Sunday, July 17, 2011

Should Christians be given the same rights as the disabled?

He once was blind, but now he sees. The Labour-supporting Chairman of the Equalities & Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips OBE, has not recently been seen treading the road to Damascus. But the scales do appear to be falling from his eyes.

For years, the EHRC has determined that homosexual equality trumps freedom of religion: that is, freedom of religion should be denied to the Christian B&B owner who does not want two homosexuals sleeping together in their home; the Christian registrar who does not wish to ‘marry’ two men in a civil partnership; and the Christian counsellor who does not wish to advise two men in relationship matters.

But then something happened. A month ago Trevor Phillips declared: "Our business is defending the believer.” Which is nice, but the right to believe has never been in question: in the UK there is undoubtedly the freedom to believe and worship as one wishes. But he added: "The law we're here to implement recognises that a religious or belief identity is, for the majority of people in Britain, an essential element of being a fulfilled human being and plays an important part in our society." This naturally irritated the British Humanist Association.

But last week Trevor Phillips went further. The EHRC has intervened in four cases of clear discrimination against Christians, and are appealing with them in Strasbourg, arguing that ‘reasonable accommodation’ for religion or belief is needed.

Essentially, having hitherto sided with homosexuals in the hierarchy of human rights, the EHRC is now of the opinion that the way equality law is being interpreted by judges militates against the right to manifest religion or belief in the workplace; that Christians who disagree with gay equality legislation should have the freedom to follow their consciences.

This is something of a U-turn. And it doesn’t only concern homosexual equality, but the right to wear a cross in the workplace (public and private). Perhaps Mr Phillips is simply trying to be all things to all people. Yet if he is now championing freedom of religion, why is he not also defending Roman Catholic adoption agencies against closure?

Why may those charities not follow their conscience and continue to place adoptive children with heterosexual parents, in accordance with their understanding of Christian orthodoxy and the desire to adhere to Church tradition, not to mention the research which clearly establishes that children flourish best in a family with both a mother and father in a committed relationship?

Trevor Phillips is now of the opinion that the courts have ‘set the bar too high for someone to prove that they have been discriminated against because of their religion or belief; it is possible to accommodate expression of religion alongside the rights of people who are not religious and the needs of businesses’.

Yet ‘reasonable accommodation’ is going to be manifestly unreasonable for the gay and the humanist atheist. But it has worked well for the disabled for many years: work rotas and clothing regulations have been changed and other reasonable adjustments made to accommodate the needs of those who cannot see, hear or walk. Employers have a statutory obligation to accommodate the needs of those who cannot physically perform certain activities, so why can they not also be obliged to accommodate those who cannot spiritually conform? Legs that will not walk are no different from eyes that cannot see or ears that cannot hear. Trevor Phillips appears now to be of the view that these are no different from the conscience that will not countenance.

Are Christians about to be given the same rights as the disabled?

144 Comments:

Blogger IC said...

I fail to see why that which is: race, gender, sexual orientation, disability - all of which are actual physical reasons why people are discriminated against should not be considered more important in the scheme of things than those which may be - ie belief.

17 July 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger blondpidge said...

Let's hope so. It always seemed so unreasonable and well discriminatory that no provision could be made.

17 July 2011 at 09:45  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Secularists have moved from seperating Church and State to protect non-belivers to have freedom from religion, only to become a system of non-believers persecuting the Church.

Christians need not look to Trevor Philips for their rights, Trevor is a Worldly Man, our Kingdom is within.

Where is the Wests Martial Spiritual Caste?

"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword"

17 July 2011 at 09:52  
Anonymous IanVisits said...

It is reasonable that people who deny science and believe in a magician in the sky should be accommodated in some manner - possibly via the mental disability acts.

The question is then whether such people should also be allowed to refuse to serve customers in a public commercial environment.

People operating commercial hotel services should not be allowed to refuse to serve gay customers - but they should be allowed to refuse to entertain gay people in their private home.

For all the marketing hype, a B&B is a still commercial enterprise that just happens to have what was once a private house as the key asset of the business.

Likewise, people taking a job where they would be dealing with gay people are free to dislike them, but not to refuse to serve them.

I am not aware of anyone claiming that they should be allowed to refuse to serve a Christian customer - so why are Christians seeking to be granted that right?

It's fairly simple, if you don't want to deal with gay people, don't take a job where you will be put in that situation.

Problem solved.

17 July 2011 at 09:59  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

For me it is a question of does the Commercial Secularist Caste rule the believer?

If the believers rights are awarded by this Caste, then yes they do.

But since Christianity in Britain is a marriage between Faith and Folk Custom, our Folklore says even the Wandering Holy Monk Fryer Tuck, when challenged on his path, uses his Staff as a Martial Weapon.

Christianity faces the same struggle as the Hindus, defend the Faith.

17 July 2011 at 10:29  
Anonymous Ian said...

This gay, Christian man has had decades of being “piggy in the middle” of such debates/battles/wars. It is a hurtful and painful place to be. What I have come to see as the truth is simple: I experience from the vast majority of Christians in this debate that their “love” is a synonym for hate, discrimination, being relegated to second class status. Who I am is never an issue – they don’t want to know or bother to find out. I no longer have any time for organised religion in this country! Not a surprise I suspect.

I have straight friends who experience the same thing but just happen to be women or divorced... the list goes on.

I know that my God loves me and that I am His. “The Lord is my Shepherd and He knows that I’m gay” as the book title once said.

17 July 2011 at 10:32  
Blogger len said...

How can there be any 'equality 'when one set of rights trump another`s set of rights.
The whole 'rights issue' becomes a farce.
The logical conclusion to IanVisits (09:59)is for Homosexuals not to impose themselves on Christians and thereby trample on the Christians rights.
Ridiculous ...you bet!.

17 July 2011 at 10:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, if that ends up being the case I'm almost looking forward to our fellow citizens who are Muslim making even more workplace demands and taking offence at the religiosity of other religious people in the workplace, and how outraged right-wing Christians will be when they have to give in. Lol.

But anyway. Isn't the balance between the employees and employers better set according to material needs rather than wants?

We, albeit reluctantly, accomodated turbans in areas where laws existed to protect the individual, such as motorbike helmets, rather than exclude sikhs from certain modes of transport.

We accomodate disabilities as a matter of law because otherwise we potentially exclude a whole section of society from the means to earn a living or live a relatively normal life involving things like going shopping.

17 July 2011 at 10:41  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said

Are Christians about to be given the same rights as the disabled?

No!

Disability along with race, gender and sexual preference are not something that you chose. Religious belief is a choice that individuals make and so must belong to the second layer of rights. Of course a secular society protects your right to believe what you want but when religious rights are in conflict with the top layer of human rights they must always be subordinate.

17 July 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger len said...

This is certainly going to get interesting!.
The turbaned gentleman might find himself at a disadvantage when reality strikes home.
Common sense seems to be seriously missing here.
I will look on bemused and bewildered as this farce progresses.

17 July 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "How can there be any 'equality 'when one set of rights trump another`s set of rights. The whole 'rights issue' becomes a farce."

That's mostly because you don't understand the concept I think. For instance, article 9 gives an absolute right to hold religious beliefs but a qualified right to manifest them. It's just as well really if a religious belief requires the murder of another person. See how it actually works? Rights of different types are not directly comparable.

17 July 2011 at 10:47  
Blogger len said...

So Christians have 'rights' as long as they don`t exercise them"
Sorry but this farce is getting better as it progresses!

17 July 2011 at 10:49  
Blogger len said...

So if my religion tells me to' kill the infidel.'.
That right cannot be respected?
Sorry , but I find this difficult to take seriously!

17 July 2011 at 10:51  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Hate is not the way forwards, Love is, Gay rights should be allowed to flourish, within the Culture it has created for itself, in peace.

If it wishes to impose on another domain, it and not the other has created the strife.

Equal rights is about making Gays as equally responsible as everyone else in respecting boundaries, in order that Diversity can be maintained.

If we are to have strife, then one system will struggle with the other for dominance, that is what we are seeing.

17 July 2011 at 10:56  
OpenID rochereau said...

What an excellent idea, to treat religious belief as a form of disability! I confess to having it in a mild form, though never having experienced the need to claim special rights on the strength of it. I would be glad to allow others those rights, though.

17 July 2011 at 10:57  
Blogger len said...

BITB, 'Hate is not the way forwards, Love is,'
Agree with that in part.
But what is love?.
Telling someone the truth.................. in love

THAT is the true manifestation of love.

17 July 2011 at 11:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "So Christians have 'rights' as long as they don`t exercise them" Sorry but this farce is getting better as it progresses!"

Here's a thought. If you think what you say is accurate then it's no wonder you think it's all a farce. :)

17 July 2011 at 11:04  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Len, the Love we have for our Children is different to the Love we share with a Wife.

Therefore I would say Love and Boundaries can take on many forms.

Establish your Boundaries Len and live by your Truth.

Impose your Truth beyond your boundaries and expect to be challenged.

Draw close to the Caste and Culture that shares your Truth, pass your Truth on to your own offspring and preserve your way of life.

If you respect what I say, some day your Kin could be Kings over a Diverse Society.

If you believe your way is the only way, you are a Totalitarian and should be opposed.

17 July 2011 at 11:57  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Graham Davis said...
Cranmer said

Disability along with race, gender and sexual preference are not something that you chose.

17 July 2011 10:46

That is not entirely true and you must surely know it not to be so.

Disability is often a matter of choice, and so is sexual preference. These days sexual gender is also a choice to a growing extent. I am yet to know a man asked, who would not like to a least try being a women, if for no other reasons but prostitution, or simple curiosity.

Many life choices result in disabilities, for example over eating, hang gliding, and smoking, among very many others.

As many gay men will delight in telling you, there exists at least a little bit of the gay in all of us, therefore, whether we indulge these tendencies or not, is a matter of choice for many.

This choice could be as much to do with political, or social indoctrination, the desire to avoid parenthood, prostitution, self-hatred, self-love, self-obsession, greed, avarice, malice, indeed there could be hundreds of individual factors contributing to a persons current sexual preference many, of which contain strong elements of personal choice.

Religions like socialism, and Christianity have many things in common. One of the most important ones being are that they are both forms of indoctrination best carried out on the very young.

Show me an early indoctrinated Christian, and I will match him, with at least two indoctrinated socialists, my EX wife for starters, as well as her entire extended family. Who were all to my knowledge practicing witches, as well as trades union members or indeed leaders.

As this process of indoctrination is carried out at a very young age, and generally without the child's consent, it could be well argued that neither of these types of religious Zealots had any real choice in the matter.

