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the pursuit of oblivion

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  1. After previous rants about the christian summer camp the organisers are now back in schools telling bible stories to the kids every week! I am giving up on this. They obviously have some strong influence on Shetland education that I can't do anything about. Fair enough I admit I'm a non-believer and probably an anti-religionist but up until recently I have deliberately adopted a neutral position with my kids. I have tried hard not to exert any influence on their beliefs apart from providing as much information and resources as I can for them to build the knowledge to be able to form their own views when they are ready. There doesn't seem to be an answer to the christian religion they get thrown at them in school without creating a huge song and dance. Therefore I think the only way is to change my position and start presenting the counter view at home. At least this way I can balance the stuff they are getting in school. Disappointing, but I don't think I have a choice. Anybody suggest any good resources for young atheist thinking? Or what do other non-religious posters think? Should we shut up and let it wash over us or is it something requiring action?
  2. $1 million for anyone who can prove they work. No one successful so far. http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html maybe this is why ; http://www.williamfuld.com/
  3. I am already starting to lose the will here. However I guess you are alleging that because the old testament has the story of Adam and Eve then your god trumps all others. But the old testament was only written long after hundreds of other religions were in existence. So it can be quite clear that the authors felt it necessary to do some revisionist history. And I don't know how you can class ancient people as evil for having an alternate religion. What about native North Americans, such as apache, sioux, cheyenne . They can't surely be evil for not worshiping a god they had never heard about!"
  4. Well pool and paul b etc, here's your wish - a new thread especially for you. Paul B wrote ; Well I have to say that's a new one on me. So I can enter the celestial night club without believing in your god? I just don't get a seat in the vip area - that's reserved for you guys I assume. Any other new rules we should know about? ps. Paul B, no offence intended but why don't you write your posts in word and then do a spell check and copy and paste them back on to your reply. That way it would be easier for the rest of us to see what you are saying. It would also help you see how to spell properly. And honestly I am not being condescending, just trying to be helpful. It only takes 30 seconds.
  5. Last thread went a bit off topic. Hope this can reflect the debate that ensued. Pool wrote ; What makes you believe this to be true? And why are there so many other religions that predate christianity that also have virgin births, sons of god being born on earth, performing miracles and being ultimately prosecuted and resurrected etc.? Basically why is the jesus story so similar to the majority of other religions that were around at the time and before he was first written about? Do you think your God decided to make Jesus the same as all the other saviours that man had invented just so man would believe in him ? Or do you think it is just a massive coincidence that the story of Jesus parallels so many other religious heroes’ that were in circulation B.C.E?. See, to me it really looks as though man just made up the jesus story as well. There's no reason to believe anything else and that's why I think religions deserve no more respect than any other mythological beliefs.
  6. Pool wrote: I don't know whether you are on the wind up mate or whether you actually really believe this. If you do believe I guess it's the best riposte ever for those who go on about militant atheists etc. You really believe you are commanded to go around trying to get as many people as possible to follow your belief system and all that goes with it? And you've reached the position that your belief system is superior to very other viewpoint on the planet and therefore you will do anything you can to persuade people to join it. I guess that's what behind the camp. Perhaps I have been naive. This thread is opening my eyes more and more to what you guys are about! And some say atheists are arrogant! And eternal life? Have you ever really thought that through? The reason life has a point is because it has an end. Without any end then there's no point to anything. Eternal life seems torturous. Like groundhog day over and over and over.
  7. Well now were on the subject.... Paul B. Answer me this. If I am a good person, bring up my kids well, care about society, give to charity, care and love my parents, despair about the injustice in the world, despair about the plight and poverty of the third world , speak out against injustice, support amnesty international and abhor violence. If I do all these things and more and live my life on the principal of do unto others what you would have done to yourself, is your God going to send me and my family to some unimaginable place called hell that he has created for those that do not believe in him? Also take into account that if we take your premise that your god exists then he has given me and all other humans powers of reason, deduction, enquiry and intelligence. If your god then exists he has also given us the most flimsy, unbelievable, unrecorded, inconsistent version of his existence or his reason for being and the same goes for the record of his alleged son’s supposed time on earth. Therefore if we use the skills he has allegedly given us to dismiss the flimsiest of evidence for his and his alleged son’s existence, as we must do if we are to use them correctly, and he still sends us to hell for not believing in him, he must be the cruellest god humans could ever imagine. What would St Peter say when we arrived at the gates, - “Ah yes, you used all the gifts god gave you to correctly deduct that his existence was entirely illogical, well done, now off to hell to burn forever in excruciating pain, oh and take those smart ass kids of yours with you as wellâ€. On the other hand if we don't get sent to hell for not believing then everything christianity is built on especially the book it uses for its rules, falls down and there is absolutely no point believing in a god or gods. Either scenario the argument for god falls down. It is just not logical on any level you can imagine.
