Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[The Enemy of my Enemy] is Still not my Friend

Posted by Lex Fear on November 1, 2009

If TalkTalk was not such an odious company I would thoroughly applaud this move by Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk’s Executive Director of strategy and regulation.

Advertisements

Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Copywrong, Morals & Ethics, Protest, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

<snip>

What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Churchianity] Get Angry

Posted by Lex Fear on October 24, 2009

Gary Ward quotes David Frost from 10 Ways Angry People Change The World:

“I read this article and thought it was a great answer to people who swerve biblical truth by calling you angry and all the other things used to remain in a place of unswerving arrogance…

…It’s angry people who change the world. Comfortable, satisfied, stuck-in-a-rut, trying-to-protect-my-turf people don’t change the world. They nurse the status quo, which I’ve heard is Latin for the mess we’re in.”

Posted in Churchianity, Quoteyness, The Purpose Missing Church, V for Vendetta | 3 Comments »

Why I Have Not Been Posting

Posted by Lex Fear on October 24, 2009

So, abandonallfear.co.uk is confined to the Internet archives, and there has not been a post on here for 6 months. Perhaps part of it is because I lost the passion for heated debates, playing devils advocate and a raft of other things. I let the .co.uk domain slide because my paranoid side wanted to avoid a future fight with any companies that would seek Abandon All Fear as a label – I just can’t be bothered to get into a war of ‘I was here first’. Secondly I don’t really care if people find this blog or not. Over the last year I’ve been reassessing what’s important to me, and aside from a record of what I think, and a record of a contrarian view out there amongst the hubris, I care not for the events and opinions of the current era.

But I feel I will be drawn out soon to comment on the state of Churchianity. You see, I’ve been trying to mainstream. After resolving personal difficulties with the church in general and coming back to God, in a sense, I’ve been attempting to bridge my controversial viewpoints and social commentary to a public real identity twitter feed. What that means is, or rather what I’ve discovered is, that the need I have to mock and rubbish the sacred cows of society is a core part of who I am I can’t get away from. But recently I’ve also discovered that it just won’t work, I’ve realised that there is a need to have a split online personality. Some friends and acquaintances are just not ready for either truth, or ideas that challenge their lives and careers.

There’s sometimes a need for anonymity, a prophet is not accepted in his hometown, and perhaps it’s because people are not ready to accept truth from those they have some kind of relationship with. It’s far easier to accept truth and wisdom from an anonymous source outside your social circle – perhaps because changing your mind over something need not necessarily be looked upon as an embarrassing turn around by people who are close and in the know. Perhaps it provides another voice with which to feel allegiance with, that you are not alone in your ‘extreme’ thoughts and can feel a bit more normal.

I guess there’s a need for Lex Fear, not because the world needs Lex Fear, it’s just me that needs him. A persona to vent about the things I see that drive me nuts. And if you agree with what Lex says, then that’s great, if you don’t then don’t worry, it’s nothing that in any way will affect how you live or who you mix with.

Posted in Anecdotes, Churchianity, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

[Atheism] British Teens Trending Towards Knives

Posted by Lex Fear on June 26, 2009

Oh I do love statistics, I love the fact that, whatever your cause or personal vendetta, you can usually find a statistic to back you up.

I was impressed a couple years ago when I heard that 20% of Americans aged 18-25 had no religious affiliation or were atheist/agnostic.

Apparently, I should have been looking to Britain.

It turns out if you survey British children aged 13-18, the stats are even more favorable for non-theists.

<snip>

Is this just an isolated case of British awesomeness or a continuing trend toward non-religiosity?

The Friendly Atheist // British Teens Trending Away from Religion

Yep, keep quoting those stats…

The new figures indicate that in the year 2007-8  there were some 277 deaths from stabbings in England & Wales alone (the highest recorded figure for 30 years). This represents an average death toll as a direct result of stabbings of over 5 for every week of the year!

