Benefits of ‘fundamentalism’?

The Simpsons may have been on to something with different heavens.

A new QUB study claims to have found denominational health correlations. Fundamentalists live longest with least chance of lung cancer or alcohol related diseases, some earthly reward for abstinence. Roman Catholics die sooner linked to deprivation. Methodists less likely to die in an accident. Anglicans are more likely to die of a heart attack, must be all those landlord dinners 😉 .

  • joeCanuck

    That was funny Fair Deal.
    I’ve heard that, in heaven, the Jehovah Witnesses live in a compound with 20 foot high walls so that they can maintain their belief that there are only 144,000 of their particular sect up there.

  • perci

    very good fair-deal, always find humour is a settler and can open up wider debates without the hatred.
    My dream would be to see the Church of Ireland acceptable to both catholics and protestants.
    So not Rome, but not CofE either 😉

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    My dream would be a world where people don’t waste huge chunks of their lives worshipping an imaginary friend.
    Is life on earth really so empty that we need a supernatural dimension?

  • Turgon

    Gerry Lvs Castro,

    Why do you have such a dream. My wasting time worshipping God does not do you much harm does it?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Turgon just imagine how much could be achieved if people didn’t spend such huge tracts of time pondering the implausible.

    If religionists spent even a fraction of their deity time picking up litter, we’d have a far tidier planet. If they gave their collection money to children’s hospitals, there’d be a lot more good work done.

    If places of worship were removed to make way for social housing, we’d solve the housing shortage overnight.

    Imagine a world without burkas, suicide bombers, paedophile priests, Lourdes shysters, castes, religious conflicts, homophobia, bans on abortion and condoms, creationism, TV evangelists…

    Go on, tell me it wouldn’t be an improvement.

  • Turgon


    In no way am I accusing you of supporting this but imagine a world without religion. Currently I think it is called North Korea. Improvement?

  • joeCanuck

    Stop digging. Gerry. (I’m an athiest but other people praying does me no harm).

  • YouTube: Rowan Atkinson’s ‘Welcome to Ballymena‘ – damnation without relief – Paisleyites, the Fenians were right – Sluggerites, over there with the lawyers (some liberties!!)

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Sigh. You’re right Joe — there’s no point in debating the deluded.

  • Very good Fair Deal, very funny, brought a smile to my face.

    I’m glad I’m a catholic, can’t wait to go to catholic heaven up there with Homer, Bart, Jesus, Michael Flatley, the Mexicans, the Italians and the Irish and no Johnny Adair, Paisley or any of that lot (heaven indeed) 😉

    As someone said about the Puritans – A Puritan: “someone who is desperately afraid that somebody, somewhere might be having a good time.”

  • Turgon

    No we are going to stop you. Then again we might enjoy that which lands us in a real quandary.

  • Just peddling a ‘myth’, daithi? O yer bike!!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Quite right Turgon, religious types never hurt anybody. Just ask anyone from Northern Ireland!

  • perci

    Good article on Trimble in the irish times, not David trimble, but Andrew Trimble. Talking about faith and Rugby:
    As Sluggers is now goverened by prodistanis, you have to really be lucky to get a story on Irish Rugby; perhaps you could do a blog; esp now as we have the Queen coming over, but no Pope, the sluggers lurch to all things British continues unabated 🙂

  • Turgon


    My apologies for existing!

    On a slightly more serious note. I would like to do a blog on rugby but essentially I am not very into sport. This has little to do with religion or politics and a great deal to do with having been a very small and weedy child at school (now I am a small and weedy adult). I was terrified of death and injury during rugby. I did, however, work out at an early stage that if you do not have the ball people cannot attack you. As such as soon as I got the ball I threw it to someone else. Which team they were on had no relevance.

  • dodrade

    Isn’t that the episode where Homer says “us catholics have Italy, South America and the good part of Ireland?”

  • Siphonophore


    My wasting time worshipping God does not do you much harm does it?

    Actually, yes it does. Once you embrace “faith” – belief without proof – and then raise that as something to be admired and striven for, then you are capable of believing any old tripe and that does have serious repercussions for the rest of us. Faith is the most ridiculous and anti-intellectual concept ever, it creates an intellectual lacuna in the mind allowing the belief in any ridiculous assertion and the rejection of any concrete evidence. That the earth is 6,000 years old, that humans didn’t evolve from primates, that HIV does not cause AIDS.

