Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Godless Labour Shadow Cabinet

Members of Parliament are obliged by law to swear allegiance to the Monarch before they may take their seats and draw a salary. Only Sinn Féin members refuse to conform to this requirement, though it has been known for republican-orientated members to swear allegiance with their fingers firmly crossed. But while allegiance to the Monarch is mandatory, MPs are given a choice on the divine dimension: they may either swear an oath ‘by Almighty God’ or they may simply ‘affirm’.

It has been observed that there is a distinct divide between the Libservative and Labour frontbench teams.

A clear majority of the Government frontbenchers swore allegiance under the religious form of the oath, while the Labour Shadow Cabinet was dominated by those who chose to affirm their loyalty in a secular form.

The majority of the Cabinet, led by David Cameron, took the oath: one by one they made a solemn declaration on pain of divine or preternatural wrath:

I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg declared:

I do solemnly, sincerely and most and affirm I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.
Oliver Letwin was the only other Coalition frontbencher to affirm using the non-religious oath. Senior Liberal Democrat figures Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, David Laws and Chris Huhne all opted for the religious oath.

But the Shadow Cabinet revealed their godlessness as the Almighty was set aside. David Miliband, Alistair Darling, Harriett Harman, Alan Johnson, Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Bob Ainsworth and John Denham all successively chose to ‘affirm’ rather than ‘swear’ allegiance.

During the swearing-in process, one backbench MP was caught on microphone observing: "Presumably in other times in our history the oath has been used to work out who is Catholic, who is Anglican, and all that?"

"Or who's religious and who's not," the clerk suggested.

It was, of course, nothing to do with discerning who is ‘religious’, and the Clerk really should have known better. Religious restrictions in the oath effectively barred individuals of certain faiths (Roman Catholics, Jews and Quakers) from entering Parliament for many years. But servants of the Crown have sworn allegiance to the Monarch since Magna Carta. Over the centuries this developed into three distinct oaths: of Supremacy (repudiation of the spiritual or ecclesiastical authority of any foreign prince, person or prelate); of Allegiance (declaration of fidelity to the Sovereign); and Abjuration (repudiation of the right and title of descendants of James II to the throne).

In 1953, the Queen swore on oath at her Coronation ‘to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom according to their laws and customs’. She promised ‘to maintain to the utmost of (her) power the Laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel and the Protestant Reformed religion established by law’. She declared, with Bible in hand: ‘The things I have here before promised I will perform and keep. So help me God.’

In swearing this, she committed herself and the Crown-in-Parliament to uphold the supremacy of Scripture. Thus every Member of Parliament swearing their Oath of Allegiance, while not being constrained in their individual conscience to profess the Christian faith, is declaring their commitment to defend biblical Christianity. Allegiance to the Queen must, at the very least, demand a defence of her oaths and promises to her subjects.

Thus those Members of Parliament who opt simply to ‘affirm’ their allegiance are, in fact, dedicating their lives to upholding the institution of Monarchy and therefore to defending the Coronation Oath.

Ergo, whether they ‘swear by Almighty God’ or ‘affirm’, MPs are making a formal declaration of the supremacy of the Protestant Reformed religion established by law.

76 Comments:

Anonymous Dyfed said...

Interesting and provocative post, Archbishiop! It probably needs a constitutional expert to decide whether you are correct in saying that MPs, by swearing or affirming allegience to the Queen, are also commiting themselves to upholding the Coronation Oath. From the simple words used, I would very much doubt it - but I'm no constitutional expert.

I am sure, however, that it does not follow that just because an MP has refused to swear the oath he or she is godless. Many Christians believe that Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount excludes the swearing of oaths in God's name.

Dyfed.

20 May 2010 at 10:07  
Anonymous Michael said...

'Thus every Member of Parliament.... is declaring their commitment to defend biblical Christianity'

Which puts them immediately at odds, one might argue, with the Protestant Reformed tradition, a political construct as it was, 'established by law' (always makes me chuckle that last bit), and against biblical teaching (Matt 16:18).

