Saturday, June 30, 2007

What's It All Worth?

The accumulation academic honours and a plethora of professional qualifications and accreditations is a complete irrelevance. Life has no more intrinsic meaning today than it had some 90 years ago when I first uttered breath. As for the dubious pleasure of being able to inscribe MA MSc MB ChB MBA PhD DPhil after one's name, not to mention one's professional memberships, amounts to risibility. For anyone who thinks that these qualifications actually mean very much at all has lost the plot before the play has even started. Particularly when one meets Xtians who declaim that...
From the Christian view, a soul comes into being at the moment of conception. A single fertilized egg cell, if it divides into two cells, can be said to have had a soul. (accredited to Tad Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center(sic) here.)
What's the point of an education when one meets psychopathological morons like Ted?

One might as well have left school at 12 and become an illiterate serf.

Hello Ted?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thus Speaks A Madman.


Meet Father Gabriele Amorth, founder and president emeritus of the International Association of Exorcists, and who is considered to be Rome's chief exorcist. And for those who cannot read what he is saying in his picture, allow me to reiterate it here:

"Rationalism, atheism - which is preached to the masses - and the corruption that is a by-product of Western consumerism have all contributed to a frightening decline in faith. This I can state with mathematical certainty: where faith declines, superstition grows."


Here is another of Amorth's considered opinions:

"Exorcism is God's true miracle. We of the Bible know that evil spirits are angels created as good by God and who then rebelled against God. But the idea of evil spirits is a universal idea, in all cultures, all regions, all times. Naturally, everybody defends themselves according to their own culture and mentality...perhaps resorting to witch doctors or what have you. But all people, all the time, have a perception that spirits of evil exist, which it is necessary to protect against."

According to Amorth, recognising demonic possession, or the 'discernment' as he likes to call it, is the first and very difficult aspect of an exorcism. This is most commonly achieved by seeing how the patient responds to religious symbols such as holy water or a crucifix. For example, the person has a great aversion to entering a church or cannot face a priest.

Many critics, however, see the Church's willingness to use exorcism at all as a perilous crutch. It allows people to take flight from personal responsibility and constitutes not just a wilful ignorance of serious mental illness but also, potentially, an exacerbation of such illness.

Where psychiatry and therapy require a person to look within to solve their problems, exorcism and blaming the 'Devil' allows a person to escape introspection and instead discern only external causes for problems.

Not unnaturally, Amorth dismisses this criticism and claims that exorcism itself has a diagnostic role. He maintains that an exorcism is the only procedure that can truly and definitively determined whether a person is afflicted by satanic influence, and the exorcism is the only procedure which can overcome the tricks the 'Devil' uses to conceal his presence. And since exorcism is basically prayer (though many would claim that it is nothing other than mumbo-jumbo) , Amorth claims that it can't hurt, since he claims...

"An unnecessary exorcism never harmed anyone."
It is that attitude which worries doctors in Italy and elsewhere, who approach the subject of demonic possession and exorcism much more sceptically, or who think it is completely bogus. As Dr Sergio Moravia of the University of Florence succinctly puts it:

"It's a scam!"
According to some estimates offered by Italian mental health organisations, thousands of Italians seek exorcisms every year. But whilst Amorth is reluctant to indicate the number who do so, he contends that, regrettably, many more people frequent practitioners of witchcraft and black magic. The reason for this, Amorth claims, is the quote in his piccie, and which I have reiterated above.

However, one thing is abundantly clear: irrespective of the mental health of those poor delusional fools who consult Amorth for an exorcism, he has completely lost touch with reality if he actually believes any of the gibberish which he spouts, whether within or apart from the exorcism ritual itself. And since Amorth claims that he is absolutely sincere, then his comments indicate clearly that he is a madman. But I suppose anyone who suggests such a thing has been possessed by the 'Devil'.

Guffaw!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Muslim Politician Justifies Suicide Bombing - But Not If He's Asked To Be The Murdering Bastard Who Does It, The Fucking Coward!

Or so says the Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister, Ejaz-ul-Huq.

