There are two groups of people I would be perfectly happy if they all just disappeared. Like, right now.

1– Politicians
2– Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers

Even the shittiests, hipsterish of musicians contributes more to positive to society than those two groups of people. Stephanie Meyer has contributed more positive to society than those two groups of people. The fictional characters on the HBO television show ‘Girls’ (I cant even hate watch that show) have contributed more positive to society than those two groups of people.

Politicians and ‘people of god’ are useless, stupid creatures that need to get real jobs and contribute to society like everyone else.

Maybe I am currently biased, living in a state where having an IQ <75 appears to be a prerequisite for holding political office, but it really does appear to be a Universal Truth.

Example: Here are some politician in Zimbabwe giving their ideas on how to curb the HIV epidemic. Us hoity-toity scientists might say “Condom use”, but not these folks. These folks are POLITICIANS, so they knows better:

Sithembile Mlotshwa, the MDC-T Senator for Matobo, recently suggested that Zimbabweans must be limited to one sexual encounter per month. Men, she said, should be administered a drug that reduces their libido.

During a seperate debate, she asked the government to provide prisoners with “sex gadgets” to discourage homosexual activity.

Morgan Femai, an MDC-T senator for Chikomo said the measures were required because men were finding it difficult to resist well-dressed, attractive women.

While addressing a parliamentary HIV awareness workshop in Kadoma on Friday, he said: “What I propose it that the government should come up with a law that compels women to have their heads clean-shaven like what the Apostolic sects do,” ZimEye reports.

He added: “They should also not bath because that is what has caused all these problems.”

Senator Femai also suggested female circumcision would help stop the spread of disease.

He told the workshop, which was organised in conjunction with the National Aids Council,: “Women have got more moisture in their organs as compared to men so there is need to research on how to deal with that moisture because it is conducive for bacteria breeding. There should be a way to suck out that moisture.”

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Comments

  1. #1 Kemanorel
    May 15, 2012

    The meme at the end is the best use of that I have ever seen.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    May 15, 2012

    Exhibit #4283 as to why I do not write fiction: if I came up with characters like Ms. Mlotshwa and Mr. Femai, nobody would believe them.

    Since I personally know a few politicians (I live in New Hampshire, where there are about 3200 residents for every state representative), including one of the people who represents my district, I can assure you that there actually are politicians who have at least half a clue. But yes, they’re in the minority. Most are, as the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles put it, “the salt of the earth …. You know–morons.”

  3. #3 Paul
    May 15, 2012

    WTF indeed.

    And there I was thinking that the MDC represented the sane side of politics in Zimbabwe.
    :-(

  4. #4 Jerry
    May 15, 2012

    Agreed. The majority of politicians aren’t bright in the head (especially the republicans). Morons want to cut funds for education. No wonder the nation is getting dumber. Fucking republicans and creatards.

  5. #5 Optimus Primate
    May 15, 2012

    “There should be a way to suck out that moisture.”

    I bet he’s hell in the sack.

  6. #6 Derek in DC
    May 15, 2012

    Am I having timeslips again? Did I trip and fall into the 17th century?

    “… the measures were required because men were finding it difficult to resist well-dressed, attractive women.”

    C’mon, this is an Onion parody, right?

  7. #7 Epicanis
    May 15, 2012

    I think this image is even more appropriate to this story…

  8. #8 windy
    May 15, 2012

    Ironically, HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe has been declining since the 1990s, so a lesser mortal could have imagined that they had some real world examples to discuss. BORING! Light the Bat(ty politican) Signal, let’s find some completely insane solutions instead!

  9. #9 dustbubble
    May 15, 2012

    Men, she said, should be administered a drug that reduces their libido.

    My friends, it’s widely available in the Socialist Republic of Gran Bretania.
    Henry Weston’s Special Reserve. Quid and a half, for just shy of a pint, most larger grocery chains. Three or four o’ them, and it’s not a question of beer goggles. It’s “why are my shoes talking?” and “Christ, I must have been bitten by a deadly spider. I’m paralysed, and going blind”.

    Lechery? Not a chance.

    Produced in a form that readily appeals to men, too,I find. Bonus.

  10. #10 peter
    May 15, 2012

    Where can I get me one of them “sex gadgets” mentioned by Ms Mlotshwa?

  11. #11 Justicar
    May 15, 2012

    I’ll have to know more about these ‘sex gadgets’ before I pass judgment. Of course, I’m not sure there are all that many gadget types one can concoct which won’t seem overtly ‘gay’ in intended use . . .

  12. #12 Vince Whirlwind
    May 15, 2012

    Where can I get me one of them “sex gadgets” mentioned by Ms Mlotshwa?

    Take it up with Mrs Palmer – she should be able to point you in the right direction.

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    May 16, 2012

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  15. #15 what?
    May 16, 2012

    “2– Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers”

    Lumping all of these as bad is just plain dumb. You are making blanket statements that only cover part of a population. Those “Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers” can also help people who need help in bad times. Not every “Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers” is against such things as evolution and abortion.

    Are you going to tell me that “Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers” who dedicate themselves to helping poor people and people who have be more or less forgotten by society are bad people? Get over yourself.

  16. #16 Kemanorel
    May 16, 2012

    @15

    You’re new here, huh?

