Tuesday, June 15, 2010

541 Comments:

Blogger Chromatistes said...

Your Grace is somewhat enigmatic today.

15 June 2010 at 08:28  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The unfortunate chap is Giordano Bruno and a fellow sufferer of local warming which may be why Cranmer chose him. However he was a pantheist and a “martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas”, so well done YG coming out as an atheist at last!

Lifted from Wikipedia....
Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600), born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer, who is best known as a proponent of the infinity of the universe. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in identifying the sun as just one of an infinite number of independently moving heavenly bodies: he is the first man to have conceptualized the universe as a continuum where the stars we see at night are identical in nature to the Sun. He was burned at the stake by authorities in 1600 after the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy.

15 June 2010 at 08:42  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

I hope all is well Your Grace.

Chin up.

15 June 2010 at 09:29  
Anonymous Stuart said...

Gosh, that was somewhat powerful Your Grace....put me off my brekkie.....

15 June 2010 at 09:32  
Blogger Samuel Q Buckett said...

Isn't he that chap from Strictly Come Dancing?

Deserves to be burnt at the stake.

Not that I watch it myself.

15 June 2010 at 09:59  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

Trouble-igneous.

Unless it's an image of Davis - crowing on the rising inferno, impervious to the irrefutable logic of various communicants including Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti, - and crowned by the old manuscript-hump-backed "d."

But I suppose even that ought to be trouble-iferous.

So nonetheless, Your Grace, I pray...

15 June 2010 at 10:03  
Blogger English Viking said...

Who's the dude with no head?

15 June 2010 at 11:54  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I dare say Cranmer will enlighten us as to the reason for his choice of subject and Bruno does seem like a very interesting fellow. A couple of mins Googling and I found a full account of Bruno’s life and achievements at this site. http://www.theharbinger.org/xvi/971111/birx.html

15 June 2010 at 11:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EV: Holofernes - or another victim of the lady Judith?

15 June 2010 at 12:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe the spirit of John the Baptist - assailing the conscience of the stakeholder?

15 June 2010 at 12:32  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

.....and the artist is ANDRÉ DURAND
http://andredurand-gallery2000.com/pages/manifesto

and painted in 2000, what would we do without the only true God “Google”

15 June 2010 at 12:33  
Anonymous Gladiatrix said...

Was Giordano Bruno a bodybuilder and would he have been stripped before being murdered?

15 June 2010 at 12:51  
Blogger William said...

Your Grace

Is this picture your test card before the next article? It's certainly colourful enough.

Or perhaps this is part of the conversation. Hopefully not a cri de coeur.

15 June 2010 at 13:17  
Blogger English Viking said...

Anon @ 12:03

Thanks.

15 June 2010 at 13:37  
Anonymous len said...

The dark side of the 'church?'
Man`s inhumanity to man in the name of religion?

15 June 2010 at 13:37  
Blogger DaveF said...

The message from this picture appears to be (and I haven't seen it before) that those who persecute others in the name of religion destroy themselves. The figure holding the crucifix has no head - he's carrying it with his left hand. Contrast that with the dignity of the man tied to the stake, and the message seems clear. But I could of course be quite wrong..

15 June 2010 at 13:44  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Apparently published by the Catholic Church in 1889:

. . . But he insisted till the end always in his damned refractoriness and twisted brain and his mind with a thousand errors; yes, he didn’t give up his stubborness, not even when the court ushers took him away to the Campo de’ Fiori. There his clothes were taken off, he was bound to a stake and burned alive [e quivi spogliato nudo e legato a un palo fu brusciato vivo]. In all this time he was accompanied by our fraternity, who sang constant litanies, while the comforters tried till the last moment to break his stubborn resistance, till he gave up a miserable and pitiable life.

Perhaps Cranny has presented us with a puzzle that leads inexorably to the horrors still perpetrated by the Catholic Church along with its arrogance and conceit, “miserable and pitiable life” indeed. It seems that Bruno’s life and death was more noble and honest than any jumped up Pope including the current one.

15 June 2010 at 13:46  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

...or maybe Cranny has been stirred by a love of Joyce

An interesting essay by Thornton Wilder:
Giordano Bruno's Last Meal in Finnegan’s Wake

Read here:
http://www.giordanobruno.info/B&J.htm

I seem to be the only one fascinated by this enigmatic posting

15 June 2010 at 14:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, EV @13.37: - I checked out wiki references to a St. Bruno of Querfurt (c. 970 – February 14, 1009) a missionary who was beheaded on the Lithuanian border while evangelizing Eastern Europe.

I independently found the same Durand page as Davis. The manifesto categorises the Canadian Durand, as a Neomodernist, adding: "Neomodernism sees art as an expression of the most sublime spiritual principles and interpretations of the universe and man's existence, in line with the belief that the reality we live in is but a mirror of a deeper one that can only be reached through inspiration and imagination, " (Armando Bayraktari, André Durand, Scott Norwood-Witts 2000).
One of the tenets the writers define for the genre is: "A Neomodernist picture has links to the works of art that preceded it and or antiquity." - so the St. Bruno reference adds to the hermeneutic possibilities!

15 June 2010 at 14:23  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Durand is no Caravaggio in fact his painting is lightweight even by contemporary standards but the severed head may be a reference to Caravaggio’s famous painting David Holding the Head of Goliath in which the head is modelled on Caravaggio himself. He had an obsession with violence and especially decapitation, was probably a schizophrenic as well as being a murderer.

15 June 2010 at 15:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness - even the hell-hound's lost it's head!

Love the ironic legend the manifesto attaches (:D) to this picture: "A Neomodernist treatment of political or historical subject matter is detached and philosophical – never propaganda."

[Apparently the near-contemporary Caravaggio painting (Judith/Holofernes) might have referenced our subject execution.]

15 June 2010 at 15:23  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Graham Davis - go with it old son, I love a bit of speculation.

15 June 2010 at 15:46  
Anonymous T H Huxley said...

He had an obsession with violence and especially decapitation, was probably a schizophrenic as well as being a murderer.

Very apposite. Sounds a bit like God.

15 June 2010 at 16:29  
Anonymous circus monkey said...

When ARE the police going to crack down on disorderly conduct in our city centres at the week end?

15 June 2010 at 16:34  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Ok Oswin here goes

http://andredurand-gallery2000.com/paintings/self-portraits_with_rinaldo/large
is a self portrait of Durand the painter of Cranmer’s image.

http://andredurand-gallery2000.com/paintings/giordano_bruno_burning_/large
is an enlargement of Cranmer’s image showing the severed head more clearly

One and the same person?

If so the Caravaggio connection is strong as both use self portraits for their severed heads. But all of that is by the bye.

Why was HG drawn to this image?

He was reading Finnegan’s Wake and was intrigued by the Bruno references and as both his own alter ego and Bruno came to the same fiery end decided to Google for a suitable image. As the Durand image is high in the rankings and is enigmatic to say the least, he has set us this little teaser.

There!

“But how the heck did you get on to him so quickly Poirot”? “My dear Hastings it was all down to the little grey cells..... at Google”

15 June 2010 at 17:09  
Blogger William said...

Nonsense Davis.

Len mentioned "The dark side of the 'church'?"

but it's more likely to be "the Force".

That's clearly Palpatine hovering in the background. The dog has a primitive light sabre in its mouth and that must be Han Solo in the middle about to be re-carbonised. Luke Skywalker (left hand side) has just powered down his light sabre having decapitated the chap in the foreground (or was it the dog?).

Who needs Google? The evidence is right in front of you.

His Grace has many times stood up for the Jedi in previous posts. This is clearly another attempt to draw attention to their plight through the medium of art.

15 June 2010 at 17:23  
Blogger Scrigg said...

It's all very oddball, but I have enjoyed Davis's enlightening comments. I would have had no idea who or what the hell it was all about.

I am a tad concerned with the morbidity of it all though. His Grace is not usually one to dwell on the dark side of things like this. Is His Grace experimenting with mind altering chemicals, or did he over-do the nutmeg on His toast this morning?

Whatever, I rather like the sublimity of this post, it's interesting to see such a diversion from the usual.

15 June 2010 at 18:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm...Maybe the dog's in one piece after all - difficult to tell.

15 June 2010 at 18:31  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The brush strokes are quite exuberant, a story in themselves.

For the artist lives every flurry, breathes life into each lick of paint he sweeps onto the canvas.

Every shade and texture has its own story to tell, each bristle shared in mindful retrospection.

Whatever we read into this masterpiece, only the creator has a gist for sure the emotion that went into his creation.


Leaving the onlooker forever perplexed, with a desire to know and in turn finding within ourselves the very same artist, who follows the master.

The creation has life, long after the creators work was done and the craftsman knew the end, before we even got to look on.

Then we see, in a stroke of pure genius, the painted existence we live a work done by numbers, from cradle to grave.

As ever its not what we see, that reveals a mystery but that which has been painted out.

15 June 2010 at 18:52  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Its it Labours new eutopian poster image of socialism your grace ?

Striking image none the less .

15 June 2010 at 19:10  
Blogger Scrigg said...

Aside from what Davis tells us about this painting, I rather like what Len has to say. There is a set divine order to the universe with many different levels or planes of reality, and this painting shows the dark spirits of chaos and suffering leaking into the physical plane.

I do believe that certain things are best left alone, such as Ouija Boards and the like. This painting has a kind of ceremony, or conjuring aspect going on with the subject matter which will connect with the dark side of the spiritual planes and could summon the evil ones onto our realm. Even looking at things like this can be dangerous because it can bring out some strange ideas and emotions. It's not a painting you would want to display above your mantelpiece really. It's not a subject matter to inspire the best of Christian aspirations.

15 June 2010 at 19:11  
Anonymous non mouse said...

After consideration, I suggest that the painting provides an allegorical illustration of the texts Len cited 2 strands ago. In that light, theme it reflects is: "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" - in accord with 1 Cor. 1.18-25, and Romans 8.7.
The allegory:
1.Alludes, on the Literal Level, to several historical situations where men have judged and condemned the thoughts and actions of others, and have also killed each other, as a result (Bruno/the Church; Holfernes/Judith; John the Baptist/Herod; and, ultimately, Christ/secular-religious authorities).
2. Suggests, on the Symbolic or Allegorical Level, that God has made foolish the wisdom of i) Bruno - who killed himself both physically and spiritually because he asserted his understanding of the world; ii) the Church hierarchy - who asserted a different understanding of the world and killed Bruno physically (they may have condemned their own souls, but in fact could not kill Bruno's).
In the painting, the symbols for reliance on Carnal or Fleshly Wisdom are Bruno and his persecutors (& the dog?); the symbol for reliance on spiritual wisdom is the Headless Man, who holds his worldly wisdom in his left hand and, with his right, offers the Way of the Cross to the condemned man.
3. Suggests, on the Moral or Tropological Level, a course of action in which men should not rely solely on the "wisdom of the flesh" (intelligence/logic) - because that way leads us repeatedly to crucify each other; and we also continue to commit spiritual suicide.
4. There may even be an Anagogical Level. I think it suggests that mankind is not progressing in spiritual terms. After all, if we maintain that Bruno acted rightly, then we reject Judaeo-Christian wisdom and make each man a law unto himself; if we maintain that the Church was right, we reject the same spiritual wisdom and condone unjust worldly power; if we condemn the Church as an institution, then we maintain that Bruno was right and reject the guardians of spiritual wisdom.

We have, though, a Thesis that the Worldly Knowledge of each individual should rule (Bruno); an Antithesis that the Spiritual Knowledge of each individual should rule (the Headless Man); and a Resolution that Christ, through the example of His Sacrifice and suffering on the Cross, has shown us the way to preserve each other - both physically and spiritually. That is: "For if you live according to the flesh you shall die: but if by the spirit [of Christ] you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live," (Rom. 8.9 and 8.13).
If the Church fails to reflect and act upon that teaching, then it does not do its job - and God has made it foolish.

Well that's my argument... there are undoubtedly other possibilities --- and I continue to pray that all goes well for Your Grace.

15 June 2010 at 23:36  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

So ... is this an anti-EU post?

15 June 2010 at 23:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dark side?

I immediately thought of Nathanael West's novella "Day of the Locusts' about a group of basically selfish and deluded people trying to make it in Hollywood in the Depression era of 30's America. The film of the book (1976) made an incredible impression on me. Essentially, the ending is apocalyptic. A child taunts one of the characters until he can stand it no more and he chases this child through the crowd attending a Hollywood premiere and finally when the child falls over stamps on her (or him) again and again. This sets of the crowd who are already in an excitable mood because of 'seeing' the celebrities. This incident sparks the riot and burning conflagration. I think Nathanael West was trying to say that writers who deal out optimism and that given a few evil moments the world is becoming a better and more liberal place, are deluded.