  8. Paul B wrote ; I would suggest the people at fault are those that produced misleading leaflets and came into the schools and persuaded the kids to attend the camp on false premise. Some of us who have no interest in christianity but want to be open-minded felt after hearing this pitch via our kids, that it might be a "soft" introduction to our children into this strange belief system. Especially with the severe peer pressure that this approach to recruitment to the camp caused! Unfortunately this was a mistake. We kind of assumed it was a christian thing not to tell lies. And we have absolutely no interest in debating your beliefs but when christians infringe on our rights by pushing to have themselves undemocratically parachuted on to education committees and then falsely persuading our kids to attend their indoctrination camps we feel compelled to defend ourselves. And then when we are forced into debate we like to do some research so we can speak with some knowledge. That's why when we have to we can easily come up with stuff like this; We have as much interest in debating christianity as we do in debating the tooth fairy. The religious debate from faith - they just believe because they do, regardless of evidence. Some of us like to base our opinions on the facts available. That's why there is no point in ever debating with a christian, muslim, jew, hindu, sikh, jehovahs witness, mormom.... ad infitum. All we ask is please keep your peculiar beliefs to yourselves and don't interfere with our lives or our kids.
  9. Yeh can see how this could go off track. But as long as posts are related to Nadine Dorries then fair enough to be on this thread I would say. She makes many false and mendacious statements on these subjects and the point of the thread was to debate how dishonest she is. In order to show her position is demonstratably false then it can be necessary to elaborate on why she is so weak on many of her arguments.
  10. I don't understand if you are contradicting yourself here. It seems strange for you say you had reams of complaints and then go on to say that no women would complain about an abortion process because it is shameful. But apart from that I really hope you have miss-represented yourself. It is extremely offensive to be told termination is shameful. It is a completely legal procedure open to all women in this country. Whether it is an unplanned pregnancy, rape or damaged foetus there is absolutely no shame in termination. It is a difficult and unpleasant process to go through but shame – no, that is wrong. Perhaps you could tell us the circumstances in which a woman should feel ashamed for having a termination. I find this an astonishing and frankly misogynistic statement to make; I am assuming you are a man. No woman I know could make a statement like that. Some sectors of society would like to sustain the stigma and shame that they try to attach to this process but this is usually for their own subjective moral reasons. Women have been trying to remove the shame element some try to attach to this procedure for years and your comments belong to a bygone generation. I was actually counselled in Shetland when I was sixteen after becoming pregnant with my older boyfriend. I wanted a baby marginally less than I wanted to have sex in the first place and admit fully my mistake. However I was neither emotionally, physically or financially capable of bringing up a child at that time so termination was completely the correct and unashamed procedure for me. Despite this I was "counselled" by my doctor, a senior member of a local church, that the foetus would have fingers and toes and was I really sure I wanted to proceed. I was then referred to a counsellor who turned out to be an avid member of the local Catholic Church. Needless to say what impartial advice I was given there. But I am thankful that I was strong enough to proceed regardless and am now a happy mother of a family I can attend to properly - with no shame at all. Now that would have been worthy of a complaint. Nevertheless my point on lack of complaints on the present counselling offered was made on the back of statements by senior members of the English medical profession. And again just to be clear, this is on complaints that the counselling received may have been in some way biased towards termination – this is the important point of reference to Nadine Dorries amendment. Noone is complaining they are being counselled to have terminations. Let's debate all you want but please try to think how your language comes across to women! Surprising as it may seem, some of us are quite strong enough to take serious and important decisions about our bodies without advice from men or being made to feel ashamed!