  17. #17 what?
    May 16, 2012

    Not sure whether that matters. Feel free to elaborate, I assume you didn’t to give yourself a sense of superiority and to feel like you’re already part of some sort of privileged information.

    I might be incorrect in my assumption but I wouldn’t have to be if you could give me a nudge.

  18. #18 Poodle Stomper
    May 16, 2012

    I agree with “what?”. It is ridiculous to lump every person in a group as being the same. Sure, many politicians are greedy crap-bags that use the public for their own purposes. That doesn’t mean that all of them are. There are some that genuinely try to improve the world. Likewise there are pastors/clergy, etc… who do the same while others simply fleece their sheep (see what I did there) of their money.

    Take chaplains in the military, for example. They serve a useful purpose such as helping soldiers with moral and acting as a sort of counselor. Partly because they fulfill such an important role, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is working to get the military to accept atheist chaplains as well as religious ones.

    However, to point to those useless crap-bags and apply their amoral behaviour as an attribute of all is the same old “proof by example” fallacy.

    While I do enjoy your (Abbie) science related posts (by far the majority are very educational and wildly interesting), I have noticed that you display a habit of falling to fallacious reasoning when it comes to certain religious-based topics. Of course no one is perfect; James Randi went off for a while on an anti-global warming kick until people pointed out his logical errors. I hope that you can do the same about this. I really do enjoy your posts but I cringe to see a fellow scientist and atheist fall to the such logical fallacies (not that I’m perfect either, of course).

  19. #19 Kemanorel
    May 16, 2012

    Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers are not all bad people, this is true, but 1.) that does not excuse the bad ones, nor does it make sense that with the supposed majority of good ones, so many are still being hidden. I’m sure it’s the good intention of not wanting the entirety of the religion to look bad, even though when the scandal gets out it looks even worse, because they think religion overall helps, but that intention only provides the opportunity for the “bad” ones to continue doing bad things.

    2.) Of the “good” ones, they are not providing anything worthwhile to society, and are a drain on society because churches don’t pay taxes, and people that donate to churches (one of the least efficient ways to give to charity) don’t pay taxes on that money they donate because it’s a tax write off. They provide no service that isn’t more efficiently provided by secular means, and the money isn’t used as efficiently.

    3.) They send Bibles to places like Haiti thinking that the words will help them through hard times, but what it really does is take up place on an airplane that could have been used for important supplies like food, water, and medicine. They aren’t think, “hahaha! now they won’t have as much food,” but that’s the result.

    And, the bad ones actually claim the *cost* of the books when they say a how much they gave to help the people, because saying you donated $2 million sounds better than saying you sent $2 million worth of Bibles (and yes, this actually happens). $1 on food would have been more helpful, unless you consider the book’s utility as fire kindling and toilet paper. Plus there’s the whole idea of them trying to get converts while people are down on their luck, etc, but we’re talking about how the “good” ones are unintentionally bad, not how the “bad” ones are bad so we move on…

    4.) It’s the same with stuff like discouraging condom/contraception use. Their idea has the good intention that you shouldn’t have sex unless you’re married and want to have kids. Fine. I that’s an okay intention. That doesn’t seem like it will hurt anyone on the surface, but in practice that intention spells disaster.
    Not only does abstinence-only education lead to higher pregnancy rates and STDs, but is also counter productive the the churches idea that abortion is wrong, because the increase is primarily in teens, and they’re the most likely to have an abortion aside from those in poverty.
    Again, good intention, but their continued promotion of it in the face of evidence that it doesn’t work is ridiculously harmful.

    6.) Ever been in a new parish that needs a church? How about that with a priest that will spend money every chance he gets? My parents are. They’ve personally given tens of thousands of dollars. The entire congregation now still owes more than $2 million and they haven’t even built the main church. They only have the “commons” part built… But the monsignor wanted a cemetery, and a bell tower, and mausoleum, and a playground, and church offices. I’m sure the guy just wanted to provide a nice, new church with all this extra great stuff, but he basically put a multi-million dollar burden on the congregation that they will be paying off for DECADES.

    While my parent’s congregation is an extreme case, all new parishes still end up putting that burden on the congregation, and that not to be taken lightly, especially in today’s economy.

    Conclusion: Do you need any more examples of how the “good” ones are still a harm to society? I agree that they’re not bad people, but they end up screwing people over because they suck at being in tune with today’s society. You know the “road to hell is paved with good intentions” quote? It used to mean something else. Today, that’s the clergy.

    …and don’t even get me started on the *BAD* ones.

    After thought: Besides, I would make the argument that the bad ones alone are enough reason to get rid of the good ones at the same time because they simply don’t provide anything of use. Seriously, when’s the last time a priest saved millions of lives because of something they did? I don’t think any priest ever has saved millions of lives, but let’s assume one did… Do you think he would have had to be a priest to do so?

    A challenge: I’ll give you a chance to easily change my mind about the utility of religion in the world… Hitchen’s Challenge: name one moral thing said or moral action taken by a religious person (not even just clergy, but ANY theist) that could not have been done by a secular person. Provide a satisfactory answer, and I’ll stop lumping all clergy together as useless to society.

  20. #20 Kemanorel
    May 16, 2012

    @18; Poodle Stomper (Seriously?)

    However, to point to those useless crap-bags and apply their amoral behaviour as an attribute of all is the same old “proof by example” fallacy.”

    That not what it is though. I explain in #19 reasons why even the “good” ones are a detriment to society.

