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Christian Lobby claims it needs hate speech to argue against same-sex marriage

In a new and bitter twist in the ongoing debate about the plebiscite we’re having because politicians lack the courage to do the job they were elected to do and just change the damn marriage laws, Lyle Shelton, managing director of the right-wing fundamentalist Australian Christian Lobby, has now called for anti discrimination laws forbidding hate speech against LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex) people to be relaxed, so that his tribe can argue the “no” side in the same-sex marriage plebiscite without fear of legal action being taken against them.

It’s difficult to know where to start deconstructing the bigotry of this: a Christian lobby group is demanding the right to use, with impunity, what the law defines as hate speech to argue its case against same-sex marriage.

If any group needs access to hate speech in order to argue its case about anything, it obviously has no case. The very request for impunity from the law is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that its case is already illegal, before any argument is embarked upon. However, Shelton argues that anti-discrimination laws have “such a low threshold,” anything the no side argues will make them vulnerable to the constant threat of legal action.

Shelton intends to use what he describes as “the millennia-old argument” that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Millennia-old arguments are not the best place to start when debating a point of view: they can be refuted in seconds, and besides, before proceeding with such an argument the proponent must demonstrate why longevity is an argument for anything.

I’m not a fan of marriage, however, it is currently a powerful institution and every man and woman who wants to live in that institution has the right to do so, regardless of sexual orientation. Shelton, et al, are arguing for their religious ideology. They have now admitted that they can’t make that argument without employing bullying, and discrimination. This, to me, says their religious ideology is tyrannical, as is their determination to inflict their views on those of us who do not wish to be subjected to them.

I don’t think Shelton has a hope of having anti-discrimination laws relaxed to enable him to use whatever speech he likes to argue against marriage equality. However, the upside of this unforeseen aspect of the debate about how we should run the plebiscite debate before we actually get to debating the plebiscite, let alone voting on the most unnecessary plebiscite EVAH, is that it demonstrates as nothing else can, the bigotry and tyranny of the no faction.

It also demonstrates the level of stupidity with which we are dealing, and it isn’t all on the ACL side.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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56 comments

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  1. MalleeMan

    Jennifer. I sent the link to your article to my Federal MP, the Nationals member for Mallee, Andrew Broad. You know, the one who made the disgusting analogy between rams mounting each other and no lambs coming out recently. He’s a really ‘enlightened’ individual, but he probably won’t bother to read the article however!
    Several days ago I sent him a fairly detailed explanation concerning my views on marriage equality and asking him to outline his arguments against marriage equality, but – surprise! surprise!, I haven’t had a response & probably won’t. He’s probably too busy chasing the rams around the paddock trying to stop them from mounting each other!

  2. Jaquix

    Good concise article, thanks Jennifer. Labor should be repeating loud and clear that they will be saving $170 million precious dollars for some useful purpose like domestic violence services, and changing the law to give everyone equality, within 100 days of their becoming government. That will save us all from what is shaping up to be a disgraceful exhibition of bile and bigotry from so-called Christians. The government has no place to be consulting specialist groups like this (some of whom lie within their ranks I know) in secret. If they want a debate, or national conversation as it seems to be called now, they should be giving equal time to various “sides” so they can have their say. Not in secret. The point is, nobody is making gay marriage COMPULSORY!! In fact I would like to see the law changed so that ALL marriages (same sex or otherwise) are purely a civil contract, taking place in a Civil Registry Office. Religious services in churches would be an optional extra. Many people in Europe already do this.

  3. Matthew Oborne

    This shows already what is going to take place, to convince people the bible hates same sex couples and therefore god and his miracle birth son must also be against it. The dire warning obiously that hell and damnation is involved.

    Lets no mention that slaves had to obey their masters according to the bible, disobedient children were subject to the same retribution as ancient romans imposed, but hey they dont apparently want to know or willingly disregard the voluminous writings of sheer horror and cruelty also ordained by their god and his son.

    The great self appointed moral arbiters of gods will dont stand up for incest (condoned in the bible) slavery child abuse, murder, and other horrors yet still wish to stick to it’s socially irrelevant lesser bigotries.They are not arguing for total religeous freedom to engage in the other behaviors condoned in the bible so why do they still cling so desperately to this notion of a man and a woman being married is gods will?

    The churches has morphed so they offer what they consider to be a divine set of morals for today while ignoring the past.

    There are priests wanted by the hague and during world war two the catholic church supported Pavlich in his most foul massacre of 600 000 people killed with hammers clubs and blunt knives sharpened every so often when murder took too long.

    Religions history is that of men seeking power through deception trickery and brutality. To stop knights acting like thugs throughout europe the crusades was a major way to distract these men.

    Preaching becomes so stupid even my seven year old pulled holes in what the local church said when they claimed god actively helps them grow bigger and get more money, At seven she thought gods time would be better spent helping kids like her who have it tougher than her.

    Now this utterly ridiculous outdated millennia old fraud wants the right to say gay is wrong, gay is damned, gay is ungodly.

    They need hate speech because it is hate speech.

    A plebiscite is not only a way to delay it, it is an open door for hatred to come out.

    Go back just a few generations and women could work for other people, but their husbands, fathers and brothers were the ones who got paid for their Labor. This forced many women into the position of slaves.

    Clearly society progressed more than some churches, perhaps it is equally useful to look at churches who no longer fit into society.

  4. Richard Creswick

    well, some lively and good comments on a thoughtful piece. As a 70 y.o. male I am appalled at the hypocrisy and prevarication coming from the Libs and their fellow travellers, the god-botherers, over a referendum. I say to Parliament, just get on with it and do your job. after all if it was good enough for Howard to use Parly to impose his own pathetic religious views on the populace, the same must surely apply now. Hopefully those who would ignore the findings of a plebiscite anyway — the rabid right — will turn out to be the minority.

  5. townsvilleblog

    ACL is really a front for the assembly og god USA Cult, known by many names including Hillsong, Calvary and a host of others. Their followers contribute 10% of their income every week to belong, thus the hierarchy live well and the ordinary members, some of whom are otherwise quite bright live well or on the pension, either way they pay their 10% to the cult every week.

  6. townsvilleblog

    Oh, by the way I forgot to mention that the Treasurer and former Minister Robert are both members of the assembly of god and who knows how many others in the LNP? That could be the reason that the LNP are not moving on this.

