Atheist detects religion

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:31 am

Phillip Adams realises something:

And it seemed to me that not only did this demonstrate that there was a quasi-religious fervour in the environmental movement, but people were actually willing the end, they wanted the end.

You’ll find that line about 37 minutes into the above-linked audio clip.

(Via Gary S.)


“More and more evangelicals are coming to believe creation care is an integral part of their calling as Christians. It is becoming part of their faith,” said Melanie Griffin, director of partnerships for the Sierra Club and an evangelical.

[Founder of the Evangelical Environomental Network Calvin] Dewitt said evangelicals will not call themselves environmentalists.

“They are going to call themselves pro-life,” he said. “But pro-life means life in the Arctic, the life of the atmosphere, the life of all the people under the influence of climate change.”

UPDATE II. Religion News reports:

Faith leaders across the country have joined together to mobilize a religious response to global warming. On October 1st–8th, in churches, mosques, synagogues and halls of worship across the nation, congregations are participating in an unprecedented inter-religious screening and discussion of educational films about global warming, featuring Paramount’s An Inconvenient Truth, HBO’s Too Hot Not to Handle and the independent documentary Lighten Up.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/22/2006 at 10:32 PM
    1. Alas, religious fervour permeates most belief systems.

      This is especially bad with the Greens because they want to take us back to the Stone Age or have us all live like life is a permanent folk festival.

      “No man, I don’t bath, it’s bad for the ozone layer”.


      Posted by abcd on 2006 09 22 at 10:43 PM • permalink


    1. Oh and Big Phil should be against anything with that shown signs of religious fervour, especially when it’s worshipping the great big joint in the sky.

      “Hey, man…err, I forget”.

      Posted by abcd on 2006 09 22 at 10:48 PM • permalink


    1. What a load of old arse to wade through. God he’s a fat, rambling jackass. I skipped through it and it was all equally insipid, at one point he’s crapping on about Hiroshima, apparently dead japs = bad. Big insight, thanks Phil, piss off.

      Posted by Amos on 2006 09 22 at 10:50 PM • permalink


    1. Is that how you spell “atheist”? Or have I missed something?

      Posted by geoff on 2006 09 22 at 10:55 PM • permalink


    1. Perhaps he’s just the most athie, Geoff?

      Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 09 22 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. Thirty seven minutes of the Phat Phool?
      No thanks.
      They would be sending the men in white coats to take me away after that.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2006 09 22 at 11:02 PM • permalink


    1. Three aspects of the “religiousity” of the environmentalists that especially irk me are:

      1.) No concept of the utter awesomeness of the ecosystem. There is virtually nothing humans can do, short of all out nuclear war, that the environment cannot absorb and overcome. Even post-nuclear holocaust, the earth would continue in some altered form. Puny humanity just wouldn’t be there to see it.

      2.) The schisms are funny. For example, we have loads of PCBs in the silt of the Hudson River, thanks to the good folks at General Electric. One sect says remove them ASAP with expensive dredging. The other insists that it would just stir up the dregs and “re-pollute” the water. Leave the sediment settled at the bottom. Both are absolutely positive that they are the one true holy church of Green.

      3.) Lastly, these folks never ask Cui Bono? There are some many frauds and charlatans ready to profit from “Green Technology” and a lot of it is simple rubbish. But if the Al Gore crowd prevails, these folks will make a killing from useless gum’mint projects. Follow the money…

      Posted by JDB on 2006 09 22 at 11:07 PM • permalink


    1. people were actually willing the end, they wanted the end.

      Just so they could say “I told you so”?

      Posted by rinardman on 2006 09 22 at 11:13 PM • permalink


    1. #3: Man, I so don’t have anything to add to that. You’ve covered it all, Amos; good work.

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 22 at 11:24 PM • permalink


    1. Unfortunately, the Church of Green has found new inroads into other religions.

      “Some churches have been actively involved in the environmental movement since the 1970’s. The concern has been expressed in ways as small as recycling waste, to what can only be called “Earth worship”, elevating the value of the creation to a position above that of mankind.”

      Anything…ANYTHING…to replace that persnickety Being known as God!!

