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Comments by MarkOnTheRiver

Go to: How the Web is killing faith

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 18 by Metamag :

Comment 17 by esuther :

Not being able to remain silent (a common writer’s weakness) I confront some woo peddler or other almost every day, and my comment often elicits an entire dispute. Even if it begins in a civil way, which is about half the time, the discussion soon becomes soured by the believer’s sense of outrage.

LOL, I do this all the time on completely unrelated gaming forums(in off-topic subforums or if someone brings something up in other subforums) and such. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Indeed you're not. I've chosen to direct my own "self righteous atheism" at the pious commenters on The Daily Telegraph blog sites. Particularly the "traditional" catholics that largely support Damian Thompson's blog.

In blogging terms, there really is nothing quite as satisfying, as puncturing the pompous self assurance that some of these people exhibit.

And whilst this is always "home", I usually just find myself nodding in agreement, with comments articulated by others far more succinctly than I could manage myself.

Mon, 28 May 2012 10:23:35 UTC | #943941

Go to: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally to Discuss Risks of Internet

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 26 by Jay G :

At least they had a gathering of 40,000 people and not one report of any violence.

Sounds like many a first class rugby union match. . . except for the game itself of course.

Wed, 23 May 2012 17:00:43 UTC | #943130

Go to: Chaplain Demands Atheists Canceled At Fort Bragg - Chaplain Thinks Organizers Want to Set Fire to Churches

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 12 by Alan4discussion :

Evangelicals NEED a badge of authority as they lack any reasoned evidence view!

Clearly, but does the US army need to feed the egos of evangelical chaplains, like this one, by dignifying them with a commissioned officer rank?

If I was an atheist infantry lieutenant, I'd find it galling to have to salute a preacher every time our paths crossed.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 12:34:16 UTC | #927443

Go to: Chaplain Demands Atheists Canceled At Fort Bragg - Chaplain Thinks Organizers Want to Set Fire to Churches

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by MarkOnTheRiver

"It has now been made blatantly public by [event] organizers that part of this event will be... glorifying violence against people who possess a faith in God through the burning of churches. This is appalling!"

Oh come on now, 'fess up you organisers. Chucky here has got to be a Poe. Surely the US Army would never promote to captain, such a feeble minded idiot. . . would they?

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:41:00 UTC | #927384

Go to: Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 222 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 218 by BenS :

Why anyone thinks they can agree to the contract of employment [which stipulates a required dress code] and then decide THEMSELVES that it doesn't apply to them is beyond me.

And me too.

Wildly claiming political correctness has gone mad and the evil corporations are trying to crush the little people is just stupidity. Employee agreed to the contract. Employee breached the contract.

Employee got disciplined for the breach. Well duh. Anyone who places themselves in breach of their contract of employment, should expect equally short shrift.

You don't like taking it from "The Man"? Fine, start your own business and make your own rules, otherwise, STFU.

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 21:59:41 UTC | #926776

Go to: Christians have no right to wear cross at work, says Government

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 208 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 183 by strangebrew :

This is not and never has been about poor little sunbeams not being allowed to wear their tacky little torture icons in public...it is about raising the profile of Christianity and working to enshrine their bigoted and shoddy morality in law.

They actually had that "benefit", from 1697 to 1967, when The Blasphemy Act enshrined in English law that;

It is an offence for any person, educated in or having made profession of the Christian religion, by writing, preaching, teaching or advised speaking, to deny the Holy Trinity, to claim there is more than one god, to deny "the truth" of Christianity and to deny the Bible as divine authority.

And it wasn't until 2008 that the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were abolished by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act.

Doubtless many christians are today, yearning for a return to "the good old days", expected by re establishing some form of statutory legal protection, for their faith.

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:28:57 UTC | #926658

Go to: Vatican told to pay taxes as Italy tackles budget crisis

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 24 by JTMcDaniel :

I have to think that the U.S. could also go a long way toward balancing the budget if we started taxing churches, both property taxes and religious corporation income taxes.

Of course, the trade off to eliminating religious tax exemptions would be that clergy could start preaching political sermons again.

With American presidential candidates preaching endless religious sermons right now, would we actually notice any difference?

