back to article No ghosts but the Holy one as vicar exorcises spooky tour from UK's most haunted village

A vicar has said there's no room for ghosts in the UK's "most haunted village" of Prestbury, Gloucestershire – unless it's one of the Holy variety. Spooky tales of the "Black Abbot" and a "spectral horseman" have made the locale ripe for macabre attractions, and Mark James had run one under the name Cotswold Ghost Tours for …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the trainers allow wearers to 'walk on water' "

    I think the best remark on that has already been made. Go here and skip to the 3:42 mark to have a laugh.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "the trainers allow wearers to 'walk on water' "

      Actually, it starts at about 2:45. 3:42 is the end. Still worth the visit.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "the trainers allow wearers to 'walk on water' "

      "Shall we tell him where the rocks are?"

      // coat of many colors, of course

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "the trainers allow wearers to 'walk on water' "

      I reckon you could make shoes that would allow you to walk on water, provided you could fit big enough cooling elements in the soles...

      (Maybe just a mechanism for spraying liquid nitrogen out each time you take a step?)

  2. Huw D Silver badge

    In a complete about face...

    Was expecting a profit/prophet joke somewhere :(

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Re: In a complete about face...

      Bet they made a clean prophet!

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: In a complete about face...

        Do the shoes save our soles?

    2. Gnarfle

      Re: In a complete about face...

      It's a profit without honor.

  3. batfink Silver badge

    "Poking fun at others beliefs"

    It's good to think that none of that kind of thing would ever happen on El Reg.

  4. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    The only thing he knew about Jesus was that he walked on water. WTF? Not being religous myself but pretty sure he did a few miracles, invited a few mates for a last supper and died for everyone's sins. Also he's responsible for Easter eggs and Christmas presents. Yeah!!!!

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      He wasn't the Messiah, he was just a very naughty boy.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        No, that was the kid next door, Brian.

        Always getting into trouble, that one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yawn, quoting something as tired as Python and as obvious - downvote for you, and I place a curse on anybody down voting me just for wanting originality

        1. sbt Silver badge
          Meh

          I find it best just to ignore them

          If it makes them feel included, where's the harm?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I find it best just to ignore them

            There is no harm, but the constant re-quoting of Python and HHGTTG (and etc.) without adding content is way past boring. We've all heard 'em all already. Enough.

            AC downvoted anyway. Curses are nonsensical inventions of diseased minds.

            (No, I'm not the AC, I always post under this handle... unless one of the cats manages to "help" and I don't notice the tick mark ... in which case, I always post a follow-up claiming the post, kitty typoes and all.)

            1. Little Mouse
              Trollface

              Re: I find it best just to ignore them

              I, for one, welcome our repetitive nerd-culture spouting overlords.

              1. allthegoodnamesweretaken
                Trollface

                Re: I find it best just to ignore them

                I, for one, always look on the bright side of life.

        2. Psmo Bronze badge

          Doesn't recycled content reduce carbon emissions?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yawn, your complaint is as unexpected as a southern European investigation by members of the clergy.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Nobody expects a visit by the Iberianpenisularinvestigativeadministration

        4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

          Half a dinari for my whole life story???!!!

          You've come to the wrong place if you want originality brother. So let us praise Jehovah, a fine halibut and stick-on ginger beard that you are not the arbiter of "what" gets posted onto the hallowed forums by the El Reg faithful... and I should know, because I've followed a few.

          I'm pretty sure we're all more than happy with the Python and HTTG regurgitations and I'm sure we'll be posting them long into the future... and amen to that.

        5. Cederic Silver badge

          A curse? What are you, a member of the Order of Nine Angles?

        6. Gnarfle

          Would you prefer them out on the streets hawking $3000.00 a pair shoes?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Blockchain commentard - Easter eggs

      Did he also work for Microsoft ?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Easter_eggs_in_Microsoft_products

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " Also he's responsible for Easter eggs and Christmas presents."

      Hmm - both are coincidental with pre-Christian seasonal celebrations of the Spring Equinox and Winter Solstice. That the Spring festival of the rebirth of nature is named after the goddess Ēostre is a clue. Even the biblical references to the birth of Jesus Christ place it in about July - except that the Roman census apparently didn't happen.

