Hypocrites and bigots dot com

The Pirate Bay logo

Copyrighted, but free for any purpose

Well, right now is the time I should be revising for my exams, what with about twelve days to go before my first one. But right now there is something else more testing on my mind…

Being all in for democracy, equality, fairness, free speech, free money, free choices and general liberty as a whole, there is a recent issue which I think needs to be raised as deeply serious. I know to many many people the issue of internet piracy is a taboo subject and is of course, rightly frowned upon – I myself am not going to give my own views and experience of it here because it is not the point of my post, although being a twenty year-old student, I would be lying to you if I said I’d never exploited the mass source of freely exchangeable information that exists within the internet. I’m sure some of you are aware I’m talking about the recent banning of The Pirate Bay on nearly all the major UK ISP’s. Well, for now, I’m not going to talk about this specific act or anything too much to do with the nature of The Pirate Bay itself, except for the fact that the attempt is quite simply not only futile but utterly pointless and to an extent potentially counter-intuitive in the long term. What I am going to talk about is the principles of the matter and the definite degree of bias and injustice in this frankly naive ruling…

I shall start with this, which I think sums up the real essence of my argument, spoken by the venerable legendary promoter of philanthropy, love and peace himself:

‘Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think
that people own it.’

John Lennon

Who can argue with that?

I’m not going to go on an all-out rant about oppression and censorship and loss of liberty and all that because frankly that blows it all out of proportion, and because, at the end of the day, where we live is still a relatively free, equal and tolerant society. And this is the point. If it was one of those intolerant, oppressive and close-minded cultures ruled by an undemocratic government then there would be little point nagging about the closure of one tiny website because it would just be part and parcel of it. No, the issue is that in this outwardly self-promoting fair, democratic and lawful society where everyone has the right to their say or to fight their corner, certain corruption and hypocrisy takes over and the views of the few ignorant powerful override the beliefs of the masses and injustice – whether knowingly or not – takes precedence.

Royal Bank of Scotland logo

The Pirate Bay vs. RBS: which is more respected by its users? Which is more concerned with actually promoting its own fundamental ideals rather than making money? I wonder…

What really irritates me in this case is that there was no trial, no investigation, no real justification for the closure of the website. Indeed, it does beg the question where will it stop?  It seems the people making the judgements had insufficient evidence or knowledge to make it a fair one. I think the people on top miss the point that The Pirate Bay is, in fact, a place not only for the sharing of ‘illegal’ files but also for the promotion of truly free material, especially for music artists who have neither the money or persuasion over big profit-hunting corporations to promote their talent more widely. Here, there is no emphasis on money making, selling, buying, or any restrictive and frankly irritating ‘copyright’ issues. The emphasis is simply on sharing entirely for free with like-minded people a talent and a passion where the only gain is further promotion of and expanding that talent and passion. All, bare in mind, at the expense of a company willing to provide such a service for free. Where is the illegality in that? Apart from the fact that attempting to block a website like The Pirate Bay is like shovelling snow whilst there’s a blizzard, the more one person tries to stop something, the more the masses will resist. Yes, everyone has a right to be rewarded for what they do, but similarly, I don’t think a small group of people have the right to decide how people go about spending their money, and on what, and through what medium, if only because, at the end of the day, as we all know, most big corporations only care about the money. Once they’ve got that, the rest is largely irrelevant.

Perhaps they might have realised that had they geared themselves towards providing what people actually want in the way they want and listening to the fair and humble voices of the many, then people would be more willing to give their money to them, but in fact the paranoia that results from people getting their services elsewhere means they are missing out on making more money, and that is it. Unfortunately this money issue is what governs much of the world, and what governs a lot of governments; we would be lost without it, of course, but it should not provide the backbone of our principles.

To avoid an utterly epic rant, I can conclude with my main point in just a few lines. If the people at the top are supposedly righteous, selfless and just and concerned with the welfare of others more than their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, then it is fair enough that they try to righteously, justly and fairly promote the ideology that others do the same. However, if those at the top are responsible for equally selfish acts concerned with their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, and without taking note of the judgement of others, then I do not believe they have the right to demand the exact opposite behaviour upon others.

