Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dawkins: religion makes you stupid


So, the emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and the University's former Professor for Public Understanding of Science, is of the view that religion poisons thought processes and makes people stupid.

He appears to have forgotten (conveniently, as ever) the religious foundations of Oxford University. Has he no knowledge of Keble, Merton or Pusey? Who founded Christ Church and why? Has this 'stupidity' hindered academic progress or undermined its global reputation? Oxford takes its Christian foundations very seriously indeed. Despite multi-faith multiculturalism, its higher degrees are still bestowed upon all graduands Ad honorem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et ad profectum Sarosanctae Matris Ecclesiae. As they kneel before the Vice-Chancellor, he touches each one upon the head with a Testament, admitting them in nomine Domini, Patris, Filii et Spirutus Sancti.

Dr Dawkins' remarks must be rather offensive to the Theology Faculty and the eminent scholars who work under its aegis (not to mention current students). A brief summary on Wikipedia tells us that Oxford has produced at least twelve saints, and twenty Archbishops of Canterbury. Is Dr Dawkins really of the opinion that Rowan, Lord Williams is 'stupid'? Was John Wycliffe stupid? What about the Christian humanist John Colet? Or John and Charles Wesley?

What stupidity is it which asserts correlation or causality between stupidity and religion based on a BBC programme?

177 Comments:

Blogger James Christie said...

You are being unfair on Prof Dawkins. He is clearly correct within the framework of his argument.

It is of course axiomatic that those who disagree with him are stupid, especially if they are religious. It therefore follows that the process of becoming religious necessarily renders one more stupid than if one were simply to agree with the learned prof. It's perfectly simple. Only the religious would fail to grasp the point.

13 January 2013 at 16:37  
Blogger happyuk said...

Dawkins displays the typical Nordic-superiority complex of Western intellectuals and his work is essentially organized propaganda against the timeless truths of Christianity and the sages and saints of India in particular.

The regenerating philosophies of ancient religions have been more and more coming into the limelight, due to the sincere interest and earnest study of thousands of truth-seeking, unprejudiced individuals.

So long as a spiritual hunger persists, so long people sense there has to be more to life than TV and buying things, then the deathless message of the ancient saints will continue to nourish Western minds.

Up until recently, the Western world led thge world in material and scientific progress, while the Orient contribution was primarily a spiritual one: Christ, Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Lao-tze, Zoroaster and Krishna were all Orientals.

This does not mean that Western nations cannot produce great saints, nor that Orientals are incapable of great scientific activity. But here in the West, we find a different standard, especially with intellectualists / egotists like Dawkins, where the religious life is held in no such respect as it obtains in India, but rather brazen contempt.

What Dawkins does not realize is that the ancient sages went deeper into the scientific laws of life, nature and God than any other people in history. Many modern scientific discoveries merely confirm what the seekers discovered centuries ago in a more general way, about the atomic constitution of matter, the basic laws of the physical world, and the principles of man’s mind and nature.

Whenever a great scientific or spiritual figure arises, in the East or West, his message does not differ in any respect from the ancient philosophy of India. "Truth is One, men call it by various names."

13 January 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I guess he's talking about the Young Earthers in particular, and how religion seems to have affected their thinking. There's very little nuance possible in a tweet. The younger scientist on the other side came across pretty well and he was a Christian.

13 January 2013 at 16:44  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

It depends which religion.

Ignorance is strength at South Kensington Madrassa, formerly known as Imperial College.

13 January 2013 at 17:13  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

I find Dawkins blanket 'ad hominem' attacks on religion, in which he labels all those who hold to faith as "fundamentalists" and assumes we all hold to the "Creationist" views of the American "free" church ideology, offensive. Arrogance is not a pretty sight in anyone, least of all in someone in his position. As His Grace has rightly pointed out, the professor owes his current position and the science to men of great faith who understood that the intellect is a gift to be used in pursuit of knowledge.

In my own line of work (forensic), it has been my pleasure and privilege to meet and call friends a very large number of scientists of many disciplines who hold religious beliefs - and none of them are "stupid." In fact several would give Dawkins a run for his money in his own field.

13 January 2013 at 17:16  
Blogger happyuk said...

The fact is every religious organization, spiritual group, lodge, church or temple has had experience with some unhinged nutcase, suffering various delusions or craziness, who joins the movement and attempts to represent that teaching to the outside world, with the inevitable commotion.

Though this individual might consider himself a staunch follower of the organization he has elected to join, the probability is that he knows nothing about religion beyond a superficial level and simply pursues his own hallucinations instead, the the detriment of others.

There is no causal relation between religious teachings and the crazy outbursts of fanatics who profess to follow those teachings, or misdeeds of governments in the name of religion.

The craziness exists in the mind of the individual. No uplifting spiritual or sincere religious study can possibly produce craziness. On the contrary, it can and does restore unbalanced persons to sanity.

As for Dawkins' claim that "religion poisons thought processes and makes people stupid." - the correct practice of yoga (as in the Yoga sutras of Patanjali) for example has cured many people of unbalanced / neurotic conditions.

The worse form of craziness is to maintain, like Dawkins, that spiritual study and practice are injurious.

Since all forms of consciousness are unbalanced, i.e., not in the ideal state of perfect equilibrium, by logic it follows then that it is far more beneficial for mankind to be crazy about God than about money, power, fame, pleasure and prestige, as most people are.

13 January 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Simon said...

"[Oxford's] higher degrees are still bestowed upon all graduands Ad honorem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et ad profectum Sarosanctae Matris Ecclesiae."

Sadly not, Your Grace. Graduands may now opt out of this. This makes little sense to me, as I had always assumed the University was conferring the degree in the name of Christ, not that graduands were accepting it in His name. Either the University does educate to the glory of God or it doesn't; if they see no contradiction in bestowing a higher degree without using these words then I'm afraid it must logically be the latter.

13 January 2013 at 17:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Look chaps, all this from a tweet !

As someone who is frequently misrepresented by his lines being taken out of context, one thinks Dawkins needs an opportunity to expand. There is not enough rope on this occasion to hang him, so to speak...


13 January 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"No one's born that stupid, it's religion that's done it"

What did believing untrue things do?

Make a great deal of effort in producing smoke and mirrors.

A farmhand can see sodomy and religion go hand in hand, the trauma of love and the trauma of life, and once rejected a new Love and new Life is born. That to maintain it, takes very intelligent men and women.

So I disagree that religion makes people stupid: it makes them elite in knowledge, to enter the corridoors of power and sit beside Leaders for their dark arts to blind and manipulate; and the gulible shall always be with us.

13 January 2013 at 17:36  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Scientism (not science itself) is the major enemy of religion. Scientism is a bleak and barren materialism that tries to reduce all aspects of the human mind to the workings of a biological machine, with no room for any spiritual or aesthetic dimension to life. Scientism is a misuse of scientific methodology beyond the limits of its applicability, including attempts to reduce all knowledge to only that which can be understood by mechanistic models. Scientism attempts to reduce all qualitative experience, and indeed all mental phenomena, to physical causes, effects and mechanisms.

The physics-based sciences construct their models, predictions and explanations by abstracting and reducing the numerous natural instances of processes operating on structures, into a few generic procedures operating on data.

Hence physical explanations will be impossible to construct, will fail, or will be inapplicable as 'category errors' for any phenomena where...

(i) Processes cannot be reduced to procedures
(ii) Structures cannot be reduced to data

I suspect that one of the intractable features of The Hard Problem is that some of the processes of consciousness are not even in principle reducible to procedures (they are 'non-algorithmic'). Similarly, qualia cannot be reduced to data.

The 'materialists', 'physicalists', 'reductionists' and other practitioners of scientism are committed to trying to represent the three-dimensional world of causality, composition and mind, in terms of the two dimensions of algorithms and datastructures.

This representation ultimately requires them to insert various square pegs (qualia, semantics, intentionality, freewill etc) into the round hole of computationalism. But computation can only deal with quantitative and Boolean-logical values. It cannot manipulate any qualitative phenomena.

The lack of progress with The Hard Problem is one of the best illustrations of the failure of the materialists' project.

13 January 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

What Dr Dawkins means, of course, is that the universe is self-evidently immanent, and that anyone who denies this is stupid. He has established the acceptance of his own metaphysical presuppositions as the measure of intelligence.

But can he explain consciousness? Well, no he can't.

Can he explain conscience? No he can't.

Can he explain the existence of morality? No, he can't.

Can he explain irreducible complexity? No, he can't.

Can he explain the connection between the brain and the mind? No, he can't.

Can he tell me what a thought is? No, he can't.

Can he explain the mathematical impossibility of the formation of so much as even one protein molecule of RNA? No, he can't.

Can he explain the uncaused cause for existence? No, he can't.

Can he find any purpose or meaning in the existence of man external to man's own individual desires? No, he can't.

Can he even so much as show me the data that validates the models upon which he bases so many of his conclusions? No, he can't. He has no data.

What then can he do? He can assert that the Universe is wholly immanent, and therefore disallows discontinuities a priori. He can assert that anyone who denies this is stupid because the High Priests of Scientific Materialism say so. And who the hell am I to contradict him? I am just a stupid Creationist.

Dr Dawkins would benefit greatly from being shipped off to the Spice Mines of Kessel. There he could experience first-hand the actual implications of his world view once removed from the comfort and prosperity and liberty of the West. This isn't an argument for the truth or falsehood of what he believes, of course. It's just a forlorn hope that Dr Dawkins would consistently apply his world view. But of course that isn't going to happen. He wants the privileges of God's existence without the responsibilities of God's existence. That's an easy game to play - so long as you are rich.

carl

13 January 2013 at 17:55  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

Meself, I think Mr Dawkins is a bit of a papilla who is going to feel an even bigger one when he's kicked the bucket and finds out he was very much mistaken...