Oh I know you have the theology and the verbiage to refute this Cranny, and if you're anything like your moniker then you'll have an unmatched capacity for earnestly facing two opposing ways at once - my point is simply that there are contradictions, as there are bound to be, and the best way to overcome them in this instance is not to be overly dogmatic about it all, and certainly not to imply that any swearing in of MPs is implicit recognition of the supremacy of the Protestant Reformed tradition.

20 May 2010 at 10:19  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What is the difference between this exercise in semantics and the obligations demanded by the Mullahs in Iran or the Clerics in Saudi?

20 May 2010 at 10:26  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, being of Jacobite descent (the Camerons were 'out' in the '45) Dave is to be congratulated for swearing allegiance to the Hanoverians.

Dreadnaught, or should that be Dreadful, sometimes I despair. How can you compare a Christian democracy with an Islamic theocracy?

20 May 2010 at 10:32  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What is the difference between this exercise in semantics and the obligations demanded by the Mullahs in Iran or the Clerics in Saudi?

Answer: just about everything!

Dreadnaught, I don't think you've got a clue.

20 May 2010 at 10:36  
Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
Although the actions of NuLab have been decidedly non christian during their time in government, I would not say that choosing to affirm marks them out as non believers. The Lord told us not to swear by anything on Earth or in Heaven, but simply to let our yes be yes & our no be no. On the basis of this I have several times chosen to affirm rather than swear on oath when appearing as a character witness for different people.

20 May 2010 at 10:37  
Blogger James Miller said...

Preacher, that's true in theory, but in fact many on the Labour front bench are professed atheists, are they not?

20 May 2010 at 10:52  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Seriously ... do some people think the reason that so may of the Labour front bench didn't swear the oath is because they have such high view of scripture that they didn't want to find themselves contravening the Lord's teachings on oath making?

Still, I suppose it is better that they have not sworn the oath than to break the 3rd commandment.

20 May 2010 at 11:30  
Blogger Preacher said...

James Miller.
True enough, & if thats the reason for them to affirm then one hopes they know what they don't believe in. When I chose to affirm I made sure that my reasons were known, thus a negative became a positive. Many people just go with the flow, follow the line of least resistance, but many find themselves in troubled waters for their lethargy. One hopes that they find a lifeline before they go over the falls.

20 May 2010 at 11:31  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Personally I think both oath or affirmation are meaningless and therefore unnecessary.

If you must have one this would be it.
“I affirm I will do my best to serve the British people who have placed their trust in me.”

20 May 2010 at 11:35  
Blogger Preacher said...

Graham Davis.
Fine, but it is still an affirmation, it's the intent behind the promise not just the words that are repeated parrot fashion that count, wouldn't you agree?

20 May 2010 at 11:41  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

James Miller said...

Preacher, that's true in theory, but in fact many on the Labour front bench are professed atheists, are they not?

Well let’s hope so!

20 May 2010 at 11:42  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Preacher said...

Fine, but it is still an affirmation, it's the intent behind the promise not just the words that are repeated parrot fashion that count, wouldn't you agree?

Yes I do agree.

The proof will only become apparent with the passing of time.

20 May 2010 at 11:45  
Blogger Preacher said...

Graham Davis.
A man without the desire to honour his word, who just says what will be to his benefit whether he professes a faith or not is not a man to be trusted. Do you agree?.

20 May 2010 at 11:50  
Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

Just remember that "according to law" was put in to emphasise that Parliament decided who the "heirs and successors" would be, and not the Monarch.

20 May 2010 at 12:03  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Preacher said...

A man without the desire to honour his word, who just says what will be to his benefit whether he professes a faith or not is not a man to be trusted. Do you agree?

Yes I agree.

20 May 2010 at 12:05  
Blogger Preacher said...

Graham Davis.
Great, then let's hope that the men of honour in the Commons, will serve us all well, irrespective of their personal beliefs or affiliations. As you so rightly observe - Only time will tell.

Warmest regards: Preacher.

20 May 2010 at 12:32  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Q. How can you compare a Christian democracy with an Islamic theocracy?