<snip>

  • 11-12 year olds carrying knives last year: 10% (Youth at risk)
  • 15-17 year olds admitting to carrying knives for self defence: 46% (Ian Johnston – Chief Constable British Transport Police)
  • Pupils in London Schools carrying knives: 29% (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • Excluded Pupils carrying knives: 62% (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • 16 year old boys admitting attacking someone with a knife – intent on causing serious injury: 1 in 5 (Youth Justice Board / Mori 2003)
  • Teenage deaths from knife attack (2004): More than 20 (Be Safe Project)

Insight Security // Knife Crime Facts

Am I implying the rise in atheism is linked to knife crime? Perhaps what I’m really implying is that you can link atheism or religion to other country statistics in anyway you see fit to demonstrate your point – something I’ve noticed the Friendly Atheist is occasionally fond of doing.

Question Everything – 1 Thes 5:21

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Analogies, Bollotics, Fact Erosion, Minitruth, Pharisees, Propaganda, Uncircumcised Philistines, Warring Memes, Xianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

[Filesharing] The Cost Of An Idea

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2009

David Dunham at CaPC poses the question “So is the judge making an example out of her or does this seem like a reasonable price to pay?”

I started commenting but realised it was too long and so I’ve moved my response here.

Let’s start by saying that these fines are supposed to be representative of lost sales.

Forget the fact that many people who download music tracks wouldn’t buy them anyway (and – shockingly – might even delete the crap ones).

What I think the lawmakers have glossed over is the fact that if you fine one person for *every* *lost* *sale*, then there should be no-one left to pursue for the downloading of those tracks she shared. Ie. if I had downloaded those 24 tracks from Jamie Thomas, it’s OK because she is already paying for *my* lost sale – as well as – literally – millions of others.

I’m pro-filesharing and I file-share.

I look forward to the day that these media companies grovel in the dirt – I’ll make no bones about that fact. Increasingly I’m ‘coming out’ to many friends and people I wouldn’t have before, because I see it as a revolution, a cold war, where as many people need to be recruited as possible.

I look forward to the day that we look back on these events in history and marvel at the ignorance of the politicians and industry that supported this 21st Century ‘House of Un-American Activities’.

I see filesharing as the future – setting knowledge, information and arts free – like they used to be before the 20th Century. Perhaps it’s not ‘the future’, perhaps it’s simply restoring values of the past.

Did any of those black slaves or their families who worked in the cotton fields see a ‘dime’ for their musical contribution to the blues? Intellectual Property is about as anti-creativity as I can imagine.

How do you prevent new ideas and human progress? Introduce ownership of ideas by long lasting corporate bodies to buy up and own *ideas*, then sue anyone who independently thinks up, tries to share or improve that idea for an arm and a leg.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Corporate Irresponsibility, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Resistance, Takeback, Technology, Terrorist State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Whodunnit Pt. 2] Let Him Have It…

Posted by Lex Fear on June 10, 2009

Back in February I had a long comment discussion with an atheist called Postsimian which started on a post at The Friendly Atheist, but went off topic so I brought it here.

Whilst not intended, this makes an excellent follow-up to that post – Killing In The Name Of…

The gist of the discussion was one of hermeneutics. Postsimian argued that ‘if’ there was a God, he was evil, because of the certain events and commands given by God in the Old Testament, taken literally. My argument was that, as well as the need for proper exegetical context, there is a need for a greater perspective on what is written in the OT, which relies heavily on if we deem the events real or made-up.

The crux of the matter was whether God, assumedly being good, could be capable of evil – i.e. killing seemingly innocent people. Postsimians study of the OT led him to conclude that even if God is good, he is capable of evil, whereas my study of the bible leads me to conclude that certain acts of God which seem wrong on the face of it, are not when understood in context.

It later occured to me that this argument is demonstrated aptly in a film I watched years ago based on the true story of Derek Bentley called Let Him Have It. The premise of the film is of a robbery which goes disasterously wrong. During the attempted arrest, brain-damaged Bentley yells out to his younger accomplice “Let him have it” – referring to the gun, and subsequently his accomplice, Christopher Craig, shoots the policeman. For those not in the know, “Let him have it” used to be a turn of phrase in the UK for giving the go-ahead to attack someone. The question is: Did Bentley order Craig to hand over the gun, or fire it at the copper?

