Comments for en-gb 30 Tue 29 Jul 2014 19:51:46 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Chris Ghoti DMcN @ 35, at that speed it might take a while to be recorded. Watch [for] that space... Fri 24 Oct 2008 16:58:19 GMT+1 David_McNickle C_G 34, 16rpm. Fri 24 Oct 2008 16:07:46 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti DMcN @ 32, do you expect a 33 and1/3, a 45 or a 78 r.p.m. complaint? Fri 24 Oct 2008 16:04:38 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti VH @ 30, I have a feeling that the passage of 'Good Omens' that SSC quoted may have been written by Neil Gaiman rather than by Terry Pratchett; the book really is a duel-author one, in which each wrote bits, and then they rang each other up and read them to each other.Difficult to co-ordinate when one author is a lark and gets up in the early hours, at about the time at which the other, an owl, is going to bed. If one or other had been living in the States at the time it might have been easier for them both to be awake and working at the same time! I think 1990 was back in the dark ages before true ease-of-email, and even that wouldn't have helped if one of them was asleep when the other wanted to read him some prized passage for comment.I do know who was responsible for the last sentences, though, and who it was who wouldn't allow the other to tell the reader what happened to the *other* baby! :-)As for 'you can't second-guess the ineffable' on the first page, the original of *that* is 'You can't eff with the ineffable', and I first heard it said by Peter Morwood, and I bet he's where one of them and I bet I know which one it was got the phrase from... And that too seems a nice appropriate quote, SSC. Fri 24 Oct 2008 15:59:00 GMT+1 David_McNickle C_G 31, Cheat/doesn't cheat. The big question, as they say is, if God is so powerful why did it take him/her six days to create everything? Why not just snap his/her fingers and do it in second and go out for a McDonalds? Mind you, I'm saying 'God', not 'Allah'. Allah could have done it in a trice, nay, a twice or an onice, if he had wanted to. Yep, all powerful, that Allah guy. No offense to Muslims meant. (Waits for complaint to be recorded.) Fri 24 Oct 2008 15:58:26 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti BB @ 27, Blah! :-)SSC @ 29, I think that the idea that God cheats (or doesn't cheat) at dice (or plays something else anyway) was kicked around extensively in a bar at the previous year's Microcon (or maybe the year before that), with probably Diana Wynne Jones putting in the notion that to us they may look blank but *God remembers where the dots are* (which comes from 'Guys and Dolls' the musical) and so there is no point in arguing with Him; nothing is truly original any more, and if one looks in the essays of Paul Jennings there is a strong possibility that he got to whatever one has just thought of as a brilliant new idea both first and in better words than one had oneself. I think Terry was at that Microcon, anyway, and Neil may well have been too.Piper @ 28, the Old Testament is chock-full of almighty temper-tantrums! Fri 24 Oct 2008 15:39:28 GMT+1 vainly_here Poor Mr. Pratchett. His experience seems far removed from yesterday's Thought for the Day. Fri 24 Oct 2008 15:00:10 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat Selkie (26) and Piper (28):An appropriate quote from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's book "Good Omens":"God does not play dice with the universe: He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time. Fri 24 Oct 2008 14:03:57 GMT+1 Piper S_P@26"Cheats" is a strong word. But, I take your point.It's always seemed odd to me, that in all probability, it was an asteroid that was "steered" the Dinosaurs way to wipe-out them and, much of the World's other inhabitants in order that the game of life could be started again.I mean, I've heard of temper-tantrums... Fri 24 Oct 2008 13:03:19 GMT+1 U13643995 Selkius_Ghoti - You're morphing! Fri 24 Oct 2008 12:53:55 GMT+1 Selkius_Piscinus Stainless Schrodinger's Cat @ 24, :-))VH, I think God probably plays dice. The court is out on whether he cheats or not, though. Fri 24 Oct 2008 12:48:18 GMT+1 vainly_here Chris (23)"Does God believe in Atheists?" by John Blanchard. Available from that well-known online bookseller et al. Goggle it.SSC (24) I have a colleague in Michigan who thinks evolution should be taught in RE rather than scienceclasses. Fri 24 Oct 2008 11:51:48 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat Chris (23):(Excuse any bad typing in this post, I'm playing with this big can I've got here. I don't know what's inside making the wriggling noises, but the lid's a bit loose, maybe I'll find out in a minute...)I'd say that atheism *is* a faith position due to the fact that it's not possible to prove a negative. Agnosticism is probably more scientific... Fri 24 Oct 2008 11:42:56 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti VH, it was DMcN who knew whether the blasphemy law still existed, not me! :-) All I did was point out that blasphemy is one thing and the blasphemy law another.One assumes that God (if he exists) must believe in Puffinbear...Puffinbear, if you could demonstrate that atheism was a faith you could certainly claim that belittling it was blasphemy against atheism; if you want to assert that it is a matter of fact and reason, not of faith, then speaking against it can't be blasphemous by definition, I wouldn't have thought. Fri 24 Oct 2008 11:19:57 GMT+1 vainly_here Chris/SSC - I'm not sure you're right about the law. There have been several attempts to extend the existing blasphemy law beyond Christianity because we are a "Multi-cultural Society." Since even our most common religions contradict one another, it would not be logical to make such a change. If the existing law was repealed, I