A.When Cranmer uses terminology such as the supremacy of the Protestant Reformed religion established by law

How can an unelected Head of the CoE and of The State really be a democratic concept if other Xtians such as Catholics or non Anglicans are excluded from the line of succession. This is nothing less than the product of tinkering with the ridiculous principle of the Divine Rule of Kings.

And what makes an Anglican Head of State and Church more legitimate than would a Catholic, Methodists or a Mormon?

Edward the 8th and his arrogant aristos, would have willingly signed the fate of this nation over to the Nazis in 1938 to save 'us' from socialism - How democratic is that?

My point of comparing the Taliban etc is that they also believe that they act at the command and with the authority of their god too. They believe in their faith in the same committed manner as the Xtians in theirs.

Why is the Monarch not allowed to formulate or deny their own dietific relationship, without recourse to forcibly abdicating the throne? How is this Democratic? Why can't the Monarch vote?

As for religion - One religion is the same as any other in my opinion and merely the equal distillation of superstitious nonsense - it all depends who has the military might to endorse it and impose its authority on the populace.

Mixing the concept of religious supremacy with 21stC democracy does not make any more sense than do the illogical institutions like the Islamic theocracies, Tibetan Budhism or even Shintoism.

20 May 2010 at 12:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

It’s wonderful to see atheists making formal declarations of the supremacy of the Protestant religion established by law.

And it’s good to know that the atheists posting here carry coins bearing the image of our sovereign and the words on the rim of pound coins: ‘"Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith".

20 May 2010 at 12:55  
Blogger Catholic Teuchtar said...

Im England she is Anglican in Scotland she is presbyterian, so which verion of the "Scriptural" Protestant Reformed Religion is she actually supposed to upholding?

right. duck.

20 May 2010 at 13:00  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

D. Singh.

Are you for real?

Do you now think that weight is given to your beliefs because the money in an atheists pocket make a statement of faith?

Or because an atheist is forced to speak some words in order to serve the people?

Does that really make your belief any more true or do you believe that the atheists actually believe by proxy, because surely if they really lacked belief then they would refuse to use money, or become a politician.

Daft hysterical rantings of a lunatic.

20 May 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger Scrigg said...

At the end of the day, where will it get us? What will be different?I would go so far as saying that either way, it's Europe here we come.

As Obama has said:- "In countries like europe..."

20 May 2010 at 13:13  
Anonymous jaz said...

Preacher, that's true in theory, but in fact many on the Labour front bench are professed atheists, are they not?

All the more reason to vote for them

20 May 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Did Obama really say that?

Bloody hell, my wife will be livid.

20 May 2010 at 13:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Glovy

I didn't realise until now that you believed in Hell.

And Glovy: Shut it!

20 May 2010 at 13:52  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

D.Singh.

So now because I used the word "hell" in a figure of speech I believe in the concept of a
hell.

I didn't realise until now you were arrogant rude and verging on insanity.

No wait. That's a lie, I realised that a long time ago and almost everything you write just solidifies my original thoughts.

20 May 2010 at 14:03  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Dreadnought

'As for religion - One religion is the same as any other in my opinion and merely the equal distillation of superstitious nonsense'

This pretty much sums up why your arguments are so weak. If I were to say that all atheists are the same; merely the equal distillation of a superstitious faith in the supremacy of science, whilst not actually having any knowledge of it, would you not protest?

There are many different philosophies; theist and atheist. You only lump all theist philosophies together because it makes it easier to claim that Christianity is corrupt because of the actions of Muslims. Hence why the common retort is to tarnish atheists with Communism and Fascism.

'How can an unelected Head of the CoE and of The State really be a democratic concept...'

It isn't. We don't live in an absolute democracy, we live in a parliamentary democracy. Mob rule is worse than aristocratic rule. What we have is a compromise. Perhaps your atheist philosophy is in the ideal of democracy, just as some believe in the ideal of communism, anarchy or absolute monarchy. Governmental systems operate with imperfect people, so there is no perfect system. Don't say that something is wrong, just because it doesn't conform to your ideal; your ideal may just be wrong.

20 May 2010 at 14:05  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

D Singh said

And it’s good to know that the atheists posting here carry coins bearing the image of our sovereign and the words on the rim of pound coins: ‘"Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith".