The world is evil. This world is only the devil's plaything and that anything lovely or beautiful in this life is a lie. The people always know this deep down. So thus their uncontrolled anger at the end of the film.
So let's not dismiss the Albigensian heresy as something distant and historical. If you want to understand civilisation read the book - the characters are much more unredeemable than the ones in the film. But the film packs a tremendous punch. See it!

16 June 2010 at 00:10  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Perhaps tomorrow His Grace intends to exhibit a building brick; notwithstanding Carl Andre, or equivalent?

16 June 2010 at 00:35  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

"However he was a pantheist and a “martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas”— Graham Davis

such as his belief in the transmigration of the human soul into animals, magic and astrology.

16 June 2010 at 01:04  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Sam Tarran @23:37 -- is the eu Anti-Christ?

I'd also add that, be it secular or religious, the worldly establishment behind our scene displays windows that are the eyes of its soul. At the very least they reflect the conflagration; but they might also reveal a spirit that feeds it.

Is the figure at the 2nd window human? In any case, whether it watches, jumps, falls, or is pushed - without Christ, the placement is frying pan --> fire.

So Oswin @ 0035 - I think today's message is consonant with the BCP: "Except the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it." ( Nisi Dominus Churching of Women).
Perhaps arrangements of bricks and associated court cases would say nothing further!

Well - we'll see.

16 June 2010 at 08:54  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Non Mouse @ 23.36, I'm very impressed by your explanation of His Grace's alarming choice of image. His message is completely lost on me.

16 June 2010 at 10:04  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

The meaning of his Grace's post is simple. He is telling us that a picture is worth a thousand words.

;-)

16 June 2010 at 10:28  
Blogger Gnostic said...

It's obviously symbolic of UK politics. The headless figure in the foreground is our current leadership and the poor bugger getting a thorough toasting is common sense. The dog is the electorate hence it's well kicked countenance yet still it defies authority by smoking a roll-up. The figure on the right is the saintly Ed Balls, chopsticks of Blame Brown in hand, wearing the raiment of a born again opportunist. The hooded figure behind him is Brown returning the knife in the back favour while whispering obscenities and accusations in Ed's shell like as Blair looks on. The Dark Lord, Mandelbum, is the ghost haunting the upper right background of the image. He could be savouring the hell he has wrought or he could just be out on the pull. The corpulent and bombastic figure just out of frame is Prescott baking a dozen pork pies in the ashes.

16 June 2010 at 10:34  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI ....

I have no problem with Pantheism, it has no dogma, no belief system and no personal God. My problem is with religion that invariably creates for itself “the truth”, usually associated with all manner “historical” events that it claims support this “truth” and of course enshrined in a “holy” book.

I confess that I had not come across Bruno prior to yesterday but he seems to have been an extraordinary man. His ideas, given the time that he lived, are breathtaking and his courage, maintaining his intellectual integrity to the bitter end, is a source of inspiration.

It surprises me that a scientist like yourself is unwilling challenge all the precepts on which your faith in your religion are based, rather you seem to be able to believe without evidence, something that in your professional life would I imagine be unacceptable. Surely fundamental to science is the need to constantly challenge the status quo, to never accept received wisdom and to doubt continuously. That you appear to be able to circumvent this necessity when it comes to your faith leads me to the explanation that I have offered previously that your faith is kept behind an intellectual firewall where normal reasoning and the demand for evidence are kept at bay.

16 June 2010 at 10:38  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

Graham Davies @ 8.42: "free thought and modern scientific ideas ... well done YG coming out as an atheist at last!"

And you think that no deist is capable of free thought, do you? That atheists have a monoply on modern scientific ideas? I wonder how you would rationalise those premises against the reputations of Notre Dame and Brigham Young Universities, both overtly religious institutions owned and run by churches, two of the most highly regarded universities in America?

This is the thing about atheists -- your assumptions are powered by such a breath-taking lack of knowledge and understanding. It never ceases to amaze me the way people who boast of how they never read the Bible, never attend a church, and never study theology so regularly assume themselves to be experts on religion and what religious people are like.

What you're striving against is not religion, or religiosity, but a stereotype, a bogeyman, with no foundation in reality. Go study religion. Find out a little about it, and then you'll able able to asess its merits and weaknesses. Right now, you're just exposing your ignorance.

I am, of course, wasting my time. A pound to a dollar says you'll reject what I've said and reassure yourself that you already know everything you need to know. Which of course is why you know nothing.

16 June 2010 at 10:46  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

I haven’t read Harry Potter but I know that too is fiction.

"Theology ... is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there” so said Robert A Heinlein and I can't better it.

16 June 2010 at 11:01  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

"It surprises me that a scientist like yourself is unwilling challenge all the precepts on which your faith in your religion are based, rather you seem to be able to believe without evidence, something that in your professional life would I imagine be unacceptable"

Whereas I'm a Master of Science and a converted atheist. What makes you think we have no evidence? That's a remarkably biased conclusion for such a professed scientist to jump to. For all you know, I might share tea and crumpets with Jesus at four o'clock every afternoon!

I have plenty of evidence to satisfy me, both philosophical and empirical. Don't ask me for details, because I'm not giving them (I doubt an attitude such as yours would attach any weight to them anyway).

I routinely question the "truth." I would have to doubt the emotional security of any Christian who refused to do so. Life is always throwing new challenges at one, and only an atheist assumes he already knows everything he needs to. Usually, my challenges add to my understanding of God, although sometimes, it can take a while to figure out and cause some confusion in the meantime. That's the nature of scientific enquiry. But what you call "[circumventing the necessity to] never accept received wisdom and to doubt continuously" is what most Christians would call not jumping to conclusions, which is a very sound and healthy scientific principle.

16 June 2010 at 11:16  
Blogger writermannkl said...

May I introduce a bit of levity

What about St Bruno the well known slow burning pipe tobacco.

Few consumer brands remain unchanged as St Bruno has for 100 years.

Which of the many Saint Bruno's was he named after?

The abundance of Bruno's is to be expected. Somehow St Brown pipe baccy doesn't have quite the same feel to it.

16 June 2010 at 11:22  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

For all you know, I might share tea and crumpets with Jesus at four o'clock every afternoon!

Then your delusion would be established beyond doubt

I have plenty of evidence to satisfy me, both philosophical and empirical. Don't ask me for details, because I'm not giving them.

Evidence?

16 June 2010 at 11:25  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

writermannkl said...

May I introduce a bit of levity

By all means!

St Brown? I thought he would get a peerage first, beatification later.

16 June 2010 at 11:36  
Blogger William said...

Mr Davis said...

"I haven’t read Harry Potter but I know that too is fiction."

Perhaps you should read it first before coming to a conclusion? Or is the author's (and other's) claim that it is a work of fiction enough for you?

16 June 2010 at 11:48  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

Graham Davies @ 11.25

Oh yes, plenty of evidence. Both philosophical and empirical, as I said. Not only of God's existence, but of His personal involvement in the lives of individuals. But that involvement is conditional, as the Bible makes clear, and you're unlikely to experience it for yourself unless you're meeting those conditions -- which you clearly are not prepared to.

I imagine you will now discount what I've said and assume my evidence really isn't evidence at all, on the deeply unscientific principle that if you can't see or experience the effects of nitrogen, then it must not exist, and everybody who asserts that it does must be delusional.

16 June 2010 at 11:54  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

as the Bible makes clear, and you're unlikely to experience it for yourself unless you're meeting those conditions -- which you clearly are not prepared to.

Could have been written by Joseph Heller

I imagine you will now discount what I've said and assume my evidence really isn't evidence at all, on the deeply unscientific principle that if you can't see or experience the effects of nitrogen, then it must not exist

I cannot see nitrogen but I can prove that it exists and that proof can be replicated by anyone. That is evidence.


William said...

Perhaps you should read it first before coming to a conclusion? Or is the author's (and other's) claim that it is a work of fiction enough for you?

If an author says that what they have written is fiction, I tend to believe them, also I saw the film.

16 June 2010 at 12:14  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

Graham Davies: "I cannot see nitrogen but I can prove that it exists and that proof can be replicated by anyone. That is evidence."

No, you can't, which is why I selected nitrogen as an example. So far as I'm aware, there is no test to confirm that a given gas is nitrogen. So you can't prove that nitrogen exists, nor can that proof be replicated by anybody. But you don't see that as a reason to dismiss the evidence of those who insist that nitrogen does indeed exist.

That would be deeply unscientific, which again leads me to question why a professed scientist would summarily reject my assertion that I have concrete philosophical and empirical evidence to support the existence of God, and His intimate involvement in the lives of mortal humans.

The point reverts to that deep ignorance that I mentioned earlier. You never read the Bible, never attend church, never study theology, and, with an attitude such as yours, I doubt you know many deists either. So you really have nothing upon which to base your "understanding" of what religion is about, or why religious people even believe what they do. All your premises are consequently so deeply flawed that you end up arguing against stereotypes and phantasms that have no bearing whatever in reality -- grown-up evolutions of the monsters that lurked under your bed.

You mentioned earlier the need to "never accept received wisdom and to doubt continuously." Do you not think your education might benefit from applying that principle to your own life? I see little inclination in your posts to scientifically question your own premises.

"Could have been written by Joseph Heller"
It could also have been written by Voltaire. Or St Paul. What's your point?

16 June 2010 at 12:59  
Anonymous forkandles said...

I have concrete philosophical and empirical evidence to support the existence of God, and His intimate involvement in the lives of mortal humans.

Really? Has your paper been peer reviewed? Has your proof been replicated by other scientists? And since when has philosophy, any more than consensus, been considered as any kind of hard evidence?

16 June 2010 at 14:44  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

And still no output?

I do so hope this is not an indication of your state of mind Your Grace. Warm wishes of wellness to you.

16 June 2010 at 15:21  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

Graham, if you're still reading this, why don't you come down to CB2 cafe tonight at 8pm and introduce yourself to the Cambridge humanists?

16 June 2010 at 15:37  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

Forkandles @ 14.44: "Has your paper been peer reviewed?"

No. Neither has yours.

It is not the place of science to enquire upon the existence or non-existence of God. That was a principle established during the seventeenth century.

Nor would science even be capable of such an enquiry. Since science is fundamentally about measurement, it would need to establish some means of measuring God before it could embark upon such an enquiry.

That doesn't mean that the subject does not exist. Science can't really study love either, for precisely the same reason. That doesn't mean that love doesn't exist, or that you can't see the evidence of it.

So peer review doesn't come into it one way or the other. I'm surprised you even suggested it.

"Has your proof been replicated by other scientists?"

Oh yes. There are many scientists who believe strongly in the existence of God, and have plenty of reasons to believe in it. You might be interested in the scientific research being conducted by the likes of the University of Notre Dame, an overtly Christian university that is widely regarded as one of the finest in the USA: http://or.nd.edu/

Or there's Brigham Young University, owned and operated by the Mormon church: http://www.byu.edu/webapp/home/index.jsp Again, a very highly regarded university, sometimes even called "the Harvard of the West". And it's got loads of scientists working and studying there. About thirty thousand of them, actually.

16 June 2010 at 16:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The cool, calm and collected fella, looks like nothings going on around him, just stood there with a book.

Got me curious now, his fingers are saving a particular page, any ideas?

16 June 2010 at 17:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The atheists who have recently presumed to take over this Christian site have dimmed the pleasure of my own visits. So for my part, I thank the foreign-based scientists who come here and tackle them! Those of you who are newer may not know that the most aggressive of them has admitted he has no degree at all; indeed, he seems ineducable still. The erudition of the others is also questionable!

None of us, of course, owes them anything - let alone explanations or justifications. It's really very good of you, and you're doing a wonderful job. They're clearly not up to your standards. So thanks again, for doing this - especially since they're playing open-season during His Grace's down time.

16 June 2010 at 17:20  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Maybe the book is the UNs agenda 21 and the painting depicts a luciferian transformation we must be subjected to, in order for their goal to be achieved.

16 June 2010 at 18:40  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Any more of this, and His Grace will feel redundant!

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr : What a refreshing change to read such as yours! A brave warrior indeed, taking-on all manner of Godless swine. More power to your elbow hen fachgen! (did I get it right???)

16 June 2010 at 19:21  
Anonymous IanCad said...

I most certainly hope that all is well with YG. This cryptic post is worrying. Many here, I am sure, have you in their prayers.

16 June 2010 at 20:00  
Blogger srizals said...

Anon bragging at 16 June 2010 17:20:

"None of us, of course, owes them anything - let alone explanations or justifications"

If you can't explain yourself, what's the point of existing? Is there any intellect or eruditeness in your stuck up statement Mr or Mrs Anon? For God's sake, you’re anonymous!