Granted, he delivered his vile little speech in the Pakistan's National Assembly as part of the Pakistani parliament's condemnation of the UK awarding a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, but to use the award of such a dubious honour as an excuse and exhortation to murder of infidels who offend the fragile sensibilities of Muslims is egregious in the extreme.

Strangely enough, so far our Tony 'Baloney' Blair hasn't come out and condemned ul-Haq for his incitement to murder and to commit acts of heinous terrorism, though he usually has plenty to say about these things, but sad to say that no other British luminary seems to be prepared to put their head above the parapet either and risk being attacked for daring to speak out against these insane religious monsters.

According to Reuters, ul-Haq declared, "If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honour of the Prophet Mohammad, his act is justified". So, given that Muhammad married a 6 year old little girl child, I suppose we must not call him a paedophile, even though that is the usual appellation reserved for such people in civilised countries.

Isn't it amazing, though, the length to which we in the West are prepared to go to appease these lunatic Muslim murderers and those cowardly behind-the-scenes types who incite them to perform their heinous acts in the name of 'God'? Even more surprising, is the leniency shown towards them in this country when the fact is that Muslims account for only 2% of the UK population, according to the National Centre for Social Research survey data, yet Blair and his gang of sycophants continue to tiptoe around their delicate sensibilities. But anyone who dares to speak out about this is dismissed as a racist by one side and marked down for murder by the other.

Postscript: According to 'The Independent' today, ul-Huq said: "This is an occasion for the 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision. The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'sir' title." Whilst his vile and cowardly threat was condoned by his parliamentary colleague, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Sher Afgan Khan Niazi, who added that the knighthood would "encourage people to commit blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed".

In view of sentiments like these, it is time that the British Government classified Pakistan as a rogue terrorist state and expel or jail ALL Muslims in the UK who support or incite terrorism while dressing it up as a devout religious act, like these two leading Pakistani politicians.

Post-postscript: According to The Daily Telegraph (21/06-07), "Abdul Rashid Ghazi, one of two brothers who run a mosque in Islamabad, said: "Salman Rushdie deserves to be killed and anyone who has the power must kill him." Meanwhile, that mealy-mouthed hypocrite, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, told The Daily Telegraph: ''I would urge and plead with all Muslims around the world to remain calm." But he warned that honouring the author put "Her Majesty the Queen in a very difficult position" as head of the Church of England as The Satanic Verses had offended Christianity as well as Islam. Strange, however, that this ignorant ennobled religious moron doesn't criticise ANY of his murderous Muslim brethren for their vile threats, is it not?



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Notable Theologians #1

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a colonial American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans, who exploited their credulity mercilessly whilst growing rich by exploiting them and plundering their natural wealth. He is known amongst the ‘long-nose invaders’ who despoiled the Native American culture as one of the greatest and most profound of American theologians and revivalists, but that is not how those abused and robbed aboriginals regard him.

Edwards’ work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defence of Calvinist theology and the Puritan heritage. His fire-and-brimstone sermons, such as "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" emphasized the punishment of 'God' and contrasted it with the provision of 'God' for salvation, providing that one suspended ALL critical faculties and surrendered oneself to ‘God’s’ sublime mercy. Apparently, the fact that ‘God’ wiped out the whole of the human race apart from Mr and Mrs Noah and their immediate family was an act of ‘divine love’.

The intensity of Edwards’ preaching sometimes resulted in members of the audience fainting, swooning, and other more obtrusive reactions. The swooning and other behaviours in his audience caught him up in a controversy over "bodily effects" of the Holy Spirit's presence; notably, some of his parishioners were excommunicated from his church for masturbating openly during his particularly florid sermons. Even Edwards was noted for ‘hiding his hands deep in his clothing, even though they could be seen to be moving with some purpose’ (Augustus Trimble, former Parish Clerk).

Edwards is frequently regarded as America's most important and original philosophical theologian, and his main themes were that the only real cause or substance underlying physical and mental phenomena is ‘God’, defined as "being in general” and the "sum of all being", and his unsubstantiated claim that ‘God’ created the cosmos in order to manifest a ‘holiness which consists in a benevolence which alone is truly beautiful’.

