Category Archives: Religion

From rationality to superstition

“It is no secret … that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief.”

Neal Gabler, ‘The Elusive Big Idea’, New York Times, 13 August 2011

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A brief argument against intelligent design

For those who maintain that all life was created or is the result of intelligent design, I present one example that ought to kill that claim forever: the scrotum.

Scrotums are annoying. Sure they serve a purpose – giving the testicles a case and helping to regulate their temperature to keep the sperm alive – but other than they’re stupid. They get in the way, causing you discomfort when you sit or cross your legs. They get stuck your thighs and retain moisture. They present a nice target for someone wanting to cause you pain.

Surely an intelligent designer would have come up with a better plan. Take, for example, female humans. Their seed packets are properly located within their bodies. Why should the males’ be any different? Perhaps, long ago, a large, healthy looking scrotum was important for mating purposes, but not anymore.

No! If anything, scrotums are the perfect example of evolution’s fallibility, not evidence of omnipotent creator. DESIGN FAIL!

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No miracle in Arizona

I’m sorry, but the survival of Gabrielle Giffords after being shot in the head on Saturday is not a miracle. It certainly is amazing and remarkable, but it’s not a miracle, at least not in the sense that some divinity reached down and redirected the bullet. If you accept that god did prevent her from being killed that day, as many people of ‘faith’ would believe, then you must also accept that god was happy for the other victims to die. Is that how your god works? Well, I guess he does have a history of encouraging the killing of children, doesn’t he?

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 “Since the masses of the people are inconstant, full of unruly desires, passionate, and reckless of consequences, they must be filled with fears to keep them in order. The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death.” Polybius

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“[C]reationists...are all guilty of heresy. You have a contradiction between the word of God as revealed in the Bible, and the word of God as revealed in the universe... Hersesy is denying the word of God, and the word of God is much more reliably expressed in the natural world as it’s revealed through reason and science than [the Bible]... Iain M Banks



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“Religion … [is] a set of hypotheses arrived at by very primitive people two thousand years ago, and it’s not fit for purpose, it doesn’t describe reality, it’s that simple. You can believe whatever you want to believe, but when you start basically saying that reality isn’t reality, when you start saying this nonsense about the world is only six thousand years old, when you have this absolute refusal to meet with reality, we can’t just say, “You’re entitled to your view.” No you’re not! You’re not entitled to put that view across as being just as good as science, because we can prove that science works.” Iain M Banks

Catch the crap, again

I don’t want to give this idiot any more publicity than he has already received, but Danny Nalliah, leader of the Catch the Fire Ministries, has again blessed us with his wisdom.

On 13 July 2010 Nalliah continued his rant against Julia Gillard, claiming that she is “unfit to be Prime Minister because, if elected, she would live out of wedlock”. He also claims that she is anti-God, pro-abortion, bereft of Christian values, a liar and a leftist.

Julia is indeed unmarried and a self-professed atheist, but who cares? She may be pro-choice (as opposed to ‘pro-abortion’ as Nalliah claims), but so what? Her personal beliefs don’t in themselves make her any better or worse to lead this country than Nalliah’s champion of Christian values and decency, Tony Abbott. (My belief, however, is that Julia’s failure to believe in fairy tales and her belief in a woman’s right to choose makes her a much more credible leader than Abbott.)

Nalliah claims that Julia is a bad role model (for precisely who he doesn’t say) because she does not “deem marriage and wedlock important enough in her own life” and because her atheism “is an insult to the [Judeo-Christian] belief system of the bulk of this country.”

What a load of crap. Does he not understand that many people in this slightly less repressed age don’t subscribe to the outdated, patriarchal concept of marriage? (Don’t get me wrong, if a couple choose to marry then that’s their right and the same right should be extended to same-sex couples; I just view it as unnecessary).

Do people actually take this man seriously? The handful of comments on his website suggests that some people do like what he says. The following is a sample of the intellect of Nalliah’s faithful (all grammatical and spelling errors are those of the original comments).

Rob says “We need a Christian Leader the Lead the Christian Ship.”

(Australia is a Christian Ship? I’m sure the 36% per cent* of Australians who, in the 2006 ABS Census, did not identify as being one of the varieties of Christianity would disagree.)

Ian, in true Christian soldier fashion, encourages Nalliah to “keep sticking the boot in”.

(If only burning at the stake was still common practice…)

Bob says that “Ms. Gillard is an affront to every christian in the land” and that “we should pray for her to have a confrontation with Jesus.”

(Other than that one time at band camp, umm, I mean in the temple with the money lenders, I though Jesus was a non-confrontational, turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy.)

Ewan thinks that Ms Gillard’s “living in sin” is a “reproach … to our nation” and “an appaling example for any leader let alone for the Prime Minister!”

(How fortunate we are that our leaders haven’t been caught utilising cigars as sexual accessories.)

It’s all been pretty harmless so far, but then it gets more hysterical.

Trevor says that “the hypocrisy of political correctness … is from the devil” and, unless they “pray and love Julia Gillard into the Kingdom and she accepts Jesus as her Savior … she will continue to undermine our nation with her socialist/communist dogma, which is evil.”

(Political correctness, socialism and communism are evil? I don’t even know how to respond to this guy other than to suggest that praying and loving Julia “into the Kingdom” against her will would, in my view, equate to spiritual rape. But I’m sure that sort of thing is acceptable to people like Trevor.)

