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Disability or Evolution

Ever heard of Penguin Feather-loss disorder? No, me neither until I read this…
"A new condition is causing many penguin chicks to lose their feathers, with some victims dying as a result of the mysterious problem, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The condition, called "feather-loss disorder," appears to have emerged recently and is now affecting penguin colonies on both sides of the South Atlantic."


Those studying the Penguins are calling the "condition" Feather-loss "disorder", so it's clear that the close up observers of the little flappers are regarding the feather loss as a problem, a malady and hey, y'know I'm no scientist, they're the experts and so they're probably right but it set me thinking...

What if it's not a malady; are we perhaps seeing evolution in action here?

  • Penguins without feathers stay out in the sun to stay warm. - I think the action to stay warm can be considered a primary driver, wouldn't you say? So...
  • this group of penguins WILL either die, from exposure/UV, or survive.
  • What do Penguins do if they survive both the roasting in the sun and the freezing out of it? - They'll do what any other slightly-chilly hot-blooded Penguin does in springtime (or whenever it is for Pengoes) They’ll breed.
  • With? Yes, other Penguins but isn't it likely to be with other featherless Penguins? The feathered Penguins would turn their beaks up at the 'freaks', eh? Fearing the "malady of the featherless" would befall them or any offspring? Not consciously, obviously, and I doubt they'd think it in English, but they'd instinctively find them less attractive.
  • Stands to reason, for me at least, that the union of two featherless would produce some offspring with a greater ability to survive without feathers.
  • Wouldn't that bring about a newly adapted featherless Penguin, the next thriving evolution of their species, in only a few generations?

Now, I don't know, because even those looking closely don't know, whether this is a malady or not. Or, if it is such, what maybe causing it, oil, other pollutants, climate change or what have you but what we do know is that Penguin populations have been falling. So could this featherless “condition” be an environmentally triggered genomic variation? The Penguin Genome responding to the current conditions?
Feathers are good to keep you warm...
but now we have climate change / global warming?
Feathers are a serious problem if you get them covered in oil...
And there's a lot of oil in the ocean, not just from spills but also from flushing ballast tanks and of course, major drilling disasters.

The question here is to do with human interactions with the natural world. Not merely our disastrous interactions like oil spills, nuclear meltdowns and war but also our philanthropic, compassionate ones.
If 'we' were to choose to intervene, at what point in the monitoring of these Penguins' 'malady', should we? (And no, I'm not talking about a thousands of grannies diligently knitting a similar quantity of tiny polo-neck sweaters.) We have gene therapy techniques now, if we intervene to prevent or induce change, how will we know we are not inhibiting a species evolution?

As evolutionary paths are only visible in hindsight, can we ever know the full effect of any intervention? Or worse, might we incorrectly conclude that our intervention to ‘help the cute birds’ to "stay as they are" was the 'right' choice, when, because of our actions, the line of evolution did not change, so how could we know that a different evolutionary path did not lay before the Penguins; a better, more 'right for them' path?
I think the only answer is, we could not know.

And, if that's the case for this instance with the Magellan Penguins, what does it mean for gene therapy in humans?
If a child is born with what we consider to be a malady, we may intervene with gene therapy to 'correct' the ‘problem’ but the question is, when is a malady not a malady?
Is there not a point where correcting the 'problem' means 'normalising' humanity?
Making it so kids with the ‘malady’ can 'fit in' to our limited, primitive, narrow-minded view of what we are? Many people would still prefer there to be no gay humans or black humans or come to the ginger humans.

Might we, because of this limited view, which is enforced by the scriptures, be stifling our evolution?
Rather than try to rush to normalise should we not wait and see, find out if evolutionary mechanisms are at work?
Mutations in the genome are what give us the ability to survive. If a plague swept the earth, those with the immunity in their genome would survive it. If we’ve normalised everybody, the plague would wipe out the entire human race. Those people with extra fingers or spina bifida or even just big ears, may have the genome to survive that to which you and I may succumb.

