Monday, February 01, 2010

A response to Richard Dawkins



Cranmer has been accused of all manner of nasty and hurtful things by the loyal disciples of Professor Richard Dawkins; even of rabid censorship on the grounds that so many of the contributions on the previous Dawkins post were ‘supportive’ of His Grace’s position.

No contributions have been censored (other than one anonymous two-liner of foul language), but doubtless the false allegation and numerous accusations of cowardice and ineptitude give them a superior degree of self-satisfied comfort.

Even the Professor himself appears to have expected that his letter might be censored.

God forbid.

Not upon this blog anyway, which appears is fast-becoming the last bastion of unfettered religio-political speech in the United Kingdom.

Professor Dawkins’ letter appears to be genuine, for he himself has said so. He will have to forgive His Grace for his doubting cynicism: when the White House emailed His Grace à propos of nothing, it took him a little while to realise that it was genuine; after all, Lambeth Palace has never bothered to write, and neither has Her Majesty's Leader of the Oppposition, let alone Number 10. So one might understand and excuse a little skepiticism when someone visits who purports to be the eminent and distinguished Richard Dawkins.

But the good Professor has been timing His Grace on the passing hours it has taken to respond (which is a little unfair, for His Grace does not have an abundantly-funded foundation behind him). Cranmer is content to respond to the Professor's series of comments and questions thus:

Dear Cranmer

I am intrigued by the Christian vitriol that is being thrown in my face after my article in The Times. You, Cranmer, have even suggested that I should be arrested for incitement to religious hatred. Here’s a brief summary of what I actually said. Cranmer, please explain, calmly and coolly, what is wrong with it.


His Grace has no time for vitriol, though he understands that it is frequently confused with valid criticism or impassioned feelings on any matter, especially by the target of such criticism or expressed feelings. One wonders why you consider an accusation of ‘spineless hypocrisy’ or of the possession of 'a sub-GCSE level of comprehension' to be vitriolic, while your references to St Paul’s ‘nasty’ mind, or to ‘bleating’ clergymen, or to Pat Robertson’s ‘sub-Palinesque ignorance’ are presumably rational, polite and measured.

Nowhere has His Grace suggested that you ‘should be arrested for incitement to religious hatred’. It could not be writ more large than in the title to the post itself, which begins with an implied interrogative ‘should’ and ends with a question mark. In your apparent over-sensitivity, you seem to think that His Grace supports the 2006 legislation which is increasingly being used against Christians (usually) in order to stifle very legitimate debate about religio-political issues (or even to express opinions on religious orthodoxy). There is no indication at all that you ought to be arrested for speaking as you do or writing as you did in The Times. But neither should others. That nuanced point appears to have been lost on you. The article was as much about the hypocrisy of The Times (one could say the same of the BBC) in the unequal way they treat religions, as it was about your intolerance of Christianity.

Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew or atheist, we all agree in condemning Pat Robertson’s suggestion that the earthquake was God’s punishment to the Haitian people for making a pact with the devil. But Christians, unlike Muslims, Jews or atheists, are hypocrites to condemn Robertson, because he is the one who clearly and unapologetically stands up for Christian theology. As follows:-

Firstly, it is not clear that Pat Robertson actually said what he is widely reported to have said. We are all aware of how journalists and television reporters, eager for their scoops and desirous to bolster their reputations, take a sentence or phrase completely out of context and distort it in order to create the story. It is intrinsic to the media: it goes with the territory. However, even if we go with what you understand he said (and he may very well have done so, though even if he had it would have been no different to what Fr Wagner [Bishop of Linz] said a year ago about Hurricane Katrina being sent by God because it destroyed five abortion clinics and countless nightclubs), you are quite wrong to insist that it is uniquely the Christians who are hypocrites for condemning what you deem to constitute ‘clearly and unapologetically’ Christian theology. If a Muslim were to condemn it, they would also be hypocrites, for many of them hold the same beliefs about divine retribution for sin. And so do some strands of Judaism. And so (in a different way, through karmic laws) do Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. But you have chosen to focus solely on the ‘faux-anguished hypocrites’ the Christians, possibly because you are not aware of (or been bothered to acquaint yourself with) what adherents of other religions have said on the matter. And so you summarise ‘Christian theology’ thus:

1. God metes out terrible punishment for sin. The doctrine of post-mortem punishment for sin in Hell is fully sanctioned in the New Testament (not in the Old Testament, incidentally, although the Old Testament has plenty of wholesale punishment for sin in this world). Cranmer, are you now saying that Pat Robertson is mistaken in his emphasis on divine punishment for sin?

If one were to take The Ladybird Book of Evolution and advance extracts as evidence to disprove the nuances and complexities of that to which you have dedicated your eminent and learned life, you would be justified in expressing a degree of incredulity. Yet are an academic: the readers of Ladybird books tend not to be. While there is no doubting that there are indeed some Christians who believe as you have written, as straightforwardly as you have expressed it, you will be aware that there are also evolutionary biologists who are quite content to accommodate in their disparate belief systems the ‘Intelligent Design’ or ‘Creationist’ theory, and find it quite consistent with all that you yourself profess. But it would be quite wrong of anyone to categorise you all as evolutionary biologists in the same sense, not least because you might feel that to be so categorised with your co-biologists would do you an immense disservice, or constitute evidence of a fundamental lack of comprehension of your writings. The ‘Creationists’ sustain all manner of disjunctive contradictions and inconsistencies which simply do not exist for you.

You appear (with respect) to have no appreciation of the varieties of literary genre that are to be found in the Bible: it is not a novel, and neither is it a scientific textbook nor a broadsheet newspaper. Yet what it is in each of its constituent parts is fundamental to this discussion, because we can proceed no further (as may be your wish) until there is an understanding on your part of the discipline of textual criticism. Granted, that which has been applied to the Bible is a relatively recent pursuit of the last century or so, but Gunkel’s concept of Sitz Im Leben is immensely useful in that pursuit as it informs us on some of your questions. The crass ‘cause and effect’ theology to which you refer was addressed millennia ago in the Old Testament 'Wisdom Literature', when it was observed that it rains on the righteous as well as the unrighteous. Yet you still insist on caricaturing God in the fashion of Job’s friends.

You appear (again, with respect) to be unconcerned with authors, audiences, contexts, philology and hermeneutics – all of which are the building blocks of discourse analysis. You appear to have no appreciation of the complexities of communicating a Hebrew gospel in a Greek world or of the historical reality and theological necessity of incorporating aspects of cultural philosophy into what became the New Testament: if the gospel of salvation was not to be perpetually dismissed as ‘foolishness to the Greeks’, words and expressions had to be found to communicate it in the vernacular. What ‘hell’ became is not what ‘sheol’ was, for it could not be: the Greeks had no ‘sheol’.

All of this, of course, is not a research methodology required in science, but you will find it foundational to innumerable Oxford DPhils. Unless you consider a DPhil in Theology or Philosophy to be of a lower order than your own doctorate; a proposition from which you are unlikely to dissent.

2. Humanity is so deeply sinful that the only way God could forgive us was to have his own son punished vicariously for all our sins. He was tortured and crucified so that humanity’s sin could be purged. Cranmer, are you now denying that Jesus died for our sins? Moreover, the principal sin for which Jesus died was the sin of Adam, who actually never existed. Cranmer, are you saying you think Adam existed and therefore that evolution is false?

There has been (and is) no denial that Jesus died for our sins, and no denial of the concept of ‘original sin’.

It is interesting that you are able to assert so dogmatically that Adam ‘actually never existed’.

It is an assertion that cannot be made other than by faith, for you cannot possibly know by any epistemology or method of science. His Grace is content to say that he does not know whether or not Adam existed because he cannot know. But then he does not believe that the Book of Genesis is in the same literary genre as The Downing Street Years.

3. Robertson’s devil talk may sound barbaric, but all Christians subscribe to the belief that Jesus ‘cast out devils’. And this cannot just be an archaic way of saying ‘cured mental illness’, because on one occasion the devils departed from a madman and entered a herd of swine, causing them to stampede over a cliff. Christians who believe that Gospel story are therefore committed to the belief that ‘devils’ are actual entities or agents, capable of leaving one brain and entering another. Cranmer, are you denying the truth of that Gospel story? (Many modern Christians would, but Pat Robertson would stay true to the Gospel).

What is the source of your information that ‘all Christians believe...’? It is this sort of absolute assertion which leads people to judge your prejudice (for it is evident) and undermines the strength and validity of your argument that some Christian beliefs are repugnant, some irrational and incomprehensible, and others quite offensive. But not all would agree with all of these assertions: you appear to have no latitude for the infinite variety of human expression and understanding. Why is the ‘truth’ of any gospel story so mono-dimensional to you? Why are these accounts of the life of Jesus so monochromatic and incapable of other quite credible interpretation, regardless of what you consider to be ‘archaic’ modes of expression?

You appear to confuse the Christian understanding of the Bible with the Islamic view of the Qur’an. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were human beings whose accounts of the life and works of Jesus were somehow inspired: they are not infallible for they are mediated by man. Mohammed was a human being to whom Jibrail is believed by the majority of Muslims to have dictated the Qur’an verbatim, in Arabic, between AD610-632. For many Christians, that which you posit to be written ‘truth’ may simply be one perception of it. You appear to seek to impose the majority Muslim view of the Qur’an upon ‘all Christians’, because the only ‘true’ Christians are as ‘Evangelical’ or ‘Fundamentalist’ as Pat Robertson.

If you are denying some parts of the Gospel but not others, how do you decide which parts? As it happens, Pat Robertson, like the true Christian he is, chooses to deny none of it.

Again, you contend Pat Robertson to be a ‘true Christian’ because he believes that which you understand all Christians ought. It is a wonder that you cannot see the arrogance of such a view, for how can those who do not believe instruct those who do believe in what they must believe? It is not even as if your writing is temporised with ‘might’ or ‘may’ or some’ or ‘most’, but perhaps that is consistent with your offensive (in the literal sense) scientific method.

Scholars of the Bible understand literary criticism, yet they are not all constrained to believe what is fore-ordained, not least because the Protestant Reformation liberated man to use his unique intelligence and apply reason to tradition and scripture. To many Christians, these are not mutually exclusive (or, rather, reason does not operate to the exclusion of tradition or scripture). There are various schools of thought on this, but none of them has the whole truth, which only you appear to possess. And that is not meant as ad hominem vitriol, but a genuine expression of a sincere observation. If a Christian holds a tradition or teaching which you determine to be unscientific, it is intrinsically unreasonable. But that which is unscientific is not necessarily anti-scientific.

