55 comments

  1. I’m pretty sure it can be found on bumper stickers someplace.

    As I recall it’s a quote by someone named William H. Gascoyne and it originally read as: “I’m not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers.”

    I’ll poke around and see if I can find any stickers with it. If not then I can always whip one up on the SEB Cafe Press store.

  2. “. . .deliver us from evil . . .”

    Yeah! That sure works well. How many “Attaboys” are wiped out by one “Ohshit”? Most galling of all, the other fundamentalists claim to worship the SAME god, the “God of Abraham.” And the fundies don’t understand why most of us look on them as batshit evil.  confused angry

  3. You’re right, LH, politics has a hand in the events of 9/11.

    But it wasn’t thoughts of politics that gave those men the courage to drive planes into those buildings on that early September morning. It was their faith.

  4. Les, while obviously the faith was the ‘enabling’ factor in these attacks, without these men may not have committed these crime, the history of the middle east is too complex to reduce it to Dabyaisms- “They hate Democracy”- well why are they not attacking Iceland then? “They hate Christians”, which fails to explain the lack of attacks on The Vatican.  Points of legitimate debate are lost among self interest politics, self interest religeon, and the plain crazy side of religeon.

    These men may have died and murdered for Mohammed, but those leading them may have a more Earthly side.

    Also to equate suicide attacks only with religeon is placing blinkers on our perception.  When a Tibetan monk sets him self on fire he does it in the name of freedom, not Buddah.

    To say ‘it’s all Islam’ willnot allow anyone to tackle the problems underlaying this, it will merely allow the vulnerable to be driven closer to those who use religeon, either from misplaced belief or cynically.

  5. These men may have died and murdered for Mohammed, but those leading them may have a more Earthly side.

    Which makes it two strikes against religion, doesn’t it?

    Of course the situation is more complex than one or two catch-phrases, but would 9/11 have been possible without religion at play?

  6. These men may have died and murdered for Mohammed, but those leading them may have a more Earthly side.

    Never said that wasn’t the case, LH. You can be sure, however, that the Earthly leaders weren’t appealing to the hijacker’s sense of political fairness when convincing them to do this act. They appealed to the hijacker’s faith.

    I’m not suggesting that the issues in the Middle East would disappear overnight if they’d just give up their faith, but I am suggesting you’d be hard pressed to talk them into committing heinous acts on a scale such of this without it. Surely not impossible, but much more difficult.

    My point is that too much faith will make you do crazy things that can affect a profound number of people.

    Also to equate suicide attacks only with religeon is placing blinkers on our perception.  When a Tibetan monk sets him self on fire he does it in the name of freedom, not Buddah.

    When a Tibetan monk sets himself on fire he’s only killing himself.

  7. Seeing a film of a monk setting himself on fire had a lot to do with spawning my disbelief in belief as a child. This was long before I understood the idea that there are some things that people find are worth dying for, and even longer before I realized how little it takes, apparently, to convince people that there are things worth killing for.

  8. Please don’t feel that I am underestimating the role of radicalisation in these attacks.  However I don’t want a Rush Limberg style black/white one dimensional view on this.  Very few things are ‘Because my religeon is X then I must do this” it is more because “A B and C my religeon tells me to do X”. The recruiters need something to work with.

  9. You guys have it all wrong.  The bullet was faith, the gun was religion, but the hand, and more importantly, the finger on the trigger was fear.  Those men were used just as surely as if they had been emailed by a Nigerian prince.

  10. Go here for two excellent articles on 9/11: cause and effect.
    Brilliant At Breakfast
    Faith was part of the mix: but I agree with Last Hussar that a whole lot of (bad) politics went in to the mix. But then the line between politics and religion has gotten so fuzzy, sometimes it’s hard to say which is which. Look at the way the “Strict Constitutionalists” have transformed a document written by men into ‘holy writ’.

  11. I don’t think the line between religion and politics has ever been anything but hazy. Religion, in a lot of ways, is simply politics with a peculiar control stamped across the face.

  12. A few years ago, National Geographic did an article on Iraq that included a history timeline.  I can’t seem to find it now, but I remember reading with growing horror the way that country has been raped over and over in the name of anti-communism and for the interests of oil companies.  Since religion seems to always get tangled up with nationality, no small wonder that the hijackers invoked Allah.  If anybody can find a link to that timeline, I’d appreciate it.

    Islam’s founder was a particularly violent man, leading something like nine military campaigns.