I had never noticed that before. I wish you hadn’t pointed it out as I will have to spend the rest of the afternoon filing of the offending message from all my pound coins before I put them back into circulation!

20 May 2010 at 14:07  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

It is a criminal offence to deface Her Majesty's coinage.

20 May 2010 at 14:16  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The present Queen is probably a good Head of State, she is well informed and may offer wise council, so why is it essential to get rid of her?

To rely on the hereditary line of the Windsor’s to provide a constant supply of Heads of State is plainly ridiculous and is an insult to our democracy. The only way to ensure the legitimacy of that office is for it to be decided by democratic election.

The monarchy is an anachronism but as many seem still to be fond of it, so let them keep the palaces but not their income from the State. And let’s do this before Nutty Prince Charlie takes over. Let him talk to trees and grow even richer from the sale of his Duchy Originals. But keep him well away from the levers of power; he has already over stepped the mark by intervening in planning applications.

And Mr Singh...

De-edge surely but point taken. And no scribbling from the likes of you when Prof Dawkins appears on the £5 note!

20 May 2010 at 14:50  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr The Glovner,

Would you say that if a man who is swimming says he doesn't believe in water then it is not water that he is floating in?

Mr Graham Davis,

How silly you are! What on earth is wrong with the Queen's image on our coins? Better a marvellous monarch without taint of corruption, obliged to her people through a sense of duty, than some self-serving politician who has clawed and lied his way to the top.

Why will you people not give credit where it's due? What dark destructive motive compels you to deny the truths of existence and believe things contrary to the evidence before your eyes?

20 May 2010 at 14:50  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Glovner,

I think people actually need to contribute something to this country before they appear on banknotes.

20 May 2010 at 15:01  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Graham Davis,

On what basis do you say the monarchy is an 'anachronism'?
It plainly works better than anything else, so why do you want 'democratic legitimacy'?

What magic is there in having a plebiscite if it yields rulers who are like the last lot, incompetent, deceitful and destructive?

What on earth do you think is good about elections that so clearly produce people to rule us whom you despise?

If the monarchy didn't pay tax they wouldn't need state support.

And Prince Charles's planning intervention seems to have prevented an abomination, so what's wrong with that? If the heir to the throne does good and the elected politicians do bad does that make the former wrong and the latter right?

You really do live in a topsy-turvy world of your own creation.

20 May 2010 at 15:02  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Mr Walling in few brief sentences you have revealed your anti-democratic credentials.

philip walling said...

On what basis do you say the monarchy is an 'anachronism'?
It plainly works better than anything else, so why do you want 'democratic legitimacy'?


Perhaps you would prefer members of House of Commons to be appointed on a hereditary basis?

What magic is there in having a plebiscite if it yields rulers who are like the last lot, incompetent, deceitful and destructive?

Democracy is a bad form of government but it is the best we have.

What on earth do you think is good about elections that so clearly produce people to rule us whom you despise?

On the contrary I think there are many decent, honourable men and women in public life, I obviously have a higher opinion of my fellow human beings than you.

If the monarchy didn't pay tax they wouldn't need state support.

I am beginning to think that you may be a Royal yourself Mr (or is it Viscount) Walling. Perhaps I too should pay no tax?

And Prince Charles's planning intervention seems to have prevented an abomination, so what's wrong with that? If the heir to the throne does good and the elected politicians do bad does that make the former wrong and the latter right?

An abomination says who, a poorly educated inbred with no knowledge or understanding of the arts?

You really do live in a topsy-turvy world of your own creation.

No I live in the real world, no magic, no fairies and preferably no Kings and Queens.

20 May 2010 at 15:30  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

GD,

'I obviously have a higher opinion of my fellow human beings than you.'

'An abomination says who, a poorly educated inbred with no knowledge or understanding of the arts?'

lol

20 May 2010 at 15:37  
Anonymous philip walling said...

One point in reply:
'democracy is a bad form of government but it is the best we have'

No, it plainly isn't if I can point to a better.
It's just a trite modish phrase (Churchill came up with it didn't he?) to allow elected politicians a cloak of protection and to excuse their incompetence.

