Monday, October 03, 2011

Dr Evan Harris: Archbishop of York is a ‘fundamentalist’


Yes, that’s right. Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York (and quite possibly the successor to the See of Canterbury), who loves and serves the Lord so much that he baptises Christians in public; who cares so deeply about truth and justice that he refuses to wear his dog collar again until Robert Mugabe is deposed, is, according to the ultra-normative LibDem Evan Harris, both ‘abnormal’ and a ‘fundie’.

His Grace asked Dr Harris for his definition of ‘normal’, but reply came there none. Yet we all know what he means clearly enough: a ‘normal’ Christian is simply one who doesn’t believe anything particularly strongly, and certainly not strongly enough to cause him or her to take a doctrinal stance. A ‘normal Christian’ is one who has a faith that is lukewarm, passive and benign: anything else is akin to the Rev’d Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptists.

A ‘normal Christian’ is one who is tolerant, welcoming and broad-minded: one who embraces abortion as liberation; who affirms homosexuality as diversity; who accepts the multi-faith ecumenism and moral relativism of the age, that all paths lead to God and salvation is found in whatever, wherever, however.

And by decreeing the dogma of the ‘normal Christian’, the atheist GP arrogates to himself a spiritual authority. He appropriates a superior experience; claims charismatic insight; places his personal theological judgement over and above that of the Archbishop of York and any other ‘abnormal’ type of Christian who happens to hold fast to their ethical and moral worldview. He places his definition of Anglicanism over and above Dr Sentamu’s Evangelicalism, which is evidently illiberal and religiously regressive.

The ‘normal Christian’ is manifestly one who must be tolerant of sin. Jesus loved prostitutes, and welcomed them to his table. But he also told them to go and sin no more. Here is not the place to debate over and over (again) the sinfulness or otherwise of certain sexual behaviours. The important thing, for Evangelical Christians, is that they believe homosexuality to be a sin that leads to Hell, and so it is their moral duty, indeed, there reason for living, to save people from that eternal fate. That is the gospel of Christ, which they ought to be free to believe, practise, inculcate and evangelise.

Dr Harris asks why the media give so much airtime to unpleasant ‘fundies’ like the Archbishop of York.

Of course, it would never occur to him to wonder what ‘normal’ secular-humanist-atheists might think about the amount of airtime given to aggressive secularist fundies like him.

202 Comments:

Blogger G. Tingey said...

Dr Harris IS a normal secular atheist.

Stop deluding yourself, your grace.

The two "fundamental" propositions of any religious believer(s) is that there (usually) is a "god" and that said "god's" wishes are set out in unalterable "holy books".
[ Bible, Koran, Capital/Communist Manifesto... ]

Well, in spite of all the effort, there is NO EVIDENCE to support any existance of any big sky fairy, and we know that all the "holy" books are full of errors and untruths, and the occasional straight lie.

As usual, the call is, for believers to produce some evidence to support their extra-ordinary claims.

Between the photon and the netrino at one end, and far-distant galactic superclusters, no god can be detected, at all.
Where then is this entity?

Your call, I believe?

3 October 2011 at 08:17  
Blogger blondpidge said...

I suggest you do some reading Mr Tingey, on what constitutes a fundamentalist Christian. It has quite a precise theological meaning.

As His Grace explains, the term is now used pejoratively to equate those who oppose abortion or believe homosexual sex to be a sin (something that separates you from God) with the crowd at Westboro Baptist Church.

What is forgotten is that evangelism is born out of a sense of love and concern, never hatred.

Here is a classic example for His Grace of someone who thinks that Christians who believe these things are a) not representative of Christianity and b) should not be allowed to participate fully in society, their views automatically disbar them.

http://somerandombint.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/christians-arent-above-the-law/

3 October 2011 at 08:27  
Blogger Benjamin Gray said...

Tingey,

Of course there's no evidence to support belief in a big sky fairy. Fortunately that's not a belief held by Christians. I am sorry that you have laboured under this misapprehension for so long. I can only imagine the confusion you must have felt when people failed to take your intelligence seriously. Less forgiving people may even have ridiculed and mocked you for such theological illiteracy. I am not one of those people, but am glad, in the spirit of Christian charity, to help you avoid such humiliation in the future.

Ps. It's spelt "neutrino".

3 October 2011 at 08:38  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Whilst we are about it, might we invite Dr Harris to congratulate the Church for having so successfully developed diversity that Dr Nazir Ali and Archbishop John (not to speak of Jeffrey John Gene Robinson etc) have risen to such positions - in stark contrast with the abject failure of the Lib Dems to adopt a single "minority" representative to a winnable seat candidacy still less get elected.

By their fruits...

3 October 2011 at 08:45  
Blogger matt zx said...

As a normal ?? non baptised atheist the one type or religious nutter that I truly get bored of is the 'screaming humanist' and his brethren the 'anal atheist' !
All they ever do is go on constantly about their rights their privileges, how they hate any one with a belief getting one over them by wearing a religious symbol or singing a hymn in a public space !
I have no god and I no problem with those who do as their faith rarely touches my life but bloody Dawkinists want to force me and others to think in their way and that just wrong!

3 October 2011 at 08:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

What an insult it would be to be considered a "normal Christian" by Dr Harris. Talking about being damned with faint praise.

@blondepidge ... please don't feed the trolls. (Or in the case of G. Tingelay, apply Pr 26:5)

3 October 2011 at 09:49  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Harris is a blinkered bigot. That anyone takes the slightest notice of anything he says is a sign of how debased our society has become.

He is the prophet of death. He opposes the abundance of life and joy in the love of God for His creation. He seeks the destruction of souls, not their salvation.

But he is up against the Living God who will swat him like a midge and whose Love will always prevail.

3 October 2011 at 11:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Blondpidge said most eloquently 3 October 2011 08:27

"What is forgotten is that evangelism is born out of a sense of love and concern, never hatred."

What a wise bird you are and so concise a truthful statement. Outstanding!

Ernst S Blofeld

3 October 2011 at 11:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr G Tingey @ 08.17 says, 'Between the photon and the netrino at one end, and far-distant galactic superclusters, no god can be detected, at all. Where then is this entity?'

In the same place as the sub-atomic particles that exceed the speed of light?

You view things from a scientific perspective and your assumption seems to be that science is settled. In 1909, leading scientist Lord Kelvin declared that physics was completely understood and there were no more discoveries to be made. In 1911, Eintein propounded his theory of relativity which overturned Lord Kelvin's position. In 2011, Einstein's assunption that the speed of light is the fastest speed in the universe appears to have been empirically disproved by CERN.

What next?

Your call, I believe.

3 October 2011 at 11:05  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

Have you noticed that when the enemy runs out of argument, they start calling you names? A normal practice in playgrounds up and down the land, but in supposedly intelligent adult debate?

I don't suppose Evan Harris is interested in what long words like 'fundamentalist' and 'evangelical' actually mean - all he knows that they sound good when trying to attack.

3 October 2011 at 11:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Great commentary, Your Grace. Funny, but the liberal critique of traditional, or Orthodox, Judaism, is a carbon copy of Dr Harris's. Judaism is "legitimate" only when it mimics the current popular values, all of which have been proclaimed as self-evidently right, unquestionably moral and undoubtedly eternal.

Every wedding or bar mitzvah will have its Mr Tingey types who, with a parody of a gamin's clever grin on their craggy visages, will pose their juvenile challenges (with apologies to Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis) about "sky fairies" or such at the roast beef table scrum. I treat their philosophical challenges as deadly psy-ops confrontations intended to further weaken the resolve of the theologically uncertain while positioning themselves closer to the meat carver. A widening of the eyes, then a thoughtful, "that's an excellent point, I have to think about it," throws them off balance, both philosophically and physically, and with the help of some well-timed, gentle-but-firm elbow and foot work, it's fairly easy to deflect their trajectory long enough to check their progress towards that succulent, pink slice from the middle of the roast. Works every time, Your Grace.

3 October 2011 at 11:52  
Blogger The Watchman Waketh But in Vain said...

Indeed, Dr Harris would do well to read Dr Derek Tidball's book 'Who are the Evangelicals?' in which he helpfully sketches the key differences between Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. Others useful works such as David Bebbington's 'Evangelicalism in Modern Britain' and George Marsden's 'Fundamentalism and American Culture' would also show Dr Harris' error.

As for the old, unprovable statement there is no evidence for the existence of God, I may point Mr G. Tingey to prof. William Lane Craig's book 'Reasonable Faith' in which he lists several very useful arguments for the existence of God. Notably, he states the reason we do not believe in a 'giant fairy' or 'flying spaghetti monster' or 'orbital teapot' is not the lack of evidence for such things but rather the Positive evidence against such suggestions. As with any philosophical argument, it is not enough to merely state 'there is no evidence'. One must build a positive case for the argument and provide sufficient defeaters for the counter-argument. To state there is 'no evidence' does nothing for your case - 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'.

3 October 2011 at 12:18  
Blogger Preacher said...

Thank you Dr Cranmer for todays blog & thank you ALL who have submitted such wonderful postings. It's so good to start Monday with a chuckle.
Belsay Bugle, great form. "He is up against the living God, who will swat him like a midge, and whose love will always prevail". LOL! "I love you" SPLAT!.
Avi: wonderful.
Ernst: on top form.

I thank God I'm not the dry brittle humourless grey caterpillar that some people are.
(I once was though) One day I pray they'll realise that the the world is much brighter from the ariel view of the butterfly. All it takes is the miracle of Metamorphesis, if you dare!.

God bless you all, (Even the stooges).

3 October 2011 at 12:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G. Tingey

Your faith in materialism is touching. You presume without evidence that all things have a material cause and then say "Look! We have precluded your god! Where is the evidence?" Well, of course you have. You say life is a very sophisticated chemical reaction because that is all it can be under your presupposition. But when have you established it? You know nothing about the nature of life except its external characteristics. You simply presume. Begin with a collection of hydrogen and carbon and see how far you get in your efforts to create it.

The evidence is all around you. Literally everywhere. But you suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

carl

3 October 2011 at 12:46  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Your Grace,

I know you said we shouldn't use this as an opportunity to go on about what constitutes a sin, but:

"...and so it is their moral duty, indeed, there [sic] reason for living, to save people from that eternal fate."

Yours pedantically,

AnonymousinBelfast

3 October 2011 at 12:59  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Avi Barzel ... brilliant :)

@G Tingary ... "that's an excellent point, I have to think about it" [!!!]

3 October 2011 at 13:00  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I am afraid Cranmer is in danger of taking Dr Harris as seriously as Dr Harris takes himself. Please remember that he is a Liberal Democrat and hence deserving of the customary kindness to be shown to Conservative lapdogs.
I fear Cranmer has lost the ability to see what is known as a "wind up" in the common venacular.

3 October 2011 at 13:13  
Blogger Preacher said...

Rebel Saint.
Nice try, but where's the beef?.

3 October 2011 at 13:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thank you. Always ready and glad to amuse, Preacher and Rebel Saint.

Carl" "Begin with a collection of hydrogen and carbon and see how far you get in your efforts to create [life]." You're too easy on the boy. Let him make his own hydrogen and carbon. That still leaves out the little matter of existence, but we don't want to overwhelm.

3 October 2011 at 13:24  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

@carl

"The evidence is all around you. Literally everywhere. But you suppress the truth in unrighteousness."

Is this meant to be a scientific argument?

3 October 2011 at 13:30  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@TBNGU ... "Is this meant to be a scientific argument?"

I don't think so. Is scientific proof the only proof there is?

Please tell us what proof would be sufficient for you?

3 October 2011 at 13:36  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

OK
In order....

( And apologies in advance for typos, if any)
A "Fundamentalist" christian is (usually) one who believes the Bible to be literally true?
If not, please show where the differences lie.
Oh, and, erm WHICH VERSION of the bible, and does this include the Gnostic gospels, for instance? ( I would imagine not, actually...)

Yes, as an ex-physicist, I do know about (spelling) "neutrino" - see "typos" above...

B Gray
Actually you do believe in a big sky fairy, which comes in three-in-one flavours (F, S & HG) OK?

Various: Harris is not a bigot.
Some of you may be, but you are mostly seriously deluded, talking about "jesus lives" and "living god" - I've been through all that with our then local evangelical (fundamentalist - he would not accept the fact of evolution) CofE Vicar, and it's all bullshit.

"What is forgotten is that evangelism is born out of a sense of love and concern, never hatred"
Then why does it always end up killing, torturing and maiming?
See the vile "mother Theresa" for a convenient starter-for-10.

bluedog:
Er, the results you mention are still open to question.
I would welcom ftl particles, since it might make ansibles possible, if not macroscopic ftl travel.
Let's WAIT AND SEE, shall we?
The key to both questions is: DETECTION.
No big sky fairy yet.
In fact, the better the detectors get, the less fairies we see.
Interesting, that.

ASIDE.
If you are looking for a serious collapse in current physical theories, I would recommend putting your money on the non-appearance of the Higgs Boson in the correct place - or at all.
Which could be serious fun.

Carl jacobs
Indeed, materialism has so far always worked, every time.
The only thing I have "faith" in is that this state of affirs will continue.
Like... the Earth will continue to rotate on its' axis (etc) according to the laws, as understood.
You add The evidence is all around you. Literally everywhere. But you suppress the truth .." in unrighteousness."

OK: Where is the bloody so-called "EVIDENCE" you refer to?
PRODUCE IT RIGHT NOW. OR BE CALLED DELIBERATE LIAR

I carefully included your last piece in quotes not italics, because you have not defined your terms.
And, err, I actually suspect that I may be wrong in what I have just typed.
You are not lying, you are insane, instead. I'm not actually sure which is worse, in this case.

What "truth" am I supposed to be suppressing?
Again, please show .....

3 October 2011 at 14:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Let's not get drawn into to pointless and circular debates with the blind and deaf - we and they know who they are. If only they were dumb too.

Dr Harris is a crushing bore who peddles death and trys to corrupt Christianity. Surely, his 'reward' awaits him.

It would be helpful to me if someone was able to sketch out the key differences, if any, between the labels of 'fundamentalist' (aren't all Christians this to a degree?) and 'evangelical' (again all Christians are called to spread God's message).

3 October 2011 at 14:52  
Blogger Benjamin Gray said...

Well if you're going to tell me what I believe despite my protests to the contrary then I guess I'm just going to have to do as I'm told as you evidently know my mind better than I.

I am particularly surprised to find that I'm a trinitarian. I always thought I was Jewish. Oh well, life surprises you like that.

Talk about a lack of evidence...

3 October 2011 at 14:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

A "Fundamentalist" christian is (usually) one who believes the Bible to be literally true?

Well, let's run with that then. It presumably excludes Nazir Ali and Sentamu (perhaps Hargreaves, but I don't know who he is).

Actually you do believe in a big sky fairy, which comes in three-in-one flavours (F, S & HG) OK?

If you knew what the word "God" names, you would realise that you are more like a sky fairy than he is. Unless, we are clear on what the word "God" names, there is no point in looking for evidence for him. You appear to think of God as an occupant of the physical universe. No Christian with any intelligence thinks that, and so we will all agree with you: judging by your terms, there is no God and there is no evidence for him.

So here's the question: do you actually want to have a less inadequate notion of God? Do you want to know what a Christian names when he uses the word "God"? You cannot even claim to be an atheist without improving your grasp of the word "theist".