Have the guts of at least, to have an identity.

16 June 2010 at 21:04  
Blogger Sam Buckett said...

His Grace has has instructed me to instruct Anon to thtop being thuch an awful old thnob.

16 June 2010 at 22:37  
Anonymous Matt W said...

There's some bad science going around here, as well as some dubious theology. There can be no comparison between the existence of God and the existence of nitrogen, the methods of proof are not comparable. You can determine if a given gas is nitrogen by various ways (spectroscopy of emission lines, chemical reactions etc.) - the experiment will give a characteristic result that we associate with the nitrogen atom / molecule, one could repeat it and everyone can agree it's nitrogen. There is nothing at all profound about this. However, the existence of God is altogether more complex, and cannot be reduced to mathematical (proof from self-evident axioms) or physical (consistency with experiment) proofs. I believe God exists, and more pertinently, appeared in flesh in Jesus Christ and died to pay the punishment of our sin against the almighty creator, but some people here evidently don't. Neither position can be scientifically disproven or proven - it is a statement that transcends natural law to say that God exists. However, for many of us, the existence of God is, from our personal experience a reality, and makes for a better (in our eyes, at least) view of the world. You are entitled to discount that evidence - and indeed, it is worthless on a scientific level. Yet if you are searching for a complete scientific proof that God exists or not, you will not find one, and you shall have to make up your mind based on what facts we have, your experience and faith.

16 June 2010 at 22:39  
Blogger Sam Buckett said...

I should have said "inthtwucted". Obviouthly wathn't conthentwaiting.

16 June 2010 at 22:44  
Blogger Sam Buckett said...

Plus. Matt W; you're spot on imho. If life isn't experiential, what is it? Keep it up.

16 June 2010 at 22:50  
Anonymous PJ said...

I think everyone has thought way too much into this. I don't think it was his Grace's intention to get into the significance of Neomodernism of the life of Giordano Bruno. I think it is reference to His Grace's situation at the moment. If one types "burnt at the stake" into google images, this is the 4th picture that comes up, but I dont think he used this picture as it is the wrong resolution, I think he may have used the image from the second page on google images which proves to be quite an interesting website http://oxfordseo.com/blog/?p=292. So I think His Grace's message is simple and not complex as some commuincants have suggested

16 June 2010 at 23:09  
Anonymous PJ said...

...But I may be wrong, it just seems like a coincidence

16 June 2010 at 23:17  
Anonymous Katy said...

@MattW; quite.

Martin Rees was asked in his Reith lecture this week, what he thought about the fact that there was all this science out there, and yet people still believed in God. And he failed to give the accurate response that each seminal moment at which scientists have triumphantly claimed that God doesn't exist because.... actually proved nothing of the sort!

Take this for example; scientists conjectured that the universe was created by the Big Bang. 'Hooray', they said, 'proof positive that God had nothing to do with it!'. 'How clever,' the Christians replied, 'for God to build the world using two prototypes he'd made earlier'.

Then Darwin came up with a theory that we'd evolved from monkeys. 'Hooray,' said the sceptical scientists, 'God didn't make man, he evolved from apes!'. 'How clever,' the Christians replied, 'for God to have a trial run!'.

Maddening, aren't we ;)

16 June 2010 at 23:21  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Y Rhyfelwr Dewr

Forkandles @ 14.44: "Has your paper been peer reviewed?"

No. Neither has yours.


I don't have a paper because I'm not the one hinting I might be a scientist. I'm not the one claiming that I have empirical evidence of the existence of a bearded anthropomorphic supernatural entity reputed to dress like an extra from the Ten Commandments.

You now claim that science is incapable of testing your evidence. If the data you claim to posses cannot be falsified by an observer outside of the consensus of belief then your hypothesis is worthless unless your claim is taken on faith. I was educated to question everything and take nothing on faith.

Belief is not proof. Consensus without empirical evidence is a weasel arguement that has more holes than a sieve. Arguement from authority is not evidence.

Either you do not know what empirical evidence is which means you are no scientist or you deliberately lied, perhaps believing people holding a contrary view possess the intellect of a squashed parsnip because they didn't attend BYU.

I cannot prove god does not exist. Atheism is a hypothesis that cannot be falsified because the data required to do so is not available. The existence of god is also a hypothesis. You claim to have scientific proof god exists to which I say, bring it on already. Let's see your God Equasion.

16 June 2010 at 23:21  
Anonymous len said...

Since the fall of man happened in the intellectual department when man traded revelation knowledge for reasoned knowledge, from faith to independence God has reversed this process with His plan for salvation.
God has placed an open door in the Universe where there is a price to pay for entry,
Repentance and humility,

The fallen man devoid of the spirit cannot grasp spiritual realities he searches with his intellect but cannot grasp it.


The Apostle Paul, describing that conflict, said, "The word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.... Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:18, 20). While the first-century philosophers viewed the wisdom of God as foolishness, in truth, God exposed their so-called "wisdom" as foolish. That opposition makes the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God incompatible-they are mutually exclusive.

God has given man the ability to study, analyze, categorize, and develop the physical resources of this earth to benefit physical life. But that's where his wisdom ends. Because of sin, his mind is totally unable to discern the spiritual dimension. He has no power to change his own heart, no understanding to solve his spiritual dilemma, and no resources to satisfy his soul-he is spiritually dead.

17 June 2010 at 01:13  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Bred in the Bone - interesting! If that's a sneer I see on the enlarged image of his face, perhaps he's one of Bruno's detractors. In any case, I think it's appropriate to this strand that our burning subject said the following:

"After it hath been seen how the obstinate and the ignorant of evil disposition are accustomed to dispute, it will further be shewn how disputes are wont to conclude; although others are so wary that without losing their composure, but with a sneer, a smile, a certain discreet malice, that which they have not succeeded in proving by argument — nor indeed can it be understood by themselves — nevertheless by these tricks of courteous disdain they pretend to have proven, endeavouring not only to conceal their own patently obvious ignorance but to cast it on to the back of their adversary. For they dispute not in order to find or even to seek Truth, but for victory, and to appear the more learned and strenuous upholders of a contrary opinion. Such persons should be avoided by all who have not a good breastplate of patience." [[Introductory Epistle : Argument of the Third Dialogue" -According to http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno]]

As to the page - I can't tell! Maybe it's a page in the guy's diary! Structurally, however, the book points in the direction of the monument (a re-materialisation of Bruno) and therefore to the 'shadow of his memory/ideas' upper right. This line of images forms the one arm of a chi cross (there seem to be several)...

17 June 2010 at 02:55  
Anonymous non mouse said...

And thank you Len! Of course I agree, and I think something our insurgents also forget is that the sensory perceptions of mankind are limited. Sure - we've managed to extend those via electronics, optics, etc. But it beats me why we should be required to believe that what we can perceive is all there is...

We had discussions like this at my third-form dinner table. Some people seem to have stalled at that stage, despite the 'glories' of the internet...

Continued prayers for His Grace.

17 June 2010 at 03:10  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

"...your faith is kept behind an intellectual firewall where normal reasoning and the demand for evidence are kept at bay"—Graham Davis.


Graham: You fail to understand that science is not the only reliable form of inquiry. The very claim that it is lies outside science, and admits no proof within science. Your error is the idolatry of scientism —the belief that everything can be explained by science. A scientific theory describes only an infinitesimal subset of reality —its constitutive domain. Leaving aside limitations imposed by logic itself, no model of reality can possible be isomorphic to reality, for then it would be as complex as reality itself, and therefore useless.

You claim that the astrologer Bruno is a source of inspiration for you but do not say to what he inspires you. To an appreciation for astrology? Or maybe to a heightened distate for religious belief. Perhaps you could try finding some inspiration in the tens of thousands of Christian martyrs. Personally, I find Maximilian Kolbe more inspiring than Bruno.

Belief in Christianity does not, as you claim, require that "normal reasoning and the demand for evidence are kept at bay" To the contrary, what really requires an intellectual firewall is a distrust in your fellow man, so hubristic as to be capable of rejecting as fraud, delusion or the madness of crowds, all historical claims of miracles, and all religious experiences of all men, throughout all time.

“The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer”.—Albert Einstein

17 June 2010 at 04:54  
Blogger William said...

CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI

What an incisive, elegant, rational critique. Spoken like a true scientist. Greatly appreciated.

And thanks to Graham Davis for bringing it on. He is a tour de force. The antithesis of thesis.

17 June 2010 at 07:28  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

len

Since the fall of man happened in the intellectual department when man traded revelation knowledge for reasoned knowledge, from faith to independence God has reversed this process with His plan for salvation.

Would you mind telling us fallen ones where the application for intellectual reversal was lodged so that we can all have a read and a good laugh? The faithful keep telling us that god made us what we are. Now you are saying he changed his mind? That he made a mistake? Well there goes the omniscient claim.


God has placed an open door in the Universe where there is a price to pay for entry,
Repentance and humility,


The universe apparently has many doors and the cost of entry is spaghettification.

The fallen man devoid of the spirit cannot grasp spiritual realities he searches with his intellect but cannot grasp it.

Then, using the god made man in his own image hypothesis, why did he give us a brain to reason with? As design faults go this one's a pearler wouldn't you say? The omniscience index is dipping rather alarmingly don't you think.


The Apostle Paul, describing that conflict, said, "The word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.... Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Cor. 1:18, 20). While the first-century philosophers viewed the wisdom of God as foolishness, in truth, God exposed their so-called "wisdom" as foolish. That opposition makes the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God incompatible-they are mutually exclusive.

Yes, let's ridicule and destroy anyone who uses god's gift of reason to work out that what Paul told everyone to believe is an industrial grade mass soporiphic wrapped up as god's word.

God has given man the ability to study, analyze, categorize, and develop the physical resources of this earth to benefit physical life. But that's where his wisdom ends.

God created man to be museum curators and cataloguers? God gave us the intellect to probe the mysteries of the universe and then expects us to ignore what we find? Are you serious?

Because of sin, his mind is totally unable to discern the spiritual dimension. He has no power to change his own heart, no understanding to solve his spiritual dilemma, and no resources to satisfy his soul-he is spiritually dead.

And so the arguement descends to the level of kindergarten rhetoric. If non-believers don't believe what the founder of the Christian church says then we're all sinful, soulless creatures who will burn in hell, so there. Classic.

non mouse you have confused ignorance with logic. Ignorance is believing everything you are told without question in the hope of what you are being told to believe is true. My so called god given brain won't let me do that. As for non-believers being insurgents - ahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha

17 June 2010 at 09:17  
Blogger Gnostic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 June 2010 at 09:42  
Blogger Gnostic said...

His Grace's absence is both puzzling and troubling. Is everything all right, YG?

17 June 2010 at 09:54  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

Graham: You fail to understand that science is not the only reliable form of inquiry

Yes it is.

The scientific method requires evidence and the ability for a scientific assertion to be replicated by others, this is not scientism. All other forms of enquiry, no matter how scholarly, are simply speculation. As Forkandles pointed out “The existence of god is also a hypothesis.”

Out of the thousands of gods that man has worshiped you have chosen one and one with a particular set of myths and magic associated with it. If you had been born in a different place at a different time you would have believed in Mithras or Thor. I’ll bet you don’t spend much time ridiculing belief in such gods as I imagine, like me, you consider belief in them to be naive and the result of ignorance.

We are now left with a few gods whose followers make very different claims but you didn’t choose to follow one of them either. Why; because your god is true? How would you know that? You cannot test its veracity because it lies outside science, how convenient. The claims made for the existence of your god are all spurious and rely on ancient myths and texts. Some claim direct revelations or can feel god’s presence or experience miracles but these are clearly delusional. I assume that you don’t think that those who see ghosts, the Loch Ness monster or are abducted by aliens actually experience what they think they did?

The question for me is why do people who are obviously intelligent and probably better educated than me believe all this stuff and that is the reason I post here?

The need to believe is strong and manifests itself in many ways. Elixirs acquired from the snake oil salesman 150 years ago are no different to those sell wrinkle removing cream, they sell because we want to believe that they will do what they claim and so we trust the message. Religious faith is no different, the desire to believe is stronger than the need to doubt, hence my description of faith that is defended from reason by a firewall. If you really subjected your faith to the same ruthless reasoning that is required by science I doubt it would still exist


PS Laurence I didn’t reply to you as I felt it was not really netiquette to carry on a private conversation on someone else’s blog.

17 June 2010 at 10:27  
Blogger William said...

Graham Davis

You have answered your own question. You believe that the only reliable form of inquiry is science by repeatable experiment. Thereby consigning all history to speculation.