      All in all you have a good example of how to do a PR makeover of an existing fact - and then claim it as your own invention.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        The baby Jesus came on a reindeer to deliver presents to little children and old James Bond movies on TV for grown ups.

        Then he died and came out of a chocolate egg as a bunny rabbit

      2. jmch Silver badge

        "except that the Roman census apparently didn't happen"

        AFAIK it happened in 6AD, and was only a 'local' census by the new governor, not an 'empire-wide' census (which I don't think ever happened).

        But yes, 'Christmas' is a clear appropriation of the winter solstice.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          The Romans would have had more sense than to schedule a census over the Christmas holiday period.

      3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Anon,

        Christmas was obviously picked by the church for maximum impact. They had to put it somewhere. Although I don't think the bible has any kind of mention of timescale - apart from the census bit.

        But Easter is a bit different. As the timing of that is related to the Jewish Passover festival.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Christmas was obviously picked by the church for maximum impact

          It's all part of the cultural assimilation done by the mid-period church (much like the concept of the Trinity, the idea of an immortal soul and a literal devil - all imports from pagan religions).

          The process goes like this:

          1. Send missionaries into an area and convert the rulers.

          2. Once the rulers are converts, don't make them give up their usual festivals but re-brand them.

          3. Over time the origianl source gets muddled and people forget.

          s the timing of that is related to the Jewish Passover festival

          That's because Jesus died at Pesach.

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Apparently he got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if people started being nice to each other for a change.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Bloody leftie loony, his parents were asylum seekers too.

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Nope, Ostara/Eostre is mostly responsible for Easter eggs and the Roman Saturnalia festival (a week of orgies!) is pretty much responsible for Christmas.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Unhappy

        the Roman Saturnalia festival (a week of orgies!) is pretty much responsible for Christmas

        Well I've clearly not been experiencing the right kind of Christmas for a long time :(

        1. jake Silver badge

          Not that kind of orgy, silly!

          It was the kind of orgy where the priests got drunk for several days or so, until they were so out of it they'd happily castrate themselves. For some reason, the Catholics decided that completely emulating the ancient Mysteries wasn't all that necessary to sucker the rubes, so they just made their priests celibate instead ... and we all know how that worked out, don't we?

          This very condensed bit of history brought to you by the letter þ and the number V.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Not that kind of orgy, silly!

            so they just made their priests celibate instead

            No - that comes from a very different idea (the Church is the Bride of Christ so 'priests' can't be married to anyone else).

            One of the many departures from 1st Century Christianity that the Catholic church is responsible for (the 10th Century Celtic church had no such rule but they eventually got borged by the church of Rome..)

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Devil

          Andrue C,

          the Roman Saturnalia festival (a week of orgies!) is pretty much responsible for Christmas

          Well I've clearly not been experiencing the right kind of Christmas for a long time :(

          Doesn't Santa come down your chimney?

          [Thinks: Better hit the anon button after that...]

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        up here in Scotland it also coincides with the older festival of Beltane. This is being revived a bit with people on Calton Hill in Edinburgh and the like swirling and juggling fire. Since back in the day if you wanted a festival of light in midwinter your only option was fire.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          here in Scotland it also coincides with the older festival of Beltane,

          Sorry, neither Easter nor Midwinter coincides with Beltane, which is halfway between Spring Equinox and Midsummer (and usually calendarily celebrated in or around 1st May*).

          But, yes, Beltane is a Fire Festival, fire doesn't necessarily mean winter, the Japanese prefer their fireworks for summer, not later autumn for example.

          * Do the conservatives still want to abolish Mayday for it's acquired socialist associations and replace it with something tacky, empty and artificial like Trafalger Day???

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Given the record of the previous Tory PM, they have other reasons for not wanting to celebrate 'May Day'.

            Rather, to be reinterpreted as 'Mayday, Mayday!!'

        2. Danny 2 Silver badge

          From Calvary Hill to Corporate Calton

          Leith folk used to go up Calton Hill and light a bonfire on Beltane. Now we can't get in because Edinburgh artsy fartsy tossers put fences around it and charge an entrance fee to watch them dance a pseudo pagan event on what is nominally common land. Part of the corporate disneyfication of the tourist tat town.