      Posted by Sharon_Ferguson on 2006 09 22 at 11:35 PM • permalink


    1. Dur.

      Posted by tiggy on 2006 09 22 at 11:41 PM • permalink


    1. The interviewee attributed the enviros’ disappointment at the insufficently armageddonish predictions to the enviros’ desire for Manichean simplicity, stark oppositions, etc. I didn’t keep listening, but, in leftist terms, wasn’t the word “Manichean” a likening to Bush and therefore the ultimate insult?

      Posted by ForNow on 2006 09 22 at 11:52 PM • permalink


    1. I think I like that. Enough with the apocalyptic Manichaean simplisme of Gore and his swamp worshippers!

      Posted by ForNow on 2006 09 23 at 12:06 AM • permalink


    1. #5 Ian, you slay me, you really do!

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 12:18 AM • permalink


    1. Mani Sogdiani was just a simple sandalmaker until that fateful night when the vision of wronwright, emerging from the Tardis in a drunken rage beating paco about the head and shoulders with a lit flashlight for having left the spigot open on the tun of mead he’d purloined from a Sumerian prince only hours (centuries, really) ago smote his senses dumb and engraved itself in his cortex.

      Poor Mani. All he spoke was Syriac (a form of Aramaic), which is why everyone called him “a Maniac” after the event.

      All he knew was leather—dust, wind, more dust and leather—until the sight of two “demons” seemingly engaged in life or death struggle changed him forever.

      Thus are belief systems born from perfectly natural phenomena.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 12:37 AM • permalink


    1. #15 perfectly natural phenomena

      If that’s an analogy it’s failed.

      Posted by Janice on 2006 09 23 at 01:56 AM • permalink


    1. A good gamma ray burst takes out several galaxies at once.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 09 23 at 02:01 AM • permalink


    1. #15, MentalFloss:
      So, let me see if I’m following ya here.

      Wrongwright = Abbā dəRabbūṯā (The Father of Greatness – Deity of Light)

      Paco = Nāšā Qaḏmāyā (Original Man – Primal Deity)

      And those two knuckleheads fighting over that flashlight is the original duel that founded the Manichean duality thing?

      Posted by Grimmy on 2006 09 23 at 03:20 AM • permalink


    1. I will get right onto watching this just as soon as I finish reclassifying my lint collection. Jeez, it’ll be non-stop excitement this weekend.

      BTW Blair, if you have any spare offers from cruise ships about Entertainment Director positions, pass them onto me.

      Just as well webdiary aren’t doing a management update for a while or I might not have the constitution for it.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 09 23 at 04:21 AM • permalink


    1. To be fair, Phatty has been saying that environmentalism is a religion for years, except he often calls it a “rational religion” and therefore no bad thing. But he did once do a fisking in one of his columns of some Christian eco-zealots who thought all animals deserved human rights, back when he still had a few marbles. But he a conformist above everything, and will turn on an ideological dime to agree with his fellow leftists.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2006 09 23 at 05:39 AM • permalink


    1. You listened to 37 minutes (and probably more ) of Philip Adams, Tim? That’s going above and beyond the call of duty.

      There’s another irritating aspect to rabid environmentalism apart from the quasi-religious peddling, and that’s the tendency to ascribe sentience to non-sentient animals, plants, even rocks. The concept of “Gaia” is perhaps the most well known example, but it’s implicit in virtually all the rantings of environmentalists. It’s a slight-of-hand way to render their arguments more emotive, to evoke a sense of outrage, such as when industrial development “rapes” a piece of land, which may also be construed as an example of anthropomorphication. In other words, we are duped into feeling sorry for things which have no feelings. Some animals are quite intelligent, and it’s generally a shame to see them suffer, especially for little or no worthwhile benefit to mankind. But that, already somewhat equivocal point, has been distorted and magnified by the greenies beyond all objectivity.

      Posted by Dminor on 2006 09 23 at 06:58 AM • permalink


    1. Support the Environment!

      Plant a tree over a Geenie!

      Posted by Grimmy on 2006 09 23 at 07:04 AM • permalink


    1. but people were actually willing the end, they wanted the end.

      That’s the way I feel every time a attempt an Adams column.

      Oddly enough, although he is an appalling columnist, I find his broadcasts slightly better.  I know, that is not saying much, but still.  There is something subliminally comforting about his radio program – like being back at university, where being right wing meant being a Trotskyite.

      Posted by Big Jim on 2006 09 23 at 07:04 AM • permalink


    1. #16 If that’s a criticism of a toungue in cheek peice of fluff, it’s succeeded.

