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Keep dancing Russel , almost only counts in horseshoes , Any existing theoretical mathematic equation simply falls far short of describing or explaining the Origin of the Universe ......you know that Russel ,  And please do yourself a favor Russel ,and consult your Websters . Chance [ randomness] is not the same as Probability ,where do you get your information from ? 

 

 Attacking you personally ? Not so Russel , if that were true , I would have to use an unpleasant noun . I criticize your position ,m and in fact by all rules of debate have destroyed your view . As I said , I do not question any of the Four Possibilities , and hold them in equal esteem as candidates . YOU on the other hand possess a biased mind and do not accept that position . So don't come back here whining about personal attacks .

 

 You attempted logic does not defeat my position , and that is because it is not logic , for logic can not be biased . You however ARE .

 You can not present one single equation that explains what caused the Big Bang , let alone what it was that caused it . Although you exhaust yourself in verbal gymnastics and semantics , you have evidence of NOTHING as to the Origin of the Universe .  You can not differentiate between Chance and Probability , and seem to be in a fog about the difference between hypothesis and fact .

 

You got a problem Russel  , not  I .  You say " I have run out of ideas "  ??   You must like the sound of that eh Russel ? Especially since I have not  presented any ideas . YOU have presented ideas , and that's all they are is ideas and/or guesses , because at present that is all that science has regarding  the question . Unless of course you claim to have some hidden knowledge that the  scientific world is unaware of .  You delude yourself Russel , but you fail in deluding me .

 

  I say all four possibilities we listed are possible . You discount purpose , I do not . So suck it up Russel . Your game is becoming boring and repetitious . Go play your word games with some creationists , that's your speed . Your mind is biased and your scope limited .  You are a narrow minded person disguising yourself as open minded . At the end of the day , LOL .........you are an agnostic , just like me .  Need I define it for you ? .....Again ?

 

BTW Russel 13.8 billion light years is the limit  of the detectable /visible Universe , 26-45 billion is an extrapolation based on calculation involving expansion . And NO Russel we do NOT know if the laws of quantum physics "hold " at even 13.8 billion  light years . Russel you sound like a guy who jumped into the game late , you seem to be oblivious of basic astronomy and cosmology , or atleast what is presently known as generally accepted theory.    ??

 

Cheers

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Hi Aligarr

 

The dictionary appears to disagree with your definitions here.  These are in line with the definition I use for Probability and Chance.  Basically probability is the mathematical modelling of chance.

 

probability  

2. a strong likelihood or chance of something: "The probability of the book's success makes us optimistic."

 

chance  

3. a possibility or probability of anything happening:

From Dictionary.reference.com

 

The visible universe is around 13.8 billion light years from here in every direction, that means that from the ‘left’ extreme to the ‘right’ extreme we can observer around 27.6 billion light years of it as I stated previously.  A sphere of that diameter is a very large volume indeed.

 

Again you are back to attacking a position that you claim to support which is an odd tactic.  You claim that you accept the possibility that probability and/or necessity are behind this universe yet you vehemently oppose the idea that people might actually be thinking about how that could occur and that the best minds in the business have done so with some theoretical success and very limited evidential support.  Interesting approach!

 

Yes and I stand by the idea that you have either run out of ideas or you had none to start with, you don’t appear to be capable of presenting a case in support of the idea of purpose yet you believe it plausible none the less.

 

Russell

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Russel you don't seem to be capable of being corrected , nor being honest in your claims . You have repeatedly backpeddled on issues which you purported as fact , and after instruction to revisit said issues , only to comeback and "revise " your statements ,and "reword your arguments ".

 

You also have an inability to accept criticism of your views . You stand by your idea ? LOLOLOL...."YOUR IDEA " ? As I said , I NEVER presented  my "ideas " , again you show a basic immaturity by insisting on a non-existent point .

 

To say there are FOUR possibilities in the possible explanations for the origin of the UNIVERSE is NOT an idea . It is OPINION , it is my opinion . You discount one of those based on YOUR OPINION , you have no scientific nor logical reason , you have no scientific facts , you cite equations which MAY point to this or that , but you know full well they too are just IDEAS , remaining untestable , unverified and unfalsifiable .

 

Yet you expect to make your argument based on such things . What you lack is the wisdom to  realize  that you can use those equations to suggest but not to eliminate . You can only eliminate when you have a defeater of an opposing argument , and for that you need facts or evidence , you have neither , nor does science for that matter . Ask Hawking what he thinks brought the Universe into existence , or How , and he will tell you he simply does not know . .but you know better eh Russel ?

 

You are constantly whining about " personal attack " , which is in fact criticism of your view , and perceived by a mentality such as yours  as a "personal attack " .

 

 How many ways do you need to hear that I totally disagree with you on the elimination of purpose , before it sinks in ? 

 

How many times do you need to be told,  yours is simply OPINION and not fact , and you have no logical basis for rejection of purpose as a possibility , and there simply is no proof on your part , You can not prove Chance , you can not prove Necessity , and you can not prove Probability .

 

By now I'm sure it is just a matter of you liking to hear yourself say " you have run out of ideas " because there are none in my argument , just a stark statement that you can not accept due to your own bias , and that is that ALL FOUR ARE POSSIBILITIES .

