Saturday, August 20, 2011

Petition to stop Scientology tax breaks

At the time of writing, this e-petition has garnered a meagre 336 signatures, but they have a whole year to trundle along to the requisite 100,000. It concerns the Scientologists, who are either a supremely enlightened group of magnificent global beneficience, or an evil cult which practises dubious psychology and defrauds adherents of their money. Discernment between these polarities appears to depend on whether or not you’re an ex-member of their church. They include amongst their number such stellar luminaries as John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and this A-list ensures considerable publicity.

You can read up on their beliefs at Wikipedia: it is doubtless monitored and ‘corrected’ by a small army of good, omniscient, non-material Thetans to ensure the propagation of the truth of Lord Xenu.

In the UK, religious groups qualify for tax breaks on account of their contribution to society and the common good. The problem is, of course, that no government has ever defined what constitutes bona fide religion in this ‘post-Christian’ era: all we know is that all religions are equal and that discrimination is illegal.

Although many international and regional human rights instruments guarantee rights related to freedom of religion or belief, none attempts to define the term ‘religion’. The absence of a definition is not peculiar to international human rights conventions; most national constitutions also include clauses on freedom of religion without defining it. Thus we are presented, on the one hand, with important provisions guaranteeing fundamental rights pertaining to religion, but on the other hand the term itself is left undefined. Of course, the absence of a definition of a critical term does not differentiate religion from most other rights identified in human rights instruments and constitutions. However, because religion is much more complex than other guaranteed rights, the difficulty of understanding what is and is not protected is significantly greater.

Theologians and philosophers may have the luxury of imprecision, but lawyers and judges do not – especially when it comes to taxation.

It would greatly assist if the judiciary would establish a little case-law clarity on what now constitutes a legitimate religion in the UK, who is judged to be a messenger of God, what doctrine may be preached, what creed followed, and what liberties may be granted or rescinded. As far as His Grace is concerned, Scientology is intellectually difficult and religiously rubbish. It is a money-spinning cult of mind-bending psychology. It is about as much a religion as a Star Trek convention.

But as Christianity is supplanted by polytheistic ecumenism, Christ is subsumed to the politically-correct Pantheon. Political correctness has become the state creed: we must all now adhere to an ideology that classifies certain groups of people as victims in need of protection from criticism: we are obliged to feel that no dissent should be tolerated.

And so, by virtue of Labour’s Equality Bill and under the benign Anglican aegis, Scientology is as worthy of tax breaks as any other religious sect or pseudo-religious cult. That which does not constitute the majority expression is, by definition, a minority religion and so worthy of protection and promotion. The Government cannot remove tax breaks from Scientology without seeking to define religion, and that would be a spider's web, can of worms, knot of vipers and a house of cards all rolled into one. It may even prove a Gordian Knot.

His Grace won’t say he told you so.

But he told you so.


Blogger C.Law said...

The problem with defining religion is that all religions look silly and illogical from the outside (including your own, YG). How does Scientology differ in the main from 'mainstream' religions? They base their beliefs on an unprovable spirit in the sky, so do most other religions. After that anything else is just detail. If you get the Courts to say that Scientology is not a religion, then be prepared for someone to challenge Christianity as one, too.

Please note, I hold no brief for Scientology, I, too, regard it as an evil cult.

20 August 2011 at 08:43  
Blogger bluedog said...

Is it not possible to define religious belief simply as the attribution of power to one or more supernatural beings?

In the case of Christianity, it rises in the East yet wanes in the West-

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits;--on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

20 August 2011 at 09:22  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 August 2011 at 10:17  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

CS Law has it exactly right. It always amuses me how believers of the older religions like to heap ridicule on the young upstarts not realising that their own beliefs too are based on unbelievable supernatural myths and so deserve the same mockery.

No religion should get tax breaks per se, if they are providing a public service like Christian Aid or Salvation Army soup kitchens then charitable status is reasonable.

20 August 2011 at 10:20  
Blogger trencherbone said...

How is one to differentiate between a true spiritual teacher and a conman or charlatan?

20 August 2011 at 10:24  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Trencherbone said

How is one to differentiate between a true spiritual teacher and a conman or charlatan?

You can’t.

20 August 2011 at 10:37  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...


Its time we all had a tax break!

20 August 2011 at 10:40  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

What about only permitting tax breaks to those religons that can evidence at least 2000 years of organisation and teaching?

Just a thought!

20 August 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger len said...

Is religion provable?.

Biblical Christianity is(but only to those with a desire to know the truth!. Bible prophesy is the key with which God foretells His plans.) It was the quest for knowledge (apart from God , a knowledge from dubious sources) which led to the fall of man and opened him up to deceiving spirits, God chose to reveal Himself through the 'foolishness of the Cross'.

Corinthians 1:18-31 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." (20) Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (22) For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; (23) but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, (24) but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

20 August 2011 at 11:26  
Blogger len said...

As for scientology?

Just another 'religion' devised by man, there are many of them.

20 August 2011 at 11:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's not only religion but conscience that seems to tax us, to coin a phrase. We had conscientous objectors during the war and now we have doctors who won't perform abortions, Muslims who won't pass bottles of alcohol over a barcode reader at a supermarket checkout, and Christian B&B owners who won't rent double rooms to same-sex married couples. All citing matters of conscience.

20 August 2011 at 11:37  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Len said

As for scientology? Just another 'religion' devised by man, there are many of them.

Can you not see the illogicality of that statement Len? Your religion too was so self evidently devised by man just like all the rest. Yet you believe that it alone has been planted here by some magical agent. Does it not strike as odd that virtually all the other gods in which men so fervently believed are now forgotten? Those believers, like you, were convinced of the authenticity of their gods and yet now we are amused by their gullibility.

Men invented gods, often chauvinistically devised in their own male likeness, in order explain that which they could not control or did not understand. But that was during humankind’s ignorant past. Now we know what causes thunder and don’t need to placate a god that was believed to be responsible for it.

That millions who are still ignorant and uneducated still believe these myths is regrettable but understandable but that intelligent and educated people (like those who post here) also believe in them is constant source of amazement to me.

20 August 2011 at 12:09  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Is religion provable?
Well, I claim that no "god" is detectable.

Since not detectable, then completely irrelevant.

All the religious believers have to do is detect their god.
Or messages being transmitted to-&-from said being.

Until such proof arrives, the default postion is that there isn't a god.
Standard scientific methodolgy applies.


20 August 2011 at 12:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

There will always be weak people who need others to do their thinking for them and thus rule their lives...

There will always be the unscrupulous to milk said people...

I'm sure they could arrange this without taxpayers help !!

20 August 2011 at 12:50  
Blogger Man with No Name said...

The religions can also reclaim tax on any donations made.

I agree 'religions' should not be tax exempt but any charitable organisations they run should be.

