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Archive for the ‘Quoteyness’ Category

[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.

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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 »

[Science Factism] The Evolution Of The Octopus…

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

…Or not, as it may seem, according to Oil is Mastery:

“These are sensational fossils, extraordinarily well preserved,” says Dirk Fuchs of the Freie University Berlin, lead author of the report. But what surprised the scientists most was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus: “these things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species.” This provides important evolutionary information.

Indeed: it provides information that none has occured.

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Posted in Doublethink, Quoteyness, Religion & Science, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

[Credit Crunchies] Was Marx Right? Er, no.

Posted by BHudson on March 6, 2009

Of late, both Stephen King and Mark Steel have commented (in the Independent) about the rise in support for Marx’s theory and, specifically, the idea that the current economic problems prove him right. As far as I can tell, this is all based on the fact that Marx knew the business cycle (‘boom and bust’) was part of a capitalist system. In other words, the current ‘bust’ is supposed to support Marxist theory. But presumably, it also supports pretty much any economic theory of modern times equally well. The fact that Gordon Brown was wrong in declaring the end of ‘boom and bust’ doesn’t mean that Marx was right.

Confession time. I think Marx’s theory was right.

Was right, as in ‘might just have worked if society stayed as it was between 1890 and 1950’. Not any longer. Key to Marx’s ideas was his class theory. Broadly, he defined two classes:
Proletariat – serves to provide labour. Does not own the other means of production
Bourgeoisie – serves to own the means of production and employ the labour of the proletariat, hence exploiting them.
This model of defining the classes worked to a point. By the 1960s, or thereabouts, the industrial working class who defined the proletariat had become far smaller and less significant. Without its main player, Marx’s theory stopped working. Marx was knowledgable in history, and said himself that his theory would be discredited if it was shown by posterity to not work.

Agorism, however, theorises that there are three broad ‘classes’. The word ‘class’ is perhaps improper, as most people do not fit in one single category. Each act can be placed into one of three categories:
Entrepreneur (Good) – innovator, risk-taker, producer, the strength of a free market, victim of the state
Non-statist capitalist (Neutral) – holders of capital, not necessarily ideologically aware, “relatively drone-like non-innovators”.
Pro-statist capitalist (Bad) – “the main Evil in the political realm”, oppressor of the entrepreneur and non-statist classes.

‘Agorist Class Theory’, by Wally Conger covers in reasonable depth the reasons why the agorist theory is stronger.

Agorist Solutions for Marxist Problems (from ACT)

Marxist Problem: The revolutionary class appears to work against its
own interest; the proletariat support reactionary politicians.
Agorist Solution: The Counter-Economic class cannot work against its
interests as long as it is acting counter-economically. Those supporting
statists politically have internal psychological problems without doubt,
but as a class, these acts dampen the weakening of the State marginally.
(Someone who earns $60,000 tax-free and contributes up to $3000
politically is a net revolutionary by several thousand dollars, several
hundred percent!)

Marxist Problem: “Revolutionary” States keep “selling out” to
reaction.
Agorist Solution: There are no such states. Resistance to all states at all
times is supported.

Marxist Problem: Revolutionary parties often betray the victimized
class before taking power.
Agorist Solution: There are no such parties; resistance to all parties at
all times is supported.

Marxist Problem: Little objective relief can be accomplished by
reformist action. (Agorists agree!) Therefore, one must await the
revolution to destroy the system. Until then, revolutionary activities are
premature and “adventurist.” Still, the productive class remains victim-
ized until the class reaches consciousness as a whole.
Agorist Solution: Each individual may liberate himself immediately.
Incentives for supporting collective action are built in and grow as the
self-conscious counter-economy (agora) grows.

Marxist Problem: The class line blurs with time — against prediction.
Agorist Solution: Class lines sharpen with time — as predicted

Posted in Opinion, Quoteyness | Leave a Comment »

[Cyburbia] Religion 2.0

Posted by Lex Fear on February 24, 2009

Interesting interview of James Harkin on the media obsession with Web 2.0 and failure to criticise the medium. Well worth a read of the whole article, even Neo-Darwinism gets a mention. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

Now I’m not arguing people are stupid or lazy if they do that – but there’s an electronic peer pressure online. Academic studies that have been done by people who are very sympathetic to Web 2.0 and networks, people like Clay Shirky and Duncan Watts, show that the whole decision making process tends to become a robotic routine. One person makes a decision, and everyone else falls in line.

It’s a refreshing perspective and nice to read a contrarian view, enough to make me want to buy the book.

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Posted in Quoteyness, Technology, Tick-Box Culture, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Profit of Doom] Blair Must Hang

Posted by Lex Fear on February 22, 2009

“In January 2008, J P Morgan Chase took him on as an advisor, plunging the bank into a crisis from which it may not recover. “Our firm will benefit greatly from his knowledge and experience”, they said. Over the next year the share price halved and profits plunged by more than 80%, much as I expected.