Should we not just accept these variations as humanity's 'reserve tank' so to speak? (I hope that's not offensive.)
I mean, I have absolutely no idea what environmental circumstance would have occurred where those genetically predisposed to arthritis would fair better than those without but say there was one. The human race's survival would be due entirely to genes that constructed those people which society all too often considers 'defective', and even sneers at.

Humanity's current civilisation is built on the backs of all our ancestors, every human alive today has earned there place, and all are potentially vital to our continuing survival and evolutionary possibilities.

What would you choose?
Normalization, so everyone we see doesn't 'offend', eventually leading to extinction via pandemic?
Live and let live, and some part of humanity 'always' survives?

I think it's high time we enlarged our view of 'normal'; it should be a descriptor for what actually exists,
all the wide and various expressions of our humanity,
ALL that we ACTUALLY are
and not some highbrow dream of what we would like to be or what is prescribed in a any theist doctrine.

P.S. I Hope the Penguins make it. Go Penguins! Woo!

More on them here. Also, if you want to donate go here.

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Amazing Jesus - Rowan Atkinson

"Amazing Jesus": Rowan Atkinson - http://youtu.be/fTzXJMU1sLc

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Saint Luke The Selective

I was watching this video by Mr Randi, who always seems like a very nice chap, the sort of guy you could just sit and chew the universe with. Anyway, throughout, Mr Randi does a fine job of showing up the charlatan 'evidence' in the face of a century of archaeological digging for the holy places in the Bible...

James Randi Speaks: Questioning the Bible - http://youtu.be/WSzQC1zKesU

...At 9:08 he mentions a passage from Luke. (4:16-30) I'm not going to reprint the entirety of the bollox, look it up if you need to but its roughly about Jesus rocking up at the synagogue, declaring all cocky and the great I am, that he knows better, and the elders getting somewhat pissed at him. Anyway, I read on a bit to refresh my memory of the section he was referencing and came to Luke 4:32
"And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." (KJV)

Well that's an 'excellent' recommendation, eh? 'They' were astonished! Wow, 'they', the people who knew only a fraction of what we know today were astonished. They'd have been astonished by a 10p cigarette lighter! You know, the cheapest, disposable ones. They were primitive tribal people after all, I mean we cannot deny that can we, so it's only to be expected they'd be easily amazed, turning a walking cane into a bunch of fake flowers would have had 'em gob-smacked for weeks, I shouldn't wonder!

Anyway the thing I noticed about the whole Luke passage (4:16-32) was the lack of content. I mean, we know the dessert dwelling primitives were astonished but because of what?

"his doctrine."

But what doctrine? There's none recorded in this scene!
Luke in his wisdom sets the scene, explains how eveyone was amazed but then conveniently forgets the important 'words' of the doctrine itself.
Where's what Jesus is supposed to have said? Where's the record of this astonishing speech?
For Red Dwarf fans, this Luke passage reminds me of the "Better Than Life" episode where Rimmer is telling a 'witty' story at an Officers' dinner party...

“So I said to Hollister… well, I can’t actually remember exactly what I said to him. But it was one of the most enormously cruel and frighteningly witty put downs EVER!”
St. Luke, if he ever existed,
was clearly one of the Arnold Rimmers of this world!

And then there's "his words had power"
Does this refer to the quality of thought behind the words? His 'stage' presence? 'His' presentation skills? Or, a combination?
Or, though this is less likely because of the colon, does it refer to the 'healing' which the chapter goes on to describe?

The real Bible truth here is, no matter what answer instantly springs from your personal indoctrination, this passage is unclear.

I can add nothing to Mr Randi's closing words...
"St. Luke and thus the inerrrent Bible, was plainly demonstrably, dead wrong. Shall we also question the rest of the Holy Bible?
Hmmm. Yes, I think so."

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Hands Together Eyes Closed

I wrote this over a year ago but it got mis-filed and I've only just found it. For the specific town council involved. The story is old news but the point is still valid so...

