Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vicar keeps job after conversion to Hinduism

The Evangelical Alliance has today published its report into its thoughts on the next Coronation, and has concluded that Prince Charles (or King George VII, as he will be known) may not be defender of all faiths; the Christian religion must remain pre-eminent (though they do not specify the ‘Protestant, reformed religion’ presently demanded). In this, they are joined by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who is having none of this 'multi-cultural' nonsense, and insists that all faiths cannot be defended because of the serious differences between them.

They are, however, differences with which the Church of England has increasingly little problem. One priest, the Rev David Hart, a convert to Hinduism, has been allowed to continue to officiate as a cleric. His diocese renewed his licence even though he had moved to India, changed his name to Ananda (Sanskrit for ‘happiness'), and participates daily in pagan fire offerings to the snake god Nagar, and offers prayers to the elephant god Ganesh. He also offers namaaz at Muslim prayer halls. He sees no contradiction between these practices and his duties as an Anglican priest; he said he will officiate in a Christian church and a Hindu temple because ‘My philosophical position is that all religions are cultural constructs… The modern world is no longer dominated by any single form of belief. It is a world of religious pluralism. The Anglican Church firmly believes in engaging itself fully in inter-faith dialogues. God is the same irrespective of whether you pray to him in a temple, church or mosque.’

Unfortunately, Mr Hart does not appear to understand the difference between inter-faith dialogue and inter-faith worship. As an active member of the Sea of Faith Network (need Cranmer say more?), he embraces the ‘spiritual’; there is no dogma, no orthodoxy, no truth; everything is what one wishes to make of it. He is therefore simultaneously a Hindu and a Christian; a Sikh and a Muslim; a Jew and a Buddhist; there is no difference. Quite where one is supposed to start with this absurd affirmation is not known; it requires numerous theses, not a blog entry. Does he actually believe Ganesh to be a real, divine entity? If so, do he and Jesus get along? Or is Ganesh just Jesus in an elephant suit? Or are Jesus and Ganesh actually something else: one disguised as a first century Jew, the other disguised as a large proboscidean?

The Rev Hart has reduced Jesus to simple manhood, rejecting his soteriological claims and the orthodox teaching of the Church of England. He is leading his flock astray in asserting that the laws of karma are synonymous with belief in judgement, heaven and hell, or that reincarnation is the same as resurrection. Hinduism is incompatible with the Christian religion, and the Church of England is wrong to permit this man to remain in holy orders. His acceptance is, however, indicative of the Church's likely approach to the next Coronation, where the promise to be 'Defender of Faith' is the most likely oath that will be presented to the Monarch. Such a development may put many in sympathy with today's Times, which makes a case for disestablishment as the only antidote to the infectious multi-cultural, multi-faith demands:

The CofE may be benign but its establishment encourages other, more extreme, religious groups to demand the same privileges, rights and favours of the state. The only equitable answer, say the secularists, is to turn the way of France and America and cleanse public life of all contact with faith and superstition.

Ahhh... that old chestnut...

74 Comments:

Anonymous Lena Mouse said...

I despair. The CofE has lost the plot. Can you imagine an imam who converted to Christianity being allowed to carry on preaching in a mosque? Or a rabbi who converted to Buddhism being allowed to continue in a synagogue? Only the CofE could permit such a theological fudge. If disestablishment doesn't come at the behest of HM Government, it is in danger of disestablishing itself by making itself an irrelevant sideshow. If it doesn't upohld its traditional teachings, what is it for?

22 October 2006 12:18  
Anonymous vikki said...

Does it not show how far the CoE will go to promote baal worship....all apostate Clerics should be disrobed and....the temple....consecrated! If God be God let him be God!

22 October 2006 12:40  
Anonymous Colin said...

Prince Charles might only want to save his job in an increasingly multicultural society.

Christian religion isn't superstition at all. Virgin birth and conception is possible using in vitro fertilization (IVF).

22 October 2006 13:30  
Anonymous Colin said...

"....all apostate Clerics should be disrobed and....the temple....consecrated! If God be God let him be God!"

Precisely! And the All Mighty God might do the job himself saving us a lot of trouble.

22 October 2006 13:34  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I do not despair of the C of E. It is like the curate's egg. It needs cleansing.........but it has made a real mess of its appointments for the Canterbury post over the past several years.

The C of E is a non-evangelising church which has conditioned itself to being rather like a Closed-End Mutual Fund in run-off. It does not work particularly hard to recruit new members to the Faith as opposed to acting like the local multiplex in putting bums on seats by showing the movies most in vogue.

Rather like Education itself which was a verb "to bring out" it has become Entertainment with no mental effort beyond the relaxed complacency of current knowledge - so too is the C of E.

There is such a debased level of Christian theological understanding in most parishes it is painful. When I suggested watching The Passion of The Christ one Church Sidesman told me it was "too violent and bloody" for him.................I suppose it was for Jesus of Nazareth too !

If the Church has reduced itself to a group of people who feel good about each other in a soporific sentimental live-and-let-live sort of way, I wonder whether the Atheism is coming from the Church infused into its half-hearted parishioners.

I recall asking a woman priest why she adulterated the BCP Service by not reciting "save all Christian Kings" but omitting the word "Christian". Her comment was that we blessed all kings...........to which my curt response was that it was the only place I could come to worship "Christ" and I should prefer to do so rather than implore God to protect and save the King of Saudi Arabia.

It is intellectual laziness and a disbelief in their function. No wonder the C of E has become feminised with the flotsam and jetsam of society who cannot do much beyond play victim. It seems no place for leadership to be displayed or developed

22 October 2006 13:50  
Blogger istanbultory said...

The CofE has most certainly lost the plot. The Vatican has not. They will be looking on the latest debacle with wry amusement.
I recall Alan Watts (1915-73), counter-culture hero of 1960s West Coast America, who was ordained as an Episcopalian priest in 1945 when he was already a Buddhist. He often said proclaimed his wish to serve as a bridge between the ancient and the modern, between East and West, and between culture and nature. Hmmmm....

22 October 2006 14:26  
Blogger dearieme said...

"its establishment encourages other, more extreme, religious groups to demand the same privileges, rights and favours of the state": even the other Established Church of this realm has spent 300 years carefully not demanding equivalent privileges.

22 October 2006 15:18  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

If all faiths are of equal value does this mean the COE would allow a Satanist to be ordained as a priest?
It can only be a matter of time before this happens.
The only reason for the continued existance of the COE is to conserve some rather nice old buildings , many stolen from the catholic church and to provide a home for a bunch sandal wearing beardy weirdies,Think of a marriage between the national trust and the LibDems and thats the COE for you.

