Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride


7:50 pm - January 12th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Stephen Green, leader of the extremist religious group Christian Voice has blamed Tesco’s falling sales on gays.

No, we’re not joking. The retailer’s shares nose-dived today after it reported suffering its worst Christmas for two decades.

In contrast, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis did much better over the Chrismas holidays.

For Stephen Green, this was because Tesco sponsored Gay Pride:

Tesco’s announcement that it was giving £30,000 to Gay Pride came in early November and Christian Voice quickly mobilised prayer and action. The action included emails to directors and leafleting at stores, making ordinary shoppers aware of the store’s support for depravity. We were already disappointed with Tesco’s secret sale of fresh halal lamb and chicken, and their arrogant refusal to label it ‘ritually slaughtered’. But the ‘Gay Pride’ decision was even more serious.

Our prayer – which we said ‘will humble proud Tesco’ – centred on a desire that the Tesco board would rescind the decision, which has not happened yet.

I now call on Tesco to see sense before their company is ruined. Don’t display the arrogance of Pharoah. Withdraw the grant to Gay Pride. Apologise to the decent families upon whose patronage their business depends. Deal better with your suppliers. And label ritually-slaughtered meat so people can see what they are buying.

Amazing. Just amazing. Prize for Britain’s most delusional religious nut goes to…

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. christhegoth

*shrugs* He’s probably on drugs. Prescription ones. And the dose is probably too low.

But then Pope Palpatine has had a recent push on gay-bashing, so some of his minions will be obeying:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/pope-benedict-xvi-gay-marriage_n_1194515.html

Please note the force-lightning has been photoshop’ed out by Vatican minions, as Palpatine does not want to show his true colours until he is in control of the world proper.

2. christhegoth

*shrugs* He’s probably on drugs. Prescription ones. And the dose is probably too low.

But then Pope Palpatine has had a push of late so…:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/pope-benedict-xvi-gay-marriage_n_1194515.html

Palpatines’ minions will be out gay-bashing away in the service of their dark lord.

They always photoshop out the force-lightning in the vatican press releases. It’s dead dodgy.

The reason I stopped shopping at Tesco several years back had absolutely nothing to do with Tesco’s sponsorship of Gay Pride.

What put me off shopping at Tesco’s were the increasing number of rows I was having over the differences between posted prices and what I was being charged at checkouts. The instructive insight is that I hardly ever have similar rows after shopping at other supermarket chain stores.

I didn’t used to have the rows on shopping at Tesco’s so I think it likely that the store managements began to cut corners to save on store operating costs by not checking to see whether posted prices matched those on the price databases feeding the tills at the checkouts. The other pricing trick was to not post prices so shoppers were left to guess or assume that prices or offers had remained unchanged since they last shopped, an assumption that could turn out to be incorrect.

Amazed he stopped beating his wife long enough to write that…

Interesting that Green calls on Tescos to avoid “display(ing) the arrogance of Pharoah”. According to the Bible, Pharaoh only refused to let the ‘Israelites’ go because God hardened his heart. Perhaps God has hardened Tescos board’s hearts as well.

Towards the end of his article relating to homosexual depravity, Stephen Green gives a list entitled, “WHAT YOU CAN DO”. It includes the item, “3 Mount a witness”.

I can’t be the only one who misinterpreted that, can I?

Green is clearly an idiot, but barely anyone listens to him critiquing his views is somewhat akin to shooting fish in a barrel

missing full stop there: “him.”

Sunny, why are you giving an extremist nutjob with no support the oxygen of publicity? If he gets ignored, he’ll go away.

10. Chaise Guevara

Ahahahaha! I’d love to see those guys handing out leaflets outside Tesco saying “This Store Supports Sodomites!” It’s like the handful of morons who righteously picket the Gay Pride march in Manchester every year, their placards attracting nothing but derision, and their bigoted rants being drowned out by the noisy celebration being enjoyed by everyone else.

@ lol m.: excellent point!

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 3 Bob

“What put me off shopping at Tesco’s were the increasing number of rows I was having over the differences between posted prices and what I was being charged at checkouts.”

Which Tesco is this? Because mine has the same problem, but if I point it out they instantly give me the quoted price*. It has made me develop the habit of always checking the receipt in-store (and last time I forgot and got ripped off as a result), but they’ve always been good as gold when I’ve pointed it out.

*In a lucrative one-off error at Sainsbury’s, this once resulted in me getting a £20 cutlery set for a fiver!

When are we going to see an article about the Muslim men who were successfully prosecuted in Burnley for putting anti-gay literature through people’s doors?

Or is it only those nasty Christians who indulge in hatespeak?

Sunny?

13. Leon Wolfeson

@3 – Yea, and their automatic machines get things wrong SO often. Happened once in a year at Sainsburys, was happening every week at Tescos. So I walk four minutes extra…

Green is a truly nasty piece of work. On the other hand, if he was the worst we had to fear from religious nutters in this country, I and many other gay people would feel much safer.

@ Tyler,

“When are we going to see an article about the Muslim men who were successfully prosecuted in Burnley for putting anti-gay literature through people’s doors?

Or is it only those nasty Christians who indulge in hatespeak?”

Lib Con’s news agenda with regard to such stories is invariably to do with other issues (e.g. political or religious affiliation) rather than homophobia itself.

Personally I find it unimpressive how that Sunny and co cynically selectively cover homophobia in this way, but it’s what they’ve always done and will probably keep doing, and it probably makes them feel good about themselves, and that’s obviously more important than covering religious nuts who actually tell their audiences that gay people should be killed.

Prize for Britain’s most delusional religious nut goes to…

…someone who’d be inclined to take more dramatic steps than emailing them.

Chaise: “Which Tesco is this? Because mine has the same problem”

I’ve two Tesco Extra stores within striking distance by buses. Both have the problem but one significantly more than the other. I was first discretely alerted by a friendly checkout person who quietly advised me to check till receipts – of course, checkout personnel have no personal control over the prices flagged up by the till bar code readers.

On finding price discrepances, I started going to the customer services desk where the staff soon rectified the differences after checking the posted prices but that got increasingly frequent and then one of the staff came back and virtually implied I was lying so I insisted on going back with her to show the large card displaying the price offer. She went into denial so I insisted on calling for senior management who instantly conceded the discrepancy and granted a refund. I susbsequently re-encountered the same staff member who had gone into denial and a major row erupted as the result of which I was ejected from the store. I have never gone back to that store although I occasionally visit the other Extra store within striking distance.

One benefit of living in London is that it’s usually possible to switch between supermarket chains so I now shop at a Morrisons supermarket – which it had acquired from Safeway – for almost all groceries. As the smallest of the big four chains, I reckon it tries harder but I can get to stores of any of the big four chains without too much difficulty.

In retrospect, it seems to me significant that the number of price discrepances had increased through time at the Tesco store where I shopped, suggesting that the management were letting price checking progressively slide to save staffing costs. Other changes on trend reinforced this assessment – the lockers for shoppers to stash trolleys while they ate in the store cafeteria or went to the loo were taken out and the vacated space filled by sales display racks, while some racks were extended upwards to the extent where clothing items became unreachable without standing on something. I concluded that there was a concerted policy to “sweat the assets” and screw shoppers – btw all this was while Leahy was still the CEO.

Part of the problem is a basic competition policy issue. With 30 pc of the market, Tesco has a dominant market share and can afford to disregard competition on (fuzzy) quality issues even if it is able to say that it matches price competition. In some localities, shoppers have little choice of alternative stores within easy striking distance.

The competition policy issue seems to me to be substantially more important than whether Tesco chose to sponsor a Gay Pride march – I didn’t know that and don’t care if it did although I would be interested to know exactly what motivated the decision.

When are we going to see an article about the Muslim men who were successfully prosecuted in Burnley for putting anti-gay literature through people’s doors?

Given that the case disproves the ridiculous right-wing meme that only Christians attract the attention of the law when they engage in extreme anti-gay rhetoric, instead highlighting that all religions are treated equally, I’d’ve thought you’d want minimal discussion of that one.

18. In stitches

@ Tyler
ok lets discuss it here…They did WHAT?!?! And they got CAUGHT and PUNISHED!?!?!? How the hell do these sneeky muslims get away with this!??!?!ELEVEN1111!

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 16 Bob B

Whew, sounds like you’ve got a couple of bad ‘uns there. I agree that lack of clarity and a lackadaisical attitude towards customer services are more likely to be reasons for Tesco’s problems than its failure to be homophobic (although I think the current price wars, and the recent rise in private labels, are the main cause).

I live in Manchester and drive a car, so I can choose from a range of supermarkets too (I actually go out of my way to go to Tesco). I tend to go to Tesco despite the aforementioned problems because it’s large, it’s cheap, it has a good selection, and its own-brand and white-label goods tend to be all right.

Prize for Britain’s most delusional religious nut goes to…

Suicide bombers?

“Given that the [Burnley] case disproves the ridiculous right-wing meme that only Christians attract the attention of the law when they engage in extreme anti-gay rhetoric, instead highlighting that all religions are treated equally…”

No, it doesn’t. There have been numerous cases in recent years of Islamists preaching death to gay people – a famous instance was Abu Usamah on Channel 4’s Undercover Mosque about 6 years ago – and this is the first time that there has been a proper conviction. Until now they have been studiously ignored, airbrushed, trivialised (In stitches post on this thread is the sort of nervous giggling is textbook) by the CPS, police and sections of the media.

This case is very good news and perhaps shows a change of attitude on the part of the authorities, but don’t pat yourselves on the back too soon. There are scores of other Islamists who could have been prosecuted for similar or worse in recent years but who have got away with it.

@Lamia
Please dont attribute any sort character to my post. It was not ‘nervous giggling’, it was full on, gut busting, side splitting, tear streaming laughter.

If you require any further clarification on my post just ask.

Thank you.

In fact I am not sure there has been such a case in Burnley. There is a case being tried in Derby currently, but that has not been concluded.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/01/12/anti-gay-leaflet-man-wanted-police-to-check-slogans/

@ In stitches,

there has in fact been no conviction yet. in any case, I am not sure why you find the subject funny. What is funny about people putting leafleting homes with the message that homosexuals should be executed?

25. Robin Levett

@Lamia #23:

In fact I am not sure there has been such a case in Burnley. There is a case being tried in Derby currently, but that has not been concluded.

Let me get this straight; you and Tyler are criticising this blog for not covering an event which hasn’t happened? Is that right?

26. Chaise Guevara

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that In stiches was laughing at what he considered to be an inconsistency in Tyler’s point. not at the idea of gay people being harrassed by bigots.

27. In stitches

@ Chaise
I did ask, mind you, if there was anything else he needed clearing up, so cant blame him.
I thank you for your defence but alas it is misplaced, Lamia has seen through me and i have now been exposed.
Yes I find it funny that gay hate leaflets are posted through peoples doors. This is a source of great joy to me. *sarcasm* *rolls eyes* *any other term you want to put in here to determine I am not serious*
Lamia i know you were being facetious, but i really hope your not this much of a twunt in real life!

@ Robin Levett

“Let me get this straight; you and Tyler are criticising this blog for not covering an event which hasn’t happened? Is that right?”

Wrong. I am criticising it for picking up on silly soft touch religious homophobia stories like this while signally ignoring other more serious cases – for instance it studiously avoided covering the ‘Gay Free Zone’ poster case in Tower Hamlets, which is fairly obviously a far more serious case for gay people than this idiocy.

@ In Stitches,

I am not being facetious. Your initial comment seemed to trivialise such cases. You then said you were indeed laughing, You have repeated (presumably ironically) that you are laughing, but despite your offer to clarify what point you were really making, you haven’t doesn’t so. You’ve once again hidden behind sarcasm. So I’m politley asking you to actually clarify your position as you offered rather than just insulting me.

@ Chaise,

It did seem as if In Stitches reasoning was that as the case had (supposedly) been settled in court, there was no real point in covering it. This seems to be a strange principle, if it is indeed a principle rather than an argument of convenience. I am open to correction on this.

As a general point, having a daft homophobic belief and using it to threaten or attack other people is obviously more important than just having a daft homophobic belief. At least it is if you are a gay person. Unfortunately some here seem to calibrate the importance of an offence on the basis of the religion or politicial affiliation of the person who is responsible for it. This can even translate on occasion to exploiting homophobia for some notional greater purpose, as Unity demonstrated on here last year in a post Stephen Green himself would very likely have approved of.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ Lamia

“It did seem as if In Stitches reasoning was that as the case had (supposedly) been settled in court, there was no real point in covering it.”