3 October 2011 at 14:55  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

By the by, wasn't it the Archbishop of York who compared Prince William living 'in sin' with Kate Middleton to "testing the milk before buying the cow"?

Hardly a 'fundamentalist' Christian position and, at the time, one I thought he would draw criticism for!

3 October 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger Oswin said...

G.Tingey:

Scientists are meant to question, to speculate upon all possibilities, yes? Then why are you're statements, and those of other atheists, always of the same, boring litany of certainty?

Many scientists agree to possibilities beyond your narrow assumptions, tedious repetitions and ''sky fairy'' insults; so why do YOU persist with your same old, 'same old'?

Even Einstein denied the dogma of atheism; but you, with your M.Sc. (did you once say that you'd never managed to secure a job directly related to your qualification?) are so utterly certain that you are right, and the rest of us are risible, deluded fools.

Or, could it be that you are 'acting beyond your pay-grade' here?

3 October 2011 at 14:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Tingey

You are sounding really desperate now. Just think if you're wrong! You really should pay attention to the questions posed by Albert.

By inviting the Truth and then ignoring it, worse still, pouring scorn on it, you're heaping judgement on yourself.

3 October 2011 at 15:01  
Blogger Oswin said...

Apologies: should read 'your' and not ''you're'' tut!

3 October 2011 at 15:01  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo : SNAP! :O)

3 October 2011 at 15:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Tingey,

You appear to have jettisoned the red herring and switched from the fundamental (excuse the word) question of the Creator's existence to your personal issues with objections to specific creeds. If you don't mind staying with the basics for a while, to what elemental and a priori source do you ascribe your presumably ethical objections to "killing, torturing and maiming"? No rush, I'm off to a meeting presently ...with excellent kosher pastries and decent coffee, I'm told... and my absence in the next hour or so should in no way be interpreted as a collapse into dark existentialist agonies of the soul.

3 October 2011 at 15:09  
Blogger Anglican said...

As to 'evidence' about God and religion, it is high time some people realised both the differences, and similarities, between genuine science and genuine religion. They could start with John Polkinghorne's "Quarks, Chaos and Christianity". Then they could read some of his other books - "Science & Christian Belief", Science & Theology" etc. As a former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, he might, just might, have sufficient scientific understanding to make them think again. That is, if they are capable of thinking outside the box they have locked themselves in.

3 October 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Watchman Waketh But in Vain said 3 October 2011 12:18

"One must build a positive case for the argument and provide sufficient defeaters for the counter-argument. To state there is 'no evidence' does nothing for your case - 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'."

Sir, you make an excellent point, which Ernst will elaborate on for the benefit of Mr G Tingey, so as to try to ease the torture that must exist deep within, a little later.

Currently Ernst is laying flipp'n floor tiles, the like of which he has never encountered before and is being forced to use an angle grinder (damned dangerous tool, I might add) to cut the blasted things and leave all his body parts intact!

The promises we make to our children prior to thinking it through properly..'Dad can do it' syndrome.

What a persistent old geezer that Tingey is. Ernst has a PhD in forensic and circumstantial evidence within the subject 'Bleedin Obvious' with First Class honours, but will it help, even when explained?.

Ernst, my fine peeps.

3 October 2011 at 16:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oswin: "Then why are you're statements, and those of other atheists, always of the same, boring litany of certainty?"

Not this one!

3 October 2011 at 17:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

His Grace: "That is the gospel of Christ, which they ought to be free to believe, practise, inculcate and evangelise."

As long as we can pour ridicule on the poor saps when they do it then we're good to go.

3 October 2011 at 17:30  
Blogger len said...

There was only one' normal Christian 'who ever walked this Earth(in God`s estimation at least)and this was of course the Lord Jesus Christ.
His views were so radical that the establishment of the day crucified Him for those views.
Jesus Christ called all His followers to do exactly that follow Him.
This means being salt and Light in a corrupt darkening World this also means that the World will hate you and try to silence you.
I believe more Christians were murdered in the last century than all the previous ones.Christians are being martyred Worldwide today.
So in the West Christians face intimidation and ridicule and in the Islamic Countries execution if the dare to speak the Gospel or confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

This once Christian Nation has turned full cycle and is now entering a second 'dark age'where Christianity and those who stand up for the truth of the Word of God face exactly the same problems the early Church faced.

3 October 2011 at 17:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len There was only one' normal Christian 'who ever walked this Earth(in God`s estimation at least)and this was of course the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ lived and died a jew. An irritating God botherer like you should know that. How can anyone take seriously anything else you come out with...

3 October 2011 at 18:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tingey the vile "mother Theresa"

What a wicked scoundrel you are. You seem to relish in your hatred...

3 October 2011 at 18:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G. Tingey

See what a clever game you play.

1. You presume philosophical materialism.

2. One the basis of that presumption you arbitrarily assert that all events have a materialist cause.

3. Having precluded the possibility of transcendent cause a priori you then demand proof of transcendent cause given that everything has a materialist cause.

4. You thump you chest and say "I win."

Not particularly original, and certainly not scientific. At least admit your faith system, and stop hiding behind this illusion of compelled belief. You do not disbelieve In God because you do not see. You disbelieve in God and therefore refuse to see.

Around you is the whole of creation that testifies to the power and glory of God. There is nothing inadequate about the evidence presented to you. The problem is not with the evidence. The problem is with the rebellious hardened heart that will not receive it. Instead it suppresses the obvious truth before its very eyes. It knows the truth, but it would prefer the truth be other than what it is. That is why the truth must be suppressed. And this reveals the unrighteous heart of man, for it suppresses the truth to avoid giving God the glory and worship that he rightfully deserves.

carl

3 October 2011 at 19:06  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

Don't let the vileattack on Blessed Mother Teresa trouble you. She would have brushed it aside. The poem below was found written on the wall in her home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

3 October 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Around you is the whole of creation that testifies to the power and glory of God."

Which particular god? The Catholics and the evangelicals here can't even decide which god setup is correct; something one might think might be obvious if Christians actually had a Holy Spirit to ask for guidance. Now that's evidence of sorts: the lack of concordance between people who all claim a personal relationship with the Christian god. No need for unsolvable cosmological speculation there.

3 October 2011 at 19:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo

Those words have pacified the angry Inspector. Maybe the words of the late living saint herself.

Tingey is revealing himself to be a rather tragic, wretched creature. Perhaps his persistence is his quest for God, and we should help.

3 October 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Around you is the whole of creation that testifies to the power and glory of God."

On our planet, nature is generally red in tooth and claw, and animals suffer rather unpleasantly as a rule. Not a great design, I'd say.

3 October 2011 at 19:31  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 October 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger Albert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3 October 2011 at 19:54  
Blogger non mouse said...

What's the Greek for "bringer of bad news"? I find a few such heralds, e.g. Iris, but don't suppose that's appropriate; perhaps we could turn to Latin for Lucif[fug]er ... Oh! marxist/fabianist/euro and AntiChrist etc. will do, for now.

My point is, I'd like to suggest that dr. harris's religion further emulate Christianity by appointing anti-archbishops. They might begin by instating him in his etymological home, in the Outer Hebrides, where he and his satanists could set about enforcing worship of the most cupidie earth fairy they can think of.

That should ensure almost complete domination of the sky waves for a while. I'm sure they could follow up with some really original and lucifuginous lies, once they have time, tide and, probably, space on their side...

3 October 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0

Some interesting points have been reasoned. What is Mother Nature. Why do molecules come together to form cells for growth – why not just ‘do nothing’. Could it be that God has / is / will be ensuring that to happen with his laws of nature, for our (...often ungrateful...) benefit ?

3 October 2011 at 20:04  
Blogger Albert said...

[Re posting to correct an error]

Dan,

Which particular god? The Catholics and the evangelicals here can't even decide which god setup is correct

Monotheism. The evidence of creation does not simply shows there is a creator, it does not compel us to believe in one revelation or another.

Now that's evidence of sorts: the lack of concordance between people who all claim a personal relationship with the Christian god.

All of us would claim that God remains mysterious - hence the possibility of personal misunderstanding.

On our planet, nature is generally red in tooth and claw, and animals suffer rather unpleasantly as a rule. Not a great design, I'd say

It depends on what it is designed for. Do you know the mind of God?

3 October 2011 19:54

3 October 2011 at 20:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Sorry, I keep having a problem posting this - it disappeared once taking my correction with it. The following line:

The evidence of creation does not simply shows there is a creator

Should read

The evidence of creation simply shows there is a creator

3 October 2011 at 20:25  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"... NO EVIDENCE to support any existance of any big sky fairy"
Gosh, that's a striking image! Fancy your having such an original mind as to think of it! Have you not the wit to see that in your terms theistic belief is absurd by definition? Discussion of the actual subject is futile because of the conditions you impose beforehand.

3 October 2011 at 21:26  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Show a little understanding, Cranmer. Surely you knew that doctors have trouble with the concept of a life form higher than themselves.

3 October 2011 at 22:23  
Blogger Revd John P Richardson said...

I must admit, I haven't waded my way through all the comments, but has anyone noticed that Dr Harris seems to imply that 'normal Christians' both exist and are a good thing.

Therefore he presumably would assert that at least some Christian beliefs are right - or at least 'rightly held'. One would therefore like to know what these are.

Presumably they would include, as a minimum, the existence of a Creator God, the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, and a 'special relationship' between the two.

It would also, presumably, include some doctrinal and moral propositions - doctrinally perhaps that Jesus reveals God to us in a special way and that we somehow stand in need of this revelation.

I wonder what it would include about the cross, which is a universal Christian symbol, and I especially wonder what it would include about the resurrection.

In short, I'd love to hear from Dr Harris what it is that normal Christians believe and to what extent he holds them to be right in these beliefs or shares them himself!

3 October 2011 at 22:31  
Blogger Jimbo said...

Well Mr Harris' parents were South Africa, explains a lot.

3 October 2011 at 22:49  
Blogger Oswin said...

DanJo @ 17:25 :

Pre-noted DJ. That's why I said ''other'' and not 'all'.

3 October 2011 at 22:58  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

@Albert

"The evidence of creation simply shows there is a creator"

This is just a tautology I'm afraid. The "creator" could be many things other that than a God or devine being that you believ it to be.

Of course there are lots of unexplained things in science - and most scientists accept that this is the case - what you cannot say is that you have evidence (to any scientific standard) to support your view that your particular God is the explanation for all these unexplained matters. All I can say is that many of your Church's (and other religions) past theories with regard to unexplained matters haven't stood up to rigorous testing in the past - and that many in the churches have shown a reluctance to have their theories subject to scientific testing and often take many years to accept the results of those tests.

One can pick and chose one's theoreticians when it comes to untested theories - but some of us will pay some attention to the past results of the the theoreticians concerned and the methods that they use. However, to answer Rebel Saint's question to me - I don't believe that such judgements are solely the prerogative of the scientists - I know in my case that although I place a lot of weight on what science tells us - other things such as friends, background, the upbringing we receive can all colour an individuals views. What I am always supsicious of however is those who have a certainty of views and who fail to see their own circular arguments - and confuse their own faith with evidence.

3 October 2011 at 22:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

It appears Mr Tingey may have had faith at one time but appears to have encountered a CofE vicar he disagreed with - over creation of all things.

Faith lost is a tragic loss indeed and I do believe the man needs Christian love and not abuse. By rising to his childish and testing comments we merely reinforce his belief he is right.

I suspect he knows in his heart he is wrong. Pride is a very great vice.

3 October 2011 at 23:17  
Blogger Atlas shrugged said...

G Tingey

Wow with ignorance on that most obvious scale it is difficult to know where to start.

However with superficially stupid people like yourself it is best to start with a question.

If man was not created by an intelligence we as yet do not in anyway understand, and are conditioned by our own ignorance never to be able to fully comprehend, then why are we here, and what are we here for?

For if you think a belief system which involves great sky fairies is stupid, then how about the idea that Once Upon a Time a single cell life form mysteriously, and spontaneously came into existence all by its little old self from an extremely lucky cluster of inorganic rock particles?????????

Then very quickly, indeed instantly learned to reproduce itself, survive in a life destroying environment, bereft of any oxygen, or other food source, and then magically changed into something similar to a virus. Which is in itself so intricately complicated, that scaled up, it would make the space shuttle look as high tech as an oversized lego toy.

Then, if that were not utterly ridiculous enough, for no reason whatsoever, using no method that is in any way understood, or scientifically observed or verified, VERY slowly, and over a VERY long period of time, eventually turned into YOU.

And you think the Biblical 'Fairy Story' is somehow more so, then the Darwinian Evolution style one?

The TRUTH is that both Theism and Atheism require giant leaps of faith. The sooner both recognize this situation, the better for all concerned.

For Darwinian Evolution is undoubtedly a complete FAIRY STORY, however if you personally have a better explanation, then I am very keen to hear it.

3 October 2011 at 23:47  
Blogger Atlas shrugged said...

TWofTD

You are of course right, however sometimes it is good to give these types a little shakedown.

As I hope I have explained above, we, (as represented by mans collective scientific knowledge ) are as far away from understanding how we got here, or why we did so, then we have EVER been.

Man is not noted by how much he believes or pretends he knows, but by the almost infinite amount that he does not have any more then the slightest clue about.

4 October 2011 at 00:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Atlass

Do leave poor Mr Tingey be. He is clearly suffering post traumatic stress syndrom. His early questions about how and why we are here were evidiently dismissed by a hard line and insensitive vicar and this appears to have crushed his developing ego.

Given time and understanding he may recover. Attacking him will merely serve to increase his need to defend his position.

4 October 2011 at 00:10  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Albert
If "god" is NOT an occupant of this physical Unoiverse, then why bother?
There can be np communication otherwise, so, erm, game over.
Far too many christians do believe that "he" is in this universe....
I've met them.

Oswin
YOU are making the proposition, not me.
It's up to you to produce the evidence, OK?

WotDD
OK
I'm "Inviting the truth"
No problem - bring it on.
All I've seen so far are assertions.

Anglican
I've read Polkinghorne
He's a nutter, with no evidence.
Science REQUIRES evidence.
Religion does not.
Applies equally t islam, just in case you'd all forgotten ....

Office o IG
Theresa was vile
She ENCOURAGED suffering - until it was her turn - when she got the best medical care.
No hatred. Just revulsion at her vileness, and selfishness, and hypocrisy.
Stupid git.

Carl jacobs
ASSUMPTION pf a "creation" with no evidence.
Argument collapses, I think.
Life EVOLVED.....
The planet HAPPENED.
Got it yet?

WotDD
(LATER)
NO I was brough up "christian"
I have learnt better.
I'm not swallowing islam or communism, either.
They all have common (killing & torturing and blackmailing) failings - got it yet?

Atlas S
What ignorance - see postings above.
Show my "ignorance" please, or leave the field.
To claim that "Dariwinain evolution" (& your use of the originator's name is itself a give-away that you are an ignorant idiot) is a fairy-stopry shows that you are again either brainwashed or a liar, probably the former.

AGAIN
No evidence at all has been adduce to support your various cases.
Funny, that.

4 October 2011 at 01:01  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G. Tingey

ASSUMPTION pf a "creation" with no evidence. Argument collapses, I think.

Ummm ... no. I wasn't making an argument from evidence. I was making an argument from authority. It matters not at all to me whether you accept that authority. You see, you don't have to acknowledge an authority to be subject to it.