22 October 2006 15:46  
Anonymous G Eagle said...

Your Grace

It is interesting to contrast :

1. the readiness of the Bishop of Ely to renew the Licence of Ananda (also known as Mr Hart), with his minimal Christian beliefs;

with

2. the Oxford Ecclesiarchs' rejection of the ordination of Mr Howard Jnr, who (horribile dictu) actually believes in Christianity

There seems to be a total absence of any accountability on the part of Bishops/Archdeacons - under their ineffectual leadership, the C of E is going into numerical melt=down, as Congregations dwindle to vanishing point ... and yet they retain their ecclesiastical positions & power

The answer of course lies in the hands of the Christian people of Ely Diocese - they can and they should ensure that their generous=hearted and sacrificial giving can no longer be used to pay Diocesan Quota

I have the honour to remain, in Christ, your Grace's obedient servant and
with best wishes

G Eagle

22 October 2006 16:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The real question is why England needs 119 Bishops in an era of motorised transport, telephone, Email, fax, and TV when in the Victorian era it had around half that number.

Why the country needs more than two bishops per county astonishes me, and why there are so many cathedrals in places like Bradford (1919) which is about the same size as Halifax Parish Church.

The problem with the Church is the overhead that sees congregations burdened with diocesan levies which amount to little more than the Church emulated Central Govt

22 October 2006 18:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Church_of_England_bishops

69 Suffragan Bishops is a surfeit, yet the C of E proposes women bishops when it is questionable whether the C of E should have more than 20 Bishops in total

With each Bishop having a budget of £160.000 annually it is quite an expense for congregations to bear as a levy

n 1900 there were recorded 57 bishops and 24,000 clergy. However, over the past 100 years this number that risen to the current day figure of 110 bishops, 9,000 full-time clergy, and 9,000 other clergy and licensed lay persons.

22 October 2006 18:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

"With each Bishop having a budget of £160.000 annually"

But His Grace doesn't earn that much and he shares half of his salary with the poor because Jesus said according to Matthew 19

"19 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

20 The young man said to him, "All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?"

21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.

23 Jesus said to his disciples, "Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.

24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."


In the Middle Ages, people said "priests preach water and drink wine". Fortunately, we now know that water is healthier than wine.

22 October 2006 23:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

No The Bishop does not earn that - that is what it costs to run a Bishop's Office - a Bishop probably earns £50.000

23 October 2006 06:47  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Do they earn it? What do they do for their money? If they go to the Lords, they get even more money in 'expenses'. It's time to re-think this. If they are supposed to be the directors of the company, it's not doing great on the stock market - its investors are leaving it in droves, and its product is in decline. Sounds like it's ripe for a takeover bid. Islam, anyone?

23 October 2006 10:01  
Anonymous g eagle esq said...

'
Dear Ulster Man

Surely the C of E is ripe for a take-over by the Christian People of God

We do not have to put up with the sub-Christian & anti-Christian conduct of these Ecclesiarchs

Through the payment (or rather non-payment) of Diocesan Contributions, the Christian People of God in the Parishes can demand that these Ecclesiarchs either reform the Church or make way for people (like Mr Howard Jnr) who are going to reform the Church

In Christ, Your obedient servant etc

G Eagle

23 October 2006 10:59  
Anonymous Voyager said...

If they are supposed to be the directors of the company,

That is what they think they are but are not...........their role is as a supervisory priest only and not as some Church bureaucrat which is the source of decline and ossification..............the Church should not be a status-ridden hierarchy since the Head of The Church is immortal.........they are supposed to be a community of Believers based on individual congregations..............somewhere since ignored sinvce Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Baron Fisher of Lambeth went on his internal reorganisation binge and ignored evangelism


Fisher retired in 1961. He advised the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, that he did not consider Michael Ramsey, who had been his pupil at Repton, as a suitable successor. Ramsay later relayed to the Reverend Victor Stock the conversation Fisher had with the Prime Minister: Fisher said, "I have come to give you some advice about my successor. Whoever you choose, under no account must it be Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of York. Dr Ramsey is a theologian, a scholar and a man of prayer. Therefore, he is entirely unsuitable as Archbishop of Canterbury. I have known him all my life. I was his Headmaster at Repton", to which Macmillan memorably replied, "Thank you, your Grace, for your kind advice. You may have been Doctor Ramsey's headmaster, but you were not mine."

23 October 2006 11:12  
Anonymous Colin said...

"a Bishop probably earns £50.000"

Do Anglican priests get paied while still studying theology at the university or do they obtain free housing in addition to their considerable salary like their protestant colleagues in Germany?

Anyhow, who much would they earn if they would have to sell their services on the free market?

That's why they claim that Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor [i.e. to the Church], and you will have treasure in heaven" This idea made the Church so rich and powerful that it is hardly surprising that others played the same trick on the populace. They simply substituted Church for State and heaven for "social justice".

Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant Christianism, and its secular versions, i.e. communism, socialism, welfarism, and multiculturalism are different sects of the same basic Christian belief expressed in Matthew 19: “"Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Without this Christian ideology, no communism, no socialism and no welfarism. And without the welfare state, European civilization (i.e. our freedom) wouldn’t be threatened by an invasion of poor rent-seeking individuals from other civilizations. Christian ideology is not the solution as proposed by the Pope and by others but the cause of the mess Europe is in today.

Despite this sober analysis, I personally like many priests. They often have very pleasant and kind personalities. The same is true in regard to the often highly idealistic priests of secular Christianism, i.e. leftists, social workers, psychoanalysts etc. In my view, it is important to differentiate between the mostly honest believers in any religion (i.e. utopia) and the often disastrous long-term effects of unrelenting attempts to implement utopia.

23 October 2006 12:49  
Anonymous Reclaimer said...

So in the CofE's eagerness to tolerate every other belief and alternative lifestyle on this planet it forgot to tolerate itself. And then many of its clerics forgot about the Christian faith. It seems that they have now lost their way, they dabble in everything but believe in nothing.
In God's name, what do they think they were originally members of the CofE for? Is this Satan at work ? And getting paid for it!

We, the laity, need the will to shake off this shambles and reclaim the CofE.

23 October 2006 13:21  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Collin
the Pope wears Prada!

23 October 2006 14:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin it is impossible to discuss with you since you refute the premise. Since you deny Christianity there is no point in discussing Church or religion with you - it becomes nonsensical

23 October 2006 14:16  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

Voyager
You pick on Colin but overlook the fact that our host Cranmer is not a true Christian , he does not believe in life after death, infact he sees death as a "void" a "nothingness" yet you still choose to debate with him. Why single out Colin ?