  13. The events of September 11, 2001 were brought on over a period of time. The US Weaponized the ( Now Terrorist )against the Russians. That relationship between Osama and the US soured and grew worse over time. Until it finally came to a head on 9/11/01.

    It’s very sad that the buildings are gone. I use to see them driving on I-95.

    And I think about how things have changed since then. The Airports, The Economy, The Wars.

    And then I get to thinking about another plane crash. A 747 jumbo jet filled to capacity crashes every week in America.

    At least the death toll of one ! Caused by Drunk Drivers. Some 350 people die every week from drunk drivers.

    So some math.
    8 years ago = 416 weeks

    So about every 10 weeks we have the death toll of 9/11/01 on our highways.

    Somewhere around 163,000 people have died on the highways since the attacks.

    Is it an act of Faith or just a false sense of security ( Stupidity ) that makes people think they are doing the right thing.

    I have worked on this post for almost an hour..I think I will give up now. I don’t even know what I am trying to say at this point.

  14. For what it’s worth, I can think of something to say from your post, Paul.  Which is; why did we lose our rationality at the 9/11 attacks, while daily slaughter goes on around us?

    As a nation, we need a lesson from the Hitchhikers’ Guide: “Remain calm”.  And a lesson from John Allen Paulos: put things in proportional context.  Including the slaughter we visit upon other countries in comparison to whatever we imagine is the provocation.

    By the way, why didn’t we attack Saudi Arabia?  15 of the 19 hijackers were from there.

  15. A 747 jumbo jet filled to capacity crashes every week in America.

    Hardly.  In 2008 in the United States, there were only 322 total fatalities in 15 aircraft accidents, not counting general aviation.  Of those 15 aircraft accidents, none were ‘scheduled’ which means none were regular airliners.  General Aviation (small and private planes) accounted for another 276 fatalities.  Added together that is roughly two 747’s (with a lot of empty seats on at least one) for ALL of 2008.

    On the other hand, One 747 each week would be 24,284 last year alone.  If that was literally one 747 falling out of the sky every week, then it would also have the effect of grounding the entire 747 fleet by all carriers until they found out why this was happening.  Even if it’s just the number of fatalities, a lot of people would be VERY upset and would demand to know why we’re killing so many people.

    Statistics were from the NTSB. (While we’re at it, where did you get those other statistics from?)

    Hitchhikers’ Guide: “Remain calm”

    It’s “Don’t Panic”  big difference.  smile

  16. As a unit of measure:

    “At least the death toll of one ! Caused by Drunk Drivers. Some 350 people die every week from drunk drivers.”

    Sorry ‘bout getting the HHGTTG quote wrong.  But after 9/11, I would have settled for “Don’t panic”. 

    Maybe I was thinking of a funny scene from the Terminator tv series.  The teen terminator gets thrown through the windshield of a passing car.  Woman in car screams; teen terminator turns her head at a weird angle and deadpans; “Remain calm!” before running off down the street.

  17. And then I get to thinking about another plane crash. A 747 jumbo jet filled to capacity crashes every week in America.

    At least the death toll of one ! Caused by Drunk Drivers. Some 350 people die every week from drunk drivers.

    But drunk drivers aren’t encouraged by religion, unlike the fundies of 9/11. Those are simple acts of stupidity and selfishness and often eliminate the cause, not always, but often. Maybe our country is too urbanized. We offer more concentrated targets for drunk drivers and for religious fundamentalists. We tried to eliminate alcohol by law and it didn’t work (18th Amendment, repealed by 21st). I suspect we would have the same success if we tried to eliminate religion, but it would be a very interesting few years of experiment. SUPPORT THE PROHIBITION OF RELIGION!  tongue wink cheese

  18. Amazing that 8 years after there is a group of atheist that haven’t figured out what really happened on 9/11/01.

    It would be great to blame this on religion believe me I would be all for it and religion is certainly capable of such insanity as it has shown for millennia but in this case religion was simply the excuse used.

  19. Nunya, long time no see. I see you’re still buying into conspiracy theories.

    You mean aliens didn’t take control of two airliners, crashing them into the towers moments after they made the towers disappear replacing them with high-tech ceramic replicas so they collapsed like a building demolition, thereby allowing them to eat all that concrete and steel in the original buildings like a great big Kudos bar when they were safely aboard the mothership?

    My God!  That would mean…

    It means…. that… um… I should probably quit drinking so much…

  20. Hello Les

    Yes still buying into that conspiracy theory called “The Laws of Physics”.
    I see you are still buying into the Official Conspiracy Theory as told by the perpetrators themselves.
    To each their own.