Life EVOLVED.....
The planet HAPPENED.
Got it yet?


Ummm .. no, I don't got it. I see two assertions that you pretend to base on science. In truth, you are making an argument from authority just like I am.

Of course, if you believe that life just evolved and the planet just happened, you might explain why killing a man is morally distinguishable from ripping carbon atoms off of a ring of benzene. After all, a man is nothing more than a really sophisticated collection of chemicals. What is death but a re-organization of atoms?

carl

4 October 2011 at 01:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Revd: "Therefore [Harris] presumably would assert that at least some Christian beliefs are right - or at least 'rightly held'. One would therefore like to know what these are."

I don't think that follows at all, especially as Harris is a humanist and presumably atheist. According to some here the majority of us in the UK are Christians. 71%, or more recently 68.5%, claim they are Christian or have a religious affiliation with Christianity. So, perhaps normal Christians are the core of those non-church-attending, apparently liberal ones.

Are the existence of those a Good Thing? Well, that can be answered using political criteria rather than theological ones. They're not Muslim, which is probably good if one likes the country the way it is. They're probably not obsessed with homosexuality but not adultery like the fundies, which is a very good thing for people like me. I doubt most of them actually think Jesus is god become man and their personal saviour, which puts them very much in the just-ticking-along-minding-their-own-business, take-religion-or-leave-it camp, I'd say.

4 October 2011 at 02:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It should be interesting if/when Sentamu becomes Archbishop of Canterbury as that ought to put the extreme rightwing Christians in a bit of a dilemma, his being an immigrant in the wave of East African immigration in the early 70s which brought Hinduism to our shores.

4 October 2011 at 02:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Of course, if you believe that life just evolved and the planet just happened, you might explain why killing a man is morally distinguishable from ripping carbon atoms off of a ring of benzene."

Value?

4 October 2011 at 03:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Well, that's the question, isn't it? There mere fact that you assert value doesn't mean you actually possess value. Who is it after all that establishes the valuation? The ring of benzene is a random event. The man is a random event. Both exist in a cold dead universe. Who cares or knows what happens to either?

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow the Vogons arrive to build that Intersteller Bypass.

carl

4 October 2011 at 04:31  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Oh dear [1]
My typos really were bad in that last one - still the hour was late....

Oh dear [2] ...
Carl J
IF as you claim evolution is not true, you must, presumably have some evidence to back this empty assertion up.
As usual, produce it, or shut up.

This seems to be the problem here.

NOT ONE OF YOU has any evidence for your assertions, other than a much-revised book of Bronze-Age goatherders' myths.

4 October 2011 at 07:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

This is just a tautology I'm afraid. The "creator" could be many things other that than a God or devine being that you believ it to be

Well that's just a picky point, as I was not arguing for the existence of God, I was showing that no one claims creation shows one religion to be true rather than another. As such, the notion of creation is shared by all religious people. If I were arguing for the existence of God, I would have used "nature" instead of "creation". You need to look at what I was responding to.

Of course there are lots of unexplained things in science - and most scientists accept that this is the case - what you cannot say is that you have evidence (to any scientific standard) to support your view that your particular God is the explanation for all these unexplained matters

You are making the same mistake as Tingey. In this case, you are confusing physics and metaphysics.

that your particular God is the explanation for all these unexplained matters

Please understand that in Catholic philosophy we are not interested in wheeling out God to deal with gaps in the science. We are interested in nature as a whole. Now if the physical universe (or multiverse) is contingent, it follows that whatever causes it cannot have the same contingent features as the universe. When you look at what such a being would be like, it is the God of monotheism. You really need to read some Aquinas before you carry on down your line of thinking.

What I am always supsicious of however is those who have a certainty of views and who fail to see their own circular arguments

Well, I have shown the point I was making was not circular, but that you had misinterpreted the thread. You have conceded science isn't the only what to know truth. So you've opened up space for faith within your epistemology.

4 October 2011 at 09:33  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey

If "god" is NOT an occupant of this physical Unoiverse, then why bother?
There can be np communication otherwise, so, erm, game over.
Far too many christians do believe that "he" is in this universe....
I've met them.


It has clearly escaped your attention that some of the greatest thinkers in the history of the world have been theists. Do you really think that they haven't got an answer to that comment? Why don't you look at Aquinas on prayer?

As for what some Christians think, are you really suggesting you can logically move from "some Christians think X" to "therefore all Christians think X"?

NOT ONE OF YOU has any evidence for your assertions

As I said before, there is no possibility of looking for evidence, until we know what the word "God" names. As you have shown no grasp of that word, there is no possibility of the discussion. On the other hand, you haven't produced any evidence for your naturalism.

4 October 2011 at 09:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G. Tingey

IF as you claim evolution is not true, you must, presumably have some evidence to back this empty assertion up.

So ... you demand I disprove via the scientific method the truth of something that has never been proven via the scientific method, or else simply accept that it is true. Yes, that makes good sense.

How about you explain the following:

1. How did a collection of chemicals become self-aware?

2. What is self-awareness?

3. What is the mind?

4. What is the connection between the mind and the brain?

5. Why is there information content in DNA?

6. How did the formation of even one RNA protein molecule overcome the mathematical improbability of its formation? (Order of 1 chance in 10 to the 125 power.)

7. How do irreducibly complex systems evolve?

8. What is life exactly?

Scientific answers, please. Meaning controlled repeatable experiments in laboratories.

carl

4 October 2011 at 12:50  
Blogger len said...

OOIG,(18:44)

You seem a tad confused.Are you sayin
g Jews cannot become Christians?.

You seem unfamiliar with the Biblical description of salvation and the new Birth,the new Creation( but rather adhere to the Catholic re-vamping of the Old Creation which is not God`s idea but the idea of men)

Why am I not surprised!.

4 October 2011 at 13:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "There mere fact that you assert value doesn't mean you actually possess value."

If I were the only person in the world then I would have no value except for that which arises from self-awareness. For a collection of people with language, value arises from their interaction.

A Picasso has significant value but at the end of the day, it's just paint on some canvas or some lines sketched on a page. We agree a value between ourselves.

However, it's more than that. A perfect reproduction of a Picasso is not the same as the original Picasso once you know it's a reproduction irrespective of what someone might pay for it. There's something about the fact that Picasso has actually made the strokes that matters. That is, it elicts a personal response.

You're just using a place-holder to externalise the valuation to give it more solidity. It's the same with the religious and morals. That you guys do that does not make it so. You may be essentially valueless, or of no more value than an amoeba, even if there is a god. I completely accept that, I suspect you don't or perhaps even can't.

4 October 2011 at 13:25  
Blogger len said...

OOIG, Colossians 3-11,

The New Creation in Christ Jesus.

'Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.'

4 October 2011 at 13:33  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Albert

I have never said that there wasn't space for faith (I am agnostic rather than atheist) - just that I don't share it. Of course all sorts of metaphysical explanations can be provided for that which there is still uncertainty (and which by their nature cannot be subject to empirical testing).

All I can say is that time and time again we have seen such explanations fall apart under the weight of empirical evidence when the theories resulting from those explanations are tested - which then leads to a prolonged period of denial by some of the proponents (just look at carl jacobs claim that the theory of evolution hasn't been proven by scientific method for starters) and then an eventual rehashing of the theory so that it confines itself to those matters where scientific uncertainty continues to exist and greater care is taken to ensure that further awkward empirical/scientific testing is not possible. Having been fooled many times by a dubious salesman you seem to be asking us to go back to the same salesman because he is only limiting himself to making claims which cannot be currently tested - would you buy a used car from such a salesman? One would have thought that with a little bit of intelligent design God could have come up with a way of giving his followers (in all the various religous sects) a more robust and consistent explanation as to the mysterious manner in which he worked. One could even argue that his failure to do so might be one piece of evidence pointing to his non existence - but that would probably be seen as a venture into the realms of metaphysics.

4 October 2011 at 13:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "The man is a random event. Both exist in a cold dead universe. Who cares or knows what happens to either?"

I care. You care. Other people care. The universe is not cold and dead, it's variously completely cold through to very hot indeed and we're alive to experience it along with a whole bunch of other animals. I have no god yet I see beauty all around me and enjoy being alive. Riddle me that!

"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow the Vogons arrive to build that Intersteller Bypass."

Well, quite. I think the Mormons can actually cope with that in their version of religion, I'm not sure about you guys.

4 October 2011 at 13:36  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

G. Tingey said... ``Theresa was vile She ENCOURAGED suffering"

Evidence? or are you merely parroting -without citation- the calumnous statements of C. Hitchins.
It really is vile to destroy of a person's reputation on the basis of lies.

4 October 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Philip Pennance

It is also pretty vile to accuse Christopher Hitchens of lying and being malicious without providing any basis for your claim.

4 October 2011 at 14:19  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

tory boys never grow up said..."It is also pretty vile to accuse Christopher Hitchens of lying and being malicious without providing any basis for your claim."

See, for example, the review Hating Mother Teresaby By William A. Donohue

4 October 2011 at 14:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

I can say is that time and time again we have seen such explanations fall apart under the weight of empirical evidence when the theories resulting from those explanations are tested

An example would be helpful. You are clearly talking scientifically. What do you think the Church has used God to explain that has later been explained scientifically?

Having been fooled many times by a dubious salesman you seem to be asking us to go back to the same salesman

For you to say that at the time it appears that some thing may have travelled faster than the speed of light, seems somewhat anti-scientific. Science develops precisely by falsifying what has gone before - but that does not defeat scientific authority.

One would have thought that with a little bit of intelligent design God could have come up with a way of giving his followers (in all the various religous sects) a more robust and consistent explanation as to the mysterious manner in which he worked.

The evidence and reasoning is perfectly clear. Unfortunately, our damaged state and our various abilities sometimes prevent us from following it. That is why he confirms what can be known by natural reason with revelation and grace.

One could even argue that his failure to do so might be one piece of evidence pointing to his non existence

I can't see how, as in order to do that, you would need to know all his intentions, in which case, you would already know God existed.

4 October 2011 at 14:37  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Thank you Philip - since we appear to be conducting arguments by proxy it would only be appropriate to also look first hand at what Hitchens actually says on the matter - a good summary can be found here.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

4 October 2011 at 14:38  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

As Donohue points out,

His (Hitchins') book, by the way, is a 98 page essay printed on eight-and-a-half by five-and-a-half inch paper, one that is so small it could easily fit into the opening of a sewer. It contains no footnotes, no citations of any kind.

4 October 2011 at 14:40  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"An example would be helpful"

Lets start at the beginning of Genesis, we could then move onto Archbishop Ussher's pronouncement that the World started in 4022BC

"but that does not defeat scientific authority."

But that is the point it does - if a theory doesn't stand up to evidence, you have to test your results and then come up with a new theory to be tested pdq.

"The evidence and reasoning is perfectly clear. Unfortunately, our damaged state and our various abilities sometimes prevent us from following it."

But for us mere mortals how can we distinguish which religous sect is on message and which are damaged goods - there is rather a large range to chose from.

"I can't see how, as in order to do that, you would need to know all his intentions, in which case, you would already know God existed"

So God's intention was to confuse and mislead? Well if he does exist he has certainly been sucessful.

4 October 2011 at 15:04  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I think this quote by Donohoe in his review of Hitchens books speaks volumes about the man and his concern for citations and evidence to support his arguments.

"Speaking of Stalin, it is not unimportant that Hitchens' father was a gunrunner for Old Joe, proving once again the maxim "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

By gunrunner for Old Joe, Donoehoe is referring to Hitchen's father role Royal Navy in the Artic convoys in the 2nd World War - and given that Hitchen's (junior) makes no secret that he was formerly a Trotsykist - I somehow doubt that the Stalinist label sticks there. I'm afraid it would be rather easier to make a case from history that as Donohoe is a Roman Catholic he clearly is a supporter of Adolf Hitler.

4 October 2011 at 15:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TBNGU: "So God's intention was to confuse and mislead? Well if he does exist he has certainly been sucessful."

This mysterious thing really doesn't sound at all convincing to me whereas one alternative, that people are externalising their own desires roughly along 'corporate' lines, is rather more so. It fits better with the evidence. One would have though that making the leap of faith ought to lead to rather more from the Lord of All Creation.

One would also have thought that true free will is being able to select from alternatives with the facts in front of us, which is presumably what the angels did. That is, knowing god exists but choosing not to follow its purposes and designs.

Why should we have to choose between Allah, YHWH, Krishna, etc? Why should be have to choose between a bare church with an altar, a church covered in what appears to be idols, a church which is a meeting place, etc? Why does that matter? And so on.

4 October 2011 at 15:19  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

Lets start at the beginning of Genesis

When did the Church say that Genesis is meant as a scientific explanation of creation?

we could then move onto Archbishop Ussher's pronouncement that the World started in 4022BC

No, let's not. Ussher was a Protestant and nothing to do with me. In any case, Ussher's view that the world started then is not an explanation of anything, not intended as such. Neither was it held universally among Protestants, though unfortunately, it made it into the KJV which guaranteed its popularity.

As I'm a Catholic let's look at Catholic authors like Augustine. He denies that we should take the seven days as 24 hour periods and says that in something so obscure we should be prepared to correct our reading in the light of new evidence. Given that scientific matters can be known without reference to scripture, Augustine says:

it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics...Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren...For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

Writers from the early Church taking similar views as Augustine could be cited almost ad infinitum.

if a theory doesn't stand up to evidence

Of course, but you don't ditch science if a scientific theory fails - even if it has been very widely held to be true. Similarly, you don't ditch Christianity if, on a scientific matter, it turns out to have held something which, though reasonable by the science of one time, is false by a later science.

But for us mere mortals how can we distinguish which religous sect is on message and which are damaged goods

I thought we were talking about theism. That is open to demonstration. Which kind of theistic belief goes beyond philosophy.

So God's intention was to confuse and mislead?

So because I said "you would need to know all God's intentions", you are able to infer that I do know God's intentions and that his intention was to confuse and mislead?!

4 October 2011 at 15:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

This mysterious thing really doesn't sound at all convincing to me

Well then you are in the same category as those who do not know what "God" names. Just think about it. I hardly know my own wife's intentions half the time, and you think there's something surprising about saying we cannot know God's intentions (a priori at least)? He's an infinite being beyond the universe!

One would also have thought that true free will is being able to select from alternatives with the facts in front of us

Which is where revelation and grace come in.

Allah, YHWH, Krishna, etc? Why should be have to choose between a bare church with an altar, a church covered in what appears to be idols, a church which is a meeting place, etc? Why does that matter? And so on

Surely, you cannot love someone whose identity is unknown?

4 October 2011 at 15:29  
Blogger Oswin said...

G.Tingey @ 01:01:

I ''made the proposition'' none too subtly I fear, that perhaps you ain't anywhere near as bright as you might think you are. That's why I mentioned Einstein's opinion, for you to counter, should you be brave enough to do so?

4 October 2011 at 15:46  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

Tory boy: The Slate article which you quote is merely a two page rehash, again without footnotes or citations, of Hitchin's calumnious book. He asks, "Where did that money, and all the other donations, go?". He well knows that her Order runs orphanages, AIDS hospices and works with refugees, the blind, disabled, aged and poor, worldwide.

Hitchins criticizes Mother Theresa for receiving medical treatment in a California clinic. That really is a bizare accusation about a person who founded an AIDS Hospice in San Francisco. Is not Hitchins receiving treatment in a US clinic? What is the problem of receiving medical attention in a "California" clinic, or indeed in any clinic?