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:25:19 UTC | #922393

Go to: Freedom of speech for street preachers

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 157 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 150 by greengrove :

And now, all of a sudden, a couple of gays being "offended" by a street preacher is deemed more important than insidious propaganda against a people that suffered the largest-scale genocide in history , which Britain did absolutely nothing to stop. In fact, Britain's only contribution was to close the gates of Israel, which could have saved potentially millions of Jews.

I guess those 450,000 British war deaths, and 6 years of sustained power sapping war effort, were just figments of our collective imagination. Right after we disdained to fight nazi Germany in September 1939.

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 19:11:39 UTC | #916704

Go to: Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 34 by Galactor :

Catholics - how do they make it up?

The so called “traditional” (read, “ultra orthodox”) catholics that regularly posture in the blog pages of The Daily Telegraph, continuously boast of the hugely increasing worldwide numbers of catholic church members. But at the same time, they berate and brow beat, any and every other catholic commenter, that tries to take so much as a step off the laser straight path of “true Catholicism”, e.g. not being so rabidly intolerant to homosexuals, women and pretty much the rest of humanity, as not being true Scotsmen. . . err. . . “Catholics”.

One even commented yesterday, that anyone who has been baptised, in whatever denomination, is a catholic “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” Ephesians 4:5

I hope your confessions are up to date.

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 10:17:06 UTC | #914169

Go to: UPDATED: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 88 by PERSON :

That's not what democracy requires.

Wasn't it Churchill who said, Democracy is the worst political system. . .except for all the others?

Minorities should receive proportional representation, not no representation.

Ok, let the Hague muslims make their proportionally small representation for the banning of dogs, then politely tell them to fuck off.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:56:01 UTC | #913889

Go to: UPDATED: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 67 by Schrodinger's Cat :

What about the right of everyone else not to live under Islamic principles ?

They'd be in a de facto political minority, therefore irrelevant.

What are you? Anti democratic?

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:00:59 UTC | #913857

Go to: UPDATED: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 22 by mmurray :

This case does highlight something I think Schrodinger's Cat raised the other day. That is that in a democracy you don't need to hold a majority of votes to have power. Depending on how the votes of the various parties balance out a small party can wield disproportionate power.

Something of which, the major political parties in Israel are only too aware. With Israel's brand of proportional representation, it's often the ultra-orthodox minority Shas party that, despite its small number of actual seats, is able to wield ernormous influence by holding the balance of power over the major parties.

With the recent debacles over sex discrimination on buses, secular Israelis are now finding the true cost of accommodating a religious party into their political structure.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:13:11 UTC | #913830

Go to: UPDATED: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 6 by vessela84 :

Next we won't be allowed to eat bacon?

We're allowed to eat bacon?

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 12:01:44 UTC | #913763

Go to: Abortion, an anti-Christian student union, and the closing of the British mind

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 61 by Cartomancer :

Indeed. We can't yet act as though we have won the argument, unfortunately.

I disagree. I think it's high time we acted as though we have won the argument. Because we have won the argument, even if the other side refuse to admit it yet.

As Sir Lancelot Spratt might have said; Yes, we have won the argument, to our complete satisfaction. And I agree. But winning that argument, should not also include policing and repressing the continued arguments of those that can't / won't understand that they have already lost.

Any attempt to forcibly insulate our views from continued scrutiny, however inane, can only appear as an indication of their weakness. Something the other side know how to exploit, only too well.

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 09:10:24 UTC | #913720

Go to: Abortion, an anti-Christian student union, and the closing of the British mind

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 26 by Cartomancer :

But this isn't about free speech, it's about prestigious educational institutions giving a platform to specific political groups with immoral agendas.

But is it though? The student's union a "prestigious educational establishment"? Since when?

This is the UCL union applying the heavy hand of political correctness, in order to stifle an unpopular opinion. Again. Stomping on the secular and atheist society over Jesus and Mo, apparently wasn't enough.

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 13:48:26 UTC | #913434

Go to: ‘How do atheists find meaning in life?’

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 154 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 136 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 130 by JHJEFFERY

Paul, what's your major?