After all how can a company that makes – relatively speaking – next to no money on the services it provides in the way it promises to do so continually and reliably; possibly compare to other companies or national corporations that make money off their own inadequately provided services, misleading promotions, stupid mistakes, immoral behaviour and exploitation of people, and who continue to be rewarded for the effects of these surely equally criminal acts?

The only comparison I can see is that they are blinded by their own clouding of their own moral judgement by other ‘more important’ matters – something, of course, they would outwardly deny. Something which places like The Pirate Bay, just by their very nature, cannot and do not deny.

Tolerance for the intolerant

Abu Qatada

Abu Qatada. Look at that smirk. Don’t you just want to punch him?

Well, it’s been over a month since I last posted. I am slightly ashamed by this fact, although I’m now averaging over a massive five visits to my blog a day. Excitement. Interestingly, that last blog about the lull in the trend that is blogging might have been my last blog for a very long time, except for one vital flaw – there is always something to write about. You just have to decide what you care enough about or what you want others to care about. This week, I have found that material which at the moment overrides everything else, and which makes me angry to the bones. And I mean punching-a-wall-repeatedly-until-you-bleed-profusely angry.

Terrorism. To many, it’s a subject which is now the source of a lot boredom and disregard for what it actually means to the everyday person. Understandable, since the wars in the Middle East which were supposedly supposed to sort out terrorism seem to have now stagnated and serve little purpose, in short. Well, to me, terrorists are worse than paedophiles, worse than murderers, worse than tyrants, worse than even war criminals. Why? Because at least each of them – except, of course, paedophiles and most murderers – stand by their own principles, no matter how deluded. Terrorists stand for nothing. They are the biggest, most terrible arrogant hypocrites around. The combination of those two attributes alone makes for a pretty dislikeable person in my opinion, but add to the mix that anyone they don’t like or think are undeserved of their own lives and who disagrees with them should be killed and in such a horrific way, you have a truly terrible human being. I’m a philanthropist, but I have absolutely no positive feelings towards terrorists, other than pity. Most terrorists being, in this particular context of course, extremist religious persons with an ambition to kill people whom they do not even know and have never met. Scum. Scum of the Earth. They all need at the very least a massive punch square in the middle of the face.

Twin Towers 9/11 plane collision

Exactly the kind of thing that Muhammad would have wanted, I’m sure.

What is so frustrating is that they supposedly are ‘advocates’ of their religion – whatever that may be – Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism; any of them, and yet everything they do completely contradicts the fundamentals of what religion is which is – allegedly – learning to live with your common man and also, erm, not doing things like killing. As far as I was aware, mass murder was not the first priority for Jesus or Muhammad.  Yes, of course, there are many many many other bad things that happen that don’t have anything to do with religion, or terrorism, or intolerance, or hypocrisy, and nor do I agree with the U.S. being the almighty ‘police’ of the world, but that’s another story. What I do disagree with is the merciless intolerance and disgustingly pretentious and deluded attitude of terrorist organisations. Being quite a left liberal kind of person politically, I have quite a far right view on terrorism, which is 0% tolerance. This might be because it completely goes against my attitudes on equality, liberty, peace, and people of all different backgrounds and cultures being able to live together and accept each other. This is precisely what terrorists don’t want. And it’s as if their opinion and life-style is the only one. They deliberately live to obstruct peace and progress.

What has brought on this raging rant is the recent discussions in the news on the Muslim alleged terrorist Abu Qatada and his lawyers, oh and the European Court of Human Rights. If there was ever a time to explain why political correctness and the enforcement of human rights has gone way too far, this is the best example ever. The fact that he has lived in our country – albeit under some form of ‘arrest’ – for over a decade, living off our taxes, using our services and taking advantage of everything this tolerant country provides, whilst also, taking advantage of our free speech, outwardly hating every British person, saying we should all be killed and have Sharia law installed (an example of his deluded mind, given the fact that out of over 60 million people in this country, only 2.7% are Muslim, and far fewer than that actually want Sharia law) makes me disgusted that this hasn’t been reason alone to deport him already.