Cranmer, you accuse me of a “sub-GCSE level of comprehension of theology and an utterly simplistic caricature of religious philosophy.” My comprehension of Christian theology is set out in points 1 and 2 above (and arguably point 3, depending on what kind of Christian you are). My understanding of Christian theology is that all true Christians stand by at least 1 and 2. Cranmer, do you deny either of them? Please answer clearly and honestly, and without personal venom or irrelevant sideswipes.

With respect (once again) if the sum total of your ‘understanding of Christian theology is set out in points 1 and 2 above’, the observation of a sub-GCSE level of comprehension may be fairly adduced. Please be assured that there are many children in Year 8 who are more advanced in their understanding of Christian doctrine than you appear to be. There is an absence of any knowledge about the Patristics or scholasticism, the development of doctrine or any understanding of how scripture was compiled. Yet perhaps you would argue (or your followers on your behalf) that it is all nonsense and so you have no need to. Cramming God into a nutshell is a laudable pursuit if one can sell books and make a living from it. But yours is the ‘odious doctrine’ insofar as it seeks to transform the nut into God, for the nut can be empirically verified while God cannot, and so one should not be surprised if, just occasionally, a sledgehammer might be disproportionately deployed to crack it. Throughout history, scientists have attempted to explain the universe as they observe it. And some of them have paid the ultimate price at the hands of religious zealots whose religio-political authority was ostensibly threatened. But if history has taught us anything about science, it is that those observations may be temporal and partial. What the omniscient alchemists once taught as science is now known to be absurd superstition, and you are only standing upon their shoulders: not in the sense that what are saying is absurd superstition, for it is not, but in the assertion of an omniscience as absolute and unequivocal as the ‘mad mullahs’ or other ‘faith-heads’ you routinely scorn and berate.

His Grace does not wish to caricature either you or your views, and certainly not in the fashion that Howard Jacobson has recently done. You may, indeed, be a better theologian than many theologians. But, ultimately, we appear to differ on only one thing. You seem to believe that the integrated complexity of the physical universe and the origins of life itself can be explained rationally through particle physics and evolutionary biology; that the patterns and order which may be observed are consistent with apparent disorder and chaos, and that experiments and equations are all that we can know to be true.

Theists have space for the ontological as well the physical, chemical and biological. And the reasonableness (to them) of that ontology does not negate, neuter or nullify what is known in the physical world. Indeed, there is an abundance of evidence that it does not; that the two may co-exist.

We agree that you cannot disprove the existence of God any more than the Christian can prove it. Yet, for you, there is no necessity to disprove, while, for the Christian, there is a soteriological need to increase faith by, in part, drawing on the empirical evidence which has been corroborated by the humanities and the sciences. While this Christian is capable, willing and content to draw philosophical inference from such evidence, and to find within it a rational argument for God, you appear to be incapable, unwilling or uncontent to draw such philosophical inferences, or even to concede that this empirical evidence may constitute evidence at all, for it may not be placed in a test tube, observed under a microscope, or conjectured through a plethora of theoretical equations.

If the theologian speaks as a philosopher to the scientist, it may be nothing but ‘foolishness to the Greeks’. Yet when the scientist instructs the theologian in what the scientist believes the theologian should believe, there is not only the absence of academic humility, but neither is there science nor philosophy for there is no rational discourse, and where there is no rational discourse there can be no enlightenment, and where there is no enlightenment, there can be no discovery of further truth.

664 Comments:

Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

There goes Dawkins with his straw men again - he must have breathed a prayer of thanks to himself (or whoever he worships) upon learning of Pat Robertson's reported words.

It's useful to reflect that it was Richard Dawkins who was the axe-bearer when a coterie of atheist intellectuals decided that Professor Michael Reiss must be forced from his position from Director of Education at the Royal Society, exclusively on the grounds that Reiss is an Anglican priest. In typical fashion, once the deed had been done he said he'd gone too far, but absolved himself of any blame in the affair.

Wonderfully erudite rebuttal, Your Grace. Be careful.

1 February 2010 at 16:24  
Blogger John.D said...

This is fantastic Your Grace. Two fights breaking out in one day. First the Pope attacks Harman's Equality Bill, and now Dawkins and your eminent self engage in religio scientific debunkment. I pray this continues, though you seem to have broken his jaw already.

1 February 2010 at 16:25  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical preacher said...

Your Grace, excellent response to the issues raised by Prof. Dawkins. Went onto our esteemed professor's site myself (a bit like "reading enemy dispatches").

Find it ironic that there were a few characters that post on this blog as anons and yet have no such problems as posting under other pen names on his site. For people who are puffed up intellectuals, the conversation wasn't exactly enthralling (except for a few comments, not all favourable to his Grace). Also they did not understand why respectfully call you your grace, as you are writing as an Archbishop.

Also could not understand one of the comments about the previous post being 100% for your view. There were over 200 comments and quite a lot of people opposed your view. And quite a few argued with me, D.Singh and Lord Lavendon. Can't see how this is censorship.

1 February 2010 at 16:37  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, brilliant response to the Prof's posting. God bless.

1 February 2010 at 16:47  
Blogger Richard Emmanuel Jones said...

What embarrassing drivel. We can see what fills the space the theists have for the ontological. Is Cranmer going to reveal any of this further truth he has discovered? He wears his desertion from consensus reality as a badge of honour. Will no-one rid us of this sinister cruciphiliac god-soaked popinjay?

1 February 2010 at 16:50  
Anonymous Plebian said...

Richard Emmauel Jones, you know, you are not exactly adding anything to this are you? Putting aside the crude anti-semitism displayed in your posts against the Jewish Bag Lady (references to not eating pork or suggesting she reads Mein Kampf), you are not exactly able to tear his Grace's post apart. You are instead going onto the fall back position of calling it drivel. Not really laying a finger on his grace really.

1 February 2010 at 16:54  
Blogger Unitalian said...

Richard Dawkins recognises the "true" Christian in Pat Robertson because he is a fellow fundamentalist. Separated at birth...? Heaven forbid ;-)

1 February 2010 at 17:03  
Blogger greenalien said...

I find it hard to believe genuine Richard Dawkins would face His Grace on his terms of fight (ie. attacking the doctrine instead of the base of it, which would be more like his modus operandi).

On a different note, empirical evidence means evidence which can be experienced by senses and re-examined. Touched, heard, seen and so on. If it can be directly observed. If it can't be observed, it's not empirical. Therefore, it is in rightful doubt.

1 February 2010 at 17:06  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

The above blog by cranmer is not a great response to Dawkins. Cranmer does exactly what Dawkins asked from him not to do, use irrelevant sideswipes.

I cannot fathom how someone can preach from a book, when he/she understands the stories are nothing more than myths. To believe and not believe the God of a book at the same time. I will accept that this is due to me being non-religious.

Cranmer again place emphasize on a false statement that Dawkins only attack Christians and see only hypocrisy in Christianity. Dawkins has many times express how he felt about religion and has even address Islam. Both sides need to stop stating what they want to believe and only state the facts.

The blog was well written, much better than anything I could've wrote. That doesn't make it a great response.

1 February 2010 at 17:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawkins - so many love that guy. He's got more knowledge in his left testicle than you lot have in your combined brains.

Here's a tester for the purported "faithful" - Would you place your child's welfare in the hands of those using science [i.e. the medical profession], or would you pray to your God to heal them? What hypocrites you are, especially if you answer "both"

Why don't you all pray to your God to give Richard Dawkins measurable evidence of his existence? Answer - because you can't get a reply form a figment of your imaginations!!!

1 February 2010 at 17:10  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, I was impressed by your rebuttal of Dawkins' assertions. He comes across as a very unpleasant person. Is that how he wants to be remembered, I wonder. I would be interesting to see if he calls for a priest on his deathbed; most of his sort do.

1 February 2010 at 17:17  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

The above Anon at 17.10 really says it all. Some atheists moan about the 'hatred' of the christian towards them. Yet here we have an atheist how is prepared to use insulting words such as that Dawkins has more knowlege in his left tesicle than every single poster on this blog (including the atheists?).

Also to his rather silly question, I would point about that one of the gospel writers, Luke, was a doctor. So yes he both believed and was a physician.

As for the last point, no point in bothering with that.

So much for most atheists being more adult, when you have comments like this.

BTW- I do not hate atheists, far from it, I merely which to show them the true gospel message of love, redemption and the overwhelming forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

1 February 2010 at 17:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Professor Dawkins

Do you repudiate your fellow academic Dr Watson’s racist views on intelligence?

Do you repudiate Dr Watson’s views on killing babies who allegedly carry a ‘gay gene’?

1 February 2010 at 17:21  
Anonymous Dawkins is a hero said...

All this god rubbish, it is clear to any one how is rational that God does not exist and that the religious are bigots, unable to comprehend that the only way forward is via science as what it has today.
Dawkins is a hero!

1 February 2010 at 17:22  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

John, I believe its more of your sort who would call for a priest on their deathbed. Most of those stories of famous non-believers converting on their deathbed are completely false. I say most because I have not heard them all. Again, they are false stories. Stories put forth by the religious and nothing more.

1 February 2010 at 17:24  
Blogger greenalien said...

John in Cheshire:

Voltaire on his bed, asked by a priest to renounce devil and make peace with god after a lifetime to stern atheism, and anti-clericalism, has replied the following: "Now my good man, now is not the time to make enemies."

1 February 2010 at 17:26  
Anonymous Lee said...

I seem to have heard that line somewhere before.

1 February 2010 at 17:27  
Blogger Montcalm said...

Your Grace, forgive my english.

Richard Dawkins is an atheist bigot. He mixs christian faith with myths and slanders. In his book "The God delusion", his so-called "ten atheistic commands" are a joke: it is a copy of the biblical Decalogue as regards attitudes with other people, to be good with his fellow for example.

I think humbly Dawkins will be very happy in France, where the secular philosophy thinks that religion should be allowed only in private.
... But even for many antieligious french persons I known, the book of Dawkins is considered as nothing.

a catholic french boy.

1 February 2010 at 17:27  
Anonymous A brief summary of the atheist case against cranny said...

In summary :

1. Christianity is a fairytale

2. All christians are evil and nasty.

3. All Christians are thick idiots.

4.All christians spout embarrassing drivel

5.Dawkins privates are more intelligent than all posters here

6.A Christian should not use a doctor (who are all enlightened atheists anyway) because they should believe that God will heal.

7. And even though i can be as nasty or as obsurd as I want, if the christian does this you shall be called "a biogot", a "idiot" and a "fool" for believing in things which you cannot prove.

8. You are only a Christian if you follow the gospel according to Pat Robertson.

9. Theology is on a par with turing lead into gold (or a sociology degree) and other such witchcraft studies.

10. Christians are lower than dogs when it comes to being good people and only atheists have the ability to be moral, because they think up their morality rather than having it made up by a mumbo jumbo god, which does not exist anyway.

