Monday, June 13, 2011

Tony Blair reads the Qur’an every day, and so he should

There is a quotation by former prime minister Tony Blair displayed prominently upon His Grace’s blog, which has been there since its inception:
Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st century as political ideology was to the 20th century. In an era of globalisation, there is nothing more important than getting people of different faiths and cultures to understand each other better and live in peace and mutual respect, and to give faith itself its proper place in the future.
The first sentence is a straightforward statement of fact: like it or not, political ideology is now subsumed to popular feeling and innovative ideas; today, for a politician to be accused of being ‘ideological’ is almost as bad as being called a paedophile. And no civilised person could possibly disagree with the second sentence: where the Christian lives next door to the Muslim, and neither has a hope of converting the other to his respective worldview, the task is to learn what is necessary and manifest the respect due to all people in order that both may coexist in peaceful society.

There is an article in The Daily Mail in which Tony Blair is quoted as saying: ‘I read the Qur’an [Koran] every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive.’

Note how the Mail helpfully includes the vernacular anglicised spelling of Qur’an in parenthesis, just in case its readers can’t quite make the link. The article is designed to incite not quite hatred, but certainly contempt for the man who famously did not ‘do God’ while in office, but since leaving it has crossed the Tiber and done Him in abundance.

Mr Blair’s experience on the Road to Brussels Damascus was welcome, of course. But the fact that he was reluctant even to mention his Saviour while he exercised governmental power rather confutes and undermines his present pronouncements. It is a little like Baroness Thatcher and Lord Tebbit now warning of the evils of European Union, while in office they did nothing at all to arrest the process of ‘ever closer union’. Such conversions are designed to elicit suspicion and cynicism.

Mr Blair said: “To be faith-literate is crucial in a globalised world, I believe.” That is to say, an understanding of religion informs his current role as Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

His Grace has already said as much, which is why the Middle East conflict will never be solved by politicians alone: the conflict needs a theologian.

In this understanding, Tony Blair is way ahead of David Cameron and indeed many Conservatives, who are either a little embarrassed by religion or believe it to be completely irrelevant to politics. Certainly, the Prime Minister has declared that he is fully prepared to ‘do God’ whilst in office, and his Party Chairman Baroness Warsi has made it known how broad and deep that ‘doing’ will be. But it’s not until you get the official No10 response to an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury (and subsequent mockery) that you understand the chronic gulf that exists between church and state: the two are in irascible tension.

That is not, of course, the case between mosque and state in some Islamic countries, and certainly not in the prevailing Wahhabi mindset, in which mosque and state are irrevocably fused in an ever closer union the likes of which the EU can only dream of.

In order to understand something of this, Tony Blair is reading the Qur’an. And so he should: it is often exalted as the primary source of extremist inspiration:
Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their wealth for the price of Paradise, to fight in the way of Allah, to kill and get killed. It is a promise binding on the truth in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an.
And so one should dig deeply into the Qur'an, but also research, read, study, strategise and do all one can to understand one’s enemy. Only then may he be defeated.

But the Mail incites its readers by including the fact that Mr Blair ‘has previously praised the Muslim faith as “beautiful” and said the Prophet Mohammed had been ‘an enormously civilizing force’: in 2006 he said: “The Qur’an is reforming book, it is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.”

The fact is that one can only understand that this is not entirely true by reading it first-hand. A deepening of theological understanding and historical appreciation can only come by studying. For the Mail, Tony Blair is politically locked and theologically frozen in his 2006 understanding of Islam. To the more discerning and intelligent, Mr Blair will have learned more and grown over the past five years, as his own understanding of theology has matured and his political lens adapted to his new role in the Middle East.

Only by reading the Qur’an will he appreciate the fons et origo of the atrocities which exploded on his political watch: September 11th 2001 in New York, in which almost 3000 innocent people were killed; and the July 7th suicide bombers who attacked London and murdered another 52. Only by reading the Qur’an will he appreciate the political agenda of al-Qaida, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for the eradication of the Jews and the elimination of Israel. And only by reading the Qur’an will he begin to understand the concept of abrogation and the reality that there is no single interpretation of Islam any more than there is a uniform understanding of Christianity.

One can understand, in office, why a prime minister may feel the need to say that Mohammed had been ‘an enormously civilizing force’, and that the Qur’an was ‘inclusive’ and ‘practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance’.

If Mr Blair also reads his Bible every day, he will have found it to be rather more inclusive than the Qur’an, and immensely more practical in its attitudes to marriage, women and governance.

But one acquires little understanding of either faith by simply listening to priests and imams, or reading The Daily Mail. So, in preparation for the century in which religious faith will supplant political ideology, His Grace exhorts his readers to read and understand the primary sources of the Torah, the Bible, the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gita, the writings of the Buddha and the Wisdom of Yoda. You might just learn something.

169 Comments:

Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

There is only one book that men need:

‘The old book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its histories are true, its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, and its decisions are immutable.

‘Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

‘It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the sailor’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.

‘Here paradise is restored, heaven is opened and the gates of hell are disclosed.
Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mind of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labour, and condemns all who would trifle with its holy contents.’

13 June 2011 at 11:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

‘I read the Qur’an [Koran] every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive.’

I am reminded of Anthony Eden, MC of the KRRC and Oxford who spoke Russian, German, French, Persian and Arabic and read The Koran in Arabic quoting from it readily when visiting Arab states. He still fell over Suez.

Blair is a twerp. He cannot read The Koran because he cannot read Arabic and it exists only in Arabic. He reads it sequentially but it is not sequential. He thinks it is a document but he ignores Hadiths and is blissfully ignorant of European history let alone Arabic history.

Blair is the kind of thespian Hollywood used to put into its spectaculars, completely oblivious to context or culture - he might as well ask Conrad Veidt about Baghdad

13 June 2011 at 11:06  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Well said Mr AB Cranmer.

I fully agree with the sentiments of your blog this morning and the call for thinking people to read and understand other faiths and world views. You should include the writings of Confucious and Taoism.

The point you make about the conflict in the middle east needing a theologian perspective is so true. However, given the recent attempts of Catholic Popes to engage at this level with Abramic based faiths, and the hostility with which this was greeted by (some) Christians, Jews and Muslims, one wonders whether such an approach can succeed. And, as you note, all these religions are divided and, sadly, in competition.

13 June 2011 at 11:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

If this is at the heart of their inspiration:

'Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their wealth for the price of Paradise, to fight in the way of Allah, to kill and get killed. It is a promise binding on the truth in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an.'

Then there can be no peace; then there can be no appeasement; then for the last 15 years the West's strategy has been futile.

I can see no alternative than going back to studying the causes of the Crusades.

13 June 2011 at 12:00  
Blogger Demetrius said...

The Epic of Gilgamesh? The Shanameh?

13 June 2011 at 12:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Demetrius

No need to study The Epic of Gilgamesh – the study of Genesis, in the Bible, is sufficient.

13 June 2011 at 12:37  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Your call for greater understanding is commendable YG.

I think it important east and west find common ground, but it is also imperative the western or northern traditions retain a distinct flavour rooted in rediscovering its own folkish wisdom traditions and how they may relate to the east.

Building bridges involves making amends with our own suppressed native culture.

13 June 2011 at 12:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you that reading the Koran
is needed to understand that it is evil.
You shouldn't need to read more than once than to realize that.

The solution to defeat Islam is not to understand but to get the mass of non Muslims who think it is "the religion of people" to realise it is evil.
And to invest more money into alternative to oil

13 June 2011 at 12:41  
Anonymous Kiwi said...

I think we need to keep an eye on Blair, he's up to something for sure.

13 June 2011 at 12:42  
Blogger len said...

Tony Blair is on the right track......partly.
No solution will be found to the Arab/Israeli conflict unless one understands this battle is not about Land, but it is a spiritual Battle.
This battle is also a battle for the truth,bible or Koran.Which holds the truth?
..................................
This is a quotation from a booklet entitled ‘The Occult in Islam’ by Abd al-Masih


‘Even though Muslims insist that Mohammed received revelations from God, we must state that the voices which Mohammed claimed to have heard were not real inspiration. The Father of our Lord Jesus would never have sent the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed in Mecca 600 years after the birth of Christ to prove to him that he, God has no Son. It is written in the Koran more than twenty times that God has no Son. As long as Muslims claim that these verses were divinely inspired we must say, ‘No!’ These voices did not come from the true God, but originated from an evil spirit who misused the Arabic name of God. As long as Muslims insist that Jesus was not crucified and did not really die on the cross, we must again affirm that it was not God who revealed these verses to Mohammed.’.

13 June 2011 at 12:46  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

It is well known that Blair joined the RCC on his own terms, and the RCC (normally wise and cautious) accepted him on those terms (ie. keeping his old beliefs and practices (eg. abortion and homosexuality-promoting)). Apparently, when it was Cardinal Hume in charge (Blair still an Anglican) Hume was having to write to Blair to tell him to desist from taking communion in an RC church. The fact that Blair could so readily disregard the RC practice, beief and protocol, on this matter, should have told us (and them!) all we needed to know. Real Catholics (eg. Ann Widdecombe) were rightly outraged.

13 June 2011 at 12:49  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Religion is an ideology of the most virulent kind. I want none of it.

13 June 2011 at 12:54  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Islam is implicated in many of the world’s most intractable problems but is reading the Koran going to help resolve them; of course not? Blair will doubtless search out a few poetic phrases to support his infatuation with religion whilst ignoring those that incite hatred and violence that are spelled out so graphically in Fitna.

Religion (all religion) is the problem not the solution and reading the “primary sources” will only serve to convince you of the absurdity of each of them. Sure they provide a historical backdrop and a psychological landscape in which to explore the reasons why mankind has sort the solace of religion. But the conflicts between Islam, Judaism and Christianity are often surrogates for many other problems just as in N. Ireland the issue was not so much about an incompatibility between the two branches of Christianity, rather it was a dispute about Irish nationalism.