And how dare you refer to Prince Charles in such a way? Insulting someone is not an argument.
And 'the arts', what on earth do you mean by that?

20 May 2010 at 15:43  
Anonymous philip walling said...

'Reply to Mr Graham Davis' I should have said.

20 May 2010 at 15:44  
Blogger English Viking said...

I am a Christian and I most certainly would not swear an oath, as it forbidden by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Matthew chapter 5 vv 33-37

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

also James 5 v 12

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

Those politicians that have chosen not to be hypocrites, and pretend that they know God, and are willing to uphold his will and his ways, are in a far better place than those who will say one thing and then do another.

Consider HM QEII, for example. Has she really kept her oaths?

20 May 2010 at 15:52  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Democracy is a bad form of government but it is the best we have

philip walling said...
No, it plainly isn't if I can point to a better.

I am intrigued, what system did you have in mind?

And how dare you refer to Prince Charles in such a way? Insulting someone is not an argument. And 'the arts', what on earth do you mean by that?

A bit rude but factually correct.

Rather than start a new discussion on the meaning of art, the point surely is that Charles should not intervene privately in a planning application with the result that it was withdrawn. His objection should have been public and carried no more weight than any other interested party. What happened in the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment was nothing short of scandalous.

20 May 2010 at 16:20  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

But what if God doesn't exist? Would that make all those oaths invalid? I think we should be told.

20 May 2010 at 16:29  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Lakester91

I think you may have been wanting to direct your comment at Graham rather than me when you said:

"I think people actually need to contribute something to this country before they appear on banknotes."

As I made no mention of it, so I assume you were replying to his point about Dawkin's appearing on a banknote.

But I completely agree with what you said. Which is why I can't understand why the queen should adorne our currency since all she has actually done for herself of merit was to be born into privilege. Not really a skill or something to be congratulated on if you ask me.

20 May 2010 at 16:51  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

And to answer Phillip's point raised earlier:

"Would you say that if a man who is swimming says he doesn't believe in water then it is not water that he is floating in?"

Seems a silly statement to make to back up your point. The man can believe he isn't in water, he can convince all his friends he isn't swimming in water, he can even write a book concerning the fact that it isn't water he is swimming in, however if all the available scientific evidence points to the fact that he is in the water then his beliefs certainly aren't true until he can at least provide scientific evidence to challenge it.

Moral, belief doesn't equal fact it doesn't even make a theory.

20 May 2010 at 16:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Moral, belief doesn't equal fact it doesn't even make a theory.'

And yet when a man commits a moral act in space and time: it becomes a fact.

So shut it!

20 May 2010 at 17:03  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

An oath to one privilaged family is hardly pivotal to the current state of affairs.

I believe we would fair better as a nation, were we to take up the traveller system of bare knuckle boxing, for establishment of a kinfolk king.

Lineage and privilage has ran its course, let them put up their dukes, exchange blows to prove their worth, what value hath their champion!

In penmanship they are beaten by their own staff and use oaths as a crooked stick, why are we forced to adhere another crooked mile.

Signed: Mel Chisedecian

20 May 2010 at 17:26  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Lakester91

As you noticed a “slight” contradiction in my comments I have to concede the point.

'I obviously have a higher opinion of my fellow human beings than you.'

'An abomination says who, a poorly educated inbred with no knowledge or understanding of the arts?'

20 May 2010 at 17:27  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Glovner,

My example was perhaps a little silly, but the point is that it is still water that he's floating in whether he believes it or not. So his belief does not affect the truth.

20 May 2010 at 17:35  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Oops Glovy,

Sorry, been feeling ill today (hence the mid-day post); must have misread the post.

20 May 2010 at 17:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Lakester said:-
If I were to say that all atheists are the same; merely the equal distillation of a superstitious faith in the supremacy of science, whilst not actually having any knowledge of it, would you not protest? - and you offer this pathetic drivel as your understanding of a strong argument? LOL!

All I ask for is that you offer some proof to back up your belief.

20 May 2010 at 18:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'All I ask for is that you offer some proof to back up your belief.'