The real-life case, in actual fact, did not hinge upon these words, but it does prove useful for this exercise. For the police, by yelling “let him have it” Bentley was giving the order to shoot, and was therefore intending evil, and rightly deserved the death penalty. For the defence, Bentley was ordering Craig to hand over the gun and surrender.

The fact is, without any supporting evidence apart from the reading of Bentleys words, your view of Bentleys guilt will be based on your own preconceptions and bias. If you were not British and raised in the time of the 50’s you may well think that Bentley ordered Craig to surrender. However, if you were around at the time, you may have thought differently.

By now you know what I’m getting at. This is nearly the same problem when it comes to reading biblical texts literally. No, God is not going around in the OT ordering people to shoot other people, but there are times when he has commanded specific instructions and left it for his people to interpret and then act, or intercede.

More and more, it seems to me that what is not written in the OT scriptures, is more important than what is actually written.

In the end, Postsimian may be right after all about one thing, in some cases it seems like it is a mere subtle nuance. However, I must counterbalance this with the truth that in every instance of the OT where God orders the destruction of human life, as the law required (just like the American justice system), when people either interceded or pleaded for mercy, they were shown mercy.

This is why if you are going to honestly critique the Old Testament, you cannot read it literally. You need to be prepared to study a bit of history and culture at the same time. It is also why I feel I cannot emphasise enough, that God is not looking for people to carry out judgement (under the law), but instead he is looking for people to intercede and carry out mercy and forgiveness (when the law has been broken).

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Apologetics, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Xianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[‘N’ is for…] BNP, protests and general annoyance.

Posted by BHudson on June 9, 2009

Well, the putsch has come off well, and the British Nazi Party have taken two seats in the European Parliament. As an extremist party, they won the votes because they appeared untainted by the uproar over expenses and the following witch hunt. Most people, of course vote irrationally – it seems to have been easy for some 0.7% of the population to overlook the racist fearmongering because of their concerns about immigration, and a general dissatisfaction with mainstream parties. Irrationality, of course, is at the heart of the BNP’s strength.

Nick Griffin, a man for whom I have many words and little time, is always denying his party’s racist ideals whilst endorsing Party style manuals with phrases such as ‘you should not refer to British Asians or British Muslims, for the simple reason that such people do not exist.’ Like all abhorrent groups, they thrive on oppression, which gives them a chance to whine about their freedom of speech and cast themselves as defenders of democracy. Now, I have very little sympathy for Griffin, and was even slightly pleased by the disressed look on his normally smug face as he fled the mob outside Parliament. That said, throwing eggs is yet to effect any substantial political change.

In this case, it has just let him say that they prevented him from bearing the scutiny of the media. Public scrutiny is what this party needs most. Protests are very well, but a few well placed questions in public would serve better to show just how racist they are.

Times is ‘ard, and people are angry. This produces the ‘perfect storm’ Griffin had been waiting for to give him a foothold in government. Perhaps it is the supposed detrimental effects of immigration (my view on immigrants is extremely simple, and rather unpopular these days, but that’s another post), or the fear of a loss of sovereignty, or anger at the mainstream parties, but suddenly the BNP seemed somewhat more palatable to the voters. An increasingly popular lie: ‘I know they used to be Nazi knuckle-draggers, but they’ve changed – they’re just like us, even if some of the Nazi knuckle-draggers are in the shadows.’ The truth – the Nazi knuckle-draggers are running the show. The BNP will never be civilised or worthy of a vote.

PS. Sorry for my long absence. This is really just an opinion article that seemed worthwhile regarding the recent EP elections. Now I’ve got more time, I might be able to come up with a couple of posts on political theory.

Posted in Bollotics, Fact Erosion, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Protest, Smear Campaigns, The Love of Libel | 6 Comments »

[Soul Searching] Vapours

Posted by Lex Fear on May 25, 2009

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.