Notably Edwards did not offer any evidence for the existence of this ‘God’, who was simply assumed as a given, nor for his subsequent claim. If that makes him ‘America's most important and original philosophical theologian’, it says little for their subsequent intellectual development, but that is unsurprising when they have a current President, George W. Bush, governing them who famously declaimed, "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."

Nowadays Christian theologians frequently use Edwards’ ‘threeness – oneness paradigm’ to interpret his trinitarianism. The ‘threeness – oneness paradigm’ maintains the trinitarian traditions, but due to its ambiguity of language and meaning it is interpreted by some theologians as an emphasis on the multivariate nature of ‘God’ whilst others claim it represents a divine unity/substance or plurality/persons, which they maintain is yet another, and the true, definition of ‘God’. Eastern Cappadocian trinitarianism and Western theologian Richard of St Victor use the social analogy and represent the ‘threeness’ trajectory whilst the Western Augustinian tradition uses the psychological analogy and represents the ‘oneness’ trajectory. What is absolutely apparent, is that the language used by either interpreters of Edwards’ ruminations is not consistent, and that their respective meanings expose his completely unsubstantiated declamations ‘proving’ the existence of ‘God’ as completely spurious.

Amy Plantinga Pauw's writings are the most thorough interpretations of Edwards' trinitarianism in terms of the ‘threeness – oneness paradigm’ and she concludes that Edwards employed both the psychological and social models of the trinity, arguing that Edwards's undoubted madness is demonstrated by his ability to draw on both the psychological and social models of the imagined trinity of ‘God’, without ever making any attempt to establish that his delusional beliefs had any validity in reality; in other words, Edwards assumed ‘God’s ‘existence as an a priori fact, and without question. It was for this reason that her former husband, Alvin, sued for divorce, since he maintained in his Petition to the Court that she was actually referring to his own irrational behaviour and merely using Edwards as a surrogate.

In contrast, Deitrich Hans Von Shimmelbacher maintains that the ‘threeness – oneness paradigm’ is an over generalized understanding of the trinitarian traditions and, as such, unsuitable as a template to interpret Edwards' trinitarianism, which is, de facto, a text-book example of specific development disorder. Most modern psychologists would agree.

However, despite the overt theological confusion amongst the apologists for him, Edwards did not employ two models of the trinity, but one: the Augustinian 'mutual love model’, providing, of course, that the object and subject of said ‘love’ were both practising Christians of the same denomination as Edwards ( and, indeed, Augustine) himself. Edwards use of the Augustinian mutual love model reflects his continuity with the dominant Western Augustinian trinitarian tradition and early Enlightenment apologetics for the traditional doctrine of the trinity, though there are many theologians of arguably greater stature who disagree with him, if only due to the fact that they do not consider Roman Catholics to be Christian.

One such was that notable Calvinist, Theodor Von Thinkelspein Und Schiendost, who maintained that the three and the one comprise the unity which is the void, and that this is the source of transcendental angst and anthropomorphic deification of imaginary beings. Admittedly, Von Thinkelspein was subsequently excommunicated (due top his questioning of Calvin’s sexual mores), like his more generally known American (genuine) hero, George Bethune English, who was excommunicated before him for writing his exposé of the fraud that was the Christian religion. Unfortunately, Von Thinkelspein’s work is only available nowadays through private collections, as all denominations of the Christian religion have tried to suppress his thoughts and writings.

Subsequently, Edwards' fraudulent preaching became unpopular, and he was finally dismissed from his church by an overwhelming majority of his erstwhile congregation. At long last, even they had seen through this duplicitous manipulator who came to be known as ‘the great charlatan’ amongst the ‘long-nose invaders’. Subsequently, after much transmigration across the American continent, which even culminated in him being rejected by the very Native Americans he had sought to exploit, Edwards subsequently accepted the sinecure of the Presidency of what was to become Princeton University on the death of its previous incumbent, his son-in-law and father of the subsequent US Vice-President Aaron Burr.

But then ‘God ‘had the last laugh at the expense of one of his most (in)famous charlatans. Almost immediately after becoming President, Edwards was inoculated for smallpox, which was raging in Princeton at that time, and died as a direct result of the inoculation.

