Difference between revisions of "Talk:Main Page"

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::::Yes, please don't let this thread become a discussion about how various religions can be justified or proven. That is ''not'' the point. The point is that religious people can be as rational as anyone else and to deny that flies in the face of blindingly obvious and of the hope of any progress against fundamentalism, as I hope we have demonstrated here. [[User:Ajkgordon|Ajkgordon]] 16:25, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
::::Yes, please don't let this thread become a discussion about how various religions can be justified or proven. That is ''not'' the point. The point is that religious people can be as rational as anyone else and to deny that flies in the face of blindingly obvious and of the hope of any progress against fundamentalism, as I hope we have demonstrated here. [[User:Ajkgordon|Ajkgordon]] 16:25, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
:::::''And along came the anti-christ.''
:::::I look on religion as a disease of humanity, much as influenza is a disease of humans, There are different strains, with different effects, but they're none of them very nice and should be cured as soon as possible to avoid weakening the body, some can be lethal and should be completely removed. The lethal variants are often mutations of otherwise fairly innoccuous forms. which should therefore be treated with the same suspicion and care as their more dangerous forms. {{User:SusanG/sig/sig}} 16:28, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

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General question about the site? See RationalWiki:Serious Business. Or post here anyways. See if I care.

Proposed boycott of CP

It has been proposed that we enact another boycott of the evil empire, after our birthday celebrations are over, say, from Friday 5/23, for one week. Can I haz comments? ħψAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 00:41, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

I don't visit or contribute to WIGO anyways, but I'm in. : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:51, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes indeed. Today is my dog Bruno's first birthday. He can haz dog fud burfdi kake, plz, kthxbai. Shame we can't blockade CP but a boycott will do :) Spica the Hiver If you tolerate this, then your children will be next... 04:59, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Where lulz come from when boycott? SusanG  ContribsTalk 05:00, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Metapedia! : ) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:07, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
RationalWiki:What is going on in the Clogosphere?‎! : ) -- Exasperate me!Sheesh!Not the most impressive contributor here
Nay, Metapedia! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:18, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Am I safe to click on a link to Metapedia from work? Or shall I actually do some work during the boycott? Bondurant 08:29, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Only if you have a vomit bucket to hand. SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:26, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I think you might want to stay away from Metapedia at work, if only on the off chance someone catches you reading it. They aren't quite the kind of people with whom you want to be associated (not that CP is either, but Metapedia's a few obvious steps further). I'm all for the boycott, but I have a question. I know the boycott can't be enforced (and I'm not asking it to be), but are certain "operations" still in effect? Won't that kinda negate the effects of the boycott? Or is the boycott more of a "mental cleansing" exercise for RW? Why am I asking so many questions? Is something wrong with me? --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 09:46, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
(undent, reply to Arcan)
It's more mental cleansing that 100% boycott. I think the usual understanding was that those who sock will keep up the socking (though it would be hilarious if all non-sysops on CP suddenly stopped doing ANYTHING for a full week), but that the rest will try to stay away from Andy's madness as much as possible. We let WIGO rest and basically don't link each other to CP. It's kinda like looking for Easter eggs - the moment we get back to CP, we try to find out just how many new insane claims and absurdities we can find. ;) --Sid 10:37, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I've managed to hang on all the way through some boycotts. It's hard at times because some people go there and the next thing you know they are discussing something really funny on the forum or in IRC. But, you know, it's still there when the boycott is over. As far as metapedia - don't go there at work. It may not have offensive images, but some of the text is -- most importantly, the odds are your browser records are permanent and your employer owns them. It's one thing to say to a co-worker/boss "look at this crazy Nazi crap" in real time, but if someone is reviewing browser records in a month, you won't be there to explain why you visited the place. Do it at home. ħψAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 13:27, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

American fundies

John Hagee, John McCain's friend and supporter, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis worked on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. Rational Edthink! 09:23, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Wash your towels!

I don't know if anyone here "celebrates" it, but this is just a reminder that Towel Day is fast approaching. A nice tribute to the man who gave us choice quotes like these:

  • "He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."
  • "There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
  • "You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

--Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 10:27, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

A few RL friends and I are going to celebrate it. :D Barikada 16:23, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
This "holiday" sounds like an excuse for atheistic liberals to use their liberal towels. DickTurpis 16:33, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

A SERIOUS problem with Google ads - maybe PalMD can comment....

So today I got an ad here for a product/procedure called Ablatherm which looks like some sort of prostate cancer woo. Is this a legit medical procedure or people looking to make money of off desperate, sick men? If it's the latter, do we need to re-evaluate what we're doing with the ads? PFoster 11:46, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

I seem to remember a suggestion that ads like that were ripe for RW article and research - de-wooification, as it were. Rational Edthink! 12:09, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Is there a physicist in the house?