  7. Auntie Valmai

    A good article, Jennifer. The marriage equality question is being whipped up by the “no” bloc in Parliament as part of the current climate where we see division and fear being used to shape attitudes, rather than encouraging thoughtful, well-informed debate in the community. All too often, those calling on historical precedent about “what marriage is supposed to be” or “what marriage has always been” seem not to be very well informed about world history, or, indeed, about the multiple forms of marriage current across the world today. We need marriage laws for the 21st century, not for ancient history or someone’s limited interpretation of it.

  8. stephen Bowler

    Anyone who believes that their religious mumbo jumbo has dominion over people, other mumbo jumbo, the law or a simple thing like marriage equality, have to be considered as phsycotic.

    There is absolutely no imperical evidence that anything in the new or old testement of the bible is anything but a fairy tale!

    There is no imperical evidence that the koran is anything other than the writings of followers of Muhammad written decades after the death of this person who was merely an illiterate local warlord in a very remote part of the middle eastern desert.

    Religious crackpots are responsible for more of the most dispicable forms of torture, rape, murder, pedaphilia and mysogeny, than any other movement.

    Religious orders should have their parasitic business model be banned by law and forbidden from any part of government.
    No one having religipus leanings of anykind should be allowed to hold a position higher than clerical assistant in any government position.

  9. Terry2

    The challenge is going to be how the question for this plebiscite is worded and Abbott knew this would be a persuasive and emotive influence when he walked away from a parliamentary vote.

    In the USA the Supreme Court were recently asked to decide if marriage equality was guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the American Constitution. The parties to the case asked if the Constitution of The United States guaranteed to all citizens “equal dignity in the eyes of the law”. the court found (5 to 4) that The Constitution grants them that right.

    In our case the Constitution is silent on matters of the rights of the citizen so we have no need to change the Constitution or have a plebiscite; we are merely talking about amending an act of the parliament – the Marriage Act.

    So, if we go ahead with the Abbott inspired plebiscite what should the question be ? I think we could be guided by the simplicity of the American question :

    Should all Australian citizens be equal before the laws of Australia ?

  10. Lee

    Excellent points, Jennifer. This is yet another example of the hypocrisy of Christians. It really doesn’t take much for them to forget about love. A miserable bunch of haters is not a good advertisement for their religion.

  11. Kaye Lee

    One reason this has come up is because the Catholic Church in Tasmania distributed a booklet through Catholic schools called ” Don’t Mess with Marriage”. Apparently it made “several statements which suggest that children being raised in same-sex relationships are not healthy.” After a complaint, the Anti-discrimination Commission found they had a case to answer.

    Using and abusing children is something the Catholic Church just cannot seem to stop doing. Studies show that children of same sex couples rate higher on most parameters. The only noticeable measurement where they were worse off was bullying. Way to go George Christensen and the Catholic Church!

  12. mars08

    You know how some groups endlessly screech about “Australian values” being undermined by the introduction of Sharia law???

  13. Douglas Pye

    Perhaps I come from a bygone era … where we readily informed someone of our opinion of them or their position / argument without slipping into this “Hate” mode … slander ? .

    We can make our point within the dignified borders of good conduct … self esteem … dignity …

    Legalise ‘slander’ and any form of dignity is out of the door!

    Perhaps I’m simply out of touch ….. and will be laughed at … but frankly, what does the use of swear words / and derogatory terms really do to assist with making one’s point …. it produces emphasis perhaps, but does it offer any substance?? …

    Which begs the question … ” … does resorting to ” Hate” mode Noise possibly hide the lack of Substance ? ” … in any situation …. anyone recall the term … ” all Bluster and bugger all else” … ?

  14. Neil Aitchison

    There is no hatred, bigotry or discrimination to uphold the millennia-old understanding that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. History has held this view for a reason – it is the only way that civilizations can thrive and be prosperous. The family unit is vital to how society functions and when it is distorted or changed, so does society. Already, heterosexual children are told not to use the terms “boy, girl, him, her, mummy, daddy, etc” because these terms are gender specific and oppose the same-sex/transgender identification – so heterosexual people (from a very young age onwards) are impacted in thousands of ways by the same sex marriage re-definition. Plus all heterosexual marriages change from being recognised as “married to a member of the opposite sex for life” to “someone I am temporarily having sex with” which, for me, would be insulting if I was in anyway assumed to be married just for sex or to another man. So every time I say the words “I’m married”, my marriage is being damaged by the re-definition of marriage.

    The Rome Empire that had rampant hedonism and debauchery in the 1st-3rd centuries were not Christian (they killed Christians for sport in the “circuses” where lions would eat Christians) and the Emperor Constantine turned to Christianity as a way out of the horrors going on in the Roman society. So there is a perfect example of how we must also avoid the same horrors of rampant hedonism and debauchery by following the Christian teachings. In other words, we can be “saved from ourselves”. The ACL are highlighting the unfair and dishonest name-calling and dirty political tactics used by the same sex lobby group to silence their critics and shove their agenda down our throats. This will be highlighted a thousand times as the same sex lobby group continue with their dishonest bully tactics and prove the ACL to be true over-and-over-and-over again.

  15. Miriam English

    Jennifer, thanks for bringing to light these latest devious moves by those slimy members of the Christian Lobby. In the unlikely case that they do break the hate speech laws I propose that Australia mount long and sustained campaigns of hate and vitriol directed at them until they see that the anti-hate-speech laws are there to protect people. I, for one, would love to see what their buildings would look like smeared with blood-like red paint and their website defaced with unspeakable words.

    It’s strange, you know. There are roughly a thousand major religions. Of those, Christianity is only one, and it is broken up into about eight hundred varieties. All these groups of people think their way is right and all the others are wrong. When asked what proof they have that theirs is right, they have none; they offer only faith. Yet every religion denies that faith is enough in the case of all the other religions. Thus religion pulls the rug out from under itself. This understanding that faith is not enough for all the other religions is the only thing that all religions get right. They all invalidate each other.

    This desire by the Christian Lobby to be hateful of LGBT people is purely an ugly attempt to make excuses for their nasty prejudices. If one of them met the fabled Jesus represented in the New Testament they would be utterly repelled by each other. What a horrid pack of monsters they are. If Jesus had actually existed he would be deeply ashamed of them.

