“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
-- Charles Darwin
"A book extending sympathy, hope, comfort, and faith during this terrible tragedy of that unthinkable crime against those children during Christmas time. Rekindling faith and hope in God. Rembering the precious souls who died and their families. Also sending comfort to those children who are still alive who witnessed those terrible sights that they will never forget. Julia Audrina Carrington who is a born again Christian has touched the lives of thousands of souls across the world. She has shared the message of hope with orphans and the less fortunate. She is the founder of the international mission called Mission Friends for Christ which reaches out to needy and hurting women and children. She is the author of more than three hundred Christian books and Christian novels. See many of her books at www.amazon.com by typing her name Julia Carrington in the search box on www.amazon.com. Her books make wonderful gifts for all occasions. It is Julia's desire to glorify God in all things."
Who are we, this Government, or this country, to redefine the term marriage that has meant one man and one woman across cultures, across ages, across geographical barriers since before state and religion themselves?Who are you to decide we can’t define marriage however we like? What makes you the arbiter of definitions? And one man one woman everywhere throughout history? Really? There’ve been no examples of polygamous marriage? Or of polyandrous marriage? Appeal to tradition is never a good argument, particularly when it picks such obvious cherries.
-- TIM LOUGHTON, TORY FORMER CHILDREN'S MINISTER
The Government cannot possibly guarantee protection for churches or individuals with a traditional view because it cannot predict or control what happens in the courts.Churches need protection do they? They seem to do quite a good job of protecting themselves. And individuals: what individuals are being harmed? Some will certainly claim that public officials who are forced to do their job by marrying gay couples are being harmed. This is, of course, nonsense: it’s unthinkable that the same people could refuse to marry mixed race couples, for example. Some will claim that gay marriage offends them personally, but offence itself is not harm. Nothing whatever will change in those people’s lives, while the lives of homosexuals who want to get married will be considerably improved. No harm done to anyone, as far as I can see.
-- JIM DOBBIN, LABOUR MP FOR HEYWOOD AND MIDDLETON
It is not possible to redefine marriage. Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any Government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon. It will not do.It turns out that it is possible to redefine marriage. You just go right ahead and do it. A thing is not impossible just because you personally don’t want it to happen.
-- SIR ROGER GALE, TORY MP FOR NORTH THANET
We should be in the business of protecting cherished institutions and our cultural heritage otherwise what, I ask, is a Conservative Party for? Indeed we are alienating people who have voted for us for all their lives, leaving them with no one to vote for.What a horror show. Protecting organisations is more important than protecting people. Now where have I heard that before? If people really have nobody to vote for then so much for the political parties.
-- EDWARD LEIGH, TORY MP FOR GAINSBOROUGH
What of further redefinitions? Will this be the last redefinition of marriage? I understand in the Netherlands and Brazil three way relationships are being legally recognised.’It’s the thin end of the wedge!!!! If you promote equality, the next thing you know cats will be marrying dogs!!! Any form of marriage I find icky is automatically wrong and everyone must agree!!! If they don’t agree, then other stuff I don’t like might happen!!!!
-- ANDREW SELOUS, TORY MP FOR SOUTH WEST BEDFORDSHIRE
I try my best to call out people who call themselves skeptics but in fact fall for logical fallacies and poor reasoning (a classic example is the “skepchicks” who try and incorporate the dogmas of radical feminism into skepticism). To extend the military analogy, I see people like myself as the military police. We don’t fight on the front line, but we patrol the ranks looking for people who are trying to infiltrate skepticism with their non-skeptical ways. The more people like myself blog about the non-skeptics in the movement, the easier it is for people to see their wrongdoings.Thanks, Richard. It’s good to know that you are the sole arbiter of what skepticism is and that you and your militia are protecting everyone from the wrong kind of skepticism by making ineffectual posts about people you don’t like.
There are currently a few people out there saying I’m not a skeptic at all, of course, but pretending for the moment that I have skeptical qualifications, this is how it started.
Simple enough: I read a lot of pop science books when I was a kid. And I started to recognise that I didn’t know how to tell which claims were true. There were clues, of course. I’d already rejected religion and a lot of claims in books marketed as pop-sci look a lot like religion. Some of the books didn’t really seem to be saying anything at all, even those with ‘quantum’ in the title.
I desperately wanted to learn how the world works but didn’t know how to tell what’s true. I knew that some of the things I thought were probably wrong, but I didn’t know how to tell which ones.
Don’t get me wrong. I read books like The Selfish Gene, which argued their position in compelling ways and I read other books that didn’t seem to have a premise or a conclusion and seemed to appeal to mystical thinking. But I still didn’t have any tools to systematically tell whether a thing was true or not. I knew just enough to doubt that I could tell what was real from what was not.
I didn’t discover that there were such things as skeptics until years later. There were people who had actually worked out proper ways to tell what was probably true. My first encounters with people like this was on usenet, which was a rewarding if often distressing experience. Later, I discovered James Randi, who codified what skepticism is and changed my life.
Randi made me realise that the unease I was feeling about not being able decide what’s true was the proper way to feel. And he, his organisation and the network of people surrounding that organisation told me about the tools we can use to sort stuff into what might be true and what is probably false.
Randi taught me 20 years ago what people like PZ already knew and are trying to remind us of recently. Skepticism is a process. It’s a filter we can apply to absolutely everything. The entire point of skepticism is that nothing is exempt.
So you people who say I’m not a skeptic, examine the mote in your eye. Are you sure I’m the unskeptical one about things like feminism?