20 August 2011 at 13:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A religion is an "ultimate truth meta-story" that absolutely and objectively defines the relationship between the Material and the Transcendent. This definition binds all men whether they accept it or not. That's why everyone has a religion. Even the atheists who come on this blog (over and over again) to say "There is no god" are expressing a form of Religion. To assert that the Transcendent is a Null Set is to absolutely and objectively define the relationship between the Material and the Transcendent.

An important implication of this fundamental truth is that there exists no objective ground from which a man may judge the legitimacy of another religion. He will always judge another religion from the vantage point of his own. He will say "Given the true relationship between Material and Transcendent, how does this religion compare?" How can he do otherwise? A man cannot escape his own first principles no matter how hard he tries.

So the question then becomes "How does the dominant religion in the culture view the legitimacy of other religions?" What is that dominant religion willing to tolerate, and what does it desire to suppress? There are no objective answers to these questions unless one assumes the objective truth of his own position. There are not even fixed answers within a religion. We must recognize that it is meaningless to ask a question like "Is Scientology a legitimate religion?" There must be a reference.

The Law then is going to implicitly reflect a religion in its determination of legitimacy. Since it will begin with the implicit assumption that the religion in question is false - for otherwise its legitimacy would not be in question - that decision is going to be made according to utilitarian calculations of the dominant religion. In the West today, that means "What does the regnant soft atheism consider acceptable?" Christians cannot hope to define ontological differences between Christianity and Scientology that confirm the legitimacy of the former while overturning the legitimacy of the later. Only the dominant religion can define those differences. It will do so according to its own light.

Case law is therefore going to establish not an ontological definition of legitimate religion but a utilitarian understanding of the benefit of what are considered equally false religions. Useful false religions get to stay around. The categorization of 'useful' will change with time. The definition of 'false' only changes when the dominant religion changes. To seek after ontological definitions of legitimacy in this context is to seek after the wind. The Law will only make arbitrary distinctions based upon utilitarian concerns rooted in the religion of the lawmaker. At the last a man can only stand on Truth no matter the legitimacy that has been ascribed to it.


20 August 2011 at 14:22  
Blogger Man with No Name said...


Do you think 'religions', once defined and excluding atheists, should get tax relief?

20 August 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Keep it simple Carl

There is little point in using the dubious methods of philosophy to try and “prove” a point. Philosophy is little more than mental exercise, science is the only show in town but even more useful is common sense. Using a term like transcendental is pointless as it refers to something that doesn’t exist; it is as meaningless as the term spiritual.

If you believe in god and any of the religious myths it is because you have kept your critical faculties behind a firewall. You dare not expose them to the cold light of reason because as an intelligent person you know that if you do your faith will evaporate. So intelligent believers are in a constant state of denial, they cling to their faith like a drowning man to a lifebelt. What they don’t realise is that if they did let go; far from drowning they would be liberated. Sure they would have to think for themselves but that is invigorating, intoxicating even. Will they do it, of course not for the longer you have believed something to be true the harder it is to cast it aside?

20 August 2011 at 15:54  
Blogger len said...

Graham Davis (and others of the same disposition.)

To get saved requires a desire to know the Truth, the truth about God.

Jesus Christ said'I am the Way,the Truth, the Life'And He proved it by everything He did,He said, and by His very existence.

If you don`t want to believe the truth when presented to you that is your privilege. However your denial of the truth doesn`t make it any less so.

20 August 2011 at 15:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

An interesting stance taken by atheists is "there is no god". Not "there is likely to be no god".

Christians like myself who like to believe they follow Christ think there is likely to be a God. Follows on from Christ existing, and this planet we live on. Tailor made for humans, even down to the convenience of electricity, and that marvellous stuff 'water'. We have an intellectual capacity we shouldn't have from evolution alone.

What can atheism offer - no positives, only negatives. I truly believe atheists are unhappy people

20 August 2011 at 17:01  
Blogger Will2010 said...

Graham Davis your last comment is extremely arrogant. Who are you to make a generalisation about what every religious person thinks and feels? Who are you to say how everyone in the world will react if they accept that there is no god? Believe it or not some won't find the idea that life has no objective meaning, that there is no afterlife or just reward to be a liberating idea, they will find it to be a depressing, cold notion.
You may say that means they cannot deal with the facts, but well what are the facts? We have zero knowledge either way. From a scientific view then atheism is the only rational course, but then the question of God is not a purely scientific one, it is a philosophical one as well. Philosophy is not simply a mental exercise, it is a way to fulfill man's psycological need for some kind of meaning. We all have a philosophy, even if we don't think about it, and your assertion that science is the only way to truth reveals your own philosophy, for you can no more objectively assert that science contains the answers to all man's questions than you can that Christianity does. Many after all ascribe to the view that it is not possible to completely prove or disprove the existence of God, which is a view I ascribe to. Consequently, until and if we prove or disprove God's existence, the meaning of the universe etc, we will have to come up with our own individual answers to it all, as our nature compels us to do, and all of them, theistic, atheistic, agnostic or couldn't-care-lesstic, will require some element of speculation and faith, including yours, and you know what, that's what makes it all so interesting.

Maybe you would feel liberated if you no longer felt the need to denigrate and patronise anyone who disagreed with you in order to reassure yourself that your own chosen (and entirely valid) path was the right one.

20 August 2011 at 17:19  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Man with no Name said"I agree 'religions' should not be tax exempt but any charitable organisations they run should be." Sounds reasonable. I think the track record is what counts and if an organization can demonstrate virtue in its work then give aid to that work and not necessarily to the organization. It's about time we stopped worrying about our tax status when commenting on political issues.

20 August 2011 at 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"An interesting stance taken by atheists is "there is no god". Not "there is likely to be no god"."

Not this one. I say the latter time and again here. The former is a position in atheism, but a minority one, and then some, as far as I can tell.

"What can atheism offer - no positives, only negatives. I truly believe atheists are unhappy people."

Not this one. Believe what you will irrespective of the reality. The world is bloody wonderful and a joy to live in it.

I think being an atheist, and therefore expecting that this is all the life one gets, only enhances the experience.

Take a look at that short series recently by Dr Brian Cox. A man after my own heart as far as wonder is concerned.

20 August 2011 at 17:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0 - "The world is bloody wonderful and a joy to live in it."

Agreed. A real shame that quote isn't in the Qu'ran.

(PS. I am among the happiest of bleeders myself...)

20 August 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

With all due respect Len you are repeating platitudes that have no meaning. You wouldn’t believe what you read in the Sunday Sports last weekend but you are prepared to believe that which was written 2000 years ago, in a time of ignorance and superstition. And if that doesn’t put you off just looks at the history of the three major faiths, the corruption, the greed, the violence, the lust for power that is associated with all of them. None of this seems to matter to you. I just don’t get it.

20 August 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

"the corruption, the greed, the violence, the lust for power"

That's the human condition Graham, religion or no.

20 August 2011 at 20:01  
Blogger non mouse said...

It may even prove a Gordian Knot ---Perhaps, Your Grace, this is merely a strand in the Gordian Knot...

