Sketches on Atheism

Death Cult Christianity

revelation_churchesFew Christians will admit it because few Christians even recognise it, but they are members of a Death Cult; a degenerate, death-anxious, exclusively fatalistic religion that has since the Hammer of the Arians (Bishop Hilary of Poitiers) predicted the mass liquidation of all earthly species in 365 CE produced a continuous supply of socially derelict luminaries who’ve longed for nothing short of the total and complete annihilation of our home world. Now, granted, like an awkward uncle it’s something most liberal churches try not to bellow about from the pulpit, but let there be no doubt, Christianity (like Judaism and Islam) is an anticipatory religion; a sect almost wholly fixated on the expectations (and apprehension) of a single and supposedly inescapable future event: the apocalypse detailed in John’s Revelation where all but “saved” Christians (perhaps as few as 144,000) will be butchered by the Middle Eastern Christian god…. and it’s a bloodbath many Christian captains have been (and still are today) simply giddy about.

Just a decade after Bishop Hilary’s fatalistic proclamation Martin of Tours pronounced that the heavenly holocaust was at hand (375 CE). For the trireme of morose hopelessness embodied in Hippolytus of Rome, Sextus Julius Africanus and Saint Irenaeus it was 500 CE when the Christian god was going to obliterate everything from toddlers to tea leaves. For the Spanish monk, Beatus of Liébana, it was the 6th of April 793. Pope Sylvester II and Cardinal John of Toledo named 1186 as the year the Christian god was going commit its radiant genocide. Joachim of Fiore fingered 1260, then 1290 and finally 1335. 1284 was the date for the glorious massacre according to Pope Innocent III, 1378 for Arnaldus de Villa Nova, the 20th of February 1524 for Johannes Stöffler (later revised up to 1528), and the 27th of May 1528 for the Anabaptist, Hans Hut, who apart from getting his prediction of the end of the world horribly wrong holds the rather unusual distinction of being perhaps the only person in history to be executed a day after in fact dying. The mathematician and monk, Michael Stifel, was quite specific saying 500 million innocent men, women and children, together with millions of equally innocent species would be willfully put to death at precisely 8am on the 19th October 1533. For Jan Matthys it was 1534, 1555 for Pierre d’Ailly, 1585 for Michael Servetus, and 1600 when Martin Luther hoped the earth would be destroyed in a cataclysmic blast of resplendent carnage. 1794 was the year the Methodist, Charles Wesley, was certain god was going to wreak heavenly havoc on all creatures. His brother, John, fingered 1836, but for the Jehovah Witnesses 1914 was the year they were positively convinced the world would be put to the saintly torch. When it didn’t they simply dusted themselves off, pulled up their socks, and went on to name 1915, then 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, and finally 1994 as sequentially erroneous dates for their Christian god to commit its rapturous mass murder. The Baptist minister, William Miller, was sure our world would be blissfully annihilated on the 21st of March 1843; a date amended on the 22nd of March to the 18th of April, only to be revised again on the 19th to the 22nd of October 1844, which came and went without as much as a godly sneeze.  The Methodist, Joanna Southcott, was certain her Christian god would annihilate everything on the 19th of October 1814, and Joseph Smith got his prediction of the end of the world fabulously wrong when 1891 passed to 1892 and children were still playing under the sun. For Jim Jones it was 1967. Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God wanted it all to end in 1936, then 1943, and finally 1975. Leland Jensen thought 1980, Pastor Chuck Smith named 1981, and television evangelist, Pat Robertson, was no doubt left scratching his head when his god failed to blow our home planet and everything on it to smithereens in 1982. Tara Centers was so confident the Christian god was poised to extinguish all life that she took out full page ads in newspapers on the 24th and 25th of April 1982 announcing that “The Christ is Now Here!” Edgar C. Whisenant got it wrong in 1988 but did sell 5 million copies of his book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. He revised the date to 1989, then 1993, and finally 1994, but didn’t sell as many books the second, third and fourth times around. 1993 was the date for our planets dazzling demise according to the Disciples of Christ, David Berg, and after getting it wrong in 1988 and then again in 1999 the World Mission Society Church of God was certain 2012 was in fact the year their god was going to end it all. For the Christian radio broadcaster, Harold Camping, it was 6am on the 21st of May 2011 (a date later updated to the 21st of October), for Ronald Weinland of the Church of God it was May 27th 2012, June 30th for José Luis de Jesús of the Growing In Grace International Ministry (Inc.), and for Warren Jeffs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints it was the 23rd of December 2012 (a date amended a few days later to the 31st of December) for when the Middle Eastern Christian god was going to commence its enchanted bloodbath and extinguish all terrestrial life.

Apocalypse-II-Revelation-Christian-MovieFilm-DVDweb-pic-1TheApocalypse_317x450All told, in the last fifty-six generations (1,700 years) there have been more than three-hundred prominent captains of Christianity who have announced with excited yips of childlike anticipation that their god was about to lay waste to all life on earth. In this generation alone there have been over forty major public incidents where socially-reckless, apocalypse-hungry Christian leaders have proclaimed that their god was here and it was time to die… and when the captains speak easily persuadable, astoundingly gullible congregants regretfully listen. Today a staggering 41% of US citizens (130,000,000 adults) believe that their Middle Eastern god will commence its mass extinction of all creatures in their lifetime. It’s a ghastly figure but it is a number reflected in the multi-billion dollar Christian apocalypse industry that has in just the last twenty years produced 29 End Times films (with such grand titles as “Tribulation” and “Judgement”), 60 documentaries (like “Racing to the End Times”), and some 1,120+ grotesquely warped End Times books, of which the Left Behind series has alone sold over 40 million copies. Add into this mix literally thousands of Christian End Times websites (like Ark Haven), thousands of blogs (like Christian Survival, The End-Times Christian Spiritual Survival Page and End-Time Preparation), End Times in our timedancing-at-armageddon-survivalism-and-chaos-in-modern-timesThe Endand scores of geographically-specific Christian-only Survivalists groups and what we have is the largest and (somewhat antithetically, albeit hilariously) longest-lasting Death Cult in the history of humanity; a debauched sect geared to producing media products like Richard Mitchell Jr’s “Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times,” and Robert J. Logston’s, “The End-Times Blood Bath” which has a delightful foreword that reads:

The Rapture, The Beast, The False Prophet, The Four Horsemen… there is a good chance you will personally witness these events. It is foretold that during the End-Times two-thirds of all people on earth will die and Christ will return for the remaining Christians. Reading this book will introduce you to the main players and prepare you for the reign of the Beast.”