On the blog Catholic With Attitude I read the post, "An infringement on secularists human rights" from which this quote is taken...
"secularists claiming that a three word prayer at the beginning of Bideford Town Council meetings are somehow a breach of their human rights. The Christian Institute has the article here. The council has had this prayer since the time of Elizabeth I, some four hundred years. The prayer is in Latin and goes, 'Domine dirige nos' which translates as 'Lord guide us'.

...if they want to pray they ought to go into another room first. They say that they (the secularists) shouldn't have to leave because they are elected members."
and the author made a questioning statement...
"... Well, aren't the others, who want to pray, elected members too? Bizarre!"

It strikes me that the author's query is about equality; positing, in subtext (as it seems is so often the case with the religious language) that the idea of adding a prayer to something is the same as not adding a prayer to something! which, for me, are completely opposite concepts.
What the religious don't seem to get is the religious and non religious are not equal.
The religious person is likely to think that atheists are 'less worthy' members of society, maybe that person would even be a fundamentalist, 'go with scripture' and consider them 'the spawn of Satan' (Oooh, spooky, spooky!). The religious person might not attribute blame to them for their the atheism, they may pity the poor atheist but consider the state of pitying a moment...
There's no need to pity an equal!
Do we not only pity those we consider to be in some way less, or less well off, than ourselves?
However, from the atheist point of view, the religious are the ones worthy of pity, with their sad addiction to the bronze age dream machine, their lack of, or fear of, knowledge and wilful tormenting of humans who simply 'do not fit' their magic book's criteria. Actually, now I come to think about it, that's really quite loathsome; Kids are dying everyday of hunger and they buy churches for their own gratification and glory; abdicating one's personal responsibility for one's fellow human to the vague hope that some pretend benign grandad will put it all right in the end, disgraceful! But I digress.

To try to illustrate just how differently the religious and non religious think...

Morris dancing
(bear with me)

"Morris dancing has a long recorded history in this country(UK), the earliest reference being from 1448."


Right, know you know a little bit of British history, probably originating around the time of Elizabeth I

To a non-religious human, or humanist, there is as little (or as much) meaning in the council leader starting each meeting by donning a sash, trouser bells and fancy be-flowered hat to wave a hanky about in a camp manner, as there is in having a prayer!

Religious and non-religious people are not being equal; we think differently. Religious apply meaning to that which is merely ritual, tradition or custom.
(If you are religious, take heart it's not irreversible.)
So the question here is to the religious...
How would you feel if you were compelled
to perform what you considered to be a ludicrous ritual before a meeting?

The Devon Humanists group who made the initial complaint have been active against the use of religious ritual in council meetings since at least 2008.
"Many councils throughout the UK begin their meetings with prayers, mostly Christian in nature. This surprises many people and has disturbed Devon Humanists for some time."
There's more on this in the BBC report Bideford council in legal fight over prayers

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New Improved Soul Free humanity

A number of times I have posted, as a status update or tweet, "Why don't we teach there is NO evidence of a human soul" and, on a few occasions, it has prompted the responses, similar to “Because you can't teach a negative.” or “We can't teach that something doesn't exist.”

I fail to see why.
When it comes down to it, it's only a concept, a fanciful notion like Leprechauns, Unicorns etc. Maybe one cannot prove that something is non-existent but, surely, one could show, via critical thinking, the improbability of such a thing existing?

I understand the time constraints teachers are under and that it's better to shoe-horn some general critical thinking skills into the curriculum rather than focus on that which is not demonstrably false.
Though I'm not convinced critical thinking is taught correctly, to which Not Only Faith Schools attests, so why don’t we Sacrifice a pair of Archaeopteryx with one rock and make the soul fable the subject of the critical thinking lesson; using the concept of the soul as the example.

It may seem radical to tear down that in which so many store their hopes for the avoidance of death but if we are serious in our attempt to spread rational thought then why not start with the biggest fake-out in the history of the universe?
I mean, there is no evidence whatsoever supporting the conjecture that there is an extra, ethereal quality which, legend has it, is part of each human and, it is said, exists beyond the destruction of the corporeal; that which ‘we’ have traditionally called Soul or Spirit!
That is...

