It's probably better if you hear this pithy title spoken... it gets lost being written.
Anyhoo... have there been any sightings of Jehova's Witness and doomsayer Harold Camping since the "rapture" yesterday.
More over, what help is being offered to the mentally ill people (an estimated 200,000,000 - count 'em) of them who were taken in by this man's mental illness.
Isn't it about time we stopped pussyfooting around "believe" and called it what it is? DELUSION!
UPDATE: Camping claims to have got the date wrong, it's now October and to the thousands who lost money, "tough, that's not my problem!"
I can't believe there were that many, that's shocking! Are you sure that figure is correct? Either way, they don't deserve help. If you're stupid enough to believe what some 89 year old fruitcake says about an impending rapture, then you deserve everything you get.
I have read about other churches reaching out to these suckers, claiming that they care about them. I'm sure that bolstering of their own ranks has nothing to do with it. Maybe I'm just cynical.
200 million is a worldwide figure - not just the continental US; but it's frightening nonetheless.
Believing in a god is natural (if daft) meme. Believing to this extent is purely mental illness - we have to start drawing some lines in the sand here and making shrinks accept that just region is not exempt.
It's almost as if (most) scientists, doctors, etc. are ignoring this elephant in the room.
I'm not sure it is all that grey, Park. In the UK (I can't speak for elsewhere) people are locked up for their own good if they are deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others due to their mental health. It's called a "section" in common parlance (Section ... of the mental health act). Someone will fill the blank in.
Anyway, it seems that shrinks always let religious get away with pretty much anything - short of incitement to violence - but this is only because it's always been that way. Sometimes things have to change.
Freedom of speech can be a bitch but the lack of it certainly does not improve the situation - pick any Middle Eastern country or North Korea, etc, etc...
Don't get me wrong, I understand exactly what you are saying but still... it seems we are in a loose - loose situation.
Freedom of speech was defined long before we were able to "speak" and record those "speeches" to millions of people at once, unchallenged.
The freedom to reprint the bile, sorry, bible, is what got us in the shit we're in now; the freedom to broadcast this shit is what is keeping us there.
Freedom of speech, I suspect, assumed that people were free to open new ideas but be open to challenge at the same time. This is rather like the amendment of a right to bear arms in the US - outdated and in need of a rethink.
Freedom of speech is good provided it's open to challenge - freedom to spout any bullshit unchecked and unchallenged is dangerous in the extreme.
You cannot chose your race (skin colour), hair colour, eye colour, hair or body type, you cannot choose your height or sexuality; you cannot choose how many ears you have or if you have a dick or ovaries... you cannot choose a whole lot of things that make us what we are so we cannot be judged on these things.
You CAN choose what you believe in - so why should that receive the same exemption as the things that cannot?
(ANS: we've been told we can't challenge these things by the people who do believe for so long, it's assumed to be a given.)
Time for change.
Is it not so that freedom of speech is more of a theoretical, geographical, political or even personal ideal than any globally accepted maxim? True, there is an unquestionable amount of damage inflicted on like-minded free thinkers by the fantasies of fanatics and bible bashing gits alike. On the other hand freedom of speech forces the questions – should we draw a line in the sand and where do we draw the line if we do?
First problem; whether to draw a line, it is after all free speech?
Second question; where do we draw the line, who decides?
I think the question has more scope than just the content and belief there-in of the bible, koran or any other work of fantasy. Could it be defined as follows?
As a secular humanist you may insult me and I will live with it – insult my wife and it just may be that your freedom of speech was curtailed; by me personally. Therefore I drew the line regardless of your intent or belief in the freedom of speech.
I feel that this would be justified. I draw the line and the line is between insulting me and then insulting my wife. I feel that we are obliged to draw a line according to what we feel is appropriate, if not generally acceptable.
As a secular humanist you may insult religion and a pious chap may live with it – insult his god and it just may be that your freedom of speech was curtailed; by him personally either physically or by law suite, hate mail. black mail etc. He drew the line regardless of your intent or any belief in the freedom of speech. I do not see how this can be justified or in any way acceptable because he is defending his belief in his insubstantial imaginary friend.
I physically have a wife – he has physically, hmm, well he has his imagination.
I am pessimistic enough to believe that these delusionalists will be causing unjustified suffering for generations and will use the freedom of speech, wickedly and unashamedly, to their advantage for generations to come.
Perhaps the question of where do we draw the line and who decides is not so difficult a one to define; sometimes just to live with.
With great freedom comes great responsibility; even the press is regulated (laughably over here by the PCC) to be generally honest! Religious delusion has no fucking brakes!
Right now, in America and Europe (I can't speak of other territories) the loonies have the most money to broadcast their shit, they outnumber and outgun us by several orders of magnitude. They are a destructive force more virulent than any virus in the wild and potentially more dangerous.