Now, without delving into the depraved depths of thanatophilia, or even the detestable notion of the anticipated slaughter of children whose only crime is that their parents were born into the wrong religion, it is perhaps only appropriate to remind the death-craving religious audiences of the Robert J. Logston’s of the world that they should probably read their bibles a little more carefully, because if they did they’d see that the very first Christian Doomsdayer, Jesus Christ himself, got his own prediction of the end of the world stupendously wrong when he boldly announced: I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28, Luke 9:27, Mark 9:1). Evidently, the character Jesus wasn’t exactly telling the truth. All those standing there in the story went on to die perfectly normal, entirely non-supernatural deaths, and that leaves the 21st Century Christian in quite a credibility muddle. Jesus_SorryIf the Host, Guest of Honour and Master of Ceremonies of the Christian apocalypse got his own date with annihilation wrong then it’s perfectly safe to categorise any and all ensuing thought of magically-delivered, earth-wrecking firestorms as little more than the demented ramblings of conspicuously unbalanced minds; minds whose warnings are about as convincing (and ultimately as menacing) as a hippy threatening to punch someone in their aura. Indeed, when confronted with such brain haemorrhaging nonsense all any sane individual could quietly hope for is that these emotionally unstable Christian luminaries and the simpleminded (death-anxious) flocks they oversee might one day instead direct their efforts to improving life on this planet today, rather than wishing for its obliteration tomorrow.

*POSTSCRIPT 8th October, 2015: Christian radio host Chris McCann got his date for the end of the world, 7 October 2015, wrong.

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205 thoughts on “Death Cult Christianity

    • It’s regretful that the Abrahamic religions have nothing to offer the living. Everything is based on a supernal promise, a wish, and that distracts the faithful from understanding the emergency of life.

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  1. One of these death seekers will be right some day, perhaps, and the earth will meet its end. But it won’t be from any god but from one or more ways the earth could truly end: a cataclysmic volcanic super-volcano, an asteroid, a gamma burst, or even a life-ending war of the death seekers’ own manufacture.

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  2. “whose warnings are about as convincing (and ultimately as menacing) as a hippy threatening to punch someone in their aura.”

    I love it when you insert these clever phrases. It was laugh my ass off funny, John.

    On a more serious note, this “wholly fixated on the expectations (and apprehension) of a single and supposedly inescapable future event” has contributed to the mindset of people who choose to follow climate deniers like Senator James Inhofe, who calls global warming a hoax. On the one hand he assures everyone, per the bible, that God promised no more floods, thus the notion that sea rise from melting glaciers and polar caps is also a hoax, even as it currently takes places in several locations around the earth. On the other hand, he is part of the End Timers crowd that sees the slow destruction of the earth from our use of fossil fuels as part of God’s plan for the biblical apocalypse. Their armageddon could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, taking us all with them.

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  3. Such religious fatalism carries with it a real cost in that many people believe themselves piously justified to be irresponsible about caring for the home that sustains us all.

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  4. This would be simultaneously just amusing . . . and sad . . . except for the fact that people are acting on these bizarre beliefs. I am not just referring to the drink the Kool-Aid crowds but to the evangelicals who are “supporting Israel” because there must be a Jerusalem for Jesus to come back to. Since Jerusalem plays a role in their little passion play, they are actually collecting funds and sending them to people who will use them to kill other people because of their beliefs.

    It also brings into doubt our ability to collectively address real problems with rational decision making because that presupposes some ability to think rationally.

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    • Spot on. The Christian Zionists are an entirely different level of crazy. These fuckers pray for war. Researching it the other day I saw that the combined sales of books written by these CZ’ers (like Thomas Ice and Randall Price) is over $70 million… and a heap of that gets funneled into the temple reconstruction project in Jerusalem.

      To your second point, a few months ago i was chatting with a woman regarding Climate Change. She was a theist and said something that made my eyebrows leap off my forehead: “Even if climate change is real (yes, she was a denier) god won’t permit man to harm the earth.” That type of madness cannot be tolerated.

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      • Of course Climate Change is real.

        It always has been … ever since God made the planet and stuff; so what’s different? Oh—I get it. You’re one of them foul atheist things, blaming God for everything, aren’t you? Just you wait, Buddy—God will get you for this!

        And when He’s chewed you up and spitten you out, Satan will have for all eternity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        (Take that , heathen swine!)

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  5. One of the objections that the Romans had to early Christianity was that Christians were death centred, because they hung out in catacombs. Possibly because they had nowhere else safe to go, but in any case the Romans made the same complaint about death centredness.

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  6. I love your posts! You’re like a divinely appointed religion slayer growing more powerful with each publish. This one particularly appeals me to be because I know a few end-of-worlders personally – it’s baffling that they can’t see themselves as part of this long line of insanity.

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  7. John, this was absolutely brilliant. Seriously. I have bookmarked this page for future reference because I have wanted to research how many apocalyptic prophecies have occurred since the first. You did all of the work for me!

    It is astounding that people continue to believe in this drivel. My favorite related story comes from William Miller’s prophecy. At the stroke of midnight, supposedly, one of his followers jumped off the roof of a barn. He was sure that God would swoop him up before he hit the ground. He was wrong.

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    • Cheers RL. The first draft was heaps longer… i named at least 50 of the fools (just to make the point) but it was far too long for a post. Remember, the 300 i mention are just the most famous ones… can you imagine what the real number is when you include every demented pastor in rural America, or Medieval Europe?

      Millers failure was called the Great Embarrassment, wasn’t it? I know I had a whale of a time during Camping’s recent escapades.

      Now, you have to ask how long is long enough before you just ignore (or throttle) your neighbour who keeps screaming, “YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!”

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      • Why? That neighbour has it spot on.
        Even a heathen erk like your unholy self can’t argue that point … it’s just the timing and mechanisms that are unknowns (and who can fathom the Mind of God, huh?).

        (Maybe I won’t go up on the roof to fit that antenna just yet …)

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      • “The Great Disappointment!” Disappointed that millions of children and trillions upon trillions of animals weren’t put to the slaughter… what a delightful bunch these Christians are 🙂

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      • I think you should have listed them all – just so all the Christians who are convinced we are NOW in the end times can take a bigger gulp as they trawl through a list of their well-trodden nutjob path.

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  8. Excellent synopsis!

    “Death cult” is an apt description for a religion whose followers worship a zombie founder who commands them to eat his flesh and drink his blood while taking great delight in the promises of a cataclysmic end which sends billions of non-believers to an everlasting chamber of torment. And then they have the audacity to ridicule the “craziness” of other religions.

    But may I suggest one more addition to your long list of failed end-timers?

    Hal Lindsey, the author of such classics as: “The Late Great Planet Earth,” “The 1980’s: Countdown To Armageddon,” “Planet Earth 2000 A.D.: Will Mankind Survive?” and dozens of other “rapture ready/prophecy revealed” books who’s been so unsuccessful at predicting the future that he even failed to foresee the demise of his first three marriages. Yet absolutely none of this seems to dissuade his faithful multitude of followers from purchasing the latest load of “The end is nigh — I’m sure this time” codswallop he dishes out.