Removing religion from the world’s conflicts relies in first removing religion itself from the modern world. It will take generations to achieve this but just as most of the gods invented by man’s fear-driven imagination are no longer worshipped, those that still remain will disppear, eventually.

13 June 2011 at 12:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Removing religion from the world’s conflicts relies in first removing religion itself from the modern world.'

It has been tried unsuccessfully three times by Hitler, Stalin and Mao - you're always in such interesting company Mr Davis.

13 June 2011 at 13:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The Radical Tradition: Philosophy, Metapolitics and the Conservative Revolution by Troy Southgate.

A western spiritual and political alternative to the neo liberal Tony Blairism.

13 June 2011 at 13:26  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

The Koran is riddled with internal theological inconsistencies and highlighting and debating these with men of intelligence is surely the way to approach this 'faith'.

It really is no good just saying "it's evil" (which I believe is the case) or "inspired by Satan" (again, I believe this to be so).

13 June 2011 at 13:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Removing religion from the world’s conflicts relies in first removing religion itself from the modern world.'

Isn't Politics simply "Secular Religion" ?

Shouldn't we really ban Politics and have ONE TRUTH that all must obey ? Difference of opinion are dangerous and create disorientation....surely The ONE TRUTH should be the guiding light for ALL without exception ?

I take it, that is what you mean Graham Davis, Eradication of Diversity of Opinion ?

13 June 2011 at 13:44  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

And they all found that the great guru Dawkins was right. So they burned their religous tomes on a fire, and lived happily ever after in the utopian land of daft. So called because its founder believed that nothing went bang for no reason and order was produced out of chaos and matter out of non matter. LOL!

Jack.

13 June 2011 at 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Flash

Brilliant!

13 June 2011 at 14:13  
Anonymous Oswin said...

It is always wise to understand one's enemy, although reading English translations of the koran are not sufficiently edifying.

For all your koran-type needs, you could go a long way before besting the works of the Christian, Islamic scholar, Jay Smith. If you have not yet encountered this most remarkable man, then do so soonest. So-called Muslim scholars are terrified of this man!

13 June 2011 at 14:23  
Anonymous Paul said...

Many Christiaans are woefully ignorant of what constitutes other faiths. That being said you can say the same about followers of other religions ! Ignorance is a dangerous thing ! We see it's consequences all around us.

13 June 2011 at 14:42  
Anonymous MrJ said...

"To the more discerning and intelligent, Mr Blair will have learned more and grown over the past five years, as his own understanding of theology has matured and his political lens adapted to his new role in the Middle East."

An interesting use of ironic hope over experience, and cue for Voyager's (11:06) more outspoken comment.

"His Grace exhorts his readers to read and understand the primary sources of the Torah, the Bible, the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gita, the writings of the Buddha and the Wisdom of Yoda. You might just learn something."

That would be a very tall order for nearly everyone, except, of course the few of HG's readers who have yet to complete the course.

But cue for Mr Dodo (11:36) cleverly seeming not to have observed the reason for omitting Confucius and Taoism.

Would Mr Blair be suited to negotiating a concordat between Stato della Città del Vaticano and the representatives of a proto Caliphate? In historic retrospect that might explain much in his career to date.

13 June 2011 at 14:44  
Anonymous graham wood said...

D Singh wrote
"There is only one book that men need:
‘The old book contains the mind of God, the state of man.......

I'm deply grateful to you Mr Singh for this quotation which I once had somewhere and lost.
It is one of the best summaries of the biblical message it is possible to find IMO. Many thanks!

Cranmer exhorts us to appreciate the sources of various religious texts, but of course as he knows, ALL of these and the Christian scriptures are mutually exclusive.
If the mind is furnished with the doctrine of Christ, and the basic doctrines of Scripure then little else is needed.
That is not a plea for obscurantism, but wisdom.
See Proverbs 8.

13 June 2011 at 14:45  
Blogger rick allen said...

"There is only one book that men need."

On the other hand, we should consider the admonition of St. Thomas Aquinas: "Beware the man of one book."

It is admirable, I think, for Christians to be familiar with the Qur'an, and I have read it and occasionally return to it in order to better understand my Muslim neighbors and the Muslim world.

It does not do, though, to take the most frightening statements out of context, in the same manner in which our secular extremists do with the bible.

The Qur'an, like the bible, must be understood in context, in the traditions in which it has been understood, in the ways in which it has been lived out. Nothing in my reading, of the Qur'an, the Hadith, the bits of Shari'a and philosophy I have read, attract me in the least to the religion of Islam. At the same time, they do assure me that the provocations of those who consider Islam inherently violent and extremist are unfounded, and that we can live side by side with Muslims, and let our religions compete by letting each other see who best reflects the mercy and compassion of God.

13 June 2011 at 14:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Allen

Not so fast and easy on the accommodations.

The earlier part of the Koran ‘is nice, pink and fluffy’. Of course during that period the Prophet of the Moon meets hardly any resistance to his message.

The later part of the Koran becomes violent in its language: he meets resistance and counters this by inciting his followers to liquidate opposition.

Then steps in Islamic jurisprudence: how are verses in the latter part of the book that conflict with verses in the earlier part to be reconciled?

The verses in the latter part are to take precedence.

Result?

Violence in extremis.

Now: we are in a good position ‘to understand’.

13 June 2011 at 15:11  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Jack Flash said

So called because its founder believed that nothing went bang for no reason and order was produced out of chaos and matter out of non matter. LOL!

By George he’s got it!

13 June 2011 at 15:13  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Tony Blair is a self serving, treacherous millionaire. He and his money grubbing letter box mouthed wife brought nothing but misery to millions.

That he reads the Koran does not surprise me - what else would a Middle Eastern courtesan do. He is not stupid - he wants his Arab sugar daddies to hear shit like this. This is where he has pitched his future plans. As much as he would like the Presidency of Europe he is waiting until Europe implements a permanent and irreversible hand-cuffs deal which is the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

www.oecd/39/22/41779100.pdf

13 June 2011 at 15:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Blair is a dissembler of the first order. I say this as a Catholic myself. If he was a already a Catholic he had no business advising the Queen on whom to appoint as head of the Anglican Church. In all his years as PM, did he even once express dismay over the number of abortions, unmarried sex and all the 'family value' issues that Catholics are to be concerned about? As far I am concerned, the more distance we put between this inverterate liar and the Catholic Church the better it is for us.

Ivan

13 June 2011 at 15:21  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Voyager said...

Isn't Politics simply "Secular Religion" ? Shouldn't we really ban Politics and have ONE TRUTH that all must obey ? Difference of opinion are dangerous and create disorientation....surely The ONE TRUTH should be the guiding light for ALL without exception ?

For irrational people politics can be just like a religion because it often relies on belief but unlike religion politics does not rely on belief without evidence although that evidence is often disputed.

I take it, that is what you mean Graham Davis, Eradication of Diversity of Opinion

Not so, opinion is always to be welcomed so long as it is informed by reason otherwise it is just pointless waffle. Fiction is the place to let your imagination loose so lets keep your Gods for the story books and please don’t present them as truth.

13 June 2011 at 15:21  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

Graham.
No, I might have had it once, but I grew up and found the cure.
How are things back in La La Land?
still pretty much the same I guess.


Jack.

13 June 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger Owl said...

Graham D. said,

"Fiction is the place to let your imagination loose so lets keep your Gods for the story books and please don’t present them as truth."

These sentiments could be applied to Darwinism with much more reason. It can be proved to be wrong.

Secularism is intolerant of everything except itself.

13 June 2011 at 15:52  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Cranny is exhibiting a more than questionable degree of ignorance concerning Islam.

He will find if he examines the mindset of Political Islam as exemplified by the Muslim Brotherhood that to understand one first has to understand the language of Arabia. Then sign up to a local Mosque and study the Hadiths and Suras.

Even then, it is only through the enlightening and guiding interpretations of the Imamams and Mullahs will you be getting any nearer to understanding Islam.

By this time it will be too late to pull back as to do so would be to become regarded as a apostate and a target for death by a thousand cuts - if you're lucky.

Islam can only be appraised by looking at what it is causing all over the world to women, gays, children especially girls, Jews, atheists, even dissenting Muslims.

Islam is a poison for which there is no antidote other than keeping it in its sterile desert environment. There is no point in making simple comparisons between Christianity and Islam as being part of the same montheistic trinity. Islam and the Islamists see the Western and other cultures as decadent and morally bankrupt. Many contributors here may be of the same opinion; be that as it may, unlike the Muslims they are fortunately unlikely to saw your head off to prove the point.

Convert (or as they would say 'revert') or pay Jizyha' failing that you become our slaves or you die.

13 June 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Jack Flash

Stick to the myth and magic Mr Flash, the science is obviously beyond you.

13 June 2011 at 16:12  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Owl said

These sentiments could be applied to Darwinism with much more reason. It can be proved to be wrong.

Exactly it can be proved wrong, (although it hasn’t yet) that is the essence of the scientific method! I hope that you are willing to accept the same for your religious belief.

13 June 2011 at 16:13  
Anonymous Tony B said...

>These sentiments could be applied to Darwinism with much more reason. It can be proved to be wrong.

Let's hear your proof then.

13 June 2011 at 16:15  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J said ...
"But cue for Mr Dodo (11:36) cleverly seeming not to have observed the reason for omitting Confucius and Taoism."

Not being clever I just don't know! I'm a simple man who avoids sub-text where I can. I know why I would include them, not why ABC would wish to exclude them.

Enlighten me, please.

13 June 2011 at 16:25  
Blogger DP111 said...

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their wealth for the price of Paradise, to fight in the way of Allah, to kill and get killed. It is a promise binding on the truth in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur'an.'


Which means that all lands, their produce, and booty, which means women as well, on earth have already been procured for Muslims.

