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1  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Was Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife? on: January 25, 2015, 06:58:56 pm
You think a monotheistic religion would, or should, be interested in presenting God--the one and only--as having defined gender or sexual characteristics or preferences? Really?

Well Christianity cannot escape from not giving god sexual characteristics because it did; it 'engendered' itself enough to impregnate a female who then gave birth to his son. Not his daughter. Indeed there is nothing to have stopped an almighty god from carrying it's own child, but that would require that god is penetrated, or should I say 'seeded' or 'dominated' by the someone who wasn't godlike. We can't have that can we; better let god confirm to patriarchal thinking Smiley

A lot of theologians--and this isn't just a liberal theology thing, you can find it in sources like Gregory of Nazianzus--have been at least a little uncomfortable with the implications of what's going on there and have sought to mitigate them or frame them in less gendered terms, not double down by presenting a sexual Jesus.

You cannot portray the immaculate conception in which god essentially impregnates a female with the resultant physical birth of god as a man in anything other than gendered terms. Eve was born of Adam for goodness sake. There is an intent here. As much as the Greeks despised women, even Zeus acted as a surrogate and birthed from his own thigh.
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Was Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife? on: January 25, 2015, 06:27:48 pm
You think a monotheistic religion would, or should, be interested in presenting God--the one and only--as having defined gender or sexual characteristics or preferences? Really?

Well Christianity cannot escape from not giving god sexual characteristics because it did; it 'engendered' itself enough to impregnate a female who then gave birth to his son. Not his daughter. Indeed there is nothing to have stopped an almighty god from carrying it's own child, but that would require that god is penetrated, or should I say 'seeded' or 'dominated' by the someone who wasn't godlike. We can't have that can we; better let god confirm to patriarchal thinking Smiley
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 05:24:48 pm
Sturgeon on Marr was fairly good...
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 05:15:48 pm
Natalie Bennett's interview this morning was an absolute unmitigated disaster.
5  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Was Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife? on: January 25, 2015, 02:53:11 pm
He's too good for a simple human.

While I believe that Jesus was celibate, and that it's a matter of theological import that He was celibate, this is not a good reason to argue for that position.

Given that this was 'god becoming man' for some sort of metaphysical sabbatical, given that he experienced every other human facet, challenge or emotion it seems a bit strange for him to miss out one of the most base and human. In either event, there's more homoeroticism in the NT than any other form of 'eros.' Whether this is just a Greek imagining for that particular audience and it's familiarity with the 'teacher/learner' secular and religious narrative in the oral tradition is another matter.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Female emergent Christian (D) vs. Red pill atheist (R) on: January 25, 2015, 07:38:58 am
I discard matches near straw men.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK local by-elections 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 05:09:42 pm
12 UKIP to SNP transfers. Lovely.

Well, 12 votes is more than 25% of your vote, so I would stay quiet if I were you. To be fair to you, that wasn't a good area at all for you and an e-sports journalist (!) might be a very poor fit for Fife.

It's only eight years since the Lib Dems came nine votes short of winning a seat in this ward.

Well, it was in 3BC (before Coalition). Things changed since then.

And 2007 itself was generally seen as a 'bad' year for the Liberal Democrats at both Holyrood and local government elections.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 02:46:51 pm


The internet has been crying out for an editable map of Wales Smiley Though now you might be moving in the direction of my territory Wink Cheesy
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 02:46:06 pm
Also worth stressing that Ed's approvals are dire in Scotland and regularly tie with David Cameron's. A friend of mine is doing the research into that one, but it might be the first time since polling began that a Tory leaders approval ratings have bested a Labour leaders approvals in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon who is genuinely 'left wing' (as much as you can be genuinely 'that away' and hold the position that she does) also has approval ratings that are unhealthily high for a western democracy. If she actually gets to be on the telly debates too then it's a perfect storm for the SNP.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 02:38:38 pm
Suspect a hold on a vote-split fluke (while leading precisely nowhere in the constituency) would be more likely, unless underlying voting patterns in Edinburgh have changed hugely.

