Thursday, May 01, 2014

Latest Cab off the Rank

My latest book is being published by Australia's biggest publisher of Catholic bibles and materials - Garratt Publishing.  Garratt's people are clearly an ecumenical bunch.

They are producing a series of 13 novellas by different authors for upper primary, lower secondary school kids.  The series looks at faith and tolerance.  It started more as an interfaith exercise but the feedback from teachers was that tolerance issues were more interesting than interfaith ones. Mine is a secular and atheist approach to growing up in Jew Town, East St Kilda.
 

 The Third Space series is designed in response to the Australian Curriculum’s inclusion of the key elements of diversity competence: intercultural and ethical understanding, personal and social capability.   So it is a form of faith training that is far removed from the Divinity yawn fests of my day.  The kids in the stories are from wildly diverse backgrounds.  Most of the authors are young.  I look like I am the eldest by decades.  
My one involves a boy growing up in the Jewish quarter of East St Kilda - Melbourne’s Jew Town.  His dad is an annoying weirdo, his little sister Nell thinks she’s the Queen of the World and their two doggies are lovable but certifiably stupid. His Jewishness is ... well ... complicated. The streets are full of a kaleidoscope of hats which mean different things in Jew Town. And then a girl with a scarf on her head and a cute dog turns up and this brings frightening conflict out.  There are three battle grounds, the school yard, the street and the Town Hall.  Here is a link to me in my corporate tee shirt speaking on the issue. Interview
Part of the story is based upon the real life tale of the anti Islamic association, the Q Society trying to have prohibited a small Muslim Friday prayer meeting in East St Kilda. I was so enraged by this attack on freedom of association at the time that the yarn made its way into the book.  There is no paradox in an atheist defending the rights of religious minorities for atheists are a minorityand beliefs derived from atheism, such as Humanism, promote tolerance and diversity. 
Here is a link to some more propaganda about the book Propaganda
The book ends with three rhetorical questions.  Is a half Jew with a non Jewish mother a Jew given the matrilineal requirements of Judaism?  Is a person who celebrates their secular bar or bat mitzvah actually an adult?  And is a young boy of 14 capable of love?

Over to you...


106 comments:

  1. Congratulations Dick!

    Though I would prefer humanity progress to the point where all religions died, I too see no paradox in atheists defending people's basic human rights - freedom of religion included.

    I have no understanding of the requirements of Judaism, but what does it matter what we call ourselves? I know Dick has referred to himself as an Antheist Jew in the past and why should anyone else question that? I don't have a problem with people identifying themselves with their country of origin either - even if the origin is generations back. I have a connection with my Scottish heritage, but it is two generations back and only accounts for one quarter of my heritage. I don't call myself a Scottish Australian, but if I did, no one would be hurt by it.

    I have no idea what it takes to be an adult. I will celebrate my 49th birthday in December this year - I don't think that automatically qualifies me as anything, other than a 49-year old woman. I still love to ride my bike like a kid, going down hill with my feet off the pedals and screaming "Weeee!" with delight - does that discount me from adulthood? I dunno and I don't really care.

    As a 14-year girl I was capable of love, so I'm sure boys are too. Yes, that love was different to the love I felt later in life, but it was love all the same. Good luck to all who find and experience love, no matter the age, gender, nationality, religion, political persuation of the love - it's no one elses business. Love is to be celebrated, not judged.

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    1. MalcolmS9:11 PM

      To say "I love you" is to judge. It's also an example of discrimination. Both are proper.

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    2. Bravo Malcolm, this week's prize for nitpicking, semantics and hyperbole goes to you. It's just a shame I can't send you a trophy for your pool room.

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    3. MalcolmS10:32 PM

      "Nitpicking"?

      So, am I correct? Just trying to help!

      And I don't possess a pool room.

      Delete
  2. Kate: ... I too see no paradox in atheists defending people's basic human rights - freedom of religion included.

    I think you’re being too kind. I can’t bring myself to do it. Every time I see a Muslim woman in a burqa or hear a Christian quote the Bible it makes my blood boil. The world is not a level playing field. Some of us are vulnerable. And religion is used to exploit that vulnerability. I don’t think we should be soft on it. Instead we should put a hammer to it.

    By the way, I don’t mean to insult, but it is more likely Humanist ideology, and not atheism, that makes you defend religious freedom. Atheism has nothing to defend. It’s a pejorative label given to us by people who are pissed because we won’t play their game. It creates the illusion that we’re a group, but we’re not. Trying to label us makes as much sense as labelling people who don’t collect stamps.

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    1. MalcolmS9:56 AM

      Terry: "Every time I see a Muslim woman in a burqa or hear a Christian quote the Bible it makes my blood boil.... we should put a hammer to it"

      The authoritarian has spoken! For boiling blood I suggest you change your medication.

      I think a woman should be free to wear a burqa, a Christian should be free to quote the bible, I should be free to criticise both and all should be free not to collect stamps.

      What is it with you and violence["hammer"]?

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    2. Malyphus: I think a woman should be free to wear a burqa, a Christian should be free to quote the bible, I should be free to criticise both and all should be free not to collect stamps.

      That works nicely in novels by Ayn Rand. But in the real world things are different. Not all women are in a position to decide what they want to wear. Ideologues like you who think they have all the answers make the decision for them. And not all Christians know any better than to quote the Bible. Ideologues like you make sure when they are children that the Bible is all they will ever know.

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    3. Terry, I agree with you. I too struggle to defend the right to practice freedom of religion when I see religion forcing such moronic standards on women, men and children - be it standards of dress, rules about women not being allowed to drive or be educated, over 200 girls kidnapped from their school, female circumcision and the list goes on.

      However, I'm not convinced that you can (metaphorically or symbolicly) bludgeon people into reason and the understanding/realisation that, in all likehood, there is no god, and that the vileness of religion is oppressive and destrctive - I think they have to find that out for themselves.

      No worries, no insult taken - I can be rather clueless about the correct terminolgy in relation to belief systems and philosophy - but I suspect you're right about the humanist/atheist point. Atheism really does just stop at "the understanding that there is no evidence to support the belief in the existence of god/s" and has nothing to say, nor should it, about other issues.

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    4. RalphH 6/56:01 PM

      “Atheism really does just stop at "the understanding that there is no evidence to support the belief in the existence of god/s" and has nothing to say, nor should it, about other issues.” (Kate4:54 PM)

      That’s not really an “understanding” Kate, it’s a belief. My belief/understanding is that there is no sensual/scientific evidence God (other than the existence of Nature and the written word of revelation) but there is ample rational evidence in the anecdotal incidences of spiritual experiences. Your saying there is “no evidence” implies that there is no evidence other than the sensual/scientific. There is no evidence that this is so. Atheism is therefore a belief and not a matter of rational understanding.

      I disagree that atheism “just stop(s) at” the belief that there is no God. Such a belief colours ones world-view in all areas of life just as the belief in God does. Intrinsic in the belief of God is a belief in eternal life so the God-believer’s world-view is way ‘bigger’ than the atheist world-view. Especially if one believes in an afterlife where the quality of one’s life is dependent on the personal life choices (for good or evil/selfishness or unselfishness) one makes in the here and now, the difference is massive.

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    5. MalcolmS7:36 PM

      Terry: "That works nicely in novels by Ayn Rand"

      Yes, it does, and in the real world too - such as Western countries.

      Only a fool, a thug or a bigot would ban religion - or atheism.

      Atheists banning religion - and killing religionists - certainly failed in the USSR.

      In the same way as the banning of atheism fails in Saudi Arabia and Iran today.

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    6. Kate: ... I'm not convinced that you can (metaphorically or symbolicly) bludgeon people into reason ... I think they have to find that out for themselves.

      I’m not talking about bringing the religious to their senses. You only have to look at Ralph and Mal to see the futility of that. I’m talking about stopping them. It is madness that we allow them to indoctrinate their children and treat their women the way they do. I’m not prepared, for the sake of an ideological principle, to give the bastards licence to do these things.

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    7. MalcolmS7:57 PM

      RalphH: "I disagree that atheism “just stop(s) at” the belief that there is no God"

      That's where it stops irrespective of your "belief," Ralph, which proves nothing more than your capacity for fantasy.

      Atheism is the recognition that theists cannot produce the cognitive goods. No more and no less. Theists are simply modern witch doctors.

      In the same way that I concede that nothing follows from my non stamp collecting.

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    8. MalcolmS8:10 PM

      Terry: "I’m not talking about bringing the religious to their senses. You only have to look at Ralph and Mal to see the futility of that. I’m talking about stopping them. It is madness that we allow them to indoctrinate their children and treat their women the way they do. I’m not prepared, for the sake of an ideological principle, to give the bastards licence to do these things"

      No thug could be more forthcoming than that!

      The claim is simply the confession that he hasn't got the arguments and must resort to force!

      I shall continue to "treat my women" and teach my children in accordance with my values as I always have.

      Try and stop me maggot!

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    9. Malyphus: I shall continue to "treat my women" and teach my children in accordance with my values as I always have.

      I’m not sure what would be worse for a kid. Having to read the Bible all day or having to read Atlas Shrugged.

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    10. Malyphus: Only a fool, a thug or a bigot would ban religion - or atheism.

      Don’t be such a naive toss. I’m not saying ban religion. I’m saying don’t give it free rein to do what it likes. Just as we don’t tolerate Coles abusing its power over suppliers, we shouldn’t tolerate religion abusing its power over the vulnerable.

