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Comments by inquisador

Go to: The annual 24 hour MSF charity event

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by inquisador

I hope you get a hefty price for the koran.

I thought that your initiative in getting those statements from the scientists concerned was just brilliant.

A great cause, too, which deserves every support. Kudos squared.

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 15:50:22 UTC | #950892

Go to: Refuting supernatural

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 100 by inquisador

Is it fair to say that:-

If a 'supernatural' event were observed and recorded with certainty in the real world, then the definition of natural would need amending to accommodate the new phenomenon; as supernatural events rule themselves out by their own definition?

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 16:41:41 UTC | #949324

Go to: Refuting supernatural

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by inquisador

Didn't Poe call it catalepsy?

You know, when someone is dead, to all appearances; and circulation and respiration signs are so slight and slow as to be undetectable. Until normal consciousness resumes eventually, after a few days. By which time, in Poe's tale, you found yourself staring at the wrong side of a coffin lid, or at least you would be if there were any light; while under several feet of earth.

Maybe this could be called the 'Lazarus Syndrome'.

Now all you doubting Thomases. Let me tell it to you straight:

When God made the world, he chose to modestly claim credit for it by word of mouth, of his only son (and himself and holy ghost), but to ensure that his true followers were believers in faith alone, he omnipotently wiped his fingerprints from his creation so that there would never be any proof that God made the universe, and his followers would always be faithful.

Suck on that, doubters!

Mon, 16 Jul 2012 15:19:16 UTC | #949318

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 207 by inquisador

Comment 180 by inquisador:

If choice is the issue, where are the non-Muslim women who choose to wear the burqa?

Comment 183 by RJMoore:

Why would a non-Muslim do something she considers to be unnecessary? You might as well ask where are the non-Amish Mennonites who choose not to have electrical devices in their houses.

Considering many muslim women do not wear the burka, it hardly supports the argument that women have no choice in the matter.

Comment 207 by Inq:

Sorry but the blockquoting is not working right on my google chrome. Hence this simple way of replying.

Only since the recent rise of political Islam have we seen any women in burqas in the uk. We know that face-covering is not required by koranic verses or ahadith, not that that should cut any ice in the uk.

Which suggests it may be a political statement. If this garb were comfortable or desirable for women for fashion or social reasons, I would expect some women of non-Muslim status to adopt it, but it seems that none do.

The only remaining credible reason why women wear it seems to me to be male coercion.

The slave-shackles and leg-irons, not to mention ball-and-chain, were also required for slaves in some cultures. Having got rid of those some time ago, why are some of us reluctant to part with this, somewhat similar apparel designed for present-day female slaves?

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 12:08:05 UTC | #948321

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 180 by inquisador

If choice is the issue, where are the non-Muslim women who choose to wear the burqa?

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:34:48 UTC | #948286

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 174 by inquisador

A ban would be a symbolic act. A line in the sand that represents a tangible act of resistance against Islam. It would say that maybe some of our hot air about human rights may actually mean something after all. In spite of our failure to prosecute any of the thousands of UK cases of fgm and 'honour' violence against girls; and turning a blind eye to arranged first-cousin marriages.

This could be a step towards making late amends for such past and present failures.

To oppose such a ban would be to say, in effect, we don't care what happens to Muslim women, nor do we mind that true Muslims who love Islam are seriously eroding our once-treasured values.

What is really extreme is not to ban, but the burqa itself and the host of societal restrictions that come with it. Or are we happy to live with the wonderful world of Islam? With its hatred of art and music? Women as the property of men? Religious apartheid? No to wine, women and song, Yes to slavery?....

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 17:36:31 UTC | #948278

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 168 by inquisador

Comment 122 by inquisador:-
Faceless, burqa-wearing women are a walking insult to human rights. The burqa should be banned, however much some brainwashed types may protest. Headscarf is fine; identity-shielding masks are not.masks are not. The more we accommodate, then the more is demanded.

Comment 123 by RJ Moore,

Who is "we", and what is being "accomodated" exactly?"

'We' in this case can be described as 'non-Muslim society' in a non-Muslim country.

The accommodation is of certain Islamic practices. Such as closing streets for prayers in Paris; building vast Salafi-funded mega-mosques in places like the Tennessee bible-belt, for maybe 2 or 3 hundred Muslims; requiring prayer-rooms and special pray-breaks at work or school; you know, being pushy, that sort of thing.

In the case of burqas, we also need to take into account that women in Muslim communities are not necessarily free to enjoy the unhindered access to civil and human rights that the rest of us take for granted.

Things like the right to freedom of religion; unless that religion is Islam.

Or the right to change that religion; unless you are prepared to risk your life.

Or the right to freely choose a marriage partner, in many cases.