Imagine yourself a Bible thumping, Jesus-freak, Thatcherite, trying to hold onto your principles while studying for a social-work qualification at one of our supposedly liberal universities?

Only on the subject of race, is your argument set on sound foundations.

It is undoubtedly true to say that the more homosexuality is made to become more socially acceptable, the more that will CHOISE this kind of life-style, who would have chosen differently in the past.

Here we arrive at a basic difference between a libertarian and a socialist.

Libertarians believe that choice, and the freedom to freely choose, is an inherently good thing for society as a whole, and the individual in particular.

Whereas socialists only like choices that they believe are good for socialism as a whole and socialist agendas in particular, and so by inference don't care one tiny little bit if choice is good for society as a whole, or the individual in particular.

17 July 2011 at 12:12  
Blogger Gillian said...

It seems to me that in trying to protect one person's rights, we always have to sacrifice the rights of another. Perhaps rather than trying to legislate for equality, we should look to embrace our differences and respect one another even if we have a different world view.

I am not sure why a gay couple would want to book into a Christian B&B. Clearly they are trying to make a political point. There are loads of B&Bs out there that advertise themselves as gay friendly. Why pick the one that is clearly not and then make an issue out of it? What about the Christian couple's rights to their belief?

There has also been debate in the news recently about faith schools. I would say if you are not of that faith, then why would you want to go to a school that teaches that faith? I would not want to send a child of mine to a Muslim school, so why would a non-Christian want to go to a Christian school if not to try to disrupt the faith of those around them?

17 July 2011 at 13:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Witchfinder-General colleague of Peter Mandelson from "Weekend World" and friend of Jack Straw from NUS days is a tiresome apparatchik with no place in what purports to be a democracy.


Followers of Jesus Christ as opposed to "Christians" should reject The State entirely as satanic and evil which has no function but to inflict suffering and oppression.

"Rights" are simply "Permissions" easily revoked but essentially circumscribing Natural Law. The Ten Commandments are not civil or criminal law, they are Observances of the Faithful which do not require Witchfinder-General Philips to approve.

It is a funny society that has a TV Executive as its Moral Arbiter

17 July 2011 at 13:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Gillian: "It seems to me that in trying to protect one person's rights, we always have to sacrifice the rights of another."

That's not true is it? What we sacrifice is some of the liberty of others. Rights are more complex than people often think, probably because we usually use a shorthand to describe them.

Some people talk about a right to freedom in a liberal democracy. What that actually means is that we ought to try to maximise freedom ... but that there are inevitably limits to what people can do in a society.

In the case of the B&B owners, they were offended by the thought of what might happen on their [regulated] premises. Of what relevance is their offence if they're running a business? Why should B&B owners be able to turn away (say) black people, or Irish people, or Christians, or the disabled, simply for being those things?

17 July 2011 at 13:28  
Blogger Albert said...

race, gender, sexual orientation, disability - all of which are actual physical reasons why people are discriminated against should not be considered more important in the scheme of things than those which may be - ie belief.

The problem is that in relation to homosexuality, it isn't a physical issue, but one of belief.

As a Catholic I believe that all people are equal - homosexuals are therefore equal with heterosexuals. However, just because homosexuals are equal, it does not follow that homosexual relationships are equal with heterosexual ones. Equally what?

Here then is the problem: to hold that homosexual relationship can be equal to heterosexual ones, you have to believe something in addition to a general belief in human equality. If you hold that extra belief, it is right that you treat homosexual relationships equally with heterosexual ones. But it does not follow from that that you are able to impose your will or belief on others. It is this dogmatic approach that needs to be challenged.

17 July 2011 at 13:32  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Ian, I am pleased to tell you that there are many churches made up of people only too conscious that we all have led messy unworthy lives and where you would be welcome. The great Queen ElizabethI would not " open a window on men's souls" and neither will many of us, but rather, believe it is no part of our role to judge you.

Voyager, I think you are mistaken in conflating a right and a permission.

A right, in law, requires that if one person has a "right" someone somewhere has a collatoral "duty". This is very different from a" permission" which arises out of me having a " privilege" to either give or withold that permission with you having " no right" to oppose the withdrawal.

If to want to understand this useful analytical tool better, look up " Hohfeld's Co- relatives".

17 July 2011 at 13:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

^ Hey, someone who's read Hohfeld! :)

17 July 2011 at 13:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALL Christians are against homosexual behaviour. ALL, without exception. If you think that homosexuality is normal and fine, then you are NOT a Christian. We are to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates, and God hates homosexual behaviour as Romans 1 makes perfectly plain.

- Marcus

17 July 2011 at 14:06  
Blogger Phillip said...

Human right are based on sentiment, not on any real values. Sentiments change, so our so called human right can be changed at the drop of a hat.
Gay rights are the sentiment of the moment, who knows how long this will last?

17 July 2011 at 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Human right are based on sentiment, not on any real values. Sentiments change, so our so called human right can be changed at the drop of a hat."

Wrong! The true rights of man are based on the word of God - which means the Holy Bible. Sentiment gives us nothing but the Nazi's and their humanist ilk.

Marcus.

17 July 2011 at 14:35  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo @ 13:55:

You complain when you feel you have been patronized, but frequenty exhibit a singularly smarmy, condescending self-satisfaction. It is an unpleasant trait.

17 July 2011 at 15:10  
Blogger The Good Seed said...

It is wrong to suggest that Employers should "accommodate" religion in any way. Unless we are harking back to Islam....there is no need for employers to do anything , since religion is a private matter and people can wear whatever symbols they wish. A wish to opt out of an activity on religious grounds should be determined on a case by case basis and based on the mutual understanding of the employee as to whether he or she knew the type of business before taking a job there, and the employer, as to whether it can reasonably allow for some exceptions.

17 July 2011 at 15:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oswin: "You complain when you feel you have been patronized, but frequenty exhibit a singularly smarmy, condescending self-satisfaction. It is an unpleasant trait."

Hurrah!

17 July 2011 at 15:24  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Hurrah indeed. I can take any such comparison DanJo, so begin your comparing. You beat me hands down. I am but a mere amateur in egotism compared to yourself. I know when I am beaten. The crown is yours alone, wear it and rejoice.

17 July 2011 at 15:41  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Graham Davis wrote:

Of course a secular society protects your right to believe what you want but when religious rights are in conflict with the top layer of human rights they must always be subordinate.

It's always humorous to watch atheists talk about 'human rights' as if they have some tangible existence within a materialist world view. Isn't that what they accuse religious believer of doing - participating in gratuitous wish fulfillment? What happens to a man's 'human rights' when Genghis Khan and his horde arrive on the horizon? He suddenly has the right to be dispossessed and sold into slavery. Or perhaps he will exercise his human right to be killed.

In the end, a materialist uses the phrase 'human rights' to describe how he wants the society in which he lives to be organized. It amounts to nothing more than his preference. Every moral trade is an arbitrary trade for there exists no standard to adjudicate between competing moral interests. It's just a more controlled version of Genghis Khan and his horde.

In the world without God, a man can't even condemn the Khan and his Horde for the slaughter. After all, who is to say that the benefit derived by the Horde does not outweigh the cost imposed by the Horde in suffering? The Khan has simply imposed a different set of preferences. There would have to be some intrinsic value in the sufferers, and the Khan has no necessary reason to recognize or accept that value.

And yet the materialist goes right own jabbering about 'human rights.' Would that he had the courage of his beliefs. Would that he could stare into the cold empty darkness and embrace it. Instead he recoils, and imagines that which his cherished world view precludes. All that they see or seem is but a dream within a dream. The dream being preferable to the cold hard truth of waking up.

carl

17 July 2011 at 15:41  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Voyager said...17 July 2011 13:13

Well said that Man!

17 July 2011 at 15:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

A right, in law, requires that if one person has a "right" someone somewhere has a collatoral "duty

In Law you say. I have a fundamental problem with your Anglo-Saxon obsession with jurisprudence which has no traction in most of the world.

The pretentious approach of Western minds in extending Commercial Concepts as if Universal Truths is part of a peculiar arrogance inculcated in Western institutions.

It is particularly unimpressive to Group Rights Societies and of no interest to Non-Christian polities.

The error of confusing Law with Morality is part of louche Western decadent intellectualism. Law is the Imposition of Punitive Power to enforce Compliance and as such the antithesis of Morality which requires Free Will.

Religious Faith transcends Law. That is why Sharia is unconscionable because it fuses Secular and Religious. The Rights Agenda is central to the Deification of Politics with Politics as the source of All Authority and Morality.

Politics is essentially decadent because it deals purely with ephemeral human lives and tries to erect an Eternal STATE in place of an Eternal God

17 July 2011 at 16:36  
Anonymous not a machine said...

And how much injury has accured up until his U turn ??. Hows his bust of lennin doing , the man is either a an tribal political toady or an affront to common law and its users.

Bread in bone : if lens way is the only way then totalitarian is correct , if yours doesnt work then you will sold somthing wonk to the people. How can you be sure len is not correct .

17 July 2011 at 16:49  
Anonymous sir hubert nostrilbuttock said...

Four fonts walk into a bar. The barman says 'Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here'.

17 July 2011 at 17:11  
Anonymous Flossie said...

The moral code handed down by God in the Bible is geared towards the 'common good', i.e. it sets boundaries within which all people, exercising due restraint on their behaviour, can live together peacably.

Individual 'rights' for which certain groups are clamouring are not geared to the common good, they are 'all about me', and those groups demanding their own particular brand of rights (outside the boundaries laid down by the Christian faith) are certain to impinge on the rights of others.

The reason for needing to uphold the Christian faith in the marketplace is not just so Christians can believe what they want in private, but because the pattern for living set in the Bible is best for society as a whole.

17 July 2011 at 17:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Legs that will not walk are no different from eyes that cannot see or ears that cannot hear.”


Your Grace, you are indeed, “A Daniel come to judgment!”
…… how I do honour thee!.

17 July 2011 at 17:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"In the world without God, a man can't even condemn the Khan and his Horde for the slaughter."

Oh dear. What rot.

17 July 2011 at 17:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"It's always humorous to watch atheists talk about 'human rights' as if they have some tangible existence within a materialist world view. Isn't that what they accuse religious believer of doing - participating in gratuitous wish fulfillment?"

They are tangible in as much as we collective agree them based on our experiences of the human condition and no, that's not what the religious do. The religious are indoctrinated with a worldview from childhood in most cases that has no obvious basis in reality. If you can't handle the reality before your eyes and require a make-believe after-death thingy to get through the day then good luck with that. Some of us don't. We're comfortable living life today expecting that sooner or later we'll stop living and that will hopefully be that. That really disturbs you, I expect.

