Take Comfort

The most notable event in my life on Friday happened when I walked into a shop. It looked like this:

Kapitano: Good Afternoon. I'm not a customer - I'm on one of those pointless government schemes for the unemployed...

Cashier: Um.

Kapitano: ...that requires me to walk into shops and ask them if they've got any job vacancies...

Cashier: Ah.

Kapitano: ...and collect evidence that I've done it. So, do you have any vacancies?

Cashier: No, I'm afraid not.

Kapitano: Fine. Do you have any application forms handy for when you do have vacancies?

Cashier: No, sorry. We do it all online.

Kapitano: No problem. Do you have any business cards, compliments slips or anything I can use to prove I was here?

Cashier: I don't think so.

Kapitano: [to queue of customers]: Sorry about this. [to cashier] Then can I have the name of the store manager and the telephone number of this shop?

Cashier: Um, I think I've forgotten it. Hang on.

[Cashier looks in catalogue. Finds number]

Cashier: Do you want me to write it down for you?

Kapitano: Oh yes please, that would be lovely.

[Cashier writes on receipt paper and hands it over]

Kapitano: Thank you very much.

I had similar conversations in a pub, two council offices and two admin buildings of the university. Except they wouldn't give me anything on paper at all.

It seems the way they work is this: You can't just walk in and ask for an application for anymore. Now, you find their website and email your CV to their Human Resources department, who send you an application form in the post, which you copy the CV you've already sent onto and post back to them. If they respond, it's with another letter.

Truly, the internet has changed everything.

The pope (Benzedrine the Sixteenth) has urged all Brazilian Catholics to abstain from nonmarital sex, and simultaneously avoid abortion.

By the same reasoning, you are expressly forbidden to go out in the rain, and furthermore you must not wear a raincoat when you do.

The secular world seems obsessed with talking about having sex, and the religious world with talking about not having it. It makes me wish I'd completed my seminary training. That way, as an atheist priest (of which there are many) I could talk about sex all the time.

Actually there is one other thing the churches are obsessing over. Everything, and where it comes from.

On May 5th, the ABC channel hosted a debate between creationist Ray Comfort and a group of atheists called the Rational Response Squad.

Comfort claimed he could conclusively prove the existence of the christian god in thirteen minutes, using only science and without referring to the bible.

You can watch the debate on the ABC site, but here's a summary of Comfort's three arguments:

* Design. The universe has a structure, therefore it was designed, therefore there was a designer, therefore that designer was the christian god.

* Conscience. Everyone, everywhere in the world has identical notions of what is right and wrong, regardless of culture or circumstance. The reason some people don't is they don't read the ten commandments.

* Conversion. Some people have a religious experience and convert to christianity.

So, how many basic errors of reasoning did you count? You may also have noticed he broke his promise to use science and not mention the bible. But what else could we expect from a man who uses the shape of bananas to disprove evolution?

I've participated in an interesting discussion about the debate here. It's interesting because there's atheists and intelligent christians on one side, and the quite staggeringly dumb christians (the majority) on the other.

I often think debates about creationism and god are fought in entirely the wrong way. If we want to win over the stupid, then we need to find arguments for evolution and atheism that are based on fear and authority.

Something like "Pat Robertson, Jessie Helms, Jerry Fallwell, Ted Haggard, John Paulk. They're christians."

1 comment:

  1. so this is what the blogosphere smells like?
    annoy your christian friends by emailing this link to the onion article on "intelligent falling"...