I found out about null physics in, of all places, an advertisement in Scientific American. I don't know that much about physics, but my bullshit detectors are going off. Anyone know enough about this to render a verdict on it? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 13:01, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

"Null Physics is derived from the concept that our entire universe is the internal structure of nothingness. In other words, physical reality is an intricate, four-dimensional geometric equation that adds to zero because it exists within zero. There is no beginning or end to our universe because there is no beginning or end to nothingness. Reality is composed of space and curvatures of space (energy), both of which are composed of geometric points, which are the physical representation of nothingness. In short, there is no difference between a universe whose sum is zero and a universe that exists as a formulation of zero." I'm no physicist (sorry RA), but as far as I can see, this theory is either ridiculously complex or so simple it doesn't mean anything at all. It's a Chewbacca defense! ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 13:09, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't know the first thing about physics, either, but I note that the book is basically self-published and the 'reviews' are by a bunch of engineers and other non-scientists. Science: He's doing it wrong. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:12, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Just a glance & it looks a bit CUBIC to me - if you know what I mean - nudge , nudge, wink, wink. SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:14, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes! Exactly what I thought! Only without the random bigotry. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 13:16, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
What is the basic premise of Null Physics?
Null Physics is derived from the concept that our entire universe is the internal structure of nothingness. In other words, physical reality is an intricate, four-dimensional geometric equation that adds to zero because it exists within zero. There is no beginning or end to our universe because there is no beginning or end to nothingness. Reality is composed of space and curvatures of space (energy), both of which are composed of geometric points, which are the physical representation of nothingness. In short, there is no difference between a universe whose sum is zero and a universe that exists as a formulation of zero.
Meaning? Probably nothing. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:19, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I'll go read the article (I am not a physicist, but I've taken a bunch of it and am a fan ;)), but the opening two sentences "make sense" in a way. Think of the big bang - everything we know and see might have arisen from a "nothing" - a "zero", if you will. With all the matter flying apart in all directions, it's now hard to see how the total sum of the momentum of the universe could be zero. Look up Hawking radiation to see how even now, particle pairs can form (and usually self-destruct virtually instantaneously) out of absolutely nothing, and during their brief existence, the sum of all their energies, momenta, etc. is zero. ħψAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 13:23, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Sounds like Zen to me. Rational Edthink! 13:26, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
If the sum of all energy were zero, wouldn't that mean we were at the heat death of the universe or something? (Going from 12 year old hazy high school memories here.) --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:31, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Zen and the art of universe creation! - I like it! SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:32, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
@AKj, no. Imagine if all there was were two objects of equal mass and opposite charge, speeding away from each other (ie, with opposite velocity). The net energy, charge, and momentum are all zero. Now, if they consisted of antiparticles relative to each other, the total "everything" of the system would be zero. However, in our universe, in the first few minutes, it is thought that almost all of what the bang produced annihilated with itself (much as those two anti-objects would if they encountered each other), but some changed enough to survive as our remaining universe, which is mostly matter with very little, if any, antimatter. ħψAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 14:09, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
I will say this, at least the book in question was proofread well, unlike some other "paradigm-shifting" self-published work I have seen... ħψAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 14:13, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

(undent) I thought it was phony, too, and I didn't even bother to read the summarization. What set off my crackpot alarms was that none of the "reviewers" were physicists (a biologist and a political analyst were cited towards the top, and they basically said it was easy to read). What was most shocking to me was that I've seen this advertised in seemingly every issue of Scientific American I've received (and Smithsonian I think), and I thought they would be more discriminating in who they let advertise. Also, I think the ad has its audience wrong—SciAm's readership are the last people who would be taken in by that level of crap. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:16, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Oh, you mean discriminating in the way RW is regarding how we support ourselves? You do what you can... Rational Edthink! 14:36, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

(undent) There's not enough detail in the excerpts to refute properly (especially when they consist of a couple of equations part-way through a derivation which reference equations elsewhere in the book that we can't see), but the first equation I came to - equation 2.19 - is nonsense. And FWIW, I am a physicist. Alt 09:18, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Hallelujah! We do have a physicist in the house! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:53, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
I've been doing some digging around... they didn't like him much at JREF, but that figures. He really should have "published" his work as a series of papers, even if not peer-reviewed. As it is, to "discuss" his hypothesis with him, you have to buy his sixty dollar book. Also, at his web site it says: " Terence has recently accepted the faculty position of Visiting Scientist at the Florida Institute of Technology, a school known for its exemplary astrophysics program. In his capacity as Visiting Scientist, to commence in January 2008, he will lecture on many of the concepts presented in Our Undiscovered Universe and pursue his Null Physics research." I have been browsing the FL Tech website - they don;t have an astrophysics department that I can find - ah, they do have a Department of Physics and Space Science in the Science UG college. There was no apparent Grad. degree program... ah, there also it is called Physics and Space Science. It is one of their larger faculties. I searched for our Mr. Witt on their site and got no hits, though. Well, if he is a crank, it won't be long before Big Science exposes him. If he's "right", it could take decades to work out, of course. ħψɱAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 15:56, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Wiki e-mail problems

I just realised my Metapedia e-mail problems are happening here at Rationalwiki as well (I can't receive confirmation e-mail, e-mails others send me from my userpage or copies of e-mails I send to others), I've already checked the junk boxes and used both gmail and hotmail, so... can i haz fix? Jigsaw 17:38, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

I've had that problem at MP as well, and I found it impossible to get RW to recognise my main email address as well -- I eventually had to get a brand new one, which it recognised very quickly. Are wikis known to be temporamental about this kind of thing? ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 17:41, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
What e-mail service did you use to get it to work? I've already tried to confirm multiple addresses to no avail. Jigsaw 17:50, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Just a basic hotmail account, really. Nothing special. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 17:52, 22 May 2008 (EDT)
Boo hoo, not working. Well, maybe I can still get a deep cover sock over there. Jigsaw 14:10, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Jack Thompson, criminal

For all you rational video-gamers out there, Jack Thompson has been found guilty of 27 misconduct charges. [1] An incredible day in video game history, and a huge win for normal, sane people everywhere. ThunderkatzHo! 21:19, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Joyous occasion indeed, but I think I don't quite understand the process (different sites seem to be trumpeting the news under different headlines). In some places, it says he was "found guilty" whereas in other places it says the judge "made... recommendations of guilt [emphasis mine]" [2]. I'm guessing things are done differently because it's a "Bar trial," but I have no idea. At the very least, the FL Supreme Court has to rule on the issue. I wonder if ol' Jack will have a chance to submit more porn to the court? --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 09:25, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Not sure, but maybe because it's a jury trial? So the judge would make a recommendation to the jury, but they make the final verdict? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:19, 23 May 2008 (EDT)


It looks like Schlafly may soon appear on Not the Wikipedia Weekly. We may want to start sending someone to the Skypecasts. This tip has been brought to you by the letter P.