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      • Ah, I see. No, he was vague: he predicted the end times would occur within one generation (40 years) of Israel’s statehood (May 1948), and then kept incrementing the length of a generation by ten years as each decade rolled by uneventfully. I think he’s currently revised generation to mean up to 80 years now (IIRC, he said something about having forgotten to factor in the increased longevity of modern man. How convenient!)

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  9. Bookmark this page? Never!

    (No need, I’m saving it to disc. It will be very handy in the future—) (oops, assuming there is a future. Good ol’ God, She won’t let us down … there will be one, I’m unreasonably sure.

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  10. I don’t know if you watched “The Invention of Lying”, but this obsession with living after death – but not before it – always reminds me of a scene from that movie, where a character says that he’ll just hang around until he dies, since that’s when the real fun starts.

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  11. Hahaha “minds whose warnings are about as convincing (and ultimately as menacing) as a hippy threatening to punch someone in their aura.” Awesome call.

    Great post, more interesting than I initially thought it would be and quite humorous, and informative. For some frustrating reason my WordPress reader isn’t showing every post published by those I follow, only a select few, so it appears I have missed a fair chunk of your posts!

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  12. Many people seem to take very seriously popular books/TV shows like World Without Us and scientists telling us that there is a dangerous amount of global warming “in the system” courtesy of the CO2 we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere. These people seem to, without mentioning religion at all, actually want humanity to go extinct so the world will be all green, happy and pleasant again. This is environmentalism gone wacko of course. I think it is a sort of fatalism that crosses religious lines, a feature of humanity. Religion just puts the whole thing into a dramatic story (which dials into yet another human love, the love of story). I’m not sure at all that the whole thing doesn’t have its origins in religious beliefs (which I think are a combination of our love of story and our desire to know the why and wherefores of we and our world). But the fact is that today even the non-religious participate to some degree in the “Death Cult”. This might be the real reason for the 41% number By the way, I fervently hope you got that number from a biased source! Great post John.

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    • Most certainly, not all Death Culters are religious, but the religious do seem to take the lions share… Particularly the Christians.

      41% = PEW Research: Question; “Do you expect Jesus Christ to return in your lifetime?” Actually, i see i got it wrong. It’s worse, 47% 😦

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    • They do seem to have a death wish. And for a lovely green planet, abounding with friendly animals (no bears allowed) and soft fluffy bunny wabbits everywhere—who wouldn’t?

      But to achieve their dream they have to kill everyone off (which of course must include themselves). Hence the rush to perdition.

      Unless the damned Conspiracy Nutters are correct and a small elect will closet itself deep under a mountain in the U.S. (with the keys to the seedbanks at Svalbard in their pockets) to emerge blinking into Paradise in a few hundred years time.
      They should all be inbred to the nth by then, but why ruin a good theory with such thoughts? Yet every fruitcake advocating human extinction always seems to leave himself out of it: “No apocalypse for me, thank you! Enjoy yours …”

      As for Global Warming, I don’t see it happening, and if it were I imagine it would fit neatly into historical patterns. For most of its existence this planet was either very much hotter or a giant iceball anyway … God did His work (of moving in mysterious ways) very well indeed. Lucky us.

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      • As for Global Warming, I don’t see it happening,

        Then you’re not looking very hard.

        and if it were I imagine it would fit neatly into historical patterns.

        And yet it doesn’t.

        Argus, on this scientific issue you’re dead wrong because the data does not fit historical patterns but stands clearly outside it. And the cause is human activity. This is unequivocal.

        As reported by Hansen in ’88 “global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming.”

        That case is far stronger today to the extent that to deny anthropogenic global warming causes unprecedented climate change is to deny how science works. To pretend that the evidence isn’t compelling enough YET to reach such a conclusion is no longer rational. The evidence is overwhelming. Waving away this evidence’s importance is denying reality its proper role to arbitrate claims made about it. It has ruled. And AGW is real. It is happening. It is here. It is ongoing. The question has now changed from Is it true? to What must we do about it to ameliorate its negative effects?

        We can either do something or do nothing. Pretending that it may not be real sides fully and wholly with those who wish to continue business as usual and do nothing to ameliorate the forcings we are imposing on our shared climate. This is a moral failure to reject any responsibility of leaving the place a mess to those who shall come after us. It is an ethical failure not to accept our personal responsibility for being part of this cause. It is an intellectual failure to not recognize that there really is a problem.

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      • Then we disagree. The issue has achieved Religion status, only one of us will be proven right.

        If ‘we’ do nothing and it turns out that We Sceptics (Deniers, Head-In-The-Sanders) are right, that will ‘prove’ that the Alarmists did the right thing but just a little too enthusiastically.

        If we (oops, you) pour on the herbs, even invoke the armed might of the state to ban all cars, aircraft, sheep, cows, burning of anything anywhere … and still it happens that the world overheats (it won’t) then obviouslyit was’t enough.

        How are those Alarmists getting on who set out to highlight that there’s no ice up north, do you know?

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      • Argus, between 1991 and 2012 there have been 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific climate papers.

        Of the nearly 14,000 papers just twenty-four (24) reject man-made climate change.

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      • They blew it as far as I was concerned when it first came out. They said—with great fanfare—unprecedented global warming. So I looked into it to see where all the hot air was coming from …

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      • I guess history will be the judge. And you already know my opinions of some of the sciences (which explains my scepticism).

        Mind you, we’ve had a mild winter down here—I understand that many parts of South America found it a tad cool?

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      • This is a copy from my comment to Ark over at his site but I think it pertains. Again, sorry for the length but I require the number of words to express why I think as I do:

        Argus, like you and armed with a healthy dose of skepticism (as well as some knowledge having schooled and worked in hydrology – including lab work with ice core samples), I mistrusted doom and gloom scenarios about human-caused global warming. Like you, I could find all kinds of reasons to support my skepticism. But then I started following Open Parachute and realized that what I though was good evidence against climate change caused by human behaviour was, in fact, eerily similar to creationist thinking that argues that there are too many questions about evolution to warrant continued skepticism.

        But then I learned.

        Good climate science is complicated because it has to work within reality. And the reality is that climate is not a state but an ongoing process. Is this process producing results that clearly and unequivocally shows global warming attributable to human behaviour?

        To answer that question requires massive work. As strange as this may sound, within this work is all the evidence climate deniers need to support their skepticism, in the same way that within evolutionary biology is all the evidence creationists require to support their skepticism. But this isn’t the right conclusion. The conclusion has to deal with the entire body of evidence – both in support of and contrary to any preferred conclusion. We are all susceptible to confirmation bias, and this is exactly what I was doing: selecting and giving more weight to what supported by preferred conclusion rather than standing back and looking at the big picture that incorporated the whole data set.

