Great non-debates – faith and willful ignorance gets it in the teeth

I’m truly amazed at how my (religious) detractors on this blog can engage me in debate, with some of the most asinine and dogmatic ideas, and arguments that have long since been consigned to the scrap-heap. In fact many of these arguments have been flagged by pro-religious organizations like Answers in Genesis (AIG) as being debunked or outdated and recommend that they not be used.

Yet, my on-line tormentors persist in using them. I have observed that the religious latch onto the first thing they hear about or read somewhere (invariably a pseudo-scientific resource), that somehow, even in the most miniscule way, seems to confirm a particular religious belief they hold, and then they hold on for dear life. No amount of logic or reasoning will sway them. Faced with unrelenting rational discourse, they, in dogged defense, are prone to come up with even more absurd arguments or stray from the topic altogether, usually onto another bizarre tangent. Most times they never return after becoming frustrated with trying to convince me of their irrational beliefs. I really hope this failure to win someone over to the Cause, doesn’t count against them when they face the Big Cahuna in Heavensville.

Some recent examples (out of sequence) from one person in particular, but many have gone before him using the same non-arguments:


4. Evolution has been SCIENTIFICALLY dis-proven it has been shown by thousands of scientists, Logic, and hundreds of discoveries in archaeology.

So not including the massive amounts of evidence for God in human nature and other “non-sciences” there are all the evidence in science.
so before you attack something try to learn about.


4. Evolution can never be SCIENTIFICALLY dis-proven through the study of, or discoveries made in archaeology, no matter how many thousands of “scientists” try to. Archaeology is the study of “human cultures through the recovery, documentation, analysis, and interpretation of material culture and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, and landscapes. Archaeology aims to understand humankind through these humanistic endeavors.” [wikipaedia definition, but you can google definitions from other sources and they will tell you basically the same thing]. Evolution is the study of much more than simple humans. Not only have you got your sciences all mixed up, you obviously haven’t the slightest clue what evolution is all about. Never mind, it was to be expected. There is no evidence for god in human nature whatsoever; there is evidence for human nature in human nature. There is no evidence for a god in any science or non-science, and you can shout out loud as many times as you like that there is; it won’t change a thing.


…another problem with evolution is that it assumes that life can come from non-life – spontaneous generation – which is an aristotelian theory which has been exploded.


Evolution does not “assume that life can come from non-life.” In fact evolution does not postulate anything about the start of life; that field of study is known as abiogenesis. Evolution can be defined “a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.” [The TalkOrigins Archive]. Evolution does not explain how life started. More proof that you know nothing about evolution.


4. It may not postulate anything about the origins of life, it’s basic assumption of evolution, here is the definition: “premise: a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn” spontaneous generation is assumed to be true because that is what makes the theory of evolution possible.


“spontaneous generation is assumed to be true because that is what makes the theory of evolution possible” No it does not!!! Anyone who understands evolution, which once again, I must repeat, you absolutley do not, would shudder to even think about such antiquated beliefs. Although I don’t like Wikipaedia definitions of anything, I’ll give you the Wiki definition anyway; you can Google other resources which will tell you basically the same thing: “Spontaneous generation or Equivocal generation is an obsolete theory regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence, as distinguished from univocal generation, or reproduction from parent(s). The theory was synthesized by Aristotle[1], who compiled and expanded the work of prior natural philosophers and the various ancient explanations of the appearance of organisms; it held sway for two millennia. It is generally accepted to have been ultimately disproven in the 19th Century by the experiments of Louis Pasteur, expanding upon the experiments of other scientists before him (such as Francesco Redi who had performed similar experiments in the 17th century). Ultimately, it was succeeded by germ theory and cell theory.”


…the universe is an effect and it is a scientific law that all effects must have a cause so there must be something higher than the universe, someone or something, but it is deluding yourself to believe there is no god when you wouldn’t be here without one.