The unfortunate Hitchins has a monkey on his back. Please pray for him.

Note to G. Tingley: Please cite your sources.

4 October 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Albert

So when exactly did the Catholic Church reject the literal interpreation of Genesis, and when did it accept Darwin's theory of evolution and how long after it excommunicated Galileo and placed him under house arrest did it take it to accept that the Earth rotated around the Sun?

4 October 2011 at 16:13  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Phillip Pennance

I think you should note that Donohoe has subsequently credited Hitchens with having intellectual honesty - I'm sure you can find the citation if you Google. You perhaps should also note that there are citations within Hitchen's essay (there are also a couple of footnotes within the introduction) they are just given within the text rather than as separate footnotes.

I shall just wish Christopher well and place my hopes in medical science for his recovery or failing that as comfortable death as is possible. I shall also read and listen to what he actually writes and says (rather than relying on what I think he might be saying). I am sure he much rather such a course of action rather than prayers.

4 October 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

So when exactly did the Catholic Church reject the literal interpreation of Genesis, and when did it accept Darwin's theory of evolution and how long after it excommunicated Galileo and placed him under house arrest did it take it to accept that the Earth rotated around the Sun?

Your argument began by suggesting the Church's explanations for things (i.e. God) had later been shown to be false. I cannot see how any of these examples supports that contention.

So when exactly did the Catholic Church reject the literal interpreation of Genesis

Surely the burden of proof rests on you to show that the Catholic Church ever accepted the literal interpretation of Genesis?

when did it accept Darwin's theory of evolution

Again, surely not the right question. If you want to show the Church was scientifically wrong, you need to show that it once rejected evolution.

how long after it excommunicated Galileo and placed him under house arrest did it take it to accept that the Earth rotated around the Sun

Not anything like as quickly as it ought to have done, given the principles it holds on science. The Galileo case is complicated by political factors, the fact that science was still in its infancy and the boundaries between it and other disciplines were unclear, the fact that the science was not in fact conclusively in favour of Galileo in any case, and the fact that the Church did not in fact define on this matter. It is revealing that you have to go right back that far, to this, not terribly good example, to prove a point that is different from your original contention.

As Aquinas says:

since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it, if it be proved with certainty to be false; lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.

While St Robert Bellarmine, who dealt with Galileo said:

I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun was in the center of the universe and the earth in the third sphere, and that the sun did not travel around the earth but the earth circled the sun, then it would be necessary to proceed with great caution in explaining the passages of Scripture which seemed contrary, and we would rather have to say that we did not understand them than to say that something was false which has been demonstrated.But I do not believe that there is any such demonstration; none has been shown to me.

4 October 2011 at 17:12  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

As for your accusation that Hitchens is lying about where the money went - I fail to see how asking a question can amount to lying. Hitchens also asked why there had been no audit of Mother Theresa's charity - isn't it somewhat surprising given the scale of its operation that even to date there has been no such audit? If you wish to provide me with a citation as to where evidence of such an audit can be found I would be delighted - but when I look all I can find is even more up to date concerns about where the Missionaries of Charity financial management.

4 October 2011 at 17:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len (4 October 2011 13:22)

The Inspector is a tad not confused.

The Inspector observes that Christ died on the cross for Jews, and that he was the Jewish messiah (Yes I know, Avi, you’re still waiting…). It was only after that did his followers allow gentiles to know the Word. Rather handy really as it allowed the Inspector to hear it.

Incidentally you weasel, you still haven’t explained how it is that born agains can pour such scorn on the RCC and Anglican Communion, when without established churches you types wouldn’t have heard of the Word. Rather like a stranger giving you instructions to get somewhere, and then flooring him for his trouble, don’t you think. (And no evasive tactics this time, answer said question.)

4 October 2011 at 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "Which is where revelation and grace come in."

It could start by revealing to Christians that Catholics should abandon their allegiance to the organisation which has taken over Christianity in the West, or to Protestants that Luther was wrong, or to the Eastern Orthodox lot that Original Sin is a valid concept, etc etc etc. I find it hugely suspicious that various Christians of different sects can tell me that god is a separate identity personally known to them in their heads as real as someone sitting in the same room yet cannot agree on some of the basics such as trans-substantiation. It shouts out: delusion (in the most polite sense of the word), or perhaps wishful thinking based on taught beliefs and ideas.

Moreover, whatever the cause of our reality I have to say I find it rather outlandish to think that it was created so that a weird species, amongst a vast array of other weird species, on a planet at the arse end of the universe can exist to worship it. It seems astonishing that people can think that we're at the centre of it all now that we know that the universe is more vast than we can even conceive rather than just sky around our local environment. Surely this has all just grown up from the quirks of a self-aware species coming to terms with its own mortality?

4 October 2011 at 17:38  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Albert

So when Pope John Paul said this in 2000 and Pius XII made his comments back in 1950 they were actually trying to correct the view that the Catholic Church rejected the theory of evolution? All I can say is that if it was in effect reserving its position for nearly 150 years, while allowing various priests and bishops to make statements which it knew might have been in error it does demonstrate a certain level of managerial incompetence and an ability to offer the prompt and practical guidance that most of its members might expect (although they would no doubt accept that criticism was not the appropriate manner in which to respond).

"In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points.... Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

4 October 2011 at 17:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Isn't that what reason actually tells us, whether or not we can cross the Ts and dot the Is on how it all hangs together?

4 October 2011 at 17:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

I find it hugely suspicious that various Christians of different sects can tell me that god is a separate identity personally known to them in their heads as real as someone sitting in the same room yet cannot agree on some of the basics such as trans-substantiation. It shouts out: delusion

I agree with you entirely - that's the Catholic contention. There is no privately privileged way of knowing these things. The revelation has an ecclesial shape to it. As scripture says:

So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
[16] speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
[17] You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability.
2 Pet 3.

And

Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
[31] And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?"
Acts 8.

It seems astonishing that people can think that we're at the centre of it all now that we know that the universe is more vast than we can even conceive rather than just sky around our local environment. Surely this has all just grown up from the quirks of a self-aware species coming to terms with its own mortality

Actually, I think Medieval people thought the universe was much larger than people today thought they did. They also didn't think they were the centre of it - they reserved that spot for hell. They also had to face a problem that we don't: a belief that heavenly bodies were more special than them. What makes the difference is not some kind of geographical proof, but the fact that we are rational and self-aware. We are capable of relationship with God.

coming to terms with its own mortality?

But if you read the Bible, for quite a lot of the OT, they don't seem to have been aware of immortality. Your one-size fits all, psychoanalysis of all religious people, not only exceeds the evidence, it is contradicted by it.

4 October 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I find it interesting that a Catholic Pope was able to accept the theory of evolution 141 years after its original publication (or slightly more weasly to accept it as more than a hypothesis) while some Christian denominations do not appear to have yet advanced so far. Can the theory of evolution be applied to religous sects/

4 October 2011 at 18:00  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

tory boys never grow up said...I fail to see how asking a question can amount to lying

Surely you are is feigning naivety when you "fail to see" that, when embedded in the context a calumnious book, a question could play the role of a lie.

It took me about 30 second to find these audit reports and income tax statements.
http://www.mtrds.com/annual_details.php I don't doubt that with a little effort you could find more.

4 October 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger len said...

OOIG,

Name calling is the last resort of the desperate, I would have thought you were above that?.

I think I have already explained(exhaustively)the reasons why I am opposed to Catholicism.
I think you are confusing the Word 'Church' with the religious organisation which meets in 'steeple buildings' with all the ensuing rigmarole.
The word used in the New Testament for “church” is the Greek word ekklesia which literally means a “gathering” or an “assembly” of believers. It is the means and the vehicle that God has chosen to fill all things with the glory and preeminence of His Son. The saints gather together in order to manifest Christ and to encourage and build one another up in Him. Each member manifests a measure of Christ thus bringing fullness to His Body. (Eph. 4:13, 16)

First of all, the whole idea of church membership is unbiblical. When we become Christians, we instantly become members of the body of Christ (the ekklesia or assembly). These modern membership requirements 'joining the Church or the denomination are nothing more than adding to what Christ has already done for us. Because we are “in Christ,” we are already members of the universal Ekklesia.

One last point (and very important) you can join the 'church 'in fact anyone can join the 'church but you cannot join the Ekklesia the Body of Christ you have to be born, or should I say re-born into it!.

I hope that you OOIG have not decided to join the Dodo and his chosen source of action which is...Ask a question..then refuse any answer which (in his mind at least)gives the impression that he has 'won the argument.
This is not a very productive means at coming to a revealing of the truth of the situation but rather a means of concealing the truth.

4 October 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

tory boys never grow up

How very dishonest not quoting the most pertinent sections of the Pope's address in 1996 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Or did you fail to comprehend it?

Let me help:

"And to tell the truth, rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of the plural is required here—in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversity of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and, beyond that, of theology."

"... the theories of evolution which, because of the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit either as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a simple epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. They are therefore unable to serve as the basis for the dignity of the human person."

Doread the full text and if you have any questions then ask.

4 October 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

So when Pope John Paul said this in 2000 and Pius XII made his comments back in 1950 they were actually trying to correct the view that the Catholic Church rejected the theory of evolution? All I can say is that if it was in effect reserving its position for nearly 150 years, while allowing various priests and bishops to make statements which it knew might have been in error it does demonstrate a certain level of managerial incompetence and an ability to offer the prompt and practical guidance that most of its members might expect

I don't really understand the first sentence - what does the "this" refer to?

All I can say is that if it was in effect reserving its position for nearly 150 years, while allowing various priests and bishops to make statements which it knew might have been in error it does demonstrate a certain level of managerial incompetence and an ability to offer the prompt and practical guidance that most of its members might expect

The Church has no authority to comment on matters of science as such, so there's no general reason for the Church to comment on evolution. Lots of things go uncommented on by the Church.

If you look at the worries expressed by various people in the Church about evolution, these are quite precise philosophical concerns, not really scientific ones.

I find it interesting that a Catholic Pope was able to accept the theory of evolution 141 years after its original publication

Or rather less time, according to your own comments.

or slightly more weasly to accept it as more than a hypothesis

There's nothing weasly there. He was just using the language very correctly. It's not the Church's role to define on science. If he had gone further and in time to come something similar happens to evolution as may be happening to the speed of light then all you secularists would be jumping up and down showing how unscientific the Church is!

4 October 2011 at 18:08  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

Martin Luther disagreed with your position on the Church! Another reformed, reformed, variant of protestantism? It's esay toprotest against Rome. Not so easy to offer sound a alternative.

Most Christians understand the biblical text as it should be understood. Just think where we'd be today if every Christian was entitled to make it up as they went along like you do. Total chaos in the basic doctrines.

One example:

Tell me where in the bible it says clearly that Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate, completely God and completely man from conception, two natures in one, and He is the Third Person of the One God who has Three Persons.

4 October 2011 at 18:17  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

@ Philip Pennance

"It took me about 30 second to find these audit reports and income tax statements.
http://www.mtrds.com/annual_details.php I don't doubt that with a little effort you could find more."

No what you found was the accounts of a very small charity with an annual income of c300k rupees (c4K) - what I'm looking for is something for the main Missonaries of Charities body with over 5000 employees.

4 October 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector,

......aaaaand still waiting.

4 October 2011 at 18:43  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

tory boys never grow up said..."Hitchens also asked why there had been no audit of Mother Theresa's charity"

It is a responsibiltiy of governments to ask for audits -or not.
Does a government(s) possible failure(s) to audit an organization indicate wrongdoing by a particular individual?
Does a governments (conjectured) failure to audit an organization entitle one to apply the label vile to the leader of that organization?

As Donahue pointed out "Someone who is confident about the logic of his argument doesn't need to stoop to the gutter to make his point."

4 October 2011 at 19:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Btw, does anyone know where our resident Northman is? Raiding Muscovy? Fighting the Skraelingjar? A rough exam in Anger Management Studies? Or, he may just be...watching....

Viking, call home.

4 October 2011 at 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len

The Inspector is not one to ask a question and then ignore the answer. That’s not what he is about. Don’t worry about the ‘weasel’ tag, just the Inspector's little way (Tingey called IG a ‘stupid git’. IG doesn’t mind that much, mainly because he can’t get his hands on Tingey...at the moment !).

We are at opposite ends, that’s for sure, but have you heard of the ‘spirit’ of Christ ? What IG means is that you born agains are taking the bible a little too literally. We don’t want you ending up like those Witness people. Christianity for today should be the slogan, and an organised house (church) made of bricks and mortar it’s centre. On the subject of taking the bible too literally, what about this take on the Exodus. The jews are working in slavery near the Red sea. A Tsunami comes up that stretch of water, and the lads leg it. By the time Pharaoh has his pursuers' half way across, the sea comes back. A bit more plausible than your man Moses raising his stick up, what !

Avi Do you think you chaps have 'missed the bus' so to speak. (A popular English expression !)

4 October 2011 at 19:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector,

O, no, 'twas the wrong coach. Thanks for caring.

4 October 2011 at 19:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "But if you read the Bible, for quite a lot of the OT, they don't seem to have been aware of immortality. Your one-size fits all, psychoanalysis of all religious people, not only exceeds the evidence, it is contradicted by it."

If you take coming to terms with their own mortality always means thinking about immortality then perhaps so. I was talking in general terms where asking age old questions like: Why are we here? Why do bad things happen to good people and vice versa? Questions that tend to arise when one knows one will die at some point. So, no, you're connecting too many dots to make the picture you want again.

But anyway, the pharaoh usually associated with (say) Moses was Ramesses II who most definitely believed in an afterlife. The pyramids were at least a 1000 years old at that point. Moses must have known about Egyptian religion and expectations about death and after-lives and stuff. He lived for a time amongst people who did.

4 October 2011 at 19:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

I was talking in general terms where asking age old questions like: Why are we here? Why do bad things happen to good people and vice versa?

Well, if you're going to make "coming to terms with mortality" that broad, then I think more or less anything could be included under the heading - sport or music, for example. In fact, I think these questions might even be more pressing if one wasn't coming to terms with mortality.

Moses must have known about Egyptian religion and expectations about death and after-lives and stuff. He lived for a time amongst people who did

Yes, and yet he didn't seem to transmit that - or if he did (and let's face it, the Jews themselves lived among the Egyptians) the tradition didn't make much of an impression.

4 October 2011 at 20:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

*shrug*

Mr Horse, meet Water. When you're thirsty, please help yourself Mr Horse.

4 October 2011 at 20:30  
Blogger Albert said...

?

4 October 2011 at 20:35  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Philip Pennance

Plenty of organisations subject themselves to voluntary audits without the need for the State to make such audits mandatory. Given that Missionaries of Charity receive vast amounts in donations from the public - one would have thought that they might have felt the need to account for how the money raised was spent, and given that there are not a few accusations around about the money having been mispent (just Google Missionaries of Charity) you might have thought that Roman Catholic Church would want to demonstrate that their candidate for sainthood was beyond reproach.

Given that Donahoe has clearly stooped to the gutter with his cheap jibe about Hitchens father role in the Artic convoys - I find it somewhat contradictory that you seem to want rely on his arguments.

4 October 2011 at 20:48  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi

Our Norse friend is taking a well earned rest and hopefully will return refreshed soon. He has a unique way of hitting the point on the head - sometimes alongwith the person!