Also, sorry I won't be around much lately... I'm a working man again :-D . But visit my blog!!!! -caius (orator) 22:08, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

Uh, link your blog, if you want us to up your hit counts! ħψɱAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 00:08, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Where's the tidbit re: WP:NTWW? All I did was search for schlafly at the link, that didn't help me none. ħψɱAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 14:17, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Homophobic vandalsim

Hi. At Liberapedia a few days back, a homophobic came over and redirected "Gay" to "Andrew Schlafly"[3], and I suspect the IP address may have came from here, because you like to redirect pointless things to "Andrew Schlafly".

Homophobia is not tolerated at Liberapedia, and if anybody does this again they will receive a good block.

Really, how can one hate homosexuals in such a disgusting way? This is almost up there with the well known Westboro baptist church! I should report you for committing a hate crime!!!

Liberapedia admin Elassint

That's childish, not homophobic. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 20:17, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Are you being... somewhat self-deprecating? Ironic? Satirical?
Or is the internet really srs bsns. UchihaKATON! 21:04, 23 May 2008 (EDT) OH. Haha, I get it now, I think. UchihaKATON! 21:06, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
I might be wrong, but I could have sworn I saw a light coming on don't think he's joking. He really did caution an IP address about that redirect. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 21:16, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Nah, I still think he's kidding. NightFlareSpeak, mortal 21:22, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Nightflare, you're clueless. Elassint has consquences, and you'd have to ignore logic to disagree. --Aschlafly 21:27, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
No, Aschlafly. Its YOU who is clueless, I'm not going to let you destroy our freedom of speech that military men like me who sworn to protect the constitution have fought for by subverting our Biblical values with your insultive liberal attittude. Karajou
Excellent! I love how Karajou begins every rant with a bizarre and illogical reversal of his opponent's argument: "No, JesusGay, it is YOU who is trying to censor our conservative viewpoint and who can phrase that question in a more civil way. [Insert tough threat here]." ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 21:42, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
(edit conflict) But what does he want from us? I did initiate the mass redirecting to Andrew Schlafly, but I don't edit Liberapedia. I can count on one hand the number of times I've so much as visited them. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:24, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

So it was YOU who started that program! Well, I really don't like it, I think its silly and childish. -- Elassint Hi! ^_^ 23:14, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Elassint just comes here to complain randomly every now and then. I don't know why. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 21:28, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, at least try not to whine. --Ryan 00:09, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

This is all ridiculous. Everyone knows "Gay" should redirect to Ken DeMyer. --Kels 22:16, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

"I suspect the IP address may have came from here"??? WTF? RW doesn't have IP addresses per se. It's a web site. So why not just tell us what the IP address was? Oh, and they are "homophobes", not "homophobics", although I can see some language logic in that construction. And, yes, equating gays with teh assfly is certainly disrespectful of teh gayness. ħψɱAnarchy dd00dd.pngUser talk:Human 23:31, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
I have an IP address. I shall immediately investigate whether it has been out wandalizing wikis without my permission recently. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:10, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
Also, are you implying that gays are "pointless things"? ThunderkatzHo! 19:12, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
Anyone notice that after his idiotville "threat and challenge" crap, Elassint has not returned to this empty "conversation"? ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 00:06, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

Crackpots for office!

To my horror, I discovered that one of the candidates running for U.S. Senator in my state is a crackpot: Pavel Goberman.

At first it was the cringeworthy grammar—you wouldn't believe how crappily he wrote his own profile in the state-issued voter's pamphlet and the LWV election guide. And then I found the mother lode—it's the Time Cube of campaign websites! But wait, there's more! He makes a living hawking his fitness program—via the Time Cube of health hucksterism! I don't know whether to be reassured or frightened that he won only 11,600 votes. On the one hand, that's barely over 2% of the Democratic vote. On the hand, 11,600 people were sufficiently impressed with his hackery to vote for him. Ah, democracy. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:32, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Update: He also sends hate mail. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:35, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

You dare edit conflict me? Anyway, you're right:

I have a plan to win a war in Iraq in 2-4 months without loss of our troopers

and bring them home. I am above god because I have cubed the sphere.

~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 20:39, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

LOL! Elassint

He's lovely! (71 years old: therefore born in 36/37 fought in WW2 - aged 9 @ most?) Can I haz him for my nutter collection? SusanG  ContribsTalk 20:49, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
He's yours. Just don't let him out of the attic. And no feeding him after midnight! : ) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:14, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
There's nothing wrong with being old and running for office. Why, I can remember back when humans and dinosaurs coexisted on the planet. John McCain 22:21, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Quotable crackpots!