By which I mean the knot of euSSR taxation: from which Britain should obtain, nay assert, exemption.

After that we can worry about this other shower--if the scam gets any bigger and won't go away. But in my experience, most people just shut the door in their faces anyway.

20 August 2011 at 21:15  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"An interesting stance taken by atheists is "there is no god". Not "there is likely to be no god"."

The stance for theists and atheist alike, should not be the likely existence; but the probabilty.

Piting the mind of Man against the probability of something greater is a no win situation.

The real deal between theists and atheists, should be the a debate on whether ones beliefs are true.

20 August 2011 at 21:30  
Blogger chris r said...

Graham Davis 15.54

"Philosophy is little more than mental exercise, science is the only show in town "

Graham, this statement of yours is a philosophical statement on the nature and place of science.

Now, since philosophy is, according to you, little more than a mental exercise, your statement should be considered in similar light. It undercuts itself!

It reminds me of that self-defeating statement, "There are no truths apart from scientific truths" which is, of course, not verifiable by any scientific method and therefore should be disregarded.

20 August 2011 at 22:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis, without putting words in your mouth, it seems you are convinced that evolution is thing only thing that matters. If this is a correct assessment of your position, two questions follow. why has mankind universally evolved to be religious? What evolutionary purpose does religion fulfill?

This communicant believes that these are questions that you need to answer to your own satisfaction. When you have the answers, please report on your findings to those of us with religious belief.

The poem in post at 09.22, is 'Dover Beach' by Matthew Arnold, 1867.

20 August 2011 at 22:31  
Blogger non mouse said...

The poem in post at 09.22, is 'Dover Beach' by Matthew Arnold, 1867 ... and thank you for it, Mr. bluedog!

It's been a while: we did it for OLevels a while back. Said Alice.

20 August 2011 at 23:59  
Blogger len said...

As the OIG states corruption, ,violence, and greed are part of the condition of fallen humanity.
Now if fallen unredeemed man gets hold of religion what traits will be displayed by him? This is the problem with religion it cannot produce life only the spirit of God can change the fallen nature of man.
If merely a cloak of religion is placed over a corrupt,greedy , violent man guess what character traits he will display?
The 'religion' of Christ has been twisted, corrupted, and perverted by unscrupulous men for their own gain to feed their own depraved desires.
What you see today as 'organised religion'has little or nothing to do with Christ and is abhorrent to Him as it is to those who look on and are appalled by it.

I must say that as a born again believer I am appalled by what passes as' Christianity' today and if I were searching for spiritual truth I would certainly be put off by the representation of 'Christianity' in the Media.
But I know that there is a vast difference between those who 'practice a religion' and those who are 'united in spirit with Christ' born again believers to coin a phrase.

I am not surprised that those with secular inclinations cannot perceive Spiritual matters (with regard to God )because their spirit is turned off to God so to speak.
Only God can breath Life into a dead spirit but He cannot and will not do this without your consent.

This is what faith is, believing God ,and taking God at His Word that He will do what He says He will do.

What in reality have you got to lose if you are genuinely seeking the truth about God?

21 August 2011 at 00:33  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"What in reality have you got to lose if you are genuinely seeking the truth about God?"

Len, I have always enjoyed your sermons my old cocker.

As a teenager, when others where getting into sneeky bottles of cider and a cig or two, I loved nothing more than wandering the moors and raging with the thunder. I felt the elements were an inseperable part of me and that same "reality" has stayed with me ever since.

Even though I came to Christ, or Christ to me, for nobody is truly lost. I aslo find the spirit still directs me toward that struggle I knew before.

Beside the the Holy Ghost, Lightening is the closest I ever came to knowing, without knowing, if you know what I mean.

21 August 2011 at 01:01  
Blogger Oswin said...

You'd bloody well know if it struck you! :o)

21 August 2011 at 01:19  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Some good, Christian common sense mixed with undue pessism about 'organised religion'. It is disorganised Christianity that is causing so much confusion.

God wants us to to worship as a community. Jesus taught us this too. This means sharing a faith, a doxology and a creed. We also need some structures for teaching, learning more about God and communal ways of expressing our beliefs and love for Him and one another.

"Fallen unredeemed man" did not "get hold" of the Christian religion. Christ entrusted His Church to the Apostles and promised it would prevail under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Of course religious practices cannot change or save man. Without an organised Church how do you share the Gospel, shephard and feed the people?

At times the message of Christ has been perverted by sinful men who have misused the Church. Yes. It is a human organisation, what do you expect?

What are you proposing replaces organised Christianity?

21 August 2011 at 01:21  
Blogger Ian said...

If religion is a matter of faith, then because politicians have no faith, they are incapable of discriminating what is religious from what isn't. It therefore follows that we should ALL be given tax breaks.

21 August 2011 at 02:42  
Blogger C.Law said...

It seems that most posters have drifted off-topic.

The problem being addressed in this thread is whether Scientology can be deprived of it's tax free status by declaring that it is not a religion. This requires a legal definition of religion. In a Court of Law it is not sufficent to say that something is self evident or 'I know this to be the case because God told me'.

Assuming that the Courts were to accept as a basic premise that religion is a moral code built around a belief in a supreme being(s), for instance - I'm sure we could come up with better, but this will suffice for this purpose. This still begs the question as to how to differentiate between the different belief systems with sufficient clarity to be able to declare that some are genuine and others are not. Bear in mind that one of the common threads of religion is that 'my god told me this is true, so the others must be wrong'

If at least a few people who are demonstrably sane and reasonable in other daily matters of life sincerely believe in a religion, how is one to say that this is legally not a religion?

My own view on the particular question of Scientology is that it is better to follow the French authorities' method of proving fraud and other criminal offences in specific cases and use the totality of these cases to try to close down the organization. Much more practical.

21 August 2011 at 03:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"why has mankind universally evolved to be religious? What evolutionary purpose does religion fulfill?"

Perhaps it is a byproduct of something else. I have never really been drawn to religion. In fact, I tend to be an iconoclast generally.

21 August 2011 at 07:20  
Blogger len said...

I never liked and still do not like religion.
If all you have is religion then you have totally misunderstood the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus came to give us Life, His Life not a religion about Him.

21 August 2011 at 07:33  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Oswin said... "You'd bloody well know if it struck you! :o)" Zap!

Dr Ian Ellis Jones has already been delving into the legal definition of scientology as a religion I see. In New South Wales.

The possibility of a tax free status only comes with registered companies, so the legal definition of religion is only relevant in its commercial and marketable sence, the issue should be one of why religious beliefs in the supernatural become businesses.

Rather than remaining natural ancestral folk traditions.

21 August 2011 at 08:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, M/s non-mouse!

'Dover Beach' seems ahead of its time and strangely relevant today. The poem rather fits the prevailing sense of fin-de-siecle.

21 August 2011 at 08:34  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

"What are you proposing replaces organised Christianity?"