The burqa is no more than an expression of a male-enforced denial of the rights of women as equal human beings, according to Islamic sharia. As such it is an insult to enlightenment values, with no redeeming merit whatever.

It should not be tolerated.

Thanks to xmaseveeve.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 11:33:15 UTC | #948268

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 122 by inquisador

Faceless, burqa-wearing women are a walking insult to human rights. The burqa should be banned, however much some brainwashed types may protest. Headscarf is fine; identity-shielding masks are not.

The more we accommodate, then the more is demanded.

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:48:50 UTC | #948192

Go to: The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by inquisador

Like Kriton, I'm a little hazy on some of this stuff. The cure, I think, is to acquire new kindle editions of and re-read the SG and the EP, and take it from there.

I see there is a festival of science coming up shortly at which E O Wilson features. He is about halfway down this NY Times link. :-

On Saturday the acclaimed biologist, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and lover of ants, Edward O. Wilson of Harvard, will give a special address about evolution and social behavior, the second in an annual series at the festival called “On the Shoulders of Giants.”

Let's hope this little controversy does not lead to too much ant-agonism.

Sorry, all, for lowering the tone. Again. Someone had to do it. Even ant-ique puns can have slight ant-idepress-ant effect.

Fri, 25 May 2012 14:19:47 UTC | #943489

Go to: Update - Podcast June 5 Interview with Peter Boghossian - "Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know"

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by inquisador

comment 4 by Schodinger's Cat:-

Unbeliever : " Erm....don't I have to believe in God first to let him in ? Why should I believe ? "

Believer : "Only by believing will God be able to give you faith to see him "

Unbeliever : " So let me get this straight. You want me to believe in God....in order to have the 'faith' to believe in him ? "...........walks off scratching head.

I had this problem. I really really did try opening my heart and my head to God to let him in, and you know what happened?

It was an amazing thing. I mean I wasn't expecting anything much to happen right away, but still I kept on and on doing the opening up to God routine every day and every night for months and months. I was on the edge of giving up.

I was pleading for God to come to me and then all of a sudden...

A voice like thunder rumbled, shivering the ornaments on the shelf, and the hairs on my neck. It said:-

"Not like that. Bend Over!

Tue, 22 May 2012 14:11:15 UTC | #942827

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by inquisador

Yes.

Tue, 22 May 2012 12:07:27 UTC | #942805

Go to: Inspirational atheism

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by inquisador

Truth is one of those words which I find suspect.

With good reason.

But the word is pure and incorruptible, like other simple sturdy words such as 'honest' 'evil'.

What is corrupting is the misuse of these powerful words for dishonest effect. Recognition of such misuse is a skill worth acquiring. The words themselves always retain their integrity.

Mon, 21 May 2012 19:45:39 UTC | #942651

Go to: Inspirational atheism

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by inquisador

Bob,

I like your comment 35. I wasn't sure at first but the idea that we are guided by the truth is surely true for anyone of science.

We test our ideas until we know which to accept and which to reject. There really is no other excellent way to proceed, whether in science or in everyday life.

xmaseve;

Whose truth?

Yours and mine and Bob's will normally coincide, but in subjective matters such as relationships then they will obviously differ. But that does not undermine the importance of truth, it just widens the scope of it in certain cases.

Mon, 21 May 2012 19:12:25 UTC | #942643

Go to: Inspirational atheism

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by inquisador

I am an anti-theist who nevertheless likes most Christians, regardless of how deluded they may be.

I am also an anti-islamist who likes many muslims but hates islam.

My nomination for a greatly inspirational person is the ex-muslim, Wafa Sultan. [Watch through to the end.]

The beautiful Ayaan Hirsi-Ali was in tied first place, for her inspirational autobiographies.

Sun, 20 May 2012 18:39:21 UTC | #942466

Go to: How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by inquisador

I worked out that a sphere of 860 miles diameter is equivalent to a cube of about 693 miles across.

Tue, 15 May 2012 16:48:07 UTC | #941626

Go to: Secularism, priorities, Islam, and Waleed Aly

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by inquisador

Person;

Being better than the worst is a very low standard.

Yes it is. But that was not what I meant by 'relatively benign'.

Islam and increasing numbers of Islamic populations in Britain does present an actual mid to long-term threat to the existence of a Britain of post-enlightenment tolerance, freedom, democracy and human rights.

Christianity does not.

That was what I meant.

Tue, 15 May 2012 11:47:28 UTC | #941569

Go to: Secularism, priorities, Islam, and Waleed Aly

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by inquisador

Nazir-Ali would be my choice for the top job in the c of e.

He knows about the real threat of islam, having been raised in Pakistan, so would never be as foolish and naive as Rowan Williams has been, on the question of British sharia courts for example.