I read it as In Stiches saying that, if the case had gone to court, then obviously the law doesn’t suffer from the bias against Christians and/or for Muslims that some claim.

In fairness to Tyler, he was criticising LC, not the law. But I certainly don’t think that In Stitches was calling this a non-story: he was arguing over the implications we can take from this. So it’s hardly fair to claim that he thinks threats and violence against gays is funny. He’s said absolutely nothing to suggest that.

“As a general point, having a daft homophobic belief and using it to threaten or attack other people is obviously more important than just having a daft homophobic belief.”

Agreed.

“Unfortunately some here seem to calibrate the importance of an offence on the basis of the religion or politicial affiliation of the person who is responsible for it. This can even translate on occasion to exploiting homophobia for some notional greater purpose, as Unity demonstrated on here last year in a post Stephen Green himself would very likely have approved of.”

Yep, true again. And if that’s the article I’m thinking of (the “Tory in Gay Porn Shocker” one) then yes, it was appalling and I’m glad Unity retracted it.

30. In stitches

@ Lamia
I would like to believe that you honestly thought I was laughing at the action of the posting of homophobic content through people’s doors, but I think my original post was succinctly clear that I was mocking Tyler’s statement and you are just being a cock!
I read LC every day but rarely comment. The only time I comment is when I feel I see something so completely moronic that it actually makes me laugh, hence the screen name.
I don’t argue on the internet, as im sure we’ve all heard before, its like wrestling with a pig…
Now take this as you will that either your superior debating skills have won, that I support muslims in their crusdade against gays or any way you want honestly I don’t care.
I feel I have been drawn in too much as it is
Back to lurking and the occasional post!
Have a good one!

@ in stitches

“I think my original post was succinctly clear that I was mocking Tyler’s statement.”

Yes, I got that you were mocking it. but it wasn’t clear exactly why. It still isn’t.

“Now take this as you will that either your superior debating skills have won, that I support muslims in their crusdade against gays or any way you want honestly I don’t care.”

A strawman. I have asked you several times now to explain what you meant, because it genuinely isn’t clear to me, and you just keep alternately refusing and insulting.

32. Robin Levett

@Lamia #28:

Wrong. I am criticising it for picking up on silly soft touch religious homophobia stories like this while signally ignoring other more serious cases – for instance it studiously avoided covering the ‘Gay Free Zone’ poster case in Tower Hamlets, which is fairly obviously a far more serious case for gay people than this idiocy.

The sequence of events was that at #12 Tyler said:

When are we going to see an article about the Muslim men who were successfully prosecuted in Burnley for putting anti-gay literature through people’s doors?

Or is it only those nasty Christians who indulge in hatespeak?

and at #14 you chimed in with general support and criticism of LC for not covering Islamist homophobia. I agree that you went beyond the particular case that Tyler mentioned – but it wasn’t until a few posts later that you disavowed that case.

As for the gay-free zone – try this:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/06/07/worrying-lessons-from-the-gay-free-zone-conviction/

The piece points out that the gay-free zone is far from the worst example of Islamist homophobia, and ends with:

Equally, there were no protests when Abdul Muhid openly incited the murder of gay people in East London and when the Crown Prosecution Service refused to bring him to trial.

When OutRage! stood alone in challenging Muhid and the East London Mosque / London Muslim Centre we were denounced by some people as racists and Islamophobes.

Such false, malicious allegations are having a chilling effect on some LGBT campaigners. They are terrified of being accused of racism or Islamophobia, even when such accusations are wholly untrue and unjustified.

That there is a problem is clear; that the left contributes to it is clear; that LC has studiously avoided either covering the case or condemning Islamist homophobia is quite simply untrue. At least last June you qualified the “avoided” claim.

I do agree that Sunny tends to jump with alacrity on anything that minimises the problem; but other posters on LC, and other commentators, are quite happy to fill the gap.

Having said that; could you refer me to the Mail‘s condemnation of, or even invitation to point and laugh about, this piece by Green or any other manifestation of the odder and more hateful versions of Christianity out there; or perhaps its pieces in support of gay rights other than in connection with Islamist homophobia? Yes, that’s a Mail quoque, but perhaps you would join me in condemning that paper for its one-sided approach to these issues?

@13 – They let you outside now? That’s fantastic progress mate I’m really pleased for you. Keep up the good work!

34. Robin Levett

@Lamia:

…and did you even read In stitches’ original post?

Tyler’s original point was stupid. Therefore, we were mocking Tyler. That is all.

Also, people like both Stephen Green and the Muslim wingnuts currently up before the beak *are* inherently risible. We can laugh at them – I’d go as far as to say that everyone *should* laugh at them. Just because something’s important doesn’t mean it isn’t a topic for humour – if anything, the reverse is true. It’s every sane person’s duty to mock people who take themselves seriously, with religious fundamentalists at the top of that particular tree.

(unless you’re a Michael Macintyre fan, in which case yes, we should only laugh at gentle trivia).

@13 again… How the hell does a 99%er afford to shop in sainsburys anyway?

37. In stitches

@Lamia
I do apologise I didn’t mean to alternate between refusing and insulting, I of course meant to do both at the same time.
I have looked through this thread again and I have replied to you directly 3 times.
This will be the forth. I have insulted you twice.
This would make it alternating on balance but as this is not my intent please allow me to fix this.
Balls!
Flangita!
Please accept these as 2 separate insults!
I hope this puts the matter to rest!

It beats me why some religious folk get so upset about gay sex between consenting adults when there are far more deeply troubling events happening in the world – such as attacks on hospitals in Africa or rape being used as a regular weapon in civil conflicts.

Also, people like both Stephen Green and the Muslim wingnuts currently up before the beak *are* inherently risible. We can laugh at them – I’d go as far as to say that everyone *should* laugh at them. Just because something’s important doesn’t mean it isn’t a topic for humour – if anything, the reverse is true. It’s every sane person’s duty to mock people who take themselves seriously, with religious fundamentalists at the top of that particular tree.

Hear hear.

The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

38 Because they are obsessed with sex.

I’M not joking by the way. They really are obsessed with sex. No normal person would dream up a situation where only male un married men should become Priests, and then be shocked at all thechild abuse.

And all the religions are batshit insane on the subject. Islam, and Christians are some of the worst.

@ Robin,

“that LC has studiously avoided either covering the case or condemning Islamist homophobia is quite simply untrue. At least last June you qualified the “avoided” claim.”

Yes I remember that thread well, but LC avoided reporting the posting of stickers and the court case while it was taking place (when it was being reported elsewhere). It only discussed it in retrospect, after the conviction, and from the standpoint of saying the conviction was unfair – Peter Tatchell in periodically nutty form. The fact that it couldn’t keep avoiding it indefinitely doesn’t mean LC didn’t give it a good try, or that it didn’t still try to change the frame of the discussion away from homophobia to freedom of speech.

“Having said that; could you refer me to the Mail‘s condemnation of, or even invitation to point and laugh about, this piece by Green or any other manifestation of the odder and more hateful versions of Christianity out there; or perhaps its pieces in support of gay rights other than in connection with Islamist homophobia? Yes, that’s a Mail quoque, but perhaps you would join me in condemning that paper for its one-sided approach to these issues?”

Eh? Why are you bringing the Mail into this? I will happily condemn the shitrag, as I don’t don’t buy the bloody thing and never have.

Is Lib Con supposed to be the anti-Daily Mail? Is that supposed to justify an equivalent one-sidedness here?

And yes I read In Stitches post. And it didn’t make any sense beacause it is so ambiguous.

@ john b

“Also, people like both Stephen Green and the Muslim wingnuts currently up before the beak *are* inherently risible. We can laugh at them – I’d go as far as to say that everyone *should* laugh at them.”

I didn’t get from In Stitches’ post that he was laughing at the wingnuts currently in court. And sorry, call it a sense of humour bypass, but I don’t see anything funny at all about people who posting leaflets advocating killing people. That’s on a seriously different level to barmpot nonsense like claiming Tesco is losing custom because of gay pride.

And I doubt if ‘laughing at them’ is any likely to stop them than it is likely to stop countries like Iran actually executing gay people.

Bob @ 38:

“It beats me why some religious folk get so upset about gay sex between consenting adults when there are far more deeply troubling events happening in the world – such as attacks on hospitals in Africa or rape being used as a regular weapon in civil conflicts.”

You can make that argument about anything, though. “Why are you worried about poverty in Britain when there’s even worse poverty in Africa?”, “Why are the police concerned with muggings when there are murders happening out there?”, and so on.

Sally: “And all the religions are batshit insane on the subject. Islam, and Christians are some of the worst.”

You’ve not mentioned the Mormons. Try this engaging report about British Columbia in Canada from The Economist back in 2009:

“AFTER decades of tolerating what has come to be seen as a dirty little secret, British Columbia’s government is at last taking action to end the practice of polygamy by a Mormon sect. This week two leaders of a commune called Bountiful appeared in court to answer criminal charges. But the case may expose a conflict between constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion on the one hand and the criminal law on the other.”
http://www.economist.com/node/12974209

A challenging question: Providing only consenting adults are involved, what is wrong with having multiple spouses in marriage? In a few places, Buddhism evidently regards polyandrous marriages as entirely acceptable.

@ Various, including Lamia and In Stitches

My point was really that Sunny/LC NEVER puts up an article which denigrates any one of the groups LC and the (so-called) liberal, progressive left hold dear. Muslims attacking homosexuals ties them in knots, given both are favoured minority groups. Christians, not being classified in their terms as a minority, are fair game though.

They are righteously on message, from the Labour party and the unions, as well as a few other special interest groups. So much so I do wonder where some of their information and funding actually comes from. ((My guess, unions))

The articles here are spectacularly one-sided when it comes to certain groups, and when members of those groups act just as badly, it stinks of hypocrisy.

45. Chaise Guevara

@ 44 Tyler

LC did criticise the Muslims who organised the “gay free zone” poster campaign, and (wrongly, in my view) attacked the Hays Festival for giving a podium to Anjem Choudary. So it’s not a case of “never”. But yes, LC does tend to leap on stories that reflect badly on Christians or well on Muslims, suggesting that politics is a giant point-scoring competition.

You have to laugh at the concern trolls who come on here and lecture Sunny about what he should write. What is even funnier is that they are the biggest defenders of property laws.

47. In stitches

@Tyler
Hey Tyler unlike Lamia and his epic misunderstanding of my first post i fully understood what you were getting at at you post. My reply was neither defending LC or any particular group just highlighting your example of “bad guys do bad things get caught and punished” was quite funny as an example of this being swept under the rug.
Its not enough that they were caught and punished…everyone must know about it!
(again based of your original example)
This is where my Lolz came from and still do!
LOOOOOOLZ!!111!

Chris @4 said everything that needs to be said about Stephen ‘birdshit’ Green.

(For those not in the know, Christian Voice wants to overturn the law on marital rape, stating that the promises given by a man and woman to each other during the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer establish a binding consent to sexual intercourse.)

Ah Christian Voice as and Stephen Green. Loudmouth fantasists who believe the “majority” share their views and beliefs.

“Its not enough that they were caught and punished…everyone must know about it!

(again based of your original example)
This is where my Lolz came from and still do!
LOOOOOOLZ!!111″

Do you always LOOOOOOLZ!! when a hate crime trial is reported?

The Stephen Lawrence verdict being reported here must have had you weeping with laughter.

@46. Sally: “You have to laugh at the concern trolls who come on here and lecture Sunny about what he should write.”

As so often, Sally condenses the maximum of mistakenness into the fewest words.

LibCon attracts genuine “trolls”* and spam merchants like any comment site, but overall the liberal, respectful reply and moderation policies seem fine to me. To understand liberal politics, it is helpful to have a mental ding dong with people who have a different mind set. Possibly as a result of moderation, I don’t see anything in the replies above that is not honestly written.

Those who have “lectured” Sunny — I’ll pick Green Christian who argues against providing the oxygen of publicity to an organisation — typically do so with honest intent and in the belief that Sunny can make up his own mind. (And Green Christian makes a very good point too, whether or not I agree.) I am presuming — and I am not stretching — that Sunny seeks debate and thought, and that when his skin is pricked there are friends to support him.

Please, Sally, do not spend your time on the sidelines making snarky comments about “trolls” and “brown shirts”. When you have engaged in debates, I probably didn’t agree with you, but I respected you for standing up for your views.

* I could write for days about why I, as a UK English speaker, despise the noun “troll” and its derivatives.

If Tesco’s poor sales over the Christmas period were due to divine intervention to spite Tesco’s sponsorship of that Gay Pride March, were Sainsbury’s good sales results due to divine assistance?

