•January 14, 2009 • 4 Comments

Although anyone who bothers to swing by would have already guessed as much.

I haven’t lost interest in any of the topics I may have blogged about in the past.  I just can’t seem to find the time to post regularly here any more.  I’ll still be hanging around the blogosphere though – no doubt I’ll turn up in the comments sections here and there.  But it seems memeplex is going to be on the back burner for a while.

See ya ’round like a rissole.

Stoush at Uncommon Descent

•November 13, 2008 • 3 Comments

Holy heck!  I was just nosing about in the ‘Would you want your child to marry an atheist?’ thread at Uncommon Descent that I mentioned earlier, and there’s a slight glimmer of sanity to be found within.  A commenter, Fross, gives some details of his life as an atheist to receive this response from UD contributor BarryA:

6 BarryA 11/11/2008 1:20 am

Fross, your comment at [5] fascinates me. You use words and phrases like “good quality,” “fair,” “good people,” “should be treated,” “should have the opportunity,” “should [not] be taken,” etc. Yet, you seem oblivious to the fact that if your fundamental premise is correct, it follows as surely as night follows day that these words and phrases are utterly meaningless. The way you manage the cognitive dissonance is a wonder to behold.

Typical religio-nut arrogance.

If you don’t believe in my skydaddy you have no right to speak of good and bad, or right and wrong.

But then fellow UD contributor DaveScot enters the fray:

30 DaveScot  11/11/2008 12:48 pm


Would you be a bad person if you didn’t believe God wanted you to be a good person?

If forgiveness and everlasting life is available through Christ even for miscreants who rape, torture, and kill children where’s the disincentive in your religion for raping, torturing, and killing children? It seems to me that secular law is the source of the disincentives and your concept of universal forgiveness acts as an incentive.

How do you handle the cognitive dissonance in that?

Anyone familiar with Uncommon Descent will be familiar with DaveScot and know that his attacks on evolution and his defense of intelligent design come from the standard ID propaganda mould.  But what’s unusual about him is that, unlike his fellow contributors, DaveScot seems to have little time for raving religious whackaloons and their kindergarten level apologetics:

34 BarryA 11/11/2008 1:43 pm

DaveScot, don’t have time to knock down the multiple strawmen you erected in [30]. Another day perhaps.


38 DaveScot 11/11/2008 3:48 pm


Yeah, I’ve yet to run into anyone who had the time to explain to me how the “strawman” of universal forgiveness works to discourage behavior that most theists and atheists alike find abhorrent. Buddhists have a great explanation. If you act like a worm in this life you come back as a worm in the next life.

Let me know when you have more time.


This isn’t the first time this has happened.  Continue reading ‘Stoush at Uncommon Descent’

It’s all about the science…again…

•November 13, 2008 • 5 Comments

Intelligent design is purely scientific. Its adherents seek to make their case purely in the scientific realm. Intelligent design proponents garner support for their ideas by identifying the scientific evidence which supports their theory and publishing the results. The theory and its proponents are unfairly accused of being religiously motivated and attempting to tie evolution to atheism when in fact all they are interested in is presenting and discussing the science they believe to be a better explanation for observed biological diversity. As advocates of evolution we need to address these scientific claims, so let’s head over to the internet flagship of ID, Uncommon Descent, and see what recent well researched and supported challenges they’ve made to evolution…

12 November 2008

Anti-God Ad Campaign Comes to Washington, D.C.


Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday. “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”

Last month, the British Humanist Association caused a ruckus announcing a similar campaign on London buses with the message: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Best-selling books by authors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have fueled interest in “the new atheism” — a more in-your-face argument against God’s existence.

Full article here.


10 November 2008

Would you want your child to marry an atheist?

William Dembski

Since atheism and its connection to Darwinism is a perennial topic at UD, I refer readers to a wide-ranging article on atheism at Conservapedia (www.conservapedia.com/Atheism). Particularly striking is the social (un)acceptability of atheism when it comes to marrying off one’s children:


P.S. The main author of this article is also the main author of the Conservapedia article on evolution:



As if…

•November 12, 2008 • 3 Comments

Apparently, we godless heathens might be a bit touchy about the phrase ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’, according to some twit within the Salisbury District Council in England:

A FURORE has broken out after Salisbury District Council told staff to avoid using the phrase ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ – in case it offends atheists.

In a style guide handed out to staff the council said the common saying, which has been used for centuries, could offend non-believers.

Following criticism in the national press over the weekend the council has denied it has placed a ban on the use of these phrases in any of its written communications.

Thankfully it seems the ‘ban’ is not official council policy, as council officials are moving to distance themselves from it:

Salisbury council leader Paul Sample vowed to investigate and put an end to the ban.

He said: ‘I will look into the matter Monday morning and find out where this came from.

‘This paper has not gone before cabinet and I am not aware of the document referred to.

‘I think whoever did it probably did not think of running it past elected politicians and If they had we would have helped them to see common sense.

‘I am sorry after all the good work we have done we have scored an own goal.

‘I am not in the slightest bit interested in rubbish like this.’

Mr Sample’s deputy Steve Fear said: ‘I am trying to find out where it came from – perhaps it was consultants. But I know nothing about this. This is the first time I have heard of this.

‘I am sure it is well meaning but it is not appropriate.’    (Link)

It was also nice of the Yorkshire Post to find out what a secularist might think about such a policy:

Executive director of the National Secular Society Keith Porteous Wood said he was not hurt by the phrase, which he used himself.

The thing about this is, it doesn’t just generate bad press for the council (as it should), it generates bad press for atheists and secularists. People will read these reports and while grumbling about ‘political correctness’ they’ll also be getting all worked up about atheists.

Atheists are offended by an age-old saying? The poor souls!

I’ll be impressed if anyone can track down an atheist who would be offended by the phrase in question. What a joke.

‘At least we stopped Teh Gay’

•November 10, 2008 • 3 Comments


Cop that all you ignorant racist yokels!*

It was nice to see Obama get over the line the other day.  I can be a negative nelly when it comes to politics and I always suspect the worst outcome because of some last minute balls-up by my preferred candidate/party.  So on this occasion, as with Howard’s demise, I was rather chuffed.

Others were not.

At The Oz, Janet Albrechtsen was rather disappointed with the demolition of the McCain/Pailin duo, but she also saw a silver lining.  After the US electorate failed to heed her warning that, if elected, Obama would appoint ‘unelected’ judges to the Supreme Court, she took solace in the fact that several states voted to ban same-sex marriage.

In California, where Obama secured 61percent of the vote, 51per cent of voters supported a ban on gay marriage. Obama’s political sophistry ñ declaring his belief that marriage is between one man and one woman but declaring his opposition to banning same-sex marriage ñ was rejected by the people of California… Elsewhere, voters also banned same-sex marriage last week. In Florida where Obama won 51per cent of the vote, 62 per cent of voters said no to same-sex marriage. In Arizona, – a Republican hold, 56 per cent of voters said the same. In all, more than 40 states have laws or constitutional bans against same-sex marriage.

Sure, maybe lefty elitists control the Whitehouse, Congress, the Judiciary, the media and the schools and universities, but at least the state isn’t recognising the lifelong commitments of gay couples.  It’s not all bad.

Janet takes comfort in “the voice of Americans across the nation who voted against a range of orthodox left-liberal positions”.  Gay marriage was voted down in California, Arizona and Florida, while Arkansas passed a referendum stopping gay couples from adopting children.  But Janet conspicuously avoided mentioning the fact that marijuana for medical use was supported in Michigan, along with the legalisation of stem cell research.  Also, Washington State joined Oregon in legalising physician-assisted suicide.  ‘Orthodox left-liberal positions’ lost out in some sates, but not in others.

But Janet misses the point, as she has done on numerous occasions in the past when she decides to put pen to paper on these issues.  The fact that majorities in these states voted against gay marriage does not mean prohibiting homosexuals from being married is right.  For Janet, the gut-feeling of the electorate is the best judge on moral issues.  But what will Janet do when the gut-feeling of the electorate changes?  What if 51% of Californians voted against Proposition 8 instead of for it?  Would she smile politely and say “Very well then”?  No.  Californians would no longer be wise morally grounded conservatives.  They’d be a state of lefty liberal elites, out of touch with the rest of America’s moral masses.  That pundits like Albrechtsen rely so heavily on argument ad populum only serves to illustrate how vacuous the case against gay marriage really is.

Meanwhile, Bill Muehlenberg highlights part of Obama’s victory speech as a sign of Western civilizations impending doom:

And his anti-marriage and anti-family views are also a major concern. Just how long before he introduces a whole raft of legislation seeking to grant special rights to homosexuals, including the right to marry? Answer: we have a very good clue in what he told his adoring fans last night. Incredibly, in his acceptance speech it only took about two minutes before he mentioned the issue of homosexuality. I think that must be a world first – certainly an American first.

What got Bill all riled up?

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

Gasp!  He acknowledges the existence of gay people.  We’re clearly fucked.  But surely sanity will prevail in the comments…

stephen white 6.11.08 / 7pm

At a time of great financial crisis a nation turns to charismatic, eloquent unkown who preaches a better future for them as a country. USA 2008….Germany 1933….
Stephen White

Bill Muehlenberg 6.11.08 / 7pm

Thanks Stephen

I know my critics think I am far too cynical and over the top already, but I can’t help but thinking that you are clearly on to something here with your interesting observation.

Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch


* Obviously, there were plenty of people who didn’t vote against Obama for reasons other than race.  This statement is not directed at them.  To them I would merely say “Cop that!”.

I am without speech

•November 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Dropped by Bill Muehlenberg’s CultureWatch today to find this post sulking about ‘judicial activism’.  Of course, ‘judicial activism’ means any decision made by a judge which is unpopular with the religious right:

Religious Right Guide to Court Decisions

Judicial Activism

Bill provides a list of what he considers to be examples of judicial activism within Australia and halfway through the list we come to this:

…in December, The Australian High Court declared that homosexuals who might suffer persecution overseas were entitled to refugee status in this country. In a 4-3 ruling, the Court declared that a gay Bangladeshi couple could win the rights to be refugees. It was a world-first ruling, and will likely have ramifications in other similar cases.

Let us all hope that Muehlenberg, or someone like him, never ever find themselves in charge of asylum seeker applications…

Bill: So, on what grounds would you like to claim asylum here in Australia?

Asylum seeker: In my home country I live in constant fear of persecution.  I could be unjustly imprisoned or even killed.

Bill: That sounds awful!  Are you persecuted for any particular reason?

Asylum seeker: Because I’m gay.

Bill: Oh, I see.  Well in that case…

Palin on Facebook

•October 4, 2008 • 2 Comments

Palin on Facebook



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