excommunicating them, threatening them with hell, contriving to have them persecuted and prosecuted.

Fri, 14 Mar 2008 02:14:00 UTC | #135998

Go to: The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by funkyderek

Strange, it is only £48.45 at Amazon UK - that's about $100 I think.

Look again. You save £48.45 on the list price - it still costs £94.05 or about US$180.

I'd consider buying it on the US site given the current exchange rate but the reviews aren't that favourable.

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 07:40:00 UTC | #104787

Go to: Two Ex-Jehovah Witnesses to Tell Why They Became Atheists

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by funkyderek

With all these people afraid of what their religions/organisations might do to them because of their apostasy, are we going to have to fund hoards of security guards a la AHA? It could get rather expensive!!!!

The danger from JWs is virtually never one of violence. Rather, it is complete isolation from family and friends. There is no honourable way to leave the cult, and even asking questions can be enough for people to be shunned sometimes by their entire extended family and the only "friends" they have ever known.

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 07:08:00 UTC | #104776

Go to: Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by funkyderek

He said the Pope wants to restore a prayer seen as protection against evil that was traditionally recited at the end of Catholic Masses. The prayer, to St Michael the Archangel, was dropped in the 1960s by Pope John XXIII.

"The prayer is useful not only for priests but also for lay people in helping to fight demons," he said.

In fact, in double-blind tests, those exorcised with the prayer experienced an 82% reduction in demon recidivism compared to a control group.

Sat, 29 Dec 2007 11:32:00 UTC | #99842

Go to: U.S. Congress Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by funkyderek

This seems to have no purpose other than to piss on the First Amendment. Nothing will change, there will be no more funding for Christian endeavours, Christians will not receive preferential treatment and non-Christians will not be discriminated against.
All it will serve to do is alienate non-Christians. Do America's lawmakers not have better things to do with their time?

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 06:28:00 UTC | #93625

Go to: Atheists' sign sparks controversy

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by funkyderek

"Chennelle and Houser have been fighting back with prayer."

Yeah, that'll work!

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 11:52:00 UTC | #91893

Go to: Papal encyclical attacks atheism, lauds hope

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by funkyderek

"Spe Salvi", an anagram of "Evil saps". Coincidence?

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 10:42:00 UTC | #88090

Go to: 'Muhammad' teddy teacher arrested

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by funkyderek

The correct response is for the British ambassador to talk to the Sudanese government as follows:
"You know the way you get apopleptic with rage when somebody gives a cuddly toy the same name as every second man in your country? Well, we respect that as part of your culture.
In OUR culture, when someone is arrested by a backwards regime on ridiculous trumped-up charges, we demand her immediate release or else we bomb the living shit out of them.
So, what's it to be, Muhammad?"

Tue, 27 Nov 2007 02:21:00 UTC | #86828

Go to: Most religious people are moderate, and don't hurt anybody

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by funkyderek

The "extremists" are simply those who put their money where their mouth is. The Bible says "Do not suffer a witch to live" so, by God, they'll kill anyone they think is a witch. The "moderates" will hum and haw and wring their hands and talk about changing times and not taking things literally. But if the Bible is the word of God, then shouldn't it be followed completely and absolutely?
It's like calling a driver an extremist because he obeys every rule of the road while "moderate" drivers would ignore some red lights or overload the vehicle or break any of the rules that actually inconvenience them.

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 06:46:00 UTC | #78586

Go to: You can't prove that you love someone, so don't expect proof of God

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by funkyderek

Is there in principle a test that could prove the existence of love?
Is there in principle a test that could prove the existence of God?

If the answer to these questions is different then the comparison is not valid.
If the answer to the two questions is the same, then:
If the answer is no, we can never know anything useful about love or about God.
If the answer is yes, then we can set about devising a practical test.

Personally I think that the answer to both questions is yes, as long as both subjects are clearly defined.

Thu, 25 Oct 2007 09:40:00 UTC | #78102

Go to: Crisis of faith in first secular school

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by funkyderek

In a sensible world, there would be no requirement - or indeed allowance - for daily worship in schools.
But, if as stated it's "politically impossible" then the school just needs to offer alternatives. As pupils cannot be forced to attend these services, give those who opt out a more enjoyable alternative - an episode of "Robot Chicken", say - and see how long the school chaplain continues preaching to an empty hall.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 04:57:00 UTC | #69568

Go to: Another view

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by funkyderek

"I was in practice for 20 years, and I wasn't treating idiots."

Right! And he wasn't boning his patients either...,,2000639,00.html

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 23:49:00 UTC | #63027

Go to: Fallen Pastor Seeks Aid to Pursue Studies

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by funkyderek

I bet now he wishes he'd saved some money instead of spending it all on amphetamines and male prostitutes.

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 00:31:00 UTC | #62744

Go to: Why Richard Dawkins is right on alternative medicine - but not when it comes to religion

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by funkyderek

Also, arguing that mainstream religious people don't really believe all the nonsense stories they are fed doesn't really absolve religion of responsibility, any more than the fact that most people who read their horoscopes don't take it too seriously doesn't alter the fact that many people do, and depending on whether they are selling or buying make a lot of money or waste their lives as a result.

Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:23:00 UTC | #59313

Go to: Why Richard Dawkins is right on alternative medicine - but not when it comes to religion

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by funkyderek

"It could not remotely be described as "unscientific" to declare that, for example, marriage is the only fully morally acceptable form of partnership between couples, or that adultery is sinful."

No, but it could rightly be described as harmful, and when we investigate why these harmful ideas are being propagated we find that it has nothing to do with the way the world actually is, but how religionists imagine it to be. The idea of a vengeful god is used to control people's behaviour. If ethics is "no more than the expression of the view that we either like or dislike something" then my view is that I dislike those who use fairy-tales to make people's lives miserable. I consider it unethical.

Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:15:00 UTC | #59311

Go to: Floods are judgment on society, say bishops

funkyderek's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by funkyderek

That might be a reasonable hypothesis if only the homes and businesses of gay people or those who support "pro-gay legislation" were affected. That doesn't seem to be the case. It seems to affect people indiscriminately (well, there is geographical discrimination, but not ideological discrimination).
Therefore, it's impossible to tell exactly what God is angry about. Perhaps he's angry that Gordon Brown is the new Prime Minister, or that Tim Henman is out of Wimbledon or that stupid old men with crooked sticks pontificate about things they know nothing about.

Mon, 02 Jul 2007 03:46:00 UTC | #50483