What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.

I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

Solomon, Ecclesiastes

A while ago I was discussing politics and the recession with a friend. I was doing what I considered my dutiful task of informing him of how all the decisions of Gordon Brown, since ZaNuLabour rose to power 12 years ago, have led to the bubble in house prices and the subsequent eonomic collapse. But my friend then asked a pertinent question which caused me to consider my very purpose.

If the Conservatives had been in power, would things have been different?

And the very truthful answer to that is, No.

It’s not just a political thing, it’s not just that ZaNuLabour stole Tory policies. It’s the old cliche that absolute power corrupts absolutely – greed, extravagance, gluttony, apathy,  envy, pride and anger. What have we not seen in recent days? There are very few people – and politicians are people – who did not fall into the trap of thinking the good times were never going to end. Everyone was happy to turn a blind eye to the injustices, to the corruption, the expense claims whilst the money kept rolling and the price of their house kept rising.

What would have been different? Nothing. And it’s this answer which has formulated my cynicism and means I will never have absolute faith in politics.

That’s not to say I don’t believe there are individuals who appear at times who see all this and really do want to change the system, but all too often they either fall to the dark side, or they find themselves being chewed up and spat out by a great machine which is fueled by the ignorance of man.

You think our politicians have learned from this boom and bust? You think things will be difference because they are putting rules in place to stop it happening again? Let me tell you that most of them don’t even know how to prevent it, or don’t really care, and of those rules they do make… they will be ignored by future generations just as we have ignored the rules and the lessons of the past.

So why bother even blogging about this, why bother discussing it? The most reward that any of us can get is the option to say “I told you so”, because we all lose. The truth about teamwork is that the team moves forward at the pace of it’s slowest member, and the same is true of humanity. For all our scientific innovations and discoveries, we cannot solve the problem sin. When I use this word, sin, I refer to human failings, things which are inherent in our nature which cause evil – deceit, selfishness, murder, greed, sexual desires, war… but instead of acknowledging these we redefine them. (The idea that someone would have sexual relations with a 10 year old disgusts us and strikes us as immoral, but the boundaries of sexual morality are being increasingly eroded. As adults fight for more sexual freedoms there is nothing to stop this becoming socially acceptible – all that’s needed is to redefine what constitutes being an adult. For instance at 10 years old in England, you can already be tried for a crime as an adult – why can’t you be considered sexually aware?)

But I digress. I have questioned why I should rail against something which cannot and will not be stopped as long as there is an unsanctified human race. A human race of which 1/3 does not even acknowledge God’s existance let alone as Lord. (And of those that do acknowledge and worship God, how many of them are truly taking a stand against corruption and not partaking in it?)

The truth is, I have lost the drive to blog about politics and world affairs, to question the system. I still hold strong political beliefs but since there is no longer any difference between man and pig, I no longer see a purpose in it.

Instead, I’ve taken some time to reflect on blogging, and I am going to go back to my roots in blogging about Christianity and experience – that means I’m still going to post the odd consumer post but I see my primary purpose in apologetics.

It may be something to do with having made my peace with the church.. or at least the church I now attend. It may be something to do with reading and listening to the arguments of atheists more.. which provides me a source of great mirth and sometimes deep thought.

Of course my co-author Hudson has a lot to say about politics and anyone else can be free to join and write for AaF about these topics, but I have said enough, and will now focus on something which is close to my heart.. and I guess, in that way, I’m being true to the subjects I’ve always posted on.. those that are important issues for me.

Posted in Absolute Power, Anecdotes, Apologetics, Bollotics, Financial Terrorism, Metablog, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Linux] How Xandros Shot Linux In The Foot

Posted by Lex Fear on April 6, 2009

It was an open goal. M$ decommissioning  XP, Linux being the only capable OS of running on this tight new ultra-portable sub-notebook. Dare we say it… “The year…” had finally arrived?!

So how could it go wrong?