1 February 2010 at 17:27  
Anonymous Lee said...

(3 comments up!)

1 February 2010 at 17:28  
Blogger PrimeNumbers said...

More theological drivel that emphasizes Dawkin's un-refuted point that no two christians can agree on what christianity is, and that theology = meaningless drivel.

1 February 2010 at 17:29  
Blogger D. Singh said...

PrimeNumbers

I take it that you would support Dawkins for not repudiating Dr watson's views?

1 February 2010 at 17:32  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Professor Dawkins

Do you repudiate your fellow academic Dr Watson’s racist views on intelligence?

Do you repudiate Dr Watson’s views on killing babies who allegedly carry a ‘gay gene’?

1 February 2010 at 17:33  
Blogger John.D said...

I have to pitch in on this one YG. This post is going to attract the narcissistic airheads and scientific ladybird book readers.

Come and get some yeah!

(I have to walk the dog and then have my tea so it will be at least 2 hour before I can defend myself).

1 February 2010 at 17:34  
Blogger Montcalm said...

to greenalien:

In France, Voltaire is considered as a great secular (and antireligious) heroe. This a good joke with him:

Voltaire with a friend are in a street in Paris. They met a catholic priest with the Holy Eucharisty, so Voltaire makes the sign of the cross on his head.

His friend: "Have you changed your mind, my dear ?
Voltaire: "I have stopped to talk with God, but I always salute Him !"

1 February 2010 at 17:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Come and get some yeah!'

'Ya talk the talk; do ya walk the walk?'

'Come and get some yeah!'

'Well, pilgrim, if ya'll eat the peanuts outta my rear?'

1 February 2010 at 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was close to death myself, on two occasions, in a hospital, when an operation had complications. Aware on both occasions [and in pain] that I may die that day, I did not pray or call for a priest. My thoughts were of my family only.
It is not true that atheists pray or seek God when they are dying. I thought of my family, and not myself. I did not even consider a God. Why would I? There's no such thing outside the superstitious minds of fools.
Perhaps the difference between Christians and atheists at the time of death, is that Christians are just plain selfish. When their end comes, they think of themselves, rather than others?

1 February 2010 at 17:42  
Blogger Mark Jones said...

I have little idea what your beliefs are from this blog, apart from your antipathy to science, which is hardly germane.

So, what makes a Christian? Textual analysis, St Augustine, Aquinas, nuance, etc. and etc, ad nauseam?

It's all well and good for you to massage your own ego, and those of other 'sophisticated' theologians, with hermeneutics and dubious exegesis, but can one still apply the blue pencil and extract a core belief?

"There has been (and is) no denial that Jesus died for our sins..."

Thank you. If (!) this is what you believe, that's all one really needs to point out the abhorrence of your belief system, and note that you share this belief with Pat Robertson. The charge of hypocrisy can therefore stand; the rest of your post is so much padding, and your caricature of scientific analysis and the epistemology of non-believers is far too hackneyed to warrant a response. Except to say that your analogy between biology and theology doesn't work; science is complicated by the object of study - theology is complicated by the subject who's studying.

But, please correct me if I've misunderstood; it's so hard to fully appreciate what you clever theologians believe. It's a wonder that folk don't come out of churches across the land scratching their heads!

1 February 2010 at 17:45  
Blogger Bob said...

Here's a tester for the purported "faithful" - Would you place your child's welfare in the hands of those using science [i.e. the medical profession], or would you pray to your God to heal them? What hypocrites you are, especially if you answer "both"

Religion and science are not opposed, the real problem here is that the discourse of scientific empiricism has come to dominate every aspect of public life and is being extended into inappropriate fields. This incidentally is the source of the loathed box-ticking mentality. The atomistic approach of science is just one way of looking at the world. No single worldview can explain everything!

1 February 2010 at 17:51  
Blogger Mark Jones said...

Just noticed the reference to Sir Humphrey Appleby in the 'About'; Cranmer's writing is certainly a model of verbiage with little content, like Sir Humphrey; is this a Poe? Apologies for not seeing the joke before now :-)

1 February 2010 at 17:53  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

Where have you been Bob? Religion is oppose to science. Esspecially when science is used to answer questions that the religious believes is already answered in their holy book.

1 February 2010 at 17:55  
Blogger Kristian said...

It should be pointed out here that the blogowners knowledge of the Bible seems to be severely lacking. He writes:

"What ‘hell’ became is not what ‘sheol’ was, for it could not be: the Greeks had no ‘sheol’"

Anyone with a resonable amount of knowledge about the biblical texts would know that this is entirely false. 'Sheol' corresponds very well to the Greeks 'Hades'.

Hades is used in Matt 11:23, 16:18, Luke 10:15, 16:23, Acts 2:27, 2:31, and Rev 1:18, 6:8, 20:13, 20:14.

Furthermore, in the Septuagint, 'Sheol' was translated 'Hades'. It's definitely the same concept.

This should not be confused with hell, 'Gehenna' in Greek, which is unique to the New Testament.

It seems to me that none of the debaters know very much about the Bible.

1 February 2010 at 17:57  
Anonymous IanJ said...

How can you be content, your grace, not to know whether Adam existed when to deny his existence makes Jesus a liar (Mathhew 19:4)? If Richard Dawkins is wrong on so much he is at least right to say that one cannot properly pick and choose which bits one believes.

1 February 2010 at 17:59  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

I am an atheist and have enjoyed a fair amount of Professor Dawkins' output. There is much to him I admire.

I have however been waiting for Dawkins to overstep the mark with somebody possessing an insight beyond that of his evangelical straw men.

His Grace has certainly met that description.

Although I look forward to Dawkins' response, his arrogance is abundantly clear here.
Much of his work of recent years has disappointed me for reason examined in the above post. I feel Dawkins has stepped far to far from his own realm to be of much use.

He is becoming counter-productive to the cause he seeks to further.

1 February 2010 at 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on your Grace!
put him in his place!

1 February 2010 at 17:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Mark Jones

We have no antipathy towards science. Dawkins views are contested. What I cannot fathom is where you atheist boys get this idea.

Now which one would you like to discuss? Take your pick son.

Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Robert Boyle (1791-1867)

Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)

William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)

Max Planck (1858-1947)

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

1 February 2010 at 17:59  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh:

I do not understand what that list is trying to prove. Religion was the hindrance for each of them.

1 February 2010 at 18:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Aleksander Lee

Go ahead. Pick one.

1 February 2010 at 18:03  
Anonymous Richard Pinewood smyth said...

Kristian, the atheists wouldn't understand because they believe that theology (which is what you are doing) is on a par with a sociolgy degree or a comic strip. Take you pick.

1 February 2010 at 18:09  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Aleksander Lee

You may recall that in the movie Crocodile Dundee - two hunters went out to shoot kangaroos. the result was, as one of them said, 'Hey, these kangaroos shoot back!'

Seems to me these sheep here: are shootin' back.

1 February 2010 at 18:12  
Anonymous Gordon Mayfair said...

So I have seen at least 2 posts which call this drivel and make some reference to it being because it is theology or nothing at all except drivel. A weak argument, but one which I now use against the dawkins fanatics. What you believe is drivel. And I am not going to say why. It just is. Might say it is because of science and then equate this with reading a comic book. And I would hope that their holy calf will do better than the counters to his grace's post.

1 February 2010 at 18:13  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

Again, I do not know the point of the list. As I stated above, religion has oppose science when trying to answer quesitons answered by their book. :) I am welling to learn though. You want me to pick the religious or non-religious ones?

1 February 2010 at 18:15  
Blogger Mambo said...

Was that the same Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the German-born physicist who regarded belief in God as childish superstition born of human weakness, or another one?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/may/12/peopleinscience.religion

Just making sure.

1 February 2010 at 18:15  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

I guess Mambo started the discussion.

1 February 2010 at 18:17  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mambo

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

1 February 2010 at 18:17  
Anonymous Jim Hurry said...

The one thing I find ludicrous about Dawkin's inital article is that he said any christian that did not agree with pat roberston was a hypocrite because he is somehow that standard bearer of christianity. I might have understood if he had referred to the Pope (as head of the largest christian denomination), but pat robertson??? And in any case I follow Jesus Christ, not a man called pat robertson. Also why should an atheist seek to tell the believer what he should or should not know or believe. I do not tell dawkins about what he should believe as an atheist.

1 February 2010 at 18:17  
Anonymous Man of the cloth said...

another to add to the list of crimes against christians. We are selfish. If that we so why would many of us attempt to evangelise and spread the gospel? So that upon death you shall not die, but have eternal life. If this is selfish, I dread to think what selflessness is define as by the atheist.

1 February 2010 at 18:19  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

Einstein belief in God is different from the posters here. He did not believe in that personal God you pray to. The God that would damn you to hell.

1 February 2010 at 18:20  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

I for one believe the belief in God is completely rational. Dogmas of religion is what I do not believe is rational.

1 February 2010 at 18:21  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

Just tell me something: why do they atheists object to a Judaeo-Christian entering the physiscs laboratory?

Why does Dawkins fail to condemn Dr Watson's racism; why does he not repudiate Dr Watson suggesting babies, allegedly, carrying the 'gay gene' should be killed?

Do you support Dawkins' failure to repudiate?

1 February 2010 at 18:27  
Blogger Drosera said...

"There has been (and is) no denial that Jesus died for our sins, and no denial of the concept of ‘original sin’."

So this, at least, is what all Christians agree upon? But this rotten core already implies so much that is wrong, that Dawkins is quite right to call Pat Robertson a true Christian. For it implies that children are blamed for the 'sins' of their ancestors. It implies that Christians believe in a god who had his own son tortured to death for such twisted reasons that no mentally sane person can understand them. It implies that reason has to be abandoned in favour of blind faith, because there is no logic in it, and no evidence to support it. It implies, in short, a return to the Dark Ages.

1 February 2010 at 18:27  
Anonymous Eastern Orthodox said...

Your Grace, Pursued a few comments on the Dawkin's blog. They say that we are unable to think rationally and yet their posts are just the very sort of vileness which Prof. Dawkins talks about being aimed at him on this one. I find it sad that people who proport to be intelligent do not actually act as such. Quite a few dimiss theology for example. Well how can you have a debate if one denies the basis on which to have it?

I am also suprised by a few of the comments there, which seem to imply you are censoring this blog. Perhaps these people need to realise that comments go unmoderated and therefore there is nothing to worry about when posting here.

But the spin shown by some of them is out of this world. And I thought it was the christian who was supposed to be the loony fundamentalists. these people are fundamentalist in their attitue towards religion or faith and insist that we are all somehow of the disposition of the protestant (rev?) Robertson. I'm orthodox so go figure.