Yet, this fable holds such great sway with a great majority of humanity that the concept of soul is allowed, even encouraged, as harmless a comforter, allowing ‘us’ to pretend ‘our’ loved ones are not really forever lost to us, that we may see them again as Religion - Refuge of the Weak and Powerless explores but this single piece of magical, wishful thinking, that gives only a false sense of security, is the bait of a trap which signs a virtual power of attorney, over the imagined Soul’s destiny to whomever wants to profit from the fearful, impoverished, needy or traumatised individual; exploiting the believer's fear for his/her imagined fragile, unprotected and exposed Soul’s eternal safety.

It’s a bizarre thought process really…
Firstly you must accept you have got a sort of limb you can't see or feel, but can damage, even though you won't be allowed to know how damaged it's become until after you are dead. Then with Satan's shotgun permanently pressed up under your chin, you must spend your whole existence limiting the body parts you can see and feel so that you don't inadvertently cause Satan to jerk that hair trigger, blowing the body part you only think you have, straight to hell forever!
When you break it down like that, it's well screwed, eh?

It is this concept of soul alone by which the theistic human becomes convinced that a component of him/her is in, not merely mortal danger but eternal peril, however, without a reason to believe 'we' have a soul, there is no reason to believe it may be in danger.

If, whilst at work, you received news that a house had burned down in the street where you live, you'd be worried about your house until you found out where the fire was. If however you owned just an empty lot and the campervan you'd driven to work in, you'd be unconcerned.
Similarly with a soul, if I haven't got one, it doesn't matter what anybody says about what its destiny may be. It's irrelevant.

This near global acceptance of the soul fable is, I feel, ‘our’ most damaging mis-direction of reality. The concept of soul is the means by which individual humans are enslaved and subjugated and consequentially by which humanity's collective freedom is held to religious ransom.
And all because of ‘our’ fearful failure to update ‘our’ comprehension of reality; it's a heinous gaping omission in the education of humanity.

The tweet that started this is, I suppose, somewhat contrary, a ruse if you will; it's not really what I'm asking. It's more an attempt to display the discrepancy in education; display the subconscious bias towards magical thinking caused by this acceptance of the soul fable as fact.
Perhaps it should instead say...
Until religions prove the existence of a human soul, shouldn't we teach everyone to merely disregard them?
Or, to put it more directly...
Shouldn't religions be ‘encouraged’ to shut the fuck up until they can prove that their claim, that human's have an immortal core, is sound?

I ask you...
Is there a lesson more suitable than critical thinking
in which to explore this fable?

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YouTube - The Mysterious Mysteries of Paranormality

It's just superb - that's all. LMAO
The Mysterious Mysteries of Paranormality - http://www.youtube.com/embed/PjfP4ETcTXY: ""

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God The Foolish And God The Weak

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

1 Corinthians 1:25

I realise that these words are chosen for poetic reasons, not designed to be taken literally and are mere wordplay to illustrate just what a great guy the writer thinks god is, which in itself makes them truly pointless words because the writer's self-inspired level of awe at god is irrelevant to how great (or not) god actually is (or isn't) but let's take the phrase 'as stated'. I know, not very likely but, hey, it's Sunday afternoon, for a lark let's just say a passage from a monotheistic 'holy' book means exactly what it says...
"When God is in a condition which he himself would describe as foolish or weak, 'he' is still wiser and stronger than men."
If that's not fair, let me know below.

The subtext of the quote is that god has the ability to be weak and foolish; if he could not be, firstly, the comparison would be even more pointless, I mean, if 'he' could not be those things, what value would there be in making the comparison? Would it not be like saying "Humans walk better than Octopuses"? Secondly, they claim omnipotence for their idol, so of course he's capable of being either weak or foolish, or both.
So, if god can be, or has been, weak or foolish, or both, even if only on occasion, does that not suggest that he could have been in weak or foolish 'mode' for some of creation or in some of his decisions thereafter?
If so, which biblical events/verses do you think are most likely to have occurred when their idol was just being foolish? or weak? or both?
I'm sure there's some obvious ones but I can't think of any at the moment Sunday afternoon, full, sun streaming thought the window, bit snoozy - it's understandable and excusable I think. oh wait, I've thought of one...
I think Robin Williams first suggested it though (kind of)...
The Duck-billed Platypus probably makes a Grade 1 example of a god in foolish mode.