Let me answer that from a famous (catholic) author ..."that we should wish to overthrow him, and put NO-ONE in his place, has not occurred to him"
Gandalf in LotR.

Similarly, we DON'T WANT OR NEED ANY "Organised Religion".
Christian, judaic, islamic, communist - nothing AT ALL.

21 August 2011 at 09:19  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I always assumed tax exemption for religious bodies was a charity status.

Should the question not be as to whether they function as a charitable organisation.

21 August 2011 at 10:28  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Rather than going to Wikipedia for information, try this website - Operation Clambake

21 August 2011 at 10:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anyone Looking for the antichrist to throw stones at, well you’ve missed him...

“Verily I say unto thee, it was L Ron Hubbard, and no mistake”

Those who are victims of the cult seem invariably to be young women. A generation or two ago, these same young women would have been implored by their mothers to ‘go out and get yourself a good man’ who would support and care for them. Women’s lib and feminism have stopped mummy from saying that – but their little girls need it just the same.

A shame really - lots of girls wasting their time (and money) in these places when they could be married and be mothers. Doesn't seem to happen to young men, but that's because the male is marginally smarter than the female - or so your Inspector would like to think..

21 August 2011 at 11:32  
Blogger non mouse said...

Gosh, OIG, what a frog I do have in my throat!

On the IQ thing: Oddly enough, I would once have agreed with you. Given equal inheritance factors, I now reckon it's 6 and half: and all down to nurture not nature. Same as with the good/evil thing. :)

Just re-read Proverbs btw, and I note that Wisdom is a woman. Also got to thinking about her polar opposite: 'the strange woman.' Funny that she should appear so long before Don Juan - but, in another context, there were all those Greek gods and their carryings-on.

My point is that people of each gender are prone to idiotic judgements about the other!

Which presumably explains why so many men fall for ... well, the women they marry; and so many women fall for men like LRH. He seems to have had a 'larger than life' capacity for exploiting the game, though.

21 August 2011 at 12:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


The Inspector did not realise you’re a ‘born again’ (God help us all !)

He’s met you types before. All, in his experience, believe they are on a fast track to heaven, to dine at the captain’s table no less. Whereas the poor wretches who have the misfortune to follow conventional Christianity, will be going by steerage - if they are allowed on at all.

Before you look down your nose at us, remember this: Our religion is in the hands of fallible men of flesh and blood who, at least since the madness of four hundred years ago, do their best to spread the word. I’m sure a loving God will take this into consideration at judgement day – let’s hope he doesn’t feel the need to run that sentiment past you born agains first...

21 August 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

non mouse, the differences between male and female is a fascinating subject, though slightly off topic.
Definitely one of the mysteries of creation.

The Inspector recalls a female friend from his youth who spent so much on shoes and clothes that she didn’t have enough left to feed herself. (Fortunately daddy paid the rent). Astonishingly, all that was bought ended up in draws and wardrobes never to see the light of day, or be taken back for a refund !

IG realised even then that she was buying comfort. Who could blame her and her sisters for falling under the influence of Hubbard. He knew this, astute con man that he was...

IG also recalls some advice from his youth, which may explain why some women fall for unsuitable men, and vice versa...
"If you ever find yourself lost in a strange town, never ask a buxom lady for directions. When it comes to breasts and brains, you'll find it's one or the other"

21 August 2011 at 12:51  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

chris r said

Now, since philosophy is, according to you, little more than a mental exercise, your statement should be considered in similar light.



Evolution explains the mechanism by which species have arrived at their present state. Within a complex species like ours are many features that have developed as part of this process and culture is one of these. Culture derives from shared experience and strengthens the bonds within communities which have a clear evolutionary benefit in that it has enabled us to dominate other species and lay claim to greater resources.

Within cultural groups it was inevitable that myths would emerge to explain the phenomena for which there was no other explanation and superstition filled this void. For lives that were short and wretched and with death ever present the questions “what happens after death” and “what is the meaning of life” were to be anticipated.

Shamans emerged who claimed an understanding of the supernatural and could affect events and this is the origin of religion. So religion became embedded in every culture, an indirect result of evolution rather than a simple evolutionary purpose.

21 August 2011 at 13:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Graham Davis – there is much evidence (in IG’s mind) that an arrogant animal like man is pre-programmed to need a higher state of being to worship. He gives the example of club football – and we are talking about a ball being kicked around a field - no more and no less.

Worship taking place at first hand, and from company director all the way down to the shaven headed tattooed obese ne’er-do-well our education system and ‘youth culture’ has produced...

21 August 2011 at 13:16  
Blogger non mouse said...

I never notice what shape women are. Blubber, faces, jewellery, and how they speak register...

The con-person has a long history. I reckon Chaucer gave us an outstanding set of templates to go by; but I guess you need to have met a few to realize it. The Pardoner's a masterpiece, though :)

So I suppose we should expect them on the religio-political bandwagon, and I thank God I never had to meet Hubbard. Not that he would have interested me. I recall that some female once recommended a book of his; but it disgusted me thoroughly.

Anyway -- I still think we should withhold taxes from the euSSR. On consideration, maybe we should tax the daylights out of that sub-quality filament in the Gordian knot!

21 August 2011 at 13:28  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

IG you talk about evidence, where is it?

21 August 2011 at 13:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Graham Davis – The biggest evidence on the existence of a higher state (apart from the phenomenon of organised sport, in IGs opinion) is man’s continual questioning of everything around him. He is always striving to do things differently, better, never content with present results. This mental agility lifts man out of the evolutionary picture. What we are doing is not adapting to change, not surviving – we are bettering. Are we as a species ‘post evolution’ – perhaps in a unchartered area of development ? And who lifted us out ?

To put religion down as a mere convenient answer to past superstitions isn’t enough. We’ve grown up, and can walk without holding onto furniture. I’m not sure why it wasn’t thrown out with Sun worship and human sacrifice, but here it still is.

When pressed on the origin of life, Dawkins suggested seeding from an alien planet. That impressed me, this man of science has a truly well developed belief system. He’ll say anything not just to deny the existence of God, but to completely strike out any possibility of a creator, scrambling around for anything that will fit into his beliefs – I like that, as convinced as any 19th century evangelist...

21 August 2011 at 14:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

non mouse - Hubbard's genious was the way he took so many in, all searching for some higher truth, while he relieved them of what cash and valuables they had. As the young people would say today

'totally awesome !!'

21 August 2011 at 14:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Hubbard's genious was the way he took so many in, all searching for some higher truth, while he relieved them of what cash and valuables they had."

The gullible ones. Not sure what the evolutionary advantage of that is ... something to do with herd instinct maybe.

21 August 2011 at 16:20  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Graham Davis said "IG you talk about evidence, where is it?" I always find it interesting to find that the atheists like to answer the questions instead of answering. Graham you given us a nice story about cultural development and myths and questions about meaning. Interesting opinion but not much actual evidence. Here's a question for you, If evolution is correct, is there any actual pupose in this world beyond perpetuating the next generation. Also do you think that Hitler has the same reward as St. Francis of Assissi? If so is there anything wrong with what Hitler did?