Egyptian Shaykh: ‘When I Want A Sex Slave, I Just Go To The Market And Choose The Woman Like And Purchase Her’
Posted on June 13, 2011 by Eeyore

http://vladtepesblog.com/?p=34495

13 June 2011 at 16:28  
Blogger rick allen said...

"Violence in extremis."

Mr. Singh, I am always frustrated with those whose knowledge of the bible is limited to the conquest of Canaan, and whose notion of Christian history is fixated on the Crusades, the Spainish Inquisition, and the burning of Servetus. It never seems to make any difference to them to point out that there might be something more.

Those of us who still retain a firm belief in the dogma of original sin (and admittedly large numbers have abandoned it) know that the root of violence runs deep, and is not eliminated by the profession of Christianity.

Thus too many look, rightly, with horror, on the events of 9/11, but seem entirely dismissive of the horror of, say, the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad. There is always evidence, for Christians or Muslims who seek it, that the other group is more inherently violent that my own. But what is "inherent" is, in Catholic dogma, common to both, as descendants of Adam.

13 June 2011 at 16:32  
Blogger DP111 said...

D Singh

May I use your first comment. Its excellent.

------------

The principle of abrogation must be kept in mind when one wants to understand the koran. Another way is to judge it by its actions, and if they are consonant with the teachings of the Koran, Hadiths and Sira.

Of course all this was never necessary if we had kept in mind, that peace within a nation is better kept if it is based on a culture and language.

13 June 2011 at 16:36  
Anonymous John said...

I'm with Graham Davis on this one.

If a thing can't be proven it has no rightful place in either politics or reasoned debate.

We're all just people living across the earth's land mass.

You can't prove 'France' or 'Spain'. It's all just fabricated waffle and storytelling. National borders don't really exist at all. There's nothing in Nature that says "France". It's all made up.

People are people so why should it be....?

Well, I hope some day you will join us, and the world will live as one.

Goodnight Yoko.

13 June 2011 at 17:05  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I rather think Tony Blair must be reading the al campbell authorised version.

Either that of the no religous new world order head lizards are making a play for the delerium administrator in chief .

Interesting point your grace non the less , read the quoran. I have often wondered if islamic scholars are allowed to read the bible and offer critique ?

jack flash LOL :All overseen by machines of lovingrace

13 June 2011 at 17:25  
Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

National borders don't really exist at all.

Like an Island nation can't you mean?

Yeah.

That's like ... well... far out Man - almost profound - Yeah - well something like that Man.

Man - You must have access to some good shit John Man - Yeah!

13 June 2011 at 17:28  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Without looking for what Mr Dodo (16:25) has called subtext, but simply comparing the main blog articles with the remarks from commenters in recent months, it appears that Cranmer usually chooses his topics and remarks, his arguments and conclusions, with more than casual intent. (Sometimes there may be minor slips and the author may allow himself to be carried away by an ardour which may seem a little outre' to this or that reader's sensibilities.)

By such criteria would it not be conformable with probability to infer that the omission of Confucius and Taoism was not accidental?

13 June 2011 at 17:47  
Anonymous Voyager said...

so long as it is informed by reason

Reason being what ? The mantras learned in educational processes ? The homogeneity of thought is inculcated by slavish adherence to Universities which have indoctrinated rather than given critical faculties scope to cogitate.

The critical flaw of modern times is that "reason" has become ideological rigidity incapable of thinking. In short it has become another form of Bigotry

13 June 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger Owl said...

TonyB,

Just a simple one.

We have supposedly mutated from one species to another. The process of mutation is said to be very long. Much longer than actually being the original species or the mutated species. In the process of evolution we should be up to our ears in things which are in the process of mutating.
Except for a few hoaxes, nothing has been found at all.

In the process of leaving the water and living on the land, protrusions such as fins evolved into arms and legs according to of theory of evolution.

One aspect of the evolution process is survival of the fittest. In the process of a fin evolving into a leg, the fin/leg would be less good than a fin in water and less good than a leg on land. This half/half thing would not have survived in either environment.

The whole theory is really preposterous.

The amount of historical charlatans on the make (names easily supplied) who have supported this nonsense shows it up for what it is.

For me, Haeckels embryo drawings were the best and, believe it or not, they are still used in some schools in "science" classes.

13 June 2011 at 18:03  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Reason is simply logical thinking so that a concept can be challenged or justified using objectively verifiable criteria. The alternative is fantasy, within which a concept cannot be challenged or justified since by its own definition it relies on nothing more than imagination. That is not a critical flaw Voyager it is just common sense.

13 June 2011 at 18:12  
Blogger Owl said...

Oh, I forgot...

It has been said that when Tony Blair mutated into an RC, this also proved the theory of evolution.

Wrong again, just another charlatan at work.

Tony, professing to emcompass all religions, just supports his secular religion of reason which is intended to replace them.

13 June 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The point is Mr Owl not whether the theory of Evolution accurately describes how we got here but the method by which that theory is sustained. If it is inaccurate then science is big enough to accept a better theory but please don’t ask us to believe in magic?

13 June 2011 at 18:16  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J said ...
"... would it not be conformable with probability to infer that the omission of Confucius and Taoism was not accidental?"

Can you clear this up Mr AB Cranmer? I'd hate to think a point had been missed.

Why not Confucious and Taoism? Surely profound philosophies at least comparable with and, in my opinion, superior to both Budhism and Hinduism. Streets ahead too of Yoda!

13 June 2011 at 18:23  
Blogger Owl said...

Mr. Davis,

"If it is inaccurate then science is big enough to accept a better theory but please don’t ask us to believe in magic?"

If it is inaccurate or, dare I say, wrong, then it should be rejected as such by science. The theory itself seems to be surviving by shoving it down the throats of our children and then calling it education.

Sustainability by propaganda.

I don't recall asking you to believe in anything.

Obviously, you say this as a knee jerk reaction, meaning that if I reject Darwinism then I accept Creationism (which I assume you are referring to with your term "magic").

Creationism is a belief, not a scientific theory. It can be taken literally or symbolicly or not at all. It is also totally beside the point.

If you advance a scientific theory then you also bear the responsibility of proving it.

Darwinism has failed every test.

Mind you, it may have served it's purpose as it fathered eugenics which, in turn, begat environmentalism and the huge cock up that we have today.

13 June 2011 at 19:06  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Owl
Ignorant,absurd, and hilarious. A masterpiece of self deception.

13 June 2011 at 19:24  
Blogger Owl said...

TonyB,

How or why is what I posted ignorant?

How or why is what I posted absurd?

How or why is what I posted hilarious?

Your post is a masterpiece of inuendo. Could I have some meat on the bones?

13 June 2011 at 19:42  
Anonymous Tony B said...

It is ignorant to say there are no transitions.
It is absurd to suppose that thousands of scientists over many decades are involved in a giant deceit. It is hilarious to say that a few charlatans have"shown it up for what it is".

13 June 2011 at 20:04  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Good picture, Your Grace - It manifests Mr. Blair's true calling: Per Cosmetology ad Astra!

Superficiality also attends the course you (apparently) recommend for your readers. Comparative theology may appeal to a few, but truism should haunt the generalist, for: "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Thus, a poor grade in general science at a second-rate school doesn't equip someone to teach physics to those who've earned PhDs in it. By the same token, the ability to quote reams of text without learning and inwardly digesting .... marks the ham actor, not dramatic art.

Further, our own great Chaucer illustrates that there is nothing wrong with attention to popular feeling, and nothing new about claims of innovative ideas. Geffrey's Eagle points out the futility of pursuing exotic texts when:
"But of thy verray neyghebores,
That duellen almost at thy dores,
Thou herist neyther that ne this;"
(HOF II: 649-51).
And if, after all that reading:
"Instede of reste and newe thynges
Thou goost hom to thy hous anoon,
And, also domb as any stoon,
Thou sittest at another book
Tyl fully daswed ys thy look;" (Ibid 654-58).**

In short - study of text is not just about words, but about how people use them. In this our headlong rush to Judgement, some may bombast their way past ... "In the Beginning was the Word." But they could also note that mankind shatters it (Word/Truth/Light) to bits (words) - and then re-moulds it to his own designs, as Omar described (Rubaiyat LXXIII). And as your picture of Blair illustrates.

*Horace. Epistles Book II. Epistle ii: 44.

**Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The House of Fame." The Riverside Chaucer 3rd Ed.
Ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; 1987. 347-373.

13 June 2011 at 20:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Did that fin thing come from a copy of the Watchtower?

13 June 2011 at 20:33  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Owl

Not just creationism but all the miracles, answered prayers, virgin birth, resurrection etc are belief in magic. Evolution has an overwhelming body of evidence to support it and can even be demonstrated in bacteria. You challenge it not because you have found a flaw (which you haven’t) but because it contradicts the myth and magic that is your religious belief.

13 June 2011 at 20:35  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Small addendum:

Fortunately, several of your readers clearly know the value of specialist study. They evaluate both primary and secondary texts; they make connections, especially when they contextualize the information: historically, demographically, linguistically, etc. etc. ... and so they proceed quarere verum ... ad infinitum.*

13 June 2011 at 20:39  
Blogger len said...

I believe the Bible ,I believe(and it is provable through Bible prophesy) that the Bible is the Word of God).
However if one likes to take the scientific view of Creation here is a good source of info;

www.creationworldview.org

13 June 2011 at 20:44  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Len,sorry,its tosh.

13 June 2011 at 20:48  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Anyone who studies both the Bible the people around us - knows that it's full of Wisdom and Truth.

Read it first. Spend a few years alone in the world, unprotected, alone ... and you may even try to understand why people do the terrible things they do ...
Then you'll remember what the Bible said. Then you'll realise: "Oh, that's why they said that.

Christ taught us how to live in this world - but we have to want to learn. It's not productive just to go around telling other people they're stupid. Or that the Wisdom of the ages is.

13 June 2011 at 20:58  
Blogger len said...

Tony B.

Is that the best contribution to the discussion you can make?.

Well I suppose it did take you 4 minutes, good going for an Atheist?