Midlothian is an interesting one; Labour had a good local by-election in the constituency there towards the end of last year (i.e. well after the SNP poll surge got underway) and of course the area voted No.

Midlothian is probably the most fertile territory left for Labour in Lothian at the moment, in that the SNP are 'weak' here and the Lib Dems and Tories non existent. Even when playing about to create '1974 notionals', this seat (boundaries the same) was solid for Labour. SNP's win in Midlothian North and Musselburgh in 2011 was modest and their vote would be disproportionately strong in Musselburgh which is in East Lothian.

Up until today, I had it as a Labour hold even if the arse fell out of them.

Edinburgh is a difficult city to predict because voters there are probably the most fluid and the most attentive as to who is running against whom and where. So how the boundaries fall here make all the difference. Edinburgh East for example takes a bite right into the city; it takes in the Castle, Old Town and the University and a chunk of students When I looked at the results for that seat had the Holyrood election taken place on it in 2007, the SNP won it (even though it didn't include Musselburgh) because it's vote in what were then 'no-hope' seats was uniform.

That's an SNP strength and weakness. It's vote across Scotland is so uniform now that a wave vote for them would mean they would swamp the seats across the country. The SNP have that uniform support both in urban and rural areas.

In 2011 and again, looking at the polls, the SNP are taking Labour votes right from actual Labour voters, particularly in the C2DE range (who were also sympathetic to Yes) Labour will probably hold up on the strength of borrowing votes from Tories and Lib Dems. I wouldn't be surprised if they retain East Ren, Aberdeen South, Central Ayrshire etc but end up losing Motherwell, Kirkcaldy etc.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 02:01:16 pm
David Hamilton, MP for Midlothian will stand down in May.

If we ignore the SNP wave for a minute it's worth spending time on where sitting Labour MP's standing down could effect the race in Scotland. The main one is Glenrothes MP Lindsay Roy who is standing down. He has a huge personal vote in Glenrothes which is held at Holyrood by SNP MSP Tricia Marwick who also has a huge personal vote in what must be a unique. Even with the SNP in the 40's in the polls, Labour retains Glenrothes. Less likely now. Same as Kirkcaldy next door which is losing Gordon Brown.

A big blow is Anne McGuire in Stirling. Again, a personal vote here as Michael Forsyth's vote as the Tory MP was before her. Whipless Eric Joyce is out in Falkirk and Frank Doran is out in Aberdeen North which are also good bets for the SNP even in a closer rate. Alistair Darling is also out in Edinburgh South West where the Tory vote is swamped by the inclusion of the whole of Sighthill. Sighthill voted SNP in 2007 even though they finished 3rd in Edinburgh Pentlands and it helped oust the Tories in 2011. Labour may have to rely on genteel voters to retain this seat next time around.

12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 01:48:34 pm
are schoolchildren in Scotland not aware of this through normal RE lessons at school?

If you read the opening statement in Mason's proposal, which is a response to a Parliament notion on chaplains (and why he links that to Creationism, f-ck knows) what the issue was, was a few schools in East Kilbride essentially having happy-clappy American 'chaplains' in their schools who handed out typical American crap about creationism, gays and non-believers. The Parliament notion was to tighten up chaplaincy posts at schools and while allowing them to be of a 'Christian character', would require more vetting in case they were evangelising nuts.
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Dilemma of French Muslims on: January 24, 2015, 01:28:52 pm
In my view, a "feminist act" refers to an act that either constitutes a symbolic challenge to patriarchy (which implies active rejection of the patriarchal system rather than merely coping with it) or actively contributes to undermine patriarchy's material or ideological foundations.

I do have a lot of sympathy for the notion that the general principle of using sartorial choices to offend male sensibilities or male entitlement and to deflect or confuse the male gaze can, in fact, constitute just such a symbolic challenge. I'm just not sure that this is in fact a case of that for most people. (I know anecdotally that for at least a few women it is but the plural of anecdote is not et cetera.)