  11. Everyone to their own I guess but I think it's best to tell the truth to my kids and then we are speaking from the same page whenever we discuss drugs and they are never going to be able to turn around and say I told them nonsense. I want them to know that my advice and help was always true and accurate. That way I hope they will continue to turn to me and rely on me whatever issues they face. They will know my advice is consistent and honest. The amount of people mown down by people high on alcohol seems to massively outweigh deaths caused by cannabis/marijuana so I want my kids to be aware of the dangers and risks of all drugs, legal or not. With the governments current policy on drugs I don't trust them to do this job for me. There are only two main strains of marijuana - indica and sativa. The thing about skunk being some new drug is a myth. Skunk is basically a street name for grass. People now call nearly every type of grass skunk, well especially some sectors of the media. It is only growers mixing different types of strains to achieve different effects. The thc in the cannabis gives it its potency. It has increased by about 3 times since the 1960's. It really can't get much stronger without being unsmokeable. However up here the normal stuff has been that soapbar hash which is cut and mixed and is about as potent as Marlboro reds. Although with the advent of the dogs this has been pretty much superseded and replaced with heroin. I have many friends in Holland and the hash-smokers among them always only use stuff bought in the coffee shops called blonde. It is the mildest you can buy. They tell me it is only the tourists who come in and ask for the strong stuff. It must say something that in this country where it is criminalised then the main demand is for the stronger varieties yet in Holland where it is decriminalised the main demand is for the weaker strain. That is the war on drugs for you tho! However before the moderators place this on the drug thread I will make the point regarding Nadine Dorries. For her to come out with such an obviously ridiculous and factually incorrect statement then her credibility has to be in question. If she can be so wrong about such a simple thing as cannabis use how can she be taken seriously with all the statements she makes on abortion? She isn't just slightly wrong on cannabis; she is a million miles off the mark. I guess this is the analogy with parenting. If you tell the kids something so utterly wrong, no matter how well intentioned, once they find out the truth will they ever believe any other advice you give them?
  12. Unfortunately I have been involved in abortions, both here and in England. Presently you are offered unbiased counselling options and I've had access to this service. The counsellors are properly trained and approved by BMA. These counsellors are accessed through the abortion service or the NHS. These are not exclusively abortion counsellors. They are trained counsellors who provide support to people from all areas of society and the national health. Abortion counselling is only a small part of their work. What Dorries is proposing is that this should stop and counselling can only be provided independent of the abortion provider. As there is no nationwide counselling program sitting idle, waiting patiently for clients then this can only be through a multitude of disparate groups with no common policy. The counselling you get will not be independent it will be based on the whim of whatever “independent" local service you are passed on to. And off course as with most of Dorries's madcap ideas there is no proposal how to set up, control or monitor these "independent" counselling services. But regardless of that there doesn't seem to be any complaints from any user of the current system. No women currently having abortions are complaining about the counselling – none! So why try and change it unless there is an ulterior motive? Another important aspect that has been overlooked is that this entire motion suggests we all need counselling. Yes it is a very tough decision but for most of us we are able to think it through properly and arrive at a decision that suits our needs and circumstances ourselves. We request this procedure through responsible and legal means after having arrived at the decision with the full knowledge and facts of our situation. If we request it or are vulnerable or damaged in any way we are provided with high quality counselling and support services. What is the difficulty with this? I would suggest, although I may be wrong, that Dorries has never gone through this situation. She comes across as someone who doesn't speak from personal experience on the matter.
  13. This woman is amazing! She has to be an actress impersonating a politicion for one of those reality comedy movies. Some of the stuff she comes out with is completely bonkers. This was her on BBC radio 4 any questions recently ; Then here she is on sky news yesterday promoting her ammendment on abortions ; http://youtu.be/pPmswmgX2KI Most politcions embelish, or are economic with the truth but I don't think I can recall any politicion so full of self promotion and with so little grasp on fact and reality. She is hilarious, read her blog page if you wan't a laugh every day. http://blog.dorries.org/ I really hope Cameron gives her a job in the cabinet. Somehow I don't think it tho.