17 July 2011 at 17:48  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

They are tangible in as much as we collective agree them based on our experiences of the human condition

The question is, are these claims true in themselves or granted by society?

that's not what the religious do. The religious are indoctrinated with a worldview from childhood in most cases that has no obvious basis in reality. If you can't handle the reality before your eyes and require a make-believe after-death thingy to get through the day then good luck with that. Some of us don't. We're comfortable living life today expecting that sooner or later we'll stop living and that will hopefully be that. That really disturbs you, I expect.

What are your sources for such an opinion?

17 July 2011 at 17:56  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Disability is often a matter of choice...

Not if it's ordained by God tho' eh?

17 July 2011 at 17:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

we'll stop living and that will hopefully be that.

"Hopefully" ? In what, pray, do you "hope" ?

17 July 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger English Viking said...

Trevor Phillips always struck me as a chippy black.

It appears to me to be the ultimate in self- flagellation to appoint a colonial to administer race relations.

He quite likes white women though. Apparently.

17 July 2011 at 18:11  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

I wonder which ‘religious or belief identity’ has prompted Phillips’ change of heart, mild-mannered Christianity or no-nonsense Islam? Either way, it’s a good result for British Christians: their faith may be in terminal decline but at least the state will now rescue them from the ignominy of being everybody’s doormat. Until, that is, the state becomes Muslim.

17 July 2011 at 18:14  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0 said...


Oh dear. What rot.

I never said you couldn't express your preferences, DanJ0. But when did your preferences become a legitimate basis for condemnation? What are you, after all, besides an irrelevant accident of chance in a naked empty universe? What authority does one irrelevant accident of chance possess over another beyond the strength of his own right arm?

They are tangible in as much as we collective agree them based on our experiences

Thus do you admit that what I said is true. Rights don't exist in your world view. They cannot objectively exist because there is no authoritative 'rights giver' to give them. There is only time and chance and darkness and emptiness. Rights in your world view are simply mutually-agreed upon preferences, where the 'mutually-agreed upon' part must be open to some clever interpretation. Who is 'we' by the way, and what happens when 'they' show up with an entirely different set of preferences, and a willingness to impose them? 'They' would be the Khan and his horde who are looking for plunder and women and slaves and the joy of killing people for the fun of it.

carl

17 July 2011 at 18:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Thus do you admit that what I said is true."

No, I just corrected it for you since you heavily over-egged it. Our rights are essentially the same. You just imagine something to make them appear absolute. When people ignore their duties and violate someone's rights we don't see a lightning bolt fly out of the sky. Bad people often prosper and good people often suffer irrespective of your make-believe 'rights-giver'. Your so-called authority is simply a fear-based imperative to conform for the people who have been brought up to believe in it and ignored by those who don't if nothing sits comfortably in its place. I can tell you that murdering someone for their goods in our society is a bad thing and I can tell you why it is so. No need for gods there.

17 July 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Voyager: ""Hopefully" ? In what, pray, do you "hope" ?"

Not sure I understand your point. Are you expecting certainty from me on that score? I don't know, just like you, what our reality actually is as I'm part of it and I'm using my perception with our reality to understand it. As I say often enough, there could be a god. But if so I very much doubt it is YHWH, Allah, Krishna, Zeus or any of the others that we as a species have dreamed up throughout history. I truly hope when I, as a person, die my consciousness disappears as my brain cells dies. Feel free to quote Pascal's Wager at me here but know its limitations.

17 July 2011 at 19:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "What are your sources for such an opinion?"

Dunno where you are going with that but part of it is that I know enough survivors of the Catholic Church to have an opinion about it and I know that Christians tend to have Christian parents, Muslims tend to have Muslim parents, and Hindus tend to have Hindu parents. I also know that if I were born in Saudi Arabia I would probably be a Salafi Muslim having never had the freedom to explore the alternatives from scratch as an adult. I have also argued enough on places like the Telegraph to know that Christians who like to argue in such places describe atheism as a dark, dismal, depressing, hopeless state of being for us yet I don't see it like that at all. Lordy, I've had people try the same line here and I've tried to explain the reality. I'm a bit of a fan of Dr Brian Cox, especially in his Infinite Monkey Cage incarnation, because he seems to express it very well: the wonder of the universe, the appreciation of its beauty, and so on.

17 July 2011 at 19:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Your so-called authority is simply a fear-based imperative to conform for the people who have been brought up to believe in it and ignored by those who don't if nothing sits comfortably in its place.

That's odd, because earlier you said that people believed in God because they were frightened of death, now it turns out that belief in God is "simply a fear based imperative to conform."

I asked if rights are simply granted by society. It appears that you think that they are not - they somehow emerge from rational reflection on our nature. Well and good, because that is how I see them (we're not all divine command theorists as I've said before).

But there are difficulties I think, with your position. In addition to the problems raised by Carl, which you are yet to answer, many rights are to do with preserving freedoms, but on materialism, it is hard to see how we are free in the first place. Thus rights which are to do with preserving freedoms cannot arise from rational reflection on our nature because we are (probably) not free - merely the out-working of mindless physical events.

It would be good to hear your views on freedom. Is it an illusion "with no obvious basis in reality"?

17 July 2011 at 19:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Our posts crossed.

1937 It's a bit odd you trying to present a defence of your position at 1748, given that you've contradicted it at 1918.

But your original suggestion was that we believe in God because we fear death. It reminded me Hitchens' God is not Great. Because in there he asserts that religion is just about trying to believe in life after death. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware that the Biblical passage he had just been discussing belonged to a period when the Jews did not in fact believe in life after death. But the point is probably moot now.

describe atheism as a dark, dismal, depressing, hopeless state of being for us yet I don't see it like that at all

You don't need to be a theist for that - try Nietzsche. Or for that matter how about Sartre's attempt to deal with his fear of death? - he pretended it wouldn't happen to him, as I recall - a belief that not only lacked any basis in reality, but contradicted just about every piece of evidence you could possibly want (unless of course, you don't believe in the self - as Hume didn't - probably the most sensible position for a materialist).

17 July 2011 at 19:51  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Not a machine, if Totalitarians are correct, then so is Islam.

I have sold nothing to the people, they can live by their truth, they can build cultures and societies built on their truth.

They can preserve their truth and wipe out anyone who disagrees with their truth, only that does not make it true.

All I pointed out was that Totalitarians would be opposed and thats the truth, but opposing it does not make it true.

Hows that for wonk?

17 July 2011 at 19:52  
Blogger len said...

BITB,(11:57)

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(John 14:6)

This is a statement of truth which I wholly support and endorse.
I expect to be challenged, in fact if wasn`t challenged I would be worried.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an offence to many,it tells man that he is a sinner and can do nothing to save himself and that he needs a Saviour.Jesus is the ONLY way, this invalidates all other 'religions'which is an outright challenge to them all!.
I make no apologies for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and will shout it from the rooftops if necessary!.

17 July 2011 at 20:07  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...

@marcus & carl:

You're quite right, there's no concept of an "inalienable human right" in the sense you seem to consider it.

I was educated in a CofE primary, and a Roman Catholic secondary school (the latter was the infamous St. John Rigby, a shit school run by hypocrites long before that thieving nun came along to finish the job). I did pretty well in RE—my tutor even suggested I take it at A Level—but the natural result of this education is that I quickly became an irreligious atheist.

It says a lot about the Abrahamic God that, of His infamous "Ten Commandments", the first four boil down to "Worship no other but me!". "Do not commit murder" doesn't even come in until #6! For an all-powerful, all-loving, omniscient and omnipresent being, this deity has one hell of an inferiority complex.

But you are correct: "Rights"—in the US flag-salutin', Bill of Rights worshiping sense—don't exist, no. The US pretty much invented this concept of "inalienable" Rights, and appear to be inordinately proud of themselves, despite the fact that similar concepts have been around since at least the Code of Ur-Nammu (circa 2100 BC).

What these historic Codes and Laws reveal is that, throughout history, there have been common societal norms, found across all societies.

For example, murder is invariably frowned upon in all but the most exceptional of cases. (We seem quite happy to permit it in the name of war, but you'll note that most Western nations no longer have a death penalty these days.) In the Ur-Nammu code we see the death penalty applied very sparingly. The later Code of Hammurabi is much closer—almost suspiciously so—to the "eye-for-an-eye" approach seen in the Abrahamic religious texts.

All these Codes and Laws that have evolved from the days when people first stopped hunter-gathering and began to form larger, permanent, societies clearly show similar design patterns.

Contrary to popular belief, humans do not worship "gods". They worship the words of gods. They worship rules, tomes, books and—above all—stories. We are a species that has specialised in storytelling. And we're pretty damned good at it.

But those stories inevitably follow similar patterns, repeating very similar concepts and teaching the same rules. "Do not kill others" is a law found written throughout recorded history, from the Ur-Nammu Code to today. Even laws against rape and robbery have been treated very similarly by many different cultures.

These design patterns echo throughout our history, throughout our cultures and societies. The Celts were punishing murderers long before the first Christian evangelists appeared.

Homo Sapiens has also developed something we call "empathy". This is where the "treat others as you would have them treat you" pattern comes from.

As modern Christianity is barely 1600 years old, it therefore follows that it cannot be the source of these design patterns itself. Ergo, you most emphatically do not need to be a Christian (or a follower of any other religion) in order to calibrate your own moral compass.

It's innate. You don't need a god to know that discouraging murder is a good idea.

17 July 2011 at 20:41  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...

To answer Bishop Cranmer's original post: There are no "inalienable human rights". My own view is that only one 'natural' social law truly exists: that of being free to do anything you want to do, as long as it does not prevent others from doing likewise.

I consider anything that happens within the confines of my own mind to be my own damned business. However, as soon as I have to deal in any way with other people, I assume they agree with my (and their) chosen society's norms. If they have not, they're more than welcome to go find another society that they find more amenable to their points of view. It should be neither an ethical nor a moral requirement that I should be forced to think in an socially acceptable way.

(A corollary to this is that I have no problem with racists, homophobes and so on. The correct answer to these "problems"—if you can call a mere difference of opinion a "problem"—is education, not legislation.)

17 July 2011 at 20:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "1937 It's a bit odd you trying to present a defence of your position at 1748, given that you've contradicted it at 1918."

No contradictions that I can see. It's probably the particular context you're missing, or perhaps trying to mold something into a single lump that is multi-faceted in order to make the point you expected to be able to make.