          It's an apt mention in the context of Jesus gutties, maybe not as you intended though.

          Ghosts are real - but not immortal, they die with living memory.

          - Reverend Dan, Universal Life Church

          [

          Yosser - I'm desperate, Father

          Priest - My son, call me Dan

          Yosser - I'm desperate Dan

          ]

    6. Youngone Silver badge

      He also took 9 for 52 in the first innings at Brisbane in 1986.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Wasn't that the Sultan of Swing in '85?

    7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Also he's responsible for Easter eggs and Christmas presents

      Errr.. no and no.

      (While I'm pretty sure that your comments were firmly in the tongue-in-cheek territory, both those festival trappings that you mention are pagan.. especially as Jesus was most probably born in 3BC and around April..)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Jesus was most probably born in 3BC

        That's what you call a premature birth!

  5. jake Silver badge

    And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

    ... on a pair of shoes that probably cost no more than $20 to produce, we'll show you the egress!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @jake - Re: And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

      As my grand-mother used to say, stupid is not the one who asks the price but the one who pays.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @jake - And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

        "[...] stupid is not the one who asks the price but the one who pays."

        "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people"

        Attributed to H.L. Mencken, "Notes on Journalism", Chicago Tribune, September 19, 1926

        1. sbt Silver badge
          Windows

          Mencken's a great source of pith.

          In this case, someone else edged him:

          "There's a sucker born every minute."

          (Attributed without evidence to Barnum, real origin lost to time, first recorded 1879).

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Mencken's a great source of pith.

            Apparently it was said about Barnum, by David Hannum, in reference to Barnum's part in the Cardiff Giant hoax. Or so the story goes. My gut feeling is that the very same phrase was in widespread use before humans invented writing.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mencken's a great source of pith.

            "In this case, someone else edged him:"

            Whilst the "Barnum" quote suggests there is a continual supply of gullible marks for conmen - the "Mencken" one casts the aspersion to cover a much wider base.

            Thus "You can fool all of the people some of the time - and some of the people all of the time - but not all of the people all of the time".

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: @jake - And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

        Shhh @AC: you just described every Apple fanboi.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: @jake - And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

          an Apple fanboi would not be silly enough to buy a pair of these shoes - For $3000, they can buy 3 monitor stands and have $3 left over.

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/06/03/apple_wwdc_macpro_itunes/

          Looks like a booing audience at the announcement has fallen foul of copyright law and the video is no longer available

          https://youtu.be/0Nk538OH5xQ

          "Video unavailable

          This video contains content from Apple, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

      "[...] we'll show you the egress!"

      An upvote for the showman reference.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: And after you've spent your $3,000 ...

      buy a pair of flip-flops for £335!

      https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2019/sep/03/pass-notes-hermes-flip-flops

  6. jake Silver badge

    As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

    ... don't tell me, show me. Until you can actually show me one, kindly keep your illogical fantasies to yourself ... unless I ask, of course. Ta.

    1. Henry Hallan
      Holmes

      Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

      Ghosts are real - people see them all the time. I suspect what you really are asking for is proof that the phenomenon of ghosts is caused by an afterlife rather than some trick of the mind.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

        "Ghosts are real - people see them all the time."

        Are you offering to show me one? Or are you just telling me they exist?

        "I suspect what you really are asking for is proof that the phenomenon of ghosts is caused by an afterlife rather than some trick of the mind."

        You suspect wrong.

        1. Henry Hallan
          IT Angle

          Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

          Google is your friend. For example:-

          https://www.nature.com/articles/443287a

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

            If you go down to the woodscoast today...

            you may run into the Holy Ghost (along with the Father and Son);

            "And the three men I admire most

            The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost

            They caught the last train for the coast

            The day the music died

            And they were singing

            Bye, bye Miss American Pie"

            With thanks to Don McLean

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

              If there were three of them it would be cheaper to drive than buy three separate train tickets

              Unless you can convince Network South East that you are one indivisble person

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

                Network SouthEast??? That was pre-privatisation BR!!!

                http://www.projectmapping.co.uk/Reviews/Resources/NSE%20Slatter%201992.jpg

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

            Again, are you offering to show me one, or are you simply telling me they exist? Also, I invite you to re-read my first comment in this thread.