    There are rational, logical reasons to considering all clergy bad even if you wouldn’t consider them all to be bad people.

    BTW, I’d love to see some evidence for this claim:

    “Take chaplains in the military, for example. They serve a useful purpose such as helping soldiers with moral and acting as a sort of counselor. Partly because they fulfill such an important role”

  21. #21 Stephen Bahl
    May 16, 2012

    If only there were a way to suck out that infernal moisture. Surely the bacteria that breed in this moisture are the real cause of AIDS.

  22. #22 TFJ
    May 17, 2012

    Take chaplains in the military, for example. They serve a useful purpose such as helping soldiers with moral and acting as a sort of counselor.

    One of the more distasteful acts of Gee Dub’s administration was to influence the treatment of psychologically traumatised combat veterans. They took the Bibles before counseling approach. Traumatised veterans were told that their problems arose from lack of religious faith and lack of faith in the rightness of their mission.

  23. #23 what?
    May 17, 2012

    @kemanorel

    You never answered my second question. I can only assume that you are just way too cool to care.

    “Clergy/reverends/pastors/whatevers are not all bad people, this is true, but 1.) that does not excuse the bad ones, nor does it make sense that with the supposed majority of good ones, so many are still being hidden. I’m sure it’s the good intention of not wanting the entirety of the religion to look bad, even though when the scandal gets out it looks even worse, because they think religion overall helps, but that intention only provides the opportunity for the “bad” ones to continue doing bad things.”

    Did I say that there is a majority of good ones? No, way to put words in my mouth (typing?). It seems like you are implying that the “good” ones are covering up for the “bad” ones. That is not true. Please don’t give an example or two of this happening because we both know that a few examples don’t make a rule. Even one exception to your “rule” will invalidate it. Yes, I do dislike many religious figures. No, I do not think the cover of religion makes them any less bad.

    “2.) Of the “good” ones, they are not providing anything worthwhile to society, and are a drain on society because churches don’t pay taxes, and people that donate to churches (one of the least efficient ways to give to charity) don’t pay taxes on that money they donate because it’s a tax write off. They provide no service that isn’t more efficiently provided by secular means, and the money isn’t used as efficiently.”

    Because every religious figure is paid by the church, right? That is just not true. The question isn’t who is more efficient, it is should they all disappear right now. It is also, are the most hipsterish hipsters more useful. I would say that these hipsters don’t provide ANY service that religious figures can provide more efficiently, so that wrong. Either way, most of these services that you decline to specify would not be in existence if it weren’t for religion.

    “3.) They send Bibles to places like Haiti thinking that the words will help them through hard times, but what it really does is take up place on an airplane that could have been used for important supplies like food, water, and medicine. They aren’t think, “hahaha! now they won’t have as much food,” but that’s the result.”

    Please cite somewhere that someone said something along the lines of “we could have sent more food, water and medicine if it hadn’t been for those bibles. Also, the actual number of people who donate their time to help in situations like this would be far lower if religion did not exist.

    “And, the bad ones actually claim the *cost* of the books when they say a how much they gave to help the people, because saying you donated $2 million sounds better than saying you sent $2 million worth of Bibles (and yes, this actually happens). $1 on food would have been more helpful, unless you consider the book’s utility as fire kindling and toilet paper. Plus there’s the whole idea of them trying to get converts while people are down on their luck, etc, but we’re talking about how the “good” ones are unintentionally bad, not how the “bad” ones are bad so we move on…”

    Exactly, I already know that the “bad” ones are bad. You are not doing anything useful with this paragraph

    “4.) It’s the same with stuff like discouraging condom/contraception use. Their idea has the good intention that you shouldn’t have sex unless you’re married and want to have kids. Fine. I that’s an okay intention. That doesn’t seem like it will hurt anyone on the surface, but in practice that intention spells disaster.
    Not only does abstinence-only education lead to higher pregnancy rates and STDs, but is also counter productive the the churches idea that abortion is wrong, because the increase is primarily in teens, and they’re the most likely to have an abortion aside from those in poverty.
    Again, good intention, but their continued promotion of it in the face of evidence that it doesn’t work is ridiculously harmful.”

    The are pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion priests and whatnot, how does this influence my argument?

    “6.) Ever been in a new parish that needs a church? How about that with a priest that will spend money every chance he gets? My parents are. They’ve personally given tens of thousands of dollars. The entire congregation now still owes more than $2 million and they haven’t even built the main church. They only have the “commons” part built… But the monsignor wanted a cemetery, and a bell tower, and mausoleum, and a playground, and church offices. I’m sure the guy just wanted to provide a nice, new church with all this extra great stuff, but he basically put a multi-million dollar burden on the congregation that they will be paying off for DECADES.”

    Still talking about the “bad” ones, chief. That doesn’t change my argument or yours.

    While my parent’s congregation is an extreme case, all new parishes still end up putting that burden on the congregation, and that not to be taken lightly, especially in today’s economy.”

    No, I know parishes that worship in spaces shared by jewish people and community activities. And the church came in after the building and just shares the space. No burden involved. Just proved you wrong there.

    “Conclusion: Do you need any more examples of how the “good” ones are still a harm to society? I agree that they’re not bad people, but they end up screwing people over because they suck at being in tune with today’s society. You know the “road to hell is paved with good intentions” quote? It used to mean something else. Today, that’s the clergy.”