17 July 2011 at 20:50  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I can tell you that murdering someone for their goods in our society is a bad thing and I can tell you why it is so.

Actually all you can say is why you prefer that people not be killed in 'our' society for their property. A statement of 'good' or 'bad' presumes an objective standard that you deny exists. This is the box you cannot escape. You preferences are nothing more than that - your preferences. If another man has different preferences, he has just as much standing to judge you as you have standing to judge him. None of it is referenced to any objective truth. It's just the random preferences of random creatures who live random lives and then die forgotten deaths.

You are fortunate to live in an advanced western country. It is the critical subsidy that makes your worldview palatable. You narcotize your meaningless existence with bread and circuses. But what would you do if you lived in the Volga River region in the winter of 1922? And what will you do when the West decays into poverty and bondage? Or do you simply hope to die before it happens. Death is such a strange and terrible thing in which to hope. But I guess that is all you have.

carl

17 July 2011 at 21:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "I asked if rights are simply granted by society. It appears that you think that they are not - they somehow emerge from rational reflection on our nature. Well and good, because that is how I see them (we're not all divine command theorists as I've said before)."

Of course they are granted by society i.e. they are recognised and acted upon.

"But there are difficulties I think, with your position. In addition to the problems raised by Carl, which you are yet to answer, many rights are to do with preserving freedoms, but on materialism, it is hard to see how we are free in the first place. Thus rights which are to do with preserving freedoms cannot arise from rational reflection on our nature because we are (probably) not free - merely the out-working of mindless physical events."

What problems raised by Carl? The authority thing? It's all in the definitions I expect. As ever, one has to set out the terms to do this stuff meaningfully. I confess I begin to skim read when I come across stuff like: "Rights don't exist in your world view. They cannot objectively exist because there is no authoritative 'rights giver' to give them." Also, your paragraph seems to be mixing and matching concepts from different spheres. That's probably the cause of the difficulty you think you're seeing. When I talk about political freedom in a liberal democracy you seem to read that as an issue of free will, related to things like determinism, which is a different thing entirely.

17 July 2011 at 21:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I know that Christians tend to have Christian parents, Muslims tend to have Muslim parents, and Hindus tend to have Hindu parents. I also know that if I were born in Saudi Arabia I would probably be a Salafi Muslim having never had the freedom to explore the alternatives from scratch as an adult.

Apples and Pears.....Christian Faith like Judaism requires Baptism.....Islam has no Baptism and no choice.

Whether Christian children have Christian parents is irrelevant, they can only be Christians through Faith and that is not inherited - it is Election

17 July 2011 at 21:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I can tell you that murdering someone for their goods in our society is a bad thing and I can tell you why it is so.

So murdering them for other reasons is fine ?

Murder is pre-meditated, you find it acceptable if not aforethought ?

After you have wagged your finger what do you think happens if the perpetrator disagrees with your Weltanschauung ?

17 July 2011 at 21:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Actually all you can say is why you prefer that people not be killed in 'our' society for their property. A statement of 'good' or 'bad' presumes an objective standard that you deny exists."

As a thought experiment, pretend I'm a rule utilitarian (I'm not) as far as good and bad are concerned. Am I still in the box?

As for the more generalised point, you seem to be just replaying a sort of stylised version of the objective vs subjective, or perhaps absolute vs relative, morality debate. (The labels get muddled up by everyone, including me, at times)

Out of interest, what do you do about competing objective moralities? Does it matter to you?

17 July 2011 at 21:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Voyager: "[I can tell you that murdering someone for their goods in our society is a bad thing and I can tell you why it is so.]

So murdering them for other reasons is fine ?"

That's what you get from what I wrote? Cannae be arsed if so. Sorry.

17 July 2011 at 21:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You are fortunate to live in an advanced western country. It is the critical subsidy that makes your worldview palatable. You narcotize your meaningless existence with bread and circuses."

I'll try to read that positively as I'm comfortable that my existence is essentially meaningless. Except to me and those around me of course. But then we're subjective beings, capable of experiencing our own lives and providing our own meaning.

17 July 2011 at 21:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

P.s. I can't help noticing that we're not talking about B&B owners or Trevor anymore.

17 July 2011 at 22:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

No contradictions that I can see.

I pointed it out at 1941.

Of course they are granted by society i.e. they are recognised and acted upon.

You seem somewhat evasive. I deliberately put forward both possibilities - granted or merely recognised. Which is it - do they exist out there, regardless of whether societies accept them, or not?

What problems raised by Carl? The authority thing?

No, I meant Carl's question What are you, after all, besides an irrelevant accident of chance in a naked empty universe?

You say:

also, your paragraph seems to be mixing and matching concepts from different spheres. That's probably the cause of the difficulty you think you're seeing. When I talk about political freedom in a liberal democracy you seem to read that as an issue of free will, related to things like determinism, which is a different thing entirely.

They are distinct but fundamentally related, here. If it is the role of a right to preserve a freedom, and that right is rooted in the reality of human nature (a point you seem strangely to be unable to commit yourself on), then there can be no such right if a human being is not per se free. On the other hand, if the right is not rooted in human nature, then how is the right not arbitrary or subjective?

I can't help noticing that we're not talking about B&B owners or Trevor anymore.

We are really, because what Trev may be waking up to is that outside of some kind of grounding of these rights in something a little more objective than the mores of a particular society, human rights have been debased to become little more than power bids made by secularists to deny (what Trevor worries) are the just rights of religious people. The fact that (as at least one writer here has said) human rights are hard to ground on secularist principles underscores the problem.

17 July 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Good lord.

It appears that some people just cannot get off the B&B saga or reverting to any means neccessary to bring the 'you're all homo bashers' into the blog. They are like that turd that refuses to be flushed away down the u bend.

The atheistic, heterosexually challenged are slightly worse than the RC apologists that frequent this blog but then of course there is no blog that can satisfy them (a bit like their commenting here).

Dear boy, your ego is so big, it must have took mammy an extra three days to give birth to it...Double the pain for the poor woman.

I am even led to believe the ego in question is sooo massive that Stephen Hawking has developed a theory about it!

Ernst, you poor, poor boy.

ps

Why does a narcissist find it so difficult to empathise with others?
Because he (or she) is always so busy empathising with himself (or herself).

What is a narcissist's idea of being abused?
Occasionally having to go along with someone else's preferences or beliefs.

18 July 2011 at 00:17  
Anonymous not a machine said...

BITB :well a little better than post I was refering to , but I still think your into Philosphy a little , I mean why not insert "yeah dude" into living by own beliefs when they are opposed by good , you were near the nothing really matters area ,or it sounded that way .

This post is a little more perplexing than I first thought "do christians have the same rights as the disabled" . of course doesnt make much sense "do the disabled having the same rights as christians " does.

The rights of the christian are about belief in god the father and jesus christ as salvation. In dealing with a spiritual relationship , how can you have a law that determines what the truth of that is ? If a law forces someone to break a christian spirtual basis of belief , then clearly that law does not consider christianity to be relevent.

Equality is of course part of eutopia , if you think eutopia can be held up only by the legislature , seems pretty foolish to me , as the law only becomes more fierce and austere to ensure you lose the will to love ,which has a different meaning to equal in my view.
equality seeks not to differentiate , but in so doing degrades the tools that stop anarchy/apathy taking hold .
If equality is people just silently milling around in fear of the law unsure of any qualitative aspects of the spirit , then Orwell dipicted it (and labour enbodied it) quite well.

18 July 2011 at 00:52  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Ernst , Interesting insight into narcissim , do you think modern society now has any idea about if it isnt happening en mass, if we no longer teach/follow the bible stories and serve ?

Everyone keeps telling me I am some sort of luddite who cannot see what a marvellous new society awaits us all once we ditch religous belief and all message each other with the same conformity speak of subliminal wrong to offend , and individuality is the neccasary death.

(clears throat) It is the flesh that is weak , and equality does not change that.

18 July 2011 at 01:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

My Mate NAM said 18 July 2011 01:02

"It is the flesh that is weak , and equality does not change that."
True but it is also that we, us old foggies, have just lived too long, can see what's coming from that life lived and no longer know how on earth to turn it round. God help us indeed.

A joke to go to bed with that sums up the position we find ourselves in.

What's a narcissist's idea of compromise/equality?
Persuading others to go along with the narcissist's preferences and beliefs. DànJo-VU

Goodnight Sweetie.

Ernst

18 July 2011 at 01:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcus,

I think most individual beings, whether they are christians or not, don't agree with homosexuals, but one should not hate them if they did not force anyone to be homosexual.

WLIL

18 July 2011 at 03:25  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Ernst , most troubling , my friend ,most troubling .

Perhaps I should just lie quiet and point the narcissists out less I am painted the same :)

Still not as confusing as last weeks torchwood .

18 July 2011 at 03:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcus,

Whether one believe in god or not, one have to depend on ownselves to protect and defend one own human rights and not on any so-called word of god or any irrelevent uncaring governments.

WLIL

18 July 2011 at 03:36  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

What I have been saying (over and over and over again) is that your understanding can be used to justify any set of preferences, and not just those you consider acceptable. All you require is some sort of mutual agreement. There is no inherent limit to the content of that agreement. Words like 'good' or 'bad' become meaningless under this condition. By definition, the content of the agreement becomes the 'good.' Be afraid when someone comes along with the power to change the terms against your will. Ultimately your only appeal will be to self-interest, and why should your self-interest outweigh his? You have no answer. You just hope it never happens.

carl

18 July 2011 at 04:39  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

My philosophy is simple, I think there can be only one Truth, but its no good finding it and telling others what it is.

You have to carefully disect it from the Big Lie and expose the Big Lie.

Bring me the Big Lie and if you have not yet discovered the Big Lie, then get thee behind me.

18 July 2011 at 06:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"It appears that some people just cannot get off the B&B saga or reverting to any means neccessary to bring the 'you're all homo bashers' into the blog. They are like that turd that refuses to be flushed away down the u bend."

Was it me who actually raised it first? What a feckwit. A faux-Christian feckwit, to boot. What's the story there? Is it loneliness that draws you to pretend to be Christian? I've certainly seen that before, especially in the elderly or the disenfranchised.

18 July 2011 at 07:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "What I have been saying (over and over and over again) is that your understanding can be used to justify any set of preferences, and not just those you consider acceptable."

You'll run out of eggs if you use them as a raising agent as liberally as you do.