            No, go ogle is not my friend. I never feel the need to go ogle anything.

            We don't need no stinkin' IT angle ... this is bootnotes. New here?

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

        Ghosts are real - people see them all the time

        So are UFOs real then? Cos people see those all the time too..

        There is large prize that's been outstanding for many, many years that will be given to someone that can conclusively prove that ghosts exist. It has yet to be claimed.

        1. Blane Bramble

          Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

          So are UFOs real then?

          Yes. UFO ...

          Unidentified

          Flying

          Object

          It doesn't mean "alien spaceship" you know?

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

        ghosts is caused by an afterlife

        Hard to have an afterlife when there's nothing like an immortal soul..

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: As for ghosts (holy or otherwise) ...

          It's less of an afterlife, more a kind of apres vie

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ghost tours

    Of course, some people believe that ghosts are simply projections from parallel Universes existing in different time frames, caused by a combination of proximity of branes in M-space and nearby gravitational fields along with electromagnetic resonances. Also for some reason gravity alone won't work but there is a tenuous link between ionizing radiation and strange events due to radon and other decay products.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Ghost tours

      And all that is meant to be more plausible than "they're just ghosts, OK?", is it?

      Quantum mechanical BS just makes you look like a deliberate fraud, rather than a sincere believer.

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Ghost tours

      Upvote for the satirical bs

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: and other decay products.

      So that's why my compost heap is haunted...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: and other decay products.

        why my compost heap is haunted

        Mine has a small tortoiseshell cat sleeping on the lid. Because it's nice and warm..

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Ghost tours

      Poe's law strikes again.

    5. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Ghost tours

      They're Cybermen. OK?

  8. Dinsdale247

    Sweet Kicks

    As a practicing (rather orthodox) Catholic I see nothing wrong with the shoes themselves. The miss-appropriation of the Papal Seal may be an issue. While some may claim that "walking on water" could be blasphemous, I will point out there is water in the sole (soul?) of the shoe so the wearer is literally walking on water.

    I might point out, though, that instead of spending $3000 on shoes, perhaps said purchaser should spend $100 on a pair of shoes and give the rest to charity. It would be a more appropriate action for someone in love with the Lord.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Sweet Kicks

      I think you'll find that the amount of money wasted on these tasteless trainers is dwarfed by the resources belonging to the church and money collected to support church structures and bureaucracy. Mote meet beam.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sweet Kicks

      "[...] perhaps said purchaser should spend $100 on a pair of shoes and give the rest to charity."

      In Germany the State collects a religion tax from Catholics - which is then given to the Church. Wouldn't it be nice if the tax was given to a people's charity instead?

      In the UK religions are allowed to be registered as charities. Thus enabling their congregations to avoid paying income tax on their dues and donations to the religious organisation. The State could have used the avoided tax to help fund necessary services for people in need.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Sweet Kicks

        In Germany the State collects a religion tax from Catholics - which is then given to the Church. Wouldn't it be nice if the tax was given to a people's charity instead?

        THE PEEPLE'S CHARITY !

        Obviously administered by a Blairite-type-independent-agency-thing run almost entirely by the sort of short-haired women who become pious New Labourite/Thatcherite MPs, with a remit not to waste the money on the actual poor, who must be compelled to help themselves; but instead to stop people smoking; or otherwise having fun.

        And Jimmy Wales.

      2. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: Sweet Kicks

        "The State could have used the avoided tax to help fund necessary services for people in need."

        Or could have used the avoided tax to fund a sinecure or contracts for someone's brother in law.

        I suspect your odds are better with the church ...

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Sweet Kicks

        In the UK religions are allowed to be registered as charities

        Trust me - unless you are a big church then it really, really really isn't worth it. Complying with the charity regulations is a minefield, especially if you are a non-ecumenical church..

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Sweet Kicks

      Does that mean DM wearers have been walking on air?