If so, how did Sainsbury’s manage its superior celestial communications? Perhaps, more importantly, how come its customers were susceptible to such potent supernatural influence? Is this an issue the Office for Fair Trading should be looking into?

53. Chaise Guevara

Bob B

“If so, how did Sainsbury’s manage its superior celestial communications? Perhaps, more importantly, how come its customers were susceptible to such potent supernatural influence? Is this an issue the Office for Fair Trading should be looking into?”

No doubt Christian Voice mobilized prayer in support of Sainsbury’s.

Chaise: “No doubt Christian Voice mobilized prayer in support of Sainsbury’s.”

I can only express the hope that so potent an influence can be successfully invoked to prevent future earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics. If not, I think we should be told why. After all, such catastrophies with the miseries they inflict can hardly be attributed to human free will.

@52. Bob B: “If Tesco’s poor sales over the Christmas period were due to divine intervention to spite Tesco’s sponsorship of that Gay Pride March, were Sainsbury’s good sales results due to divine assistance?”

Sunny: Please feel free to shift this comment into “Heavenly shopping experiences” should you wish.

If I lived full time in Lancashire (and abouts), I would shop at Booths (http://www.booths.co.uk/). Their big shops stock everything for a New Labour canape and champagne party, everything for a black pudding breakfast. Every Booths shop sells lovely local food.

56. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob

“I can only express the hope that so potent an influence can be successfully invoked to prevent future earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics. If not, I think we should be told why. After all, such catastrophies with the miseries they inflict can hardly be attributed to human free will.”

My assumption is that prayer fails to prevent such horrors because it hasn’t been properly harnessed. It’s normally just a bunch of people praying. It hasn’t been properly mobilized, as it would be for really important issues like ensuring Tescos suffers for being friendly to faggots.

57. Chaise Guevara

@ 55

“Every Booths shop sells lovely local food.”

You know what? Everyone’s always going on about how good Booths is. I live in Manchester, which used to be Lancashire (or so auto-completed address forms on the internet tell me) and I’ve never seen one of these places. Where are they, and why aren’t they near me?

57. Chaise Guevara: “I live in Manchester, which used to be Lancashire…”

And I am a lapsed Lancashire citizen who seeks self determination. I wish to be a lapsed Lancashire citizen of a nation that respects regional differences.
.

@Chaise:

“My assumption is that prayer fails to prevent such horrors because it hasn’t been properly harnessed. It’s normally just a bunch of people praying. It hasn’t been properly mobilized, as it would be for really important issues like ensuring Tescos suffers for being friendly to faggots.”

What special ingredients or catalysts are needed for ensuring the extraordinary potency of prayers directed to inflicting suffering on parties disposed to be friendly to faggots? Is it a matter of the new fad of smoking incense, choosing the correct intercessionists, character testimonials for the clergy or the extent of prior self-flagellation, I wonder?

60. In stitches
61. Rob the crip

The problem with Tesco was simple little or no sales, little or no price cuts, and the other shops did simple as that, Tesco for got what makes it Tesco and tried to make more profits by trying to deceive the customers, Asda and Sainsbury offered better price cuts and better deals, even the January sales were zero almost with Tesco is was a bad day for them and a lesson not to take customers for granted for profits.

As for this bunch of Christian zealots just why bother writing you give them space

By chance, I think I may have uncovered what motivated Tesco’s unexpected interest in sponsoring a Gay Pride march.

I began a search on the reasonable assumption that Tesco was systematically looking around for new product lines to sell in faster growing, under-exploited markets. These news reports are what I came across:

Tesco to sell ‘cut-price’ Viagra [September 2010]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11370206

“Tesco condemned for selling pole dancing toy” – news report in the Mail 24 October 2006

“Tesco has been forced to remove a pole-dancing kit from the toys and games section of its website after it was accused of ‘destroying children’s innocence’.

“The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, ‘Unleash the sex kitten inside…simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!

“‘Soon you’ll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars’.”

63. Just Visiting

Chaise condensed it nicely for me:

> LC does tend to leap on stories that reflect badly on Christians or well on Muslims, suggesting that politics is a giant point-scoring competition.

Is LC becoming more parochial – there are big things happening in Egypt regards democracy – and events in Nigeria and etc regards multi-cultural issues – worth discussing on a left leaning forum.

But Sunny seems to be withdrawing into the comfort blanket of baiting his favourite parochial targets.

@60 that was an awesome response! Is it ok if I use it from time to time stitches? I hope that someone develops that virus in the future… would hopefully make the internet a less rediculus place.

“But Sunny seems to be withdrawing into the comfort blanket of baiting his favourite parochial targets.”

For all the ad hominem stuff, the issue is substantive.

How come some Christian activists are so concerned about invoking the power of prayer to inflict punishment on Tesco for sponsorship of a Gay Pride march when they could be praying to prevent earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics which inflict so much misery and which can’t be blamed on human free will?

Bob @ 65:

“How come some Christian activists are so concerned about invoking the power of prayer to inflict punishment on Tesco for sponsorship of a Gay Pride march when they could be praying to prevent earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics which inflict so much misery and which can’t be blamed on human free will?”

How do you know that they aren’t also doing that?

Also, more generally, I agree with Green Christian @ 9. How many people actually agree with Christian Voice? How many care about what they say? How many even know they exist? Stories like this just play into their hands by making them look more important than they objectively are.

“How do you know that they aren’t also doing that?”

If those Christians were praying to prevent earthquakes, tsunamis and panademics, it has been conspicuously ineffective.

That then raises the further challenging question as to why the prayers were so potently successful in punishing Tesco for sponsoring a Gay Pride march but not in preventing a series of natural catastrophes which inflicted so much misery.

Whatever happened to the notions of an intelligent creator and a benign omnipotent deity looking after human kind?

68. In stitches

@Mason
Feel free it not my comic as from the link its from XKCD.com
some times its the most appropriate response!

To be honest Bob, it’s not that often you see anti-gay, anti-women Christian groups claiming that event X was caused by their intercessory prayers, although you DO often see them claiming natural disaster Y was a result of the victim nation being too keen on gay people or loose women (or whatever other ‘sin’ might be the particular bee in their bonnet).

Cylux: ” . . although you DO often see them claiming natural disaster Y was a result of the victim nation being too keen on gay people or loose women (or whatever other ‘sin’ might be the particular bee in their bonnet).”

Absolutely. The implication is that we must switch our preferred theology to notions of a creator lacking foresight and from a benign deity to a vengeful one who will inflict suffering on small children.

71. Just Visiting

Bob

> a vengeful one who will inflict suffering on small children.

If you can find a mainstream christian group saying that Bob – then take them to task for it.

If you can’t then you have to recognise that your chain of thoughts is not one shared by christians.

So that leaves you two choices.

Either consider it game set and match; and posr repeatedly on LC about how irrational, superstitious etc christians are. This is least effort, not requiring any work or an enquiring mind.

Or B – ask yourself why it is Christians chain of thought is not yours. Read what their scholars and writers so – -do NOT cherry pick verses from their holy book, but genuinely enquire into the books that interpret and explain their book.

Option B requires mental effort – the wilingness to read books by people who’s views you don’t share and whose assumptions you disagree with. It requires giving up the simplistic analysis of sites that offer soundbite statements that ‘prove’ christiainity is wrong.

Option B is akin to approaching it like an anthroplogist, looking into a new civilisation discovered on some far off continent. Some new aborigine worldview or etc.

Open-minded ness

B requires more readiness to listen – than to repeat your own prejudices.

As st francis of assissi is quoted:

Seek first to understand – than to be understood.

72. christhegoth

*yawn*

Can we get back to slagging off Palpatine for being a nasty gay-basher? It’s so much more precise.

The C of E has some gay priests in it now. Not many, but they do exist:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/19/church-england-allow-gay-bishops

The Catholics would never allow this obviously.

So who’s the enemy. Christians ( generally )? Or Catholics?

Oh of course – prayers did it!

Nothing to do with their so-called “Price Drop” where prices went up by 20% to then come back down by 10% and we’re supposed to feel thankful to them?

Anyone else want to pray with me that the awful Christian Voice gets laryngitis?

@57. Chaise Guevara: “Where are they [Booths], and why aren’t they near me?”

Try Salford Quays, or take the bus to Chorley for a day out.

Booths is a Lancashire company which sources bread, meat, dairy and veg from local suppliers when possible. Contrarily, I walked around the local shop as a child to sniff the coffee which was ground on millers in front of customers. In those days local produce was commonplace and freshly ground coffee was exotic. We have a reversal in shops today.

Unlike at J R Taylors, a Lancashire brand which has been reduced to a single branch, Booths shop attendants treat customers as equals. You know what I mean, love.

If the Manchester and Cheshire branches succeed, perhaps Booths might expand its supply chain and open more shops. However the company’s ethic for 100 years is to buy “local stuff” (their own Indian tea was a foundation of the company, hence the quotes), and Booths claim that they want to be in business 100 years henceforth. Booths is a family owned company, of course, but they are not sentimental about closing shops that don’t make a profit.

I guess that Booths is unique in the UK. It doesn’t have the buying power of national chains, but it sells beans and soap powder at competitive prices. Booths succeeds by selling stuff that is hard to find in other shops.

Just visiting

“If you can find a mainstream christian group saying that Bob – then take them to task for it.”

Of course they don’t say it as bluntly at that but the concept of a vengeful deity who inflicts suffering on small children is the clear implication of those claims that earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics are divine punishments visited upon sinful populations. Of course, there are Biblical precedents – such as the divine plagues visited upon the Egypticians at the instigation of the ancient Israelites. The children also suffered.

@71. Just Visiting: “If you can find a mainstream christian group saying that Bob – then take them to task for it.”

Bob was suffering so much that I feel obliged to interject.

Nutballs interpret the bible and the works of Trotsky (see Posadism http://www.forteantimes.com/features/profiles/180/juan_r_posadas.html) in ways that we (a collective term that may include you and me) cannot predict.

However, when we are talking about religious extremists, the basis of debate is that the extremists are nutballs. We do not need to clarify, line by line, that mainstream Hindus, Christians, Jews, Sikhs etc are innocent, non-nutballs.

Chaise @45

LC did criticise the Muslims who organised the “gay free zone” poster campaign

Maybe you can substantiate that but I can’t find it.

There was a post celebrating the fact that the gay pride march was being cancelled because of EDL involvement and another, memorably headlined “UK Muslims prouder of gay rights than others”.

This featured one of Sunny’s more bizarre attempts to square this amusingly inconvenient circle.

” Muslims can agree that Islam does not tolerate homosexuality, while celebrating gay rights enshrined in the law.”

“We do not need to clarify, line by line, that mainstream Hindus, Christians, Jews, Sikhs etc are innocent, non-nutballs.”

Exactly how many thousands of Protestant Huguenots were slaughtered in what was dubbed the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in France in 1572 is uncertain.

The 30 years war in Europe 1618-68 was basically about one state invading a neighbouring European state to install a different brand of Christianity among the residents to save their immortal souls from eternal damnation.

The Islamic Ottoman empire laid seige to Vienna in 1683 – without success.

The Scots still have a regular annual march in Glasgow in July to celebrate the outcome of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 when the Protestant army of William of Orange defeated the Catholic army of James II.

“The Pope has ordered an unprecedented inquiry into alleged child sex abuse by senior clerics at a Roman Catholic school in Ealing, west London.” – news on 25 October 2011
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/8848233/Vatican-orders-inquiry-into-child-sex-abuse-claims-at-UK-schools.html

79. Leon Wolfeson

@78 – And guess who directed those wars? The 1%. Always.

They’re not called “nobles” today, but the effect is the same.

80. Just Visiting

Bob

So which bit were you disagreeing with – that they are innocent?
Or that they are non-nuballs?

“We do not need to clarify, line by line, that mainstream Hindus, Christians, Jews, Sikhs etc are innocent, non-nutballs.”

Just visiting: “So which bit were you disagreeing with – that they are innocent? Or that they are non-nuballs?”

If we look dispassionately at the historic record, it turns out that religions were and are a nasty and vicious set of ideologies which motivated countries and armies to inflict great suffering on millions of people.

82. Leon Wolfeson

@81 – Of course, and I’ll kill you for saying that because I’m a believer.

Oh wait, I won’t. But you’ve called for killing me, repeatedly.