Let's collectively declare the ECHR a set of inalienable rights, set up an authority to oversee them, and a means of punishing those who transgress. How is that any different in essence than making up a god and saying "god is in charge here and it" *points up at sky* "will dish out punishment out of sight when you're dead if you're naughty" *looks stern at teenagers* "and he can even see you wanking because he sees everything you know". You're indulging in smoke and mirrors and riding your religion on the back of a philosophical debate.

18 July 2011 at 07:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "I pointed it out at 1941."

Nope. You paraphrased my words, thus losing the context and meaning, and made them into what you wanted to make your Hitchens point. Go back and read them properly and see if they actually say what you thought they said with the clarity and precision you chose to attribute to them.

"You seem somewhat evasive. I deliberately put forward both possibilities - granted or merely recognised. Which is it - do they exist out there, regardless of whether societies accept them, or not?"

Albert, you seem very keen to play out your argument whatever I say or whatever I believe. Just get on with it, hey? I'll try to play along when I can out of politeness if I can be bothered.

I don't believe in god. There are no rights under stones to find. In my opinion, morality isn't inbetween the gaps in the physical bits of our universe, or defined by some special non-contingently-existing being that we make up as a position-filler. Morality comes from us and our understanding of the human condition. I don't think there is a single moral code to find even so (a point I make regularly and always missed) and that core assumption underpins most difficulties in morality debates.

How can I be more clear? Ditch your Catholic indoctrination and constraints and have a gestalt shift.

"No, I meant Carl's question What are you, after all, besides an irrelevant accident of chance in a naked empty universe?"

I need to deal with that? Blimey. I'm the end product (at the moment) of an enormous process of evolution I reckon. Oh, and look at the phrasing. Again. Well, at least you can, well could if you looked, see why and to whom I was directing my thing about not being comfortable with being essentially meaningless in the universal sense, rather than trying to make it an all-encompassing statement of position.

"They are distinct but fundamentally related, here. If it is the role of a right to preserve a freedom, and that right is rooted in the reality of human nature (a point you seem strangely to be unable to commit yourself on), then there can be no such right if a human being is not per se free."

Well, that's another debate. I started off arguing about things like disability rights. I'm being indulgent enough with the relative morality thingy. If you want to argue about free will, determinism, and the like then pick someone else. No doubt I am now being 'curiously evasive' or some other passive-aggressive phrase rather than just focused ... and a tad intolerant of the usual shenanigans. We can trade passive-aggressives if you like, I'm quite good at those. ;)

I'll just ditch your Trevor comment at the end.

18 July 2011 at 07:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

His Grace in the article: "For years, the EHRC has determined that homosexual equality trumps freedom of religion: that is, freedom of religion should be denied to the Christian B&B owner who does not want two homosexuals sleeping together in their home [...]"

*cough*

18 July 2011 at 07:47  
Blogger len said...

What misguided views some people have of the real God. Commandment no 1, states "you shall have no other Gods before me"
Is this an ego tripping God" Certainly not!,The real God knows there are many fallen angels(demons)who are posing as 'gods' to deceive people and to draw them away from the real God.The intention of these fallen angels is to kill, steal, and destroy humanity.
God defines sin because He knows sin gives entrance, and actually gives these fallen angels authority over those who submit to them.
It is then Satan who 'dishes out punishment when the unwitting submit to him through the agent of sin.
This is why Satan is known as the 'accuser'and when the sinner sins he actual puts himself out of the hand of God and places himself under the authority of Satan.

That is why Satan is known as 'the Prince of this World'as he has authority over most of the people in it!
God will not interfere with anyone`s free will and if you reject Him there is nothing He can do.
Man`s choice in the Garden was to trust and rely on God or to trust and rely on himself and this act alone placed man on the dangerous ground of being vulnerable to deception from vastly superior Satanic forces.

18 July 2011 at 08:09  
Anonymous Greg Tingey said...

"For years, the EHRC has determined that homosexual equality trumps freedom of religion"
NOT TRUE

No religious group should have special priveliges.
SO THERE.

Try reading the main body-text This article and please stop telling porkies?

18 July 2011 at 08:22  
Anonymous Old Jim said...

DanJ0,
your worldview hangs in the void like any other vacuous piece of nothing. If the ECHR can be assented to by a collective of human beings then either this reflects a collection of basic human instincts (see the Sean Baggerly post, 17 July 2011 20:41) or an arbitrary consensus at the extremes. If there is but arbitrary human consensus, then moral judgements are just expressions of preferences (and what, exactly, independent of your subjectivity, was wrong with the nazis?). If there are basic human moral instincts, then morality cannot "progress" historically and we'll have to think up some alternate way of envisioning human history.
Hint hint.

18 July 2011 at 08:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

This is a clever strategy produced by Phillips.

At its heart it asks the, unstated, question: in the long-run which is more dangerous to democracy: homosexuality or religion (Islam)?

The answer is homosexuality.

And the reasons?

'Gay marriage' opens the floodgates for any type of marraige: polygamy (favoured by Moslims). And polygamy would allow, in a relatively short space of time, for the Moslem population to dominate this State leading to the establishmnet of a theocracy.

In other words, Phillips is fighting a belated and reargurad action not only to defend democracy but to prevent the termination of homosexuals.

18 July 2011 at 09:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Baroness Cox's bill: if you can make polygamous marriage illegal then why not gay 'marriage'?

18 July 2011 at 10:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Current move to restict Article 8 (ECHR - right to family life) would eventually attack gay 'marriage' - even though it is being done under the guise to restrict rights of foreign prisoners.

18 July 2011 at 10:08  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

The super simian has just changed tacks,owing to the change of administration,do not believe for one moment that his bust of lenin has gone out of the window.In view of the allegations of his sticky fingers and managementstyle,he is responding as all common purpose fascists do,hide in the mainstream,and wait.like sotero ,he is just another manufactured negro,who would be more useful in the production of cotton than meddling in things that are beyond him,on the up side,red trev probably does have a birth certificate and knows his date of birth,though wether his parents shared the same surname is a subject of speculation.God is watching,just look at the word verification:holy mani

18 July 2011 at 10:20  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I'm the end product (at the moment) of an enormous process of evolution I reckon.

Really ? You think in such a linear mode. Maybe you are a siding on the evolutionary path; a retrogression ?

How can you have confidence that you are "evolved" ? Some might see you as being one of evolution's failed experiments to be consigned to oblivion and surpassed by other strains.

18 July 2011 at 10:21  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DànJo-VU squealled

"You'll run out of eggs if you use them as a raising agent as liberally as you do."
From the quality of your humour Ernst presumes you were Larry Grayson's number one fan. Oooh Shut That Dour!

How do you get a narcissist to respect other peoples' preferences and beliefs?
You can dream, boy you can dream!

What do you call a narcissist who can graciously accept criticism or blame?
Dead.

*boyish snigger*

Ernst, my fine flatulent fella.

18 July 2011 at 11:16  
Blogger Gallovidian said...

How nice of Mister Phillips to offer Christians a reasonable accommodation.

I'm sure once the civil war is over, that is one of the statements that will be taught as history of how bad things got before we took our country back

18 July 2011 at 11:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

DanJO: 'Morality comes from us and our understanding of the human condition.'


Nazis would agree with you.

18 July 2011 at 11:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJO: 'Morality comes from us and our understanding of the human condition.'

Huston, the EGO has landed.

Ernst.

ps

Hope that helps? :-o

18 July 2011 at 11:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

The question of contradiction. Here are your two statements:

Your so-called authority is simply a fear-based imperative to conform

If you can't handle the reality before your eyes and require a make-believe after-death thingy to get through the day

Looks pretty contradictory to me. It was nothing to do with Hitchens' as you accuse - a point which I said at the time had been made moot by the contradiction!

How can I be more clear?

I don't think you realise quite how unclear your position remains. The issue is not about whether there are a set of rules to be discovered - a sort of realm of platonic moral truths. The issue is whether our claims about human rights correspond to actual realities in human nature.

To take a comparison: light travels at about 186,000 miles per second. That doesn't mean that there is some kind of proposition out there to be discovered that says light travels at that speed. It means that our proposition corresponds to the reality of the speed of light. In the same way, the question about human rights is whether our claims correspond to the actual reality of human nature, or whether they simply reflect shared, but subjective, opinions or preferences, which do not correspond to the actual reality of human nature. That being the question, you will perhaps see why the following paragraph of yours is incredibly unclear:

There are no rights under stones to find. In my opinion, morality isn't inbetween the gaps in the physical bits of our universe, or defined by some special non-contingently-existing being that we make up as a position-filler.

So far, what you write is irrelevant to the question - but that would be okay as a preambuling clarification, if what followed addressed the issue:

Morality comes from us and our understanding of the human condition.

There's the unclarity. If you had written "Morality comes from our understanding of the human condition" then we would have an answer. The rest of the paragraph just reiterates the point that isn't at issue:

I don't think there is a single moral code to find even so (a point I make regularly and always missed) and that core assumption underpins most difficulties in morality debates.

I'm beginning to think the unclarity comes not from your manner of expression but from your own thought (or at least an unwillingness to be clear on your own positions - lest the consequences play into the hands of your opponents). That might explain, why several people have repeatedly asked for clarification and yet found none. (None of which incidentally would be of any interest to me, were it not for the fact that you are so condescending towards those with whom you disagree, and therefore provoke in them the desire for your own positions to be exposed to rational analysis.)

Well, that's another debate... If you want to argue about free will, determinism, and the like then pick someone else.

It isn't another debate at all, it is fundamental to the question of whether human rights claims are supposed to correspond to truths about human nature. If you think it is another debate, I take it you think human rights claims do not need to correspond to truths about human nature.

18 July 2011 at 11:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan @ 0715, in answer to the very reasonable point made by Carl you write,

Let's collectively declare the ECHR a set of inalienable rights, set up an authority to oversee them, and a means of punishing those who transgress. How is that any different in essence than making up a god and saying "god is in charge here and it" *points up at sky* "will dish out punishment out of sight when you're dead if you're naughty"

You would stop saying such silly things and start engaging in the issue if you realised that the question is one of metaphysics not an issue of epistemology.

18 July 2011 at 11:43  
Anonymous David Pollock said...

Rejoice, the EHRC has determined that freedom of religion trumps homosexual equality: that is, freedom from discrimination should be denied to homosexual couples wanting to stay at a B&B owned by Christians who regard homosexulaity as a sin; men who want to enter a civil partnership because the registrar is a Christian of the same ilk; and male couples needing relationship advice whose counsellor turns out to be such a Christian.

Alternatively, rejoice again, I say rejoice: For years, the EHRC has determined that race equality trumps freedom of religion: that is, freedom of religion should be denied to the Christian B&B owner who does not want blacks sleeping in their home; the Christian registrar who does not wish to ‘marry’ a white man and a black woman; and the Christian counsellor who does not wish to advise mixed-race couples in relationship matters.