  21. I see you are still buying into the Official Conspiracy Theory as told by the perpetrators themselves.

    So the building engineers who participated in the investigation, and the demolition experts, architects, experts on fire spread and damage, and metallurgists who have seen the report AND studied ground zero and pretty much everyone who hauled away the debris or sifted through the rubble looking for survivors…

    They’re all “in on it?”

    Wow.. I had no idea the conspiracy ran so deep.

  22. Hey Nunyabiz- long time no see!  Your viewpoint has been languishing here somewhat of late- welcome back!  You’re still on for lunch if you ever come out this way.

    Swordsbane- you don’t know the half of it.  I have to admit that a tear formed in my eye when I learned that one of the main perps of 9/11 was that mainstay of my boyhood dreams, Popular Mechanics magazine.

    Hard to imagine, isn’t it?  But I guess the sheer number of people involved in the conspiracy, which must be in the tens of thousands, means they have a great deal of political and financial clout, and are thus able to deal swiftly and decisively with any dissidence or budding betrayals within their ranks.

    I have to admit a grudging respect for their brilliance in convincing many (luckily, not all) that Al-Quaeda was behind 9/11.  Of course, they are past masters at deception: nowadays, most people gullibly poo-poo the alien origin of crop circles, think that the Nazis killed millions of Jews, and even believe that AIDS is caused by a virus.  But the truth will out someday, and we’ll all be free!

  23. I’m a part of the conspiracy too, but still waiting for my check.  Very annoying, and “they” keep telling me it’s in the mail.  The whole thing should unravel soon as those of us bought off get fed up with lack of bribes.

  24. I’m a part of the conspiracy too, but still waiting for my check.  Very annoying, and “they” keep telling me it’s in the mail.  The whole thing should unravel soon as those of us bought off get fed up with lack of bribes.

    But you have to give it all back in membership dues anyway, so….

    You can’t forget that if you don’t find evidence that proves the conspiracy… well then that proves the conspiracy…. They are just very good at hiding the evidence…. except, of course, from the conspiracy theorists.  And of course the fact that society has marginalized the conspiracy theorists is also proof of the governments ongoing disinformation campaign to marginalize the conspiracy theorists.

    Conspiracy indicates a lack of evidence, which indicates a conspiracy.  Lack of credibility indicates conspiracy, which indicates they are trying to destroy our credibility.

    The symmetry is so beautiful… I think I’m gonna cry.

  25. Hey Zilch.

    Swordsbane “Conspiracy indicates a lack of evidence”

    So then the Official Conspiracy Theory as told by the Bush administration lacks evidence?

    Glad you agree.

    I have no interest going over this with people that should know better, I put atheist to a higher standard than I do theist, I know why they fall for such obvious deception.
    As atheist you simply have no excuse.

    I have yet to hear from any OCTer exactly how they believe a 47 story steel framed building collapses within 1 sec of absolute free fall speed (time it takes an object to fall in a vacuum).
    This is not just an improbability but a scientific impossibility, unless somehow the Laws of Physics was circumvented that day.

    Also have never heard a OCTer that can explain how a multi ton steel beam manages to fly across West 57th st to stick into the side of WFC3 building some 500’ away.

    Anyway, I honestly have no intentions of wasting time on this subject with those that flatly refuse to accept solid evidence.

    Its bad enough to see this phenomena from Young Earth Creationist but I simply can not stand to see it with Atheist.
    So “believe” what ever you wish, I will stick to the known facts, 100s of eye witness accounts, and the Laws of Physics.

  26. If you have no intention of “going over this” with people who should know better, then why did you keep typing after that statement?

    So then the Official Conspiracy Theory as told by the Bush administration lacks evidence?

    Huh?  What I meant was that if you have a conspiracy, then it also follows that you have a lack of evidence pointing to it.

    Oh.. that’s right… I was being sarcastic.

    I have yet to hear from any OCTer exactly how they believe a 47 story steel framed building collapses within 1 sec of absolute free fall speed (time it takes an object to fall in a vacuum).
    This is not just an improbability but a scientific impossibility, unless somehow the Laws of Physics was circumvented that day.

    So you’re saying the Trade Towers were hollow?  How does that work?