23 October 2006 17:13  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter Hitchens,

You do talk a lot of nonsense. If you bother to read accurately what His Grace wrote in the context of the passing of his good friend, Lord Harris, you will observe his feeling that death leaves a void; that the absence of one's friend leaves one with a feeling of emptiness (His Grace never said 'nothingness', so placing it in quotation marks is a manifest misrepresentation).

And if you bothered to place your ad hoc words in context, you would find His Grace's closing statement:

"When those who know the Lord depart this life, our tears are for ourselves."

Quite how you move from this to an assertion that His Grace does not believe in life after death is a mystery.

23 October 2006 17:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Why single out Colin ?

It is the usual way I respond to his comment...........if you used a rifle rather than a scattergun you might see the advantages of responding to statements

23 October 2006 17:46  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

"Your grace" the words you actually used were...
the suggestion that 'death is nothing at all', is no comfort; indeed, it is a deception, because the event is seismic. The void, the emptiness, the acknowledgement of the reality that one shall never laugh with him, debate with him, smell his pipe..
If you did truly believe then death should be nothing. The death of a friend is a temporary parting , and one day you will laugh and debate with him again ,and in the meantime, if you allow yourself, You can still converse with him.

23 October 2006 19:00  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter Hitchens,

As loath as one may be to wish bereavement upon anyone, I can only hope that any experience of it that befalls you may render your heart more compassionate and your words more healing.

His Grace did not say death was 'nothingness', as you placed in quotation marks. And, once again, you omit mention of the final lines previously quoted. That death may be a temporary parting is an intellectual assent to which the emotions are not always in submission.

If, however, you are devoid of the latter, that would explain your puerile assertions.

23 October 2006 19:24  
Anonymous Colin said...

That's beautiful,Voyager, I love your point because it proves the similarities among different belief systems.

You claimed "Since you deny Christianity there is no point in discussing Church or religion with you - it becomes nonsensical" That's a very impressive intellectual statement. I am in awe. In other words, you are saying it is a matter of believing not of believing.

The same claim is employed by economic and cultural Marxists. When they are confronted with the logical consequences of their premises, they claim that logic cannot be applied because it is class-dependent or socially constructed. Similarily, the Nazis talked about race-dependent logic.

Inevitably, if reality contradicts the belief system, reality and dissenters have to be suppressed. Christian Churches killed dissenters (e.g Archbishop Cranmer was burned). Nazis killed dissenters in concentration camps and economic Marxists did it in Gulags. Cultural Marxists attempt to suppress reality and dissenters by political correctness.

William S. Lind has an excellent description in "Political Correctness:" A Short History of an Ideology: "As Russel Kirk wrote, one of conservatism's most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, "This system must be true." Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system. Therefore, reality must be suppressed. If the ideology has power, it uses its power to undertake the suppression. It forbids writing or speaking certain facts. Its goal is to prevent not only expression of thoughts that contradict what "must be true", but thinking such thoughts. In the end, the result is inevitably the concentration camp, the gulag and the grave." An ideology is a set of interrelated ideas such as e.g. Christianism.

Voyager, you claim the premise is Christian religion and therefore we cannot talk about Christian religion. Then, how can you criticize other religions or ideologies such e.g. Islam and multiculturalism? Their believers can equally claim that "since you deny Islam or multiculturalism there is no point in discussing religion or the progressivist EU with you - it becomes nonsensical." With such a nonsensical argument we abandon human logic altogether.

Voyager, I do not mind at all that you believe whatever you like. However, if we cannot apply logic in our discussion, nothing is left to discuss. The basic premise of the Christianism has always been "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." My thesis is that talking and acting differ - not in true Christians - but in its organization called Church. The riches of the Christian Churches - i.e. their cathedrals, estates, universities, treasures of art - have not been accumulated by adhering to the central Christian dogma "You shall love your neighbor as yourself". Similar to the palaces of the aristocracy, the peasants had to work hard to provide noblemen and priests the life style they enjoyed and still are enjoying today. Thanks, Peter, for informing us that the Pope wears Prada! Voyager, how many of the Christian populace are wearing Prada?

If your logic fails, Voyager, simply as a gun-loving Christian use your rifle (re. your comment above) to prove your point that Christianism is about "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

23 October 2006 19:28  
Anonymous Colin said...

Correction of the 3rd line: "you are saying it is a matter of believing not of logic."

23 October 2006 19:30  
Anonymous g eagle esq said...

'
Your Grace

I hope that your Grace will forgive my expressing sympathy for your Loss, so belatedly and so inadequately ... and so impertinently .... words are so empty on these occasions

It is interesting that, at Lazarus's funeral, the Good Lord wept real & public tears

Jesus was driven to weep, even though he knew that Lazarus would be resurrected and that right soon

We frail human beings (& Eagles) are not above our Master

Your Grace (and in another place our friend Mr Dale) should not be surprised and you have no need to explain that you (& Ian) should feel the very same sorrow, which Jesus felt & shewed at the death of his Friend

I am sorry not to give a better response to the ever-incisive & often entertaining Mr Hitchens ... but I wonder if he is seeing the wood but rather missing the trees

Perhaps he could profitably reconsider his expressions

In Christ, your obedient servant etc

G Eagle

23 October 2006 20:02  
Anonymous Colin said...

"The Evangelical Alliance has today published its report into its thoughts on the next Coronation, and has concluded that Prince Charles (or King George VII, as he will be known) may not be defender of all faiths; the Christian religion must remain pre-eminent"

Economic history demonstrates that monopolists always attempted to use the power of the state for fighting competition at home by giving a variety of reasons. However, monopolists never applied the same reasoning to other countries.

In regard to the Christian Churches, Arun Shourie, an Indian journalist, has an interesting article about Christian missionaries in India:

"The Church had but to get established and it became obsessed with numbers -- with the number of souls it had, to use the term so favoured by churchmen, "harvested" for Jesus. Numbers remain its singular obsession today. The impulse is not just its own history in this regard. The impulse is not just its character -- it is, after all, primarily an organization, and therefore like all organizations it is obsessed with its market-share. To a very large extent, the impulse is commercial. The Church is big business. Evangelization is big business. And this business depends on that "harvesting" of souls. You just have to scan American church publications, or those of Europe, to see that one of the main grounds on which believers are induced to donate funds to the church is that the money is needed for the harvesting work."

Naturally, Hindu priests wanting defend their own monopoly are fighting back. The website Christianaggression lists common tactics employed by missionaries to convert others to the Christian Faith: Charitable Allurement, Deception, Lies & Deceit, Educational Indoctrination, Medical Care, Sexual Abuse, and Violence.