Dreadnaught

Madam,

To what standard of belief?

1. Opinion;
2. Balance of probabilities test;
3. Criminal law standard: beyond reasonable doubt; or

4. the scientific standard of belief.

20 May 2010 at 18:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I'll opt for option 4 Mr Singh

20 May 2010 at 18:27  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Option '4' means measurements in space and time.

Scientific instruments only measure that which is in space and time.

God is eternal. Outside of space and time.

It logically follows that our scientific instruments cannot prove God as they are inadequate to addresss that which is eternal (God).

All atsro-physicists are agreed that the Universe had a beginning.

That is: matter and energy had a beginning.

We know from scientific observation that matter and energy degrade over time. Therefore, matter and energy could not have always been here: the Universe could not have always been here.

We know this on the basis of scientific data.

The only logical possibility is that for matter and energy to come into existence they would have needed a cause that is an Eternal source (consistent with the laws of causality).

20 May 2010 at 18:41  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Its worth remembering the Arab and Berber muslim conquest of spain was abetted by Visigoth Nobles.

Gods punishment for converting from Arianism to Catholicism maybe.

And so we see this daliance with Catholic Eurabia manifesting itself in a treacherous Nobility, nothing new under the sun, history repeats.

20 May 2010 at 18:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Ms Dreadnaught

The only thoughtful atheist tp post here is Mr Davis.

How do I know this?

It is because he, realizing where the scientific view is leading, asked the question: 'Who created god?'

He truly understands: science.

But he does not want God because he doesn't want life 'and the Universe' to be like that.

It is inconvenient.

20 May 2010 at 19:04  
Anonymous Oswin said...

My family are 'English Catholics' - 'High Anglican' ... we were never 'Protestant' but readily agreed with the freeing of the English church from the yoke of Rome. Old Henry new what he about!

I hold no truck with all this subsequent revisionism ... it will all end in tears!

20 May 2010 at 19:08  
Anonymous Oswin said...

That's a 'knew' naturally....sighs...

20 May 2010 at 19:09  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Och Oswin!

A sigh is a sign of a wish unfulfilled.

20 May 2010 at 19:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

God is eternal. Outside of space and time

I asked for just a little proof Mr S. How is this scientific?

20 May 2010 at 19:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Ms Dreadnaught

The error that you assume, is that science which addresses only that which is in space and time, is capable of proving that which is the Eternal cause.

Science is incapable of proving an eternal source of causality. It is inadequate as it can only measure-prove that which is finite (and not that which is infinite).

Instruments (scientific) exist in space and time. Their limitations are bounded by space and time.

The reason why science needs the Eternal Cause is because science has accepted matter and energy degrade (therfore, they cannot always have been here).


I am not asking you to abandon science. I am asking you to love the scientific enterprise: 'And boldly go where few men dare to go.'

20 May 2010 at 19:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Okay.

That 'which is in space and time'.

Explain.

It is raining outside the port-hole of our ship in this storm.

The rain falls in the space around our warship.

We look at our watches. The time is 0.200 hrs in the morning.


It is a fact (because the rain is falling in our space and time) that it is raining.

20 May 2010 at 19:34  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Psalm 8

1 O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!


Dive! Dive! Dive!

20 May 2010 at 19:48  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Singh,

What does the parable of the sheep and goats mean?

I was talking to a High Anglican friend last week who expressed the view that there are two types of people: the sheep and the goats. The one is capable of accepting objective truth, whereas to the other everything is relative (filtered through the prism of his own ego) and between them there is a great gulf fixed.
What is your view?

20 May 2010 at 19:52  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Scientific equations break down when they keep arriving at infinity, infinity being unscientific, for this they substitute a pseudo-science of quantum unprovable and now we see it now we don't imponderables.

Yet the spiritual mind can visualize in the very symbol for infinty, a yin, yang, plus and negative principal.

Everything coming from nothing, since everything could not possibly exist, unless there was nothing in the first place to stop it.

A man sat neath a tree pondering life in a meditative state, was approached by a fellow of scientific research.