1 February 2010 at 18:29  
Blogger Mambo said...

And the Einstein who said: "From the point of view of a Jesuit priest of course I am and always have been an atheist."

1 February 2010 at 18:29  
Blogger Kristian said...

Well, Richard Pinewood smyth,

It's not just a matter of the atheists.

As I pointed out in my previous post, this Cramner guy doesn't seem to know what he is talking about either.

So we have two people who are both relatively ignorant about the old texts discussing what Christianity really is. It's kind of meaningless when you think about it.

1 February 2010 at 18:32  
Blogger Mambo said...

"So we have two people who are both relatively ignorant about the old texts discussing what Christianity really is. It's kind of meaningless when you think about it."

Well, yes, quite, but the fact that something is meaningless doesn't stop it being interesting. Take religion, for example.

1 February 2010 at 18:34  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mambo

'From the point of view of a Jesuit priest...'

So now we are out of the paradigm of atheism.

And, from the point of view of a Judaeo-Christian?

1 February 2010 at 18:35  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

What happened to our discussion on Eistien?

Honestly I never heard of any objection to Judeao-Christian entering physics laboratories. It is understood that the most religious of scientist are physicist. I will research that, something to look into and I thank you for it.

I am sure Dawkins doesn't hold those views. Dawkins decline to comment on it. His comment on the baby was simply, its a women's choice. You sir are putting it completely out of context. Its what any pro-choice person would say. That comment about abortion was made long ago.

I agree with you on one thing. Dawkins should just come out and answer it.

1 February 2010 at 18:36  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Rebel Saint, think well will get to 100 posts tonight? I will raise you to 1 USD.(Ben is much more amicable than Merv- but then Ben has the world’s largest economy behind him) or I might be able to go to 2 shillings.

1 February 2010 at 18:36  
Blogger Mambo said...

You don't consider a Jesuit priest to belong to the class of Judaeo-Christians?

OK ...

1 February 2010 at 18:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It implies, in short, a return to the Dark Ages.

So dorsea thinks all christians are like medivial monks? How sad. Perhaps it not only the christians who are using blind faith.....

1 February 2010 at 18:39  
Anonymous Jedi Knight said...

The christians and the atheists miss the point. The piffling believes are nothing compared to the power of the force.

1 February 2010 at 18:39  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

'His comment on the baby was simply, its a women's choice.'

So now we have a Nazi-like Dawkins. Why not let the child emerge from the womb; let him live until 16 years' old and ask the child and the mother - if the mother should put a gun to the child's head and blow his brains out?

1 February 2010 at 18:41  
Anonymous The Fish said...

Where is the great theologian Professor Dawkins? Is he using his loyal disiples as cannon fodder?

1 February 2010 at 18:42  
Blogger Savonarola said...

I am a fence sitter on the matter of God's existence and the life of Christ.

Professor Dawkins is a mystery to me. More rant than debate.

I think he is the business of making headlines and money from his atheism. The more extreme his arguments and position the greater the merchandise sales. He has got quite a nice little earner with this one.

Perhaps you should be engaging in a psssing contest with a skunk. The good Prof will use this exchange to become more of a martyr than he already is - good for book sales and appearances on TV. He is a third rater.

1 February 2010 at 18:42  
Blogger Jack said...

Here we see Cranmer - this unutterably pompous mammal who is so lacking in Christian humility he actually refers to himself in the third person - unleashing a crapstorm of sophistry and point-ducking to impress his simpering coterie of intellectually-challenged sycophants. And then we see a perfect example of the devious and dishonest tactics of evasion used by the religious apologist under fire, courtesy of D. Singh:

Professor Dawkins

Do you repudiate your fellow academic Dr Watson’s racist views on intelligence?

Do you repudiate Dr Watson’s views on killing babies who allegedly carry a ‘gay gene’?


- Desperate red herrings so foul and shameless that their rank odour almost - almost - covers up the stench of Christian hypocrisy and denial that hangs over this loathsome blog like the reek of old incense on an unlaundered surplice.

1 February 2010 at 18:43  
Blogger Mambo said...

"So now we have a Nazi-like Dawkins. Why not let the child emerge from the womb; let him live until 16 years' old and ask the child and the mother - if the mother should put a gun to the child's head and blow his brains out?"
Obvious troll is obvious.

1 February 2010 at 18:43  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

D.Singh. You are barking up a wrong'n with Einstein.

1 February 2010 at 18:44  
Anonymous Stuart said...

You doubted Richard Dawkins was real.
You doubted Pat Robertson said what he said.

Yet proof was but was a Google away. Was that too much to try? RD in his own domain and Pat speaking on YouTube.

Yet you appear to have no doubts about reported happenings at fourth and fifth hand. I do call Poe.

1 February 2010 at 18:44  
Anonymous Dawkins is a hero said...

"Perhaps you should be engaging in a psssing contest with a skunk. The good Prof will use this exchange to become more of a martyr than he already is - good for book sales and appearances on TV. He is a third rater."

No , no , no the professor is a guiding light to those who oppose the creeping religiousisation of the western world, including the USA !!

1 February 2010 at 18:45  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

Perhaps Dawkins might be the Paul of the 21 century. One who once viciously opposes Christ, but is converted by him to serve his greater purposes. How ironic would that be. And the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Let us pray for the atheists today, that they may love jesus in their hearts and come to know him as their lord, saviour and friend.

"For God so loved", yes he loved the whole world enough to send his son to die for you and your sins. This is not irational, but the act of a rational and loving god.

1 February 2010 at 18:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Jack

As Patton once said:'Rommel - I read your book'.

We have studied the tactics of the left-liberal.

1 February 2010 at 18:48  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

I can make obscene comments like yours to try and prove a point, but I am not going to go there.

All I will say is that there is a difference between the two scenario.

I do not believe someone should abort a baby because of a "gay-gene". You would have to understand that the reason someone would abort a baby because of a gay-gene it would be because of societal pressure. Where is this pressure coming from? Ask yourself that.

1 February 2010 at 18:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

Presumably from Dr Watson and Prof. Dawkins.

1 February 2010 at 18:50  
Blogger PrimeNumbers said...

Of course theology is drivel - say you have two theologists who disagree on a particular point. Which one is right? Are both wrong even? How do you tell? "Divine revelation?" - and how is that verifyable, or even communicable? And if both theologists ask for and receive divine revelations that confirm their own theologies, but not the other's, then what?

1 February 2010 at 18:50  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

Dr. Watson and Prof. Dawkins did not go around saying that we should find this gay gene and abort all fetuses that has it. It was a pro-choice comment, as I stated already.

Societal pressure has come from religion. This can be proven by simply looking up statistics of religious countries vs secularist countries.

1 February 2010 at 18:54  
Blogger Drosera said...

"So dorsea [sic] thinks all christians are like medivial [sic] monks? How sad. Perhaps it not only the christians who are using blind faith....."

I didn't know that all people in the Middle Ages were monks.

1 February 2010 at 18:54  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Perhaps Dawkins might be the Paul of the 21 century. One who once viciously opposes Christ, but is converted by him to serve his greater purposes. How ironic would that be."

Never heard that before

It had to happen - the only surprise is that it didn't come sooner. With Dawkins, it's either "a vicar looked at him funny one day whe b he was 7 - that explains it!" or "you wait - he'll convert (to Catholicism is the usual one) eventually!"

As Vic Reeves used to say, very poor.

1 February 2010 at 18:55  
Blogger Jack said...

Singh: nice to see you have no comeback. What a great advertisement for Christianity you and your kind are.

1 February 2010 at 18:55  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

"His simpering coterie of intellectually-challenged sycophants"

Strange this Jack, because when I challenged one of your fellow atheists on intellectual grounds, he resorted to calling me an intellectual snob. You cannot have this discourse both ways. Either you claim that the atheist is more adult or thoughtful or intelligent than the humble believer, or you do not. Or you could simply say that neither the Christian nor the atheist is perfect, because only God is by definition perfect, but that the Christian gives thanks to God, for the many skills and talents, which we are all, blessed with. It might interest you to know, that I have, from time to time disagreed with our host on a few issues, so I would not call myself a simpering coterie or intellectually challenged or a sycophant. You could equally apply these to the Dawkin apologists.

1 February 2010 at 18:56  
Blogger Theresa said...

Greenalien,

The thing which you and Dawkins prize the most; intelligence, has no corporeal existence. You cannot see it, weigh it or measure it. And the things which proceed from it; ideas and theories, exist only in the mind. But you accept its existence wholeheartedly, seeing it as the ultimate good. Not all things that exist, exist in the physical world. That said maybe you should have a think about why the coming of Christ was so important. It was God taking on a physical shape that we could understand in an empirical sense; touch, feel, see. Therefore I think the angle that Dawkins should pursue is the historical Christ, as he is a scientist and concerned with the physical world. And he should also speak to some historians who understand the culture that Jesus was born into and how he could not have been made up by them, because he was such a freak and so different to what they expected of the Messiah. That's what you should be pursuing if you want to go down the route of empirical evidence.

1 February 2010 at 18:56  
Blogger Bruce said...

1: You didn't actually answer Dawkins question. Instead you simply criticised him with a lengthy evasion.

2: Okay, you accept the concept of original sin.

3: Again a long attack on the questioner, but no real answer. Second point to Dawkins.

4: So essentially you pick the bits you like, and leave the other bits out.

So how do you know you got the right bits, and Pat Robertson got the wrong ones? This is not an argument as to how anyone justifies it, it is how do YOU justify the bits you pick?

Finally in your summation:

Again all you do is attack the questioner, you don't actually answer any of his questions, which demonstrates that you actually don't know what you are talking about.

This is disturbing because theology, even as a soft-subject, is your turf and yet you cannot answer Dawkins, a person who is at best an interested amateur.

1 February 2010 at 18:58  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

Lord Lavendon

Childish, rude, obscene, embarrassing comments are made by both believers and non-believers. I think we can all agree on that.

1 February 2010 at 18:58  
Anonymous Billy Evangelical Preacher said...

Mambo, it is not for me to say this, it is for God to do so. It was just a reflection on the power of God in people's lives. Look at the story of Paul and you will see what I mean. Acts chapter 9.

God bless

1 February 2010 at 18:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

'Societal pressure has come from religion. This can be proven by simply looking up statistics of religious countries vs secularist countries.'

Are those the statistics from Stalinist Russia? Mao's China? Pol Pot?

1 February 2010 at 19:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for a reply to this question.

>> Yet it is really quite astonishing that someone of Professor Dawkins’ academic stature should place the (largely inaccurate) secondary-source accounts of someone like Pat Robertson over the primary sources not only of Scripture ..

