Off topic digressions

Discussions on EBF often go off in many different directions from religious prosletysing to discussions about a particular thinktank’s level of bias etc etc. These discussions are sometimes interesting but not always relevant to the thread in which they appear.

So this post is a place for people to take those discussions without disrupting the rest of the blog.

Please refrain from personal abuse, as always.

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181 thoughts on “Off topic digressions

  1. grizzlyvamp, I thought I’d copy and paste your post here so you know what I am replying too (and it’ll save me data on my dongle to boot!).

    “The reason secularism is becoming more popular is for the reasons you mention however I would go as far as to say that there are reasons beyond supposed evidence there is no God (gods). Take technology advancement – it is in my opinion making society colder and more suspicious of each other where most religion relies on strong, positive community to thrive, being simplistic here but I think the point is made. As for scientific evidence, in many cases I have found there is an agenda to undermine any religion and anything will be used to corroborate that. I find personally that whilst there is evidence that there does not necessarily require a God/creator that is in itself not evidence that there is no God/creator. I find the precision in which many of the fundamental constants have to be for the universe to be as we see it rather compelling evidence for a God/creator. I dismiss the infinite alternate universes theory and variations there of as to my mind they are just as improbable as a God/creator and as scientifically testable as God/creator. You also have the issue of where did those universes come from and if ours somehow came from them that would mean that they would still have to more or less follow the laws of physics we see in this universe as the material would logically have to be the same.

    As I said, I am not against having my faith challenged – however I do have issue when it is hypocritically done such as with the militant, internet atheists you have mentioned and I am sure we have all experienced. In other words do not challenge my faith unless you expect me to challenge yours back. Yes I have heard the counterarguments so many times it gets rather annoying sometimes. I also agree that cold calling people homes is unproductive, a nuisance and generally harmful to the cause. As you note we’re way off topic here though but I will happily further discuss this if you like and ebfblogger is agreeable to giving us that platform.”

    I agree with you regarding society (at least in the UK anyway. I am a traveller and from my experiences that include hitch-hiking everywhere, people aren’t so cold and communities tend to be more tight-knit the further east or south you go), but I’m not sure if it is to do with lack of religion so much as fixation on technology. Hell, anytime I head out to do a spot of people watching or chill outside a pub with my uke, I see circle of friends with their heads down and thumbs twiddling with their fancy iphones or whatever. It is a sad state of affairs that I feel will only get worse as technology gets more advanced. Is this in correlation with lack of religion though? Hard to say as I’m sure plenty of religious folks are also dependant and fixated on their phones and computers too. Just to digress a bit, I have a theory that people won’t bother having “real names” in the future; instead online aliases will be used. One of my favourite game reviewers Ben Croshaw is now referred to as “yahtzee” both online and in the real word. Those sci-fi fantasy settings we see in films and games are now gradually becoming reality! I wonder if religion will still exist then?

    Anyway, I see you point regarding there not being evidence to disprove a god/creator, but it’s up to those who make claims to present evidence; burden of proof as it’s called. Likewise, the same applies to god/creator: who created the creator? Until we are capable of travelling to the end of the vast universe, we may never get a definite answer. If only we could do away with borders, nationalities etc and work together to fully realise a global space programme. That’d be awesome! Too idealistic presently though.

    Yeah, I feel quite ashamed for those militant atheists that are, just as you said, quite hypocritical. How they can state the world would be better off without religion whilst spewing vitriol is clearly an irony that goes over their heads. Thankfully, they only tend to stick to youtube videos though which is why it’s a good idea to not comment on them.

    Well, if you’ve heard all counter arguments before, then I feel we’d only be wasting both our times challenging each other. I doubt very much either of us will convince each other enough to sway any opinions and besides, you have faith whereas I don’t πŸ˜› And who am I to try and force you let go of it? Live and let live I say.

    I do find this quote from a comic book character – Sir William Gull (aka the ripper in his depiction) – I read by Alan Moore entitled “From Hell” to be agreeable though – “The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity.”

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  2. Terry, I sincerely believe that due to the endless divisiveness of one religion versus another religion and the clamour of atheism and agnosticism,more and more intelligent,caring and unbiased people are calling themselves HUMANISTS. I have in a previous post to you mentioned my brother and my best friend as fine examples.Certainly, I have to say that other Humanists I have met have,generally,been greater examples of how a human being should live his/her life than most Christians I know-including myself!!

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    • Kudos to your brother! I consider myself, at heart, to be a humanist. It’s certainly a philosophy that I have embraced the most anyway, as well as egalitarianism. I try to view every everyone as a human being (not by their nationality, skin colour, religious and cultural background) with the equal amount compassion as I would say family or friend – at least initially; I am often wat conflict with myself especially regarding certain human beings that belong to groups ISIS and BF for example (to keep some relation to this blog!).

      I guess doing of travelling and doing some humanitarian work has opened up my heart and seen the better side of humanity for the most part. Believe it or not, I used to be very misanthropic!

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  3. I’ve just realised that I overlooked something you said, I quote, “As for scientific evidence, in many cases I have found there is an agenda to undermine any religion and anything will be used to corroborate that.” Now this I disagree with as I’m sure scientists don’t make discoveries with the agenda to undermine religion! Instead they seek out out evidence in the search for the truth of our origins which I think is much more exciting than what religions present us with.

    If they stumble upon evidence or their theories become facts that contradict one’s faith, I don’t think it’s fair to accuse scientists of having agendas. They can hardly be blamed if they cause cognitive dissonance within a person. That reminds me: I’ve seen quite a few instances where religious people have, no doubt been mentally distressed by evidence, stated they believe, bizarrely, that said evidence is put there by satan usually followed by the quote, ” The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” or something similar – fossils being a example of this.

    It’s that kind of mentality which could stagnate any progression. Indeed, centuries in the past, scientists were condemned and works were suppressed for “undermining” religion – Galileo Galilei is a good example I think of. Thankfully, scientists are no longer condemned nor suppressed in their perpetual search for truth, evidence and the workings of the cosmos despite some (very few nowadays I guess) criticising them for doing so.

    May they continue their great work I say πŸ˜€

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    • I understand what you are saying there about going into an experiment with an agenda to undermine religion and do agree with you to a degree. I however diverge from your opinion in that I see that as soon as an opportunity to use the evidence to undermine religion is found that agenda often based on negative experience of religion is used to undermine religion. As for the idiots who deny evidence all I can say to that is that I am not one of them and that they do far more damage to religion than they can possibly imagine and I reject their bizarre assertions.

      Whilst I accept science can provide many answers I find it is inadequate at answering the why and therefore of the world. There are just things that don’t quite fit the world view, experiences that are just not satisfactorily explained solely naturally. The rational mind explains it away as entirely natural – that it was just a build up of static or whatever because that is less scary than the alternative that something unknown was causing that build up of static, that it was just a freak phenomenon rather than something supernatural. Of course that could be the case if in isolation but the mater of fact these stories are not in isolation and whilst that in itself does not prove anything it provides in my opinion reasonable doubt. You can of course get into a whole load of psycho-babble about this but the mater is that psychology is so controversial that psychologists can barely agree on varying theories and explanations.

      This psychology talk neatly links back to your comic book character quote I didn’t address originally because I had gone on long enough. I completely agree with what it says, what we experience is so real to us that it cannot be refuted by anyone else because it is so real. The issue is there is only one reality – we just have individual experiences of reality which lead to different interpretations of reality.

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      • Ah I see what you mean now. Yes, I suppose to use someone as a good example of you’re saying would be Richard Dawkins – he frequently uses any scientific discoveries to undermine religion. As much as I enjoyed reading his book The God Delusion and I find him to be agreeable on many things, he does certainly come across as too challenging – bordering militaristic – and I suppose I can understand why people would be uncomfortable with him.

        However, and I stand to be corrected, I’m not sure if it’s the scientists who make discoveries which contradict religion who do any undermining themselves. And if they do, well, I hope it wasn’t and their only intention to after making initial hypothesis. I doubt it though as I’m sure their agenda is only to seek out truth and the inner working of our universe. If it contradicts what people believe? Well, they’re just doing their jobs and should celebrate any new discovery without receiving backlash from religious figures.

        To play devil’s advocate here though, I can understand why Dawkins and others set out to undermine religion; for far too long since beginning of civilisation, religion has been very dominant and prominent in society that many consider to be regressing our evolution and advancement. Powerful figures have accumulated wealth on the back of religion and it has been allowed to interfere with political decisions as well as being responsible for land grabs and war. Like anything, I think religion should be challenged too without fear of upsetting people. However, people do take it too far and religious people do unnecessarily get attacked or discriminated against *ahem Britain First, Muslims *ahem*

        Regarding your paragraph on the supernatural, yes, science hasn’t explained many things in that field, but psychology I feel has been quite adequate in explaining why things have perceived to occur. As much occurrences aren’t uncommon, the thing is is that they are all mostly personal experiences and anecdotes which is very difficult to be challenged. The phenomenon pareidolia, for example, can be explained in mass sightings. How can I put this? One can easily take a common or popular image and attribute it to be ghostly or paranormal and others will attest to this as well because it’s an experience or phenomenon that they have all shared, and thus it gets circulated – online or perhaps even subconsciously (we are all connected, maaan) – and then more will see or hear things and attribute it to the supernatural, echoing what other have “witnessed”. Thus, I somewhat believe that supernatural phenomena or sightings are just shared reactions from something our mind conjure and has no other way to perceive it as anything else. Far too much psycho babble involved here though! And I’m certainly not knowledgeable or an expert in such things. It’s just simply my own take on the supernatural. People think I am a hippy and/or spiritual person because of my appearance, but it’s far from the truth, haha!

        It’s one of my favourite quotes and I honestly can’t see why anyone, atheist, spiritual and religious person alike, would find it disagreeable. This leads me to something else that i remember watching/reading one time: perhaps god is the manifestation of one’s ego? This could go on and on I think, haha!

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  4. Yes I was referring to western society, sorry I should have been clearer that was what I meant. I was more getting at the idea that religion is suffering because people are becoming colder and since religion thrives on community and coming together it is slowly dissociating the two. Of course this is not always the case however in my own experience those with faith are more like to put their phones away etc to socialise when they get together. As for your theory about real names whilst I seriously hope you are wrong there I do see that it could be a possibility and find it a rather sad state of affairs. I do not see religion ever going out entirely – it is too deeply entrenched into society however I do see religious belief become the minority in the current world situation.

    Coming onto the God/creator issue I do have a bit of an issue with this whole “burden of proof” concept. I am sure you can appreciate from my background that I take burden of proof seriously on matter of what we can see. I argue however that because the origins of the universe are untestable in any sort of form (by origins I mean pre-Big Bang rather than anything post-Big Bang no matter how early it is) and that as soon as something becomes untestable the burden of proof becomes meaningless. There is no way of knowing what went on before the Big Bang so we cannot make any conclusive assertions so we have to look to clues that would suggest signatures of intelligent design. This is where the burden of proof concept really comes apart to me as there is wide disagreement on what constitutes proof of intelligent design and natural biases are going to influence these decisions.

    My case for a God/creator mostly centres around the universal constants (such as Planck’s constant) being very precise and the over whelming evidence that if those constants were out by often just very small fractions we would find ourselves in an entirely different universe and in fact most of the time would mean we wouldn’t be here at all because life would not have been able to develop at least no life that we would recognise as such at any rate. It boggles my mind that there is existence at all as every time I think about it I always come back to the same conclusion that there just shouldn’t be anything yet there is.

    Then there is the mater of cell division – the fact that cells can perfectly replicate themselves is just so improbable. Now I saw this used once in a debate on Facebook and someone (rightly) pointed out that it does not always occur perfectly which is why we have cancer and other genetic issues. However (from my understanding) these errors are the minority and mostly cell replication occurs without a hitch. I am deliberately avoiding the perfect creation argument currently as I believe it more important to establish the existence of a God/creator before getting onto those issues. Once we have established the merits of a God/creator of some description then you can argue the fine points over perfection and what sort of God/creator there is.

    My final point before closing my case is the number of stories of a God or gods/creator(s) is rather remarkable for there not to be some truth in it. For thousands of years there have been stories that the world started out differently to what it is today and that these stories have the common denominator of a God or gods/creator(s) of them making themselves known to these early ancestors in some way. I just find it remarkable that these stories have managed to survive so long when there must always have been some opposition from more “forward-thinking” individuals and that many of those who are considered “forward-thinking” in today’s society were in fact deeply religious themselves and believed in the existence of a God/creator of some description.

    I would close my case for a God/creator by pointing out that I find a God/creator that just is – that has always existed that just is far more credible than the Universe just is and has just always existed. That is the notion that this Universe, where we regularly observe the birth and death cycle on so many levels every day, has always been here and just was does not compute in my mind. A God/creator outside the laws and parameters of our understanding of existence can conceivably just exist. The best alternative to a God/creator I have heard is that there were billions of universes that evolved until we got this one. However the issue I have with that is that logically these universes must in some way have been made up of the same stuff that this universe has to produce this universe which just creates the problem of where did those universes come from and how did they become our universe? To me the multiverse theory is just as unscientific as any God/creator theory and seems very elaborate just to avoid the acceptance of a God/creator, remembering that there is a lot of debate even if we do accept the was a God/creator even if they no longer exist.

    I have heard pretty much all the counter-arguments however I do enjoy having stimulating discussion and don’t feel it a waste when we are on a mutual understanding that we’re not going to change our minds or are very unlikely to. It is refreshing to have an on-line conversation which isn’t based on intense hostility. Anyway I have gone on long enough so I shall wrap it up there for now.

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    • Again, I’m not entirely convinced that only religion thrives on community. I mean, take this “alternative” local pub I frequent for example: we are, in a sense, a close community of people because we are united in our love for certain genres of music, thus have all created a bond without the use of technology. Also there is a vast travelling community around the globe (I belong to a nomad group on facebook for example and we’re quite like an online community that meet in real life. Although I suppose in this case we’re using technology in order to be or feel like a community), many of whom lack any belief in a deity nor do many belong to a religion. Sure, there are some spiritual folks though, but they don’t necessarily belong to any groups. I suppose I am being vague in by what I define as a community here, so if I am, do let me know. But for the most part, we seem to agree that advances in technology = people becoming more distant.

      Even though I said this seems to be the case here in the UK, during my time in india I found many younger generation now, thanks to more affordable prices, embracing the same technology so it’s only a matter time before they become too “westernised” I fear.

      Well, I can’t really refute anything you say on the god/creator issue, as, as you said, no one can know for sure what happened pre-big bang. Theories of course do exist but they’re just that – theories. Again, I agree, anything we speculate would just be bias from that point on. I personally prefer the wonderment of not attributing it all to “god did it” though! For sure, it certainly is mind boggling. And I’m grateful that out of all this intrinsic, chaotic supposedly random mess that is the cosmos, I am alive and created from the very atoms and matters that have existed since time or the universe begun.