13 June 2011 at 21:11  
Anonymous John said...

Dreanaught: "National borders don't really exist at all.

Like an Island nation can't you mean?"

Like, you can prove it's an island - all the sea n shit.

But does that make it a nation?
Are all islands nations?
Are all nations islands?

How d'ya choose man?

I can spot a frenchman tho. He plays boule and wears stripes.

Goodnight D, goodnight Sean.

13 June 2011 at 21:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I found this gem on that site:

http://www.creationworldview.org/articles_view.asp?id=14

A subject close to my heart, obviously. Take a critical look at it and see what is missing in the analysis.

Love the Stephen Green source cited at the end, too. That's Stephen Green, of Christian Voice. Bless him.

13 June 2011 at 21:38  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Len, I'm not an atheist, fella.

13 June 2011 at 21:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I particularly enjoyed this bit:

"As Dr. Ruth Hubbard, Professor emeritus of Biology at Harvard stated; Sexual attraction depends on personal experience and cultural values and that desire is too complex, varied and interesting to be reduced to genes."

Which I guess was thrown in to give it a bit of, well, scientific weight.

13 June 2011 at 21:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Len, I'm not an atheist, fella."

You could try CAPITALS next time as repetition isn't working.

13 June 2011 at 21:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh boy.

http://www.creationworldview.org/articles_view.asp?id=101

"Secular Humanists want to do whatever they want, whenever they want and to have no consequences for their actions. They want to answer to no higher authority than themselves. They choose to believe by faith that there are no absolutes, no laws, no rules, no roles, no standards of conduct and no purpose."

:O

13 June 2011 at 21:52  
Blogger Owl said...

TonyB,

"It is ignorant to say there are no transitions."

Rather than accusing me of ignorance, would you kindly give me an example of one that hasn't already been debunked.

"It is absurd to suppose that thousands of scientists over many decades are involved in a giant deceit."

As I didn't say that, I really shouldn't bother with this one but to set things straight.

First of all, many scientists were deceived themslves.

When I was younger, I was fascinated by evolution. One of my favourites was the evolution of the horse, introduced by Thomas Huxley and O.C. Marsh in 1879.

It took almost one hundred years before that was debunked.

It saddens me that Eohippus wasn't the real deal but I have to put these fairytales behind me.

Professor Reiner Protsch, famous for discovering the missing link between Neanderthal man and modern man retired in disgrace from Frankfurt University. His forgeries and deceptions had been a mainstay of the evolution theory for over 30 years.
Other scientists believed him, they were also deceived.

It it now supposed that Neanderthal man was nothing more than modern man with ricketts.

The list goes on and on.

"It is hilarious to say that a few charlatans have"shown it up for what it is"

I wish it was that funny. The fact is that all the so called proof of the past 150 years has not stood the test of time or any other for that matter, is sad for mankind.
The number of scientists that have resorted to deception to "prove" evolution is a disgrace.

I eagerly await your transient (proved missing link) as nobody has found him, her or it yet. You may be the first!

13 June 2011 at 21:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

http://www.creationworldview.org/articles_view.asp?id=38

"“6. If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

Mr. Rennie is putting words into the mouths of creationists which were never there. No serious creation believing scientist would use such terminology. I have had school children (confused by evolutionary claims that humans did come from monkeys/apes, as taught in many public schools) and adults (usually only trying to be humorous) make such enquiries of me."

Well, I can put the author in touch with someone right here who believes the theory says we are descended from monkeys. :)

13 June 2011 at 22:00  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Owl, I've played this game a thousand times. I'm afraid I'm not going to humor your fantasies. I can only suggest very strongly that you read some science. You have obviously read a load of creationist claptrap and swallowed it whole.

13 June 2011 at 22:15  
Blogger Owl said...

Mr. Davis,

I presume you refer to Lenski's experiments with the E Colli bacteria which he observed managed to absorb Citrate after 20 something thousand generations.
Fascinating as this may be, it hardly proves evolution (even though the learned man himself likes to asert this).
When I first read about this experiment it seemed odd to me as a forced variation within a species has never been contested. That an organism adapts to it's environment has been widely accepted for a long time. Mankind has been known to do so for donkeys' years.

The rest of your claptrap was just that and bore no relevance to the subject under discussion.

In fact, you sound more like an evangelist than I could ever be.

13 June 2011 at 22:30  
Blogger Owl said...

TonyB,

Now you're just a joke.

Put your money where your mouth is and give me one example.

If you can't then stop just insulting me to hide your lack of knowledge. It doesn't put you in a good light.

BTW, I am not a "creationist". Think a little about that one as our dear Graham is way off the mark as well but I do enjoy watching him flapping around.

13 June 2011 at 22:38  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Owl,
I said you had read too much creationist claptrap, there is a difference. I suppose you are Richard Milton? I'm well aware that you will deny the validity of any example given. As I' ve said, I've played the game a thousand times.

13 June 2011 at 23:04  
Blogger Sumon said...

Be Cautious: Reading and understanding is harmful for your brain if you have less processing power!

13 June 2011 at 23:10  
Blogger Owl said...

Tony,

You claimed that I was ignorant.

When I asked you to enlighten me, you refuse.

Good debating technique and no, I am not Richard Milton.

Good night.

13 June 2011 at 23:34  
Anonymous TheNoseyMole said...

Look up current wars and see what percentage involve "the religion of peace" , quite scary reallly

13 June 2011 at 23:39  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Speaking personally I see no great divide between God as creator and the scientific method of inquiry. Surely God could design a universe capable of being understood by man.

The universe appears to our limited positivistic knowledge mysterious and maybe even random at times. Yet we do uncover certain theories and 'laws' to help us make some sense of its splendour. The more we learn the more questions are raised. That's the joy of science and religion.

What's the point of squabbling like children over this? For the Christian, God 'created' the universe be it in 6 days or teleologically in His Mind. To the scientist who rules God out, the search is for a rational account of the driving forces of development from the 'big bang'. One does not necessarily exclude the other.

14 June 2011 at 00:28  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Owl and Tony B,

I fear you are misunderstanding each other. If I am right in my belief, Owl is not a young Earth creationist, and is rather a questioner of the current held theory.

Though I loosely hold myself in the current model camp, and firmly in the evolution by some means camp, I do hold sympathies with those who question it. Though we are told over and over again that the current model for evolution is just as valid as, say Newton's theory of Gravitation it is simply not the case. F=GMm/r^2 is provable and repeatable, whereas the smoking gun for the evolutionary model is yet to be found.

My learning of genetics, whilst basic, has revealed the increasing value of the epigenetic model for micro-evolution. Rapid changes does not require changes in the DNA sequence, only in its expression. This explains why we can have incredibly similar DNA to each other, and even other animals, whilst still looking very different. It also partially explains why fat people have fat children and this people have thin children (though of course there are other more obvious factors)

Already you can see that the "Gene changes only" model (the one lay people understand) is false. It also raises questions about in what manner DNA sequences can actually change for a positive evolutionary trait. Despite a measly few thousand years of existence to measure from, it is still difficult to understand how such incredibly rare chance events can accumulate from simple single cells to such a diverse range of multicellular animals in just 1 billion years (3.8 billion of life total).

Adding genetic material is very rare and almost always negative. For its accumulation to be beneficial is astounding. Changes in the DNA sequence of complex creatures that are not only not harmful, but beneficial to occur is astounding, especially when the intermediate stages of change would have been practically no better, and energetically inefficient (i.e. A gene is added by duplication, translocation or insertion and produces useless proteins until it mutates randomly).

Whilst I do suspend my disbelief and understand that this could well be random, I do not take it as Gospel and am open to any other convincing scientific argument. I also understand why people doubt it, despite the mass array of circumstantial evidence.

Evolution, to me, is mostly an argument of reason rather than science; the idea that the fuzzy picture in front of us is probably what we think it is, but we could yet be proved incorrect. Micro-evolution has already shown a degree of active adaptation; who's to say that macro-evolution mightn't in the future? Rather than frustrating yourself trying to argue against creationism, listen to those who genuinely seek the truth. Perhaps questioning the current theory might open us up to another amazing world of science? If it invalidates eugenics then all the better :P

14 June 2011 at 01:11  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Dodo,

My argument is that the Big Bang theory and Evolution actually support our understanding of God as omnipotent and omniscient. If He wanted to create the Universe, all He has to do is create the right laws and set it in motion, knowing exactly what the result would be. This kind of divine simplicity also leads me to doubt sola scriptura. Why give everyone the gift of interpretation when you only need a few? If we treated science the same way, we could never advance. There have only been a few geniuses of science in history, why should that be any different for geniuses of theology?

To me Christianity is the religion of reason. If you cannot find a rational or logical reason for a moral or belief from the Scripture then either your logic is wrong, or your understanding is wrong. This also causes me to doubt sola scriptura as it tends to lead to people who are unable to give any other reason for their beliefs other than "It says so in the Bible", forgetting that the Bible is a collection of the reason and logic of men >2000 years ago who could explain why they believed what they did.

14 June 2011 at 01:21  
Anonymous CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI said...

An interesting read and a cartoon.

Doubts About Darwinism by G. K. Chesterton

Evolution cartoon

14 June 2011 at 02:34  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Reason is simply logical thinking so that a concept can be challenged or justified using objectively verifiable criteria

These are words arranged in sequence but internally inconsistent. You define "Reason" but it does not exist in itself, merely as a product of a process that itself is debatable.

"Objectively verifiable criteria" is a fascinating concept which makes much of High Energy Physics questionable. It is almost schoolboyishly naive in its simplicity and devoid of any complex thinking.

Even colour is subjective defined by rods and cones, and hardly objective between one person and another. Intellectual capacity makes whole swathes of the population incapable of "Reason" especially the output of Universities over the past 20 years where structured thought is absent.

If the only form of insight is "reason" we are headed for a New Societal Order with the Eloi running the Morlocks

14 June 2011 at 05:53  
Blogger len said...

Lakester 91,
I suggest you read Hebrews 11.