Cultural Marxists seem to have adopted several tactics from Christian missionaries, e.g. Charitable Allurement and the use of Guilt & Accusations.

In regard to Charitable Allurement, "Most Missionary organizations disguise their conversion efforts as charity organization. Often in the press, we hear about “faith-based initiatives” but that is just a euphemism for aggressive and violent conversion organizations. In the Western media, Missionaries are portrayed as true saviors who feed the hungry and nurse the sick. However, Missionaries do not do this for the good of humanity, but instead to convert people to Christianity. Missionaries have also decided to target the poorest for conversions, not because they are the neediest, but rather, because they can be easily bribed into changing their faith"

And suddenly we understand why Cultural Marxists have abandonned the Western working class and are flooding the West with the poorest of the world. The missionaries of Cultural Marxism have decided to target the poorest for conversions, because they think that the poorest can be more easily bribed by welfare benefits into changing their faith.

The tactic of Guilt & Accusations by Christian missionaries is also enlightening: "In 1975, Christian Missionaries were unsuccessful in converting the Panare Native Americans of the Colorado Valley. The missionaries had converted the Bible to their native language, but the peaceful and simple tribe could not understand the concepts of sin, guilt, war and plagues. So instead, the missionaries changed the Bible so that instead of the Romans and others, the Panare were responsible for the death of Jesus. One excerpt read:

”The Panare killed Jesus Christ, because they were wicked. Let's kill Jesus Christ, said the Panare. The Panare seized Jesus Christ. The Panare killed in this way. The laid a cross on the ground. They fastened his hands and his feet against the wooden beams, with nails. They raised him straight up, nailed. The man died like that, nailed. Thus the Panare killed Jesus Christ…

God will burn you all, burn all the animals, burn also the earth, the heavens, absolutely everything. He will burn also the Panare themselves. God will exterminate the Panare by throwing them on the fire. It is a huge fire. I am going to hurl the Panare into the fire, said God.”

And the simplistic Panare tribe immediately claimed they loved Jesus, fearing they would be burnt by God. Missionaries seem to go to any extent to convert others, even if it requires gross deception and misrepresentation of their own holy book, the Bible will for the benefit of “winning souls”."


And suddenly we understand why the missionaries of Cultural Marxism constantly induce the feeling of guilt in Westerners for all sorts of alleged or historic crimes such as colonialism, fascism, racism, homophobia, islamophobia, global warming etc. while turning a blind eye on the same phenomena in other cultures. They want that simplistic Westerners claim they love Cultural Marxism, fearing they would be burnt by the forces of history or by an environmental apocalypse.

23 October 2006 20:14  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 October 2006 20:36  
Anonymous peter hitchen's schlong said...

Mr. Hitchens,
You've gone all Mission Impossible...

23 October 2006 21:21  
Anonymous Colin said...

Peter,

"to which the emotions are not always in submission.

If, however, you are devoid of the latter,"


I might be wrong but it sounds to me like an attempt to make you feel guilty instead of using logic for refusal.

And logic tells me that Hinduism is a more benevolent religion than Christianism because the former is more tolerant and less violent than the latter. Hindus accept about 1000 Gods, each with its own priests and places of worship. They live and let live. Hindus don't seem to kill each other for one God more or less.

However, monotheists claim a monopoly. And a monopolist cannot accept competition. Therefore, Richard Dawkins conclusion is logically consistent, i.e. "To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used."

We have seen and still are seeing the consequences of montheism since its invention 2,500 years ago. (BTW, these are only 1.9 % of the time passed since Homo sapiens sapiens came into existence about 130,000 years ago.)

I am surprised about His Grace's disrespect for other religions and cultures than his own as demonstrated by his contempt for Hinduism: "participates daily in pagan fire offerings to the snake god Nagar, and offers prayers to the elephant god Ganesh. He also offers namaaz at Muslim prayer halls."

It is understandable that His Grace is unhappy with Islamism because the latter seem to have embarked on a strategy of conquest for world dominance. However, Hinduism doesn't look like a threat to world peace or to His Grace's personal life. To me, His Grace's verbal attacks on Hinduism appear disgraceful and incompatible with his claims to respresent a religion of peace.

23 October 2006 21:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

You claimed "Since you deny Christianity there is no point in discussing Church or religion with you - it becomes nonsensical" That's a very impressive intellectual statement. I am in awe. In other words, you are saying it is a matter of believing not of believing.

Oh Colin I fear you must improve your arguments. All religions are Belief Systems and are Synthetic A Priori. If you look at your last sentence you will see even you have slipped into tautology.

As for Marxism, it is a Belief System but one which claims to be Scientific, ergo it must be provable by Scientific Method in its Predictive Capacity...........could you tell me which predictions have been validated from Marxist Theory ?

You quote the "Love Your Neighbour" statement which shows you are weak theologically. Jesus made two Statements which are in essence the summation of the 10 Commandments of The Old Testament - his First was "Honour The Lord Thy God"

—Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment,

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


MATT. 22.37-39.

You omit the First because you try to make the predicate clause a Secular Humanist one. A very obvious deceit. Indeed the phrases are from Leviticus 19:18

Indeed the "neighbour" you refer to is not the universalist quantifier you assume but refers specifically to other members of the congregation. You see in your time the notion of Jews following Christ being a subset within the synagogue - and Christians worshipped in the Synagogue until 70 years after the death of Christ - and the Sabbath was on Saturday until the Romans moved it to Sunday.

So in fact what you are quoting is Jewish Belief - the first statement represents Commandments 1-5 which refer to GOd and the second statement about the Neighbour refers to Commandments 6-10 which are

5. Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.


The word "neighbour" as used by Christ comes from the Greek word: plesion . It is used eight times by Luke, Paul and James. As you will see, in six of those verses the word neighbour and brother or brethren were parallel in meaning.


You see Colin Christianity in the debased form you are familiar with is meaningless. It is actually a closed system and not "inclusive". It is based upon the concepts of Grace and Election - it is for those chosen not just anyone.

The basis of Christianity is Belief in The One True God - without that there can be no understanding. There is no "proof" it is Faith.

You really should read some Calvin or Luther.

23 October 2006 21:45  
Anonymous Lena Mouse said...

participates daily in pagan fire offerings to the snake god Nagar, and offers prayers to the elephant god Ganesh.

This is a statement of fact - it is their practice, Colin, not an insult. I doubt any Hindu would be offended by Cranmer's words, only someone out to look for offence, like you or Peter Hitchens.