Jerry, it's an Open BA Degree at the OU

Major respect Paul. Perhaps you could post the occasional update on your doubtless excellent progress. After all, we are in a way, family.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:22:10 UTC | #910131

Go to: Israelis Facing a Seismic Rift Over Role of Women

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 9 by Cartomancer :

. . . and the influence of their mediæval beliefs

Quite a lot older than medieval in this case.

I was using "medieval beliefs" in the generic, "no place in modern civilization" sense, rather than the, usually accepted, historical time frame. So yes, I agree.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 17:24:28 UTC | #908865

Go to: Israelis Facing a Seismic Rift Over Role of Women

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by MarkOnTheRiver

How the founders of modern Israel must be cursing their naive idealism, in allowing the Haredim the means and opportunity to expand their numbers, and the influence of their mediæval beliefs, into secular Israel.

If the Haredim can mount this kind of comeback in just a few generations, it makes you wonder if the curse of fundamentalist religions will ever be controlled.

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 16:04:12 UTC | #908848

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 213 by MarkOnTheRiver

UPDATE 13th Jan: UCL Union has acknowledged that it made mistakes in its handling of this issue. However, it is now threatening the society with disciplinary action on the basis that 'posting the image might have constituted an act of bullying, prejudice, harassment or discrimination.

Who's surprised by this development? An oh so "right on" student's union has been left red faced by the rebuffing of its appeasement of speech stifling muslims, and now feels the need to save face by yet more intimidation.

I bet they still think they're speaking for some silent majority, who would not countenance any apparent disrespect of, what is clearly an oppressed minority's, deeply felt religious beliefs, even at the expense of free speech. Hang them out for ridicule.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:31:13 UTC | #907963

Go to: Violence and Humanism

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 220 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 198 by Nunbeliever :

To Ignorant Amos: I told you I was not discussing specific situations and how you should act or not act if confronted with a potential killer. It was the general attitude that you have the right to use lethal force even if your life is not in immediate danger.

The trouble with that scenario is, that by the time you find out that your life actually is in mortal danger, you've possibly lost it, together with other members of your family. An intruder willing to use lethal force against his victims, will not be wearing a badge announcing the fact.

The consequences of making the wrong call on an intruder's intentions are potentially so catastrophic, my own death, that common sense demands an extreme reaction. If that involves the death of the intruder, so be it. From my point of view, it's better that 10 potentially non-lethal intruders die, than I give 1 the benefit of the doubt, and he kills me.

You keep repeating this mantra that since you can never be 100% sure that the intruder is not some psychopath on a killing spree you should always assume the worst and act accordingly.

It's just common sense really.

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 15:00:43 UTC | #907923

Go to: Violence and Humanism

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 200 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 199 by danconquer :

Comment 197 by MarkOnTheRiver :

So he was, as was Timothy Evans, the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six etc. etc.

I still don't understand how it can be that a case which is alleged to have sparked "public rage" can result in the jury - who heard everything (and more) that you and I heard about the case - going on to convict the man. What is your explanation for the decision of the jury?

I expect they weighed the evidence, applied the law and came to a (hopefully unanimous) decision. I'm not questioning the rightness of the verdict, which in the circumstances of the crime seems to me to be correct, so much as your apparent blind faith in the quality of the criminal justice system.

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 18:31:18 UTC | #907757

Go to: Violence and Humanism

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 197 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 190 by danconquer :

Comment 181 by Ignorant Amos :

Perhaps it has been the pressure of the years of public rage that followed the persecution of Tony Martin which has influenced the criminal justice authorities into greater recognition that it is not a crime to defend your family, your home and your property from intruders.

I know those are the Mail's words rather than your own, but really... persecution? Surely the word they were looking for was 'prosecution'!

Tony Martin was put on trial and he was found guilty.

So he was, as was Timothy Evans, the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six etc. etc. ad nauseum. Since when has being found guilty of murder by the British criminal justice system, been a guarantee of anything? Except, usually, a defendant with less than average mental competency?

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 17:49:23 UTC | #907741

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 153 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 152 by Musawir :

I think it is very unmoral and disrespectful to paste such cartoons on website.

I think it is very immoral to kill; those who choose to reject your religion / homosexuals / apostates / adulterers / those of another faith that you don't agree with / anyone at all you decide in some way "hurts" your delicate feelings by mocking your god.