Inciting hatred, racism, encouraging acts of terrorism, apart from which he has probably attempted to carry out a bombing in his own country, are all crimes which justify a trial to me, no matter where he is. Of course, other criminals like one-time Mars bar shop lifters and people who are doing 32 in a 30 are obviously in need of a trial and conviction sooner. And it also doesn’t take ten years for such ‘criminals’ to be sentenced. Qatada needs to go away, now. What really annoys me is despite all his completely unjustified hatred for our government and laws, he is actually taking advantage of them to their very best – not only by obviously using good lawyers (why they would want to represent him is another question) and exploiting ‘loopholes’ in the system, but making it work in his favour. And this is the hypocrisy of it all. Genuine RAGE.

As for the ECHR’s ‘argument’ for not sending him to trial. Well… As far as I’m concerned, if he thinks he has the right to sentence other human beings to death and pain and suffering for no obvious reason and to enforce his own backward and completely destructive opinions on other human beings against their will and without trial, then, I don’t care how illiberal it is, he forgoes his own rights which would otherwise be available for more ‘normal’ people. It disgusts me that the ECHR let any appeal ride in the light of the effects of terrorism. Ultimately I’m not really bothered what happens to him when he gets to Jordan, so long as he gets some kind of punishment for the things he’s done and the things he encourages I’m happy. It may be a slightly awkward concept, but I am tolerant and accepting of most people, except for most of those who are extremely intolerant.

For the need of avoiding an essay-length post, I will only mention the following bits briefly: that twat Al-Megrahi responsible for the Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 bombing was allowed to leave his life imprisonment basically at his request. And then there is Christopher Tappin, extradited to the U.S. on grounds that he sold batteries to alleged terrorists, unknowingly, against his rights and the rights of his family, etc., since they had, and still have no idea why. Begs the question why Qatada has firstly not been extradited to Jordan and why the U.S. has not taken an interest and extradited him, where he’d have no room for appeal whatsoever, apparently, going on Christopher Tappin’s case? I can’t stand that kind of inequality and injustice. I think a massive kick up the arse with a huge boot that sends him flying in to Jordan by himself is what’s needed.

Personally, depending on my mood, I’d like to purchase a large calibre sniper rifle, get some basic training and some practice, then give him a clean shot between the eyes. If anything it’d get rid of that stupid untrimmed and untamed beard and that constant blo*dy irritating self-satisfied smirk from his face. After all, it would take him out of this world he hates so much. But where would be the justice and humanity and that?

Despite all he’s done and all the crap he deserves to be jailed for life for and suffer for, he needs to learn that actually there are people out there who are willing to tolerate – even, accept – and give supposed ‘scum’ a fair and equal chance.

Rant over.

________________________________________

Interesting links:

http://spiderplantland.co.uk/get-him-on-a-damn-plane-and-out-of-here/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17781831

Edited 4/5/2012

Return of the procrastination: the inspiration strikes back… or does it?

I don't care(Yes, I did just use a crummy film reference, but I’ll get to that…)

Well, it seems that in the epic battle between procrastination and motivation, procrastination is Muhammad Ali and motivation is Frankie Cocozza (if you watch reality T.V. you can see why I’ve used him, I’m sure, if not, think of a teenage rock/punk star wannabe with stringy legs in skinny jeans and begrimed untamed hair and who probably has multiple STDs). In other words, motivation is more than very much dead. Yes, if you had cared enough to see my latest post, you would have learnt, from my new ‘Hot Press’ section (designed to inform the faithful readership of new and exciting developments, plans and ambitions in both my blog and my life that everyone should know and care about), that I intend to upload my first ‘official’ piece of literary work – if you will – at some point in the not-so-far off future.

English: Bust portrait of Muhammad Ali, World ...

Win.

