Abandon All Fear

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[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

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

[Fundamentalism] Meet The Science Extremists

Posted by Lex Fear on February 10, 2009

Religion has Osama Bin Laden*, politics has it’s fair share of Stalins and Hitlers, Atheism has Auvinen,  Sport has hooligans and Hollywood has Uwe Boll (just kidding). What about Science?

Five Mad Scientists Who Went Too Far in the Name of Science

*or is that politics?

Posted in Analogies, Morals & Ethics, Religion & Science, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Religious Paradigm] Religious Guilt, Shame and Fear… Why It’s A Good Thing

Posted by Lex Fear on June 14, 2008

I suspect that when anti-theists (particularly those who have left religion) list guilt, shame and fear as reasons not to believe in God, they are really referring to self-doubt, confusion and uncertainty that everyone experiences either during their teens, during difficult times or at other times during their lives – especially when they begin to look inside themselves and question their own set of pre-held beliefs, prejudices and bias*.

Taking an example from Steve Pavlina (see my previous post). He asks people to abandon guilt and fear and move towards an ambiguous spirituality of your own. Let’s apply this message to a pedophile Priest (also mentioned in his rant). I would imagine and hope that a pedophile Priest (or indeed anyone, believer or not) would be feeling guilt whilst appearing on the exterior to be a person of righteousness. I would hope they are feeling tremendous guilt.

Guilt is the only way that God can work, through the Holy Spirit to bring an end to the perversion. Of course God could act through others, even the authorities – but how would someone defend their vigilantism, or bring a conviction based on the evidence “God told me he was a pedophile”? What happens when the authorities are implicit in covering up the act? Then perhaps God could stop the man and those involved himself, but this is not usually how God chooses to intervene in human affairs – for many good reasons – but that is another subject that has already been addressed many times elsewhere.

What of shame? Shame is usually the result of having your dark secrets exposed to the limelight. Suppose a thief is caught after breaking into the house of an old woman, beating her and stealing her savings. Should he not feel some shame along with accepting his punishment? What about an act which is not classed as a crime? Should a married who is caught having an affair at the office not feel some shame for his disregard towards his wife and children? Shame is a part of remorse and regret. It’s necessary to make the first steps of reconciliation towards the person or persons you have hurt. How else would we have gotten the phrase “Have you no shame?!”

Fear of God is something that is widely misunderstood. Once again, it is not some sort of control mechanism that the church uses to maintain the allegiance of it’s subjects. Consider the criminal in my example above. He has been caught and sent to jail, but this does not necessarily mean he agrees with the justice system, or that he even thinks he has done anything wrong. Suppose there is a fault in the prosecutions case and he gets away scot free, or his sentence is particularly lenient and it is not felt by the public to be long enough. He walks out of the court/jail and raises his hands, smiling in celebration and defiance. The national newspapers have a field day! There would be calls for criminal reform, columnists climbing over each other to condemn the thief, the judge, the justice system and bemoan the tragedy of it all. Why?

The thief, you see, is not just lacking in shame, he’s lacking in fear.

If a person truly believed in God, believed that he could be angered by injustice and believed that there was such a thing as a Lord of the Earth who will come to judge the quick and the dead. That there is such a thing as Hell (which is simply a place God is not). Would they commit crimes such as the one I speak of above? Would they celebrate being let off by human courts in the full knowledge they had gotten away with an evil act, in the knowledge that there was a heavenly court to come, with a judge who sees all and knows all?

Consider the dictators throughout history and the dictators who are alive now- the leaders of Zimbabwe, the Chinese Government, The Burmese Government and so on. It is irrelevant whether they atheists or not. These people have no fear of humans – no-one is rising up and no-one is attacking them – and obviously they have no fear of God. They are the highest authority of their country, they know this and in some cases they consider themselves to be equal to God**.

If you do not personally believe in God, then it is useless to blame God or religion for their atrocities since they are the highest authority and therefore the non-existent God is not responsible, you may as well blame a pink unicorn or teapot or something. However, if you do believe in God, then you should have a hope that one day there will be a reckoning, and that people like the Chinese troops in this video below, will, in fact, one day come face to face with the Alpha and Omega, ready to settle the score.

When I see things like this, I have to believe there is an angry God watching:

A fear of God is healthy – not for you, rather, for those around you and for those who you lead or serve. Incidentally this is also why we are told to let God have vengeance, rather than take it into our own hands (yes that means the idiots who kill abortion doctors will also face the wrath of God someday too).