Is religious belief really to be a free pass for bigotry?

18 July 2011 at 12:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pollock

You're error is to mistake race (genetically determined) with a lifestyle choice.

18 July 2011 at 12:38  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Albert: "Looks pretty contradictory to me. It was nothing to do with Hitchens' as you accuse - a point which I said at the time had been made moot by the contradiction!"

You're constructing your own contradiction out of it for your own benefit. Well, good luck with that. I don't think I need to be any part of that particular enterprise. The fact that you're trying it on is indicative enough for me I think.

"I'm beginning to think the unclarity comes not from your manner of expression but from your own thought (or at least an unwillingness to be clear on your own positions - lest the consequences play into the hands of your opponents). That might explain, why several people have repeatedly asked for clarification and yet found none. (None of which incidentally would be of any interest to me, were it not for the fact that you are so condescending towards those with whom you disagree, and therefore provoke in them the desire for your own positions to be exposed to rational analysis.)"

Well, at least you're honest about that now and I have free rein to be intolerant of your attempts to lead me by the nose to the destination of your choosing, sliding topics as you go to get there, irrespective of the things at hand. You and I are probably done being relatively polite and vaguely constructive with each other on the blog, I think.

18 July 2011 at 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homosexyual and bigoted?

'I have free rein to be intolerant'.

18 July 2011 at 13:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DanJO: 'You and I are probably done being relatively polite and vaguely constructive with each other on the blog'.

‘To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it.’

Tacitus

18 July 2011 at 13:50  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DànJo-VU 'relatively politely' stated

"DanJO: 'You and I are probably done being relatively polite and vaguely constructive with each other on the blog'."

What do you call a narcissist who can get through a whole day without criticising someone?
Unfeasible! (narcissists have to criticise others incessantly, despite the fact that they cannot bear to receive criticism)

Ernst, my relatively *chuckle* polite *giggle* communicant

ps

This blog would be soo boring without your hot air. Blow, my boy, BLOW.

18 July 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Well, at least you're honest about that now

Your point being that I was being dishonest earlier is it? If so, where?

I have free rein to be intolerant of your attempts to lead me by the nose to the destination of your choosing, sliding topics as you go to get there, irrespective of the things at hand.

Considering the sheer number of people who requested again and again that you clarify your position and open it up for rational analysis, I don't think you have ever been tolerant of being led anywhere. Your endless unsubstantiated assertions that matters raised by others are not to the point at hand, merely serve to confirm the suspicion that your evasiveness is because you are unable to defend your position by any rational standard.

You and I are probably done being relatively polite and vaguely constructive with each other on the blog, I think.

You must be some kind of solipsist! When have you ever been polite? You endlessly sneer at religious people on this blog for their alleged irrationality. You dismiss people with insult rather than argument. If I have upped the ante in my last response, this was to expose you as being at least open to the accusation of the very failings you accuse others of. I invited you to defend yourself. Your response: not rational self-defence, but self-pity.

Judging by anonymous' citation of Tacitus, it may that it isn't only me who can see through you.

18 July 2011 at 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opening a window into DanJO's soul:

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that's turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walking allong the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

18 July 2011 at 14:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert said...

"Romans 13:7 [Give] honor to whom honor [is due]."

Dear fellow

Even though Ernst has been dubious of your commenting here previously He feels it only right and proper to state that in all things other than RCC dogma (I differ) you have a keen intellect and are due respect and admiration for the arguments you raise and how you raise them.

My humble apologies for past blights, even if we agree to differ on a certain subject and my promise to give you a fair hearing and replies.

Ernst Blofeld

18 July 2011 at 14:33  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Albert: "Considering the sheer number of people who requested again and again that you clarify your position and open it up for rational analysis, I don't think you have ever been tolerant of being led anywhere. Your endless unsubstantiated assertions that matters raised by others are not to the point at hand, merely serve to confirm the suspicion that your evasiveness is because you are unable to defend your position by any rational standard."

Nice try.

"If I have upped the ante in my last response, this was to expose you as being at least open to the accusation of the very failings you accuse others of. I invited you to defend yourself. Your response: not rational self-defence, but self-pity."

Look matey, you tried and failed to engineer a situation which you directed and controlled, for the reasons you now admit, and you're left just throwing some bitter words around instead. Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

"Judging by anonymous' citation of Tacitus, it may that it isn't only me who can see through you."

Oh dear. Surely you must realise that they are mostly just some of the other ... oh nevermind.

18 July 2011 at 16:35  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Len you are welcome to shout your faith from the rooftops, just like muslims shout from their wailing towers.

You are welcome to say Christ is the only way to the Father and therefore all other faiths are of the devil.

But all you ever do is quote scripture, like your Bible is the be all and end all, is your faith so weak that it needs a Book too exist?

Or is the book you quote a written account, taken from an earlier oral folklore tradition from before writting.

Psalms interests me, because folk kept their traditions alive with song and rhyme before they had books and that is the tradition of psalmology.

Tell me a traditional song or rhyme that records your own folkish wisdom, who are your folk, what are their traditions?

Waissel.

18 July 2011 at 17:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Thanks Mr Blofeld for your gracious words.

18 July 2011 at 18:05  
Blogger len said...

BITB,

My main function is to act as a signpost pointing the way towards Christ.(Which is what any Christian religion should be doing)
I care not a whit for folklore, ,traditions or any other distractions.
Scripture is God`s written revelation of Himself to mankind,Jesus Christ is the Living Word, God in the flesh.
Why should I bother with anything else?

18 July 2011 at 18:46  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

As a Christian, I can understand there is a message in Christs Words but the Kingdom of heaven is within.

Why do we need a Len?

18 July 2011 at 19:17  
Blogger len said...

BITB, Is this leading somewhere?

18 July 2011 at 19:21  
Blogger len said...

BITB,
I find it difficult to understand your reasoning and your posts.
You seem to quote from Eastern religions ?Yet you claim to be Christian?
Just curious, but I genuinely do not understand were 'you are coming from' most of the time.

18 July 2011 at 19:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Len said 18 July 2011 19:35

"Just curious, but I genuinely do not understand were 'you are coming from' most of the time."

Grab a ticket and join the queue (it stretches halfway round the blog).LOL. Bless the lad.

Ernst

18 July 2011 at 20:12  
Anonymous Kingsley Pryor said...

"Why do we need a Len?"

To misquote Thatcher "everyone needs a Len". By that I mean that Len is an example of Christian brotherhood and charity. Even if he is wrong about the second coming.

18 July 2011 at 20:53  
Anonymous Preacher said...

To cut to the chase. For the Christian believer, the aim is to live by God's rules as presented in the Bible.
One of those rules is to "Be thou holy as I (God) am holy".
In human law a person can be guilty of aiding & abetting a crime or being an accessory after the fact. Even if one didn't actually commit the crime, just being complicit or agreeing with it makes one guilty by association.
It's plain to see that a believer would compromise his/her faith by turning a 'Blind eye' to an act that God has warned is sinful.
I work closely every day with people who come for help to escape the pits of despair that their sins have consigned them to for eternity, I don't judge them, I love them, because I was once in the same pit, but to condone the sin is to doom them forever.
Real love is tough, as tough as a man going willingly to die in agony on a cross in a public place of execution for those he loves.
Real blood, real agony, real death. Take it or leave it. But don't ask me to wink & smile at you choice & expect me to keep silent.

18 July 2011 at 21:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"But don't ask me to wink & smile at you choice & expect me to keep silent."

That works both ways of course.

18 July 2011 at 21:11  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

You would struggle Len, because in your own words, you don't care a whit for our folklore or tradition.

Whereas I find in our folklore and tradition, the very gnostic heresy the Church tried to destroy.

I am not leading anywhere, only to say I want my Culture back.

18 July 2011 at 21:18  
Anonymous Preacher said...

O.K DanJO. I never said it didn't, but I won't be forcing my way of life on anyone, I don't have to.
But to quote you, "It works both ways".

18 July 2011 at 21:35  
Blogger Albert said...

Thus saith the preacher:

I won't be forcing my way of life on anyone

Well said. I believe it is gravely wrong for anyone to insult, do violence to or otherwise unjustly discriminate against a person because of his homosexuality. But what is at stake in this post is whether the legal position can be justified rationally that enables homosexuals to impose their life-style on others, to the degree of requiring, under threat of legal violence, a Christian B&B owner to provide homosexuals with facilities to engage in their life-style.

I haven't seen any rational arguments to defend that, except for those that confuse life-style and race.

18 July 2011 at 22:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

BITB said yeah but no but, but yeah but no but..

"Whereas I find in our folklore and tradition, the very gnostic heresy the Church tried to destroy." Is it possible that, I mean could you explain, because you mention gnostic hearsay and it's only because I..OOh forget it, I am beginning to sound like you.

"I am not leading anywhere, only to say I want my Culture back." Alright, alright, you can have your Culture's back.

Here's your Biotivia - Florativia, Jarrow Mineral Balance, Acidophilus and my personal favourite, Acetyl-L-Carnitine. YOU CAD SIR.

Looks like it's back to Omega 3 for Ernst.*sigh*

19 July 2011 at 01:37  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Bring me the Big Lie Blowoff.

Christ spoke with his disciples, he could of become a Scribe and wrote Scriptures, but no he spoke, because God Word is the Living Word.

You are another who jumps in making me out a fool, when you have nothing worth saying.

I see no diffrenence between Danjo's progressives wanting to assimilate every culture and Len's totalitarin church stealing mine.

Get with Len on his rooftop.

19 July 2011 at 06:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"O.K DanJO. I never said it didn't, but I won't be forcing my way of life on anyone, I don't have to."

Hurrah! We should join forces and tackle the Christian Institute.

19 July 2011 at 06:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Bitb said oooohh 19 July 2011 06:26

"Bring me the Big Lie Blowoff."
Oooh, hark at you.
What lie might that be, my lad.

'You are another who jumps in making me out a fool, when you have nothing worth saying." You need no help from Ernst once you jump straight into the blog after 5 pints of natterjack. All Ernsty does it point out the bleed'n obvious that natterjack ain't good for the head whilst blogging.

"I am not leading anywhere, only to say I want my Culture back." Then what on earth is this culture you talk about because it is a complete mystery to all here. Define?

"the very gnostic heresy the Church tried to destroy." Define or must one google search that one also..can't possibly see how Len has abused you except to kindly ask a question.