Jessica says “AN ATHEIST,BARREN,PRO-ABORTIONIST IS NOT WHAT WOULD PLEASE GOD.”

(I was under the impression that Julia made a conscious decision to not have children, not that she is incapable of breeding. Why would Jessica’s cranky little god care that Australia’s Prime Minister is an atheist? Julia’s not going to suddenly open the eyes of his gullible followers and put at risk the money making machine, is she?)

Final honours go to Melissa who plaintively asks “WHO WILL SAVE THE UNBORN CHILDREN?”

(What are on about, Melissa? My questions to you are: Who will save the unborn children from having religious affiliations enforced upon them by their parents? Who will save the unborn children from the hypocritical teachings of narrow-minded, xenophobic, homophobic, bigoted followers of mythical gods?)

Julia ought to be applauded for having the courage to admit her atheism and for declaring that she is won’t give lip service to religious rituals simply for the sake of appearances.

She should be admired for her decision not to marry.

She should be congratulated for not having children and choosing instead to pursue her career. She’s also doing her bit for a ‘sustainable population’, something that Nalliah and his supporters should also do; a few less religious morons like them would be a very good thing for the world.

I hope that Julia can withstand the ridiculous bullshit Nalliah and his hysterical trolls are dribbling and rise up to show this country that one doesn’t need to be a married parent and a religious cretin (or an ass-kisser of religion) to be a successful leader and inspiring role model for younger generations.

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Catch the Crap

On 17 October 2009 Pastor Danny Nalliah and supporters of his Catch the Fire Ministries descended on Canberra to conduct a “prayer offensive” from atop Mt Ainslie, ostensibly to drive out witchcraft from Parliament House.

A brief discussion of the day can be found here. A description of “spiritual warfare” in support of the prayer offensive can be found here.

On 6 July 2010 Danny Nalliah claimed on the CTFM blog that the prayer offensive, which, I think it’s fair to say, most of us had forgotten about, had not only been successful in breaking the drought but also in removing the “ungodly” Malcolm Turnbull and the “great deceiver” Kevin Rudd.

As J.D. said in Heathers, colour me impressed.

[I originally had a bit of a spit on my Twitter page about Nalliah’s article and posted a comment (copied at the end of this post) to his blog. Unsurprisingly my comment did not survive moderation. Sniff. The post you’re reading now is intended to expand a little on my Twitter rant and to provide some context for my rejected comment.]

Despite saying that he wanted to consult god’s wisdom before commenting on the current political state of the country, Nalliah goes on to make several other ludicrous claims (casting doubt on the wisdom of his god).

Apparently god was a supporter of John Howard and Peter Costello and, prior to the 2007 election, told Nalliah that Rudd was not “God’s man for Australia.” Rudd won the election not because Australians wanted a change but because Christians had not been united in prayer. In response god gave Australians what they asked for, a leader “much to their detriment.”

After Rudd’s election Nalliah had a vision “that Julia Gillard came behind Rudd and stuck a knife in his back and Rudd fell to the ground, then she took over the government.” For some reason Nalliah did not make this publicly known until 3 July 2010. Thanks to Nalliah’s failure to warn Rudd of his imminent political assassination we now have “the worst Atheist Prime Minister you can think of ie Julia Gillard”.

It seems that we’re screwed.

Danny, why didn’t you speak up and tell Rudd? How can we repair this catastrophe?

Luckily, Nalliah has the answer: Australians need to vote for a “genuine Christian”.

But who is a genuine Christian?

Nalliah can help us there, too. Even for those of us who “do not pray or discern” the answer is clear: Tony Abbott, that “Godly man with good moral values”, will save us from the sinful and “openly anti-God, Pro-Abortion, Pro-Homosexuality” Julia Gillard.

But wait! There’s more!

According to Nalliah, more Federal Liberal politicians have sworn oaths on the bible than have Federal Labor politicians. This ‘fact’ makes it clear that Christians should vote Liberal at the upcoming election. Any Christian who remains determined to be stupid and vote for Labor, despite Nalliah’s impeccable advice, “cannot be a Christian who has a proper relationship with Jesus”.

You have been warned.

Let us be thankful that Danny Nalliah loves us enough to share his wisdom and is willing to reach out and guide us through such dark and difficult times.

This is the unedited (rejected) comment I posted on Nalliah’s blog. I think I raised some questions that deserved to be answered, didn’t I?

WTF Jul 7th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Thank you, Danny, for sharing with all of us your 2007 vision of the political assassination of Rudd. But why did you wait until after the event happened to tell us?

And aren’t visions the work of the devil? Are you really the devil in disguise? How do we, your faithful sheep, know that you are not leading us to the slaughterhouse instead of the shearing shed?

The doubt and uncertainty of your authenticity is tearing at my soul and I fear that I cannot do as you ask but must instead refrain from voting for Tony Abbott, the man who had many extramarital dalliances and may have fathered one or more children out of wedlock. I cannot vote for such an obvious sinner, a man who denigrates women and shows no compassion for immigrants and refugees, a man who would rather keep wicked businesses in profit than save this beautiful world the Lord gave us.

Your exhortations of that man’s qualities leaves me in no doubt that your word is not as you say it is. I pray that you do not suffer excessively when the time comes to answer for your sins.


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