Category Archives: Nonsense

Fox News Blames Atheism For Virginia Shooting


The debate surrounding gun control is once again dominating discourse Stateside after the brutal gunning down of two Tv news journalists live on air.

The usual suspects wasted no time in exploiting this atrocity to further their own political agendas and prejudices.

So, what does the Fox say? Now, I know most sensible people would agree that Fox ‘News’ is a wretched little propaganda hole that would only merit a mention were it to actually deviate from its usual M.O. of sowing fear and hate.

However, given Fox is the main source of information for countless American citizens – I can’t help but feel they’ve certainly played their part in influencing some of the disconcerting polling data regarding American attitudes towards atheists. Read and weep at the thought that some consider atheists to be less trustworthy than rapists & murderers in the land of the free.

Let’s take a look at what Mayor of Bullshit Mountain Bill O’Reilly had to say in the aftermath of this horrific crime (via The Examiner):

“Every single murderer over 40 years that I have covered in these circumstances has been either atheistic, agnostic, no religious basis at all.”

O’Reilly continued, claiming that Americans were “tending away” from religion and spirituality.

AlterNet has already gone to the trouble of pointing out a number of examples to falsify O’Reilly’s dubious claims, but what of the shooter in this particular crime?

Sometime after gunning down Allison Parker and Adam Ward live on air, suspect Vester Flanagan found the time to fax a 23 page suicide note and list of grievances to ABC News, before eventually turning his gun on himself, ending his life.

Contained amongst the slew of grievances he’d highlighted about his former colleagues and employers, was this item of note (ABC):

He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.

I wonder if that’s spiritual enough for Bill O’Reilly.

Needless to say, of all the things Vester Flanagan may have lacked, religion doesn’t appear to be amongst them.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

A Pointless Email Exchange


I’ve decided I don’t blog nearly enough, so therefore will be inflicting upon you this pointless email exchange.  Partly in the hope that someone may be able to discover the deep meaning hiding amongst its inanity.  Consider it a challenge.

I recently released a podcast on the dangers of blasphemy laws, which, for reasons that should be apparent to anyone with a pulse, spent a significant portion focused on Islam.  I then received the following emails.  It’s worth noting that I have a particular dislike for those that use a lot of words to say precisely nothing. I’m also not a fan of new age platitudes with delusions of knowledge either.  I may update with further replies should they arrive.  I’ve changed the name to protect identity:


From: Fredericka
Date: 23 Jun 2014 11:20
To: Godless Spellchecker
Subject: Ep. 22, July 22th 2014, ”Blasphemy”: a Comment

If ”Anti Semitism” legally exists and gets punished, then ”Anti [any other Ethnicity]” should exist and be treated the same Way [which is the Equality needed within the so called legal System]. If ”Islamo Phobia” exists, then any other ”[Religion or Creed or political Orientation] Phobia” should exist, and be treated the same Way [see above mentioned Equality]. If Criticism of religious [or theist] ideological Thoughts and Doctrines [and Books] and charismatic Leaders is allowed and needed, then Criticism of any other [even atheist] ideological Thoughts and Doctrines [and Books] and charismatic Leaders should be allowed and needed. Let’s talk about every Religion and political Ideology [be it theist or atheist] and criticize them all: criticize their classist, racialist/ethnicism, discriminating Tenets, and their ”slavist Mentality” [which is based on the Creed that certain People must be priviledged and are superior than Others, and that many other People must be discriminated against and are inferior than Others]. Be fair altogether, be equanimous, that’s what we [living sentient (human) Beings] need on this Planet or Earth. Inner and outer Light/Happiness, inner Goodness and outer Strength to Every1.[accordion]

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Quinn Norton Implodes – In The Interest Of Clarity


After the recent confusion caused by a statement heard on BBC Newsnight that “Men are raised to hate women” I decided to ask the journalist responsible for an explanation.

The outcome was unexpected and inspired me to pen this blog post, which in turn led to in my view, unfairly, hours of bizarre accusations from a tiny number of individuals

1Although the overwhelming majority of (I realise this is not indicative of being right) people seemed to agree that clarification was necessary, and the initial statement was too much of a generalisation to be helpful to say the least, the very small number who did take issue with me seemed to fall in to two camps.

Some argued that the statement was perfectly reasonable and not deserving of question.  And that it was actually my lack of understanding that was the real problem, or the manner in which I questioned.

Others seemingly fell afoul of a catastrophic inability to differentiate between the following two statements, (one genuine, one imagined):

“What exactly do you mean by that?  Please explain”


“Sexism and misogyny are not genuine problems in society”.

I could not attempt a defence of the second statement, even if I were stupid enough to actually believe it, or want to.

Obviously there are a lot of good people who feel incredibly passionate about sexism and misogyny for incredibly valid reasons (captain obvious) and may have felt I was somehow denying the importance or existence of these issues.  As explainable as this perception may be on some level, it is not even remotely accurate to anything I have said, implied or argued.

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Quinn Norton: Trolling, “Men Are Raised To Hate Women” and Other Confusing Statements.

They See Me Trollin'

Twitter has been big news of late, with reports that they plan to implement an abuse reporting function.  I’ve been asked a few times what my thoughts are on the matter, and I’m all for it.

Threatening and unlawful behaviour is completely unacceptable and those who engage in such a manner should be held accountable.  I displayed my willingness to side with this sentiment recently by reporting a clearly threatening tweet (not to me) to the police.