Anyway leave any more you can think of in the comments, I feel a nap coming on :)

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does

From an interview on Channel 4 News after the brutal and savage attack by Muslims on the UN in Afghanistan..
"Ahmad Gul, teacher and resident of Mazar-i-Sharif said:
'We had a peaceful protest. We went to the UNAMA (United Nation Assistance Mission for Afghanistan) compound and tried to disarmed their guards by taking their guns away, so there will be no violence.
'But they still fired on us and wounded our people, two were killed and 14 were wounded.'"

Channel 4

This sounds a lot like a bullshit excuse to conceal the blood lust of a mob but if we are to take it at face value; that it's actually a truthful relaying of events and not just an excuse then sheesh, how the hell do you measure stupidity on this scale?
"...tried to disarmed their guards by taking their guns away, so there will be no violence."
My dear sweet stupid Muslim's,

Attempting to take a guard's weapon is a violent act, it's likely to be one of the fastest ways to start violence! The guards would have been fearing for their lives! I mean, to be fair, if any non-Muslim was 'approached' by thousands of angry Muhammadan's the last thing he/she is going to expect is for the mob to be reserved and polite! I know I'd not be expecting a peaceful chat over cucumber sandwiches but rather, the primitive savage violence we've come, sadly, to know and abhor.
Further though, the guards have a duty to protect those in their charge. Nobody who was in their right mind (Yes, that implies that I don't consider to be in your right minds) would expect a guard to hand over his weapon! If all guard's were to just hand over their means of protecting those in their charge at the first sight of 2000 angry protesters, they wouldn't be called guards they'd be called surrender monkeys.
There are rules you know, the proper way of doing things; you know that, right?1
Oh no, wait, maybe you don't! Is there a rule in the Koran about not being so stupid that you try taking a guard's weapon away? Probably not, eh? But every other human on the planet (about 80% of the global population) would know it. I guess the Qur'an doesn't have all the answers, best get a book on etiquette. (There's a suitable book suggestion below)
Peace, Crispy
1Before you go getting all bent out of shape that I'm not handing out equal admonishment to all the naughty boys, here's my view on that dickhead Jones. Link

Perhaps they don't know about the ways of the rest of the world because they are not proprly educated in them? I mean, most Muslims, I assume, would at least be 'peer pressure proud' to admit they only want/know Sharia law. Indeed all secular law is considered by the majority(?) to be inferior to the Shariat. I'd also suggest that the same statement can be made for there opinion of the Qur'an.
As I see it, when one is taught to believe something is inferior, it's easy to ignore it, to disregard it, be disrespectful of it, and feel justified in doing so because you also been taught to believe you are following the ONLY right and proper 'superior' law.

While orthodox Islam continues to promote this vile supremacist attitude, how can any free thinking human not view it as 'too similar to Nazism for comfort'?

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Holy Book Burning Batman

On 20th March 2011 Pastor Terry Jones burned a Qur'an and, apart from the fact that I'm Welsh, I'm totally in agreement with this commentators view of it
In spite of all the absurdity and chicanery of this “mock trial” and the sophomoric behavior of its master-mind, I find this whole affair to be not at all amusing. To the contrary, it is not only a shameful display of religious bigotry and ignorance, but also a burlesque-like mockery of our system of jurisprudence. All things considered, it is frighteningly childish act.

Article here

On 1st April 2011 Muslims in Afghanistan were told (some reports say by the taliban) that (some reports say thousands of copies of) the Koran had been burned.
Later that day thousands of Muslims stormed the UN building and murdered a number of innocent people. They weren't the ones who burned the Muslims precious book after all.

Article: BBC

Now to me, this seems like another example of childishness, this time a childish response to news of Jones' childish act.