In the former USSR the Communist Party, KGB and the media said that political opponents are mentally ill and put them in mental institutions, gave some a deadly shot and they really became mentally ill. Here in the USA during Virginia Tech killing the gunman gave a message to TV station saying that "You pushed me to do it", but the media does not say all truth and made him mentally sick. —Pavel Goberman [4]

I'm at a complete loss. How did he transition from political opponents in the USSR to the Virginia Tech massacre? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:01, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

I guess the "conspiracy theory" is that the powers-that-be picked an unstable student, drugged him, and perpetrated the results? WTF, I dunno. Why didn't you put this in your baby, the clogosphere article? Are you stretching your talents too thinly? ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 23:07, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
I know which side my bread is buttered on, but I have only half a loaf. I will never run out of butter! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:20, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
How are your fishes doing? ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 23:22, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
Wanda is doing fine, thank you. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:26, 24 May 2008 (EDT)
Omigod, she is so hot. Other than the yogurt-makes-me-poop commercials. Wow, what a way to turn a young man off a cougar! ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 00:05, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
You lost me. I thought we were talking about horses? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:13, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Fish. Named Wanda. You brought it up, you pervert. ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 00:15, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
Why am I the pervert in this conversation? Aren't you the one who said that teh womenz loved you? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:48, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

The downside of science

Check out these awesome papers from the Annals of Improbable Research:

--Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:24, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

Also this: Mankiw’s Ten Principles of Economics, Translated. Plus, science demonstrates that Kansas Is Flatter Than a Pancake God, I could read this stuff for days. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:31, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

Help finding article?

Ages ago I was working on something that required an example of a "circular" series of preferences, and I had come up with some awful car-buying thing that really failed the requirement. I haz me a bettah example, but can't for the life of me remember what the article was. before I try some godawful search techniques, does anyone remember what I am babbling on about? ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 21:00, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

Hast thou drink taken O Human one? For verily thy utterance carries no meaning to me. (Wtf.gif) SusanG  ContribsTalk 21:07, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
(Damn edit conflict) I can't find it either. Was this pre-me? Anywho, if I were you, I'd go through your own watchlist and fish it out. Failing that, go through your contributions. (Though, for someone with as many edits as you, either of those options may prove daunting : ) ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:08, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
I think it was late last summer/early autumn. I was just hoping that whoever I was discussing it with at the time might remember, if they saw this note. And, yes, RA, those are cumbersome options. My watchlist is like half the site (I think), and wading through 21k edits could get old fast. I'm hoping to remember a phrase eventually and google it, but it's a faint hope. @Susan, I know what I wrote looks like gibberish unless you are the person I am hoping can help ;). Using the word "article" somewhere in there (as in "article on RW") might have made it seem slightly less mudclear. ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 22:18, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
If you could explain further what you mean by "circular series of preferences," or any of those words (except "of") in more depth, we might be better equipped to help you. Though from the sound of things, that might be what you are trying to figure out. ThunderkatzHo! 22:24, 25 May 2008 (EDT) P.S. I've got $5 saying that you forget what your new argument is the moment you remember where it's supposed to go.
I want in on that! And a tomato is definitely a vegetable. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!Sleepy Jack the fire drill 22:34, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
He probably means something like the Wazzock → Numpty → Wazzock → etc ; in dyslexicon SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:30, 25 May 2008 (EDT)
No @Susan, I didn't mean that. It was "A is better than B", "B is better than C", "C is better than A". Tomatoes and hammers shall agree, the recipe for vegetables is tastier than that for fruit! (PS, is the hammer a vegetable or a fruit?) You folks know that all bet proceeds have to be donated to RW, right? And, I will remember for the rest of my sort-of conscious life what it was I wanted to add to the "mystery article". PSS, um, thank for the fish, but now it smells in here. ħψɱɐUser talk:Human 00:51, 26 May 2008 (EDT)

Yo tengo un pregunta

Why does it matter what they believe? Why do you guys like to vandalize their pages because they don't do it to you guys? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Uh... ¿nos preguntas? ¿O preguntas a CP? Tu pregunta no es clara. Ayudanos contestarte. ThunderkatzHo! 13:28, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
I can only answer for myself, of course, but: I don't vandalise their pages (...and I assume we're talking about CP here) and neither do most of the regulars around here. Some of us may go over there to try to argue with them, but I think for the most part vandalism isn't something we engage in. (Thta being said, it could be that some of the higher-ups here who like to pretend that there isn't a hierarchy on this blog may engage in things that lower-downs like myself know nothing about. Like I said, I can only speak for me...)Your more important pregunta, "why does in matter what they believe?" Well, again speaking for myself, I'm a politically-oriented kind of guy, and the discourses that come out of CP have political consequences that i think need to be exposed and engaged with. If, like I do, you care about women's rights, racial equality, the environment and economic justice, you have to challenge the kinds of discourses that CP generates. The fact that they use a thin veneer of religious justification for their political agenda is particularly troubling, as is the fact that they paint themselves as a persecuted group because people don't want prayer in school or the teaching of religious myth as science. I'm not a scientist, but I can see how that would trouble a scientist. All that being said, after TerryH's performance last night--saying that the murder of that actor was somehow a manifestation of African culture--I'm questioning whether I want to read about CPs arguments anymore: that comment was no better than the stuff you see on Metapedia: Aschlafly should really consider the consequences of associating his homeschool program to a web project that has administrators who espouse those sorts of ideas - that statement went too far, was beyond the pale and was incredibly troubling to me...PFoster 13:31, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
And far as the Schlafly Regime is concerned, posting true, verifiable, referenced facts that happen to fail to make Liberals look bad is "vandalism". They deserve all of that they can get. --Gulik 13:43, 26 May 2008 (EDT)
(Edit: Removed redundancy.)
Why does it matter? Mainly, it matters because they teach the information you see posted on Conservapedia to children. Just one example - the pregnancy article, which suggests that pregnancy is something that simply 'happens' to women, and is unconnected to sexual intercourse. And the debate that surrounded that article, which suggested that human reproduction was "gross" and "disgusting". While bozo adults are entitled to feel this way, children cannot be allowed to grow up feeling ashamed of their bodies and ignorant of their reproductive systems. DogP 11:26, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Conservapedia, while it is mainly a "family friendly reference," is also a giant growing propaganda organization, evidenced in their Homosexuality, Atheism, Ex-homosexuals, CE, etc. politically charged articles. These articles constitute a system of conservative propaganda "aimed specifically at high schoolers." Much of the goal of RationalWiki is to hinder the propaganda, as more and more people find out about CP. Lyra § talk 15:18, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Is this RationalWiki?