      Yes, there are many remarkable stories that have a god/gods pivotal to them. I’ve often wondered if what people nowadays allude to as god was perhaps some alien race, haha? But anyway, out of all the gods, why did you choose to specifically worship Yahweh? Why not zeus or the golden calf? I mean, surely their existence is just as plausible, no? Could stories of gods be just that – stories? Probably because there was no other explanations during their inception. Tribes worshipped the sun believing it to be a god for instance before discoveries were made. Perhaps in thousands years time, there will be more deities to choose from because we lack understanding in something. Who knows? I’ve always said that man created gods, not the other way around.

      My biggest issue with god is why doesn’t present himself to anyone now? It’s pretty convenient that he only bothered with humans thousands of years ago and thus, if he/she were to exist, then he/she certainly doesn’t care for us anymore (I mean directly anyway. I know a lot of religious folks speak of a plan or something for their reasoning of god not visiting us anymore. But what would be the point? Are we just toys for he/she to play with?). Perhaps he/she died? Or had better things to go and do πŸ˜›

      Then if you believe that god/creator has just always existed, then why not the universe also? Why must other universes be made up of other elements but not god/creator? You’re a physicist right? Isn’t there some element (dark matter) that possibly exists and makes up for most space? What if this is the key to our origins? What if this matter is in fact what could be described as god? I’m sure any answer that will be found will only just present more questions no doubt!

      You’re right in your last paragraph. I suppose it’s not what we set out to achieve (if anything at all), but rather the stimulating and thought provoking process that having such discussions entail. I have always considered myself open-minded and thus would never be hostile. I think people only ever resort to hostilities and ad hominem attacks because they are close minded and can not accept opinions or perspectives from their own. Cognitive dissonance resonates within people differently I guess. I’m glad to have this respectful discussion with you πŸ™‚

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      • To the point of religion and technology I was merely pointing out that the connection we both agree exists between its advancement and people growing distant harms religion as much of it requires community to support itself. The point being people grow more distant and so secularism can easily strengthened due to that disconnect. Of course I’m not suggesting that it is the only thing people come together for however I hope my point is made.

        I am a physicists, well that is what my degree is in so have some experience in this stuff. It is estimated that around 70% of the universe is made up of dark energy (I’m not sure what the latest estimates are however but that’s not the point) which we basically know nothing about and are more or less are at a loss as to explaining it. What we do know is that matter we can see behaves in a very specific manner and is very rigid in that it is very prone to breaking down into its simplest forms unless external forces encourage it and and it cannot just be created, it is merely interchangeable with energy. Any universe that may have existed to in anyway form our own universe must therefore logically have been made up of the same stuff to create our own universe and must have abided the same laws that our did even if the constants were different. Any perception that may be had of a universe is one that contains stuff, that is by and large the definition of a universe. God for want of a better way of putting it is like a big consciousness that has no form at all that just is and has the ability to will things from its consciousness into what we recognise as reality. The basic concept of a God or gods is in my mind the only logical conclusion to the issue of origin of matter. Any universe you wish to conceive still poses the valid question of where did that stuff come from?

        As for how I chose which God/gods whatever to believe in that was a combination of my own personal experiences and the fact that Christianity has always been apart of my life – I cannot escape it. As for God not presenting himself to humanity well my answer to that is that well he has been. There are so many reports of people claiming that God has spoken to them and ok there has been some amount of confusion and contradiction however that is not God’s fault as humans have this habit of interpreting things how they want to interpret them. The thing is that atheists just refuse to acknowledge these encounters and explain them away with psychology etc but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. As for a physical appearance why should God have to wear a neon sign saying “I am God listen to me because I can help you see who you are!”? Why does he have to prove himself to anyone? What give you the right to expect him to reveal himself to you when you refuse to believe when he has shown himself? When God did show himself physically to people they still rejected him anyway (I am of course getting on to Jesus Christ here) so why would anything be any different today?

        A lot of damage has been done by religion bashing any contradiction to its beliefs and believe me I understand why militant atheists chose to believe the way they do and to be so aggressive about it but that just makes them no better than the religious people they claim to be so uneducated and aggressive. What gets theists so annoyed with the Richard Dawkins type people is that they are so determined to remove themselves from religion that they fail to see how religious they are being in their own actions and it is refreshing to have conversation with someone who isn’t like that. Respectful discussion is always the best way to understand others beliefs and understanding people who have similar beliefs. πŸ™‚

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    • grizzlyvamp, this is meant for you AND Terry. I have read and reread your posts with considerable trepidation and awe that you both find a very difficult subject so comparatively easy to tackle and discuss. My old brain cannot possibly get round the empirical nature of your arguments and I am not attempting to do so. Your combined ages are hardly more than my eldest son and I just do not comprehend how you come across as mature philosophers?!

      Just to add a few facts to give my proud support support for Grizzlyvamp’s Christianity. In the USA and in the UK there are a number of associations for Christian scientists with 600 members in the UK and no less than ten times that in the USA. In a list of 100 years of Nobel Prizes Christianity is is the chosen religion of the prize winners of 1) Peace 78.3%, Chemistry 72.5%, Physics 65.3%, Medicine 62%, Economics 54%, and Literature 49.5%. Great Christian scientists through the ages have included Copernicus,Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Boyle.

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      • I don’t know about mature philosophers however I can say from my experience that though philosophy is not formerly taught at school much of what is taught is of a philosophical nature and I have learnt to apply that naturally to life. Perhaps some more modern conventions of thinking have influence?

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      • Why, thank you for your flattering words, David! Like grizzlyvamp, I too received no formal education on such topics. My views; my personality have been shaped by many factors such as: my travels, people I’ve met, conversed with and befriended, family, sex and love, experiences and stories, online research and a good dose of reading along with two of my favourite bands – Enter Shikari and Crass (seriously. Their lyrics are very inspiring, thought provoking and consciousness raising. Their music may not be to everyone’s tastes, but none the less, I’d be happy to provide a link to an apt and related song along with the lyrics should you wish to hear what I mean?) .

        I’m glad to see that scientists come from different religious backgrounds. It proves, I guess, that most scientists can’t possibly have an agenda to undermine religion. Just to note though: some of those scientists you mention were suppressed by their very church! t’was different times though, granted.

        Good night to you too, mate.

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  5. Yes, i think we both made our points regarding technology and religion. I guess we can close the chapter on that discussion as I have certainly exhausted all I wanted to say on that matter anyway!

    Interesting stuff on your second paragraph. I’m no expert in that field so anything I say would probably come off as foolish or ignorant at best. I’m certainly interested in that topic though. Anyway, I would also question where did this consciousness (god) come from as well? Our own consciousness doesn’t just appear; we become self-aware from when we’re born and then is shaped by our own experiences, education, encounters with people, intertwined with friendships and relationships and stories. Could god or the creator also be part of another’s consciousness? Or do you maintain that god/creator has just always existed? This is why I quite liked the theory that god could be a manifestation of one’s ego as opposed to separate omnipotent and omniscient entity.

    Hmm, I wonder if you were born in the middle east, would you instead be a muslim? Or if you were born in Japan, perhaps a buddha? I do think geography has a lot of stake in people’s religion. That is unless, of course, you chose christianity from a later age. If so, then disregard my previous sentences. Although they still apply to anyone that was born into a religion family, I hope you agree; they too cannot escape it and thus been indoctrinated. You hear horrible stories of people going to spend an eternity in hell if they don’t behave and don’t believe in god or jesus – that is just fucking despicable and, I’d argue, a form of psychological abuse inflicted upon an impressionable child.

    And do you believe that god has spoken to them? Or do you think it could be psychological issues at play here? But of course we explain it away as psychological problems. Back then, they didn’t have the scientific or medicinal information that we now have. Many cases can be and are attributed to delusional, audible and visual hallucinations with proof to back it up. Granted, “speaking with god” is purely anecdotal and one can’t exactly refute such claims entirely. But why is it no longer believable? I mean, it’s not just atheists, agnostics or secularists that rubbish away these claims either, but also many religious people don’t take these people seriously. I ask, do you take such claims seriously?

    Surely, an omnipotent deity could just speak to everyone and there, argument for gods existence settled! Hell, if I created civilisation, I would want want to make sure people were still aware of my presence. God was quite active all those years ago, intervening in any old Tom, Dick and Harry’s life. He characteristics now just seem so out of place. If anybody dared defy him, he would, to put it so crudely, be a fucking dick about it. His jealousy, ego and vanity knew no bounds and now…well, other than allegedly having quiet words with questionable individuals, gods presence has dwindled ten fold. Where are the floods and saving of two species now? What about resurrections and other miracles (Magicians or doctors don’t count :P). Sorry for the silly questions, but god just seems inconsistent and gods presence and interference conveniently happened many years ago with only unreliable sources as witness to gods existence and his actions. Hell yeah god should prove himself to us all. Perhaps we would all shut up about his existence then, haha!

    Well, if god got his feelings hurt by being rejected as Jesus, perhaps he should have eradicated us all with a flood again. Ah, you know what, perhaps that was gods boiling point; after the whole debacle ended with Jesus, he thought, “Sod the human race. I’m done with them. Time to go elsewhere to play Populous!” That would certainly explain his lack of interference presently. Apologies for my facetiousness – I do have a tendency to get carried away sometimes (poison doesn’t help πŸ˜‰ ). I don’t man any offense though. Everything or nothing should be mocked (although not rigorously so to intentionally hurt people’s feelings) to paraphrase the South Park creators.

    I do agree, some atheists are no better than those they challenge. All groups have their annoyances I’ve come to find! I’m now off out for the rest of the night. Pleasure discussing with you today and hopefully we can continue tomorrow. I bid you good evening, friend πŸ™‚

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    • We certainly have exhausted the technology and religion aspect as far as I can see. As for consciousness why does it have to have a physical form? It may well be how we experience and understand consciousness but that does not mean it is the only form that consciousness is. No matter how you look at it though I think it is far more likely that consciousness can just exist than physical matter can and at the end of the day it is consciousness which determines reality.

      But why should God speak to everyone in the sort of manner you are speaking of? It would be like you denying my existence because I did not show myself to you, I am of course being a bit silly here with this analogy but I think it illustrates the point I am wanting to put across.

      Of course you don’t take every claim that God has spoken to someone seriously. That is where discernment comes in. From a Christian perspective you always ask – is this in-line with the bible? If the the answer is no then it is generally disregarded immediately. Then you pray on it and see if you find contradiction to it. But most good Christian leaders will tell you to read the bible yourself to see if these things are true yourself. It is generally when someone fervently insists he is speaking on behalf of God that you have someone who is either lying or off their rocker so to speak but there is no hard and fast rule.

      I’m not really one to get into deep theological conversations about the nuances of the old testament and the new testament as I’m not so knowledgeable of the theory behind it all however I am willing to discuss my understand and views with you if you like.

      There is a fine line between humour and ribbing something and out and out just being rude for the sake of being rude often in a crude attempt to cause offence. Too often I see that line deliberately being blurred to suit the perpetrator with an excellent example being Frankie Boyle. I think I’ve covered all the necessary points as we’ve already covered annoying people in groups to death. I hope you have a good evening and I enjoy reading your reply tommorow.

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      • I came back a wee bit earlier than expected so figured I’d reply before heading to bed. I agree with you there. I’d argue that the consciousness is not really a physical form anyway and our bodies serve only as vessels for our consciousness. But god created us in his own image, right? We must have some resemblance to his “being” which would mean he’d have to be somewhat physical in this plane of reality? Speaking of consciousness and reality, during my more misanthropic years, I was also quite solipsistic in my views and I wrote a short song/poem about it. I’d be happy to link you to my blog page that contains the words if you’d like to read it? It’s pretty related to this topic I think.

        Ha! I can only counter that with why should he not show himself? Of course, I’m only alluding to what i would do if i were god – which I’m not. Of course, no one can speak on behalf of god anyway so it’s probably a moot point. Haha, it’s not so silly, but at least we can prove to each other of our existence by just conversing online alone. A powerful being that transcends all life, matter and laws of physics as we know it should easily be able to – should god wish to anyway. But again, he wanted people to know of his existence back in the biblical days so I’m just really baffled as to why not now? I want to be able to walk on water, god damn it! πŸ˜€

        I don’t currently have anything to add in regard to your third paragraph as discerning such claims would probably be down to subjectiveness of those judging – bias too more than likely. For example, I would probably accuse of person of “being off their rocker” whereas some religious individuals may think the opposite.

        Yeah sure, if you don’t mind then please do share your views and understandings of the old testament. I kind of take issue with some christians dismissing the old testament as being allegory as the sins depicted in there was what jesus supposedly died for, no? I’d be pretty pissed off being nailed onto a cross, in excruciating pain because of metaphors. I could very well stand to be corrected there though. Another thing I take issue is with god being all loving and peaceful – another reason the old testament is dismissed I think, for obvious reasons *ahem*, eh David (if you’re reading this).

        I noticed you omitted my third paragraph. Did you not have anything to add or did you overlook it? I’m curious to know what you think about what I posited within that paragraph and if you were a “christian baby” and if so, do you think your parents and geographic location have anything to do with you being a christian?

        Whilst I was walking back home, I was thinking: is it right to attribute a gender to god? I know god is depicted as a male, but surely if god does exist and god is something that transcends us mere humans; an unfathomable and complex conscious entity that transcends physical matter – as you put it, then surely it would be more apt to label god as “it”? ’twas just a tipsy thought I had. I mean we have two sexes (biologically speaking. It’s currently touchy ground within the LGBT community) which perpose serves fro procreational reasons, right? Surely god would have no need for any genitalia thus making god exempt for our definition of male and female. Apologies for my weird train of thoughts! It’s nothing that really matters, I’m sure. Just thought it was interesting as I’ve always been baffled as to why god is always referred to as male. One almost wonders if this backs my theory that “man created god”?

        Good night. Ciao for now.

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        • Apologise again for not responding sooner. Firstly I did see your third paragraph and just forgot to address it. Had I been born else where (despite it being very much a moot point) I’d like to think that though the influence wouldn’t have been as strong I would still end up with the same convictions as I would still be the same person just in a different body. Anything beyond that then I would not consider that person me so even if that were the case I would know no different and cannot objectively know any different now.

          To keep things short loosely what I believe is that the law was to show us what must be done about sin so that we could understand what happened on the cross. Sure an all powerful God can just allow us to know whatever he wants etc etc but he chose to give us free will. No matter how much you may like it or not that limits what God can do because by giving us everything he is removing that free will.

          I agree that God in his purest sense is genderless which comes from being nothing more than existence itself. However God represented himself as Male because that was considered the authoritative figure – I believe he chose it so that our ancestors could grasp who he was in terms of authority and thus he has established himself as a he and indeed came down as a male however I believe that entity for want of a better word is still at the heart genderless, both male and female combined if that makes sense.

          Sorry if I have missed anything but I have other things on my mind I’m afraid.