We are also told that God is patiently waiting for all to repent and when they do they can put fear to rest, but this is again, a subject for another day.

*NB: I’m not referring to people have been physically or psychologically abused.
** Incidentally this ties in well with original sin and the curse of death. Natural death is a necessary tool in assuring that no human being, no matter how evil, lives forever and escapes injustice. It also benefits those ruled by evil dictators. If no-one does rise up or challenge them, at least we can take comfort in the fact they will eventually grow old and die. No-one can escape natural death (except, perhaps, the very few righteous friends of God)

Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Morals & Ethics, The Purpose Missing Church, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | 3 Comments »

Unless I Saw It On TV, It Never Happened

Posted by Lex Fear on January 27, 2008

Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs responds to a commenter, asks is Jesus made up?

"Nothing"? You say, "nothing was even really written about [Jesus] for some 40 or 50 years after his death (a date I base on the current earliest known scrap of New Testament writing.

This is simply a naked assertion. Not only does it have no supportive evidence, but it is contrary to a huge pile of evidence. The New Testament Epistles write about Jesus, and they were written as early as twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection. Luke was almost certainly written before the mid-sixties (thus within 30-35 years of that event), and he refers to earlier written accounts (Luke 1:1-4). Thus, your premise is incorrect.

Nihilism? But let’s put that aside for a moment. Have you thought this through at all? Your assumption is, "We cannot know anything about something documented 40-50 years after the event." Do you realize that no remotely credible historian alive would agree with you? Do you realize that this would lead to total historical nihilism?

Put it another way. When you read David McCullough on, say, John Adams or George Washington, or 1776, do you reject the whole as bosh because it is written more than two centuries after the events? Or when you read of the Pharaohs, or the Battle of Carchemish, do you shrug and say "Whatever" because everything is written millennia after the occurrences? Not likely. Do you realize that most historians would (metaphorically, I trust) kill to have the sorts of resources, the staggering wealth of early manuscript evidence, that the NT historian has about the life of Jesus?

I guess, if we’re going to determine historical truth by how long it was written after, then we need to start agreeing with people like David Irving and Heribert Illig. Heck, approaching history like this even screws with science, I mean if Georges Lemaitre came up with the Big Bang theory in 1927, an estimated 13.7 billion years after the even actually happened, can we not say that it was nothing… it never happened?

And what about all those police investigations that discover crimes more than 20 years old due to ‘new’ evidence. I guess there should be law made that dismisses evidence over 20 years because it’s clear that once it’s gotten old, it never happened.

I guess all that time spent studying philosophy gets in the way of science and history.

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Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | 2 Comments »

In Heaven, Politicians Will Be Swedish

Posted by Lex Fear on January 10, 2008

OK maybe I am taking the old cliche a step beyond, but why can’t our politicians be more like the Swedish ones… and will the UK ever have it’s own Pirate Party?

The message from the Moderate Party MPs to their Antipiratbyrån supporting colleagues was “be careful, they will never be satisfied”, drawing parallels to the earlier attempts to ban MP3 players, and VCRs, both areas in which, having failed to ban, industry groups are now making a profit from selling content.

Karl Sigfrid told TorrentFreak that the APB proposals make no practical sense. “I think it could be solved in theory. However, in reality, you would need such a surveillance system to achieve this that it would be all out of proportion. So I don’t think there’s a feasilbe way of stopping individuals copying. The cause for file sharing is basically that it’s possible. People have always done it to the extent that they’ve been able to. With cassette tapes 20 years ago and electronically today. Copyright laws preventing individuals from sharing information have never been legitimate in the eyes of most people.” Swedish Politicians Strike Blows at Copyright Lobby (TorrentFreak)

Posted in Analogies, Bad Company, Copywrong, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik | Leave a Comment »

Titanic Slowdown

Posted by Lex Fear on September 11, 2007

“A spokesman said: “This is a line-of-credit funding problem rather than an irresponsible lending problem. This is not anything to do with arrears or repossessions, which were no worse than industry norms. It’s about the global credit squeeze and the fact that funding has been withdrawn by the banks, which are generally pulling in their horns.” – Guardian Unlimited

Utter bullshit. What is a line-of-credit problem? Well, generally if you have a line-of-credit problem it means your lenders don’t think you are responsible enough to take out another loan, right?