      #1* Tha was the joke, yes—and may I complement you on your deft transliterative orthography?

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 07:09 AM • permalink


    1. #18, Grimmy, that is.  Do you know Aramaic?

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 07:10 AM • permalink


    1. people were actually willing the end, they wanted the end

      Yeah, Phil, just like you always wanted for Western Capitalism, as an Apoclyptic Leftie all these years.
      I’ve actually listened to this guy for about 20 years [Know your Enemy], and I’ve lost count how often he has rooted for Western causes to go belly-up, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

      It’s been Schadenfreude for me to hear him wail every time John Howard got re-elected.  Last time he almost took his microphone and went home in grief and gloom.
      The guy is prejudice on stilts.

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 09 23 at 07:49 AM • permalink


    1. #25, MentalFloss:

      Do you know Aramaic?

      No sir, but I know google.
      Between you and that google, I’m learning lots of cool stuff.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2006 09 23 at 07:56 AM • permalink


    1. MentalFloss:

      Although I dont know Syriac I might give a try to learning some, seeing as how I just found this Learn Assyrian (Syriac-Aramaic) Online place.

      Yep, between you and google, I is gittin me some smarts.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2006 09 23 at 08:19 AM • permalink


    1. And those two knuckleheads fighting over that flashlight is the original duel that founded the Manichean duality thing?

      Nope. You got it backwards. Thats dual and duelity.

      Posted by triticale on 2006 09 23 at 09:24 AM • permalink


    1. #26 – And the damned shame of it, Barrie, is that he only almost went home.
      (Packing bags)”I can’t stand it any more! Howard’s a fascist! The people are fools! BASTA! I spurn you all! I’m going home and you’ll never hear a word out of me… again…”
      (Pauses for several deeply uncomfortable microseconds, starts unpacking.)

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 09 23 at 10:29 AM • permalink


    1. Few people have an idea how quickly the jungle takes over.  In this particular region of Eastern Europe so many rural families made a trek to Australia in the late sixties courtesy of ICEM.  And because so many families were leaving, as we were preparing to migrate to Australia my father could not sell either the house or the farm, no buyers.  When my husband and I finally made our way over there in 1996 we found it hard to even locate where the house stood, where the fields and paddocks were and the stream ran.  There was only a track that quickly disappeared into first a thicket and then a forest.  This was only after 26 years.

      The local greenies were bitching about how the stork population was disappearing and wild pigs and deer were coming right into town gardens.  Yes, it did make me think that my ancestors may have been the original vandals when they cleared the land 800 years ago but the local greenies could not arrive at the same conclusion.  The jungle only does what it is meant to do and it will continue to do so until the end of time, as every gardener knows.

      Posted by Crossie on 2006 09 23 at 10:56 AM • permalink


    1. But if the Al Gore crowd prevails, these folks will make a killing from useless gum’mint projects. Follow the money…

      Always good advice. I said long ago that I’d like a look at the Gorebot’s portfolio.

      This, already a juggernaut in one sense of the word, rapidly is becoming one in it’s other sense. It’s rumored that the White House will unveil new global warming/cooling/climate change initiatives in the next State of the Union address. And today the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Global warming fear lights fire under Congress:

      Congress, it appears, is channeling Al Gore. After years of debating whether global warming was real or a hoax, the House and Senate staged six hearings this week on how the government should respond to climate change.

      And the Bush administration, which has downplayed the threat of global warming during its six years in office, released a 244-page strategic report this week laying out plans to address the rapid warming of the planet.

      Of course, as long as Congress confines its efforts to yet another useless round of hearings, we have nothing to fear. But I sense this will go farther. Much, much farther.

      If I may inject a little religioisty of my own, please, God, don’t let us repeat the DDT folly. Don’t let us (well, I won’t be around but many of you will) wake up in 50 years and realize that tens of millions of needless deaths and tens of billions of uselessly squandered financial resources could have been avoided if only cooler (no pun intended) heads had prevailed when the climate change fearmongers were having their way. Please.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 09 23 at 01:00 PM • permalink


    1. Did that man actually say “Welcome, gladdies and potties”?

      Sigh.  I’m never going to get on to Strayan at this rate.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 09 23 at 02:17 PM • permalink


    1. What they’re doing, is immamentizing the eschaton.  And Bill Buckley warned us many years ago not to do that.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2006 09 23 at 03:26 PM • permalink


    1. ’Immamentizing the eschaton’? Sounds vile.
      At least if you fuck a goat and marry her afterwards you can maintain a semblance of the high moral ground. (Hey, er, was it ever actually established that the goat was female?)