Verse three is particularly informative.

Of course atheists/Agnostics/or whatever those who disbelieve God (and the authority of scripture) are calling themselves(Catholic as well apparently)do not have faith so they stumble in the dark groping for answers.

You do yourselves no favour compromising the Word of God but I suppose one you have taken the first step the rest becomes easier?.
The whole cause for the fall of man was doubting the Word , and the integrity, of God.Once that has gone the floodgates are open to deception.
Compromise is the story and the history of Catholicism and you illustrate it perfectly.

14 June 2011 at 07:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

'The point is ... not whether the theory of Evolution accurately describes how we got here but the method by which that theory is sustained.'

Science is descriptive as Mr Springer pointed out to you the other day.

It is interesting to discover that you are not interested whether the theory of Evolution is accurate - thus abandoning science.

So now you are left with what sustains the theory. At least that is consistent with Dawkins' aliens.

14 June 2011 at 07:49  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Tony B

'It is ignorant to say there are no transitions.'

All right then you bull-headed oaf (a product of the evolutionary process?); tell us about the transitions.

14 June 2011 at 07:54  
Anonymous Karen Lessing said...

Mr Voyager, you are right. But I am afraid that will count for nothing. What people like Mr Davis demonstrate is a reflexive and aggressive instinct that is untouched by such arguments.

It might also be seen that from all of the above he is neurotic, and somewhat terrified, when it comes to imagination.

Although imagination would appear entirely natural to most people, Mr Davis regards its irrational content as a threat. He is a child running from the dark. His arrogance is simply proportionate to his own latent sense of inadequacy. He is right to feel inadequate, for that is what he is. People harness imagination in all walks of life (not least science) and yet he runs from it.

His prophecy is of a determinate world in which religion (and its imaginative 'grund') will come to a grinding death. This outcome will be an act of nature, and yet day after day he comes here to argue his point. He is like a man shrieking at a seed to germinate!

It is absurd, and he knows it; but he can find no alternative. Hence the habitual meltdown into anger and accusation.

14 June 2011 at 07:56  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Very strange,every time cranmer writes something,no matter what topic,it always seems to descend to the argument of wether there is a "god" or not,personally i think that you are all chasing your own tails rather than exploring the richness of what you are,the dimension beyond self,and since you are all so pre-occupied with this,send me your minds and i will soothe them.MR J,we taoists could not care less ,if we are included or not.

14 June 2011 at 08:14  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Lakester91 (14 June 01:11)_"My learning of genetics... Evolution, to me, is mostly an argument of reason rather than science"

That was interesting to read, but would you expand briefly on your use of "reason rather than science" here? Is Thomist philosophy implicit, or some development or variation?

(01:21, addressed to Dodo))_"To me Christianity is the religion of reason... ". Noted. Is that part of the answer to question above?

_... "sola scriptura...".This was to Mr Dodo (who may be one and the same as "The Last Dodo" who also used those words in connection with Roman Catholic apologetics).

May I respectfully mention that those words has been too often used as a party slogan or war cry on the one side resulting in their opponents using it as an aunt sally or as a bludgeon or as a call to the colours. For others it may be seen as a straw man, not worth a candle to set it alight.

A Village Explainer could say that in the ancient world "Pagans", and priests of the Zoroastrians, looked to the Sun (Latin Sol) as others might to their Holy Scripture, but that what the Apostles preached in the name of Christ Jesus from the first Pentecost after the Last Supper and first Easter, to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, was illumination of another kind, as the way the truth and the life; and the writings which are witness to this "Gospel" were in Greek, then Latin and Syriac or Coptic or other langauges of the East, and later Slavic and yet other languages.

One who has read those writings or heard the Gospel of which they were written may experience the new Sun which was promised and after the Ascension has come.

For one who feels as "doubting" Thomas who demanded to witness the wounds in the body of the Risen One, questions of Church government after the lifetimes of the frst Apostles are secondary.

PS: To my mind this is consistent with Karen Lessing's comment (7.56).

14 June 2011 at 08:16  
Anonymous MrJ said...

ENGLISHMAN 8.16:

Quite so.

14 June 2011 at 08:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Allen

I agree that the Fall does explain the entry of violence into our space and time world. I recall that the first act of violence in Genesis was perpetrated by God.

Although the text does not say it was a lamb – my imagination suggests that God ripped open the little creature. So then Atonement was to be by blood and sacrifice. What a dramatic illustration of the consequences of wrong-doing.

I agree that the mere profession of Christianity does not eliminate violence.

It should not. There is a place for violence in a Fallen world. The time to beat our swords into ploughshares is in the future.

14 June 2011 at 08:22  
Anonymous MrJ said...

typo: 8.14 not 8.16

14 June 2011 at 08:23  
Blogger len said...

several typos(07:45)must proof read.

14 June 2011 at 08:44  
Blogger len said...

Ps,
I had rather have the errors in my typing than in my theology, :)

14 June 2011 at 08:45  
Anonymous MrJ said...

len 8.45

Another "Quite so".

14 June 2011 at 08:53  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"The Great Way," said the Ancient Sage "flows both left and right"

Having the freedom of choice,
One chooses freedom from choice.

CHRIST THE ETERNAL TAO

14 June 2011 at 09:22  
Anonymous Tony B said...

>tell us about the transitions.

Why? Say I list a whole bunch of transitional species. Are you bull-headed oafs going to stick up your hands and surrender? Of course not. You will either deny the authenticity of the said species, or deny their validity according to your OWN definition of a transitional species.

I can't be bothered with it, because I've met you guys before; it's a waste of my time.

Have it your way: evolution is wrong, science is a conspiracy, Jesus is smiling down on you from heaven, etc etc. Oh, and NASA staged the moon landings in the Nevada desert, or somewhere.

14 June 2011 at 09:23  
Blogger gresham58 said...

OWL
Why did your god create this?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onchocerciasis
It's a sincere questions for which I've never had a satisfactory answer.

14 June 2011 at 09:30  
Anonymous Sean Robsville said...

I'm not sure that the solution to the Islamic problem is theological, philosophical or rational in any form. Islamic expansion has always been motivated by greed for booty, extortion and slaves, and the present invasion is no different.

Islam is very much a 'religion' of this world, and of worldly pleasures projected into the next. Its 'spiritual' content is virtually non-existent,and what little there is has been added on later to Mohammed's virulent proto-Nazism.

Until we address the predatory attractions of Islam for looting and parasitising the kuffar, we will not be able to deal with it.

Interfaith dialog is probably a waste of breath, because Islam is only nominally a religion. Islam's worldview has more in common with the Mafia than with the Methodists.

14 June 2011 at 09:55  
Blogger len said...

Islam has advanced in the West mostly concealed under a cloak of deception,which relies heavily on the West`s ignorance regarding Islam.
Our own policies of tolerance and political Correctness are tools which has been used very effectively against us.
All sorts of accusations will be thrown at people who make a stand for the truth as to the reality of the situation regarding Islam or any other controversial matter.

14 June 2011 at 10:36  
Anonymous Springer said...

TonyB: "Have it your way: evolution is wrong, science is a conspiracy, Jesus is smiling down on you from heaven, etc etc. Oh, and NASA staged the moon landings in the Nevada desert, or somewhere."

Don't give up on this!!

Obviously the above is a caricature, but it seems this discussion always falls into these terms (sadly).

Of course science is not a conspiracy, nor is evolution 'wrong' (although it is incomplete). But consider the following from Bruno Latour (a leading philosopher - and champion - of science):

"Truth is not to be found in correspondence - either between the word and the world in the case of science, or between the original and the copy in the case of religion - but in taking up the task of continuing the flow, of elongating the cascade of mediations one step further."

He posits science as a continuous flow of mediating descriptions. These descriptions are immensely powerful tools. But like all descriptions, they imply their own limits. They do not correspond to some transcendent realm 'out there'. If this were the case we'd become mired in all kinds of ontology: "So what really IS an atom, what is it's essence?" etc. We can appeal to the description, but not to the 'thing'.

In effect he says the same of religion. Perhaps Len may find this offensive, I don't know. But the Bible, for example is surely a description. However, it's terms are (of course!) very different from science. Latour would say that it mediates in a different direction. It mediates (to use Heidegger) towards Being rather than being. That is to say it draws us to the emotive experience of life and of nature, rather than its quantitative assessments.(that's poorly expressed, sorry). But it is somewhat like comparing Ted Hughes' descritions of crows with those of a scientific journal. They are obviously moving towards different ends. Life, in my opinion, is made up of both. Neither mediation disqualifies the other.

Too long again! Apologies!

14 June 2011 at 10:45  
Blogger gresham58 said...

The west has little to fear from radical Islam, there may be a few terrorist attacks, some will die, but an ideology that ignores the talents of half of it’s population will never seriously challenge us.

14 June 2011 at 11:08  
Anonymous Sean Robsville said...

@ Springer
"They do not correspond to some transcendent realm 'out there'. If this were the case we'd become mired in all kinds of ontology: "So what really IS an atom, what is it's essence?" etc. We can appeal to the description, but not to the 'thing'."
Spot on!

14 June 2011 at 11:12  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Springer 10:45:

Thank you for making reference to Bruno Latour whose published writings seem to be that of a conscientious truth-seeker with better credentials in scientific research work than say prof. em. Dr Dawkins.

Reading your remarks in that connection calls to mind infinitesimal calculus: use of a method tending to the bounds or limits. Reading Isaac Newton's Great Scholium suggests he was aware of this in relation to his understanding of the divinity beyond the sensible and calculable.

14 June 2011 at 11:22  
Anonymous Springer said...

Mr J
Yes, Latour is a fascinating read.

His colleague Isabelle Stengers has just released a book on AN Whitehead: Thinking with Whitehead (foreword by Latour).

It looks very juicy!

Whitehead is having quite a renaissance. Well overdue.

