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  • Hi Jeremy

    It’s not a bug. Posts containing multiple links are usually put aside by the spam detection system, pending moderator approval. No need to resubmit them – they’ll be approved as soon as one of us is online.

    The mods

  • Thanks, Jeremy. We’ve fixed the link now.

    The mods

  • Moderator message

    A couple of things:

    1. Comments containing multiple links are put aside by the spam filter pending moderator approval. There is no need to resubmit them, as they will be approved as soon as one of us in online.

    2. A reminder that the aim here is for thoughtful discussion. Users are free to disagree with others as much as they…[Read more]

  • crookedshoes #15

    We’ve fixed it for you, crookedshoes. There was a stray symbol before the start of the red text which seems to have been the cause.

    The mods

  • Hi Laurie

    We can’t answer your question because the link isn’t working for us. Sorry!

    The mods

  • Crooked Shoes #513

    I raged here when you were allowed to rage.

    Lovely to see you back, Crooked Shoes. We’re sure there are many users who have missed you as much as we have. There was nothing in your contributions that would fall foul of the Terms of Use, either then or now, so there’s absolutely no obstacle to your taking part regularly…[Read more]

  • Maria Melo #20

    So sorry, Maria. Yes, it had been removed by the spam system for some reason that isn’t immediately clear. We have retrieved it now, so you should now be able to see it above.

    If it happens again (and it might), please do let us know, as we can always rescue it for you.

    The mods

  • Laurie #14 and Olgun #15

    Thanks for thinking of it, but the question follows on quite naturally from the OP so no problem discussing it here.

    Thanks again.

    The mods

  • david.graf.589

    I am surprised that my post about how I as an evangelical Christian could support something like the Clergy Project was apparently taken down.

    We haven’t removed any posts by you, David, so not sure what’s happened here. Sometimes posts are put aside by the spam filter pending moderator approval, but that hasn’t happened in…[Read more]

  • Moderator message

    Alan4discussion and Marktony, if you are having difficulty understanding the moderator message above, please read section 14 of the Terms, Conditions and Privacy document linked to at the foot of each page. It sets out the rules and ethos of the site, and the kind of environment we want it to be.

    If, having read that, you are…[Read more]

  • More than half of people in Scotland now have no religion, according to research.

    Findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey show 52% of people say they are not religious, compared with 40% in 1999 when […]

    • The proportion who say they belong to the Church of Scotland has fallen from 35% in 1999 to just 20%.

      This is very encouraging. Granted, just because someone doesn’t attend church services it doesn’t mean they are an atheist. What will really tip the numbers away from the church even more is when all of the children of former church members are brought up in a secular household with secular friends, then we will see those churchgoers numbers drop (even more) dramatically. The Bible will be relegated to the back of a dusty old bookshelf once and for all. The stories in that book will be reclassified as the ancient horrifying cruelty that used to be considered a source of morality ~wince~ and ~eye roll~

    • From the article:

      Other religious groups, including Roman Catholic (15%) and other Christian (11%) have remained steady.

      So the RC attendance has remained steady even in the face of the child rape scandal? That seems odd. Or could this figure reflect the members who are left after a significant exodus?

      Other types of Christian attendance remains steady. A breakdown of this number would be interesting. Would that include various types of Protestants? Evangelicals? If this number is holding steady then I wonder if the unchurched might be opting instead for more “go with the flow” type congregations such as the UU church and also some might be opting for the Evangelical – PRAISE the LORD!!! type of congregations.

      If the unchurched choose to go over to a kinder gentler Sunday Jeezis show then I’m going to say that it’s a move in the right direction, this being said with eye roll, but if the numbers for the Evangelicals are on the rise there then all sympathies are extended to you all over on that side of the pond. The American Evangelicals are and have been a force for Reactionary movement here that is causing harm and grief to us daily. I see this movement as a great societal harm. A wolf in sheep’s clothing if there ever was one.

    • bonnie

      Definitely a head scratcher. Fascinating really. I also have a RC friend who waffles back and forth right before my very eyes. She claims that she has doubts about God because of the bad things that happen in this world but says she just can’t consider going against her (Italian American) family traditions.