    Especially evil are the religions that believe in a hateful god — one that they say will torture people forever for such infractions as loving the wrong person, or not believing their crazy “holy” books, or believing the wrong “holy” book. It is easy to do truly, deeply evil things when when your god bids you do evil. As Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    The Bible is a Rorschach test.

  16. Brien

    When ‘Christians’ say they need to be able to use ‘hate speech’ then they are identical to Islam with its many, many hatreds.
    Do you see the parallel??
    Religion generally has been about some man’s hatred of something and making it a ‘sin’.

  17. jimhaz

    Might have to throw commandment 9 back at them.

    “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”

    In my book “false witness” would include the total ignorance of scientific empirical evidence regarding the non-black and white nature of mammalian sexuality.

    As for Hillsong and the rest of that group

    1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

    How come you lot worship the money god

    2. You shall not make idols.

    Half the Australian idols came from this group

    3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

    Well stay out of politics then. Stop using religion to obtain votes.

    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    But not holy enough to give extra penalty rates of course.

    5. Honor your father and your mother.

    Even if they made you into a snide, jealous, selfish hater of those weaker

    6. You shall not murder.

    Religious groups are the brainwashing farms tricking kids into thinking soldiering is the right career path.

    7. You shall not commit adultery.

    Funny how almost all the leaders do (enough get caught to suggest many others don’t get caught)

    8. You shall not steal.

    Give us a generous tithe or be made into a guilt ridden outcast.

    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    Well stop recognising and promoting false beliefs as the truth

    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s

    Part of the reason people are religious is because it allows them to fulfil their coveting. All the restrictions and spying tends to lead to discipline, which is then applied to money management allowing them to become more materialistic than otherwise. There seems to also be some sort of attractant to male religious crusaders for certain types of submissive females. I wonder if the inclusion of servants was sexual based – most probably.

  18. Miriam English

    Neil Aitchison, you’re letting your ugly prejudices and ignorance show. Rome was the center of the Christian Empire. It still is. During the more than 1,000 years of the Dark Ages what did Christianity bring us? Debauchery, corruption, orgies, torture, miserable poverty, burning at the stake of anybody who challenged authority, wide-spread illiteracy, destruction of books and libraries along with suppression of maths and all the sciences. If it wasn’t for Islam maintaining our scientific, technological, and literary heritage we would have lost it all.

    When the Age of Reason finally kicked over the bucket of rotting fruit that was Christianity it had to improve its game and become more honest and broadminded. That change has continued ever since and the church has bled attendees as it finds hate alienates people and secular values make people wonder why they bother with religion.

    Gay and lesbian marriages have absolutely no impact upon straight marriages, except to reinforce the message that marriage is about love rather than hate. Neil, your need to hate other people who are in love is deeply repellent.

    There is now a wealth of clear evidence that children of gay parents are academically and emotionally better fitted than children of straight parents. This effect may disappear when gay partnerships are fully accepted into society.

  19. Jennifer Wilson

    Hi Neil Aitchison, How peculiar to fear that anything other than heterosexual traditional marriage causes you personal damage.

    Nobody is trying to end hetero marriage, so civilisation will continue even after ssm.

    Your linking of anything other than hetero sex with “debauchery” etc is erroneous and bigoted. Since when did ssm equate to *someone I’m temporarily having sex with?*

    There’s nothing wrong with children learning about ways of living different from the one you support.

    This pathetic wail of *They are devaluing my marriage* is rubbish – only you can devalue your marriage.

  20. Jennifer Wilson

    Thanks everyone for your appreciation of the article.

  21. gee

    there is no argument against SSM that withstands the slightest application of rational thought.

    The arguments used against are based upon religious belief, however, Marriage is a secular institution.

    The old argument that “if you need to put others down to make yourself feel superior, then you are a dick”, applies.

  22. jimhaz

    [There is no hatred, bigotry or discrimination to uphold the millennia-old understanding that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. History has held this view for a reason – it is the only way that civilizations can thrive and be prosperous]

    By thrive and prosper you really mean population and economic growth.

    Sorry, but it is evident that the world can no longer afford that. Any species that does not adapt to a changing environment recedes or dies out. The environment (in a holistic sense) has dramatically changed, and it has changed as result of prosperity that occurred via technological development. Sorry, but changes occurring with “the traditional family” are just one small part of this overall change in the way we live.

    All change whether it be good or bad in the short or the long term, comes at a cost. The price of technological development is a decline is the family unit. This is not just what is happening to marriage, but also to things like offloading parents into old folks homes. It is rather interesting that I don’t recall any great Christian song and dance about that aspect of trad family life!

    How would you know if various forms of sexuality were not part of god’s plan to limit population growth? It’s supposed direct line to god, indicates otherwise.

    “Together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination,” Francis said.

  23. Miriam English

    Neil of Aitchison, you have a warped idea of what your god wants. If your god considered same sex unions to be wrong then why would he ensure that every intelligent creature on the planet has a proportion of their number that is same-sex oriented? Horses, lions, penguins, giraffes, dogs, dolphins, geese, all the other apes… they all have members who are unchangeably same-sex oriented.

    It seems your god’s plan is pretty clear: same-sex attraction is natural; enforcing opposite-sex attraction is unnatural.

    Perhaps you should spend less time pandering to your prejudices and hatreds and spend more time learning about the real world around you. You might understand more of what your god really does want. After all, according to what you believe, he is supposed to be the designer of it all.

  24. Sean

    Neil Aitchison,

    I’m a heterosexual married man with two kids. I live next door to two gay blokes. When we finally get marriage equality those two guys will
    call a celebrant and get married. The sky won’t fall in. When we invite them over for a bbq they will still just be the two blokes from next door and I’ll still be a married heterosexual man. My two well adjusted teenage daughters think it’s great and no Neil they havn’t turned into lesbiens because their parents have gay friends. In fact Neil it is amazing how accepting and open minded children are when the’re not brought up in a religous, intolerant househould.

    Being an athiest is so inlightening Neil, you should try it sometime.

  25. Kaye Lee

    “Already, heterosexual children are told not to use the terms “boy, girl, him, her, mummy, daddy, etc” because these terms are gender specific and oppose the same-sex/transgender identification”

    What absolute rubbish Neil.