To get to the point, right now I couldn’t care for much, it’s too bloody cold in this stupid mouldy student house so that not only can I see my own breath inside on a regular basis, but I have about twelve layers on, over my thermals. And the snow isn’t deep enough to actually cause any kind of disruption to the humdrum routine, and that irritates me at the moment. My bank account seems to continue p*ssing itself down the drain even though I literally do nothing to utilise my already measly financial resources. For some reason, which I cannot for the life of me explain because I have done nothing out of my ordinary lay-about activities, my body aches from my twatting left little toe to the outside corner of my right eye. All this has only exacerbated my procrastination. Hence, and to finally arrive at the main subject of my post, I have taken a little longer to write my ‘short story’ than I had intended. Still, it is making progress, and I have surprised myself in learning I have written the equivalent length of an entire essay in my short story in less than two days, which is about fifty-eight days less than it takes me to write an essay. That must say something.

Already hacked off with most of the values and outlooks that many in their ivory towers seem to take on the world (interpreting anything from anything  – such as the theory that the author of a book is entirely irrelevant in any context – and insisting their own theories are relevant to everyone’s daily lives and those who don’t agree should be condemned to the far corners of the world of Academia), I feel I would like to express myself fully – when I’m not ranting to my Mum or mates, particularly one or two long-suffering house mates – via the medium of writing… By that I mean non-academic writing. Writing which isn’t writing about other writers’ theories about other writers who write about the many anxieties in their life story. Yes, that sums up my degree. Sometimes I would rather grate my face with an industrial lemon zester.

Also, if you were indeed wondering, I have no idea why I picked that title for this blog post, because looking at it now it seems almost total sewerage. Other than a semi-pop-culture/inter-medial reference to a world famous space opera franchise which helps to objectify the two ends of the spectrum which determines a person’s ability to induce or produce something, as well as having a very vague level of appeal to a wide audience, it serves no other relevance to the post. But, thanks to my non-existent care, I don’t care.

Frankie Cocozza

Fail.

I will leave you with a more detailed update of the writing situation. I imagine I should have it finished in the same length of time it took for the events in a far far away galaxy to be told by a Mr. Lucas, or there abouts.

In all seriousness, watch this space, when my motivation finally does return – which I guarantee it will – it will only be a matter of time before you read the greatest piece of writing on this blog in all of history.

________________________________________

For your amusement whilst continuing to be doing things you shouldn’t be doing but are doing to avoid doing things you should be doing: http://www.wimp.com/procrastinatemuch/  (My life summarised in under two minutes).

How else would you have it?

Grumpy old man smoking cigarYeah yeah, I’m writing about Christmas, but, what else? My only plan for today is to lose my self awareness in a bout of celebratory drinking later this evening.

It’s that time of year again when we can all lay about carelessly eating and drinking to excess such that we soon resemble trembling grotesque greasy blobs of shameful animals. What really is the true ‘spirit’ of Christmas is just this snowballing chain reaction of complacency as most people are more content than usual, perhaps because of the anticipation of the excitement of an entire week off work, or not giving a toss about exams, essays or revision, or then there’s the thought of endless hours of cheesy but somehow feel-good Christmas movies starring such talent as Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. Then of course, it goes without saying, the consumption of gallons of cheap Stella, Carlsberg, some deceivingly-claiming-to-be-up market champagne, or cheapo wine from bottomless cardboard cartons, and then of course there’s the stuffing one’s face full of molten-hot mince pies, sausage rolls swimming in their own Olympic sized pool of boiling fat, Christmas cakes and puddings crammed full with bullets for raisins. All this lovely little lot and so much more fills us with a sense of fulfilment when we can have indulgent fun and stick a finger up to the elements who try to make us miserable at this otherwise depressing time of year, when the wind whips the rain in our face or the ice repeatedly tries to make us face plant the pavement.