 

I 'm sorry you lack the maturity to accept that there are people who disagree with your position , and I say that , because you repeatedly come back whining about "personal attacks " when in reality , I'm merely disagreeing with your view . You have no means to substantiate your particular position , and your frustration with any criticism of that becomes more evident with each reply .

 

Grow up Russel  .

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Hi Aligarr

 

More claims without evidence that I have backpeddled and changed my position.  Until you can find some evidence for this claim I’ll ignore it as it’s getting old.

 

So what substance do you to present here?  Nothing at all basically as far as I can see! You can’t justify the pre-existence of a super powerful and intelligent being before our universe other than to state that it can’t be disproved which I agree with by the way.  Like the tea pot orbiting Pluto I don’t believe that is sufficient reason to accept it however but that appears to be as deep as that through goes.

 

That doesn’t really leave us much to talk about.  You don’t like the thoughts of some of the greatest minds in quantum physics which is fine but you can’t fault them other than to point out that like all scientific theories they haven’t been proven yet which was a given from day one given that nothing in science is ever proven true as I’ve explained.

 

If all you are doing is presenting an opinion without consideration of the possibilities around it then we have even less to talk about moving forwards.  You could have saved us a lot of trouble if you’d just pointed out in the first place that there was nothing to your position other than unsupported opinions.

 

Actually I’ve spelled out that even if the maths proves that there is a plausible path from nothing to here that doesn’t prove that the universe worked that way I have merely shown you that greater minds than you or I have come up with ideas on how the universe was formed and, like it or not, they have some supporting evidence around those ideas and maths that fits what we know.  Have you ever heard of “Last Thursday’ism”?  We may have a pretty good idea of our history, at least from our own childhoods till today but an all-powerful god must be capable of creating the entire universe last Thursday with the memories of our childhoods implanted so we feel like we have a long history even though we are only a week or so old.  Logically that is plausible.  Like the idea of purpose I don’t count it as probable but it is at least plausible.  So demonstrating that the universe could have appeared by quantum mechanical means does not prove that it did any more than demonstrating how evolution works proves that god didn’t do it implanting the apparent history to fool us.  No your view can stand even if you accept that quantum explanations are plausible.  What purpose can’t escape from is the implausibility of a purpose giver just magically popping into existence from nothing.  That’s an insurmountable problem to that idea I would suggest.  You seem to support this notion even if only in the negative as you still won’t discuss it.  I suspect that the unstated reason for that is that you can’t.  Your position is indefensible.

 

Dispite your claims to the contrary statements such as “You’ve got a problem Russel” – Aligarr or “So you continue to play your game of semantics to defend your closed mindedness and biased opinion” – Aligarr.  These statements are the definition of Ad Homonym.  I think this discussion would get further if you could just stick to substance but, despite your misunderstanding of that Margret Thatcher quote ages ago it does appear to apply.  Boiled down basically she was stating that when your opponent stoops to personal attacks they have run out of rational and reasoned ones.  Certainly the rational and reasoned discussion has not yet come from your side in this as far as I can see.  Maybe we would get further here if this was more balanced.  If you could stand up for what you believe but maybe it is only an opinion without logic or evidence beyond that it can’t be disproved.  Maybe that is all there is to your side of this.

 

Russell

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 No one faults any of the great minds of physics , and no one " doesn't like them ", this is all a matter of opinion  and possibilities . YOU are the one suffering from bias ,. But worse , you are not even in the game as far as what is actual science and what is speculation .

 You are unaware that the issue of Dark Matter is beginning to indicate to scientists that they may need to rewrite the laws of physics  , yet you are critical of my position including purpose as a possibility ?  You are typical of the biased mind .

 LOL.....physicists have no explanation for the acceleration in the expansion of the known Universe , therefore they propose that there must be Matter that we can not see , we can not detect , we have no idea of what it is , but it allegedly accounts for [new estimates ] THREE QUARTERS of the total mass of our Universe ? And with that in mind , Physicists have no idea of how this dark matter does what it is supposed to be doing .  There is no equation to describe what it is , nor where it is , nor by what physical laws it is subject to .

   Seriously ? 

 

Yet you criticize my position ?  Considering purpose  as a possibility is illogical  ?  Your bias clouds your thinking . Oh save all that fluff and blather you just unloaded in your above post .

 

Get upto speed Russel .

 

Grow up Russel .

Edited by Aligarr

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Hi Aligarr

 

Yes not much content there so not much to talk about.  You complain that I change my position all the time yet you can’t produce any evidence of the same, I point out that your favourite position is untellable yet you can’t defend it.  You complain that the views I have been explaining from physicists is just ‘opinion and speculation’ which is exactly what I described then as from day one. What does it really boil down to, no content just complaint.  Is that all you’ve got here Aligarr?  Is that your idea of a reasoned discussion?

 

Russell

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Hi Russel ...well maybe  three 's a charm .

 

Grow up Russel .

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btw Russel , what "it really boils down to " is that you are disingenuous debater , highly opinionated , and uninformed as to the subject .

 

So again you reply with more of your inaccurate  back peddling blather , which is becoming your trademark in this discussion .

 

I never said I considered purpose a "favorite " , I merely stated it is one of four possibilities , and I find no logical reason , considering present knowledge , and what is hypothesized by science , to discount it .

 Nor did I ever "complain " that the views of physicists you brought to the fore are just speculation and opinion  , I stated that THEY ARE IN FACT SPECULATION AND OPINION .

  You like playing with words eh Russel ? Do you really think your game goes undetected ? 