        In evolutionary biology, I recognized that the scientific consensus had done much of this work for me, that all the evidence from different avenues of inquiry was mutually supportive of the theory of evolution regardless of which bits seemed to stand in conflict with it; the evolutionary biologists themselves had already dealt with the bits used by creationists (in isolation) to be thought of as important contrary evidence. But it takes work to figure out how this has been successfully done and why this contrary evidence is no such thing.

        In the same way, the scientific consensus around anthropogenic global warming has done this work for us. We really do understand how and why climate patterns are compelling evidence for AGW, which is why every major scientific body in the world accepts that this phenomena – global warming caused by human activity – is true. And the key information not effectively dealt with by those exercising what they presume is healthy skepticism lies with pattern frequency and amplitude that defines climate change.

        Once I recognized the importance of these patterns and understood the unprecedented changes to them linked directly to the rising concentration of CO2 in the global atmosphere (and all that entails), I then was startled to find myself in the unenviable position of having been fooled. I hate being fooled because I disappoint myself. But hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.

        I realized that If I wanted to maintain my intellectual integrity (and I do), I had to be willing to change my mind if evidence from reality indicated that my previous position was no longer tenable. My skepticism about AGW was no longer tenable once I understood how I was fooling myself to maintain my skepticism in the face of the entire et data arbitrated by reality. And there is simply no way to account for the accuracy of the predicted changes in frequency and amplitude of climate patterns across all avenues of inquiry into climate without appreciating that all roads point to AGW in the same way that all roads in biology point to evolution.

        If you want to understand how you have been fooled (I understand the lack of zeal to want do so), a good place to start is assuming that tens of thousand of working climate scientists really do know something about what they’re talking about and may, in fact, have good information that deals quite adequately with issues of controversy raised by pop media. For example, in the picture you provide, do you see for yourself the loss of ice density by the colouration of the ice sheet? What you presume is ice ‘growth’ by area also has to take into account ice thickness, n’est pas? But the appearance of a larger ice sheet (when carefully compared only to when the sheet was at its smallest the previous year) is a false positive … a cherry-picking technique used to great effect by those who financially benefit from maintaining public skepticism about an ongoing and very real process. It is a method to fool people and clearly, you are willing to be fooled in order to support your previous position.

        The real question you’re going to have to face (sooner, I hope, than later) is whether or not you have the intellectual cojones to accept reality’s arbitration of your skepticism. A point that helped bring me about was to look at the company I was keeping, and I when I realized that I was on the side of conspiracy nuts and creationists, I took this to be a clue…

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      • And the polar bears fitted with radio transmitters, someone asked ‘how are they getting on at present’?

        When scanned it turned out that all of them weren’t on land—they were out on the ice.

        Oops … what ice? Arctic ice, in summer?

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      • As I said, it’s become a religious issue now and we all get to choose our own prophet.

        My stance is the greater picture: human nature. What’s behind it? But don’t be too open about looking, you’ll be branded a Conspiracy Nut.

        It wouldn’t hurt to look at the great Global Cooling scare of the seventies—they even thought about coating poles and mountains with soot to attract more heat …

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      • You’re no fun … I think I’ll have to start gearing up for a war; and have the feeling I’m totally outgunned. Not good.

        “Mr Argus, Sir—?”
        “Yes, little Virginia?”
        “Here’s that hammer and nails you asked for … eeek! What are you doing with that flag?”

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      • All joking aside, the point in the initial comment about us having an innate deathwish is interesting. People do seem to consistently want to believe the world will have an imminent tumultuous ending. And to jump on Argus’ paranoia bandwagon, climate destruction is a good one to sweep up the secular types.

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      • I think that comes from people believing they’re special and are the center of the universe. They don’t like the idea of life going on after they’re not here, it hurts their fragile sensibilities, so its “everyone goes down with me!” type thinking.

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      • You’re right about the really warm periods; the super cold ones happened well before life on land, so you’re talking about a different planet really. If we re-entered a time like the Eocene (the last really warm period) it would be a shocker. The oceans were stagnant and biological productivity was a fraction of what it is now. At least until half a million or more years pass and the earth adapts to the change. Of course this thing could easily lead to a mini ice-age for N. Europe and NE U.S./Canada. The scientists honestly cannot tell us which it will be, in part because they have no control on how much more CO2 we pump into the system, but also because we don’t know enough about the oceans.

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      • I’m a simple guy.
        I was taught that other than at about 4 degrees C warm waters rise and the cool sink. Now I’ve been told that all the ‘missing’ heat energy has been sucked into the ocean and tucked away at great depths … told by folks from whom I would not buy a bridge.

        Sadly I’m very much a cynic where ‘science’ is concerned. Science too is fashion, fashion in thought—which means human beings.
        Few humans dare buck fashion, especially if nice cushy tenures depend on supporting the status quo. I’m as sceptical about human nature as I am about ‘science’; I often use Dr Semelweiss as an example (just one of millions), his story is worth a googling.

        They keep finding deep frozen mammoths and vast amounts of deep frozz ‘tropical’ life forms in arctic regions, some of them very rapidly frozen indeed. Science has yet to explain how come. I await the theories with eager anticipation—probably not enough cave men burning enough logs to keep the planet warm?

        Your final line could be reworded as simply “we don’t know enough” …

        And there are other schools of thought explaining that the majority of volcanoes on Earth are sub-sea, pumping out heat—no Alarmist seems to ever mention this point. The biggest volcano on Earth is just off the coast of Japan, it is (eek!) the size of the entire British Isles and is the second biggest volcano known in our solar system. That too is worthy of a googling (BBC, I think. I read a lot).

        Dammit, I’ll have to post on this topic …

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  13. Why are Atheists so filled with hate? You got Christians filled with love, going around doing good works, not bothering anyone, and all Atheists do is attack them.

    I’m curious. You say there is no God. What evidence do you have? You can’t see him? Yet you believe in things that you cannot see.

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    • Hi Alan. I think you might be confusing reasonableness and rationality (truth) with hate. My differing opinion to yours doesn’t mean I hate. You are merely labeling it as “hate” because I’m challenging your beliefs. The fact that you’ve overreacted is a demonstration that you’re not terribly confident in your beliefs, which in-turn has caused you to resort to name-calling. That might make you feel better, but it doesn’t make your rather wild and uncontrolled statement true.

      If you paid attention, this post is really nothing but a factual representation of Christian history. I have not made up any of these names, dates, or the end of the world claims made by these Christian luminaries. In all reality, the list I provided was incredibly short. As I said, there have been well over 300 cases of socially derelict captains of Christianity who’ve publicly announced mass genocide of innocence was about to happen. I’d call this terrorism, would you? Now, these are the cases we know about. I can only imagine the real number if we were to somehow include every insane pastor and preacher who’ve made similar predictions in some backbend pocket of the planet.