13 January 2013 at 18:14  
Blogger Raybond said...

It is a pity that Dr Dawkins does not recognise the inherent irony of his attacks on religionists. He rails against those who live their lives by faith, not realising that he lives his own life by faith, albiet a faith with a belief in no higher power than human intellect.

He cannot prove the central tenet of his argument - namely there is no God, and that therefore religion is simply a fiction - he can merely to claim it as an opinion. Therefore he moves forward in his life, assuming and believing his assertions and assumptions to be correct and acting on the basis that they are.

The central fallacy of the athiest's case is that their viewpoint is more rational and reasoned than the religionist. However until the athiest can prove the central tenet of their beliefs are fact and true, then their foundation is no different from the religionist. So exactly from what superior position do these people claim to argue from?

13 January 2013 at 18:28  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

The central fallacy of your last paragraph, Raybond, is the notion that given two opposing positions, they have an equal likelihood of being true. So the likelihood of the real existence of Zeus is the same as the likelihood of his non-existence. This is not always the case. Sometimes, there is huge presumption in one direction - in the case of Zeus, that he does not exist and is a myth. That presumption may well be false - maybe Zeus is still up there chucking down thunderbolts. But what you cannot say is that the "foundation is no different" for these two opposing beliefs. The foundation is very different.

13 January 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

From Wiki, Conrad Black, not usually associated with stupidity.

By his early thirties...he "no longer had any confidence in the non-existence of God."

13 January 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger John Magee said...

The University of Oxford has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096, but it is unclear at what point a university came into being. This means it was a Roman Catholic University for over 400 years before Henry VIII founded his national Church in the 1530's.

The Latin still used by students at traditional ceremonies at Oxford didn't come out of thin air. It is a legacy of Oxford University's 400 year Roman Catholic era before the Reformation.

One of the most famous Oxford scholars of the Middle Ages was William of Ockham 1288 – 1348) who was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher, he is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the fourteenth century.William of Ockham also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology.

HG listed a fine list of C of E religious personages but forgot Cardinal John Henry Newman, a former Anglican Oxford scholar and RC convert and a leader in the Oxford movement.

The former atheist and Anglican convert C. S. Lewis should have been included in this list too. It would have been interesting to see a debate between Dawkins and Lewis had Lewis not left us 50 years ago in 1963.

13 January 2013 at 19:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

To take a quote from a famous movie, "I don't give a damn!" If Dr Dawkins wants to believe that the Moon is made of Stilton, & Mars (The Planet) is only made of Chocolate because he brought one last week & still has the wrapper to prove it. It's up to him.
I've found that trying to prove a spiritual point to people with closed minds by logical debate is virtually impossible, frustrating & usually results in a heated row. Unless God gives them the sight to see the truth, it's a waste of time.

13 January 2013 at 19:52  
Blogger michael north said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 January 2013 at 20:08  
Blogger michael north said...

Dawkins is feeling his lack of exposure since people like Brian Cox have become the favoured telly scientists. All showbizniks become more desperate as they see their star sinking. He'll be selling stairlifts soon.

13 January 2013 at 20:14  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

"Conrad Black, not usually associated with stupidity."

That's true. He's usually associated with fraud in fact. What on earth possessed you to mention him? Next you'll be citing Jimmy Savile . . .

13 January 2013 at 20:37  
Blogger how life is changing said...

The message of the Cross is foolishness to the world.

13 January 2013 at 21:11  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Can I just point out that Dawkins is known worldwide as an atheist; he's not known at all as a scientist. I suspect that this is the root of his anger. And no, WRITING about science does not make you yourself a scientist.

13 January 2013 at 21:17  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

You can point it out Corrigan, but it won't make it true. Dawkins has made at least one major scientific contribution with his book The Extended Phenotype.

13 January 2013 at 21:41  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 January 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Right at the start of that book, Laurence, Dawkins concedes that it contains nothing new and is "unabashed advocacy". His propositions here cannot be tested. Neither can God, of course, but at least believers are consistant in this. Dawkins relies alternatively on the repeatable nature and testability of scientific theory when it suits and the "free exchange of ideas" argument when it doesn't.

13 January 2013 at 22:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Laurence, saw the fellow on TV with Hislop the other day. And if he had committed fraud, that’s a complicated manipulation, is it not. We are talking of stupidity and religion on this thread...

13 January 2013 at 22:16  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

The most successful people in the history of the world - bar none? Guess who? And what do they base their life and culture on and have done for 4000 years?

The study of God's law and its nuances, and His nature and unfolding plan, if nothing else, sharpens the mind and the intellect. It also binds communities together and gives them identity.

Stupid? I think not.

13 January 2013 at 22:19  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Oh God, no you're right. It's not a new theory as such. Is that what you have to do to qualify as a scientist? Develop a whole new theory? Then perhaps you could dismiss it as being "just a theory."

13 January 2013 at 22:33  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I always find it interesting that the top guns in science - the Hawkings, the Einsteins etc; rarely have a problem with belief. They may not believe themselves, but they don't really have a problem with others who do. It's the second raters who lead the "scientific" charge against belief, mainly because at some subconscious level they're involved in a turf war with religion for authority. The top men aren't bothered about that; they're too interested in the pure science.

13 January 2013 at 22:36  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Laurence, what the hell are you talking about? The point is that Dawkins theory is not testable, therefore, by his own criteria (the one he trots out when it suits, that is) it doesn't qualify as science. Like him, you are employing the force of rhetoric, but there's no substance to your argument.

13 January 2013 at 22:39  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Well, only that you said, "he's not known at all as a scientist."

At all you said.

So my question is a simple one: what must one do to qualify as a scientist in your eyes?

13 January 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Corrigan, you couldn't be more wrong when you say "Dawkins is known worldwide as an atheist; he's not known at all as a scientist."
Dawkins was a leading Oxford professor of genetics and evolutionary science. He is at the top of the tree globally without a shadow of a doubt.
However, when it comes to interpreting texts such as the Bible (which is as much a specialist study as genetics) he is only a mediocre GCSE level, and when it comes to understanding the existence of other dimensions of life e.g. spiritual, moral etc he is no genius. Honest of course but, as an Emeritus Professor, he should not be stooping to mere rudeness in public.

13 January 2013 at 23:24  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Dawkin's problem is that he is in a constant state of arousal . He is unable to think clearly. Kinderling is constantly bombarding him with a plethora of 'key words.'

13 January 2013 at 23:27  
Blogger Bridget said...

The nail-in-the-coffin trouble with what's-his-face is that he's philosophically illiterate. The philosopher, being the lover of wisdom, is one who is characterized as being singularly ignorant: he doesn't know, but he is aware that he doesn't know (that's what's known as Socratic irony.)
Opposed to the philosopher is the philodoxer, the lover of opinion, characterized as one who is doubly ignorant: not only does he not know, he doesn't know that he doesn't know and this leads him to believe that he does know (that's what's known as Dawkin's reality.)

http://voegelinview.com/ev/evolution_and_kant.html

14 January 2013 at 00:02  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

His book sales must be flagging.

No, seriously, I think he says this kind of thing to keep himself in the public eye.

He long ago ceased to be a serious academic.

14 January 2013 at 00:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Cressida, do be careful!

You are toying with mysterious forces. Kinderling will discover your "secret name", then you will be under his spell forever more.

14 January 2013 at 00:39  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 02:53  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Dodo,

Your secret word is to receive an offering you had no right to receive.

You took the "Blood of Christ" for your own sins; you know, the ones you were responsible for; and then in return for salvation and peace, you are the Church's slave to assist you to forget. They give out your identity, you give out service.

The Buddhist, gives you your personal secret meditation "om," unique, (so you think) to you, and from then on, for salvation and peace, you are identifed and do not leave the temple that promises nirvana.

The Homosexual in emotional turmoil, receives a righteous judgement of victimhood from their government-sponsored youth 'counsellors,' and in return for salvation and peace, joins the Pride of LBGTs.

The idea of a free gift is to tempt you to give up your anxiety, in return for a new praised and unconflicted identity.

Anxiety is the warning of a conflict in consciousness. It is telling you something about yourself. You don't ever avoid the pain. Listen to it then work back to how you cut yourself by not catching the flattery or curse quick enough to not receive it.

It's the game of a person giving you a "lucky heather" to pin onto your lapel for the 'very good fellow' you are; and then tell you their woes, so you pay to feed their hungry child in fear of being labelled a 'very bad fellow'.

They draw out from you the surrender of personal will to theirs, and then when they turn nasty you rationalize you hold Divine Will, to play God, to salve your conscience.

They despise you for your cowardice. Dawkins despises you. (But he is comfortable LGBTs are the evolution of Natural Selection).

Now you are A Nice Guy. A Decent Liberal. A person who will heal the world by holding hands, fast for the day, or wear another group's white ribbon. And be satisfied. You keep the charade going, for every avoidance of reality requires a greater indulgence, until you are so guilty for giving, you can never afford to get out. You pay the crooks so much you are ashamed to stop, when they say they needed just one more payment for the Church/Temple/Club renovation.

Better to change the world for Good than ever face yourself.

So far removed from a child.

So far removed from Jesus' teachings.

14 January 2013 at 03:09  
Blogger OldJim said...

Laurence - I tire of the rhetorical Zeus flourish because I see that it is a rhetorical flourish and nothing more. Surely you do too?

If you mean that the existence of Zeus is now unlikely because no-one seems to believe in him any longer then I'm sure that you see that that is very shallow. There were atheists of sorts in the classical era and then after the fall of the Roman empire very few until the enlightenment - yet somehow I doubt that Voltaire would have bought the argument.

If you mean that Zeus is now impossible because he is indissolubly linked to some definite falsifiable proposition e.g. thunderbolts then say so - but somehow I doubt that that is why faith in him has flagged, and if it were so you would have to offer the equivalent observation that demolishes faith in the Christian God to complete your analogy.