      If I learned that the only book you’d ever allowed your child to read I wouldn’t hesitate to kick that wrinkly old arse of yours and make you swallow the book. I might be a thug to you, but the kid wouldn’t think so.

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    11. Had you not told me you needed 9 years of Ralph to help you clarify your thinking, Malyphus, I might have assumed you'd be able to work out that Atlas Shrugged is the book I'd make you eat. But you did tell me, and now your density is known, and I must announce my omission.

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    12. MalcolmS9:36 PM

      Terry: "I’m not sure what would be worse for a kid. Having to read the Bible all day or having to read Atlas Shrugged"

      No, just like a deterministic, materialistic, sceptic, you're not sure of much at all! In fact you have nothing but contempt for ideas. It's your kids who deserve pity. In a broad, responsible education kids should read both books[and many more] which will help in avoiding your sort of bogan bigotry.

      On a blog which rightly criticises religion along comes a power lusting thug like you proving that atheists can be just as evil as religionists! What an excellent demonstration!

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    13. MalcolmS9:58 PM

      Terry: "I’m not saying ban religion"

      Then, why say:

      "I’m not talking about bringing the religious to their senses. You only have to look at Ralph and Mal to see the futility of that. I'M TALKING ABOUT STOPPING THEM. It is madness that we allow them to indoctrinate their children and treat their women the way they do. I’m not prepared, for the sake of an ideological principle, to give the bastards licence to do these things"

      You are not prepared to debate the issues. Ideas and "ideological principle" are not for bogans. You want to "STOP[] THEM"! The only way you can do that in the absence of discussion is by force. Thug.

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    14. You see, Malyphus, this what comes from reading only one book and having your thinking clarified by a buffoon. To say that we should stop people from using religion to exploit the vulnerable is not the same as saying ban religion. It's not even a fine distinction, old fart.

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    15. Malyphus: It's your kids who deserve pity. In a broad, responsible education kids should read both books[and many more] which will help in avoiding your sort of bogan bigotry.

      No, they should not be given those books to read. They should be taught how to think. When they can do that they can choose their own books, not the ones you want them to read. Then they can be like my kids, highly-educated, free-thinking individuals making important contributions to society rather than ideological copies of their parents.

      Malyphus: On a blog which rightly criticises religion along comes a power lusting thug like you proving that atheists can be just as evil as religionists!

      That’s a little dramatic, even for you, windbag. What’s the matter? Are you losing your temper? Do you get frustrated when you come up against ideas different from your own? Why don’t you resume your conversation with Ralph, then? Isn’t it your turn to roll the boulder up the hill?

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    16. Terry, "You only have to look at Ralph and Mal..." I try not to!

      You have given me food for thought though. If we have laws that govern other types of information and spurious claims, why not include religion? I'm equally bemused and concerned by the way religion gets a free ride in society and from our politicians - no taxes, they're not legal entities, they take no responsibility for any of the actions of their employees or the bullshit they parade as "truth".

      Why not hold them accountable? Why not put their nonsense through the same rigours as, for example, drug testing, product testing, etc to ensure consumer rights are protected?

      Religions are just another big business selling a bullshit product - they should be held accountable for that product and for the damage that product does to individuals and the broader community.

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    17. Kate: Religions are just another big business selling a bullshit product.

      Right on, sister. They’re selling false hope to desperate people. If commercial enterprises do that their managers go to jail. Why should religions get away with it? Why shouldn’t people like Ralph and Malyphus be able to sue for damages?

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    18. MalcolmS12:56 AM

      "Why shouldn’t people like Ralph and Malyphus be able to sue for damages?"

      Human beings require to think in order to live. In a proper society, constituted to this end, there is the free exchange of ideas, free speech and freedom of expression. That does *not* guarrantee that any body of ideas is true or should be acted upon. That is up to each individual. That is the only way a society progresses, improves and moves forward.

      Now, what specific "damages" did you have in mind Terrythug?

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    19. RalphH 7/059:14 AM

      RalphH: *”I disagree that atheism “just stop(s) at” the belief that there is no God”*

      “That's where it stops irrespective of your "belief," Ralph, which proves nothing more than your capacity for fantasy.” (MalcolmS7:57 PM)

      So you don’t believe/can’t see that your choice to believe that there is no God affects your world-view? How could it not do so? If (hypothetically) in the future you realised that you’d been wrong and chose differently (i.e. to believe in God) do you really think your world-view would remain unaltered?

      I have no greater capacity for fantasy than you have Malcolm. I’m a thinker as you are but my thinking is based on different (yet completely valid) assumptions than you adhere to.

      “Atheism is the recognition that theists cannot produce the cognitive goods. No more and no less. Theists are simply modern witch doctors.”

      That’s absolute rubbish. Many, if not most, of the greatest thinkers the world has known have been theists. There is no causative relationship between witch-doctors and theism. There would be both theistic and atheist witch-doctors. Some witch-doctors were pretty smart cookies with a knowledge of herbal remedies and basic, common-sense psychological wisdom.

      “In the same way that I concede that nothing follows from my non stamp collecting.”

      This is nothing more than a non-sequitur. Deciding to (or not) collect stamps has no effect on your world-view. But believing or not believing in God is fundamental - on the one hand leading to a world-view incorporating design, purpose, order and a future and on the other hand a world that ‘just happened’ ‘out of nothing’ without rime or reason - a world that is snuffed out after a few short years. How pointless for a human mind which is capable of so much more.

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    20. Bravo Ralph, how you continue to repeatedly misunderstand/misrepresent atheis, is truly astonishing. No atheist ever said this utter crap which you keep claiming we believe. Your statement "a world that ‘just happened’ ‘out of nothing’ without rime or reason" is nothing but utter bloody twaddle and projected bullshit on your behalf. Do you deliberately choose to decieve? If so, the only person you are decieving is yourself.

      "How pointless for a human mind which is capable of so much more." Please look in the mirror the next time you utter this drivel.

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    21. RalphH 7/056:40 PM

      “Bravo Ralph, how you continue to repeatedly misunderstand/misrepresent atheis[m], is truly astonishing. No atheist ever said this utter crap which you keep claiming we believe. Your statement "a world that ‘just happened’ ‘out of nothing’ without rime or reason" is nothing but utter bloody twaddle and projected bullshit on your behalf. Do you deliberately choose to decieve? If so, the only person you are decieving is yourself.” (Kate4:42 PM)

      How do I (rather than you) “misunderstand/ and misrepresent” atheism. Atheism is the negation of theism so one can’t really form a comprehendible idea of atheism without having formed a true (at least in the basics) idea of God. If one throws up a crazy idea of God and says, I don’t believe that, I’m an atheist.” all they’ve really done is discredit a crazy idea of God.

      This is what you do all the time because of your misunderstanding and possibly misrepresentation of God. All the crazy things you say about God (formed from a misunderstanding of the style of writing of the OT and your lack of understanding of the development of humanity - the people addressed in OT times were very different from today or even at the time of the incarnation) are things that revolt me as much as they do you.

      God is LOVE (period). The destruction of evil nations in the OT is about the destruction of the evil loves and ideas/principles that they represent in the human mind.

      "How pointless for a human mind which is capable of so much more." Please look in the mirror the next time you utter this drivel.

      You said you’ve been kicking around for almost 50 years (I’ve been around a bit longer than that but am not as long in the tooth as Malcolm). What have we done with our lives? After the initial physical growth spurt to physical maturity hopefully the mind has been growing and developing in the ability to love truth and to will good - building up a character of usefulness to your fellowmen/women. This can continue even as the physical body becomes old and frail.

      Eventually the old bod will cark it but what about all those years of building an indestructible mind/spirit/character within. What a waste if there is no ongoing purpose for that magnificent structure. Despite a few years of physical pleasure as the case may be, as I said previously, “all rather pointless!” in terms of what has been developed. Might as well have been a cow grazing grass.

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    22. Malyphus: In a proper society, constituted to this end, there is the free exchange of ideas, free speech and freedom of expression.

      You need a level playing field for that. And the playing field is not level if only some kids are being taught how to think and the rest are being taught what to think. How do these kids exchange ideas if they can’t form them in the first place? All they can ever do is ‘regurgitate’ what has been fed to them. Reminds me a bit of you.

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    23. Ralph, as you agreed in the previous thread you have no evidence to support your belief that your interpretation of the bible is the correct/true one. Anything else you claim from there on in are just false claims of truth.

      I quote the bible and it's crazy ideas of god - I do not create my own crazy ideas of god simply because there is no need - there's more than enough crazy ideas about god in all the various religious texts (yours included) and with the claims you make.

      You repeatedly misrespresent atheism by suggesting the "something from nothing" bullshit and despite the fact that not one atheist has ever said they believe that bullshit, you keep making the claim that that's what atheists believe.

      "Atheism is the negation of theism so one can’t really form a comprehendible idea of atheism without having formed a true (at least in the basics) idea of God." No it isn't and this is yet another blatent misrepresentatio of atheism. As I have twice already on this thread and repeatedly in the past pointe out to you "atheism is the acceptance that there is no evidence to support a belief in the existence of god/s".

      "You said you’ve been kicking around for almost 50 years (I’ve been around a bit longer than that but am not as long in the tooth as Malcolm). What have we done with our lives? After the initial physical growth spurt to physical maturity hopefully the mind has been growing and developing in the ability to love truth and to will good - building up a character of usefulness to your fellowmen/women. This can continue even as the physical body becomes old and frail." Eh? This has nothing to do with being an atheist or a theist. I'm quite content with my life and my usefullness to others - none of which is related to my atheism, but is a direct result of living and working in a community and the natural desire to be part of and contribute to that community - all free from the nonsense of god.