My only concern is: how will this be regulated?  Will Twitter have the manpower (or women!!!!!) to efficiently distinguish abusers and trollers from genuine disagreement or attempts to engage in meaningful discourse? Given the vast numbers of Twitter users and the seemingly unrealistic task of policing it, is it likely to be an unmanned,  automated process?  An algorithm simply reacting to multiple ‘abuse reports’? Only time will tell.

‘Troll’ seems the buzzword of late.  The problem is, that “troll” in the context of the internet has no unified definition.  I personally take trolling to mean the act of intentionally making insincere statements to an individual, or individuals in order to provoke a response, or as they would call it,  a “victory”. Others use it simply to describe an individual who seeks out arguments online.

I’m trolled daily in the former sense. People will tweet me en masse with clearly disingenuous statements in the hope that I may respond.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  It often depends on how dull my commute to work is that morning.

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Update On “Discussion” with @ChallengeChurch

I recently engaged in a discussion with twitter user @ChallengeChurch, on this post which claimed “Science backs up Genesis 1”, among other considerable failings in rational thought.  My feelings on this can be found here.

A further cringe inducing response was made by @ChallengeChurch, titled A response to “@gspellerchecker” (the irony) which is a rogues gallery of the usual fallacies put forward by the less informed theist.

I will address some of the “points” made.  There is nothing new unfortunately, and each one falls into well established, rudimentary fallacy territory.

So if science sets out to disprove stuff, they have not YET disproved
the creation story

It is not the job of science to disprove every claim made.  It is YOUR claim, it is YOUR responsibility to prove it.  This is known as “The Burden Of Proof”.  Please take time to educate yourself on how this means your claim lacks credibility.

For example, science is YET to disprove the existence of fairies.  Does this lend credibility to their existence?  This is precisely the strength of your flawed argument.  For clarification, please see below:

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“Science Backs Up Genesis 1”: A Response

It may come as a surprise to some that I’m always mildly excited to receive the views of the faithful.  It often provides me with a source of amusement unobtainable elsewhere.  I recall the late and great Christopher Hitchens once remarking that he never grew tired of debating the godly as “You never know what they will say next”.

This brings me to the topic of this post.  In my eternal search for amusement and my part-time hobby of pointing out the spelling related shortcomings of the supernaturally inclined, I stumbled across the following claim:

When I pressed @ChallengeChurch for further details, they were kind enough to direct me towards their blog, which I was told would provide further details.  The related post may be viewed (laughed at)  here.

I think it is apparent to any thinking individual that there is a fundamental lack of understanding of what is meant by the word “science” and how it is used to know… things.

Science discovers what is, and tries to disprove it.  If it can’t, we accept those findings as fact.  It is a slight to anyones intelligence therefore, to discount scientific findings, except in the instances you feel corroborate your beliefs, which, in this case they don’t.

Let’s take a look at some of the extraordinary claims made, and the thought process behind them (or lack thereof):

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Genesis 1:1 – The
big bang theory in a nutshell.

If nutshell meant “in the mind of a nut”, this statement would be accurate.  Please elaborate on how the book of genesis describes and details, with adherence to the scientific method what facts we now hold regarding The Big Bang, or I shall dismiss this claim as nonsense.

What then follows in the book of Genesis is what science and historians
call evolution. If you look closely at what came and when, there had to
be some strategic thinking.

Why? Natural selection is a simple and proven component of evolution, overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community.  Please provide some credible evidence for intelligent design, or I shall dismiss this claim as nonsense.

Then came the trees and the vegetation, common sense tells me that
someone had an idea of long-term survival. Every living being from the
beginning of time to eternity needs these basics to survive.

Perhaps then, you can explain why 99.9% of all species that have ever been on earth are now extinct?  Life on earth began 3.8 billion years ago, something which your holy book gets as wrong as you would expect from a text “authored” by a group of semi-literate desert dwellers.  Please provide evidence for your claim of “common sense”, or I shall dismiss it as nonsense.

Then came the animals, well first attempt was the dinosaurs, possibly
God didn’t like them, or thought that were too dangerous to be around a
later creation.

This sincerely does not merit a response, except to say I apologise if you are not an adult, as this resembles something you would expect to find scribbled in crayon.  This is clearly, nonsense.

Genesis speaks of a Garden of Eden, archeological evidence has proven
this garden exists and that the forbidden tree still stands – dead but
it is still there.

Please provide me with the source of this “archeological evidence”.  Furthermore, for clarity, you accept human life began in a magic garden with a talking snake?  Please backup these claims, or they will be dismissed as nonsense.

I am afraid that from every source I
have read it is ‘timing’ and ‘God’ that are the source of why Atheists
believe God doesn’t exist.

Then you clearly do not read frequently.  Not only is there no evidence for a creator, let alone one who intervenes, or is interested in human affairs, but there is an overwhelming amount of evidence refuting the claims of any holy text at every single turn.  Atheist are generally of the viewpoint that if reasonable evidence for a creator is provided, then our views are subject to change.  The faithful ignores what contradictory evidence is presented in order to maintain their faith.  This is commonly referred to as “ignorance”.

In closing, it’s fair to say I enjoy deconstructing a well thought out case for a creator,  this however, was not one.  Science, by any stretch of the imagination, does not validate any claims of the supernatural.

What you state is purely faith-based, which is to say, belief without evidence.  Have your beliefs, but be decent enough to call them what they are.  Invoking science when you feel it confirms your nonsense is not only dishonest, but you won’t get away with it.  If I believed the things stated in your blog, I would avoid any mention of the word “science” as it only serves to demonstrate your lack of understanding, and possibly education.