    Yes, I need more examples. You gave me ideas with no specifics and no data. You say every religious figure ends up screwing people over, when this is just not true.

    “…and don’t even get me started on the *BAD* ones.”

    I could rant just as much as you about them, but that isn’t the discussion.

    “After thought: Besides, I would make the argument that the bad ones alone are enough reason to get rid of the good ones at the same time because they simply don’t provide anything of use. Seriously, when’s the last time a priest saved millions of lives because of something they did? I don’t think any priest ever has saved millions of lives, but let’s assume one did… Do you think he would have had to be a priest to do so?”

    So the deciding factor of usefulness in a society is whether someone in that position has saved millions of lives? Please feel free to notify the janitors and garbagemen of the world that they are no longer needed.

    “A challenge: I’ll give you a chance to easily change my mind about the utility of religion in the world… Hitchen’s Challenge: name one moral thing said or moral action taken by a religious person (not even just clergy, but ANY theist) that could not have been done by a secular person. Provide a satisfactory answer, and I’ll stop lumping all clergy together as useless to society.”

    Without religion, would we have morals? Clearly any action can be done by anyone. A secular person would not be motivated to act in the same manner because they would not see the need. Since your argument hinges on necessity and efficiency, I assume those two things would be the drivers in a secular action. The mere performing of any action could be done by anyone. There is a chance that ANYONE could successfully perform certain bypass surgeries, but it is unlikely because they would not have the motivation to do so or the understanding of how.
    My example: Martin Luther King Jr. Sorry, THE REVEREND Marting Luther King Jr. Do you really think that a secular Martin Luther King Jr. would have been able to or been motivated to organize a massive, peaceful protest movement? I know, I know, “He didn’t have to be religious to do that,” But tell me one leader of a SUCCESSFUL, peaceful, protest movement that was not religious or motivated by religion (Anyone that came after MLK Jr. was motivated by religion as they were probably motivated by him, or Ghandi). Until then no more lumping.

  24. #24 what?
    May 17, 2012

    and @20

    So if someone doesn’t efficiently provide a positive influence they are necessarily bad? Does that mean a mechanic who works, for whatever reason, more efficiently is inherently “good” and the one who works slower is inherently “bad?”

    There isn’t a single human who has had even and almost close to significant influence on the solar system/galaxy/universe. Does that make us all useless? If we are all useless aren’t you just trying to incorrectly define levels of uselessness?

  25. #25 Prometheus
    May 17, 2012

    what?@#23

    “Martin Luther King Jr. Sorry, THE REVEREND Marting Luther King Jr. Do you really think that a secular Martin Luther King Jr. would have been able to or been motivated to organize a massive, peaceful protest movement? I know, I know, “He didn’t have to be religious to do that,”

    Pretending to greater authority and insight by your relationship with an imaginary friend in order to achieve your agenda through the exploitation of ignorant devotion to magical thinking is a morally bankrupt act no matter how admired that agenda may be by historical retrospect.

    That goes for MLK, Mother Teresa, The Dali Lama Gandhi, Cotton Mather, Jim Jones, sorry THE REVEREND Jim Jones, and the Borgia Popes.

    Besides, the above statement implies secular people can’t be motivated to activism for equality or peace or at the very least can’t achieve their ends without pretending to bronze age infantile death denial.

    That’s just dumb. I think you are wrong.

  26. #26 what?
    May 17, 2012

    @prometheus

    “Pretending to greater authority and insight by your relationship with an imaginary friend in order to achieve your agenda through the exploitation of ignorant devotion to magical thinking is a morally bankrupt act no matter how admired that agenda may be by historical retrospect.”

    You are overemphasizing the possible negatives while trivialing the achievements of the people you list below. Nice.

    Are you saying the ends don’t justify the means? So when I breed mice, clip their toes or tag their ears and then just kill them when they weren’t lucky enough to have the right genotype, thats a moral act? I’d say in that case the ends justify the means, thats why people are okay with animal testing.

    No, the ends do not ALWAYS justify the means, but people like Ghandi didn’t seem to claim greater authority or insight. Other people claimed that he had greater authority and insight, I doubt he did that himself.

    “That goes for MLK, Mother Teresa, The Dali Lama Gandhi, Cotton Mather, Jim Jones, sorry THE REVEREND Jim Jones, and the Borgia Popes.”

    You are so clever. You added “bad” people to a list of “good” people to try to prove that the good people were the same as the bad ones because they have something in common. Did you agree with those Heartland billboards with the unabomber and others?

    You also missed the discussion above where I agreed that many religious figures do suck, a lot.

    “Besides, the above statement implies secular people can’t be motivated to activism for equality or peace or at the very least can’t achieve their ends without pretending to bronze age infantile death denial.”

    I honsetly do not think anything on the magnitude of ghandi and MLK Jr. would be possible without religious influence of some sort. I also don’t think that anything Jim Jones-like would happen as easily either, but we already agree about the bad people.

    As for infantile death denial, not every christian takes the bible literally, so yes those ends could be achieved without “pretending to bronze age infantile death denial”

    “That’s just dumb. I think you are wrong.”

    But you don’t say that you think you are right. I think I am right.

  27. #27 Kemanorel
    May 17, 2012

    Did I say that there is a majority of good ones? No, way to put words in my mouth (typing?).