Others here do not. Thereby allowing for the existence of reality beyond that which can only be repeatably measured in space and time.

However, there is at least one serious problem with your position. How do you scientifically prove (by repeatable experiment) that "science is the only reliable form of inquiry"?

17 June 2010 at 11:00  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

William said...

You have answered your own question. You believe that the only reliable form of inquiry is science by repeatable experiment. Thereby consigning all history to speculation.

Nothing wrong with speculation and long as it is regarded as just that and not reality.

Others here do not. Thereby allowing for the existence of reality beyond that which can only be repeatably measured in space and time.

Reality = that which exists independent of people's knowledge or perception of it. Evidence based science is the only way of separating that which exists and that which is believed to exist.

However, there is at least one serious problem with your position. How do you scientifically prove (by repeatable experiment) that "science is the only reliable form of inquiry"?

If you can show me another system that can prove the existence of something (other than science) I would love to see it.

17 June 2010 at 11:26  
Blogger srizals said...

Mr. Graham Davis at 10:27, pardon me to interrupt, but some things aren't so easily comprehended in just black and white. The thinking brain is still a wonder that we have yet to discover its puzzle. One at a time, we learn and know new things that we don't previously.

If you crack open the skull and examine the brain, you'll wonder where these words and emotions are in place. You'll only see brain matter. Would you disbelieve that the dead brain was once a very intellectual and creative living being?

Science is a tool, it helps to understand. I don’t think it is meant as a final answer to the human question. It could only be provided by faith. Without faith, the human being is lack of his complete set of understanding.

Science as proven a beneficiary to the human kind, at times, it is also his worst nightmare and could lead to his ultimate end, as it did, save him from time to time. Only faith could control Science from its lack of conscience. Having said that, men of faith should be open for discussions in search of the ultimate understanding. The search for the ultimate truth doesn’t stop when one has reached faith. It only stops when his heart is no longer beating.

17 June 2010 at 11:50  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

The search for ultimate truth does indeed cease upon death. Prematurely if you are discovered to be an apostate.

17 June 2010 at 12:10  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

srizals said...

I don’t think it is meant as a final answer to the human question. It could only be provided by faith. Without faith, the human being is lack of his complete set of understanding.

An assertion without evidence.

Only faith could control Science from its lack of conscience.

Science is a method so of course it doesn’t have a conscience.

The search for the ultimate truth doesn’t stop when one has reached faith.

There is no final answer or ultimate truth. You would like there to be one so you imagine it to be so. In your world wanting it to be so means that it is! This is the world of imagination not reality.

17 June 2010 at 12:14  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

There is no final answer or ultimate truth.

An assertion without evidence. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis of an ultimate truth but lack of evidence is not proof to the contrary.

JD you were going great guns up to that point.

17 June 2010 at 12:25  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 June 2010 at 12:39  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Forkandles

You're right, sloppy writing

17 June 2010 at 12:40  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

It suggests you are human rather than a parrot.:)

17 June 2010 at 12:57  
Blogger William said...

Graham Davis

"Reality = that which exists independent of people's knowledge or perception of it."

Then science cannot discern reality.

"Evidence based science is the only way of separating that which exists and that which is believed to exist."

How does it separate that which exists from that which is believed to exist? Surely scientific theories describe that which is believed to exist? They certainly do not appear to reliably describe reality. Unless you believe that reality changes everytime a scientific theory changes?

"Nothing wrong with speculation and long as it is regarded as just that and not reality."

I agree, but how do you differentiate? Is Queen Victoria speculation?

"If you can show me another system that can prove the existence of something (other than science) I would love to see it."

Science cannot prove the existence of anything. It can only disprove, except God of course. For determining the existence of God you need other methods.

17 June 2010 at 13:20  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I said...

"Reality = that which exists independent of people's knowledge or perception of it."

William said...

Then science cannot discern reality.

Yes it can. Reality exists whether or not man perceives it but this does not mean that man cannot perceive it.

Surely scientific theories describe that which is believed to exist? They certainly do not appear to reliably describe reality. Unless you believe that reality changes everytime a scientific theory changes?

Good point but science offers the explanation so that we recognise reality that exists as a constant. Gravity “exists” and we now have a universally agreed explanation for it.

I agree, but how do you differentiate? Is Queen Victoria speculation?

The evidence of her existence is overwhelming.

For determining the existence of God you need other methods.

I am afraid that means entering the world of mystery and magic where any proposition can be accepted as reality. In the TV that I was just watching is a world of small people who live permanently inside it. Nonsense? Why? I believe it to be so, who are you to challenge my belief?

17 June 2010 at 13:58  
Blogger William said...

I said...

Then science cannot discern reality.

Graham said...

"Yes it can. Reality exists whether or not man perceives it but this does not mean that man cannot perceive it."

I did not say that man cannot perceive reality. I said that man cannot determine if his scientific theories are describing reality or not. Indeed throughout most of history (I know you will have difficulties bringing history into the equation as it cannot be verified by anyone nor repeated) science has clearly not been describing reality.

"Gravity “exists” and we now have a universally agreed explanation for it. "

For how long?

"The evidence of her existence is overwhelming."

but not repeatable. In order to validate this Queen Victoria theory and to be true to your assertion that science is the only form of enquiry, you need to (repeatably) generate another one (under the same conditions as the first one). Otherwise you are "entering the world of mystery and magic where any proposition can be accepted as reality." You'll be telling me she ruled half the globe next!

17 June 2010 at 14:54  
Blogger William said...

That should be:

"...man cannot determine if his scientific theories are describing reality."

not

"...man cannot determine if his scientific theories are describing reality or not."

He can of course determine if they are not describing reality.

17 June 2010 at 15:09  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

William said...

I did not say that man cannot perceive reality. I said that man cannot determine if his scientific theories are describing reality

Take pot of water, apply heat to it until it become steam.
Science has described water H20 and defined all its properties.
Science has described the effect of heat on water, agitated molecules etc.
Science has described steam and defined the temperature that water become steam.
This is reality

"Gravity “exists” and we now have a universally agreed explanation for it." For how long?

Gravity exists but perhaps in the distant future it will not. In that event I guess we will not be around to argue about it. For now it exists and we have a universally agreed explanation for it.

In order to validate this Queen Victoria theory and to be true to your assertion that science is the only form of enquiry, you need to (repeatably) generate another one (under the same conditions as the first one). Otherwise you are "entering the world of mystery and magic where any proposition can be accepted as reality." You'll be telling me she ruled half the globe next!

Many historical records can be validated. For example the Turin Shroud is a Medieval fake as evidenced by carbon dating, Queen Victoria was a reality; that she is no longer alive does not detract from the evidence of her life which was well documented and as for her death, you could dig up her remains and make positive id if you wished, I’m sure the DNA in her descendents would validate her identity.

I agree with you one point, she did rule half the world!

17 June 2010 at 15:32  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

William

"Science cannot prove the existence of anything. It can only disprove, except God of course."

That just isn't true, nothing can fully disprove anything and that is certainly not the sole purpose of science as you seem to be making out.

It is for this reason, along with numbers that share your belief in your god that they are even allowed to continue these beliefs without being locked up in a tight fitting vest with buttons in the back.

Yes, I can't (along with science) prove that there is no god (whatever you want to associate with that term is your choice since most people can't even agree on that). To prove the non-existence of god I would require knowledge of everything in the universe, which I don't have yet. But I also can't prove that a species of rat lives on a planet somewhere in the universe and spends its days knitting winter warmers for dying suns in order that they don't get too cold. As the species of rat regards the suns as a god so they want to be good to them and keep them toasty warm.

The fact of the matter being that as you can provide no evidence to disprove my belief in the rats and the rats belief in their sun god requiring a nice winter warmer then the beliefs have just as much right to be accepted as your beliefs (only difference being numbers, and mass delusion doesn't make a delusion any more real).

Now me having these beliefs on my own doesn't affect anything so you may say I am fine to continue through my life with my beliefs.

But what would you say if I started to collect numbers of people who share my belief, and together we changed laws slowly over time to conform to our beliefs, we would force the country to put aside money in order to help build our spaceships to fly to that rat planet somewhere and give them more material to knit their jumpers with? And the building of our intergalatic knitting shops should receive tax exempt status of course.

Would you cry that we were mad? Or would you say, well, I can't prove they are wrong, so they must be just as right as I am with my beliefs.

No, I don't think you would.

17 June 2010 at 15:43  
Blogger William said...

TheGlovner

I meant to say that science can disprove its own theories, but cannot prove them. That is not its sole purpose. That is its method.

As to your knitting for rats story. It's cute and I think that, in a nutshell, you are objecting to the fact that you are being forced to live by other peoples' beliefs which are neither provable nor disprovable. Well, join the club.

How much wool do you think we'll need?

17 June 2010 at 16:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham Davis said "Surely fundamental to science is the need to constantly challenge the status quo, to never accept received wisdom and to doubt continuously."

Is this fundamental to science or to a psychological disorder--paranoia, perhaps? A scientist who "doubts continuously" would not be able to discover or prove (much less publish) anything. To start with, that scientist would have to doubt his very existence, that of the matter he studies, that of the audience he addresses, and... Not a promising start at all!

17 June 2010 at 17:31  
Blogger Scrigg said...

Christopher Hitchens reportedly stretchered off a plane after suffering breathing difficulties. Good God.

17 June 2010 at 20:14  
Anonymous len said...

God gave us an intellect and expected us to use it, but this intellect was a tool to relate to the world.
We were also given a spirit this spirit was given to relate to God.
When man rejected the spirit the intellect subjugated the spirit and communication was lost.
And the spirit remains dormant to God(but not to satanic influences)until redeemed by God.

It is hardly surprising that the atheist cannot find God until God can break through the stronghold of unbelief built up in the atheists mind.
I believe everyone is given a window of opportunity to know the Truth.

17 June 2010 at 20:30  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Graham Davis, TheGlovner et al.

This is tedious. If I wanted to debate the existence of God I'd go to the Dawkins site or to some apologetics site or a debating site etc.

Given the title of the Blog and the stated intention of the blog, it is reasonable to assume that its readers will be expected to be those for whom the existence of God is axiomatic. If you cannot except that fact; if you are not here for Politico-Religious discourse - please p1ss off.

You are as annoying as a cricket fanatic on a football blog who turns every conversation around to the superiority of cricket and the absurdity of football. Well - if we agreed with you we'd be on the cricket blogs wouldn't we?

For people who wish to convince us of our irrationality, you obviously haven't done your homework. Do you know a single person who has ever been converted to a religious faith or out of a religious faith by strength of a reasoned debate on a blog? There is no argument that you will present that hasn't been presented before a 1000 times. The behavioural sciences tell us that the best way to win a person around is NOT to barge into their presence, tell them they are wrong and you are right, ridicule & belittle them and then ask them to follow you. That merely entrenches opinions.

His Grace shows considerable forbearance with you for if you were guests at my party I would have dismissed you now as rude, obnoxious, self-centred guests who always want the topic of conversation to be around your pet topic.

As a long-time appreciative guest, I would urge His Grace to politely ask these parasitical gate-crashers to show more courtesy to the host & other guests, accept that this is a religio-politico party and either sit quietly or go and host their own party. Their continued presence really does detract from - and lower the tone of - Your Grace's intelligent & erudite discourse.

17 June 2010 at 21:29  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

Rebel Saint - Seconded.

17 June 2010 at 21:42  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

People question impossible claims and are told to p*ss off. That is it? That is your reasoned response? You dismiss dissenters with a gutter level rebuffal because they dare to ask for the evidence one of your number claims to possess. You reply with insult, hubris and shuttered minds. To encounter communication skills of such dubious calibre where "p*ss off" is considered a valid reply to a perfectly reasonable query begs the question, is it any wonder the church is in decline?

17 June 2010 at 22:22  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Forkandles you idiot. Did you read my comment?

People who go on a football supporters blog and whose only contribution to every topic is to pour scorn on football supporters and claim that Cricket is the only true sport aren't "dissenters" they're a pain in the arse.

There are plenty of forums for people to discuss the "impossible claims" you seek to question ... I used to participate in them til I realised the utter futility of them.

This is not such a place. It is a place to discuss religio-political discourse. If you do not accept the very premises that are axiomatic to the blog then go else where - piss off.

17 June 2010 at 23:10  
Anonymous writermannkl said...

Graham Davis says...
Yes it can. Reality exists whether or not man perceives it but this does not mean that man cannot perceive it.

GD, I don't agree. You have been swept up by the materialism hurricane that has blown for many centuries. Is Physical matter the only reality? And that everything in life can be explained in terms of matter?
.
A plague on all your materialistic houses and that goes for religion, atheism, humanism and science.
We perceive the world through our sneses. We are arrogant enough to believe that this is enough! Why?