    What happened was a cascade effect.  Once the first set of lateral supports went, it was over.  The reason the TT’s fell at near free-fall speeds was that the structure was compromised.  When the structure of a building that big is compromised, it falls.  It doesn’t slow or stop.  It falls.  The weight of the floors held up by those lateral supports is transfered instantly to other parts of the building.  Those parts, already weakened by the fires are also compromised.  They don’t pause for effect.  They collapse.  This effect travels faster than free-fall, so unless there is some very strong force to stop it, the building may as well be hollow as far as what you see takes place.  If what you say is true, then actual building demolitions violate the laws of physics all the time.

    Please speak with an engineer before you say things like “No one can explain…..”  Of course someone can explain it to you.  Whether you’ll accept the explanation.. well that’s up to you, but your understanding of an explanation doesn’t change it’s validity.

  27. If you have no intention of “going over this” with people who should know better, then why did you keep typing after that statement?

    Because he can’t resist the urge to show off what a True Conspiracist™ is made of.

  28. The most amusing thing about 911 conspiracism is that we’re supposed to believe that the Bush admin managed to dupe just about everyone, yet couldn’t be bothered to cook up “uncontrovertable evidence” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and backed the 911 attacks to make the Iraq invasion look like the right thing to do.

  29. Uh huh, speaking from the other end of the “evil government conspiracy” lens though, I get a kick out of folks like Nunya ascribing us superpowers. Some older folks I know have even more crazy stuff to talk about – reporters accusing them directly of hiding UFOs and Russki invaders in their test sites, turning really mundane jobs into awesome, Independence Day/Red Dawn sorts of shit in their imaginations.

  30. Mr Mook, I have the same feeling. A middle manager in one small office I worked in was passed a complaint call, who absolutely refused to believe we didn’t have a direct line to the Prime Minister, and were unable to transfer him straight to number 10!

    I have yet to hear from any OCTer exactly how they believe a 47 story steel framed building collapses within 1 sec of absolute free fall speed (time it takes an object to fall in a vacuum).
    This is not just an improbability but a scientific impossibility, unless somehow the Laws of Physics was circumvented that day.

    Confused.  Is Nunya saying the building DIDN’T fall as fast as it was seen to?

    Leaving aside the physics, which have been proved time and again, let’s look at the plot, something that is rarely done.

    Nunya et al ask us to believe WTC 1 and 2 were brought down by explosives.

    Why?

    You’ve managed to get two planes to fly into the towers.  Why go to the complication of bringing them down?  Would just those two planes, leaving aside the other 3 (arguments about them not withstanding), not have been enough?  Crashing two full aircraft into the heart of New York was considered not horrific enough for the ‘Cabal’?  It works for AQ- it is lots of media attention, but if all you needed was outrages to act as cover, then why go to the difficulty.

    We know Bush wanted Saddam: on the 12th Rummy was trying to get the CIA to make a case for Iraq, though they stuck to Afghanistan, which Rummy dismissed for retaliation because ‘it only had jungle gyms’.  Yet not one hijacker was Iraqi.  This is an even bigger cock up if, as sometimes asserted, that the hijack IDs are fake.  They faked IDs from the US major Arab ally?

    Method- the hijack was reletively simple- no one who carried them out had done any thing illegal (aside from the plotting) before the hijack.  They were all let on the planes as normal passengers, taking advantage of the US lax internal flight security.

    The CIA/FBI/whoever on the other hand either had to find people willing to die for them or go through the complications of rigging remote control.  What they could do easily would be plant bombs.  Lots of different aircraft, all over the States- start at 9am PACIFIC time- make sure the whole of the US is awake.  IRA style mortar attacks on the Whitehouse.  Attack the Statue of Liberty. Lorry bombs (another Provo favourite)

    In fact the lorry bombs have the advantage of being easy to cover-up- no chain of evidence, apart from retailers who remember an Arab buying lots of fertiliser and sugar.

    If the White House had come to me and said ‘Fake an attrocity’, rigging a building over the course of 2 weeks, and hope no one notices the wires etc, wouldn’t be my first choice.

    Plus what a stupid idea to start with- Al Qaida and Saddam hated each other- showing a link would be near impossible.  Easier to fabricate a nuke test in Iraq, or a massacre.

  31. The most amusing thing about 911 conspiracism is that we’re supposed to believe that the Bush admin managed to dupe just about everyone, yet couldn’t be bothered to cook up “uncontrovertable evidence” that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and backed the 911 attacks to make the Iraq invasion look like the right thing to do.