  14. Here are some laws that are still on the statute but not normally recognised; It is still technically illegal to eat mince pies on christmas day, unless off course you are trying for a baby. It is still legal for a pregnant woman to relieve herself anywhere she wants. It is a treasonable offence to stick a postage stamp on a letter upside down. Also illegal to be in charge of a cow when intoxicated. Police up here could really improve their conviction rates if they enforced this one. And it is a legal requiremernt to have 25% of a local authority education committee comprised of unelected people who must believe in fairy stories. Now which of these laws is our council choosing to enforce?
  15. What the hell's a militant atheist? That's a contradiction in terms. I have no beliefs on theism to be fundamental about! I just happen not to believe the things you tell me about your gods. It is impossible to militantly disbelieve. Use your own words instead of adopting hackneyed, flawed clichés! But this is also not so unusual; religions do seem to occupy a sanctified place in people minds that make some people very sensitive when they attract fair criticism. This thread is in response to initiatives to make 25% of the education committee comprise of unelected religious representatives. Now if we tried to have 25% unelected representatives on every democratic body in the country there would be national uproar and quite rightly so. Why had this come about? Because the churches and especially church of Scotland, have pushed for it. Therefore if they push for this very unreasonable and priveleged position then they deserve to be criticised, and in any case they should have some very powerful arguments to support this extraordinary situation and I for one would like to hear them. But this thread has been more critical of the process than the actual religion. Regarding the camp then that is an issue on this thread because the organisers were given special privilege to go into schools and persuade kids to attend. That is connection to religion in schools thread. Very few groups would get this direct access to young kids but christians do. So to have such special access they will naturally attract some scrutiny. The problem is not, as some say, that it is a christian camp so we should know what to expect. The problem is that there seems to have been a number of things that have gone on that are completely contrary to what the kids were told in school and what parents were led to expect. Even the website gives you a fluffy, warm impression of fun, games and activities and your granny reading you a few bible stories in the evening. If I was a kid I would sure want to go to something described like this instead of kicking about the front door for six weeks in the summer! See following: Because of their presentation to kids there is tremendous peer pressure amongst the kids to go. And contrary to MJ's views, many of us are tolerant and independent in our views anyway so this may seem a gentle way to give our kids some exposure to an alternative view. So many non religious people allowed their kids to attend - but on the basis of false premise - if any of these allegations are even half true! And we already know passion of christ pictures are! And that is why we can and, imho, should criticise. This thread is a response to christians encroaching on our kids education, having privileged access to our kids in schools, being disingenuous with the methoids used to attract the kids to their camps (how many families are using it as a weeks free child care - sounds tempting even to me ) and then manipulating kids minds with seriously scary stuff at their camps. If any Islamic, buddhist, jewish or jedi knight orginisation was doing the same I think they would find the same level of opposition and criticism here. But in this case it is is christians that have been provoking so it is christians we are responding to. So keep in mind that this thread is in response to actions by christians not the other way round.