 

Again Russel -   GROW UP .

 

 

LOL...btw what does untellable mean ?

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Hi Aligarr

 

What it really boils down to is that you are that debater Margret Thatcher was talking about.  You can’t defend your position!  Look back and find me one passage from your posts to this thread in which you’ve actually explained your position.  Have you ever even considered the way each of those scenarios could have come about?  If you boil it down, it’s this.  I believe that these four things are possible, you can’t prove there not so that’s enough for me and I’m going to put my fingers in my ears and ignore you or complain about you when you try to delve deeper.  That’s the position of the creationists when you point out the flaws in their beliefs.

 

No you didn’t state that purpose was a favourite but you argue strongly against the ideas of physicists which support the alternatives yet you won’t even try to defend that one position.  I understand it is a favourite by reading between the lines Aligarr.

 

Untellable = Untenable (Typo)

 

Russell

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Russel , you are obsessed with Maggie , I'm not . nor does she impress me , so please gimme a break with your Thatcher euphemisms , your construct is a bit repetitious , not to mention irrelevant .

 

As I said , I pose no "ideas " , so how can I "run out of them ? NOW you state all four are possible  ? Before you mocked and  denigrated the position that purpose was a possibility .

 

You're changing gears now rather than your usual back peddling - as I said disingenuous debating on your part . And AGAIN you revisit what you previously stated and say  that " I didn't favor purpose " AFTER you stated that I did . More word games Russel ?you can't seem to break that bad habit . 

 

YET YOU CONTINUE ! No Russel , you misrepresent what I said , I NEVER argued strongly against the ideas of physicists , I simply stated there was no empirical proof , I said that their hypotheses are untestable , and not falsifiable . More redacting of our discussion ?

 

I've stated throughout this discussion that I accept all four as possibilities and favor NONE without better evidence or for that matter any evidence . If  not so , then WHY on Earth would I quote Occam's Razor ?? 

 

 It is YOU RUSSEL who has argued vehemently against only one of the four possibilities , and that is what I took exception too .  You attempted to prove purpose less likely than the others , and that is your opinion . There is not one iota of data that suggests that any of the Three are correct .Nor is there for purpose , and I have STATED that countless times in these discussion .

 

You simply are too biased to accept a position , which is also OPINION that all four are possibilities , one no less plausible than another in the face of a total lack of information beyond some planck time AFTER the Big Bang .

 

Face it Russel you have a beef with creationists . That's fine , I'm not a creationist . I am an agnostic , and if you read my icon , you miss the import of my statement . Perhaps you are a frustrated agnostic desiring badly to be an atheist , but you simply can not disprove the possibility of purpose .  No one will describe , discover , or come up with an equation to explain the Big Bang , no one will know if the Universe is Open or Closed , and you have no idea of how big a problem Dark Matter is . These are things that will remain inscrutable regardless of your faith in the mathematical equation .No one will prove God , and no one will disprove God , you need to deal with that reality .

 

I know exactly what the renowned Theoretical Physicists and Cosmologists know to date  , and so do you . I can discern what they put forth between fact and hypothesis , and so SHOULD you .

 

 Delve deeper ? REALLY ? Does that mean to accept hypotheses that are speculation based on " our best calculations " ? Seriously ? Our "best calculations " can not explain the acceleration in the expansion of the Universe , so we infer Dark matter , in reality we have no idea whatsoever what it is .  You do not realize that much of these theoretical mathematical equations which attempt to describe reality are based not on any observation [ although several have ]  but on ideas , speculative ideas .

 

You have two problems , one is your bias , the other is an inability to know the difference . As to your tactics in this discussion , that's where your character faults lie , and they are obvious . If you are biased , you can not be Objective , and if you are disingenuous then you can not debate honestly .

 

Cheers .

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Hi Aligarr

 

Are you actually reading what I write, you keep complaining about things I have not said or done.  Sure I’ve always agreed that purpose is possible, it can’t be disproved, but that does not mean it is any more probable than the teapot orbiting Pluto.  That’s been my position since day one.  Don’t believe it have a read back, all of my posts are still there.

 

You do, of course, pose an idea, the idea that purpose is one of the four options for the creation of this universe. Maybe you don’t think that is an idea but I think most rational people would disagree.

 

You did argue strongly against the ideas of physicists, you suggested that the majority interpretation of the Casimir effect experiments was wrong just for starters. Read back there are more such from you.  You continue to demand proof as if that was something that science ever did but of course it does not as I’ve explained a number of times already.  Science never ‘proves’ things rather it destroys theories that are wrong and keeps the one’s that pass every possible test until that changes.

 

Yes you’ve stated you four possible sources for the universe and I’ve pointed out the glaring problem with one of them, with purpose.  You may continue to believe it, I know people who believe the earth is flat and the moon landings never happened so why not, but that problem still leaves purpose as by far the least likely of the possibilities until you or someone can answer it.  You may be right, the actual source of the universe may be a fifth possibility that no one has ever thought of, showing that one or two of these possibilities is plausible will never disprove that.  Future evidence might but that is something we’ll have to wait on.

 

You keep stating that there is no evidence for the source of the universe, even though I’ve pointed out some evidence that we already have.  Remember I told you that this universe contains exactly the amount of energy (within measurement errors) that a vacuum fluctuation sourced universe should have.  Remember also that I pointed out that whatever created this universe must be the sort of thing that creates universes that inflate etc.  So we do in fact have some evidence for what came before even though you ignore it.