      I’m curious, Alan: how do disprove a negative? I’m afraid the burden of proof falls to the person making the positive claim, which in this case is you. A positive claim (unicorns exist) requires evidence. A negative claim (unicorns do not exist) requires a complete lack of evidence. As no evidence exists for unicorns (or your Middle Eastern god) the positive claim (unicorns exist) must be considered false until proven true. This is only rational. The negative is however easily falsifiable. All the unicorn believer needs is one solitary piece of reasonable (even inferable) evidence for the existence of unicorns to shift the entire burden of proof requirement onto the non-believer. Said in another way, any un-falsifiable claim (unicorns, spacefaring turtles, gods) must be read as false before being proven true.

      So, the question is Alan, what evidence do you have for your Middle Eastern god? Mores the point, what method do you use to dismiss all other gods?

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  14. This is brilliant John. The Abrahamic religions are religions of death and an after, they are not earthbound. Their adherents talk of heavenly pleasures, heavenly life and have every conceivable problem with worldly and temporal issues down here. Funny people I tell yeah.
    And anytime someone predicts the end of the world, I say it will be tomorrow in Australia so we will know if this is really the case 😛

    Like

  15. John Zande,

    I have reread my post and I fail to see where I resorted to name calling. I said that Atheists were filled with hate. I said they attacked Christians. The first point is my opinion based on their actions, while my second point is merely an accurate report of their actions.

    You make a valid point about proving a negative. I do not say I can prove God’s existence. Christians observe the world and conclude that there must be a greater being in charge of it. That belief is based on faith. It is your right to not believe it.

    But tell me, do you believe in no God whatsoever? Forget for a moment the Christian God. Think of all of the improbable and infinite accidents that had to happen exactly right from the big bang until now for you to exist as an aware thinking being. Do you believe that no greater intelligence directed those events? Do you not even believe in good luck? No rabbit’s foot for you. Is your existence a series of random historical events? Then when you leave this physical plane there really was no point to your life.

    Like

    • Alan, where in this post is there hate? It reflects a truth about christianity which is almost true of the other Abrahamic religions, they are for the hereafter, basically, death religions so to speak.

      I will not speak for John, but I believe in no god whatsoever. And no, they were not accidents. The word accident is a misnomer. You must have heard or read nature does nothing in vain; so what you are calling accidents are effects for whose causes you or I do not know. They didn’t need direction. Call them random historical events, all I know is that I exist. When I am not aware of any plane except this one and if believing in fairies is the point of life, am fine as it is.

      Like

    • Hi Alan.

      “I said that Atheists were filled with hate. I said they attacked Christians.”

      Colossally broad statements not rooted in reality. Again, you’re confusing hate with scrutiny. Now, if your beliefs can’t stand up to scrutiny, then I’m afraid to say the scrutiny isn’t the problem. I’m also afraid to inform you that you’re not special. Atheists couldn’t care less if you’re Christian, Muslim, Jew or Mithraists. A-theist merely means the rejection of the belief in the gods.

      Now, good on you for admitting you have no proof, I appreciate that kind of honesty, but concluding a god doesn’t equal proving a god. I can “conclude” a giant talking house brick named Meryl into existence, and I have every right to believe in Meryl, but I’m not going to believe in Meryl for the exact same reasons I’m not going to believe in your particular Middle Eastern god: there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that either Meryl or your particular god exist.

      You ask: Think of all of the improbable and infinite accidents that had to happen exactly right from the big bang until now for you to exist as an aware thinking being.

      Yes, it’s mind-bogglingly extraordinary, and the chances of it all happening as it has are precisely 1 in 1. Why should I suspect something untoward or supernatural is happening? Have you another universe against which I can measure this one? Seems you’re evoking the fine tuning argument, which I have in the past described as “the most preposterous, staggeringly ignorant, monstrously self-indulgent and yet equally childish argument for a god presented by apologists.” Alan, are you aware that this “fine-tuned” universe is appallingly hostile to biological life and is in fact arranged in such a way to maximise the production of black holes, not life bearing planets? Here, rather than rewrite it all I wrote a post on this recently which will answer your question in 340 short words:

      https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/this-fits-me-rather-well-2/

      Further to your appeal, you’re merely falling back on superstition which is nothing but fabulous blunders in causation and correlation. That’s all superstition is; irrational mistakes in cognition where we observe one event (B) happening after another event (A) and assume A is responsible for B. 16th Century pirates pierced their ears with precious metals (A) for no other reason than they believed it improved their eyesight (B). Many people to this day do not bring brooms with them when relocating house for fear of also bringing bad spirits from their former residence. Russians sit on their luggage before travelling to ward off disaster, cutting your fingernails after sunset in Laos is the next best thing to stabbing yourself in the ear with an ice pick, and go to any Brazilian beach on New Year’s eve and you’ll find tens of thousands of people diligently jumping over seven waves to welcome twelve months of good fortune… Irrational mistakes in cognition.

      “The General root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other.” (Francis Bacon)

      And Alan, you never told me what method you use to dismiss all other gods. I’d be very interested to hear.

      Like

  16. Pingback: there must be more to life than this | violetwisp

  17. Guys,

    I want to get your meaning clearly. Are you saying that you do not hate Christianity? Are you actually saying that these remarks are a dispassionate scientific analysis of some amusing, little, oddball cult, which is only mildly interesting because it has lasted two thousand years.

    MAKAGUTU ,

    You admitted that you do not know the causes of the random historical events which have lead to your existence. So you can’t know for sure that I am wrong. You say you are fine with believing in fairies. I assume then you have no problem with others believing in fairies. Why then do you have problems with others who believe in God?

    John Zande,

    Your last question took me by surprise because I did not recall making that point. Both of us are guilty of taking arguments, perhaps intense ones, we’ve had with other ‘friends’ and projecting them onto what each other has brought up here. However, I try not to duck anything. First of all, what is a God? Why in the Bible would God say thou shall have no other God before me? If he is God, what is he talking about?

    A God is anything people choose to believe has supernatural power over them. You brought up Meryl, the giant talking house brick. If you believed in him, he would fit the definition of a God. As far as why I personally reject your boy Meryl or the golden calf it is as simple as following the teachings of my religion. Either I follow those teachings or I find some other way to live my life. I am not insulting you but, after engaging in countless discussions with other Atheists your path is the one I absolutely would never choose.

    Do you really want to engage in a battle of quotes from famous dead people? Do you really want to use Francis Bacon?