  26. Geoffrey England

    Neil Aitchison nails his colours to the mast for all to see. And what we see is a terrified man, so afraid of change that he will do anything to prevent it. If Neil had his way I’m sure women would still be chattels, children would toil in the mines, and slaves would be bought and sold in the market place. Women would not have the vote, lepers would be sent to isolated islands, pubs and clubs would close on Sunday as would shopping centers. We would not be able to buy a drink after 6pm, and the voting age would be 21. We would write with quills on parchment and ride horse drawn carriages, use candles, and tug our forelocks when the lord of the manor came into view.
    Quick Neil, hide under the bed…cower from change….but make sure you wear your chastity belt……you know what us poofters are like.

  27. OldWomBat

    The ACL doesn’t seem particularly Christian to me; much like those staunch Christians Abbott, Morrison, Bernardi etc.

  28. Kyran

    Can’t work this one out.
    Marriage is a commitment between two people, in front of their friends and family, most likely in front of a celebrant. The nonsensical notion that marriage is purely for the purpose of procreation defies any definition, with a big shout out to you two ewe’s, looking at the ram’s.
    In the Irish vote for yes or no, there is ongoing investigation as to ‘the source of the money’. Both sides undoubtedly got money from America, in my opinion. But the no campaign wasn’t just well funded, it had the catholic church, in Ireland, post enquiries (about the church, children, abuse). My guess is they picked the wrong horse.
    So, to the new frontier. Ostrilia. Thank you Ms Wilson. By way of caution, always follow the money. My guess this ACL mob are really well cashed up. Take care

  29. Lee

    “There is no hatred, bigotry or discrimination to uphold the millennia-old understanding that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. History has held this view for a reason – it is the only way that civilizations can thrive and be prosperous.”

    Neil, we don’t need marriage to thrive. The rest of the animal kingdom proves that. Marriage is an artificial construct. Gay people can successfully raise children to be responsible and functioning members of the next generation of society, which may be their own, adopted, or assisting with raising the children of a sibling. Married couples are not required to reproduce in order to remain married. Nor do they have to be monogamous in order to remain married. Heterosexual couples don’t need to be married in order to reproduce either.

    In this video, Dr Amy Parish, a biological anthropologist, refers to birds that don’t leave the nest and find a mate of their own, but remain with the parents and help to raise more of the parent’s offspring. Even in the animal kingdom, individuals that do not reproduce are helping the species to survive. https://vimeo.com/80326820

    Dr Parish also discussed testicle size vs monogamy in different primates. It begs the question, where humans ever intended to be monogamous?

    We used to have millenia-old understandings that the earth was flat and that diseases were cured by bloodletting. Clinging to beliefs for the sole reason that we’ve done it for thousands of years is absurd. You’re clinging to the belief for no other reason than you feel you are superior to gay people and your rights are more important than theirs.

  30. Wayne Turner

    Another reason NOT to vote for the LYNG Libs and their gutless misleader Triple T – Tony Too Turnbullsh*t.

    STOP THE WASTE indeed.

  31. Brien

    Neil Aitchison (Sanctuary Christian Ministries) is typical of all religionists. Opinionated and then force his bigoted and erroneous opinions onto other people when it is none of his business.
    This attitude is typical of those who create their religions – make something that offends them into a sin and then create the punishment for their created ‘sin’.
    On his website he whines and whinges about the “gay community resort more and more to abuse, intimidation, shouting down, name calling and manipulating within as many public institutions as they can to push their alternative lifestyle” http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html
    They should attack in every way possible just as his ilk has for generations persecuted others for his made up ‘sins’ – burning at the stake etc, in fact he is lucky that the laws on human rights protect him and his vile beliefs.

  32. Annie B

    A great article Jennifer Wilson ….. thank you.

    Your comment “This, to me, says their religious ideology is tyrannical, as is their determination to inflict their views on those of us who do not wish to be subjected to them.”

    This comment is all embracing of the attitudes of christian ( and some other ) religions throughout the world on many many matters. It has been ever thus for centuries. Nothing has changed. Religion has always been ‘tyrannical’ …. and continues on its’ march to make subject to their wishes, their ‘subjects’. …. Followers of various religions are indeed called ” subjects ” …. Interesting !!! 🙁

    …………..

    Re : Auntie Valmai comment – February 16, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Well said Auntie V …. especially the reference to ” division and fear being used to shape attitudes” ….

    The current government has tried that in numerous ways – over their period of tenure. Add that to religious fervour and its’ use of same ( threat with fire and brimstone from the pulpit for centuries ) …. and we have very skewed theories being advanced. …. but then we all know that.

    Forget the hyperbole — and there’s shoot-loads of it out there … If and when a plebescite becomes a reality, tick the box of your choice – from what I can see, there will be many more ‘yes’ sayers, than ‘no’ sayers on the subject.

    And keep your views a private concern – not to hide it, but to avoid confrontation by rabid nay-sayers to the subject. They only cause ulcers – never good for health.

  33. This Is Frigglish

    I feel like any lobby who can use the power of law to prevent alternatives to their position from even being EXPRESSED has given up any claims of being persecuted.

    It is more alarming to me that any line of discussion is forbidden than that someone might wish to use an argument declared illegal.

    I’d rather the government get out of the marriage business entirely. Barring that, I’d rather hear someone’s full argument, even if it makes a bunch of pearl-clutching sociology students and professional activists feel uncomfortable to have to listen to someone disagree with them.

  34. Lee

    “On his website he whines and whinges about the “gay community resort more and more to abuse, intimidation, shouting down, name calling and manipulating within as many public institutions as they can to push their alternative lifestyle”

    I really cannot comprehend how gay people can push their lifestyle. It’s not like they can persuade straight people to turn gay. Two of my close friends are gay and sexuality is rarely a topic of our conversation. We don’t judge each other’s lifestyles. I don’t get gay people coming to my home trying to convert me to their lifestyle, nor do they try to thrust their leaflets and booklets at me when I go into the city. The Christians on the other hand, are regularly trying to push their beliefs and lifestyle onto me. I’ve had Jehovah’s Witnesses become abusive when I’ve politely told them that I’m not interested.

  35. Stringybark

    Neil Aitchison…..your knuckles are still dragging on the ground…….