      1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
        Angel

        Re: Sweet Kicks

        Apparently Pope John Paul II had special pairs of White DM's made or him.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Sweet Kicks

          Apparently Pope John Paul II had special pairs of White DM's made or him.

          Steel toe-caps included? For giving heretics a good kicking.

          I remember reading about a slightly embarassing conversation when they ordered the Popemobiles - after John Paul II got shot. So they obviously went to an armoured limo company - and got their special bulletproof standy-uppy-wavy bit bolted on. Then the company asked the Vatican if they wanted gun-ports included - so the Swiss Guard could fire back into the crowd...

  9. Benson's Cycle

    G K Chesterton

    Chesterton pointed out that if you were a good Catholic you did not believe in ghosts -because in Catholic doctrine all the souls of the dead are in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory and so not available to wander around on Earth. In the same essay he pointed out, very correctly in my view, that the problem with unbelief is that when people drop their religion they do not stop believing in anything, they start believing in everything. Hence, though somewhat after his time, vaginal eggs and tinfoil hats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: G K Chesterton

      "Chesterton pointed out that if you were a good Catholic "

      I thought the Popes tell us that all Catholics are sinners in need of redemption? The dogma generates plenty of "sins" for the faithful to commit and be shamed into a confession. I would think the word "obedient" would better suit the hierarchical power structure of the Church. On second thoughts that is also true of just about any of the Abrahamic religious organisations - and probably others too when allied to a political ruling elite

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: G K Chesterton

        "...all Catholics are sinners in need of redemption? The dogma generates plenty of "sins" for the faithful to commit..."

        Coming to think of it, this is no different to lay governments having masses of obscure laws to ensure that everyone is unknowingly breaking some sort of law, that can then be used as leverage

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: G K Chesterton

      according to the disposition of divine providence, separated souls sometimes come forth from their abode and appear to men . . . It is also credible that this may occur sometimes to the damned, and that for man’s instruction and intimidation they be permitted to appear to the living.
      - St Thomas Aquinas.

      The Bible itself gives us stories of ghosts (2 Macc 15:11-17, Matt 17:1-9). Human logic is not proof against divine providence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: G K Chesterton

        Wasn't St T the origin for many of the "witch hunts" back in the day?

        Seems that quite a lot of the time they were innocent, and as the Vatican records are sealed until (IIRC) 2110 we may never know.

        Also relevant: it was said that you can tell someone's religious or other beliefs from the mark on (usually) the top of their stone. Often Freemasons had a combination of the set square and protractor or some other symbol, and other denominations use a specific combination unique to them. Also an anchor symbol usually means they either were lost at sea or lived a lot of their life there.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: G K Chesterton

          "Wasn't St T the origin for many of the "witch hunts" back in the day?"

          St Trinians? Yeah, that fits.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: G K Chesterton

          He was a great advocate of papal and church authority, which later came to be used as a strong pillar of the war against heretics of all kinds - Protestants, witches, you name it. But I think it's a bit harsh to tax him with everything that was done with his writings two centuries later. That's like blaming Napoleon for Brexit.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: G K Chesterton

      in Catholic doctrine all the souls of the dead are in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory

      What about Limbo? The Church had to invent this to cover a gap in their theology, and GK Chesterton was certainly speaking in the time before Limbo became a rejected hypothesis more in line with a modern interpretation of theology.

      he pointed out, very correctly in my view, that the problem with unbelief is that when people drop their religion they do not stop believing in anything, they start believing in everything

      Please tell me what equivalent nonsense I started believing in once I got rid of my god belief. Yes, you will get some people who will pick up beliefs in nonsense after leaving religion, but equally you have people in a religion who will also believe in that same nonsense (jade fanny eggs, ghosts or otherwise). Chesterton was an apologist attempting to blacken unbelievers with this remark; it makes no logical sense and I tend to think that the people who think it's an accurate observation have usually either not given it any actual thought or have their mind clouded by their religious position.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: G K Chesterton

        Ooh, ooh, what snark.

        I am by the way an atheist who once studied psychology and sociology of religion.