If you mean that Zeus-as-head-of-a-pantheon was discredited when, for complex philosophical reasons, polytheism ceased to be a live option in the west, then I would broadly agree - but in that case there is no analogy to the Christian God to be had.

If you mean Zeus-as-prototype-monotheistic-god was made redundant by the acceptance of Judaism and Christianity, then again I would agree - but again this would leave your analogy in tatters.

What I suspect you mean is "I have decided that belief in the Christian God will or at least ought to diminish and cease to exist. I have reasons (whether clever ones or stupid ones) to believe this to be the case, or post-hoc rationalisations, having decided in advance that I do not believe, why this must be the case. I will import these reasons and rationalisations anachronistically to the flagging of belief in Zeus in order to bolster my own conviction in my analysis, and make the analogy in arguments in order to give my argument an aura of historical inevitability"

It's silly and tedious.

14 January 2013 at 03:31  
Blogger OldJim said...

(And if, as I suspect, it's the last, then it is an example of petitio principii - you're not demonstrating that belief in God will cease to exist, you are assuming it will, and that is what would make the analogy you seek to prove it with valid as an analogy in the first place)

14 January 2013 at 03:36  
Blogger OldJim said...

The relevance, of course, is that you have framed your arguments in terms of [i]likelihood[/i] - but you've evaded giving any account of how you ascribe these likelihoods to different possible events.

The poster that you were addressing said that Dawkins could not prove an axiom on which his argument turned, which the poster thought placed Dawkins and believers on equal ground (I hasten to add that I do not entirely agree - that position smacks of fideism to me)

To return from matters of proof to matters of likelihood requires some relevant account or model from which to establish likelihoods. It seems to me that in this instance that is not available or, at the very least, under close scrutiny, would turn out to be the very thing in contention.

In the absence of any coherent and mutually agreed-upon model from which to argue from, you don't try to lead the believer there from first principles. Instead, you invoke Zeus as "exhibit A: deities no longer believed in" and assume that your interlocutor does not believe in Zeus for the same reasons that you do not believe in the Christian God. This is not the case and I can confirm that if, mirabile dictu, you were to become a Christian, you would nonetheless have many good reasons for not believing in Zeus quite independent of your current thought processes.

In other words, that you think that there is an analogy is a failure of imagination on your part.

It's as though I were a vegan talking to someone who was lactose intolerant and trying to get them to adopt my lifestyle on the grounds that they had already abandoned the barbaric practice of drinking milk - if only they would see why I had decided they must have done that, they'd give up eggs too...

14 January 2013 at 03:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Old Jim

Excellent comments. Come with us to the Dark Side and we will complete your training. We will bring theological order to the galaxy.

carl

14 January 2013 at 04:18  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dawkins can't hold a candle (or a light bulb) to another Englishman you are all familiar with from your history lessons in school, Sir Isaac Newton. He was perhaps the greatest genius of all time. Newton was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian. He has been considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived. Newton was brought up a Christian but as an adult denied the Trinity yet he saw God as the master creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation.

Having an infinately greater mind than you have Mr.Dawkins, Sir Isaac Newton never denied God exists.

Other geniuses from a long list who were either devout Christians or raised as Christians include Nicolaus Copernicus, (RC),Blaise Pascal (RC), Nicola Tesla (Serbian Orthodox Christian), Louis Pasteur (RC), and Thomas Edison (Protestant).

14 January 2013 at 05:35  
Blogger Katie said...

I don't think old Rowan Oystermouth is a good example of a person who is not 'stupid'.

14 January 2013 at 06:57  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

No, Jim, all I mean is what I said - namely that two opposing positions do not start out at any given moment in time with an equal likelihood of being true. Likelihood is very important because often in life one cannot be 100% sure of things. One has to settle for a "beyond reasonable doubt" level of assurance, and accept that occasionally one may be mistaken.

I could have chosen many other examples. The likelihood of the evolutionary account being broadly true as opposed to the creationist account, say. But that would have been contentious on this thread. Pick your own example then, but don't tell me that two opposing beliefs rest on an equal foundation just because they are two opposing beliefs.

14 January 2013 at 07:14  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Religion certainly switches (some of) your critical facuties to OFF, that's for sdure?

I mean a BigSkyFairy that is completely undetectable, either directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever, & people believe in him/her/it/them?

Do wakey up!

14 January 2013 at 07:46  
Blogger Kinderling said...

The indulgence trade-off with a "BigSkyFairy" sums it up.

14 January 2013 at 08:11  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

For the rigorously challenged Athiests that frequent this blog;

Part One

You lay your Dawkin card on the table whereas I lay William Thomas Kelvin. A true GENIUS!

William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907) - "With regard to the origin of life, science...positively affirms creative power."

"Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us...the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words."

or

Charles Boyle (1627-1691), the deviser of the namesake law concerning the compression of gases, the English chemist and physicist wrote in his last will and testament: "Wish [the Royal Society, a group of scientists] a happy success in their laudable Attempts, to discover the Nature of the Works of God, and prayer that they and all other Searchers into Physical Truths, may Cordially refer their Attainments to the Glory of the Great Author of Nature, and to the Comfort of Mankind".

What about the fact that forty-two of the 68 founding members of the Royal Society (starting through meetings in 1645 unofficially) for which their religious background was known were Puritans. Such a high proportion is very much out of whack compared to their proportion in the total English population, which was mainly Anglican. Sir Robert Moray, Sir William Petty, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, John Wallis, and Jonathan Goddard were all prominent leaders of the Royal Society--and all Puritans.

Some basic ideas are necessary to have (or, to be more precise generally, not have) in the intellectual climate of a civilization to keep science self-sustaining, instead of dying out after a few centuries of progress? Firstly, a linear, potentially quantifiable conception of time that clearly distinguishes past, present, and future promotes a scientific view of nature and its cause-effect relationships is necessary for a scientific outlook.

14 January 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Part Two

Within the Judeo-Christian tradition, this idea comes from the act of God in creating the universe from nothing at some specific point of time in the past, and then time is seen as progressing through the present on to the future with the second coming and the day of judgment.

A balance between reason and faith is necessary, without the religious people totally rejecting science or natural laws, and without the philosophers/scientists totally rejecting the claims of religious truth.

Explanations of natural phenomena must avoid a priori, pseudo-scientific "explanations" that really do not describe the causes of events, such as astrology or omens brought about from the acts of kings etc.

There must be no organic view of the nature of the universe or outer space is divine or 'alive'..Pantheism.

Science will be hindered if the reality of the basic orderliness of the universe ("the external real world") is denied!

Finally, man needs to be seen as fundamentally different from the rest of nature, as having a mind that makes him qualitatively different from the animals, etc., not just quantitatively different.

The foundations for this view are laid in the Judeo-Christian world view in Genesis where man and woman were made in God's likeness and image, and were told they had dominion over the animals (Gen. 1:26-29).

Islam could not sustain its scientific achievements and fizzled out appro 1200 ad due to mysticism and its inability to balance 'Allah's' with with any reason and the physics view of nature and the heaven from certain Greek Classics by Aristotle, 'On the Heavens' and 'Physics' were binned, that muddied the waters of science.
It is common for people to think of the God of the Bible as being just like the God of the Quran, especially the non-religious on this blog, who think, "All religions are the same."
However, this assumption can be seriously questioned once the texts and accompanying history of the Bible and Quran are compared.

The key difference between Jehovah/Yahweh and Allah is because the God of the Bible is limited by his own righteous nature and there are certain things He cannot do, he is completely consistent and trustworthy.
But when we turn to study the actions of Allah in the Quran, we discover that he is totally capricious and untrustworthy. He is not bound by his nature or his word.

It was only by Christian metaphysics, its rejections of various classical Greek philosophical conceptions, and gave the world the birth of a self-sustaining science.

Jesus was the Savior of science - without His birth, life, and resurrection, it never would have existed in this world.

Christianity was the cause of Modern Science!

Now be off with you halfwits and study a tad more.

Blofeld

14 January 2013 at 10:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Dawkins is the personification of this verse of scripture, "...knowledge puffs up while love builds up" (1 Cor 8:1)

"Debates" with atheists always end up about who is the smartest, usually marked by petty discussions about grammar & spelling.

In the words of Charlie Chaplin, "Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. "

Richard Dawkin's "cleverness" will mean nothing before the judgement throne of God.

14 January 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

What about the 'Father of Modern Oceanography' Matthew Maury.

Matthew Maury is the father of modern oceanography, the man who helped turn the United States into a maritime powerhouse in the 19th century.

But what many people don't know is that Maury was a committed believer -- and a staunch defender of the Bible as a source for science.

Psalm Eight extols the 'paths of the seas.' It was a favorite verse for Matthew Maury, who became known as 'the pathfinder of the seas.'

Dave Dwyer of the Mariners' Museum said, "He was able to codify something everyone thought defied explanation."

see http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/141284.aspx

Blofeld

14 January 2013 at 10:58  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Dawkins is a stupid person's idea of a scientist much as the average 'creationist' who appears on programmes like the Big Question is a stupid person's idea of a Christian.

As the media only seems able to deal with stereotypes or caricatures, both of these types fit the bill perfectly. They are guaranteed to misrepresent not only their opponent's position but their own as well, allowing lazy audiences to indulge in false dichotomy under the pretence of serious debate.

There are far too many highly intelligent and gifted people who have believed fully in God (Fr George Lemaitre is an obvious and easy example) and there are many prominent scientists working today in all fields who are believers. Likewise there is no shortage of atheists who have not in any serious way thought about what they believe, but repeat atheist philosophy parrot-fashion because it is endorsed by fashionable people. Popularism is nothing new.