That's an idea I personally have a hard time to swallow, considering my understanding of how patriarchy works. In my understanding, the objectification of women goes hand in hand with the obsession with "modesty", they are two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, there's the idea that women are sexual commodity for men to use, and on the opposite side, the idea that women should stay chaste and preserve themselves from men. I think that is roughly what is meant with the "madonna/whore complex". The genius of patriarchy, so to speak, is that it invented both a thesis and an antithesis, that it has framed the debate in such a way that i can draw strength from both sides of it. Adhering to one side of it to counter the other one strikes me as a futile attempt, at least at the symbolic and ideological level (again, I'm not claiming that it cannot work in certain practical situations).

I think you've nailed it, with respect to how I would approach it. It is not possible to determine in what way women would present themselves if there were no 'critics'; either men who were critiquing on the basis of sex; whether wanting a 'loose woman' or a dutiful wife both of which are extensions of patriarchal thinking, or peer criticism from other women who demand that of women themselves.

This is merely from my own experience, but as a non-heterosexual male, when in the company of women, I don't find that they cover up to an extreme in private. If I was being honest, from women I know they tend to dress for comfort and probably 'wear less' than in public, but while it's less garments it's for comfort and not for a sexual end. I would say as a male that the same is true for us. Which I think is probably close to a 'neutral' non-sexual state of dress.

Therefore I would contend that of the two extremes and they are both extremes driven by the same means, completely covering the body in public is the most distant from what we could consider a neutral state of dress/undress. I have argued a similar point with respect to sex and food; a hedonist is 'obese' towards sex in the same way that someone who is abstinent and seeks abstinence in others is 'anorexic' towards sex. Eating too much is closer to 'eating' than starving yourself is and having constant sex is closer to 'having sex' than completely shutting yourself off from it is. It might be a contentious observation but as someone who eats and who has sex in moderation as most people do, I somewhat disturbingly but almost entirely by default have more in 'common' with a glutton of both.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Americans Only: Who Would You Vote For (2015, Northern Ireland edition) on: January 24, 2015, 01:06:21 pm
I'm sure among the evangelical hipster Ingress scene in Belfast, all the former Catholics who have left the church (because there's no pre existing, non-liberal evangelical community amongst scene crowds in Belfast because I live in Minneapolis and I know) and are now culturally disconnected wouldn't be asking what party to vote for or what flag to like. They'd be saying 'Jesus wouldn't care about flags' Jesus wouldn't want flags banned.

Oh wait...I'm not BRTD. Sorry about that.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 24, 2015, 11:55:45 am
Talking of the SNP...



...what? I'd expect this from Ulster, sure, but Scotland?!

Well it's John Mason being a d-ck as usual.
16  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Dilemma of French Muslims on: January 24, 2015, 10:35:48 am
In my view, a "feminist act" refers to an act that either constitutes a symbolic challenge to patriarchy (which implies active rejection of the patriarchal system rather than merely coping with it) or actively contributes to undermine patriarchy's material or ideological foundations.

I do have a lot of sympathy for the notion that the general principle of using sartorial choices to offend male sensibilities or male entitlement and to deflect or confuse the male gaze can, in fact, constitute just such a symbolic challenge. I'm just not sure that this is in fact a case of that for most people. (I know anecdotally that for at least a few women it is but the plural of anecdote is not et cetera.)

What I dislike about that is that women are making as assumption that the man whose gaze they want to avoid has any interest in her, or indeed any woman at all. If you catch my drift Smiley Which is in itself nothing more than an extension of patriarchal thinking.

I think there was a discussion in some school of fiqh or another recently about whether or not gay or asexual men could be treated the same as relatives for these purposes. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.



Make sure you have wings.
17  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Dilemma of French Muslims on: January 24, 2015, 09:08:53 am
In my view, a "feminist act" refers to an act that either constitutes a symbolic challenge to patriarchy (which implies active rejection of the patriarchal system rather than merely coping with it) or actively contributes to undermine patriarchy's material or ideological foundations.

