Archive for December, 2011

Well it's not been the best Christmas I've ever had! I'm not sure how much I should say about this, seeing as it's the subject of ongoing enquiries, but some lowlife hacker managed to empty my bank account. More than empty, in fact. Over the course of two days, my balance went from £780 in credit to £450 overdrawn. Also the timing meant that my rent didn't get paid, leaving me a further £425 in debt. I discovered all this late Christmas eve, which didn't do much for my Christmas morning or that of my mother and sister.


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I've tried to put this into words a couple or three times before, always talking about why I'm an Atheist, and never with any great deal of success. Partly that's because the socio-political aspects are so often stated by so many people (most of them much better writers than me, to boot) that it's hard to really say anything new, but also partly, I think, because I never became an atheist. Apart from a brief period in my early teens of wondering vaguely, and I have to say rather casually, whether there might be some form of deist 'first-cause' sort of god, I've been an atheist all my life. It's kinda hard to do a deconversion story without the deconversion! The question for me is, rather, how did I become an Atheist with a capital 'A'? You know, strident, shrill; a nasty horrible persecutor of Christians and all that jazz. The answer—or this attempt at it—is likely to be a bit rambling, I'm afraid.

Let's start with Santa. Seems reasonable for the time of year.


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Merry Whatever

Here's a goody that we all see at around this time of year: "Why do atheists celebrate Christmas?"

To echo PZ, on a different subject, 'because it's fun.'

Really, do we need any other reason than that? Well here's one, if you want one:


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Positioning Your Box-Shadowed Div

Righty-ho then; time for the last (at last, I hear you cry) instalment of the seemingly ever-expanding series on how to create box-shadowed objects. (Here's the first one, for those who missed it, if interested.)

When we left him, our carrot-munching gun-toting little friend was encased in a 3-D effect box, with a nice caption-space underneath:


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Language, Please

I don't want to make too big a thing of this, but could we watch our language in the comments? I’m no prude, and have no objection to swearing, but some words are a bit of a no-no.

Personally, I'm not certain that 'cunt' is sexist, given that I can, offhand, think of many more insulting uses of the various parts of the male genitalia than the female. I am aware, however, that very many people disagree with me on that one, and there's plenty of other insults available; it costs no effort to use a replacement. 'Bitch,' most certainly is sexist.

I'm not making a huge thing of it, and I'm certainly not going to start banning folks left right and centre or anything like that, especially when it's virtually always an unthinking slip rather than deliberate sexism (which is actually part of the problem). I'd just prefer, on a personal level, not to see it here.

You would't say 'darky' or 'nig-nog,' yet both terms were often defended because 'no harm was meant.'

Thanks in advance

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What’s In It For God?

Here's the deal, in a nutshell:

God creates humans knowing they'll sin, punishes them, sacrifices himself to himself in order to forgive them for the sins he created, and declares that we need to believe in him to be saved from everlasting torture that he devised.


What possible motive does the all-powerful creator of the whole freaking universe have for all this … this … petty, badly-plotted melodrama with bonus crispy-burny scenes for the discerning customer? What the hell (if you'll pardon the pun) does he get out of it?

If you want my theory…

It's not the matrix, it's God's own snuff-movie.

By Cecil B DeMille.

Roll up! Roll Up!

See them burn in living Blurricolor!



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This is in response to this comment.

Seems like whenever we have a natural disaster these days; or whenever some famous person who isn't a declared evangelist gay-hatin' Bible-thumpin' Christian dies, the news services' pet religious talking-heads and Christian blogs erupt with stores about how it's such-and-such group's fault for bringing down God's wrath, or speculating about whether the very recently departed is now languishing in Satan's lair, and always by way of 'making a point,' either so-called spiritual or political. If not both.


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