Now he’s helping to modernise Rwanda. Woe to that land that appoints Blair to modernise it! His normal way of expressing concern and trying to help is to send the RAF to destroy their infrastructure. I don’t know what precise form the catastrophe in Rwanda will take –could be genocide, could be a plague of frogs- but it will come. And if the Americans ever ask his advice on resolving the financial crisis he may yet succeed in ruining us all.”

From Chase Me Ladies, I’m in the cavalry

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bank Robbers, Bollotics, Financial Terrorism, Ha-has, Quoteyness, Untouchables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

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Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Unconstitutional Alliance] – Where does the Rule of Law come in?

Posted by BHudson on February 8, 2009

I’m having a state-the-obvious day, because (for want of another reason), not many people seem to be seeing things as they are.

I hold these points to be self evident:

  1. The UK has a constitution.

  2. The constitution is uncodified but partially written.

  3. One of the sources of the constitution is the rule of law.

  4. Hence, the government is bound by the laws of the land.

These are pretty simple, fundamental points. The thing is, the rule of law would not allow the wilful suppression of evidence relating to a torture case. So why does Miliband continue to pass off the UK’s spineless response to the USA’s strongarm tactics in the name of ‘national security’? Suppressing evidence is against the rule of law. The relationship between America and Britain enforces the suppression of evidence. Hence, the alliance is (on this front) unconstitutional.


As Crispin Black comments in the Independent on Sunday, the problem stems from the USA’s unilateral foreign policy. We can have a ‘special relationship’ with their government, as long as we don’t step out of line. “There is little cost/benefit analysis of our relationship with the Americans. And absolutely none about the intelligence relationship… We persist in an ‘intelligence cringe’ – the Americans know more, the Americans know better. Well, they did not know what was going on in Iraq… Quite why we should think they understand what is going on any else better than we do remains a mystery.”


In the words of Shami Chakrabarti, “Despite best efforts to shine a light on the grubbiest aspects of the ‘war on terror’, the Foreign Office has claimed that the Obama administration maintained a previous US threat to reconsider intelligence sharing unless our judges kept this shameful skeleton in the closet. We find this Foreign Office allegation … surprising.”

The bottom line is that by withholding evidence, both sides are implicit in torture, regardless of whether they were before (and I’m pretty sure they were). Yet another nail in the coffin of the War of on Terror that will no doubt have no effect.

Posted in Absolute Power, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Global Alarming, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Minipax, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Protest, Quoteyness, The Elite | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Fools And Their Money] Property Investor Mentality

Posted by Lex Fear on February 4, 2009

Bet this guy feels like a right tit now.

“The place is full with slightly mad people, to say the least. Not a dangerous kind of mad, just weird kind of mad. The fact that a crash might not occur is simply beyond their comprehension. It’s pretty odd how people can be so ignorant towards possibilities. I don’t think there will be a crash per’se, but I wouldn’t laugh or disrespect anyone who thinks there is going to be one.

How magnanimous of you. Heh. Here he is whinging about one of his tennants, something he is prone to do every now and then if you read through the archives.

Which reminds me, I just refused to pay rent rise to my landlord for the second time in 6 months. Ho hum, I guess we’ll be looking at a bigger place for the same amount of money anyway come summertime. The lettings agent is practically begging now (they’ve bolloxed all the paperwork, something tells me they stand to lose a large amount of money soon).

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[Easy Way Out] Attenborough – Blame the Bible?

Posted by BHudson on February 2, 2009

In keeping with the usual antitheist precepts of misusing scripture and making vast generalisations, David Attenborough has blamed ‘many environmental problems, from the burning down of tropical rainforests to the extinction of species’ on the Bible.

Attenborough seems to think that all the world’s problems can be blamed on Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” In saying so, he shows an astounding inability to understand the tone of the Bible and a blind ignorance of most of it. He also notably misses our the next bit about dressing (serving) and keeping (preserving) it. Perhaps the blame should fall on, say the US government,  who have vetoed UN resolutions about nuclear testing (in the atmosphere and out), products harmful to the environment and the Israeli clear-up of an oil-slick caused by bombing. Oh, and releasing crop-destroying insects over Cuba in 1996. But never mind – why let the weight of evidence get in the way of a rant?

As Catherine Pepinster of the Tablet wrote in the Independent, he gets the sense of ‘dominion’ wrong. Like the feudal oaths of the Middle Ages, there’s more than one side to the bargain. Yes, God gives us control over the Earth. But it is done with the requirement that we are good stewards.

Bearing in mind I did this in Year 10 RS, Attenborough is making a pretty big oversight in claiming that Christians think the world is ours to destroy. See Leviticus 25:1-5 “The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”

If God intended us to use the world unwisely and profligately, then why would he care about the death of a mere sparrow (Matthew 10:29).

At the end of the day, religion is an easy thing to blame for everything. But the bottom line is that religion doesn’t cause harm. People do.

Posted in Opinion, Quoteyness, Religion & Science | Leave a Comment »