14 June 2011 at 11:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

There are only three possibilities on the origins of life:

1. Nothing came out of nothing (‘Man is nothing’);
2. Something came out of nothing (‘Evolution’);
3. ‘God’ created (‘Intelligent Design’).

14 June 2011 at 11:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Nothing came out of nothing (‘Man is nothing’);
2. Something came out of nothing (‘Evolution’);
3. ‘God’ created (‘Intelligent Design’).

Huh!

1. Not open to scientific inquiry.
2. Violates laws of causality.
3. Scientific instruments measure objects in the temporal world; God by definition is infinite. Scientific instruments, their temporality makes them inadequate for measuring 'God'.

14 June 2011 at 12:16  
Blogger Owl said...

Lakester91,

"I fear you are misunderstanding each other. If I am right in my belief, Owl is not a young Earth creationist, and is rather a questioner of the current held theory."

Thank you for taking the time to actually read what I wrote.

I went to great pains to make it clear what I was referring to but Tony B. and Graham D. decided on the charge of the light brigade to get their (totally incorrect) point across.

To anyone who may not have followed the (lack of) discussion. I was not making any reference whatsoever to creationism, I was just stating my doubts on the validity of a scientific theory which, in my opinion, has not been subsequently proved.

TonyB maintained that there is enough evidence of "transitional species" but all my research has turned up is that everyone of them up until now has been found to be false or, much worse, deliberate deceptions (of which I gave a couple of examples at Tony's request).

I was actually sincerely interested in finding out about at least one authentic example.

Tony and Graham seem to be so eaten up with hatred that it closes down all discussion of anything they consider contrary to their own beliefs, and then accuse me of being blinded by my christianity.

I did come across the following article which should at least demonstate how warped the thinking processes can become. Or is this just natural progression?

John Cairns, Jr.
Department of Biological Sciences,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
Abstract : During the five great biotic extinctions, huge numbers of species were lost. Over
evolutionary time, biodiversity was restored and sometimes exceeded previous levels. This
environment might well be described as a pulsing system that was affected by catastrophic natural
events (e.g., the impact of a large object from outer space with Earth). The sixth great extinction,
now underway, differs from the first five because the major influence is human activities. Will
the resulting ecological changes also have adverse effects upon human society? Global warming
and other types of climate change, the coming decline in the availability of petroleum,
acidification of the oceans, continued growth of the human population in both numbers and
expectations, and ecological overshoot will surely have deleterious effects. Unanswered questions
remain: (1) will humans replace their unsustainable lifestyle with sustainable use of the planet?
and (2) if so, will social evolution be sufficiently rapid to be effective? As a species, humans
are embedded in a huge, complex, multivariate system that will probably endure even if the
human species becomes extinct

The mind boggles!

14 June 2011 at 13:16  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Mr J,

I refer to Evolution as an argument of reason rather than of science because there are many holes that have yet to be filled. I referred to it like a picture that's just out of focus; we cannot discern the finer points, but we can have a damn good guess about what the picture's about. Thus the argument is not about proof, because no firm proof exists, but of reason. Evolution by natural selection is the simplest way that life could have evolved. The minute details we can try to derive using the knowledge we have now, but we will have to wait before they can be proved. I read a fascinating article by Isaac Asimov (an atheist, but an intellectual) about the levels of wrongness in science. That someone had told him that claiming that we knew all there is to know about the Universe was flawed, because it changes every generation. His argument was that we get ever closer to what is right, to the point where in daily life our approximations will never be insufficient. This is why I say that the modern model of Evolution is wrong (wronger than say Newton's model of gravity), but is still an adequate model to follow for now, just like 22/7 is an acceptable value for pi.

My argument that Christianity is a religion of reason, is that it does not contain any irrational moral beliefs. Unlike Islam, where laws of hygiene have become laws of morality and customs have become laws, Christianity contains only moral laws that are based on the human condition. In the same way, the Church has always been a great patron of the sciences, keeping them alive during the dark and middle ages, so that the West could eventually rise as we did.

The basis of this, is that logic is intrinsic to God. i.e. He is logic (explaining why He is unable to do anything illogical). Why would He do anything arbitrary? Why would He create all the Universe as it is when He could show just what a genius He is by creating the laws that He knows will result in its creation?

I am afraid that I am not learned in theology enough to quote the different theologian theories, but if I am close to one, then I should like to hear what he had to say.

I shall avoid sola scriptura in the future, but I do disagree with many of its tenets. I think that using reason is the best way to understand scripture. There are geniuses of science and geniuses of theology; just as I do not attempt to understand science without standing on the shoulders of giants, I do not attempt to understand scripture on my own. My argument is that the Holy Spirit has worked through great men before me, and I trust Him implicitly.

Mr Len,

Your Hebrews chapter seems to show that God created the Universe; nothing controversial there. It does not imply that it was created as it is now.

14 June 2011 at 13:31  
Anonymous Sean Robsville said...

I can't understand why Christians make such a fuss about evolution.
Accepting our evolutionary history does not mean rejecting our spirituality

14 June 2011 at 13:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it isn’t about reason:

Tony B: ‘I'm afraid I'm not going to humor [sic] your fantasies. I can only suggest very strongly that you read some science. You have obviously read a load of creationist claptrap and swallowed it whole.’

And again: ‘As I' ve said, I've played the game a thousand times.’

And again: ‘I can't be bothered with it, because I've met you guys before; it's a waste of my time.’

So people would expect that given he has played it a thousand times it would be madness to play it again for the one-thousand-and-one time – yet again?

The reason why he doesn’t think it is madness is because mad people are the last to realise they are in fact mad. In fact he needs to wear a T-shirt with the words ‘Inmate of ward 19’ just to remind himself of what he has become.

Same pattern Davis repeats. Karen Lessing’s analysis is probably the correct one. He keeps shrieking, with monotonous banality, for atheism on this site to: ‘GERMINATE!’

14 June 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger gresham58 said...

The article by Asimov refered to by lakester91 is here,
http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm
Read it and you are a little bit cleverer then you were before.

14 June 2011 at 14:07  
Anonymous Jack Flash said...

Karen Lessing.
Bravo! Perfect diagnosis.



Jack.

14 June 2011 at 14:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Evolution by natural selection is the simplest way that life could have evolved.'

Not Darwinian evolution: it violates scientific reasoning.

Specifically it posits that ‘something came out of nothing’ it therefore violates the laws of causality.

14 June 2011 at 14:21  
Blogger len said...

Lakester 91,
I certainly do not think the Earth is now as it was originally created.
I think it must now be considerably worse.

Micro evolution is a fact.
There are three plainly observable principles to micro-evolution. 1. A trait will alter because of a stimulus. 2. The trait will return to the norm if left to nature or returned to its original conditions. 3. No new information is added to the DNA.
Don’t mistake micro-evolution for Darwinian evolution. They are not related.
Darwinian evolution takes a leap of faith.

14 June 2011 at 14:35  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Anonymous: Those quotes were not me expounding on evolutionary theory, were they? Let's just say I am content with what I have seen that evolution has occurred; owl on the other hand is apparently in the extraordinary position of having proved every candidate transition is a fraud, and he knows what thousands of scientists working in the field do not. I am quite content to remain sceptical about his claims and leave him to it: I've spent years looking into creationist and scientific claims: the creationists claims do not stand up to scrutiny, in my opinion. I don't see that that makes me lunatic!

14 June 2011 at 14:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

We should have a posters’ convention; I am sure His Grace would permit it (it would be an example of decentralisation).

Whenever the subjects of creation-evolution come up, both sides will agree not to name each other as the source of their criticism but instead simply present why they believe what they believe along with any supporting evidence – and let the undecided make up their own minds on the ground that they ‘believe one argument and its supporting evidence is better than the other’?

I could sign up to that. I fact I’ll be the first to sign this convention.

‘D. Singh’

14 June 2011 at 14:55  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Owl:

"..all my research has turned up is that everyone of them up until now has been found to be false or, much worse, deliberate deceptions"

Where did you find out that "every one is a fraud or deliberate deception"? Where are you getting your information, old chap? Because a few years ago a Young Earth Creationist web site called "Answers in Genesis" published a list of "arguments creationists should not use" - interestingly, one of these was "there are no transitional fossils". So you are basically using an argument that even some YECs will not use. Not that they are agreed on that point.

"Tony and Graham seem to be so eaten up with hatred"

Absurd. There is no hatred here; just mild irritation.

"closes down all discussion of anything they consider contrary to their own beliefs"

I am hardly in a position to close down discussion of the topic - it's not my website. I'm just telling you I am not personally getting into it. I've been there and moved on. It will go around and around for months, no-one will change anyone else's mind, and I've got better things to do.

Lakester - I've moved long past the stage where I thought things were polarised into a war of science vs religion. The truth is more more interesting. These days I would rather read about theology than science, if that gives you any indication. I agree we should treat everything with scepticism; I don't have any issues with that: it's more the sources of some of these claims: the "Neanderthal was just a man with rickets" argument, for example, has even been debunked by Young Earth Creationists. Neanderthal has not been regarded as a human ancestor for a long time, in any case. These are innuendos Mr Owl is purveying, and five minutes Googling is plenty long enough to find that out.

14 June 2011 at 15:01  
Anonymous Tony B said...

What..I made a long post in response to owl and lakester and it's gone?

14 June 2011 at 15:13  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Tony B:

‘I've moved long past the stage where I thought things were polarised into a war of science vs religion.’

Since 14.35 (14 June 2011)?

You wrote:

‘I've spent years looking into creationist and scientific claims’.

In other words you cannot accept that creationary theory can make scientific claims. You continue to assume that this is a conflict between science v. religion.

You’ve moved on?

Not according to the evidence.

14 June 2011 at 15:17  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

Nothing was made of Nothing!!!!

14 June 2011 at 15:20  
Anonymous Tony B said...

You managed to read that before it vanished then, Mr Singh - it seems I am being censored.