So what does irritate me, among the few things that do so at Christmas, is people who still insist on being moody pain in the arse complain-persistently-on-War and Peace-proportions Scrooges. Why can’t they be very slightly positive for just one month of the year; is that too much to ask?! What specifically ticks me off are those people who are angry at everything in society, and insist that

society is deeply flawed and that all  human beings are plainly shit. Sigh. O, person with a chip on your shoulder, why must you be that

Society memes

Nothing's perfect. It is what you make it.

way? What they fail to realise, as I have said before, is that we are only animals, and that animals can only do so much, and as goes the course of life, animals can never be perfect, so why should that entity that surrounds our individual existence and our habitat and all other human beings and what they do and don’t do, which we have come to call ‘society’ be perfect? The fact they question the ‘perfection’ of society and the actions of other humans goes entirely against their beliefs on the human race: if humans aren’t perfect, then why would society be too? Stop bitching, it doesn’t make any sense.

Then ask them what they would rather have… Communism, Socialism? Yeah, good one (claps sarcastically). I’d far rather have someone tell me what to do and shoot me in the head if I don’t do it than make my own choices and not be shot in the face, obviously. This country, as most other civilised (yes, we are – would you like to live in North Korea, or Zimbabwe… no, didn’t think so) countries are, is a Capitalist Democracy. Apart from the fact this is a cumulative result of centuries of cultural, political, economic and religious and scientific development – hence, part of the natural course of the progress of civilisation –  it is pretty much the fairest and most rational kind of society. Yes, there is corruption, manipulation and fixing throughout any Capitalist culture, but it is the system which is most analogous to the human conditions of evolution and survival. It rewards those who work, and doesn’t reward those who don’t. Simple. Democracy is there to help regulate the Capitalist system and help those out who do struggle. You can think of them as a bull and a lion pulling a sled together. Fundamentally it’s all about what we do with ourselves and how we do it, with Capitalism being the what and democracy the how. Anyways, enough with the laborious technicalities. Today, our country is within the 15.6% of all countries worldwide which are truly ‘Full Democracies.’ Quite astonishing. There are those who take an instant dislike to anyone who shows any inclination to desire acquiring money. This is ironic, since in reality we all want some amount of money. What we need is another matter, but we all need it. I cannot really think of better way of representing the value of the trade between labour and goods or services which shares equal value with everyone… Pine cones? Meatballs? Fig leaves? Grains of sand?

Ultimately, as far as I’m concerned, society is never ‘perfect,’ neither are animals and hence humans. So stop bitching about it and strive to make or extract from it what you believe is ‘perfect,’ or close to that definition. If everything was ‘perfect,’ then life would be really, really, really boring, and then you really would have a reason to nag your vocal chords to shreds, presumably about the ‘perfect’ society being flawed in its very existence. Do you see the sense?

Merry Christmas all.

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Stuff I used for facts:

http://www.spectacle.org/496/demo.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_index (yes, I did use Wikipedia. Some of my lecturers refer to it too, you know?)

What happened to opinions?

My free speech is not negotiable

First and foremost, it’s the first of December, so pinch punch and Merry Christmas in advance. Second and next foremost, if you say TLDR to this then so be it. It’s just another rant.

There are certain people who, no matter what, just make you feel good, make you laugh, and forget all the cantankerous deliberately obnoxious awkward twats who try their hardest to make you want to punch them right in the middle of the face. Then there are those pleasures in life that nothing else compares to. Except better pleasures. But those things that make you go ‘ahhhhh, this is the life’ when all that feel-good feeling bubbles up inside you and it’s akin to being wild and carefree when drunk, but you are in fact completely sober and still have all the mental stability that that brings… Unless of course, being drunk is your greatest pleasure, but I often find the humiliation during the aftermath – often comprised of an empty wallet and discovering terrifying images on Facebook – and the aftermath itself, makes this an expensive and less exciting pleasure pursuit.

Some of you might think it’s boring and dull and an ageing cliché but one of my greatest pleasures, ever since the dexterity in my hands allowed me to manipulate a Game Boy, is motoring (more-so since I was legally entitled to cause mayhem on the real-world roads). Yes, that metal rough-cuboid with four wheels at each corner and an internal combustion engine covered in oil and grease and lube and which can go like the clappers, pounding every track, and burn rubber like there’s no tomorrow is one of my greatest pleasures. (I did warn you I’d talk about cars). I have a Citroen Saxo, and no, I am not a chav, nor do I particularly enjoy most other things from France. It is a decent car – when not twatted about in or douched up so much it looks like a storm-troopers head – and when, at a time when a rare opportunity allows, I can slam my foot to the floor, even in a measly 1.1 with 60HP, I do get a little bit excited with myself.