I do have a lot of sympathy for the notion that the general principle of using sartorial choices to offend male sensibilities or male entitlement and to deflect or confuse the male gaze can, in fact, constitute just such a symbolic challenge. I'm just not sure that this is in fact a case of that for most people. (I know anecdotally that for at least a few women it is but the plural of anecdote is not et cetera.)

What I dislike about that is that women are making as assumption that the man whose gaze they want to avoid has any interest in her, or indeed any woman at all. If you catch my drift Smiley Which is in itself nothing more than an extension of patriarchal thinking.
18  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Dilemma of French Muslims on: January 23, 2015, 06:44:50 pm

It should however be remembered that a lot of the people clamoring for these bans want them to extend not only to burqas but to niqabs and in some cases even hijabs as well, banning which would be not only clearly anti-Muslim but also arguably anti-feminist.


The problem is that the hijab and the niqab are essentially 'cultural' dress, not religious. There is no requirement in Islam to wear them. They are essentially Arabian garb and are in many ways (as most intrusions into Islam are generally Saudi these days anyway) now usurp traditional forms of more fluid and more practical dress such as the salwar kameez. Everything is 'immodest' in comparison to the hijab and niqab and so it essentially becomes a race to the bottom. Given that the pursuit of 'modesty' is patriarchal, I don't see how opposing every facet of a woman's identity as a human being being covered up is anti-feminist. I think that the facial obliteration as a result of extreme facial coverings is actually a very anti-human thing to do on the basis that we communicate through our faces and pick up cues that way. It also impedes conversation for those who have to rely on these cues, from children to those with hearing impairments more than others to actually communicate at all.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 23, 2015, 08:00:01 am
What's embarrassing about this thread is that it displays severe ignorance. All of the "jokes" in it are only funny if one is some combination of dumb and sexist. I.e. one thinks, for example, that objecting to sexual harassment means thinking "men can't talk to women". And so on.

A priest and a rabbi would  have no problem walking into a bar together! This is an outrage. Distortion of facts will not be forgotten by The Regime.

Eh...I think you sort of missed my point. It wasn't that jokes need to conform to reality. Or even be inoffensive - I love jokes that a lot of people find offensive. But if your joke about how anti-racist people are really dumb because political correctness has gone mad!1 is only funny to someone who is a bigoted racist then you're probably better off not telling the joke. And the same goes for sexism. It's not a terribly complex issue.

The idea that someone has to be a sexist to find satire about anti-sexism amusing is itself a worthy subject of satire.

Do you guys do anything other than mischaracterize other peoples' posts? What you just said is not what I said. I explicitly said something different and if you re-read the post (or just use common sense) maybe you'd get it. I joke about sexism all the time. In fact, one of my jokes on sexism was posted in this very thread. Amusingly, it seems that none of the misogynists understood it. Which isn't entirely surprising of course. It's sort of like when conservatives think the Onion is real.

Shua is deliberately contrary Smiley
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 23, 2015, 06:52:29 am
SNP lead shrinking in Scotland in the two latest polls:

http://may2015.com/featured/is-labour-starting-to-turn-the-tide-in-scotland/

Not based on those polls, no. The Panelbase poll that saw a huge drop in SNP support asked the Voting Intention question third. The first question was about how oil prices affected your view on independence. You really shouldn't do that. It's how they got interesting polls results during the referendum campaign. So the fact they got a result that is out of line with other polls isn't surprising. Survation saw SNP down two and SNP up two. Mori saw Labour up 1 and the SNP steady, though in fact the figure reported as 52% for the SNP was infact 52.5% and would usually be rounded up. So technically both parties were up one on that poll.

At the moment, it would be not be accurate to say that the SNP lead is falling. It's been pretty much the same as it has been since December.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 22, 2015, 06:00:44 pm
I don't really understand this thread. Is it supposed to imply that oakvale and his "faction" are SJW's?  

That's not how I interpreted it (I would probably consider myself a "SJW" if that weren't a pejorative). It's making fun of the anti-sex views that seem to run rampant on this forum, and especially the homophobic double standards that result in Libertas being banned because he had the audacity to talk about a gay relationship where the two men *gasp* have sex.

edit: It will also, apparently, be the repository of what I can only assume will be a legendary Simfan post (see below).