    It doesn’t matter. The point is that a.) there are bad ones and b.) the good ones are only good people, but their intentions still lead to a detriment to society.

    It seems like you are implying that the “good” ones are covering up for the “bad” ones.

    They do, otherwise there would be a LOT more priests pointing out the priests that are molesting kids. I have NEVER seen a single story of one clergyman turning over another to the authorities. NOT ONE.

    Please don’t give an example or two of this happening because we both know that a few examples don’t make a rule.

    Let me ask first, do you think Pope John Paul II was a “good” one?

    Because every religious figure is paid by the church, right?

    Most clergy are. Remember, we’re talking about clergy, not just religious figures.

    The question isn’t who is more efficient, it is should they all disappear right now.

    Yeah, and I made the point that if everyone donated the same money that they would to the church to secular charities, more money would go to the people that actually need it.

    It would be beneficial if the church went away.

    most of these services that you decline to specify would not be in existence if it weren’t for religion.

    1.) I’m not declining to specify. These messages are already long enough without going into each and ever detail.

    2.) You think that simply because the church isn’t doing it that things wouldn’t be done? You could easily set up a secular organization for the same purpose and have it be more efficient? Taking the example of my parent’s church again, if there were an organization that just rented some office space, but still got as much money as donation to them as my parents church got to build all the useless crap they have, that would be MILLIONS more to charity.

    Please cite somewhere that someone said something along the lines of “we could have sent more food, water and medicine if it hadn’t been for those bibles.

    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/us-faith-based-group-sends-solar-powered-audio-bibles-to-haiti.html

    Besides, that’s not my point. My point is that money could have been used for food, water, and medicine instead of something useless like an audio-bible, which can’t even be used to make a fire.

    But the Vlogbrothers, and the Nerdfighter community (which I’m sad to say I was unaware of at the time), raised enough money to send THREE PLANES OF SUPPLIES to Haiti.

    Do you not see the difference?

    Also, the actual number of people who donate their time to help in situations like this would be far lower if religion did not exist.

    What do you think that says about the vapidity of religious belief? The secular/atheist community donate because we can, not because we feel obligated by religion. All that argument says is that religious people only do it because they think religion forces them to and they’re actually just self absorbed jerk-offs who don’t care about others and only donate because they want to get into heaven or avoid hell.

    The are pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion priests and whatnot, how does this influence my argument?

    The majority are NOT, and those that are tend to be excommunicated. So, the bad ones are actually purging their ranks of the good ones, which is kinda funny in a really sad way.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/05/21/nun-excommunicated-for-abortion-decision-to-save-mothers-life/

    Still talking about the “bad” ones, chief. That doesn’t change my argument or yours.

    No. That’s my point. He’s NOT a bad one. He just makes bad decisions because he’s trying to build up the parish. That’s my entire point of this entire thing: the “good” ones tend to have good intentions and are good people, but their actions are still a detriment to the community.

    No, I know parishes that worship in spaces shared by jewish people and community activities.

    I would be really surprised to hear that they don’t have eventual plans for their own building, but fine. I amend my statement: any new parish that wants to build a new church puts the burden of the cost on its congregation.

    So the deciding factor of usefulness in a society is whether someone in that position has saved millions of lives? Please feel free to notify the janitors and garbagemen of the world that they are no longer needed.

    No. It’s whether or not they’re useful. I provided an extreme example, but even janitors and garbageman are more useful than church and religion because they provide a service. Again, the clergy provides no service that can’t not be better provided by secular means without the extra baggage of being a divisive force in the world.

    Without religion, would we have morals?

    Yes. Morals are product of evolution for any species that lives in a society from elephants to apes. Some tribes of apes actually make their leaders those who are the most philanthropic. They take care of their wounded and provide them food and they mourn their dead.

    Though I can see how you would think morals would go away when you think less people would donate to charity if church wasn’t involved, but if you’re suggesting people will start killing people in the street, then you’re wrong.

    The riots in Canada (I think it was back in the 70s) when the police went on strike already showed that the police are a better at keeping people in line than religion is, otherwise their belief in God would have keep people from rioting, looting, and murdering when the police went on strike.

    Clearly any action can be done by anyone.

    I disagree. I can think of a lot of things that are only done in the name of religion: circumcision, female circumcision, banning of stem-cell research (though maybe there’s a secular argument against this, but I’ve never heard of any and can’t find any), parents who let their kids die because they believe in faith healing…

    There’s more I could list, but my point here is that there are obviously things that are only done because of religious justification.

    There is a chance that ANYONE could successfully perform certain bypass surgeries, but it is unlikely because they would not have the motivation to do so or the understanding of how.

    Not really equivalent to my point, but while this may be true in a weird kind of way, the secular person won’t do things without direct evidence, unlike people who perform trepanning to cure mental issues in the past and then wore the removed piece of skull to ward away bad spirits.

    Do you really think that a secular Martin Luther King Jr. would have been able to or been motivated to organize a massive, peaceful protest movement?

    Yes. Many of his most trusted friends were secularists/humanists like Lorraine Hansberry. And, one only needs to see go look at the Reason Rally that see that atheists can gather just as theists can and be completely fine. Religion is superfluous to the point.

    I know, I know, “He didn’t have to be religious to do that,”

    Exactly! Do you think oppressed people need religion to have the courage to try and make things change? You just undermined your own argument.