Shall I continue?

Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:36:03 UTC | #907279

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 151 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 145 by alimubarakkhan@gmail.com :

Cartomancer.... dear oh dear....why even take the argument to that low level without any provocation whatsoever??

Low level? It looks excellently argued from where I'm sitting. What parts did you feel dipped below your, clearly, low threshold of acceptability?

We should celebrate and continually pursue intelligent debate between reasonable people who respect each other's beliefs

Trouble is, for far too many muslims, their level of reasonableness is directly proportional to their respect for others beliefs (or lack thereof).

[B]ut feel strongly that the other is wrong... history and its interpretations and contexts can be debated and discussed for the betterment of society as this is what both camps feel they are fighting in the interest for.

Trouble is (again), far too many muslims believe that the framework of context has been frozen in time for 1200 years, and should apply today as it did when the koran was written. What exactly does the koran add to the fabric of society? For me, it's nothing.

You are really showing your class, values and usefulness to society if the best you can do is throw the old 'illterate, 7th century, peadophilie warlord' insult a couple of times.

How do you describe Mo then? And how is Cartomancer's description factually inorrect?

[D]o you really represent the people [and] the values you believe you are fighting for?

I'm sure that he felt he was speaking for himself. That's what free thinking people do. Personally speaking though, I agree with him 100%.

Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:13:57 UTC | #907271

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 131 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 125 by susanlatimer :

72 virgins for takistan whilst I roast!

Does anyone ever wonder how the virgins would feel about this arrangement?

From a martyrdom happy islamist's point of view, who cares!

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 23:57:47 UTC | #907088

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 119 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 101 by Stevehill :

No time to read all the comments, but I'd just point out that the people who probably do have every right to complain are the Jesus & Mo copyright holders!

From the Jesus and Mo website;

Q. Can I use one of your strips in my blog/website/newsletter/dissertation etc?

A. Please do. J&M is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 license, which means you can reprint, edit, translate the strips for non-commercial purposes provided you link back to jesusandmo.net.

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 22:17:01 UTC | #907067

Go to: [Updated 15th Jan]- Atheists have no right... - Atheists face Muslim-led censorship from UCL Union

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 39 by takistan :

Let it be clear-they are within their legal rights to keep their cartoon up and indeed, as they have done so, to put up more cartoons, regardless as to other people’s religious sentiments.

Ahh, so no actual "offence" has been comitted then. In a free society, hurt feelings over perceived slights to whichever holy man you choose to live your life by, falls under the heading, "diddums".

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 15:07:55 UTC | #906898

Go to: The rise of atheism in Pakistan

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Comment 13 by SomersetJohn :

An atheist in Pakistan, a true hero to respect.

+1

I could but wish I had one tenth Hazrat's courage; I very much doubt I can claim even that much.

Also +1 (regrettably)

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 22:10:33 UTC | #906745

Go to: Turin Shroud resurrected

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 132 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 131 by hello43 :

"Being torn to pieces by critical thinking and scepticism" isn't what I've been getting so far. I was more referring to the snide remarks and general disdain, especially in light of the fact that I'm not even a believer myself.

I recall we had a commenter here, about a year ago I think, who also professed to be a non-believer, but who then proceeded to tie up an entire thread with endless guff about, as he called it; "the elephant in the room - the resurrection".

Now I don't want to erect a straw man here, and I'm not pointing a finger, but we do get here, from time to time, a few purportedly non-believers, who on examination, turn out to be anything but.

Thu, 22 Dec 2011 15:05:04 UTC | #901944

Go to: Turin Shroud resurrected

MarkOnTheRiver's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by MarkOnTheRiver

Comment 126 by hello43 :

By the way, this site would be a lot more impressive if there was a little more toleration of dissent

If you think that the RDFRS discussion forum is intolerant of dissent, (which it isn't, just somewhat relentlessly analytical) then you clearly haven't done much sceptical commenting on supposedly "Christian" blog sites.

If you really want to see intolerance in action, try pedalling an atheist viewpoint on a catholic discussion site.

Thu, 22 Dec 2011 14:38:39 UTC | #901938