Intelligence is not the property of either side in this increasingly absurd argument. To believe that it is to misunderstand the nature and purpose of both science and religion.

14 January 2013 at 10:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I'm a young earth creationist btw. This has the distinct advantage of annoying atheists whilst making not the slightest bit of difference to ANYTHING else in life.

14 January 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

So, the emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and the University's former Professor for Public Understanding of Science, is of the view that religion poisons thought processes and makes people stupid.

The stupidity here is of assuming that there is any difference in the beliefs that their god granted land rights to Hebrews; or that Jihad martyrs are in Paradise, eternally pissed off their heads while servicing the 72 virgins;or that without a history of bloody violence Christianity would exist at all.

14 January 2013 at 11:17  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Rebel Saint :

"This has the distinct advantage of annoying atheists whilst making not the slightest bit of difference to ANYTHING else in life."

You could go one step further and say to atheists that you think the world is a flat disc, supported by 4 elephants who ride off the back of a giant space turtle. Now that is surely going to upset them!

14 January 2013 at 11:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dreadnought

"The stupidity here is of assuming that there is any difference in the beliefs that their god granted land rights to Hebrews; or that Jihad martyrs are in Paradise, eternally pissed off their heads while servicing the 72 virgins;or that without a history of bloody violence Christianity would exist at all."
Still hung over from the New Year, we see, celebrating your continued 'accidental' existence upon the earth. Looks like you should be in the company of those jihadist martyrs, a 'servicing'. Would be a better use of your time and save us the waste of ours as you appear unable to string a logical argument together in a cohesive manner today.

Happy New Year, lad.

Blofeld

14 January 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Happy New Year, lad.

And to you too good sir - long may you continue your pussy stroking.

14 January 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Oldjim refers to attitude - it is not what you do but the way you do it.

I see a man clothed in Christ and I see someone pathetic, a Follower, a submitter, a tell tales on you if you don't conform, a Socialist, an aversion to suffering in all it's forms, a Communist.

I see a man clothed in sexuality and I see someone exactly the same, putting on their breastplate of righteousness as an external cultural cognition. A canibal elects a canibal king.

No child should ever be exposed to these.

The truth sets you free. Not faith. The truth means you know something, and if you don't, say you don't know and don't encourage people to believe your hopes and dreams for a perfect place. Good intentions are the way to entrapment and slavery. You react to your environment, and no longer respond to your inner voice.

Children should be taught about such as these who polute the bubble they live in.


14 January 2013 at 11:49  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Julia,

You are quite wrong about Dawkins the scientist. His chair was specifically created for him by a billionaire admirer; the university itself had shown no interest in elevating him to any chair previously. Moreover, the chair is not in science itself, but rather in the public understanding of science. Not the same thing at all. If you have any doubts about the kind of rationality and reason he engenders, just read the comments from his admirers. Almost every word they say can be specifically attributed to an identifiable chapter or paragraph in The God Delusion, yet when they're done saying it they give themselves a big slap on the back for being "free thinkers", unlike those sheep who accept the authority of the churches. Dawkins is successful because he's done what every successful salesman has done: he's identified a gap in the market and created a product to fill it. In a narcissistic age, the product in demand is potted philosophy for people with a need to think they're clever, but really don't have the intellect to look too deep. His weapon of choice is the power of rhetoric, which I'll admit he wields quite expertly, but ultimately rhetoric is all there is. That's why he got his clock cleaned in the first debate with John Lennox, and barely managed to scrabble out of the ring on his feet in the second.

14 January 2013 at 11:53  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 11:58  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling,

So you object to a 'big sky fairy', but see nothing wrong with listening to voices in your head? Well I can't work that one out, although of course according to you I am 'a moron with no discernment...'

Well if discernment is defined as relying on pseudoscientific formulations of psychology, as you yourself do,then I guess you are quite correct.

14 January 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Hannah Kavanagh said, "You could go one step further and say to atheists that you think the world is a flat disc, supported by 4 elephants who ride off the back of a giant space turtle. Now that is surely going to upset them!

But that has real world implications. Can you name one real world implication from believing the age of the world can be measure in 1000's rather than 1000,000,000's of years? Me neither. In fact, the world could have been created yesterday and we couldn't prove otherwise. Makes NO difference.

14 January 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Anyone who believes in the absolutism of Creationism scribbled down by violent desert tribes is stupid.

As are those people who categorically deny the possibility of a creator.

Truth probably lies somewhere between these extremities of reason.

I believe in the possibility of some intelligent design but can see how that designer would use his laws of physics and nature to evolve life. Not just ZAP!!!, and there it all is. If God exists he is a gardener - not a conjurer.

I therefore look upon Dawkins and mad mullahs/creationists as equally stupid. Faith, in itself, is just that FAITH; a belief in something that is unprovable.

That is how God would want it. How could humanity function and evolve if it was otherwise. The search for truth is good for us whilst utter unthinking belief in something "handed down" is not.

Just look at Islamic countries - they stopped evolving around 1000 years ago.

God would not approve.

14 January 2013 at 12:15  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

"The world could have been created yesterday and we couldn't prove otherwise."

This suggests that the study of history is at best a waste of time. Also that the life and death of Jesus is irrelevant to us today. I think this might upset a few Christians as well as atheists. Perhaps you just want to upset everyone!

14 January 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

carl Jacobs said...
"Old Jim
Excellent comments. Come with us to the Dark Side and we will complete your training. We will bring theological order to the galaxy."


A personal invitation? Yet it carries no weight as Jim is not free to choose - or is he?

14 January 2013 at 12:37  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Rebel saint

"Can you name one real world implication from believing the age of the world can be measure in 1000's rather than 1000,000,000's of years? Me neither. In fact, the world could have been created yesterday and we couldn't prove otherwise. Makes NO difference."

May old Ernst go one further..Can you name one real world implication from believing that life evolved on this world rather than an act of direct creation that means the foundations of the world will topple over because evolution somehow is critical to our ongoing survival?
I cannot perceive any direct benefit that means it's crucial it is true except a justification to deny ownership and therefor accountability of humanity to a Creator by pointing towards a 'Big NatureFairy' who is as immediately invisible to us as a Deity who exists outside our realm.
However more faith is required in it as it seems it should be here by definition but is as elusive in this dimension as the origin of matter particle or genuine randomness.

Blowers

14 January 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hannah, you don't listen to yourself then? You telepatheically listen to someone else in your head? A voice that says 'wisdom is to fear Jehovah'

You are right we should not be absorbed by 'thinking,' by our chattering thought-words of 'he said she said I will say next time...' for they are produced from unresolved anxieties until the intellect produces a solution of a leap of faith into a new identity. But as St Paul discovered, he was still chased by his 'thorn in his side'. You can run, but you can't hide behind faith of being a new creation, made female before God or female before man. You have to inherit you mantle from your mother if a girl, or father if a boy. Like Elisha did from Elijah. Hate your parents and you seek justification. That's the displaced allegence for approval.

Christian and homosexuals hide a rage. That's why both camps are troubled, and sexually awakened by an innocent child. Africans will have sex with them to cure their AIDS.

Nothing has it. Forgive and your thoughts will no longer trouble you, no more being unable to sleep and doing whatever gets you though the night.

Jesus had to teach God-botherers so his language was cloaked so some seeds of doubt would germinate in their skulls about the True Religion, and he used their imagery to explain and teach them to respect the unbeliever as themselves.

You have no such excuse having moved God from the mountain to the Hubble Bubble you think as the Universe.

Get your mind right and we'll have no talk of perversion lifestyles and salvation from a pew.

14 January 2013 at 13:27  
Blogger Galant said...

From a personal standpoint, I'm interested in having the chance to talk with someone about this issue, particularly a Christian who feels confident in his or her understanding of the subject and especially the theological ties to the evolution issue.

Whilst it remains in the spotlight of debate I'm beginning to find it a rather tiresome subject, not least because of the huge disciplinary spread involved and the inability of a lot of discussion to understand one another get to the point. Nevertheless, there are some important issues raised in the debate and I'm tired of going through them by myself.

14 January 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Rebel Saint,

In respect to the issue of the world being propped up by elephants on the back of a giant turtle. You said that saying you believed that would have 'real world implications'.

I am assuming you wrote that because you 'know' that the earth is a sphere and that there is no evidence of a giant turtle or elephants.

But perhaps to the turtle believers, there are no real world implications; what happens if a believer says the elephants and turtle are actually invisible, but they are still in fact there? Is that not as much a faith as we would have in a deity?

And why should science and faith be at odds?

The science waxes and changes with the evidence, the understanding and the knowledge, yet G-d is always, always, unchanging and everlasting.

But whilst there are pointers to him (his creation), does not our belief in him, rest not on science, but on faith, in much the same way as one who believes in a giant space turtle does?

14 January 2013 at 14:06  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

In respect of the age of the planet and universe.

I would agree with you that a belief in the existence of a deity is not contingent on a discussion of the age of the planet (or indeed the universe).

I will agree that it might be, if one is drawn to a literalism of faith or if one derives belief from a pure 'sola scripture' point of view.

However, as far as I am aware the writer of Genesis grapples with many issues in the first 2 chapters, but writing down how G-d created is not one of them. It isn't mentioned. The text simply records that G-d did create. But that doesn't mean to say that an inquiring and scientific mind goes against faith or religion.

14 January 2013 at 14:09  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

One final thought, on the issue of real world implications. It depends upon what you mean by that. Clearly a discussion on the age of the planet means nothing to the person without a home or someone who has lost their job and is trying to put bread on the table and I'd agree that there is more to faith (and life) than these questions.

I guess it depends upon the reader's personal circumstances and the extent to which the reader wishes to grapple with the issues of science and religion.