 

I did prove purpose less likely until someone can explain how a purpose giver could have popped into existence in the absence of a universe but you, apparently, can’t.  Do you know of anyone who can?  If not what rational basis for this idea is there.

 

No I do accept that you hold the opinion that all four possibilities are equal, I’ve explained why that is not the case but I understand that you still hold that flawed opinion and that you can’t or won’t defend it in any detail.

 

Don’t all truly rational people have a problem with Creationists?  No I understood that you weren’t a creationist from day one though some of your ideas and approaches to this ring in similar ways.

 

No I agree that you can’t disprove the existence of that teapot orbiting Pluto and you can’t disprove the idea that purpose might be behind the universe but I’d have to suggest that both are on about the same footing probability wise.  I’ve explained why several times but you have not discussed it in any depth rather you just point out that I can’t disprove it which is true of course though not very interesting.  How many things are there that we can never disprove from fairies to unicorns, the lock ness monster or the flying spaghetti monster.  Not being disprovable is one of the least interesting things you can say about any idea.  Being rationally supportable is an interesting observation about any idea but, as we’ve seen that is possible for only three of your possibilities.

 

I take Dark Matter to be an open question but so was the existence of extra solar planets not so long ago, who knows what we’ll work out in the future.

 

No delve deeper means just that, understand where the best minds we have can go and what they are exploring.  Sure you have to understand the limitations of those ideas, we all understand that they are speculative, that they may be totally wrong but they are based on extrapolations of the best ideas and theories we have to date so they are worthy of consideration.  You discount them without any hint that you really understand them or the evidence on which they are based.  Yes I said evidence because there is some limited evidence which I’ve discussed.  You don’t have to like it but try to understand it.  Understand that there are no ideas that lead to a purposeful universe, at least none that hold water even with our limited knowledge while there are ideas that support the alternatives.  Sure it’s not impossible that purpose is still behind the universe, maybe something we have never thought of can make it plausible even real but at the moment no one I have ever come across has ever worked out how that could be.  Not so for the uncaused universe.

 

Russell

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Hey Russel , understand the difference between what " the best minds know " and what the best minds hypothesize and speculate .

    

     For all you think they know , no one has any proof period .  I don't have any problems with creationists , as YOU seem not able to read or comprehend what I write . I will not argue with religionists of any kind . There is no science , only articles of faith . That is their choice . Creationists can not argue from a view point of science .  Creationists go far beyond any notion of purpose . Ergo , religious views and dogma are espoused .

 

 Maybe you ought to try repeating one hundred times - Aligarr states purpose is a possibility and has a right to opinion .

 

     This is a concept you are biased against and can not digest , in fact you seem to choke on it . Understand , that is YOUR personal opinion and obviously your problem . And again you redact what has been said , I did nor do NOT discount ANY of the four possibilities , I have said time and again I am open minded and when ANY empirical evidence or data indicates favoring one over the other , I can determine through objective consideration and reasoning a logical conclusion .

 

     Thus far , to date , at the leading edge of Science , there is NOTHING to suggest ANY of the Four as the true reality of the Universe. But you don't know that , do you Russel ?  You think simply because a Theoretical Mathematician creates an equation ,and then extrapolates a SPECULATIVE idea , that is settled science . You get the  buzzer boy - WRONG !

 

    You seem afraid to admit that you just don't know . I guess the advantage all the physicists have is a captive audience of the same stripe where they convince themselves and use the dubious language which seemingly indicates that they do know , when in fact they do not . But for someone like you , with a predisposed bias , that is good enough . Again - your problem , not mine .

 

    Your replies are basically the same paragraph , juxtaposed with the same content but rearranged to sound different . LOL....you concede kicking and screaming that purpose is a possibility yet you claim there is nothing to indicate that , and in that one small part of your ranting you are correct , but you leave out an all important qualifier , there is also NOTHING to indicate the other three .

 

  Science is not without limitations , and that is simply because there are limits [do to our perspective and restraints of Time ]  to the Time and Space we try to describe .  We can only look back so far then there is a BLANK , we can only peer so far ahead and then the accelerating expansion  forever puts further investigation out of our reach .Time itself is our limiting factor , Dark Matter remains in the realm of conjecture and the laws of physics we embrace are being contradicted as we speak . The acceleration of the expansion and the discovery that the Higgs Boson is not the most elementary particle all point to a defect in our understanding of physics beyond and extremely local scale , and that too is questionable since the Sun itself displays continuous un solved mysteries .

 

Yet from that you will pontificate that of the Four , purpose is least likely ?  I can see why science readily rejects purpose , and that is the criteria necessary to result in a Universe that produces a narrow window for life . Any extremely small fluctuation in the distribution of matter would eliminate totally any possibility of life evolving . Thus science must propose an infinite line of possibilities , to provide an explanation for the one that successfully produces life . I do not see that necessarily as any PROOF for purpose , but it certainly gives pause to consider it a possibility .

 

  So be content with your own opinion , after all it is the one YOU choose to live with . But understand that is opinion only . My opinion remains unchanged , if and until there is evidence I am open to all four . Deal with it .

 

 

Cheers.

