For instance, I was trawling the interweb and came across the following response to a youtube posting mentioning the recent tsunamis. In the midst of the more mundane posts responding to the piece was this:
"The reason for these earthquakes is because the tribulation is coming soon.
5Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains."
Such prophesy is astounding in its accuracy, isn't it? What? You mean they knew even back then that, in the future, there would be wars and natural disasters and people claiming to know all the answers?? Woah, dude...!
I almost bothered to post a reply to it but, in a moment of uncharacteristic restraint, I chose not to enter into a crock of pointless blah blah with someone so obviously detached from the real world. I would never get that time back.
Of course, the whole point is that, if people continue to announce the 'Nigh-ness' of the End of the World daily, and for long enough, one day they will be quite right. On the down-side, it's unlikely they will be around to say "Nyaa nyaa! Told you so! See? We were right all along!"
One important piece of advice I was given many years ago when I began working in a psychiatric day hospital was, "Don't try to challenge delusions. It's potentially dangerous and, more to the point, it's a complete waste of time."
"Why do you accept The Bible as the word of God?"
"Because it says so."
"Where does it say that?"
"In The Bible, of course."
"But, how do you know that's true?"
"Because it's the word of God."
"How do you know..." etc, etc, ad inf...
Occurs when logical, evidence-based discussion grind to an inevitable halt:
"Given that we've established that there exists no viable evidence to substantiate your claims, why do you still believe as you do?"
"Because I have faith."
At this point, unless one particularly enjoys the feeling of repeated contact between brick and forehead, one needs to step away avoiding unnecessary sudden movements.
The thing about any atheist vs theist debate is that it is unlikely in the extreme that anyone changes sides. There are, of course, celebrated cases of noted non-theists having Damascus-style conversions while, at the same time, overt religious worship is, worldwide, becoming a practice more and more associated with the word 'quaint' or 'cooky' (and quite commonly, 'nutter').
Religions no longer have the immense power and influence that they once had. This is a good thing. However, the world is still a troubling place and facing reality a more frightening concept to embrace.
We all have our shelters from the trials of the outside world. Maybe, I'm getting softer in my old age, but I should really be more charitable to those who choose surrender to religious doctrine as theirs.
It took me a while to realise that, when meaningless, religious tripe is spouted at me, the hackles I feel are not rising because of any dislike of the 'spouter', but anger at the Croesus-rich institutions that corrupted this otherwise (possibly) worthwhile human being into a disseminator of their own flawed doctrine; one of many who exist simply to justify the institution in question's continued, but, otherwise, anachronistic, existence.
This gives me to think that I should, instead, feel pity for the 'spouter'. However, that makes me feel that I am being patronising to someone with sincere, but naive, beliefs - which is, ironically, exactly how they are acting towards me. And I hate: 1. The thought of being patronising and, 2. That I might be likened to them.
Which makes me angry...
Book launches for the Christmas market are well underway and... shock! Horror! Peter Andre and Katie Price (aka 'Boredom', sorry, 'Jordan') have released books simultaneously.
I almost began to think that Petey-boy was showing some dignity and not pandering to the moronic, bovine, Sun-reading masses. The girl, I expect nothing less from. After all, she's only famous for being a mere product with big tits stuck on the front.
The most disturbing thing about it all is that many people will buy this pointless, ghost-written dross, thereby encouraging her to reveal more about herself. By the gods! what more could she possibly 'reveal' that she hasn't already? The results of her cervical smear?? Jordan's Butt-Cam Diaries??
People like that need therapy, not encouragement.
I despair of the human race, I really do.
It's not that I even watch telly all that much, but to be assailed over an over by an advert so gob-smackingly pretentious it makes me clench is a punishment I think EU law would rightly define as "cruel and unusual".
Here's a sample few teeth-grinding examples (Try to recreate the smug, patronising voice in your head as you read the following):
"Joy: On the back of this three-letter word, we built a company."
"We don't just build cars; we are the creators of emotion."
"Innovation is our backbone, but Joy is our heart."
"We will give the world the keys to Joy and they will take it for a drive."
"This is the story of BMW. This is the story of... Joy."
Who do you think you are, BMW?? Chanel or something?
Jeez, hosers, it' only a bloody car! Get over y'selves fercryinoutloud!
BMW: Buckets of Meaningless W**k