        I think if you look around society you will see that while educated people may well reject supernatural religion, for the majority an awful lot of guff comes in to fill the void. Among examples I would cite:

        Superhero comics and films

        The "wellness" industry

        Psychoanalysis (not, of course, psychiatry or psychology)

        Fantasy in general

        Homeopathy

        I agree that Chesterton was extremely biased in general (I consider him unreadable nowadays and he was much too influenced by that ghastly anti-Semite Belloc), but I consider that there is truth in his observation. All religions too tend to descend into superstition - the Catholic Church, Buddhism being particular examples - but what the educated believe and what the uneducated believe tend to be very different.

        (and for the person who mentioned Aquinas - a pox on him. He did immense harm.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: G K Chesterton

          "[...] for the majority an awful lot of guff comes in to fill the void. [...]"

          Human cultures have probably always had story tellers. The stories were history, educational devices, and attempts to explain phenomena.

          Only some of these categories require people to believe they are true. The ability of the human mind to imagine other scenarios - even if apparently impossible - is an exercise in forward thinking and empathy.

          A person's level of formal education is largely irrelevant. It is the way of thinking that their society and learning system imbues that inclines someone to hold particular beliefs as being true. This is particularly so when their social well-being in a community depends on paying at least lip service to particular shibboleths. The human mind is adept at deluding itself beyond reason - especially when their ingrained group identity is at stake.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: G K Chesterton

          Do you actually believe that some people believe in superheroes the same way that some people believe in Jesus? I'd think that someone who'd studied the psychology of religion would have a better grasp of what the word belief means.

          Maybe your confusion explains why you agree with Chesterton's claim, seeing it even in your own educated self.

        3. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: G K Chesterton

          superhero films and fantasy are filling the "void" left by religion? I think you are confusing fanbois with religious zealots.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: G K Chesterton

        It is always possible that limbo is in Gloucestershire

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: G K Chesterton

          Limbo was in the East Village of Manhattan until 1975 ...

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: G K Chesterton

          limbo *is* Gloucestershire

          There - fixed that for you..

      3. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: G K Chesterton

        Of course Limbo wasn't around then. A prerequisite for Limbo is the Steel Band which, in turn, requires the oil industry to produce the barrels to cut up.

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: G K Chesterton

      The Catholic Christening liturgy caught me off guard. The bit where the priest implores the souls of the ancestors of the child to guard and protect the infant. Sounds like summoning the dead or necromancy of some sort to me.

    5. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: G K Chesterton

      " when people drop their religion they do not stop believing in anything, they start believing in everything"

      A thought I have often echoed. There seems to be a need in some people to believe in "something" that is running their lives, be it a bloke with a beard in the sky or some nebulous "them" who secretly run everything.

  10. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Matthew 14:25?

    I've always preferred Ezekiel 25:17.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Matthew 14:25?

      That would be Matthew 0.56 and Ezekiel 1,470588235.

      (Mine is the one with the pocket calculator in the calculator pocket...)

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

    But who brings in the most cash?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

      They also accept crypto currency.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

        Or even cryptcurrency.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

      That reminds me of the old joke about a Catholic priest, a Protestant vicar and a Jewish rabbi out for a round of gold and discussing the their congregations contributions and how much goes to God. The Catholic says he draws a circle on the ground, throws the money up in the air and whatever lands in the circle goes to God. The Protestant says he does the say, but whatever lands outside the circle goes to God. The Rabbi says, "I don't bother to draw the circle. I throw the money in the air and what God wants, he catches.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

        The rabbi joke you mention was used on "Short Circuit" to hilarious effect.

        Incidentally, I once asked some folks whether a self aware machine should have rights. The problem is how do you define self awareness, would the machine asking for the rights to be granted be sufficient proof?

        "The Measure of a Man" comes to mind here.

        Not sure on exactly how much advancement would be needed for such a monumental step but it looks like the original estimate of sometime in 2036 is way off. The problem isn't so much hardware as power usage over time, 4 Titan X's running on a Core i9 based mining board with custom firmware may be enough for certain subsets if the more complex tasks are ported to a few Movidius (tm) sticks.

        1. Gnarfle

          Re: My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend

          Have you read Asimov's Bicentennial Man?