The world exists only through our perception of it. There is no such thing as objective reality. Only the mind exists. The mind creates all our reality. Reality is based on the mind or ideas.

So there it is. HG started something with his posting of a rather overwrought painting.

18 June 2010 at 00:14  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Rebel Saint I am not interested in football or cricket. I am interested in religion. This does not appear to be a political discussion which may indicate why no one is discussing the subject. The subject of the image at the top of the page is of a religious nature therefore the discussion is a religious one. A claim about god's existence was made. An alternative opinion was given. If debating the existence of god is not a discourse in religion then please tell me what is.

You appear to be claiming that religious discussion on this site is the preserve of believers only. There is no written rule about having to be religious to post here. In fact the only rule I've seen occasionally enforced is one about foul language and libellous accusation. Why are you so adverse and defensive toward objective questions about a subjective religious topic? Is the answer to that question going to be a petulent p*ss off as well?

18 June 2010 at 00:20  
Blogger srizals said...

Rebel Saint at 21:29,

This is not your blog. I don't remember that we are on your blog. If you're afraid of debate or discussions, sit back, click the names and the annoying sentences would disappear right there before your very eyes.

Those who dared to question must be brave enough to answer. And it seems the crickets are dominating in their own field, it is rather logic that they came here. It is up to the footballers to respond or not. Nobody is forcing them but themselves.

I don't think any of the commentators are trying to convert anyone to their belief. No one could do that. It's up to the person who reads. Always have, always been.

18 June 2010 at 00:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew 18 (KJV)

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18 June 2010 at 02:32  
Blogger Ginro said...

Had some quite nice weather the past couple of days, very warm and sunny.

Has anyone else noticed how beautiful cornflowers, nigellas, and delphiniums are? Never knew what their names were until the other day, believe it or not.

18 June 2010 at 08:31  
Anonymous len said...

I think the point being missed here (repeatedly)by Atheists is that God has given all the evidence of His existence that He is going to give.
You have to ( or have) make a decision on that basis.

You( atheist) will either meet Jesus Christ as saviour or Judge, this is entirely your choice .

When Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) walked this Earth many(if not most)didn`t believe Him in spite of all the prophesies and all the miracles He performed.
If He returned today (in the flesh) I suggest the situation would be the same!

18 June 2010 at 08:34  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

I think the point being missed here (repeatedly)by Atheists is that God has given all the evidence of His existence that He is going to give.
You have to ( or have) make a decision on that basis.


Len you are missing the point. It is the absence of evidence, other than the bible, part of which is a collection of stories borrowed from a civilisation older than either Christianity or Judaism, that leads to this impasse. A book is not evidence. How that book is interpreted is not evidence. Your rhetoric is not evidence. If you have any other kind of evidence then I would like to hear it. Please enlighten me because making a decision on the sole basis of your say so isn't going to fly.

BTW you may like to know that I find the Dawkins brand of zealotry as unappealing as you possibly do. Dawkins is positively religious in his fervour to promote his atheist agenda yet refuses to recognise he has not a shred of proof, other than hi personal opinion, to support his hypothesis. Although I spurn nonsensical religious dogma I do not consider myself to be an atheist, just someone in search of the truth.

18 June 2010 at 09:14  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint

This thread has meandered largely because of the absence of Cranmer and any new OPs. Others seem content to discuss the issues that you object to. Personally I try to be polite but I cannot see that this rules out a combative debate whilst your invective is plain for all to see.

Do you simply want your opinions to be soothingly massaged, if so I should remove “Rebel” from your moniker. I doubt that many atheists are concerned about others belief in god, that is a personal philosophical opinion. Unfortunately for most people god involves religion.

Religion makes claims that affect those who do not belong to the club, claims that cannot be supported by evidence, this makes them potentially dangerous. Belief has and continues to inspire some awful atrocities perpetrated in its name. It exploits the ignorance of its supporters as the Catholic Church has done by spreading false information about condoms. It places its own distorted dogma above the welfare of those who are too ignorant to challenge it, all the time asserting its own moral authority.

In country like ours with largely secular institutions religion still claims a special place, it wants to be exempt from laws that we all follow because certain of them offend its “conscience” a handy synonym for prejudice. It wants it’s shamans to have an automatic seat at the table of government. It wants its own myths to be taught to school children as fact but not the myths of others and has the effrontery to claim a superior moral blueprint to mine.

18 June 2010 at 09:48  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

writermannkl challenged my comments about the nature of reality. At a philosophical level any view is possible but I think you should provide a reasoned argument for your assertions. How does the mind create our reality that is common to us all?

18 June 2010 at 09:52  
Blogger Gnostic said...

"How does the mind create our reality that is common to us all?"

Mr. Davis, that is a damned good question.

To which I have no answer...

18 June 2010 at 09:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Len @ 08:34.
Christ also said:
37 `Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that art killing the prophets, and stoning those sent unto thee, how often did I will to gather thy children together, as a hen doth gather her own chickens under the wings, and ye did not will.

38 Lo, left desolate to you is your house;

39for I say to you, ye may not see me henceforth, till ye may say, Blessed [is] he who is coming in the name of the Lord.' (Matt 23. Young's Literal Translation [the versions vary little, but this one strikes me as clear]).

Young's also provides the following rendition of Matt 18.17:
`And if he may not hear them, say [it] to the assembly, and if also the assembly he may not hear, let him be to thee as the heathen man and the tax-gatherer.' (Young's Literal Translation)

18 June 2010 at 10:10  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis, you enjoy thinking in terms of scientific analogies and I enjoy thinking of you as a form of necrotising fasciitis on the Christian body corporate. Like most parasites you need to avoid killing the host body, without which you will not survive. If you and your fellow ranters and levellers (always common in East Anglia, as I recall) succeed in destroying Christianity you will create a moral vacuum. We are told that nature abhors a vacuum, and so it will be in the UK or the West in general if you and your kind prevail. I suspect Islam will rush to fill that vacuum, at which point, God help you.

So chip away, old fellow, but don't let your extraordinary conceit fool you into believing that the Christian legacy is not the source of your values and freedoms.

18 June 2010 at 10:12  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

bluedog circles the wagons and fires insults and accusations because there is a redundancy switch on his rational debate repartee. His enemies, beaten over the head with such a forceful charm offensive, are reduced to tears. Tears of laughter that is.

18 June 2010 at 10:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...the Christian legacy is (not) the source of your values and freedoms.

And the picture sums up the attitude to dissent most ably.

18 June 2010 at 10:34  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

bluedog said...

If you and your fellow ranters and levellers (always common in East Anglia, as I recall) succeed in destroying Christianity you will create a moral vacuum. We are told that nature abhors a vacuum, and so it will be in the UK or the West in general if you and your kind prevail. I suspect Islam will rush to fill that vacuum, at which point, God help you.

With respect I think you confuse morality and religion. Most people who follow a religion do so because it is the faith that they were brought up in. The more all embracing the religion, for example Islam, the less likely they are to question its veracity or to step outside its traditions. The vacuum that you refer to is a cultural and social and not a moral one.

Most religions like to think that they invented morality, they didn’t and of course and they all have a different take on it. It is no surprise that Christianity coincides with the morality that is to an extent hard wired in all of us and reinforced by family life and the wider cultural surroundings; it simply codified some of them and then claimed to have invented them.

So chip away, old fellow, but don't let your extraordinary conceit fool you into believing that the Christian legacy is not the source of your values and freedoms.

For more than a thousand years Britain was a Christian country so all the advances that society as a whole has enjoyed have come about within that context. Most of the individuals associated with these advances have been Christian and motivated by their faith and religious principles so to that extent there is a Christian legacy.

Your “conceit” is to think that without Christianity we would somehow all still be savages.

18 June 2010 at 11:00  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

It (religion) exploits the ignorance of its supporters as the Catholic Church has done by spreading false information about condoms. —Graham Davis.

Those who, out of ignorance or hatred of the Catholic Church, spread false information about condoms, by promoting them, are responsible for huge numbers of deaths and a massive epidemic of venereal disease.

According to Dr. Edward C. Green (director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies)

“There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates,”

18 June 2010 at 11:39  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis @ 11.00 said 'Your “conceit” is to think that without Christianity we would somehow all still be savages', and where is the evidence to suggest that we would not be? Absent the Roman Empire, absent Greek thought, absent Christianity, what would Britain be like today? None of us can sensibly answer that question.

Christianity brought monotheism to Western Europe, an important societal development. The concept of God became abstract and universal, not attached to the physical. Ancient Greece and Rome as well as the Germanic tribes were pantheistic before they converted to Christianity. The Zoroastrianism of ancient Persia was arguably the first of the monotheistic religions and may be a precursor to Judaism, which is unequivocably mono-theistic. It seems highly unlikely that the Roman Empire would ever have been a vector for the spread of Judaism in any form. The death of Jesus Christ and the rise of the Christian sect changed that and the history of Britain as well as the rest of the world.

And you offer us exactly what?

18 June 2010 at 11:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham Davis asks:
How does the mind create our reality that is common to us all?

Excellent question GD

Berkeley argued that since an individual experiences other humans in the way they speak to him —something which is not originating from any activity of his own —and since he learns that their view of the world is consistent with his, he can believe in their existence and in the world being identical or similar for everyone.

esse is percipi - to be is to be perceived

You've heard of Schrodinger's puss. Well I now propose Davis's dog.

A dog is a collection of ideas (things known) imprinted on the senses.

Your dog has no existence without a mind. After all, when we are asleep, unconscious or dead the dog does not exist. But other people know my dog, you will say, they can see it while I'm asleep. They also tell me when I wake up that Fido has chewed the carpet again.

My answer to this is: the person who is telling me this is also an idea in your mind. I mean you can give people corporality and touch and feel them; they have substance, but this (let us say a wife) is a product of an idea. And what she relates about Fido is a well worn idea.

Only a mind or spirit can be a cause. Space and time do not exist.
Are we ideas in the mind of God?

I personally do not really subscribe to all these theories but it is I think an antidote to the arrogant assertions of science and religion.

18 June 2010 at 11:48  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Christianity brought monotheism to Western Europe, an important societal development.

Yes being burned at the stake as a heretic after being tortured by inquisitors is a wonderful way of consolidating social cohesion.

Then there was the witch burnings.

Fear of religion is not a societal development, it is a tyranny.

18 June 2010 at 12:07  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Forkandles @ 12.07, tell me where Jesus Christ proscribes what you describe.

18 June 2010 at 12:39  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

Gravity exists —Graham Davis

This statement needs serious qualification. What exists is set of observable kinematic phenomena which scientists describe by a variety of mathematical tools, one of which is called a "gravitational field". Descriptions of phenomena are ever changing. One day, the motion of a planet may be described using the mathematical notion of an inverse square force. The next, it might be ascribed to the geometry of the space time continuum, or perhaps modeled by some even more exotic mathematical construct. When discrepancies arise, scientists tend to cling to old notions. Rather than make radical changes to existing models, they prefer to adopt "slack" parameters (e.g. postulate the existence of, say, an appropriate "dark matter") Sometimes, this "faith" in apparently non existent objects is rewarded by the actual discovery of a new phenomenon (perhaps a new particle). Sometimes it results in ridicule. The parallel with religion is obvious.

Science does NOT explain what we observe. It merely describes. Often, in the same way that a false religion invents a new god, science describes a non existent phenomena such as anthropogenic global warming. Often in its arrogance, science condemns tens of millions of people to death as it did by banning of the anti malarial DDT or by its promotion of condoms.

18 June 2010 at 12:48  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

"I personally do not really subscribe to all these theories but it is I think an antidote to the arrogant assertions of science..."—Anonymous at 11:48

You mean a placebo?

18 June 2010 at 13:03  
Blogger Ginro said...

@ Bluedog, Crux etc. DNFTT.

18 June 2010 at 13:05  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Ginro at 13.05, please translate that acronym.

18 June 2010 at 13:13  
Anonymous len said...

Forkandles.
It is you who have missed the point, entirely. The evidence you require is there.
Perhaps you haven`t looked hard enough?
Or perhaps you don`t want to see it?

( your laughter thing suggests you are getting a bit hysterical, calm down.)

18 June 2010 at 13:23  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

The more I look at that picture, the more it seems appropriate to the situation(s) we find ourselves in.
On one slant, it represents the dynamic initiated by: the flesh and brain of the supreme carnivore and predator (mankind)- which produces human sacrifice, burnished idols, and monumental coolness - --And extends to the dark shadow these evils cast on any establishment (including, in this case, Your Grace's very wonderful blogsite).