    While a weekly prayer session doesn’t hurt us, the ideas and concepts the believers are inculcated with do because they then want to incorporate them into legislation and force the rest of society to hold to their beliefs. Whether that is tying up swings on Sundays, forcing shops to close, supporting slavery (as the bible was used to do), enforcing the morals of the believers on those who aren’t.

    If only it remained in church on Sunday it wouldn’t be a problem but it spills over into my life and the lives of my fellow citizens. If you don’t like abortions – don’t have one. If you don’t like homosexuals – don’t be one. If you don’t think you should go the playground on Sunday – don’t go. Just don’t foist your faith on the rest of us.

    I have been fortunate to have as friends true Christians, people who really lived their lives according to the best tenets of Jesus and although they were young earth creationists and we argued the point many, many times I have great respect for them because they were sincere in their beliefs, tried to live them in their daily lives, never foisted them upon others and were truly good people.

  • joeCanuck

    Which team they were on had no relevance.

    Priceless. lololol

  • joeCanuck

    I have been fortunate to have as friends true Christians, people who really lived their lives according to the best tenets of Jesus and although they were young earth creationists and we argued the point many, many times I have great respect for them because they were sincere in their beliefs, tried to live them in their daily lives, never foisted them upon others and were truly good people.

    Along with your opening remarks, Siphonophore, this more or less says that you are asserting that Turgon is not such a person.
    Can you enlighten us as to why you, personally, believe that. Do you know him for example?

  • perci

    well turgon
    no apologies here for nibbling away at your Brit ID.
    This week has not seen one thread on Bloody Sunday, McCartney murder, or Irish Rugby.
    Mick has promoted several unionists posters recently; perhaps under populist pressure from whinging loyalists.
    But hey am I bovvered?, I’ll take anyone on, on any subject dear to heart, with my usual mixture of humour and unpredictable edginess.
    viva la difference 😉

  • Turgon


    What am I to do. I am not very interested in rugby Irish or otherwise. I am sorry.

    Bloody Sunday. Yes I am really sad those people died. If I did a thread on it that would simply cause an unpleasant row.

    With respect, however, many of my blogs have been on the NHS and on Africa. Are these actually signs of my evil loyalism?

    How am I to answer you. I have no problem with swings on Sunday; last Sunday I took my son to the play park at Stormont. You might note I did a blog on HIV/AIDS which was hardly pro the religious right. Incidentally I do know a bit about AIDS and have no views which you would find odd. I have never expressed any view on Sunday opening, homosexuality or slavery. I have openly said that I believe that evolution should be taught in schools and that creation is really for RE lessons. I have no desire to force other people to accept my morals. I would be delighted if other people came to faith but even then their moral positions are between themselves and God; that is the point of the priesthood of all believers.

    I am sorry if I do not advocate things which would allow you to put me into the box of barking fundamentalist but please do not make up things about me.

  • Siphonophore


    Along with your opening remarks, Siphonophore, this more or less says that you are asserting that Turgon is not such a person.
    Can you enlighten us as to why you, personally, believe that. Do you know him for example?

    That would be a misinterpretation. I am not asserting that Turgon is such a person. I addressed my remarks to him because I was responding to the statement he made(the one in quotes). My points should be applied to the group of those with faith, not the individual Turgon.


    my apologies for not making clear that my points you referred to were addressed to the wider group of those with faith and not you in particular. The gaeilge grammer of you individually vs you the generic group ‘you’ failing in translation to english. From what you have blogged I suspect you are more likely to fall into the same category as the christian friends I referred to but as I don’t know you personally I cannot say that without the risk of sounding patronising.

    The issues I raised are problems that people with faith force upon their fellow citizens. If they would just keep their morality for themselves and not force it on those who do not share their particular religious viewpoint I’d have no problem with it. They don’t so I do.

  • perci

    hey I’m not having a go at you bro’. Its Mick’s site; and I only raised the rugby thing because A. Trimble is a committed believer, and I thought it might have interested you. Fine article.

    My questions are things like:
    Why when the Enlish puritans went to America, did they not have a problem with accepting the fact that they’re Americans.

    But the prods arriving in Ulster, insist they are British. When in fact consistently migrations across the world settle down and refer to themselves using the native name for the country they settled in.

    Sometimes adjoinders are used to differentiate certain types of origin of ethnicity.
    So you have Irish Americans, African Americans and so on. But that’s more for demographics and research purposes.
    But each and evryone of those groups are proud to be American.