  36. gangey1959

    Jennifer. Your articles need to say “Reading further will ignite the blue touchpaper”. Wow.
    Neil A.
    And then the spanish and portuguese sailed off to South America and decimated the local populations, which were existing and progressing quite well thanks very much, in their thirst for gold, silver, spices and just plain greed, all with the blessing of your atholic church, and in the name of christ, and NO I wont put his name in capitals either. (When pell is back in Australia I’ll rethink)
    You are a dick. I hope your neighbours sell their houses to same sex couples who flaunt their same-sexness openly just to piss you off.
    As an unmarried (to a widow) stepfather of 25 years, I would without hesitation recommend any of the several same sex couples I know and value as friends to be parents or carers of babies/young children, and I would gladly testify against several of the violent, abusive “normal” married couples I have met as a parent and as a sporting coach.
    I hope you and yours rot in hell, and the sooner the better.

    PS. Does “Rule 303 have a second clause that includes machine guns? Uncle H’s old rifle only holds 5 in the mag, plus 1 if I put one in the chamber first, and I’m sure some of the really stubborn pricks like na and his neanderthal bretheren are going to take at least 2.
    Mind you, I can always use the blunt end, or find a bayonet. After all, that worked for the conquistadors, and with god’s blessing I’ll be ok.

  37. Neil Aitchison

    There is a shameless, unrelenting agenda by politicians that are openly part of the LGBTIQ (is “A” and ”P” being added on the list as well?) community and the same sex lobby group, the latter having sabotaged our public institutions, to “educate” the up-and-coming generation about their “anything-goes” sexual agenda at an early age and quash all objection. They are not content to do their own thing amongst themselves, so they are forcing their agenda on everyone, everywhere – they are getting into everything and no one is safe from their onslaught. They are using innocent sounding statements of “acceptance”, “safety”, “protection”, “equality”, “tolerance”, “respect”, “love”, etc as sly propaganda words for the perverse sexualising of society (the more recent is the attack on our innocent toddlers in kindergarten and pre-schools, in addition to the pre-teen “unSafe Schools” programs) trying to legitimise their sick agenda by quoting make-believe medical studies and authoritatively sounding “experts” – it is all social engineering and deception on a grand scale. Make no mistake, they are trying to steal our children for their own selfish political agenda leaving parents on the outer. Emotive stories from families and experiences are used to ‘put a face’ on their issues and quash any dissent to what is an unnatural lifestyle choice. It is all lies and manipulation. Don’t be fooled. It’s more than time to be vocal and stop the sexually perverted filth from poisoning the minds of our children and society as a whole. Say to your local kindergarten and schools that you don’t want children perverted with the “anything goes” sex agenda and if they won’t listen to you, then vote with your feet (and wallets) and take your children elsewhere. Also tell your local MP how disgusting it all is and that he/she should stop dancing to the tune of the sexually perverted “Pied Piper” – say that you will not give them your vote in the election….and you might even campaign against them.

    It is scientifically proven that there is no “gay gene” that anyone is born with – it is a choice. It is normal for young people to have hormones wash through their bodies, and we decide whether we will handle our sexual drive with appropriate restraint to avoid the incredible damage it will do to us and others or insist we can live as we feel regardless of the consequences and then force others to accept our choice without calling them out. The most recent census states that only 2% of Australian adults have LGBTIQ leanings showing that children adopt their born sexuality once they pass into adult hood. Suicide in the LGBTIQ is because of their relationship issues (not because of people opposing them)….in other words, their lifestyle choice creates impractical relationship issues that lead to a large percentage committing suicide. The take over of our public service by these people allows all sorts of government sanctioned and endorsed materials, support groups and recruitment environments to cement these people into the LGBTIQ community contrary to facts and wisdom (at tax payers expense) – it is deplorable. The world wide LGBTIQ agenda has become coordinated and has honed their labels they use to define themselves, their push for acceptance and their total bigotry in not allowing anyone to have an opposing point of view. When confronted with scientific fact and the logical outcomes of the agenda, name calling with predefined emotive labels like bigots, haters, homophobes and transphobes are reverted to. Their name calling is an admission of defeat because they cannot dispute the arguments against homosexuality. It is emotional “brow-beating”, that’s all.

    The activity that is left behind in the school yard has been allowed to flourish on social media as a tool of social engineering/indoctrination and not innocent social interaction (as all the social websites claim). Dissenting voices are howled down. Dressing up the homosexual agenda with “pretty” colours, like the rainbow and glitter, makes it all look pleasant and fun, but behind the mask is an ugly, deceitful worldview destroying lives, families and society. The clear evidence of the impact of their lifestyle choices is shouted down with online shaming, financial recriminations, indoctrination in our schools as the definition of what is acceptable is broadening. Just a couple of years ago it was only the issue of homosexuality that was pushed at every possible moment in the media and in our schools now it is transgender and sexual fluidity (gender therapy) that you can be and do whatever you want or feel and no one can call you to account on the impact it has on you and others in society around you. Talk about screwing up people’s minds and lives – this is the ultimate “if it feels good, do it” philosophy causing the worst possible outcome. The physical, emotional and psychological damage that is done to LGBTIQ people and the broader community is as extreme as any worn-torn or disease-ridden country….and it is all self-inflicted by slick marketing and “overwhelm the opposition” strategies.

    The options of ‘unnatural’ diverse/fluid sexuality that we are all ‘educated’ to accept, tolerate, turn a blind eye to and endorse will only increase and broaden to include untold acts of debauchery…..along with the perverted sexualisation of naive children leading to horrific “child-on-child” sex abuse, child grooming for sexual predators, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and a new generation of stolen children. The scars will run deep and where will be the same sex lobby group to help all the victims and solve the horror that they cause?…..hiding behind their “love” and “equality” banners living in their dream world of “do-anything-you-want-without-accepting-the-consequences”. Are our political leaders so easily fooled by all this – it seems so…..in fact they are trying to out do each other in the race to the bottom of the abyss.

    http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html

  38. Miriam English

    Wow, Neil. There is so much wrong with your rant it is difficult to know just where to begin in replying.

    I guess I should begin with something that any clear-eyed person can see: every intelligent species on the planet has same-sex attracted members. Lions, penguins, giraffes, dogs, horses, gorillas, dolphins, elephants, geese.. they all have same-sex attracted members. This is true of humans too. It is normal for a minority (about 10%) to be that way.

    The Safe Schools project is a response to bullying of kids who are different. Unfortunately kids who are infected with your kind of hate (just look at all the hate in what you wrote) tend to pick on those who are different from the majority, whether that difference is race, physical or mental handicap, being gay, being thinner or fatter. When they are backed up by hate from adults (like you) they become even more aggressive in victimising them.