And so another ‘great’ philosophic theologian, monstrous psychopath and complete phoney and arch-swindler was consigned to the oblivion that he deserved.

It is only a pity that the 'Hell' he continually threatened those who did not share his particular delusional psychopathological beliefs with does not exist, and that he is not being horribly tormented there in perpetuity for his egregious fraud on his long-suffering fellows.

So much for a 'great Christian.'

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Comfort of Religion Psychosis.

With acknowledgements for the piccie, but not the postscript, to my young friend (and I trust that you do not think that I am abusing that word, Alan) Alan Mackenzie, whose excellent blog, 'Rank Atheism' can be found here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why Do Theists Lie?

Last week in The Times letters page, in a response to a previous article by Christopher Hitchens, Paul Wooley, a Director of the religious pressure-group Theos defined atheism as a faith, and implied that it was indistinguishable qua faith from Xtianity - his own particular faith, and the one which his group was set up to defend from rationality, logic and science. Wooley then declaimed that people like Hitchens, Dawkins and Grayling were extreme fundamentalists, implying all the same disapprobation for them as when that appellation is applied to Xtian or Muslim psychopaths. Unurprisingly, Wooley did not use the opportunity to address the central tenet of Hitchens' article, or that of atheism itself: that there is no credible objective evidence that this entity called 'God', which Wooley is paid a handsome salary to defend, exists.

Not to be outdone in the abuse stakes, an ignoramus who called himself the Rev. Kerby Rials joined in, and claimed that atheism is a religion, per se, and a failed one at that. Furthermore, Rials declared that what he calls the 'atheistic religion' was the most vile experiment which had been perpetrated on a long-suffering world, and that it was no more than "a refuge for those fleeing from God." Unsurprisingly, Rials did not use the opportunity to address the central tenet of Hitchens' article, or that of atheism itself: that there is no credible objective evidence that this entity called 'God', which Rials is paid a handsome salary to defend, exists.

But then the voice of reason chimed in, assuming the persona of one Graham Brown, who recognised correctly that atheism is neither a faith nor a religion, but then went on to dismiss it on the grounds that Hitchins' criticism that different religions differ in their interpretation of god(s) doesn't mean that ALL religions are not true. Correct, Graham, but sadly for you it doesn't mean that ANY ONE religion is true either. Unsurprisingly, Brown did not use the opportunity to address the central tenet of Hitchens' article, or that of atheism itself: that there is no credible objective evidence that this entity called 'God' exists.

Not to be outdone in the ratiocination stakes, one P. Thomas Murray attacked Hitchins for not being able to prove that 'God' doesn't exist. Murray continued with by paraphrasing Chuang Tzu's 'butterfly dream', whilst completely missing the point of that learned sage's philosophy: reality exists irrespective of and independent from subjective perceptions, thus if 'God' exists, there must be some empiric evidence independent of those who claim 'He' does. Unsurprisingly, Murray did not use the opportunity to address the central tenet of Hitchin's article, or that of atheism itself: that there is no credible objective evidence that this entity called 'God' exists.

Four letters, all attacking atheism, yet the writers of them deliberately distorting facts and avoiding the real issues: there is no credible objective evidence that this entity they call 'God' exists and there never has been. That is why so-called 'sophisticated theologians' and 'devout believers' have declared over the millennia that facts must be denied when these conflict with their faith.

And despite the lies uttered by Messrs. Wooley, Rials, Brown and Murray, atheism does not deny the facts; it simply acknowledges THE FACT that there is no credible objective evidence that this entity that theists call 'God' exists.

Oh, BTW, if anyone out there has such evidence, don't be shy, share it with us and I, for one, will use my best endeavours to ensure that you are given the recognition that you so truly deserve.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Truth Will Out!

If one examines Holy Scriptures, one is faced with a choice: either accept textual verisimilitude or conclude that truth is intrinsically unattainable by studying them. Thus Derrida promotes the analysis of Holy Scriptures to deconstruct elitist perceptions of consciousness, since consciousness is defined as a ‘predialectic paradigm of context’.