21 August 2011 at 16:43  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Sorry I should have said ask the questions

21 August 2011 at 16:44  
Blogger len said...

Office of Inspector General,

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”(John 3)
So this is not a suggestion by Jesus this being' born again' is entry level Christianity a basic requirement.

21 August 2011 at 16:56  
Blogger len said...

One of the problems with Christianity(perhaps the main problem) is that there are too many men 'merely of flesh and blood' at the helm.Jesus told his disciples to do nothing until they had been filled with the spirit, until they had been born again.
Why ? , because Jesus knew that until the disciples had been born again they would be ineffective and lacking power and conviction.
Peter is a prime example, denying Christ before being born again, and after being born again and filled with the Spirit rebuking the Pharisees for putting his Lord to death.
What Christianity needs is born again, spirit filled Christians not a bunch of limp, ineffectual, unredeemed, intellectuals!.

21 August 2011 at 17:06  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


If evolution is correct, is there any actual purpose in this world beyond perpetuating the next generation

No. Why should there be purpose? Perhaps just because you instinctively feel that there should be, well that is not evidence.

Neither Hitler nor Francis of Assisi will get any reward (or punishment) other than what they received in this life.


That is not evidence!

We are no more than vehicles for our Genes. Any species that survives including our own has done so because their current set of Genes has been successful. If we appear to be controlling evolution that is still evolutionary progress, we are not outside it.

21 August 2011 at 17:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Graham Davis – We only get certainty with arithmetic. However, we can work out probability with calculus. So it is
with whether God exists or not, as I don’t think we’ll ever be in a position to touch / see / smell / hear

Incidentally, the cockroach stopped evolving into it’s present form, to all intents and purposes, 70 million years ago. We can only grateful that it hasn’t spent the time since “bettering itself“ !!

21 August 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len – “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

Seems to me that Jesus is readying the ‘troops’ to spread the word when he’s gone. I’m putting my money on a loving God looking out for the ordinary likes of me and others.

Your last sentence – I take it you mean there isn’t Business Class AND Tourist class Christianity's. Don’t worry. I can live with that...

21 August 2011 at 18:23  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Graham, I wasn't offering proof and you have answered it clearly i.e. that this world has no purpose "we are merely vehicles for our genes". If that is what you believe so be it. If you remember the story of little Victoria Climbie, who was taken by her aunt to London supposedly to get a better education and chance in life but was subjected to the most inhuman torture for 3 or 4 years before being finally killed by her aunts boyfriend when she was only about 6. I prefer to believe that her immense suffering is now being rewarded by a loving God. If you prefer the justice of genes that's your choice and your faith because neither you nor I can demonstrate absolute proof.

21 August 2011 at 21:01  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis @ 13.03 said, 'So religion became embedded in every culture, an indirect result of evolution rather than a simple evolutionary purpose.'

It appears that we can agree that religion has become imbedded in every culture. But what if religion is a component of cultural success? As you say, 'Culture derives from shared experience and strengthens the bonds within communities which have a clear evolutionary benefit in that it has enabled us to dominate other species and lay claim to greater resources.'

This communicant doesn't see how you can make that entirely valid point and then comment that religion is 'an indirect result of evolution rather than a simple evolutionary purpose.' Could it be that GK Chesterton was correct when he said 'the mystic allows one thing to be mysterous and everything else to become lucid.' The point being that if a hunter-gatherer has put the existential questions into one specialised box he/she can focus on acquiring a mate, building shelter and getting food.

So if religion is an essential component of cultural cohesion and success, doesn't atheism become a recipe for failure?


21 August 2011 at 21:59  
Blogger non mouse said...

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labor or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

21 August 2011 at 22:24  
Blogger non mouse said...

The first is by Isaac Watts; remembered because there was this other dusty old book at the back of our science lab bookcase. I was so thrilled we had a copy, that I devoured it; memory suggested it said much about the honey-bees I was studying at the time... (double-checked online, then: OoSpecies 161ff Gutenberg online).

But, said Alice:

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

All that re-volution brings us full circle to LRH and the taxman, then!!

22 August 2011 at 06:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

"Origin of Life" ...
We don't know.
Dawkins and all competent scientists working in this field have put forward more than one suggestion ...
Given the organisation of INORGANIC molecules that we now know of, and the presence of complex organic molecules, incuding proteins in interstellar spaces, and the regular arrangement of semi-crystalline clays (as templates) there are mutiplicity of choices.
"GoD" is not included, simply because that entity remains undetected and undetectable.
Also, can you really get your head around the age of the Earth (4.5x10^9 years approx) ....

So OIG - where IS this Big Sky Fairy?
Why can't it be detected, and why os there NO OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE AT ALL for its' existence?

Shacklefree: YOU are the one postulating the existence of Big Sky Fairy.
Therefore, YOU are the one who has to come up wit the evidence.

Ien - quoting the collection of Bronze-AGe goatherders' myths (the bioble) is NOT AN ARGUMENT.
I could qoute the "recital" or the Tao Te Ching - so what - none of them are EVIDENCE.

"Graham Davis – We only get certainty with arithmetic. However, we can work out probability with calculus."
Calculus will give you a precise and accurate answer.
Probability theory and maths will give you percentages, and it might/does use calculus, but that is another story.
You are plainly completely ignorant of science and maths.

Religion is a compnent od cultural FAILURE.
Look at the fate of classical learning under the christians.
They did their best to trash it.
Ditto in the muslim world, after about 1100 AD - the religious extremists put a stop to experimentation and inquiry, and the results can be seen today in that area.
The priests, as they did in mediaval Europe, persected those who erm ASKED QUESTIONS

22 August 2011 at 08:05  
Blogger len said...

G Tingey,

You put forward a good case for the fallen man and his inability to grasp spiritual matters(you are not alone on this blog, you even have some religious company)

The reason you cannot grasp these spiritual matters is because your spirit(means of perceiving God) is dead.Bit like having a radio receiver with dead batteries who keeps bleating "It don`t work".

What you need is Life breathed into your dead malfunctioning spirit.Only God can do this.
Why not ask Him?If you are serious about finding out the truth,that is.

22 August 2011 at 08:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

You're so right about the search for truth, Mr. Len.
How blessed we are that Theodore, Hadrian, and Benedict Biscop brought Greek influence when they established schools and rhetoric at Canterbury - and in the north! And we know there was some Horace among the classical texts at York, in Alcuin's time.

I expect you also remember the famous bit that provided mottoes for several of our great colleges ... and even for my now defunct grammar school :(

As Horace wrote to Florus (who would rather doze, than write):

Romae nutriri mihi contigit atque doceri
iratus Grais quantum nocuisset Achilles.
Adiecere bonae paullo plus artis Athenae,
scilicet ut possem curvo dinoscere rectum,
atque inter silvas Academi quaerere verum

[[And so I was keen to distinguish crooked from straight,
And to search for truth in the groves of Academe.