This debate is important because the CofE is intent on ruining itself by confusing its members (and those outside!) by polytheistic pagan practices (how's that for aliteration!). The more it does this, the more it's asking for another reformation, or an external takeover. How many churches are becoming temples or mosques?

And Christianity is inclusive - Jesus recognised this and Paul articulated it - 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or master, male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus'. That is inclusiveness, Voyager, however it has been perverted in the past.

23 October 2006 22:08  
Anonymous g eagle esq said...

Dear Colin

We have greatly enjoyed your though-provoking comments - this Eagle is sorry not to be able to give you the detailed consideration which they deserve, but I hope you and his Grace will permit me some superficial observations :

1. You seem to have a great confidence in "logic" but am I right to suspect that this confidence is not founded on logic, but rather on pre-logical commitments

2. Is it fair or logical to dismiss all monotheism including Jesus because some monotheists are so obnoxious ?

3. What if Monotheism is true and Jesus is the one God's Son, come to Earth to save a sinful & troubled humanity (including you), how logically would this change your Life

Your & his Grace's obedient servant etc

G Eagle

23 October 2006 22:55  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Ganesh is the patron god of both librarianship and er, 'greek' practices, as a friend given to both liked pointing out.

23 October 2006 23:01  
Anonymous Colin said...

Oh voyager!

To disprove me, you wrote "The basis of Christianity is Belief in The One True God - without that there can be no understanding. There is no "proof" it is Faith."

That was precisely my point. See the correction of my typo at my 7:30 PM posting. Here again: "you are saying it is a matter of believing not of logic." Believing = Faith, isn't it?

Furthermore, I demonstrated that other Belief Systems employ the same strategy that we have to believe it because a supernatural force told us so, i.e. God said (in the case of Christianism), History said (in the case of Marxism), and since history is supposedly decided by God according to the Christian belief, how do we know that Marx didn't also receive a revelation?

You stated: "you are weak theologically"

I can read the Bible which represents God's or Jesus' words. The rest of Christianism is interpretation which might be wrong. And according to Matthew
Chapter 19, 9, Jesus said: "I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." And in the 7th of his commandments God said: "Thou shalt not commit adultery.". In other words, whoever divorces his wife commits a sin against the commandment of God and should be punished.

Thus, when Henry VIII divorced his wife and married another woman who was already pregnant, he committed adultery and sinned against God's 7th commandment. The historical Cranmer helped him by reinterpreting God's words according to the king's desires and as an reward for helping him sinning was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury three months after the marriage of Henry VIII with his next wife. That was the beginning of the Anglican Church, i.e. a priest helping a tyrannical king to sin against God's commands. But God proved that he is allmighty and punished Archbishop Cranmer by burning him at the stake. Should we now all become Catholics again?

Voyager, you claimed "Christianity.. is actually a closed system and not "inclusive". It is based upon the concepts of Grace and Election - it is for those chosen not just anyone."

Then why are you complaining about Islam which also is a closed system and not "inclusive" and is for those chosen not just anyone. Does the Christian concept of Grace and Election also include the license to kill heretics such as Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and infidels such as Christians killing pagans according to The Archaeology of Religious Hatred?

Dear G Eagle Esq,

Thank you for your kind comment:

"What if Monotheism is true and Jesus is the one God's Son, come to Earth to save a sinful & troubled humanity (including you), how logically would this change your Life."

Admittingly, it would change my Life and I would be more than happy about it. Meanwhile, I am already happy if people don't kill each other. That's the reason why I don't like that people preach hatred.

23 October 2006 23:12  
Blogger Peter Hitchens said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

23 October 2006 23:26  
Anonymous Voyager said...

'There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or master, male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus'.

That Lena Mose refers to a debate as to whether Christians should be circumcised - you will note that is not something affecting women - but was the issue as to whether it was a requirement for circumcision in line with Mosaic Law. Again a modern spin has been put on the words of the Roan Jew Saul of Tarsus.


Colin - you should recall the issue with Henry VIII. He had married the widow of his deceased brother Arthur which the King of Spain willed and was against Canon Law.

The King of Spain maintained it was an unconsummated marriage and ergo invalid. Henry VIII wanted rid of Katherine because she could not bear him a son and claimed in fact that the marriage was invalid because she had in fact been his brother's wife.

The Pope acceeded to this request and sent a Papal Nuncio to London - however Katherine contacted her nephews Charles V who was The Holy Roman Emperor and was besieging The Pope.............the Pope complied with Charles V and recalled the Nuncio.

The issue was now whether England was subject to the writ of the Holy Roman Emperor.

You fail to comprehend "Grace" and "Election" which do not apply in the way you imagine. It is The GRACE of God, and God who ELECTS..................if you think it was God's Will that Cranmer and Ridley be burned just as it was Adonai who determined Jesus Christ should be crucified then that is your thesis

24 October 2006 06:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Then why are you complaining about Islam which also is a closed system and not "inclusive" and is for those chosen not just anyone

I worry Colin that you cannot work this ouit for yourself. Islam is a Materialist "Religion" - it is a Political Doctrine - The Taleban are the expression of Islam on Earth and Afghanistan was its showcase.

The Bible does not ban music, it does not lay down taxation policies, it does not urge the telling of lies to outsiders. Islam is a political doctrine just as much as Marxism-Leninism - it is monopolistic and accepts no other Belief System at all.

You must read more on Islam - try Robert Spencer's book or similar. You seem to have no grasp of the differences between Islam and Christianity beyond the very superficial and it would be wise to gain greater insight before you repeat statements of the obvious that Religion Belief is a closed system................so by the way is Quantum Mechanics

24 October 2006 06:49  
Anonymous Voyager said...

and since history is supposedly decided by God according to the Christian belief,

Untrue......that is Islam......Islam is Fatalistic but Christianity has never been Deterministic otherwise Revelation would not be written as it is

Did you get taught Comparative Religion ? It is all a little jumbled

24 October 2006 07:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christianism.

WE speak of Christianity

24 October 2006 07:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Lena Mouse: Galataians 3:28

22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.


Read Verse 28 together with Verse 29 which shows that Non-Jews can come within the scope of the Covenant with Abraham through Christ


Galatians 5

2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.



Circumcision is the basis of the Mosaic Covenant but Jesus transcends circumcision with Faith


Galatians 6

11Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

12As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

13For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

14But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

15For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.


9

24 October 2006 07:17  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

How can Paul's reference to there being no Jew/Greek, slave/master, male/female, be a reference to circumcision?

While the context indicates that was what started the discussion, he clearly moves it beyond that when he includes male/female. Jews are not known for female genital mutilation - that's a Muslim thing, and only parts of Africa, I think. It must therefore be a reference to more general inclusiveness and equality which Christianity involves. Lena Mouse is right to interpret it that way.