    ” A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds to religion. ” ( Francis Bacon )

    Like

    • Alan, indeed, I can’t know for sure if you are wrong, but I can tell with much confidence that you are likely wrong that what you posit, an intelligence behind all these things we see is not the case. I said if the meaning of life for someone is in believing in fairies, by all means go ahead, but don’t ask me to do the same. You then ask why do I have problems who believe in god? I have no problem with anyone who believes in god as long as they keep their beliefs private. The moment you want public policy shaped according to what you or others think your god wants of us, then we have a problem. And am curious, why does it bother you when we write about religion and point out the problems with it?

      Are you actually saying that these remarks are a dispassionate scientific analysis of some amusing, little, oddball cult, which is only mildly interesting because it has lasted two thousand years.

      These remarks, at least on the OP are a collection of sayings by christian captains about the looming Armageddon, so yes, they are dispassionate unless you can show us otherwise. And yes christianity is a cult of death regardless of how old it is.

      Like

    • Hi Alan (sorry, I was calling you Adam in my first comment, which I’ve since amended)

      To your first point. Your insistence on using the word “hate” is becoming tiresome. It is true, I do become terribly frustrated and even angry with Christians when they try to meddle in our secular societies… and for very good reason. Would you like me to list the number of insane Creationist “education” bills that have been rammed through state legislators in the last two years? Or how about I detail the sickening work of the rather oddly-named Good News Club and their attempts to pervert young children’s minds with biblical nonsense. In case you didn’t know, the Good News Club is a tentacle of the Child Evangelism Fellowship; a violent Christian hate group whose stated aim is to “Knock down all doors to all 65,000 public elementary schools in America and take the Gospel to this open mission field now! Not later, now!” (CEF’s national convention in 2010). Or how about I detail the monstrously twisted work of Christian Reconstructionists, a Dominionism (or Dominion Theology) movement which advocates nothing short of supplanting secular western governments with “Biblical theocratic republics in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law” (David Barton, Reconstructionist theologian). Or as the lunatic Gary North put it: “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and Holy Communion–must be denied citizenship.”

      And it gets even better. Gary North and his Dominionism brethren long for the day when stoning is re-introduced and parents can murder their children for disobedience:

      When people [children] curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime. The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death.” (Gary North)

      In North’s mind pluralism is heresy and zero tolerance should be afforded to gays, blasphemers, atheists, agnostics, secularists, apostates, adulterers, unchaste women, and just about everyone else who isn’t a homeschooled Reconstructionist; all of whom North believes should be put to death, and always, he insists, by way of public stoning, as detailed in chapter 6 of his book, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but is this not grounds for any reasonable person to be angry with the actions of Christians? (Notice that word, “actions”, not “beliefs”). Or do you support these warped Christian groups? Maybe you do. Regardless, the same anger exists for Orthodox Jews who poison Palestinian water supplies and fundamentalist Muslims who poison school girls. You may say, therefore, it is the Abrahamic religions which attract the ire and disdain of reasonable, life-loving people. You are all of the same vein and I do not discriminate between them. All three branches of Yahwehism are unhealthy and fundamentally anti-human and anti-progress. Again, you are not special. Christianity is not special.

      Now, to your second point, I’m not guilty of any projection. I asked you in my first reply “what evidence do you have for your Middle Eastern god? Mores the point, what method do you use to dismiss all other gods?” You admitted you had no evidence, but you failed to answer to the second part of that question, hence the reason I asked it again. I’d be genuinely interested to hear what method you use to dismiss all other gods. As you appear certain your particular Middle Eastern god exists then I must assume you have a fool proof method of being equally certain all other gods do not also exist.

      You say, “A God is anything people choose to believe

      So, you’re simply admitting it’s all imagination, a game of make-believe which you maintain by ignoring reality, and you do so for the sole reason that it comforts you. Well, thank you for being honest, but for me I’d personally prefer to be hurt with the truth than comforted with a lie. I believe that is the adult approach to life.

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds awfully like you’re criticising me (and every atheist) for not being irrational. This is a rather peculiar criticism. In fact, it’s the oddest criticism I think I’ve ever heard.

      You said, “your path is the one I absolutely would never choose.” I find this interesting. What path have I chosen, Alan? You seem terribly prone to making frightfully broad statements. Perhaps you’re not aware of this, perhaps it’s an unconscious defensive response, but you should pay attention to it in the future. But again, what “path” have I chosen? May I further ask, what “path” have you chosen?

      Like

  18. You say you do not want Christians bringing their private philosophies into public policies. May I point out that we all do that. I am against many Liberal ideas which your side is certainly ramming down everyone’s throat now that they run this country. To even voice opposition to these is likely to get my free speech rights revoked. Good thing I’m not Canadian or British.

    You also say I am overly broad in my statements. Guilty as charged. I am well rehearsed in my discussions here because I’ve done this many times. I may unfairly lump you in with my previous ‘friends’ who tend to lose their temper with me. Anyway, you also make broad arguments. The Christian tent is quite a broad canvass. If I identified with all who ever claimed to be under it I ‘d have to defend such gentle Christian groups as the Spanish Inquisition. There are many Liberal Christian Churches that I would have nothing to do with, which also are probably very close to your thinking. You seem to revel in cherry picking various Christian groups, which you can then use to condemn the whole religion.

    You keep harping on this middle eastern God thing. I guess you wish me to give you a secular thesis so that you can bring your considerable intellectual powers to bear in destroying my words. Sorry I can’t give you what you want. The best I can give you is an emotional feeling that my God is THE God. Faith is emotion. So is hate.

    You deny that you are filled with hate. I don’t deny my hate towards things Liberals believe in. Over the years that I have done these, Liberals consistently deny they hate anything. The 21st word in your opening sentence is ” degenerate “. That is a value judgement, or matter of opinion which shows a hatred directed towards what it is describing.

    To get to the word path. Am I wrong that you are an Atheist? Is that tent broad? Are some Atheists nicer than the others?

    Like

    • Faith is emotion.

      No it’s not.

      Faith is assumption and assertion for claims about reality based on a broken epistemology that guarantees a way to fool yourself. That’s why there are so many contrary and conflicting religious claims. Each and every person of faith utilizes faith as a final defense for their incompatible religious beliefs. You just don’t grasp the importance of this clue… and try to blame others for your willingness to be fooled. That’s why you’re just another angry theist who hates those who respect what’s true and what’s knowable.

      Like

    • Hi Alan

      I keep “harping on” about your Middle Eastern god because it is your Middle Eastern god. There exists no reason to have ever heard of (let alone believe in) the particular Middle Eastern god detailed in the bible apart from the claims made in the bible itself. Your god didn’t manifest in Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, North America, or South America. No one in India or the Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Polynesian fisherman suddenly spoke of Yhwh, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Yours is a localised deity; the invention of a few linguistically specific Palestinian villagers, and is just one of tens of thousands of geographically specific anthropomorphic gods invented by man to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives. I know your religion is false because it never emerged anywhere independently. If your Middle Eastern god were true it should have emerged unsupervised at least twice on the planet. Its truth would in fact be demonstrable in this supernatural event. That, Alan, never happened, did it.