El Reg has just published a new article on the competition between Windows and Linux on the Netbook, and by outward appearances, it looks like Micro$haft is has caught up and overtaken Linux in popularity… but I haven’t seen anyone yet analyse WHY:

Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Rubbing in the salt, LeBlanc added: “Not only are people overwhelmingly buying Windows, but those that try Linux are often returning it,” he said.

Why, you might ask? LeBlanc: “Because users simply expect the Windows experience. When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back.”

Aah, the Windows experience, but what is this elusive ‘Windows Experience’ that Linux lacks? Is it the need to purchase an external DVD drive in order to install software? Is it the slow-down and need to defrag every couple of months in order to return to a usable speed? Is it the comfort of knowing you will get no vendor support from M$ and have to rely on techy friends to spend 30 hours ridding your system of that pesky “mywebsearch” trojan that you got from accepting some preloaded-with-malware stupid free game download that you installed last week which is now bringing your system to a halt?

No, let me attempt to define the “Windows Experience”… It’s the comfort of having a logical bottom of screen taskbar, showing the time/date, running programs, background programs and a start/logo to click on which gives you instant access to all your programs.

Sure Windows XP is old, it’s vulnerable to every security risk going, it randomly does things in the background and must be constantly purged of bloat. But the thing about Windows XP is that it feels professional. It feels like a grown up operating system.

Don’t tell me about familiarity, plenty of boomers have managed to get their heads around Firefox, Google, Skype, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook and the rest of Web 2.0 not to mention the myriad of operating systems installed with their mobile phones. Last time I checked Web 2.0 was not bundled with Windows XP. No, it’s not familiarity that’s an issue here, it’s the GUI.

Just contrast this child-friendly looking interface:

To this more grown up one:

If something looks like it’s made for children, adults won’t use it for themselves. I mean, couldn’t Asus/Xandros just package the Easy Mode GUI as an option rather than the default GUI?

It doesn’t matter that the Easy Mode is more intuitive and ‘easy’ for a smaller screen. Mainstream people don’t mind the small text, the small buttons, the little graphical issues that a full blown OS like XP presents when it tries to open a 1100×600 window on a 1024 x 600 screen. They accept that as part of the package, just like they accept they’ve got to run several different internet security solutions in tandem just to be able to surf and write email.

And I know what you’re going to say – “But Xandros can be configured to look just like XP, they even changed the name of the applications…” Well that just turns it into a cheaper imitation of XP, something that will turn mainstream users off faster than a childish GUI.

Average net-heads see installing Windows XP on their netbooks as a kind of technological feat, as though it somehow demonstrates their technical prowess and smarts despite the fact it’s more a demonstration of their fear or stepping outside their comfort zone.

What netbook manufacturers and Linux advocates need to do if they want to keep flogging a free OS on their netbooks- Is to offer a professional, decent looking OS which has the same functionality as Windows, the same comforting feel, yet is not, and is not trying to be, Windows. They need to embrace the alternative OS. Don’t try to make it easy and don’t try to make it like XP. Just make it good.

I got a Samsung NC10 for Christmas from my wonderful wife. It came Windows XP Home ULPC.. do you know how shitty that version is? And yet, for a larger hdd and Intel Atom processor this is the OS of choice over something like Ubuntu or Fedora!

Needless to say I set about formatting the Windows Virus off my nc10 and installing Ubuntu from a pendrive (yeah – did you know some Linux distros have options to create pendrives now?), later moving to Ubuntu Ultimate.. which wipes the floor with both XP and Vista.

Check this out:

My Atom processor handles Ultimate Edition quite well, starts to balk if I enable desktop Sphere, but handles Cylinder no problem.

Sure, there are always going to be people who are stuck in their comfort zone, and die-hard Windows fanboys, but distro makers have to stop trying to emulate the ‘Windows Experience’, and cheating newbies out of the ‘Linux Experience’ like Xandros has with the Eee PC.

It was an open goal for Linux which somehow become an own goal, but the match is not over. They seriously need to rethink and regroup if they want to prevent what is becoming the year of  Windows 7 on the Netbook.

Posted in Buyer Beware, Duh!, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »