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 The Elephant in the Room.

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 13:37

Caro & Neilsen should be OK, Nordmann as well, and Meles in the Pyrenees. The rest of us are ******


10 best places to live if WW3 breaks out
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 13:44

Thank'ee Trike, hopefully Trump's and Putin's willy-waving contest, as I've heard it described, will come to nothing this time as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 13:59

I certainly hope so, Nielsen.

IF the US launches cruise missiles at Syria, the Russians have said they'll shoot them down. Shooting down some cruise missiles won't be particularly alarming.
The Russians also say they'll target the source of the missiles, which, in this instance, looks to be the aircraft carrier Harry S Truman. This is a whole different ball game. If the Russian shoot at a US warship, the whole thing could very rapidly spiral out of control:

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 15:32

@Triceratops wrote:

10 best places to live if WW3 breaks out

.... but anyone who claims that "Slovenia largely avoided involvement in both WW1 and WW2", should not in any way be taken seriously ... And that's just one of their faux facts.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 15:39

I'm not really concerned about Slovenia, I'm concerned about me.

Anyway, the tweeting has changed tone:

11.57: Get ready for missiles, you gas-killing animal supporter

12.37: How oh how can we stop this terrible arms race?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 15:57

@Triceratops wrote:
I'm not really concerned about Slovenia, I'm concerned about me.
 
Smile

You can always come and stay here ... I've got plenty of rooms (well, five) and my cellar is 4m underground, but frankly with all the surrounding hills a nuclear airburst at, say, 500m altitude, would have to be within just a few kilometres to have any direct radiation affect. And I can't really see anyone deliberately targeting either the mayor's sheep farm, the post office, or the village shop ... which are the only sites of any 'strategic' importance for many miles around provided you discount the early-warning system along the tops of the mountain peaks ... but that is no longer in use having been finally decommissioned in about 1320 after the French/Aragonese frontier moved much further east.

Mind you of course, that would only be just the start of the problems once society breaks down ... although I always have tinned/bottled/dried food for about two months; have a generator with fuel for two weeks; already get my water from a spring (and with 100 litres always in store); currently heat the house with wood from my own land with a year's worth of wood in store, and have a wood fired stove on which I could cook if really necessary; and currently grow or get from the forest about a quarter of all my food.

The real problem would of course be all the starving and displaced people from the cities ... but hopefully once the mobile phone network goes down, they'll never find us.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 11 Apr 2018, 19:52

@Nielsen wrote:
Thank'ee Trike, hopefully Trump's and Putin's willy-waving contest, as I've heard it described, will come to nothing this time as well.

Nielsen, the US and the rebels have lost in Syria and now they seek some retaliation to have at least something for showing they are though, and perhaps change the present situation. And they have to have an incident to say that they don't act idle and have not lost their prime position in the eyes of the world. They started the Vietnam war also with a presumed incident. And after all they can't let go all the glory to the Russians in Syria...which is one of the causes of the popularity of Putin in Russia. He has put Russia on the map again for the average Russian, perhaps with not all too bona fide tricks. But the others did it too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident
All in my humble opinion....
And a very dangerous game if you ask me...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 12 Apr 2018, 09:09

Very decent of you, Meles, but I'm expecting books from Amazon this weekend and I need to be here in case I win the pools.


The Daily Mash says:

Fourth Time Lucky
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 13 Apr 2018, 04:10

@Meles meles wrote:
@Triceratops wrote:

10 best places to live if WW3 breaks out

.... but anyone who claims that "Slovenia largely avoided involvement in both WW1 and WW2", should not in any way be taken seriously ... And that's just one of their faux facts.


Not only that but I was also surprised to read Austria on the list, especially considering their history and the jug eared, far right nutjobs just elected.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 08:06

@Triceratops wrote:
Is anyone else getting  a bit concerned about current developments?


Radio interview in which former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, expresses his view that the West is having it's chain jerked by ISIS:



They had Peter Ford on BBC Breakfast on Friday expressing again his very real concern that "evidence" these days is a dodgy business. I brought this up in a discussion over lunch (in a Devon pub, not anywhere remotely important) yesterday and got howled down. Peter Ford's views were dismissed by all present as a load of nonsense. But is there possibly some truth in what he is saying? I was surprised at the scoffing.  Quite who is manipulating whom - and to what end - is surely of vital importance? Every possibility must be considered? Then again, perhaps I have been watching too much Homeland. In the murky world of international politics - especially when religion is part of a toxic brew -  "trust no one" is as valid now as it ever was? As Ford suggests, there are an awful lot of people who are actually looking forward to Armageddon - and, what is particularly frightening, not all are fanatical Islamists. One lady present at our lunch - a quiet woman whom I thought I knew reasonably well - told the astonished company that there was nothing to be afraid of because we are living in the prophesied "end times", that all "believers" will be "saved" and the coming conflict will bring the glorious second coming of Jesus. I nearly choked on my sticky toffee pudding - nothing like a bit of mad eschatology to put you off your meal. I quietly asked how was she so certain of post-apocalyptic glory for the chosen and she, obviously surprised at my stupid question, replied: "Because the bible says so."

"Time to shut up, ***," I told myself, and ordered another drink. 

You see now why I choose to lose myself in Philomena Cunk?

Larry the Cat, always a reliable political commentator, replying to what I sincerely hope is the utterly mad suggestion that we, the British, have actually msterminded these poison attacks, not only in Salisbury, but also in Douma, has responded by observing that the present administration in London is incapable of staging an amateur production of Wind in the Willows, let alone a chemical attack in Syria. Perhaps the Russian administration got carried away by Hugh Laurie's excellent performance in The Night Manager.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/russia-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-douma-white-helmets-sergei-lavrov-a8303826.html


It is indeed a mad world, my masters, and I for one no longer know what or whom to believe. But one thing for sure, I am most definitely not looking forward to the glorious end times.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 09:50

@Temperance wrote:

They had Peter Ford on BBC Breakfast on Friday expressing again his very real concern that "evidence" these days is a dodgy business. I brought this up in a discussion over lunch (in a Devon pub, not anywhere remotely important) yesterday and got howled down. Peter Ford's views were dismissed by all present as a load of nonsense. But is there possibly some truth in what he is saying? I was surprised at the scoffing.  Quite who is manipulating whom - and to what end - is surely of vital importance? ....

Indeed, Temp ... I'm far from being a tinfoil-helmeted conspiracy nut, but I do find myself asking throughout all of this: cui bono - who benefits? Assad wants to hold onto power and Russia and Iran want to support him for their own strategic advantages, but the Syrian regime has nearly beaten the rebels so why are they risking western involvement now? Similarly given the deep divisions about such action in the UK and France I don't see what May or Macron gain, other than brownie points with a US President who increasingly is regarded, even by his own government officials, as inconsistent, duplicitous, venal, corrupt, mandacious and frankly unfit for office. Unfortunately the only ones I can see gaining any benefit by stirring up all this mayhem and casually slaughtering a few more innocent civillians, are the most fundamental of religious nutters, like ISIS who are losing control in the region, and ultimately their Wahhabist Saudi backers ... or the likes of Steve Bannon who is pushing for any excuse for the US to have a really big and really profitable war to end all wars. But that conclusion unfortunately rather implies that "we" are on the "wrong" side.

@Temperance wrote:

One lady present at our lunch - a quiet woman whom I thought I knew reasonably well - told the astonished company that there was nothing to be afraid of because we are living in the prophesied "end times", that all "believers" will be "saved" and the coming conflict will bring the glorious second coming of Jesus. I nearly choked on my sticky toffee pudding - nothing like a bit of mad eschatology to put you off your meal. I quietly asked how was she so certain of post-apocalyptic glory for the chosen and she, obviously surprised at my stupid question, replied: "Because the bible says so."

"Time to shut up, ***," I told myself, and ordered another drink. 

You see now why I choose to lose myself in Philomena Cunk?

And that is precisely the reason why I don't find Philomena funny. I have encountered, and still encounter, far too many people - often well-paid, professional people, with important jobs - who repetedly voice similar idiotic, inconsistent, illogical, ignorant tripe ... and still expect their opinion to be as valid, if not more so, as anyone else's (and they even get the vote too!). For me Philomena Cunk is sadly just too true to life to be amusing.

And on that rather depressing note I'm going out to plant some French beans and lettuces before the forecast rain, and bombs, start falling again.

Have a good Sunday Smile
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 14:17

MM wrote:
 ... or the likes of Steve Bannon who is pushing for any excuse for the US to have a really big and really profitable war to end all wars.  


Absolutely. "Follow the money" and "trust no one" - nothing changes, does it? How Machiavelli must be smiling, if he is not weeping.

MM wrote:

@Temperance wrote:

One lady present at our lunch - a quiet woman whom I thought I knew reasonably well - told the astonished company that there was nothing to be afraid of because we are living in the prophesied "end times", that all "believers" will be "saved" and the coming conflict will bring the glorious second coming of Jesus. I nearly choked on my sticky toffee pudding - nothing like a bit of mad eschatology to put you off your meal. I quietly asked how was she so certain of post-apocalyptic glory for the chosen and she, obviously surprised at my stupid question, replied: "Because the bible says so."

"Time to shut up, ***," I told myself, and ordered another drink. 

You see now why I choose to lose myself in Philomena Cunk?


And that is precisely the reason why I don't find Philomena funny. I have encountered, and still encounter, far too many people - often well-paid, professional people, with important jobs - who repetedly voice similar idiotic, inconsistent, illogical, ignorant tripe ... and still expect their opinion to be as valid, if not more so, as anyone else's (and they even get the vote too!). For me Philomena Cunk is sadly just too true to life to be amusing.

And on that rather depressing note I'm going out to plant some French beans and lettuces before the forecast rain, and bombs, start falling again.


I don't quite follow you. Surely the whole point of Philomena is that she is on the side of the village idiots against just those braying, educated yet ignorant, professional fools you mention -  or, if she is not exactly on their side, she is just taking the p*ss out of everyone, and is inviting us to consider who in fact are the wise men and who are the fools in this world. Surely we can all be both at times - and it's best we don't forget that.

I found a nice quote today about the difference between religion and spirituality: it will probably be dismissed by many here as a stupid cliché from Alcoholics Anonymous or somewhere, but it appealed to me. The quote was:

Religion is for those who don't want to go to hell. Spirituality is for those of us who have already been through it.

But tell that to the people trapped in Syria, in the war zone with bastards from all sides and from all religions bombing hell out of them and their children. I wonder if they have any time left for religion or for spirituality? I cannot bear to talk to people about God anymore - and that is real despair. But, like you, and unlike the Syrians, I can still go out in the gentle spring rain and plant things, so who am I to despair? Despair is a sin, isn't it? But I do despair. And reason and intellect and bloody logic are of little use either.

PS I didn't know until last Tuesday that Elizabeth I was the Vegan Queen.


Last edited by Temperance on Mon 16 Apr 2018, 07:29; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Removal of a rogue comma)
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 16:02

Isn't the Cunk act just a re-hash of Ali G? It works well if employed against frauds and fools who believe themselves more knowledgeable than they really are. It falls flat when used against people who are "in on the joke" and whose role is simply to avoid showing irritation while Morgan impersonates a total idiot. It is a joke worn very thin at this stage - and the new series ostensibly about British history is excruciating to watch. I've made it through two episodes in the hope of even one laugh but I think I've given it enough of my time now.

Piss-taking works as humour only in particular circumstances. Otherwise it's simply taking the piss for no good reason, and I can't see the point in that - even the "words that sound a bit the same but aren't" jokes have been badly scripted in this latest Cunk outing, and in some instances they were simply used to try and shock the other party due to their crassness. The interviewee is embarrassed, but not for any good or comic reason. Poor stuff.

On the other point: Reason, intellect and bloody logic can of course rescue one from despair. All it needs is the opportunity to employ them and the will to do so. They also reveal quite an impressive track record of success historically when so employed. In fact much more than any alternative, and to much more impressively long-lasting effect. Beats trying to talk to people about "god" anyway, absence of which is actually quite the opposite to despair when one thinks about it - you know; when one uses reason, intellect and bloody logic, I mean.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 16:24

Well, thanks for that, nordmann - me put well in my place - thou hast comforted me marvelous much. But then it's not your job, or anyone else's, to comfort me, so enough of my self-indulgent shit.

I agree about Ali G by the way, but still love Cunk. Says a lot about me and a lot of other people I know, no doubt, but there you go.

Do you always have to be so sharp - so harsh - with people? Is that what your philosophy teaches you? I suppose you are only harsh with people you consider to be utter fools. Lesson learnt - God, about time too, thinks everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 16:38

That's not me being harsh. You obviously would rather not witness me being harsh. And nor should you feel I am assigning any "place" to you, be it yours or not to adopt. I really don't know in fact which "place" best suits you or where you feel I think you may belong. Whichever place you like best, I suppose - isn't that how these things are most often conducted?

That was in fact just me answering your point with one of my own. You dismiss logic as "bloody logic" and I humbly submit that you have actually employed reason, intellect and even "bloody logic" in your dismissal, whether you admit it or not, or even whether your subsequent assertion makes sense or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 16:58

So what is your take on Absurdity in Existentialism, nord? And I do have a vague understanding of that school of thought; taking Vitamin B along with it helps a tad. I also see nothing wrong in finding humour in puerile takes on history - or anything else, come to that I can think of a few instances when you have indulged yourself on this site; remarks about Richard 111, nuns and Jesus come to mind. Of course one person's wit is another's wind.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 17:19

Absurdity, if it can be said to exist, therefore is an unavoidable element in Existentialist theory.

I see nothing wrong in puerile humour applied to history either. In fact I don't think "right" or "wrong" even enter into it. But whether it is funny or not is a different matter. Cunk's stab at it isn't a patch on "1066 And All That", in fact it isn't even a patch on some of Morgan's earlier Cunk sketches. Neither wit nor wind - just pointless stuff.

Jesus is fair game for any joke of course, so fire ahead if you wish. But please let that poor misidentified nun rest in peace, P. Very unworthy of you to perpetuate the Richard the Turd myth here when we are discussing such a serious topic!
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 17:25

Deleted.

Trying to make a joke of this, isn't appropriate - just too silly.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 17:26

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 19:25

@nordmann wrote:
That's not me being harsh. You obviously would rather not witness me being harsh. And nor should you feel I am assigning any "place" to you, be it yours or not to adopt. I really don't know in fact which "place" best suits you or where you feel I think you may belong. Whichever place you like best, I suppose - isn't that how these things are most often conducted?

That was in fact just me answering your point with one of my own. You dismiss logic as "bloody logic" and I humbly submit that you have actually employed reason, intellect and even "bloody logic" in your dismissal, whether you admit it or not, or even whether your subsequent assertion makes sense or not.

I don't understand any of the above, but perhaps I was harsh in talking about "bloody logic" - hence your not-harsh comments about poor Philomena.  "Why must he always have ago at you?" someone said to me (no one here) - "Perhaps because I always have a go at him," I replied. How idiotic all this is. Shame there has been the usual unfriendly exchange of posts because I was actually about to respond to your very interesting reply to Paul on the Confucius thread - but perhaps best I keep out of that thread - especially as I know nothing about Confucius.

I find consolation neither in religion nor philosophy at the moment: humans seem to learn nothing - so much for our "spirituality" or our faculty of "reason".  All the learned debate by philosophers and theologians and we still manage to turn this world into a hell.

But what the heck - let's hope the politicians work it out rather than the military. And perhaps episode three of Cunk on Res His will be better.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 19:38

Crossed posts - this is for nord.  You had better bone up on Existentialism and absurdity...... key discussion element in that school. As for unworthy posts in Res Hist, well, well, well, Mr Knightley! I surely have not offended a Miss Bates on Box Hill, have I? 

Once - a long time ago - I had believed that you could write a very funny take on aspects of History - getting down to it perhaps being the problem. It is a delight to find so many are amused by the Cunk production, however. I envy that team the opportunity. How about you? Of course if you find Jesus the best butt for your arrows then I find that sad. Whoever he was - or whoever invented him and for whatever reason  (and successfully) you find that essence of profound goodness  a worthy mark? Tut ever so tut,  So I had better go off for a while and window watch the Res Hist mites at agreeable play unremarked again. How very worthy of me - with that you must  agree.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 19:49

Utterly strange comments - and now you're having a go at poor old Tut? Tsk, tsk, says he having a go at the Germans.

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 21:14

@nordmann wrote:
Isn't the Cunk act just a re-hash of Ali G? It works well if employed against frauds and fools who believe themselves more knowledgeable than they really are. It falls flat when used against people who are "in on the joke"

Very well put. And even Ali G wasn't the first spoof interviewer although that character was perhaps the first to target politicos and academics etc. About 5 years before him there was Dennis Pennis who would haunt red carpet events with his microphone and spring comic ambushes on 'slebs'. One particularly mean incident involved him calling out to Demi Moore:

"Can I ask you a question? BBC. Are there any circumstances, and if wasn't gratuitous and it was tastefully done, in which would you consider keeping your clothes on in a movie?"

To be fair to Demi her initial shocked look then did give way to wry smile proving that she quickly appreciated that her interviewer was a spoofer.

With regard to Trike's topic then I'm surprised that anyone (particularly historically minded people) would be taken in by the media whipping up war hysteria based on flimsy or even no evidence. 120 years ago the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbour following an explosion resulted in New York newspapers immediately apportioning blame to Spain before even any formal enquiry had taken place. The ensuing Spanish-American War then saw Cuba (along with the Philippines etc) annexed by the US.

Over the last 25 years or so I've lost count of the number of times the UK media has failed to properly question or investigate various allegations and incidents relating to wars and conflicts but has simply spun them to suit a particular agenda more often than not in accordance with the government line.

P.S. I don't think that I was the only one who noted the supreme irony the other day of the UK prime minister uttering trite platitudes regarding the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland before then ordering the RAF to bomb Syria.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 15 Apr 2018, 22:31

@Meles meles wrote:
@Temperance wrote:

They had Peter Ford on BBC Breakfast on Friday expressing again his very real concern that "evidence" these days is a dodgy business. I brought this up in a discussion over lunch (in a Devon pub, not anywhere remotely important) yesterday and got howled down. Peter Ford's views were dismissed by all present as a load of nonsense. But is there possibly some truth in what he is saying? I was surprised at the scoffing.  Quite who is manipulating whom - and to what end - is surely of vital importance? ....

Indeed, Temp ... I'm far from being a tinfoil-helmeted conspiracy nut, but I do find myself asking throughout all of this: cui bono - who benefits? Assad wants to hold onto power and Russia and Iran want to support him for their own strategic advantages, but the Syrian regime has nearly beaten the rebels so why are they risking western involvement now? Similarly given the deep divisions about such action in the UK and France I don't see what May or Macron gain, other than brownie points with a US President who increasingly is regarded, even by his own government officials, as inconsistent, duplicitous, venal, corrupt, mandacious and frankly unfit for office. Unfortunately the only ones I can see gaining any benefit by stirring up all this mayhem and casually slaughtering a few more innocent civillians, are the most fundamental of religious nutters, like ISIS who are losing control in the region, and ultimately their Wahhabist Saudi backers ... or the likes of Steve Bannon who is pushing for any excuse for the US to have a really big and really profitable war to end all wars. But that conclusion unfortunately rather implies that "we" are on the "wrong" side.


Meles meles,

"cui bono" Yes indeed. We had a discussion on the French forum of geopolitics on the so-called "sarin" attack, condemned by Trump as coming from Assad, where Trump retaliated too. A Belgian expert on the Syrian civil war, said then as me too: cui bono? Assad was winning on all fronts (with the Russian help) and the rebels backed by the Saudis and to a certain amount also by the US were losing on all fronts. Why would he seek now for trouble giving the US a reason to intervene. He could easely do it the normal way with the help of the Russians. We ( in fact only my Belgian compatriot, while I was more diplomatic) were then whistled back by the moderator of the site (in my opinion more harsh than nordmann, Temperance). As now, the French had "proof", but when we mentioned the official site of the government. It was all: "everything points to" and other such terms. Nowhere any clear evidence, as one would expect,if they said: we have proof...
And Temperance, when I attempted to explain "our" vision to my partner, next bed in the "kidney dialysis", who had had a high ranking position in an insurance company, intellectual and following politics, he tried to shoot me down in flames...

And now again: "cui bono", even more than in the former case.
Thank you very much for your excellent wording (what a language. and what an English, I can't it even in my Dutch mother tongue) and I am glad that the other expert Peter Ford says, what we, two Belgians, say already from the first US strike.

PS: "the power of propaganda" "propaganda, right or invented"


Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 08:14

Deleted -  actual post appears now below.

Various quotes seem to have made new message in wrong place - here.

EDIT: I have royally messed this up - quoting put new post (the one sent in early hours of 19/4/2018) here in error, so I deleted it. However, I seem also to have deleted my original message, the one which caused nordmann to be royally pissed off. I did not mean to do that. Can the original post be retrieved?

Posting, quoting and editing at three o' clock in the morning is not a good idea.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 08:34

Who is "sneering"?

You really do engage quite often in very personal and even attemptedly hurtful retaliations to what are simply contradictions to your comments posted here - based incidentally on what I also believe to be true, though in my case a truth adduced through as reasonable means as are available to me. Or doesn't that count as much as what you believe to be true and therefore merits such response in your eyes?

The double-standard employed there regarding how you wish to be treated/regarded and how you feel you can treat/regard others is really amazing! Didn't someone once say something about that which we all agreed made perfect sense (even if we disagree on who might first have said it)?

By the way - this comment is indeed a personal reaction to yours above, and contains less factual reference than I would normally wish to employ, so I apologise for that. However that's just because you have royally pissed me off. Nothing really personal, you understand.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 08:55

@nordmann wrote:

Jesus is fair game for any joke of course...


I am not trying to hurt you or anyone else. This is nothing to do with you: it is to do with my failure last night to defend an ideal I believe in because I am afraid of you and your ability to hurt. Priscilla is not afraid and she spoke out. Do you think I don't know I am a total prat? I ran away last night and I feel ashamed. That's all.

But forget it - you have a good site here and you can well do without my "really amazing" input.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 09:06

Your input is "amazing" (in the best sense of the word) when it doesn't stray into personal slights - like my own or anyone else's can be too. Our normally admirable restraint in that regard is what keeps the site good (if anachronistic in the modern age of "social" media).

Priscilla's accusatory remark was made (I presumed) in jest, wasn't in the slightest bit "brave" (when she's "brave" she's capable of so much more), and I didn't think merited a response in those circumstances. One can over-do a joke - as Philomena Cunk can testify.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 10:19

I try to avoid the topic of religion on here.  Am I being timorous by doing so?  Well, my poor old memory must be getting worse because when I looked through the above I initially thought 'but didn't one of the Brontes write a book about Jane Austen' but of course 'twas Elizabeth Gaskell who wrote a book about Charlotte Bronte.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 16 Apr 2018, 10:57

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I try to avoid the topic of religion on here. 

Very sensible, LiR ... although you must admit it gets rather difficult to discuss history if one avoids all reference to the influence of religion. And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect".
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 09:12

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 10:22

Very good, Trike ... where do you find these things? But it's not even 11 o'clock teabreak time where you are, so you obviously don't have enough to do at work!
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 11:40

Local holiday yesterday, Meles, so was in early today expecting a load of work needing to be caught up.
Only there was very little and had a few extra minutes this morning.

That particular image is from Mustardland, another ex-BBC board. Some of the members on it, made the occasional contribution to the History Boards as well:

The Bull: Mustardland
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 17 Apr 2018, 12:36

I've had a quick "shufty" at Mustardland, Trike.  Looks like it might be worth reading in more detail when I have more spare time.  I find the news very depressing these days but of course one has to watch, even if it is only the headlines, to be aware of what is happening.  I like the radio though mine along with other appliances went bump.  Time to treat myself to another one (when I've done my invoicing).

I agree with MM, Trike does seem to have a gift for finding jokey pictures or links.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 18 Apr 2018, 05:12

@Meles meles wrote:
@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I try to avoid the topic of religion on here. 

Very sensible, LiR ... although you must admit it gets rather difficult to discuss history if one avoids all reference to the influence of religion. And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect".

I don't take any notice of it as the retreat into perceived offence is merely a ploy to silence debate, it is passive aggressive but bullying none the less.

We see the same tactics being used in the Brexit debate, anyone who questions dogma must be silenced using any means necessary because there is no answer to logic.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 18 Apr 2018, 07:55

@Islanddawn wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I try to avoid the topic of religion on here. 

Very sensible, LiR ... although you must admit it gets rather difficult to discuss history if one avoids all reference to the influence of religion. And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect".

I don't take any notice of it as the retreat into perceived offence is merely a ploy to silence debate, it is passive aggressive but bullying none the less.

We see the same tactics being used in the Brexit debate, anyone who questions dogma must be silenced using any means necessary because there is no answer to logic.


That's a really unfair thing to say about nordmann, ID. I know he is offended - "royally pissed off" - with me, and that he does often withdraw from discussion when he meets with perceived idiocy, but he never, ever "silences" debate and he never retreats from anything or anyone, nor is he a  "passive aggressive" bully. I said I was afraid of his ability to hurt, but that is perhaps my weakness, not his aggression. He, Priscilla and I have argued together so happily - and at great length - in the past on so many threads and have, if anything, bored you all into silence. All those posts about religion (and many other controversial subjects) - too numerous to mention - certainly no stifling of discussion here. I remember the glory days of our debates, and am saddened to think that such happy times are now over - ended in a state of general pissed-offness for us all. The discussions were witty and erudite - and Priscilla and I occasionally said something funny and/or intelligent too.

Brexit debate silenced? If only. Here in Poundland we are all sick to death of the endless discussion about the whole sorry mess. But there are rising hopes for an "Exit From Brexit" vote, so don't despair. Europe may not have got shut of us yet.

May God's or the Flying Spaghetti Monster's or whoever's blessings be upon us all. I rather suspect we are all going to need some kind of blessing the way things are going. We are all idiots in our own way, aren't we?


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 18 Apr 2018, 08:15

Temps,

"We are all idiots in our own way, aren't we?" - a turn on an old saying, "even the simplest fool can do something I can't but admire!"

What I think of as common among participants in talks in here, is an apparent , err, 'belief' in the written and spoken word, and the possibility of bringing forth enough arguments to make someone else think and perhaps change his/her mind.

Perhaps this is part of a Westernized definition of democracy. 
I dare not pen it as "THE Westernized ...", as it looks to me like there are as many ways and means in the evolutions of that subject as there are countries claiming to be democracies.

Ought this perhaps to be in the "rant" thread?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 18 Apr 2018, 20:12

Quote :

@Islanddawn wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I try to avoid the topic of religion on here. 

Very sensible, LiR ... although you must admit it gets rather difficult to discuss history if one avoids all reference to the influence of religion. And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect".

I don't take any notice of it as the retreat into perceived offence is merely a ploy to silence debate, it is passive aggressive but bullying none the less.

We see the same tactics being used in the Brexit debate, anyone who questions dogma must be silenced using any means necessary because there is no answer to logic.

Temperance,

as I understood Islanddawn (sorry Islanddawn, if I misunderstood you) she pointed to what Meles meles said and agreed with it.
"And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect"."
And besides I fully agree with Meles meles on that aspect.

As religions are an integral part of history, the influences on historical events and even on contemporaneous aspects of society have to be discussed, as we till now are part of a free world, where such matter can be discussed without restraint and without silencing from the "State" or from those, who say that they represent the state. I see for instance that the way now is open in Turkey for the dictatorship and can it that there too religion is in the picture?.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 02:48

@Priscilla wrote:

Of course if you find Jesus the best butt for your arrows then I find that sad. Whoever he was - or whoever invented him and for whatever reason  (and successfully) you find that essence of profound goodness  a worthy mark?

To which I replied:
I wrote:


You make me feel ashamed, Priscilla: I wish I had your guts.

Mocking mad believers is acceptable (as long as we can also admit to our own failings, of course); but sneering at a good man - or the presentation of an ideal of a good man - is not. You were right to point that out: I should have done so, but was too "bloody" afraid.


Please read the above, Paul. Your post has made me wonder whether anything I have posted about religion here has been read, let alone understood. Do you and others really think I am a person who wishes to "silence" debate about the dark side of religion? I have never done that, nor have I ever tried to stifle discussion in any way. Quite the opposite. I abhor bigots and fundamentalists of any faith - or none - infuriating people, who have no sense of the absurd and who cannot or will not consider other people's viewpoint. I am not such a person. Neither am I stupid, as your post would seem to suggest: of course I understand the importance of considering religion as an important issue in any discussion of history or politics. I have suggested above we are all "idiots" in our own way - "idiots" was perhaps an inappropriate word; but certainly we all have triggers which make us irrational at times - and "religion" is an almighty trigger for some; often, I acknowledge, with good reason. I include myself in that comment. That said, healthy debate and the legitimate exposure of religion used for evil ends is one thing, but making a good man - or a the presentation of the ideal of a good man - the butt of cheap jokes is not acceptable to me: it just seems plain wrong and I can't stomach it.

I am pretty shocked that "respect" for others' genuine, innocent, benign religious sensibilities is no longer considered important in this world: another "skill" now redundant? Such a view, in my opinion, is dangerous in the extreme and can lead an entire nation down the road to hell. As a wise person, also shocked by such a view, remarked to me: "There were no 'easy rides' in those cattle trucks." Think about it. Without respect we are lost: I am distressed to think I might have been seen as lacking in this quality.

I have been warned against posting here further: it is a sad comment to be told that I only risk "further slagging off" if I remain. That view has also shocked me: is that really what is happening here? I honestly did not see it that way: I actually thought people were being quite restrained. I did not believe I was being  horrible and unpleasant and "personal", neither did I consider others were gunning for me particularly, just that there was the inevitable rub of feelings now and again, as happens when humans talk about things. But sometimes we do not see clearly, do we - ourselves or others? My bad obviously, as the kids say.

I shall probably regret posting this: I can't sleep and, at 3.00am, it no doubt would be wiser simply not to respond at all - just retire with as much grace as I can muster from a situation which has become untenable. Many topics are for me very emotional subjects, and that of course is the problem. I wish I could be cooler and more "logical"  with you all about everthing and just discuss history - whatever that is - in an unemotional, factual way, but I can't, so best for all I take a break. I always said I was no historian.

I shall go and read today's advice in my Daily Stoic book now - it had better be good.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 07:25

Can I just point out that all this is based on an allegation that someone here engaged in "sneering at a good man - or the presentation of an ideal of a good man". I have checked back through the thread and find no evidence of this having occurred.

Now, I'm off to watch "The Life Of Brian" again.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 17:52

I'm just mightily miffed and disappointed to learn that, not only do you think we have been repeatedly "slagging you off" but clearly you have shared this opinion with others, despite, in my opinion, it being a demonstrably false assertion. I defy you to find any instance of this said "slagging off" here, and indeed if there had been I would have expected Nordmann to have come down hard on the perpetrator as being in breach of the terms and conditions of the site. And if you really think you have been treated roughly, you might like to compare your experience on this forum to, say, that on historum.

And all it seems because I originally said I didn't find Philomena Cunk funny. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 19:14

Please will you read my post (sent at 3.00am - not a good time for sharing one's thoughts) again, MM, especially the bit in bold about the "slagging off"? This a was not a sulky response to a disagreement over a stupid TV programme, but something far more serious for me. Nordmannn posted that Jesus was "fair game for jokes" - Jesus, not his neighbour Brian. It's upthread somewhere: I have not imagined it. That distressed me a great deal, as did your remark about how "practitioners" of religion should not expect respect. Fair enough, if that is what you think, but I don't, not if said "practitioners" are ordinary people - often very kind people (not just Christians) - who try to do no harm to anyone. Religious nutters are another class altogether. All that is explained in my nocturnal ramblings above, reproduced below. You and nordmann are both, of course, perfectly entitled to your opinions here and I am perfectly entitled to be upset by your views. That said, if one can't stand the heat, one should exit the kitchen, something I am sure you, as an excellent cook, understand. I need a break from arguing and being confused and feeling miserable. I'm probably just too old now for all this. I have always tried to be fair and polite - and honest - and admit when I am in error, but I just can't cope at the moment. As I said, I'm a bit emotional about it all. OK?

Here is my post again. Other people do read things here, you know and comment. I have not been whingeing generally which is what you seem to be suggesting. This is the point where I usually apologise and try to make peace, but I can't tonight. I'll always take my fair share of the blame for a foul-up, but no more. Please understand that.

This is not particularly coherent, but will send - against my better judgement.




I wrote:


Please read the above, Paul. Your post has made me wonder whether anything I have posted about religion here has been read, let alone understood. Do you and others really think I am a person who wishes to "silence" debate about the dark side of religion? I have never done that, nor have I ever tried to stifle discussion in any way. Quite the opposite. I abhor bigots and fundamentalists of any faith - or none - infuriating people, who have no sense of the absurd and who cannot or will not consider other people's viewpoint. I am not such a person. Neither am I stupid, as your post would seem to suggest: of course I understand the importance of considering religion as an important issue in any discussion of history or politics. I have suggested above we are all "idiots" in our own way - "idiots" was perhaps an inappropriate word; but certainly we all have triggers which make us irrational at times - and "religion" is an almighty trigger for some; often, I acknowledge, with good reason. I include myself in that comment. That said, healthy debate and the legitimate exposure of religion used for evil ends is one thing, but making a good man - or a the presentation of the ideal of a good man - the butt of cheap jokes is not acceptable to me: it just seems plain wrong and I can't stomach it.

I am pretty shocked that "respect" for others' genuine, innocent, benign religious sensibilities is no longer considered important in this world: another "skill" now redundant? Such a view, in my opinion, is dangerous in the extreme and can lead an entire nation down the road to hell. As a wise person, also shocked by such a view, remarked to me: "There were no 'easy rides' in those cattle trucks." Think about it. Without respect we are lost: I am distressed to think I might have been seen as lacking in this quality.

I have been warned against posting here further: it is a sad comment to be told that I only risk "further slagging off" if I remain. That view has also shocked me: is that really what is happening here? I honestly did not see it that way: I actually thought people were being quite restrained. I did not believe I was being  horrible and unpleasant and "personal", neither did I consider others were gunning for me particularly, just that there was the inevitable rub of feelings now and again, as happens when humans talk about things. But sometimes we do not see clearly, do we - ourselves or others? My bad obviously, as the kids say.

I shall probably regret posting this: I can't sleep and, at 3.00am, it no doubt would be wiser simply not to respond at all - just retire with as much grace as I can muster from a situation which has become untenable. Many topics are for me very emotional subjects, and that of course is the problem. I wish I could be cooler and more "logical"  with you all about everthing and just discuss history - whatever that is - in an unemotional, factual way, but I can't, so best for all I take a break. I always said I was no historian.

I shall go and read today's advice in my Daily Stoic book now - it had better be good.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 21:24

Are you not actually demonstrating exactly what I said I found abhorrent about religions, which is that you believe your being offended somehow is more important and trumps any offence I might feel, because yours is based on religion and so expects extra special respect? It’s playing the religious trump card again. But being unable to make a`joke about Jesus for fear of offending religious sensibilities is only a short step away from protesting against cartoons depicting Mohammed.
 
But whatever, I’m not going to argue any further. I’m done here.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 19 Apr 2018, 23:40

@Temperance wrote:
Please will you read my post (sent at 3.00am - not a good time for sharing one's thoughts) again, MM, especially the bit in bold about the "slagging off"? This a was not a sulky response to a disagreement over a stupid TV programme, but something far more serious for me. Nordmannn posted that Jesus was "fair game for jokes" - Jesus, not his neighbour Brian. It's upthread somewhere: I have not imagined it. That distressed me a great deal, as did your remark about how "practitioners" of religion should not expect respect. Fair enough, if that is what you think, but I don't, not if said "practitioners" are ordinary people - often very kind people (not just Christians) - who try to do no harm to anyone. Religious nutters are another class altogether. All that is explained in my nocturnal ramblings above, reproduced below. You and nordmann are both, of course, perfectly entitled to your opinions here and I am perfectly entitled to be upset by your views. That said, if one can't stand the heat, one should exit the kitchen, something I am sure you, as an excellent cook, understand. I need a break from arguing and being confused and feeling miserable. I'm probably just too old now for all this. I have always tried to be fair and polite - and honest - and admit when I am in error, but I just can't cope at the moment. As I said, I'm a bit emotional about it all. OK?

Here is my post again. Other people do read things here, you know and comment. I have not been whingeing generally which is what you seem to be suggesting. This is the point where I usually apologise and try to make peace, but I can't tonight. I'll always take my fair share of the blame for a foul-up, but no more. Please understand that.

This is not particularly coherent, but will send - against my better judgement.




I wrote:


Please read the above, Paul. Your post has made me wonder whether anything I have posted about religion here has been read, let alone understood. Do you and others really think I am a person who wishes to "silence" debate about the dark side of religion? I have never done that, nor have I ever tried to stifle discussion in any way. Quite the opposite. I abhor bigots and fundamentalists of any faith - or none - infuriating people, who have no sense of the absurd and who cannot or will not consider other people's viewpoint. I am not such a person. Neither am I stupid, as your post would seem to suggest: of course I understand the importance of considering religion as an important issue in any discussion of history or politics. I have suggested above we are all "idiots" in our own way - "idiots" was perhaps an inappropriate word; but certainly we all have triggers which make us irrational at times - and "religion" is an almighty trigger for some; often, I acknowledge, with good reason. I include myself in that comment. That said, healthy debate and the legitimate exposure of religion used for evil ends is one thing, but making a good man - or a the presentation of the ideal of a good man - the butt of cheap jokes is not acceptable to me: it just seems plain wrong and I can't stomach it.

I am pretty shocked that "respect" for others' genuine, innocent, benign religious sensibilities is no longer considered important in this world: another "skill" now redundant? Such a view, in my opinion, is dangerous in the extreme and can lead an entire nation down the road to hell. As a wise person, also shocked by such a view, remarked to me: "There were no 'easy rides' in those cattle trucks." Think about it. Without respect we are lost: I am distressed to think I might have been seen as lacking in this quality.

I have been warned against posting here further: it is a sad comment to be told that I only risk "further slagging off" if I remain. That view has also shocked me: is that really what is happening here? I honestly did not see it that way: I actually thought people were being quite restrained. I did not believe I was being  horrible and unpleasant and "personal", neither did I consider others were gunning for me particularly, just that there was the inevitable rub of feelings now and again, as happens when humans talk about things. But sometimes we do not see clearly, do we - ourselves or others? My bad obviously, as the kids say.