Of course you are misrepresenting me. When I say "Creationist" I mean "Young Earth Creationist" - the two are commonly interchanged; I do not deny creationism in the broader sense: in fact I favour it. But then, I've told you that a few times now; I think this proves you don't read my posts properly.

14 June 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

You filthy existentialist.

14 June 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

directed at anon 2

14 June 2011 at 15:23  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Springer: thank you... I think.

14 June 2011 at 15:25  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

'Nothing came out of Nothing' was directed at the comment before yours, Mr. Singh. Yours didn't appear until after I posted mine.

14 June 2011 at 15:26  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Actually Singh, I believe that not only do you not read my posts properly, but you actually just pick out the bits that you can misrepresent in order to chide me, and ignore the rest. It doesn't register.

14 June 2011 at 15:27  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Well anon 2.

I sincerely and unreservedly apologise.

14 June 2011 at 15:27  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Of course it registers. Your posts make that plain.

14 June 2011 at 15:29  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

Blogger moves in mysterious ways.

wv: mutors

14 June 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Look Tony B on the one-hand you tell us that you’re going off to church. On the other you support that failed intellectual Dawkins.

You then tell us you’re skeptical.

You then switch to ‘moving on’ as if the whole experience has traumatised you.

I make an offer of peace - ‘the convention’ – you ignore it.

Are you one of us? Hard-core born-again?

If so – get with the programme son.

14 June 2011 at 15:33  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Mr Singh - are you stalking me?

What are you saying, in order to be a Christian I have to attack the Dawk? Pshhtt. I think he is like most humans; right about some things and wrong about others.

Yes, I am "skeptical" about everything. Including evolution, believe it or not.

I'm happy with your convention; I apologise for not responding to it within the timescale that I didn't know you had attached to it.

>Are you one of us? Hard-core born-again?

I don't know what that means. Keith Ward says he is a born again Christian but is a million miles from some other people who self-describe in that way.

I am not, at present, convinced by Christianity; it is something I am exploring. I might make up my mind about it just before I die, like Constantine.

wv: oviletaf: a reference to Tom Jones, perhaps?

14 June 2011 at 15:43  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Lakester91 13:31

Thank you for that response.

"the Church [sc. Roman?] has always been a great patron of the sciences": was that so at the time of Giordano Bruno or Galileo? Could not other monarchies claim as much, including some farther East than the bounds of earthly Christendom.

It is a complex question. But one thing is certain: the Gospel of the canonical Bible has told uniquely of the way, the truth, and the life; and a person of reason or of science or of theology or theosophy (St Paul) may be satisfied with nothing less.

Logic? We know the opening chapter of the Gospel of John speaks of "ho logos"; we may accept a connection with the logic of Aristotle, and of logic as practised in the medieval Schools. But to say "logic is intrinsic to God, i.e. He is logic (explaining why He is unable to do anything illogical)" may be, in a sense and within a given set of rules, true or correct or valid, while at the same time being no more tenable than that form of devotion which may be characterised "sola scriptura" properly so called, and not as slogan or as implying error or heresy as defined by the Roman Church.

It seems to be that, outside the jurisdiction of the ruler of the Roman Church (which derives itself from a single disputed text about Simon called Peter), the identity of logos and theos can be known through the scriptures of the Gospels or through the "grace" of enlightening revelation of another kind, such as mentioned after the baptism of Jesus by John. The Church of Rome was not the author of the scripture nor the sole transmitter (to say the least), nor the source of baptism by water or fire.

Is it not possible to be a church-going member of the Roman Catholic Church while accepting that a person may be led by reason to find that scripture is a surer guide than the teaching and practice of the Roman part of the Church which split some time after the Council of Nicaea and Justinian's Corpus Juris?

14 June 2011 at 16:04  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J asked ...
"Is it not possible to be a church-going member of the Roman Catholic Church while accepting that a person may be led by reason to find that scripture is a surer guide than the teaching and practice of the Roman part of the Church which split some time after the Council of Nicaea and Justinian's Corpus Juris?"

A rhetorical question Mr J!

The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are founded upon scripture and upon 2000 years of prayful theological reflection and guidance from the Holy Spirit. All this was promised by Christ in more than 'a single disputed text' that refers to St Peter.

The idea of setting oneself up as a higher authority than the successors of the Apostles and to claim a greater understanding of scripture than them is surely the height of vanity and pride?

The temptations of Jesus show us what a fine biblical scholar Satan was. He could quote scripture but could not understand it.

14 June 2011 at 16:43  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ thanks Mr Dodo for his attention and begs to bring to his notice: "....scripture is a surer guide than the teaching and practice of the Roman part of the Church which split some time after the Council of Nicaea and Justinian's Corpus Juris."

14 June 2011 at 17:11  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Mr J,

But you miss that the teaching and practice of the Church is based on scripture. They just so happen to have had 2000 years of study and some of the greatest theological minds who have ever lived. I trust them, because I trust the Holy Spirit that worked through these geniuses.

In science I do not come across a phenomenon and form my own theory on it, until I have looked at whether someone cleverer than me has done it before. Theology is the same: every generation sees us refining our religious theories. If every man starts again, then we will never get anywhere. Read the Bible for the first time without any previous instruction and you get Dawkins' view of Christianity.

It is quite explicit in scripture that not all of us are given the same talents. Scriptural interpretation is certainly one of those talents that are not ubiquitous.

14 June 2011 at 18:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Read the Bible for the first time without any previous instruction and you get Dawkins' view of Christianity."

After the second and third time, too. I struggle to get past the murderous god thing at the start and in particular the Jericho story. Who wants a god like the one depicted there? Not me.

14 June 2011 at 18:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Actually, all I really want is to physically die and be done with it at the end of my life. It'd be nice if the Christian god or any other hypothesised one could make it very plain that we're not perpetually tormented in some alternative reality because we haven't bought into the theology by the time we stiff it.

14 June 2011 at 18:40  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Hum,

I see my earlier message which Mr Singh got to read just before it vanished has not reappeared. Flaky thing, this blogger software.

Owl; I agree with Mr Lakester that it is fine to be sceptical about evolution; indeed I am myself. However it also pays to be sceptical about the sources one uses to back up claims such as "Except for a few hoaxes, nothing has been found at all" and "It it now supposed that Neanderthal man was nothing more than modern man with ricketts." Especially when five minutes worth or less of Googling is enough to cast serious doubt upon both of these claims. Here for example is one instance of a transitional species between dinosaurs and birds. And here, an article dealing with the bogus "Neanderthal was a man with rickets" claim. Curiously the latter claim has been debunked by a Young Earth Creationist, and even the "no transitional fossils" claim was listed by the YEC website "Answers in Genesis" amongst "arguments creationists should not use" some years ago. Neanderthal has for some time been regarded as a closely related species rather than a human ancestor.

The above points to a lack of due scepticism on your part; as well as some very anachronistic criticism. Science moves on, it seems, but Creationist arguments do not. You may or may not be a young earth creationist, but your arguments give you away: you've read their stuff, haven't you? And Richard Milton too I shouldn't wonder, as you clearly knew who I meant.

Nothing you said disproves evolution in the slightest degree I'm afraid; but you do seem to have some serious misunderstandings about the theory. Read some Dawkins: you might learn something.

14 June 2011 at 18:54  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Lakester

>"If it invalidates eugenics then all the better :P"

Eugenics has always been invalid: Darwinism is after Mr (?) Springer above a description of how nature works.

14 June 2011 at 19:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

You're right not to want to get into fossil record arguments. By observation many times, it just becomes an exercise in posting google proofs by both sides. Arguments about the details of so-called transitional fossils are the stuff of scientific papers.

14 June 2011 at 19:53  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Dan - thanks. I have beside me a list of the arguments Owl will now trot out; I'll tick them off as I go.

I've been through it countless times before. Mr Singh think I was traumatised by it; no - just bored.

14 June 2011 at 19:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Lakester91_ No: we (there have been, are and will be many others) have not missed "that the teaching and practice of the [Roman and other] Church [es lineally descended from the Council of Nicaea and extant at the time of Justinian] is based on scripture. They just so happen to have had [nearly] 2000 years of study and some of the greatest theological minds who have ever lived."

Some of the other "greatest theological minds who have ever lived" were condemned by the Ecumenical Councils before the Roman part separated itself from the Greek. Some were condemned later, and the head of the Roman part claimed exclusive jurisdiction in the name of "magisterium". This is about Church government not about the way, the truth and the life as found by anyone who in later times became free to read the Bible in Latin, Greek or his/her own tongue, trusting "not in their own righteousness" but in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and knowing that Popes and bishops and clergy and monks and friars had from time to time fallen into the snares of worldliness or worse (consider the persons named in Dante's Inferno, for instance).

Such persons may be ready enough to accept that there are others who remain in or convert to the Roman obedience who "trust the Holy Spirit that worked through these geniuses" (viz. those approved by the Roman part of the divided Church).

But we must respectfully decline going there, and perhaps reject at least some of what has developed in Romanist dogma, practice and law.

And, of course, not all who are not of the Roman obedience would concur with the above.

14 June 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J said ...
"This is about Church government not about the way, the truth and the life as found by anyone who in later times became free to read the Bible in Latin, Greek or his/her own tongue, trusting "not in their own righteousness" but in the guidance of the Holy Spirit ..."

That's the nub of it. So many different interpretations of scripture by so many different people. They cannot all be correct! Just how do you discern which is guided by the Holy Spirit?

14 June 2011 at 21:23  
Blogger Danny said...

Tony B.

Thank you for citing some examples which was all I was asking for.

I will look deeper into this.

You really must loose this thing about creationists (which I have already stated that I am not, young or otherwise).

I was/am looking for evidence that has not been debunked. Maybe you have helped me find it.

The damn light brigade wasn't neccessary anyway.

14 June 2011 at 23:15  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Mr Dodo said..."... how do you discern which is guided by the Holy Spirit?"

Such an odd question especially at this stage of the discussion. Who would need to know? About whom? When? In what circumstances? Under what conditions?