His particular brand of Christianity is of little if any concern, as it is relatively benign either way.

Mon, 14 May 2012 20:17:15 UTC | #941472

Go to: Secularism, priorities, Islam, and Waleed Aly

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by inquisador

Strangebrew,

You may be right about that, but I'd be surprised. The trend in the CofE to date has been more away from the fundamentalist or literalist wing and towards a metaphorical reading of the text.

I don't know which is more absurd.

One thing I do know is that it is past time that we had a more distinct move away from the nauseating respect and tolerance for sharia law as evinced by the Druidic bard.

Mon, 14 May 2012 14:40:12 UTC | #941400

Go to: Should Churches Get Tax Breaks?

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by inquisador

Comment 47 by Hearthammer;

Hey inquisador, come and join me in The First Church of Christ the Cosmonaut!

Heretic! Blasphemer!

Make amends now! Hurry hurry!

Join the one true church of the 'Better-than-Heaven-on-Earth Divine Holiness', sign the holy direct debit covenant form and earn absolution and your place in heaven-on-earth!

Fri, 11 May 2012 16:39:54 UTC | #941044

Go to: Should Churches Get Tax Breaks?

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by inquisador

Tax breaks should be limited to legitimate expenses and charitable work. Overly lavish claims like the mansions should be disallowed and the church should be treated like any other business for tax purposes.

Otherwise I may have to start a rival church to that of Schrodingers Cat.

I shall name it the 'Better-than-Heaven-on-Earth Divine Holiness {credit cards accepted} Church'

Catchy Huh?

Fri, 11 May 2012 12:49:15 UTC | #941016

Go to: Today’s example of Christian privilege: Delta Airlines

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by inquisador

comment 25 by Anvil;

That humorous comment at Al Arabiya was encouragingly typical of the others there in it's contempt for the mullahs.

I quite liked this one too:-

I feel like Iranian people are Alice living in wonderland. "off with their heads" said the ayatollah

The BBC are I think, somewhat biased. The views they allow to be expressed are usually within predictable bounds, and that also applies to their comedy.

They do at least admit they are biased. When Peter Sissons retired from newsreading he gave the game away in a book about it. Didn't they once commission a detailed independent investigation into the subject, at great expense to license-fee payers, and then decided not to let anyone read the resultant report?

Thu, 10 May 2012 17:30:22 UTC | #940900

Go to: Today’s example of Christian privilege: Delta Airlines

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by inquisador

Donohue and his cat-lick league are a risible bunch of deluded morons with too much influence.

On the other hand, there is no reason why Delta should continue to pay money to John Stewart and his show if, for any reason, they would rather not. It's not as though Stewart is losing his freedom of speech; nor should the catholics lose theirs.

In iran they do things a bit differently, as we know. The contrast between the two systems could hardly be greater, let's appreciate that. Here's the latest in a series of death fatwas against alleged critics of the worlds most sensitive and easily offended religion :--

The Salman Rushdie of music? Iran calls for killing of ‘apostate’ rap artist.

Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a Shi’ite cleric based in the holy Iranian city of Qom, has issued a death sentence against rap artist Shahin Najafi for apostasy, the Persian-language Al Arabiya website reported on Wednesday.

The sentence was issued after Najafi released a controversial song called “Naqi.”

The song sparked a furor among protesters who believe it to be offensive to Imam Naqi, the tenth Imam in Shi’ite Islam.

Thu, 10 May 2012 15:21:12 UTC | #940867

Go to: There appears to still be a Waco in Texas

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by inquisador

I'm with Seamus, who said:

"If what this "science guy" says is true, the moon would be a dullish brown. With green bits, since 4000 year old cheese is gonna go that way."

Tue, 08 May 2012 16:04:25 UTC | #940552

Go to: Open letter and video re threat to GM Research

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by inquisador

Helga;

Very interesting. Some excellent points.

However, there are certainly higher yields from GM crops, through adaptation to extremes of climate, genes that repel insects (rather than poison them), and reduced competition from weeds; so it's a little misleading to deny the higher yields, even if the crop production of each plant remains the same. Did you see the QandA in this thread?

Also, I think that modern agricultural methods will continue for a long time yet. None of the problems you cite are fatal, but part of the known hazards that farmers deal with already. Soil compaction is readily alleviated by tractor-drawn subsoilers, hooked blades that go as deep as required to slice through the subsoil, opening it to water filtration, worms and roots.

Of course tractors can run on vegetable oil from a part of the farm's acreage. Organic manure can be introduced to enrich impoverished soils by simply allocating some farms or sections of the poorer farmland, to livestock.