Combine the two and you get Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. Literally the greatest show on Earth. It combines the fresh air of free-spirit and free speech with the freedom and thrill of driving and the engineering that makes it happen. That is why I like it. And this is what leads me neatly on to my subject of topical discussion. So, I don’t know if anyone knows or cares about the comments Clarkson made about the  public sector protests on The One Show, and incidentally I don’t know if anyone cares about the whole public sector strikes thing anyway, but it seems to me all those people who are getting over-excited are rather missing the point entirely. They have completely taken it out of context. In actual fact Clarkson was making a fair and entirely uncontroversial point about the BBC being impartial and not being biased, and exploring both sides of the story, which is exactly what they do do, and exactly what Clarkson did. Watch the video here and see for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15977813

See what I mean? If you couldn’t be arsed to watch it, he specifically said – actually undermining what he says next more than anything – “we have to balance it though don’t we? ’cause this is the BBC.” Hmm… well isn’t funny how those who want to find any way of attacking him, like the 9/11 “de-bunkers,” miss vital information? Like for example him justifying his reasons for saying exactly what he was about to say beforehand, in opposition to what he said prior to that. He said it with a jokey demeanour: it was in jest for Christ’s sake.  Not only that, but he actually said it to make a point, that doesn’t mean it was his point. For those who conveniently lost thier hearing for part of the interview, he said something along the lines of “it’s fantastic,” talking about the fact that roads and airports were far less busy. Of course, some might say that he was saying it in a satirical manner, indeed, he was… so apply the last part of the comment to the correct context, and it will be realised that everything he said had no direct meaning at all; there is no need to go all shocked and surprised and condemning and saying “I am holier than thou always saying exactly what I mean and never having a joke because I’m too serious-grumpy-face all the time.” Also, I’m sorry, but isn’t one of the main reasons these protests are going ahead – which directly speak against government policy – our right to free speech? This is of course something many take for granted, otherwise, they would also see that Clarkson – if it was his actual opinion– is also exercising this right. As for that woman in Unison comparing him with Gadaffi… what? I’m not even going to go

Gadaffi and Clarkson

Hmm... I guess there might be a vague similarity in their hair?

there. If Clarkson had the same political power to casually carry out the punchline of a joke then I have the same power to gather all life-endangering mobility scooters, have them flown out to a remote mountain, and exploded into orbit by a 50 Megaton nuclear device.  Get real. He might have even been making the very point to highlight there isn’t just one side of this argument. It just seems quite hypocritical to me; all these people want financial freedom and such in retirement after working most of their lives, like everyone else, but I’m sure they don’t want the “oppression” some of them might suggest the government imposes. If Clarkson is sacked, this will only contribute to any further reputation of this country being “oppressive,” whilst they will call it the “right” to justice.

Don’t get me wrong, assuming he might believe in what he said, I don’t necessarily agree with Clarkson (although I can appreciate both sides of the argument), but I’m not shocked that he said it either, firstly because it’s Clarkson making his usual fatuous remarks, and secondly because it’s blindingly obvious that something like this is going to create fields of opinion poles apart. If the government got as angry with that lot about speaking out as they are with Clarkson there would be no room whatsoever for peaceful protest. Also, I am intelligent and not hate-filled enough to take and utterly fubar the context in which he said his oh-so-horrific comment.

That, people, is just my opinion, it doesn’t make it fact. It has just the same value and legitimacy as the next person’s different opinion. Get over it.

A world without is a world fulfilled

Imagine a world without religion - World Trade CenterRight, that’s it.

I’ve decided, I’m going to write about something that gets on my tits. I mean really gets on my tits. That’s right, I’m about to be opinionated, and a few people might object, but one thing I enjoy – and so should everyone else – in this country, and most of the world, is the right to free speech. There’s no question however, that it results in debate, but that’s the whole point, and debate is healthy.