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          • You’re right in that I suppose it is a moot point. But I can’t help but to take the majority of a countries religious population and feel that many are part of the majoritiy becuase of geographic location with a good dose of indoctrination from parents, schools and state. The numbers seem to imply so at least. However, I suppose we can never know for certain.

            Didn’t satan play a part in giving us free will though? Doesn’t seem that much of a bad guy if you ask me πŸ˜‰ certainly no more bad or evil than god. If stories of talking snakes are true anyway (which to me is completely absurb and I think even a lot of christians now use that story as allegory one. still, it was from that that sins were created, no?). I like that it’s rerally a story of obedience vs disobedience; fascism vs anarchism perhaps haha.

            I figured you would say something like that. Seems like a sexist approach from god πŸ˜› In that case, he can hardly be held as a bastion of equality which, if he were real, I would oppose him greatly. If he has all these great powers, sure, I’d lose, but it’s my principles, y’know. Which then leads me to question: I have exposed myself as his enemy (and by extension, although not intentional I assure you, an enemy of christians), why not order my death? He did in biblical times, yes? Would you agree that if he does exist, he just doesn’t care for his playthings anymore?

            No worries if you don’t/can’t answer things. I understand as I have things on my mind too. Whatever it is that is troubling you, I hope you can overcome. Just remember, you can overcome anything yourself, because it’s YOU that has the power to do so, without a god πŸ˜‰

            Ciao for now, mate πŸ™‚

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            • I cannot refute your first point however I do think that there are stories which go against the grain gives a different picture to the one you are trying to paint. But as it is a moot point as we have both acknowledged it isn’t helpful to go further with this line.

              Satan did not play a part in giving us free will, he merely encouraged us to disobey God which is by no stretch of the imagination the same thing. I will agree that the creation story is largely allegory however I do largely believe the crux of the story of the creation of the universe and the fall of man. I believe that God created the universe in 7 distinct periods, that a man lived in the garden of Eden and from that man God created a woman and early on during the 7th period (as we are technically still in that 7th period) that woman was tempted by Satan in some form to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge affecting the evolutionary tract of mankind and our understanding. Whether or not the garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge were literal or another allegory story told to primitives so that they could grasp the concept is not the point and frankly is moot anyway.

              My argument is that God chose to represent himself in a form of authoritativeness and like it or not at the time that was recognised to be males as especially back then the males were the ones who hunted, fought to protect their land etc and so were seen as the authority figures. That’s not sexist, that is merely representing yourself in a way these primitives could understand. I don’t really like the use of the word primitive here however it suits for the purposes of our discussion. Also I would point out that I’m pretty sure in the Bible the only point that God refers to himself as a male is when he calls himself our father and is really more referring to the concept of the parent who provides for the family and he just allows his children to attribute the concept of being Male to him. Ok you then have the complication of Jesus and stuff but I think I have made my logic known which is really what this comes down to.

              Thanks, as you know I fundamentally take issue with what you said however as I am battling with some of this stuff I understand what your saying and where it comes from. Ciao for now. πŸ™‚

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              • So yes, apologies for missing this. I’ve wasted so much time and energy with David, conversing with you will be a nice welcome break πŸ™‚ Anyway…

                God didn’t want Adam to disobey, yet with encouragement from Satan, he chose too, yes? Of course, Satan didn’t give man or women free will per se, but before the temptation of the apple, Adam and Eve could only live in accordance to god’s will (I guess they wouldn’t have had their own), and it was the encourage (from a snake no less) that led them to, I guess, break away from god’s will and they themselves acquiring their own will, their own choice to obey or disobey. I hope this makes sense? So I’d say satan was quite pivotal in giving us humans our free will – which I wouldn’t consider evil nor malicious. Buuuut, I don’t believe any of the story anyway πŸ˜› The day a snake talks to me about obedience will be the day I suspect someone would have drugged me with LSD.

                Everything else you mentioned is not something I want to challenge you on as it is central to your faith; who am I to tell you that it is all wrong. Sure, for me personally, it all seems way too fantastical, albeit a fascinating story though! One thing I will say though, shouldn’t all christains take the story as literal? After all, it contains the original sin which is what jesus died for and knew that it was what he was going to die for. So for him, it was very a very real event that occurred, no? Otherwise he just died because of some stories about sins that he himself created? (it all gets very confusing for me just how convoluted it all gets, haha!)

                Ah, I was just being flippant when I said god was being sexist. I suppose, given the times then, it would make sense yes. But why father and not simply just “our parent”? And surely the mother provides more, initially anyway. I mean, biologically speaking the mother sure does! If anything, it goes to show just how back in the biblical days just how much women were disrespected . A benevolent god surely would have stepped him and give the men a slap for being such pigs! Which leads me to another question: do you believe our morality stems from the bible (and other religious texts for that matter) or something much deeper? Is god someone/something we can really hold up as the bastion of good morals?

                Glad to hear you take issue with what I say πŸ˜› That is, I’m glad that no matter our differences of opinions and views, we can still be friendly and respectful about it all πŸ™‚ Unlike some…

                Hopefully, I shan’t take long to reply next time. Just give us a nudge again if so!

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                • The important thing to remember about the bible is for a very long time numerous scholars and other such experts on the texts have taken some of the bible to be allegory rather than literal. Some allegory because as humans we cannot wrap our primitive (a very relative term here, I use it much in the way that Star Trek or other type shows use the term) minds around or so that our ancestors could grasp the basic concepts it was trying to put across.

                  You have an interesting take on the fall of mankind story. What the bible tells us is that God left the option to choose to disobey him and we were always capable of such an act however Satan took matters into his own hands and encouraged our disobedience. I don’t pretend to understand or know how all that works but I can wait – I have an eternity to find out. As for challenging my believes – go ahead. If I say in absolute terms that those who don’t believe are wrong then you absolutely have the right to say the same about my own believes as otherwise I would be a hypocrite. It is more about the way in which you say that I’m wrong that matters rather than you saying I’m wrong if you know what I mean.

                  Certainly females provide for their babies but traditionally it was the males who would protect the females and the children from trouble because they were the most adapt at doing so. Even today even though the lines on this have blurred a lot and it is not so simple it is still a general rule of thumb that the male form will tend to be stronger than the female because biologically the male is built to hunt and defend whilst the female is built to bear children. That isn’t sexist that is just a biological fact. Sure women are equally intelligent and are able to do many things that men can if they put their minds to it. Personally I do not have an issue with women who are career driven however I do take issue when that career comes at the expense of the child. Someone needs to take on the traditional mother role and in my view that should be one of the parents as much as possible whether it is the mother or the father who does so. Having a child is a sacrifice – you have to take responsibility for them and look after them. However I begin to digress, really this is more a comment on social responsibility and about rights and responsibilities being warped by modern society to suit its selfish desires rather than what is best for society. It is still something relevant and interesting in my opinion.

                  As for how God can be a bastion of good morals – well I don’t have an answer for that I’m afraid. I think if I did I certainly wouldn’t be living where I am as I would be stinking rich and able to afford a much better place. Anyway, different opinions and views are what makes us different and without them life would just be boring. It is enjoyable to have a friendly debate without having to endure needless attacks. πŸ™‚ Until next time my friend.

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                  • Would you say that encouraging disobedience is a bad thing though? Presently speaking, if one expects obedience from people, they are referred to as dictators or tyrants. As I quipped the other day, the story of the first sin could very well be a story of fascism vs anarchism. Yeah I getcha: challenge but don’t be rude. That’s fair enough mate πŸ™‚

                    I get you that yes, biologically speaking, men have more muscle mass and thus are naturally stronger in most cases. But I think back then, and even now in some places, women had no choice to but to stick to their patriarchy role. I’d imagine most career driven women aren’t likely to get impregnated anyway, but I agree with you that a newborn child will always need at least a mother or a father. Far too often you hear stories of uncaring and neglectful parents; the world is overpopulated as it is nd too many people procreat for the wrong reasons and far too young I think. Haha, well, this is the off-topic digression blog, so I guess anything goes!

                    Ah, I only asked as he is supposedly all peaceful and loving and benevolent and whatnot. And I see many christians hold the bible up (the word of god) to be an example of how one should live their life. But then I I guess we’ll just be coming back round to the whole “cherry-picking” argument; selective perceptions and what verses to take as literal or allegorical. That’s why I think we get our morals elsewhere.

                    Indeed. I’ve always thought the same! πŸ™‚

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                    • Terry, as you appear to be far more on ebfblogger’s wavelength than I could ever be could you be good enough to provide me with an answer on the subject of my comments on the Burqa blog??

                      Whereas on several of her other blogs I have often upset her with my comments, those I have tried to get posted on the above blog have merely been informative and totally pertinent. Yet,even after a number of requests my comments still do not appear and she has not given me any explanation whatsoever.

                      I can only assume that a decision has been taken to stifle me and refuse to post ANY of my comments.

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                    • I would answer your question by starting off by asking you a question of a similar vein myself. Do you think/believe that dictatorship is out and out a bad thing? In terms of getting things done and avoiding the red tape and lengthy debates that come with democracy dictatorship is undeniable more efficient than that of a democracy. The issue with dictatorships is that humans are greedy, selfish and will do unpleasant things to stay in power resulting in discrimination and oppression. Should a perfect entity that has never sinned and knows what the absolute best way to live the fullest, most fulfilling life exist why should that entity not have ultimate authority? It is what we call a theocracy at church where clergy present the will of God to their congregation. As we have already discussed discernment, which of course should apply to the clergy to ensure they are not false clergy, I shall leave that aspect there. I hope that I have answered your question well enough in this.

                      Many of the laws from the Old Testament which I have seen to be labelled in some way negatively by modern society generally have a logic to them – such as the abstinence of meat from pork for the reasons already discussed yet some have chosen to take these laws rigidly rather than in the circumstances of the time. As for homosexuality since there doesn’t seem to be a single bit of consensus among scholars regarding the issue of what the original texts actually say it doesn’t seem fair to comment on this. As for slavery as I have already pointed out these passages have to be viewed through the contextual lens of when the original texts were written – regardless of modern viewpoint.

                      I agree that women have been forced into the patriarchy role to some degree by some over history however by biologically being the child carriers that automatically creates certain responsibilities for that child regardless of the involvement of the father which can give the appearance of the patriarchal role we are discussing. Now where the father is fully on board with the baby and prepared to be the father, he automatically takes equal responsibility with the mother and how they delegate that responsibility is between the parents and in an ideal world this would be the only scenario. Where, for whatever reason the father is unfit to be a parent and the mother chooses to cut him out of the child’s life or just refuses to take on responsibility (either partially or in full) then it is my belief the mother should sacrifice her own career to look after said child. Adoption should only be an absolute last resort as I truly believe that it is better for the parents to raise their child than to be raised by someone else, for the sake of this argument we shall take the meaning of parents to be the biological,entities whose genetic material was used to create the baby. Please be clear I’m not advocating 24/7 parenting or even that every woman should be a mother however you need to do a case by case review in which both parents are involved, and you do need a break every once in a while but the majority of the burden lies with the biological parents in my opinion.

                      This leads nicely into the minefield that is sex and sexuality. I was debating bringing this up but as I feel it follows on from my last point and that we should be able to have such open and frank discussions about this former taboo I feel it appropriate to bring this sensitive issue up. I won’t touch on gender and gender identity to simplify things and will make most of the traditional assumptions regarding gender to simplify what I want to put forward. Really what I want to get at is this culture of casual sex and thinking that this is ok. Even just thinking about the physical consequences – chance of either getting pregnant or getting an STI should be enough to put people off. But once you factor in the emotional and spiritual (whether you believe in the spiritual or not is irrelevant) impact you are harming not just yourself and your partner but potentially those closest to you as well. This is why I take issue with the if it isn’t “harming” anyone else its fine attitude that has become prevalent in society. I wish I could say out right that it is wrong but to do so would be hypocritical and I shall leave that one there for what are probably obvious reasons.

                      As to how you chose the literal passages from the allegory ones I think it is generally obvious which ones are to be taken literally and which ones are to be taken allegorically however those where it isn’t so obvious I don’t think it really matters and why can’t they be a combination of allegory and literal? I realise how weak the argument sounds but its one that I can’t quite get away from though bias could well have something to do with it. Before I go getting accused of claiming something I haven’t, I just want to restate that I have never claimed to be a perfect Christian or that I have it all together, we all know who I am predominantly talking to here.

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  6. Terry and grizzlyvamp, on the day that Magna Carta is celebrated at Runnymede I have been much moved and even concerned by your latest posts. Moved that you stir thoughts that I have considered deeply at various times in my life and concerned that often they conflict with my life as a Christian but,I can assure you both, an extremely flawed one.

    From time to time I have had a strong feeling that the world would be much better off if there had been no religion so that the divisiveness of atheism and agnosticism would not feature in one’s life and that Humanism would be the “way,the truth and the life” for all humankind. I realise,of course,that even putting this in print on here is probably sacrilegious.

    At the very least, Magna Carta,though annulled by Pope Innocent iii only weeks after it had been signed was an attempt to curb the power of a rogue king but it did not do anything to separate religion from the government of the land. I also wonder if even after all the fuss and bother concerning the production? of a Human Rights Act which most people would accept if this would ever be possible. Even the supreme 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights has been changed in 1981 by Islamic nations(here I go again,I admit) which objected to Article 18 which allowed people to change from one religion to another and merely allowed nations to HAVE a religion-big deal!!

    Of course, I am stating the bleeding obvious when I say that if there had been no religion-particularly Christianity and Islam- there would have been nothing there for wicked people to seize upon to use to go to war in the name of one religion or another or commit disgusting acts of genocide(Turkey and the Armenians and the Holocaust). Religion per se has been the cause of killing thousands of some of the greatest figures in history: St.Peter, Joan of Arc,Bhai Sati Das a Sikh(killed in 1695 because he would not convert to Islam), Sir Thomas More(now a saint),the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and in modern times Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X all come to mind.

    Anyway, I am incredibly glad that I will never have a say about producing a fair,balanced and lasting human rights act. For one thing I am not balanced enough! I fear that ANY such act will swiftly be attacked by all manner of people,lawyers,priests of divers faiths, individual members of the public,politicians,philosophers,academics and Uncle Tom Cobley and all!

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    • We all have inner turmoil conflicts with our conscious, David. It’s all part of being human; growing, developing and maturing. There are so many things to absorb in one’s life – including a lot of contradictions! – that no one can possibly claim to be a perfect being who knows the ultimate “truth”. For me though, belonging to no religion and having no “faith” means I can actively try and seek out my own truth and keep my mind perpetually open on my journey.

      Would the world be a better place without any religion? I’ve pondered this many times myself as well as got involved in many a discussion on this topic. Unfortunately, as grizzlyvamp said in another post, religion has been entrenched in humanity around the dawn of civilisation and thus we have no comparisons, constantly making such a discussion a moot point. As John Lennon sang (before being murdered by a pissed off christian), “imagine no religion” – that’s all we can do.