Or is this AtheistWiki? Or LiberalWiki?

I ask not due to any specific occurrence but to a seemingly (to my eyes) general view on here that Christian and/or conservative views are not favoured.

Why? Is rationality mutually exclusive to both Christianity and conservatism?

No, it isn't. While some of both may well be irrational, most of it isn't. Or rather, most adherents to either aren't irrational. And liberal atheists have no monopoly on rationality either.

So come on, please, no more denigrating posts on here tarring all conservatives and Christians with the brush of their extreme cousins. If this site wants to champion rationality, then it must learn to differentiate between mainstream and wacko. Aligning ourselves overtly with the Democrats (or non-US equivalents), for example, automatically alienates half the electorate. That's just poor marketing.

Just a thought. Ajkgordon 07:30, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Well, yes, rationality and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Sure, you can be otherwise rational - as well as you can believe to fairies and be otherwise rational. This is the view of some RW users, a view I don't agree with. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 07:42, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Addendum: I have been away from RW for a long time, but a few weeks (months?) ago there was discussion of reviewing RW's purpose and guidelines. Your question was on the list too. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 07:44, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
How are Christianity and rationality mutually exclusive? There is nothing in mainstream (let's say Roman Catholic and Anglican) Christianity that precludes any of its adherents being rational. Sure, they might not be rational about some of their beliefs, although many are, but they can be rational about everything else as witnessed by the large number of scientists who are Christians.
Excluding Christians from here is no better than Aschlafly dismissing your views on, say, gun control because you don't support classroom prayer. Ajkgordon 07:51, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, believing to what an old book says is silly and really is not rational. Again, not my view, but ask Genghis Khant for example. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 07:55, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, this is a cultural struggle that has been going on here practically since the beginnings of RW. Personally, I've more or less stopped fighting it, because I know I'm not going to get anywhere with it and because I frankly can't be bothered to keep it up. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:05, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I think you need to re-evaluate your view of mainstream Christianity. You seem to be judging it on a very narrow view of Christian fundamentalists rather than the majority of Christians who neither try to infuse everything they do with Christianity (their work, their politics, their education) nor do they take the bible literally. Something about "science for knowledge, faith for meaning". So while you might not agree with the principle of NOMA, it does allow for faith and reason to co-exist.
But this is moving away from my original questions. Are you replying by agreeing that Christians (or other religious people) are not welcome here? That a Christian's views on the subject of rationality are of no or little value? Ajkgordon 08:08, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Akjeldsen is on your side. I haven't understood yet if he is a practicing Catholic or Christian, but he has a better knowledge of the history of Christianity/Catholicism than anybody else here. Regardless of his being religious or not, he is (one of) the most rational people here. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 08:12, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I responding to you, as per the indent. Sorry if I got the convention wrong. I might do it again! Ajkgordon 08:14, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm on your side too! Regardless of my faith or lack of, I see no contradiction between being rational and religious, as I don't see between religion and science. But some here have a much more "militant atheist" view. Go read the bottom of my User Page for a couple of quotes. (Editor at) CP:no intelligence allowed 08:17, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Oh, OK! (I think). Ajkgordon 08:20, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Shouldn't give up, AKjeldsen. It's important. Reason should not shy away from challenges. There are places where reason can give no answers, no comfort, no meaning. But it should always be on hand. Denying its place because it conflicts with religion is dim. Reason should welcome religion (and indeed does) and work together to push back the hordes of the irrational, the fundamentalists who threaten our very future. Ajkgordon 08:14, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I agree, but when one continues to see essentially the same prejudices and misconceptions appear over and over again, one is more inclined to spend one's precious time on other pursuits, so to say. Also, I think another fundamental issue (issue as in: problem) is that while RationalWiki was originally, at least as I remember it, conceived as a forum for discussion and dialogue. This is even mentioned in the mission statement. However, in practice, the dominating focus in at least some parts around here is clearly on the assertion of a particular world-view rather than discussion. I think as a minimum, a dialogue requires the different parties to maintain a certain open-mindedness towards their opponents' points of view, and this seems to be lacking around here. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:56, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
But there's a lot more of us than there used to be, AK. If any wiki can shake off misconceptions like this, it's RW. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!Sleepy Jack the fire drill 09:06, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Yeah. A case in point might be Susan's repeated claims that religion is a mental disease (or whatever she says). (Hi Susan :) This is where a) fundamentalism is not being sufficiently recognised as separate from mainstream and b) it is not rational to make that statement and is in direct conflict with the name of this site. Ajkgordon 09:13, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Watching this has led me to a question. I, for one, wouldn't care if a view came from Christianity, atheism, liberalism, or conservatism if it is rational. However, my question is whether there is an example of rational view that is exclusive to Christianity or conservatism? --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 08:40, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Surely anyone can be considered to be rational if they are prepared to question their views (often long held) and be prepared to change them if presented with irrefutible evidence that they are wrong. Scientists do this all the time. I would opine that many Christians do this less well, but most are at least open to discussion. Fundamentalists in any religion can never be rational by our definition. My 1p (at current exchange rate) Bondurant 08:48, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm afraid I don't really understand the question, Edge. Could you elaborate a bit on it? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:56, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I guess what I might be getting at is why does a view, if it is rational, need a descriptor? Why does it matter that you come to view poverty or hunger (as examples) as things that should be eliminated because of your Christian, conservative, liberal, etc. views? Also, I feel that your complaints about RationalWiki not welcoming Christian and/or conservative viewpoints is due to our trouncing of those views at every opportunity. That is fair enough. We do that a little overzealously. But, I'm curious to hear of an example of a Christian or conservative view that was trounced despite being rational. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 09:24, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
You trounce extreme conservative and Christian viewpoints. You may present a good argument as to why Obama might be better than McCain and you might get a lot of agreement for that view. But that doesn't "trounce" all reasonable people who support McCain. It's a PoV, nothing more.
What about Christians who support Obama? Or Conservative atheists? Is Christopher Hitchens irrational because he supports the Iraq campaign? Does that mean that his atheism is also irrational? Or his choice of cream suits? (Well, OK, I'll concede that last one :)
Of course not.
It is irrational to dismiss Christian views and conservative views simply because they are Christian views or conservative views. Reason should have no label. It's defined by itself irrespective of its source. Ajkgordon 09:33, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