Look at 19 July 2011 06:43, you have an narcissistic adherent (a personality disorder characterized by extreme self-centeredness and self-absorption, fantasies involving unrealistic goals, an excessive need for attention and admiration, and disturbed interpersonal relationships.) to your cause.. hope he helps, lucky you ;-)

Ersty the lying bleowolf

19 July 2011 at 09:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throughout the story of Beowulf, one finds many elements of Christian philosophy: that man survives only through the protection of God, that all earthly gifts flow from God, and that the proper bearing of man is to be humble and unselfish. However, there is also a strong sense of heroic pride within Beowulf which is at times in direct conflict with these Christian values. Thus, we see the dichotomies of pride vs. humility and sacrifice vs. selfishness. In "Further Celebration at Heorot" , Hrothgar reminds Beowulf of the lessons of the Greek tragedians: that pride, untempered by humility, will result in the tragic fall. But he also teaches the lessons of Christian philosophy: that wealth, accumulated through the grace of God, must be shared unselfishly.

Throughout the story Beowulf repeatedly acknowledges God as his protector. When Beowulf relates his battle with Grendel's mother, he states that "The fight would have ended straightaway if God had not guarded me" (1.4). Further exemplified by the powerfully stated "most often He has guided the man without friends" (1.5), there is a sense of mystical protection permeating all of Beowulf's actions. However, there is also a strong sense that God's protection must be earned; a warrior must first be true to his values, courage, honesty, pride, and humility and only then will he earn God's protection.

In addition to earthly protection, there is also the sense that all earthly good, be it success or wealth, derives from God. For example, when about to fight Grendel's mother in her cave, Beowulf sees a great weapon hanging on the wall. But he does not take credit for this perception. The credit is given to God: "But the Wielder of Men granted me that I should see hanging on the wall a fair, ancient great-sword" (1.5). And later in the passage, Hrothgar tells Beowulf that even the status of king is achieved through the grace of God. When telling of Heremod, a king who falls victim to pride and selfishness, Hrothgar tells Beowulf "he turned away from the joys of men, alone, notorious king, although mighty God had raised him in power, in the joys of strength, had set him up over all men" (4.4). And again, "It is a wonder to say how in His great spirit God gives wisdom to mankind, land and earlship. He possesses power over all things. At times He lets the thought of a man of high lineage move in delight" (5.1). In other words, a king's earthly power is only an illusion. The true power lies with God. Any "delight" that a man enjoys here on earth is achieved only through the grace of God.

Moreover, Hrothgar tells Beowulf that earthly success, given by God, must be handled with humility and a sense of sharing or the earthly king will bring on his own doom. Hrothgar tells Beowulf of a selfish king: "What he has long held seems to him too little, angry-hearted he covets, no plated rings does he give in mens honor, and then he forgets and regards not his destiny because of what God, Wielder of Heaven, has given him before, his portion of glories" (5.13). The phrase "he covets" is strongly reminiscent of the Christian Ten Commandments, that material desire leads to wanting more and more until nothing will suffice. Thus, a good king is willing to share his earthly possessions; he is one who "recklessly gives precious gifts, not fearfully guard them" (5.18). Hrothgar tells Beowulf that life itself is a gift from God, that even the human body is "loaned" (5.17), and that it eventually "weakens, falls doomed" (5.17).

19 July 2011 at 09:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many biblical references in Beowulf stick out like a shore thumb. Besides the use of the biblical figure of Cain being used to compare him to Grendel, there are many others. Some of which are the more notable ones is the mentioning of the worldwide flood and the Christian idea of sharing treasure, giving away rings. These references are also there to prove a point to the intended audience of the time.
The biblical use of the flood is made clear when King Hrothgar
speaks of the worldwide flood: "flood, rushing water, slew the race of giants -- they suffered terribly: that was a people alien to the Everlasting Lord". The book of Genesis also talks about a flood, describing Noah in the ark with his family for forty days and forty nights. Another concept that can be viewed as Christian is the idea of sharing treasure, giving away rings. This generosity is what Christianity promotes. Hrothgar warns Beowulf about the sin of excessive pride and tells him that sharing treasure is the right way for a king to live. However, this sharing is not unconditional. In exchange for the treasures, the lord expects his thanes to back him up in the time of troubles: "A king ought by the good deeds, by giving splendid gifts, to make sure that later in life beloved companions will stand by him, that people will serve him when war comes." These are two good examples of how biblical references are used in Beowulf.

19 July 2011 at 09:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

A thoughtful anonymous kindly posted 19 July 2011 09:27 & 19 July 2011 09:33

Thanks for your post as Ernst is a lover of the great classics however you miss out one very key problem.

It ain't Christian! (one finds many elements of Christian philosophy?) neither is The Lord of The Rings despite claims by others it is (Tolkien argued that the author of Beowulf was addressing human destiny in general). We are meant to read into it this (a strong sense, the sense that, strongly reminiscent) christian values but no mention of the establisher of the values as He is God?? Supposedly written at least 850 years after Christ rose from the dead..the author/s were obviously not not blind to the facts but chose to write an epic poem.

Great classic literature that is wrongly implied as Christian. Thanks for the highlighted narrative, genuinely.

Ernsty the lying bleowolf

19 July 2011 at 09:53  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

George and the Dragon aint Judeo-Christian either, since dragon slaying folklore is an Indo-European poetic tradition.

But atleast an Indo-European slant on the Christian message, took the Dragon to be Satan which we had to slay.

A Judeo-Christian may quote scripts written by scribes, but can they define what Satan is in that message.

Christ tells us to go to the well of living waters, Indo-European poetry also tells of a well, guarded by a Dragon, which is holding back the waters and must be slain

So there we have folklore complimenting Christs message and identifying Satan, the serpent dragon.

Now explain the Judeo-Satan to me, because I would say your beliefs are only true, if they can be defined and seperated from lies.

If you cannot identify the lie, you cannot claim to have the truth.

Or just point me in the direction of the well, Christ told you about, if you cannot do that, then what makes you a Christian.

19 July 2011 at 16:35  
Anonymous Preacher said...

DanJo.
How do you work that out from my reply? Just asking!

19 July 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"How do you work that out from my reply? Just asking!"

The Christian Institute and the CLC back people trying to force their Christian beliefs and way of life on others. Luckily, without much success at the moment.

Obviously I was being facetious but if you won't be forcing your way of life on people, just like I won't, they we ought to join forces and tackle those who do: like that Christian pair running that B&B in Cornwall. Afterall, the gay couple who turned up were hardly going to perform in their private living room or invite the Christians into their bed. No coercion there.

19 July 2011 at 22:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

BITB Said 19 July 2011 16:35

"Christ tells us to go to the well of living waters, Indo-European poetry also tells of a well, guarded by a Dragon, which is holding back the waters and must be slain"


As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, 0 God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps. 42:1,2)

Jesus compared himself with "living water"
John 4:10-15

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

John 7:37-39

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Jesus only EVER refers to Himself as The Living Waters...a world of difference from what you imply.

You further state "because I would say your beliefs are only true, if they can be defined and seperated from lies." Just have above, my boy.

Word to the wise, my lad..Satan was called the Dragon in scripture long before the myth of George slaying a dragon was invented or whilst George was still just a twinkle in his dad's eye..bit like your implying re Beowulf.

"If you cannot identify the lie, you cannot claim to have the truth." Just did again above.

"Or just point me in the direction of the well, Christ told you about, if you cannot do that, then what makes you a Christian." Look at the above again but put the natterjack down first. CHRIST ONLY IS THE WELL, He and only He makes disciples!

Ernsty, my young gnostic hearsayer.

20 July 2011 at 01:15  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I identified the dragon from Indo-European poetic tradition and placed him at the well, holding back the flood.

Yes you pointed me to the well, but show me the Dragon, where is it?

Find it quickly or stop telling folk tales about it to scare our children.

If Christ is truth, Satan is the Lie. Bring me the Lie was all I ever asked and not a one of you has done so.

Don't just keep quoting the script of the scribe, I have offered you an oral poetic tradition, where is your Dragon, can you make it real and identifiable.

Or are you going to accept, your script is borrowed from earlier folkloric song rhyme and poetry as I suggested.

20 July 2011 at 06:17  
Anonymous Preacher said...

DanJO.
I did recognise that you were being facetious, but the point of my earlier posting was that one can be guilty of breaking the law, Gods or mans by being a party to the offence when in the knowledge that an offence is likely to be committed, e.g if three rough blokes wearing masks & carrying shotguns get in a cab & say HBC,
then they say "Wait for us" as they pile out & rush in. That is the point that the driver has to decide whether he wants to be an accomplice to bank robbery or not. Appearing in court with the plea "I waited because they hadn't paid the fare" would be pitifully inadequate.
My point is the right to refuse to be a party to what one considers is wrong, legally or morally is a basic human right.
The people who insist on bullying others into allowing them to commit acts that the proprietors of a B+B deem obscene are the guilty party here, and if they proceed to law in an attempt to gain fiscal or other reward, then I agree with the Christian or any other Institutes defence of their rights.
So I'm afraid you are out of luck in your suggestion that we should work together chum.

20 July 2011 at 11:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

if you won't be forcing your way of life on people, just like I won't, they we ought to join forces and tackle those who do: like that Christian pair running that B&B in Cornwall.

The Christian couple were not forcing their way of life on anyone. The gay couple were perfectly free to go elsewhere and have a room together - I do not recall the Christian couple were stopping them.

In contrast, the gay couple were forcing their way of life on the Christian couple by requiring them, against their will and way of life, to provide facilities from their own property so that the gay couple could sleep together.

20 July 2011 at 11:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Preacher: "That is the point that the driver has to decide whether he wants to be an accomplice to bank robbery or not."

Well, the analogy is not that great in the real world of the UK with its diverse population. Bank robbery is illegal and the wrongness of it is pretty much universally recognised, and probably even by the robbers.

A more accurate analogy would be the cab driver refusing to take an unmarried couple to a hotel presuming that they may have sex there. Or a Muslim cab driver refusing to drive a blind person with a guide dog [1]. Another might be a cab driver who believes immigrants shouldn't be here refusing to take a Polish worker, well, anywhere other than the airport to 'go back to where they came from'.

Really, at some point religious people ought to let their god take care of these things itself. It's not entrapment providing beds as a business, it's living in a diverse world where free will appears to rein.

Where do we go from here if the B&B owners got special privileges to discriminate when they cite conscience? Muslim checkouts at Sainsburys [2] where no alcohol or pork is allowed through? Hindus in shoe shops demanding employment rights but refusing to sell leather shoes? Vegan construction workers refusing to tarmac roads which will carry lorries transporting sheep to abbatoirs?