      Not sure what you’re getting at in your last paragraph there, David. As ebf said, we have a human rights act, although mr. prime sinister seems to want to abolish that in the UK so…

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      • Terry, I have already alerted grizzlyvamp to what I sincerely believe is one of the greatest comments on human rights I have ever read.May I ask you to read it and give me your comments which I have come to respect and welcome as few others.The Upside-Downside World of University Human Rights,an Open Letter to the UK National Union of Students by Denis MacEoin.
        http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5939/university-human-rights

        By the way,as you might expect,I voted Tory, however not because I like any of the “major” political parties but because the very thought of having the wrong Milliband in charge made my blood run cold and Cameron at least comes across as human IMHO.

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        • I’m always faced with reluctancy everytime you link to that website (despite a few of us mentioning upteenth times that it is a biased and islamaphobic. one can’t help but wonder if this site is the source of all your views?), but I gave it a glance over anyway.

          I have no idera who the national union of students are (and seeing as the data on my dongle ran out so I have to use the internet from the library, I don’t have the time, currently, to look these things up I’m sorry to say), but I can only assume that they are mainly young people who like to protest the conflict beween Isreal and Palestine and in Gaza (what terrible people for wanting to stop unecessary death and destruction) which for whatever reason has pissed off this author.

          *skims past* *glances over* yadda yadda yadda. You know what? I get the feeling that this is a pro-zionist rant. Surprise surprise. I have no answers to the terrible conflict going on over there, but both sides need to stop. As I said before: retaliating begets retaliation and this conflict is a prime example of that. If people are protesting this unjustly war, then I very much doubt they are doing it becuase they disregard rights; nobody deserves their rights nor wellbeing and livliehoods because of horrid wars and I imagine that is what the students are probably prtoesting. Like everything, I stand to be corrcted though.

          Ah, so you are one of the many people in the UK that are helping to make those of us who struggle to get by even more so now? Thanks for that. I shan’t be in the UK for much longer anyway (hopefully come september I will have saved a little money from my part-time job) as I will set off to travel for an indefinite amount of time. It’s my poor mother I feel for who despite working two jobs, can barley afford food. Still don’;t have carpets in our home either! It’s a sad ironic state of affairs that workling people can barely afford to eat. I’m ok with dumpster diving on my travels, but not when I am a working man! Seriously, sod the UK. I had never been so pissed off about politics before than when David Cameron was voted to be in charge of our livlihoods again. it’s ok though, at least wealthy people are ok.

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          • Terry, I am unashamedly a big fan of the Gatestone Institute,its views and articles almost always by eminent scholars I find very balanced,fair and well researched.Generally they are neither left wing nor right wing just accurate and very knowledgeable.

            As far as my being one of the many people in the UK helping to make your life more of a struggle, if we had had a Labour Government now we would swiftly revert to the same state of affairs as Greece and you and many others would probably be sleeping rough and your beloved mother be permanently a customer at
            food banks! Surely,you being an intelligent man would not have voted for Millyband?! If I am still in the land of the living by then I do hope that you will entertain and instruct us as much as possible between now and September as you have so very much to contribute to EBF despite your hopelessly benign view of the NUS whose view on Israel is akin to the Nazi’s view of the entire Jewish race!!

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            • Yes, so I see mate. They don’t seem fair and balanced (isn’t there a notorious news network that uses that tagline but many people beg to differ. Such a coincidence that you would say that when refering to Gatestone Institute haha), to me and I would argue that they swiung very right on the political spectrum.

              Of course I didn’t vote for labour. There are more than three parties that exist in the UK you know. I don’t vote for personalities or popularity, but rather policies. Politics in ther UK has just turned into a fucking soap drama these days.

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              • I agree, especially with what you say about politics in the UK. It has become far too much about who rather than what and it is what keeps Labour and Conservatives in power as the 2 largest parties – that and our unfair and very broken electoral system that favours the Tories in particular. End of the day we as the general public have to start to become more engaged at all levels of politics again – not just at general elections but in the whole democratic process. Politics is for life not just elections to amend a well known phrase.

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                • Grizzlyvamp,However, I reckon that the fact that UKIP had very close to four million votes but only one MP would not be a concern to you and Terry?

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                  • As much as I loath the fact under Proportional Representation UKIP would have been a major player in this government (assuming of course UKIP would have gained as many votes as they did as no doubt some of those votes would have been tactical it would still be fairer than what we have) even if the thought of such a government makes me shudder. However I cannot deny that it would have been good news for the left as the fractious vote wouldn’t have been as costly to the left as it was. So the short answer is yes it is a concern to me but the long answer is much more accurate David.

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                  • I agrede with grizzlyvamp with what he said; as much as I too loathe UKIP (perhaps more so than the tories), it was certainly unfair that out of all the votes they only gained one seat. FPTP voting is really undemocratic in my opinion and we desperately need a change in the voting system, even if thast means UKIP becoming a major player – I would only hope that the UK populace wopuld eventually see sense and realise they are not the change we need; a change for sure, but in the wrong and regressive direction.

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                    • I do see the merit in FPTP but only with 2 party politics, as soon as a third element forms however it starts to get unfair. However whilst you have pure 2 party politics FPTP it provides a more stable form of government which is required to get anything done. Take a look at America (largely a 2 party state) they can barely agree within their own parties let alone get anything done though I’ll admit that’s not so much to do with their electoral system but I think the point is made.

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          • The National Union of Students or NUS for short is the umbrella student union service which encompasses each university’s student union and works in the same fashion as any other union. The union acts in many ways like the government within the student bubble but of course is separate from the government and doesn’t have that much influence of government policy especially now the Tories are solely in power. I came to the same conclusions as you did when reading the (IMO) drivel. Apologise for not responding to your reply yesterday, I was feeling off – I shall get round to it when I have done other things I need to do.

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            • grizzlyvamp the FACT that in October 2014 the NUS refused to criticise ISIS because it would be seen to be “Islamophobic” tells the world what sort of body it is!!

              I do hope your mention of “drivel” was not aimed at the article because I would be bound to abandon the good impression of you that I have? The NUS IMO is the refuge of the great unwashed-body,soul and mind.

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              • http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/nus-motion-to-condemn-isis-fails-amidst-claims-of-islamophobia-9796193.html
                http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/10/15/the-nus-votes-to-reject-c_n_5987930.html

                Having done some quick background surrounding the vote my understanding of the veto vote came from a place of feeling such a call would be too divisive too call. It is unfortunate that Islamophobia was brought into the argument but my understanding was that it was felt that Muslims on the fringe could become more disillusioned by such a motion aiding ISIS’ cause rather than harm it. I admit that it was perhaps a bit short sighted but that is how democracy works. I believe the motion should have been passed but amendments debated and agreed to instead but what can you do?

                Yes my mention of drivel was directed at the article as I found it to be unconstructive, aiming to achieve one thing and be damned to any view opposing its own. The way it criticises the NUS it may as well be criticising university culture entirely – yes drinking is one of the areas that deserves criticism however it’s open acceptance of anyone and allowance for people to discover themselves is something that needs to be encouraged more for a healthy, peaceful society. If you have issue with the choice then fine but you are taking issue with the democratic process. Frankly your opinion of the NUS has destroyed my respect for you as clearly you only respect democracy if it shares your world view otherwise you would not make such remarks.

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                • grizzlyvamp,well from your reply I must also admit to a total loss of respect for you on this subject.Democracy mentioned in the same breath as the NUS is an oxymoron! You obviously do not realise the level of condemnation of the NUS there has been generally by the less biased and far more intelligent students and the 67% of dissatisfied votes it received in a recent poll. I believe totally that the eminent Denis McEoin’s article is far more valuable and accurate than any comment from you.

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                  • grizzlyvamp,this post of mine is provided for both you and Terry. I have not mentioned on EBF before that I am not a well man and I could “go” almost any time now so THIS post will be my final attempt to show you both EXACTLY why my loathing of Islam is SO easy to understand and far transcends that for all other religions combined.

                    The well respected MUSLIM BORN and RAISED woman Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut has today posted an article which makes my criticsms of Islam look supremely benign!”The Most Inexcusable Crime in Islam” I urge you both to read it.www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5966/crime-muslim-world If you are not persuaded by a born and raised Muslim then I despair!

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                  • Frankly David I don’t care how much criticism the NUS has come under – I am not saying that the NUS is perfect and it doesn’t really matter to the case I am trying to make anyway. I may well be biased however I am far less biased than you are David since you consistantly show you have a very clear and aggressive agenda that does not help the situation in any way and I hope that I have shown myself to be open-minded to opposing views to my own in a variety of topics. Again with the far more intelligent people, again frankly I couldn’t careless. As I have said before I am sure that the likes of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry etc could tear shreds into just about every point I have made if they so wished, the irrelevance of this point shows just goes to show how desperate you are to discredit me and therefore my views on Islam and the world to strengthen your own view. Also again you make a sweeping statement without providing any evidence to back your claim up.

                    To say that democracy and the NUS mentioned in the same breath is an oxymoron is like saying that democracy and the UK government is an oxymoron except the latter is actually more accurate. The general election this year goes somewhat way to proving my point, the Tories gained just 37% of the votes yet gained over 50% of the seats available the vast majority of which lie in southern territory – a complete joke if you ask me. It is a complete mockery of democracy so anyway you look at it your argument doesn’t work. Now unless I am very much mistaken the NUS leadership body is like any other union – elected by the elected representatives of each of the member student unions and any motions put forward have to be passed by the majority vote of those same representatives, to be implemented into policy, which excuse me sounds an awful lot like democracy to me.

                    To go any further would be to discuss student politics and the nuances of the democratic process of the body itself and individual university unions which in this case is irrelevant and does not add to the discussion. I am sure the NUS could do with some reforms but so can the UK government and quite frankly my concern is with the UK government and the broken electoral system, fix that then perhaps it would be prudent to look at the NUS and unions in general and see how they can be reformed to be fairer, more representative and integrated into relevant policy making (such as workers rights amendments etc). Its again about choosing your battles and I hope you can agree that our government is far more important to look at than unions especially when the unions have been losing power over recent years.

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          • Terry, I realise that it may be a few days before you read this but there is one point in your reply to me that begs a comment. Students protesting against the “war” between Hamas and Israel would be absolutely fine if it were not for the FACT that the vast majority of the NUS students either do not know or understand the reasons for it or just don’t care because they are anti-semites! As Hamas dominates the less violent Fatah body and has always stated that they will continue attacking Israel until that democratic state is completely destroyed are you surprised that Israel keeps fighting back?

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            • Don’t get me wrong David, I dopn’#t care to choose a side so to speak. Anyone that picks up a weapon and intends to use is a murderer in my eyes. Be it the Isrealians, the palestinians, the British military and any other military for that matter are no different from any “civvies” that commit murder. If only they could ALL throw down their arms! What then? Would the leaders or the perpretators of these conflicts take up arms and go into battle themselves? I doubt it.

              I can only speak for myself, but when I protest war, I do so for the wellbeing of EVERYBODY, not just a particular group. It’s completely barbaric and primitive min this day and age to still inflict deaths over bit of land, idealogogies or political/religious differences. The earth belongs to us all. One part of soil does not belong to one group of people. It’s ridiculous.

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              • Terry, one weakness of yours if I may say so is your naivety on certain subjects. In terms of morality there are considerable differences. The Jews of Israel just wish to get on with their lives peaceably,the Muslim extremists of Hamas just want one thing,the extermination not only of the Israeli Jews but of ALL Jews worldwide.They are committed to creating another Holocaust. Israel IMO is one of the bravest and most liberal nations on earth with a respect for all its citizens including all its many muslim arabs. If you lived in Israel under constant rocket attack and having to deal with dozens of tunnels built by Hamas into Israel would you welcome its militants with a cup of tea and a babka(Jewish cake)?

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                • That’s the thing most human beings want David: to get on with their lives. Humanity keeps on focusing on our differences of culture, religion, skin colour, idealogogies etc and keep forgetting we all strive for the same happiness in life; they keep forgetting all our similarities:

                  we all like to laugh and make others laugh; we all love and want to be loved; we all want a shoulder to cry on and happily provide our own shoulders for others to cry on; we all want people to befreind and be a freind to someone; we all struggle in order to try and prosper; we all shit, piss eat and sleep the same. I could go on, but what’s the point. You, BF, ISIS, EDL, Al-Queada, Westboro Baptist Church, KKK and many more of your ilk don’t care because you all lack compassion and keep wanting to fight over differences. Keep up with all your retaliating which’ll only beget more retaliation; keep making the rest of us who don’t want to get on wioth their lives suffer for all your own self0serving interests that will stagnate and continue to divide and segregate us all.

                  I hope you’re happy.

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              • Wrong! The “piece of land” which is Israel was mandated to Israel by a 1947 UN Charter.”Palestine” for want of an accurate word was GIVEN to Palestinians by Israel as a kind gesture rewarded by four Islamic nations attacking Israel in 1967 and getting soundly thrashed!

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                • I’m sure if you were to look at mother earth from space, you could see the arbritary dotted lines and borders and paper work that specifies which bit of land “belongs” to whom :/ All land belongs to earth which is a home for us all. It’s thanks to your and the majority of the worlds silly notion and man made concepts of nationality and borders why fucking conflicts keep happening. As a humanist, these things outright disgust me.

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                  • Terry,is it really necessary that you bring the F word into so many of your posts?? It adds absolutely nothing.

                    Just for your edification and elucidation Israel was originally mandated a very small area of land in what was in biblical times,Judea and Samaria and a bit of modern Jordan and actually had the great decency and humanity to give a sizeable chunk to the Palestinians. Not only that but donated THOUSANDs of greenhouses to Hamas all containing vegetables and fruit.Typically of this terrorist group they merely trashed every one and ruined their contents.Your anti-Israel bias comes through loud and clear.I suppose that according to your vision of a perfect world Jews and Israeli Jews should be still looking for an uninhabited island to occupy big enough to house 13 million of them.

                    By the way I as a Christian those things you speak of disgust me too.

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                    • Yes it is necessary, David. It’s all part of the english vocabulary and I am not going to censor myself in order to appease prudish people. It’s not like I use swear words to insult people, so for me, such words are inoffensive and I use them to emphasize how I feel.

                      I don’t think you’ve grasped much of what I said; it’s because of this primitive biblical times of labelling bits of land and still presently designating areas to belong to a group of specific people (i.e now we have passports), that I think contributes to a lot of wars. I told you before, i do not choose sides in conflicts. Fuck all wars; fight war not wars! As the anarcho-punk band – Crass – shouted down the microphone.

                      Yes, I suppose I am “anti-israel” just as I am anti-palestine, anti-england, anti-spain and, I could go on, so I’ll stop and just say that I am anti-countries/anti-borders. But I am pro-earthling. Hopefully, you’ll now understand me a little instead of assuming that I would want to segregate jewish people. I may have an idealistic (naive) vision of a “perfect” world, and that includes true equality to all and the oh-so-silly-of-me to want everybody to live, work and be happy wherever they so desire without facing discrimination and told they should fuck off back to their own countries. I, for one, consider the WHOLE planet to be my home. I wouldn’t expect to have to hand my passport in just to go into a room of my house. Absurd analogy, I know, but that’s how I view the earth: my home.

                      Alas, I suppose people want to cling on to these archaic notions of having a national identity because, perhaps, people fear the larger scope and want their nationality to become an extension of their personality, so I’m not expecting a massive overhaul of the global system anytime soon. Anything I say is purely wishful thinking, but I can’t see the reason I can’t strive for such an idealistic world for the betterment of humanity and live by such principles.

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  7. ebfblogger if it is so effective then why on earth is there such a fuss about it at this time??

    By the way,I do hope that you had a great time with your old friends.It must have been a welcome break from putting the likes of me to rights!?

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  8. ebfblogger, I am not sure that there is ANY blog that covers this post but I was trawling through some older Gatestone Institute articles by its much celebrated muslim Senior Fellow, Ayemm Jawad Al-Tamimi and came upon this fascinating article. It is about the EDL but it so resembles almost everything about BF that I thought that at least YOU would be interested. I was unsure which blog I should put this in so I put it into this one. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2030englishdefenceleague-genuine-anti-islamist.

    I just hope that I am not wasting your time.

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  9. ebfblogger as you know I am an unashamed reader and fan of many Gatestone Institute articles especially by the extremely intelligent Douglas Murray. I realise that Gatestone-and probably Douglas Murray would not be receiving any invitations from you to a friendly get together but if you loathe bigotry as I do I would urge you to read Murray’s article today ” The Bigotry of Our Time” http://www.gatestoneinstitute/5976/israel bigotry.

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      • ebfblogger,is not your moderating of SO many of my perfectly reasonable,non insulting,factual posts a perfect example of bigotry??

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        • David, I’ve just logged in after spending a few hours in Birmingham to find a host of abusive and insulting comments aimed at other commenters and at myself in the moderation queue. After so many warnings and requests to stop I’ve discussed the situation with the rest of the EBF team and we all agreed to put you on notice.

          Any more abuse and your future comments will just be deleted as a point of policy. This is not because we’re frightened of you, bigoted, stupid or any of the other ‘terms of endearment’ you’ve thrown at us. It’s because your near constant tirades and repetitive, transparent claims to be an expert are neither helpful nor constructive.

          Please treat this as your final warning.

          EBFBlogger

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          • EBFBlogger do please delete any/all posts of mine that you and the team consider unacceptable and I apoologise profusely for them.

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          • ebfblogger, I realise that with a sick child to look after the affairs of EBF must be second until your daughter is better. When you are able to resume EBF business I would most respectfully request that you publish my reply to Terry of June 17 at 10.54 am. I respect Israel’s right to be left in peace amid a sea of enemies intent on harming it or destroying it completely.

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              • This is the off topic digressions though, right? Hey, I’m just curious to know what he replied, as long as it’s not abusive (although abusive comments wouldn’t phase me anyway. ad hominem attacks says a lot about one’s characteristics that I’d love to dissect and get to the bottom of for, well, erm, my own psycho analysis I guess – although I understand you guys will not tolerate abuse and personal attacks, I just wanted to state that I do not care personally) πŸ™‚

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                  • ebfblogger, thank you for your apology but it was unnecessary particularly when you work so hard on behalf of other people whilst balancing EBF duties and domestic ones.

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                    • What do you imagine I do ‘on behalf of other people’ outside of ‘EBF duties & domestic ones’, David? My job isn’t really what I’d describe as ‘on behalf of other people’.

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            • Haha! Moi might be an enemy of certain groups, ideologies, governments and whatnot, although certainly not intentional but as such, it’s unfortunate that the consequence of disagreements means that one will inevitably be an enemy, but I digress, Israel (let’s just go ahead with the conventional way of thinking here and treat a concept as a physical entity) has nothing to worry by having little ‘ol me seeking out to destroy or harm it. Seriously, that’s akin to labelling me as a fucking terrorist, mate!

              That reminds me, you seemed to have ignored or overlooked my post on June 17, 2015 at 10:36 am. It may give you a better idea of the sort of person I am and what my intentions in life would be.You don’t know me, sure, but I can reassure you that I have absolutely no intent on doing anybody any harm over differences of opinions – some bloody hippy I would be, eh?! Would an enemy request to have your post seen?

              I’m probably going to be unavailable for the rest of the day as I got some work helping out as a wedding photographer. One of my lifes simple pleasures is capturing blissful moments of happiness. It may make you chuckle to know that I also find weddings archaic and the idea of marriage to be suppressive (another argument for another day, perhaps), yet I can still enjoy such cultural events without letting my views get in the way (possibly one of my inner conflicts I mentioned before in a post); it simply makes me happy seeing others happy.

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              • Terry,good morning in case you read this before you leave for the wedding.By the way,I do have a name so please use it rather than the dismissive “he”!

                Like you I believe I generally dislike labeling people but I reckon that you are in danger of being considered a nihilist. Surely, objecting to people living in identifiable areas of land is like tilting at windmills and puts you into a number of objectors of this of about 0.000001%of the world’s population.If ever a race deserved a place to live in peace after the horrors of the Holocaust it is the Jews and even now peace is denied them. If you truly believe that seeing others happy makes you happy then you should not object to seeing Jews happy for once particularly when their Arab muslim citizens are treated so fairly and take an important place in Israel’s life.Surely,again, Israel also has a right to defend itself from an enemy-Islamism-which constantly threatens Jews with a second Holocaust?

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                • No idea what you’re referring to in your first paragraph as I see no addressing you as “he” anywhere in my post. Perhaps I’m blind.

                  Nihilistic?! That’s a new label I must say! I thought I had already labelled myself as a humanist several times; I’m beginning to wonder if you actually read my posts or confuse me with somebody else? Again, I have no idea where your assumptions that I’m some anti-semite come from; I haven’t denied anybody anything. In fact the opposite! I’ve made it clear that everybody regardless of religion, skin colour, nationality etc should be entitled to live, work and be happy wherever they so desire without facing discrimination, bigotry, prejudice and a plethora of other shitty flaws that humans have to inherit. Not just jews, but every human being should be able to live in peace, mate.

                  Everything else, I’m just going to disregard. if you seriously cannot grasp anything I am saying, then consider this my last response to you on this matter. I don’t have the patience to keep having to state what I think should be obvious by now.

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      • ebfblogger, I do hope that you might have read Douglas Murray’s,to my mind,excellent article which I believe avoided bigotry entirely. The bias and hatred towards Jews generally and Israel in particular revives the horrors of the Holocaust.

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      • ebfblogger,does the fact that I like Gatestone and believe in it as a source of excellent information on a number of important subjects make me a bigot in your eyes??

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        • Your constant claim that Gatestone is credible makes you seem very gullible. Your consistent double-standard as applied to Islam vs Christianity in which you forgive all from the latter and condemn all from the former is very indicative of partisan bigotry, since you ask.

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          • ebfblogger,there was no “reply” button on your other comment so I will respond to both here. Firstly,I should have not put the word “other” into my comment,I just meant the members of EBF. Secondly,I do not recall any posts of mine where I have done what you describe here.I have always acknowledged the misdemeanors of Christianity. However,the fact that Islam has had a deleterious effect on virtually every nation where it has established itself does not help your remark. I know that you would come back about Christianity’s role in that but it has had a huge effect for good and still does. It is a faith which has spawned an impressive list of charities working internationally.Some of the best known are,World Concern,World Vision,Compassion International,Catholic Relief Services,Missionaries Charity,Caritas,Cross International,and,of course, the Salvation Army.No bigotry there I would contend!

            It is also a fact that there are a few Islamic charities but it is also a fact that unlike Christian charities which operate on behalf of all without discrimination of race or religion Islamic charity is intended for muslims only-See the Religion of Peace.com, The Myth of Non-Discriminating Muslim Charity. I am certainly NOT guilty of partisan bigotry unless you consider that holding a preference for a faith based on love and compassion over one containing so much violence against those who do not follow it is bigotry.

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            • As an ‘expert’ with 15 years of study about Islam behind you, David you either know that there are Muslim charities that help non Muslims (& are intentionally and dishonestly ignoring that fact) or you are not the expert you claim to be.

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              • ebfblogger, my studies on Islam did not include an in depth investigation of its charitable giving,its extremely obvious aversion to charity towards ALL non-muslims rather deflected it. Have you read the Religion of Peace article I pointed you to?? I never deliberately ignore anything you accuse me of even when it is wholly inaccurate and biased or bigoted.

                It is such a pity that you seem unaware of the tenets of Islam or deliberately avoid discussing them.

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                  • My previous posts suggest not but,obviously,if you have evidence of a number do please enlighten me.I will be the first to admit my mistake I assure you. You would also observe that any Zakat which is left AFTER ALL THE NEEDS OF MUSLIMS ARE MET might be passed to non-muslims. As muslim countries are generally in the spotlight of being the poorest in the world I doubt if giving to non-muslims would be tolerated.

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                    • I just want to establish that you understand that we understand that you made the assertion with no knowledge. So please state if that’s the case or not.

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                    • I just want to establish that you understand that we understand that you made the assertion with no knowledge, just speculation. So please state if that’s the case or not.

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  10. ebfblogger, may I most respectfully point you to the subject of Zakat the compulsory religious tax demanded in Islamic law.You can read all about it in Wikipaedia and see the most interesting and often alarming array of recipients.

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      • ebfblogger, you could never accuse me of bigotry when I help you to prove me wrong?! I have taken the time and trouble to help you and to find three UK muslim charities which are prepared to help non-muslims.Al-Mizan Trust,MCF and Muslim Aid.However,their aid is,in deference to the concept of Zikat is after aid given to non-muslims.

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        • And? Isn’t that the same as many Christian groups? And doesn’t this whole issue cast doubt upon the idea of your expertise when even a novice such as me can so easily show how you present speculation as fact?

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  11. It is abundantly clear that you are deliberately avoiding the gruesome subject of Zakat and the equally gruesome recipients. Do,pray,enlighten me and other members of EBF reading our exchange about other forms of charity by Muslims giving examples, as I always do.

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    • First answer my question. This distraction tactic will not work any longer, David. Did you confidently announce that there are no Muslim charities involved in giving to non Muslims without having looked into the subject,

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      • I posted my previous reply before I saw yours of 1.11 pm.

        The fact that there are literally a hundred or more Christian based charities operating all round the world,often in the most dangerous countries on earth including ISIS dominated war zones says volumes for the tenets of Christianity. No requirement for aid to proseletyze or assistance for anyone converting to Christianity or helping soldiers who just maybe are Christians.

        I also find it most inspiring that Israeli Jewish doctors, surgeons and nurses are willing to face danger and discrimination by attending and operating on wounded inhabitants of Gaza both in Gaza and in hospitals in Israel and providing long-term recuperation.

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          • It is.I say with respect,quite extraordinary and puzzling that you cannot fail to bring Islam into every other post on almost any and every subject. It really does call into question that you are a died in the wool muslim apologist. I am extremely well aware of the many good deeds that muslims do without you reminding me all the time. I have muslim acquaintances who do Islam proud and there are a number of splendid muslim MPs like Sajid David who IMO would make an excellent PM, delightful comedians and cartoonists which I mentioned on another blog, high ranking police like Assistant Commissioner Mak Chishty and many others.Why,pray,do you feel the need?

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              • Islamophobia is an oxymoron. If anything it is considered to be an IRRATIONAL fear of Islam. Bearing in mind the constant reports of terrorism from Islamist groups and individuals in so many countries I would say that it is a very reasonable and normal actual fear of Islam. Do tell me ebfblogger of any similar attacks by Christians,Jews,Hindus and Sikhs?

                I still insist that you are a biased and confirmed muslim apologist which colours virtually all your posts and blogs.

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  12. ebfblogger,it is becoming very obvious to me that an air of desperation on your part is very evident from your questions.I have already taken the time and trouble to answer that question.

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      • Ebfblogger,with as much respect which I can possibly muster your attack is hardly adult and does not IMO do you the credit which you usually deserve. I have never claimed to be an expert on Zakat but you are very evidently insisting to gnaw away like a dog(I did not want to say,bitch)after the proverbial bone.

        I cannot help but notice how often you exhibit so great a hatred of ever being wrong or misguided on almost any subject e.g the status of women in Islam and Jihad is not holy war.

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        • It’s reasonable to expect someone who claims to have a vast knowledge of any topic and regularly claims to have studied the topic longer than it would take to obtain a Ph.D to be able to avoid obvious errors. So I’m checking out your responses to easy questions. Your response is very interesting, David. You attack when you might be expected to be able to provide some subtle explanation instead.

          It seems to me that far from 15 years of study you have merely trawled a few islamophobic websites and tepeat the out of context, cherry picked statements you find there. The reason you consider Gatestone to be scholarly is because it’s all you’ve ever really read on the subject.

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          • ebfblgger, at the very least I do not produce fatally flawed blogs which demonstrate very clearly not only your complete ignorance of the subject but a most unpleasant and unwelcome bias which is sublimely easy to spot and pick huge holes in. I should have thought by now that you would have tired of tu quoque arguments.Gatestone demonstrates a scholarliness which puts yours to shame.As far as cherry picking is concerned Islam provides huge opportunities because there are well over 100 verses dealing with the death and destruction of non-muslims.But,of course,since I very much doubt if you have ever bothered even to open an English version of the Qur’an you are not qualified to comment on any aspect of that ideology! I would respectfully suggest that if you feel obliged to be rude about me and dismissive of my knowledge that I am entitled to comment on yours in return?!

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            • I am happy for you to dismiss my understanding if that floats your boat. However I stand by my stated view (remember this whole discussion only began because you directly asked me to comment on my opinion of you).

              I believe that you have demonstrated only a superficial view of Islam which you have taken from the publication of right wing, Islamophobic think tanks. I do not believe that this is the result of 15 years of study on the topic. On the contrary I think that you have claimed a degree of authority you do not merit by pretending to have undertaken such research.

              It is clear to me that you have no knowledge of anything positive about Islam which makes it obvious that you are not a scholar – merely a propagandist. Either that or you are intentionally and dishonestly ignoring the good when you make sweeping statements about the bad.

              I am very happy to stand by this opinion. I am also very happy to acknowledge that you dismiss my understanding of Islam. But…

              Since this blog is really about Britain First and you have attempted to undermine it by falsely claiming to be a scholar of Islam and then spouting anti-Islam propaganda think it’s OK for me to ‘consider the source’ of your assertions and then disregard them.

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  13. ebfblogger, the fact that you needed to repeat the same question at 1.12pm and 1.17 pm merely points to desperation on your part to get me to answer a question which I have already done IMO!

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  14. ebfblogger,it may really disappoint you to know that a number of your blogs,posts and replies to me have only confirmed that your only form of defence is to attack claiming that my knowledge of the subject in question is as ignorant,biased,and plain pathetic as any answer of yours could be. You very obviously believe that ” where ignorance is bliss t’is folly to be wise” and you display this all the time.

    If you knew the slightest thing about Islam,which you so very obviously do not,since you have not even bothered even to open a Qur’an let alone read any of it,your comments are palpably worthless and I must treat them as such. Yes,of course,there are pleasant passages in the Qur’an and Hadith but only directed towards Muslims but NONE about non-muslims who represent about 5.5 billion human beings including women and children.The fact that I cannot say nice things about a vile ideology does not mean that I do not know a very great deal about it. and can quote from its “holy” book and muslim scholars through the ages. The TRUTH about Islam seems to me hardly propoganda which is a word that resonates strongly in so much of what you have to say on EBFIt is hardly viable for you to claim that “I am not a scholar of Islam” when you know sweet FA about it!!

    The very fact that I am careful not to conjoin muslims with Islam is the same as not conjoining Christians with the KKK. It is very much not the fault of so many muslims in the UK that 45% of British mosques are of the ultra-orthodox Deobandi variety which is allied to Wahabbism, the sort practised in Saudi Arabia the home of ultra orthodox Islam and extremism so that they are subject to extremist sermons and support for jihad. It is a huge relief that highly intelligent and unbiased muslims like Sajid David,Mehdi Hasan,Zahdi Jasser,Tarek Fatah,Salim Mansur(Gatestone!)Majid Nawaz(Quilliam Foundation)and Sheikh Usama Hassan have so strongly criticised the Qur’an for espousing violence as they are all considered scholars on Islam.

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  15. Unfortunately for you,these verses are those contained in the ORIGINAL and far less violent Qur’an produced for the inhabitants of Mecca. They did not like Muhammad and expelled him so he went to reside in Medina and it was there that the official and abridged version was produced. Good try but useless!!

    You have also committed the sin of not even reading the verses correctly. They clearly state that the Jews,the Sabians and the Christians must believe in Allah to qualify ! Do.pray drag up some more verses for me to query. Anyway I think that an apology from you is due.

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    • Perhaps this info on the Jihad and regarding the Islamic view of the ‘people of the book’ from the Islamic Supreme Council will satisfy your ‘expert’ opinion, David

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    • Incidentaly – as any exert on Islam would know ‘Allah’ is just the Islamic word for God so the people of the book (Jews, Christians, Muslins and latterly Zoroastrians) are already assumed to believe in God. Didn’t your expert training teach you that, David? Where did you study Islam anyway?

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      • I see very clearly your extremely obvious and cowardly ploy of deliberately not posting my educated replies to your generally loaded questions so that other members of EBF cannot view your embarrassment! Your latest mistake on the People of the Book was truly mind boggling considering that any check on the internet would have prevented you from making such a howler.

        Anyway, I am exceedingly happy to reply to your question about my study of Islam . It all began when I started a tour of duty so to speak as a businessman over a period of four years spent in Saudi Arabia,the UAE, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman meeting and discussing various subjects including Islam where,of course, I had been warned by friends to listen for 80% of the time and never issue a word of criticism. I finally returned to the UK when I was 46,33 years ago. In addition to the above as I was by that time very interested to find out if what I had been told was true I purchased what is generally considered the best English language version of the Qur’an by N.J Dawood to look up what Muhammad preached and what Muslims were commanded to believe and how to conduct their lives.

        In addition I have carefully watched literally dozens of videos of debates featuring opposite views by leading authorities on Islam such as Walid Shoebat(a former PLO militant and now apostate) three famous women apostates, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan, Professors Sam Harris and Bill Warner and a host of muslim scholars in very lively and often heated debates. The misogyny in Islam described by these women is truly shocking. Next has been animated discussions with various members of the Council of EX Muslims of Britain, some scholars of Islam and others who were heavily persecuted in their Islamic countries. Most of these have become atheists but many have become Christians

        To back up the above I have read two internationally acclaimed books and best sellers. by Ibn Warraq a Pakistani apostate writing under the pseudonym of Ibn Warraq(in arabic the name of a paper maker) because a death fatwa was issued on him and he still has security wherever he goes. His books are “Why I am Not a Muslim” and ” Leaving Islam” and are considered standard works. If all this is not sufficient for you ebfblogger I do not know what would be. Practical experience of living and working in Islamic countries backed up by extensive reading of the Qur’an to check what I was told, watching and learning from learned debates and from conversations with apostates is far,far superior to mere book study would you not agree?

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        • The only ‘educated replies’ not posted are those that insult other posters. I’ve even let a few of those pass over the last 24hrs in the interests of fairness.

          Thanks for the info you just posted. It intrigues me though – if you have such an in depth awareness and experience, why do you insist on ignoring the reality here in UK and pretending that UK Muslims don’t integrate and that they don’t speak out against ISIS etc?

          That to my mind displays either a very significant gap in your understanding of domestic Islam or an extremely dishonest approach to these discussions.

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          • ebfblogger, if you had done me the courtesy of reading many of my posts more carefully you could not have failed to notice my frequent tributes to the very many educated,normal, charming, law abiding well integrated muslims constituting the vast majority of the muslim population in the UK.

            Most unfortunately for them and non-muslims the all-powerful media does not appear to be very interested in airing the views of the majority because they are not so interesting and newsworthy as having Anjem Choudary spouting vile messages of Islamic supremacy and disdain for English Law and Judeo-Christian culture and espousing support for terrorism. God alone knows how he has got away with it for so long! Newspapers, Sky News and BBC News report almost daily on actual terrorist atrocities and it seems that no amount of pressure to feature peaceful law abiding muslims is effective. Also the Government is always talking about extremism in the UK which doesn’t help. I do hope that you will return to a number of my posts and see for yourself that I have great sympathy for muslims who have integrated so well but are the victims of some of their ideology who demonstrate violently and whose exhortations to kill all British soldiers.policemen and Jews internationally provides wonderful propoganda for the media and EBL, the BNP and BF.

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              • ebfblogger, however much British muslims are well integrated it is demonstrably different on the Continent, especially in France which has the largest Muslim population of any non-Muslim country. There there are riots, car burning,streets completely taken up by muslim worshipers, banned burqas frequently being worn in public, terrorist attacks(Charlie Hebdo) and on Jews and Jewish supermarkets etc. Sweden since mass entry by muslims has become the world’s second largest rape capital and Belgium, Holland, Spain and Denmark have suffered from Islamist behaviour.

                Unfortunately more muslims seem to be attracted by the supremacy of muslims advanced by Muhammad and a form of “Stealth Jihad” which often turns to violence. What do you believe is the best way of countering this?

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                • Given that the international view of Gatestone is that Birmingham is a no go area I have real difficulty in knowing what’s actually true about Paris. If it is true though I wonder how much France’s unfair application of controls on religious attire etc have contributed.

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                  • ebfblogger the question of outlawing the wearing of the burqa in public which should be perfectly acceptable in a deliberately secular society and government is hardly the reason for ALL the other serious problems that seemingly ordinary muslims are causing so please do come up with a more cogent suggestion than this! I have already pointed out to you one of my posts describing these problems in considerable detail. How do you believe the huge problem of rape by muslim men can be dealt with?

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                    • I have real trouble knowing the truth about France. There is so much propogansa that I know to be false about UK Muslims that I’m extremely wary of reports about other parts of the world.

                      Rape is a criminal offence and should be dealt with in the courts without using it as an excuse to demonise large swathes of the population who are innocent of the crime.

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      • Ebfblogger, I have already pointed out to you that the “People of the Book” constituted Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians,monotheistic religions practiced BEFORE Islam came into being!

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          • ebfblogger, unfortunately there are a huge number of muslims who are either not at all familiar with the Qur’an or deliberately ignore bits of what Muhammad commanded and said in that book and the Hadith.Every time you come up with an idiocy I have shot you down! Actually all non-muslims should be very grateful for their disobedience!

            Another mistake of yours was to point me to the article/pronouncement Jihad: A misunderstood Concept from Islam. The only thing that it proved was how stupid it was/is. Its final sentence is utterly disingenuous. It was so outrageous I nearly did a nose trick with my cup of coffee. It should have read “Islam’s execrable history of adherence to violence and discrimination and the absence of law and justice in any affairs of state”

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          • Ebfblogger as there was no reply button on your previous post I am replying on this one. The problem of rape in these countries is SO serious that it has quite overwhelmed the process of monitoring and processing the law and none of these countries can cope. Your big-no,huge problem is that you treat ALL muslims as innocents or angels which blinds you to the misdeeds of many which actually makes the perception of muslims in general a lot worse. As I have demonstrated very clearly several times on EBF the problem of sex slavery and grooming permitted by the Qur’an has been a huge problem throughout the history of Islam and it is a growing one today. Just brushing the problem under the carpet will just make it worse and will provide more opportunities for BF to make a song and dance about it as they did at Rotherham.

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      • ebfblogger are you not getting exhausted and thoroughly disenchanted with being proved wrong on this and most other subjects?!

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          • Crikey, ebfblogger you have certainly pulled out all the stops on your burqa blog. Now that we seem to have exhausted the subject of this blog I can now turn to your latest one NOT you might be pleased to learn to criticise merely to comment usefully I hope.

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              • That was very perspicacious of you Terry. I never picked that up. The lady ebfblogger might well be taking a break after her bruising encounter with me on the Digressions blog!

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              • It was another shared blog Terry. πŸ™‚ Sorry everyone for not being about so much recently. David’s abusive and circular posts were really starting to get to me and mostly I feel I can’t add more to what ebfblogger and Terry say mostly. Terry, did you miss my last post about faith? The one where I talk about you point over Satan giving us free will and going into my own theological understanding of that period.

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                • grizzlyvamp, I see that you have finally popped your head over the parapet. I always thought that you were made of sterner stuff and could never be concerned about my posts.Twin mostlys are never welcome in the same sentence.Virtually all my “abusive” posts came about because of constant, repetitive and disingenuous comments by ebfblogger.

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                  • We all have our breaking points David, we all can only take so much before something snaps especially since there are other things going on in our lives that might contribute. As for your excuses for your abusive rudeness they are getting more and more tired and your apologise sound hollower and hollower. All that you seem to do is the internet equivalent of stick you fingers in your ears, hollering at our points (yes I’ve said something very similar before but it still holds true), dismissing them simply because they do not match up to yours and go on to project everything you have been doing on us. The only person I have seen being constant, repetitive and disingenuous is you David, it is always you that brings it back to “militant” Islam, Pakistanis or whoever else fits your preconceived idea of what a modern terrorist looks like. The rest of us are then reduced to challenging you because the tune never changes.

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                • Glad you’re back with us grizzlyvamp. It’s been a busy couple of days! Yes it seems that I have missed it. I usually get a notification in my e-mails, well, most of the time anyway! I wonder if David somehow controls the notification e-mails given they are a bit inconsistent πŸ˜‰ I’ll scroll up and see if I can find your comment and will get back to you with a reply. I hope what ever was troubling you you have resolved now πŸ™‚

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                  • Glad to be back Terry. πŸ™‚ Yes unfortunately wordpress does not seem capable of handling a lot of comments on any one post and it does get to be a headache trying to find replies and to reply to them at times. As for what’s been troubling me, I am still working through it and had been struggling with this long before I started to comment on these posts, however I am sure it will not surprise you to hear that some of David’s accusations were less than helpful and why I have abstained from posting much in the past few days. I won’t go any further into it though as it is very personal. Thank you for the concern though πŸ™‚

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  16. David, no reply button so I have to comment here regarding your post me on June 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm with the following paragraph: “Terry, as you appear to be far more on ebfblogger’s wavelength than I could ever be could you be good enough to provide me with an answer on the subject of my comments on the Burqa blog??”

    I haven’t seen your comment on burqa blog so I have no idea what you’re talking about. You do realise that I am just a commenter on this blog like yourself, don’t you? So I’m not sure what you expect me to do. ebfblogger has told you umpteenth times to not post anything abusive, so why not just take heed of her requests? If it were my blog, for sure I wouldn’t censor anything as insults and ad hominem attacks says a lot about ones character and pretty much discredits anything they have to say, and in my opinion, makes them lose any argument. But it’s not my blog thus I have no say whatsoever. It’s her rules and we have to respect that.

    If you do want to insult me or anything, then by all means click my name and comment whereever on my pages if you must. But here on this blog, I also have a request: can you not interrupt mine and grizzlyvamps discussion, please? You’re taking up those precious “replies” with your irrelevancies making it a bit of a ball ache to trudge through all the comments. By all means join our discussions, but only if you want to add something relevant i.e nowt about islam or your posts being censored.

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    • Terry, I have absolutely NO intention of insulting you and grizzlyvamp AND ebfblogger in particular at any time in the future. My comments on the Burqa blog are 100% NON abusive and are purely informed comment based on my knowledge of the origins of the veil in Islam. THAT is why many hours later and many replies from ebfblogger that my posts would be shown NONE have been.

      Most of the conversations on here between you and grizzlyvamp are philosophical which very definitely is not my forte so I have little or nothing to contribute. However,if you are reluctant or unable to assist me or shed any light I will understand.

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      • Well, no intent to insult is fine, but you certainly have inadvertently done so. I personally am not bothered as I stated, but grizzlyvamp has been bothered by your unintentional insults and general aggressive manner.

        Anyway, I’m sure it was a wonderful post, David. However, I still don’t know what you expect to do? I told you, I just a commenter on here as well. I have absolutely no say on post moderations so your pleads to me are wasted. It’s a matter between yourself and the admin. I can only advise that you be more friendly in your posts and learn to lighten up a bit. I fret that won’t happen though.

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            • I have left out the silly first paragraph which added zilch to the post and for which please accept my sincere apology.

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                • The amended comment I posted left out the silly first paragraph claiming that I won our last lot of exchanges by a Technical Knock out.It was a stupid comment as at best we fought(verbally)to a draw and was absolutely crass and ungentlemanly!

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                  • David, post your Burka comment or shut up. Your insincere and patronising apology about a “silly first paragraph” that was never an issue is meaningless and pointless.

                    You have 3 options…

                    1 Submit your burka comment
                    2 Let this issue drop
                    3 Have all future comments deleted unread.

                    Your choice.

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                    • I just cannot understand what on earth you are on about ebfblogger,with the utmost respect. I have submitted two long comments the first one of which I submitted again without the first silly paragraph and two others.ALL are marked Awaiting Moderation!

                      I took a LOT of time and trouble on these and ensured they were informative and entirely pertinent.

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                    • That was a very silly game, David. Two posts just arrived. I have published them both. What was the point of this elaborate charade in which you spend a whole day complaining about me not authorising posts and then post them AFTER wasting my time in moderating your accusations all day?

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  17. Grizzlyvamp, I’m also having to reply to your comment starting a new thread as I can’t reply directly to you post published June 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm (bloody hell, this is so annoying! And David, if you’re reading, please refrain from interrupting us with anything irevelant).

    To address your first paragraph and answer your question: Yes, I personally think that dictatorship is a bad thing and I’ll explain why I think so. Mainly, because it infringes on free will and right to have choices. Someone in such a position of power would be dictating to us what is right and wrong which would mean that they are the authority on morality. As we’ve both agreed, having differing opinions, lifestyles and whatnot, is great and offers us a an enriching world of different personalities that makes life much more exciting. With dictatorship, we wouldn’t have such choices, such diversity; we’d all have to obey and follow only one person’s train of thought regardless whether we agreed or not. Surely happiness is what makes one efficient in life; I’d imagine having one’s choices deprived of them would make them unhappy and thus inefficient. I wonder, was slavery efficient?

    If god created sin or gave us the potential to sin, would that not make him the greatest sinner of all? Especially if he had all this convoluted plan in place so that he would/jesus would die for his/our sins (my head hurts). And remember, his depiction in the old testament was far from perfect (in the eyes of a mere present day mortal anyway). I certainly wouldn’t bow down or obey someone or something that wanted me to sacrifice my own children just for his own ego or vanity! So no, I wouldn’t want such a being to be an authority on how one lives their life.

    Ah, but could a mere human understand the power and will of a god though? Many christians state that god has a plan and can not be fathomed. How can one be sure that the ones who do the discerning are in such a position to be able to do so? Couldn’t people high up this religious hierarchy all “stick together” so to speak? As I mentioned before, people in such power seem to live quite a luxurious life.

    I have an example of a person I think is taking advantage of extremely poor and gullible people using religion which I think is relevant to what I was saying: I visited a place known as The Golden Temple in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. The guy who built it is made out to be benevolent with miraculous powers nonetheless and some sort of reincarnation of their god – you can read more about him here – http://www.narayanipeedam.org/ Of course, as he lives in this extrordinary golden temple (for sure, it’s a beutiful place), against the back drop of an impoverished town, this charlaten has audacity to charge people extrotionate amount of rupees for meeting and greeting him and having him say a little prayer on their behalf! I couldn’t help but admire the architecture of the temple but also be disgusted by the way he is clearly making a shit tonne of money on the back of the gullible religious folks in the area. But, it’s what they find comfort in in, isn’t it? Again, just be sure to question those who discern too lest they take advantage. Another reason that this god should just speak to everyone instead of conveniently those who are in power.

    Ok, I’m now going to jump into your fourth paragraph as I agree with your third one. You may be disappointed to read that I am one of those people who think casual sex is ok. I myself have lived a rather promiscuous life so, nach, I would be ok with it. Understand, though, that i have embraced a polyamorous philosophy on love as it is most apt for my current lifestyle. So far, I have been very careful and fortunate to not have contracted any STDs nor have I gotten anybody pregnant (really not wanting to contribute another life to the already overpopulated world right now). We are one of the only species that can derive pleasure from sex and relationships in general, so i honestly don’t see what the problem is? Do you really think it’s harmful to others if everybody has been consensual? It’s not like nobody isn’t privy to the dangers of intimacy. Anyway, I have written my own blog post last year should you want an elaboration on my views on love and sex – http://terrydesmonddonaldson.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/free-love-man.html

    I’m not sure if it is so obvious to which are literal and allegorical passages . If it were, then why so many christian denominations and interpretations? It’d be convenient if everything in the bible were both literal and allegorical and people wouldn’t end up contradicting one another so much. All the more reason why finding truth in faith/the bible, for me, just leads to confusion rather than enlightenment. I’m sure there’s no such thing as a perfect christian just as the same can be said for any human being mate. It’s pointless striving for perfection when happiness should suffice πŸ™‚

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    • Okay, I am going to respond to you in a slightly strange order but hopefully it should become clear why. So in response to your question about God being the greatest sinner for creating the potential to sin I would say he just can’t win can he? You want a God who gives us free will but makes it impossible for bad things to happen? That is more or less what I hear from you and the many people who have used this argument themselves. By giving us true free will (which is unanimously agreed to be a good thing) the potential to sin is automatically created and nothing can be done about that without the impingement on free will. It doesn’t matter how powerful you are by creating free will you are severely limiting your own power in individual lives. In creating us we were built to live in a specific way to live our lives to the fullest however we were giving the free will to go a different route but that doesn’t mean that the specific way isn’t the best way to live. Since God knows what we were created for and therefore how we can achieve the fullest life perhaps we should listen to him?

      Which brings us neatly into the first point about dictatorship. The thing about authority is either you choose to come under that authority or you don’t there is no in-between. It doesn’t matter if that authority is a democracy or a dictatorship you are still ultimately restricted by those with the authority. So since ultimately it doesn’t matter about how authority is formed essentially the question becomes what is the alternative to authority? Well the alternative is pure anarchy where everyone does as they will – the issue there is that you then have senseless murder, theft and chaos. Result freedom requires some authority to give every life the fair chance it deserves. I think you see where I am going with this so I’ll leave it there.

      You are right no mere human can fully understand the power or will of God, no Christian will deny that, but God shows us what we can understand. The thing is each person discerns for themselves and the will of God for each person is not the same so leaving a church (community) during new leadership isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The thing is that there is very often a consensus in a community as to what God is saying for that community and those who feel they are called to move on will be allowed to do so with the blessing (for want of a better word) of the community. That is the emphasis at my church and a lot of churches I have come to know however I am aware that not all churches are like that but that is not my point.

      That is the thing I am getting at. God does speak to everyone individually that was one of the big reasons for Jesus dying on the cross. The thing is that most people generally ignore God talking to them because either they just simply don’t realise that God is speaking to them and in my experience often just rationalise it away as imagining it or something like that or just don’t want to make the changes required of them if they were to listen to him – even though we are not expected to change everything all at once.

      Not judging in the slightest – I know people from all ranges of the spectrum, that’s not really the issue. I did have a large bit talking about the emotional and spiritual connection about sex and going into how procreation makes monogamous relationships logical but then I realised that you kind of cover that in some of the comments. But largely I agree with what Michal said on your blog and would go as far as to say that whilst you may not feel like you are in a place of monogamy that doesn’t make monogamy unnatural or restrictive. We both agree that murder is wrong and that anyone committing murder should be punished for it yet that is restricting anyone who wants to commit such a crime. The same goes for theft though I do have a fairly socialistic approach to possessions I do subscribe to the concept of if something was given to someone unless stated otherwise it should be returned to the original owner in the same condition it was found in. Ultimately the same applies to relationships and that s how I see things there if you get what I mean. Full freedom is really just an illusion – there is always some sort of restriction of some sort or put another way how can anyone be free if one of their actions is restricting the actions of the other? In having social acceptance of something anyone who does not share that social acceptance is effectively being oppressed. I guess what I am arguing is that God knows where those lines are and so knows what is acceptable to have a truly integrated world where no one need suffer.

      To your point about overpopulation I have seen no real evidence that there genuinely is overpopulation. Many of the issues I see that could possibly be attributed to overpopulation can easily be resolved by even distribution of wealth and helping out those who are in need instead of blaming them for those issues. If once those issue have been dealt with there is still an issue with overcrowding (the most accurate indication of overpopulation) then other measures obviously would be required however those bridges can be crossed when they are come to. Again this is where God comes in and as part of that I believe that in some way the world is designed in equilibrium by which I mean it is designed so that life can be sustained without further intervention – ie true overpopulation is impossible; disease, natural disaster and other such means would stop physical population.

      It doesn’t take much for large differences to be seen. We see it all the time in our universe – the slightest change in one of the universal constants and we’d see a drastically different universe to the one we live in. Ergo the same logic can be applied to the bible and denominations – the few passages which aren’t clear are the ones from which the denominations form. Also there is no account for those who don’t really truly believe and just use the texts for their own selfish purposes to try and justify their actions. Christians believe that Jesus was the perfect example of human and that they should strive for that example. Generally Christians accept that it is impossible for us to achieve this on Earth and that again is where the cross comes in but we should still strive to achieve this and it is a life long journey which goes on beyond the grave. We don’t believe that life ends when we die we are just born into a new reality with God (or without if you chose to reject him in this world) where we carry on the journey that we started here. I hope you get what I’m saying here.

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      • God should be able to win, as he’s…well, a god πŸ˜› A bit presumptuous there as I don’t want a god (if I were to believe that one existed). I’m happy with free will (or rather the illusion of it anyway), despite bad shit always happening. Of course, as a humanist, I try to make less bad things happen. All I was saying was, if indeed we take the creation story as literal, then a “perfect” god surely wouldn’t allow for imperfections and give us any potential to do bad shit; yes, certainly, free will is a great thing which came to fruition thanks to a part played by satan (again, if I were to take this all literally). Did god give us free will though? Because to begin with he wanted nothing but our obedience and struck out when disobeyed thus “sin” happened.

        Hasn’t god interfered with people’s free will anyway? Performed miracles and spoke with people? He has some plan or other so how can we have free will if so? You know, this conversation reminds me of theis superb video which can explain much better than myself (and animated to boot) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BzP1wr234&ab_channel=DarkMatter2525 I implore you to watch it and perhaps some of his other videos as well.

        Well, the in-between would be under coerce and reluctance; a scenario where if one can’t beat the system then might as well join it; athough not a dictatorship, millions in this country just have to deal with the fact living under a government they didn’t vote for. Then anarchy is very much in place; we currently have senseless murder, theft and to some extent, chaos. The biggest gang won survival of the fittest and they are called the Tories. No, true anarchy (not the sort in those films that depict a post-apocalypse dystopian future), is actual peace and order without being governed; a life where no authority is needed as we would be our own authority. Of course, this does hinge on everybody being like-minded which is unfortunately not the case. But still, I like the philosophy of anarchism.

        I’d imagine the consensus of the community will invariably be what is best for that community, yes? I don’t think you need a god to tell you such things. Speaking of god, he hasn’t spoken to me. I wish he would as I would like to have a sit down and a chat with him over a cup of tea. But I guess you gotta have faith in him first, correct? That’s the difference between one who will believe that god is speaking to them and one who will “rubbish” it away as an audial hallucination. This leads back to our previous discussion where we touched upon psychology: Now we know that delusions exist and why they do and we have given them names whereas in biblical times, everything could be attributed to god. Sometimes I wonder if religion is simply a “folie Γ  plusieurs”.

        Oh I agreed with him to. He kinda misread (perhaps my fault as I didn’t exactly clarify, just implied) what I put as I do think love is a very real experience which is why I believe that such emotions and experiences should be shared, whereas being in a monogamous relationships means that one has to suppress feelings they may have for anybody else (lest they cheat of course which happens a lot, unsurprisingly), which will inevitably happen due to us not having control of our brain hormones. Of course, I’m not vehemently against monogamy (I’ve been in many such relationships myself), it’s just not entirely appealing for me. I have too much love to give πŸ˜‰

        Yeah I agree, full freedom and by extension, free will are illusions – are we really in control of our thoughts? Is everything we do causation from a chain of events that stem from the big bang? Thus are we just here for the ride? By the way, god doesn’t need to come into my questions here!

        I dunno man, the trains are certainly way too overcrowded in India, haha! Perhaps you’re right though and the world isn’t necessarily overpopulated, just unfair. Although it does seem to get harder to sustain ourselves and consumption of resources have dramatically increased in recent times. Still, I wouldn’t want to have any children when there are plenty without parents and food etc. But with medical advances, illness and diseases can and have been cured. Many viruses and whatnot are no longer a threat due to vaccinations readily available thus our life spans have been increasing in recent decades and yet humans still breed like rabbits! I honestly don’t have a solution if overpopulation become to much of a threat to our well beings and livelihoods.

        You’re comparing apples with oranges here, mate. The chaotic and random nature of the universe is of course going to be different from any other universe, but when there is only one god (according to your beliefs), one jesus and one bible, it’s mind boggling that there are over 30,000 estimated denominations worldwide! How many interpretations must be there be? How many contradictions of beliefs that warrant so many?

        I was speaking to my friend the other day on the way home from work, and I think it’s true that many christians don’t really “believe”. I for example, know people who claim to be christian but they don’t go to church, pray to god and, well, do unchristian things (BF are a great example I’m sure you’ll agree). They just might label themselves as such perhaps because having been done so by parents, at school and maybe they were christened as a baby too. It would explain why the number of christians are still high, but I’d wager they don’t take such things into account. But I suppose I’m treading onto no true scotsman fallacy territory here.

        I dunno if jesus was perfect. Sure, perhaps a kind and gentle person, but no doubt he had his flaws too. Isn’t he responsible for deaths though? And if he is god reincarnated, then he’d be a far cry from perfect for reasons i’ve already stated.

        It’d be nice if something happens when we die (I suppose you have to believe that I’ll be getting a one way ticket to hell, huh?); our atoms will be returned to the cosmos and then what? One day, I’ll know. or not. But I shan’t fret about that as one thing I do know is that I am currently alive so will strive for happiness whilst being so.

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        • I know God doesn’t have to come into all my replies but since the discussion is around faith he kinda comes up a lot. πŸ˜‰ I get what your saying and my faith has a lot to do with my own experiences as I have previously stated and have issue shaking off those experience no matter how illogical they may seem. Really a lot of this is psychological and therefore gets messy as psychology is rather messy in itself.

          I took a look at the video, rather entertaining and made some pertinent points which I am ill equipped to refute in any way and in fact contains much of the reservations I have about my own faith. I’ll admit I’d quite happily see Hitler and others like him burn in hell for eternity however I am uncomfortable the idea that everyone who has ever lived that gets sent to hell is sent there for eternity.

          Certainly full freedom and free will in the most literal senses don’t exist however I would argue they do exist on some level where as free speech does not exist on any level. Speech is never free – it always has a consequence and therefore always has a cost. Normally the cost is nothing more than a polite response sparking what is know as a conversation but it can elicit other reactions including but not limited to laughing, crying, walking away, and punching them in the face. Far too often I see freedom of speech taken to be free speech which, as I have explained before on Facebook, is simply not the case. Freedom of speech allows you to say what you want with out fear of undue persecution, free speech is speech with no consequence and no consequence. Sorry this was mostly me using this as an excuse to express my thoughts on free speech, freedom of speech, and there distinctions. πŸ™‚

          Trains get overcrowded all the time – it certainly isn’t unique to India, traffic jams are common place at certain hours none of which can be used as evidence for overcrowding. Just evidence of poor planning, over selling (an issue of capitalism, had to get that in there :p) tickets, and everyone trying to get home at the same time. You may have a point but my observation of life is that there’s plenty of resources out there it is just not enough is getting to the poorest because the richest are unwilling to relinquish their wealth to help the poorest and that is the biggest issue – that and the fact that industry is telling us to demand more and more with no consideration to the environment or to limited resources.

          All I can say regarding your comment on your stance on monogamy is thanks for mentally scaring me for life! πŸ˜‰

          The bible says that Jesus was a perfect man. I know its an issue of source reliability and stuff blah blah blah but at the end of the either you believe or you don’t and either way we have to be prepared to deal with the consequences if we are wrong.

          I don’t have to believe anything Terry, just like you. I just choose to believe your going to burn. πŸ˜‰ All joking aside I do seriously believe that anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ will go to hell on the day of judgement. I fundamentally believe that there is more than just this but since we’ve gone there already it seems pointless repeating ourselves.

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          • Haha touche! So i guess that bring us back round to that great little quote then: “The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity.” I suppose, for me, anything that sounds far-fetched and illogical just sets off my skepticism and if I become skeptical and doubt any part of the bible, then I must question the rest.

            Glad you enjoyed the video. Of course I find them entertaining too, but am quite surprised to see that there many christians who enjoy watching them as well (if the youtube comments are anything to go by). I suppose he tackles religion in a reasonable, logical and humourous manner – his animations on the whole Samson affair is especially funny I thought!

            There are certainly despicable people who would be deserving of such unpleasantries, but an eternity of hell is too much I agree. Why even have such a place to begin with? Those who commit acts of atrocities are going to do so anyway (something he himself would be privy to), and no lesson will be learnt. Surely a benevolent god would get to the root course of why some humans behave in such an evil way and everybody has the potential too.Although I assume you will say it’s our free will for which he wouldn’t interfere in πŸ˜›

            Discussing free will can become really deep for which I could spend a considerable time talking about. For now, I try and be brief: I believe free will does exist, yeah, but exists as an illusion. For sure, we make choices in life, but how we come to make such choices we have no control over. You wake up in the morning and say you want a coffee. Why do you want a coffee? You’re tired, perhaps, and you also happen to like it. Why are you tired? Not enough sleep? Why did you struggle to sleep? You with me so far? It gets to a point where the variables of your decisions are completely out of your hands and you find yourself regressing to way back when to a point you can’t remember or simply just didn’t exist to be able to. And if you cannot control your next thought in your consciousness, then where’s the free will?

            Even our personalities didn’t come about by our own choice or will. As I’ve briefly mentioned before somewhere, our very being is shaped by many factors such as those we befriend, our education and teachers, our family, religion, culture, geography etc etc. Despite free will not really existing per se, we can and indeed do enjoy the experience of free will.

            As for your views on free speech, I agree. One thing that has bothered me about people who harp on about their “free speech” being impeded upon, is that they think it automatically means freedom from consequence. Something biffers have a hard time grasping, for sure!

            Mate, here’s a link to many images for visualisation of what I meant about trains being overcrowded in India – http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=overcrowded+trains+in+india&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=BsyJVcmiOcazsQGu-4D4Ag&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1600&bih=799 Seeing trains like that is common place. Makes for an uncomfortable and risky ride, let me tell you. I can’t refute what you say though. I’m not sure resources are plenty though as we are now in a rush to look for alternatives and trying to encourage companies to go renewable, not only for our sustainability, but also for environmental reasons too. Earth’s life will surely decrease faster at our rate of consumption? Of course, those pesky capitalists are certainly a hindrance to everything which don’t help and as you said, it really is a big issue!

            Haha luckily then I don’t believe in a hell. I can see why people would believe jesus on that alone though; that’d be pure psychological abuse if a child were told that and indeed, many children are told that. Now that is mentally scaring I’d say! But what about the poor sods who are hindus? Or buddhas? Or Flying Spaghetti Monsterists? Are they going to be damned to hell because they were brought into their geographic religion? What about the indigenous tribes who are probably animists or something similar? They probably know nothing of christianity and thus nothing of jesus. Why won’t god speak to them? seems unfair to that many innocent people will suffer!

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            • I get what you’re saying – you are naturally sceptical and anything outside your world view you are sceptical of, a natural reaction, the equivalent to a theists reaction to anything opposite to their beliefs. It is a shame that most people react to this by violent opposition to an opposing view which just about every major religion and belief system I am aware of is guilty of.

              I did find the voicing a bit annoying and am angsty of such a depiction for reasons I’m sure will be obvious however I do appreciate the message it is putting out and the humour it is intended with.

              Sure there is an element of free will to what you are saying but God does help those who ask for it. People who get life saving cancer treatment who would otherwise not have been able to use it amongst other things. Of course these can be attributed to natural causes – so can climate change yet the almost general consensus is that human activity has played some role in the effect. point is that it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. I know climate change is a controversial example because there’s so much debate about its existence let alone if and by how much we are contributing to it however I think it illustrates the point well enough. :p

              Knock yourself out, I enjoy deep. I largely agree with what you have said so far and somewhere, possibly on Facebook, once said that whilst belief is a choice it is a choice that is often made based on factors out of our control or something to that effect. In that your parents beliefs, anyone else close to you at a very early age, personality, disposition and many other things factor into what you will eventually come to believe yourself. So perhaps I agree with you more on this than I realise. I don’t really have anything else to add to free speech so will leave it there.

              I’ve seen images of a similar nature before unpleasant of course but merely evidence of the injustice and inequality in this world rather than anything else though. Of course you can’t refute my comments, I’m just awesome like that! :p Careful Terry, too many more comments like that and you may over inflate my rather large ego. πŸ˜‰ lol On a more serious note however to be honest the encouragement to find alternative sources is mostly politically rather than anything else though concerns that the increased use of oil to fuel our energy requirements is concerning but it will not be us who suffer the consequences – no it will be our children or possibly their grandchildren who will suffer the consequences. Of course I’m young enough for by that estimation to be alive albeit rather old but I have a feeling that unless supplies are lower than estimated we will just miss the real crux of the energy crisis which isn’t much comfort as far as I am concerned.

              Just as well. The question you pose is a really tough one however the general consensus amongst Christians is that those who have genuinely not had the opportunity to hear the message of the Gospel will be judge fairly and will be given lenience on their lack of belief and there are some passages I believe that back this up but I can’t think what they are off the top of my head.

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              • Well, my world consists of natural law, law of physics, realism, logic, reason, facts and evidence, and if something can’t be categorised into such things, then yes, it must be questioned by all cartesian doubt. Personal anecdotes and “faith” certainly do not count! If everything told or mentioned were conceivable truths were in fact true, then we’d be living in some fantasy land and last time I checked, there are no fairies and flying unicorns or men in the clouds πŸ˜‰ Yeah, it’s a shame people get violent about these things. We really should have come along way from our barbaric ancestors by now :/

                I have issue with your third paragraph: god doesn’t give lifesaving treatment, doctors and nurses do! Surviving diseases, illness and injuries is a the miraculous work of god, but rather the hard work of compassionate people whose job it is to try and prevent as much suffering within their very limited power. Honestly, it does irk me that a god – whose existence that no one can be absolutely certain of – get the glory for someone surviving, yet those whose existence are very real and contribute to one’s rate of survival are cast aside, forgotten and underappreciated. Unless of course something goes tits up then it’s definitely the fault of humans!
                `

                Does god help those who ask for it though? I mean really? It’s just that I am forever told that god doesn’t interfere with our lives (followed by he has plan for us all) when I ask why he doesn’t help those who could do with it the most. He’s quite selective isn’t he? And very favourable towards wealthy and healthy people. You better inform all those millions of starving and impoverished people that all they need to ask god for help πŸ˜› No, only humans can better people’s lives. And god knows some of us try to make some sort of positive impact.

                I know what god is a very jealous thing, but I’ll ask anyway: and what of those who are aware of christianity but have embraced another god? Perhaps they too were indoctrinated and told that Shiva is the one true god. Or buddha is. Or Zeus is etc. Are people going to be damned for being indoctrinated and embracing another od, or will they be judged fairly for being gullible? It’s nice that he’ll be fair towards those unaware of christianity, but he could preempt having to deal with them later on in life by, oh I dunno, using his omnipresent powers to speak to them. Or, again, does he only speak to certain people who are mostly wealthy?

                I know I skipped a couple of paragraphs, but I feel quite fatigued today. So I just stuck to addressing these points for now. I reckon I’ll be having an early night!

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                • I definitely understand where you’re coming from and I respect that. I do have to admit that believers all tend to have the common factor of some early childhood experience or experiences that affect them so much that it has some effect on their beliefs later in life – even if their later beliefs are unrecognisable to their early beliefs when growing up.

                  I take issue with what you say in your second paragraph in particular. I defy you to explain to me why there are so many Christians in numerous countries of Africa and other parts of the East when there is quite often very good reason not to believe with all of the death and misery and warfare. Most Christians would never dare take away from the work that Doctors and Nurses do and in fact a good number are in those professions and do as good a job as any one else. Christians will attribute that work to be possible through God but that is a separate issue and quite honestly I have neither the energy, inclination or intellectual ability to really go into all of that, especially at the moment. In fact I shall leave that there and leave you to reply tommorow or whenever to the rest of my previous post as well as this one πŸ™‚

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                  • Good day, grizzlyvamp. Apologies for being inactive these past few days. I’ve been quite busy working on an illustration which has taken far too much of my time and is still not finished, haha!

                    Oh, I know that (they are responsible for the many denominations, correct?). it’s just that you said, I quote, “God does help those who ask for it”, which is evidently not the case over there, nor in any over impoverished places that exist that has bee under the influence of christianity. As I said, it seems god favours more wealthy people as us westerners (predominantly christian) are much better off – in terms of wealth, livelihood and wellbeing anyway. Is god racist? Is this why he blesses america? πŸ˜›

                    Still bear in mind, by the way, that I don’t believe a god exists so I can’t possibly blame a non-entity for the sufferings that go on in this world, it’s just that I have to humour you because you do. Starvation, poverty and the plethora of bad things are something that we humans are completely accountable for and it’s on us to tackle it. It’s a shame people waste time and energy praying when help can come in the form of compassionate people – who are very real and exists for sure!

                    Apologies, it seemed like I was generalizing there;I know not all christians attribute the work of medicinal staff to god. But nonetheless, those claims of “god saved you”, “angels have obviously been looking over you” and “we prayed everyday for your well being and he obviously helped us out” and many other similar proclamations – it’s those that irk me. The saving of a ife has nowt to do with a god, even if he did exist! Again, it scientific/biological research, medicine and the medical staff who should be receiving the gratitude; they work around the clock to ensure people suffer less and, hopefully, recover. But if you’re saying that all this is possible through god, so then I ask: does he interfere in our lives then? So we don’t have free-will (or the illusion of it)?

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                    • Don’t worry about it Terry, we all understand, we all have lives outside the blogs. I seriously take issue with your God doesn’t help those who ask for it view. One of the major things you seem to assume is that Christians ask for wealth and they get it – that is not true. Often Christians will gain wealth through the favour of God by remaining in his blessings. I know that it seems all the wealth is in the West and physically you can’t contend that however not all wealth is physical. You seem to negate the fact there are many Easterners who would be perfectly happy with their situation as it is if it wasn’t for all the war torn areas endangering them. Sure the well-being really sucks at times but these people would otherwise be happy – often happier than Western folks I would contend as Westerners seem to always want more for the East seems far more content. But really there’s no point arguing the point as we’re never going to agree on it.

                      With your last paragraph I don’t really have the energy to respond to and not sure I could satisfactorily do so. I see you have yet to respond to the rest of my earlier post as well choosing to focus just on the God bit.

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  18. I didn’t say god gives wealth, I said he seems to favours those who are wealthy (going back to that video I posted using that scene where god supposedly helped the vicar or whoever find his car keys, whereas those who probably pray everyday to live in better conditions are ignored). Not to mention that many American citizens and the president himself seem to believe that god blesses the country and the citizens of that country. But if god favours those who are in his blessings, well, surely many christians in Africa ought to be in his blessings too, no?

    I agree that not all wealth is physical. But I felt it appropriate to talk about financial wealth as we were touching upon the subject of poverty, which is the causation of unfair distribution of wealth; many of whom in Africa are christians who suffer – why do many still live in poverty after no doubt calling for theirs and yours god for help?

    Again, I do agree that despite being into unfortunate circumstances, those who do live an impoverished life are still generally happy; I guess this harks back to our discussion on technology and the dissociation that comes with it. As I wrote down some tongue-in-cheek lyrics the other day – “If your life is oh-so-fan-dabby-dozy, luxurious, comfortable and ever so cozy, then I ask: why do you walk around with the face of a slapped arse?” – a little jab at some westerners in general.

    It does suck indeed, mate. It’s not good enough for me that they could. hypothetically be happier, something needs to be done and only humans can come to a solution. Hopefully. As I contend, god doesn’t do jack (if he does exist).

    I scrolled up to see what I missed, and it seems that I missed your paragraph on alternative resources? I do agree that there are greedy motivations to look for alternative and renewable resources, but it still nonetheless needs to be done and encouraged I believe. Unfortunately, such flaws as greed and corruption is going to be found under every nook and cranny and it does need to be tackled, for sure. But in the meantime, we need to encourage alternative sources, not just for the children of the future but for the environment too. Unless god wants to come in, donning a cape to save the day. Earth is his creation after all and if some twerp was in the process of destroying my art, I would certainly ask him to stop. Failing that, drop kick the bastard πŸ˜‰

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    • Apologise for taking so long to respond to you, I’ve been ill and just having a bit of a hard time. So getting straight to your point I see what you are saying however so many Easterners are content without the vast amounts of wealth that Westerners seem to value above everything else and so I think to an extent it is a moot point. Also as you fundamentally don’t believe there is a God this particular angle of the discussion is fruitless unless you shift your stance as your current stance requires that we disagree ad nauseam because with no or very little belief in any sort of God we have no basis of agreement on which can be worked on. I do understand the atheistic arguments of if God did exist however I cannot fight my own experiences in spite of the obvious contradictions of the Bible and the difficulty in conceiving some of how the God of the Bible can be benevolent and perhaps the concept behind faith has a lot to do with it but what if it turns out that Christianity is right after all? Well its win-win for me. If however you are right and Christianity is wrong what harm have I done? Yes I believe in a non-existent God and may have encouraged others to do like wise however I have not forced them to convert and have openly spoken a socialistic liberal message of treat all people no matter who they are how you would want to be treated yourself and I have still lived life to the fullest here.

      I invited you to go further into your views on free will etc which you seemed to miss. I don’t disagree with what you say and we seem to be agreed on climate change and the energy crisis. However moving back to my original point sparking the energy discussion I was making about wealth distribution and world resources I was saying that the resources of the earth are plentiful enough to sustain mankind if we evenly distributed that wealth even if it is within a degree of work (ie the more you work the higher your share of the wealth) in refuting your assertion over the world being over-crowded. Again sorry for the late reply but I am back now for the foreseeable future. πŸ™‚

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