Meantime, let's pray for his wellbeing. I'm sure the thought that a 'Cattylick' and a 'Joooowe' are praying for him will give him comfort.

4 October 2011 at 21:24  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

I'm still waiting for an answer.

Most Christians understand the biblical text as it should be understood. Just think where we'd be today if every Christian was entitled to make it up as they went along like you do. Total chaos in the basic doctrines.

"Tell me where in the bible it says clearly that Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate, completely God and completely man from conception, two natures in one, and He is the Third Person of the One God who has Three Persons.

4 October 2011 at 21:28  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Just to help len

"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)"

But then to support Dodo

"The Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)


When you guys have worked out clearly what the message of Christianity is then perhaps us agnostics and atheists might be able to engage in the debate on a more sensible level. There are also rather a lot of other contradictions in the Bible you might wish to address - I can still recall the delight of finding that there were 14 disciples in my scripture lessons!

4 October 2011 at 22:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo,

Thanks for the update on the great Geat. Exhaustion is a an occupational hazzard for his sort, but whether he deserves a rest is a matter for debate.

Are you missing a cousin, Dodo? There is is this odd bird with a dark green head, a purple neck and a pointed sharp beak. It just sat on the side of the curb and didn't run or fly away. Looks clipped at the wings and is possibly exotic, as I've never seen anything like it in Canada. It actually followed me down the driveway and didn't drill a hole through me when I picked it up and brought it in. Either it's tame, injured or dumber than a turnip. In any case, the Humane Society will pick it up presently, check it out and find it a home if no one claims it. They don't euthanize animals in most parts of Canada....oh, but abortion's free on demand.

4 October 2011 at 23:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

tory boys never grow up said...So you say(Ernst is apolotical) but obviously the same applies to halfwits as you show, MONOTONOUSLY!

Do a bit of DIY for a few days and find it has all gone to the dogs!

Let Ernst assist the poor boy.

"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)"

Read in full lad before making unknowledgeable statements

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.

QED In essence, will and purpose!

"The Father is greater than I." The clue is in the name dumbo and greek term ("meizon," "greater") office/position,

See Genesis 41:40, which reads,

"You [Joseph] shall be over my [Pharaoh] house, and all my [Pharaoh] people shall order themselves as you [Joseph] command. Only as regards the throne will I [Pharaoh] be greater than you [Joseph].”

Pharaoh was "greater" than Joseph only by office or position, but not by nature. The nature of Pharaoh and Joseph were the same, that is, they are both human beings. "meizon," "greater".

or

John 13:16
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
("meizon," "greater")

Did you ever receive a decent school education in English Language? Curse those comprehensive educations!

"I can still recall the delight of finding that there were 14 disciples in my scripture lessons!" You then are like a fool, who is always easily pleased!

He chose twelve, who were the closest to Jesus but many joined during his ministry both men and women. All but the twelve turned away in John 6:66, and Jesus notes that though he chose the 12, one was a devil. So only 11 were true disciples.

Firstly, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew,(2) James the son of Zebedee,(3) and his brother John (4), Phillip (5), and Bartholomew (6) Thomas (7)and Matthew the tax collector,(8) James son of Alphaeus,(9) and Thaddaeus;(10) Simon the Zealot(11) and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him(12)

Take it that you are taliking about mention of Lebbaeus and Simon the Canaanite who are Thaddaeus and Simon the Zealot!

Lebbaeus surnamed Thaddeus, is Judas brother of James. "Lebbaeus" means "a man of heart." "haddaeus" means "large-hearted" or "courageous." These were terms of endearment, nicknames of the second apostle named Judas. They are one and the same.

Simon the Canaanite is Simon Zelotes. The term "Zelotes" means "zealot." "Canaanite" simply describes where he is from, and "Zelotes" tells us he was a political zealot. Same chap.

You Poor boy and what a rubbish RI tutor you had! No wonder you are agnostically inclined.

Study more if you can be bothered!

Ernst despairs greatly O Lord.

Ernst Blofeld

4 October 2011 at 23:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernesty

Oh, if only you would turn with a more open mind to the real teachings of Rome!

Avi

English Viking has had his troubles and is in need of rest. Trust me. Hopefully he is watching and knows he has friends here.

Poor bird if he has had his wings clipped and you're a good soul for caring for him. Me, I've never experienced flight as God in His wisdom halted evolution in its tracks. The wings are there but my body is the wrong shape. Feet firmly planted on the ground in my case. One has to accept one's limitations in this life.

4 October 2011 at 23:51  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

tory boy pleaded ...

"But for us mere mortals how can we distinguish which religous sect is on message and which are damaged goods - there is rather a large range to chose from.

We're all mere mortals.

Just stick with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, established by Christ Himself and given His authority, and you'll be fine. There are too many protestant variants and I agree this can be confusing for those seeking the truth.

5 October 2011 at 00:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Well, Dodo, it turns out I know much less about the birds of Canada than tory boys here knows about his scriptures, judging by Mr Ernst's stern corrections. The Society folks just came by and identified your relative as a wild Blackbird. The wings weren't clipped, but its normally long tail was nearly gone, which is why it looked like black microbus with a beak to me. Evidently from an attack by a cat, and when that happens, they can't fly. The tame bit was just its mode of resignation and coming to terms with the Almighty. Not so fast, though; off to the Society's vet it went, to our youngest's sorrow, then onto a wildlife habitat when it gets back on its feet...er...wings? Is it then possible that perhaps you only need a tail to fly? You can thumb your nose at evolution if your wife will let you have the old feather duster...I leave the attachment details to you.

5 October 2011 at 00:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Way of the Dodo said

"Oh, if only you would turn with a more open mind to the real teachings of Rome! " It has been closed towards it BECAUSE of the teachings of Rome!

Sorry my bird butb Ernst studys the Word of God ernestly (pun intended) and has arrived at his immoveable postion. His eternal destiny rests on obeying Christ's commandments explicitly.

£Just stick with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, established by Christ Himself and given His authority, and you'll be fine. There are too many protestant variants and I agree this can be confusing for those seeking the truth."
* Giggles loudly* "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones" You Evangelical Papist, you.

5 October 2011 at 00:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ernst Laughed Out Loud

Hit the preview button to view to check how it looked/alter mistakes and it published. AAAhhh!

Ernst hates technology, it sometimes has a will of it's own!

Ernsty

5 October 2011 at 00:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Ernst,

I'm not at all sure that your interpretation of John 14 will do - at least not when taken sola scriptura.

On your principles, "greater than" means only "in terms of office". How then will you interpret:

I tell you, something greater than the temple is here

By your reckoning, Jesus and the temple share the same nature but are only distinct by office.

Or this:

The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
[42] The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here


If Christ, is not by nature greater than Jonah or the Solomon, you have defeated the incarnation, somehow - which was Dodo's point.

5 October 2011 at 09:47  
Blogger Albert said...

(Cont, I am having problems posting)

It's not of course that I am meaning to raise doubts about the doctrine of God or of Christ. It is the self-defeating sola scriptura doctrine that is my target. Scripture like any text can be read in many ways so the unstable twist it to their own destruction (c.f. 2 Pet.3).

5 October 2011 at 09:51  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
In your opinion are all the rest of us who do not accept Rome & all its teachings & Papal Bulls lost, going to Hell & accursed?.

5 October 2011 at 11:55  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Ernst

I've done a little bit of Googling and it appears that my (Grammar School) Scripture (note RI we weren't instructed in other religions in those days) teacher may have well had a point as well as a sense of humour.

The two other disciples referred to in the Bible were Judas, son of James (Luke 6:14-16) and Nathanael (John 21:2).

I think the point that my teacher was trying to make was that the Bible was full of contradictions and should not be taken too literally, especially given the time and circumstances in which it was written. Personally, I'm not too concerned if Jesus changed the membership of his central committee from time to time and then tried a bit of airbrushing to the records - he wouldn't be the first leader to have done so!

It is revealing that you see it as the job of RI teachers at school to indoctrinate their pupils in Christianity and stop lost sheep such as myself straying into agnosticism. I'm not sure what the Education Acts (then or now) say on the matter.

5 October 2011 at 12:49  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Ernst

As for you lecture on John 10 and 14 - of course you can argue for one particular meaning and others can demonstrably argue for something else. All this points out to me is that the Bible is not very well written at all - and as the basis for what purports to be a major body of current thinking it leaves something to be desired. There are pretty good words and phrases for expressing the nuance you suggest, if that is what is intended (and you can all agree!), so why not use them?

5 October 2011 at 13:46  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

All this points out to me is that the Bible is not very well written at all...There are pretty good words and phrases for expressing the nuance you suggest, if that is what is intended (and you can all agree!), so why not use them

May I come in here on this one? The main theme of the Bible is God. God who is utterly beyond us in mystery and majesty. Sometimes, in order to give us a glimpse of that wonderful reality, the Bible has to give us paradoxes.

Biblical authors too, did not always have the best way of expressing things - and it's hardly surprising, given the mysteries they suddenly found themselves asked to explore. It took centuries really to get a decent language of speaking about the incarnation and the Trinity. The Bible gives us the starting point, not the finished object - that's one of the reasons why the shape of the Christian revelation is ecclesial. It's one of the reasons why the private judgment mentality (though it may appeal to our individualist age which despises authority higher than the our own individual ego) is nevertheless unsuited to expounding the Christian faith - and gets muddled up - as you have shown.

5 October 2011 at 14:18  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Alfred

Leaving aside the old question as to whether the Bible is a work of fiction, fact or faction, I tend to agree with your approach of not expecting too much out of old books, although I am conscious that there other Christians who have a fundamentally different view. If you asked a collection of people all to write their recollections of events that took place up to 100-150 years previously, some of whom had an ongoing interest in the manner in which those events are interpreted I’m afraid I would expect rather a lot of contradictions and a lack of clarity. Just look at the current spate of memoirs from members of the last Labour Government if you need further evidence of this phenomenon. Similarly, such a book would inevitably age and not address changing times and circumstances from when it was originally issued – you also see much the same position in politics where certain people continue to try and apply the precise prescriptions of politicians and their tracts written many years previously.

5 October 2011 at 15:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

their recollections of events that took place up to 100-150 years previously

The OT perhaps, but the NT texts are all much closer to the events than that. However, the point you make about memoirs is important. Every account of an event reflects some kind of stance or interpretation, reflecting a wider meta-narrative or set of commitments. I would say however, that the inspiration of the Bible is precisely in the interpretation and reflection of the events. After all, there were clearly plenty of people who met Jesus, who could have given a perfectly decent eye-witness account of him, but who had no idea what he was about.

5 October 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Albert

Yes - you are right re the timing of the writing of the NT - which in most cases was written c30-40 years after the event. Perhaps a current parallel would be to look at how those who were inspired by Mrs Thatcher might vary in their accounts of her 1979 Government - and whether anyone would consider their accounts to be objective.

5 October 2011 at 16:53  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Oh dear.

Now you've started arguing exegisis, amongst yourseleves, and quoting the "bible" as if it meant something serious, rather than being a much-modified (and very carefully selected-&-censored-at-Nicea) colection of Bronze-Age goatherders' myths.

NONE of whihc has any collection to objective reality.
I sppose I shouild not be suprised.

I have asked, several times for evidence, which you repeatedly assert exists.
But you refuse to produce it.

I wonder why that might be??

5 October 2011 at 17:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

Perhaps a current parallel would be to look at how those who were inspired by Mrs Thatcher might vary in their accounts of her 1979 Government - and whether anyone would consider their accounts to be objective

Yes, good point. It rather depends on what one is doing, I suppose. If one is only wishing to give clear history and a real account of what happened then objectivity is important. If however, the aim is wider than that - to give a sense of the characters involved and the meaning of the events, then I suspect objectivity is neither desirable nor possible.

5 October 2011 at 17:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

I wonder why that might be

Speaking personally, it's because despite the huge amount of argumentation directed at you, and which you have ignored, you have still returned in the same manner as before, neither enlightened, nor enlightening. As such, I cannot take you seriously - in contrast the time I do give to others who object to religious belief.

5 October 2011 at 17:16  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Preacher said...

"Dodo.
In your opinion are all the rest of us who do not accept Rome & all its teachings & Papal Bulls lost, going to Hell & accursed?"


In brief - the answer to your question is NO.

You'll find the Roman Catholic Catechism gives a full answer to this question and one that isn't quite as black and white as I suspect you're expecting.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 811 - 870 fully adresses this.

Extracts from the Cathecism:

"The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.'"

"However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these community [that resulted from such separation' and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."

The above is not implying that all religions are equal. It teaches a number of things:

First of all, individuals have a free will to choose their faith.

Secondly, today's members of the worldwide separated Churches cannot be held guilty for the Church division that their ancestors have caused.

Thirdly, through faith in Jesus and the proper administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, separated brothers and sisters are justified (reconciliated with God by the Blood of Christ), their past sins having been erased forever. As such, although they are not members of the physical Catholic faith, they meet the conditions to be admitted into the spiritual Body of Christ.

During the new birth that takes place through faith in Christ and the Sacrament of Baptism, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, are admitted into the spiritual Body of Christ, at that moment they receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit as their "first instalment" towards the inheritance of salvation in the Kingdom of God.

The Sacrament of Baptism does not guarantee one's salvation; it is the door into the spiritual Body of Christ that leads towards salvation.

That fact that salvation is possible in this way does not mean that there should be no attempts to bring Christians to a more secure means of salvation by formal explicit adherence to the Catholic Church.

Vatican II, in its Decree on Ecumenism:

"Nothing is so foreign to true Ecumenism as that false peace-making in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss, and its true and certain sense is obscured."

"There shall be one fold and one shepherd."

5 October 2011 at 17:31  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Tinget

That Vicar really upset you, didn't he! Do grow up, there's a good boy, it must have been a long time ago now.

5 October 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The gospels aren't written as eye witness accounts, at least to my eyes. They're religious narratives, presenting stories which appear to match well-known Jewish prophesy, to be passed on in communities so they chime with people later on.

5 October 2011 at 17:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

The gospels aren't written as eye witness accounts, at least to my eyes

The latest scholarship is pushing things much more in the direction of eye-witness accounts, see for example Richard Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Effectively the old liberal models haven't stood up to scrutiny, while comparison with improved understanding of eye witnesses testimony has made it seem much more like that. But don't ask me for more of a summary, though. I found it very dull!