(Horace, Epistles Book II, Ep. ii, Lines 43-4.(65-8 BC))

22 August 2011 at 09:31  
Blogger bluedog said...

'Religion is a compnent od cultural FAILURE.
Look at the fate of classical learning under the christians.' snarls Mr G Tingey.

ERM, things went quite well in Constantinople for 1100 years after the fall of ROME.

Agreed, the Muslims are BARBARIANS totally lacking a sense od HUMOUR.

22 August 2011 at 09:49  
Blogger non mouse said...

Though I'm a bit remiss in forgetting the literacy that Roman Christians brought even before the 6th and 7th centuries!! All that activity up near Hadrian's Wall was really quite amazing, wasn't it?

And there was the general training of young Brits for administration.

Not to mention the classical learning that was preserved in Wales and Ireland after the Romans left. And, of course, the Irish influence that brought more of it back here, via Iona and Candida Casa.

.... we've been so honoured. It's a shame that our young people are being cut off from it, now. I do hope we can find a way to save British learning --- like the monks did the last time.

22 August 2011 at 10:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Shacklefree: "Here's a question for you, If evolution is correct, is there any actual pupose in this world beyond perpetuating the next generation. Also do you think that Hitler has the same reward as St. Francis of Assissi? If so is there anything wrong with what Hitler did?"

My expectation is that any purpose in the world is just local. That is, I expect there is no Grand Plan for the universe. Hitler and Francis are dead therefore that's it for them; I don't expect any sort of conscious personality to survive after death. Yes, there a considerable amount of wrong in what Hitler did.

22 August 2011 at 10:05  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Clearly stated Danj0. Not that I agree of course but your position is clear.

22 August 2011 at 10:13  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

G. Tingey says GoD" is not included, simply because that entity remains undetected and undetectable. We disagree. God may be undetectable to scientific measurement but in previous blogs I have given examples of evidence of God’s action which is very credible i.e. miracles and prophecy. Now to reject these without looking at the evidence or to claim that science will find an explanation if a matter of faith – a faith you are welcome too. Yet again you have avoided the challenge “ Shacklefree: YOU are the one postulating the existence of Big Sky Fairy. Therefore, YOU are the one who has to come up wit the evidence.” Your basic position appears to be we can’t see him and we can’t measure him so he doesn’t exist. Try that with electricity

22 August 2011 at 10:22  
Blogger Oswin said...

non mouse @ 09:31 - don't forget that Britain was acknowledged as a 'seat of learning' way before the Legions came. Greek and Roman alike, were tutored beneath the conical thatch, and within the oak and hazel groves.

22 August 2011 at 14:44  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

You and your compadres would have more success if you spread Christ's message of love rather than banging on about people going to hell because their radio batteries are flat. Personally, I think they're just tuned into the wrong channel.

Start with changing the way people see each other, offer another world view, and then introduce the Gospel of Christ. Jesus taught a new way of living in His Sermons, a redefinition of human and spiritual relationships. He taught us to address God as "Daddy". Alongside this He revealed to His Apostles God's plan for salvation and how this was to be shared throughout the world.

Stop banging on about imaginary events in 315, reliving 500 year old history and fantasing about the future history of man.

22 August 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Ien you are away with the fairies.
What is this "spiritual dimension" or whatever lying tales you want to make up.
REMINDER - I was a confirmed member of the CofE. I am now a card-carrying atheist.
Your call - because I've read the "holy books" and very depressing they are too!

You are plainly eother ignorant of history, or have your own special edited version.
There was no science technology or enquiry in the "West" after the closure of the Academy, by Justininan, I think.
There was a lot of it in the muslim world, especioally in Baghdad, up until about 1150. But then, the religious fuckwits decided that "god" was so important that inquiry into the real world was unnecessary - just as the christains had done previously in the West....

"...evidence of God’s action which is very credible i.e. miracles and prophecy"
A "miracle" is something contrary to physical law.
Show please.

Way of the Dodo.
Nice try.
But the "other channel" does not exist.
Please produce some evidence.

Come on, it shouldn't be too difficult.
All you need is somne evidence ...
why can't you find it?
I can demonstrate the existence of things down to the size of an electron or photon, and up to supergalaxy clusters, many meagparsecs away.
But no "god".
Odd that.

22 August 2011 at 17:42  
Blogger William said...

There is plenty of evidence. You don't seem to know the difference between evidence and proof.

PS No need to shout. We can all 'hear' you.

22 August 2011 at 18:21  
Blogger len said...

Well! somebody got out of the wrong side of bed today.

It seems some atheists are drawn to Christianity but all they want to do is shout about how much they don`t believe in it.
Strange, do they hope to convert Christians to Atheism,well Atheism is a religion (of sorts)got its own Bible(the theory of Evolution) own priests (G Tingey, Dawkins, etc, ) own Moral system (Human rights, not working very well at the moment)(or ever) Only qualification needed for joining the Atheist club is the inability to perceive any spiritual truth at all.

Nah don`t think I will bother joining.

22 August 2011 at 18:50  
Blogger len said...

Why do I keep 'banging on' about Catholicism.
Well you keep posting articles promoting the Catholic form of religion which are misleading to those who don`t know any different and I reply (sometimes) to those items.
I am surprise to haven`t been kidnapped by a gang of Jesuits to silence you because the more you post the more you expose the inadequacies of the Catholic religion.

I am all for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the Catholic version ain`t it.

Catholicism IMO puts obstacles in the way of people finding the true Gospel and loads burdens on the backs of people who become Catholics.

BYW I am just as opposed to Islam and the ' prosperity preachers'who distort the Gospel for their own ends.

22 August 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


What I actually asked was to:

"Stop banging on about imaginary events in 315, reliving 500 year old history and fantasing about the future history of man."

It's boring and fruitless. Fine, you're not a Roman Catholic.
You feel the need to protect people from me explaining my understanding of Catholicism. You to want to save them from its influence. This I have no real problem with, its your right. However, can you stop making up history and fantasising about the future?

If you want to talk Roman Catholicism talk about the doctrines, sacramentals and forms of worship you find so objectionable. Please do so from an informed basis and try to understand the complete teachings of the Church and its basis in scripture.

22 August 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Apologies in advance for typos, BTW ....
Now, in ordure (NOT a typo!)

Evidence - show please.
Credible evidence that will stand up in either a laboratory or a court of law.
In the meantime, you are vapouring.
As a retired scientist/engineer, I am quite ware of the definitions/distinctions you are claiming to make.
No empty claims or posturing.
Put up or shut up.

I happen to be going for the Bronze-Age goatherders' myths of christianity. Because that is what is under discussion here.
But, as I pointed out, I've also read the incredibly depressing "recital", and I have no more time or respect for the Dark-Ages camelherders' myths of islam, or the 19thC economists' myths of communism.