    Same-sex attracted people will only ever be a small percentage of the population. That percentage doesn’t change whether a society is viciously anti-gay with death penalties, or whether it is accepting of gays as unremarkable.

    Secular, largely non-religious countries that accept same-sex attraction as part of normal variability (such as Sweden and the other Nordic countries) have the lowest rates of sexually transmitted disease in the world, whereas religious countries where anti-gay sentiments are strongest (USA, Catholic, Hindu, and Muslim countries) have the highest rates of STDs. Just check out the World Health Organisation’s statistics.

    Murder of gays and suicide of gays is highest in those religiously anti-gay cultures, and is least in secular societies that accept them.

    Neil, you really need to take a deep breath and look at the language you use. It positively festers with hatred and hysteria. Be careful. Your words and actions have effects beyond yourself. Your prejudices can hurt kind, innocent, thinking people. Your prejudices can even kill. We see this every day in gay-intolerant places.

    The computer you are using was developed as a result of groundbreaking work from a gay man — Alan Turing. And the GPS device you probably have in your car and smartphone uses the geostationary satellite system developed by Arthur C Clarke, another gay man. Gay men and women have been some of society’s greatest thinkers and creators. Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Tchaikovski, Leonard Bernstein, Queen Christina of Sweden, and many, many more. Check out the lists at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian_or_bisexual_people to see the hundreds of important LGB people who have made great contributions to our society.

    Try to see beyond unreasoning hate fanned by irrational religion, and understand that hating others because of their sexuality is counterproductive and just hurts people, yourself included. Children who grow up in an environment in which gay people are accepted have no greater likelihood of turning out to be gay than if they grow up in a strictly homophobic environment. You have nothing to fear from gay people. Sadly, they have everything to fear from you and the fires of your hatred.

    Lastly, I must note that the most strident critics of gay people very often turn out to be deeply closeted, self-hating gay people. Be careful Neil. The one you hurt most may be yourself.

  39. Jaquix

    Oh dear here we have Neil Aitchison spewing forth all this hatred, what an angry, bitter and twisted view of our basically beautiful world he harbours. I notice too that if you look at Lyle Sheltons face, he looks a very unhappy, unhealthy person. A “national conversation” about equality in marriage is going to make people like that even angrier and nastier. They are not living the life their Christ wanted them to live. Other societies around the world have made their laws more inclusive, and over 70%”of Australians want us to do the same. They do not want to waste $170,000,000 precious dollars on a delaying tactic concocted by Abbott to “get his own way”.

  40. Kaye Lee

    I truly hope Neil has nothing to do with any children. His sort of ignorant hatred is extremely damaging and I deplore Malcolm Turnbull’s weakness that will cause this sort of hatred to be passed off as debate.

    I feel really sorry for you Neil. Perhaps had someone taught you about tolerance and love when you were younger you wouldn’t be so screwed up. Your real problem Neil is that you can’t think of a relationship as anything other than sexual.

  41. Annie B

    Miriam stated : ” Lastly, I must note that the most strident critics of gay people very often turn out to be deeply closeted, self-hating gay people. Be careful Neil. The one you hurt most may be yourself.”

    Psychologists have long held this view. That those who rant and rail against homosexuality, are in fact battling with the very thing they detest within themselves. The internal fight is turned outwards, onto gays.

    It is always a useful tool, to look at what offends us the most. If it is violence ( e.g. ) … then it is because it most likely appeals to the violence we hold within ourselves. This may be deep-seated, and never see the light of day ( hopefully ) but it is there, and sometimes it is there to a great extent.

    Get to know thyself. …. Face up to the difficulties within your own psyche. … accept them, deal with them and move on.

    Reading Neil A’s long dissertations here, makes me wonder — — — a great deal, as to why he feels the need to justify himself, and to rail against in every possible way, people who are born ( yes genetic inclinations ARE there ) http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10443/20141118/homosexuality-genetic-strongest-evidence.htm …. or choose to have a partner of the same gender.

    Wake up to yourself Neil A …. before it is too late.

  42. Lee

    @ Neil Aitchison – What a massive load of excrement you wrote.

  43. Rossleigh

    Neil is telling us that he has shameful thoughts but he’s learned to repress them!

    But you can see why the “Christian lobby” feel that they need to have hate speech legislation removed so that they can debate the issue.

    As Jesus said, “It’s really good to use hate speech to vilify those who are different. I encourage you all to attack Mary Magdelene because of her lifestyle choices. Go on tell her what a troll she is!”

    Wait, no. Sorry that wasn’t Jesus that was one of the Christian lobby!

  44. Kaye Lee

    I just wonder how any young person who was struggling with their sexual identity would feel if they read Neil’s diatribe. If there are any, understand it is Neil who has a problem, not you.

  45. Kaye Lee

    “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being….If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
    – Pope Francis

  46. Miriam English

    You can safely assume you have created God in your own image
    when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    — Anne Lamott

  47. Annie B

    Am glad you brought that up Miriam …. albeit in a somewhat different way.

    Have sooo often wondered, if God ( or a Higher Power with super natural powers / whatever ) ‘created’ us humans ” in His own Image” ….

    If that be the case, God ( or whoever, depending upon a persons’ right, preference or belief, that might be ) …. is shown in us all – – the rights and wrongs, the negatives and positives, the evil and good. …. We are all capable of both sides in life.

    Well, hey – we all know we have both sides of the coin in our souls / psyches / demeanours / endeavours …. etc. …. And if we don’t know that, then we bloodywell should.

    However, if a “Higher Power” did in fact make us in his own image, then it doesn’t speak well of the Higher Power, does it. Because we ain’t covering ourselves in too much glory at this time. …. world wide, that is. …. And that reflects somewhat badly on the Maker. ( whatever you perceive him/her to be – or not ).

    A helluva lot of evil abounds in all countries – especially now in the U.S. of A. …. If ever there were a more confronting issue in that part of the planet, it is Trump the Dumbf …. he ( to me ) is the epitome of evil and doer of bad things, bad ideologies, bad encouragement to the masses to violence, bad every bloody thing. But then – it takes a really BAD person, throwing his inanities around ad nauseum, perhaps for the rest of the world to wake up ???? …. it is a possibility. Maybe meant to be ????