    But tell me one leader of a SUCCESSFUL, peaceful, protest movement that was not religious or motivated by religion

    How about I list just the atheist *WOMEN* activists? Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, Maryam Namazie, and Ayaan Hirsi…

    As atheists they are by definition not religious, nor can be motivated by it unless you consider wanting to fight against what it does as “religious motivation” instead of secular motivation to decrease religious world suck.

    I don’t know of any violent atheist movements… Do you?

    (Anyone that came after MLK Jr. was motivated by religion as they were probably motivated by him, or Ghandi).

    To suggest that just because you see him as a role model means you’re motivated by religion is ridiculous.

    Then I could argue you can’t say whether MLK Jr. was motivated one way or the other by religion because while he was also motivated as you pointed out by Jesus and Gandhi, be was also motivated by Abraham Lincoln, while it can’t be confirmed he was an atheist, all primary sources point that he was very nonreligious.

    I guess for myself initial motivator to becoming an activist was draconic philosophy because I look at the dragon Kemanorel from the Half-blood Chronicles book series as an example of what I would like to be because I saw the parallel between his world and ours. He influenced me more to being a better person than being religious ever did.

    Yet, somehow, I don’t think I’ll be listing “draconic philosophy” as my motivator just because I look at Kemanorel as a role-model for his amazing sense of social-justice and for active fighting against the elven oppression of humans and half-bloods.

  28. #28 what?
    May 17, 2012

    Wow this is getting long. I hoped my adding bold in there worked.

    “It doesn’t matter. The point is that a.) there are bad ones and b.) the good ones are only good people, but their intentions still lead to a detriment to society.”
    You keep saying that but you still haven’t shown me how every single priest is a detriment to society.
    “It seems like you are implying that the “good” ones are covering up for the “bad” ones.
    They do, otherwise there would be a LOT more priests pointing out the priests that are molesting kids. I have NEVER seen a single story of one clergyman turning over another to the authorities. NOT ONE.”

    And since every single church or whatever has a priest molesting kids, every single clergyman has had a chance to turn someone over, right.

    Please don’t give an example or two of this happening because we both know that a few examples don’t make a rule.
    Let me ask first, do you think Pope John Paul II was a “good” one?

    I have to admit I know nothing about him. Still let me know how whatever he clearly did applies to every priest. Including the ones who are not catholic.

    Because every religious figure is paid by the church, right?
    Most clergy are. Remember, we’re talking about clergy, not just religious figures.

    “Most?” you just made my point. And not all priests are paid by the church.

    Yeah, and I made the point that if everyone donated the same money that they would to the church to secular charities, more money would go to the people that actually need it.

    Yes, but everyone won’t donate the same amount of money to secular charities. If all churches vanish now, much of that money would not go to charities. The government has a way to get people to donate money to those in need, it’s called taxes.

    2.) You think that simply because the church isn’t doing it that things wouldn’t be done? You could easily set up a secular organization for the same purpose and have it be more efficient? Taking the example of my parent’s church again, if there were an organization that just rented some office space, but still got as much money as donation to them as my parents church got to build all the useless crap they have, that would be MILLIONS more to charity.

    Yes, but I do not think the same amount of money would be donated, I think you discuss this a bit below.

    Please cite somewhere that someone said something along the lines of “we could have sent more food, water and medicine if it hadn’t been for those bibles.
    http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/us-faith-based-group-sends-solar-powered-audio-bibles-to-haiti.html

    Yeah, not what I was looking for

    Besides, that’s not my point. My point is that money could have been used for food, water, and medicine instead of something useless like an audio-bible, which can’t even be used to make a fire.

    I do agree with that, but what if Haitians want bibles too? Also, I admit that I do not have extensive knowledge about Haiti relief efforts, but everyone I have heard of who personally went to help did so through a church.

    But the Vlogbrothers, and the Nerdfighter community (which I’m sad to say I was unaware of at the time), raised enough money to send THREE PLANES OF SUPPLIES to Haiti.
    Do you not see the difference?

    Umm yes I see the difference. I still think that whatever food and stuff churches did end up sending would not be made up for by secular people if the churches vanished. This means the churches were helpful.

    Also, the actual number of people who donate their time to help in situations like this would be far lower if religion did not exist.
    What do you think that says about the vapidity of religious belief? The secular/atheist community donate because we can, not because we feel obligated by religion. All that argument says is that religious people only do it because they think religion forces them to and they’re actually just self absorbed jerk-offs who don’t care about others and only donate because they want to get into heaven or avoid hell.

    What a great way to view religion. How about the other part of religion where people agree with teachings like “love your neighbor as yourself?” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”

    My argument does not say that religious people feel obligated, that they are self-absorbed or that they are worried about heaven or hell. You want it to say that, but it doesn’t. I don’t deny that many people are motivated by this, but there are also many who do good things because they think it’s the right thing to do; things that they learned from religion like turning the other cheek and helping those who are suffering (and the secular world usually agrees).

    The are pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion priests and whatnot, how does this influence my argument?
    The majority are NOT, and those that are tend to be excommunicated. So, the bad ones are actually purging their ranks of the good ones, which is kinda funny in a really sad way.
    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/05/21/nun-excommunicated-for-abortion-decision-to-save-mothers-life/

    Yeah, that isn’t happening to every pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion priest. Also, it won’t happen to them. Shoot it won’t even happen to every pro-gay priest. There are even openly gay priests (and at least one openly gay bishop I think) in the U.S.