Roundup has always had a limited or negative effect on some weeds. I have used it for many years and it has never claimed to clear everything. Docks, for instance, have always laughed at glyphosate. So far, there are always solutions to these problems, because scientists keep on working on them. Hopefully there will be new, improved forms of glyphosate and other herbicides in the pipeline.

Your final point is close to what I said in another thread:

The vast increases in human numbers have come overwhelmingly from non-democratic, non-western nations. Usually enabled by UN and charitable intervention as required at times of crisis. Also enabled by food aid, advances in agricultural technology, crop genetic engineering and irrigation technology.

The larger problem of global over-population is actually a result of sitting down with scientists every so often and saying ' how can we feed this rising population in 10 or 20 years time?' And then coming up with solutions. And implementing them.

Then all is fairly well until the next plague, drought or famine, is either upon us or is foreseen.

This seems to be resulting in increasing numbers of people who are increasingly dependent on aid of some kind; and who expect such aid to be there in the future.

My worry is that there may come a time when a catastrophic failure occurs and for some reason, aid will no longer be available. The losses of life could exceed anything seen before. In which case it would have been better if developed nations had never intervened, but had instead left the previously self-reliant populations to continue their traditional ways while developing at their own pace.

Thanks for all the other valuable information.

Sun, 06 May 2012 15:04:29 UTC | #940166

Go to: Open letter and video re threat to GM Research

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by inquisador

Comment 63 by Schrodinger's Cat,

Ah yes.....well of course, topsoils are unlimited aren't they !

'Improved yield' = even faster topsoil erosion.

So....thanks to GM we can now crap even more of the Earth's topsoil down the drain even faster !

What could possibly go wrong ?

Is there any evidence that higher-yielding crops cause faster topsoil erosion?

Surely the greater culprit is poor farming methods and techniques.

My greatest fear is about what will happen when the limits of increasing crop yields are finally reached and the damage to the planet caused by ~10 billion people on it. Especially when we really set to fighting over dwindling resources.

Sat, 05 May 2012 14:46:43 UTC | #939909

Go to: Indonesian atheist faces long jail sentence for posting "God doesn't exist" on Facebook

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by inquisador

Indonesia is supposed to be a moderate enlightened Muslim country. Which it is compared with many others.

Let's hope it doesn't slide into the extreme category, as is the general trend now.

Kuwait is now passing a law stipulating death for insults to Mo, his wives or the koran.

Sat, 05 May 2012 13:42:01 UTC | #939896

Go to: One in seven thinks end of world is coming

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by inquisador

I am wondering if anyone can tell us what percentage of sane folk are likely to give an honest and serious answer to a pollster who asks silly questions about the end of the world being nigh?

Fri, 04 May 2012 17:00:25 UTC | #939705

Go to: Human Races May Have Biological Meaning, But Races Mean Nothing About Humanity

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by inquisador

On the subject of human future evolution, has anyone here been involved with this site that I just found on google?

Fri, 04 May 2012 16:00:57 UTC | #939690

Go to: Human Races May Have Biological Meaning, But Races Mean Nothing About Humanity

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by inquisador

I can't think of a sillier solution to racism than some imposed genetic 'melting pot'. The real solution is to allow everyone to be proud to be just exactly who they are. The cure for racism lies in people's minds.......as that is the place where people fail to recognise their brothers and sisters of a mere 70,000 years ago. It needs to be taught to people again and again, that we are all relatives.

Yes, I thought the melting-pot thing was daft, when I first heard it propounded by Blue Mink. Yes, we are all relatives, but how to make people friendly to one another in spite of our differences? Ah yes, 'celebrate our differences' could be our motto. Shuffle and mix all our genes to homogenize ourselves? Then we can celebrate our similarities instead.

I can imagine all the sperm-banks offering every variety from Japanese to Hopi and San to Surrey-Stockbroker-Man. And the dating agencies would need to broaden their outlook a bit too.

Although I agree that kinship recognition is desirable, it may not be enough to overcome all difficulties in a world of tribalist tensions, rivalries and feuds. We do seem to be evolutionarily predisposed more to conflict than to conflict resolution.

I can't help wondering how we would respond in the event of finding a new species of humanity emerging from some remote isolated population. Perhaps we could all agree that we should make room for them. But if they became more adept and successful in this world than the rest of us, how would we feel then?

Fri, 04 May 2012 15:42:50 UTC | #939686

Go to: Human Races May Have Biological Meaning, But Races Mean Nothing About Humanity

inquisador's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by inquisador

comment 20 by xsjadolaterus,

We all need to be light tanish brown. Anyone who thinks different is mistaken or racist and again mistaken.

What? But we've all just been cudgelled into accepting diversity!

Now you tell us we've all got to look alike!!

Thu, 03 May 2012 21:22:12 UTC | #939441