MrJ invites Mr Dodo to pay attention to "Such persons may be ready enough to accept that there are others who remain in or convert to the Roman obedience who 'trust the Holy Spirit that worked through these geniuses' (viz. those approved by the Roman part of the divided Church). But we must respectfully decline going there, and perhaps reject at least some of what has developed in Romanist dogma, practice and law."

Please do not forget that the Church of Rome separated itself from communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church and proceeded to pronounce dogmas which to this day are not accepted by that part of the Nicene Church.

14 June 2011 at 23:16  
Blogger Owl said...

My apologies, my son Danny has signed me out of google again...sigh.

The last post to TonyB wasn't from Danny, it was from me.

14 June 2011 at 23:20  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Owl,
Ok ok ok, you're not a creationist. Happy hunting.

15 June 2011 at 05:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Perhaps most people can at least agree that the fossil record, such that it is, shows a distinct trend towards complexity as time moves forward?

15 June 2011 at 06:14  
Anonymous non mouse said...

And the literary records - the products of the most complex animal -- the one's that His Grace suggested we consider in this strand --

nah....

Only idiots work with interpretion of that linguistic record...

Is that it?

15 June 2011 at 07:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'It'd be nice if the Christian god or any other hypothesised one could make it very plain that we're not perpetually tormented in some alternative reality...'

He's alreaday made it clear that He can't do that.

You may wish to try Bhuddism.

15 June 2011 at 07:32  
Blogger D. Singh said...

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” (The Great Divorce, pp. 72-72)

And may I add that my imagination suggests to me that God does not suspend the Second Law of Thermodynamics in Hell.

Those that are there, become creatures they were never meant to be.

15 June 2011 at 08:32  
Blogger D. Singh said...

May I add one more speculation?

And this is for the Judaeo-Christians only; it is quite possible that the second Law of Thermodynamics only came into operation after the Fall of man.

I do not know if this, theoretical, idea may assist astronomers I their calculations regarding the age of the universe.

15 June 2011 at 09:12  
Blogger len said...

On the subject of Heaven and Hell.

Hell was created for Satan and his demons,not humans.Hell is Satan`s eternal destination.He knows this and is determined to take as many humans down with him as he can.Why?, because he hates man as much as he hates God, because men are Gods Creation.
All who are in rebellion against God are linked with, and under the authority, of Satan.There is no 'middle ground' in this situation.It comes down to who you are connected to spiritually, the Spirit of God , or the spirit of the 'god' of this world, the fallen angel Lucifer.
The kingdom of the 'god' of this World is a kingdom of darkness most of those in it are not even aware of the fact.

15 June 2011 at 09:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2011/06/science_and_religion_duet_or_d.html#more

15 June 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Where the blazes is His Grace today?

Doesn’t he know that the moon turns blood red tonight?

15 June 2011 at 11:16  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Mr. Singh,


1.e4 ?

15 June 2011 at 11:17  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J said ...

Mr Dodo said..."...

""...how do you discern which is guided by the Holy Spirit?"

"Such an odd question especially at this stage of the discussion. Who would need to know? About whom? When? In what circumstances? Under what conditions?"

Not that odd really given the wide range of protestant theological and prophetic speculations about salvation, predestination, faith and works etc.

And whilst there is schism between Rome and Orthodoxy neither regards the other as heretical on matters of doctrine and dogma.

15 June 2011 at 11:18  
Blogger len said...

Mr Dodo,,
sigh...
You (being a Catholic) can either take your guidance from a bunch of men making up doctrine as they go along,'rubber stamped' by the Pope of course........................ or from scripture and the Holy Spirit.

God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And all the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13; John 3:3-21), God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16). The Holy Spirit has intellect (1Cor. 2:11), emotion (Rom. 15:30), and will (1Cor. 12:11).

The Holy Spirit was given to live inside those who believe in Jesus, in order to produce God's character in the life of a believer. In a way that we cannot do on our own, the Holy Spirit will build into our lives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Rather than trying to be loving, patient, kind, God asks us to rely on Him to produce these qualities in our lives. Thus Christians are told to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) and be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). And the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to perform ministerial duties that promote spiritual growth among Christians (Rom. 12; 1Cor. 12; Eph. 4).

The Holy Spirit can also convict unbelievers of their need for salvation for those with' ears 'to hear His voice.

15 June 2011 at 13:27  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

len

double sigh ...

Catholic theologians do have differences of opinion but to secure an 'imprimatur' confine themselves within established doctrine. I've read from fairly extravagant interpretations of scripture from 'Catholic' teachers of Divinity - mainly from the USA.

My more serious point is that 'protestant' theologians know no bounds for their interpretation of scripture other than what that they believe comes from the Holy Spirit.

Any serious student of the Reformation will know there was as much dissent between protestant theologians as between them and the Catholic Church. Indeed there was also not inconsiderable support for some of the ideas of some of these theologians within the Church itself and many were invited to Trent.

My view is that Western and Eastern Christianity should resolve it's understandings of theological nuances within the Church rather than through schism and heresy.

15 June 2011 at 15:35  
Anonymous MrJ said...

To my mind (not a theologian or seminarist) len's summary (13:27) based on the Gospels and Epistles is consistent with the received writings of those known as the Fathers of the Church before the Council of Nicaea where the bishops assembled by the Emperor, Constantine, for the purpose of Church government and reasons of state, agreed upon a version of what has become known as the Nicene Creed.

Questions of Church government are, as before mentioned, secondary, and so far as I have seen, len treats it as such or not at all.

The fact that some Church Fathers and later theologians elaborated further, and some of that became dogma under the Roman system of Church government is well known, and hardly requires further discussion.

15 June 2011 at 18:58  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Mr Singh,

it is quite possible that the second Law of Thermodynamics only came into operation after the Fall of man.

Whilst it would be quite interesting, it is highly unlikely. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is based on the idea of chance movement of energy quanta. Because the entropic state of the Universe before the big bang would have been at its lowest, it must have been increasing ever since.

15 June 2011 at 19:52  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J

The schism in Christianity between East and West center on matters of governance. The divisions between Catholicism/Orthodoxy and 'Protestantism' (whatever we mean by this term) are theological and considered to be heretical in nature.

As such, hardly 'secondary' in nature and raises the question of where authority rightly rests to resolve such matters.

15 June 2011 at 19:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The notion of "heresy" as used by apologists for that part of the divided Nicene church which is of the Roman Catholic obedience is a branch of church government and church law, which has binding force upon persons of that obedience. Sometimes it is unhelpfully introduced when it is of little relevance to the discussion.

The circular character of what such apologists claim is evident from inspection of the writings of Thomas Aquinas upon the topic.

That is not to undervalue the writings of Thomas Aquinas which, like the writings of Aristotle and others, can help to elucidate propositions, stimulate critical thinking and enable fallacies to be detected.

15 June 2011 at 22:47  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J

There is still truth and error and, being human, disagreement about these things.

Church governance and canon law is in place to guard against error and promote truth as revealed in by scripture and supported by tradition.

15 June 2011 at 23:47  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The question (23:47)then has to do with the relation of
of jurisprudence (specifically Justinian's Corpus Juris and its descent traceable from the College of Pontiffs and connected sacral offices of ancient Rome) and the Word of the Gospel as it is found in the books of the "New Testament" and speaks to the heart, the soul and the mind.

16 June 2011 at 00:10  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J

I beg to differ. The 6th century was a long, long time ago and the Church - State issue somewhat irrelevant in 2011! Times and theology has moved on.

The real issue today is the fragmentation of Christianity and its competing varients.

As you well know the Council of Trent addressed a number of 'protestant' errors - each with an element of truth but taken to extreme and considered to be a misinterpretation of scripture. Each was a fundamental attack on the Church, Apostolic succession and the sacraments.

Sola scriptura
Sola fide
Sola gratia
Solus Christus
Soli Deo gloria

The Catholic and Orthodox positions is whilst these have elements of truth they exaggerate and distort Christ's message and place too much emphasis on the authority of individuals.

The Church, as St Paul tells us, is made up of various parts and members with different gifts. Theological anarchy is not biblical!

16 June 2011 at 02:09  
Anonymous MrJ said...

MrJ respectfully declines to be drawn here into a discussion either of the Council of Trent (whether as a yet further instance of statecraft in the course of worldly history, or of the narrowness and presumption of that part of the divided church which is today in obedience to the ruler of the Vatican City) or of the relative merits of those divided parts commonly known as Catholic and Orthodox.

16 June 2011 at 08:30  
Blogger terence said...

Ahem,as it says on the bottom of The Observer article I read on this subject..."A Journey" by Tony Blair is now out on paperback price £9.99...All "Prophet" (sorry I could not resist) to go to...answers on a postcard!

16 June 2011 at 11:56  
Blogger Mr Dodo said...

Mr J

Fair enough - but you started it!

And what's with all this long-winded description of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church?

16 June 2011 at 22:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No.
Scientific method is characterisation - hypothesis - prediction - experiment.
The first involves observation, the latter includes testing and falsifiability.
Micro evolution (leading to the variation in kinds) involves all these and is "science".
Macro evolution cannot be established from these, you can't repeat it, you can't test it, you can't falsify it, therefore it is not "science", even if it is true.
Calling both types macro evolution and micro evolution "evolution" and saying the "science is settled" is therefore bogus as it is an unwarranted extrapolation.

As for 'joining you and the world living as one', don't make me cry.
It has been tried quite a few times so far - The French Revolution and Noyades, Hitler and the Nazis, Stalins Soviet Union, The Spanish Civil War Republicans, the Mexican Horror, Maos Cultural Revolution, The Killing Fields, The DPRK.
So far its all been the most disastrous tyrannies the world has ever seen.
What makes you think any further would be any different, after all you regard anyone with faith as dangerous, infective, mentally ill, child abusers who must be put down by any and all means.
Perhaps it should be more aptly descibed as 'come and join us and the world shall live as none'.

17 June 2011 at 18:07  

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