Ah yes, that old nugget again – the infinite regress or Cosmological Argument. Call me delusional, but if all effects must have a cause, then that higher cause you speak of (god?) must also have a cause. I take it you’re expecting me to accept without question that your god is the only uncaused cause? Really?


No my God respects the right of people to believe what they want, why else do you think he gave them free will? it’s just that if they do not believe the truth they will have to suffer the consequences. It’s called responsibility.

Lenny [At which point Josiah failed to return]: 

You’re really not thinking things through. If god knows everything you are going to do before you do, and everything that is going to happen before you do, how is it possible for you to have free will. The omniscient property of god would mean that your will would be bent to what god already had in store for you. Don’t you think that it would be a really cruel trick for a god to play on someone. Do you understand this conundrum?

This lazy approach by the faithful to seeking knowledge, this reluctance to dig deeper, find more information, this wilful ignorance, is sometimes extremely annoying for me, but in truth, highly amusing as well. However, the things that bugs me the most is the penchant for believers to project their love-affair with faith onto both myself and the scientific community; they go to great lengths to remind us how we also rely on faith, because they have this reprehensible inability to comprehend how we can accept scientific truths without faith.

I confess though, that sometimes, in my quest to dispel the myths, slay the dragons of irrational belief, and inspire critical thought, I get carried away, and may come across as arrogant and a know-it-all. I try really hard to temper my responses; I try to be kind, but wilful ignorance always gets to me.

And thus I wrote this blog, as a warning and an apology…

The end is near, but not quite…

I recently read an essay about the decline in religious belief, but prior to this, I was convinced of it through personal observation, and interaction with many people who have abandoned their faith. Titled Why The Gods Are Not Winning, it was written by Gregory Paul & Phil Zuckerman, and published in 2007.

Here are some extracts:

Religion is in serious trouble. The status of faith is especially dire in the west, where the churches face an unprecedented crisis that threatens the existence of organized faith as a viable entity, and there is surprisingly little that can be done to change the circumstances.

God belief is not dead in these nonreligious democracies, but it is on life support. The ardent hopes of C. S. Lewis and John Paul II to reChristianize Europe have abjectly failed.

In the end what humanity chooses to believe will be more a matter of economics than of debate, deliberately considered choice, or reproduction. The more national societies that provide financial and physical security to the population, the fewer that will be religiously devout. The more that cannot provide their citizens with these high standards the more that will hope that supernatural forces will alleviate their anxieties. It is probable that there is little that can be done by either side to alter this fundamental pattern.

Grab the rest here.

The word of the year

I came across a new word today; not a legal word mind you, but bound to become one. It may not be uniquely South African, but is probably practiced here with the sort of aplomb that would put the rest of the world to shame. The word is:


It refers to the unsavory, highly corrupt business practice of self- enrichment through the awarding of government tenders to minions, sympathisers and government officials themselves.

The most recent ANC minion to be exposed is none other than Julius Malema, the wannabe socialist who has been demanding that mines be nationalised, but whose has secret capitalist tendencies. Why are we not surprised?

Any bet that the demand for mines to be nationalised has nothing to do with unlocking wealth for the benefit of the poor, but everything to do with the corrupt ANC-government and its cronies opening up another fat source to steal from?

The African Way?

Every time someone in the South African government, or one of its pathetic minions such as the ANC Youth League fucks up, it’s become common practice for their detractors to comment that it’s the African way. And as one of the government’s most vocal detractors, I think we need to examine this concept more closely.

What is this African way that they are referring to? Is it greed, corruption, incompetence, arrogance, wastefulness, ostentatious behaviour, the tendency to be dictatorial? For crying out loud, this government and about every other government in Africa epitomize every one of these traits, and more. But, is it really an African phenomenon?

