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My faith in humanity….

with one comment

….and its future is currently at an all-time low. As the Dictator pointed out, such faith should be pretty much non-existent in a world which consists of Twitters and Rediff message boards. But this article in The Telegraph that tries to create equal arguments for evolution and creationism, plunges moi into epic despair.

However, there is some comic value in this. Just read the comments section, especially a long, ‘reasoned’ post by one “Matt Klemp September 10, 2009 at 01:32 PM”. Just to wet your appetite:

Thirdly, whilst i am a part of the most devout christian movement in history, i fully accept that no mere human being can or ever will know for certainty whether there is a god or not until he (God) taps one on the shoulder and says well done. Do you understand? both religion/god and scientific/evolution is pure theory!!! Never has it been fact. Like the majority of court cases one must digest the available data and and make the most probable conclusion.

The whole comment reproduced below the fold, it’s just too awesome and deserves a wider read.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

September 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Fun, LOL, Rants, Religion, Reviews

Tagged with , ,

Religious Nuttery Down Under (re: Australian bush fires)

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Even before the last embers have died on the worst bush (forest) fires in the history of Australia, a fire that is predicted to claim more than 300 lives [1], some religious nut-job here is trying to relate it to abortion laws:

The Catch the Fire Ministries has tried to blame the bushfires disaster on laws decriminalising abortion in Victoria.

The Pentecostal church’s leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with “a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb”. (link)

Oh yeah – god’s message against the “slaughter of innocent children” (high debatable anyway)….is killing of more people!

Aussies are actually too  laid-back to be deeply absorbed in religion like the Americans,  and I hardly ever hear about religion being spoken about openly, so I assume this guy is really quite a fringe element of the society. But it is really deplorable how someone would try to take advantage of such a tragedy to further an agenda, especially from someone who is supposedly aiding with the disaster relief efforts. What a sad, pathetic excuse for a human being.

However, as I always say, extremists are bad on either side  – here is a climate campaigner from Greenpeace linking the severity of the fire with global warming (not saying there isn’t any effect, but now is not the time to talk about it).

[1]: Regarding the fire itself,  while any disasters that claim large human and animal tolls are always sad, but the fact that this was started by an arsonist, makes it tougher to digest.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 10, 2009 at 7:04 am

‘Jihadi Romeos’ (and the flip-side)

with 13 comments

Yup, now I have heard it all:  The latest garb for the jihadis is impersonating a Shakespearean tragic character.

A bunch of hooligans entered a pub in Mangalore and beat up men and women “in the interests of society” (a detailed blog and video here).  One would think that such an action would be morally outrageous enough to defy condoning, no matter what ideology you believe in. Well apparently not:

Few days back, HK had reported about Mangalore turning as the hot bed of Jihadi Romeos who target Girls of other faith. A Hindu girl is still missing from her home and reportedly hided (sic) in one of the Jihadi strong hold in Mangalore.
…………….
Those who were targeted were girls who ignored the warning about the Jihadi Romoeos they were roaming with. The girls mostly from other states who come to Mangalore for study are easy prey for these Jihadi’s.

Nation wide awareness campaigns against these Jihadi Romeo’s and alerting the parents of those who fell into the Jihadi trap in the starting is the need of the hour.[link]

Sadly, this is not satire.

[Blog link via e-mail from Vivek]

UPDATE:

Here is a reaction from the other end of the spectrum which is equally absurd:

When will we retaliate? When will we ban these group and pass ’shoot at sight’ orders if more than 5 of them are seen to be gathering at a public place?

………………..

The hooligans are not arrested and killed yet. We all know that they wouldn’t at all be arrested, if at all they are, they would get away the next day on bail

(emphasis mine) (via)

As I said, what these hoodlums perpetrated is absolutely reprehensible and could in no way be supported by a civilized society. [Although,  I wouldn’t call it the ‘Talibanization’ of our society (yet) as the author of this blog suggests – as in there is no systematic government support for such moral policing (yet).]

However, how is a demand for these people to be killed any better than the type of justice meted out by the Taliban and their ilks ? Most reports suggest that the people responsible have been arrested (no word on whether they have been bailed), and there is enough media outrage over the incident, so much so that the BJP and Sangh-parivar related parties have publicly distanced themselves from this group. But how does the crime justify a ‘shoot-at-sight’ order to kill ?

Weird to say the least. Mind you, this rant comes from the same blogger – a lawyer no less – who is justifying NDTV and Barkha Dutt’s rather childish decision of threatening to sue a blogger just because they did not like what he wrote about their Mumbai 26/11 coverage. (another issue that I should blog about in a separate post)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

January 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Posted in India, Rants, Religion

Tagged with , ,

The youth disappoints me….

with 2 comments

In more ways than one. These aren’t scenes from some pop-concert, as might be expected, but the most misleadingly named World Youth Day being held at Sydney.