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 09 23 at 04:08 PM • permalink


    1. Lastly, these folks never ask Cui Bono?

      Here in California, where we’re being hustled with the Proposition 87 proposal to tax the oil companies and use the profits to develop nebulous alternative energy concepts, one of the two big financial backers of the proposition is a fellow named Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist heavily invested in…er…alternative energy concepts…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 09 23 at 04:28 PM • permalink


    1. Swinish, it is is indeed vile, particularly when viewed (as it should be) with reference to Article 676 of the Catholic Catechism:

      676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

      Ahmedinajad, for example, is trying to ‘immamentize the eschaton’ in his apocalyptic vision of Islamic triumphalism and the soi-disant ‘12th Imam’.

      Judaism, on the other hand, stands closer to Catholicism on this critically important tenet.

      In Jewish Mysticism, the exist the concept of “contraction” or “constriction”, which refers to the notion in the Kabbalistic theory of creation that G-d “contracted” his infinite essence in order to allow for a “conceptual space” in which a finite, independent world could exist.

      The function of this “contraction” was to conceal from created beings the activating force within them, enabling them to exist as tangible entities, instead of being utterly nullified within their source. The contraction produced the required “vacated space”, if you will (pardon the pun), devoid of direct awareness of G-d’s presence.

      Because the contraction results in the conceptual “space” in which the physical universe and free will can exist, G-d is often referred to as “Ha-Makom” (literally “the place”, “the omnipresent”) in Rabbinic literature. Relatedly, olam – the Hebrew word for “world” or universe – is derived from the root word meaning “concealment”. This etymology is complementary with the concept of contraction, in that the physical universe conceals the spiritual nature of creation.

      So, it is understood in Judaism that the concept of contraction contains a built-in paradox, requiring that G-d be simultaneously transcendent and immanent.

      On the one hand, if the “Infinite” did not restrict itself, then nothing could exist – everything would be overwhelmed by G-d’s totality.

      Thus existence requires G-d’s transcendence.

      On the other hand, G-d continuously maintains the existence of, and is thus not absent from, the created universe. It is posited that the Divine life-force which brings all creatures into existence must constantly be present within them. Were this life-force to forsake any created being for even one brief moment, it would revert to a state of utter nothingness.

      This is noted in such biblical teachings as: “You have made the heaven… the earth and all that is on it… and You give life to them all” (Nehemiah 9:6); “All the earth is filled with G-d’s Glory” (Numbers 14:21); “G-d’s Glory fills the world” (Isaiah 6:3).

      Hence, paradoxically, Creation requires G-d’s immanence, but would cease to exist, as noted above, were the creative will fully “immanentised” (what a clumsy word, eh?).

      Sorry for the long post, but I find this topic of immanent transcendance utterly fascinating.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 05:37 PM • permalink


    1. So that’s what happened to Vinod Khosla.

      20+ years ago, he was one of the founders of the company I work for. As I recall, he use some of the proceeds from that to build a nice little bungalow for his family. Around 13,000 sq. ft., I think it was.

      That’s got to need a lot of extra energy to run.

      And water; in 1991 he was recorded as having been the largest waster of water in Palo Alto, having used 4 million gallons of water in one year. He asserted that it was needed for the construction of the home. (According to Computerworld, June 24, 1991.)

      And no, I’m not voting for the measure in question.

      Posted by steveH on 2006 09 23 at 05:44 PM • permalink


    1. #37 A lucid description, MF.  However, the ‘amillenarial’ view of Rome and most Anglicans is not the only view, and there is a great deal in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and histories that teaches otherwise, without denying the immanence-transcendence of Deity.
      Amills believe in only one final end of all things, others believe in the prior rule of God on Earth – a final justification of His Creation, Rule and benevolence to mankind.
      This is shared by many conservative Jews and Christians too. As a Christian who believes God takes material Culture very seriously, I prefer this view.
      If I was a religious Israeli today, I would prefer not to think that Israel could be extinguished again.