    Still talking about the “bad” ones, chief. That doesn’t change my argument or yours.
    No. That’s my point. He’s NOT a bad one. He just makes bad decisions because he’s trying to build up the parish. That’s my entire point of this entire thing: the “good” ones tend to have good intentions and are good people, but their actions are still a detriment to the community.

    Then why doesn’t someone tell him. If he actually is a “good” one, he will understand and change. If not, then yes, he is a “bad” one.

    No, I know parishes that worship in spaces shared by jewish people and community activities.
    I would be really surprised to hear that they don’t have eventual plans for their own building, but fine. I amend my statement: any new parish that wants to build a new church puts the burden of the cost on its congregation.

    They aren’t planning to. Anyway, any group that wants to build or expand puts burden somewhere. Luckily for the church members, they get to decide if they want to contribute, they are not forced to.

    So the deciding factor of usefulness in a society is whether someone in that position has saved millions of lives? Please feel free to notify the janitors and garbagemen of the world that they are no longer needed.
    No. It’s whether or not they’re useful. I provided an extreme example, but even janitors and garbageman are more useful than church and religion because they provide a service. Again, the clergy provides no service that can’t not be better provided by secular means without the extra baggage of being a divisive force in the world.

    Extreme examples are annoying. Yes, but that doesn’t mean it will be provided. If everyone was so good at charitable donations, why does the government need to have welfare? I am not saying the church is the best at this, I am saying there would be less overall charity without religion.

    Though I can see how you would think morals would go away when you think less people would donate to charity if church wasn’t involved, but if you’re suggesting people will start killing people in the street, then you’re wrong.

    I am not suggesting that. I am saying that morals would be much more limited and inter-population morals would be weaker. And yes, fewer people would donate to charity

    The riots in Canada (I think it was back in the 70s) when the police went on strike already showed that the police are a better at keeping people in line than religion is, otherwise their belief in God would have keep people from rioting, looting, and murdering when the police went on strike.
    So none of those people were secular? I’m glad the moral code they developed like all animals do helped them there.
    Clearly any action can be done by anyone.
    I disagree. I can think of a lot of things that are only done in the name of religion: circumcision, female circumcision, banning of stem-cell research (though maybe there’s a secular argument against this, but I’ve never heard of any and can’t find any), parents who let their kids die because they believe in faith healing…
    There’s more I could list, but my point here is that there are obviously things that are only done because of religious justification.

    No, anyone could do that. We are talking about the specific action, not the motivation behind it.
    There is a chance that ANYONE could successfully perform certain bypass surgeries, but it is unlikely because they would not have the motivation to do so or the understanding of how.
    Not really equivalent to my point, but while this may be true in a weird kind of way, the secular person won’t do things without direct evidence, unlike people who perform trepanning to cure mental issues in the past and then wore the removed piece of skull to ward away bad spirits.

    No you were saying any action by a religious figure could conceivably be performed be a secular one. I was saying that any action performed by a doctor could conceivably (and probably luckily) be performed by a non-doctor.

    Do you really think that a secular Martin Luther King Jr. would have been able to or been motivated to organize a massive, peaceful protest movement?
    Yes. Many of his most trusted friends were secularists/humanists like Lorraine Hansberry. And, one only needs to see go look at the Reason Rally that see that atheists can gather just as theists can and be completely fine. Religion is superfluous to the point.

    He was the leader of the movement, why does it matter who his friends are? The reason rally was nowhere close to the civil rights movement on any level whatsoever. Also, what did it accomplish that is similar to equal voting rights?
    I know, I know, “He didn’t have to be religious to do that,”
    Exactly! Do you think oppressed people need religion to have the courage to try and make things change? You just undermined your own argument.

    I don’t think you understood my argument, I was saying the action itself could conceivably happen (much like a chef doing heart surgery), but that religion motivated him, gave him exposure for speaking and brought people together to support him.
    But tell me one leader of a SUCCESSFUL, peaceful, protest movement that was not religious or motivated by religion
    How about I list just the atheist *WOMEN* activists? Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, Maryam Namazie, and Ayaan Hirsi…

    Okay you got me. But that still doesn’t mean every clergy person is 100% useless to the world (my original argument)

    I don’t know of any violent atheist movements… Do you?
    The communist revolution. The communist manifesto specifically says religion should be removed.

    (Anyone that came after MLK Jr. was motivated by religion as they were probably motivated by him, or Ghandi). To suggest that just because you see him as a role model means you’re motivated by religion is ridiculous.

    No, I say that he was motivated by religion so it had to play a role in my actions.

    Then I could argue you can’t say whether MLK Jr. was motivated one way or the other by religion because while he was also motivated as you pointed out by Jesus and Gandhi, be was also motivated by Abraham Lincoln, while it can’t be confirmed he was an atheist, all primary sources point that he was very nonreligious.

    So 1 atheist and at least one religious figure. That is some motivation by religion in there too

    I guess for myself initial motivator to becoming an activist was draconic philosophy because I look at the dragon Kemanorel from the Half-blood Chronicles book series as an example of what I would like to be because I saw the parallel between his world and ours. He influenced me more to being a better person than being religious ever did.
    Yet, somehow, I don’t think I’ll be listing “draconic philosophy” as my motivator just because I look at Kemanorel as a role-model for his amazing sense of social-justice and for active fighting against the elven oppression of humans and half-bloods.