> From Scripture, has your Deity ever wiped out a sizable portion of humanity, for alleged moral violations ?

1 February 2010 at 19:00  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the *evidence* of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

That's right: EVIDENCE. Everyone has the ability to find this evidence in their own lives. I think the reason there are a growing number of angry and intolerant 'atheists' is because there is a growing number of people who have read Richard Dawkins' books. He tells his readers what to believe and what Christians believe, based on his scant knowledge of scripture. He constantly brackets all religions together, apparently unwilling to admit that if one is true then the others can't be.

Then his readers, who are fed this confusion, call themselves "free-thinkers"!

I suggest that these 'atheists' are angry and confused because they have an inner war taking place that is slowly consuming them. They know that there is 'more than our senses can perceive' but cling on to the false doctrine of Dawkins because they find it too hard to face the truth and admit that they need to change their lifestyle and repent of their sin.

I'm not saying it is easy for them in their current situation, but it is outrageous that 'atheists' turn the whole thing around and make out that Christians are not 'free-thinking' when it is they who numb part of their consciousness - their spiritual faculties - because of their fear.

Btw, I put the word 'atheist' in brackets because I find it hard to believe that there is such a person as a 100% atheist. Even Richard Dawkins admits to not being a complete atheist.

1 February 2010 at 19:00  
Anonymous Holly Berry said...

Bruce, perhaps you need to review your dialogue with Lavendon earlier on. Perhaps you were doing to Lavendon, what you claim Cranmer is doing to Dawkins?

1 February 2010 at 19:00  
Anonymous Carly Aesop said...

I find it ludicrous for an atheist to claim moral superiority by suggesting that Pat Robertson is the 'true' or 'real' Christian and then to say if you do not subscribe to Pat Robertson’s worldview you are somehow a hypocrite or not a real Christian. Utter nonsense. The only person, who knows whether not you believe in God, truly in your heart, is God himself. People might be fooled, but God is not. I might also add that Professor Dawkins aspersion in this respect will doubtless be questions not only by Anglicans such as myself, but also Roman Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Eastern Orthodox etc.

1 February 2010 at 19:02  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Very good your grace , about time in my view . I am not for limiting professer Dawkins contributions to debate , but the more I encounter his writings , which he has no doubt thought in depth about , the more I realise he cannot understand what the Christ story speaks .

I liked the bit where he was asking you "to be precise" , as though your grace would hang himself on his own words as he was already inferior.

But let me help Prof Dawkins along his journey .

1 Jesus paid the price of sin on our behalf , he was spotless .He did not end sin , but provided a way that "all" may see the father.
This suggests that there is somthing which can be called sin and it acts within the individual .

2 The expalnations of humanitarian behaviours contradict the selfish gene notion in part because they are built on the religous understandings , even if they try to forget the godbased foundations .

3 If billions of people believe that there is a spiritual dimension , that they experience , that does not require a strong magnetic field to be applied to a certain part of the cranium , is it still not possible that we can recieve somthing that we cannot detect .

1 February 2010 at 19:03  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Mambo, it is not for me to say this, it is for God to do so. It was just a reflection on the power of God in people's lives. Look at the story of Paul and you will see what I mean. Acts chapter 9."

You mean, I'll see what you mean if I read a story that you claim supports what you've already said because you say it does?

1 February 2010 at 19:04  
Blogger D. Singh said...

PrimeNumbers

You are in a worse position: you only have the five senses.

Have you not studied your Best Friends? The Enlightnment philosophers?

1 February 2010 at 19:05  
Blogger Jack said...

Golly. Not content with D. Singh's pathetic herring-hurling we have yet more shameless fallacy strewing from Lord Lavendon:

Strange this Jack, because when I challenged one of your fellow atheists on intellectual grounds, he resorted to calling me an intellectual snob. You cannot have this discourse both ways. Either you claim that the atheist is more adult or thoughtful or intelligent than the humble believer, or you do not.

They can do false dichotomy and generalisation too! Why, this cavalier way with the fallacy is almost as impressive as theology itself. What a pity that most (did you notice that non-absolute qualifier there, Lavendon?) atheists are too smart to be impressed by either.

1 February 2010 at 19:05  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

Those 3 were just as dogmatic as any religion. They were atheist in the sense they did not believe in a god. What is so funny is that their followers did.

I think all the atheist on here can agree with me when I say we do not follow Dogmas. Its about being rational and reasoning through things. Which is why I say the belief in god is rational though i dont not believe in one. It is religious Dogma thats the issue.

Those 3 were psychotics who preyed on the poor promising riches if they followed them to the end. Does that sound familiar?

1 February 2010 at 19:05  
Blogger Mambo said...

"I put the word 'atheist' in brackets because I find it hard to believe that there is such a person as a 100% atheist. Even Richard Dawkins admits to not being a complete atheist."

An atheist is somebody who does not believe that gods exist - not, as you seem to imply, somebody who can categorically, indeed dogmatically state with 100% assurance and no possibility of error (or, one might say, infallibly) that there are definitely no gods.

1 February 2010 at 19:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Professor Dawkins

Are you 'gonna ansa me'?

Am waitin'

1 February 2010 at 19:07  
Blogger Mambo said...

"The only person, who knows whether not you believe in God, truly in your heart, is God himself."

Erm, no - the only person who knows whether or not I believe in God, truly in my heart is ... well, me, actually.

(I don't , btw. Come on).

1 February 2010 at 19:08  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

May God bless Your Grace for undertaking a comprehensive refutation of the unpleasant opinions of this man who cannot debate without self satisfied insult.

Those of us who appreciate what this level of engagement costs you, owe you a huge debt of gratitude and are duty bound to share this post with as many as possible so that England may be rid of this tiresome secularist.

1 February 2010 at 19:09  
Blogger Jack said...

Singh, stop showing your goddamned idiocy. Dawkins won't reply to you for precisely the reason I have already told you: you are strewing obvious red herrings. It will not work. Wise up and stop embarrassing yourself.

1 February 2010 at 19:10  
Anonymous Billy Evangelical Preacher said...

"What a pity that most (did you notice that non-absolute qualifier there, Lavendon?) atheists are too smart to be impressed by either"

Rather proving his Lordship's point, I think. Your the ones who are smug, sitting the ivory tower of atheism,because you think you are smarter than everyone else. So did the socialists of the soviet union. And look at how stalin butchered his own people. If it is anyone who is less smart, it is the atheist such as yourself (note the non-absolute qualifier there).

Anyway, God bless you with all of his love my friend.

1 February 2010 at 19:11  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mambo

If God is excluded; and all you have left is the five senses - how can you be sure?

Have you not studied the philosophers of the Enlightenment?

'Er...mm' you're not sure.

1 February 2010 at 19:11  
Blogger PrimeNumbers said...

No we don't need Dawkins to tell us what Christians believe. Most of us were brought up as CofE, in CofE schools, with church visits, harvest festival, regular religious assemblies and RE lessons. In short, we were Christians, brought up as Christians and thought of ourselves as Christians.

We don't need to be told what Christians believe. We only have to remember what we believed when we were once Christians ourselves.

1 February 2010 at 19:11  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

Mambo, I would contend that I am referring to the Christian who plays at being so, but is the hypocrite behind closed doors. Calling oneself a Christian is not enough. You must also act as one; love, kindness, charity, love thy neighbour, not coveting etc.

1 February 2010 at 19:13  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Er...mm' you're not sure."

That post was a reply to carly aesop's post of 19:02, not one of yours.

1 February 2010 at 19:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Jack

Do you believe that the 'negro' is less intelligent?

Jack

Do you believe that babies suspected of carrying the 'gay gene' should be killed?

Jack

Where do you atheists stop?

1 February 2010 at 19:14  
Blogger PrimeNumbers said...

D. Singh, I'm not arrogant enough to think that I either know the truth or that there is even a truth to know.

1 February 2010 at 19:16  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Jack, if you have such intellectual prowess and Christianity is above you, why are you bothering to post to us unenlightened people?

1 February 2010 at 19:16  
Anonymous Aleksander lee said...

D. Singh

Why are you making those comments again? Wasn't that part of our discussion?

1 February 2010 at 19:16  
Blogger Galactor said...

Cranmer try's to weasel his way (and fails) out of asking whether Dawkins should be arrested for inciting hatred.

I wonder in kind, if Cranmer would accept me asking if he should be arrested for raping children?

1 February 2010 at 19:17  
Anonymous the sceptical sceptic said...

your Grace;

What an absolute joy to read:

Game Set and Match to Cranmer

1 February 2010 at 19:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D.Singh, the atheist stops when they have sucked all free thought and freedom of speech from the world. They are clearly unable to articulate their own views here and resort to childish insults to get their way. They deserve a thrashing!

1 February 2010 at 19:19  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Calling oneself a Christian is not enough. You must also act as one; love, kindness, charity, love thy neighbour, not coveting etc."

What's the approved term when atheists exhibit exactly those qualities?

1 February 2010 at 19:20  
Blogger D. Singh said...

PrimeNumbers

'D. Singh, I'm not arrogant enough to think that I either know the truth or that there is even a truth to know.'

Then why are you wasting my time?

1 February 2010 at 19:21  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

@Galactor

Did you even read the post?

You are displaying none of the characteristics Dawkins' movement promotes.

Of course Cranmer would accept your question. He would then simply answer 'no'.

Nobody has addressed the central point of his original post that highlights the hypocrisy of the law's application and Professor Dawkins.

1 February 2010 at 19:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2010 at 19:22  
Blogger Drosera said...

not a machine,

"Jesus paid the price of sin on our behalf , he was spotless .He did not end sin , but provided a way that "all" may see the father."

And how do you happen to 'know' all this? Would you still know it if all copies of the NT had been destroyed 1500 years ago?

Let's not start on the concept of 'sin' itself. If you ask me, this concept is the greatest sin of Christianity. It turns completely innocent and harmless people into 'born sinners'. It's the first step on the road to genocide.

1 February 2010 at 19:26  
Anonymous Chuck said...

So far the atheists are winning- good. Cranmer and his cronies/lackies Singh, Lavendon and the deluded Billy cannot lay a finger on any on the atheist posters or on the great man himself. We are winning and you are loosing. And this is only natural as our intelligence is far beyond any of the stupid muppets I have mentioned. Especially that prat Lavendon- he is a banker. YES THE FOOL IS A BANKER! That tells us all we need to know about him. He will doubtless be working for the vampire squid and his chief, who said they do "gods work". Figures really. And his boning an american.