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 09 23 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. MentalFloss and Barrie, you’ve exposed lamentable gaps in my religious knowledge. Maybe I’d be less ignorant on these matters if I’d been taught by the Jesuits instead of the Christian Brothers.
      Then again, maybe not. In my family we were raised according to the principles of Brute Catholicism – give your kids a non-government schooling, go to Mass every Sunday, and never ask any questions.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 09 23 at 08:12 PM • permalink


    1. It takes all kinds, doesn’t it, Barrie?

      With respect to your closing sentence, may I suggest you look a little more closely at at the Jewish concept of the Messiah and the so-called “Millenium”, or Olam-ha-Ba (the “world to come”). You might be surprised.

      Note particularly the dearth of references—remarkable in itself for a people who comment on the comments of commentators commenting on comments—and at the purely Christian or “Messianic Judaism” concepts of Dispensationalism and Supersessionism, which crop up continually because of a “Christianisation” of the peculiarly Jewish concept of the Messiah.

      If you are interested, may I recommend Maimonides (RAMBAM)? Specifically, The 13 Prinicples of Faith.

      Israel need not be destroyed (again) in some chiliastic orgy. Nor is Moshiach a saviour—the notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought.

      If you are waiting for Moshiach (the anointed one, a human, not divine, but Jewish and of the line of David) this is what to expect before and upon arrival: ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service.

      No destruction, no rapture, no apparitions.

      Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people. (Isaiah 2:4) Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist.

      (OK, OK, some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.)

      So, nu? When He is coming , already?

      – if (all) Israel repented a single day;
      – if Israel observed a single Shabbat properly;
      – if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
      – in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
      – in a generation that loses hope;
      – in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders

      Like I said, Barrie—takes all kinds, don;t it?

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 09:04 PM • permalink


    1. #15 & 18:

      Primal? Me? In a blue pinstripe, dazzling black wing-tips, and a Murder, Inc. fedora? Nah. Not primal. Prime , maybe.

      Wronwright could have beaten me about the head with a monkey wrench, for all the good it did him. I was wearing the new ultra-padded, security fedora sold exclusively by Monsieur Paqueau’s Fine Defensive Haberdashery.

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 23 at 09:08 PM • permalink


    1. Swinish, mate, I am the sinner here—and the ignorant one. It is sheer hubris and overweening pride (not to mention redundant prose) demonstrated above.

      It is the role of the philosopher, qualified or not (me=NOT), to pose questions—not to provide answers.

      As soon as one starts thinking they have the answers…well, you know…

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 09:09 PM • permalink


    1. paco, me old, I think I’ll be needing one of those hats if I keep sticking my pate over the parapet like this.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 09:12 PM • permalink


    1. Greenies are a worry, and there are many disturbing similarities between green groups and religion. But I’d hazard a guess that most of the commenters on this thread would think that things should be done to protect and conserve the environment, they just object to the knee-jerk reactions and the authoritarian solutions endorsed by environmentalists. Is that the case? I’d certainly fall into that category.

      Posted by TimT on 2006 09 23 at 09:48 PM • permalink


    1. #44: Well, I never heard of anybody needing a hat just for looking one over. It’s when they’re flying overhead that you need a hat, and even then . . . Hold on, the phone’s ringing. Hello? Hey, Michael Lonie! You old eight and a half hatsize intellectual, you, how’ve you been? What? Parapet? Not parakeet? Dang! Now I’m going to look like an idiot. What? Yeah, that might work. Thanks, Mike!

      Hey! What are you kids doing with my computer? Stop posting comments under my blogonym at Tim Blair’s site!

      Posted by paco on 2006 09 23 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. fer pity’s sake paco, you’ve any idea what a creamy pasta salad projectile looks like on 19” flatscreen monitor?

      modern art it ain’t.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 23 at 10:38 PM • permalink


    1. Plenty of people will be kneeling at the alter of Richard Branson now he is investing his $4 billion to stop global warmingclimate changeThe Weather.

      I’ve heard of virgin forest but Virgin Atmosphere? What is the world coming to?

      Posted by The Prez on 2006 09 24 at 04:20 AM • permalink


    1. #48, it’s all about Branson buying absolution for the emissions from his airlines so he can get into leftie Gaia heaven.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 09 24 at 06:40 AM • permalink


    1. Why do I expect PhilCo will rediscover prayer the instant he chokes on that last truffle…?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 09 24 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder if the indulgence will be plenary or partial?

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 24 at 05:55 PM • permalink


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