  16. I really think you need to have some internal review or investigation then. It is bizarre for a kid with limited knowledge of religion to claim that they were told all other religions apart from Christianity were invented by satan. Also can't see why they would claim they were preached hellfire and damnation and is now worried about going to hell when they never had any concept of a place called hell prior to attending your camp. Also why do you raise the big bang theory and then dismiss it to the kids. This elaborate tale about fireworks and watches is too complex for a kid to make up. They would have no idea about the blind watch maker so could only have got this from the camp. And the story about the speaker breaking down in tears reading the bible again is just too far fetched for a kid to make it up in my opinion. They also were infomed of this leaders past social problems, which I will not repeat here to respect confidentiality, but I also think it was completely unneccessary and inappropriate to tell young kids that. The reason I mention it is that there is no way this kid could know this leaders history unless it was conveyed and this shows that his reports of the camp have consistency. So I have no reason to disbelieve the allegations you have denied. Others on here have also stated some of these points and we are all anonymous so no chance of us getting together to make anything up. I also think you significantly undermine your position on inclusivity of other religions by using the passion of the christ as a tool for teaching your beliefs. Mel Gibson is more widely known as an anti semetic than an actor these days and the extreme version of catholicism he subscribes to is decidedly unpleasant and sectarian in anyone's book I would have thought. I don't think you would find a jewish person on the planet who doesn't take serious offence at this movie and there are hundreds of internet sites pointing out inaccuracies and exaggerations in the film relevant to the religious context. And I don't think you could ever call this movie mainstream. That is a misunderstanding of the movie business if you ask me. It is also 15 rated because of scenes of violence and torture. The kid I know told me they were shown pictures of a nail going all the way through a real persons hand with the blood and gunge oozing out. (He thought this was real picture of Jesus!) How many under 15s did you show this to? But it also shows that you have confirmed he was correct in one aspect of what he was saying. I see no reason why he would then make up the rest. There not too much humility or apology in your post... At the very least you should acknowledge there are some serious allegations and offer to look into them. Were you there every night? Do you know your leaders and speakers complied with your policy? Some of us are really concerned about how our bairns minds are developed and I think we have every right to raise this without being told that we are somewhat in the wrong because you are giving up your time to help kids. I am also always helping my bairns pals looking after them, running them here and there, babysitting them, fitba coaching etc etc. But I never, never, never try and impose my beliefs on them! Helping bairns dusna give you a get out of jail card for everything you do to them. We have seen enough evidence of that in religions all around the world, Mr. Gibsons in particular!
  17. That was the problem op8s, they came to the school and addressed the kids and told them it was a fun summer camp with the religion element being down played. I really don't think parents did expect this crazy stuff to be going on. With them being allowed into the school it gave a kind of false assurance that this was quasi approved and therefore not something too extreme. In actual affect it's turned out to be just about as extreme as you can get with this stuff!
  18. Sorry to be back on aboot this but am no sure if something really serously bad has gone on at this summer camp. Noo fun oot da bairns were explicitally told all other religions outwith christianity were created by satan! shown actual photographs of real crucifixion leaders breaking down in tears when reading the bible to the bairns constant reminders of damnation for not believing no my bairn tho so I dunna want to interfere but I feel I should post it here as a warning to all those who may consider sending bairns to this "innocent" event another year ! if anybody reading this is in authority then there should be a serious investigation into this! - and the fact they were allowed into school to persuade kids to attend on the premise of having a fun time! I actually wonder if it's a matter for the police? Anybody know ?
  19. [quote For instance, I have recently heard a tale about comments made to children at the summer Christian kids camp, which I hope are untrue or exaggerated. Because, if not, things have not changed at all and what was said is repulsive and disgusting in its lack of morality. quote] Have tried to avoid this area as I felt it best to be tolerant and not cause ruptions about this camp even tho they were allowed into school to persuade kids to come to it. After some of the comments on this thread tho I felt the need to do a little digging. 1. They were shown real pictures of people crucified and told the people who did this to Jesus were sinners - I guess this is the Jews someone was referring to here as being chastised. 2. One leader held two fireworks and spoke about the big bang, then produced a wristwatch and asked the kids how they thought a watch could possibly come from a huge explosion. This is the blind watch maker analogy I guess we all know about. 3. People who didn't believe in god were labelled sinners and hell and damnation were spoken about for those who didn’t believe. 4. Some other leaders left because they couldn't condone the actions of some of the more prothelysing leaders who were giving out this stuff. There may be more but I was probing very gently and didn’t want to make too much of an issue about it with him. This all from a reliable, sensible young kid who was there who didn't have a scooby about religion but now doesn't know whether to believe or not in case he will go to hell! Excuse the pun but thank god I didn't allow our kids to attend. The main point here and relevance to this thread is that the schools openly allowed these people to interrupt lessons and use education time to persuade the kids to attend.
  20. How many adults still believe in Santa Claus tho? Think there might just a slight difference. In any case we are not disputing a parents right to pass views/beliefs on to their kids (although that could be a good debate!). This thread is about schools passing beliefs that are arbitrary to say the least, on to our kids.