Heck, there are any number of examples here. Will religious shop workers demand to see marriage certificates before selling double beds to couples in case they're encouraging immoral (to them) behaviour? Should couples have to check whether shops might object to their relationship status first or risk being turned away and humiliated?

The reality of this situation is that people who have unusually rigid [3] views about the private sex lives of other people in society would probably be better off in a business which does not focus quite so heavily on double beds.

[1] I can probably find a link for that.
[2] And that.
[3] No pun intended.

20 July 2011 at 17:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Muslim checkouts at Sainsburys [2] where no alcohol or pork is allowed through?

Yes, that would be wrong. Customers who don't like the rules of a particular establishment should go elsewhere. The rule of the B&B was not "no gays", but "no unmarried couples" in double rooms. It's about people who own the business being free to make the rules, and those who don't like them to be free to go elsewhere.

A better analogy would be a supermarket being required by Muslims to sell halal meat, even though the proprietor doesn't approve of the way halal is slaughtered. Would you support that, or be on the side of freedom?

When are you secularists just going to let other people get on with their lives?

20 July 2011 at 21:13  
Anonymous Preacher said...

DanJO.
Albert makes the point clearly. the aggressors were the people who demanded! to be allowed to allowed to do as they pleased in anothers premises, despite the fact that the owners felt that to allow them to do so was contrary to their faith.
Not content with that the couple in question tried to bully the owners with a court case that was possibly trying to set a precedent to force others in a similar position to concede to the demands of a minority out of fear.
Sorry friend but if that's your idea of a free society, it's not mine.

21 July 2011 at 12:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pact for Euro-Mediterranean stability
By Franco Frattini

Published: February 17 2011 15:02 | Last updated: February 17 2011 15:02

The Mediterranean poses dramatic new challenges for European security.

How do we develop this pact? First, Europe needs to step in to promote growth. This means improving the European Union’s neighbourhood policy. Resources for this must be increased in future EU budgets, and made commensurate to the strategic value of this area. Existing resources should be better allocated to programmes that stimulate growth and create jobs. In Egypt, for example, EU money should be invested in tourism. Although damaged by the crisis, this remains a source of income and jobs.

Next, the Union for the Mediterranean, which first saw the light of day over two years ago, must accelerate the implementation of its planned projects. Too much time has been lost setting up the institutions of this new union, a 43-member body incorporating the 27 EU states and 16 Balkan, north African and Middle Eastern partners. Few people in the region even know of its existence.

That said, at this transformational moment in our history, we should go even further. A broader economic initiative is also needed. The EU, other world powers and international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, should urgently develop an equivalent of the Marshall Plan for Mediterranean economic stability. This plan must mobilise a critical mass of new European and international financial resources, in the order of billions of euros, to modernise the economies of the region and improve investment. The removal of trade and economic barriers between Mediterranean countries should also be a priority. The EU should work together on this strategy with the US, whose role remains crucial.
The EU, in the meantime, should deepen its relations with countries in the region by considering granting all of them “enhanced status” of association. This entails progressive integration into the EU’s internal market, participation in a number of EU programmes and regular summits between the EU and Mediterranean countries. It would lend substance to the principle of equal partnership, on which the new relationship between Europe and the Mediterranean countries must be based. Foreign and security policy should be high on the EU agenda too, with the long-term aim of Mediterranean countries becoming producers rather than consumers of regional stability.

Of course, there must be conditions. My proposed development and stability pact would include a commitment from each country to improve governance, meet international obligations and respect individual rights, including for women and religious minorities. Change in the Mediterranean is a test for Europe. But it is also an opportunity for European and Mediterranean countries to work together in the interests of all.

The writer is Italian minister of foreign affairs

21 July 2011 at 12:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good news: the Tories are going to take us out of the EU – and leave France and Germany to it (the two legs of iron and clay are forming):

From the BBC’s news website:

‘The Chancellor said the "remorseless logic" of monetary union was greater fiscal union, a co-ordination at European level of tax and spending.

‘But fiscal union cannot operate without a strong element of political union. No country could give away control of tax and spending without being part of a political union.

‘Traditional UK policy has been to oppose steps towards fiscal and political union precisely because it would develop two Europes: those in the core and those on the outside. Mr Osborne clearly believes that is a price worth paying.

‘There may even be some who would welcome the UK carving out a more detached relationship with the EU.’

21 July 2011 at 12:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing."

Isaiah 40:15 (King James Version)

Our God is mighty.

The prophecies are unfolding before our eyes!

Praise God Almighty!

21 July 2011 at 12:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Prophecy of St. Malachy

This is a famous prophecy about the popes which lists all the popes in order, attributing a descriptive motto to each one. Over 100 popes are listed leading up to the time of final judgement. We are now down to the last two! According to the prophecy, this present Pope is the second to last one, with the description ‘Gloria Olivae’ (‘Glory of the Olives’).

In 1139 St.Malachy went to Rome to give an account of the affairs of his diocese to the Pope, Innocent II. While at Rome, he received the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of pontiffs who were to rule the Catholic Church until the end of time. He gave his manuscript to Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590. They were published by Arnold de Wyon, and ever since there has been much discussion as to whether they are genuine predictions of St. Malachy or forgeries.

These short prophetical announcements, which number 112, indicate some noticeable trait of all future popes from Celestine II, who was elected in the year 1130, until the end of the world. They are enunciated under mystical titles. Those who have undertaken to interpret and explain these symbolic prophecies have succeeded in discovering some trait, allusion, point, or similitude in their application to the individual popes, either as to their country, their name, their coat of arms or insignia, their birth-place, their talent or learning, the title of their cardinalate, the dignities which they held, their character or some unusual circumstance of their career. For example, the prophecy concerning Urban VIII is Lilium et Rosa (the lily and the rose); he was a native of Florence and on the arms of Florence figured a fleur-de-lis; he had three bees emblazoned on his escutcheon, and the bees gather honey from the lilies and roses. Peregrinus apostolicus (pilgrim pope), which designates Pius VI, appears to be verified by his journey when pope into Germany, by his long career as pope, and by his expatriation from Rome at the end of his pontificate. Crux de Cruce (Cross from a Cross) designates Pius IX whose afflictions or crosses were more than those which fell to the lot of his predecessors; and the more aggravating of these crosses were brought on by the House of Savoy whose emblem was a cross.

The pope who has just died, John Paul II, is the third from last in the list. He is described as De labore Solis (of the eclipse or labour of the sun) and was born during a solar eclipse. He was one of the most dominant and strongest of the popes with one of the longest reigns.

The next pope is called Gloria Olivae (Glory of the Olives) and is second from last.

The last of these prophecies concerns the last pope and the end of the world:
"In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus), who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city (ROME) will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End."

This agrees with what the Bible says about events at Mid-Tribulation. After the rapture there will remain an apostate world-church centred in Rome, which is destroyed by the antichrist at Mid-Tribulation in order to set up his own world-wide religion centred on himself (Revelation 17). If this prophecy is true then this is another sign of being in the end-times. One possible scenario is that the rapture may come in the next pope’s reign (and end it) and he will then be replaced by the last pope.

21 July 2011 at 13:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Preacher: "[...] the aggressors were the people who demanded! to be allowed to allowed to do as they pleased in anothers premises, despite the fact that the owners felt that to allow them to do so was contrary to their faith."

Well, there are a number of things there. They didn't demand to be allowed to do as they pleased, they expected to use the same facilities offered to other members of the public irrespective of their sexual orientation. And who says it was for sex? I mean, who has sex in a B&B anyway?

The court case hinged around the issue of sexual orientation and equality. If the couple were not in a civil partnership then the owners might have had some sort of a defense.

But no, it was undue discrimination based on sexual orientation and that is illegal. They owners knew this and chose to ignore the law. Deliberately martyring oneself is one thing but complaining about the punishment afterwards is a bit naff.

The owners were not forced to do something against their consciences, they chose to overly extend their religious reach onto their business premises. This is not a case of forcing doctors to perform abortions, it's a case of forcing the owners to acknowledge the law and the rights of others over their own liberty.

The owners had a duty towards the couple regarding illegal discrimination. The couple did not have a duty towards the owners regarding their religious beliefs about them on their business premises in the supply of goods and services.

We don't allow "No blacks, No Irish, No Dogs" signs on B&B anymore even if that encroaches on the liberty of racist owners in their business premises. Similarly, encroaching on the liberty of religious owners in their business premises is fine where it would not be fine in their home.

"Not content with that the couple in question tried to bully the owners with a court case that was possibly trying to set a precedent to force others in a similar position to concede to the demands of a minority out of fear."

Law is there to be used. The owners broke the law and it is not unreasonable for the victims to seek redress. The law still stands.

As for setting precedents, that is an interesting one. The owners didn't really have a defense but they were used by the Christian Institute. It appears to be pushing cases forward, irrespective of the damage to the people it uses, even when they're hopeless to try to get a case before the Supreme Court. The rationale I think is to create a weight of cases in the media to convince the Supreme Court to take one on.

They seemed to be pushing the owners forward in this case and I think that's despicable if so given the subsequent health issues of the man. But hey, the Institute is basically a political organisation trying to force special interests considerations so I suppose it is to be expected.

21 July 2011 at 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Preacher: "Sorry friend but if that's your idea of a free society, it's not mine."

Well, I'm sorry to hear that but unfortunately you're going to have to get used to it I think. The nature of a free society is that freedom is maximised, not that it is a free-for-all to do anything. We're a liberal society and this case with the B&B does not change that at all despite what some religious activists claim.

21 July 2011 at 17:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You continue with your error of equating homosexuality with race and nationality:

'We don't allow "No blacks, No Irish, No Dogs" signs on B&B anymore even if that encroaches on the liberty of racist owners in their business premises.'


Race and nationality are not under God's judgement.

22 July 2011 at 07:19  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

A god of that sort almost certainly doesn't exist, Al^Hnonymous. At its core, it's just undue discrimination. We all know it deep down.

22 July 2011 at 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.

22 July 2011 at 11:22  
Anonymous Preacher said...

DanJo.
Almost, certainly?.
I'll leave it at that!.

22 July 2011 at 11:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Preacher: "Almost, certainly?. I'll leave it at that!."

Very profound, I'm sure.

There's almost certainly no Allah, Zeus, YHWH (Catholic or Protestant variant), Krishna, Ba'al, Mithras, and so on either.

'Anonymous': "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good."

Blimey. You make me sound like a bloody Catholic there! :O

22 July 2011 at 17:34  

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