83. Chaise Guevara

@ 74 Charlieman

Thanks for the heads-up. I probably will check it out. My general shopping approach is to buy most stuff as cheap as possible, but pay out extra where paying more really makes a difference – meat, cheese, farmhouse bread etc. Booths sounds like it should fit nicely with that.

84. Chaise Guevara

@ Leon

You reminded me of this: http://www.jesusandmo.net/2006/10/11/park/

85. Chaise Guevara

@ Pagar

“Maybe you can substantiate that but I can’t find it.”

It be here:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/06/07/worrying-lessons-from-the-gay-free-zone-conviction/

And yes, I agree that the approach it takes is rare for LC.

“This featured one of Sunny’s more bizarre attempts to square this amusingly inconvenient circle.

” Muslims can agree that Islam does not tolerate homosexuality, while celebrating gay rights enshrined in the law.””

Inconvenient, but not unsquareable. Christian can and do deal with the same dichotomy: their holy book says that gays should be put to death, but they themselves may be better than that. So both groups can agree that their religion (if you define a religion by its holy book, which is very arguable) is not tolerant, while being happy with their own tolerance. In other words, individual Christians and Muslims can be more rational, mature and decent-minded than the original source.

Well, in Bob’s defence (though he is making sweeping statements with little nuance), religion can lead to weird evils like the pogroms against Jews a few years after the Dogma of Transubstantiation was first established. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_desecration

and the less said about Scientologists and ‘fair game’ the better.

87. Leon Wolfeson

@84 – So you noticed the sarcasm this time? Well done!

@86 – I’m Jewish, for reference. Bob’s stirring is NEVER helpful in a modern, tolerant society.

And I’ve also had run-ins with Scientology. That’s a cult, as typically defined – comparing it with mainstream religion is a mistake.

88. So Much For Subtlety

75. Bob B

Of course they don’t say it as bluntly at that

But that gives you free licence to imagine what they mean?

but the concept of a vengeful deity who inflicts suffering on small children is the clear implication of those claims that earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics are divine punishments visited upon sinful populations.

But … of course God did not cause those things did He Bob? So it is not God’s fault is it? What you are seeing is the attempt of some early people to explain the world. To respond by saying sh!t happens and it has no meaning may be, you know, factually true, but it is not likely to be much comfort to anyone and it is certainly no better than saying God did it.

Bob B

Exactly how many thousands of Protestant Huguenots were slaughtered in what was dubbed the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in France in 1572 is uncertain.

As are the deaths of those involved in the Catiline Conspiracy. So what Bob?

The 30 years war in Europe 1618-68 was basically about one state invading a neighbouring European state to install a different brand of Christianity among the residents to save their immortal souls from eternal damnation.

Actually it wasn’t but no matter. The Romans destroyed Carthage, selling all the survivors into slavery and sowed the ground with salt so that nothing would ever grow there. Not a Christian in sight.

People don’t need God to be nasty to each other Bob.

The Islamic Ottoman empire laid seige to Vienna in 1683 – without success.

And the Romans took it as well. So freakin’ what Bob?

“The Pope has ordered an unprecedented inquiry into alleged child sex abuse by senior clerics at a Roman Catholic school in Ealing, west London.” – news on 25 October 2011

As has been repeatedly pointed out to you Bob, sexual abuse at secular British schools are vastly higher – some 12,800 such allegations last year alone. But the definition of a bigot is someone who is utterly indifferent to the evidence and unable to change their mind isn’t it Bob?

Bob B

If we look dispassionately at the historic record, it turns out that religions were and are a nasty and vicious set of ideologies which motivated countries and armies to inflict great suffering on millions of people.

And yet since the end of religion as a motivator in warfare and politics we have not seen any decline in suffering whatsoever. On the contrary the secular Nazis and the even more secular Communists inflicted suffering of utterly unspeakable and unrivaled scale on other people. Which bothers Bob not one little bit. That they recently ended excavation of a single mass grave outside Minsk that is thought to hold over 150,000 corpses of people murdered by atheists (in order to pave over it for a new freeway) bothers Bob not one little bit at all – while he is obsessed over the fact that the Spanish Inquisition, in some 400 years, may have managed to kill 2-3,000 people.

More people than that were probably eaten in China during the Cultural Revolution but, hey, at least they weren’t Quakers, right Bob?

Chaise Guevara

Inconvenient, but not unsquareable. Christian can and do deal with the same dichotomy: their holy book says that gays should be put to death, but they themselves may be better than that.

No it doesn’t. The Jews’ holy book says that Homosexuals should be put to death. Christians are not bound by the Old Testament.

And least get your theology right.

So both groups can agree that their religion (if you define a religion by its holy book, which is very arguable)

If someone’s religion is little except a book, then it is reasonable to so define their religion that way. And Islam is really just the book and the commentaries on it and the stories surrounding it. They have little else. Like Judaism. But not like Christianity.

is not tolerant, while being happy with their own tolerance. In other words, individual Christians and Muslims can be more rational, mature and decent-minded than the original source.

Sure, they can stop believing.

Try this:

The story of the British child migrants sent to Australia has been described as a history of lies, deceit, cruelty and official disinterest and neglect.

Before being shipped out to Britain’s distant dominion, many of the children were told their parents were dead, and that a more abundant life awaited them in Australia.

Most were deported without the consent of their parents, and commonly, mothers and fathers were led to believe that their children had been adopted somewhere in Britain. . . .

In testimony before a British parliamentary committee in the late 1990s, one boy spoke of the criminal abuse he was subjected at the hands of Catholic priests at Tardun in Western Australia.

A number of Christian brothers competed between themselves to see who could rape him 100 times first, the boy said.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8360150.stm

Most of the care homes in Britain from which those unfortunate children were transported were religious institutions.

90. Leon Wolfeson

@90 – If you’re going to label all religions with the blame for one, I’ll equate you to SMFS. After all, you’re both forum posters.

Fair warning.

@88 – “The Jews’ holy book says that Homosexuals should be put to death”

“Evah”, the word used for male-male homosexual acts, is the same one as used for eating non-Kosher food. Abomination is the common translation of the word, but it is a poor one – there is no social impact implied in the word whatsoever.

Moreover, Judaism has not practised the death penalty for over two thousand years. For anything. Moreover, there are specific requirements (two witnesses, warnings and so on) for it to carry such, and there is no record of it EVER being applied for homosexuality.

You of course don’t bother to differentiate it from the countries where it’s a crime and people are tortured for it. Religion is religion, after all.

Try this:

A private bus line in Israel that would enforce segregation between male and female passengers is being considered by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish millionaires., according to reports.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8969967/Orthodox-Jewish-millionaires-consider-segregated-bus-scheme.html

Beats me why women must be segregated from men on buses when both can still shop in the same stores but perhaps that change is coming soon too.

@ Chaise

individual Christians and Muslims can be more rational, mature and decent-minded than the original source.

Yes, they could renounce their religion.

Or they could renounce the oppressive and authoritarian elements of it, but that is not possible when religions describe some tawdry text as seminal to their beliefs.

@ Leon

“Evah”, the word used for male-male homosexual acts, is the same one as used for eating non-Kosher food. Abomination is the common translation of the word, but it is a poor one – there is no social impact implied in the word whatsoever.

Presumably you’re not suggesting it could be translated as enjoyment, joy, love, beauty, blessing, or delight.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 87

“So you noticed the sarcasm this time? Well done!”

Um, what sarcasm did I fail to notice? That was the first time I’ve responded to you in this thread.

94. Leon Wolfeson

@91 – Illegal. There are plenty of things “considered” by businesses which are.

Moreover, the Haredi have managed to piss off basically EVERY other sector of Israeli society and are widely disliked. But hey, religious is religious, can’t differentiate!

Keep harping on about the dead Cats conspiracy, though!

@92 – Neither is “lose your job because the CEO needs a higher bonus”. Want to argue with the dominant religion of the west, Capitalism?

95. Chaise Guevara

@ 88 SMFS

Many Christians do consider themselves bound by the OT to a greater or lesser extent. Christianity covers a ranger of systems and specific beliefs. It’s not limited to the versions that happen to suit your argument at the present.

96. Chaise Guevara

@ 92 pagar

“Yes, they could renounce their religion.

Or they could renounce the oppressive and authoritarian elements of it, but that is not possible when religions describe some tawdry text as seminal to their beliefs.”

Yes it is. Some Muslims don’t believe in Sharia. I know at least one person who calls himself a Christian in a religious sense but doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ.

It’s generally a mistake to assume “this religion teaches X, thus anyone who disagrees with X is not part of that religion”. Nobody gets to define the One True Faith. Even Catholicism, which has a holy book, a mountain of theological texts, and a leader who has the authority to officially rule on interpretations of the religion, still has adherents who follow very different beliefs and practices.

Chaise @ 96:

“I know at least one person who calls himself a Christian in a religious sense but doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ.”

Maybe you’re the wrong person to ask about this, but why does he still call himself a Christian if he doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ?

98. Chaise Guevara

@ 97 XXX

“Maybe you’re the wrong person to ask about this, but why does he still call himself a Christian if he doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ?”

He believes in a non-denominational greater power of uncertain kind (so he’s a deist or a theist, I can’t remember which is which), was born into a Christian culture (Britain) and thinks that Christ was a mortal who gave the world very good moral values.

Yes, I think calling yourself a Christian on that basis is weird too. But that’s the point, if someone says they’re a member of some religion it’s hard to argue unless they have no real connection to it at all.

Chaise: “I know at least one person who calls himself a Christian in a religious sense but doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ.”

Perhaps he subscribes to that familiar Christian ethic: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

George Bernard Shaw made the apt comment about that: Don’t do unto others as you would have others do unto you – their tastes may not be the same.

The Confucian ethic – which is much older – makes much better sense IMO:

Tzu-kung asked, “Is there one word which can serve as the guiding principle for conduct throughout life?” Confucius said, “It is the word altruism (shu). Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” Confucius: Analects 15:23
http://www.rjbaker.com/THE%20ANALECTS.pdf

100. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob

I think when following the Golden Rule you have to run with the spirit of the sentence, not the the letter. Otherwise you get some guy grabbing a woman’s backside in the street, and then protesting that he wouldn’t have minded if she’d done the same thing to him. And so on.

Personally, I go with “Treat others the way you would want to be treated were you them”. Normal empathy, in other words. An even simpler version might be “be nice to people if possible”.

101. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

Apologies for the two-part reply.

“If someone’s religion is little except a book, then it is reasonable to so define their religion that way. And Islam is really just the book and the commentaries on it and the stories surrounding it. They have little else. Like Judaism. But not like Christianity.”

Clarity, please: what specifically are you saying Christianity has that Judaism and Islam lack?

“Sure, they can stop believing.”

You know as well as I do that religious people can reject portions of their doctrine without rejecting the whole. Plenty of people follow religions that teach that the world and its inhabitants were created in six days, but believe the scientific explanations for these events.

102. So Much For Subtlety

95. Chaise Guevara

Many Christians do consider themselves bound by the OT to a greater or lesser extent. Christianity covers a ranger of systems and specific beliefs. It’s not limited to the versions that happen to suit your argument at the present.

I am sure they consider themselves bound by the highway code too. Or the rules of the Elks Club or any number of other things. They have no theological obligation to be bound by such rules. Christians never have. It is more or less a requirement of Pauline Christianity that you don’t think those rules apply. You can choose to be bound by them. You can think they apply for other reasons. But no Christian I know of has any theological ground for arguing those rules are binding. They are not. That is where Paul split from the rest.

Chaise Guevara

Yes it is. Some Muslims don’t believe in Sharia. I know at least one person who calls himself a Christian in a religious sense but doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ.

Some people think they are Napoleon as well.

Even Catholicism, which has a holy book, a mountain of theological texts, and a leader who has the authority to officially rule on interpretations of the religion, still has adherents who follow very different beliefs and practices.

Not if the Church finds out about it though. They have clear rules on that.

Bob B

The Confucian ethic – which is much older – makes much better sense IMO:

Tzu-kung asked, “Is there one word which can serve as the guiding principle for conduct throughout life?” Confucius said, “It is the word altruism (shu). Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.” Confucius: Analects 15:23

A truck recently ran over a baby in Guangdong. Security cameras show about eighteen people stepping over or around the dying infant until some woman came out and helped. They probably did the right thing given a famous case in, I think, Nanjing where a boy helped a woman get to hospital and he was then held to be liable because the judge said no one would help the woman unless they had caused the injuries. The footage is easily found but it is fairly distressing.

Don’t assume you know better than the accumulated wisdom of the ages. A more passive approach to helping people leads to a more passive approach. I am sure every single one of those eighteen would be able to defend their decision on the basis they did not know the baby wanted help and it was not their personal responsibility to help anyway. All in line with the Silver Rule.