    By the same token therefore people in Ireland are Irish, particularly given the length of time between the settling of the planters and now.

    I just don’t get it! Why aren’t the prods proud to call themselves Irish; and lets be done with it.

  • Turgon

    In all honesty of course some fundamentalists at times do things which embarrass me. Sometimes things are said which I would not say. I am unwilling to call these unchristian acts as that implies judging the people who made them. However, I am frequently highly unimpressed by them. Equally it is not for me to judge anyone else’s faith or denounce them be the ecumenists, Roman Catholics, Hindus etc.

    To me (and I only speak for myself) my understanding of my fundamentalism is it affects the fundamentals of my faith and how I walk with God. At some level how other people act is none of my business. It is for me to say that I think people need to personally accept Christ. It is also fair (I think) for me to say that I have come in my faith to believe I (and I stress I) should believe and do x, y and z. However, I understand it as wrong to tell anyone else what to do. I do believe that God asks different people to believe and do different things at different times in their lives. It is for Him and not me to judge everyone.

    That is a bit arcane but I hope you understand me. In all honesty I have no desire to impose my odd views on others (and actually most of the ones which affect day to day living are not really that odd).

  • Turgon


    No offence taken. You have, however, given me an idea for a kind of anti rugby blog looking at why weedy young men end up being Tolkien fans. If Elenwe and children allow I will try to write it tonight.

  • Antichrist

    Well of course it’s logical that there is no God and I believe the scientists and all that.


    All over the planet, humans believe in erm.. the other world.

    So, why it might not be rational to believe in God, it’s entirely natural to do so.

  • It is just great to be a fundamentalist .
    Abundant life here on earth and eternal life in heaven .

  • Seimi

    I’ve been logging on and reading a lot of the blogs and posts for a lot of months now, but have only recently felt moved (or confident enough) to actually post my own thoughts, mostly regarding language issues.
    I was born catholic and raised so. I wouldnt call myself catholic now, as I dont believe what the church tells me I should believe. Plus I doubt the existence of A god/goddess. I try to find the scientific reason, even though I’m not a scientist. I try to find the logic in the Bible, but cant.
    What I have found is that all peoples live according to basic moral principles:- it’s wrong to kill/steal etc.
    That doesnt mean I try to run-down or ridicule anybody else because of their faith.
    I will probably never see eye to eye with Turgon on most of his opinions on Slugger (sorry Turgon).
    However, what I have always noticed is his faith. He has never changed his stance or views. Never once has he said ‘wait, I was wrong about that particular issue of my Christianity..’ Nor has he ever tried to ram it down anyone’s throat. He just states what he believes and lets others try to ridicule it. You cant ridicule someone’s faith if that’s their faith.
    Billy Connolly (of all people!) said it best – If someone believes in God, He exists.
    Sorry for the long post.

  • Siphonophore


    that was the impression I had formed of you. The fundamental issue I have with western religion is that faith (belief without proof) is raised up and praised as the highest expression of religious belief. I find faith to be anti-intellectual and a refutation of the very thing that makes us human – the ability to reason. Once you believe one thing without proof then it becomes easier to apply it to others – see the examples I listed. Unfortunately, one does not have to be religious to engage in this type of willful self-deception as illustrated by the global warming deniers.

    Although I’m an atheist I like alot of what Jesus said, as I do Zoroastrianism and Buddhism which are the only two religions I have anytime for. I have zero time for any religion that rationalises or justifies the taking of human life except in the most extreme cases of self-defense.

    Perhaps you can answer a question I’ve been pondering the past few days – do the rules of Leviticus apply to Christians or only to Jews? I ask because the exhortations at the beginning of each chapter refer to the sons or children of Israel.

  • joeCanuck

    Isn’t that question moot, Siphon, since Christianity is just one of many Jewish sects?

  • perci

    hang religion and sports
    I’m a big tolkein fan, and so is my oppo chris gaskin.
    That makes us 2 elves vs an orc.
    we will see who wins 😉

  • Turgon

    I would understand them as applying to Jews. Jesus seems to have removed a number of the laws such as when a woman was caught in adultery. The law would have had her stoned John 8:
    4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

    5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

    6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

    7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

    9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

    10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

    11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Clearly since Jesus was without sin he could have stoned her but equally clearly he had no interest whatsoever in doing so.