14 January 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Can you name one real world implication from believing the age of the world can be measure in 1000's rather than 1000,000,000's of years? Me neither. In fact, the world could have been created yesterday and we couldn't prove otherwise. Makes NO difference.

Plate tectonics? Isotope ratios? Light from distant galaxies?

14 January 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling,

Um, I don't have sleep problems and I am of sound mind. I am not perverted. I don't hate my parents, knowing them would have been nice though. I am not sure how I have supposedly moved G-d from a mountain to my hubble bubble universe. Sounds like something you'd do though.

14 January 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 14:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
(Lewis Carroll)

It seems Kinderling has achieved this state of enlightenment.

14 January 2013 at 14:47  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

If you want a religion that doesn't tie itself into knots about who created the world and when, try Buddhism. It's based on the following four foundations of which only (3) is scientifically contentious.

(1) No functioning phenomenon is a 'thing in itself'. The more you look for it, the less you find it.

(2) All functioning phenomena are impermanent.

(3) The mind is non-physical and devoid of structure.

(4) The clarity of the mind is obscured by evolutionary delusions, which are removable using suitable methods.

14 January 2013 at 14:50  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Me?

"I love to talk about nothing it's the only thing I know anything about."
(Oscar Wilde)

14 January 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

seanrobsville said...

Dear fellow

You have stated 4 reasons why a self sustaining science could NEVER come from China/India (Buddism/Hinduism) and Ernst has stated why the Aristotelian world view made modern science an impossibility from their culture of paganism. Atheism is merely attaching itself to the rock of Christian/Judeo principles advanced and adhered to by the great scientists of the past and removing the creator from the defined model of rationale in the scientific model.

Blofeld

14 January 2013 at 15:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

seanrobsville said...
"If you want a religion that doesn't tie itself into knots about who created the world and when, try Buddhism."

But its not a 'religion' is it? And ultimately it believes in a negative state of bliss - the nothingness of Nirvana.

Buddha was not an atheist in the sense that he denied the existence of the gods. To him the gods were living realities. He did not acknowledge his dependence on them. They were like men, subject to decay and rebirth.

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."
(Buddha)

Gautama (maybe) started the journey but without the benefit of God's authentic revelation.

14 January 2013 at 15:09  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

(and what Ernsty said ... I think!)

14 January 2013 at 15:11  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

Yes, well I wouldn't want to get into Kinderling's mind. But anyway, do tell, did you have a ranch salad in the end?

14 January 2013 at 15:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

In an interview with Ben Stein Doc Dawkins, attempting to reconcile the complexity of life, the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the law of cause and effect suggested that green aliens caused life to begin on earth.

Have any of Dawkins' green aliens been captured and interviewed.?

14 January 2013 at 15:17  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ E.xtra
(1) If any phenomenon were a 'thing in itself' it could not function. Things can only function by interchanging 'parts' of themselves (including energy, charge etc) with other things. So (1) is compatible with science.

(2) Follows from (1). No functioning phenomenon remains the same when it functions (even just being observed according to quantum theory)

(3) This ultimately implies that the mind is not capable of being simulated by a Universal Turing Machine. This is scientifically contentious, though Turing himself favoured this view.

(4) Generally in agreement with statements from Darwin & Dawkins, so compliant with science apart from reservations from (3).

14 January 2013 at 15:26  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi seanrobsville,

Thankfully my religion does not tie itself into knots about who created the universe and when, in fact it is clear about who created it, in fact the very first sentence says so :

"Bereishit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'aretz"

The when is more a subjective issue, given that there is not a specific time frame written into the text, so it is inferred (the year is calculated by totting up the ages of the characters of Genesis, counting back to Adam), but you are dealing with a being that has always existed ,before time itself, that is hardly surprising.

14 January 2013 at 15:29  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi seanrobsville,

I have to admit I don't really know much about Buddhism, so I shall have to give your blogs a peruse.

But my initial thought is, cultural reasons aside, if you want to shape or bend your faith to satisfy science, why not simply cut the faith out altogether? And secondly what form of belief is this?

To expand -

The problem with bending a religion to the latest scientific theory, which is the route some creationists go down, is by its very nature science changes, from one theory to the next, so presumably you'd have to remould your faith accordingly when another theory takes hold over previously held assumptions and theories.

Scientific theories are just that - I am sure that others more knowledgeable than myself can find critiques of, say, evolution by natural selection (on scientific grounds). To my mind, a faith should have a more solid foundation than fitting in with a theory which may change from one century to the next (the big bang theory is another).

From what I have read of Dawkins, he is quite dismissive of ALL religions. This to me also seems to be true of the New Atheist mentality.

Even on this thread. I am sure that, for example, Dreadnaught will quite happily provide you will some random quote from a Buddist text or source and use that to justify why religion is not sound (as he would see it).

14 January 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Hannah Kavanagh
Regarding bending faith to satisfy science:
Science may be correct but incomplete, with some phenomena beyond its scope.

The realisation that the mind is probably beyond the scope of science was first formulated by the eminent Victorian physicist John Tyndall over 140 years ago:

"Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened, and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem, "How are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?" The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable.

Let the consciousness of love, for example, be associated with a right-handed spiral motion of the molecules of the brain, and the consciousness of hate with a left-handed spiral motion. We should then know, when we love, that the motion is in one direction, and, when we hate, that the motion is in the other; but the "Why?" would remain as unanswerable as before."

Everything we have learned about the chemistry and physics of the brain in the century and a half since Tyndall's statement has taught us a lot about the chemistry and physics of the brain. It has not progressed one inch towards closure of the explanatory gap of the Hard Problem.

14 January 2013 at 16:12  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

OldJim and Blofeld

Outstanding.

The breadth and depth of your learning puts into the shade my learning.

Thank you.

14 January 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger michael north said...

Corrigan is dead right. Dawkins has built a career on providing large numbers of shallow, ignorant and lazy-minded people with the opportunity to feel clever and knowing. He is now being squeezed out by standup comics peddling the same atheist chic to a smartarse undergraduate audience.

14 January 2013 at 16:48  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah

"But anyway, do tell, did you have a ranch salad in the end?

Who knows .... and has the actual decision, been made yet?

14 January 2013 at 16:50  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Seanrobsville,

So basically you are saying that science floats your boat and what science can't answer your religion fills the gaps?

That's interesting, but the problem is surely that given science does change, because science its very nature non static, so presumably your religious beliefs also need to change as new scientific theories are produced?

14 January 2013 at 16:54  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

I don't really want to get into the whole predestination thingy, but think I can guess with near certainty that you and possibly Inspector will be having a tot of whiskey or two tonight, over and above a ranch salad?

14 January 2013 at 16:56  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Hannah Kavanagh

"That's interesting, but the problem is surely that given science does change, because science its very nature non static, so presumably your religious beliefs also need to change as new scientific theories are produced?"

Yes, all functioning phenomena are impermanent and subject to change.

14 January 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Michael, go to a bookshop - any large bookshop. What you will find there is a small section of atheist books by a handful of authors, completely swamped by a religious section comprising multiple translations of sacred texts, plus literature covering all the major faiths and most of the minor ones, plus the whole deplorable "mind, body, and spirit" section. Books which provide large numbers of shallow, ignorant, and lazy-minded people with the opportunity to . . . pretty much stay where they are.

Dawkins is not being squeezed out by comedians. He's still being squeezed out by the combined forces of all the mutually incompatible faiths on this earth, plus a vast array of pseudo-scientific quasi-spiritual bullshit. It's so telling that you don't seem to be able to tolerate even a modest incursion onto your turf.

14 January 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One takes great store in acknowledging ones ultimate creator, Almighty God. And what’s more, his plan for us as individuals and as the human race.

It provides for direction in life. Knowing that you conform to a system and there is order about it. That you are not just here by chance, and your life is empty, which although this latter state does not apply to all atheists, it surely applies to many of them. And the means employed by empty feeling souls just to get by – reliance on drink and drugs, bizarre sexual conduct, lying and cheating, thieving in some cases, violence in others.

Delusional ? Not at all. One could say that if you truly believe we came from dust and water and nothing else, then are you not deluding yourself there’s magic all around ?

Stupid ? Well, you have faith and the assurances that go with it, or you don’t. But when it comes to realising his place in the universe, this man feels far from stupid…

In fact, one couldn’t lose his faith, even if he signed up for a ‘Lose Your Faith in 30 Days course or your money back’…

14 January 2013 at 17:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



The Inspector is once again depressed to see the OT and it’s whatever on how we got here being passed around again, as if it was God’s truth. From a Christian perspective, that particular book is nothing but a ‘How to be a Jew’ manual. Of little use to this gentile, and if the truth be known, of little use to the rest of you Christians too. Find the dustiest drawer you have and put it in there. Not to read, of course, but it’s enough for us to know where it is, on the off chance it is needed…





14 January 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Gentlemen, with what the Inspector hopes is the Archbishop’s indulgence, may he inform you that our occasional fellow communicant Julia Gasper is now being actively persecuted by LGBT types with a view to throwing her out of UKIP. Story unfolding on Pink News. Includes a rather attractive portrait of the brave and fiercely outspoken lady…



14 January 2013 at 17:55  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hannah,

Your God has evolved, and will continue to evolve in the minds of every successive generation. You don't obey the Sabbath do you?
You don't speak in tongues, heal the sick and won't be harmed by drinking poison? No, you have a Middle England don't read widely enough, view on Christ-The-Savior.

Seanrobsville,

The mind is devoid of physical structure, it is our Plato's Wall of projected illusion, our attempt to make sense of reality, our palet for mixing light and dark to paint the world to make sense. Once it was magic, then it had gods, then it had One God, then it had none. Now all alone, to get off this ball before being struck to oblivion.

Bury our heads, or look to the stars. A comfort in Dellusion or a peep around illusion. A dead satisfaction or unquenchable curiosity?