Angered by such mindless savagery I was moved to comment on this compounding of Jones' childishness with this murderously violent tantrum, over such an insignificant event, I tweeted...
  • "Does the violent attack on the UN in Afghanistan suggest Pastor Terry Jones was right? FFS it's only a book u dickheads #Islam #Atheism" Link
  • "A Pastor burned a Koran + a few days later violent primitive savages provided evidence of the reason he burned it. #Islam #Atheism #Truth" Link
  • "He only burned a book! In 50yrs, when they hear there was a plan for ICBP's, they'll freak. ICBP? Inter Continental ballistic pigs! #Atheism" Link
  • "Violent primitive savages kill 20 people over foreigner's choice of kindling. #Islam religion of peace - if you spell peace V-I-O-L-E-N-C-E" Link
  • "If u burn my magic paper I'll scream + stab + slay until u r stiff - Afghan Muslims: the Violet Elizabeth Bott of believers #Islam #Atheism" Link
And the violence continued today.
"Afghanistan: more deaths over Koran burning: At least nine people have been killed in the southern Afghanistan city of Kandahar as violent protests continued over the burning of a Koran in Florida.

Article: Channel 4

I had a few scolding responses for the tweets and fair enough, everyone's entitled to an opinion but this one by Fizzy08
"it is a book but ffs its an holy book. Atheism is no reason to defend the wrong doings of anyone...u have respect for ur beliefs and u need to respect the others. Thats just standard humanity criteria hence no one in the world wants violence and its condoned but violation of ones religion is not permissible under any clause of the world for anyone." Link
prompted what follows...

I am not defending the Pastor because there's nothing to defend; he has merely burned some paper - not particularly environmentally friendly but not offensive in any way. The thing is, ANY 'holy' book is only considered 'holy' because people believe it is.
If a 'Holy' book is destroyed, has the message been lost? Or was it just the message's container? Lives have been lost because someone burned, not the letter but it's envelope!
It would be hypocritical for me, an atheist, to respect those who like to fantasize that there is a god - I have No Respect For Spiritual Terrorism or for doctrine addicts
How much respect for the 'Holy' sensibilities of others did the Taliban Muslims show when they totally destroyed the centuries old Buddhas? It was wicked mindless adolescent vandalism to appease their primitive book's god!
Respect is earned and the Muslims lose credibility every time they act like savages and go ape shit crazy because some idiot ran out of toilet paper or set light to a spare copy of their favourite fairy story!

As far as I'm concerned...
If you kneel to a god - how very fucking Stone Age of you - you are an insult to human progress.

I would rather see EVERY 'holy' book publicly shredded and composted than lose one human life - a statement any religious person would find very difficult to match.

If you are religious I dare you to update your status with the statement below. If you cannot post it, then you value your afterlife dream more than you value your fellow human and as such are a crime against humanity waiting to happen.
"I believe in god but I'd rather see EVERY 'Holy' book publicly burned
than any 'Holy' book cost a single human life."

If you try to post and it makes you feel uncomfortable please be aware this is because your religion has carefully condition you to feel that way.

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Religion Causes Hedge Rage

or possibly; Put down the pen and step away from the bible :)

Buddha hedge couple, victims of hate campaign by religious villagers
"The owners of a rural garden nursery have been threatened by religious fanatics after they created a topiary Buddha from one of their box hedges.  
Days after the leafy sculpture had been completed Raymond and Sacha Hubbard were shocked to receive an anonymous letter criticising them for having the idol of worship in the grounds of their home, once a vicarage.
The poison pen letter criticised Mr Hubbard for introducing something foreign into Hill House Nurseries in Landscove, Devon."