On the other side it illustrates dynamic initiated by: the Spirit of God (goodness) within mankind - which, through the Humility of Christ, the instigator of Communion, transmutes God into the Supreme Human Sacrifice - --And extends to the light this symbolisation brings to our establishment(s). For, willing acceptance of His Way through this world produces not only a better world, but leads to our Redemption and Infinite Enlightenment: the Eternity which we hell-tormented souls perceive darkly, from here, and only in pinpoints.

Speaking as one who is allergic to modernisms, I have to say this is a wonderful picture. Thank you for a such a brilliant posting, Your Grace; and also for trusting your Communicants :-D.

Argie-bargie not without sitting down; and may we all walk in Love as Christ Loved us.

18 June 2010 at 13:31  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

I'm not talking about Jesus, I'm talking about the oppression wrought by the Church in order to consolidate and expand its power base. Often murderous power that was wielded in the name of Jesus as well as god.

We are talking about a god who is reputed to have drowned the entire world. He threatens Armageddon some time in the future if we stray from the path and meanwhile people get cast into hell at his displeasure. In the compassionate supreme being stakes that stinks to high heaven if you pardon the pun. The message is clear. Believe in him or die. Perhaps it is this mega-smiting that gave the Church the idea that anyone who defied them was fair game. God certainly has not intervened on the behalf of the persecuted and the innocent. If god is supposed to be all seeing and all knowing then he is also all uncaring. Why should anyone worship a god who doesn't care, who may be a figment of a fevered imagination and, if he does exist, allows himself to be used as a political bludgeon? The irony is that his followers say they worship a god of mercy. The same mercy that allegedly killed millions and turned a curious woman into a pillar of salt. If the church feels that it is beseiged then it only has itself to blame. Religious dogmatic hypocrisy on such a massive scale cannot be allowed to go unquestioned. Not when it affects thousands of millions of lives.

18 June 2010 at 13:37  
Blogger Ginro said...

@ Bluedog, google it, lol.

But you are feeding them the discord they want. Don't argue, just walk away. Rebel Saint had it bang on the nail here with his earlier comment. They are here because all they want is for people to see how much more wonderfully intelligent, erudite, and sophisticated they are. :p

Just say "Yes why didn't I see it before? You are wonderfully intelligent, erudite, and sophisticated. You must be very proud."

And then walk away, lol.

18 June 2010 at 13:41  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Len I notice that you have reverted to name calling. This is usually an indication that the namecaller's arguement is weak and a diversion is required. If being hysterical is equated to not believing in a befrocked and bearded invisible being who guides every human endeavour then please feel free to picture me rolling on the floor with uncontrollable mirth if that amuses you.

18 June 2010 at 13:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Forkandles really doesn't have any idea does he? He's been taken in by the stereotype of God and relegion and obviouslly has little knowledge of what Christianity is really about. I feel sorry for you. I can see where you are coming from, and am willing to accpect your argument, and if I saw relegion from the same direction that you do, I would be arguing the same. Please try and make your narrow mindedness a little wider. Prehaps read some books of Christainity or the bible, then come back and argue your case. (By the way if you already have, I am sorry, it just doesnt seem that way!)

18 June 2010 at 14:11  
Anonymous non mouse said...

I agree with Rebel Saint, Ginro and, I think, AnaNimosity. DNFTT.

As someone posted above:[we've told them they've trespassed..]
16 ... if [they] will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. [OK - we've been doing that for months, already. It's in the archives.]
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the [assembly]: but if he neglect to hear the [assembly --that's us, right? Especially the highly qualified scientists, whom they ignore completely], let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican [maybe one of our expense-fiddling politicians, is a good parallel?].

I say we're well past stage three, and that even their Bruin hero spoke against them as I posted before: "For they dispute not in order to find or even to seek Truth, but for victory, and to appear the more learned and strenuous upholders of a contrary opinion. Such persons should be avoided by all who have not a good breastplate of patience." [[Introductory Epistle : Argument of the Third Dialogue" -According to http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno]]

18 June 2010 at 14:26  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Len ... save your breath. Please. I implore you.

This post just follows the same weary pattern as the 1000's of others. Nothing new will come of it. No-one's mind will be changed. No new arguments will be presented.

In the end people will be pointing out your spelling/grammatical mistakes as 'proof' of the inferiority of your arguments/intellect and how only such uneducated people could believe in such fairy tales. etc etc.

If you refuse to take the bait to play their games your silence is taken as 'proof' that they have 'beaten' you by their superior logic, intellect, reason & knowledge etc

So may good blogs & forums have been destroyed by (a) the atheist/gay protagonists who pro-actively seek to spoil them and (b) the nitwit Christians who think it's the ideal opportunity to reason with/convert them so feel the need to respond to their every ridiculous 'argument'. The CI's facebook page has become unusable because of the 2 problems I highlight - though the the main protagonists there are the sodomites.

The only proven tactic is for the regular community to ignore them COMPLETELY and/or the host to delete them. The trolls then go back to their own communities to boast of how they've beat the Christians into submission and/or how we're hypocrites because we censure them and don't demonstrate love & understanding etc.

If you do not wish His Grace's blog to deteriorate into a brothel for the attention whores then I suggest you ignore them until such time as His Grace is provoked into drastic censuring action. (A bit like Israel and the Palestinians really!).

DNFTT

18 June 2010 at 14:34  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint

I have been tolerant of your remarks but now you have revealed yourself for what you really are; an narrow-minded bigot!

You claim the superiority of your Christian morality and all you can come up with is ”the main protagonists there are the sodomites.”

If morality actually mattered to you then you would not regard your fellow man with such contempt. You make no attempt to understand, you simply condemn. If your beloved Jesus was around today, he would surely censure you as I have done. Shame on you.

18 June 2010 at 15:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Graham, you seem to be confusing me for someone who gives a damn what you think!

(Incidentally, some definitions for you: Sodomite=someone who commits sodomy. Bigot=someone who disagrees with a liberal or atheist.)

18 June 2010 at 15:12  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Several others have commented on Cranmer’s recent bereavement as well as his current absence this blog, one can only hope that this is not due to illness or grief. If neither provides an explanation perhaps he has tired of the daily grind of writing this blog and has decided that like his alter ego it should come to a fiery end, safe in the knowledge that his squabbling communicants would eventually destroy each other so that he could once again rest in peace!

Just a thought!

18 June 2010 at 15:28  
Blogger William said...

Rebel Saint

You are right. The trolls are apparently clueless and determined to stay that way.

DNFTT

18 June 2010 at 15:29  
Anonymous TheObserver said...

Now that's what erudite means for you. By a Christian of course. Ignorance is bliss. Keep on thinking of happy thoughts now, you hear. What a waste of a merry-go-round. Back to square one I guess. To the booze, partying all night with real whores, gossiping, wondering where did all the hatred and frustration came from, while happily attacking and threatening 'the others'. Hopefully no taxi driver is going to run amok in our quiet and peaceful modern neighbourhood. It would really confuse us now, won’t it?

The truth can't be ignored. Only the ignorant can do it. There’s no place like home. Click! There’s no place like home. Click!

18 June 2010 at 15:35  
Anonymous Undeluded said...

DNFTT,

Ok, now I'm convinced! You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/1072403/killer-mum-stuffed-bible-in-babys-mouth

18 June 2010 at 15:41  
Anonymous anonymouse 2 said...

Yes again, Rebel Saint. Once more Our Lord also provided a clear and well-known injunction to that effect:
6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7).

One aspect of the matter concerns education. The boyos here remind me of another I knew, whose nickname among peers was 'Power Brain.' He was undoubtedly intelligent, but was so convinced of his own intellectual supremacy (and cunning) that he saw no need for education, nor would he submit to it. He considered those who did so to be stupid for making the effort, and for believing what teachers taught.

I take this attitude as an insult to those who are equally intelligent, eschew cunning, and have the humility to open their minds for the processing of knowledge; not to mention those who subsequently turn towards earning academic achievements over many years. Perhaps I'm wrong in sensing the negligence of swine trampling pearls, here; but possibly not, also. I still don't notice too many T's appreciating the quality and depth of the thinking they encounter. Most often they come up with the breath-taking claim that their thought-filled interlocutors 'never questioned or thought about' the material at even the most basic level. Beams and eyes spring to mind, then (on both sides).

18 June 2010 at 15:52  
Anonymous NotThatAnonymous said...

My, my. Father's day is coming and I would like to share this for the coming of such a special occasion.

Err..DNFTT, Do Not Feed The Trolls! Duhh..

http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/06/21/the-worst-father-ever-imagined/

18 June 2010 at 16:00  
Anonymous Undeluded said...

Anon 2 cited,

6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7).

Anonymous 2, Stop belittling our favourites now ok. Shame on you! If you hated dogs and pigs so much be a Muslim!

18 June 2010 at 16:08  
Anonymous TimidlyAnon said...

Undeluded, The Old Testament is no longer valid. It has been replaced by the New Testament.

New Testament Laws. In the New Testament, God changed the rules because they were no longer necessary. Jesus' birth, death, and return to life changed everything. Major portions of the old Mosaic Law, such as the sacrifices, were no longer in effect. The dietary laws were changed, and God indicated this to the Apostle Peter during a dream. The event is recorded in the book of Acts.

. . . Peter . . . fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” (NASB) Acts 10:9-15

The message was clear. These foods were no longer to be considered unholy. They were now clean. Not only were foods such as pig, shrimp, crab, and other sea foods now clean, but Gentiles were clean too!

http://www.neverthirsty.org/pp/corner/read2/r00652.html

So get up and start killing and eating the Gentiles!

DNFTT :)

18 June 2010 at 16:16  
Anonymous Undeluded said...

Correct me if I'm wrong. The Old Testament was brought by Jesus and he died on the cross.

Then comes the New Testament and this time it was brought by another son of god since only a son of god can brought Testament to the world.

Who is the second son of god in the New Testament? Saint Paul?

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/maccoby2.htm

18 June 2010 at 16:28  
Anonymous NotThatAnonymous said...

Now I'm starting to feel dizzy myself. Is DNFTT an equivalent to DNFWTT because they're going to bust you or what?

For confused readers:-

FW stands for F... With

18 June 2010 at 16:37  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Undeluded, you are regrettably so wrong that it is hard to know where to start in correcting you. However, it is encouraging to note that you have asked for correction, and thus shown your humility. Bless you.

The Old Testament was not 'brought' by Jesus. It is a collection of Hebrew books assembled over a number of centuries. There are disagreements about the dates and provenance of the various books, but none of them was 'brought' by Jesus. The Old Testament canon was complete a couple of hundred years before Jesus was born.

Your idea that 'only a son of god can brought [sic] Testament to the world' is, I'm afraid, weird. Therefore your question about the 'second son of god' and your speculation about Paul are without any foundation whatsoever.

I regret to note that there is an enormous amount of ignorance about Christianity and its historical foundations from some contributors to these blog comments.

Basic, childish nonsense about sky fairies and old men with beards is retailed as if any Christian believes any such thing. We don't.

If you want good, scientific history, and any of you are genuinely open to a real understanding of Christianity and the origins of its basic documents, I invite you to read 'Jesus and the Eyewitnesses' by Richard Bauckham, anything by Kenneth Bailey, and NT Wright's massive 'The Resurrection of the Son of God'.

18 June 2010 at 17:08  
Anonymous len said...

RebelSaint,
I am inclined to agree with you!
The recent flood of Atheists have descended on this blog like a hoard of locusts devouring all in their path.
They don`t come to discuss or reason only to mock rather like a gang of adolescents bullying one who didn`t conform to their set of values ( or lack of)
I rather think His Grace might have found the whole thing rather tiresome and moved on to something more rewarding.

Prophesy itself is enough to validate the claims of Jesus Christ for those who genuinely want proof,
For those who merely want to play games I just can`t be bothered.

18 June 2010 at 17:58  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Troll: the ultimate war cry of one who can't think of a decent response to an awkward question. The mob is howling and the pitchforks are out. You do Cranmer proud.

The epithet is up there with pervert (I noticed someone already used that one), racist or Nazi. One suspects such behaviour could be heard over the roar of flames as witches burned. You, the flower of enlightened Christianity, should be proud of yourselves.

I have been accused of being ignorant of Christianity. I am both baptised and confirmed into he Anglican faith. I attended a church school. While I am aware that individuals have made great sacrifices and performed great works, the church as a whole is hypocrisy incorporated. The idea that people who question dogma have no spritituality and are incapable of being spiritual is tunnel vision hubris. I practised religion for the first two and a half decades of my life and I have rejected it. One of the reasons I rejected it was the oft time vicious tribalism inherent in many congregations. I see that diplayed in all its ugly glory on this site and in this thread.