I shall probably regret posting this: I can't sleep and, at 3.00am, it no doubt would be wiser simply not to respond at all - just retire with as much grace as I can muster from a situation which has become untenable. Many topics are for me very emotional subjects, and that of course is the problem. I wish I could be cooler and more "logical"  with you all about everthing and just discuss history - whatever that is - in an unemotional, factual way, but I can't, so best for all I take a break. I always said I was no historian.

I shall go and read today's advice in my Daily Stoic book now - it had better be good.


Temperance,

where to start...it is important that religion can be criticized in the context of history, any religion, as it interferes in the political history of the world. I find it a good thing that cartoons exist about that matter.

We have just had a ministorm in the Belgian politics, as the municipality polls are nearing as the foreshadow of the federal polls of next year, especially in the big cities as Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges for the Flemish region.
The Christian democrat party (a kind of German CDU) candidate of Antwerp, a highlight even in federal politics, has asked an ultraorthodox Jew from the Antwerp community to take part in his crew. And as expected by most, but not by the higly educated universitary candidate, the Jewish candidate want not to shake hands of women as that is against his belief, the same as with the orthodox Muslims. And Chris Peeters said that he knew the candidate and that it was a good and aimable person. But immediately there was a storm in the whole party and the Jewish candidate had to follow the program of the party, which was among others for egality between men and women, as they are all the same human beings. The Jewish candidate has now renounced, while he wanted to stay on his principles from his belief. The impact on national politics is not good for the Christian-Democrats in my opinion and it will be perhaps a gain for the Flemish Nationalistic party, which is a danger for the Belgian cohesion. So, as in geopolitics all is linked with all.
https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20180418_03469459
And this afternoon I saw a cartoon in that same paper showing the Antwerp CDV candidate and the chairman of that party: the chairman to the candidate: Not sure if it is in the Catholic religion that one can shake hands to women, but I am sure that it stays  not in the religion that one can't squeeze the throat, or something in that sense...a reddish headed chairman and a bluish headed (throat squeezed) candidate and if I remember it well, aside a laughing candidate of the Flemish nationalistic party...

Even in my lifetime I remember, now some 65 years ago, I suppose it was not possible to make caricatures, or it had perhaps to be in the Liberal or Socialist press, about the Catholic Church as it in Belgium was still nearly a state religion and they had still a lot of political influence. No I am glad that one can nowadays make cartoons about the Catholic Church to expose their failures. And I agree one can't do it still on the Muslim belief. It evokes for me a picture of the maffia boss and his clan. If you offend the "Boss" and dare to differ from his ideas and have no respect, we come with our machineguns to mow you dead, you disrespectful infidels.

Temperance, can we, not discuss history and religions, as it is part of history, without to be offended by a sneer to any religion that is influencing history and peoples lifes. Or is that not possible while you feel that you belong to one particular belief among the many...

Temperance, I hope that we can go further on the boards, as we did now for six years, discussing history and the historical influence of religions on that same history.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 20 Apr 2018, 08:15

In discussing historical themes, especially those concerning social evolution and the forces behind it, religion is an unavoidable subject. More than that, the tropes and motifs employed by religion also play a crucial part in any such discussion, however that discussion is conducted. Amongst those tropes is the religious inclination to create paragons - which the religious are encouraged (or even forced) to believe are manifestations of divine perfection and proof of a presumed hierarchy of truth and meaning which transcends mere humans' ability to fully comprehend. For others, including myself, these very paragons - obviously created by humans themselves - offer an insight into human ambition, human imagination, human emotion, human intellect, human morality, and even those less savoury aspects to being human - the animal's inclination as a social being to exert control over others, its wish to seek and use as proof spurious justifications for its actions however reprehensible some of those actions might be, the tendency to shift blame and responsibility away from oneself, the instinctive requirement to prioritise control and order over intellect, reason and advancement, the ability at times to subvert natural social instincts into self-serving parodies of society, etc etc.

In all of these things various paragons in the form of deities have been much used, and in religion this requires a fundamental rejection and denial of a self-evident truth on the part of its "followers" (itself a rather telling term of description) - that the paragon is of human invention, its survival as a theme nurtured and maintained by humans, and that ultimately in terms of both its ascribed character and how it is employed at any given time it is about as quintessentially human a manifestation as one can find.

Paragons, especially ones of blatantly human construct, must be questioned, even ridiculed at times, if one is to fully understand their actual worth and function (not the one claimed on their behalf by "believers"), as is true also of the mythical constructs surrounding them, equally human in origin and equally self-evidently so. Historically this has always been an important aspect to the process in which they are ultimately discarded, often necessarily if society is to improve or develop in benign ways for the betterment of its members - even if only to be replaced by others as is also often the case when the phenomenon is looked at historically. And an equally evident aspect to that process has been the understandable reluctance of individuals who subscribe to belief in their actual existence as described in the myth to abandon such a heavily invested belief. This reluctance can manifest itself in many ways, depending on the circumstances pertaining historically, but where it is allowed expres​sion(not always true, as in cases of genocidal removal of the people and their belief, for example) the notion of "offence" is paramount. The last Egyptian hieroglyphic tract created that we know of, on the walls of the last Egyptian temple in Philae, a temple still dedicated to Osiris as late as the 4th century CE, was written by a small community representing what had once been to them a "global" faith system but was now a tiny "cult" surrounded theologically and demographically by the Roman-sponsored variation of Judaism promoting one prophet as a paragon which by then had all but recruited every other Egyptian citizen. The tract describes this community as the last bastion of truth in a world in which everyone had been given licence to traduce and insult the only "real" religion, and even uses the Greek term "vrisiathi" "insulters" to describe those who now surrounded and threatened its existence. These were the most offended people in the Christian world at that moment in time because they could not subscribe to a belief in the new faith or its paragons and invested huge effort into "defending" their old pantheon against such insult, though they pragmatically accepted their minority status and saw no reason why they couldn't be left in peace to continue in their own faith on their own little island. Shortly afterwards they were violently extinguished by the same "insulters" (using their own officially-sponsored paragon as justification for their murderous act, most likely) and Osiris' temple became a Christian church, with Jesus painted over the old god.

If Christians, or probably more particularly Muslims, employ the notion of "offence" to protect both their paragons and their own wish to invest faith in these as being divine, then they should really look at what history says about this particular defence and its use. Rather than being proof of a vibrant theology with prospects to develop further, it tends to signify that particular system's impending demise. The next step historically has always been that those who had previously employed that system to exercise control, once they realise that control over perpetually and excitedly offended people presents unique difficulties of its own, simply move on to whatever new alternative might present itself (gradually, but even on some occasions quite violently and suddenly), and those in perpetual states of offence occasioned by this demise and the intrusion of other interpretations of reality on their world view have something of a Hobson's choice to countenance if they wish to continue to enjoy the perceived degree of safety, security and peace of mind that the previous regime had afforded them. What history demonstrates of course is that no religion ever has successfully rallied in popularity based on the level of offence expressed by its subscribers - in fact the opposite appears to be the most typical pattern that history consistently demonstrates is also therefore the most likely outcome in every new instance of the phenomenon.