    But draconic philosophy played a role. You don’t have to call it something that motivates you, but it was a factor.

  29. #29 ERV
    May 17, 2012

    Fixed that for you, what? You have to use html style here (shift+, and shift+. greater than and less than signs) rather than brackets.

    Also, inside joke: “OMFG I AM UNDER A DDOS ATTACK!!!! SOMEONE CALL LADEN!!!”

  30. #30 Prometheus
    May 17, 2012

    what?@#… whatever

    Talk about tl;dr hall of fame.

    wow.

    Got enough free time?

    If your crap is so irredeemably prolix that I can’t be bothered reading interstitial quotes of MY own remarks…well….shit.

    I love me, but you are such a blatherer I am now bored with me.

    P.S.

    Correction: I have read enough to determine you are not JUST dumb, you are indefatigably dumb.

  31. #31 J
    May 17, 2012

    Who fucking writes long comment? Seriously. Fucking Noob!

  32. #32 Kemanorel
    May 18, 2012

    And since every single church or whatever has a priest molesting kids, every single clergyman has had a chance to turn someone over, right.

    Not all of them, but you would think at least once considering stuff like this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/12/priest-abuse-in-chicago-s_n_759697.html

    I have to admit I know nothing about him [Pope John Paul II). Still let me know how whatever he clearly did applies to every priest.

    He’s generally considered to be one of the “good” ones. Look up Cardinal Law.

    “Most?” you just made my point. And not all priests are paid by the church.

    The point here is that the church and clergy are useless. You don’t think *most* of them being supported by dollars that should be taxed isn’t a detriment? Stop acting like this is all or nothing.

    I am saying that morals would be much more limited and inter-population morals would be weaker.

    What do you mean? More limited *without* religion? Weaker without bigots against homosexuality? Come on.

    Luckily for the church members, they get to decide if they want to contribute, they are not forced to.

    If you rephrase that as “they are not “forced” to” then you have that right. Legally, no, but socially yes. If you’re active in the church you’re expected to donate more.

    Look at the Mormon church with Prop 8 and their tactics for raisin money. Or you can go ask my parents about their “meeting” after they pledged less money for the building fund this year than they gave last year…

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean it will be provided. I am not saying the church is the best at this, I am saying there would be less overall charity without religion.

    And I’m telling you that’s a sad state that people only donate because of religion instead of being good people.

    The government has a way to get people to donate money to those in need, it’s called taxes.

    Which would be increased because as I mentioned, people wouldn’t write off donations to a church on their taxes, and there wouldn’t be churches who are tax exempt.

    Everyone wins.

    But that still doesn’t mean every clergy person is 100% useless to the world (my original argument)

    That wasn’t my argument either, pre se. Some of them are useful, if you want to include counseling and charity, but those people could do the exact same things more effectively and efficiently without religion because then you have good people doing good things and bad people don’t get away with the crap they do.

    The communist revolution. The communist manifesto specifically says religion should be removed.

    You do realize that communism is not the same as atheism, right? It’s not an atheist revolution. You specifically called in the communist revolution. The Communist Revolution was about a political ideal, not a religious one, and the only real reason communism has atheism in it is because the next thing in line for power from the state is generally religion. If you want to hold all the power, you get rid of or make a deal with religion (sorry to Godwin this) like Hitler made with the Catholic church.

    You really are new here to be trotting out that old pile of shit…

    No, I say that he was motivated by religion so it had to play a role in my actions.

    So you’re basically saying that by proxy everyone is motivated by religion. *rolls eyes*

    So 1 atheist and at least one religious figure. That is some motivation by religion in there too… But draconic philosophy played a role. You don’t have to call it something that motivates you, but it was a factor.

    My point is that motivation comes from what actions a person takes not necessarily their theological or philosophical beliefs. It’s their actions that make the impression, not why they made the actions.

    Hence my original point that saying this: “Anyone that came after MLK Jr. was motivated by religion as they were probably motivated by him, or Ghandi” is ridiculous.

  33. #33 hoary puccoon
    May 18, 2012

    what@ 23

    Say whatever you guys want for or against the clergy, but do NOT diss janitors and garbagemen again. Those guys really have saved millions of lives. Don’t you know how the bubonic plague was spread?

  34. #34 tvday
    Texas
    May 28, 2012

    I totally have these moments too. Where I want to blame all bad scientific thought on politicians and the clergy. However, I would hesitate to say that politicians and clergy have no positive impact on society. There are politicians who benefit our society, for example Republican Rep. Maureen Walsh, who recently addressed the Washington Legislature before they voted to pass gay marriage. Additionally, I know plenty of clergy who have made a positive impact in the lives of my friends who are Christian. I think as scientists we have to be sure not to alienate the individuals who provided counsel to other individuals whether directly or indirectly, so we do not alienate those other individuals by proxy.

    That being said I really enjoy your blog! It is really fun to read!

  35. #35 SAB
    May 30, 2012

    I can see how your anger got away with you. This was a very heated post, but with good reason. Science is so hard to properly convey to non-scientists. And when they get it wrong… it’s frustrating, yes. What we need is more science writers and science communicators. Let the scientists explain the science. Leave the politics to the politicians and preaching to the clergy.

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