18 June 2010 at 17:59  
Anonymous len said...

Forkandles,
Perhaps the problem is that you practised religion?
It seems to have left you disillusioned and full of (dare I say it)hate of Christians?

If you had a relationship instead of practising religion perhaps you would have found it more rewarding?

There is much wrong with the church but Jesus came to restore relationship not to start a church.
Dogma that doesn`t stand questioning isn`t worth having in my estimation.

18 June 2010 at 18:15  
Blogger William said...

"I practised religion for the first two and a half decades of my life"

You need say no more than this. It's the saddest sentence in this thread.

18 June 2010 at 18:19  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

Troll: the ultimate war cry of one who can't think of a decent response to an awkward question.

I'm afraid that Forkandles is right. In in my experience, most accusations of trolling are silly.

His Grace has always welcomed people of differing views to this blog, and encouraged debate. Some people do mock the views of others in the course of debate. For myself, I find mockery be somewhat adolescent, but if people choose to use it as their weapon, that is up to them.

So I have a couple of requests for my fellow Christians.

1) Don't accuse people of being trolls. It isn't an intelligent thing to do.

2)Stop moaning about atheists. Nobody is forcing you to read their comments. No one is forcing you to be here. If His Grace his happy to have them, that's his business.

18 June 2010 at 18:19  
Anonymous len said...

There are many people leaving church because they feel it is empty and meaningless, devoid of life, also many people have been hurt in church settings.
So reject religion, Good!
But don`t reject God.
Perhaps this will help;

www.christinyou.net/pages/godhatesrel.html

18 June 2010 at 18:23  
Anonymous len said...

His Grace`s stipulation is comments are intelligent and erudite!

Many atheists come merely to wind up and cause mischief ,which as I have said is tiresome and unrewarding.
Intelligent discourse or even questioning I am sure would be welcomed.

18 June 2010 at 18:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Alexandrian.

18 June 2010 at 18:39  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Len I have no idea whether or not a god, any god, exists. I keep an open mind. However, an anthropomorphic god who claims to be jealous and strikes down entire populations who offend him is not a god I would want in my life.

Someone was offended that I consider god to be bearded and befrocked. That was the image given to me from a very early age in Sunday school. That is the image I still possess.

18 June 2010 at 18:42  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

"I practised religion for the first two and a half decades of my life"

You need say no more than this. It's the saddest sentence in this thread.


My family were customary church goers. I attended because I was expected to not because I was particularly in to it. The older I became the more restricted I felt. A close family relative fell out with me for several months because I told her how I felt and how I would be rather doing something more productive. I quit because I consider religion to be controlling, backbiting and petty at all levels, an opinion that has been reinforced today.

18 June 2010 at 18:52  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I hope his grace his well .

mmm a little fatigue has crept in trying to make our athiest friends see it a little differently .

All in the mind is true either way you look at it , that is why so many consider religion to be a facade or excuse even for modern interpretations of how the minds emotionally economy really works.


I dont think I am deluded , what bits of how god works I know , has always had a certain truth and justice about it , even if a little unworldly . Being a christian sometimes means questioning the layers of worldlyness we inherit , but even then the views can be astonishing and beyond words .

The athiests do not really do the argument much good , for they have arrived at there terminus by the tools and reason they have , uniqueness is questonable , Darwin predicts both age and mechanism of the planet and life , they look and see no god , and anything not using reason is flawed . Talk about love and they say poppycock its social alturism . Talk about cause and they say its consequence .

All very wearysome , and yet I am not deluded , its beyond comprehending the sheer awe of the universe , there are clearly laws underpining our emotions .

But how do you explain to an athiest whats its like to have a thought , totally new that completes somthing in the mind , that has nothing do with reason or the much termed need for patterns .
Even the more difficult one of knowing/prompted to read a piece of scripture rather than a recall of snippet of reason .

Those who do not see god we term as fools , indeed god is foolishness to them , yet the words of the bible are somtimes stories or records that explain the frailities and errors of human existence in the absence of his light and the strength of his ways for those who follow .

Reason often leads to pride and you cant get much more proud than to say there is no god , when reason will not answer the question .

of course the final undeniable proof will be christs second comming , but for now I can do more than try keep the faith of lord jesus christ and to tell the athiests that there is somthing more , a dimension we do not see with eyes , but with the love jesus showed , which must even intrigue any athiests views on alturism for , jesus actions are surely beyond reason and stubborn.

18 June 2010 at 19:04  
Blogger Ginro said...

Troll: Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.
Guy: "I just found the coolest ninja pencil in existence."
Other Guy: "I just found the most retarded thread in existence."


Troll: Trolling is the act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet

Troll: Act of appearing on internet forums and boards with malicious intent. Trolling includes...

- baiting people to flame at you
- putting the forum down and encouraging people to leave.
- flaming
- using several identities on a board to support your own arguments / stage pretend arguments
-generally being a d*** on a power trip.
Some trolls claim their actions benefit others. These trolls are also t***s


Now, those definitions were found by me on the Urban Dictionary. I also found this on "The Straight Dope":

"Troll," in the context of message boards and the like, describes somebody who is posting just to be confrontational or to raise hackles. One example might be a teenager who finds a Jewish message board and posts, "The Holocaust never happened." The teen may not know or care one way or the other--he just wants a reaction. He wants to piss people off. He is a troll.

So Alexander, there are plenty of people on the Internet who would strongly disagree with your cherry-picked quote, wouldn't you agree? Actually it doesn't matter if you agree or not, the facts speak for themselves as an Internet search will show.

As others have pointed out, the people that are being criticised have come to this blog with one purpose, to lecture us on their apparent superiority of thought and reason. And they go on and on and on and on and on and on and...get the picture?

If I went onto another persons blog and spent my entire time attacking everything about that persons beliefs, and constantly trying to deride other commenters intelligence/beliefs, and refused to stop when either asked or told to...The question is obvious. What on earth did I then go onto that blog in the first place for if not to simply cause trouble and massage my own ego at others expense? Intelligent and erudite discussion is one thing. That is not what has been going on here Alexander. Hence the complaints from others and the accusations of being trolls - because their behaviour fits the definition.

18 June 2010 at 19:24  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Alexandrian - Rest assured, I haven't the patience to read what the guy with the toasting fork says; and I certainly dislike the implication that he's at work with the fires in the picture.

In any case, I prefer to sup with a long spoon, so I usually scroll past most of the others, too. You see, having put up with atheists all my life, I can't be bothered listening to their broken records any more. However, I think resistance to their aggression and subversion here, on a Christian site, is a sign of intelligence rather than the opposite. Should His Grace direct his Communicants not to mention our discomfiture (and so to disobey Christ), I will oblige by leaving the site.

18 June 2010 at 19:34  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Let me put this into perspective. Anyone who holds a converse opinion and sends ripples across another's comfort zone, even if it is pursuit of genuine arguement, is a troll.

What genius. Dialogue is forbidden because only trolls argue.

18 June 2010 at 19:48  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

I think resistance to their [atheists] aggression and subversion here...

Excuse me but what aggression are you referring to? Do you mean the accusations of troll and soddomist flying around? Telling other posters to p*ss off? Need I go on? Or is standing your corner in a debate without using offensive language considered aggressive? Oh wait, that is now called trolling isn't it.

Subversion? You are kidding surely. Is it a seditious act to hold a contrary view on religion? In the 21st century? Oh my. Bye bye enlightenment.

18 June 2010 at 20:05  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

I hope I have not given His Grace a conniption or offence over airing my views as I seem to have done with some of his more excitable communicants.

YG I hope you return to your blog soon to bless us with your erudition.

I thank those communicants who kept their responses polite and entered into the spirit of the debate to make it lively even if common ground was not discovered. Time to wind down with a cold one. Cheers!

18 June 2010 at 20:17  
Anonymous len said...

Forkandles,
I hope you find the True God.
The old Testament God and the new Testament God are the same person.
What made the difference? Jesus Christ did.
God being just must judge sin as He did in the old Testament, thankfully Jesus Christ bore all of Gods judgement on sin so that we( believers)don`t have to bear our own sin burden.
Bless you.
Cheers.

18 June 2010 at 20:50  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

Ginro

So Alexander, there are plenty of people on the Internet who would strongly disagree with your cherry-picked quote, wouldn't you agree?"

Yes, I would agree. However, as I perceived it, Forkandles was not offering a definition - for he knows as well as you or I what the accepted definition is (though the English language being what it is, there will inevitably be slight differences in the way people define the word). He was expressing frustration at being accused of trolling, when he did not consider himself to be doing so.

"As others have pointed out, the people that are being criticised have come to this blog with one purpose, to lecture us on their apparent superiority of thought and reason. And they go on and on and on and on and on and on and...get the picture?"

I don't think that lecturing people on the superiority of their reason is quite the same as trolling.

"Intelligent and erudite discussion is one thing. That is not what has been going on here Alexander."

You may well be right on that score.

;-)

non mouse,

In any case, I prefer to sup with a long spoon, so I usually scroll past most of the others, too.

As do I.

However, I think resistance to their aggression and subversion here, on a Christian site, is a sign of intelligence rather than the opposite.

I think that one should either debate politely with the posters or ignore the posts, but to ask posters to stop posting does not seem to achieve anything.

Should His Grace direct his Communicants not to mention our discomfiture (and so to disobey Christ), I will oblige by leaving the site.

Sorry to be dense, but can you please explain why it is disobedience to Christ to fail to mention one's discomfiture?

18 June 2010 at 21:03  
Blogger William said...

Forkandles said...

"I quit because I consider religion to be controlling, backbiting and petty at all levels"

All good reasons to quit.

"an opinion that has been reinforced today."

Then I suggest you ditch religion and go for God instead. It's much more satisfying. Whether you choose to reject religion or not is irrelevant. If you reject God, however, chances are He'll let you! He's quite hot on free will is God.

18 June 2010 at 21:53  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Forkandles ... as with Graham Davis there seems to have been an unfortunate misunderstanding.

You - and those of your ilk - have not been referred to as trolls because your posts are the usual load of predictable BS but because you are an ugly, evil-tempered, human-like creature that can take the form of either a dwarf or a giant. And I know that this is true because I read it in a sacred book that an angel dictated to me just this afternoon whilst having a pot noodle. So there.

18 June 2010 at 22:11  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Alexandrian: I'm sorry I took the time and trouble to respond to you - you clearly haven't followed this strand very carefully; and have probably not bothered reading others either.

We are at least agreed that this is His Grace's blog and he decides who may or may not post here. If you like the trolls and want to say so, then that's your prerogative. I don't, and I think that's mine.

I also have no more time to waste -if you think this is a debate, good for you. Have fun. I'm 'outa here.'

18 June 2010 at 22:53  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

non mouse,

If your reference to obedience to Christ is to Matthew 18:15-17, then I cannot see what relevance it has in this case. The crucial word in verse 15 is 'brother' which, in the context, means 'fellow-believer.'

18 June 2010 at 23:12  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

William, if there is a god it seems he likes free will because he has yet to strike me down. He's had more than half a century to zap my irreverent behind. I guess he's not that bothered.

Rebel Saint, your are as graceful a loser as an you are an orator. ;)

19 June 2010 at 01:34  
Blogger srizals said...

Well, it's getting hot in here, which reminds me of this treat once in a while.

"A man walks into a bar with a duck under his arm.
The bartender asks: "Say, where did you find the pig?"
"It's not a pig, it's a duck," the man answers.
To which the barman replies: "I was talking to the duck."

19 June 2010 at 01:41  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Forklandles. Why, thank you. And you are as interesting as you are original.

19 June 2010 at 01:42  
Blogger William said...

"I guess he's not that bothered."

If He's not bothered then He may as well not exist. If He cares about you and me with a passion though ... Well that's another bucket of shrimps.

19 June 2010 at 07:50  
Anonymous len said...

Luke’s gospel shows us just how Jesus, the Lord Jesus, looks for and seeks the lost.
I have come, says Jesus, to seek...... the lost.
Luke’s gospel shows us just how Jesus, the Lord Jesus, looks for and seeks the lost.
All the way through the gospels – we see Jesus in the company of sinners, those who never bothered with the law, those outside of religious life - the weeping woman, Zacchaeus and many others. But all the way through the gospels, Jesus is not far away or at a distance, but among the outcasts, present among them, present among the lost.

19 June 2010 at 08:22  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Rebel Saint - Touche!

19 June 2010 at 09:14  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

On so-called trolls:

I think it regrettable that some of us who comment on this forum prefer to call names, such as trolls, rather than to give patient, reasoned answers to those who disagree with us.

If it is true that some people come to the forum simply in order to irritate and annoy, then so much more cause to answer them with sweet reason. Calling them names simply lowers debate to their level. If we are Christians we should bless those who persecute us.