For we can stop some colours going in to our mind, that some modern music is 'nasty' and some traditonal tunes are 'good'. This is Cultural bias has not the eyes of a child. Asking for egg and chips in India.

All I care about is the intent of the messenger, to not mix brown with love, to not mix dogma with light.

I do not belong to either shade of grey. I like my friends transparent.

14 January 2013 at 18:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

seanrobsville

Science and knowledge are anathema under Buddhist philosophy, wouldn't you agree?

A Buddhist aims to achieve a state of calm repose, of indifference to life and death, to pleasure and pain. A state of tranquility, where the sense of freedom from the bonds of rebirth caused the discomforts as well as the joys of life to sink into insignificance. After death Nirvana was realized in its completeness - nothingness being the final end of man.

However, Buddha refused to pronounce either on the existence or the non-existence of those who had entered into Nirvana, on the ground that it was irrelevant, not conducive to peace and enlightenment.

To secure extinction of desire which alone led to Nirvana, Buddha prescribed a life of detachment from the comforts, pleasures, and occupations of the common life of men. He adopted for himself and his disciples the quiet, secluded, contemplative life. It was foreign to his plan that his followers engage in any form of industrial pursuits lest they become entangled in worldly cares and desires.

Married life was to be avoided, for it was incompatible with the quenching of desire and the extinction of individual existence. So too worldly possessions and worldly power had to be renounced — everything that might minister to pride, greed, or self-indulgence.

No science or industry or attachment to illusion, if one is to break free from Karma and rebirth and enter nothingness.

14 January 2013 at 18:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling

"You don't obey the Sabbath do you?"
Yes I do observe the Sabbath (or shabbat/Shabos as it is called by us Jews).

"You don't speak in tongues, heal the sick and won't be harmed by drinking poison? No"

That's correct I do none of these things.

"you have a Middle England don't read widely enough, view on Christ-The-Savior".

No I have a Jewish view on Jesus of Nazareth.

14 January 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Includes a rather attractive portrait of the brave and fiercely outspoken lady…"

Ah. If only you knew.

14 January 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Inspector

Right! That's it!

I have reported you to Rome for publishing heretical opinions on the Old Testament. Expect a visit soon.

14 January 2013 at 18:35  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 18:44  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

"how to be a Jew manual". That's a new one on me, as I understood Christians see 'the old testament' in a somewhat different way. Where do you get these views from? I thought being in Rome meant singing from the same hymn sheet (so to speak).

14 January 2013 at 18:48  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah said ...

"I don't really want to get into the whole predestination thingy, but think I can guess with near certainty that you and possibly Inspector will be having a tot of whiskey or two tonight ..."

If that's the Will of God then who am I to resist?

14 January 2013 at 19:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Types, not really a bit of heresy from the Inspector. He accepts the RC dogma on the OT, so more of a personal observation.

He puts it to you like this. Imagine Christ WAS accepted by the Jews, and later the word is sent out to the gentiles. Then yes, the OT is a most relevant book. But as he was rejected by them, let’s just do the same for the OT. It’s the story of a people. Not the story of Christ. Accepted, part of it paves the way for the messiah, but what about the rubbish in it, like Lot’s wife being turned to stone, or the God sponsored genocide, so long as your man holds his staff in the air, we kill every man, woman, child and animal.

NO !


14 January 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Um, I do wonder if you have actually read any of it. For example, I thought Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt?

14 January 2013 at 19:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Hannah, more likely, the aged wife of Lot as she was hurrying along, suffered a stroke and was probably paralysed at least down one side. What other inaccuracies exist along with Adam’s rib turning into Eve, and tempting snakes....

14 January 2013 at 19:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Stop digging ..... Rome's watching!

14 January 2013 at 19:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo, it’s God and Jesus for this man. The mechanics doesn’t matter. More interested in God’s wonderful creation, nature for example...


14 January 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hannah,

The censor has no spirit to set a person free, so they deleted my reply to you about being a Messianic Jew and the first layer of identity, Jewish, being overlain by another: More Jewish.

Your mother and father, if devout may believe you are dead to them, but this is not the division Jesus was talking about, that by different faiths you shall be rendered, but by truth. One brother may want leadership by being the first born male, the other child by being the actual first born, when any king would look to the character of his children to bestow the blessings upon the child most fit. How blind we are.

So a birthright is a nothing. Their character is everything.

To have a birthright and then a Jesus to justify it, as say one Christian Denomination over another, is never to be saved, just self-appointed. The Christ-to-fit.

That this blade was made too blunt to cut, is the devil of the moderator's.

For that, I am truly, sorry. The moment of opportunity had passed.

14 January 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Dodo
"Science and knowledge are anathema under Buddhist philosophy, wouldn't you agree?"

What a set of strange ideas about Buddhism. Take a look at http://www.dalailama.com/messages/buddhism/science-at-the-crossroads

14 January 2013 at 20:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Well I guess it is not the place of a gay orthodox Jew to tell you what to believe or think, especially about the Torah. I appreciate that Jews and Christians have different views on 'the old testament' and different views within those religions, so I think explanations for you best come from your local Priest or failing that your fellow Catholics such as Dodo, OldJim and Albert.

14 January 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling

I don't know what the first reply was, but from your post above I would say 2 things :

1. I am not a "Messianic Jew", i.e. 'a Jew for Jesus', but a Jew for Judaism.

2. My parents are dead, as in dead , as in 6 foot under the ground. As in not in corporeal existence in this world.

I hope that helps.

14 January 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

seanrobsville

Well the Dali Lama has not achieved a state of peaceful tranquillity if he is restless and curious about scientific matters, now has he? Or political issues for that matter.

Tibetan Buddhism is a strange concoction based on the Northern Buddhism of India mixed with elements of Siva worship. It is much given to the use of magic formulas and to the endless repetition of sacred names, prayer-wheels, liturgy, grades of clergy etc.

Gautama would nit recognise it.

14 January 2013 at 22:43  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

Well, you didn't tell me about the ranch salad, so I am not sure how one can say you had whiskey or not...

14 January 2013 at 22:46  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"a same sex distracted Jew for Judaism."

As I said Hannah, many layers, and an opportunity missed by the moderator: Helping souls is definitely not what made his hand move to delete, but protecting from the authorities was; to cause no offence, in the guise of a Christian site.

I'll stick to parables to find the minds untainted.

For when the Inspector, and others bring in a joke and a laugh, they remove any further scrutiny, being uncomfortable, and then it's just the name calling between fine good fellows.

To shame a lowest male with your knowledge of lust of the female form, does not make you equal, it just makes them naive in comparison, and you appear to yourself, the wiser.

The pretend men of faith, and the actress.

Feast.

14 January 2013 at 22:58  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I've got to admit, all of this talk about Judaism and far eastern rationalist philosophy, reminds me of an old joke :

A Jewish man and a Chinese man were conversing. The Jewish man commented upon what a wise people the Chinese are.

"Yes," replied the Chinese man, "Our culture is over 4,000 years old. But, you Jews are a very wise people, too."

The Jewish man replied, "Yes, our culture is over 5,000 years old."

The Chinese man was incredulous, "That's impossible, he replied. Where did your people eat for a thousand years?"

14 January 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 23:06  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Hannah

Went with the French salad dressing, not Ranch - a nasty USA invention.

First whiskey poured, so I'll wish you Sláinte mhaith".

14 January 2013 at 23:11  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Kinderling,

All so noble of you, but I would suggest that Cranmer rarely deletes posts, to his credit, so you must have written something 'out there' (even for yourself). In any case if Hannah ever needed any help, then I would be confident enough to suggest that you are the last person she would turn to for that help. Just a hunch.

14 January 2013 at 23:11  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

"First whiskey poured"...

#HICK# was that? Better be careful, or Kinders will start giving you some helpful 'layers' of advice.

14 January 2013 at 23:14  
Blogger len said...

Being a' Prof' I would have thought Dawkin`s could have defined 'religion' a bit more precisely,undoubtedly some religions are 'stupid'.
Probably the most 'stupid is the Atheist religion(come on Richard Atheism is a faith based religion who`s major intent is to deify man and 'prove' the non existence of God.)

Atheism is well down the list of credible 'religions'.

14 January 2013 at 23:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Kinderling

Here is a very secret and most powerful chant passed down through generations of my family.

Tá m'árthach foluaineach lán d'eascanna

One must have a pure heart and a clear head when repeatedly chanting it in a triplet based beat pattern in 12/8 and a slow 50bpm tempo.

14 January 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

Very brave of you to have a salad. I would have thought something warm and hearty, with this cold weather, would have been more appropriate. An Irish stew or a traditional steak and Guinness pie?

14 January 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi John Magee,

I really cannot see anywhere in this thread where exactly I have accused or said anyone (Inspector included) is anti-Semitic?

In respect to your queries about gays and the Torah, I think myself and my brother have explained that time and time again to you and anyone else who listens, beginning in August of last year. Hardly our fault that you don't read them or take it in.

I think my final words to Inspector, were :

"Hi Inspector,

Well I guess it is not the place of a gay orthodox Jew to tell you what to believe or think, especially about the Torah. I appreciate that Jews and Christians have different views on 'the old testament' and different views within those religions, so I think explanations for you best come from your local Priest or failing that your fellow Catholics such as Dodo, OldJim and Albert."

14 January 2013 at 23:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

John Magee

From what you've said your father wasn't a Christian - if acceptance of the Nicene Creed is the bench-mark.

Catholics believe the Old Testament, like the New Testament, is the inspired word of God. Indeed, Jesus' teachings and His criticism of the organised Judaism of His time, can only be understood by an appreciation of the Old Testament. Furthermore, the nature of His Kingship and His coming is, for Christians, clearly foreshadowed in the Jewish Testament.