As for Dodo/Ien disputing the "validity" of RC versions of things, well - that is just a dialogue of two deaf loonies, isn't it?

Going back about 6 subjects, BTW:
"Evolution" DOES NOT EXPLAIN the origin of life.
It DOES EXPLAIN the diversity and variability of life.
Please don't conflate or confuse the two.
It's like the AGW debate - that guvmints are trying to use GW to rip us off for more taxes almost certainly is true.
But that is irrelevant to the fact of GW, and proportion of that GW that is AGW.
Some clarity of thought is required....

23 August 2011 at 08:40  
Blogger Will2010 said...

G. Tingey:

You keep going on about scientific proof for the existence of god, well, you're right, there is none, but there isn't any he/she doesn't exist either!
You seem to think that because of this it is wrong to even speculate on his/her existence, which sounds like a dogma to me. As I said in my earlier post, the existence of God is not just a scientific one, but a philosophical one. It is a question that has huge implications for morality, the meaning of life and the way we see ourselves. Religious or not, it's virtually impossible not to have at least a gut feeling about it. Even Richard Dawkins admits he's 99% sure there's not a God, and lives his life accordingly, what's so terrible about people from the opposite end of the spectrum? The vast majority of them would accept God didn't exist if you could prove that, just as the vast majority accept the theories of evolution and the big bang(which was first postulated by a catholic priest by the way). For many people, God seems to be the only, or the best explanation which gives life meaning, and what's wrong with that? What's wrong with the fulfilment of a perfectly legitimate psychological need? If they turn out to be wrong, who cares? They'll have had a happier life becaue of their faith and now will be dead, and if there is a god, great for all of us!

23 August 2011 at 09:10  
Blogger len said...

dodo, what you are saying in effect is 'don`t tell anyone the truth about Catholicism and we will get along fine?'.

Well Salvation is a bit more important than that.
Jesus said 'the Truth(about Him) will set you free.

Conversely false religion will entrap you .

23 August 2011 at 09:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

The "philosophy" is irrelevant if it cannot produce some evidence to back it up.
As in "Natural Philosophy" resting on the three-way mutually interacting and feeding-back supports and tests of theory/experiment/observation.
As you all know proiving a negative is, to all purposes a non-starter. I will not buy that lying buillshit, because it's lying bullshit, and you should know that.
Put up, produce some evidence, or shut up.
Hence my positive proposition that "god" is not detectable.
In the meantime YOU are the one making an assertion for the existence of this thing.
Let's see som positive evidence. Please?

So, like Dawkins, I'll go for the 99+% rule. If there is anything at all in thr remaining )0. .....1% please produce it.
Yet again: put up or shut up.
Why should "life" have a "meaning", external to either itself or us?
We can GIVE it meaning by our actions - why should that not suffice?

23 August 2011 at 15:11  
Blogger Will2010 said...

G. Tingey

You are missing the point! Philosophy does not require evidence, it is making sense of the universe through thought and contemplation, an opinion, in other words. Everyone has their own philosophy, even if they don't think about it. Even if everyone took empiracal view of life, the question of god would not go away, people would still have opinions about it, hope for a particular outcome, that is human nature.
You say that the meaning that life gets through our own actions should suffice well fine, if that works for you great, but it dosen't work for everyone. They aren't weaker than you or less mature than you, they just have different needs from you, a different outlook, that's all. And don't tell me that you expect your world view will comfort the bereaved or the dying. Maybe it will for many, but won't for everyone, they need the hope that just maybe somewhere in this wide expanse of existence justice will be done. Those people aren't weak, they aren't stupid, they're just human, alright? Why this need to denigrate one of the most basic aspects of the human condition, the desire for meaning? If as you say there's no meaning to life beyond what we give it, than why not let religious people get on with the meaning they give it, how does it harm you?

Finally, I don't recall ever making an active case for god's existence, if you read my posts you'll find I'm an agnostic. Maybe you should read posts rather than assume you know what that person is thinking according to your personal prejudices?

23 August 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Please do continue to offer a critique of Roman Catholicism but one based on reality, not on pseudo history, fantasy and myth.

You clearly feel you're on a mission to protect people from what you see as a false religion and as the seat of the soon to come antichrist.

Do try to be a bit more grounded and circumspect and at least demonstrate some understanding of Catholicism rather than regurgitating nonsense.

Tell me, are you a Gnostic?

It never occurred to me until someone else asked. What's your objection to Constantine's toleration of Christianity? The date 315 you keep citing as the date of a supposed union between paganism and Christianity, predates the Ecumenical Council that agreed the Creed of the Church and determined the essential Canonical books.

Do you subscribe to these basic building blocks of the Christian faith or not?

23 August 2011 at 17:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Will2010: "For many people, God seems to be the only, or the best explanation which gives life meaning, and what's wrong with that?"

Nowt ... as long as they let the rest of us live according to our secular morality, values, laws, and culture. However, history suggests that this is pretty unlikely if they ever get temporal power back.

23 August 2011 at 18:22  
Blogger Will2010 said...


Is there a specific secular morality? Isn't there any overlap?
After all, you don't need to be religious to be anti-abortion, and you don't have to be a humanist to be pro-assisted suicide, do you?

Are politicians and the general public to be forbidden to speak or vote on an issue or policy if their religion has a position on it?

23 August 2011 at 20:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Is there a specific secular morality? Isn't there any overlap?"

No, no overlap. By definition.

"After all, you don't need to be religious to be anti-abortion, and you don't have to be a humanist to be pro-assisted suicide, do you?"

That's technically correct. However, they're political stances on particular issues.

"Are politicians and the general public to be forbidden to speak or vote on an issue or policy if their religion has a position on it?"

Nope. A liberal society holds freedom of belief and freedom of expression to be very important. A truly secular State wouldn't change that at all.

Of course, the same holds true in reverse. We just need to make sure our voices are loud enough to argue down purely religious justifications for law which affects us all. Because many of us think those sort of things are wrong, politically, ethically and morally.

23 August 2011 at 21:18  
Blogger David McEwan said...

Greg, You say Science only deals with things that are observable and measurable. The Standard Model of Cosmology postulates the existence of Dark Matter to explain the fact that the universe is not merely expanding but accelerating. Apparently there has to be 5 kg of Dark Matter for every kg of normal matter and it must be all around us. The problem is that the Dark Matter is by definition undetectable and unmeasurable. This was put forward by scientists not by clerics to explain anomolies in the Standard Model of Cosmology. Therefore eminent scientists have accepted that reason can be used to postulate things that cannot be observed or explained.