      I find it interesting that you did not disown the lunatic ramblings of the Christian Reconstructionalists. Am I to assume from this that you support this forceful (violent), meddling, hate-filled brand of Christianity? I’m guessing you do as you seemed to have gone off on a rather wild tangent and into the realm of right/left politics. That, alone, is a clear example of what leaves reasonable, rational people frustrated (and sometimes very angry) with the religious. You don’t seem capable of keeping what should be a private affair, private… which is precisely what your countries Founding Fathers clearly desired.

      Now, Alan, you’re proving quite the expert as evading my questions. So far you’ve not provided me with an explanation as to what method you use to dismiss all other gods, and you didn’t tell me what “path” you have chosen (which I, apparently, have not chosen). While I’m at it, I’d also be interested to hear what benefits you believe exist for believing in your Middle Eastern god when you yourself admitted it’s all imaginary. Where is the positive in deluding yourself? In my mind that would surely be (and is) a recipe for disaster, but maybe you have a different understanding of it.

      As a final note, you raise my use of the word, Degenerate. I do not use words loosely and this particular word was chosen with thought and is an entirely accurate description regarding the practice of Christianity. As an adjective it means the following: Having lost the physical, mental, or moral qualities considered normal and desirable. Tell me, Alan, isn’t desiring the utter annihilation of our home world (and the mass liquidation of billions of innocent lives and billions of equally innocent species) the purest expression of degenerate behaviour?

      Like

    • Alan, could you please define what the terms “Liberal (with a capital L) ideas” and “your side” mean to you, and provide examples of how these “Liberal ideas” are being rammed down everyone’s throat? Could you also identify specific instances in which voicing your opinions has resulted in having your free speech rights revoked?

      And could you please elaborate on what you mean by Liberal (with a capital L) Christian Churches? The phrase seems rather ambiguous.

      Finally, why did you capitalize the word atheist in the middle of a sentence?

      Like

  19. I stay on wordpress just to read your posts, love it. I may have even said that before, so apologies for repeating myself (maybe). But in regards to that video posted here – I have to say I kind of agree with the guy. You just have to see what’s transpired in our federal election this past weekend….Damned democracy!
    Hey, is it ok if I share your posts on my G+?

    Like

  20. John,

    I am sorry that you believe I am evading your questions. For all of our differences, in our own ways you and I value truth above all else. I do not lie to you and I certainly try to never lie to myself. You have scatter shot a lot of different points and I will not try to answer all of them. I am trying to think of a way to answer you on your middle eastern God obsession.

    How about I restate it for you. If my God is God and his people are the chosen, they are chosen only because they know of him. The people in other locations cannot be condemned for rejecting the true God, if they were never given the opportunity.to know of his presence. Yet in Judaism and Christianity, those people are condemned. Is that accurate?

    I can’t give you a good answer to justify the condemnation of ancient people who never knew of what you call my middle eastern God. In today’s world most have that privilege.

    You have an interesting take on degenerate. I don’t care what you say about my religion. My point is you keep denying that your use of the word says anything about you.

    Ron,

    Will you now give me a grammar lesson? As to why I choose to capitalize words randomly, my reasoning is this. I know what you guys think of my beliefs and you can tell what I think of yours’. However, those opinions do not extend to you and the rest of those here. Out of respect to the Atheists here, I choose to capitalize certain words so as to not offend anyone. If you wish I can not do that.

    To your point of sides. I suspect that you guys are more anti Conservative than you are anti religious. Christians are merely a convenient subset of Conservatives to vent against. The big Liberal idea I object to is Gay Marriage and not so much on religious grounds as much as it being anti traditionalist. You can deny this all you want, but there is a campaign to punish anyone who dares speak against it. That is an even worse issue to me. I do not seek to silence those I disagree with.

    Like

    • Not so much a grammar lesson as a serious query as to why you capitalized a common noun. I appreciate your desire to be respectful, but I doubt any atheist will take serious offense if you type it in lower case – plus you’ll save yourself an unnecessary keystroke.

      The problem with the remainder of your response is that it contains loaded words like “Conservative” and “Liberal” — vague concepts which mean different things to different people. I’d prefer that you first define what they mean to you, so that we’re both on the same page and not talking at cross-purposes to one another.

      You suspect that “you guys” (do you mean you atheists?) are more anti-conservative than anti-religious and claim that there is a campaign to punish anyone who dares to speak against same-sex marriage, but identify no specific examples to qualify those allegations, despite my previous request to do so. Once again, do you actually have any?

      Please understand that atheism addresses one single question (i.e. belief in deities), and atheists share only one commonality: a lack of belief in gods, and nothing more. It espouses no political or philosophical ideology, and our remaining viewpoints can be as diverse as it gets. There is nothing that requires an atheist to become a socialist or a communist sympathizer. In fact, Ayn Rand advocated free market capitalism.

      You state that SSM is anti-traditionalist, but provide little explanation why tradition should trump the right to legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. In other words, why should the living be ruled from the graves of men belonging to a bygone era?

      Like

    • Hi Alan

      Again, it’s not “my” Middle Eastern god obsession, it’s yours. I merely call it the Middle Eastern god because it is a Middle Eastern god; the invention of linguistically specific Palestinian hill tribes which is found in one source, and one source alone: the Pentateuch, then revisited in the bible (Judaism 2.0), then revisited again the Qur’an (Judaism 3.0). If we were talking about Thor I’d say the Scandinavian god because that is where Thor was invented and belongs. If you don’t like me using the turn of words Middle Eastern god then I’d suggest finding another god whose roots are more in-line with yours; perhaps a European god might suit your purposes better and not bother your sensibilities.