Frankly, I cannot see how one can reject the validity of the Old Testament and maintain one is a Christian.

"Isn't it possible a person can chose to believe or not believe in parts of the OT (or the NT) or even all of it and maybe disagree with things that Israel does today and still be a good and honest person and not be have to labled (sic) names they don't deserve because they are giving their honest opinion?"

Maybe - but one shouldn't claim to be a Roman Catholic. And why the clause about disagreeing with Israel? This is not a theological matter so far as the Church is concerned.



15 January 2013 at 00:24  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Dodo, Catholics are not required to believe in the entire OT. Books and sections have been excluded. Your jewish heritage and leanings blind you to these facts sometimes methinks. You cannot have it both ways . You cannot be a Catholic and Jewish.
Catholicism rejects sections of the Torah.

15 January 2013 at 00:38  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Magee...pay attention. Hannah as has been explained times ad nauseum by her brother is a jewish equivalent of a Roman vestal virgin ( not necessarily dancing about in veils although it is possible) She has a revered positon in the jewish faith by leading a life of chastity and purity abstaining from the horrors of the flesh until she dies.
I am surprised that you have not been blinded and dazzled by the shining spiritual light that emantes from her - .

15 January 2013 at 00:47  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

@ Corrigan. Why would Oxford University need to give Dawkins another professorship? His most important books are not The God Delusion but The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype, acknowledged as key texts in the study of genetics. He is a Fellow of New College and Balliol has named a prize after him.
So to claim he is "not known at all as a scientist" is just silly.

15 January 2013 at 00:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Cressida

I am not Jewish - I'm Christian. The Bible consists of canonically approved Books from both the Old and New Testaments and all are accepted as God's word.

Catholicism accepts the Church has authority to distinguish between those laws of the Torah that form part of the Old Covenant and those that are part of the New Covenant. For example, circumcision is no longer required nor is keeping Saturdays as the Sabbath. However, there is no break in theology between the Old and the New.

Christians differ in significant respects with Jews about how to understand the Torah. The Book of Genesis, for example, is interpreted very differently as are the Prophets.

I love reading the Old Testament and it makes enormous sense to me. I do accept this comes from my heritage. I also had the advantage of my father sharing the Talmud with me and highlighting the differences in interpretation.

I am a "cradle Catholic"!

15 January 2013 at 00:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 01:02  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 01:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Cressida @ 00:47 - you know you are very, very wicked but I do love you (in an agape sort of way)!

Jews have no "horror of the flesh" - this is Puritans and Calvinists and the odd Catholic. Catholic teaching seems to be we should all aspire to celibacy. Jews have no such inhibitions about sex. However, lesbianism is forbidden by Orthodox Judaism and Hannah is simply trying to follow her faith.

15 January 2013 at 01:09  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

I am glad that you enjoy the 'Old Testament' or our Torah. I have to admit, your Catholic understanding of our scriptures is similar to the baptist and anglicans i know.

But... you know I wouldn't be my good old Jewish self without remarking with a good sense of Jewish humour, so I wonder, perhaps you'd consider insuring yourself against becoming Jewish (or me becoming catholic) - two Ronnies sketch :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBRiWcqMX6M

15 January 2013 at 01:11  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

David - you mean God's Torah, surely?

You're not an insurance salesman by any chance are you?

15 January 2013 at 01:15  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

John Magee,

Sorry Buddy, but I just cannot read the bit when Hav Kav say 'Inspector you are a raving anti-Jew'. Personally I think Inspector can believe what he wants- it is up to his own to tell him if he is wrong or not in what he says. I am left to ponder whether or not you have been taking Kinder's fine mind altering drug? Let's call it 'layers'.

15 January 2013 at 01:21  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Dodo,

Yes, well, Jews, G-d, chosen people. One has to live up to Magee's expectations/fears/ sterotypes, by using the royal 'we' or rather 'our'.

No I am not an insurance salesman

As one has written before I am a businessman- investor, my most recent investment being a small, but growing Lingerie business; a depression proof business (along with undertaking, banking & food) if ever there was one.

15 January 2013 at 01:26  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Cressida,

As usual you are quite correct, in your poetic way, but the exact words to describe Hannah's situation is baalat teshuva.

15 January 2013 at 02:06  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Taking of Two Ronnies, this is my favourite. The New Sensations lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl63WxnyTc8

15 January 2013 at 02:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

David

I have some ideas about under garment fashion. With so many 'types' today, as the Inspector would say, the opportunities are great.

When I retire I shall have substantial capital to invest from the ill-gotten gains of a public servant's final salary pension scheme and the ridiculously generous lump sum. I may consult you about options at the time.

15 January 2013 at 02:18  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

1:09

What nonsense is this Dodo? Catholics aspiring to celibacy?
Not in Europe or the hot Latin countries.

Catholics are suppose to produce other Catholics (as many as possible)and use the body for the purpose for which it was intended
'faire l'amour'

'Horrors of the flesh' was said tongue in cheek. I know Jews are not sexually inhibited. I used to be married to one ( for ten years).
The idea of a celibate jew is almost impossible to contemplate..that is why they make it such a big deal if someone opts for baalat teshuva.:)

15 January 2013 at 02:24  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Just citing Pope John Paul's theology of the body, Cressida.

Celibacy within marriage is not impossible to imagine once one's Christian 'duty' is performed and children arrive. Indeed, periodic rests are recommended in order to avoid conception during the fertile periods as a method of responsible family planning and also to ensure an avoidance of lust.

I know you hot blooded Europeans are different to us Anglo-Saxons.

15 January 2013 at 02:33  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 03:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 03:15  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 03:18  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 05:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 05:37  
Blogger Tony B said...

Perhaps it's stupidity that makes you religious, and he has it the wrong way around?

15 January 2013 at 09:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

John Magee said...

"My father could have cared less about the Nicene Creed or any Christian dogma (then he was not a christian?!)....I never shared his non religious views (So he was at best, agnostic, at worst, an atheist)..He treated all peopele with respect and was the best non church going Christian (surely you mean Humanistic ATHEIST) I ever knew."

If by your explanation, all 'good' people are classied as christian, what was the point of Jesus visiting us and declaring Himself unique..John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through Me.” Notice that Jesus Himself said this, and not merely His followers. Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed that He is the only way to God.
He is not saying that He is one among many ways; He is saying that He is the one and only way. Therefore, Jesus Himself rejected the notion that all roads lead to God. There are many false ways, but only one true way. Wherever those other ways lead, they do not lead to God. Moreover, Jesus said that He Himself is the way. He did not say, as Buddha was reported to have said, “Find the way and follow it.” No, Jesus said, “I am the way. Follow me.”

In the Sermon in the Mount, Jesus had this to say: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14). All men are one of two roads. Most are on the wide road that leads to destruction, that is, eternal Hell.

Acts 4:12, Peter preached, “There is salvation in NO one else; for there is NO other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we MUST be saved.” Peter was dogmatically exclusive on Jesus being the only way to God. Notice, old boy, that he said that we “must” be saved through Jesus, not just that we “may”. Salvation by Christ is imperative. We are commanded to believe in Him. Our acts without Him are rubbish filled rags, which may impress our fellow sinners but are rejected by the Father!!

God makes it perfectly clear: “Salvation is of the Lord/Jehovah” (Jonah 2:9).

You give out thought processes that show why Ernst trusts only God's commands and Word as human reason and philosophy takes you down a road that leads to delusion and destruction for ourselves and the poor souls who hear it and believe!!

Ernst

15 January 2013 at 09:40  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Extra

But the Mohammedans say that only the Koran will lead to God, with all disbelievers sent to hell where their skins will burn off then grow again ad infinitum. Jesus was only a second rate prophet compared with Mohammed, who is the source of ultimate truth.

So what objective criteria are there to choose between Jesus and Mohammed? They can't both be right.

15 January 2013 at 10:24  
Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, Ernst @ 0940.

Mr seanrobsville @ 10.24, isn't Christ's death on the Cross sufficiently convincing?

What is the likelihood that an illiterate war-lord had the time and expertise to write or dictate the Koran in sequence within his own life-time?

15 January 2013 at 10:50  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ bluedog
"What is the likelihood that an illiterate war-lord had the time and expertise to write or dictate the Koran in sequence within his own life-time?"
...So Allah must have done it!

15 January 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Julia,

Of course Balliol named a prize in Dawkins honour; who do you think endowed it? His books are speculative at best; mostly, they're reiterations of what other scientists have proved or at least had accepted by the scientific community. His own theories (such as memes and the extended phenotype) are beyond falsification. They're just theories and will remain so. This is what I mean when I say he's not known as a scientist.

15 January 2013 at 11:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

seanrobsville said...

Dear fellow

You appear to never read what Ernst says as part of the answers are in me posts. Spare Ernst a few minutes of your time please, before lampooning him? I have stated that Modern science is based on christian metaphysics that God as revealed within the holy bible is KNOWABLE whereas other gods, pagan or otherwise are capricious and unknowable and operate under eternal cycles and establish false physics premises that make science unable to be a continuous self sustaining model of revelation and inquiry for human minds. (see my points in above post 14 January 2013 10:41 and 10:43)
It was the Christians wot dun it!!

"@ Extra

But the Mohammedans say that only the Koran will lead to God, with all disbelievers sent to hell where their skins will burn off then grow again ad infinitum." Many people and things demand our acknowledgement that they are 'The Truth' but it is for us all to see if these statements hold water? the Koran says that Jesus was not crucified and that another was somehow sneaked in or that Judas or a n other was swapped and crucified in His place. What utter tripe! Even the Atheist New Testament scholar Gerd Ludemann acknowledged, "Jesus' death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable." Gerd Ludemann, The Resurrection of Christ, pg 50.