5 October 2011 at 18:17  
Blogger Philip Pennance said...

@tory boys never grow up: I did the Google search which you recommended. The bulk of the criticism -generally in the format of rants- can be traced back to ideologues like Hitchins for whom, axiomatically, the Catholic church is an evil institution. Without specific evidence, little credence can be given to such accusations -too many axes are being ground. One common allegation is that the Missionaries of Charity have a substantial unused cash reserve which remains unspent. It is natural that an organization with over 600 missions, convents, orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centers in more than 100 countries and assisted by over one million co-workers maintain a cash reserve. Moreover, to have expanded from one small convent to an international organization, substantial sums must have been spent. Oxfam and Amnesty International also have money in the bank. This does not imply that the money has been misused or misspent or received under false pretenses. A person donating money to a religious order should know that the primary purpose of such a donation is to support the religious purpose of that order. This does not necessarily coincide with the building of, say, state of the art medical facilities as rapidly as possible. Hitchins seem to be under the illusion that all money in the possession of the Church should be immediately given to the poor or spent on hospitals and clinics. He does not demand this of the Cambridge Atheist Society, which has so far opened no AIDS clinics. If saving lives were the only priority, then history shows that more lives can be saved indirectly by uplifting the culture, building cathedrals, worshipping God and teaching people to love their neighbor, rather than directly, by uselessly throwing resources at a problem. In reality, much of the aid given by NGO's to poor countries is wasted in naïveté. Oxfam and other organizations have killed countless people by uselessly fuelling AIDs and S.T.D epidemics by promoting the distribution condoms. Environmental organizations, like the Sierra Club have killed 50 million people by needlessly supporting the ban on the relatively harmless insecticide DDT. Socialists have killed hundreds of millions in a search for a non existent utopia based upon Godless ethics. Amnesty, Oxfam and Christian [sic] AID have killed countless babies many by promoting the legalization of abortion worldwide. The UN provides abortion kits to tsunami victims. Yet, it is Mother Theresa who is called "vile". The Missionaries of Charity is an order of nuns. Unlike Oxfam and Amnesty, they do not have hundreds of skilled and highly paid administrators, managers and accountants to massage their accounts. Unless proven to the contrary, I would assume that they are not deliberately mismanaging money as insinuated by Hitchins et al.

5 October 2011 at 18:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 October 2011 at 20:19  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Well said, Phillip Pennance!

You took the time and trouble to defend Blessed Mother Teresa against the lies being spread about her. You also protected the reputation of the charity she established.

Countless children and adults were shown love by this woman as she selflessly served, seeing the face of Christ in their suffering. This continues to live on in her charities.

5 October 2011 at 20:24  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

DanJ0 Tingey tory boy

The bible doesn't contradict itself. Where is your evidence that it does?

It is filled with paradox, with metaphor and allegory as well as direct teaching and history. That's the way God intended.

The bible is not a 'Dummies Guide to Salvation' filled with clear, precise instruction. It is designed to encourage prayful reflection and meditation. It demands interpretation and considered application. It generates debate and disagreement which, because man is fallen, has resulted in division and conflict.

Regretably, people like you, want to see it all in 'either'-'or' ways rather than an unfolding process of understanding and interpretation.

Of course there are genuine 'either'-'or' interpretations and Roman Catholics believe when these arise the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, authoritively and infallibly resolves them.

If you want to challenge Christianity then challenge it on its own terms - not yours. Afterall, we engage in secular debates with you. Why not reciprocate?

5 October 2011 at 21:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Preacher

I answered your question @ 17:31,

Now will you answer mine?

Do you believe the Roman Catholic Church is a corrupt, pagan based, religion of works and superstition that is leading it followers away from Christ? Is it under satantic direction and destined to be the seat of the anti-christ?

5 October 2011 at 22:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "If you want to challenge Christianity then challenge it on its own terms - not yours. Afterall, we engage in secular debates with you. Why not reciprocate?"

I do occasionally. However, in this instance the topic is about evidence and I think my comments about the lack of concordance between people with the same Holy Spirit is rather indicative. We have no means of resolving the various cosmological speculations but if we are to adopt Christian ethics or practices in wider society then I think it's fair to take a cold, hard look at whether it is plausible in the real world.

5 October 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

DanJ0

The most significant differences between the Christian denominations centre on the process or processes by which salvation is attained. In addition, they disagree on the nature of 'Church', and its leadership and authority in relation to individuals.

There is wide agreement between Christians on the ethics of living and what constitutes proper conduct.

Most Christians are opposed to abortion, divorce, homosexuality and suicide or assisted suicide. Some are opposed to artificial means of conception and to contraception. All would see family life and formal education of the young as fulfilling the role of inculcating standards of honesty, decency and morality.

5 October 2011 at 23:04  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Phillip Penannce

So if what you say about how the donations to the Missionaries of Charities is true - and you have avoided the other allegations that the donations are transferred to other campaigns of the Catholic Church rather than to the projects which the donors intended they be put - then why no audit so that all can be seen out in the open.


The other organisations you smear (and I'mn afraid your main argument against what you see as a smear is clearly a counter smear) all submit themselves to audit (don't worry I have checked) so that their donors and others can see how their donations were spent. Why should the Missionaries of Charity have lower standards when it comes to audit and transparency than bodies you clearly hold in very low esteem?

5 October 2011 at 23:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "There is wide agreement between Christians on the ethics of living and what constitutes proper conduct."

And between Muslims and Christians too. But that's not the point. Ethics are socialised. The lack of concordance between Holy-Spirit-updated people suggests that there is no actual shared Holy Spirit afterall. If not then the religion crumbles to dust and one might ask why we should take any notice of it.

5 October 2011 at 23:41  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo preached evangelically 5 October 2011 17:31

"* Giggles loudly* "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones" You Evangelical Papist, you."

Dear Lord, forgive me, what has Ernst started with his flippant jest..Ernst may come to rue this greatly!

Albert said...

In the words of your famous nephew "You Plonker!"

But I say unto you, That in
this place is [one] greater than
the temple.

legO de humin hoti hierou meizOn estin hOde

I-AM-sayING YET to-YOU(p) that OF-THE SACRED-place sanctuary
GREATER IS here.

Do read the whole of Matthew 12, to understand the context that Jesus is showing and WHY? There's a good fellow!

The Sabbath, as given in the Law of Moses, is completely fulfilled in Christ Himself. This is why He could boldly claim that He was the master of the Sabbath and that He was far greater than their holy day. As Paul said to the Colossians:
"15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." (Col 2:15-17). He IS the Sabbath personified! He IS the evidence of God's Perfect Work and the evidence of God's Rest and Satisfaction on the seventh day - He is THE Sabbath, a Holy Day!

He is Holiness personified and this Holy Man broke the Sabbath here on earth time and time again! It was one of the key reasons why the Jews wanted to kill Him: "...the Jews began to persecute Jesus and sought to kill Him because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked until now, and I, too, must be at work. This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him; because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but He actually was speaking of God as being His own Father, making Himself equal with God." (John 5:16-18, see also Matthew 12; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:14; John 7:19; 9:16). Why did He break the Sabbath so many times? To reveal that the Greater, the much greater than the temple (religious or church system) had come! He was revealing and exposing the fact that they were holding onto their religion, their temple/church, their tradition, their 'holy day' and the letter of the law rather than accepting the whole Word of God Himself revealed personally among them. He said:
"13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." (Mark 7:13).

This is because His disciples, both then and now, find their real Life in Christ rather than in traditions or in religion; they see and know that Something far greater than a mere day or a building is here! (Matt 12:6-8).

For hundreds of years the Jews had a picture of the promised Messiah in the OT declared by Jehovah and His prophets and worshipped it, Then Messiah Himself comes along as promised and fulfills all qualities and attributes and activities required to meet this description. They look, sneer, then turn back to the picture lovingly and continue looking for Him.
Bit like going into Harvester Restaurants starving hungry (Ad Placement) and on seeing a picture of a juicy succulent steak, order it and await its serving, holding onto the menu picture, staring lovingly at its chargrilled succulence.

The steak comes much larger than in the picture smelling wonderful, surrounded by thick cut chips and fresh garden peas and with crispy battered onion rings topping it's glory! The person pushes it to one side, asks for it to be taken away and he turns back staring and drooling over the picture, hungrier than before.

Is the picture greater than the real thing portrayed? Is the temple and all that it signified greater than Christ himself..The Real Thing it represented?

To Be Cont'd

5 October 2011 at 23:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Cont'd

"The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here"

Let me enlighten regarding your statement

Signs were graciously granted by God to those who desired them to confirm their faith, such as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here 'The Sign of the Prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah, was it not, not that Jonah could be compared equal or greater to Christ. The clues are in the subjects being compared! The Bronze Serpent was the Sign of The Exalted Saviour" "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up " was the Bronze Serpent equal to or greater than Christ because it happened before He appeared on the earth? or is the comparison self explanatory. You make problems where there is none!

As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again but FOREVER. Jonah finally died!

The queen of Sheba (a small part within Arabia, near the shores of the Red Sea) came from a remote country, "south" of Judea, to hear the wisdom of a mere man, inspired in that gift by God, and was taken with wonder at what she saw and heard (1Kings 10:1-9). They, when a Greater than Solomon (Solomon was inspired by God but expressed an earthly wisdom wheras Jesus WAS/IS God in the Flesh) had come to them, despised and rejected, slighted and slandered Him.

The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, the Jews for not believing in Christ. They shall stand as a witness against that generation at the day of judgment, and, by their example and practices, which will then be produced, condemn them, or make their condemnation even more superabundant/Greater/perissos:

If Christ, is not by nature greater than Jonah or the Solomon, you have defeated the incarnation, somehow - which was Dodo's point.

False argument and you know it.

To be further cont'd

6 October 2011 at 00:28  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Maybe this should tell you He was greater than Solomon !!!

1.Jesus claimed to be God - John 8:24; 8:56-59 (see Exodus 3:14); John 10:30-33
2.Jesus is called God - John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8
3.Jesus is the image of the invisible God - Heb. 1:3
4.Jesus abides forever - Heb. 7:24
5.Jesus created all things - John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17
6.Jesus is before all things - John 1:1-3; Col. 1:17;
7.Jesus is eternal - John 1:1,14; 8:58; Micah 5:1-2
8.Jesus is honored the same as the Father - John 5:23
9.Jesus is prayed to - Acts 7:55-60; 1 Cor. 1:2 with Psalm 116:4; (John 14:14)
10.Jesus is worshipped - Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6
11.Jesus is omnipresent - Matt. 18:20; 28:20
12.Jesus is with us always - Matt. 28:20
13.Jesus is our only mediator between God and ourselves - 1 Tim. 2:5
14.Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant - Heb. 7:22; 8:6

15.Jesus said, "I AM the Bread of Life" - John 6:35,41,48,51
16.Jesus said, "I AM the Door" - John 10:7,9
17.Jesus said, "I AM the Good Shepherd" - John 10:11,14
18.Jesus said, "I AM the Way the Truth and The Life" - John 14:6
19.Jesus said, "I AM the Light of the world" - John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; Luke 2:32
20.Jesus said, "I AM the True Vine" - John 15:1,5
21.Jesus said, "I AM the Resurrection and the Life" - John 11:25
22.Jesus said, "I AM the First and the Last" - Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13

23.Jesus always lives to make intercession for us - Heb. 7:25
24.Jesus cleanses from sin - 1 John 1:9
25.Jesus cleanses us from our sins by His blood - Rev. 1:5; Rom. 5:9
26.Jesus forgives sins - Matt. 9:1-7; Luke 5:20; 7:48
27.Jesus saves forever - Matt. 18:11; John 10:28; Heb. 7:25
28.Jesus discloses Himself to us - John 14:21
29.Jesus draws all men to Himself - John 12:32
30.Jesus gives eternal life - John 10:28; 5:40
31.Jesus resurrects - John 5:39; 6:40,44,54; 11:25-26
32.Jesus gives joy - John 15:11
33.Jesus gives peace - John 14:27

Truth Denying Tactics from our Tiberian communicants unless Ernst is very much mistaken :

S-hift the subject

I-gnore the facts

N-umptyism

Nighty Night folks, even the rowdy romans.

Ernst

6 October 2011 at 00:36  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Simply because it's there to be hit and it's late, I'll take your argument Mr Tingey.

Ok, so let me get this straight. You believe that the universe just happened, that something came from nothing (which doesn't happen in the universe now, not even with energy) to create whatever it was that created the "Big Bang" and that from that thing that came from nothing came all the basic building blocks that have enabled life on Earth (not to mention that fact that the universe is so precisely balanced that if it had been just a little bit different it would collapse), including all the elements on the periodic table. And you believe that from that things evolved in a way that we see micro-evolution in the fossil record but no macro-evolution and that each assumed macro-evolutionary step was perfect and that none evolved so that the ancestors of the horse, for example, had 3 eyes as a random mutation (and that's without even going into the complexity of the eyes itself coming through evolution!) And from that you believe that humans eventually evolved from apes, creatures who whilst intelligent are clearly just animals, and became the dominant species on the planet and capable of leaving this world and going to others. And all this just happened as random acts of evolution.

And you think we're deluded?

Billions of random evolutions from nothing that create us and not some 6-legged, 5-eyed, 2-nosed midget with wings, or a Creator God, existing in eternity (i.e. living forever, thus older than the universe and therefore existing outside of it!), who said "Let there be light" and it happened. Which sounds the more plausible now?

6 October 2011 at 01:05  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Oh, and on Evan Harris, the guy is clearly speaking well out of his knowledge base like many atheists that speak out against religion and faith. If it weren't for the fact that the papers are even more ridiculous in who they view to be the ones that know what they are talking about on faith we wouldn't have even seen it commented on. As it is, people hear a layperson who is considered an expert in their own field and immediately assume they are talking sense. It's madness!
Whilst we might come to blows over evolution and creation, I would not presume to tell Dawkins what's what in the scientific aspects of biology, for example, and in the same way I would not wish for him or any of his colleagues to tell me that what I believe, something which I am certain I have had more training on that they, is nonsense and clearly wrong because science proves it when it clearly doesn't.

Go back to trying to win elections, Evan!

6 October 2011 at 01:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta: "Billions of random evolutions from nothing that create us and not some 6-legged, 5-eyed, 2-nosed midget with wings [...]"

They're most definitely not random at all. The mutations are but not the process of evolution itself. I wish schools would teach the subject better as it's surprising how many religious people haven't learned it properly.

6 October 2011 at 06:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta: "And you think we're deluded?"

I'm not bothered about people believing in some sort of creating thing, it's when an enormous edifice is built up afterwards from tiny foundations which makes weird demands on people and shapes their thinking in counter-intuitive ways that I take an interest.

6 October 2011 at 06:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

... leading to between one and two billion people following a monotheistic notion of Allah, and a billion or more people following the notion of a Trinity, with one aspect of it spending some time as a man on earth.

6 October 2011 at 06:46  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

@Dodo

“The bible doesn't contradict itself. Where is your evidence that it does?

It is filled with paradox, with metaphor and allegory as well as direct teaching and history. That's the way God intended.”

Paradox definition: “A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true”

Of course you will argue that what we see as contradictions are paradoxes – and given that you have had c1900 years to address these paradoxes and there are not a few intelligent people among you it is not surprising that you have managed to come up with some plausible explanation. The problem is that all of these explanations are based on your faith that there is some almighty being who is the explanation for all unexplained matters. Another perfectly acceptable explanation is that all these contradictions are real because the Bible was written by people who had not come into the contact with the almighty but with someone who was claiming to be. In real life, there comes a time when the sheer volume of contradictions and the different explanations as to why they are paradoxes becomes such that some people find it difficult to accept that the explanations are rationale – and there is therefore a need to look for different and more rational explanations.

“The bible is not a 'Dummies Guide to Salvation' filled with clear, precise instruction”

I never argued that it was – but I think you will find that are not a few Christians who hold a different view – and of course it would be remiss of me not to to point to this contradiction – oops sorry paradox, if only for the purpose of gentle amusement.


“Regretably, people like you, want to see it all in 'either'-'or' ways rather than an unfolding process of understanding and interpretation. “

Guilty as charged – except that I am more than happy to consider more than 2 alternatives. You on the other hand start from the position that there can only be a single explanation for the unexplained – and even when some of the resulting theories are clearly demonstrated to be incorrect you still go back to the basis overall theory.