Possibly it is this all-too-human desire to hit back that has persuaded some contributors that 'the church' (whatever that is) is a thing full of horrible back-biters.

If we perceive evil in some comments, we should not render evil in return, but show patience and light.

19 June 2010 at 10:29  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Forkandles wrote:

'Someone was offended that I consider god to be bearded and befrocked. That was the image given to me from a very early age in Sunday school. That is the image I still possess.'

I think you may be referring to my comment. I am not certain, because I didn't mention 'befrocked' nor did I express offence.

If you really think that a childish image possibly presented to you as an infant in a Sunday school is a genuine and literal expression of Christian belief concerning the nature of God, then you need to start getting a bit more serious.

We must presume that your SS teachers sought to accommodate truth to your infant mind. Personally, I think they were wrong to adopt such methods. But if you are being honest you will admit, I hope, that such an image is not and was never a real statement of Christian belief.

I suspect you have mistaken symbol for reality.

But if, as I suspect, you are merely using such imagery as a means of ridicule, then please don't pretend that you are being intellectually honest, because you are not.

19 June 2010 at 10:39  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Anabaptist, kind words and a shrewd observation but with one reservation. Mischief making is one thing but holding a valid contrary point of view does not constitute persecution. Persecutions tends to involve things like oppression, hungry lions or other, more conventional means of horrible death, mutilation or general tyranny. My views might annoy but they are non-violent and I don't take offence if they are ignored or people call me names. Sticks and stones and all that. :)

19 June 2010 at 10:57  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Anabaptist, you are correct. The stereotypical image of the supreme being from my earliest days is very cliched. To be perfectly honest I don't believe in that image any more than I believe such an entity guides my life.

19 June 2010 at 11:01  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Back to the real world for me. The car is due its MOT this afternoon.

19 June 2010 at 11:03  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace's extended absence without a word is becoming worrying. I sincerely hope that nothing terribly untoward is amiss. You comminicants await your return.

19 June 2010 at 11:30  
Anonymous Preacher said...

I see many debates & disputes taking place, but what of the well being of the man? My concern is for His Graces well being. If you are in some anguish Your Grace please let us know. You are a valuable person as are all men. Christ died for you as for them, it's all abput people.

19 June 2010 at 11:42  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@anabaptist ... "If it is true that some people come to the forum simply in order to irritate and annoy, then so much more cause to answer them with sweet reason. Calling them names simply lowers debate to their level. If we are Christians we should bless those who persecute us."

Scripture presents a number of ways to deal with enquirers and/or provocateurs.

Whereas I normally used Titus 3:10-11 as my guide to dealing with such people I decided to use Proverbs 26:5 on this occasion (conveniently ignoring 26:4!!). I think my rule of thumb is Titus 3:10-11 for the angry & hurting sodomites, and Proverbs 26:5 for the arrogant Godless fools (though the 2 groups aren't mutually exclusive of course!).

Any number of years experience has taught me that when the Godless come to these Blogs & forums, they do not ask their questions with the aim of seeking knowledge or understanding, but with the objective of fault finding & criticism and with a heart of intellectual pride.

I have seen too many good Christian community blogs destroyed by people taking your approach - the Godless do not take your patience & sweet reason with good grace ... it seen as a red rag to a bull and you are soon inundated with the fools, fundamentally changing the whole composition of the blog community. Better to let them think you are beaten and have some sport with them is my conclusion. They seem to tire of that a lot sooner and then disappear back to their own communities able to boast of their victory and superiority. Then normal service can be resumed.

19 June 2010 at 11:55  
Anonymous non mouse said...

My concerns and wishes for Your Grace are those of Preacher and Gnostic. I agree with the poster in an earlier strand though, who hoped that you will take all the time you need to deal with your own concerns.

The cross in the picture connects with some light in the upper windows of the building. I also pray that signifies hope that Your Grace will eventually return to his Communicants.

May God and His Peace be with you.

19 June 2010 at 11:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Preacher said..."I see many debates & disputes taking place, but what of the well being of the man? My concern is for His Graces well being."

Indeed. And as I have thought from the outset, I suspect the picture might be a reflection of His Grace's in an anguished state of mind ... or even a signal that he has decided to return his persona to dust once again.

Your Grace, the flock are anxious for their shepherds safe return. The parable of the lost shepherd ... 100 sheep go looking for their one lost shepherd!

19 June 2010 at 12:13  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Interesting postings about dealing with disagreement and conflict on the internet.

One way of expressing ill will uses coarse and confrontational challenges, often tipping over into abuse and overt anger.

Another way of expressing ill will uses disdain, sneering, and an attempt to demonstrate an assumed superiority.

It probably reflects the class and educational system, but - coarse or snotty - it all comes from the same place, doesn't it?

19 June 2010 at 12:13  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Rebel Saint, surely I, a non-believer, should not be the one to remind you of what Jesus was reputed to have said but I'm going to anyway.

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Matthew 5:43-47

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

Then there is this one:

For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened Luke 11:9-10

It seems Jesus added an addendum - Not applicable to anyone Rebel Saint and his friends disapprove of.

They seem to tire of that a lot sooner and then disappear back to their own communities...

Some maybe. However, I have been reading His Grace's blog for several years. I have a lot of admiration for his intelligent political opinions. I chose not to embroil myself in the religio side of things until some fool blatantly lied about possessing empirical evidence in an attempt to browbeat a converse opinion holder. It is telling that such dishonesty was questioned not by the faithful but by non-believers. And that the non-believers were attacked for pointing it out.

I have to ask myself. What would Jesus think?

19 June 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of you morons know what's up with His Grace? I'm serious; is there anyone out there who can call him or ring his doorbell to see if he's okay? Surely this is not a good sign.

19 June 2010 at 15:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of you morons know what's up with His Grace? I'm serious; is there anyone out there who can call him or ring his doorbell to see if he's okay? Surely this is not a good sign.

19 June 2010 at 15:37  
Blogger Gnostic said...

A sign of afterlife?

The last post on the Muslim women's rights topic has been deleted by the blog administrator a little earlier today.

Your Grace, a positive sign that you are well would be gratefully appreciated and would be of releif to us all.

19 June 2010 at 16:04  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I concurr with Gnostic and Anonymous; we should all now shut-up and await His Grace.

19 June 2010 at 16:50  
Blogger Ginro said...

What I have found quite amusing was to watch the 'atheists' who were quite happy to mock and ridicule, until it was turned around and thrown back at them. Suddenly they react with indignation and self-righteousness, lol! You've been played. If you can't take it then don't dish it out.

It's very easy to tell if someone is genuinely seeking answers or is just here to assert themselves over others. His Grace had occasion to give me some advice several years ago. I didn't fight and bicker or throw arguments back at him. I read his response, went away and thought about what he'd said, and ended up realising what he'd been showing me and that he was pointing me in the right direction.

On the matter of His Grace, for all we know he was bereft at England's draw with the USA and is in South Africa blowing his lungs out on a vuvuzela.

Or more likely he just needs a break and to recharge his batteries. He appears to have had a lot of problems to contend with recently, and running a blog like this for as many years as he has must certainly take it out of you. He'll let us know what is going on when he is good and ready.

19 June 2010 at 19:05  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Forkandles observes:

'Mischief making is one thing but holding a valid contrary point of view does not constitute persecution. Persecutions tends to involve things like oppression, hungry lions or other, more conventional means of horrible death, mutilation or general tyranny. My views might annoy but they are non-violent and I don't take offence if they are ignored or people call me names. Sticks and stones and all that. :)'

I don't think I said that the expression of contrary views constitutes persecution. I was simply citing the sermon on the mount. And if persecution should be answered with blessing, then that which falls short of persecution, however vexing, should certainly not be responded to with cursing and denunciation.

'A soft answer turneth away wrath.'

I don't think we need a proverb to tell us what reponse a smart answer asks for.

PS. Mr Singh is missing as well. I guess both he and Cranny are having to deal with the aftermath of their bereavements.

19 June 2010 at 19:08  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Forkandles tells us:

'Anabaptist, you are correct. The stereotypical image of the supreme being [...as an old bearded man...] from my earliest days is very cliched. To be perfectly honest I don't believe in that image any more than I believe such an entity guides my life.'

No; of course you don't. But you use that image as a stick with which to beat Christians (metaphorically), accusing them of believing such a thing. I repeat: they don't.

19 June 2010 at 19:13  
Anonymous Fran said...

Your Grace

A small word to your communicants would be a great blessing.

19 June 2010 at 22:32  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Ginro, what was it you said about defining the acts of trolling earlier?

baiting people to flame at you

and this:

Troll, in the context of message boards and the like, describes somebody who is posting just to be confrontational or to raise hackles

I think you adequately demonstrated both of these definitions with this nugget:

What I have found quite amusing was to watch the 'atheists' who were quite happy to mock and ridicule, until it was turned around and thrown back at them. Suddenly they react with indignation and self-righteousness, lol! You've been played. If you can't take it then don't dish it out.

You are deliberately trying to provoke an angry reaction from me so what does that make you?

It's very easy to tell if someone is genuinely seeking answers...

Really? What a handr trick to have up your sleeve. What does "genuinely seeking answers" look like then?

19 June 2010 at 23:02  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Forkandles @ 23.02 said "What does "genuinely seeking answers" look like then?".

Usually indicated by a question that is not a disguised statement.

19 June 2010 at 23:30  
Anonymous Forkandles said...

Anabaptist

...you use that image as a stick with which to beat Christians (metaphorically), accusing them of believing such a thing. I repeat: they don't.

Actually they do.

I refer you to famous works of art such as the Ghent altarpiece by the Renaissence artis Jan Van Eyck - god almighty, bearded and begowned.

Stained glass window in St Sulpice, Fougeres - god almighty, bearded and gowned.

The Trinity, Cathedral of the Assumption - god almighty, bearded and gowned.

Any classical image of the Trinity (eg Durer, El Greco, de Wit) - god almighty, bearded and gowned.

These are just examples of famous images. You and I both know that there are many more. All wonderful pieces of religious art.

The image of god in long raiment and beard is endemic to the Christian culture. What puzzles me is that you appear to deny this is so. In this you appear to be agreeing with my point of view and then go on to accuse me of using the opinion as a weapon. If it is right for you to believe such a thing why is it wrong for me to believe it?

19 June 2010 at 23:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you you loser

19 June 2010 at 23:45  
Blogger Ginro said...

Forkandles, you don't half moan and complain a lot about how 'unfair' people are to you. Boo hoo. Play the man.

19 June 2010 at 23:54  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Forkandles ... honestly, you're just rehearsing the same tired arguments. Please save yourself (and, more importantly, the rest of us) from having to go over & over it all again. Simply go here and you'll even be able to read what you're going to say next.

I was waiting for you to quote scriptures at me - came later than usual but you did not disappoint. Eventually you will start to ridicule my grammar/punctuation (I think you had a little dig at me on that fron already). And I see it's now reached the stage where we say, "...well you started it, no you started it ...".

You are an atheist, and there is no argument that you will read here that will convince you otherwise. I am a Christian and there is no argument that you present here that will convince me otherwise. [I realise of course, you will say that you are open minded to the claims of Christianity if only I could present you with some compelling evidence. But the reality is you've got all the evidence you require, just as I have - but we have come to different conclusions].

It's very tedious. Seriously. There are 1000's of threads identical to this one all over the web. Please go and read those and spare me that deja vu feeling (again!).

And again, I repeat this is not a debating board for religious philosophy. Lots of us do not wish to have to go back to 1st principles every time His Grace posts something new. The title of the blog, it's stated remit, the quotes, the links all indicate that this is a blog which which will appeal to a community whose political & religious perspectives are right-of-centre & Christian.

You may think it is very rude & unchristian of me, but if you turned up to my (fictional) Manchester united supporters party to argue that supporting Manchester United was irrational, illogical non-sense and that Manchester city were in fact a better team, I'd tell you to p1ss off from there as well. Not because I'm scared or incapable or irrational, but because the only reason I could see for you to come to such a gathering and say such a thing would be because (a) you are an idiot (b) you are discourteous (c) you want to provoke some sort of fight.

This isn't my party - it's His Grace's. But if you're going to attempt to spoil it for other guests I'm not the sort who'll leave quietly - others may be.

So if you want to discuss religious philosophy or debate theism, go search out one of the countless places on the web specifically for that and leave those of us for who such matters are already settled to discuss other topics. I realise that makes me narrow-minded, bigoted etc. More than happy for you to throw whatever label/insult you like just so long as you stop spouting your repetitive, irritating nonsense.

19 June 2010 at 23:59  

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