      I replied that I went against my New England WASP Methodist traditions by making a nuisance of myself at Sunday school and stupid youth group and getting the adults to finally give up on me, in that way. Since I left I never went back and guess what?! They didn’t throw me out of the family. Nobody burned me at the stake yet!

      My friend just saw the movie Spotlight and has withdrawn her five year old daughter from CCD. I haven’t seen the movie yet but will soon. I’d love to see some stats on the effect of that movie on RC church attendance. Granted, devout RCs like your friend won’t even see it out of devotion to their favorite delusion but the fence sitters are sure to be completely grossed out and infuriated. Good thing.

      Denounce bad family traditions and withdraw from them. Have the guts for good leadership and create new better traditions that can be carried down through the generations. It’s what I’m doing and the young people are liking it!

    • Apart from some of the more remote Western Isles, Christianity is losing its grip over people’s minds in Scotland and England. I regularly go to the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde. The local resistance to the “Sunday” boat was lost about 30 years ago. The Easter Parade celebrating the Resurrection is a pathetic sight, with about 20 people involved, and everyone else getting on with their business. OK anecdotal, but my observations concur with the research findings here.

      There used to be Christian poster here who called himself the “Wee Flea”. His real name was David Robertson who wrote one of the “Flea” books opposing Richard’s God Delusion. He was also a Minister for the Free Church of Scotland ( “Wee Free”), somewhere near Dundee. Let’s just say the Wee Free is more full of hellfire and brimstone than the Church of Scotland, without starting a theological argument ! On the Isle of Arran the Wee Free Church in Brodick had stood empty for some 30 years before someone built a house on the site in the 1960s. A far better use of the land IMO !

    • It takes a community to create a religious monster. I don’t think the Church of Scotland was known for its radical views or hate, so this breakup is not all that important.

  • In this case it is directed at some of Alan4discussion’s posts above.

    No safe space whatsoever in terms of the ideas that can be discussed.

    But certainly a safe space to the extent that ideas can be put forward, discussed, challenged and rebutted without the person holding them being subjected to a highly public exposition of their perceived…[Read more]

  • Moderators’ message

    From section 14 of the site’s Terms, Conditions and Privacy document, which can be accessed via the foot of each page:

    1. Please engage constructively with those who disagree with you.
    Seek to convince and educate, rather than to browbeat, humiliate or insult.

    The mods

  • (I do have an email notification address. It’s now danielr-2. I have been unable to use this feature. I think it’s been disabled.)

    Hi Dan and others

    The email notifications have been disabled for now. The problem was that, for them to work properly, it is essential that they be used in conjunction with the addressee’s USER name, which is fre…[Read more]

  • Posting this under a new account as my previous account has been blocked as a spammer, whether this is a software glitch or me being banished as a heretic I don’t know

    Neither, Steve. You’re welcome to stay and make your points if you wish, but insults towards other users are not permitted under the Terms of Use. Make the positive argument for y…[Read more]

  • Thanks Macropus. Typo now corrected.
    The mods

  • Image credit: Julia Suits, The New Yorker Cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions.
    By Jag Bhalla for bigthink.com

    “Competition creates efficiency,” is preached as if it were a l […]

    • Shock, horror,

      Dawkins advocates Intelligent Design…

      for human affairs.

    • @phil-rimmer #1

      Phil, you missed your true vocation as a newsmedia subeditor.

      It is good to know that articles like this one are being published in the USA to counter the culturally entrenched belief there in free-market capitalism. Most of us are capitalists today, but most of us also know that capitalism needs to be intelligently managed to make sure that it harms no-one and benefits everyone. To my mind, free-market capitalists are unworthy of their species.

    • @OP – A forest canopy is like “an aerial meadow…raised on stilts…gathering solar energy.” Yet much of that “energy is ‘wasted’ by being fed straight into the stilts”

      In competitive cities, corporate head offices are also “raised on stilts”, towering many floors into the sky more than their lesser monied competitors who have smaller empires feeding them!

      What can market lovers learn from nature’s competitions? Systems of self-interested agents, myopically responding to local incentives, can evolve unfruitful competitions.