Yet again we hear you bellowing loudly that you will not answer questions but that us lesser mortals must defer to your arrogance and answer yours. Well with regard to evidence let me re-iterate an example I quoted previously which you have appeared to ignore. Every Friday between 1905 and 1968, Padre Pio displayed the marks of Christ, i.e. severe wounding to his hands and feet. The wounds were very severe and would normally require weeks to heal. Every Saturday there was not the slightest scar to indicate any injury whatever. Now Greg, can you explain what is different about Fridays apart of course from the death of Christ and why should the wounds not occur on his knees or his left earlobe, or his tummy button. I bet you are going to tell us that you are not going to consider that as EVIDENCE. I’d also like Len to explain it bearing in mind that all the people throughout history to whom this occurred have either been Catholic or Orthodox Christians.

23 August 2011 at 21:29  
Blogger William said...

G Tingey

On the one hand you say that there are certain domains in which God cannot be detected and on the other you say that you will only accept evidence for God from those domains in which He is not detectable!

I fear that your search will be fruitless. Good luck anyway.

24 August 2011 at 08:18  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Will 2010
Sorry, but philosophy DOES require evidence.
Propositions can be DISPROVED.
As in Science.
Plato's and Aristotle's "models" are lnown to be in error, for instance....

A theocracy is probably the all-up worst form of government.

David McEwan:" The problem is that the Dark Matter is by definition undetectable and unmeasurable."
Dark matter exists, and has been detected, if only indirectly.
You are confusing this with "Dark Energy" which is at the handwavium/hypothesis stage - and may get no further than that.
DM can be detected by its various gravitational effects, including lensing.
It is well-known that the Standard Model has lacunae in it - the question(s) is/are... can the model be adjusted tweaked (Meaning that it is basically correct, but details are wrong (analogy the mechanism for inheritance proposed by C. Darwin was wrong, but re-adjustment to Mendelian Genetics STRENGTHEND the understanding that evolution is true).
Is the model completely wrong, because of some structural fault.
If so, then any new model will still have to accomodate the factual knowledge we already have.
Or again, is it a "special case" of a bigger picture - analogy here is that Newtonian Mechanics are not "wrong" - they are a special case of relatavistic mechanics at "low" velocities (<1%c) and masses (<10%Sol) for instance.

Padre Pio - the well-known fraud and charlatan?
Along with the miraculous blodd of - somewhere or other ....

No: I claim that "god" is not detectable - anwhere at all in this observable Universe.
That a big enough field for you?
Now prove me wrong, and stop trying to twist, weasel and lie you way out of my words.
But then, you ARE a religious believer are you not?

24 August 2011 at 08:44  
Blogger Will2010 said...

G. Tingey,

No, philosophy does not require evidence, if it did, it would be science. Philosophy may take scientific evidence into account, and who knows, one day, just maybe, science prove or disprove God's existence, but I doubt that very much. Consequently, God is a legitimate subject for speculation and philosophy. Science is not the be and the end all, that, in itself, is a fundamentally unscientific viewpoint to take.

24 August 2011 at 09:06  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

If a philosophical proposition is shown to be false, by demonstration, for instance then "game over"
I never said that science was a b and/or end all in iteself.
you are putting words into my mouth, just like all the other believers.
So, "god" is a legitimate subject for speculation, and testing, and evidence and proof.
If the field of the entire observable Universe is NOT a big-enough field, then I suggest you seek medical help,

24 August 2011 at 10:19  
Blogger William said...

G. Tingey said

"No: I claim that "god" is not detectable - anwhere at all in this observable Universe.
That a big enough field for you?
Now prove me wrong"

I think that as you are the one making this claim, the onus is you to back up the claim with evidence. Isn't that what you argued previously? I suggest that you start by defining the terms observable and detectable.

24 August 2011 at 10:38  
Blogger Will2010 said...

G. Tingey

If a philosophical proposition is shown to be false, by demonstration, for instance then "game over"
I never said that science was a b and/or end all in iteself.
you are putting words into my mouth, just like all the other believers.
So, "god" is a legitimate subject for speculation, and testing, and evidence and proof.
If the field of the entire observable Universe is NOT a big-enough field, then I suggest you seek medical help,"

Was this in reply to me? If it is please let me know so I can point out it's flaws in relation to my last post.

24 August 2011 at 11:11  
Blogger len said...

Romans 1,

' The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.'
The evidence of the Creator is to be seen everywhere in His Creation. I am no scientist but the chances of the Universe being Created by mere chance takes enormous faith?.

24 August 2011 at 18:33  
Blogger David McEwan said...

G. Tinsey You tell us that dark matter exists because it can be detected indirectly by it various gravitational effects. You are applying reason to come up with a hypothesis – no problem with that. However, why not apply the same reasoning to the evidence that Padre Pio’s hands and feet bled every Friday for over 60 years until he died. The fact of hands and feet bleeding only on a Friday and being completely healed by Saturday is indisputable and if false could easily have been disproved at any time over 60 years by visiting him on a Friday. Lots of people did and nobody saw him without the wounds on a Friday. Your answer was “Padre Pio the well known charlatan”. Where is your evidence? Do you reject that it actually happened or are you suggesting Science will come up with a better more materialistic explanation in time?

24 August 2011 at 19:39  
Blogger non mouse said...

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24 August 2011 at 19:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 August 2011 at 20:04  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thanks for that from Romans, Mr. Len(18:33). I also like the way St. Augustine expanded on the idea:

"But God constructs while infused in the world. He constructs while situated everywhere. He does not withdraw from anywhere; he does not direct the structure which he constructs as someone on the outside. By the presence of his majesty he makes what he makes; by his own presence he governs what he has made. He [Christ] was, then, in the world as the one through whom the world was made. For 'the world was made through him, and the world knew him not.' " **

Such explanations help us to envisage something about God's creation. However, when discussing possible evolution of the human eye, Darwin himself mentions another side of the issue:
"Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?"

Is it not blind arrogance to assume that our senses and grey matter equip us to know everything in the universe?

**Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Tractates on the Gospel of John. Trans. John W. Rettig. Washington, D.C: Catholic University of America Press, c 1988. Here from Tractate 2, p69.[quotes John 1.10]. Print.

***Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species. Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. 2003-2010; 112. Web.

26 August 2011 at 19:53  
Blogger Argos74 said...

Okay, I'm an atheist. But I recognise the positive contributions that religions can make to society. The CoE I think as largely a positive force in the world. May not agree with all their beliefs, practices or world views, but, meh, moving on. Same for other moderate religions and sects.

Extremist forms of various faiths I'm not such a great fan of, but I'm in danger of continuing to veer off topic.

The CoS may have some religious characteristics. But it is not a religion. It's a commercial organisation, extracting money from it's customers, sorry, followers with some very odd precepts, and using some very dubious practices.

If my family attends a CoE church, and I stopped going to mass, would the CoE tell my family to cut off all contact with me? No. Scientology would.

If I criticise the CoE, the response would to invite calm, polite, reasoned debate and a cup of tea. And I'd bring cookies and cake. And there would be much awesomeness.

The CoS would send private detectives and lawyers to pursue some fairly nasty [i]ad hominem[/i] attacks.

28 June 2012 at 18:33  

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