      "What a waste if there is no ongoing purpose for that magnificent structure." Well if you have a green funeral your "magnificent structure" will be absorbed into the earth and return much needed nutrients in the soil and support the life of micro organisms. It's the best anyone can hope for and my idea of eternal life.

      "Might as well have been a cow grazing grass." Leave the poor cows alone - what have they ever done to you?

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    24. Ralph, for more on eternal life I turn to Carl Sagan...

      "The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
      From the 1980 science series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”

      There is evidence to support Sagan's view - which is more than can be said for the bible's and your phantasmagorical ideas on eternal life.

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    25. MalcolmS10:57 PM

      [Part 1]

      RalphH: "So you don’t believe/can’t see that your choice to believe that there is no God affects your world-view? How could it not do so?"

      Because my choice to believe that there is no God *comes from* my worldview! Don't put the horse before the cart, Ralph, or you'll end up in a real mess. My worldview consists of numerous principles which are derived systematically from observation of the real world. Thus, when people such as yourself come out with fantasies about spooks, miracles, virgin birth and life in the grave I am suitably armed.

      "If (hypothetically) in the future you realised that you’d been wrong and chose differently (i.e. to believe in God) do you really think your world-view would remain unaltered?"

      Of course not! If I asked you the same question wouldn't your answer be the same? I hope so! So, what's your point?

      "I have no greater capacity for fantasy than you have Malcolm"

      I agree. But that's not where my worldview comes from whereas yours does. Fantasy can even be worthwhile, eg, Walt Disney, Enid Blyton, but that does not apply to a worldview.

      "I’m a thinker as you are but my thinking is based on different (yet completely valid) assumptions than you adhere to"

      I disagree. In the proper sense of the word I am the thinker and you are the rationalist. My thinking is *not* based on "assumptions" but, rather, the perceptual evidence of the senses, my only contact with reality. Your "assumptions" are not derived from the senses/reality but from "revelations" from primitive goat herders and witch doctors: *castles in the air* which you then find you cannot relate to the real world. Hence the rationalistic mess you end up in. To be rational requires a correct *method* and you don't have it!

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    26. MalcolmS11:05 PM

      [Part 2]

      RalphH: “That’s absolute rubbish. Many, if not most, of the greatest thinkers the world has known have been theists"

      Many Enlightenment scientists were philosophic *compartmentalisers.* They, in effect, were scientists in their pursuit of thisworldly knowledge and then went to church on Sundays. That contradiction cannot last for ever and explains what eventually happened. The clash of a religious worldview and the philosophy[Aristotelian] of science collapsed into the scepticism/usually atheist modern world. Big bang theory, string theory, multiverse theory, man made global warming, etc are examples of the scientists mutating into witch doctors once more in a frantic grab for taxpayer handouts which Enlightenment scientists did not covet or require.

      "There is no causative relationship between witch-doctors and theism. There would be both theistic and atheist witch-doctors"

      Yes, there are! Rand identified two kinds [as products of the split between man’s soul and body] which she called the 'mystics of spirit'[you] and the 'mystics of muscle'[Terrythug]. See: Galt’s Speech in "For the New Intellectual."

      "Some witch-doctors were pretty smart cookies with a knowledge of herbal remedies and basic, common-sense psychological wisdom"

      Of course. But that is based on observation/sense data and is early science. It's not based on witch doctory.

      “Deciding to (or not) collect stamps has no effect on your world-view"

      Correct, that's what I said. Nor does not believing in centaurs.

      "But believing or not believing in God is fundamental - on the one hand leading to a world-view incorporating design, purpose, order and a future and on the other hand a world that ‘just happened’ ‘out of nothing’ without rime or reason - a world that is snuffed out after a few short years"

      I pity you Ralph! God is not fundamental. She's redundant. We live in a natural, orderly, causal world understandable by human reason. There are no miracles. Everything which exists is necessary and not contingent. The only thing which did not *have* to exist is the man made but once it does exist, then, it exists.

      Existence has no cause. Existence has no explanation. Existence is what makes cause and explanation possible. Existence exists, has always existed and always will. Existence is finite yet eternal.

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    27. MalcolmS6:23 AM

      Terrythug: "You need a level playing field for that. And the playing field is not level if only some kids are being taught how to think and the rest are being taught what to think. How do these kids exchange ideas if they can’t form them in the first place? All they can ever do is ‘regurgitate’ what has been fed to them"

      You are talking about equality/egalitarianism. There is no such thing. Everyone is different. Some people are wealthy and come from good homes. Some are wealthy with dysfunctional kids. Others are poor and battle brilliantly to educate their kids. Others don't give a stuff about their kids.

      It is perfectly obvious that your prattle about "a level playing field" is a cover for envy, for hatred of success, for a desire to bring down the achievers - the hatred of the good for being the good. Yours is not the desire to help the poor, but to destroy the competent. You despise people of ability.

      A level playing field?? How do you achieve that? There is only one way. At the point of a gun! The closest to your ideal would be a state where everyone is equally shabby - Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot - take your pick. Well done Terrythug.

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    28. RalphH 8/146:38 PM

      “You (Terry) are talking about equality/egalitarianism. There is no such thing. Everyone is different. Some people are wealthy and come from good homes. Some are wealthy with dysfunctional kids. Others are poor and battle brilliantly to educate their kids. Others don't give a stuff about their kids.” (MalcolmS6:23 AM)

      Given that you’re an intelligent, educated person Malcolm, you, IMO, have an extremely twisted idea of life. You’re right that all people are not equal as far as physical and mental capabilities are concerned but everyone (gifted and less gifted, richer and poorer) has an equal right to happiness, respect and fulfilment provided they are not disrespecting and destroying the happiness of others.

      Unfortunately our societies/economic systems tend to be modelled on the childish game ‘I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal. Life (a decent, happy life) is not about competition and lauding it over others, it’s about cooperating and sharing.

      We teach our kids to share (maybe solely for the sake of peace in the home) but in the bigger ‘family’ of community, country, the world, go back to thinking and acting like greedy, self-serving punks. The mark of any society is how they treat their weaker and less fortunate members.

      “It is perfectly obvious that your prattle about "a level playing field" is a cover for envy, for hatred of success, for a desire to bring down the achievers - the hatred of the good for being the good. Yours is not the desire to help the poor, but to destroy the competent. You despise people of ability.”

      You seem to have a paranoid fear of and contempt for anyone who (in worldly terms) is not as ‘successful’ as you are. All the poverty, disfunction and debauchery in the world is not self-inflicted by a long shot. They just want to live and let live. Many/most are in that position because of the greed, rapacity, neglect and apathy of those in a better position.

      Remembering ‘all people are not equal’, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48) I commend to you the non-scientific evidence of Oscar Wilde’s story ‘The Selfish Giant’.

      http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/SelGia.shtml

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    29. Malyphus:

      No, old boy, I’m not talking about equality. I’m talking about the ill effects of religion. As I said (in English so you could understand, though a fat lot of good that was), if you teach children what to think instead of how to think then you are abusing them, robbing them of the chance to experience a life of their choosing rather than yours. For these children the free exchange of ideas is not possible because they have no ideas to exchange, and even if they did they wouldn’t know how to exchange them, only how to regurgitate them.

      You and your intellectual sparring partner of nine years are an example of it. There’s no exchange of ideas between you. All you do is repeatedly bludgeon each other with ideological slogans. A circus monkey could be trained to do what you do, though he might not waste his time writing part 1 and 2 posts in reply to a simpleton’s claim that religion is better than atheism because it is ‘bigger’. Malquioxte or Malyphus? Hmm.

      Anyway, to me, who has the pleasure of being able to think freely, it seems clear that religion targets children to recruit bums on seats because children are vulnerable. Cigarette and alcohol companies used to do the same but we put a stop to them. And there’s no reason we shouldn’t stop religion, too

      Delete
    30. "Yours is not the desire to help the poor, but to destroy the competent. You despise people of ability."

      Malcolm, you just jumped the shark.

      Delete
    31. MalcolmS9:04 PM

      RalphH: "Given that you’re an intelligent, educated person Malcolm, you, IMO, have an extremely twisted idea of life"

      Given your worldview, Ralph, you sure have a weird sense of humour :)

      "You’re right that all people are not equal as far as physical and mental capabilities are concerned but everyone (gifted and less gifted, richer and poorer) has an equal right to happiness, respect and fulfilment provided they are not disrespecting and destroying the happiness of others"

      All individuals do *not* have the right to "happiness, respect and fulfilment". They have the right to the *pursuit* of happiness which means they must be politically free to pursue it! Likewise, "respect and fulfilment" are not rights. Both must be *earned.* Your moral code is hopeless.

      "The mark of any society is how they treat their weaker and less fortunate members"

      No, the mark of a *moral* society is whether its citizens are *free.* It is to these countries that the "weaker and less fortunate" migrate as has been the history of the West/'new world' for generations. Capitalism is the solution to poverty - not welfare. Jesus and the socialists got another one wrong :)

      “You seem to have a paranoid fear of and contempt for anyone who (in worldly terms) is not as ‘successful’ as you are"

      No, Ralph, I fear nobody. I prefer to find and admire people I can look up to!

      "All the poverty, disfunction and debauchery in the world is not self-inflicted by a long shot. They just want to live and let live. Many/most are in that position because of the greed, rapacity, neglect and apathy of those in a better position"

      The cause of all the misery in the world is a combination of faith and force. The antidote is reason and freedom.