fear it would not be long before a new law came along giving pre-eminence to another religion, and I'm not thinking about atheism.Puffinbear - just because you don't believe in God doesn't mean he doesn't exist. Fri 24 Oct 2008 10:43:08 GMT+1 PuffinBear These are very nice pieces of imaginative art, but to me as an atheist they are little more than scarier versions of images that have been produced over the centuries, who were just imagining the scene of an imaginary situation. If he wishes to paint such pictures or waste his time believing in a particular flavour of the supernatural that is up to him, but to spew forth that tired old canard of atheism leading to emptiness is to me bordering on the blasphemous, if not ridiculous. Just because I don't believe in God doesn't mean I believe in nothing. Thu 23 Oct 2008 22:54:39 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti SSC @ 19, it's even worse than that: it's blasphemy if you criticise *anything* someone considers to be sacred, not just a god. So don't you go dissing them oak trees: someone who hears you might be a Druid! :-) Some people feel that way about kittens, as far as I can tell, so being critical of a picture of a cute kitten wearing a purple ribbon is one man's common-sense, another man's blasphemy. Or woman's, before anyone has a hissy-fit about nomenclature, I wouldn't want to blaspheme... Thu 23 Oct 2008 17:45:57 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat Chris (18):Wow. Thanks for that. I think I've got it now; it's (still, (thanks David)) illegal to blaspheme against the Christian god and it's blasphemy (in general) if it criticises any particular god.I think if I *was* going to blaspheme against a deity, I wouldn't choose Odin; he sacrificed an eye to gain wisdom, which is alright by me and an example to some other supposed know-it-alls.As Eddie Izzard once said: "Blasphemy, blas for you, blas for everybody..." Thu 23 Oct 2008 17:27:15 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti mode=ruth-from-the-Archers, oooh, SSC @14, nooooo/mode'blaspheme' is a word that probably predates the adoption of christianity as the state religion in Britain or even in England, though it turns up in the Vulgate, and it means 'to talk profanely' or 'to utter impiety against [God or anything sacred]'; also 'to speak evil of, revile or calumniate'. Comes from a Greek word meaning 'evil speaking' (which I can't put here because [a] it is foreign and the mods would go bananas and [b] it's in a funny alphabet).Chaucer used the word when he said 'in blaspheme of the gods' (well, he spelt gods with a double-d, i, s, but that's a plural form as far as I know) so I assume he can't have been talking about the One God of the Christian faith.'blasphemy' certainly turns up in the sense 'evil speaking, defamation' in the seventeenth century.So the law post-dates the word by quite a while, chances are, and doesn't define it anyhow. If you said 'Odin sells out' you would be blaspheming against Odin and always would have been if you meant he had betrayed something (though not if you meant something called Odin had all been sold).I think the blasphemy law was always specific and was about 'blaspheming against the Christian god or religion', with ramifications like 'thou shalt not portray or represent God on the radio because it is hubris, or at least disrespectful' and suchlike, but I don't have access to its text to check that. Someone out there must? Thu 23 Oct 2008 16:50:13 GMT+1 darrenbougourd Peter Howson is a complete fraud. He claims he's not part of the art world when what he means to say is he's not an artist. That the BBC is giving a platform to this glorified 'games workshop' illustrator bar-room philosopher who has the cheak to claim the working class moral high ground whilst every real artist in the internationally renound glasgow art scene works in bars and cafes is wholly embarasing ,as is the uncritical interview on todays show. Would the BBC allow anyone to assert that atheism leads to nihilism without being challenged- Bertrand Russel must be spinning in his grave. Forget the 60's, as far as Howson's concerned Kant, the enlightenment and the autonomy of art is something that just happened to other people. Would the BBC kindly like to Glasgow and actually find out what's going on, give some young ones a break- because safe to say nobody here cares a jot about Peter Howson and he represents nothing but Glasgow's ancient glorified working class image of itself. Thu 23 Oct 2008 16:49:41 GMT+1 David_McNickle SSC 14, They keep talking about abolishing the law, but haven't yet. It only works if you blaspheme the C of E. Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:54:22 GMT+1 mittfh Gillianian (12): I was, of course, thinking of our (formerly) resident troll... Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:48:18 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat I seem to remember that blasphemy isn't illegal any more. Given that, does blasphemy count if the person doing it doesn't share your beliefs?Would I be blaspheming to say "Odin sells out"? Or is it a blanket thing that someone has decided applies to everyone whether they like it - or even know it - or not? And does it apply to all religions or only certain ones?I'm curious now. Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:26:38 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti mittfh @ 11, argh! Bad enough for some of us to be gagged by the moderators, without allowing us to do it to each other!BTW jonnie, maybe the objection the the ISIHAC quotes was that they were quotes and thus could run into copyright trouble? yes, I know, it's a stretch, but I really hope it isn't that they intend to supress all double entente! Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:11:59 GMT+1 Gillianian mittfh (11) As far as I know, Voldemort isn't a lurker! Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:08:41 GMT+1 mittfh Islam is unfortunately a special case due to the presence within its ranks of a few hotheaded radicals who at the very least would quickly whip up a media storm at the merest hint of irreverent treatment of their faith.Then as for the references to a traitor, many current theologians point out that it's fairly likely Mr. Iscariot was a convenient scapegoat - being the group's treasurer he would have held a fair degree of trust, and it's certainly possible that he was asked to hand over the group's leader to the authorities. In a state without a police force, the silver was a standard informant's fee. Since the gang were widely known in town, I don't think the authorities would have necessarily needed visual identification...But as for what really happened over 2,000 years ago we'll never know for sure - the reference sources we use were written a few decades after the event, and the scant documents that exist from other sources don't go into sufficient detail to determine who did what.Meanwhile, as for "Christ selling out", millions of orthodox Christians who firmly believe in the doctrine of transsubstantiation would undoubtedly disagree...Transsubstantiation - the concept that somehow, at consecration, the wafer of bread somehow acquires the "substance" of Christ's body, whilst still retaining the appearance and composition of bread...And before you ask, call it the scientist in me, but I can't get my head around that concept at all - or, indeed, the "God in a bod(y)" concept of Christ's divinity.And that's all I say on the subject, as I don't want this thread to devolve into a religious debate...Especially as such a discussion would probably attract the attentions of You Know Who... Thu 23 Oct 2008 15:00:16 GMT+1 Gillianian Like it?No, I don't like it, but I guess I'm not supposed to.I'm moved by it, I admire the draughtsmanship, and appreciate its agony and passion.But no, I don't like it. It unsettles me, and makes me feel uneasy. Thu 23 Oct 2008 14:49:10 GMT+1 U13643995 lordBeddGelert (6) - It's called humour not blastphemy. Are you really annoyed by the headline or just feel that you should be? Thu 23 Oct 2008 14:16:46 GMT+1 Chris Ghoti lordBeddGelert @ 6, difficult to be 'equal opportunities' about the matter when discussing the work of a born-again Christian and pictures of a Christian subject, I'd've thought.And I don't suppose that discussing Muslim depictions of Allah or the Prophet is all that easy anyhow, at least not ones produced by Muslims.The headline is simply irrelevant. Christ hasn't sold out; a few pictures of him have been sold, but there is plenty of Christ left unsold. (Except for those thirty pieces of silver, but it doesn't seem that sale really 'took'.) Thu 23 Oct 2008 14:15:31 GMT+1 Piper LordBG@6Blasphemous? Mmmm.In the 1970's I saw the following identical evening newspaper advertising "headline", first on Broadway and later, in London:"Jesus Christ sells out"Buying the newspaper(s) revealed the reference to be to the ticket availability (or rather the lack of) for the then, new (headline making) Tim rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar"Maybe, we all "see" what we want to... Thu 23 Oct 2008 14:11:59 GMT+1 lordBeddGelert What is the point of the frankly blasphemous headline ?? Of course, you wouldn't be so cavalier with the Islamic faith, of which Mark Thompson has decreed you must make a 'special case'. But Christianity is a 'soft target' so guess we must put up with this fatuous nonsense to grab people's attention by annoying them. I could tolerate this a whole lot better if you had an 'equal opportunities' approach and were willing to offend all faiths on a 'level playing field'. Some hope... Thu 23 Oct 2008 13:49:25 GMT+1 Charlie Interesting that this article should appear on the same day as Melvyn Bragg's excellent "In Our Time" programme:"Dante's Inferno - to Hell and back" introduction to which states:"“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”. This famous phrase is written above the gate of Hell in a 14th century poem by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The poem is called the Divine Comedy and Hell is known as Dante’s Inferno. The warning is well made, for beyond it is a panoply of horror - severed heads, talking trees, demons, monsters and punishments both cruel and unusual. But the Inferno is more than just a journey into the macabre – it is a map of medieval spirituality, a treasure-house of classical learning and an acute study of human psychology. It is also one of the greatest poems ever written."It would seem Peter Howson and Dante Alighieri, have shared similar visions... And, whilst "the love of money..." would appear to be far from upper-most in Mr Howson's mind, notwistanding money's "relationship" to the paintings subject matter; Mr Howson nevertheless seems to have done well on the sale of this collection. Good for him. Thu 23 Oct 2008 13:43:47 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII The Harrowing of Hell? That looks more like snapshots of my garage and basement. I've been meaning to clean them out for the longest time. Maybe hell is spending all eternity trying to straighten out the mess. Still I think I've got more junk in my basement than they have in their hell. Perhaps a weekend garage sale might be the way to go. It would be a devil of a sale though. Thu 23 Oct 2008 13:05:14 GMT+1 U11204129 Enderby is twinned with hell. I saw it on the town's name board, yesterday. Thu 23 Oct 2008 12:38:10 GMT+1 U13643995 Mr Howson says bluntly: "Damien Hirst is a genius for money. He's not a genius in art."I'll not argue with that. Thu 23 Oct 2008 12:31:38 GMT+1 Big Sister Wow! But as much Bosch as Caravaggio, I'd say .... Thu 23 Oct 2008 12:25:49 GMT+1