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Hi Aligarr

 

You really don’t sound like you’ve been reading what I’ve been writing, from the first I pointed out that the idea I introduced here, the vacuum fluctuation sourced universe, was an idea based on maths and the limited evidence we have but it was not a theory, it was not testable beyond that very limited evidence.  Have you not been reading before you reply?

 

Sure I agree that you have a right to the opinion that there is a tea pot orbiting Pluto if that is your wish and you have a right to the opinion that purpose may be behind the universe despite the fact that you can’t defend it or even discuss it for that matter.  You have that right definitely.  Have I ever said otherwise?  Show me where?

 

Yes I know you claim that you are waiting on evidence to weight any of those options but you have simply ignored the logic and evidence I have presented date.  When was the last time you engaged with the finding that a vacuum fluctuation sourced universe and this universe both have zero energy for example?  When was the last time you engaged with the idea that for purpose to be behind this universe it must be possible for a purpose giver to have arisen from nothing at all?  Does your position really boil down to the irrational, “it can’t be disproved so I’m going to accept it as possible” no matter how implausible.  That tea pot needs some attention Aligarr.

 

Now you have stepped beyond the data, sure no one can prove any of those four possibilities but there is evidence for one scenario that could have lead to this universe but you seem to be putting your fingers in your ears and saying “NO NO NO” despite this.  Have you ever considered the possibilities I have presented here?  Rationally considered them and their implications?

 

I disagree that the anthropic coincidences provide pause to consider purpose.  Sure vary the parameters of this universe the smallest bit in certain areas and we could not exist but a survey of resultant universes shows that around 30% of plausible universes thus produced could potentially support life of some kind so the odd’s aren’t as long as you might think.  Add to that that no matter what was behind the universe any life that existed and noticed that its universe suited it must exist in a universe that suited it or it would not exist and so not notice.  There is a 100% chance that we will find ourselves in a universe that is friendly to life like us no matter what the universe looks like.  Evolutionary theory explains also why all creatures will find that whatever environment they find themselves in will suit them very well.  It is backwards to ask how the universe could have been created to suit the lifestyle of tree sloths or lions or humans or bacteria for that matter.  The fact is that evolution created creatures to suit the environment that exists so the creatures are moulded to suit the environment not the other way around.

 

Russell

 

P.S.  I’ll have to bow out of this discussion very shortly, I’m heading off for a five week trip across the Great Victoria Desert with my wife and our three youngest children this Friday so I won’t have any internet connection for quite some time.  I’ll check back on this thread when I return.

 

While I’m away Aligarr try reading and understanding what I’ve written here, understand that the vacuum fluctuation idea is indeed speculative but it is also based on the best current knowledge from quantum physics, it is the majority view that something is produced from nothing in those cassimere effect experiments and that a universe so sourced would look like this one.  Of course none of that is proof, we’ll have to wait to see if that comes along, but it is a rational position even though you don’t like it and maybe, just maybe, it contains a grain of truth.

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Just go away Russel and grow up . I disagree and that's the long and the short of it . Sorry you need affirmation for your view , because you're trying very hard to get it .

 I'm perfectly comfortable with my position , and the only thing that will cause me to favor ANY of the Four , is evidence , you have none , just a dance of words guided by your own biased logic .

 LOL...Back to Casimir huh Russel ? And you 're trying to sell a "majority view " ??? I guess you REALLY NEVER DID READ THE RESULTS .......intellectual laziness , add that to your repertoire . Casimir did not prove that something can come from nothing , I guess your reading comprehension skills are either lacking or selective . 

 And did you say " 30% of plausible Universes "...? That's pretty good when there is not one iota of evidence that there are ANY other Universes other than our own .

 

 Again you treat speculation as settled fact . Quantum Theory does not explain the Big Bang .Do you know something the rest of science doesn't ??   

 

 

Buh Bye Russel . Have a safe trip , and don't forget to take plenty of water .

 

p.s. And a satellite phone :yes:

Edited by Aligarr

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Hi Aligarr

 

No I don’t need or want affirmation but for this sort of discussion to be worthwhile both parties need to be willing to explain their positions and to discuss the problems that the other parties see with their positions.  Unfortunately you have shown that you are not.

 

No the 30% does not apply to 30% of existing universes rather it refers to 30% of the possible combinations that lead to a universe to this universe.  30% of the way’s this universe could have been put together lead to life friendly universes, not necessarily life anything like us but life none the less  life that could possibly think “wow this universe happens to be fine-tuned for me!”

 

LOL yes, water we have and there is water available along the way, we have a HF radio, a satellite phone and a spot tracker so I think we’ve got it covered.  This isn’t our first trip of this nature.

 

As I said I’ll check back in when we get back.

 

CYA

 

Russell

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Have a safe trip Russel , I imagine the night sky will be magnificent from those parts .  I 've been to the Southern Oceans and the starlight is amazing . I would guess the desert would offer the same dark sky .

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Hi Aligarr

 

The moonless nights are truly amazing out there.  In the middle of the crossing we'll be around 700 kilometres from the nearest significant human settlement so there's no light pollution at all.  I'll see if I can get my camera to do it some justice on the tripod.

 

CYA in about six weeks.

 

Russell

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      Hi All
       
      One thing I’ve come across on this forum a number of times is the idea that I can’t question certain ideas, that you will be offended if I do so, and we should just steer away from those topics.  Is that really how you believe rational dialog should be conducted?
       
