Community Profile: JamesBannon

How did you find out about online freethought communities, and what’s your favourite thing about them?

I heard about IIDB when I was a member of apologetics.com, where I used to “discuss” religious belief with believers. Since then, I’ve joined FF, TR! and Secular Cafe. I’m also a member of a couple of private boards.

I enjoy discussion of all kinds and the community aspects. Most of all, I like just goofing around and being silly.

What board or fora are we most likely to find you in and what will you be talking about?

Any of the above. I post about equally on all the boards. I don’t have any specific favourite areas, it depends on what I find interesting / controversial at the time.

If you had to spend your life marooned on a tropical island with three people that you’ve met online from this community, who would they be, and why?

What a question! There are many people whom I respect and / or regard as very good friends and who have given me much needed support. I guess my first choice would be maddog. We see eye-to-eye on many issues, she’s very intelligent and she’s one of the kindest & sweetest persons I’ve ever met on-line. However, I could say that about many people: Thalia, Puck, Garnet, MT, David B, Luis Garcia, Oolon Colluphid, Nephesh, Stormlight, Leesifer and many others. I love them all really.

Which freethought or humanist thinkers have most inspired you?

I don’t read a lot of the modern thinkers, except snippets here and there on-line. My favourite philosopher is Hume because he makes us think about what it is to know something.

What’s your least favourite religious verse, and why?

Again, a difficult choice as there are so many one could condemn. I think, perhaps, my least favourite is the parable of the sheep and the goats. Think about what happened to the goats, through no fault of their own. Really, however, the whole Abrahamic edifice is based on the principle “might is right”, and that is something I would never agree with.

If you could get rid of one stupid anti-freethought argument, what would it be? Why do you hate this one above all the rest?

I think I would get rid of Pascal’s Wager. It is such a spurious piece of reasoning and has been debunked many times, yet it is still trotted out as if it had any meaning / relevance.

Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Invisible Pink Unicorn, though my personal favourite is my invisible, pink bunny rabbit friend called Harvey. He’s rather a nice fellow. You should meet him. (And if I say he’s pink, then he’s pink, dammit!)

So what is it you do with your life when you’re not hanging around here, anyway?

Not a great deal, really. I’m disabled, so I don’t work at the moment. When I can concentrate, I like to read, listen to some music, think and keep in touch with friends and family. Other than that, most of my time is spent on the boards.

What’s your favourite book, and why?

Difficult! I guess I would plump for 1984 by George Orwell. It shows what kind of dystopia could happen, given the right technology and people with the will to use it for those ends.

What’s the most embarrassing song you sing and dance to when you’re absolutely sure no-one else is around?

Not sure about singing, but my favourite dance tune is “The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat” by Weather Report from the album “Mr Gone”. I like a bit of head-banging too, Rage Against the Machine is my current favourite for that. Also, I couldn’t go without mentioning King Crimson!

What’s the one thing you want to do with your life before shuffling off this mortal coil?

I’d love to do a space walk! It must be absolutely awesome to look down through your feet and see the Earth. However, since that is out of the question, I’ll settle for a trip to see all my on-line friends.

What’s your poison? How much of it is needed to drive you under the table?

Alas, I can no longer indulge in a tipple as it doesn’t mix well with my medication. My favourite used to be a good quality Brandy.

Lucky #13: Who do you nominate to be interviewed for next month’s issue?

Maddog would make an interesting subject!

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