Then we have that 'particularly critical' New Testament scholar and Jesus Seminar co-founder John Dominic Crossan who wrote, "Jesus’ death by execution under Pontius Pilate is as sure as anything historical can ever be. For, if no follower of Jesus had written anything for one hundred years after his crucifixion, we would still know about him from two authors not among his supporters. Their names are Flavius Josephus and Cornelius Tacitus...We have, in other words, not just Christian witnesses but one major Jewish and one major pagan historian who both agree on three points concerning Jesus: there was a movement, there was an execution because of that movement, but, despite that execution, there was a continuation of the movement." John Dominic Crossan, Who Killed Jesus?, pg. 5

Finally, John P. Meier wrote, "For two obvious reasons practically no one would deny the fact that Jesus was executed by crucifixion:
(1) This central event is reported or alluded to not only by the vast majority of NT authors, but also by Josephus and Tacitus...
(2) Such an embarrassing event created a major obstacle to converting Jews and Gentiles alike...that the Church struggled to overcome..." and still struggles to accomplish to this very day!!!(Ernst's likkle add on)(John P. Meier, "The Circle of the Twelve: Did It Exist during Jesus' Public Ministry?", Journal of Biblical Literature 116 [1997] p. 664-665).

The Quran - based on ONE man's revelation supposedly from God or The Bible - based on MANY (40+) witnesses of God whose words are 'their' statement, not a n others guesses 1000 years later and proven through prophesies and historical accuracy. It also details Jesus' exact words and acts to the crowds, pharisee's etc and Disciples etc.)
Jesus was only a second rate prophet compared with Mohammed, who is the source of ultimate truth. (Strewth, what miracles has Ernst missed that Mohammed accomplished as a first rate prophet..raise someone from the dead, did he, water into wine, feed 5000, calm the storm, heal the blind, sick, crippled, prophesy along similar lines of a destruction of the Jewish temple and massacre of the Jews.. do tell?))

"So what objective criteria are there to choose between Jesus and Mohammed? They can't both be right."

Do read above, it's a no brainer! Now there's a nice lad.

Ernst S Blofeld

15 January 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Dawkins

The famous "I have no answers" clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W4e4MwogLo

However, he seems to have forgotten this when he advocates.

"Your 185 Millionth Great Grandfather Was A Fish" ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbD6XzC9rqQ

Personally I hope the guy lives for at least another 100 years.

He is the best advert yet for Creationism.

Empty chair in debates, evolutionists must cringe

Phil

15 January 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

16 January 2013 at 20:08  
Blogger Ivan said...

Dawkins was allegededly a professor for the understanding of science, but about physics, chemistry or engineering he had little to say. This is clearly due to the fact that as pointed out above, he is a second-rate intellectual who is coasting on some useless work done in the 70s.

Ivan

16 January 2013 at 22:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Test

17 January 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Sorry for the test. No option to cancel above... my first attempt to comment with a galaxy iii... probably last unless I get mini keyboard. My house mini laptop is toast... literally as it smells the same when processor fried do to power problem. Memento mori.

Anyhow the inspector is on good grounds. The Torah is a document specifically intended for us jews. The "old testament " is not the Torah which includes the oral laws and rabbinical deliberations and decisions. A deep understanding of classical Hebrew Aramaics is indispensable. The Torah... relegated to "old" testament... has been used mainly to legitimize Christianity and to imply a continuity with Judaism which was severed nearly two millenia ago. Christianity is a full religion in it's own right... closer to its grecoroman and indoeuropean roots than to Judaism anyway.


Ok... that's it. No more coments for fear of loss of control and hurling this device against a brick wall... literally "bricking" this piece of....

17 January 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Alright. This is much better; hooked up my old pc to a two-ton ViewSonic monitor, a mouse the size of an Austin Mini and a tobacco stained, scotch-soaked keyboard that goes clackety-clack.

Further to your commentary, Inspector, while your position regarding the "OT" not being relevant to you as a Christian is essentially a sound one (in mine, but probably not Dodo's opinion), your second rationale, questioning miracles in the Bible is less so. Either one accept miracles as possible or not. Ridiculing the same is is the province of atheists or materialists, who apply their skepticism equally and consistently, not so much for anyone who is religious, much less a Catholic. After all, Christianity is founded on a number of miracle claims which are just as easily ridiculed as Lot's wife being turned to a pillar of salt; the virgin birth, water to wine, loaves and fishes, resurrection. Of course, the "get out of jail free" card for us theists is the position that our scriptures use aliteration, allegories and figurative rather than strictly literal means of communicating to us and that "card" is available to all religions and denominations.

17 January 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Avi,

To clarify I was using 'Torah' in the narrowest of senses as being the first 5 books of the written Torah/Tanakh in the comments above, given that we were discussing creation and 'the old testament'.

I think I did venture to discuss the Oral law and got a few Talmud quotes shoved at me, which (surprise, surprise) were phrased to be portrayed in a negative fashion.

However, John, I trust that this would provide a reply to you, because as said before, when discussing homosexuality, Judaism is more than a sola scripture version of the Old Testament... but because you see that as the primary and only document within our faith, you feel that I am a 'Cafeteria Jew'... actually 'espresso Jew' sounds rather better, don't you think?

In any case, I do have to pinch myself sometimes, because I see myself as a right of centre, socially conservative, free market enterprise, climate change 'denier', Eurosceptic,Orthodox Jew, until I log onto here and realise that in comparison I am actually more like a fluffy, liberal, tree hugger...

17 January 2013 at 18:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That’s the ticket Avi, agreeing like that with the Inspector on the OT. He’ll go even further and say that in 2000 years, inclusion of the OT in Christianity to the level it has been, which by it’s nature portrays Jews as disobedient in rejecting the Christ, is a disgrace. Of course, the real story is that the Jews had first refusal on Christ. One hazards a guess and puts more than 50% of anti Semitism through the ages on this teaching, and for that reason alone the position of the OT needs to be reviewed. The Jews should have been left alone, and Christians should not read about a God which is, well frankly, alien to the same as portrayed by Christ and the NT.

On the subject of Lot’s wife, the point being made is that a natural occurrence, most likely a paralysing stroke, has been elevated to that of a miraculous vindictive act from the afore mentioned God, whom would have this grown man cowering behind a sofa on the merest hit that he would manifest himself in some immediate and undisclosed manner to humanity.

One hopes he has now made himself clear....

Cheery pip old friend.

17 January 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

{AHEM} for ‘hit’ read ‘hint’. But in all seriousness, turning your man’s wife into a pillar of salt is worse than pulling the wings off flies, don’t you think ?

17 January 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Poor old Inspector,

All of a quiver behind the sofa.

17 January 2013 at 21:09  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Avi,

We were all wondering why you hadn't posted recently. Glad to see it is just because of computer errors.

17 January 2013 at 21:10  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 January 2013 at 22:47  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Ah Avi and Inspector,

Thank you for your warm wishes on the thread that has now gone onto the other page. I am keeping well.

It seems to me that when one discusses the old testament as the written Torah, one must be mindful that Christians and Jews interpret it all in different ways.

I would say that from a Christian viewpoint, Avi is quite correct in that much of the commandments are for the Jewish people to follow, we do not have the oral law in our pantheon of books, as Christians are not specifically told to follow the Halakha & the 613 commandments, including the food laws and being circumcised (although a few Christians still do these, they do of course have different meanings).

That aside, I say that there are many excellent parts to the whole - the Psalms, Solomon's wisdom , the magisterial explanation of creation and of course the Prophets (which to Christians eyes foreshadow the coming of Jesus).

Although I have to say that I find the Rabbinical Jewish interpretations, the Talmud and Mishnah, 'the oral law', and Jewish philosophy in general quite helpful (once one has mastered the 'lingo').

And in any case, having a Jewish side of the family, does alter my view on these things, so I have, for instance, more or less conformed to the Kosher food laws (despite being a gentile) for many years.

In respect to the ant-semitism, this doesn't come from the old testament, but rather the interpretations (unfortunately) by Christians in the past, from parts of the new testament and stupid blood libels and the generally disgraceful treatment Jewish people during Europe's history and today that continues, despite the horrors of the past, notably by the far right, islamic extremists and tin-pot, crack pot conspiracy theorists, who deserve to be treated with contempt.

This sort of disgraceful nonsense is just that and it is something that I think the Church is called to repent of, to speak out for Jews against the resurgent anti-semitism here and in Europe, and to gain a deeper understanding of the faith of our fellow Jewish brothers and sisters and of course to follow the commandments to love God and neighbour as ourselves.

17 January 2013 at 22:50  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Ah, John Magee,

I did look at the pictures you posted on your page, a very nice part of America I must say. Reminds me of Derbyshire.

17 January 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good to see you up and about, that man Lavendon. The Inspector will digest your words in due course...

17 January 2013 at 23:05  
Blogger John Magee said...

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18 January 2013 at 05:40  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 January 2013 at 05:48  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 January 2013 at 05:57  
Blogger John Magee said...

Lord lavendon

Good to see you back in this den of iniquity. :O)

Where have you been?

Did you click on pics in the series as instructed under the 1st photo? The upper left one in the group has several "hiding" behind it. So do the others

18 January 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Avi said ...

"The Torah is a document specifically intended for us jews. The "old testament " is not the Torah which includes the oral laws and rabbinical deliberations and decisions. A deep understanding of classical Hebrew Aramaics is indispensable. The Torah... relegated to "old" testament... has been used mainly to legitimize Christianity and to imply a continuity with Judaism which was severed nearly two millenia ago. Christianity is a full religion in it's own right... closer to its grecoroman and indoeuropean roots than to Judaism anyway."

There is so much wrong with this that I don't know where to begin.

So I wont!

Just take it from me that no Christian would accept any of this.

18 January 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

John Magee

I have been on my back following an operation, from which I have been recovering.

20 January 2013 at 12:42  

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