      I hold none of my ideas to that standard.  If you want to run down or rationally complain about anything I say please go ahead.  Question anything I say, question my lifestyle choices, my family values and my ideas on evidence, none of it is off limits and nothing you ask will offend me.  Not so it seems with Muslims.
       
      I’ve suggested a couple of times here that Muhammad was, at most, just a man and people took great offence that I could even think that.  “I love him so you shouldn’t suggest such a thing” was basically one answer to me on that comment.  Another argument was that you would not even discuss anything with me if I didn’t accept up front that Muhammad was more than a man.  The idea that he was more than just a man is incompatible with atheism of course but that was ignored at the time.
       
      Another idea I’ve expressed here a number of times that seems to cause problems is the church of Mickey Mouse.  I use that one to try to explain what an atheist sees when they walk down the street and look at all these buildings with symbols on them, crosses, moons and stars etc.  But think about it, given my view on god (I’ve already said I’m an atheist so this is no secret) how else should I see such symbols and the people who revere and worship them if atheism is the truth?
       
      Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s the ideas I’m discussing, it’s the ideas I’m complaining about.  I understand that people come to these ideas for many reasons and that many of the people who hold them are intelligent rational people, that’s not at question here, but I do think we need to rationally consider the ideas themselves.  That Muhammad was just a man or that he may even be an invention are ideas which we should be able to discuss. Now this is the crucial point here if these ideas hold water you should be able to defend them and not have to pull the “you can’t question that idea” card.  Rationally that statement is an admission of the weakness of your position.  If you are incapable of defending a position maybe you should not hold it as true.
       
      So what do you think, should rational enquiry be open to discuss any idea or are you really unwilling to truly examine the belief system that you hold to and if so why?  Does insecurity pay a part in that reluctance?
       
      Russell
    • By Aysha27
      Dear all,
      Hello and As-salamu-alaikum-wa-rahmatullah.

      I am afraid of an issue called “Atheism”. I think everybody is surrounded with a different religion. And every religion purifies human’s nature. Though human nature is really so mysterious! If so why some of the people say there is no god? It’s a matter of sorrow that many of them are famous to their work in the world! In my country (sorry to say it is Bangladesh) recently an American atheist blogger, named Avijit Roy who spoke out against religious extremism and intolerance has been hacked to death. So my question is- what about the punishment of an atheist and is it halal to hack him cruelly…? What is the declaration of Qur’an regarding the issue…? :cry:
    • By Absolute truth
      This topic is for miscellaneous darwinism-related information in sha Allah..
       
      Don't you understand how microbes turned to humans ???!!!!
      You need to educate yourself on biology...



      Wait !


      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7446/full/496419a.html

      Philip Ball’s opinion piece in this week’s Nature, the most popular science magazine in the world, is news not because he stated that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level, but because he urged his fellow evolutionists to admit it. On this 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix, Ball reviews a few of the recent findings that have rebuked the evolution narrative that random mutations created the biological world.
       
      But it’s a Fact Anyway ?!
    • By Saracen21stC
      Gitmo Prison Guard Converts From Atheism To Islam After Seeing Detainees ‘Wake Each Day And Smile’




       
      CNN has an amazing story out of Guantanamo Bay about an American atheist prison camp guard that converted to Islam after spending extensive time talking to with some of the English speaking prisoners there.

      Army Specialist Terry Holdbrooks arrived at Gitmo 2003 as “an angry, nearly atheistic 19-year-old MP and by the time he left a year later he was a practicing Muslim. Holdbrooks was amazed at how the detainees “could wake up each day and smile” even though they were locked away in a prison camp with little hope of freedom.

      So all of this got him thinking: “Obviously there’s something more to Islam than I had been told.”

      Like anybody curious about faith he started to inquire about it. Holdbrooks, a bit disenfranchised with his superiors and fellow soldiers, started speaking for hours with detainees about Islam. One even gave him a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, to study and it led him to change his way of life.

      When he approached one of the prisoners about converting he was met with a warning that it would forever change his life. “You understand that if you become a Muslim your unit is going to look at you differently, your family, your country…you understand…your country is going to look at you in a way that isn’t going to be good. It’s going to make things difficult for you,” he was told.

      Since he converted Holdbrooks has left military service and become an outspoken opponent of the camp at Guantanamo Bay.

      Listen to the clip below via CNN.

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/gitmo-prison-guard-converts-from-atheism-to-Islam-after-seeing-detainees-wake-each-day-and-smile/
    • By Saracen21stC
      Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda exposed: The facts


      Original Guest Post

      by Jai Singh

      There is currently increasing journalistic scrutiny of the atheist
      British scientist Richard Dawkins and his ally Sam Harris’ statements
      about Islam and Muslims. In December 2012, the Guardian published an excellent article
      highlighting the acclaimed physicist Professor Peter Higgs’ accurate
      observations about Dawkins’ pattern of behaviour when it comes to
      religion in general; Professor Higgs (of “Higgs Boson particle” fame)
      has forcefully criticised Dawkins. More recently, superb articles by Nathan Lean in Salon (focusing on Dawkins), Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera (focusing on Dawkins, Harris etc) and Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (mentions Dawkins but focuses predominantly on Harris; also see here)
      have received considerable publicity. Readers are strongly advised to
      familiarise themselves with the information in all of these articles.