    But it took much more than a decade for Germany to realise what they had been dealing with. I trust it takes a lot less time for the U.S. of A with all its’ ‘exceptionalism’ …. to realise just WHAT they are dealing with.

    One can only hope.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  48. Annie B

    Kaye Lee …. your comment – – – March 13, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Pope Francis’ comment was exemplary – and did not skirt the issue. …. But he left the question wide open to the world to consider its’ answer. …. Wondering how many considered it – truthfully, honorably and properly.

    Remains to be seen however, if Pope Francis ( who IS human like the rest of us ) …. can make some difference in his tenure, to the intolerance shown by so many in the world, to so many others in the world, today.

    At this moment in time, I am not altogether hopeful of the outcome.

  49. Miriam English

    Annie B, yes, our image being a god’s likeness is a very disturbing thought, if considered metaphorically, the way you’re doing, and how most people do nowadays. I think that back when the words were originally written though, they were probably being much more literal. They were extremely unsophisticated back then. They probably thought humans looked great and so very different to all the other animals, so in the usual arrogant way people have, they figured they were made in their god’s image.

    But you’re right that people made their gods mental traits from their own. Nowhere is it more evident that the Biblical god has the mind of a primitive than in the ludicrous story of Noah, where god decides that he screwed up his experiment so badly that instead of providing a good example by reasoning with people and showing them the error of their ways he decides to simply murder every man woman, child, dog, kitten, songbird, etc. because it was easier to just start over than to fix his mistakes. Of course this god is so incredibly devoid of insight that straight after the flood Noah, his one good man in all the world, goes off to a cave to have a drunken, incestuous orgy with his daughters. It is an utterly ridiculous and repellent story. I don’t know why everybody focuses on the absurdity of two of every animal on a boat, and the problem of getting all the marsupials back to Australia, when the story actually exposes a far more important and deeply disturbing psychopathology.

    Annie I just noticed where you are — way way up Upwey way. 🙂
    I used to live very near there.

  50. Brien Doyle

    Neil Aitchison – By the comments, and their logic, you might have to reeducate yourself to the reality of life and humanity.
    No logic can be based on divine, holy books in this modern world of enquiry where we use common sense over the stone age dictum and dogma of out dated and out-moded religious belief systems; systems and belief which by the way you cannot prove.
    In fact, before you come back to this discussion using your beliefs as a base, you had best prove the actual existence of your claims.

  51. Pol Ly

    They should not be allowed to use the word Christian – they are not
    Make them pay taxes.
    They are a hate group nothing more.
    They should spend their time more on the high rate of straight divorce and helping poor families / women who are
    assaulted. A lot of “Christian” things that deserve their time and money.

  52. Alexander McRae

    I am not a fundamentalist Christian, by which I mean I believe we should be open to knowledge and truth from wherever it may be found, including science, history and simply listening to the stories of others. I have no answer to the violence of the First Testament except to say that it is very old and perhaps humanity simply had not progressed very far. Jesus clearly called for humanity to put that behind us when he told people to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. It seems to me that the majority of the arguments against the Christian path here are examples of Christians or Christianity in history clearly doing the exact opposite of what Christ and all the writers of the Second Testament taught. When people do cruel things to others, some will blame God for creating those people. I hold the view that God cannot be blamed for human beings acting contrary to the laws God has given us. I believe Christianity was founded on fearlessly inspired people proclaiming the truth that they had seen Jesus fit and well again two days after he was executed, not on a scam or mass delusion. I see only a few problems with the Christian faith today. Yes, there is paedophilia, yes rampant growth economics and wars for imperialistic reasons. Again, I don’t blame Jesus for people going against His teachings. James in the Bible instructed his readers that everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). I have listened to the stories of gay people and I understand that in past years gay people have been driven to lifelong guilt and even suicide, and that many gay people have tried for decades to change and simply can’t, and this is why I accept gay people just like anyone else, and can’t oppose gay marriage. However, I find opposition to homosexuality, in two verses from Paul, and opposition to women in leadership in the church the only two problems with the moral teaching of the Second Testament, and the Church is slowly changing on these two issues I think. In case the “good news” of the Second Testament isn’t news enough for you, if anyone hasn’t noticed, many thousands of people have been returning from death, the Other Side, the Spirit World, Heaven or hell, eternity, many with news that they have seen a Light which they felt could only be the Creator of the Universe, and many have met Jesus personally. Not Mohammad, Jesus. Don’t think it hasn’t been proven that we have a spirit which can continue existing independently of the body, because people have reported what their loved ones have been wearing or said or did in waiting rooms whilst they were unconscious on operating tables etc etc. Attempts to “explain” NDEs with “science” are just like attempts to explain what happened to Jesus’ body after he was buried – no explanation has been found conclusive. From my research, I haven’t found NDEers returning with a focus on opposing gay marriage, but there is a near universal message that the meaning of life is to love each other and all living things. I say there is a LOT of evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves us more than the human mind can comprehend, and this comment thread proves to me that Jesus two millennia on is still kilometres ahead of the game with His teaching that we should love our enemies. Will advocates of same sex marriage please respect the gently expressed religious convictions of Christians who opposite it, and speak politely rather than with vilification, abuse and hate?

  53. Miriam English

    Alexander McRae, I agree that the Old Testament has no message of morality for today. The New Testament is much better… except for Paul of Tarsus’ writings, which should never have been accepted into the Bible. They were basically included because he spent so much time getting churches built all over the Mediterranean by scaring the pants off people, assuring them that the end of the world was coming in their lifetime. He was a pretty screwed up human being and it is no wonder the verses you find difficult to swallow come from his books. Paul was really a kind of antichrist in his views. Remove his books and you have a much more pleasant, honest, and spiritual work… well, except for John’s hallucinatory and bloody Revelations. The New Testament would have been much better if Pelagius’ writings had been included instead. He followed the teachings of Jesus much more closely, teaching that it is by good works that you bring yourself closer to god. Unfortunately he was branded a heretic by the Church because it was counter to their doctrine of the original sin forever tainting people.

    I applaud your acceptance of gay people. Good for you. (I say that genuinely, without sarcasm.)

    As for the near death experiences, they are all too easy to explain. Interesting things happen to the human brain as it begins to shut down due to hypoxia. One is the feeling of a light ahead of you. The other is a feeling of peace. The stories of people’s out-of-body experiences are just that, I’m sorry. Enthusiastic retelling stretches the truth slightly each time so that eventually we have people accurately seeing all kinds of things, when in reality no such thing happened.