Article and Picture of the offensive hedge Here Further Quotes from Totnes Times

You see now, here are all the problems with faith in a complete nutshell

1. Ignorance
Probably because of the lack of a wide reading list, the christian misunderstands the meaning of a Buddha statue. Buddha is not worshipped as a god or prophet but more revered as a mentor i.e. not as a Christian understands 'idol'.
However, why be offended by a rendering of the Buddha when people have always had replicas of Aphrodite, Pan, Goblins, Gnomes; all manner of paranormal beast and nobody even batted a pompous eyelid! Come to think of it...
Trevi Fountain
...the Trevi Fountain, in the heart of the unHoly Roman Empire depicts Neptune, the sea god, in a chariot pulled by seahorses and guided by mythological sea creatures, was commissioned initially by Pope Urban VIII and then Pope Clement XII had it completed!!wikipedia

And, I ask you, topiary! How completely frivolous - it's not set in stone!
I mean, I'm pissed about the enormousness, monstrous depiction of humanity's subjugation in Rio de Janeiro...
Rio Christ Statue
... but you don't see me planning a daring, dead of night hang-gliding commando raid to plant plastic explosive with remotely activated detonators at the fifteen critical stress points, do you?
Ooh, I may have said too much there, forget everything I just said!
Err.. Yeah, Topiary - it comes in all shapes and sizes, I even seen locally a passable Wallace but, sadly, not Gromit :(

2. Supremacist Doctrine
Because the Christian believes it is 'on the path of righteousness', following the 'right' god, so to speak, it feels it can dictate the shape of other peoples personal hedges!!
For me, believing that 'your' god is 'THE' god is clearly a superiority complex.
And no believer of any of the Abrahamic religions can legitimately claim they don't feel superior. I mean, really, is anyone going to follow a god who is only a bit good? Or one who makes your feel inferior?
Let's face it, if humanity were to survive and multiply for eternity, not one single human would ever hear another human utter the words...
"I follow that subordinate god, the one who's a lesser version of the other god's. Not supreme at all really, couldn't even have me in a fight. He's a bit crap and the after death benefits are shocking but hey, that's life!"
"Knowing" they are following the 'righteous' supreme god imbues the religious devotee with that pomposity and air of superiority; the demeanour of the supremacist which the righteous faithful so often display.
Every atheist has heard the words "You'll see the light one day" to which I often feel the urge to respond "Please take your supremacist dogma and fuck off, you ignorant religoscum!" but as that so often seems to cause offence I rarely am so direct.

Why aren't we as intolerant of religio-fascism as we are of the Nazi's or Taliban?

3. Magic & Demons and Curses! Oh My!!
WTF, this is 2011, right? I mean, we didn't just slip back to the dark ages since I last looked at the calendar, did we? Are we also likely to hear news of the latest alchemical recipes and accompanying incantation techniques in the Lancet? Or see withered old crones persecuted for selling herbs cheaper than the local clergy?
Curses! F.F.S.

But where are they getting this medieval bollocks from?? Is this christian serving up wrath and venom on it's own? Did it come to the decision to deliver notification of the wrath of god alone. This is probably not an instance in which we can blame the parents!
No, I tell you, as is often the case, at the heart of nest of vipers is a, er... viper. Or in this case Vicar, the village's chief believer in magic and demons and curses.
"They are nice people at Hill House - very nice people. I think it is very sad that they have been threatened with a curse."
Oh, his comments seem all sweetness & light, and blissfully unaware of the support he's giving to the pompous poisonous penner but the font of infection is supported from his pulpit, he enshrines the ridiculous concept of magical powers weekly - from his church doth the magic thinking leap forth to corrupt the easily led. Clearly, for me at least, he is bolstering the belief in the paranormal underpinning the word 'curse', promoting the notion that a supernatural force or god is ACTUALLY ready to wield his conjouring stick and smite or trounce, whichever his mood takes, the unbelievers should they er.. un-believe.

I say, you want to catch this clearly demented individual and put them somewhere where they ought to be, with nice soft walls and plenty of chemical what-have-you, I say go to the source -arrest and interrogate the Vicar for theological grooming.

So the question here...
If you've got enough time on your hands and so little in your head that you have obsess about topiary which has a vague resemblance to Buddha to get your jollies, just how fufilling should we consider Jesus?

For those of you who feel inspired by the Hubbards and wish to stir up the religious nut-jobs in your village check the Amazon book link below :)

This is one of the Too Many Questions
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