      Delete
    32. MalcolmS9:11 PM

      Terrythug "Anyway, to me, who has the pleasure of being able to think freely.."

      Well, that's the only true statement in your post! Congratulations, on that at least. I well remember your early posts in which you claimed *mind* was a myth and only brain existed. Glad you learned something if not a lot! Unfortunately, over that period, I've learned nothing from you.

      However, whilst you do have a mind and even if you can "think freely" you are not permitted to *act* on your thoughts in the regulated state. *That* is the point! Get it?

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    33. MalcolmS9:14 PM

      Terrythug: "Cigarette and alcohol companies used to do the same but we put a stop to them"

      Did "we"? Clearly you wander around with your eyes shut! Cigarettes and alcohol are the least of the problems of some kids I see. You feel so smug about prohibition yet it never works. It simply turns law abiding citizens into criminals.

      But the really amusing and interesting point is that both you and the religious are just as authoritarian, united and up each other on this one :)

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    34. MalcolmS9:20 PM

      Kate, you were just eaten by the shark.

      Delete
    35. Nice try Malcolm, but I suspect you don't understand the pop culture reference - like the reference to the pool room.

      Delete
    36. MalcolmS9:52 PM

      Yes, Kate, your suspicion may well be correct.

      Delete
    37. MalcolmS10:23 PM

      Perhaps, Kate, your reference to the metaphorical is an act of solidarity with Ralph LOL

      Delete
    38. The very thought has given me a few new grey hairs! And a good laugh... : )

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    39. Malyphus: You feel so smug about prohibition yet it never works. It simply turns law abiding citizens into criminals.

      Ha, ha, ha. Just how do citizens become criminals if there are no laws to abide?

      Hey! Ralphus is calling. It’s your turn to push the boulder.

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    40. MalcolmS11:33 PM

      Terrythug: "Ha, ha, ha. Just how do citizens become criminals if there are no laws to abide?"

      Ha, ha, ha. My point entirely! Certainly there should be no laws which mandate morality.

      "Hey! Ralphus is calling. It’s your turn to push the boulder"

      The boulder just ran over you dopey. Please learn to scroll ... er... and remain in focus.

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    41. Malyphus: My point entirely! Certainly there should be no laws which mandate morality.

      If you must insist on regurgitating Rand at every turn, at least choose words relevant to the subject at hand. I’m not talking about morality. I’m talking about mental abuse, specifically the habit religious people have of teaching their children what to think rather than how to think (I must have said that three times now). To my mind, this has the same effect on the children as a lobotomy. And I’ve offered up you and your intellectual sparring partner as evidence of it.

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    42. MalcolmS2:50 AM

      Terrythug: ".. at least choose words relevant to the subject at hand. I’m not talking about morality. I’m talking about mental abuse, specifically the habit religious people have of teaching their children what to think rather than how to think (I must have said that three times now)"

      It is you who is off course old suck! You were talking about *forcing* the religious to conform to your view of the world. Return to your original post: "I don’t think we should be soft on it[religion]. Instead we should put a hammer to it" is what you said. There is no evidence that religious people raise their kids any worse than secular "progressive" idiots such as yourself. You both are just as authoritarian. When it comes to thinking you wouldn't know if your arse was on fire. Nor do you have any right to "hammer" anyone - religious or otherwise. Thug.

      I have no wish to "hammer" Ralph. What you call our "rock rolling" is nothing more than a battle of ideas. Something you have not a clue about. So get over yourself.

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    43. RalphH 9/057:06 AM

      “I’m not talking about morality. I’m talking about mental abuse, specifically the habit religious people have of teaching their children what to think rather than how to think (I must have said that three times now). To my mind, this has the same effect on the children as a lobotomy. And I’ve offered up you and your intellectual sparring partner as evidence of it.” (Terry2:01 AM)

      If you said it hundred or even a thousand times Terry it would be just as silly and just as false. There obviously are some people who force feed and indoctrinate their children but it is by no means limited to ‘religious’ people. Children can and are just as easily (and I suggest more often nowadays) fed guff about atheism.

      Aside from a few crackpot fundamentalists and those who abuse religion by using it for personal and selfish ends (and are therefore not really religious but fakers) by far the massively overriding majority of religious people are good, clear thinking and rational people who live and act for the good of the societies they live in (i.e. as their religion teaches them).

      This thread is about tolerance and the interchange of ideas that can lead to tolerance. Your contributions, unfortunately for you, display the sort of intolerance (and the ignorance and prejudice behind it) that Dick and his fellow writers are hopefully trying to dispel.

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    44. RalphH 9/057:57 AM

      “I have no wish to "hammer" Ralph. What you call our "rock rolling" is nothing more than a battle of ideas. Something you have not a clue about. So get over yourself.” (MalcolmS2:50 AM)

      Well, thanks for not wanting to hammer me Malcolm, I assure you the sentiment is quite mutual. I like the concept of “a battle of ideas” but disagree with your suggestion that I am authoritarian.

      Genuine religion (which is about good-will towards our fellowman) is not authoritarian. It’s about freedom. There can only be freedom (the ability to choose unprejudically) when there is knowledge and understanding of both sides of an argument.

      Any religion (or religious principle) that is believed solely from authority is a ‘blind faith’ which is not a genuine, personally chosen faith. Blind means a lack of understanding of the authority and it's value.

      The pronouncements of revelation are no more ‘authoritarian’ than the principles called the ‘Laws of Nature’ are authoritarian. They are statements of facts often including a warning of what will happen if one messes with reality.

      E.g. if one dares to defy gravity, one will end up with a mangled and probably dead body. If one hates others (and acts hatefully towards them) instead of loving them they will take on the character/habit of hate and destroy their ability to love.

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    45. MalcolmS8:02 AM

      RalphH: "Children... are... fed guff about atheism"

      Hmmm... guff??... What ever could he mean??

      Let's see...

      From: InternetSlang.com

      "The definition of GUFF is "Fart" or "Nonsense.""

      It's gotta be FED?!?!

      Sheesh... now I know why my religious parents never taught me about atheism Ralph. Praise the Lord! :)

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    46. MalcolmS8:35 AM

      RalphH: "I.... disagree with your suggestion that I am authoritarian"

      Yes, I thought you would but you are incorrect.

      Accepting "revelation" on faith as your "authority" over observation and reason makes you authoritarian on the face of it. Sorry about that.

      The ‘Laws of Nature’ are derived from sensory observation, experiment, reason and the inductive process. They do not come from faith or ineffable, burning, talking bushes.

      Delete
    47. "Genuine religion (which is about good-will towards our fellowman)" Blimey Ralph and you accuse me of having crazy ideas. Religion is not about that at all - it's about worshiping the diety of your choice. The first 4 of the stupid 10 commandments pertain only to the worship god - very little about being good to anyone - especially the one where keeping slaves is just dandy!

      As for children being "fed guff about atheism" well that comes from disingenious people like you. People who think that they can counter atheism by moronically repeating the idea that atheists believe the "something from nothing" garbage - which we don't. The list of "guff" that comes from theists about atheists is endless but displays ignorance, hatred, fear and betrays their own lack of goodwill towards others.

      "This thread is about tolerance and the interchange of ideas that can lead to tolerance. Your contributions, unfortunately for you, display the sort of intolerance (and the ignorance and prejudice behind it)..." were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that? You intolerance, ignorance and prejudice against gay people is well established - you are in no position to lecture anyone here on tolerance, understanding and acceptance.

      "...clear thinking and rational people who live and act for the good of the societies they live in (i.e. as their religion teaches them)." Anyone who needs religion to teach them that isn't capable of clear thinking and being rational.

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    48. RalphH 10/053:32 PM

      “Accepting "revelation" on faith as your "authority" over observation and reason makes you authoritarian on the face of it. Sorry about that.” (MalcolmS8:35 AM)

      Well I don’t do that Malcolm. God’s “revelation(s)” do not reveal the natural world which is knowable by means of “observation and reason”. Revelation reveals the world of the spirit which is not knowable in that way. So there is no either/or, no conflict. Sorry about that.

      “The ‘Laws of Nature’ are derived from sensory observation, experiment, reason and the inductive process. They do not come from faith or ineffable, burning, talking bushes.”

      Not really derived as much as discovered. The ‘Laws of the Spirit’ cannot be discovered in that way but can be confirmed by means of the analogy/parallel between the natural and the spiritual.

      Footnote: the burning bush didn’t talk, “… the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. ….. So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush ….” (Exodus 3:2,4)

      Do try to get your facts straight.

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    49. RalphH 10/054:39 PM

      “You(r) intolerance, ignorance and prejudice against gay people is well established ……..” (Kate3:48 PM)

      It is - in your mind - but, IMO, there is no justification for that belief. I just don’t believe that the quality of human behaviour is determined solely by people’s feelings or what they want. Many feelings are good and can be confirmed as such by a process of reasoning as to their usefulness to ourselves and others.

      IMO, homosexuality does not fall into that category and yet I do not condemn or discredit people because of it. I believe that in the long term (the eternal perspective), if not sooner, it is destructive of human happiness and should be avoided. Yet I also believe in freedom - a person’s right to discover, deal with, and if possible, right the problem of errant feelings for themselves.

      I can empathise with the problem because I recognise that I, in company with very other person, have my own set of errant feeling problems to deal with in various areas of my life. I do not suggest (as Terry did) that people should be ‘hammered’ into submission or have aspects of their lives forcibly irradiated. That is what I suggest is “intolerance, ignorance and prejudice”.