Chaise Guevara

Clarity, please: what specifically are you saying Christianity has that Judaism and Islam lack?

Jesus and more so Christianity have a philosophy and an ethic that, for instance, Islam does not. Your friend who thinks Jesus is, like, magic even though he does not think Jesus was God is a good example. You cannot say that Muhammad was a really cool dude in the same way. You can agree with the Sermon on the Mount without being a Christian. You can’t agree with murdering the Jews of Khaybar or marrying nine year old girls in the same way. I assume you that you too think Jesus said, like, really deep things. Can you name anything that Moses or Muhammad said likewise?

You know as well as I do that religious people can reject portions of their doctrine without rejecting the whole. Plenty of people follow religions that teach that the world and its inhabitants were created in six days, but believe the scientific explanations for these events.

I am not sure that there are plenty. A small handful in America perhaps. But Christianity is pretty much the Catholic Church – being more of them than all the other Churches put together plus an extra 1500 years of history – and they have not taught that for a long time. If ever.

Chaise: “Otherwise you get some guy grabbing a woman’s backside in the street, and then protesting that he wouldn’t have minded if she’d done the same thing to him. And so on.”

Absolutely. The familiar Christian ethic must be a great source of inspiration and encouragement to all paedophile priests. That might lead us to recognise that chunks of the theologies of familiar religions are little more than strings of platitudinous moral prescriptions which believers give little reflective thought to. I was impressed to learn about the Hindu erotic literature and that Buddhism is tolerant of polyandry.

As a rather bolshi lad at school, I used to press for RE classes to include comparative religions – the trouble, of course, is that few teachers have taken undergraduate courses in that on their way to becoming teachers and are probably worried about the prospect of some irate parents turning up complaining about their siblings being taught heathen faiths. And there are fundamental questions about whether Buddhism and Confucianism are truly religions. Confucius was very dismissive when asked about death saying how can we talk about death when we don’t know about life.

In mid teens, I went on an exchange visit to a Lycee in France which, I discovered, in France’s tradition of secular education had no “act of worship” at the start of the school day and no RE classes, as well as no school uniform, no cadet corps, no scheduled sports and no corporal punishment, the very features deemed crucial ingredients for a quality schooling in England. Despite all those defects, the lycee had a good academic reputation. It was very puzzling for a teenager.

104. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“I am sure they consider themselves bound by the highway code too. Or the rules of the Elks Club or any number of other things. They have no theological obligation to be bound by such rules.”

Sorry, no. Some people who self-identify as Christians believe in the teachings of the OT with a religious fervor. NOT like the Highway Code or the rules of their club. They see them as solid, unarguable rules of being, not like laws or social conventions.

As for “no theological obligation”: that’s a joke. Who determines a theological obligation in a secular society? The believer. God didn’t tell us to kill gays, and he didn’t tell us to turn the other cheek either, for the same reason that unicorns don’t eat fairydust. People are presented with the text and the tradition and they choose (or have handed to them by their parents) what they want to believe.

Your invoking theological obligation is just you trying to define your preferred version of Christianity as the “true” version. Regardless of whether you believe, and even if your interpretation is as literal as possible. It’s like arguing over whether Robin Hood had green eyes or blue eyes. People intepret myths in a variety of ways, and there’s no way of saying which fantastical belief is the true one.

“Some people think they are Napoleon as well.”

Point?

“Not if the Church finds out about it though. They have clear rules on that.”

Oh, bollocks. A surprising number of my friends describe themselves as Catholic, yet use condoms, and they don’t seem to fear a knock on the door from the Inquisition, or whatever it is you’re implying. In any case, that doesn’t actually argue against my point, does it?

“Jesus and more so Christianity have a philosophy and an ethic that, for instance, Islam does not.”

In other words, you like Christianity’s philosophy but not Judaism’s or Islam’s. So what?

“Your friend who thinks Jesus is, like, magic even though he does not think Jesus was God is a good example.”

He specifically doesn’t think Jesus is magic. I said he didn’t think that Jesus was divine. Do you bother to read before you respond?

“You cannot say that Muhammad was a really cool dude in the same way. You can agree with the Sermon on the Mount without being a Christian. You can’t agree with murdering the Jews of Khaybar or marrying nine year old girls in the same way.”

True, you can’t agree with cherry-picked nasty parts of Islam like you can with cherry-picked nice parts of Christianity. What’s the operative word here?

“I assume you that you too think Jesus said, like, really deep things.”

Nope.

[Incidentally, your use of the word "like" is lax and probably redundant. It doesn't seem to add anything to the sentence. You're wasting many of your doubtless important minutes by typing it so often.]

“I am not sure that there are plenty. A small handful in America perhaps.”

Plus much of Europe, and then some.

“But Christianity is pretty much the Catholic Church – being more of them than all the other Churches put together plus an extra 1500 years of history – and they have not taught that for a long time. If ever.”

LOL! So Anglicans, Mormons etc don’t really count, because they’re outnumbered and, well, out-aged?

105. Chaise Guevara

@ 103 Bob B

“Absolutely. The familiar Christian ethic must be a great source of inspiration and encouragement to all paedophile priests.”

Very well put. Although I’d say that twisting the “rules” of morality to suit your agenda (as a paedophile priest might) is obviously cheating. If you have to create an excuse for morality, you’re not being moral by your own lights.

106. So Much For Subtlety

104. Chaise Guevara

Sorry, no. Some people who self-identify as Christians believe in the teachings of the OT with a religious fervor. NOT like the Highway Code or the rules of their club. They see them as solid, unarguable rules of being, not like laws or social conventions.

Some? I can’t think of a single Christian Church that insists on the rule of kosher slaughter. That circumcises as a matter of doctrine. Only one that still slaughters animals. There may well be some who consider themselves bound by the teachings of the OT but if I can’t think of one I bet you can’t think of one either. Again, not in the Pauline tradition. Which means pretty much, not if you consider yourself Christian. But if you think otherwise, name a few.

As for “no theological obligation”: that’s a joke. Who determines a theological obligation in a secular society? The believer. God didn’t tell us to kill gays, and he didn’t tell us to turn the other cheek either, for the same reason that unicorns don’t eat fairydust. People are presented with the text and the tradition and they choose (or have handed to them by their parents) what they want to believe.

Sorry but membership of a club does involve observing the rules. At least openly. And the Churches do tend to insist that people who flout their theological doctrines leave. Reasonably enough.

You mean you think God did not tell us to kill Gays. You don’t know. People are presented with the texts, in the larger sense, and then they are told that if they want to belong to this group, they have to observe its rules or at least not flout them openly. They do not get to choose for themselves by and large.

Your invoking theological obligation is just you trying to define your preferred version of Christianity as the “true” version.

No it isn’t. You don’t even know what my preferred version is. Or if I am a Christian. Or anything. You are just using your go-to argument when you’ve f**ked up. As you have this time. The OT remains not binding on Christians regardless of what I believe or what I don’t.

Regardless of whether you believe, and even if your interpretation is as literal as possible. It’s like arguing over whether Robin Hood had green eyes or blue eyes. People intepret myths in a variety of ways, and there’s no way of saying which fantastical belief is the true one.

Unless you belong to a Church that insists it has a Teaching Authority to decide what is or is not true. Then membership of that Church requires accepting that authority. Or if they are not that hard line, then they will insist that some views are incompatible with continued membership of their Church and they will ask people who do not accept that to leave.

Oh, bollocks. A surprising number of my friends describe themselves as Catholic, yet use condoms, and they don’t seem to fear a knock on the door from the Inquisition, or whatever it is you’re implying. In any case, that doesn’t actually argue against my point, does it?

Again you need to reach for a dishonest argument because you have lost. If they lie and practice safe sex in private they can get away with it. If, like some Gay activists did, they wear a rainbow sash and insist on taking Communion they will be turned away. You cannot flout the teachings of the Church without being asked to go elsewhere. Nor can you be a Minister in the Sandinista government for instance. There are rules.

In other words, you like Christianity’s philosophy but not Judaism’s or Islam’s. So what?

It is nothing to do with what I like and everything to do with what is true.

He specifically doesn’t think Jesus is magic. I said he didn’t think that Jesus was divine. Do you bother to read before you respond?

I see irony is not one of your strong points. Why are you wasting my time?

True, you can’t agree with cherry-picked nasty parts of Islam like you can with cherry-picked nice parts of Christianity. What’s the operative word here?

Pick the nasty things Jesus said and the nice things that Muhammad did. It works out the same. As Muhammed did not actually say that many nice things.

Plus much of Europe, and then some.

Which Churches?

LOL! So Anglicans, Mormons etc don’t really count, because they’re outnumbered and, well, out-aged?

Mormons don’t count because they are not Christian. And we do not have all day to talk about every little sect. So you are using the usual dishonest argument of finding twelve people in America who think X and then arguing all Christians think X. Whereas I am simply pointing out that as a first order approximation, all Western Christianity is Catholicism we should probably stick to talking about the Catholics. As this is, at best, going to be a first order of approximation argument.

107. So Much For Subtlety

103. Bob B

Absolutely. The familiar Christian ethic must be a great source of inspiration and encouragement to all paedophile priests.

Although only if he managed to ignore every other Christian ethical prescription. Like those dealing on absolutely everything to do with sex. On the other hand Daniel Cohn-Bendit had no moral qualms whatsoever about whipping his penis out when he was a pre-school teacher and encouraging the children to play with it. Because everyone said you shouldn’t be inhibited about sex, and it was so much better to let it all hang out, rather literally in this case. He still defends it.

And yet again we see Bob ignoring the 12,800 incidences last year when secular teachers did something exactly the same. At something like 50 times the rate of offending in Irish Catholic schools. Because it does not fit his narrative. Which is not about sexual abuse or children but about smearing the Catholic Church. The abuse is just an excuse.

That might lead us to recognise that chunks of the theologies of familiar religions are little more than strings of platitudinous moral prescriptions which believers give little reflective thought to.

That is true but it should be true. Because of people have properly internalised their belief system they should not have to think about it. Racism will have disappeared in Britain when we don’t care and we don’t have to think about it, and anti-racist messages are nothing but strings of platitudinous moral prescriptions which ordinary people give little reflective thought to. In other words, Britain has no racism any more.

I was impressed to learn about the Hindu erotic literature and that Buddhism is tolerant of polyandry.

Not to mention child abuse. Both having little problem with that at all. Not even homosexual child abuse in Tibetan Buddhism as well as many others. But then we all know that the actual children are not something Bob gives a damn about.

108. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“Some? I can’t think of a single Christian Church that insists on the rule of kosher slaughter. That circumcises as a matter of doctrine. Only one that still slaughters animals. There may well be some who consider themselves bound by the teachings of the OT but if I can’t think of one I bet you can’t think of one either.”

Every teaching of the OT? No I can’t, not offhand, although I’m sure there are some literalist cults out there. For some reason, many more Christians seem to follow the OT’s prohibition of homosexuality than they do the rule about not wearing clothes made out of two different kinds of stuff. So what? It doesn’t change the fact that many Christians follow OT-mandated homophobia as a religious prescription.

“Sorry but membership of a club does involve observing the rules. At least openly. And the Churches do tend to insist that people who flout their theological doctrines leave. Reasonably enough. ”

Sorry, but membership of a church is not the same as following a religion. Nice try though.

“You mean you think God did not tell us to kill Gays. You don’t know.”

You don’t KNOW anything for certain, except for your own existence. You don’t know as an absolute certainty that Mexico is in the Americas, but I bet you’d state that as a fact if it came up. There’s no evidence for God; there’s a burden of proof that believers have absolutely failed to address despite centuries of trying.

“People are presented with the texts, in the larger sense, and then they are told that if they want to belong to this group, they have to observe its rules or at least not flout them openly. They do not get to choose for themselves by and large.”

Yes, I agree that people don’t choose their beliefs in a vacuum. But what has this got to do with whether or not SMFS gets to define Christianity?

“No it isn’t. You don’t even know what my preferred version is. Or if I am a Christian. Or anything. You are just using your go-to argument when you’ve f**ked up. As you have this time.”

If pointing out the flaws in your argument is my go-to argument, it’s a pretty good one. Who said anything about whether or not you are a Christian?

“The OT remains not binding on Christians regardless of what I believe or what I don’t.”

So… you tell me I’ve fucked up and repeat your argument again. Very compelling.