As my name was dragged into this I feel I should offer some comment. I have also questioned the name "RationalWiki" in the past, as unlike Akgordon I felt there were too many religious apologetics and that there was a general alignment for the political left. (See RationalWiki:Moral_Matrix).

I have a problem reconciling religious belief in the form of adherence to the tenets of organised religion which were created centuries (if not millennia) ago with being rational. Despite asking for some explanation from the apologists I have seen nothing to persuade me that most religious belief is irrational. Now I fully accept that most of us are irrational to some degree and recognising our own irrationality is a crucial step to self-awareness. I also appreciate that many religious people are good and noble, and that following the general message of Jesus (for instance) to love and help one another, not wage war, take care of children etc. may generally be considered to be a good thing. However, I consider that belief in a personal interventionist deity, adherence to many of the mores of the Old Testament, credence of a 6000 year-old earth, global floods or mutiple supernatural miracles to be irrational. I know that many religious adherents eschew a lot of these things, but this calls into question the rationality of proclaiming adherence to a particular religion. Just exactly what do people believe and how much of their religion is pick-and-mix? I presume that many people accept what they feel comfortable with but this is often done emotionally rather than rationally.

Now some people here confine their criticism of irrationality to scientific/medical woo so as not to offend the religious but many people have deeply held beliefs about these matters as well. Unfortunately we cannot and do not seek to offend no-one, so the question is whom and how much?

I agree that it becomes much more difficult to be rational when it comes to politics, as often ideas from either side of the political spectrum may have validity. In fact most people tend to be irrational about politics and may well change their mind about issues according to their own absolute or even relative circumstances. Personally I think that what works economically (in the broader sense) is often the best course.

I wrote an article here about the Abimelech Society which created some controversy about book-burning. While not advocating the practice myself, I played devil's advocate and suggested that it could be a rational thing to do. There was (to my mind) an irrational response that all book-burning is bad. While I can appreciate the historical aspects where book-burning was often an attempt to suppress dissent or repress knowledge, there are now so many books printed in the world which are then pulped or are available in other forms, that burning or using for insulation could be considered rational. Even the definition of a book needs to be addressed as significant ideas may be presented as a pamphlet or even hand-bill and be more deserving of preservation than say the latest Dan Brown novel.

I still don't know whether RationalWiki is the correct name - there are just some things we can't sort out here. But if you have a rational POV then please join the debate and explain why. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 10:08, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