1 February 2010 at 19:29  
Anonymous Miranda Celeste Hale said...

"Again, you contend Pat Robertson to be a ‘true Christian’ because he believes that which you understand all Christians ought. It is a wonder that you cannot see the arrogance of such a view, for how can those who do not believe instruct those who do believe in what they must believe? It is not even as if your writing is temporised with ‘might’ or ‘may’ or some’ or ‘most’, but perhaps that is consistent with your offensive (in the literal sense) scientific method."

No, it's not that Robertson believes what all Christians "ought" to; instead, it's that the vile sentiments he expressed are perfectly consistent with the Bible. You can toss around pseudo-sophisticated theological babble all you'd like, but, without being incredibly intellectually dishonest, you cannot escape the fact that Robertson is an almost perfect personification of the nasty, bullying, and odious imaginary friend that you and Robertson share.

1 February 2010 at 19:29  
Anonymous Britain needs atheism said...

Well we are being treated to the Singh and Lavetory show. They could be a double act. Like the elephant men that they are.

1 February 2010 at 19:31  
Blogger Bruce said...

Lord Lavendon

It was a fair cop.

In that argument - essentially you held that your favourite study into litrature counted for more than just about any other.

Not only this, you did this on the basis of atheists study it to show just how bad it is. I mean really.

Theology is not the intellectual side of religious belief, theology is the study of essentially what the sacred texts mean.

Or at least it is supposed to be even as it descends all to readily into simply being appologetica and spin to make distasteful passages fit with the morality and scientific aptitude of the people writing the theology.

Which of course strips it of a lot of its intellectual strength.

It is not any different to studying any other form of litrature, including comic books. Modern comics can tell us a lot about what our culture is about, it is our modern, and rather depressing at times, mythology.

Just as the Bible is the mythology of the Christian church. It is important, it is highly influential, but thus far theology has only produced turgid prose which is largely only read by atheists looking for a fight, while being largely bought by Christians looking for an excuse.

1 February 2010 at 19:32  
Anonymous Mark said...

Given that the atheists view the study of theology as being on a bar with media studies or sociology, how can they possibly say that robinson is the bee all and end all of christian faith (the clue is in the name -Christ- ian not rob-inson).

1 February 2010 at 19:33  
Anonymous Bakewell tart said...

I am waiting for Pat to appear and give his views on this one.

1 February 2010 at 19:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Am waitin' for Professor Dawkins to give his views on these:

Do you repudiate your fellow academic Dr Watson’s racist views on intelligence?

Do you repudiate Dr Watson’s views on killing babies who allegedly carry a ‘gay gene’?

1 February 2010 at 19:40  
Blogger Richard Emmanuel Jones said...

Plebian - Obviously my crude was too subtle for both of you. If Cranmer could hold his post together I would tear it apart, but there is nothing to grasp in the vacuity.

Incidently - where is the Mein Kampf? I never saw it.

1 February 2010 at 19:40  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The Mein Kampf belongs to the Social Darwinists.

Are you one of them?

1 February 2010 at 19:42  
Anonymous YoungCatholic said...

Psalm 14

"The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt.
They have done abominable works.
There is none who does good.
Yahweh looked down from heaven on the children of men,
to see if there were any who understood,
who sought after God.
They have all gone aside.
They have together become corrupt.
There is none who does good, no, not one.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and don’t call on Yahweh?
There they were in great fear,
for God is in the generation of the righteous.
You frustrate the plan of the poor,
because Yahweh is his refuge.
Oh that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When Yahweh restores the fortunes of his people,
then Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."

1 February 2010 at 19:42  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

Qouting passages from the bible like that only validates Dawkins points.

1 February 2010 at 19:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Thank you - outstanding reply.

I love the sting of battle.

1 February 2010 at 19:44  
Anonymous YoungCatholic said...

Aleksander, I was not using it to support any point, it was merely used as a reflection

1 February 2010 at 19:48  
Anonymous Don said...

>The thing which you and Dawkins
>prize the most; intelligence, has
>no corporeal existence. You cannot
>see it, weigh it or measure it.
>And the things which proceed from
>it; ideas and theories, exist only
>in the mind. But you accept its
>existence wholeheartedly, seeing
>it as the ultimate good. Not
>all things that exist, exist in
>the physical world.

Intelligence and the other items you mentioned are simply labels we use to group collections of ideas. These things do exist, in sense, to the extent that they're a result of the biochemical (not biomagical) processes that go on in our brains that allow us to parse abstract concepts like language.

But of course, they don't exist in a physical sense, with the ability to effect considerable changes in the world without us taking action on them. They're ideas. If you're going try to prove God by lumping him in with abstract concepts like ideas, you're going to have to give up asserting his alleged direct physical influence.

1 February 2010 at 19:55  
Blogger Richard Emmanuel Jones said...

D. Singh - Doesn't it belong to the people who like (real or imagined) genocidal dictators and magic books? The people who like dressing up and preaching? The people who like only following holy orders? The people who have faith in silly ideas? Do you think the mono-gonadal Austrian had good ideas? Do you think he lacked belief? Was too much critical thinking the problem?

1 February 2010 at 19:55  
Blogger Drosera said...

YoungCatholic,

Thank you for that fine specimen of Christian hate speech. Your Yahweh sounds exactly like the monster worshipped by Mr. Pat Robertson. Could it be the same god after all?

1 February 2010 at 19:57  
Blogger greenalien said...

Theresa:

That was quite a thoughtful post and thank you for that.

Intelligence, being an abstract concept in the same way distance or time is, does not mean it's non-existent because it's not physical. Among other things, it can be empirically proven - by measurements, and by repetition of that which was proven. It is, so to say, in agreement with scientific method.

Indeed, not all things exist in physical world, but all things inevitably originate from it, no matter how abstract the concept is. This is what evolution and science teaches us - nothing is without a cause. Even emotions come from bio-chemical processes within our brains. They most certainly do exist.

We could have a philosophical argument over whether distance really can exist if it doesn't physically manifest itself, seeing as it is again only a concept born in our minds, but God is not nearly as much of an abstract concept. He is assumed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and overall bible and other holy scriptures have been all about defining him. He is assumed to be not an abstract concept, but real mover of all things.

But did anyone find an empirical proof of such a being? Not really any which could be very trustworthy when put under critical scrutiny. We can't ascribe anything to God any more than we can to simple natural processes.

And in such case, if his existence is doubtful, we can't say "God may or may not exist" unless we are also to say "Invisible dwarf societies causing all this to happen may or may not exist."

As a concept, God thus becomes obsolete. Unlike intelligence or distance, or other "products of the mind," who's existence is far more connected to what we are observing in life.

And this is where we differ.

I'm not quite sure how to properly address your post in such a short space. I'm not really sure why should Dawkins focus on historical Jesus either...why should he? You can't empirically disprove non-existence of, for example, his supposed miracles.

I fear I may have answered nothing and just went about in a not so logical circle, but hopefully this post shall be worth something.

1 February 2010 at 19:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Who’s the fellow who’s taken the battle from beyond the grave?

Our Cranmer!

Who’s the fellow who led the charge?

Our Cranmer!

Who’s the fellow we’ll carry on our shoulders to Parliament?

Our Cranmer!

Three hurrahs for His Grace!

Hip, hip?

Hooray!

Hip, hip?

Hooray!

HIP, HIP? HOORAY!

1 February 2010 at 20:00  
Anonymous Don said...

>The Mein Kampf belongs to the Social Darwinists.


The only place Darwin's name is mentioned in any surviving nazi literature is on a list of banned books. The eugenics movement in the US in the early 20th century was largely driven by religious folks who wanted to purge the gays and the products of mixed-race marriages. As was pointed out in a link I provided in previous reply, Alan Turing was chemically sterilized because of British laws passed by conservative religious zealots.

Godwin's law lives on...

1 February 2010 at 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard "God with us" Jones, just go away you anti-semetic coward.

1 February 2010 at 20:07  
Anonymous On the fence said...

As atheists have said cranny is drivel, i would like to say that dawkin's initial article was drivel too. But following the atheist argument i am not going to back this up, but just personally insult those that disagree with me.

1 February 2010 at 20:09  
Anonymous Don said...

Prior to this I've posted 4 replies - 3 to this thread and 1 under the original blog entry. The two most recent have shown up, but the earlier two are still missing - is there a backlog of some sort or have they vanished entirely?

1 February 2010 at 20:10  
Anonymous Onwards christian soldiers said...

We are under attack from the liberal socialist atheists and their commander in chief richard "up his own arse" Dawkins. But we shall prevail,God is on our side. You have nothing but the power of man on yours.

Lavendon- are you going to give the atheist who insulted you and your wife an invitation to a duel? Thrash the silly atheist?

1 February 2010 at 20:11  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Now, just remind me once more - why the Nazis murdered gays?

1 February 2010 at 20:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don- yes loads of people are posting as we want to deal with the atheist scum which are parasites infecting his grace's blog.

1 February 2010 at 20:12  
Blogger Carbonman said...

http://commonsensecarbon.blogspot.com/2010/02/cranmer-response-to-response-to.html

1 February 2010 at 20:13  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

Because they were following Hitler's Dogma.

I can easily resort to your way of argueing but that would be too easy.

1 February 2010 at 20:17  
Blogger greenalien said...

I wouldn't say that I personally as an atheist am "invading" His Grace's blog. I just enjoy religious discourse that I can't really get elsewhere.

I don't know. I frequently disagree with Cranmer, but I still am interested in what he has to say, and occassionally, I shall debate that with others. I have yet to insult someone. So take off that helmet.

1 February 2010 at 20:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

If it is too easy: then don't do it.

Far better to seek intellectual giants - and sit on their shoulders.

1 February 2010 at 20:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Buffet Christians," "Woollies Christians [pick n' mix]," and easily prone to spew hate speech.

Some Christians, eh?

1 February 2010 at 20:22  
Anonymous Aleksander Lee said...

D. Singh

There are Christians on here who make completely valid points. You are not one of them.

1 February 2010 at 20:23  
Blogger Richard Emmanuel Jones said...

Anonymous - you can't even spell your misdirected insults.

1 February 2010 at 20:27  
Anonymous Aleksander lee said...

You can't be pointing out People's spelling errors Richard Emmanuel Jones. It happens to everyone.

1 February 2010 at 20:29  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Lee

You say that you want to learn.

I was in your position, once.

Very well then, go to the American Spectator - as you first lesson - and print and study the Templeton Essays.

I will know, upon your return, if you have studied diligently.

1 February 2010 at 20:29  
Anonymous len said...

A masterly response your Grace totally demolishing the incoherent ramblings of Dawkins.
The Dawkins disciples seem to be jumping up and down like demented grasshoppers cause much noise and commotion but signifying nothing worthwhile debating.
Somewhat like being savaged by a dead sheep (to quote Winston I believe)
...............
The Lord Jesus Christ is a living reality, the Gospel Gods plan for the salvation of mankind, this is truth, you can ridicule it, deny it, try to subvert it, change it, but the truth will stand forever!
..................