“Unless you belong to a Church that insists it has a Teaching Authority to decide what is or is not true. Then membership of that Church requires accepting that authority. Or if they are not that hard line, then they will insist that some views are incompatible with continued membership of their Church and they will ask people who do not accept that to leave.”

Arguable, that, but as Christianity doesn’t have an undeniable authority, it’s irrelevant.

“Again you need to reach for a dishonest argument because you have lost.”

Stop projecting.

“If they lie and practice safe sex in private they can get away with it. If, like some Gay activists did, they wear a rainbow sash and insist on taking Communion they will be turned away. You cannot flout the teachings of the Church without being asked to go elsewhere. Nor can you be a Minister in the Sandinista government for instance. There are rules.”

I’ve no idea if their church would kick them out if they were caught with condoms, but again you’re pretending that we’re talking about church membership rather than religion. It appears that you need to reach for a dishonest argument because you’ve lost.

“It is nothing to do with what I like and everything to do with what is true.”

More arrogant statements with no support. “Christianity is special. Because it is. Because I say so. So there. ”

“I see irony is not one of your strong points. Why are you wasting my time?”

Your inability to read is not a failure of irony on my part.

“Pick the nasty things Jesus said and the nice things that Muhammad did. It works out the same. As Muhammed did not actually say that many nice things.”

Again, I’m apparently expected to believe this just because you, a known contrarian and bigoted loon, says it’s true.

“Which Churches?”

See above about Churches and religious people being different.

“Mormons don’t count because they are not Christian. And we do not have all day to talk about every little sect.”

Right, defined as non-Christian by SMFS, Great Dictator Of What People Think. And no, I guess you don’t have time to dicuss inconvenient realities.

“So you are using the usual dishonest argument of finding twelve people in America who think X and then arguing all Christians think X. ”

For fuck’s sake, you utter tool. I am VERY SPECIFICALLY pointing out beliefs that SOME, not ALL, Christians believe. Learn. To. Fucking. Read.

“Whereas I am simply pointing out that as a first order approximation, all Western Christianity is Catholicism we should probably stick to talking about the Catholics. As this is, at best, going to be a first order of approximation argument.”

While it’s entirely believable that you would seek to deny that Protestants are Christian, I’ll be the bigger man here and give you the benefit of the doubt for a post. So: what exactly do you mean by a first-order approximation in this case, and what exact implications are you deriving for Christianity?

109. storeygirl

loving the fact there is a tesco banner ad running across the top of this :-)

Have we reached the part of the thread where we can start linking our favourite Chick tracts yet?
I’m in a bind because I can’t choose between ‘the death cookie’ one and the dungeons and dragons one. Although the ‘for black people’ versions are also extra special.

111. So Much For Subtlety

108. Chaise Guevara

Every teaching of the OT? No I can’t, not offhand, although I’m sure there are some literalist cults out there.

Every? Try any. We are making progress, slow but we’re getting there. So you don’t know of any Christians who follow the OT. Good to see you concede.

For some reason, many more Christians seem to follow the OT’s prohibition of homosexuality than they do the rule about not wearing clothes made out of two different kinds of stuff. So what? It doesn’t change the fact that many Christians follow OT-mandated homophobia as a religious prescription.

No, they do not follow it. They agree with it. A difference. If a Church condemns homosexuality because it is against Natural Law, that is a condemnation of homosexuality on other grounds besides what the OT says. Because no one I can think of views the OT as binding. It isn’t. If someone doesn’t eat pork because they are vegetarian, they are not bound by Jewish law. They do it for other reasons.

Sorry, but membership of a church is not the same as following a religion. Nice try though.

It depends on the religion. In Christianity, if you’re not a member of the Anglican Church, you’re not an Anglican. It is hard to argue otherwise.

You don’t KNOW anything for certain, except for your own existence. You don’t know as an absolute certainty that Mexico is in the Americas, but I bet you’d state that as a fact if it came up. There’s no evidence for God; there’s a burden of proof that believers have absolutely failed to address despite centuries of trying.

I have a weak form of proof – proof by authority. People I trust tell me Mexico is in the Americas. For some weak claims that is enough. I agree I don’t know if God exists. I have not said otherwise. But likewise, despite your claims, you do not know He does not.

Yes, I agree that people don’t choose their beliefs in a vacuum. But what has this got to do with whether or not SMFS gets to define Christianity?

The only connection I can see is that as usual you’re getting your arse whipped and so are trying to change the topic of conversation.

If pointing out the flaws in your argument is my go-to argument, it’s a pretty good one. Who said anything about whether or not you are a Christian?

You did. When you said that I was defining Christianity to suit my personal beliefs. When you said:

Your invoking theological obligation is just you trying to define your preferred version of Christianity as the “true” version.

If that was your go-to argument it would be a good one. It isn’t. Going for the personal smear is your stock in trade. A pathetic one it is too.

So… you tell me I’ve fucked up and repeat your argument again. Very compelling.

I don’t think I need more. As can be seen by the fact that everything else I said showing you’re wrong has gone over your head.

Arguable, that, but as Christianity doesn’t have an undeniable authority, it’s irrelevant.

Again you are stating as a fact what should be an opinion. Nor is it irrelevant. You may want to avoid this argument but ducking and weaving won’t help.

I’ve no idea if their church would kick them out if they were caught with condoms, but again you’re pretending that we’re talking about church membership rather than religion. It appears that you need to reach for a dishonest argument because you’ve lost.

It is kind of sad how pathetic you are doing in this thread. Come on, lift you game Chaise. You can do better. You originally said:

Even Catholicism, which has a holy book, a mountain of theological texts, and a leader who has the authority to officially rule on interpretations of the religion, still has adherents who follow very different beliefs and practices.

Thus we were very specifically talking about Church membership. You did not say people who believed in Christianity but people who were members of the Catholic Church.

More arrogant statements with no support. “Christianity is special. Because it is. Because I say so. So there. ”

On the contrary. I have pointed to the texts. You choose to ignore this. But if you like, by all means, name anything Muhammed said that you would consider morally on par with the Sermon on the Mount. Anything Moses said likewise.

Again, I’m apparently expected to believe this just because you, a known contrarian and bigoted loon, says it’s true.

No you’re expected to believe this because it is true. By all means, feel free to pick your own text and you will only accuse me of picking poorly.

See above about Churches and religious people being different.

When it suits your argument to claim it is so.

Right, defined as non-Christian by SMFS, Great Dictator Of What People Think. And no, I guess you don’t have time to dicuss inconvenient realities.

So defined by most Christians. Most people in fact.

For fuck’s sake, you utter tool. I am VERY SPECIFICALLY pointing out beliefs that SOME, not ALL, Christians believe. Learn. To. Fucking. Read.

Then you’re wasting my time. There is no point bringing up what twelve people in West Virginia think as it has no bearing on what the overwhelming majority of Christians think. It is about as honest as claiming your views are best represented by Pol Pot. Less so in fact. You are simply wasting my time.

While it’s entirely believable that you would seek to deny that Protestants are Christian

I am not. Your inability to deal with the simplest argument is sad.

So: what exactly do you mean by a first-order approximation in this case, and what exact implications are you deriving for Christianity?

I mean a grown up adult conversation with you, here, on the subject of Christian theology is a waste of time. You would not, will not, and perhaps cannot begin to understand. So we may as well talk about the largest single group of Christians. I derive no implication for Christianity as a whole.

112. Chaise Guevara

@ 111 SMFS

“Every? Try any. We are making progress, slow but we’re getting there. So you don’t know of any Christians who follow the OT. Good to see you concede.”

You seem to have had quite the conversation with yourself there! Westborough Baptists as one example.

“No, they do not follow it. They agree with it. A difference. If a Church condemns homosexuality because it is against Natural Law, that is a condemnation of homosexuality on other grounds besides what the OT says.”

Sure. If Christians condemn homosexuality because the Bible said it, on the other hand, they are doing it because of the OT. You get morons picketing Gay Pride marches with placards quoting Leviticus, for crying out loud. Stop denying plain fact.

“It depends on the religion. In Christianity, if you’re not a member of the Anglican Church, you’re not an Anglican. It is hard to argue otherwise.”

Once again, so what? You’re still a Christian. You’re trying to shift the goalposts over from “Christians” to “churches”, presumably as a retreat to what you hope is safer ground.

“I have a weak form of proof – proof by authority. People I trust tell me Mexico is in the Americas. For some weak claims that is enough. I agree I don’t know if God exists. I have not said otherwise. But likewise, despite your claims, you do not know He does not. ”

I don’t know for a fact there’s no god. I do know that the balance of probability, based on current evidence, is far enough in favour of god’s non-existence for me to be able to say “God does not exist” as a fact in the trivial sense, like I would say (with even more confidence) “Mexico is in the Americas” or “cigarettes cause cancer”. I don’t claim 100% certainty of his non-existence, because I don’t have it. But nor do I claim 100% certainty of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s non-existence.

“The only connection I can see is that as usual you’re getting your arse whipped and so are trying to change the topic of conversation.”

Not going to answer the question, I see.

“You did. When you said that I was defining Christianity to suit my personal beliefs. When you said:

Your invoking theological obligation is just you trying to define your preferred version of Christianity as the “true” version.

If that was your go-to argument it would be a good one. It isn’t. Going for the personal smear is your stock in trade. A pathetic one it is too.”

Um, where does that say you’re a Christian? Yet another straw man. To clarify, I might also say that you have preferred versions of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Communism, Patriotism… the point is that you like to pick a narrow definition of a broadly-defined idea and pretend that it is the “true” version of that idea, in a way that just happens to suit your argument. Then, if someone raises contrary evidence, you can say something like “But they aren’t proper Christians/Muslims/Communists”.

“I don’t think I need more. As can be seen by the fact that everything else I said showing you’re wrong has gone over your head.”

No, I’ve just pointed out the flaws. It’s not my fault that you’re being stroppy about it.

“Again you are stating as a fact what should be an opinion. Nor is it irrelevant. You may want to avoid this argument but ducking and weaving won’t help.”

What single authority does Christianity have? If you and I disagree on Christianity, who can we ask to find out who’s right? The Bible? Nope, Christians interpret it differently and sometimes choose to disregard parts of it. God? Nope, because even if he does exist we’re not going to get an answer. The Pope? Only for Catholics, and even then it’s debateable. You? No thanks.

“It is kind of sad how pathetic you are doing in this thread. Come on, lift you game Chaise. You can do better. You originally said:

Even Catholicism, which has a holy book, a mountain of theological texts, and a leader who has the authority to officially rule on interpretations of the religion, still has adherents who follow very different beliefs and practices.

Thus we were very specifically talking about Church membership. You did not say people who believed in Christianity but people who were members of the Catholic Church.”

We were talking about Christians, I just raised Catholicism as an example. Your original objection to what I said was over whether or not Christianity names homosexuality as a sin. No over whether churches do the same. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: lying about the conversation is pointless when the conversation is recorded on the thread.

“On the contrary. I have pointed to the texts. You choose to ignore this. But if you like, by all means, name anything Muhammed said that you would consider morally on par with the Sermon on the Mount. Anything Moses said likewise.”

Ah, more goalpost-shifting. I didn’t say that Muhammed and Moses are morally on par with Christ. I think Christ outclasses them both – he said more good things and far fewer bad things, according to the relevant texts. That doesn’t mean that Judaism and Islam don’t count as philosophies but Christianity does. It just means that we prefer the teachings of Christianity.

“No you’re expected to believe this because it is true.”

Can you not understand that you saying “it is true” is not the same thing as something being true from my perspective? Do you seriously think that you’re some kind of absolute authority? Your opinion means no more than mine, less if anything given that you have a history of using warped logic to support rather silly prejudices.

“By all means, feel free to pick your own text and you will only accuse me of picking poorly.”

I don’t know what this means.

“When it suits your argument to claim it is so.”

I’ve never claimed otherwise. Equivocation is your hobby, not mine.

“So defined by most Christians. Most people in fact.”

Even if I assume for argument’s sake that this is true, it’s still an appeal to the majority. If someone worships Christ and calls themselves Christian, I see no cause to disagree with them about their terminology. So other Christians don’t want to call certain sects Christian, because they disagree with their theology or feel embarassed to be associated with them or for whatever other reason. Who cares?

Hypothetical: if every non-Christian religious person said that Christianity wasn’t really a religion, would you stop calling it one?

“Then you’re wasting my time.”

Gosh, I’m sorry. Maybe you shouldn’t have spent so long straw-manning me if your time is precious to you.

“There is no point bringing up what twelve people in West Virginia think as it has no bearing on what the overwhelming majority of Christians think.”

