Saturday, December 29, 2012

My verdict on Christmas TV

Worst ever...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Final Hitch

Well, it's Christmas eve and before I settle into a good film and some mince pies here's my last Hitchens quote. Talking about life and death in direct language like this means that superficially it may look depressing or unwelcome to some, but look further than shallow fear or desire and you may find something more worthwhile than you think.

"Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hitch 6

Only one more day to go, here's the sixth hitch quote to Christmas...

"Atheism is not a creed, it's the only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hitch 5

Here is my fifth quote of seven from the late Christopher Hitchens, only 3 sleeps to go :)

"Atheism is not a creed, it's the only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last (EOW) joke

Well that's another apocalypse negotiated without incident, hopefully we can all breath easy again and focus on the calorific catastrophe that is rapidly approaching us, i.e. Christmas lunch..

It's interesting to see the affect that this particular non-event has had on everyone, it's been a constant topic of conversation in the office for the best part of a week (in a humorous way), the best one-liner I heard today, which will be my last word on the whole "end of world" subject (until the next time), was the following,

"people are making apocalypse jokes like there's no tomorrow"

te he..

Stone huggers

I see with some amusement that our stone hugging brothers and sisters have been having fun at Stone Henge today. As I'm sure most enlightened people know today is the shortest day in the UK or the Winter Solstice as its known, when the Northern Hemisphere is at it's maximum tilted distance from the Sun, i.e. the Sun appears lowest in the sky at it's highest point. The good news is that from here on in we're approaching next Summer as opposed to retreating from last, certainly something to celebrate for warm blooded mammals like us.

The orbit of the Earth around the Sun is a great example of cycles in nature, the clue is in the name, i.e. they're cyclical, they will just keep going around for ever until some element of the system causes a tipping point and a new trajectory is established, nothing pre-planned, nothing aimed at human beings and certainly no anthropological guiding hand at work, just physics doing what it does. The exciting thing for me is not that these cycles occur in nature but that we now understand (more or less) why, something our Mayan forebears unlikely ever did.

Hitch du jour

Continuing the theme of quotes from the late Christopher Hitchens, here is number 4...

"Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life -- except religion."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keep calm

I hope people aren't going to get silly about this silliness...

Reasons to be fearful, part 1

Following the dreadful school massacre in the USA last week I spotted this story today. I guess it's inevitable but still seems catastrophically stupid to me, an 11 year old has brought a gun to school for "protection". I can just imagine playground disputes over sweets, marbles and kiss-chase being resolved via a Glock 9mm and a clip of soft nosed rounds, what the hell kind of society are they trying to create over there?

Third day

Day three of my countdown to Christmas with another Hitch quote...

"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holy tweets

On the money as usual;

Hitch quote

Here's the second of my top seven favourite Christopher Hitchens one-liners, only 6 sleeps to go now..

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Political analysis (for morons)

That odious American entrepreneur James Dobson who made his fortune from selling dreams (aka religion) has offered his followers an analysis of the political state of the union and suggests the reason for the recent mass murder at a school on the East coast of the USA. You can probably guess where this is going but Dobson believes (or says he believes) that the reason for the slaughter is because America allows abortion and gay marriage, the awful events of last Friday were nothing to do with gun controls or mental health issues, nope, Jimmy reckons it's all down to his vengeful God.

I always find it surprising that moderate (and sane) Christians don't do more to discredit morons like this, they continually give secularists spectacularly good arguments with which to marginalise them from the public square. They also don't do religion any favours either, even if his "God" existed at all then who'd want to worship an entity that kills terrified young children in a brutal and sadistic fashion just because some other (unrelated) people don't follow some random sub-set of interpreted rules. The cognitive dissonance this drivel causes is palpable.

Quoting down to Christmas

As we run down to the consumer-feast that is Christmas these days I thought I'd remember that feisty old curmudgeon Christopher Hitchens who died of cancer a year or so ago. Here is the first of seven of his more well known quotes, a pearl of wisdom for each day.

"Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mapping madness

I saw this sobering picture today, it's the 13 countries in the world today where I could get punished or even executed simply for not believing that there exists an invisible, all-powerful supernatural man in the sky. 12 of the 13 countries are Islamic, which isn't a surprise but Laos? what have they got against us atheists I wonder?

The full list is as follows,

- Mauritania (officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
- Sudan
- Egypt
- Eritrea
- Maldives
- Comoros
- Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait
- Iran
- Afghanistan
- Pakistan
- Indonesia
- Laos

Anyway, more places to be struck off my holiday list, their loss.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Micro-blogging miracles

I was most concerned this morning when white smoke started coming out of my iPhone, fortunately it was only the Pope sending his first tweet...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Its only a theory...

Love this picture, it shows the proportion of (current) peer reviewed scientific papers supporting the idea that we're heating our planet up versus those that reject this view. Looks suspiciously like a wedge strategy to me.

Down, down, deeper and down

Findings from the 2011 census for England and Wales have revealed the number of people who say they are Christian has dropped dramatically from 72% to 59%. The figures published today by the Office for National Statistics also show the number of people who say they have no religion has risen from 15% to 25%.

Its interesting to ponder why this may be the case, I think there are several key factors involved. Since the last census in 2001 we've had a surge of Islamic extremism spawning the 9/11, London and Madrid bombings among other atrocities both in the Middle East and in other parts of the world (Bali etc.) Closer to home we've seen a reactionary lurch toward evangelicalism, during the Bush Era and particularly within the Catholic church but also within more traditionally moderate organisations like the Church of England. From religions in this decade we've seen many despicable and arrogant attitudes being thrust into the public square over issues like child abuse, misogyny, gender discrimination and other matters of simple Human equality like gay marriage. The fact that members of these religions are out of touch with modern society is not in itself the point, they can believe what they like (even though they don't often espouse that right for everyone else) the issue for them is that their medieval attitudes are simply driving the support of moderates and "undecided's" away at a ferocious rate. It's probably reasonable to say that the default stance of most people born in the UK since 1980 is either Atheist or Agnostic (which we all know is just a softer word for Atheist)

Hopefully this is a trend which will continue, realising that you don't need to believe mythological authorities to live an ethical, healthy and fulfilled life is one of the most liberating experiences a Human being can have in my view, it certainly was for most Atheists I know. I also note that the number of Jedi's is on the decrease too and that's never a bad thing, may the force be with you :)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Getting with the plot

It would seem that members of the Christian Union of Bristol University have been caught with their trousers down (not what you're thinking!) over the issue of gender equality. In an investigation by the student union there a memo emerged that stated Christian women were not allowed to present at weekly meetings, but could address an audience in other settings if accompanied by their husbands. I admit I had to do a double take over this article, I thought for a second I had been bodily transported to the Islamic Republic of Iran. No, apparently Christians affiliated with this organisation feel that in 21st century England it's still OK to discriminate on the basis of gender.

The (majority) secular community figured all this out back in the 60s however the Christian community still seems heavily divided on this embarrassingly straightforward question, as evidenced by the recent furore over women bishops. My question is, when will these retards ever learn and why the hell should the rest of us take them seriously until they do?