24 October 2006 11:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

No Ulster Man she is not. The phrase by Saul of Tarsus is simply in a letter to explain why the Jews entering the congregation and claiming that Christians are outside the covenant because they are not circumcised are wrong and that circumcision is what definesd Jews and their Covenant but that with Christ Gentiles of all sorts are brought within God's scope without circumcision.

THe point stands./ I know there is a very lax reading of The Bible in Western countries nowadays, but it is not valid to distort what Paul said.

Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism, a branch of The Olive Tree - but Gentiles cannot be Jews and the Covenant was with Abraham; it was renews with Moses after return from Egypt; and that was with The Jews as a race.

Jesus Christ made it possible for Non-Jews to come within that scope and since they were not Jews they did not need circumcision.

That is why Paul wrote Epistle to the Galatians..............there seems to be a lack of familiarity with its content

24 October 2006 12:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

OT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I see Miss Eweida has been in New York courtesy of Fox News........she was on Sky today

24 October 2006 14:48  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Look under ONLY ON FOX

http://www.foxnews.com/index.html

24 October 2006 15:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,224378,00.html

24 October 2006 15:11  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"I can read the Bible which represents God's or Jesus' words. The rest of Christianism is interpretation which might be wrong."

But the Bible was compiled and is brought to you by the Church ("Christianism" if you prefer). The Bible should be read within the Christian tradition of which it forms an essential strand - but not the only one. The Church has erred, but always has the possibility of being corrected by its own tradition, which includes th Bible.

24 October 2006 16:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Christianism"

What is this neologism ?

24 October 2006 20:28  
Anonymous vikki said...

The Bible says....if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. John Knox cried, Lord give me Scotland or I die!! Our cry should be, Lord give us the UK .........

24 October 2006 21:31  
Anonymous Colin said...

Well, well my dear friends,

I did get you excited, didn't I ?

Naturally, you were able to refute my stupid remarks. Thanks for taking the trouble to teach and enlighten me.

BTW, Christianism is - according to the dictionary - 1. The Christian religion; 2. The Christian world; Christendom.

24 October 2006 21:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

we do to some extent live in a "Christian world" and many unbelievers accept a basically Christian code of conduct even though they may reject Christian metaphysics. This phenomenon has been dubbed "Christianism".

http://jonjayray.tripod.com/xism.html



Andrew Sullivan, the author of the piece, advocates a new term: Christianism. Allow the term Christianity to belong to the people of faith who follow Christ, and allow the term Christianism to belong to the politics of faith and using Christ's teachings as a political crutch.

http://www.burntorangereport.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=852

25 October 2006 06:48  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

2 + 2 = 5

You don't agree?

"it is impossible to discuss with you since you refute the premise. Since you deny [2 + 2 = 5] there is no point in discussing [mathematics] with you - it becomes nonsensical"

25 October 2006 10:46  
Anonymous Voyager said...

2 + 2 = 5

You don't agree?


I don't think we studied Philosophy at the same University or you would not posit something as banal as that as a supposed example - it is tautological since it derives from a self-contained internally-consistent number system which has no validity outside the premises you set.

The number "2" has no natural identity and no existential quality, it is purely descriptive and cannot exist without being applied to an object - rather like the colour "red"

Or do you propose to tell me the number system exists independently of the natural world ?

Look at the system 0,1,2,3,4,

You say that the third digit squared equals the 5th digit. True, but if I replaced the fifth digit with a symbol for a cow that would mean 2+2 = cow.........would you agree with that ?

Do you agree that 0 + 0 = 0 ?
Why ?

Does -2 x -2 = -4 ?

I am afraid you have chosen a closed number system which acts in line with the premises you set.

25 October 2006 11:59  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Since you deny the premise that 2 + 2 = 5, there is no point in discussing mathematics with you - it becomes nonsensical. The premise cannot be refuted by logic because it is based on faith. I guess you simply have to live with the consequence of your own logic that nothing can be refuted if one doesn't agree with the premise, i.e. that faith is equally valid as logic.

Your premise leads to the conclusion that the original Archbishop Cranmer has violated God's 7th Commandment and in consequence was punished by God.

Without your premise, the burning of Archbishop Cranmer is an unjustified and abhorrent crime. Your innocent premise has consequences, deadly consequences, my dear voyager. Millions were killed based on your premise.

Maybe you brush up a little bit your understanding of logic and the scientific method by reading the leading authority in this field, i.e. Karl Popper. Your premise is nothing else than a hypothesis unsupported by any facts.

25 October 2006 21:37  
Anonymous vikki said...

Looks like some boxing tips from Prezza......would come in handy......

25 October 2006 23:36  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin you are jumbled. You compare a numbers system with the creation of the universe and are seemingly oblivious to the banality of that.

Since "2" does not exist outside the mind of man it is meaningless as an explanation of the Universe and Creation. Karl Popper wrote a book - Logic of Scientific Discovery - note the word "Discovery".

You are rather like a golfish swimming round a bowl saying I have 360-degree vision and I can see the world consists of the room in which I find myself.........it has a door into nothingness through which figures come and go. THey are not the same figures but are generated each time they leave and enter.

As a fish with complete perspective of everything I can assert with certainty that nothing exists outside this room

26 October 2006 08:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Maybe you brush up a little bit your understanding of logic

Logic is a system Colin, it does not create understanding of facts not known. Perhaps if you looked up the difference between PHYSICS and METAPHYSICS you would start to comprehend the difference

http://www.polkinghorne.org/

ohn Polkinghorne is one of the greatest living writers and thinkers on science and religion: a truly world-class scientist turned priest, currently one of two Revd FRS (the other is the statistician Bernard Silverman) and one of only 3 Revd KBEs.

The philosophical foundations of J.C. Polkinghorne’s theory of consonance concerning science and theology.

Presentation and assessment.

Johannes Maria Steinke SJ

Abstract

In almost every one of his publications, the English physicist and theologian John C. Polkinghorne (1930-) examines the relationship between science and theology. Polkinghorne concludes that the relationship between these two disciplines is "consonant". This book is both an introduction to his thought as well as a preliminary exploration of the philosophical foundations of his theory of consonance.


The initial part A introduces John Polkinghorne and contextualizes his thought within the larger discussion. Part B expands upon basic concepts that are central to both his general academic perspective as well as the specific details associated with his theory of consonance—particularly in relation to the primacy of personality and the irreducibility of the different dimensions of human experience.