That only holds if you’re trying to make a claim about what the overwhelming majority of Christians think. I was simply pointing out that some Christians reject some portions of what they’ve been raised to believe as Christians. Some, possibly most, Christians are raised to believe that the OT is not a source of truth or morality. Some are raised to believe that it is, or portions of it at least, and some of them overcome it.

Who’s really trying to make claims about what all Christians think? Oh, surprise, it’s you: “Christians are not bound by the Old Testament.” Some are, and some aren’t, but that doesn’t suit your argument.

“I am not. Your inability to deal with the simplest argument is sad.”

Blah blah blah sulk sulk sulk.

“I mean a grown up adult conversation with you, here, on the subject of Christian theology is a waste of time. You would not, will not, and perhaps cannot begin to understand. So we may as well talk about the largest single group of Christians. I derive no implication for Christianity as a whole.”

So you’re shifting the goalposts from Christian to Catholic. Thought so. I can understand this, SMFS. It’s called fallacious reasoning. You’ve realised, on some level, that you’re wrong, so you’ve changed the argument to make it about a specific sub-group rather than the wider category. And claimed that doing so is necessary because I wouldn’t understand, i.e. I’ve shown that you’re wrong. This is your problem, not mine.

Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_logical_fallacies . It might help you if you can be honest with yourself and take it on board.

113. Chaise Guevara

@ 110 Cylux

“Have we reached the part of the thread where we can start linking our favourite Chick tracts yet?”

Link the D&D one, I can’t find it and it’s hilarious. Youth for Truth (or is it Truth for Youth?) is also good: basically the same thing but designed to be cool and rad so cool rad young people will believe it. Did you know that evolution is racist, condoms are porous and heavy metal musicians are going to drag you to hell? FACT.

Chaise @ 108:

“There’s no evidence for God; there’s a burden of proof that believers have absolutely failed to address despite centuries of trying.”

Out of interest, what sort of evidence would you require?

116. Chaise Guevara

@ 115 XXX

“Out of interest, what sort of evidence would you require?”

Data showing that claims commonly made by religious people and rejected by scientists are true. Miracles that should be impossible being proved to happen, for example. Strong proof of the power of prayer in double-blind studies. Events that could only be explained by a conscious, non-human actor.

None of those would be certain evidence, and some of them would need a lot of caveats. For example, the complexity of living organisms was once understandably held up as proof of a designer, but a reductionist explanation has since been found.

The problem is that when someone says “God exists”, it’s not clear exactly want claim they’re making. What exactly is God? Does he have any impact on our world? If someone believes that God is responsible for X, Y and Z, and then reductionist explanations are found and proved for X and Y, believers (assuming they accept the data) are more likely to update their model of God than to abandon it – “Saying God did X and Y is superstition, he’s all about Z”!

Here’s a good anecdote about this in action: http://lesswrong.com/lw/i5/bayesian_judo/ . Advance warning: the author is annoyingly smug.

117. Chaise Guevara

@ 114 Cylux

Thank ‘ee kindly!

118. Just Visiting

Chaise / SMFS

If no else has, I;ve enjoyed reading your cut + thrust.

And Chaise, I think a VERY important point has been proven.

That you can’t take laws or verses from the old Testament – and say that Christians ‘are supposed’ to abide by them.

It’s a lesson Bob here needs to learn too.

Yes, Christians do draw some things from the old testamant – but it is not US who gets to say what THEY ignore.

Christianity is defined by Christians – not by us on LC ‘interpreting’ their holy book for them.

So Chaise – don’t feel you’ve ‘lost’ to accept this truth.

It’ll help future debates here be more informed, and more productive.

119. Just Visiting

Oh, and Chaise – -SMFS did IMHO make a valid request to you to compare Mohammed’s actions with Jesus’.

Would be interesting to hear your angle on that.

These guys today in Thailand, seem to have found Mohammed an inspiration to violence:

“Police in Thailand say they have found a large supply of materials for making bombs, following the detention of a suspect with alleged links to Hezbollah”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16571576

Chaise @ 116:

“Data showing that claims commonly made by religious people and rejected by scientists are true. Miracles that should be impossible being proved to happen, for example. Strong proof of the power of prayer in double-blind studies. Events that could only be explained by a conscious, non-human actor.”

So is it just scientific evidence you’d want, as opposed to (say) philosophical arguments?

121. Chaise Guevara

@ 118 JV

“And Chaise, I think a VERY important point has been proven.

That you can’t take laws or verses from the old Testament – and say that Christians ‘are supposed’ to abide by them.

It’s a lesson Bob here needs to learn too.

Yes, Christians do draw some things from the old testamant – but it is not US who gets to say what THEY ignore.

Christianity is defined by Christians – not by us on LC ‘interpreting’ their holy book for them.”

JV, I agree. That’s what I’ve been saying for the last umpteen posts. If someone calls themselves Christian, but their beliefs don’t fit into what you think the term “should” mean, it’s disingenuous to dismiss them as “not proper Christians” etc. It’s a good point, but you haven’t followed the discussion if you think I need to learn it.

“So Chaise – don’t feel you’ve ‘lost’ to accept this truth.

It’ll help future debates here be more informed, and more productive.”

I’m trying to remain chill here, but it’s a bit patronising for you to repeat my own argument back to me and then recommend that I accept it.

“SMFS did IMHO make a valid request to you to compare Mohammed’s actions with Jesus’.”

Yeesh. I answered him already!

122. Chaise Guevara

@ 120 XXX

“So is it just scientific evidence you’d want, as opposed to (say) philosophical arguments?”

Depends what you mean by philosphical arguments. Obviously scientific evidence is useless without the application of rational thought, which might be included under philosophy. But certainly any empirical claim needs some basis in empiricism.

Also, once you’ve proved that God exists, you then have to go on to prove that God is the Abrahamic god, and not say, Cthulu or Thor or someone else.

Chaise @ 122:

“Depends what you mean by philosphical arguments. Obviously scientific evidence is useless without the application of rational thought, which might be included under philosophy. But certainly any empirical claim needs some basis in empiricism.”

Is “empirical” here being used as a synonym for “scientific”, or would, say, personal experience of God count?

125. Chaise Guevara

@ 124 XXX

“Is “empirical” here being used as a synonym for “scientific”, or would, say, personal experience of God count?”

We may define “scientific” differently. I would say that personal experience would count as scientific evidence to me. My experience might not be considered evidence by anyone else if I had no way of demonstrating that the experience took place – but surely observation of a phenomena is evidence to the observer?

If the clouds parted all over the world and a deep voice declaimed “I AM JEHOVAH, OBEY ME!”, that wouldn’t be *certain* evidence of God, but it would move the balance of probability strongly in his favour, especially if no viable alternative explanations were forthcoming. And it would be horribly UNscientific to refuse to admit that as evidence because it couldn’t be replicated in a double-blind study.

Stopping the social consequences of a few earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics in response to prayers should count as evidence of a benign, intelliegent creator, not to forget preventing the abuse of children on an international scale by paedophile priests. But then we have this testimony of the Vatican’s chief exorcist:

“Renowned Italian priest and exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth has released a new book claiming that satanic sects have infiltrated the Vatican and their influence reaches even the College of Cardinals. . . ”
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/288581

Not to worry: counter-insurgency measures have already commenced according to this report on the BBC website:

“A Vatican-backed college is launching a new course for exorcists – Roman Catholic priests who cast out evil spirits from the possessed. Lessons at the prestigious Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum will include the history of Satanism and its context in the Bible. . . ”

There are strong arguments for God’s existence–but these aren’t arguments that science has very much to say about.

128. Just Visiting

Chaise

If you’re willing to be patient with me, a few questions.

> it’s still an appeal to the majority. If someone worships Christ and calls themselves Christian, I see no cause to disagree with them about their terminology. So other Christians don’t want to call certain sects Christian, because they disagree with their theology or feel embarassed to be associated with them or for whatever other reason. Who cares?

You seem to be arguiung that there is no mainstream allowed in christianity?
Why can’t Christianity define some core world-views; that the majority of christians would agree with?

Else you have to argue the ridiculous position that there is no mainstream Liberal view: no mainstream Capitalist view – no mainstream SWP view.

Linked to this, was your curious comment above that SMFS was being abitrary in saying that Mormons are not christians.
Mainstream christains do seem to have some theology worldviews about the nature of Jesus – and on that basis Jehovah;s Witness and Mormons are not christians. It was nothing to do with SMFS – and everything about not patronising the christian worldview – letting them set their own rules.

129. Chaise Guevara

@ 127

“There are strong arguments for God’s existence–but these aren’t arguments that science has very much to say about.”

Example?

On existential arguments about a deity, one of the classic discussions is David Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion:
http://newyorkcommitteemen.org/free/pdfs/Hume%20-%20Dialogues%20Concerning%20Natural%20Religion.pdf

This work was published posthumously in 1779 because Hume, who died in 1776, felt he couldn’t risk publication while he still lived. For a brief synopsis, try the entry in Wikipedia.

131. Chaise Guevara

@ 128 JV

Of course there can be a mainstream. But that mainstream doesn’t get to dictate how the minority are defined. If Mormons don’t self-define as Christian, that’s a mistake on my part. It doesn’t change the main point, though – if a Christian group has beliefs that don’t suit SMFS’s position, he can’t solve the issue by claiming they aren’t Christians.

Even if I made a mistake about Mormon doctrine, given the general direction of mine and SMFS’s conversation, I still want to know why you’re “explaining” a concept to me (and going out of your way to be patronising in the process) when I’ve been arguing for that very concept the entire time. I pointed this out, and you’ve neither apologised, explained or corrected me – you’ve ignored it entirely. Why?

Are you actually interested in the topic at hand? Or did some part of my posts offend you in some way, leading you to ignore what I actually said in favour of passive-aggressive catty remarks? I generally respect your contributions, JV, but I do take umbridge at this sort of thing. I don’t like people ignoring what I said so they can patronise me.

132. Leon Wolfeson

@129 – Argument from Degree, Transcendental Argument. Qualia. Argument from Reason. Cosmological Argument. Revelation. Inductive Reasoning. And dozens more.

Philosophy. Which religion is a part of.

Using science to try and diagnose philosophy is like trying to seal a cut using explosives. And yet you persist.

133. Chaise Guevara

@ 132 Leon

Answer me this, Leon: what do you think “science” means?

@129

See @132.

My favourites are the argument from contingency and the argument of the first cause.

There is a reason that most of the great thinkers throughout human history have been religious, you know.

@127 Which God? We’ve invented quite a few through the ages.

136. Leon Wolfeson

@133 – Why of course.

Science is the tool for the exploration of the physical.
Philosophy is the tool for the exploration of the metaphysical.

Leon: “Philosophy is the tool for the exploration of the metaphysical”

Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Bob,

How do you justify scientific empiricism purely in terms of analytic propositions (i.e. tautologies)?

By the way, anyone who thinks that empirical scientific knowledge is the only sort worth knowing really ought to familiarise themselves with mathematics and logic.

vimothy: “How do you justify scientific empiricism purely in terms of analytic propositions (i.e. tautologies)?”

I was posting years back that Popper’s refutation principle, which he claimed was the defining characteristic of scientific hypotheses, had to be treated as a definition which was not itself refutable. As Wittgenstein suggests early in the Tractatus, we need to climb the ladder of the argument and then discard the ladder.

What we need to recognise about theological (or supernatural) propositions is that they are not refutable and we need to be uncomfortable about that because there is no means of knowing whether such propositions are true/valid or not. All we can do is check the theological systems for internal consistency. I can claim that earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics are due to Satan and that cannot be disproved by reference to any empirical data. The implication is that there is no reason why we should take propositions of that kind seriously.

Mathematics and logic are axiomatic systems – Russell remarks somewhere that we have no means of knowing whether such axiomatic systems are true or false and we famously encounter those paradoxes as to whether the class of all classes is a member of itself or not. Perhaps more impressive is Penrose’s argument that mathematicians can envisage solutions to problems which conform with the fundamental axioms but which are not deducible from them. Mathematics can be regarded as a (useful) “language” for expressing ideas and the relationships between them.

Btw there are lots of “significant” philosophers who have dismissed religion – such as Hume, Russell, Wittengenstein, AJ Ayer.

141. Chaise Guevara

@ 136 Leon

And what is this “metaphysicial”? In my experience it’s generally used to refer to either a) things we have no reason to believe exist, or b) things that we originally believed to be special and separate from the physical world, but which later turned out to have reductionist explanations.