“If you want to challenge Christianity then challenge it on its own terms - not yours. Afterall, we engage in secular debates with you. Why not reciprocate?”

So you mean we should challenge Christianity using similar circular arguments? Anything that is unexplained can be attributed to X and you need faith to believe in the existence of X. I would question whether some Christians actually do engage in secular debates on secular terms – there are not a few arguments put forward that X is right because God/Bible/my particular religious sect/my Churches understanding of the laws of nature says it is. There is also the question of whether there is a nice dividing line between religious and secular debates – the writer of this blog clearly doesn’t take such a view. That said I don’t think that Christians have nothing to contribute to the debate – although we may disagree about whether the initial impetus to Christian thinking was genuine or not, I still recognise that much of the subsequent thinking and the resulting values have informed a lot of current society. It is possible sometimes to build something worthwhile on difficult ground – I do belong to a party which owes more to Methodism than Marxism – as one of its Atheist leaders said.

6 October 2011 at 10:31  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, I studied evolution at 6th form. The basic definition of the mutation is a random change. As I also said in my first comment, micro-evolution is fine and these random mutations can account for that and be perfectly acceptable. But put that into a macro-evolutionary context and it is utterly ridiculous.

And to go back further to the whole origin of evolution we still find that the atheistic version of events still relies on one of 3 options:
1 - An eternal/self-perpetuating universe.
2 - An eternal collection of elements that one day decide to destroy themselves to create the big bang.
3 - Elements appearing from nothing to cause the big bang.

Problems arise as follows:
1 - One of the properties/characteristics that Christians attribute to God is that of being eternal and it is ridiculed by atheists as impossible. So to say the same for the universe is a nonsense. And the idea of a self-perpetuating universe that expands and contracts continuously is also utter folly as it still leans towards the eternal idea, which I have already mentioned.
2 - Eternal aspect already dealt with, but then the idea of elements having a consciousness to decide to go boom rather than remaining in the state of eternal equilibrium they were in before. And it can't be a state of flying around in space and eventually colliding as that would mean that space would need to be in eternal existence, which again refers to my previous comment.
3 - Elements coming from nothing goes against all that science tells us about where things come from. The Earth didn't just appear, it came from stuff floating in space and coalescing to form a planet. An elephant didn't just appear, it is a process of evolution from other species (so science says). So the idea of rules about matter and energy only coming into effect after a particular event that was caused by matter and energy is utterly crass and very unscientific.

Oh, and one other thing. You might want to check your figures for religious membership. Last time I checked Christianity was still the largest faith on Earth. Indeed, with a third of the world being Christian, nearly a third being Muslim and then the other faiths after that it would suggest that the whole notion of atheism being the clear and rational choice is more an arrogance of a VERY small minority to assume that over 3 quarters of the world's population are wrong on something that CANNOT be scientifically proven, one way or the other.

6 October 2011 at 10:50  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"And to go back further to the whole origin of evolution we still find that the atheistic version of events still relies on one of 3 options:
1 - An eternal/self-perpetuating universe.
2 - An eternal collection of elements that one day decide to destroy themselves to create the big bang.
3 - Elements appearing from nothing to cause the big bang."

Complete garbage - please credit atheists with some degree of intelligence. Just because something is unexplained - I don't think atheists have to or do rely on such theories in order to fill the vacuuum in the same manner that you do.

6 October 2011 at 11:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
I have no problems with Muslims, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Sikhs, Buddhists or basically the rest of humanity. Who I see as creatures made in God's Image, but marred by sin.
I preach the pure & simple gospel of Jesus Christ, without any allusions as to which Church is superior or better or more original than the others. The individuals must decide themselves if the Church or denomination they are in is right or wrong. I offer no opinion except to say 'Go to the history books & decide honestly for yourself on the basis of what you find'.
I believe that the sweetest & purist water is found at the source of the spring.
Many recieve this living water & are saved.
I do find it easier however to talk to unbelievers & even those that are rejected by society, even in custody than many who claim to be religious & bang on about how their Church or religous system is the only one to offer salvation, ad infinitum.
Basically,it's boring & creates a barrier in many to recieving the gospel or even being open to talk about it.

6 October 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

Youthpasta.
Welcome to the fray.

6 October 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Ernst,

In the words of your famous nephew "You Plonker!"

That made me giggle, but I fear that I may be returning the compliment.

You tried to respond to Tory boy's comment about John 14, by saying that "greater than" means "in terms of office" and you gave a couple of quotations to illustrate this.

All I did was to point out some verses where "greater than" didn't mean that - (or if it did it undid the incarnation).

There's no need to give me all the other stuff - I'm signed up to that. Presumably you think that all those Catholic monks who copied the scriptures for centuries, weren't also reading the scriptures at the same time.

6 October 2011 at 13:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

Complete garbage - please credit atheists with some degree of intelligence. Just because something is unexplained

Isn't Youthpasta simply setting out the logical possibilities? If atheism has to rely on something that is not a logical possibility, aren't all reasonable people going to conclude that that is, well, unreasonable?

6 October 2011 at 13:09  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Preacher

My question was nicely sidestepped, Sir. People often seek out and find the history books and understand bible passages to support what they already believe.

Still, I do agree with much of what you've said and acknowledge 'banging on' about contentious issues is a barrier to quiet and often more effective evangelising.

6 October 2011 at 13:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert responded to old Ernst 6 October 2011 13:07

Del Boy: Are you saying I'm stupid?
Uncle Albert: Either that or it's the Chinese year of the dodo. (Ernsty using poetic licence, as it was Del Boy to Rodney)

"Presumably you think that all those Catholic monks who copied the scriptures for centuries, weren't also reading the scriptures at the same time."

NEVER. Not in the slightest, old boy, and Ernst credits them with loving the Lord and doing it as a love of duty to Him and his believers, unfortunately, latin was not the common spoken tongue of this great nation, so Huston, we have a problem!

Shame the same credit was not given to one of Ernst's few legendary favourite believers, William Tyndale but he did not have it's approval, only the threat of death! The cad, what?

However the establishing of Roman Catholic doctrine was not part of their remit but your cardinals and Popes, yes?

Ernst is not someone who sees the name or associates Roman Catholic/ism with *Hock Spit* but merely that it has great errors abounding as does some Classical Protestantism!

"All I did was to point out some verses where "greater than" didn't mean that - (or if it did it undid the incarnation). " Ernst was only responding to TBNGU and nothing else. Ernst has still not seen Dodo's comment that sparked it, as Ernst is writing this, but will look at it later but this was NOT what Ernst was responding to otherwise a correction to Dodo of what he was referring to would have been in Ernst's original comment!

Trust this shows that Ernst is always balanced but only responds and elaborates on what is presented to him by THAT Communicant irking Ernst.

Ernsty

ps

Trigger: If it's a girl they're gonna name it Sigourney, after the actress. And if it's a boy they're gonna name him Rodney, after Dave.

or

Rodney: I could do with another blanket here, I'm freezing.
Del Boy: Yeah it is a bit cold.
Uncle Albert: Cold? You bits of kids don't know the meaning of the word. You should have been with me on the Russian convoys. One night it was so cold the flame on my lighter froze.

or even

Del Boy: I keep all the stuff I never intend to see in this old shed.
Uncle Albert: Why have you got this deep sea divers suit for, Del?
Del Boy: I bought it so you can go down and visit all the ships you sailed on you git!

*Giggles uncontrollably* You really were in a great series, were you not, Captain Birds Eye.

6 October 2011 at 13:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

The lack of concordance between Holy-Spirit-updated people suggests that there is no actual shared Holy Spirit afterall. If not then the religion crumbles to dust and one might ask why we should take any notice of it.

I've already given you an answer to that Dan.

6 October 2011 at 14:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Thanks Ernst,

However the establishing of Roman Catholic doctrine was not part of their remit but your cardinals and Popes, yes?

The discernment of the Gospel belongs to the whole Church - as opposed to the actual articulating of a definition, which belongs to certain minsters of the Church.

Trust this shows that Ernst is always balanced but only responds and elaborates on what is presented to him by THAT Communicant irking Ernst

Your comment gave me a laugh again - but I'm still not sure I know what you are talking about!

6 October 2011 at 14:30  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJO said

"The lack of concordance between Holy-Spirit-updated people suggests that there is no actual shared Holy Spirit afterall. If not then the religion crumbles to dust and one might ask why we should take any notice of it."

You really make Ernst giggle with your love of 'empirical nonsense only' straplines.

Ernst takes it that you are blind to the fact that the scientific community have pro and cons sides to specific arguments and all is not sweetness and light.

Pouring over models and hypothesises to challenge each other, for the sake of truth, in an area they have devoted their lives to?

Hawking vs John Lennox, both scientists, one physicist the other a mathematician (others who dispute Hawking are to be found in his own field of science), with the former stating ; "One can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary.", and the latter saying "The beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work. The more I understand science, the more I believe in God because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation."

Do show some maturity and and realise that life is full of challenges and debates in all areas of life and not only in the scientific field and things are confronted by both advocates and critics.

Obviously, you are blind to this also, so why should you be blind to discussions regarding The Holy Spirit here? QED!

Ernst Blofeld

6 October 2011 at 14:49  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

DanJ0,

One of the problems with teaching the theories of and evidence for evolution is that the secular instructors in the school systems are often befuddled about the topic and can't, for example, distinguish between the evolution theories' evidence-based mechanisms such as natural selection and mutation, as opposed to a mish-mash of primitive Social Darwinism, coarse materialism and Lysenkoism. On the other side of the fence, some religious groups, in the US especially, promote Creationism as a viable theory, or counter-theory, to accompany the teaching Evolution in the secular school system...but only the modern Evangelical Creationist version. As a result of this battle, both sides have dug themselves into holes and tend to resort to pseudoscientific conclusions and group loyalty. Pity.

6 October 2011 at 15:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Mr G Tingey

Ps

"Hawking vs John Lennox, both scientists, one physicist the other a mathematician (others who dispute Hawking are to be found in his own field of science), with the former stating ; "One can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary."

One of your 'empiricism only' chappies cannot prove that God does not exist..What does that old fool know, eh!

You are such a laugh.

Ernst

6 October 2011 at 15:47  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
Thank you for your honest reply.
It was not my intention to avoid answering your question, but I have a policy with new believers not to recommend any Church, as I don't believe that 'One size fits all', so my answer to them is the same as I gave you.
I can only preach what I know to be true, & I know that I have often upset some church leaders & authorities in several different denominations when I have spoken of things that I feel are error,
whether it be in actions or teaching.
But, hey ho, it goes with the territory & I accept that being unpopular is the price that one sometimes has to pay in exchange for the souls of the perishing.

Be Blessed Old Bird.

6 October 2011 at 16:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "I've already given you an answer to that Dan."

This is probably going to come as a terrible shock but I simply filed it in the smal round filing cabinet marked "religious woooo stuff" under my desk and moved on.

6 October 2011 at 16:45  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

This is probably going to come as a terrible shock but I simply filed it in the smal round filing cabinet marked "religious woooo stuff" under my desk and moved on

Why would I be shocked that you've dismissed an argument rather than answer it and carried on as if your own prior position was unchallenged?

6 October 2011 at 16:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofled: "Obviously, you are blind to this also, so why should you be blind to discussions regarding The Holy Spirit here? QED!"

It's curious that I write about something relatively simple and easy to test in the real world by people reading this and you drift off into non sequiturs and magic up a weird QED! at the end. I'm sure it means something significant to you so: Enjoy! I'll just move on, thanks.

6 October 2011 at 16:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "Why would I be shocked that you've dismissed an argument rather than answer it and carried on as if your own prior position was unchallenged?"

Albert, I don't feel I need to engage with everything you write even if you are replying to my comments. Sometimes it's because I don't have the patience with your particular personality. Sometimes it's because I think it is garbage and unworthy of comment. Sometimes I just can't be arsed. I'm afraid you're going to have to live with that. In this case, I thought it was a crap religious cop-out and moved on. If you were waiting in the wings all excited by the prospect of another week of my attention then I'm sorry for any disappointment caused.

6 October 2011 at 16:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta: "And to go back further to the whole origin of evolution we still find that the atheistic version of events still relies on one of 3 options: [...]"

You're assuming some sort of materialism I think. I'm an atheist because I am knowingly and carefully without any sort of belief in a god or gods. It doesn't necessarily imply a belief in materialism for me.

I personally consider evolution by natural selection to be more or less a scientific fact. That is, I think we have evolved from much simpler things through that process. But I have no belief in how our reality came into being or opinion on how the building blocks from which we evolved came about.

Of the three options you list, obviously option three is the most interesting. I don't think this medium is the right one to get into the scientific details but it seems a little simplistic to me. However, the three option together seem to me to be an argument that something caused our reality to be. I can live with that and still be an atheist I think. It doesn't lead me to the notion of god in the common understanding of it.

At the risk of starting off another Aquinas discussion with You Know Who, I'm not sure your list is necessarily exhaustive. This is all very speculative and fuzzy of course but what if our universe is expanding from a Big Bang and the cause of that Big Bang is not directly god but something else. A process, even. Could that change things at all for the nature of our reality?

6 October 2011 at 17:11  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

That's all fine - I don't actually expect you to comment on everything I write. But if you then proceed as if your objection remains undefeated, while not attending to a response that either I or someone else has given to your objection, you can expect to be pulled up on it.

I thought it was a crap religious cop-out

Far from being a cop-out, the move is central to Catholicism, regardless of the kind of objection you made. Obviously Catholicism doesn't think these matters are open to individuals to determine. That's why we claim Christians need the teaching office of the Catholic Church.

6 October 2011 at 17:17  
Blogger Albert said...

At the risk of starting off another Aquinas discussion with You Know Who, I'm not sure your list is necessarily exhaustive

Don't worry Dan, Aquinas had no interest in arguing for God from the beginning of the universe - whatever ignoramuses like Dawkins may tell you. Though if you do want to speculate on the possibility of a process for the beginning of the universe, you do need to show that such a thing is logically possible - and that would require a little more engagement with theistic philosophy than you can bare, I suspect!

6 October 2011 at 17:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "But if you then proceed as if your objection remains undefeated, while not attending to a response that either I or someone else has given to your objection, you can expect to be pulled up on it."

It's a nominally open forum, comment all you like. Obviously I'll have to start blanket-ignoring your replies shortly if my not replying carries implications other than "I simply chose to let that one go without any comment".

6 October 2011 at 17:44  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"Though if you do want to speculate on the possibility of a process for the beginning of the universe, you do need to show that such a thing is logically possible"

No you don't - it may be the case that the current laws of physics did not exist prior to Big Bang - and so the possibility existed that something was created out of nothing. And even if there was some agent involved it doesn't necessarily mean that it was anything in the nature of what the religous would view as God that could determine the whole subsequent creation and development of the universe. But then I might be wrong on this as there is something of a shortage of evidence from the time for any of us to reach anything like firm conclusions - which also means that there a myriad of possible hypotheses as well I'm afraid.


And even if there was a God I must say that he hasn't been particularly effective in getting across his design to the human race as a whole in a consistent and understandable manner which stands up to scientific scrutiny without myriad changes to the what people believe to be the design - in fact he/she/it/they have been pretty rubbish at it. Personally, there is also quite a lot to be said for the other theory that mankind has invented Gods because of their fear of death and other uncertainties.