Whilst you’re reading this just listen to this song – one of my favourites. Beautiful music, beautiful words. It says it all really:

…And for those who say that we are not ‘free’ (and the rant begins), ask yourself the following: does anyone tell you which political party to vote for and threaten you with arrest or worse? Does anyone tell you which religion to believe in and threaten you with imprisonment or worse? Does anyone tell where you are and where you are not entitled to go and threaten you with persecution, emasculation, or worse? Does anyone tell you you are not entitled to leave your life and emigrate in search of greater freedom? Does anyone tell you which jobs you should take and who you should marry or threaten you with disowning? Does anyone tell you you have a set destiny in life or you will be worthless? Have you ever even had the option to consider free financial support from the state?

Do you ever have the dread or burden of the effects of a life threatening incurable disease invading every moment of your life making you weary of the end because the technology for a cure is not available? Have you ever had so little money that you couldn’t afford even a blanket to keep you warm at night? Has anyone ever told you to stop expressing your opinions? I’ll stop horrendously regurgitating these worn out clichés now but if the answer to a vast majority if not all of these questions is a resounding ‘no’, then you, my friend, are one in a small percentage of the world who really are ‘free’. Free to live.  It really grinds my gears when certain ignorant people attempt to persuade other supposedly ‘naive’ and ‘sheltered’ people that we are part of an oppressed and controlled society. Get real. You don’t need to go far nowadays to see why these people are wrong, sometimes even the very fact you can turn on the TV and watch the news, broadcast from multiple channels, is enough to see why…

This leads me nicely to religion. If I were to talk about all my views on religion in one go I would probably be able to get away with not writing essays ever again, mainly because I would die of exhaustion and hunger, or from over excitement from the animated discussion and the phenomenal rage that would no doubt ensue in writing about such a thing. However, since I have already expressed my opinion on another matter, I will not blabber on too much about the dude with the beard in the sky/on the cross this time.

Specifically, what irritates me about religion versus science/atheism (I’m not debating now the precise definitions of the separate factions, I intend to sleep tonight), is the classic ‘all atheists are bad’, or ‘all religious people are ignorant’. How on Earth can this satisfy all beliefs of both sides? I know it’s crude and basic, and uses stereotypes, but the argument I have is – if a ‘bad’ atheist suddenly becomes religious, does that make them immediately ‘good’? And vice versa? Hard core religious nuts will of course argue that they have committed an unspeakable sin such that any attempts to join the ‘great and good’ of religion should mean damnation for the rest of their poor miserable lives, for ever doubting or ‘despairing’ in the faith of God. No. Go away. I ask those who are religious, did you ever have a choice whether or not to be religious? It’s all part of that good ol’ free world in which we are allowed independent beliefs and opinions, and permitted to make our own decisions. Chances are, yes you did have the choice and just as you took the decision to be faithful to a religion, others would have taken the decision to not believe in a religion. Is there any proof anywhere that either decision is the right one? Before you answer that just look at the picture below, and before you say ‘they weren’t really religious’, they believed in a god didn’t they; and that’s all you need to be religious, isn’t it? (I could go on to talk about what defines religion, but I won’t).

Religion and AtheismA picture paints a thousand words, and a picture with words makes a better picture, so I don’t really need to say anything other than it supports my point entirely.  At the end of the day, I am a philanthropist (some religious people might say, stereotyping again “you can’t be, you’re an Atheist. You’re therefore Satanist so how can you ever be a philanthropist?!”, for example), I believe all humans are animals and all animals should live in a fundamentally equal and free world as far as possible. But of course, as in the ‘animal world’, there are always going to be challenges and some unavoidable inequalities. Unfortunately it is the extremes of beliefs which have warped the views on what and what isn’t equality or freedom.

There is something, however, that we can never escape from – we are all born, we all live, we are all taxed, and we all die.

Now just imagine… If we all only believed in these indisputable existential facts the world would definitely be a far more equal place, and we would all be free to live it.

Just wait to see what I really have to say about religion. Have you read War and Peace?

Edited 6/2/2012