Come on now. I've talked at great length about having sex, group sex, sex with priests and general f-u-ck-aroundary with my own husband on this forum. I found it quite cute that the latest iteration of Libertas actually thought he was being sexually daring...
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 22, 2015, 02:41:41 pm
The Scottish Labour Party have not provided official membership figures since 2008 when it stood at 17,000. I heard, from a trustworthy source tonight it might now be in the 5000-7000 range which if true, it would have less members than the Greens, Tories (who still have a lot of residual old duffers) and the SNP which has now surpassed 100,000 members. Important stuff in advance of any ground game.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 22, 2015, 11:59:19 am

Well Cameron played a blinder on the debates; he ‘initiates’ a Green surge (surges often happen just because the media start talking about it) and now it looks like we’ll get the Greens and the SNP and Plaid. That creates a potential ‘stairheed rammy’ involving 7 parties in the debates. It gives the SNP exposure in Scotland during a GE (which they often lack) which will hopefully sustain momentum and gives Plaid national legitimacy and dilutes UKIP’s ‘none of the above’ status.

When there’s so many people in the mix debate wise, no one knows what the expectations are. It makes a ‘one on one’ with Miliband easier. Miliband starts from a low expectation. People expect him to look odd, stare, wet his lips, fidget and regurgitate the unfortunate ‘I genewawy thay to youw’ inflections. He just has to come across half decent and he wins by default. In a 7 header to start off with, it gives Cameron a better opportunity to scout him.

To pick up on the ‘cost of living’ stuff from earlier, including oil prices, inflation and potential Budget giveaways; there’s something (I say this as someone who isn’t going to vote for them), that makes me think there’s a ‘perfect storm’ brewing for what could potentially be a quite comfortable Conservative victory in May.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 22, 2015, 08:20:54 am
A major problem also is that Labour's been banging on about the 'cost of living crisis' for the past two years and that wages do seem to be picking up at just about the worst possible moment for that tortuous case to cut any wood,

On the contrary, it will take years (and not one or two at that) for living standards to recover to where were before the financial crisis hit, and people are aware of this instinctively (i.e. when people talk of there being 'no recovery' - as they still often do - this is what they mean). It's a good line of attack (and happens to be morally right, though that's by the by), but the question is whether Labour can deliver it effectively during the campaign.

I'm clearly in no position to estimate the mood on the ground (who is, though?), but as far as I can see the line doesn't play too well with the mainstream media. The narrative at this point seems to be one of economic growth and dipping unemployment figures. There are worse circumstances for an incumbent government to be fighting an election campaign under.

(I'm not disagreeing with you as to the reality of the matter, but I'm feeling slightly despondent of the quality of Labour's communication at the moment. Not saying it'll cost them the election, as what's actually being said is hardly the most important thing at this point.)

Given that Labour were at worse nurse to or at least chaperone to the economic crisis it probably won't give them much of a boost. In opinion polls on who to blame for the current economic problems, Labour still score highly.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 22, 2015, 07:00:54 am
I know little about UK politics, but is there a possible for a Conservative-UKIP coalition?

Well for one thing, UKIP will probably only win 2 seats. 3 would be like a huge feat. Even then, that's not going to be the difference between a minority and a majority. So it's a moot point.

Nothing can be written off for UKIP. They were underestimated in the 2013 locals, last year's local and Europeans, so I'd assume this years GE too.


Actually if anything, UKIP are over-estimated in the polls. They had a worse set of local elections in 2014 than they did in 2013, down 5% to 17% in the estimated national vote share. In the European elections held on the same day, they were overestimated by a range of 1-6 points in national polling at the time (Labour were also slightly overestimated and the Tories underestimated) YouGov called that one 'correct'; they had had UKIP sitting lower in the polls in the final two weeks than other pollsters, but incorrectly had them just behind Labour until their last poll.
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