1 February 2010 at 20:33  
Blogger Mambo said...

"I was in your position, once."

Unlikely.

1 February 2010 at 20:35  
Anonymous Ginro said...

D.Singh said: "Who’s the fellow who’s taken the battle from beyond the grave? etc."

You've been watching Waterloo again haven't you? lol!

Anyway, time to lighten the mood a little amongst all the commenters here with a little satire:

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

1 February 2010 at 20:40  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Hey! Ginro!

Did you see His Grace's Hayek v. Keynes video?

Yes.

Time to 'lighten up'.

Enjoy!


PS - I've just got to see it again.

1 February 2010 at 20:43  
Blogger Bruce said...

Mark

We don't. We just point out that his interpretation of the Bible is a valid one - making him as "true" a Christian as any of the theologians slamming him.

And so long as those theologians are using the same Bible to justify their beliefs, it demonstrates hypocrisy to slam him on the basis of those beliefs.

1 February 2010 at 20:45  
Blogger Drosera said...

len,

"The Lord Jesus Christ is a living reality, the Gospel Gods plan for the salvation of mankind, this is truth, you can ridicule it, deny it, try to subvert it, change it, but the truth will stand forever!"

You can't possibly know this. You may believe it to be true, you may want it to be true, but that doesn't make it true.

You probably think it is true because people whom you consider as authorities have told you so. But these authorities, were, like you, just parotting other people in turn. Ultimately their 'truths' are based on words written by people who lived almost 2000 years ago. How do you know that what they wrote is any more truthful than what the inventors of other religions cobbled together?

"Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead."
Anyone can invent such a thing and write it down. That doesn't make it true.

1 February 2010 at 20:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect some of the postings on here are by a little someone whose first name is Kirk. Either that, of they attended the same Sunday School lessons.

Banana, anyone? LOL

1 February 2010 at 20:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...

To our Grace's international readers:


We hope that you have enjoyed the debates.

It is clear that on both sides of the debate learned men (except for me) have contributed greatly.

To keep this site going, please would you consider donating however little money you can spare to: Cranmer's Collection Plate.

Those Christians in India - if you know of a Christian millionaire - please plead with him - sometimes the answer to a question can be just 'Yes' or 'No'. If you don't ask the question...

Remember: we may throw the dice; but God, decides the numbers.

1 February 2010 at 20:53  
Anonymous The case for atheism said...

The Christians are vermin:


1. They are responsible for the worst religion known to man.

2. They do not fit in with the views of an oxbridge professor.

3. They are just scum who should be wiped off the earth.


Singh and lavetory- pathetic twats.

Richard E Jones is right-stupid Christians can't even spell!


Fools!

Uneducated minons!

Bow down to your new religion and be thankful we do not hate you like you hate us !

1 February 2010 at 20:56  
Anonymous The atheists would send us jews to the gas chamber in the hate of religion said...

Go hang you atheist taffy, hope you enough reading mein kampf, you anti jewish facist.

1 February 2010 at 20:57  
Blogger Bruce said...

Singh
1 February 2010 20:12

Because they were a largely Lutheran movement run by a Catholic who ran his campaign on family values - including the Biblical concept of gay sex being a "perversion."

Oh, and Hitler was a failed artist before he became an evil dictator.

1 February 2010 at 20:57  
Blogger John.D said...

My God your grace things have heated up in here. I have been reading.

1 February 2010 at 21:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There has been (and is) no denial that Jesus died for our sins, and no denial of the concept of ‘original sin’."
*Cough* "No denial" Err - I deny it. There you go - there's some denial for you. Lots of other people do too. In fact - everyone who's not religious. Reason... well, if there was no Garden of Eden and all that then there was no 'original sin'...

"It is interesting that you are able to assert so dogmatically that Adam ‘actually never existed’."
Richard has probably checked out the masses of corroborating evidence from physics, genetics, geology etc etc which shows that the earth is very old indeed, and that every life form on it evolved over millions of years. Ergo no Adam and Eve, no orginal sin, and no apparent reason for Jesus to have been nailed up, so no actual, real reason for yer Christianity at all.

1 February 2010 at 21:03  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

I have been posting on Dawkins' blog for quite a while and have just now been BANNED!

What a joker.


Okay, I did link to my "Dawkins Exposed" page, but even so. Dawkins must be scared stiff of being exposed for the charlatan that he is.

He is a snake oil salesman. Most of his followers don't know how to conduct themselves in an intelligent or civilised manner, as we can see by the threads of crude messages left on his blog by his supporters.

Onward Christian soldiers...

1 February 2010 at 21:03  
Blogger Mambo said...

"I have been posting on Dawkins' blog for quite a while and have just now been BANNED!"

Shows they have some standards over there.

Any chance you could furnish us with the last comment which got you banned?

1 February 2010 at 21:05  
Anonymous Mambo is speaking rubbish said...

"Shows they have some standards over there."

No Mambo it shows us that Dorkwin is leading a cult and that he has zero respect for anyone other than a ranting atheist like himself. We are not all blessed with his level of education, but the guy is fundamentally arrogant. He clearly does not respect freedom of speech, like the author of this thoughful blog does.

You are only welcome in the darkwin atheist site if you are a fanatical hater of all thinks religious, no matter how liberal or moderate you may be.

1 February 2010 at 21:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My God your grace things have heated up in here. I have been reading."

Yes, this is because his grace's blog, the last blog of free speech and christian value is being attacked by the atheists and those who deny christ cruxified. The enemy does not like blogs which praise the lord jesus christ. And we must stand and fight and win.

1 February 2010 at 21:11  
Anonymous Don said...

>Now, just remind me once more -
>why the Nazis murdered gays?

Because the same religious leaders who told them Jews were inhuman monsters who would steal their children for blood rituals had even fewer nice things to say about gays.

1 February 2010 at 21:13  
Anonymous God Save the atheist said...

"Richard has probably checked out the masses of corroborating evidence from physics, genetics, geology etc etc which shows that the earth is very old indeed, and that every life form on it evolved over millions of years. Ergo no Adam and Eve, no orginal sin, and no apparent reason for Jesus to have been nailed up, so no actual, real reason for yer Christianity at all."

No 'Richard' is simply leaping onto a bandwagon in order to make a nice pile of cash. If his article in the times is reflective of hours of study, then I would question why he is an Oxford professor at all. Should be put into a poly where he belongs. And perhaps he should stick to his own subject, rather than trashing things which he does not understand.

1 February 2010 at 21:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please answer clearly and honestly, and without **personal venom** or **irrelevant sideswipes**."

Not that the author's style of writing would **ever** leave himself open to criticism of the same!

1 February 2010 at 21:17  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

Mambo,

There is one particular regular on RichardDawkins.net who has been threatening to report me for 'trolling' for a while, even though I'm doing no such thing.

It looks like he maybe managed to use the fact that I linked to my own blog to convince the moderator.

I think this is the same bloke who recently told me to go away and not come back and that he speaks for everyone else.

The others replied to him that he doesn't speak for them and that I'm welcome to post. There are some tolerant ones who give you an intelligent debate and others who want rid of you because they don't know how.

Being banned just means I'll have more time to write blog posts shining a light on Dawkins.

1 February 2010 at 21:18  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Stewart Cowan, I have just had a brief recon of the Dawkins site. I personally cannot see that your last post is enough to ban you from that holy of holies.

Your Grace,

In addition I have been informed by a loyal mole that there is a certain blogger, who posts on the Dawkins site, but presumably on this blog under another name. He thinks D.Singh is an " imbecile noise machine", but suggests to his cohorts will that is "more fun going after Lord Lavendon".

Dear me, I did not believe that we were in a fox hunt hear, but were attempting to discuss complex issues in an intelligent and erudite manner. Clearly I was incorrect in this assumption. I am also suprised that this particular person does not have the courage to post with the same name as he does on the dawkins site.

But if people wish to put the gloves off so be it. No more nice Lord Lavendon.

As an aside, there has also been some personal comment aimed at me, I am sure that it is not the particular poster from the Dawkin's site, but whoever it is I say to them that it is a disgrace and only shows up some people for what they are. And this requires no further eloboration on my part, if people look at the particular post I refer to.

1 February 2010 at 21:32  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Keep up the good work Your Grace! Your post is cooking up a storm.

Strangely enough, on Old Holborn's blog and Iain Dale's a similar situation is occurring over the subject of the land of Israel.

Odd how this is happening on the same day!?

Is the Lord trying to tell us something? Praise be to God.

1 February 2010 at 21:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. Singh

I don't get your point with Einstein. How do any of his beliefs lend support to a supernatural, mystical, intervening god? Much less Jesus being somehow related to such a god?

A few Einstein quotes below, which clearly disfavor him believing in a figure such as Yaweh, Jesus or Allah as the creator and moral law giver of the universe.

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

“I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”

From an Einstein biographer:

"Instead, Einstein's God appears as the physical world itself, with its infinitely marvelous structure operating at atomic level with the beauty of a craftsman's wristwatch, and at stellar level with the majesty of a massive cyclotron. This was belief enough. . . . Einstein's God thus stood for an orderly system obeying rules which could be discovered by those who at the courage, imagination, and persistence to go on searching for them."

Source:

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_einstein.html

1 February 2010 at 21:35  
Blogger Richard Emmanuel Jones said...

'The atheists would send us jews to the gas chamber in the hate of religion said...

Go hang you atheist taffy, hope you enough reading mein kampf, you anti jewish facist'

Is that for me? It does seem as if God talks to the more stupid people. I think you'll find it is the people with faith in silly ideas who would send you to the gas chamber as I tried
to point out. This is the danger of abdicating reason and surrendering critical thinking to dogma.

The diffusion of responsibility - the vertical deflection to a fuhrer real or invisible as the religious are commanded, is very dangerous. The ability to, with this psychological trick, forgive oneself facilitates crimes that would otherwise not be committed.
There is no sin that cannot be forgiven! And we see the priests forgiving themselves on the choirboys, the hijackers forgiving themselves on the planes, the Nazis forgiving themselves the final solution.

With gods all is permitted.

1 February 2010 at 21:36  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

Lord Lavendon,

Thank you. And even if it had been, wouldn't the deletion of the 'offending' post have been appropriate?

I'm still getting traffic through from Dawkins' blog, so it doesn't look like my link was the problem anyway.

I will be writing a post on the episode myself later in the week.

1 February 2010 at 21:38  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Being banned just means I'll have more time to write blog posts shining a light on Dawkins."

Well, I'm sure that the vast audience you surely have will be enthralled.