Lacan concurs in epigamic style: “Religion is part of the neodeconstructivist paradigm of culture.” However, in La Voix et le phénomène , Derrida argues that it is not so much religion that is part of the neodeconstructivist paradigm of culture, but rather that it is contextualised into a socialism that includes narrativity as a reality and which contributes to the meaninglessness, of religion per se.

Foucault rises to this challenge with this towering defence in L’Archéologie du savoir : “But the main theme of Holy Scriptures is a mythopoetical whole. The subject is interpolated into a neocultural Marxism that includes reality as a totality and includes truth as a paradox.” Nevertheless, in La Condition postmoderne Lyotard rejects that we have to choose between textual hermeneutics and postpatriarchial desublimation, which he likens to the defusing of Marxist and Freudian impulses attempted by Deleuze and Guattari, thus encapsulating what was to become the central theme of his seminal Le Differend and delimiting his earlier dogmatic adherence to the theories of Lacan.

This rejection marked Lyotard's disagreement with Husserl's view that hermeneutic and Cartesian circles were congruent, and put him directly at odds with Derrida who had previously supported Husserl's work, Logische Untersuchungen, in his own essay, La Voix et le phénomène.

Notwithstanding Lyotard’s coup de foudre , if the textual paradigm of context holds, and Foucault maintains that it does, one has to choose between subdialectic deconstructive theory and Bataille’s ‘powerful communication’ theory of religion, expounded in his Oeuvres complètes . Or, as Derrida clearly and succinctly states in De la Grammatologie: “One either accepts the textual verisimilitude of Holy Scriptures or one is forced to conclude that truth is intrinsically unattainable from reading and analysing them.”

Quite so, but why did these guys need 7,862 pages and the destruction of several hundred hectares of trees to state the obvious?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why Do You Hate 'God'?

A young acquaintance of mine, by name Alan Mackenzie, writes a superior blog entitled Rank Atheism, which can be found here.

Now whilst Alan admits to being an agnostic atheist, he is fair to a fault, and all that I have ever observed him require of theists is that they provide credible empiric evidence that the entity which they refer to as 'God' exists outwith the realms of their own subjectivity.

Not unsurprisingly, perhaps, is the fact that no one has ever satisfied Alan's fair and honest request to provide credible evidence of 'God's objective existence. Suffice to say that those who have responded have failed singularly to provide any evidence whatsoever that 'God' exists outside the subjectivity of their own cognitions. In the final analysis they seem to feel that simply because other dysfunctional personalities share their particular psychopathology and need to believe in 'God', that fact alone is sufficient 'proof' that 'He' does indeed exist in the realms of objectivity; what's more, they suggest that the mere fact that Alan is not prepared to accede to their vacuous nonsense is due to some dark ulterior motive of his own.

But, at last, someone has discovered Alan's dark secret and his game is up, as it were, for it seems that his position is solely motivated by his hatred of 'God'. Or so his accuser, River Cocytus, has it, combining the ultimate non sequitur and ad hominen in the one completely spurious and totally invalid accusation.

If that accusation is true, all I can say is that I am deeply shocked at you, Alan. Up until now I had laboured under the misapprehension that you were an agnostic atheist simply because you were a man of integrity and principle, and as such you had been unable to discover any credible proof that 'God' existed outwith the delusions of psychotics and the mendacity of duplicitous charlatans and manipulatives. But now I am told that your motives are much baser than theirs: apparently you really know that 'God' exists, and that your refusal to acknowledge 'Him' is due simply to your hatred for his failing your pathetic little dreams and illusions in some way. How sad is that!

NB: For the avoidance of doubt, let me make it clear to the dumbos out there that Alan is perfectly capable all by himself of answering the risible accusation that he hates 'God' . However, since that accusation is one which is regularly thrown in the face of atheists by dysfunctional theists (a tautology, I know), I thought it worth highlighting here.

BTW, I don't hate 'God' either, any more than I hate Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Cthulhu, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or any of the other 199,367,401 or so fanciful inventions that the human mind has subjectively credited with existence over the past couple of millennia.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Does 'God' Exist?