"What are you doing" asked the scientist

"Contemplating why the tree exists" answers the man

So the scientists goes away and invents many new fangled contraptions, he discovers many things photosynthesis, biological dependance, molecular structure, curatives and much much more, to the benefit of mankind.

Armed with all this, he returns to the man neath the tree, with his revelations.

"Yes, these things had come to mind" the man says

"but why?"

20 May 2010 at 20:03  
Anonymous Oswin said...

philip walling - that's what you get when you talk to High Anglicans...we're big on goats!

I'm rather fond of Bagots myself.

20 May 2010 at 20:48  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I think your grace highlights what the problem has been all along with the remnants of new Labour , dont believe in god ! The rather twisted society we have today doesnt really work , so if the proof that god doesnt exist manifest in a failed post 13yr socialist totallitarian regieme , i think its adeqaute time elapsed for the experiemnt to be proved a failiure.

Perhaps I should pray for these people to seek Gods mercy rather than the loss of the countrys wealth at our expense .

20 May 2010 at 22:33  
Blogger Bryan said...

Not that there are likely any Methodists left in their Mother Country, but they in good conscience may not "swear oaths" but must rather affirm in obedience to their belief that the Lord Jesus so commanded when He said, "But I say to you, do not swear at all: ... But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Matthew 5:33,37


I'm not making any claims for your godless leadership, merely stating that refusal of the "religious" oaths could well be made on religious grounds.

20 May 2010 at 23:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, a little pastoral awareness should always be applied to big questions like this. Nick Clegg for instance regularly accompanies his wife to church,assents to his children being brought up as Roman Catholics and took a Sunday off in the campaign to celebrate the first communion of one of his children. Oliver Letwin has admitted that one of the greatest sadnesses of his life was that the philosophy he read at Cambridge became the acid that destroyed his Jewish faith. Similarly John Denham is open in his support for "faith groups" with whom in social projects he often works alongside. None of these,and hopefully others among the naysayers, are despisers.

20 May 2010 at 23:37  
Anonymous len said...

I was at this time of living, like so many Atheists or Anti-theists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.
C.S. Lewis

20 May 2010 at 23:44  
Anonymous PJ said...

Bred in the Bone, what an excellent comment!

20 May 2010 at 23:51  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bryan at 23.37 - Methodists are alive and kicking up here in Northumberland. However, have they not recently returned to the C of E fold??? Is that what you meant? Our local Methodist groups seem to have merged with the regular Church. Certainly they alternate their services between Chapel and Church. Forgive my ignorance on this matter, I may be wildly off the mark with all this?

21 May 2010 at 01:25  
Anonymous no nonny said...

The "Parable of the Nations," right?

Well 'among the nations' round here one can probably find not only sheep and goats, but rich and poor, spotted and less than immaculate, RC and Protestant, High Anglican and 'radical' Puritan, Atheist and Theist, splitters of infinitives and non-splitters :), et cetera.

Likewise our "representatives" will be wise and foolish, some of whom clearly can't tell right from left, or who would rather have a whipped vote on who is to decide whose right and left is to prevail. Methinks, btw, that the Left have rather beefed up the pov of that old goat Siggy.

Methinks also, that nowadays the left/right bit relates to Tyrants like Ol' Rumpy who, on account of the Lefty Dialectic, don't want other cats - let alone the and rats and mice -* to see the difference between L&R. Which is to say that Oswin is right about Old Henry being right.

Others were right when they further freed us from tyranny by evolving constitutional monarchy - it worked until the Lefties developed a 'scientific' model for abusing it by lying... which they dub 'pragmatism' while refusing to separate 'expediency' from the 'practicable.'

So I say the whole problem about the oath is: How can we separate lying MPs from truthing MPs?

Which of these oath-takers prevaricate, and which operate 'in a general honest thought [of] common good to all'?** This land has long known a principle that supports the latter thought. It is: if Christian Rulers keep their oaths, then both they and the people can devote their loyalty (directly or indirectly) to the One Almighty God. Then cats don't need bells, mice don't eat up men's malt, and rats don't tear men's clothes to shreds. That's why we've been able to 'do bet' at governing ourselves, for so long.*

And why diving's now nearer than the horizon?


