Archive for July, 2014

Credit And Blame

It really was against all the odds…

The nail that burst the tyre, just before the oil-slick, just before the bend, just as an oncoming vehicle's wiring short caused the main beam to come on and dazzle the driver, so that he lost control but skidded off the road just at the right point to hit the eight-foot wide rotten wooden gate—the only soft point in half a mile of stone wall—and plough to a halt in a nice soft field. (more…)

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The Hutton Delusion

Gentle Reader, I have made a Decision!

The Bob Hutton posts are taking up too much of the religion/secularism/etc content of this blog, so I've begun a new one, The Hutton Delusion, just for him. 'cause I'm nice like that. My reply to his latest post is up already, so feel free to wander over and scoff—at me, at him, or at both.
Daz (more…)

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A Cracked Pot

Brave Sir Bobby's posted again. Ho hum.

Basically it's the same as his previous post. "Your immortal soul is more important than footie, blah-de-blah-de-blah," with some casual racism, re: Germans (mostly, to be fair, attitudes which he’s ascribing to third-parties), thrown in for good measure. I can't find much to say about it really, except to point out that I don't know anyone who, if they believe or were to believe, that souls and damnation exist, would think football more important than avoiding eternal torture. Given which, his point is, well, not very pointy.

Anyways, I said I'd match all his posts so folks, if they wish, can leave copies of comments here, which have mysteriously disappeared there. So this rather perfunctory post fulfils that promise.


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An Inspector Calls

This story is a great demonstration of my maxim that any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word "no". The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don't actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.
Ian Betteridge, 2009

Reading Giles Fraser's latest effort on the Grauniad's "Comment is free" section, my first reaction, I have to admit, wasn't so much to answer the question posed in his title—Are modern detectives the new priests?—but rather to ask a question of my own. How on Earth does someone get paid for writing this drivel?

For starters, in an essay consisting of eight paragraphs, he doesn't address his thesis until the end of the fourth; the bulk of his first four being not much more than padding by means of a review of a TV detective show—True Detectives—which happens to feature some religious aspects and an atheist detective. When he finally removes his amateur film-critic hat, he says: "For it's arguable that the very genre of detective fiction is intimately bound up with collapse of religious faith."

How-so?, you may ask. (more…)

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A Watched Pot

Hutton's posted again, this time on the general theme of priorities. (Y'know, I think he may actually have been reading some of my critiques of his posts! Not comprehending, mind—that might be too much to ask, and would probably prove a god exists, by way of being an actual documented miracle in its own right.)

He begins with a little anecdote which, by coincidence, kind of ties in with a few other bits and bobs I've read, watched programmes about and talked about offline lately:

Some weeks ago I witnessed a person get very angry because a kettle had been filled up and boiled for one person. This was a "waste of money". Strictly speaking, it is slightly (very slightly) more expensive to boil a full kettle than a part one (and of course, we mustn't forget the ozone layer, must we!) but what is a few pence compared to eternity?

Forgetting the eternity question for the moment… (more…)

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Peter Pan Planet

Throw last year's sofa on the fire;
It's out of date, positively dire!
I think it's time to change the phone
'cause green, you know, is last month's tone.
The car's as old as Nero's lyre;
Why, it's nearly worn through a set of tyres!
And we need to fit the kitchen anew;
The fridge clashes with my new blue shoes.

Peak resources? Get away!
The sun's still up so let's make hay.
Eternal growth, eternal fun!
Tomorrow's sorrows never come!
Forget tomorrow. Come, let's sing,
We want. We want! We want our shiny things!


[Image-source: sciencemuseum.org.uk]

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A petition by the National Secular Society:

The law requires all publicly funded schools, even non-faith schools, to hold a daily act of "broadly Christian" worship.

The law as it stands is an anachronism; the legacy of a society unrecognisable from the diverse and pluralistic Britain of today where citizens hold a wide variety of religious beliefs, including no religious belief.

Most people would agree that it's healthy for children to learn about a variety of religious, non-religious and secular philosophies and worldviews. That's all part of education. But worship is different. (more…)

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