1 February 2010 at 21:42  
Anonymous Thor said...

Well I am still around, just not worshipped anymore you silly atheists!

1 February 2010 at 21:45  
Blogger Bruce said...

Stewart Cowan

Looking at your last few posts (searched your name) they tended towards preaching - which is not allowed according to the forum's rules.

That said I wouldn't have banned you for them. Were you given any warnings at all?

1 February 2010 at 21:49  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Banned ! so much for the intellectual tag then .

He cannot answer his own question only point out that gods judgement narrative seems weak . He makes no case that god can shape a person for the better, he simply does not see that the story changes peoples lives for the better or that it is way beyond comparisons of morality .

If in the end he is saying it is a mistake that god got into the mental enviroment before physcology , he forgets that belief in god brought us here .

If he wishes to demolish the line of god through all anthropgenic history, he will quickly find himself having to avoid some of the great scientists and condem them as heretics who just got lucky .

1 February 2010 at 21:51  
Anonymous Quite atheist said...

Mr. Bruce, perhaps some atheists might think that Dawkins himself preaches a gospel of atheism. I simply do not believe in a god. And I leave it at that. But Mr Dawkins seems to have a following which up borders on a cult. Also the impression I have is that atheists want freedom of speech, so that they can be free to critique religion, so why would someone with the opposite view be "banned"? For all his faults this is something Cranmer never does.

1 February 2010 at 21:55  
Blogger Mambo said...

"why would someone with the opposite view be "banned"?"

The site has rules. One of them forbids blatant religious proselytising/evangelising/preaching, whatever you want to call it. It looks as though the hapless Cowan fell foul of that particular rule.

He's not the first, and he certainly won't be the last.

1 February 2010 at 21:58  
Anonymous IanCad said...

You certainly earned your bread today Your Grace.
Atheists always assume that all Christians adhere to the harshest and seemingly cruelest aspects of our varied beliefs.
The existence of an ever-burning, relentless hell is a favourite target of the Dawkins crew. I wonder if any of them know that the C of E and many protestant denominations to not adhere to this doctrine? We have a merciful God and a loving Saviour. Through Christ we endeavour to live up to the light we have.

1 February 2010 at 22:09  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

"The site has rules. One of them forbids blatant religious proselytising/evangelising/preaching, whatever you want to call it. It looks as though the hapless Cowan fell foul of that particular rule. "

My dear Mambo, do you not see that this is turning you into the very creations that you so abhor in your views of the Christian? Thus, when people complain about censorship on this blog, they forget to look at the censorship on Dawkins blog....so much for freedom of speech eh. OK to bash the Christian, but clearly you cannot counter the atheist view?

1 February 2010 at 22:15  
Blogger Drosera said...

IanCad,

"The existence of an ever-burning, relentless hell is a favourite target of the Dawkins crew. I wonder if any of them know that the C of E and many protestant denominations to not adhere to this doctrine? We have a merciful God and a loving Saviour."

Have you been cherry-picking again Ian? Didn't the headmaster tell you not to? Now go to the blackboard and write fifty times "I shall not be cherry-picking again."

1 February 2010 at 22:18  
Anonymous GFA said...

I suppose many have heard of Russell's teapot:-

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.[1]"

Cranmer writes:-

"Theists have space for the ontological as well the physical, chemical and biological. And the reasonableness (to them) of that ontology does not negate, neuter or nullify what is known in the physical world. Indeed, there is an abundance of evidence that it does not; that the two may co-exist."

[sarcasm]

Yep, let the Voyager space craft happily coexist with the illusionary teapot (after all, there is no chance of a collision).

Long may the ontology of the theologians have a category for "things we have absolutely no evidence for, that would be really neat if they actually existed".

"If the theologian speaks as a philosopher to the scientist, it may be nothing but ‘foolishness to the Greeks’. Yet when the scientist instructs the theologian in what the scientist believes the theologian should believe, there is not only the absence of academic humility, but neither is there science nor philosophy for there is no rational discourse, and where there is no rational discourse there can be no enlightenment, and where there is no enlightenment, there can be no discovery of further truth."

Naughty scientists! Fancy arguing that time spend pondering on "things for which there is no evidence" is intellectually sterile. How dare they!

[/sarcasm]

1 February 2010 at 22:18  
Anonymous Mole said...

Your Graces (Cranmer and Lavendon).

The latest post from the enemy blog is thus :

"what a waste of time. a lot of pretentious waffle that says fuck all. as for the comments supporting this wanker, bleurgh! "

This is level of intelligence we deal with sirs. To my mind not even GCESE level. More school room banter.

1 February 2010 at 22:21  
Blogger quisquose said...

Bickering aside, has anybody else noticed that Cranmer hasn't actually answered the questions?

1 February 2010 at 22:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another classic from the so called intelligent atheist site, run by an Oxbridge professor is as thus:

"Its very title exemplifies what I detest about religion and religious zealots ... the arrogant, implied, underhanded, backdoor, "innocent" threat. "Oh, it's only a question." Bullshit. Lying m'fuckers. Fundamentalist religious assholes are artists at this and they know it. The Christians and Muslims are best at it. "

Clearly you can see the uber intelligence ozzing out of this blog like nuclear waste!

1 February 2010 at 22:26  
Blogger Drosera said...

quisquose,

He has answered them by not answering them, if you know what I mean.

1 February 2010 at 22:30  
Anonymous not a machine said...

GFA nice try . except a teapot is physical thing that you illuminate can be unreasoned in the mind if it is embedded in history enough.

This is about spiritual light dawning in peoples minds , no scientific instrument required , it completes in the person with acceptence of the holy spirit . I dont think there is an athiest spirit only a broken or doubting one.

To put it simply why does christianity work ? mind trick or real presence of the lord ?

1 February 2010 at 22:35  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

Some here have suggested that there is no common statement of faith upon which all Christians agree.

I invite any professing Christian to deny the following Creed advanced by the former Bishop of Durham David Jenkins - a man of a rational frame of mind who nevertheless retained a deep faith.

God is
He is as he is in Jesus Christ
So there is hope

Now plainly there is more to be expanded upon just as the formulation E=mc2 is both succinct and yet pregnant with meaning, nevertheless the creed stands as a simple core statement of belief assented to be all Christians I know..

Many of the atheists do not understand that God did not send a Users Manual but a person - Jesus Christ. Many saw and responded to him and his message - still do.

His story was added to the lead up story in something that is more than a book - more like a library- the Bible.

It contains history, letters poetry, story, law, letters , literary fragments, biography, prophetic writings and more.

If one wanted to understand "Englishness" one could send people into a library and they might come out with various books. Shakespeare maybe, Milton, Burke, Laurie Lee, Churchill Jeremy Clarkson Pam Ayres AJP Taylor, a biography of Nelson a UKIP manifesto, Alan Bennet. In some ways not a lot of
consistency but having read some or all of these you would begin to piece together a picture of something that we might argue about on the edges but few could deny a core essence.

That's why the Bible has many interpretations. Not that the effort to discern is unfeasible or useless but because the inspiring presence gives you freedom to choose, reject or accept your response.
Those who see the core identity and commonality are what they are. Christian or "English" ( or whatever) -but it is not accidental.

1 February 2010 at 22:35  
Anonymous Dawkins was right, Pat Roberston is the real christian said...

Your Grace,the socialists will still have to bow before the judgement throne of God. And these people will be found wanting! The poor wretches! They should look towards salvation and the cross and repent! Or forever be dammed! Jesus makes not demarcation! Believe in him or perish!!!!

1 February 2010 at 22:48  
Blogger Mambo said...

"My dear Mambo, do you not see that this is turning you into the very creations that you so abhor in your views of the Christian?"

No, I don't.

"Thus, when people complain about censorship on this blog, they forget to look at the censorship on Dawkins blog....so much for freedom of speech eh."

Please do let me know of any blog, forum, website or indeed country which exercises absolute and unconditional freedom of expression in the complete absence of any rules whatsoever.

"OK to bash the Christian, but clearly you cannot counter the atheist view?"

As an atheist, I've absolutely no need to counter the atheist view :-)

1 February 2010 at 22:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will Pat Robertson be posting on his grace's blog?

1 February 2010 at 22:49  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

Bruce,

No, I didn't get any sort of warning. I just tried submitting a comment a short time ago and a picture with the word 'Banned' appeared.

Mambo,

Most of my posts over time have been about Dawkins' (mis)interpretation of the evidence.

If I expressed forbidden ideas in my last round of comments, why wasn't I just given a polite explanation that I had 'gone too far'?

Let's be honest, if Dawkins' disciples are encouraged to think about higher things, some of them will reject his version of life, the universe and everything.

'Atheists' will be as keen to avoid losing members of their congregation to other faiths as much as adherents to any other belief system.

1 February 2010 at 22:49  
Blogger Jabba the Cat said...

@ quisquose said...

"Bickering aside, has anybody else noticed that Cranmer hasn't actually answered the questions?"

Funny you should mention that, I'm reminded of water going through a sieve...

1 February 2010 at 22:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is cranmer? as in the guy who owns this blog.

1 February 2010 at 22:51  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Madam Mambo, clearly you would not see this to be the case. Fanatics rarely do. Hope you are having lots of fun and games at my expense at the holy of holies. Your crew must think it is funny watching someone fight for their very belief, given that you atheists are far superior in intellect and reason to a mere christian.

1 February 2010 at 22:52  
Anonymous Gerry Pratt said...

Anon at 22.51, I always thought it WAS YOU who ran this blog.

1 February 2010 at 22:53  
Blogger Mambo said...

"Most of my posts over time have been about Dawkins' (mis)interpretation of the evidence."

And you're qualified to make this assumption, are you? You're an evolutionary biologist/ethologist/zoologist/geneticist/paleontologist, are you?

Or just some bloke in his bedroom with his blog?

"If I expressed forbidden ideas in my last round of comments, why wasn't I just given a polite explanation that I had 'gone too far'?"

As far as I'm aware it's usual practice to give three warnings for relatively minor infractions before a permanent and outright ban. Obviously, in the case of gross infractions of the rules (racist/homophobic abuse, libel, etc) a ban is immediate. Without knowing what you posted, I don't know which applies.

"Let's be honest, if Dawkins' disciples are encouraged to think about higher things, some of them will reject his version of life, the universe and everything."

Of course they might. I don't see why this seems to surprise you.

"'Atheists' will be as keen to avoid losing members of their congregation"

Atheists don't have a congregation.

"to other faiths"

It isn't a faith.

"as much as adherents to any other belief system."

It isn't one of those, either. But well done: you got nearly all of the most tired and worthless canards and cliches about atheists and atheism into one post.

1 February 2010 at 22:55  

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