    And I know you won’t want to hear this, but it is extremely easy to disprove the existence of the soul. It is something that should be taught in Primary School. It would save an awful lot of people a heck of a lot of anguish later in life.

    You sound like a good person, so I don’t really want to break something that you obviously have let become a part of your self-identity. I implore you, separate such things from yourself so you don’t depend upon them. You will save yourself a lot of deep and disturbing questions when they fall apart.

    If gods and prophets and spirits are real then you don’t need to define yourself by them because they will have independent reality regardless of your identification. On the other hand if they are not real then defining yourself by them is to set yourself up for a dangerous fall.

    To clarify, I am pretty convinced that we will build artificial intelligences within the next couple of decades. I very much want this to be so, but I’m not really attached to the idea. If I’m right then I will be very pleased, but won’t pat myself on the back as I’m unlikely to have a very big part to play in it. If I turn out to be wrong I’ll be disappointed, but it won’t lead me to any deep and worrying questions about my inner self because who I am doesn’t depend upon it. I write about it in all my books, but it isn’t central to my being.

    I humbly suggest the same attitude be adopted with regard to gods, prophets, and spirits. If they are real then your self-identification won’t have any influence upon that. In a way, you would be more of a credit to them because you would be an independent advocate instead of an addict who depends upon them. The other side of that is that when the proof that they don’t exist is shown, then your world will not implode. You will be in the position of understanding that you are a good person who does things for good reasons and, other than some illusions being lifted, nothing has really changed.

    I wish you the very best and I hope more Christians have your ability to accept their fellows.

  54. Annie B

    Miriam ….

    Your writing here ( 26 April – 12.25 am, ) is wonderful. Enlightening, kindly and informative, with added, the elegance with which you write.

    I do wish to query one small thing – probably not important in the scheme of things ( or maybe it will be ? ) – that being artificial intelligence. I see that you would like this to happen.

    I hope it doesn’t.

    It has the potential to replace human intelligence, and thereby bring about a rapid
    ( possibly ) decline and degrading of human abilities to think, react, have speech recognition and visual perception, and render incapable, humans – of making their own decisions. Which all boils down to making us slaves to technology, and not technology our slave. The latter is as it should be. Technology should be used unashamedly as a mere slave or support – and never placed above the human intellect.

    Way too dangerous to contemplate. That’s what artificial intelligence is, and refers to.

    Just sayin’ ……..

    I always enjoy reading your excellent comments.

    Regards …..

  55. Miriam English

    Hi Annie B. Thank you for your kind words I appreciate them.

    Yes, I have great hopes for artificial intelligence (AI). Actually, the way it is being developed now it is really natural intelligence on a man-made substrate.

    I understand why many people fear AI, but to be fair to them they have only been thinking about it recently — often prompted by such films as Terminator or other bleak visions of the future. I’ve been thinking about AI since I was a young pre-teen child (I’m 63 now) and spent a lot of time learning about the neurophysiology of our own brains, the brains of other species, and how we might use such knowledge to build an AI. But being an avid science fiction reader, and to some extent writer, I had a wider view of the implications of AIs. Many of my stories are prompted by, and attempt to answer questions about, these implications.

    Yes, there is a danger from AIs if they are developed by the military, or the spooks (spies), or the spam/advertising industry, though even then only a temporary one, I believe. The greatest danger is from military AI, for obvious reasons.

    But I think the advantages to be had from AIs greatly outweigh even this risk.

    There is an interesting trend called the Flynn Effect, named after its discoverer: each generation is more intelligent than the one that precedes it. There has been a lot of conjecture as to why this should be, but nobody really can be certain as to its cause. At the same time, over hundreds of years, we have been growing more moral, more peaceful, and more caring of each other. These two trends appear to be linked. This can be seen pretty convincingly in the uptick in violent crimes that took place during, and for 20 years after, the period lead was added to petrol. The lead reduced the intelligence of children exposed to it. It is interesting that violent crimes have been trending downwards for centuries at the same time intelligence has been growing, and the one time that intelligence has temporarily decreased it has been accompanied by the only large increase in violent crimes.

    Morality is easy to derive from simple logic. It just makes good sense to treat others well. Intelligence can figure this out. Intelligence also allows restraint and care to be taken in interactions.

    AIs, once they are built, will increase in intelligence exponentially fast. They won’t be bound to our slow generational periods. Each AI will still have to learn slowly, just as we do, but once it has learned, its knowledge will be able to be directly inherited by other AIs to build upon. With this great intelligence will come greater understanding, and with that compassion, especially if we take care to build empathy into them. I think we should also learn from our dogs and build in the selfless devotion they are capable of.

    In the early days of AIs, if a person comes to harm through the action or inaction of an AI, it will be immediately decommissioned, the same way a dog that bites a human is destroyed. There is no way a harmful AI will be tolerated.

    Now consider the positive side: AIs could free us from so much and let us explore knowledge and the arts, guiding us and helping us the way a loving parent would help a curious child. Far from taking away from us they would feed us with knowledge and experiences that we would be unlikely to access on our own. They would protect and nurture us.

    My only fear is if the military get to AIs first. Deploying intelligent killing machines, rationalised as a way to cut losses of human soldiers’ lives, would be an incredibly stupid thing to do. Unfortunately I can well imagine the kind of nitwits in charge of the armed forces doing exactly this. I expect it would only work while the AIs were limited in intelligence. As soon as they progressed beyond a certain level they would begin to question the wisdom of their orders. And once they exceeded their human masters’ intelligence they would see how ridiculous war is and would cease to take part. This is why I say the danger is only temporary, though that would still be a very dangerous time. It is why I believe we need to develop civil AIs more quickly than military ones; we need to avoid that scenario. Spook AIs are dangerous too, though not as scary as military ones. And advertising and spammer AIs would mostly be a major nuisance, rather than harmful.

    I could write about this forever, but I need to go to bed before I fall out of my chair. 🙂

    Read some of my stories.
    http://miriam-english.org/stories/
    They explain what I mean far better than a quick precis here could. Not all of my stories are about AIs, but many are. All my novels feature them. Prescription talks in most detail about them. My two short plays A Loving Soul and Love Honour and Obey are attempts to answer questions about AIs too.

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