      Tolerance does not mean agreeing with something that one believes to be wrong and harmful. It does not mean pretending that there is no problem. It means accepting the other person’s prerogative (if there is no outward or obvious harm) to choose their own path.

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    50. Ralph, you have repeatedly claimed that homosexuality is a choice, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary and no evidence to support your own belief. Ignorance in action.

      You once claimed that there is a gay lobby that goes about campaigning "the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK", yet failed to provide any evidence of the existence of this lobby group or their campaign. Discredit, prejudice and malicious lies are all tools in your armoury against gay people.

      You have never provided a single shred of evidence to support your bullshit claims and insinuations about the harm of homosexuality. Intolerance, prejudice and ignorance dressed up as caring - but you're only fooling yourself on that one.

      Of homosexuality you have said that it "is destructive of human happiness and should be avoided" yet have nothing in science, or even in your bible, to back you up. Wilful ignorance and prejudice of the highest order.

      There is a vast amount of evidence in your own words that amply demonstrates your intolerance, ignorance and prejudice against gay people.

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    51. RalphH 13/058:35 AM

      “There is a vast amount of evidence in your own words that amply demonstrates your intolerance, ignorance and prejudice against gay people.” (Kate8:26 PM)

      You have somehow managed to form such a false idea of me Kate. Not one word of that is true. Intolerant people are those who condemn, abuse and attack others - the ‘Fred Phelps’ mentality.

      “…. you have repeatedly claimed that homosexuality is a choice, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary and no evidence to support your own belief. Ignorance in action.”

      What “mountains of evidence”? Can you name just one small piece other than a merely subjective “I feel (a certain attraction/impulse), therefore I am (a different sort of human being from others)”? We could form limitless sub-categories of human beings on that sort of ‘evidence’.

      “You once claimed that there is a gay lobby that goes about campaigning "the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK", yet failed to provide any evidence of the existence of this lobby group or their campaign. Discredit, prejudice and malicious lies are all tools in your armoury against gay people.”

      I have never claimed “a gay lobby that goes about campaigning”, that’s something you have read into my words. People “promote” things by their attitudes, behaviour and acceptance. In Western society nowadays (in schools and mass media), homosexuality is presented as an alternative and equal expression of sexuality. I believe that is untrue.

      “You have never provided a single shred of evidence to support your bullshit claims and insinuations about the harm of homosexuality. Intolerance, prejudice and ignorance dressed up as caring - but you're only fooling yourself on that one.”

      This one’s a bit more difficult because it’s tied in with my belief in a purpose (an objective purpose to life - and in this case sexuality) which I have because of my religious belief. (It could present a problem for someone who chooses to reject God and religion.)

      It’s not some sort of mistake or random happening that male and female exist. All things of creation exist because of a complementary duality - goodness and truth, function and form, male and female etc. The two are designed to go together and complete each other. It’s what makes creation possible (as can be seen from the creation of new lives).

      “Of homosexuality you have said that it "is destructive of human happiness and should be avoided" yet have nothing in science, or even in your bible, to back you up. Wilful ignorance and prejudice of the highest order.”

      It may have been better to say ‘it limits happiness’ because it excludes the full potential and purpose of sexuality which is the conjunction of male and female (see Genesis 1:27,28 and Matthew 19:4-6 for Bible references). It helps not to look at individual cases but at the over-riding principle.

      It’s not ‘external’ happiness, which can temporally be brought on by worldly pleasures, that is at stake, but eternal happiness where the spiritual external depends on and comes forth from the spiritual internal.

      IMO, people who for various reasons have chosen homosexuality can live good and useful lives (even fulfilled to a degree) and break free of the addiction in the afterlife if in the depths of their heart they still desire a complementary relationship.

      My question is, “Why encourage this severely limiting behaviour when in many cases it can be avoided by knowing the truth about sexuality?”

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    52. Ralph, these are your words "Other people’s individual sex lives is none of my business but the sort of sexual attitudes and activity they promote and hold up as perfectly OK is." from the January 23 thread "A Deathly Discussion".

      I have misinterpreted nothing; your words are despicable and amply demonstrate your ignorance, intolerance and prejudice.

      I have previously provided you with links to numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies into homosexuality - all of which you refused to read and now you are either choosing to (conveniently) forget or are lying about the mountain of evidence that has been presented to you on numerous occassions.

      The only reason your stupid views on sexuality present a problem to me is because they founded on bullshit beliefs and your persistent view that homosexuality is wrong. You have not one shred of evidence to support anything you believe and then you use these willfully ignorant and biased views to discredit and judge gay people.

      Hysterically funny to see you relying on the old testament - anytime I quote it you call my quotes crazy, yet it's fine when you quote it's bullshit. Not that I needed it, but thanks for more evidence that, as a christian, you get to pick and choose the bits of the bible that suit your particular strain of bigotry and wackadoodle beliefs.

      "IMO, people who for various reasons have chosen homosexuality can live good and useful lives (even fulfilled to a degree) and break free of the addiction in the afterlife if in the depths of their heart they still desire a complementary relationship." Your comments are despicable and seriously distorted by your limited views on anything even approaching a rational and scientific understanding of human sexuality.

      You talk about choice - your choice to be an ignorant bigot continues and now you've added lying to your list of sins.

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    53. “Why encourage this severely limiting behaviour when in many cases it can be avoided by knowing the truth about sexuality?”

      The only person encouraging anything is you - though you are encouraging abstinence, which is moronic given the over-whelming evidence that a pleasureable sex life is good for us.

      What does "severely limiting behaviour" mean? Severely limiting what?

      "in many cases it can be avoided..." Evidence please.

      "knowing the truth about sexuality" Oh FFS. That you think you have the truth about anything is just plain funny - that you think you anything even approaching the truth about sexuality is ludicrous. Your knowledge of sexuality is retarded and limited.

      My question is "For someone who claims to love and appreciate science, why do you choose ignorance over the sceintific knowledge we have of human sexuality?" Don't bother answering, I already know it's becuase, like other areas of science that don't support your bullshit religious beliefs, you choose to ignore and/or reject science when it doesn't support your interpretation of the bible - an interpretation you have already acknowledged as having zero evidence that it is in fact, the correct interpretation. Bullshit piled on top of bullshit.

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  3. Ralph, "anecdotal incidences of spiritual experiences" is not evidence. "Your saying there is “no evidence” implies that there is no evidence other than the sensual/scientific." Nope, I'm not implying that at all - I'm screaming it from the rooftops - there is no evidence other than scientific evidence - our senses are the only thing we have to confirm the existence of evidence - anything else is interesting, but not even plausible, let alone evidence. That you don't understand what evidence is just goes to show how your wishful thinking about god overrules your ability to think rationally and apply the scientific process to your choice of god.

    As has been said repeatedly, atheism is not a belief any more than not stamp collecting is a hobby. Everything we experience colours our world view; life events, education, observation of events happening to others, politics, socio-economic standing, race, gender and so on. Atheists may share similar world views, but there is no world view that is solely attributible to being an atheist. Atheism is soley the "acceptance (I misquoted/misued 'understanding' previously) that there is no evidence to support a belief in the existence of god/s".

    If "one believes in an afterlife" then one is indulging in a fantasy that might give some comfort (and a bullying wedge from which one can presume to lecture to others from an assumed, but non existent, moral high ground), but it is a belief that is not supported by a single shred of evidence.

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    Replies
    1. MalcolmS8:58 PM

      Dear RalphH [God's messenger],

      Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your posts, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

      I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

      Leviticus 25:44: states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Indonesians, but not New Zealanders. Can you clarify? Why can't I own New Zealanders?

      I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

      I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking but most women take offense and I end up with a fat lip.

      When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

      I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

      A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

      Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

      Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

      I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves? (cotton, of course)

      My nephew has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

      Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

      Your admiring fan,

      MalcolmS

      PS It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a New Zealander.

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    2. RalphH 13/058:02 AM

      “Dear RalphH [God's messenger],

      Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your posts, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.” (MalcolmS8:58 PM)

      Thank you for your entertaining epistle Malcolm. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be “God’s messenger” but I do have an opinion on religious matters, especially Christianity and the Bible (just as you do). IMO, Leviticus 18:22 is the beginning of the debate rather than the end of it.

      The Levitical laws i.e. not the Ten Commandments/Words which are referred to in the NT as *the Law* (as in “the Law and the Prophets” - Matthew 7:12) did apply literally to the Jewish nation at the time they were given but most of them were abrogated or rescinded by Jesus when he restated revelation in a moral format which became necessary as the human race developed from a rebellious, childlike state to a more adult intellectual state.

      It is no longer necessary to stone adulterers and homosexuals because these behaviours can now be rejected (by the individuals afflicted by and addicted to them) as irrational, abuses of the true function of sexuality.

      Note Jesus’ reiteration (from OT Genesis 1:27,28) of this true function (Matthew 19:4-6) and his forgiveness of the adulterous woman (John 8:11) where he showed that adultery is still a sin and needs to be abstained from.

      The Levitical laws still apply as to their spiritual/internal/parabolic meaning i.e as they apply metaphorically to the mind rather than the body.

      Footnote: New Zealanders might make good slaves if you could tame them and teach them how to speak properly. You might also have to respell Anzac as Aac. I’m not in favour of it however because I have quite a few NZ friends and they are a proud and independent bunch.

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    3. MalcolmS4:55 PM

      You disappoint me Ralph.

      I thought God's laws were eternal and universal.