Part C and D examine Polkinghorne’s understanding of science and theology. He considers both disciplines as “rational inquiries” of human experience: science is the systematic reflection of the impersonal dimension of experience, theology the systematic reflection of religious experience. Together, they achieve a “verisimilitudinous” knowledge of reality (critical realism). Polkinghorne insists that both theology as well as science contain a personal dimension that again requires an explanation. Therefore, he differentiates between theology of the first order and theology of the second order (understood as a theological metaphysics). This theology of the second order forms the explanatory background where the mutual relationship between all sciences are understood and the conditions of their possibility become clear. This theological metaphysics forms the basis of the theory of consonance.

Part E explores the concept of consonance and defines it as complementarity of autonomous, internally coherent sciences. The consonance of theology and science is visible on several levels: as different forms of rational inquiries, they have a principle and methodical relationship that is mutually enriching. Consonance can also be shown on the level of content where Polkinghorne connects his idea of creation to the theory of evolution, which shows how God could act in a evolving world and presents a possible understanding of eschatology. Polkinghorne’s thought represents a dual aspect monism, which he combines with a doubled theory of emergence. In this way, he is able to explain the origin and the interaction of the mental and the material dimension of reality. Polkinghorne assumes new holistic causal principles that allow the mental to affect the physical world.

Part F is dedicated to providing an intensive and expanded philosophical analysis of Polkinghorne’s position. In this section, it is shown how Polkinghorne’s assertions are reasonable and a consonance of science and theology are plausible – such as the considerations regarding creation and evolution. However, at times, it lacks a detailed philosophical clarity insofar the concept of experience, the relationship of liberty and causality, the concept of the soul is concerned. On closer examination, some statements, such as the assumption of new holistic principals and the theory of divine action within the world, are problematic since they are highly speculative and have little empirical support.

The book concludes with a summary of both the strengths and the weaknesses of Polkinghorne’s philosophical position, as well as with a differentiated perspective concerning his propositions:

The important contribution of Polkinghorne exists in the ways that he outlines a method to overcome the delimitations of the single sciences in order to open up a horizon that leads from a single reality into a wider perspective. This synopsis also has important ramifications for the single disciplines. With his theory of consonance, Polkinghorne succeeds in formulating an apology of Christianity within the paradigm of modern natural science. Concerning science Polkinghorne underlines on the one hand its autonomy and their relevance for the understanding of the world, but on the other hand he shows the limits of natural science and reveals its innermost personal dimension. With this he places the natural science into a larger, metaphysical framework that is able to explain the conditions of the possibility of science.

The strength of Polkinghorne’s thought subsists in the way that he relates science and theology using a philosophical connection. In doing this, he avoids the temptation to look for naive and direct transitions between science and theology that would limit the specific autonomy of each of the two disciplines. With the assistance of a philosophical perspective, and in particular a theological metaphysics, he succeeds in demonstrating the consonance of science and theology on the systematic level and attempts to show this consonance on the level of content. Nevertheless, in his considerations there is a lack of precision in the details. So the strength of Polkinghorne’s thought reveals at the same time its weakness: his argument lacks often philosophical precision and sharpness. However, the wider perspective remains, which is a view of the world that assigns the human person an appropriate and a sense fulfilled place in the world and forms his different kinds of knowledge to a consonant whole.

26 October 2006 08:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh Colin, I must add more you see your very point is being addressed:

Mathematical Reality In his Science and Creation (p 75) [Sir*] John writes: It is difficult to believe that they [the truths of mathematics] come into being with the action of the human mind that first thinks them. Rather their nature seems to be that of ever-existing realities which are discovered, but not constructed, by the explorations of the human mind. Is he is attributing the characteristics of the divine (i.e. pre-existence) to mathematical truths here? If they are ever-existing how they can have been created? In what sense are they then dependent upon God? It seems to me that he is adopting a Christianised (neo)Platonic view of maths. But doesn't this conflate the creator/ creation distinction? Does [Sir*] John see maths as being necessary or contingent?

Preliminary Response Mathematical truths are all of the form "if A then B" where A includes the axioms and definitions. It is not that God creates 2, 4, + and = so that 2+2=4, it is that 2+2=4 because of the true meanings of these terms: if we chose to use the terms two, four, plus and equals or II, IV, et and es we would be expressing the same proposition. What God does create is the human mind capable of understanding these concepts, and a universe of sufficient regularity that these concepts are valuable to predict behaviour. So the truths of Maths are necessary, our ability to understand and use them is contingent.

John Adds I see maths as necessary, not contingent, and I do take a modified platonic view that the entities of mathematics exist and we discover them (So does Roger Penrose, see The Emperor's New Mind) However they are not independent of God or place constraints on him, for the exist everlastingly in the mind of God. (This is the sort of Christianised platonism tha Augustine embraced). Of course, the realm of maths could not be explored by other creatures until rational (human) beings came into existence.


Preliminary reply: It's certainly not true that all scientists are atheists - indeed surveys suggest that the proportion of theist scientists in the US - about 35% - has not changed much in 70 years. Logically there is no contradiction between science and Christianity - it's only rabid atheists like Dawkins who pretend there is. Stephen J Gould - also an atheist but not rabid - is quite clear on the matter. And the fact that there is even one rational Christian FRS would be a counterexample - and there are many.
It simply isn't true that "man is merely a well-adapted ape" You might as well say that man is merely a set of chemicals or a set of elementary particles or an economic consumer. Or that Hamlet is merely a string of letters. Even from a purely 'scientific' point of view, there are obviously essential aspects of human behaviour that cannot be understood purely by applying hominid biology.
As for evidence, I think it's fair to say that the evidence for Christianity is "almost overwhelming". Christianity, even as a hypothesis (and of course it's far more than that) explains far more than Atheism: I'd refer in particular to the life of Jesus, the existence of objective values, and the astonishing anthropic fine-tuning of the Universe. (see my debate with Colin Howson if you like) It's not that there are no other possibilities, it's just that the likelihoods, under the Atheist hypothesis, is infinitessimal. That's all you can expect in Science either - we'd normally dismiss someone who wanted to invent 10^23 un-knowable parallel universes to explain away an awkward fact as pretty desperate.
As for readings, it depends a bit where you are coming from. Almost any of John's books would be helpful. (Can a Scientist Pray - The Faith of a Physicist maybe). If you're a biologist or want a really meaty long exposition of the history and current state of Science and Religion, and why the "warfare hypothesis" is such bunk, then Denis Alexander's Rebuilding the Matrix - endorsed by many FRSs - would be good.

26 October 2006 08:14  
Anonymous Colin said...

Oh Voyager,

You do not seem to understand my point. Let me try again to make it clear to you.