    Tim, that’s exactly the genius of it.  Admit it: this “failure” of the Bush administration leads you to believe that they would have been incapable of duping us about 9/11.  Actually, the Administration’s “inability” to come up with WMD’s was a brilliant ruse to make them look like bumbling idiots.  And it worked, didn’t it?  Who credits the Republicans with enough smarts to control tens of thousands of conspirators nowadays?

    LH- Your reasoning just proves how deep The Conspiracy’s control goes: not only do they have the FBI and the CIA in their pocket, but their web of deceit extends to engineers, physicists, and even to so-called “logical thinking”.  The only safe thing to do is to know that The Conspiracy exists, and refuse to listen to reason.

  32. Truly saddening to see such nonsense coming from fellow Atheist.
    It why I stopped coming to this site many years ago.

    Not a one of you addressed a single issue just made up strawmen to knock down.
    Doing I might add exactly what young Earth Creationist do in defense of Creationism.

    Whelp have a good one, I can see nothing has changed here.

  33. Not a one of you addressed a single issue just made up strawmen to knock down.
    Doing I might add exactly what young Earth Creationist do in defense of Creationism.

    Wow.  Blind AND ignorant.

  34. Nunya has forgotten the first rule of making incredible claims. The burden of proof is on him to prove them.

    So long Nunya. You really won’t be missed.

  35. The “incredible claim” of a 47 story steel framed building collapsing in 6.5 seconds without the use of explosives?

    You mean that one?

    This was IMPOSSIBLE without explosives, plain and simple.
    Laws of Physics do not lie and they don’t care what you “believe”.

    The incredible claim that a steel beam weighing several tons magically flies across West 57th st some 500’ away because of simple “gravity collapse” ROTFL

    Yeah right.

    There is only one logical explanation for these incredible claims and thats High Explosives which were heard by 100s of eye witnesses, many of which were police Firemen, EMTs etc.

    I am not the one making incredible claims Les.

    I wont miss it here either, I honestly cant stand being around Atheist with the reasoning skills of Young Earth Creationist.

  36. I wont miss it here either, I honestly cant stand being around Atheist with the reasoning skills of Young Earth Creationist.

    Then why do you keep coming back?  You’re obviously not caught up on the debate because you keep asking why no one can show you evidence for something when evidence has already been presented which you have yet to even acknowledge is there, much less refute.

    You can’t stand us?  Then leave.  Otherwise, put up or shut up.

  37. I am not the one making incredible claims Les.

    Yes you are, Nunya. Where’s your evidence? You have none. You’re just pointing at incidents and claiming they’d be impossible without the use of explosives. That’s not evidence, that’s just wild speculation. Put up or shut up.

  38. *sigh*

    It is an itch he just has to scratch.

    It doesn’t take hardcore engineering skillz to figure out why the towers fell like they did.

    Once the weight from the building chunk above the burning floors crossed the threshold that the weakening supports could handle, there was only one way for the building to go: straight down at speeds approaching free-fall.

    The supports below the failure point were designed to handle the static load and not the load imposed by the floors above falling down. Once the collapse started, the building failed like an egg shell hit by a hammer.

  39. Once the weight from the building chunk above the burning floors crossed the threshold that the weakening supports could handle, there was only one way for the building to go: straight down at speeds approaching free-fall.

    Building 7 was even easier to explain, since it had been burning for what… six hours before it collapsed.  By that time there wasn’t much left anyway.

    Seriously Nunyabiz, do you have any idea what you’re talking about?

  40. There is only one logical explanation for these incredible claims and thats High Explosives which were heard by 100s of eye witnesses, many of which were police Firemen, EMTs etc.

    There is only one logical explanation for these incredible claims and that’s Aliens visiting the Earth. There are 100s of eye witnesses, many of which were police, Firemen, EMT’s, etc.

    Hey! It works for UFO’s , too. WOOHOO!  tongue wink snake

  41. Iirc, GeekMom nailed it on the head in an old thread: 9/11 troothers are like creationists, but their central truth, to which all evidence must conform or else, is not “goddidit” but “thegumintdidit”.

    Believe me, I can understand wanting desperately to believe one or both of those things: “goddidit” because it gives you a shot at Pie in the Sky when you Die, “thegumintdidit” because, well, the Bush administration was less than admirable in many ways.  But burning desire doth not truth make in either case.  Truth is, for good or evil, constrained by reality, no matter how much we want to live forever, or see bad guys punished.

  42. I’m really looking forward to the inevitable onslaught when I take on the truther movement in the fourth storyline of the web comic I’m working on. In fact, I can hardly wait to get to that script, I keep scribbling lines of dialogue for it on various pieces of paper.

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