6 October 2011 at 18:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Tory boy,

No you don't - it may be the case that the current laws of physics did not exist prior to Big Bang - and so the possibility existed that something was created out of nothing.

Laws of physics have nothing to do with logic - except that laws of physics cannot contradict logic - thus you still need to show alternatives are logically possible.

And even if there was some agent involved it doesn't necessarily mean that it was anything in the nature of what the religous would view as God etc.

As I said, you need to do some theistic philosophy.

And even if there was a God I must say that he hasn't been particularly effective in getting across his design to the human race as a whole in a consistent and understandable manner which stands up to scientific scrutiny without myriad changes to the what people believe to be the design - in fact he/she/it/they have been pretty rubbish at it.

I don't altogether understand what this means, but you still seem to be treating God as an object in or of the universe (scientific scrutiny - it's not a scientific question, but a philosophical one).

Personally, there is also quite a lot to be said for the other theory that mankind has invented Gods because of their fear of death and other uncertainties

Personally, I think there is a lot to be said for the theory that the reason some people don't believe in God is because they are afraid of what they think God might be, are afraid of the need to give an account of themselves to and relate to something that is absolutely good and true. "Fear of religion" is what some atheists admit to. If one has that fear, then I suspect psychologically sometimes no amount of evidence can be admitted.

6 October 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Preacher

Thank you.

I'm not unfamiliar with the experience of challenging beliefs and behaviours within my own faith. Often it's because I don't fully understand them and this helps. Sometimes, even when I do understand, I still disagree. Happily, there is scope for independent thought and reflection within Christianity and, even in my denomination, despite opinion to the contrary, room to exercise one's own conscience.

Bless you too.

6 October 2011 at 19:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Q.E.D. is an initialism of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as "which was to be demonstrated". The phrase is traditionally placed in its abbreviated form at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument when what was specified in the enunciation — and in the setting-out — has been exactly restated as the conclusion of the demonstration.
The abbreviation thus signals the completion of the proof.

or

Q.E.D. is sometimes jestingly claimed to abbreviate "quite easily done". Q.E.D. can also be used to ridicule the specious reasoning of another person by mockingly attaching it to the end of a poor argument, which was not in fact successfully demonstrated or presented especially when used by Ernst S Blofeld.

Guess which of both, that equally apply in your comment, that Ernst used? Put that in yout test tube and blow it, 'empirically' of course!

Ernst can imagine the scene of your careers interview at school and the teacher asking what you were going to be or do when you left school. To which your poor exaasperated mother replied " A proper little madam!" We all can see by the quality of your commenting that you have'nt disappointed her declared expectations of you, all these years later.

"Enjoy! I'll just move on, thanks."
Yes, please do, my prissy little princess of a boy and please do it without apologising, for never apologising when you have been proved WRONG.

Ernst 'intellectually yours' Blofeld.

6 October 2011 at 21:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert suffering from a bout of selective comprehensive amnesia said 6 October 2011 14:30

"Your comment gave me a laugh again - but I'm still not sure I know what you are talking about!"

"but only responds and elaborates on what is presented to him by THAT Communicant irking Ernst" The comment made by that communicant that Ernst has named and dated.

Adherents of the Roman Catholic church really do have problems understanding what has been said in obvious english, do you not? Must be a Latin Vulgate versus English Vernacular Bible, OCD thing.

Should Ernst comment in Latin using a Bull; some formal proclamation issued by Ernst (usually written in antiquated characters and sealed with a leaden bulla, courtesy of SPECTRE) for you, instead?

Well then, it appears there is no pleasing you.

Ernst 'Simplicius Felix II' S Blofeld c 1928-, et hoc genus omne!

6 October 2011 at 21:56  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Albert

I suspect that if the laws of physics were to be fundamentally different then might also have to be some changes to logic as well.

"I don't altogether understand what this means, but you still seem to be treating God as an object in or of the universe"

All I'm saying is that even if God were to exist then he might just be a very limited entity with the power to start a very simple reaction - and that is it - no sense of design or understanding of the consequences of that action.

Yes it is quite possible that some atheists have a fear of giving an account for themselves to a God - but such atheists would just be lying to themselves. But there are undoubtedly some atheists who are not liars and show no fear in giving accounts of themselves in this world as they believe that is their only opportunity. It might also be argued that there are people who falsely proclaim to believe in a particular religion so as to fit in and avoiud giving an acount of themselves in the their current lives. I am not denying that there are both genuine believers and non belivers - just putting forward an alternative theory (and to my mind a more credible theory) as to how belief comes about - there are also the hereditary principle and cultural factors at work, which would certainly be difficult to deny on a statistical basis.

6 October 2011 at 22:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TBNGU: "Yes it is quite possible that some atheists have a fear of giving an account for themselves to a God - but such atheists would just be lying to themselves."

Yes. It's a curious arugument you are tackling especially given the Faith vs Works argument in Christianity. No amount of accounting to this god of my good works vs my bad ones will apparently suffice unless I have accepted Jesus as my personal saviour etc ... and have actually been offered a state of grace in the first place as far as some Christians are concerned.

But anyway. I want to springboard away onto a general and unrealted appeal to readers unknown about Summa Theologica. Here's the articles about goodness.

Now, the form of these if they look a bit weird is there is a summary of what is being tackled, a set of objections usually relating to the discourses of the day, and a reply which is the actual argument. The articles on one topic often build on previous ones so they can be a bit tedious to follow.

So, the reply appears reasonable within itself I'd say. It should be of course, the man wasn't a fool. Now, metaphorically pick the reply up between the index finger and thumb and give it a bit of a shake to loosen it up. Are there things which are not stated on which it necessarily relies? Things that a literate Catholic monk would expect readers to implicitly accept. Or things that require acceptance of a larger worldview to make proper sense? Just sayin', like.

If there are arguments to be made there then I suggest finding a newsgroup-style medium which has a tree-like structure to strip points off into sub-topics as they crop up and has no time limit, unlike here, and is without the abusive distractions from the side because it's a big and detailed topic. That's it. As you were.

7 October 2011 at 06:31  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

That DanJo chap spouted home made philosophy, ever so facinorously @ 7 October 2011 06:31

How very 'Barmecidal' of you to present such a rich bounty of knowledge for poor TBNGU to munch on.

Ernst always finds that from the commenting that you display here, Ernst goes away absolutely starving!

Trust that helps, young un. :-o

Ernst S Blofeld

ps

The name of Barmecide himself has become s byword with deceit, illusion, hypocrisy, and the proffering of bounty, only to withhold it until the profferer's terms are met. One of your distant relatives, perhaps?

7 October 2011 at 13:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "Ernst always finds that from the commenting that you display here, Ernst goes away absolutely starving!"

If only you had manna from heaven to fall back on but, alas, you're clearly deprived of that as well.

7 October 2011 at 16:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJo the Whimling, lallating happily 7 October 2011 16:55

"Whereas in your case, If only you had a man from heaven (nightclub in London) to jump on but, alas, your Pleionosis attitude, Limaceous looks and wholesale vileness means that the chances of you meeting somebody so unasinous as yourself in every respect, requires a biological miracle happening in this world, through natural selection and of the worst mutations imagineable occurring again? in your belief system. *Choking sound*

Could nature really be that cruel to humanity, twice? Oh, the depravity of it all!

Bet being homosexual has it's advantages over being bi-sexual, in your case.

It must be awful for a sensitive soul like yourself being rejected by one sex, without the other turning you down also, sweetie.

Never mind, it's friday so off you go out clubbing, ducks.
Feeling lucky?. You'll need more than that!

Ernst Blofeld

7 October 2011 at 22:30  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernesty

Now you're being personally nasty and hurtful. Words can cause deep wounds, Sir. Go easy.

I know. I know. Pot-Kettle-Black. I don't think I've gone for the jugular like you, though.

Dodo's ways are not to hurt and offend for their own sake - unless I'm up against a 'fundie'.

7 October 2011 at 22:49  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

DanJ0 said ...

" ... the Faith vs Works argument in Christianity. No amount of accounting to this god of my good works vs my bad ones will apparently suffice unless I have accepted Jesus as my personal saviour etc ... and have actually been offered a state of grace in the first place as far as some Christians are concerned.

You really should read the 1996 Roman Catholic Catechism. I suspect you'll enjoy it. Plenty of copies on line.

Catholics believe grace is freely available to all. The 'state of grace' comes through Baptism and a journey of faith and acceptance of Christ.

There are sections on atheists and the unbaptised of other faith systems too which are interesting.

Accept or reject it but do give it a read. It's also much less tedious than Aquinas' Summa Theologica!

7 October 2011 at 23:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo said

"Now you're being personally nasty and hurtful. Words can cause deep wounds, Sir. Go easy."
DanJo, seriously old bird.

Fear ye not, my old fowl, Ernst has apologised to the poor lad..well, sort of? @ 7 October 2011 22:51 on a more recent thread.

"I don't think I've gone for the jugular like you, though.
" Ernst never goes for a jugular, merely the jokeular or else it would be obvious.

Don't worry, my Raphus Callutus. The lad has skin like a rhino and the venomous tongue of a black mamaba..he won't leave that easily or be calling The Samaritans..

"You really should read the 1996 Roman Catholic Catechism. I suspect you'll enjoy it. Plenty of copies on line." Directed at DanJo..*uncontrollable chortles* Knock yourself out!

"Dodo's ways are not to hurt and offend for their own sake - unless I'm up against a 'fundie'."

May I?

DanJo's ways are to hurt and offend for their own sake.

Happy hunting, When you see the whites of his eyes, you are too close, so start running. Small wonder your kind are extinct!.

Ernst the Blofeld

7 October 2011 at 23:44  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernesty

Points noted - but this old Dodo isn't extinct and suspects there are many more of my species out there. They just don't know they are Dodo's!

8 October 2011 at 00:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Now you're being personally nasty and hurtful. Words can cause deep wounds, Sir. Go easy."

Like with your abuse, it has no effect whatsoever. Well, no effect on me anyway. Obviously the fact of it helps demonstrate in public the paucity of your religion as far as spiritual effects go and offsets the faux aura of goodness the religious try to affect in real life when they think people are watching.

8 October 2011 at 08:56  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJo snided at others..as per!

"Obviously the fact of it helps demonstrate in public the paucity of your religion as far as spiritual effects go (somethings need to be stated 'as is' and soft words on bitter, hardened souls are useless, as you prove continually with your crass blasphemy and spite. You need to hear it AND YOU WILL) and offsets the faux aura of goodness the religious try to affect in real life when they think people are watching.(The Bible is full of condemnation in writing of types like you..should it not have been said in writing, as a warning to others of the path that leads only to damnation)"
Dream on boy, Ernst giggles at your protestation and uncalled for spite to others.

A story perhaps?

Ahab was perhaps the most famous of the kings of the separate kingdom of Israel. The son and successor of the evil King Omri, Ahab became a pioneer and champion of evil. Not content with Jeroboam's golden calf cult, Ahab sponsored Baal and Asherah worship, introduced by his evil wife, Jezebel. Rituals of the Baal and Asherah cults involved detestable practices, including prostitution, homosexual prostitution, and human sacrifice of children.

Ahab's evil was contested by the prophet Elijah in a struggle that lasted all through Ahab's career, and Elijah's story and life is intermingled with Ahab's. Through Elijah's work, God repeatedly displayed his power, graciously giving Ahab many opportunities to change his ways.

Ahab's 22-year reign was also marked by three wars with neighboring Syria. God again graciously aided Ahab, twice giving him victory, clear evidence of God's power, and opportunity to repent. Though Ahab did eventually repent, it was too little too late to make any lasting change in his kingdom. In the third war, Ahab was ignominiously killed.


Somethings to bear in mind, at to why others stand up against you on this blog and laughingly ignore your pathetic attempts, by slurs, for silence against you.

*
God appealed to King Ahab many times, many ways: with a famine, a miraculous fire set to a sacrifice, against-the-odds military victories, ordinary spoken appeals, and more. What level of importance does God place on getting through to his people?

*
In spite of a lifetime of ongoing evil habits, hatred of God, and even murder (obviously something you have not done or your comments would be tagged 'courtesy of HMP'), when Ahab had a moment of true repentance, God immediately seized on it. Will God forgive someone after they have rejected him for a lifetime? Give it a try, boy!

Ernst 'repentance is forever' Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 10:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

How are you getting along with Isaiah Berlin, Blofeld? Or have you dropped all that after your plagiarism was highlighted?

8 October 2011 at 11:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"How are you getting along with Isaiah Berlin, "

Love the chap, Ernst's favourite's are 'There's No Business Like Show Business, White Christmas and Let's Face the Music and Dance.
Ernst presumes your favourite is 'Pack up Your Sins and Go to the Devil' ?

"Or have you dropped all that after your plagiarism was highlighted?." Ernst presumes further that the paper quoted was incorrect in it's assessment of J S Mill and contrary to DanJo's, hence your requesting that Ernst goes to Mr Berlin for correct musical enlightenment!

Always nice to hear from you, lad.

Ernst Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 13:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

When you're up for another look at JS Mill then just let me know. ;)

9 October 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

@Tory Boy - If it's garbage, why not point out what the options are then? As far as I can see, if you remove God from the equation then the 3 options I give are, as has been pointed out, the only possible alternatives to believe happened. But if you can point to where I have missed a possibility then I am happy to be proven wrong and add it to the list.

@DanJ0 - Yes, I am assuming materialism as the only alternative for an atheist as the default position of an atheist is to rule out anything else from existing. The argument basically follows, if you take evolution to it's logical beginning, that matter made everything. The problem lies in the fact that the universe is clearly guided by certain principles (gravity, laws of thermo-dynamics etc) and one of those is that matter begets matter, meaning that materialism is the only option I see as possible without going into super-natural options.

As I have already said, micro-evolution I have no problem with but there are still huge question marks over macro-evolution with "missing links" being simply that, missing. But if you do believe in macro-evolution then there has to be a logical knock-on to that of using the same method for looking back to "the beginning". Not to do so and to just say "I don't believe in God" and "I believe that humans evolved from apes" shows at the very least a lack of conviction in ones precept of a lack of God.

And I would also like to suggest that idea that "something caused our reality to be" is not exactly leaning towards a notion of a god, but is certainly a huge step away from atheism. I would suggest you might want to label yourself agnostic as it seems to best describe your thinking from our conversation.

Regarding the list, I am always interested to hear other views on possible ways the universe was created without a super-natural creator. I should point out, however, that in your "speculative and fuzzy" suggestion does lead us to the classic problem of needing to give something the properties that Christians (and, indeed, other religions) ascribe to their supernatural creator, which is one of the chief things that atheists take issue with. And all processes must have a beginning, especially if it is one that leads to the creation of TBB. So to suggest a process simply means we have to go further back to look for what started that process.

9 October 2011 at 22:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"I would suggest you might want to label yourself agnostic as it seems to best describe your thinking from our conversation."

I'm happy with atheist That is, a-theist. Without theism. I suggest you look into the varied positions possible within atheism, it may be quite instructive. I may work through your comments later but I'll put out my usual comment when presented with stuff like that.

I don't know how our reality came about. You don't either. However, I don't feel I need to know. I can get by quite happily not trying to cross Ts and dot Is. What I do resent is other people speculating on the Big Questions and trying to fit my actual life into the result of their speculations.

10 October 2011 at 06:52  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older