To be fair, many other governments all over the world indulge in some, if not all of these disgusting characteristics, so to single out Africa as a unique source of maladministration, is extremely disingenuous. Granted Africa has some of the worst culprits, but they are certainly not alone in this form of inhumanity to man; there is no other way of describing this behaviour as anything but man’s contempt for his fellow-man. Africa did not export this loutish behaviour to the rest of the world. And there are off course historical reasons why Africa has become associated with being one of the worst perpetrators of human rights violations, but that is the subject of another discussion.

What then is the African way?

For the most part, Africans are good people, but their apparent pre-disposition to accept the gross indulgences of their leaders, at a horrific cost to their personal selves, is annoying, to say the least. The simple awe in which they hold their leaders, fueled by the illusion that they are liberators meant to worshipped, is akin to the grip that religion has on the uncritical mind.

Is the African way then, to accept one’s lot in society with barely a whimper? Or you going to show your arrogant, egotistical, incompetent, corrupt, lazy, greedy, selfish, dictatorial, thieving leaders that it is no longer the African way to take this shit any more.

Say, what? #1

I’m starting a new series on this blog which will basically interpret what certain people said, what they actually meant, what they should have said or what they are probably secretly thinking. Naturally, most of the subjects who will be analysed will be politicians and the clergy, not because they are the source of the most lies told, but because they do say some of the dumbest things you’re ever likely to hear.

For my first subject, I chose Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. I will analyse the speech [full text here] he gave in Parliament today, in response to the well-deserved lambasting he received from almost everyone, over his State of the Nation Address he delivered last week.

Well, here we go:

We requested that this year’s State of the Nation Address coincide with the 20th anniversary of Madiba’s release.

We did this both to celebrate that historic moment and to pay tribute to his legacy as a leader, a revolutionary, and the founding President of our democratic state.

What he was secretly thinking was We did this to cash in on the limelight of a truly great leader (Mandela), one I (Zuma) don’t think I can ever emulate. Why must I always bask in the shadow of him?

Last year, when the State of the Nation Address was delivered at 11am, SABC 2 viewership was 1, 5 million and E TV viewership was 487 000.

This year the SABC2 viewership at 7pm, shot up to more than 2, 5 million and ETV rose to slightly more than 1, 3 million.

What he didn’t say was Thank you a-holes for wasting your evening listening to my boring drivel. I hope you will tune in again next year for the next installment of Promises and Lies. What he was secretly thinking was I hope those cameras don’t catch my ANC buddies dozing off here in Parliament while I drone on.

We have achieved a lot since 1994

What he was secretly thinking was You palookas should see our bank accounts? We’ve been cashing in since 1994.

Millions of our people have access to many basic services including water, housing, electricity, social security and others that they never had before.

What he forgot to add was Millions more don’t have basic services, but you know there is only so much you can do in 15 years… and we did have all those struggle comrades who had needs too…

However, we still have a lot of work to do, and we never hide this fact

What he was secretly thinking was Shit, I wish we had finished by now. I still need to enjoy the benefits of being a struggle hero, and all those wives…eish.

The debate on the State of the Nation Address has demonstrated the richness and diversity of political engagement in our society.

What he was actually saying was The State of the Nation Address has demonstrated that these people are cotttoning onto my pathetic lies and poor leadership qualities

We welcome the statement by Honourable Patricia De Lille, that the Independent Democrats are ready to roll up their sleeves and dirty their hands to work hard to build our country.

What he was secretly thinking was Because, we struggle heros in ANC are sure as hell not going to dirty our own well-manicured hands

Honourable Mike Ellis, there is no need for anyone to defend the President.

What he omitted to say was Because I have appointed my good buddies’ brother Mo Shaik as head of the Secret Service. He will ensure that I have Mo than enough protection. In fact, his acquaintances are already doing a good job beating up pedestrians who have the audacity to flip the bird at my speeding motorcade. Freedom of expression and state security do not mix. So sorry.

I knew exactly what I wanted to say in the State of the Nation Address, and I said it.

Actually what he meant was I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but that asshole spin-doctor who wrote my speech, got it all wrong. As soon as things calm down, I’m going to fire his ass.

The State of the Nation Address covered the new era we are entering as government.

This is an era of doing things differently, an era of ensuring that our work is determined by clear outcomes, and of increasing the pace and form of service delivery.

That is our new way of doing things.

What he actually meant was, We’re going to make more promises, and do even less, but we hope you won’t notice.

That is because we have not changed our priorities

Meaning We, the politicians will serve ourselves first, as always.

Drone, drone, drone, drone, yadddah, yaddah, yaddah, blah, blah, blah…and much later…

We said in the State of the Nation Address that we want South Africans to be safe and to feel safe.

We fully understand the feelings and views of South Africans about crime and corruption.

What he meant was We haven’t got the slightest clue how to ensure your safety, but we think understanding your feelings is the first step…

As Honourable Mbalula and Jeffery pointed out, we have a number of interventions in place to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

Such as appointing ANC-friendly people in key judiciary positions who will be sympathetic to our cadre’s indiscretions, while ensuring that the police will always serve the ruling party first, just like they did during Apartheid.

We are working on several initiatives to address corruption in government procurement.

What he didn’t say was But we hope they never get implemented because then our deployed cadres will have to find other sources of extra income.

The demand for water will only increase, and our sewage management infrastructure will come under strain as time goes on.

What he omitted to say was Because more and more shit is going to come out of Parliament.

At this point I’m not going to bother with the rest of his speech, as my head hurts from reading all the deceit…

The Power of Prayer

A friend of mine has been in hospital for about two weeks with a lung infection that had actually resulted in one lung failing completely. The doctors have placed him in an induced state of unconsciousness, under heavy sedation, while he is hooked up with an assortment of pipes to a bank of medical machinery.

Understandably, while he has been in this comatose state, his wife, children, close family and friends have fretted over his condition, not knowing if he would pull through or not. Being reluctant to visit him (for obvious reasons) for a whole week , I finally relented last Sunday, and popped into the ICU for a few minutes and came away satisfied that the doctors were doing everything possible to aid his recovery.  However, I refrained from telling his wife and family to not worry, as I realised that in their emotional state, they were not looking for rationality, but miracles.

This Friday, more than a week after my friend was admitted to hospital, his wife participated, together with most of his friends in a late-night prayer vigil which apparently lasted for a few hours. She is the same super-religious women I mentioned in a previous post. Remarkably (or not, if you’re rational about this sort of thing) my friend showed signs of movement, briefly opened his eyes and even wrote a small note to his wife and children on Saturday. To his wife, this was a sure sign that the prayer vigil had worked, and she off course went on endlessly telling everyone who would listen, as much. Off course, the others who also participated in the prayer session needed no convincing.

Now, I can be a real heartless bastard if I want to be, but I could not bring myself to tell her and the others, that it was utter nonsense to believe that prayer had anything to do with it. How could I convince this religious women that the medication and machines were quietly getting on with doing the job of repairing his body, for the last week or so, without giving any overt evidence of it? How could I convince her that it was just a coincidence that the doctors had decided to stop the heavy sedation at the time when she visited? How do you ease the mind of someone more comfortable with simple prayer rituals, to trust a bewildering array of complex medical machinery?

The simple truth is that prayer is powerful only in the insidious way it lulls the religious mind into a false sense of security. It is also powerful in the way it can unjustly claim victory for things it had no part in whatsoever. And tragically, it is powerful, because it still convinces people that it has relevance in spite of all the information and evidence available today, that points to its deceit. [I don’t want to bore you with evidence that prayer doesn’t work, but if you’re interested, please start with this link]

It so happens that I was pointed by a reader of my blog only last week, to a brilliant document written in 1877 by Robert Green Ingersoll, which is as valid today as it was more than a hundred years ago. Titled, The Ghosts, I found the following passage which not only had me laughing out loud, but is one of the most insightful things I have ever read:

The moment it began to be apparent that prayer could do nothing for the body, the priest shifted his ground and began praying for the soul.

I urge you to read the rest of this brilliant essay by Robert Ingersoll. It is very liberating.

Happy, happy…

Hey all you people of Chinese heritage, happy New Year. May the Year of the Tiger be good to you.

Oh, and I seem to remember today, 14 February being of special significance for all those in love too; even if it’s just with yourselves. So, happy that day to you all too. Yeah, yeah, I’m not in love, but I’m happy nonetheless.

Zuma’s Rape of the Nation Address

Since the extent of his philandering was revealed in the last week or so, South Africans have waited expectantly for Zuma’s second state of the nation address today, or as I prefer to call it Zuma’s rape of the nation address.

There was much talk in the press and practically everywhere else, about what it would entail. Would he apologize again for his sexual misconduct? Would he reveal exactly how many children he has fathered, apart from the 23 odd, already dug up by the press? Would he apologize for running such a shoddy, morally bankrupt, self-serving government? Would he use this as an opportunity to publicly fire the miscreants who have already been named and shamed for looting the Treasury? Would he pardon not-s0-shabby-Shaik? And on a related note, would he recommend Shaik for an award for Best Male Performance in a non-original Live Public Drama? Would he actually reveal a stupendous new plan for service delivery and good governance?

The answer is no, no, no, no, no, no and no again. Instead he vomited the same old platitudes we have heard over and over again. Let’s examine some of these:

a new way of doing things in government

What has suddenly changed that you need a new way of doing things? Why have you and your woodwork disciples been defending the way you were doing things for so long, when every thinking person has told you the opposite? Why were you so derisive of criticism of the old way of doing things?

Government must work faster, harder and smarter


The work of departments will be measured by outcomes developed through our performance monitoring and evaluation systems

Why wasn’t government working faster, harder and smarter before? Was the gravy train moving so fast that you lot were preoccupied with just hanging on? Why wasn’t the work of departments measured before? What makes you think your piss-poor performance monitoring and evaluation systems are going to suddenly work now? If your performance systems are anything like the education, transport and health systems, then we’re in serious trouble.

We require excellence and hard work. We need public servants who are dedicated, capable and who care for the needs of citizens

Are you kidding? Where are you going to find this bunch? The ANC Youth League? And are you going to fire the incumbents, who are presumably not hard-working, dedicated and capable, let alone caring? Dream on!!!

the government would allocate 6000 hectares of “well-located public land” for low-income housing

and promised

to give 500 000 families ownership of serviced land by 2014

Does well-located mean “not in sight of a squatter settlement” or “near Sandton City?” And are these the same 500 000 people you promised to give jobs to, the last time around? That number must be really special to you. Any reason why?

Anyone who doesn’t see that they’re being asked to bend over yet again, and take it without too much fuss, is either not living in South Africa, not driving on pot-hole infested roads, on the take already, hopelessly gullible, or in the ANC Youth League.

God Answers Prayers Of Paralyzed Little Boy

I came across this rather incisive article today, and thought it would be interesting to share…

SAN FRANCISCO–For as long as he can remember, 7-year-old Timmy Yu has had one precious dream: From the bottom of his heart, he has hoped against hope that God would someday hear his prayer to walk again. Though many thought Timmy’s heavenly plea would never be answered, his dream finally came true Monday, when the Lord personally responded to the wheelchair-bound boy’s prayer with a resounding no.

“I knew that if I just prayed hard enough, God would hear me,” said the joyful Timmy, surrounded by stuffed animals sent by well-wishing Christians from around the globe, as he sat in the wheelchair to which he will be confined for the rest of his life. “And now my prayer has been answered. I haven’t been this happy since before the accident, when I could walk and play with the other children like a normal boy.”

God’s response came at approximately 10 a.m…

Go fetch the rest here