Your argument was that there are areas enjoying a logic-exempted status by declaring it as faith.

I tried to demonstrate to you that your postulate would also permit to exempt the uttermost nonsense from logical disproval simply by declaring it as faith.

To make my point, I have chosen an example which is obviously incorrect, namely 2 + 2 = 5. If somebody declares that his faith tells him that 2 + 2 = 5, you are unable to disprove him. Got it now ?

26 October 2006 16:48  
Anonymous Voyager said...

No you have not got it Colin. Why I do not know.

2=2=5 cannot be true - ever unless you write your series as 0,1,2,3,5,4,6

Simply because it is a closed system - numbers operate within the assigned roles we give them.

It is what Kant called analytic a posteriori reasoning

The nature of God is not a closed system because it is the very basis of EXISTENCE and is not bound by the limitations of man-made number series


If you posit that 2+2=5 you are in error by simple basis of logical progression - but you cannot compare that with saying that God is Infinite


Now Colin tell me what Infinity - 100 =

Define Infinity and tell me what is the last number in theUniverse before you reach Infinity

26 October 2006 17:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I can disprove easily

1, 2

2 is the second position so any two positions from any number will be 2

Ergo 1,2, 3,4

Two positions from 2 = 4

Ergo 2+2=4

That is why Arithmetic is so easy

26 October 2006 17:12  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Exactly, you disproved it by using logic. That's the beauty of logic and a demonstration of the power of the human mind.

However, you also claimed that logic cannot be applied to a field designated as faith. To show you that the latter claim is nonsense, I designated as faith 2 + 2 = 5. You did not want to accept my argument of faith and proved by logic that my faith is wrong. Hence, you refuted yourself your first claim, namely that the designation of certain fields as faith-based makes them immune against any disproval by logic.

In summary, you doubted that my faith (2 + 2 = 5)is correct and therefore I have the same right of doubts in regard to your faith. And the ultimate arbriter is experience and logic.

Logic is a lot of fun, isn't it. I just discovered an interesting example on the web. Here an excerpt:

""Charles 'must say sorry' to Camilla's ex-husband." Yep, so sez the online edition of the Daily Mail.

Royal command: Camilla's husband to receive apology from Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales must apologise to the former husband of Camilla Parker Bowles before their wedding, according to a leading bishop.

David Stancliffe, the Bishop of Salisbury, claims church rules mean the prince must atone for committing adultery.

In a statement quoted in a Sunday newspaper, the bishop claims: "The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles will be taking part in prayers of penitence at the service of prayer and dedication following their civil marriage.

April First is safely over, right? That is NOT a joke, right? RIGHT ???

I am rolling over the floor laughing uncontrollably!!!

Now a major representative of an organisation that owes its existence to adultery, the Church of England, demands from Charles, an adulterer, an apology to Andrew Parker Bowles, an even worse adulterer!

What will be next?"


So far the excerpt and to bring a little smile on your face, let me claim that it seems to prove Carlo Cipolla's Basic Laws of Human Stupidity:

"The first basic law of human stupidity asserts without ambiguity that..

always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

The second law...The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

This idea was hard to accept and digest but too many experimental results proved its fundamental veracity. The Second Basic Law is an iron law, and it does not admit exceptions. The Women's Liberation Movement will support the second law as it shows that stupid individuals are proportionally as numerous among men as among women. The underdeveloped of the Third World will probably take solace in the second law as they can find in it the proof that after all the developed are not so developed Whether the second law is liked or not, however, its implications are frightening: the law implies that whether you move in distinguished circles or you take refuge among the head-hunters of Polynesia, whether you lock yourself into a monastery or decide to spend the rest of your life in the company of beautiful and lascivious women, you always have to face the same percentage of stupid people-which percentage (in accordance with the first law) will always surpass your expectations.

The third law...A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

The fourth law...Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people infallibly turns out to be a costly mistake."


Naturally, you probably think that I am an excellent example of Cipolla's first basic law because I have chosen 2 + 2 = 5 to make my point. Yes, fine. Why not, if it makes you feel happy I agree with you. ;-)

26 October 2006 19:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin I see you inhabit your own world with your own rules. You persist in this silliness over 2 + 2 = 5 as if was some profundity greater than saying red pillarboxes are red.

I suggest you read some of the books recommended on John Polkinghorne's Website and add A. J, Ayer "Language, Truth & Logic", and perhaps Kant's Critique of Pure Reason..............you will find the latter very useful as you try to disentangle what you attempt to "prove".

Frankly it is absurd to try to set yourself the test of explaining the Universe and Brane and String Theory, Theories of Special and General Relativity on the basis of an accounting identity 2+2=5.

27 October 2006 07:33  
Anonymous Voyager said...

accounting identity 2+2=5 which can be just as valid as 2+2=3 if we agree on it............it has no other purpose but accounting.

Now Colin tell me why A+B=C is false or why the Syllogism

If A then B

If B then C

Ergo If A then C
and IF C then A

can ALL be false

27 October 2006 07:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

If 2 + 2 =4

why is this not valid ?

2 horses + 2 pigs = 4 houses

27 October 2006 13:22  
Anonymous Colin said...

blablabla

27 October 2006 22:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colin said...

blablabla


I thought as much..........wind

28 October 2006 07:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

"I thought as much..........wind"

Correct ! In essence, voyager's verbosity is an attempt to hide the fact that he is saying: We and not you decide in which areas logic should be applied.

28 October 2006 18:34  
Anonymous Voyager said...

We and not you decide in which areas logic should be applied.


Go read A J Ayer and Immanuel Kant...........you don;t even have the basics...........you can think what you want but you cannot argue a case and have no facility with logic relying simply on primary school arithmetic which is pitful and pathetic

28 October 2006 18:47  
Anonymous Colin said...

" have no facility with logic relying simply on primary school arithmetic which is pitful and pathetic"

Here we go again, MI.

28 October 2006 18:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin you are opinionated and deluded - MI does not post here and I am not MI.............but I am not going to waste my time dealing with your stupidity - just fester in it

29 October 2006 16:34  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

You suggested "just fester in it" On the contrary, I am having a lot of fun to discuss with you.

You wrote: "no facility with logic", "you are deluded", "your stupidity"

Aren't such wonderful personal insults the hallmark of my good old friend "mission impossible"?

You said: "MI does not post here"

You must be kidding.

If you are not MI how could you possibly know who is posting here under which pseudonym and who is not?

Likewise, why would an anonymous person be interested trying several times to convince the readers of this blog that MI is not posting here and how could he possibly know?

29 October 2006 20:01  

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