          It's been awhile but I seem to recall some court/judge handing down a ruling that the criteria for rights was, in fact, the ability to ask for them.

  12. MachDiamond Silver badge

    A down payment

    $3,000 would go a long way to the down payment on a new (used) car. It would also put a big dent in what's left of my mortgage. I could cover my roof in solar panels (sans the permits and city fees) and not pay for much electricity going forward. I could spend a couple of weeks in Prague with a room right on Wenceslas Square and fill up every memory card I have for my camera several times over.

    $3,000 for a pair of shoes? Not bloody likely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cover my roof in solar panels

      3,000 USD for solar panels? Methinks a rather small roof... In the sunny, sub-tropican island(s) of Great Britain, equivalent solar-panel roof-thatching STARTS from 6 grand. And this GBP is still more than 1:1 v. USD...

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: cover my roof in solar panels

        There's a couple of places not too far away that get scratch and dent panels from commercial installations. All tested and you can pick and choose. Some have busted glass but work fine otherwise and aren't hard to fix. They run about 50p/watt. If you want new, yeah, you'll pay much more. If you want them tomorrow, you have to pay full price. If you have time and assemble a system as and when good deals come along, you can save a boatload.

        I'm hoping to flog off some stuff on eBay and buy 3-4 panels as soon as I can for winter. I put together a MPPT circuit to dump power into a oil-filled room heater at the best efficiency. That should mean around 800W of heat for a good portion of the day. In the summer I'll rig up something to power my evaporative cooler from solar (about 400W or so).

        I have some more exotic plans for heat storage that I'm messing with. You can store a whole bunch of heat with low-melt alloy metals and extract it with the heater core or two from a junk car.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    WTF?

    Ummm

    But Pluckley in Kent claims to be the country's most haunted village

  14. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Ghost stories

    He added that he "was saddened to see our church used as a backdrop to promote ghost tours to children"

    I'm saddened to see the church used to promote nonsense to children, but then he'd be out of a job if he didn't do that on Sundays.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ghost stories

      "I'm saddened to see the church used to promote nonsense to children, [...]"

      It is the dogma and proscriptions that are often dangerous to the well-being of children as they grow. They are expected to have a tribal loyalty to their hierarchical authorities' dictates that adversely affect their health and social interactions.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Ghost stories

        "They are expected to have a tribal loyalty to their hierarchical authorities' dictates"

        Which is no different from the school system, which in turn is (partly by design) set up to churn out obedient citizens. I encourage my children to be independent, go their own way, and to be aware that authority figures aren't always right, even while treating them with respect.

        Of course having independent-minded kids sometimes comes to bite you in the ass as a parent, but you can't have it both ways... if you want kids to be totally obedient to you as a parent, that's instilling a mindset of total obedience to parents, authorities etc...

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Happy

    Nike Water Jordon

    Nike AirWater Jordon

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb hipsters spaff $3,000 on 'Jesus Shoes'

    you call them dumb hipsters, I call them dumb fucks, but what are we going to call them when they flog those shoes for 6 grand to other "dumb hipsters"?

    1. Gnarfle

      Re: Dumb hipsters spaff $3,000 on 'Jesus Shoes'

      Entrepreneurs?

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. skeptical i
    Devil

    wrong Jesus shoes

    So, not the Air Jesus shoes from _Transmetropolitan_*? Pity.

    (* https://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/138387.html#cutid1 )

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had Jesus shoes when I was a kid. They were proper holy.

    1. jake Silver badge

      I had A Pair of Jesus Boots once. Somehow it was included in a box of books that I shipped back to California after a stint in Yorkshire in the mid 1970s. Not sure where it came from, it was definitely not my kind of fiction. After reading it, I donated it to the Mitchell Park Library in Palo Alto. It was probably pulled from the shelves decades ago as "culturally insensitive" ...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off the original storyline but WTF

    The story got me thinking about McFly's self tying trainers in Back to the Future. In these days of enlightenment about quantum physics, should those laces be properly described as "Entangled"

  21. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
    Angel

    Jesus Boots

    When I was a kid, we wore leather sandals during the summer. We always referred to them as Jesus Boots. A bit later, when I was in High School, we referred to them as Desert Wellies.

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