  21. Wir pals boy phoned home late at night terrified the family were all going to hell. The worst thing about this is that people from this summer camp were allowed into schools to promote it during school time. Basically lessons were interrupted so the organisers of the camp could do self promotion to the bairns. Our kids came home putting loads of pressure on us to let them go as some "nice guy had come into the class and told them it was all games, waterfights and trips to Lerwick!" Then when all the other kids are going the pressure to give in is pretty tough! Wld we be allowed into the school to promote a pagan kids summer camp I wonder? But that's not really the point. We want to be tolerant and allow those people who live under ancient belief systems to do what they want in their own time and privacy. If that was how it was then we would never even know what the word athiest meant. But it's the constant aggressive encroachment into our lives that we end up having to defend. As Arthur Clarke said; It still bothers me that someone up the tree allowed these people into the school to persuade bairns to come to the summer camps in the first place -and that was before they added these three god botherers to the education committee!
  22. We are the same. I get really annoyed having to give a counter perspective to the christian doctrine that gets shoved down wir peerie lasses throat at school. Thankfully she can tell me that her and a lot of her pals question the idea of christian jesus and god amongst themselves when they are being made to do jesus stuff in class. It seems that this is a common response amongst a lot o bairns so why do schools continue to confuse their minds wi this jiggery/pokery stuff? This is not the point tho. I don't want to be influencing her one way or the other. I would prefer for her to make her own choice when she is old enough to look at it all objectively, that's if it even ever comes across her radar. She can then deal with it in what way she see's fit. But not when she's an impressionable minor. That's just not right in my opinion. I don't even want to be discussing chritianity with her at this age but it seems I have to because of what goes on at school. The only option they give you is to remove the bairn from all religious education but who wants to do exclude a bairn from her class? If it was fair then you would have to ask for your bairn to be included not excluded. There's a million more important things for her to be thinking about in this stage in her education.
  23. Seems this is info on ticketmaster; http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/3600471819C07F1B?artistid=1634184&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=1
  24. Just when you think the world can get no crazier...... Now we are apparently forced to have people who make their living believing fairy stories autocratically parachuted into making education policy. No wonder Councillor Wills walked out of this meeting. And councillor Fullerton declares that she is compromised because of her membership of COS and has to declare an interest but then goes on to prevent a debate on the matter. What was the point in declaring this interest? You really couldn't make this stuff up! Regardless of current circumstances education is of prime importance and she should do her utmost to prevent it being compromised even if it does mean standing up to the law. Archaic laws regarding religions are seldom enforced in this country as they are seen for what they are so I very much doubt there could have been instant legal crisis anyway It would have been nice to see SIC have some principals for a change. Alternatively they could just decide to co-opt a member of the Up Helly aa committee, someone from the big bannock and a member of Shetland archery club. They have as much relevance on an education committee as people who believe in sky gods. Probably more so when I think about it! Religion does three things quite effectively, it divides people, it controls people and it deludes people. It has no place in modern education unless of an historical nature and the SIC should have had the guts to say so. Keep it far away fae wir bairns!!
  25. Before the mods merge this with the other drugs thread I just want to say that this thread was meant to be about Shetland ignoring it's own devestating hard drug problem - especially amongst young people. The result being that a catastrophic situation is being created up here. Even with the cuts, Shetland is still one of the wealthiest local authorites in Britain. It seems sad that the council can't recognise this problem and come up with some serious iniatives to resolve it. After all any solution will save money in the long term. Because if it continues to grow at this rate it's going to cost the Shetland communtiy a hell of a lot, both in money and degradation of our society. I recognise fully that global drugs policy is flawed but that doesn't stop SIC from trying something different, they have the means and the resources if they wanted to. It seems crazy to me that with all this cost cutting one of the areas where money could definitely be saved is admitting to this problem and tackling it. That's the point of this thread. Dealing with the growing sub society in Shetland which is being ignored and hence the Shetland broken society title. As a thought, could it be the cycle of poverty, followed by the instant wealth from oil money then salmon etc that has affected the community up here in some way. Has that lead to a outbreak of hedonism and reckless lifestyle which has culminated in the situation we have now? Once we had the money to enjoy ourselves did we just eat all the sweets in the sweetie shop on our first visit? This is the kind of thinking I would say should be applied to the problem.
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