142. Chaise Guevara

@ 134 vimothy

“My favourites are the argument from contingency and the argument of the first cause. ”

I’m not going to go through all of Leon’s arguments because he’s listed about 6 without actually making the argument (and at least one of them, “qualia”, is clearly not an argument in itself, although it might be the basis for one). He can do his own homework.

You’ve only named one, I think (aren’t those two arguments the same thing?) so I’ll address it:

Yes, all things need a cause, and First Cause is a bewildering issue. But it the absence of a known cause, why would we automatically posit God? Aquinas said “…and this we call God”, making his version of the argument tautologous: whatever turns out to have caused the universe, we call it God, therefore God caused the universe! If you avoid Aquinas’s mistake, it’s special pleading: God doesn’t have a burden of proof, apparently, but everything else does.

Secondly, God doesn’t resolve First Cause, he just takes it down to the next level of recursion. If God caused the universe, what caused God? Claiming God caused himself is incoherent: it requires abandoning the assumption that things need causes halfway through. Special pleading again. First Cause remains as unresolved as it ever was.

This is God of the Gaps stuff, for my money. We have an unanswered question, so people say “God!” because they want it to be true. Just like the answer for the complexity of life was “God!” before we discovered the actual explanation.

“There is a reason that most of the great thinkers throughout human history have been religious, you know.”

Yep, it’s because most of the people throughout human history have been religious, or at least lived in a time and place where public profession of religion was either advisable or vital. Your ad hom disappears in the face of basic statistics, in other words: if one group makes up the majority of the population, it can also be expected to make up the majority of more specific populations, all else being equal.

Hume in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion goes through the then mainstream metaphysical arguments for the existence of a deity doing an excellent demolition job.

The first cause argument is worrisome becasuse there is no reason to suppose the first cause was necessarily (a) benign (b) a source of moral authority. Even then, I cannot evade personal responsibility for choosing to follow that supposed source of moral authority – we don’t accept in other contexts the excuse that someone was only obeying orders and often lock up and treat those who insist they acted under divine guidance. There is also the matter of why a benign intelligent creator would want to build-in the capacity for earthquakes, tsunamis and pandemics.

@142 Victor Stenger ventures the hypothesis that given that there is absolutely nowhere in the universe where nothing at all exists, then perhaps ‘nothing’ is an extremely volitile unsteady state. (ie the big bang was caused by nothingness)

145. Chaise Guevara

@ 144 Cylux

Which still leaves the question of WHY “nothingness” is in that state… but I suspect that, if and when we do answer First Cause, it’ll be broadly along those lines. Basically it’ll turn out we were looking at something the wrong way.

Chaise,

aren’t those two arguments the same thing?

No–that’s why they have two different names. The argument from contingency, or “argumentum ex contingentia”, is the argument from contingency and the argument of the first cause, or “argumentum ex ratione causae efficientis”, is the argument of the first cause.

I do find it rich that you’re accusing me of ad hominem, though. If you were a bit humbler, you might realise that some of the things that have occured to you in the five minutes you’ve spent considering the life’s work of some of history’s greatest thinkers also occured to them.

147. Chaise Guevara

@ 146 vimothy

“No–that’s why they have two different names. The argument from contingency, or “argumentum ex contingentia”, is the argument from contingency and the argument of the first cause, or “argumentum ex ratione causae efficientis”, is the argument of the first cause.”

I notice you neither explain the difference, beyond repeating the names, or attempt to deal with my attempt to deal with the argument from first cause.

Wikipedia’s entry for the argument from contingency makes it sound like the same thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_contingency#Argument_from_contingency . What’s the difference?

“I do find it rich that you’re accusing me of ad hominem, though. If you were a bit humbler, you might realise that some of the things that have occured to you in the five minutes you’ve spent considering the life’s work of some of history’s greatest thinkers also occured to them.”

Mmm. I find it a bit rich that you complain about me accusing you of ad hom, while simulateously ad homming me. Many “great thinkers” were or are atheists. Why are you too proud to abase yourself before them, abandoning all logic and argument in the face of someone clever disagreeing with you? Surely that’s the humble thing to do?

The thing is, some of prefer to deal with an issue, instead of finding excuses not to deal with it. Let me know when you want to actually join the conversation.

Therre was no ad hominem in my original two comments, which were.

How do you justify scientific empiricism purely in terms of analytic propositions (i.e. tautologies)?

By the way, anyone who thinks that empirical scientific knowledge is the only sort worth knowing really ought to familiarise themselves with mathematics and logic.

You responded by saying that the great philosophers and metaphysicians who made these arguments originally and developed them over time only made them because they grew up in societies which were generally religious. In other words, the implication is that they can’t possibly have understood their own works as logical arguments! Too jokes.

On the other hand, your critique of the argument from the first cause shows that you don’t actually know what it is. It’s like reading a creationist attack on evolutionary biology.

There was also no ad hominem in my response to you. Perhaps you ought to look that up in Wikipedia as well.

And it’s not a question of “abasing” yourself before anyone. It’s simply a question of recognising that people were thinking about these problems long before you arrived on the scene.

The idea that you could dispatch these arguments without any effort at understanding them in a 250 word comment on some random blog is about as likely as me coming up with a unified field theory while I’m making a cup of tea at work.

Einstein? Oh right, yeah, I remember–everyfink’s made out string. Don’t make me larf, mate…

150. Robin Levett

@vimothy:

I taker it from what you are saying that you would profoundly disagree with William of Ockham?

151. Chaise Guevara

@ 148

“Therre was no ad hominem in my original two comments”

That’s nice. But as I wasn’t talking about those comments, it’s a bit irrelevant, isn’t it?

“You responded by saying that the great philosophers and metaphysicians who made these arguments originally and developed them over time only made them because they grew up in societies which were generally religious. In other words, the implication is that they can’t possibly have understood their own works as logical arguments! Too jokes.”

Actually, I didn’t say that, you’re reading it into my words. But let’s run with it. Great philosphers are part of history like anything else. Their works get built upon. Plato’s theory of the forms was incoherent, and his distaste for empirical evidence was actively anti-rational. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great thinker. He was good for his time, and later thinkers have built on the works of him and others.

What you’re doing now is the equivalent of saying “Oh, so you think you’re better than Isaac Newton, do you?” to someone who points out that Newtonian physics ultimately gave way to Einstein. Not only is it appeal to authority, it’s appeal to a select group of authorities that agree with you.

Let me make this clear: if you demand that people automatically assume that they are wrong if a “great thinker” disagrees with them, then two bad things happen. One: they end up believing incompatible things, because great thinkers have disagreed (including on whether or not god exists). Two: no progress can be made, ever.

But I’m sure you’d prefer that we’d continue to practice medicine according the the Theory of the Four Humours, rather than be so rude as to contradict Aristotle.

“On the other hand, your critique of the argument from the first cause shows that you don’t actually know what it is. It’s like reading a creationist attack on evolutionary biology.”

Well, you are apparently incapable of explaining what you mean, so I have to work with my best guesses and what the Internet will tell me (which is that the two arguments you listed appear to be the same thing). If you weren’t too lazy or craven to actually set out your argument, I could address it specifically. I’m not going to spend X amount of time looking up different arguments for the existence of god till I find one you like.

“There was also no ad hominem in my response to you. Perhaps you ought to look that up in Wikipedia as well.”

Sigh. You called me out for disagreeing with your select group of thinkers, with the clear implication that I should “humbly” accept that they are better than me. If that wasn’t your implication then your point was a non-sequitur.

So: instead of addressing my argument, you’re trying to dodge it by making me out to be an invalid or unqualified arguer. Let’s take your advice and look up ad hominem of Wikipedia! Oh, look: “an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it”! Why does that sound familiar?

“And it’s not a question of “abasing” yourself before anyone. It’s simply a question of recognising that people were thinking about these problems long before you arrived on the scene.”

I recognise that. Where did I suggest otherwise? What I didn’t do is “humble” myself before them: i.e. assume that they must be right.

“The idea that you could dispatch these arguments without any effort at understanding them in a 250 word comment on some random blog is about as likely as me coming up with a unified field theory while I’m making a cup of tea at work.”

Some of these arguments are fundamentally flawed, and thus can be dispatched in a few sentences. Pointing out the logical flaw in a simple “proof” of god’s existence is a LOT easier than coming up with a unified field theory. And why does it matter that the argument is on a blog?

I think, along with ad hominem and appeal to authority, we need to invent two new logical fallacies to describe your personal attempts to dodge the meat of an issue. Let’s call them Appeal to Location of Argument and Appeal to Word Count of Argument.

I now look forward to you ignoring any part of my post that you find challenging, and probably throwing more fallacies in the air. Anything to avoid honestly questioning your beliefs!

152. Robin Levett

@vimothy #146:

No–that’s why they have two different names. The argument from contingency, or “argumentum ex contingentia”, is the argument from contingency and the argument of the first cause, or “argumentum ex ratione causae efficientis”, is the argument of the first cause.

A philosophical argument worthy of Wittgenstein…

There are distinctions between the two arguments, but they are merely two different ways of expressing the same claim; that nothing can come from nothing. One is that everything that is caused is caused by something; there cannot be an infinite regress of causation; so something must have caused the universe, which we call God. The other is that the universe contains contingent beings; that if all beings are contingent, then there must have been a time when no beings existed; but that is impossible because then there’d be nothing to bring the contingent beings into existence; so there must have been a necessary being to bring those beings into existence, which we call God.

The logical contradiction of the first cause argument is obvious; the logical failure of the argument from contingency less so. Neither, ultimately, is convincing.

153. Chaise Guevara

@ Robin

Interesting – and thanks for clarifying where others have refused to do so. I hope for vimothy’s sake you’re wrong about the argument from First Cause, because it makes him out to be a liar on top of everything else (that version of the argument is the one I addressed when he accused me of not knowing what it was).

I’m pretty sure the contingency one falls down here: “that if all beings are contingent, then there must have been a time when no beings existed; but that is impossible because then there’d be nothing to bring the contingent beings into existence”.

If “being” means what I think it means, then it rest on the the spurious assumption that a living and/or conscious thing can only be created by another living and/or conscious thing. I’ve seen that presumption used to invoke God before. If it’s used more widely, simply to mean “thing”, then it’s identical to the First Cause argument.

Either way, and with both arguments, there are two problems with positing God. Firstly, it requires bringing him in at random to fill a gap – it seems to work off the idea that if a question doesn’t have a definite answer, then the answer defaults to “God did it!”. Secondly, God doesn’t solve the problem, because the next question is what caused God. Turtles all the way down.

154. Robin Levett

@Chaise #153:

Sorry, Chaise, I’m not ignoring you – just waiting for vimothy to chime in.

‘Abusive, sarcastic or silly comments may be deleted’, you proudly proclaim. Unless, of course, they are aimed at Christians.
Listen, if Tesco or any other organization goes out of its way to support sodomy, then don’t be in the least surprised if that company subsequently faces hardship. Watch this space, and observe what will happen to Tesco unless they change track.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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    Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OAqWZebP via @libcon

  70. Mr N

    Get over it luv – Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/4H1UkvpT via @libcon

  71. Laura Brightwell

    Christian fanatic blames Tesco's financial troubles on the gays! http://t.co/XiZu8dVm #whateverwilltheythinkofnext #homophobiaisfunny

  72. woollyturtle

    Serves you right for supporting depraved homosexuals, Tesco! http://t.co/By2GoNQ #CrazyChristians #homophobia

  73. Ricky Compton

    Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/BMEwglU4 via @libcon

  74. Ian

    Serves you right for supporting depraved homosexuals, Tesco! http://t.co/By2GoNQ #CrazyChristians #homophobia

  75. Alex Locatelli

    Nutters of the day: http://t.co/rpVg84it

  76. Becs

    Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride http://t.co/HDFCd87j #lgbt #atheism

  77. Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride | Modern Atheism

    [...] Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride January 17, 2012By adminVia Scoop.it – Modern AtheismStephen Green, leader of the extremist religious group Christian Voice has blamed Tesco’s falling sales on gays. No, we’re not joking. The retailer’s shares nose-dived today after it reported suffering its worst Christmas for two decadesVia liberalconspiracy.org [...]

  78. Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs | Practikel

    [...] Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride (liberalconspiracy.org) [...]

  79. James Governor

    Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride (and sales of Halal meat) http://t.co/O9kZUN5V

  80. Tadd Axon

    Christian Voice blames Tesco fall on gay pride (and sales of Halal meat) http://t.co/O9kZUN5V

  81. MARCUS COOK

    you couldn't make this up. Tesco profts blamed on gay pride. damn biggots. http://t.co/FVQn4X9h





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