      Before I address the issue of Richard Dawkins, it is worthwhile
      highlighting some key information about his ally Sam Harris. As
      mentioned in Glenn Greenwald’s extensively-researched Guardian
      article, Harris is on record as a) claiming that fascists are “the
      people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to
      Europe”, and b) stating “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks
      like he or she could conceivably be Muslim”. Furthermore, bear in mind
      the following paragraph from a previous Guardian article
      about Harris: “…..But it tips over into something much more sinister in
      Harris’ latest book. He suggests that Islamic states may be politically
      unreformable because so many Muslims are “utterly deranged by their
      religious faith”. In another passage Harris goes even further, and
      reaches a disturbing conclusion that “some propositions are so dangerous
      that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.”

      Richard Dawkins’ “atheist anti-religion” agenda has noticeably become
      increasingly focused on Islam & Muslims; his online statements
      (recently including his Twitter account )
      have now become so extreme that a great deal of them are essentially
      indistinguishable from the bigoted, ignorant nonsense pushed by the
      English Defence League leadership and the main US-based anti-Muslim
      propagandists such as Robert Spencer etc.

      In fact, as Nathan Lean’s Salon article mentioned, the following very revealing information recently surfaced: It turns out that Dawkins has publicly admitted
      that he hasn’t even read the Quran even though (in his own words) he
      “often says Islam is the greatest force for evil today”. Mainstream
      Islamic theology (including the associated impact on Muslim history) is
      not based solely on the Quran, of course, but Dawkins’ admission is
      indicative of a number of major problems on his part. So much for the
      credibility of Richard Dawkins’ “scientific method” in this particular
      subject. It goes without saying that this also raised questions about
      exactly which dubious second-hand sources Dawkins has been getting his
      information on Islam and Muslims from, if he hasn’t even taken the
      normal professional academic steps of reading the primary sacred text of
      the religion he has also described as “an unmitigated evil”. Not to mention the question of Dawkins’ real motivations for his current fixation with Islam and Muslims.

      Well, it appears that some answers are available. It certainly
      explains a great deal about Richard Dawkins’ behaviour. In the main part
      of this article beneath the “Summary” section below, I have listed 54
      anti-Islam/anti-Muslim statements posted by Richard Dawkins on the
      discussion forum of one of his own websites. (The list of quotes also
      includes embedded URL links directly to the original statements on
      Dawkins’ website).

      Summary of Richard Dawkins’ actions

      1. There is a direct connection to Robert Spencer’s inner circle. As
      confirmed by the URL link supplied by Richard Dawkins in quote #11,
      Dawkins has definitely been using that cabal’s anti-Muslim propaganda as
      a source of “information” for his own statements; Dawkins specifically
      links to the “Islam-Watch” website, which is a viciously anti-Muslim
      site in the same vein as JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna
      (both of which were the most heavily cited sources in the terrorist
      Anders Breivik’s manifesto). More pertinently, as confirmed by this affiliated webpage,
      the core founders & members of that website include the
      currently-unidentified individual who uses the online alias “Ali Sina”.
      This is the same fake “atheist Iranian ex-Muslim” who is a senior board
      member of “SIOA”/“SION”,
      an extremely anti-Muslim organisation whose leadership is formally
      allied with racist white supremacists & European neo-Nazis and has
      even organised joint public demonstrations with them. “Ali Sina” himself
      was also cited by Breivik in his manifesto.

      Note that the SIOA/SION leadership inner circle includes: a) AFDI and JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon
      who has been proven to have repeatedly made false statements about
      Islam & Muslims and has publicly admitted that his actions are
      heavily motivated by his (unilateral) agenda for the dominance of the
      Catholic Church; b) AFDI and Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller,
      who is now on record as advocating what is effectively a “Final
      Solution” targeting British Muslims, including mass-murder; c) the
      English Defence League leadership; and d) David Yerushalmi,
      the head of an organisation whose mission statement explicitly declares
      that its members are “dedicated to the rejection of democracy” in the
      United States. Furthermore, Yerushalmi believes that American women
      shouldn’t even have the right to vote.

      Extensive details on “Ali Sina” are available here.
      Quite a few of the quotes in that article are horrifying. Bear in mind
      that this is the person whose website Richard Dawkins has publicly cited
      and promoted. “Ali Sina” is on record as making statements such as the
      following:


      “Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument
      of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic
      plot to end humanity.”

      “I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin.
      It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a
      Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

      “Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They
      become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace
      of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make
      you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a
      gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting
      for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and
      you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must
      amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so
      because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival
      instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I
      must kill you.”

      “Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of
      mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible
      to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom
      International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb
      becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis
      (flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a
      deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a
      limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest
      of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway?
      Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”

      “But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character:
      The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They
      have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These
      are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common
      feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance
      in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he
      pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed
      [sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this
      question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological
      foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell
      into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the
      Rabbis in Arabia.”

      “Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The
      similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a
      coincidence.”

      “By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand
      the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called
      addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will
      spit you out of my mouth.”

      “In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”

      “The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you
      free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt
      sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal
      with.”

      2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardian
      articles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy
      articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” &
      Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and
      Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement
      with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.

      3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the
      stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is
      essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-,
      historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by
      Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the
      owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.

      4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely
      derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious
      belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5,
      #32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is
      actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).

      5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam
      Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).

      6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).

      7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that
      “communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that
      “multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).

      8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising &
      defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven
      to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as
      revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact
      that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates
      of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.

      9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the
      Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting
      Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see
      #1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest
      European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the
      most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

      10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).

      11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically
      an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of
      Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here.
      Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support
      Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim
      individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that
      these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when
      demonising Islam & Muslims.

      12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
      including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are
      “tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in
      positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim
      and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins
      clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards
      Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open
      letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL
      leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.

      13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.

      14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph
      article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason
      he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.

      15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an
      “equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various
      organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves
      and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other
      things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly
      aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his
      statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner
      circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty
      implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been
      astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of
      “information”.

      16. Further information on Richard Dawkins’ other activities targeting Islam & Muslims is available here, here, here, here, here, and here.

      Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:

      #1: [Quoting: “No
      I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European
      mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of
      course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a
      Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a
      policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being
      accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”

      #3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”

      #4:
      “…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty
      bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer
      vicious nastiness?”

      #5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don't know what Islam is,’”]
      “They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam
      is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying
      ‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”

      #6:
      “This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how
      ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”

      #7:
      “Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If
      there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out
      looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could
      think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”

      #8:
      “Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless
      provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful
      religion.””

      #9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with Islam.”]
      “Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and
      ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with
      Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer
      to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love
      it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the
      barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”

      #10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”

      #11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”]
      “That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what?
      What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate?
      What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this
      high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam.
      Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the
      death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women
      officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women
      to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose
      ‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues
      so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the
      same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’
      for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”

      #12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”

      #13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”

      #14:
      “Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the
      MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out
      against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to
      stand up for peace and nonviolence.”

      #15: [Quoting: “Actually
      I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an
      endorsement, even if it's unintentional. Why not link to some news items
      by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they're always
      banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat
      [Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the
      BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #16:
      “After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of
      political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian
      box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise
      of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear
      of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.

      #17: [Quoting: “What
      sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the
      name of justice,” Mosammet's father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”

      #18:
      “Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’,
      ‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to
      their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’,
      and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”

      #19:
      “Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I
      thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we
      sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code
      for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”

      #20:
      “I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste
      of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population
      numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice,
      decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but
      Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the
      memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children
      automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”

      #21:
      “I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed,
      most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”

      #22:
      “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in
      bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why,
      having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when
      you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a
      woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution
      when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And
      then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer
      and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”

      #23:
      “Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called
      ‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits.
      That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising
      posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going
      on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the
      police and have them jailed?”

      #24:
      “Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about
      “Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and
      “Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the
      practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which
      ‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick,
      oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!

      It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or
      approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not
      literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families.
      And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken
      glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason
      the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they
      THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of
      anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called
      ‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”

      #25:
      “Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has
      no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won
      an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that
      normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to
      be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously
      bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to
      the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy
      Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is
      tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three
      tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might
      have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things
      she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”

      #26: [Quoting: “Muslim
      extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have
      rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the
      pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was
      going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once
      again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up
      in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is
      right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can
      they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a
      powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to
      exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”

      #27:
      “There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and
      various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to
      hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim
      “scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by
      Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””

      #28: [Quoting: “Richard,
      I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital
      mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I
      have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in
      their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it
      predates Islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the
      Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily
      conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly
      suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very
      strongly based on Islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought
      islamophobic.”

      #29: “Dear Lady Warsi

      Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer
      the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in
      public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I
      heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom
      enforced.”

      Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the
      very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to
      kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a
      phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate
      description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and
      issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to
      Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who
      have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list
      better than I do.

      Richard Dawkins”

      #30: [Quoting: “Blimey
      Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn't it? Your comments are
      usually a great deal more measured. It's not exactly uncommon for a
      Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our
      political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one
      possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote
      its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I
      didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I
      think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to
      live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists,
      the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More
      particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia”
      corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the
      Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds
      with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and
      putting her in the Cabinet.

      I repeat, her [baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a
      meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are
      tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have
      stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.

      Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”

      #31:
      “Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her
      qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she
      would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a
      Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she
      is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable
      example of tokenism?”

      #32:
      “I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a
      mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher
      Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that
      marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of
      otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing
      religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still
      hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far
      you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how
      nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch
      it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system
      half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”

      #33:
      “Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of
      Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of
      extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made
      me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be
      telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If
      ‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit,
      wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough
      ‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the
      bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on
      the ground?”

      #34:
      “It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with
      a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite
      rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief
      system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the
      official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those
      people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster
      much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”

      #35:
      [Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her
      [Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified
      guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at
      all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are
      petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The
      temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”

      #36: [Quoting: “I'm
      surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room -- namely,
      multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was
      accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that
      there's something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of
      the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that
      anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is
      somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”

      #37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.

      #38:
      “Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a
      long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis,
      without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web
      site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody
      here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of
      peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends,
      please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”

      #39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”

      #40: [Quoting:
      “I was even accused of having converted and married into another
      religion. But I wasn't worried as I'm a true Muslim," says the feisty
      young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to
      be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for
      which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably
      find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being
      feisty.”

      #41: [Quoting: “Disgusting
      and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite
      clear that it's not limited to any one religion or community. It's
      common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:

      Muslim 52

      Hindu 3

      Sikh 1

      Christian 0

      But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”

      #42:

      “Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and
      whether or not he is right about the NY Masjid, the following two
      paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.

      Richard”


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