*Pace Langland: Piers the Plowman and his 'Fair Field Full of Folk.' (Prologue).

**Pace: Mark Antony, Julius Caesar (5.5.71/2 ... the text reads 'and common good.')

21 May 2010 at 02:19  
Blogger Bryan said...

I am one of those Americans who lurk and occasionally stir up trouble, so it is my ignorance of the Church in the UK which my post reflects. But that was actually beside the point, the point being the rather trivial offering that Christians could in good faith object to the "Religious" or any other oath on grounds of conscience with at least some modicum of Biblical support.

I was raised a Methodist in America, so I took the chance that the original Methodists would share this particular peccadillo.

21 May 2010 at 02:44  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Singh, I thank you for a serious attempt to answer my question without recourse to the usual insults. Quite worthy.

However the fact that I can see the rain from the inside of my porthole window suggests to me that if I went outside I would get wet. I know this to be true from my previous experience. I had been proven to me that water will make me wet, probably chill me and make my clothes uncomfortable to wear.

The time on the watch is merely a representation of of a man made construct of measurement created by mankind to order those of our daily actions usually superfluous to living on a planet rotating in a 24 hour orbit around the sun. Convenient to know, but not crucial, as we cannot influence it's course in any way.

Take the Maasai for instance have no need of the Western time construct, they go in time with their cattle and the sun the moon and the seasons. These are 'time' proven practicabilities created to support life as they experience it.

I understand and except that there is much about the world and indeed the universe that I will never understand nor to survive - need to. I am content.

I have no desire or indeed reason to believe that this is not the only life I will experience. I am not greedy for life and in that also I am content.

No person on earth has yet proved the existence of extra-terrestrial life but the probabilities suggest to me that here is such a thing. There may well be life forms beyond our primitive comprehension that we simply would not recognise by today's standard of knowledge. But if we ever do it will be because of a physical presence that our earthly bodies sense.

I cannot say the same for accepting the possibility of the existence of a divine creator based on ancient myths; told, retold, translated,re-translated, contextualised, revised, etc, etc, as being reason enough to convince me of even the possibility that this may be a truth.

If there was such a being he would not need the aid of humans of varying intellect and ability to be required to explain His/Her/Its presence or importance - they, I sure would undertake that small task all by themselves from the point of conception.

But thanks for trying anyway.
Peace.

21 May 2010 at 10:53  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Dreadnought
21 May 2010 10:53

Nice try

21 May 2010 at 11:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares?

21 May 2010 at 19:15  
Anonymous len said...

The Godless Labour Shadow Cabinet.
If you do not serve the greater God you will ultimately end up serving the lesser god.
It has been made relatively obvious where that path leads.

22 May 2010 at 07:00  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bryan at 02.44 - an American Methodist eh?

We don't, as such, have a great need for 'biblical support' within the Church of England...it is part organic, part construct; designed to free God from the persistence of zealots, lunatics and martyrs.

It is generally considered a jolly good idea all round; and, as God is indeed an Englishman, easy on the soul. The C 0f E accepts that God is 'unknowable' and leaves him to get on with it. God appreciates this enlightened attitude and thus exercises a quid pro quo lenience in return.

English Methodists, by their nature, have a few problems in allowing God such a free-hand.

By no means excessive 'God-botherers' themselves, they nevertheless expect a greater return for their Sunday collection-plate.

God, being tolerant enough, up to a point, doesn't let this get Him down unduly. Which is why He has welcomed them back into the Anglican fold; albeit on an alternate Sunday arrangement.

Methodists, being as equally fond of cucumber sandwiches and Church garden-fetes, as are members of the C of E, are thus regarded by God in like favour.

However, God is probably not a particular fan of 'happy-clappers' and other religious extremists.

Neither, truth be told, does He have much truck with excessive 'joyfulness' ... after all, a little boredom of a Sunday is surely a civilising thing?

One final point, God doesn't drink lager ... he prefers his beer brown.

I hope that this may have cleared up a few points for you; feel free to ask as you will.


Regards, Oswin.

23 May 2010 at 19:35  

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