I'm with AJKG on this - I've simply known too many smart, wise, open-hearted and open-minded religious believers to be able in good conscience to dismiss religion out of hand--and I very often get frustrated when some people here insist in lumping all religious belief together, as though Assfly represented the sum total of what religion is and can be. That's not only irrational, it's pig-headed and stupid.PFoster 10:12, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Regarding "pick-and-mix": Sometimes it seems almost as if there is a sort of unholy tacit alliance between the strong atheists and the fundamentalists to agree that you have to accept the whole package, creationism and inerrancy and all, in order to call yourself a true believer; and that those who do not are somehow motivated by convenience or lack of belief or whatever. I can only say that I for one refuse to let my own standards of belief be defined by what some people on the fringe on Christianity believe. The whole thing seems more or less equal to saying that the standard of communism should be defined by the Rote Armee Fraktion, and that you're not really a true communist unless you're willing to run out and blow up some warehouses. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 10:28, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Genghis, you're missing the point. Many Christians will admit that the premise for their religious belief is irrational but reconcile it with their rational beliefs anyway. Look at devoutly Christian scientists. I know I've mentioned him before, but how about the discoverer of the Big Bang? His theory was (if I remember correctly) criticised by many (perhaps intolerantly) because he was a priest and was looking for the Creation event. While that may well have been a motivation, his discovery and collaborative work on the theory were purely rational.
There is a huge body of rational Christianity - actually the majority of it. It isn't unreasonable, it isn't "woo", and it isn't fundamentalist. While you think that the tenets of their faith may be irrational, that doesn't mean that they are and it confuses the battle we're trying to fight. Or at least what I thought we were trying to fight. Ajkgordon 10:32, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
OK, two points here. AJKG: firstly I don't subscribe to the view that believers suffer from mental illness. As I said, most of us are irrational to some degree and about different things and yes sometimes even the dumbest can come up with a smart idea while the smartest can also come up with something really dumb. I know and admit full well that many smart scientists are practising Christians (as well as other religions). I know that much of Christianity isn't woo. I only mentioned woo because I was trying to address the whole issue of rationality on this site. If one accepts that you are being irrational about something then perhaps it is better to let criticisms of that irrationality pass you by rather than get upset about it. Yes there is a large body of Christians who are perfectly rational. Many of these people have been well educated and thought through their beliefs but still hold on to them. However, there are millions, mostly poor and uneducated, who are indoctrinated by the same churches and are subject to blatant superstition and woo. I certainly don't hold that most religious people are fundamentalists; thankfully education and knowledge has generally diluted the threat of that although circumstances could change. And I also recognise that many scientific pioneers were religious people, often because they were the ones that were able to receive a proper education in the first place, so I don't belittle their contribution to progress.
AKj: I am not asking you to compromise your faith, nor insisting that you hold any specific beliefs to be a "true believer". You are a true believer in what you believe. I just wonder what you consider yourself to be a true believer of and at what point you become a "generic Christian" rather than say a Roman Catholic. If there weren't different tenets then we would only have one Christian church rather than dozens if not hundreds of denominations. It's rather like my wife's cooking, her spaghetti bolognaise made with linguini and a meatless sauce may be delicious (pass the Tabasco) but it is no longer spaghetti bolognaise. However, if you were to feel personally affronted with criticism of the Catholic Church when you don't really accept all of their doctrine in the first place, I might ask why. Are you a believer in a the doctrine of a particular church or do you choose the church based on their doctrine, as some prominent Anglicans have done when faced with the issue of women in the clergy. Jollyfish.gifGenghisunbelieving 11:37, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
You're not alone here. My father, an engineer and one of the wisest men I've ever had the privilege to know, has a deep and passionate interest in science, engineering and logical thinking. Yet he is a lifelong man of the church, including being a lay preacher for a period of his life. I grew up watching him preach a sermon on Sunday morning, then later have a long discussion with me about the Cambrian and Ordovician fossils we would find. He never saw any conflict in the two - he ascribed science to rational thinking, and faith to, well, Faith - "To accept Faith, all you have to do is simply accept it". You could not meet a more logical, rational, thinking or moral person, yet there were certain areas of his mind in which Faith held the balance of power. He understood, and more importantly, accepted the apparent illogicality of this. So I personally know that while it makes no rational sense, in the end it is perfectly possible to both have faith and hold fast to the tenets of science. And in the end, despite my father's gentle spirtuality, none of it rubbed off on me, and he accepts that too, without regret. I don't enjoy the religion-bashing I see here sometimes, as I know that it has brought comfort to many, though I do feel that religion has brought little of use to our species. However, there is one thing that's hard to deny - "love of God", whatever that has meant around the planet, has very often wrought the greatest works of Art in history, and that, I find interesting. DogP 11:46, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

AKj makes a good point about the "pick-and-mix". I (the strong atheist) have said before that I agree with fundamentalists that you have to except all or nothing. If not, the problem seems to then become: how much do you need to believe to still be a Christian? Where is the dividing line between what is and is not to be accepted? It all seems to tred awfully close to the god of the gaps. I don't see any problems with accepting some things on faith as a personal choice. However, if you don't accept it all, I tend to start seeing it as less religion and more like a 'philosophy for living'. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 13:27, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