    • tragedy of the Commons

      A far greater enemy of commonage was that the Squire, who owned all the farmland in the area and sub-let it to the villagers, would “enclose” the common. Enclosure started in Elizabethan times, or perhaps somewhat earlier, and it represented the transition from medieval agriculture, based on serfdom and feudal obligation (which was meant to be mutual between the serfs and the landlords, but guess what?), to farming based on selling produce on the market; early capitalism.

      The lands were parcelled up and the fields divided by hedges. This made demarcation of farms possible, which was necessary for renting, as property req and made the herding of cattle much easier

    • eejit #5
      Mar 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Tragedy of the Commons

      A far greater enemy of commonage was that the Squire, who owned all the farmland in the area and sub-let it to the villagers, would “enclose” the common. Enclosure started in Elizabethan times, or perhaps somewhat earlier, and it represented the transition from medieval agriculture, based on serfdom and feudal obligation (which was meant to be mutual between the serfs and the landlords, but guess what?), to farming based on selling produce on the market; early capitalism.

      The lord’s lands were parcelled up and the fields divided by hedges. This made demarcation of farms possible, which was necessary for renting, as property required exact demarcation, and it also made the herding of cattle much easier. The new breed of tenant farmers found selling cattle and wool to be far more profitable that extensive tillage.

      Whilst parcelling up his lands, the lord usually took the opportunity to sub divide the common, which technically belonged to the villagers. Thus the poorest section of rural society was deprived of even the miserable means of support which was left after they had been evicted from the smallholdings which they had worked by feudal right from the lord. They ended up working for wages in the cities, or perhaps as day labourers for their erstwhile neighbours who were now enjoying the elevated status of tenant farmers.

      Things don’t change much under capitalism.
      Sorry Mods, I accidentally clicked Post Comments before I had finished my elegant exposition

    • eejit #6
      Mar 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Sorry Mods, I accidentally clicked Post Comments before I had finished my elegant exposition

      If you click on “edit” and delete everything in the edit-box, and then click “save”, you can delete a rejected post!

      Alternatively you can just click on the “delete” button at the bottom of the edit window.

    • Cairsley 2)

      Most of us are capitalists today…….

      I would say most of us are wage slaves, not owning enough capital to live off. Yes some of us might own a house and car, be relatively well paid etc, but if you have to work for a wage or a salary, you’re a worker. The biggest market in the world is the labour market. Not much freedom to be found in that rat race.

    • Unfortunately, “free market capitalism” can mean many different things.

      Is it FMC (free market capitalism) if one competitor uses force (directly or indirectly) to wipe out another competitor?

      Is it FMC if there are no private property rights?

      To change the example of the trees slightly, is it FMC when after my neighbor erects solar panels on his roof that I erect a set of panels directly above his?

      In the libertarian definition of FMC (see, for example Murray Rothbard – The Ethics of Liberty) no one is permitted to use force (or the threat thereof) on others except in self-defense of one’s life or property. It is equally forbidden to do so, even if one calls itself a government.

      In libertarian FMC, private property comes into existence when someone first combines his or her labor with the land (or waters or sky). Simply planting a flag on un-owned land does NOT however grant ownership. Once owned, property can only be transferred voluntarily.

      So if trees were like humans engaging in FMC (libertarian style) the first tree that made use of the sky above would be given the property rights and it would be illegal for other trees to encroach. Clearly, evolution does not follow the libertarian form of FMC.

      But what of democratic “free market capitalism” in the USA? Here, one can use aggressive force by proxy through politicians. For example, by lobbying for a tariff on certain goods, but not others, one can bludgeon one’s competitors while still claiming one supports this free market capitalism. Democracy needs only a majority to use aggressive force. And of course, by creating laws regulating elections, democracy can be severely twisted.

      One can also harm competitors through political regulations. To believe that politicians would be immune to self-interest and thereby create only “good” regulations, is as silly as believing in an invisible man in the sky who loves us. Without a principle to guide us, illicit force can sneak in the back door quite easily.

    • HSip replied 2 months ago

      Remember “trickle down economics”? Getting pretty parched down here!!!!!!!!

    • I think the only people advocating this, are Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Elizabeth Warren, there is another independant but they don’t have much recognition. Social democrats all the way.

  • Moderator message

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