      Funny that you say “my god” then in the exact same sentence say “chosen people.” Isn’t this antithetical? Are you Jewish? I mean, the god you’re describing is a prejudiced, discriminating bigot…. Or as Richard Dawkins so wonderfully put it, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

      A “capriciously malevolent bully” capable and willing to shit down the throats of all who stood in the way of his “chosen people” and their aspirations for bigger and better things (not least of all nationhood which they achieved in small ways only to then loose again and again with alarming regularity) was it seems precisely what the northwestern-Semitic speaking Canaanite hill tribes were looking for. They’re desired ends however were not to be realised in a vast multinational evangelical conglomerate, rather the complete opposite. They purposely set out to make the emergent Hebrew religion (first fashioned in the 7th Century BCE, not 2,000 BCE as claimed) into an exclusive country club with its own discriminatory rules and regulations which ultimately produced what can only be described as some of the most racially charged religious texts ever put into print: the Talmudic doctrines. These scriptures (rule books which the Judaic people are compelled to follow) distinguish Jews as superior in all ways to Gentiles (all non-Jews) and lays out some of the most unsavoury life coaching suggestions ever articulated. Lying, bribery, underpaying labour, theft, cheating, and even murder is, the Talmudic doctrines assert, perfectly legitimate in order to milk gentiles or get them under control. All things civilized people would call vile and abhorrent are in fact permitted in the Jewish Talmud with the one warning note being that a Jew should not defame the Jewish people, or Yahweh, in committing these otherwise heinous acts. That is to say, its fine to cheat and steal and lie, just don’t do it to a fellow Jew or get caught doing it to a Gentile. For example: “If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there” (Moed Kattan 17a), “All gentile children are animals” (Yebamoth 98a), “Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth) from birth” (Abodah Zarah 36b), “A Jew need not pay a gentile the wages owed him for work (Sanhedrin 57a), “If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile it does not have to be returned” (Baba Mezia 24a), “When a Jew murders a gentile, there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep” (Sanhedrin 57a), “Jews may use lies (subterfuges) to circumvent a Gentile” (Baba Kamma 113a).

      Now, as supremely offensive, discriminatory, repugnant, and at times purely hateful as the Talmudic doctrines are they may be viewed as nothing but a kneejerk xenophobic reaction of a tiny band of culturally specific, angst-ridden people desperate to cling to some sense of identity in the face of far larger forces flowing around them. This, of course, is no excuse for the obnoxious prejudices contained in these scriptures but it is amply reflected in their god, Yahweh, who is about as welcoming as syphilis to all non-Jews.

      To your last point. So, let me get this straight: you don’t think wishing for the total destruction of our home world degenerate behaviour? Interesting. Could you perhaps then tell me of something that you think is degenerate behaviour?

      Like

  21. I’m on a word diet so I can’t possibly read this entire post (though I know it is thoughtful and articulate!). But you know what? You’re a great story teller so I’d like to submit a formal request for you to tell more stories from your life! Maybe you can fit some of the atheist angles in there too, but I don’t think it would be necessary. I keep thinking of you and that spider… 🙂 More

    Like

  22. Oh wow.

    Hi Mr.Scott. I didn’t think you’d show up here of all places? Mr.Scott has grace my blog with his wisdom several times in the past and it has always been an illuminating experience.

    I warn you Mr.Scott, JZ runs a tight ship here and will do his utmost to disabuse you of the delusions you hold so dear. 🙂

    Ah, the internet, making the world smaller by the microsecond.

    Like

    • He has rather medieval views on gays and is a little wishy-washy, but otherwise harmless. Certainly no frothing-at-the-bit “I’m going to throat fuck you with this crucifix” Potato, or a dangerously deluded Roy. Those guys are certifiably nuts.

      Like

    • The Arbourist,

      Wow, I disappear from the cyber world for a week and look who I find on my return. Anyway, my delusions comfort me as you are comforted by your delusions. Thank you much for your concern, but I figured JZ out on my own.

      Like

      • I truly appreciate your honesty, Alan. Few people are so candid. In fact, I watched The Life of Pi last night for the first time and the message in that story (regarding beliefs) is reflected quite wonderfully in your outlook. I can’t fault you for being open.

        Like

  23. Reblogged this on Jericho Brisance and commented:
    To conclude the prior observations with regard to Harold Camping and his passing, two further reblog posts prove warranted. The first is this one from John Zande, in which he has compiled a robust list of apocalyptic doomsayers and referenced other research on how grim the US statistics really stand. A taste:

    “All told, in the last fifty-six generations (1,700 years) there have been more than three-hundred prominent captains of Christianity who have announced with excited yips of childlike anticipation that their god was about to lay waste to all life on earth. In this generation alone there have been over forty major public incidents where socially-reckless, apocalypse-hungry Christian leaders have proclaimed that their god was here and it was time to die… and when the captains speak easily persuadable, astoundingly gullible congregants regretfully listen. Today a staggering 41% of US citizens (130,000,000 adults) believe that their Middle Eastern god will commence its mass extinction of all creatures in their lifetime.”

    Like

  24. Pingback: Pew Research and Thoughts on End Times Expectations – Jericho Brisance

  25. “Edgar C. Whisenant got it wrong in 1988 but did sell 5 million copies of his book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.”

    I remember, as a girl, standing out on our front yard on the day Whisenant predicted, waiting for Jesus to come back. My parents had bought into his prediction. We were pretty bummed when Jesus didn’t come. Thankfully, my parents never bought into end-times predictions again.

    After that day, I also remember hoping that Jesus would hold off just long enough for me to grow-up, to get married, and to have a life.

    Sigh.

    Thanks for this post.

    Like

  26. Pingback: Jesus’ Immoral Teachings | the superstitious naked ape

  27. Pingback: lurking 14: the end of the world | violetwisp

  28. Actually, Jesus got it right. His predictions came true within his audiences lives. All of of his predictions, encircling Jerusalem. the temple destruction, coming in the sky in power and glory, he got them all right. Only he wasn’t saying HE was the messiah(son of man). He stated very clearly that Titus Flavius was the son of man. Which makes sense when you realize that Titus Flavius and his scribes created the jesus character in order to invest Titus’s claim to the title of caesar-pontiff Maximus-pope, with the authority of a profit, and god. Strange but true.

    Like

    • Afternoon Jesus, good to see you! Figured you most likely an amalgam of multiple messianic figures and a dab of inventive crisis-cultist myth-spinning by the northern Diaspora, but I guess I was wrong… Here you are! 🙂

      Like

  29. Puzzling jz.

    You say with authority that the apostles went on to die, ‘……..perfectly normal, non-supernatural deaths………’ Really? Based on what? whose testimony is reliable as to this?

    You are content believing in the reliability of that which you find pleasing, why do you not apply the same standard toward that which you find distasteful; ie, and a big ahem: the resurrection of Christ?

    But you do get style points for ‘the awkward uncle.’

    Like

  30. That’s one of the reasons (besides oil) that the Religious Right in the US were so ecstatic about Bush’s initiation of war in Iraq – they believed it would bring about the Apocalypse.

    Like

  31. As so often happens when tripping through the world wide web of wonders I came upon this poem by Czeslaw Milosz entitled “A Song on the End of the World” and it’s ending reminded of this post of yours John.

    And those who expected lightning and thunder

    Are disappointed.

    And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps

    Do not believe it is happening now.
    
As long as the sun and the moon are above,

    As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,

    As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

    Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet

    Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,

    Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
    
No other end of the world will there be,

    No other end of the world will there be.

    Like

    • I like that. For some reason that drew my attention to the last stanza in Eliot’s, The Hollow Men:

      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      Not with a bang but a whimper.

      Like

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