That line of thinking would seem to require precisely defining what set of beliefs constitute "true" Christianity. I think that task would prove rather arduous--and that's before you start talking about whether high church or low church is "correct"!--Bayesyikes 14:38, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
There's a very simple way to do it: Ask God directly. Whichever scriptures He illumines in an aura of unconsuming fire are the ones that must be obeyed ablosutely and literally. :) --Gulik 15:27, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Fascinating discussion. I agree mostly with what DP said above. Trying to answer the original question... obviously there is a general trend for most RW editors to be liberal, and we are certainly "overrepresented" with agnostics/atheists of many stripes. However, I don't see such a hegemonic antipathy to "conservatism", as much as mockery of certain extremist positions taken by some self-styled conservatives. Whenever someone makes a "conservative X" article in the mainspace, I try to balance it with a "liberal X" article. Note we have criticism on here of, say, Al Franken and his tax problems, and that Randi Rhodes accident incident. I think the real test will come if the Dems get the White House - will we ream them for irrationality when they display it? On to religion... there are a huge range of perspectives on religion here, from, as you point out, Susan's short, cutting put-downs, to articles exploring (and usually attacking) religious stories that some or many find irrational (the flood, the virgin birth...). These largely are about Christianity, because it's what we know better, most of us having lived in the "Christian" West all our lives. Also, some here do conflate the versions of conservatism and Christianity exemplified by Conservapedia, sometimes by accident, I think (it's hard to add the paragraph of disclaimers every time someone is tempted to write "these Christians sure are stupid!" when they mean a specific group of them. But it should be done). Getting back to my lack of "seeing" hegemonic antipathy to either, well, I also have to admit to my own perspective being biased due to what I think/feel/believe etc. And part of that perspective is seeing American politicians who are far to the right of me (Clinton, Obama, etc etc) being labelled as "ultra-leftist" and such by the right wing noise machine. Does that noise machine represent all "conservatives"? Not the ones who disagree with such labels, I guess, but who and where are they?
There is also a worldwide disgust at what teh US has been doing for about 6 years, "in the name of" the two C's. Do we tar and feather every decent Christian or every reasonable conservative with responsibility for this? Again, no - if they are speaking out against it. When the Pope calls for more aid to the poor, or and end to a war, I admire him. When he calls for an end to birth control, well, I don't so much. I guess I'd better sum up a bit... Yes, RW is loaded with more leftism and more unbelievism than rightism and believism. But we don't march in lock-step. We just look that way sometimes ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 15:42, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Thats not gonna work. Poseidon keeps putting out the fire that Pelle starts on my copy of The God Delusion. --Shagie 15:44, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I suspect that's part of the reason monotheism caught on; divine conflicts of interest are so ugly. --Gulik 15:52, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Related to Human's riff above, I would ask of Christians and conservatives the same question the two C's ask of Moslems: Where is your outrage at the excesses of your bretherens in "C"? Rational Edthink! 16:01, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
Not sure if it was a 'caught on' or 'kicked out'. And non-divine ones are not that clean either. <warning type="heretic or history"> Some scholars suggest that the early Hebrews were polytheistic (solves the issue of the Genesis stories referring to God in the plural - "let us make man in our image"). At the start, Elohim (one of the names of God in Hebrew) was the head god of the semitic pantheon. This eventually became monotheism as the priests of one of the gods said the others don't exist and you will have no other gods before me.[5] The Levities then killed the followers/priests of other gods in the pantheon (Exodus 32:27-28) leaving the people remaining monotheistic. Though in later books they once again returned to polytheism from time to time when away from the influence of monotheism, El was still there, just along with Baal and Asherah.</warning> --Shagie 16:23, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Trying to answer Edge's question above, I don't know if one can talk about a "true" Christianity at all, and even if one could, I wouldn't like to put myself up as a judge of who were and who were not one. However, to take a somewhat minimalist/"inclusionary" view, there is a certain core of beliefs that I think are necessary to properly be called a Christian - or at least, one would practise a very strange kind of Christianity without it. For instance, while I know that John 3:16 may be a bit suspect to many because it's the one reference the evangelicals always seem to pull out, it does pretty much synthesize the essence of what the whole thing is about: That Jesus is the Christ, son of God, and that belief in this fact, expressed through a conversion and/or baptism in some form, will lead to salvation. Further, we have the Sermon on the Mount, which outlines most of the central tenets and a standard of behaviour and system of ethics that are expected of the believers. That's more or less the core of Christianity, although individuals and diffferent denominations have disagreed drastically on what these things mean, both theologically and in practice, and will probably continue to do so.
I think the important thing to notice, however, is that all the operating words of this core stuff are spiritual in nature. 'Belief' and 'repentance' combined with a certain 'standard of behaviour' lead to 'salvation'. This at least leads me personally to believe that all those issues about creation and physical evidence and so forth is just neither very interesting nor relevant in the greater perspective.Or as my old idol Søren Kierkegaard put it, while it is indeed marvellous that God creates out of nothing, the much greater miracle is that He makes saints out of sinners.
So the central idea here is "believe in Christ and you'll be saved"; it's not "believe in the literal account of creation in Genesis and you'll be saved." As a matter of fact, I can't at the moment recall any of the Gospels even mentioning that subject at all.
Actually, he interesting thing is that the only people who really do seem to pay any attention to those things are the fundamentalists who possibly need the inerrancy to shore up their own beliefs or something, and the strong atheists who make a useful strawman out of it. The rest of us really just sort of stand out here on the sideline and look on with some puzzlement. Th unsure.gif --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:03, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
The question remains, why is believing in Christ the only way to be "saved". And what does "saved" mean? Not going to hell? Or living a good life? If the former, Christianity is a religion of cowards. If the latter, Christianity is only one of infinite ways to be a good person. Rational Edthink! 16:07, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Convenient edit button

See, here we're already getting into the area where people disagree. There is no clear answer to those questions, or rather, the answer will depend on who you ask. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:12, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Well thank you all for replying reasonably and rationally in this thread. Great stuff.

I think what I get out of this is that, while certain people here may condemn conservatives and Christians because of some nut story about one or the other or both, it is not intended to be a condemnation of the whole. (Although in certain cases it might be.) Rather it is often born of frustration at seeing lowest common denominator politics damning an entire belief system. Popular politics is a very blunt instrument but it is prevalent.

(Indeed, I think party-politicised religion is a sad, sad development. Not to say dangerous.)

What I would ask is that we are careful in making sweeping damning generalisations of mainstream trends just because some nutjob is taken to be representative of them. Conservatives and Christians (and other religious faiths) have a massive role to play in getting us through this human development bottleneck. We must work with them to sideline the extremes, to silence the vocal minority, to recapture the mainstream which is torn apart by fundamentalist polarisation. If ever anyone says "If you're not with us, you're against us", slap him upside the head.

Rational is the word. Nothing else comes close. Ajkgordon 16:21, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Yes, please don't let this thread become a discussion about how various religions can be justified or proven. That is not the point. The point is that religious people can be as rational as anyone else and to deny that flies in the face of blindingly obvious and of the hope of any progress against fundamentalism, as I hope we have demonstrated here. Ajkgordon 16:25, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
And along came the anti-christ.
I look on religion as a disease of humanity, much as influenza is a disease of humans, There are different strains, with different effects, but they're none of them very nice and should be cured as soon as possible to avoid weakening the body, some can be lethal and should be completely removed. The lethal variants are often mutations of otherwise fairly innoccuous forms. which should therefore be treated with the same suspicion and care as their more dangerous forms. SusanG  ContribsTalk 16:28, 28 May 2008 (EDT)