I’ve been going on about interest rates, but it’s not just the rates rises that will finally kill it. This is what also needs to happen, banks having their own borrowing hit by the American subprime meltdown, in turn they tighten their lending belts and use better criteria. The significance of this is that less experienced Buy-to-Let’ers also have more difficulty acquiring a mortgage. Less people able to borrow, means less money able to spend on housing, meaning more difficult to sell a house, meaning sellers forced to lower prices, compete and… panic!

Two first-time buyers cling to the edge of a sinking ship and just survive. Watch those who took the plunge too early get sucked under. Witness the slowdown of the Titanic.

“And my mortgage will go on… and on”

 

Posted in Analogies, Bank Robbers, Property Market | Leave a Comment »

[Churchianity] 10 Reasons Not To Wash

Posted by Lex Fear on May 8, 2007

This is an old one that’s been banging around the internet, nevertheless it’s still a good one.

In one church, the pastor, apparently fed up with all the excuses given over the years as to why people don’t go to church, included “Ten Reasons Why I Never Wash” in the Sunday bulletin:

  • I was forced to as a child.
  • People who wash are hypocrites — they think they are cleaner than everybody else.
  • There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best.
  • I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped.
  • I wash only on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
  • None of my friends wash.
  • I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
  • I can’t spare the time.
  • The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer.
  • People who make soap are only after your money.

Posted in Analogies, Churchianity, Dark Side of the Light, Ha-has, Pharisees | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

[Up The Irons] Holy Smoke

Posted by Lex Fear on April 25, 2007


Believe in me, send no money
I died on the cross, and that ain’t funny
But my so called friends, they’re making me a joke
They missed out what I said, like I never spoke
They choose what they wanna hear, they don’t tell a lie
They just leave out the truth as they’re watching you die
They’re saving your souls by taking your money
Flies around shit bees around honey

Holy smoke holy smoke
There’s plenty bad preachers for the devil to stoke
Feed ’em in feet first this is no joke
This is thirsty work making holy smoke, yeah
Making holy smoke

Jimmy reptile and all his friends
Say they gonna be with you at the end
Burning records, burning books
Holy soldiers, nazi looks
Crocodile smiles just wait a while
Till the tv queen gets her make-up clean
I’ve lived in filth
I’ve lived in sin and I still smell cleaner than the shit you’re in

Holy smoke
Smells good

They ain’t religious but they ain’t no fools
When Noah built his cadillac it was cool
Two by two they’re still going down
And the satellite circus just left town
I think they’re strange and when they’re dead
They can have a lincoln for their bed
Friend of the president trick of the tail
Now they ain’t got a prayer 100 years in jail

Lyrics: Iron Maiden

Posted in Analogies, Dark Side of the Light, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, Pharisees, The Religious Wrong | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Abortion] How to be Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

Posted by Lex Fear on April 12, 2007

Image Source: Abort73.com

As a Christian, I believe that scientifically, life starts at conception. In fact I kind of believe that life doesn’t start there, since the tissue is always ‘alive’ though egg and sperm are separate. But of course I have trouble with that theory, since, if you follow it to it’s logical conclusion then you’re basically committing genocide every time you spank the monkey.

So then I kind of also think that life starts not just with the biological, but the soul. Since I believe the soul does not end with death, then why should the soul simply start with conceived life? Indeed, the bible itself testifies the fact that “Long before [God] laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind…” (Eph 1:4 Message).

So it seems to me that our bodies are just a temporary vessel, condemned to death, but we are not without hope of eternal life.

I guess this puts me slightly in the ‘pro-choice’ camp. However, I have given this a lot of thought and I’ve come up with a solution to the whole debate, as well as getting around the controversy over the age of the fetus.

It’s simple. If a woman is considering an abortion, give her the option to wait until the fetus is born, then she can be free to decide if she still wants to abort. They could extend this to maybe 5 years after birth, just in case it doesn’t work out with the fetus.

By the way, no apologies for the image. Reality is often sick, and the truth can be pretty ugly.

Posted in Analogies, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

[The Christians Nightmare] Ray Comfort Is Bananas

Posted by Lex Fear on April 8, 2007

Why as Christians (and I’m looking at you, youth leaders in particular) do we constantly feel the need to follow the latest cultural trends. Why is it every time a successful brand develops in the world, we can’t resist going ahead and make our own Christianised brand version of it? A “Christian” version which more often than not is an appalling insult to the intelligence of people outside the church. Do we really expect our children to be real leaders and have an impact on the world by protecting them from groups and ideas that are not intrinsically Christian?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analogies, Dark Side of the Light, Dorks, Laymans Theology, Of The World But Not In It, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »