Apatheism

lennymaysay:

Not quite an apatheist, but there are times when the world appears to have gone ape-shit bat-shit crazy, I feel like one.

Originally posted on colemining:

I learned a new word recently. That doesn’t happen all that often- although it is occurring more frequently since I moved into a job significantly outside my regular wheelhouse of history, literature, religion, myth, story, music and etc.

I was watching a TEDTalk (have I mentioned how I’m hooked on these things? No wait. That discussion is in a post that is still languishing in the drafts folder. I need to stop being so easily distracted…) by Dr. Ben Goldacre.

This TEDTalk here:

I was watching it for a couple of reasons- I am working in the healthcare industry at the moment, so the subject matter is relevant to my day-to-day involvement in scientific, evidence-based research and the public policies that are informed by this research.

Mainly, though, I decided to check it out because there has been a whole lot of irresponsible let’s call it ‘journalism’, for lack of…

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Killing in the name of…

Another bloody weekend because ISIS…

The reports state that Egypt is in shock after the senseless and brutal beheading of 21 captured nationals by ISIS fundamentalists some time over the weekend, but the truth is that every sane person in the world shares in that trauma.

I have read several arguments about what makes a person resort to such base inhumanity and I still can’t make my mind up over which is believable or acceptable. Not that any reason would be acceptable. Some say it has nothing to do with religion, others believe it is entirely the fault of religion. I can understand with reservations, a person behaving in this savage manner to protect family or friends from harm, but what draws men (and women) from around the world to join an organization that viciously murders their fellow-men, women and children? This is not rational behaviour by any means.

It has to be a virus known as ideology. These people are not natural psychopaths.

Ideology – religious, political or otherwise can so taint the mind, that a human can succumb to such savagery. History is replete with acts of utter barbarity due to ideological influences.

I believe that most people just want to get on with their lives, building a family and home and becoming successful to some degree or the other. They couldn’t be bothered with things like patriotism and religious affiliation… unless sufficiently indoctrinated to buy into some ridiculous cause. As it is, the Universe and Mother Nature are hell-bent on eradicating all life; it just makes no sense that human beings feel the need to help these bitches along.

I wish the closing words of the Rage Against The Machine song Killing In The Name becomes a mantra everyone lives by, when confronted by religious, social, political and other bullshit ideological influences.

Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!

Massacre of Valentine’s Day

condomheart

I take it that there is general acknowledgement that the modern observance of Valentine’s Day is as commercialized as Christmas. Notwithstanding, most people still indulge in this celebration of love as a necessary distraction from the hum-drum of daily life.

But there are those who wish to tarnish and discredit this old tradition.

Anwar Abbas, head of education (yeah right!) at the Indonesian Council of Muslim Scholars thinks that Valentine’s Day is “incompatible with his nation’s culture and religious tenets.” This self-appointed moral policeman expressed his indignation after discovering that retailers were selling Valentine’s Day chocolate gift packs that included condoms which he claims “glorified promiscuity.”

What an idiot? The provision of free condoms is a public service. Religion should never be allowed to come between consenting sex organs. (Yes, I’m referring to the multitude of sexual partnerships, not just heterosexuality). This is the 21st century for Odin’s sake. People love to bonk because it gives them pleasure. There is nothing immoral in sexual pleasure.

It used to be that Abbas’s irrational and irresponsible adjudication was the forte of the Catholic Church. And he’s not alone. Abbas has cohorts in every religion under Sol. It is now apparent that it is endemic in religious ideology in general. Ideologues have for time immemorial been using morality as a pretext to impose their narrow-mindedness on the uncritical masses. It has nothing to do with morality, and everything to do with religious bigotry and the power that having a priestly position entails.

Fuck all religious naysayers. No wait, don’t, not in that way. Ignore all fundamentalist religious idiots and have a banging Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but for Odin’s sake use a fucking condom.

Arabian blights

magiclamp

Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2030 Olympic Games jointly with Bahrain, an island kingdom off the East Coast, has been rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and rightly so.

Seems the misogynistic Saudi’s had the audacity to suggest that the male and female events be held separately. They proposed that women competitors be shipped off to Bahrain, no doubt to keep the mainland sacrosanct for “god-fearing” men only.

Saudi Arabia’s previous successes in Olympic Games participation consists of a grand total of three medals – two bronzes and one silver. Ramzy Al Duhami Abdullah Al Saud Kamal Bahamdan Abdullah Sharbatly who won bronze in the 2012 London Olympics has such a ponderous name, he should surely have been given a sympathetic gold, just for being saddled with it. And spare a thought for the poor sports commentator…

A country that bans women from driving, imprisons and lashes civil rights activists, beheads it’s citizens after “holy” prayer services on Fridays for apostasy and generally imposes stupid archaic laws based on the ambiguous ramblings in religious scripture, should not be allowed to host the pleasurable pastimes of the civilized world. Well done IOC.

How did we get from the Islamic Golden Age of scientific and cultural enlightenment of the Abbasid Caliphate which gave us among other things, One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), to such a repressive era which glorifies the atrocious ideology of Sharia Law? I think you’ll find the answer in the insane interpretations and teaching of scripture by the clerics.

Tolerance vs. Acceptance

lennymaysay:

Explains why that term “religious tolerance” always troubled me.

Originally posted on colemining:

I’m having another word crisis, of sorts.

I continue to stand by my assertion that blasphemy isn’t a word that has any practical use or value in a secular society, so it is, therefore, one that we needn’t use any longer.

There have been a lot of editorials/opinion pieces/proclamations in the press since #jesuischarlie trended in the aftermath of the terror attack in Paris- and the aftermath of the aftermath. Il Papaweighed in- and got it completely wrong. As have a lot of people who are speaking out against the cartoons produced by Charlie Hebdo.

I’ve said before (in response to some of the wonderful comments I received on the ant-blasphemy post) that the humour- and even the satirical value- of the magazine is pretty much lost on me. It’s not my type of thing. I tend to be more thoughtful, less in-your-face about my satire/political commentary.

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Happy days are here again

Sunday’s match against Manchester City was a great relief to Arsenal fans, who have of late become accustomed to seeing the Gunners lose all too frequently to top flight sides. The 2 -0 winning margin was even sweeter.

Manager Arsene Wenger maintains that his faith in the side paid off. I so despise that word, faith. They just put in a great performance, and they have demonstrated that they are capable of beating the best. Sunday’s feat gives me confidence that they will once again capture their familiar place in the top four; perhaps even do better than the fourth place finish of last season.

Go Gunners!

Pope, you’re a dope, and your mama three

turncheek

Yeah, your mama is twice as fat as you are. Get it! That makes three. Oh, forget it…

Catholic Pope Francis reckons that there are limits to free speech and that you cannot insult or mock religion. He went on to pontificate that if someone speaks badly of his mother, they can expect to get punched in the face.

The Pope was off course referring to the Charlie Hebdo massacre by religious extremists, and unbelievably excusing it. Insulting a person, even to their face and getting punched in the bargain, is in no way, shape or form equivalent to the response of the religious fundamentalists to the cartoonist’s who lampooned a questionable holy figure.

In any case, any violent response to a verbal or written insult, is unforgivable and just not on. And for a person of the status of the Pope to even think it is, is just plain inexcusable.

I am an atheist. Quite frequently on this blog, my critics label me as the epitome of evil, amongst other things. None of them know me personally, and yet they can assassinate my character and make this value judgement just from reading what I write. Calling me evil is an insult; make no bones about that. But do I go out to find these detractors and brutally shoot them, or blow their houses up? Or do I tie them up and whip them senseless and throw them into confinement? No, prefer to reason it out.

The Saudi Arabian authorities does the latter, while the former is perpetrated by fundamentalist religious bigots. Worse, under a new Saudi Arabian law, atheists are now classified as terrorists. Imagine that. My secular beliefs and values just got declared a highly dangerous weapon, and my keyboard the instrument of mass destruction.

Any God, real or imagined who expects his earthly followers to protect his dignity by killing and maiming the transgressor, is not worth worshipping, and is nothing but a celestial dictator. Any representative on Earth of said Gods, who preach this doctrine, and demand enforcement are just vile scum. It’s that simple.

An aside to Pope Francis: The next time you head my way, I will gladly submit my face to a punching. I will even take one on the other cheek. I surely deserve it for calling your mama fat. But you’re still a dope.

30 Years Ago (give or take a couple of days)

lennymaysay:

I caught a glimpse in some publication or the other that the re-release of Do They Know It’s Christmas had caused some controversy, but I wasn’t bothered enough to read further. It seems to me that just about everything will cause consternation in some quarter or the other.

This blog post however sums everything up quite nicely…

Originally posted on colemining:

On November 24th, 1984, a bunch of pop stars got together and recorded a song. There was a famine happening in Ethiopia, and this guy, the lead singer and songwriter of a band out of Ireland, was more than a little staggered that very little seemed to be happening to address what was going on.

He got in touch with a mate, the lead singer and songwriter of a band out of Scotland, and the two of them threw together- not overnight, but close- a tune and some lyrics.

Were the lyrics, perhaps, a little Western-centric and culturally-condescending? Arguably, yes. Was the song catchy and well-intentioned? Definitely. In my opinion, such as it is, anyway.

The two musicians then set about gathering up the biggest names in the British music business of the day and bringing them all together to record the song. All this, like the composition of the…

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