      How come He changes them only in accordance with *your* interpretation :)

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    4. RalphH 15/058:18 AM

      “You disappoint me Ralph.

      I thought God's laws were eternal and universal.

      How come He changes them only in accordance with *your* interpretation :)” (MalcolmS4:55 PM)

      No need to be disappointed Malcolm, “God's laws (are) eternal and universal”. It’s the time-scale of revelation that may make it appear as if they’re not. God only reveals stuff as mankind becomes capable of understanding and has reached a stage of being willing to act in accordance with the information given.

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    5. MalcolmS7:31 PM

      RalphH: "“God's laws (are) eternal and universal”. It’s the time-scale of revelation that may make it appear as if they’re not. God only reveals stuff as mankind becomes capable of understanding and has reached a stage of being willing to act in accordance with the information given"

      Er.. "time-scale of revelation" of eternal law??

      Thanks for the laugh Ralph :)

      Your explanation is garbage. Eating pork is *not* and *was not* an abomination. A benevolent omniscient being giving advice to the Israelites would have said to make sure you cook your pork properly!! Nothing else was required and it would make far more sense to them than the crap you claim.

      Same with Moses and the Mt Sinai "revelations." A benevolent omniscient being would have simply said as an example: "Here is how you make soap. Make sure you use it before eating, after going to the toilet and when giving birth." She would have been much worthier than the alleged One who spewed "commandments" most of which were false - and still are. It would have even made sense back then!

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    6. RalphH 16/058:32 AM

      “Er.. "time-scale of revelation" of eternal law??

      Thanks for the laugh Ralph :)

      Your explanation is garbage. Eating pork is *not* and *was not* an abomination. A benevolent omniscient being giving advice to the Israelites would have said to make sure you cook your pork properly!! Nothing else was required and it would make far more sense to them than the crap you claim.” (MalcolmS7:31 PM)

      I’m sure it had nothing to do with “Trichinella spiralis” Malcolm. I already told you that God does not reveal worldly stuff that can be discovered using reason applied to sensual input. I have no idea if there was a natural reason for not eating pork but it’s really not important.

      What is important is not doing the spiritual thing that eating pork is an analogy for (which still applies today because it is an eternal law/a fact of spiritual reality. The ‘clean’ animals (OK for eating), represent goods and the unclean animals represent evils.

      “Same with Moses and the Mt Sinai "revelations." A benevolent omniscient being would have simply said as an example: "Here is how you make soap. Make sure you use it before eating, after going to the toilet and when giving birth." She would have been much worthier than the alleged One who spewed "commandments" most of which were false - and still are. It would have even made sense back then!”

      Same deal here. Which commandments are you claiming to be “false”? Are you speaking of the supplementary (to the Decalogue) Levitical laws again? I’ve already explained that in an earlier post (RalphH 13/058:02 AM). The Ten Commandments still apply on all levels and always will because they are spiritual laws of reality that directly affect our natural lives.

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    7. MalcolmS9:04 AM

      RalphH: "I have no idea if there was a natural reason for not eating pork but it’s really not important"

      Yes, it is important and pork has always needed to be properly cooked. That's all!

      What is more important is that there is no "spiritual" reason for not eating pork and nor is it an "abomination."

      You seem to forget that these were the dietary laws that the alleged Jesus kept Ralph!

      He wasn't a Christian you know :)

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    8. MalcolmS9:29 AM

      RalphH: "The Ten Commandments still apply on all levels and always will because they are spiritual laws of reality that directly affect our natural lives"

      No, you are quite wrong.

      There is nothing wrong with coveting my neighbour's ox. In fact it may inspire me to get a job and buy one for myself!

      Futhermore, the ethical is the *chosen* and the *rational* and has nothing to do with the "commanded and the obeyed."

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  4. Malyphus:

    You’re all over the shop today, old top. That’s what happens when you try to think for yourself. Better to stick to regurgitating Rand, though for us it’s much more fun when you don’t.

    Tell us how people ‘feed guff about atheism’ to kids when ‘atheism stops at the belief that there’s no god’ and ‘is the recognition theists can’t produce the cognitive goods, no more no less’. And how ‘modern day witch doctors’ suddenly become ‘good, clear thinking and rational people who live and act for the good of the societies they live in’.

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    1. MalcolmS6:08 AM

      "Malyphus: You’re all over the shop today, old top"

      I think you'll find they're Ralph's quotes old bottom! :)

      Isn't it time you took a Bex and had a good lie down?

      After all, you've been taking a bit of a pummeling lately.

      Delete
  5. RalphH 10/053:29 PM

    “From: InternetSlang.com

    "The definition of GUFF is "Fart" or “Nonsense.”"" (MalcolmS8:02 AM)

    Looks as if “InternetSlang.com” is community fed like Wiki. Someone’s having a laugh - dictionary.com gives the etymology as ‘a puff of wind’ - not really the same thing as flatulence.

    I obviously meant nonsense.

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    1. MalcolmS6:14 AM

      RalphH: "I obviously meant nonsense"

      Er.. yes.. you usually do :)

      I obviously meant satire.

      Delete
  6. Malyphus: They’re Ralph’s quotes.

    So they are. It was stupid of me not to realise you couldn’t possibly have written anything that didn’t include a quote lifted from either Rand or Peikoff.

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    1. MalcolmS4:01 AM

      Terrythug: "It was stupid of me..."

      Yes, that's what I just said.

      But have you taken your Bex and had a good lie down :)

      Delete
  7. Malyphus: What you call our "rock rolling" is nothing more than a battle of ideas.

    ‘Battle’ is the perfect word. Battle is what you do when you defend ideas, not explore them. Battle produces winners and losers, not truth. Battle is what lawyers do. When they get evidence that might help their opponent lawyers don’t pass it on. They are not interested in the truth of the case. They only want to win.

    Battle is two men on opposite sides of a building arguing about its appearance. They are not actually interested in the appearance. If they were, they’d walk around the building together and explore all its sides. Instead they are interested only in winning their argument.

    Battle is what explains 9 years of conversation that has produced nothing but bile and insult.

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    1. MalcolmS4:06 AM

      Terrythug: "‘Battle’ is the perfect word"

      Yes, that's what I just said.

      But have you taken your Bex and had a good lie down :)

      Delete
  8. Ralph: ... people who for various reasons have chosen homosexuality can live good and useful lives ...

    You don’t know that they’ve chosen to be gay. The evidence actually points the other way. Sergey Gavrilets found that homosexuality might be caused by the effect of epigenetic markers on hormone levels in the womb. And Michael Bailey found 2 sets of genes may account for at least some of the cause of homosexuality in men.

    Biologists say 10% of humans are gay. Surely they can’t all have chosen to be gay? A better explanation must be heredity. Why would anyone choose to be gay, anyway? Who would want to be considered a freak? And why do most gay people say they didn’t choose to be gay if they didn’t mean it?

    If I were gay, I would be pissed off if you told me I’d chosen it. Not because I think you are wrong (I think you are, but I can’t be sure), but because it is clear that you abhor homosexuality. And for that reason alone you shouldn’t call it a choice. So much for religion making nicer people of us.

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    1. MalcolmS4:56 AM

      "You don’t know that they’ve chosen to be gay. The evidence actually points the other way. Sergey Gavrilets found that homosexuality might be caused by the effect of epigenetic markers on hormone levels in the womb. And Michael Bailey found 2 sets of genes may account for at least some of the cause of homosexuality in men"

      You have not a clue about science! Your "might be caused by" and "may account for" blow your theory out of the water on the face of it. There is no demonstration of causality whatsoever. Such is the problem with being a determinist - *choice* is simply something you or those "scientists" are incapable of dealing with. You can't deal with it using microscopes and physiology!

      Consider the following scenario: you are a young single heterosexual male and enter a room of 10 available single heterosexual females in a social setting. What is your reaction? Are you automatically attracted to them all with equal enthusiasm? Are they all automatically attracted to you? I seriously doubt it! In fact you will most likely be attracted to very few, one or maybe even none! What explains that? Clearly there is far more than just your heterosexuality going on here or you would be attracted to all equally and they would all be attracted to you! That is certainly not the case.

      Now why would homosexuality function any differently? You and the boneheaded "scientists" you quote are not within coo-ee of demonstrating causality here and nor are you.

      Delete
    2. RalphH 15/057:11 AM

      “You don’t know that they’ve chosen to be gay. The evidence actually points the other way. Sergey Gavrilets found that homosexuality might be caused by the effect of epigenetic markers on hormone levels in the womb. And Michael Bailey found 2 sets of genes may account for at least some of the cause of homosexuality in men.” (Terry12:24 AM)

      I beg to differ Terry. dictionary.com defines homosexuality as “sexual desire or behaviour directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex.” A desire/feeling is not necessarily chosen but a behaviour is - as is the identification or stereotyping in accord with a feeling. If there is no choice we do not have a human being, we have a robot.

      Heterosexuality is as much a choice as homosexuality. Choice is a given, it’s not really an issue unless it is denied. The real issue is the quality of the behaviour. Denial of choice is often used as smoke-screen to by-pass the real issue.

      “Biologists say 10% of humans are gay. Surely they can’t all have chosen to be gay? A better explanation must be heredity. Why would anyone choose to be gay, anyway? Who would want to be considered a freak?”

      It’s possible that “10% of humans” experience feelings of ‘sexual desire/feelings directed toward a person/persons of the same sex. So what? That’s where it can stop if the choice is made not to proceed to behaviour. We are not slaves to our feelings unless we choose to be.