Having said all that - at no point in the conversation above had it even begun to approach any such ridicule of a paragon (just the notion that such a thing was possible had been mentioned by me in what I assumed was a humorous response to a previous poster's equally inept attempt at humour). If such was enough to trigger hurt and offence in someone who wishes to defend their paragon of choice against assault, and if such is typical behaviour on the part of that paragon's "followers", then history suggests that this particular paragon's days are numbered indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 21 Apr 2018, 05:54

@Temperance wrote:
@Islanddawn wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I try to avoid the topic of religion on here. 

Very sensible, LiR ... although you must admit it gets rather difficult to discuss history if one avoids all reference to the influence of religion. And besides I don't see why religion shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as everything else nor its practitioners simply given an easy ride, just because of some nebulous concept of "respect".

I don't take any notice of it as the retreat into perceived offence is merely a ploy to silence debate, it is passive aggressive but bullying none the less.

We see the same tactics being used in the Brexit debate, anyone who questions dogma must be silenced using any means necessary because there is no answer to logic.


That's a really unfair thing to say about nordmann, ID. I know he is offended - "royally pissed off" - with me, and that he does often withdraw from discussion when he meets with perceived idiocy, but he never, ever "silences" debate and he never retreats from anything or anyone, nor is he a  "passive aggressive" bully. I said I was afraid of his ability to hurt, but that is perhaps my weakness, not his aggression. He, Priscilla and I have argued together so happily - and at great length - in the past on so many threads and have, if anything, bored you all into silence. All those posts about religion (and many other controversial subjects) - too numerous to mention - certainly no stifling of discussion here. I remember the glory days of our debates, and am saddened to think that such happy times are now over - ended in a state of general pissed-offness for us all. The discussions were witty and erudite - and Priscilla and I occasionally said something funny and/or intelligent too.

Brexit debate silenced? If only. Here in Poundland we are all sick to death of the endless discussion about the whole sorry mess. But there are rising hopes for an "Exit From Brexit" vote, so don't despair. Europe may not have got shut of us yet.

May God's or the Flying Spaghetti Monster's or whoever's blessings be upon us all. I rather suspect we are all going to need some kind of blessing the way things are going. We are all idiots in our own way, aren't we?


Sorry I've not gotten back sooner, I'm in the midst of moving. You've got the wrong end of the stick Temp, I wasn't referring to Nordmann.

Re the Brexit debate I would refer you to 'enemies of the people', 'will of the people', 'traitors', 'Remoaners' and many other nonsensical labels assigned to those who disagree with the Brexit dogma.  And unfortunately it is far too late to 'exit from Brexit', the damage has already been done.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Apr 2018, 10:23

MM, thank you for replying so kindly to my PM. I am posting this publically because I wanted to say thank you publically. It has all been a bit daft and yes, I do get "het up", often without real cause. It is a fault in my character, I am afraid. I blunder into unnecessary battles all the time, and then wonder why people get annoyed with me.


It is indeed time to put the tiresome religious elephant to sleep - or my own personal pet elephant at least. Mine has become a bit like that one on Blue Peter. Nordmann's latest intellectual pyrotechnics above have stopped its pious trumpetings anyway.


Hope a large dose of whatever they use to euthanize rogue pachyderms will despatch the beast without undue suffering.









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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Apr 2018, 11:49

The pyrotechnics are designed to briefly illuminate the fact that there is far more than just the one elephant in this room. (obligatory Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Apr 2018, 15:38

Genuinely confused - my default position. Whole herd of elephants rampaging around, it would seem. No wonder this developed into such an uncomfortable thread.

I have been reading the old Je Suis Charlie topic - a very interesting discussion, although it got derailed at the end. Respect was a key word in that debate. Respect is a tricky concept, and I think I got all het up the other day, not so much about religion (although I was het up about that of course), but because I felt the point I made about the need for respect (not just about religion, but respect for others' feelings generally) was ignored by everyone. I perhaps should have "stood my ground" about this. But then it could be legitimately argued that I too have shown a lack of respect for others' sensibilities by rabbiting on and on about religion - that I fully accept. Rabbits and elephants - the metaphors here are becoming more and more zoological and more and more confusing.

Lord, how I do go round in circles, but I should like to ask whether the respect question is also a tiresome elephant that should be shot - or rather ignored? Then again, perhaps time to drop the whole thing: it is causing so many problems. Or you could just shoot me... (non-obligatory  Smile )


Je Suis Charlie
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Apr 2018, 16:53

Oh the pachyderm may go on for a while, Temperance.  I've been surprised sometimes by posts I've made (not necessarily on this thread) that have elicited reaction - I never thought the remark I made about corsets would get many if any replies but it did get a few.  Not sure this is the right thread to say this but I've been getting some cross-contamination of gluten in my diet because I'm getting some coeliac symptoms and I'm beginning to wonder if there is something in the base of any of the 'shake me and I'll rattle' tablets I'm taking at present that contains gluten.  (Was it Gilgamesh who had a relation to was allergic to some anti-allergy tablets?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 24 Apr 2018, 06:57

Corsets are very interesting, LiR. I bet if you started a thread: Corsets - the Benefits it would take off. Biscuits did - another unlikely subject. But if you did start a Corsets thread you can bet your life that some crackpot or other around here would intrude and spoil it by suggesting that religion is simply Playtex for the unruly soul. Unruly is a nice word: "disposed to resist lawful restraint" c. 1400, from un- (1) "not" + obsolete ruly (adj.) "amenable to rule" . Unruly flesh and unruly minds both need firm, 18-hour control. Discuss.


Hope you sort your bad tum out: all tablets have side effects don't they? Best avoided if possible. I'm allergic to anti-allergy remedies.

PS All this elephant talk made me realise I had no idea where the expression "the elephant in the room" originated. Here is an explanation I found:

“In 1814, Ivan Andreevich Krylov (1769-1844), poet and fabulist, wrote a fable entitled "The Inquisitive Man" which tells of a man who goes to a museum and notices all sorts of tiny things, but fails to notice an elephant. The phrase became proverbial. Fyodor Dostoevsky in his novel 'Demons' wrote, 'Belinsky was just like Krylov's Inquisitive Man, who didn't notice the elephant in the museum.”
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