Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Posts Tagged ‘the grauniad’

[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 »

[Ideologies] Right-Minded Individuals

Posted by Lex Fear on May 25, 2007

This Post Is Rated: M for You will probably be Mildly offended. But you won’t be able to explain why.

A while back Bryan Ferry was quoted in The Grauniad about his comments praising Nazi aesthetics.

“I apologise unreservedly for any offense caused by my comments… I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent.”

I found it interesting he referenced right-minded individuals (no, I don’t mean politically). I find it interesting because it causes me to wonder, do right-minded individuals really find the Nazi regime abhorrent? I think to verify that, we would need to know who would be considered a ‘right-minded individual’. We also need to establish what exactly was abhorrent about the Nazi regime?

Nazism, defined by Wikipedia is:

I haven’t listed every single reference on Wikipedia (one hotly disputed section argues that Nazism was anti-capitalist which is a joke), nevertheless these are the main associations with Nazi ideology. You will notice that ethnic nationalism, anti-liberalism, anti-communism and nationalism are on this list. Strangely enough, you can find examples of large groups of people who support these ideologies alive and well today (particularly in regards to the American government).

So is it really right-minded to oppose these ideologies? I suspect that many ‘right-minded individuals’ were caught up in the Nazi rhetoric before we could look back in hindsight knowing it was all evil and abhorrent. After all, how else would Hitler rise to power if he was not charismatic and good at blending a patriotic and religious message?

Perhaps being ‘right-minded’ is not enough… or perhaps it’s not about being ‘right-minded’ at all. The problem with using a term such as ‘right-minded’ is that it can only be defined in relative terms. Instead of acknowledging what is essentially evil or abhorrent, we define it as evil and abhorrent only as long as the majority of what we consider ‘right-minded individuals’ find it evil and abhorrent.

See how easy it is to fall into the trap of circular reasoning?

Why am I making such a meal of this? Because it’s quite apparent to me that “I, like every right-minded individual” is a rhetorical statement.

It’s important for us to analyse what makes an ideology evil, and to stand against it as a matter of principal. We should not stand against an ideology simply because someone we dislike believes in it, or everyone agrees it’s wrong – otherwise we will not recognise true evil when it stares us in the face.

Posted in Doublethink, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Pharisees, Propaganda, Quoteyness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

[Visas] Real Costs Of Immigration?

Posted by Lex Fear on May 14, 2007

For any Daily Mail readers who may happen across this blog, I would like to advise that my wife is an immigrant to the UK. We paid a total of approximately £500 for our marriage visa+application, she pays a higher rate of tax and has no rights to claim any benefits for the first 5(?) years.

If local councils are concerned about the cost of immigration, may I advise them to take it up with the treasury and the home office, who may be able to help with some of the funding.

Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Opinion, Profiteering, WhatTheyDontWantU2C, Xenophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Grauniad Columnist] Peaches

Posted by Lex Fear on April 3, 2007

Peaches Geldof wrote an article for Guardian’s Comment is Free the other day.

Lot’s of bloggers have already gone over this one so I won’t comment, instead I want to share some of the comments others left for her:

Read the rest of this entry »

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[Israel] Not The Only Guilty Party

Posted by Lex Fear on August 10, 2006

“There, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt.”

It’s time things were put in perspective about Hezbollah. I’ve hinted already that I’m not in favour of this organisation as just as I am not in favour of Israel’s bombing of civilians.

I was directed through Guido Fawkes‘ blog to an excellent post by Harold Evans on The Guardians Comment is Free.

I admire George Galloway, he’s a great speaker and amazing to watch in a debate, however not everything he says is easy to agree with. Galloway and others in the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) march on Saturday 5th August 2006, have been calling for the release of an unrepentant terrorist named Samir Kuntar.

Would it be a good idea to release him? Smadar Haran, an Israeli woman, shares her testimony of her encounter with Kuntar on April 22nd 1979:

“It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband Danny and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Naharyia, a city on the northern coast of Israel. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists from Lebanon landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away.

“Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us. Desperately we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbour climb into a crawl space above our bedroom. I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out of the front door when the terrorists came crashing in. They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael.

“I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space, so I kept my hand over her mouth. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust.

“The terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar. By the time we were rescued from the crawl space hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives I had smothered her” – Original source: Washington Post

Should any human being be locked up indefinitely without trial? No. Should any accused be presumed guilty and charged without evidence? No. However, this man is clearly proven to be a real and recognised terrorist. He is reported to not show any signs of remorse, so I would definitely say that it’s beneficial that he is locked up.

This does not mean I believe he should be given inhumane treatment. The difference between a state and a terrorist organisation is that the state believes in humanity, sanctity of life and respectful treatment of all people, friends and enemies, free and imprisoned.

Is Hezbollah an organisation of freedom fighters? or are they an organisation of terrorists, simply manipulating and taking advantage of victims of Israeli terrorism? There are no innocents in the Middle East conflict, apart from the ones that are killed daily by both sides.

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Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Minitruth, Pharisees, Propaganda, Quoteyness, V for Vendetta | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Grauniad Jobs] Excellent Opportunities to Waste Public Money

Posted by Lex Fear on March 26, 2006

For those who don’t know, there is a section in The Guardian which advertises all the government non-jobs going.

Saturdays Guardian had 2 in particular which drew my attention which makes you think there’s some sort of competition or bonus for the most creative title:

Department For Work and Pensions
Head of Staff Engagement and Leadership Visibility
£44,260 – £56,810

The British Museum
Director of Public Understanding
£65,000

If you want to see more, The Telegraph runs an excellent ‘Non-Job of the Week’ column written by Jim Levi.

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