      “And why do most gay people say they didn’t choose to be gay if they didn’t mean it?”

      They may not feel as if they did. Same goes for heterosexuals.

      “If I were gay, I would be pissed off if you told me I’d chosen it. Not because I think you are wrong (I think you are, but I can’t be sure), but because it is clear that you abhor homosexuality. And for that reason alone you shouldn’t call it a choice.”

      So you become angry when people disagree with you and attribute prejudice and hatred to them (bad motives) even though there is no suggestion that it is so. Looks a lot like self-justification to me.


      “So much for religion making nicer people of us.”

      When anger takes over, reason flies out the window. Might as well take a swipe at religion as well eh!

      Delete
    3. Ralph:

      All I asked you to do is consider a perspective other than your own. You could be wrong.

      Delete
    4. MalcolmS6:51 PM

      "All I asked you to do is consider a perspective other than your own"

      Why should he? You don't *have* a perspective. All you have is your scepticism, i.e., chronic doubt. That's no more cognitive than a plank of wood. Even the religious can run rings around you :)

      Delete
    5. RalphH 16/056:20 PM

      Off topic but in a good cause: To all those contributors to this blog who like to castigate Christianity for being misogynist and anti-science, please have a look at Googles feature person, Maria Gaetana Agnesi (it’s the 296th anniversary of her birth today) and also Laura Bassi who is mentioned and linked in the Wiki write-up of Maria.

      Delete
    6. MalcolmS8:29 PM

      RalphH: "To all those contributors to this blog who like to castigate Christianity for being misogynist and anti-science"

      Christianity was extremely "anti-science" for the first millennium of its history. The most important theologian/philosopher of the Church's founding fathers was Augustine and he referred to science as "the lust of the eyes" and that mirrored the flavour of official Church policy. Christianity, when it took over the Roman Empire, closed the pagan universities - the birthplace of Western science - and destroyed most of their works.

      Agnesi was the first serious woman mathematician since Hypatia [5th cent AD]. Hypatia was murdered by a rampaging Christian mob who sacked and destroyed her [pagan] university at Alexandria. Hardly a good record for Christianity and women.

      Science is the domain of thisworld and thislife and has nothing to do with the dogma of "otherworldly" bullshit.

      Delete
    7. RalphH 18/0511:53 PM

      “Christianity was extremely "anti-science" for the first millennium of its history. The most important theologian/philosopher of the Church's founding fathers was Augustine and he referred to science as "the lust of the eyes" and that mirrored the flavour of official Church policy. Christianity, when it took over the Roman Empire, closed the pagan universities - the birthplace of Western science - and destroyed most of their works.” (MalcolmS8:29 PM)

      My point Malcolm was that it was not/is not Christianity (the Christian gospel as taught by Christ that was the problem). Yes, individuals thinking and calling themselves Christians messed things up but they were not agreeing with Christ or teaching what he taught.

      I suggest that the Roman Empire (represented by Constantine) “took over” Christianity rather than the other way round. You have confused the man-made organisation with the philosophy of Christianity. Once religion is forced on people it loses it’s integrity because it totally depends on a free response.

      “Agnesi was the first serious woman mathematician since Hypatia [5th cent AD]. Hypatia was murdered by a rampaging Christian mob who sacked and destroyed her [pagan] university at Alexandria. Hardly a good record for Christianity and women.”

      I’m sure Christ never taught people to murder, rampage of act in a misogynist fashion.

      “Science is the domain of thisworld and thislife and has nothing to do with the dogma of "otherworldly" bullshit.”

      Don’t you see the life of your mind (especially the inner mind which deals with quality and value) as being distinct from the life of your body? The mind (the ‘deeper’ levels) can be incredibly active when the body is still or relaxed. Physical action requires only the shallow outer level tied to and focused on outer-worldly stuff.

      Delete
    8. MalcolmS9:23 AM

      RalphH: "My point Malcolm was that it was not/is not Christianity (the Christian gospel as taught by Christ that was the problem). Yes, individuals thinking and calling themselves Christians messed things up but they were not agreeing with Christ or teaching what he taught"

      Yes, it was Christ's teachings which were the problem[if he even existed]. They were nothing more than a grab-bag of contradictions which had no rational resolution. That is the reason that so many different Jesus cults sprang up - there was simply no way to rationally interpret what he was supposed to have articulated. There was even one Jesus cult that worshipped the serpent of GOE fame! The point is that so-called Christianity was splintering in all directions. In fact, at this stage, there was no such thing as Christianity! I keep having to remind you, Ralph, that Jesus was not a Christian! He was a radical rabbi who had no interest in gentiles. All the early Jesus cults, with all their disagreements, were minor sects within Judaism. The first to preach to gentiles was Paul in the 1st century who was Jewish, Christian and a Roman citizen.

      "I suggest that the Roman Empire (represented by Constantine) “took over” Christianity rather than the other way round"

      Incorrect. There was no "Christianity" to take over when Constantine came to power. The First Council of Nicaea took place 12 years before Constantine's death and further formalisation and consolidation of "Christian belief" took place over some time.

      "You have confused the man-made organisation with the philosophy of Christianity"

      There was no "philosophy of Christianity" since Jesus was not a philosopher and nobody agreed on the religion. The first and most influencial Christian philosopher was Augustine who was a neo-Platonist Church Father. It was from here that the othodoxy was carved out. Then, of course, it all fell apart centuries later with the rise of Protestantism.

      "Once religion is forced on people it loses it’s integrity because it totally depends on a free response"

      Once religion becomes "official" there is no alternative to force. Force is always associated with "government." Which is why modern advocates of liberty advised the separation of church and state.

      “Don’t you see the life of your mind (especially the inner mind which deals with quality and value) as being distinct from the life of your body?"

      No, I see the opposite! The individual human being is an integrated whole of 'mind' and 'body.' There is no disembodiment whatsoever whether inner or outer. In fact there is only one mind. It is the same mind which deals with the sciences in general as the mind which deals with "quality and value"[science of ethics/morality].

      "The mind (the ‘deeper’ levels) can be incredibly active when the body is still or relaxed. Physical action requires only the shallow outer level tied to and focused on outer-worldly stuff"

      Your mind is no more active than is the relevant parts of your brain. I repeat: they are an integration! You cannot have one without the other!

      Delete
    9. They were nothing more than a grab-bag of contradictions which had no rational resolution.

      Yeah! You tell 'im mallyjesus

      There is no disembodiment whatsoever whether inner or outer.

      Oy! Watch it mate.
      Ive a good mind to astral over there. By the time I'm finished youll know about being disembodied all right

      Delete
    10. RalphH 21/059:04 AM

      “No, I see the opposite! The individual human being is an integrated whole of 'mind' and 'body.' There is no disembodiment whatsoever whether inner or outer. In fact there is only one mind. It is the same mind which deals with the sciences in general as the mind which deals with "quality and value"[science of ethics/morality].

      Your mind is no more active than is the relevant parts of your brain. I repeat: they are an integration! You cannot have one without the other!” (MalcolmS9:23 AM)

      Malcolm, you have a lot of assumption there. Here is some more in a different vein.

      There are three levels of the human being - soul, mind and body. The soul (by definition) is the core of being. It orchestrates/builds a physical body and the mind (which begins as a blank slate/tabula rasa) is built up by the interaction between soul and body. The mind has two parts - one that is more closely aligned with the soul (the spiritual mind) and one that is more closely aligned with the body (the natural mind).

      There are three possibilities - the soul is in charge of the mind building process, the body is in charge or soul and body share control equally. My belief is that the soul builds and controls the body. As the mind is built up the free-will actions of the body are directed through the agency of the growing mind.

      I agree with you that there is no such thing as a disembodied soul. However a physical body is not the only sort of body. As the mind grows it is also in the human form and embodies the soul i.e. forms a spiritual body. So when the physical body is no longer required the soul is still embodied in it’s spiritual body i.e. the mind.

      A somewhat limited analogy I thought of is that of a space-rocket. The largest, most obvious part of a space rocket is there merely to get it off the ground - to get it started on it’s journey.
      Then it is jettisoned - as is the physical body when it is no longer needed because the mind/the character/the real person is then formed and can continue it’s journey in the higher/inner realm of eternity. Even though there is an integration during the formation of the mind, the control is always from the top (the soul) and in time the physical component is no longer required.

      Delete
    11. I agree with you that there is no such thing as a disembodied soul.

      So when the physical body is no longer required the soul is still embodied in it’s spiritual body i.e. the mind.

      So its a disembodied mind now? Oh dear.

      Yawwwwnypoos...

      This ones allll yours tossrag.

      Delete
    12. MalcolmS3:10 AM

      magicsausagetosser: "So its a disembodied mind now? Oh dear... This ones[sic] allll[sic] yours tossrag[sic]"

      Err... presuming you are referring to me... no... he is claiming that the mind, spirit and soul are *all* disembodied...! With the soul having a deep and meaningful incestuous relationship with the mind! Sort of like a fairyland of spooks, demons and hobgoblins at the spiritual gay Mardi Gras! It's like when you release a fart from a bottle... like a metaphorical fart that is! Believe me, he can keep this one running for all eternity!