(source)

Update: To elaborate briefly, what dispppoints me is that young people are embracing a religous hogwash with fervor one expects them to associate with a say, Christina Aguilera (or whoever the latest fad is), concert. One worries about the future if people are falling prey to piety so early.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

July 17, 2008 at 3:55 am

Godly interventions

with 3 comments

From Cricinfo:

Sreesanth, who has an interesting habit of writing letters to God before every game, said that he had hoped to play a crucial role in India’s Trent Bridge victory.

“Yes, I did write a letter to God before the fourth day of the Test. I wrote in that, ‘Tomorrow I will win the Test match for my country. I will be the one, God please help me.’ But it didn’t go that way. Well, maybe I didn’t write my name in the end and God thought it came from Zaheer bhai,” he said.

Usually, such instances of invocation of god would make be rant. But this is funny stuff ! Tells me that either or both of the following are true:

(a) Sreesanth, in addition to his hyperactivity, has a good sense of humor, and/or

(b) that he believes in a single, religion-free god. Assuming that Sreesanth was writing to his own choice of god, which orthodoxy would dictate is different from the one Zaheer possibly follows, he seems to bear no grudge that this god helped a person of different faith (unless of course, he was covering all corners – like old Hindi film heroes – by applying to all the religious figures). If only we had a few more such enlightened people – quite a few of the current strifes in the world would disappear!

But I do have a question: if a god does exist, is he/she really busy thinking about whether to help Sreesanth’s swing or Zaheer ? (Our own FSM of course has far weightier subjects to ponder on – beer or martinis ?)

Unfortunately, the Sreesanth episode(s) highlights how the recently concluded test between England and India will be remember for all the wrong reasons – petulant behavior and juvenile, pranks involving fruity-sugary confectioneries. Lost in the dust of controversies is the great game of test cricket that was fought over the four odd days with some amazing swing bowling and tenacious, often gritty, batting (from both sides).

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

August 2, 2007 at 2:06 am

Posted in Cricket, Fun, LOL, Religion

Religion and rights

with 3 comments

I believe in individual rights. But, how do you balance individual rights versus public good ? The usual libertarian line is that you are free to do anything you like as long as you are not harming or affecting anyone else. Of course, in the real world most issues are murky. One such example that has been discussed before is the trans-fat ban.

What about the rights you hold from your religious beliefs? Recently there was quite a furore over cab drivers refusing certain passengers from the Minneapolis-St Paul twin-city airport, where the majority of such cabbies are Muslim Somali immigrants. There were cases of Muslim cab drivers refusing to take fares when passengers carry alcohol or pets (even guide dogs). The airport authorities have decided to crack down on this.

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – Muslim cab drivers at Minnesota’s biggest airport will face new penalties including a two-year revocation of their taxi permits if they refuse to give rides to travelers carrying liquor or accompanied by dogs, the board overseeing operations ruled Monday.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission, responding to complaints about the liquor issue, voted unanimously to impose the new penalties beginning in May. A large number of taxi drivers in the area of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Muslim Somali immigrants. Many say they feel the faith’s ban on alcohol consumption includes transporting anyone carrying it.

Some also have refused to transport dogs, both pets and guide dogs, saying they are unclean. (link)

In this case, it could be argued that the cab drivers, as private owners of a service, have a right to refuse fares. But they are using the airport property to pick-up passengers (and there is almost 100% guarantee that they can pick-up someone at a busy airport). As the airport is public/tax-payer funded property, I believe they have every right to impose a penalty on cab drivers who refuse fares. Such drivers are free not to come to the airport to pick-up passengers. Additionally, cab-drivers are licensed by authorities to provide a public service – hence they should not be refusing any kind of passengers any circumstances (of course, explain that to a NYC cabbie).

However, for the sake of a fair debate, this begs the question (pointed out by Rohit): can then airlines refuse to fly certain passengers who ‘look suspicious’ ? Airlines are private, but they operate on public, tax-funded properties. Do security concerns outweigh religious beliefs ? The answer, I suspect, will depend on the individual’s political position.

Than again, what about pharmacists who refuse to fill certain prescriptions (read birth-control related) due to their religious beliefs ?

Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.

The pharmacists individual rights in this case is actually infringing on the rights of another person. In many case, such pharmacists have been fired.

Finally, there has been some stories that Muslim cashiers at a Target grocery (again in Minnesota) are refusing to scan pork/alcohol products ! While, this Minnesota Public Radio segment suggests this is not a wide-spread issue and has been rather hyped up, I do find it rather extreme and ridiculous.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

April 18, 2007 at 9:44 am

Posted in Politics, Religion