    There are multiple other examples such as Jesus disciples picking and eating corn on the Sabbath; Peter being instructed in a vision in Acts 11:

    7Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

    8″I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

    9″The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

    Clearly some of the rules still apply: Thou shalt not kill etc.

    Remember in analysing the laws of the Old Testament they were written for a very primitive people (bronze / iron age I think but someone will correct me). For the time they actually represent quite a liberal code. In addition there are very few recorded occurrences where the death penalty was enacted.

    Even the “eye for an eye” is thought by many scholars to be liberal. It prescribes the absolute maximum punishment for a crime so a rich, powerful person cannot kill a poorer less powerful one for a minor crime.

  • Turgon

    With the tongue somewhat in the cheek may I point out that Mr. Gaskin seems to be on the baddies side. After all his blog is called Balrog. If I had a blog of my own it would have to be called Gondolin.

  • perci

    indeed turgon, I’m with the elves not the Balrog, whose real name is Durins Bane. We need the help of gamdalf the white 😉's_Bane

  • pfhl

    And perhaps the Queen could attend an Ireland rugby home game and represent Northern Ireland – as McAlesse seems to think she represents the whole island.

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on Feb 03, 2008 @ 01:20 AM

    Yes it is i mind it well.

  • pfhl

    Isn’t that the episode where Homer says “us catholics have Italy, South America and the good part of Ireland?”

    Posted by dodrade on Feb 02, 2008 @ 06:51 PM

    yes it is, mis quoted for the last post

  • pfhl

    If you don’t like abortions – don’t have one.

    Posted by Siphonophore on Feb 02, 2008 @ 06:55 PM

    Some however are concerned that their are human beings getting killed as a result. In cases because they are disabled which is awful. Damn us non-intellectuals who value a chid’s life.

  • Juan Kerr

    On a couple of points –

    Did this survey apply just to NI or to other countries as well? Because isn’t it an oft-quoted ‘fact’ that the peoples of the Meditterranean live the longest, and they are predominantly Catholic, even though they are apparently some of the heaviest smokers as well. Although I find it hard to believe that the Italians, Spanish, Portuguese & French et al interpreted the strict laws of catholicism as devotedly as the Irish did. Certainly it seems from anecdotal evidence that they didn’t seem to have any of the sexual-hangups that we did.

    (I would also say that one of the reasons we are such heavy/binge drinkers is that the stereotype of the repressed, guilt-ridden Catholic has more than a grain of truth to it in Ireland’s case, and that even now, we rely heavily on alcohol to lessen the embarassment of having to ‘pursue’ sexual gratification/satisfaction, but that is for another thread, one which will hopefully appear someday.)

    My belief is this: Religion is no more than dumbed-down philosophy, made easy to understand, as you would for children.

    This is not to denigrate philosophy, however; as one poster pointed out above, it is entirely natural to believe in some form of higher power, or to at least seek to explain how the universe ‘works’. It(religous faith) surely evolved thousands of years ago when the human race was a lot more simple, had barely mastered the most primitive forms of communication, so it is a very powerful force in terms of social bonding and it has served many purposes down through the years. Before the Magna carta, and what we now recognise as the easily-understood concept of law and order, how were people able to convince one big strong ugly caveman/prehistoric farmer that he shouldn’t climb the fence into the next field, kill the small, handsome guy, steal his goods and stock, and kidnap his wife for himself? Religion most likely filled that gap.

    Also, scientists seem to agree that the capacity to relate to spiritual matters/concepts seems to be hard-wired into our DNA. To me this is not quite understandable. There is nothing ‘airy-fairy’ about philosophy, or about philosophers, and indeed many of the quantum mechanics theories which abound today in the field of physics seem to bear more than passing similarities to philosophy, and many seem almost as, if not more, fanciful than religious explanations of how – and, perhaps as impotantly, why – we exist in the first place. Why modern man is curious about such matters seems as perfectly natural as an ape 10 million years ago, ‘idly’ messing around with rocks, bones and sticks, and suddenly realising that they could be sharpened, to use as tools, and in the process inadvertently speeding up the process of human evolution by untold thousands of years, if not generations.

  • Juan Kerr

    Oh for phucq’s sake…

    …second line of last paragraph above should read ‘to me this IS quite understandable’…sorry

  • Juan Kerr

    …and the first line of the second paragraph should read, ‘this is not meant to denigrate RELIGION however’