      Delete
    13. [sic]
      yawwnypoos

      Nice to see that you respond to your name though.
      Pavlov sends his regards

      Delete
    14. RalphH 22/052:44 PM

      “Err... presuming you are referring to me... no... he is claiming that the mind, spirit and soul are *all* disembodied…!” (MalcolmS3:10 AM)

      I said no such thing Malcolm. Please re-read my second last paragraph. (RalphH 21/059:04 AM)

      “With the soul having a deep and meaningful incestuous relationship with the mind! Sort of like a fairyland of spooks, demons and hobgoblins at the spiritual gay Mardi Gras! It's like when you release a fart from a bottle... like a metaphorical fart that is! Believe me, he can keep this one running for all eternity!”

      Where does all that nonsense come from? Looks like you’re ‘off with the pixies’ again. For a supposed ‘rational thinker’ you have a vivid imagination that has no connection with the topic under discussion.

      Delete
    15. MalcolmS10:38 PM

      Ralph

      I can assure you that that caricature makes as much sense as your post and on issues we have discussed interminally. Your *beliefs* have no cognitive value whatsoever except as fantasy. The released fart from a bottle was a perfectly apt analogy.

      The only possible meaning of "when the physical body is no longer required" is death. At that stage there is no mind, soul or spirit required either whether embodied, disembodied or engaged in a three step waltz. Where does the mind, soul or spirit go at death?? Out of existence!! Which is exactly where the 'hopping' goes when a kangaroo dies. Or where the 'green' goes when the grass dies.

      This is not rocket science Ralph.

      Delete
    16. MalcolmS11:32 PM

      RalphH: "There are three levels of the human being - soul, mind and body"

      No, there is not. A human being is an *integration* of consciousness and body [soul, mind and spirit all pertain to consciousness when properly defined]. There are no "levels." Body, soul, spirit, mind, brain, big toe are all fully and equally *real.* There is no such distinction as 'levels' which pertains to the metaphysically given [given by nature].

      The only distinction you could be confusing is, in epistemology, where *reason is more fundamental* than the others in the sense that reason is our only means of knowledge, our means of survival and possessed only by human beings.

      Don't confuse metaphysics and epistemology, Ralph, which appears an endemic error amongst the religious.

      Delete
    17. MalcolmS11:37 PM

      "The soul (by definition) is the core of being"

      False. There is no such thing as "core" when applied to "being" [existence, is-ness]. Skin, crust, mantle or external layer is still "being."

      Furthermore, you do not bring something into existence by defining it [as you continually claim]. You can define centaur or God - that won't cause their existence.

      Delete
    18. MalcolmS11:40 PM

      BTW Ralph

      This alleged immortal soul of which you speak - at what stage of human development does it enter the body? - and from where?

      Delete
    19. RalphH 23/056:11 PM

      “Your *beliefs* have no cognitive value whatsoever except as fantasy. The released fart from a bottle was a perfectly apt analogy.” (MalcolmS10:38 PM)

      What you continually fail to recognise Malcolm is that your beliefs have no more cognitive value than mine. Something is true only if it is true, not because someone (including you) believes it to be so.

      This principle applies, for example, to your next statement (of belief) - “The only possible meaning of "when the physical body is no longer required" is death. At that stage there is no mind, soul or spirit required either whether embodied, disembodied or engaged in a three step waltz.”

      That is an assumption that you choose to believe because of prior assumptions you have also made e.g. that there is only one level of existence.

      “Where does the mind, soul or spirit go at death?? Out of existence!!”

      It/they doesn’t “go” anywhere. The person becomes aware or conscious on a higher or more interior level of existence. The lower external level of the mind ‘dies’ or ceases to exist along with the body which it adhered to and served, but the inner mind, the spirit/the character continue to exist in the higher eternal realm (which is not physically removed anywhere because it’s not physical).

      “Which is exactly where the 'hopping' goes when a kangaroo dies. Or where the 'green' goes when the grass dies.”

      There are merely physical attributes of physical things. They are not in the same category as spiritual things such as soul and spirit so your analogy does not apply.

      “This is not rocket science Ralph.”

      Another category error. Rockets and science belong to the natural/physical world not to the mental/spiritual world.

      Delete
    20. RalphH 23/056:25 PM

      “A human being is an *integration* of consciousness and body …” (MalcolmS11:32 PM)

      The fact that you talk of integration shows that there are two diverse things that need to co-operate/work together. Integration does not mean that there cannot be a hierarchy or levels of importance in the interaction.

      “[soul, mind and spirit all pertain to consciousness when properly defined]. There are no "levels."”

      That is a belief, not a fact - you mean defined in the way you like to believe’. I believe there are levels which make for a far more sensible explanation of the facts.

      “Body, soul, spirit, mind, brain, big toe are all fully and equally *real.* There is no such distinction as 'levels' which pertains to the metaphysically given [given by nature].”

      If you were in an accident and had a metal stake driven through your body, would you prefer it to be through your brain or your big toe? Brain and big toe are equally *real* (made of physical tissue) but something of greater importance/greater/prior reality (soul, spirit, mind - without which the whole body dies) is seated in or operates through the brain.

      “The only distinction you could be confusing is, in epistemology, where *reason is more fundamental* than the others in the sense that reason is our only means of knowledge, our means of survival and possessed only by human beings.”

      A child knows stuff/has knowledge before they have developed reason/reasoning powers. Reason enables understanding and belief as to the truth of those knowledges. This applies to knowledges accessed via the physical senses or the intellect or perceived by introspection or vision.

      Delete
    21. RalphH 23/056:27 PM

      “*”The soul (by definition) is the core of being”* (RH)

      False. There is no such thing as "core" when applied to "being" [existence, is-ness]. Skin, crust, mantle or external layer is still “being.” “ (MalcolmS11:37 PM)

      I say there is Malcolm and soul is so defined in many dictionaries. It also makes sense. Soul is a relative term. The “core”/soul of the physical body is the heart. The “core”/soul of the entire (human) being is the will/loves that drive/s it. Having a core does not make the rest irrelevant, it just shows that it is peripheral and dependant.

      “Furthermore, you do not bring something into existence by defining it [as you continually claim]. You can define centaur or God - that won't cause their existence.”

      Obviously but that’s not what I do. Nothing ‘just happens’ into existence. Bringing something into existence is the fulfilment of some purpose or perceived need. When we have something we can’t explain we extrapolate backwards and define something that would logically cause the effects that we see. If it’s a sloppy, illogical or foolish definition it obviously won’t fit the bill.

      Delete
    22. RalphH 23/056:31 PM

      “This alleged immortal soul of which you speak - at what stage of human development does it enter the body? - and from where?” (MalcolmS11:40 PM)

      A soul cannot “enter the/(a) body” Malcolm. A body is produced by a soul. Without a soul, there can be no body because a body is entirely dependant on the organisation and influx of the soul. In the words of Walter M Miller in his novel ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’, “You don’t HAVE a soul …. You ARE a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”

      http://thomasthurman.org/body

      Delete
    23. MalcolmS12:04 AM

      RalphH: "A soul cannot “enter the/(a) body” Malcolm. A body is produced by a soul"

      So, immediately before a soul produces a body, was it in the sperm or ovum or both?

      Delete
    24. RalphH 24/054:28 PM

      “So, immediately before a soul produces a body, was it in the sperm or ovum or both?” (MalcolmS12:04 AM)

      A reasonable question. I suggest the sperm Malcolm since that’s what does the fertilising.

      Delete
    25. MalcolmS9:44 PM

      RalphH: "A reasonable question"

      Thanks Ralph :)

      Actually Aristotle attempted answering a similar question. He didn't know about sperm/ovum so long ago of course. He wondered what respective parts man/woman play in the creation of a newborn baby. He concluded that the man was more important since he contributed the *form* and the woman contributed the *matter* :) This was one of his Platonic carryovers and was just as false as your position. Like you he had no evidence and just made it up. Ideologically it had an unfortunate influence on the later soul/body dichotomy nonsense in Christianity.

      "I suggest the sperm Malcolm since that’s what does the fertilising"

      Which poses numerous other questions which I'll get you to make up answers for since you're into that sort of stuff! Here is a small sample.

      Since the sperm is 'living' but is not a 'human being,' according to your myth, where is the sperm's soul[as distinct from the human being soul]?

      What happens to all the millions of sperm souls which, according to your myth, do *not* do the fertilising?

      What happens to all the millions of human being souls which, according to your myth, are in the sperm which do *not* do the fertilising?

      Remember all these human being souls in non-fertilising sperm, according to your myth, cannot go to heaven since they are unembodied by minds :)
      Is your imaginary God history's biggest mass murderer of souls?

      Delete
    26. A reasonable question. I suggest the sperm Malcolm since that’s what does the fertilising.

      Yes: Theres really nothing like a big hairy "soulbag" to compliment yer good ol' "magic sausage".
      And that also explains why a kick in the nuts hurts so much - It's the screaming of tortured souls.
      Malcolm will of course deny this and invoke the "existence" of a gonad defence strategy built into the "rational faculty"

      lol
      What a pair. You and ragboy have far more in common than either of you have ever suspected

      Delete
    27. MalcolmS10:03 AM

      magicsausagetosser: "And that also explains why a kick in the nuts hurts so much"

      I'll take your word on that! Although I'm in no doubt that you're highly experienced in the field :)

      Delete
    28. Being as how the only nuts you've ever possessed are buried deep inside that thick bony skull of yours, I completely understand your profound ongoing confusion to do with matters pertaining to the natural human form.

      So yes: Just take my word for it
      Wouldnt do you any harm to make that a regular practice either

      toodaloo

      Delete
    29. MalcolmS5:22 AM

      I have a "thick bony skull"??

      Sheesh!! Who would've known?

      "toodaloo"

      Hope you made it :)

      Delete

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