Well, in the perception of certain individuals, 'God' does exist, even though they disagree amongst themselves on their precise perception of 'His' qualities, attributes and requirements. Nevertheless, it is true to say that for some,'God' exists in their perceptions, that is to say subjectively, even though there is little consensus regarding the qualities that 'He' is credited with. What it is not true to say, however, is that the subjective existence of 'God' means that 'He' also exists objectively and apart from their subjective perceptions. Despite that caveat, those who subjectively perceive 'God' to exist DO claim that 'He' exists objectively, even though no one over the past couple of millennia or so that these claims have been uttered has ever been able to produce any corroborative credible evidence whatsoever to substantiated the objective existence of 'God'.

Thus, 'God' exists only subjectively and, consequently, 'He' is absolutely indistinguishable qualitatively from Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Cthulhu, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or any of the other 199,367,401 or so fanciful inventions that the human mind has subjectively credited with existence over the past couple of millennia. Furthermore, given that it was only over the past couple of millennia or so that homo sapiens first perceived subjectively of 'God', and that 'He' was unknown and unheard of during the previous 250,000 years from homo sapiens' first appearance, not to mention 'His' complete non-existence during the couple of million years previous to that when the genus homo first appeared, even 'His' subjective existence is insignificantly recent.

Interestingly enough, the problems caused by entities existing only subjectively and not objectively was recognised in the 18th century by theologian George Berkeley, who some also considered to have been an empiricist philosopher. Berkeley maintained that we cannot know if entities exist objectively, but instead one can know only that they are perceived in one's mind, that is, we can only know directly that entities exist subjectively. To counter the objection that the subjective existence of entities does not prove their objective existence, and to rebut the objection that entities would cease to exist if there was not a mind perceiving them, that is that they must have an objective existence outside one's mind if they are real phenomena, Berkeley argued that there is always a mind perceiving them, and that mind is none other than that of 'God'. Furthermore, Berkeley opined that it was 'God' who' actually causes the subjective perception of an entity to appear in one's mind in the first place. Strange, is it not, that Berkeley did not appear to consider the logical conclusion: that 'God' only exists objectively if there was yet a greater mind subjectively perceiving 'Him'. But then that would have been seen as an admission that if Berkeley's argument had succeeded in proving his 'God's' objective existence (which it had not), then his 'God' was a mere minor objective 'deity' at best in the panoply of so-called 'deities', and consequently 'He' did not merit the claims that Berkeley and others had made for 'Him' being the supreme omniscient, all-powerful one.

So, we are now in a position to answer the question in the title with a resounding 'NO'. 'God' does not exist objectively, and those who maintain otherwise have completely failed to provide any credible empiric evidence to support their psychopatholigical 'belief' in this entity that they claim to worship and revere. Indeed, there is statistically as much probability of proving that any one of the myriad of other so-called 'gods' and mythical creatures that mankind has invented exists, objectively, as this thing which the dysfunctional and manipulative amongst us refer to as 'God'.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What Really Happens In A Seminary!

Our intrepid undercover reporter has just obtained this photograph of what really goes on in Catholic seminaries. As the Cardinal Archbishop and Prince of the Church said to the supplicants, "If God hadn't meant us to have our cocks sucked, he would have allowed us to marry women. Still, the mouth of an altar boy is a sweet diversion."

Apparently, so-called 'holy scriptures' only prohibits priests sticking their cocks up altar boys' bums, which is why the Church gets so annoyed with them when they do so, and moves them to another parish in the feeble hope that they will mend their ways. Nevertheless, the influence of the Rectal Reamers, as they call their society, is growing apace in the Roman Catholic Church. As one of their members (no pun) said, "The intellectuals have their Opus Dei, so why shouldn't the sybarites amongst us have our secret society too?" Quite.

Meanwhile, our intrepid reporter was almost defrocked, as it were, when the miniature camera he had had inserted in his urethra popped out during a particularly vigorous sucking session by the Cardinal, and nearly choked our Prince.

When we subsequently put these allegations to the Vatican, a spokesman denied that there was any truth in them whatsoever. As he said, "We know a lie when we hear one. After all, we have been peddling them for nearly 2,000 years."

It is up to you, dear reader, to decide the truth for yourself.