Monday, December 05, 2011

Eric Pickles – Defender of the Faith

A certain atheist councillor in somewhere called Bideford is apparently a little upset that council meetings are preceded by prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Clive Bone, the aforementioned upset councillor, has tried numerous times by democratic means to end the practice, but has consistently been outvoted by his colleagues.

Frustrated by the impotence of the ballot box, Cllr Bone recruited the support of the National Secular Society, who are seeking a judicial review. The group is well known to readers of His Grace’s blog: it campaigns for absolute the separation of religion from the public sphere. They are of the opinion that these prayers are ‘unjustified (and thus unlawful) indirect discrimination against persons of no religion’. The state, they aver, is ‘a secular environment concerned with civic business’: God has no place.

By that logic, of course, they also seek the abolition of army and hospital chaplains; the removal of all references to God on Remembrance Sunday; the deposing of the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Church of England; and the termination of the BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’.

The amusing thing is that Mr Bone is no longer a councillor: the NSS are bringing this case on behalf of someone who is actually suffering no alienation, exclusion or discrimination. And when Mr Bone was a councillor, he was not obliged to be present in the council chamber to participate in the prayers against his will: he was free to arrive afterwards.

The NSS are relying on the argument that praying goes against Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of thought and religion, as well as Article 14, which prohibits discrimination. Prayer, they argue, makes the non-believer uncomfortable; and prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ prevents those of other faiths a full and equal participation.

Should the NSS succeed, the abolition will follow of prayers before the Commons and Lords begin their proceedings. This would represent a further diminution of the status of the Church of England, and constitute another attack upon the Christian foundations of the nation.

NSS president Terry Sanderson said: "We think it would be much better if people keep their prayers private and away from the council chamber so that everyone can participate in the democratic process without embarrassment or causing aggravation to members of other religions, or of none."

Enter Eric Pickles – Defender of the Faith.

He said (via his press office): "This Government recognises and respects the role that faith communities play in our society. Prayers are an important part of the religious and cultural fabric of the British nation. While the decision on whether to hold prayers is a matter for local councils, we believe they should have the freedom to do so."

His Grace thinks it more likely that Mr Pickles would have been even more robust had the matter been put to him directly on Newsnight. Press officers are notoriously cautious: Mr Pickles says exactly what he thinks. He should have bypassed his minders and tweeted his thoughts on the matter instead.

Bideford Town Council is boldly defending their right to pray before they conduct their business. Interestingly, their agenda for the forthcoming council meeting on Thursday 8th December says: ‘Agenda - 1. Prayers - subject to statutory regulation.’

The Prayer Book of the Church of England is, of course, subject to statutory regulation. But ad hoc prayers before the business of government may be conducted are not. His Grace is of the opinion that this spurious legal challenge will be thrown out because (a) it is manifestly silly to suggest that town hall prayers intimidate or discriminate against someone; and (b) whatever one thinks of the Human Rights Act/ECHR, it cuts both ways – Article 9 provides for freedom of religion ‘in worship, teaching, practice and observance’, ‘in community with others and in public or private’, and says that any restriction on this freedom should by necessary for public safety, public order, health or morals, or the protection of other’s freedoms.

Unless the NSS plan to adopt the means and methods of the Islamist, His Grace cannot quite see prayers at Bideford Town Council endangering the peace and security of the Realm.

110 Comments:

Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Thus the NSS - like the gay mafia - show themselves to be insecure, petty-minded, petulant, malign pedants. So it is almost certain that the judge will rule in their favour. [Does being a secular humanist preclude you from being a free-mason I wonder?]

5 December 2011 at 10:25  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Your Grace, sadly this is simply another manifestation of the rise in militant atheism now sweeping our once proud nation. What often surprises me is the vehemence and the vitriol now directed at any "religious" expression by this minority who seek to impose their version of "freedom" on everyone else.

5 December 2011 at 10:33  
Blogger Derek said...

If you check out Terry Sanderson on Wikipedia, you will find out that the NSS and 'the gay mafia' are one and the same.

5 December 2011 at 10:37  
Blogger Nibor said...

Does the NSS campaign against the Muslim Council of GB , the Muslim Parliament et al having any influence on UK matters ? does it campaign against Sharia law being imposed or even having a say in domestic matters especialy local politics ?

5 December 2011 at 10:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It looks like the NSS has taken its lead from the Christian Institute et al for legal silliness. That said, it's a curious tradition to pray before town council meetings, what does it achieve? Are councillors more able to make bylaws about dog crap on the pavements afterwards?

5 December 2011 at 10:39  
Blogger bluedog said...

Prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Grace?

These people sound like Israelis, and isn't everyone who is anybody conducting a personal boycott of Israel?

5 December 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger Michael said...

Rebel Saint: [Yes].

5 December 2011 at 10:48  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@DanJ0 ... Can you give me an example of the Christian Institute's "legal silliness" please? In all the instances I know of they have been defending people against the silliness of others.

And why is the tradition 'curious'? If it is "merely" a tradition, then it is no more 'curious' than any tradition (black rod banging on the door etc). Actually traditions do serve an important social purpose and it is important to preserve the best of them.

A secular mind such as your own could not conceive the other point, that actually they may make better decisions about dog crap on pavements if their proceedings are started by acknowledging our Creator. If I may be permitted to quote some of the wisdom of King Solomon from Proverbs 3 v 5,6:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths."

Maybe the historical superiority of our political & jurisprudence systems may come from the time when such prayers were made with sincerity (as they still are in many settings - like the school governors meetings of so many outstanding schools).

5 December 2011 at 11:07  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Rebel Saint nails this in one.

Surely the democratic solution would be to put the matter to a vote of the Council? I am atheist but still attend the Services of Remembrance without a problem, knowing that believers and non-believers were equally robbed of life and that is the only consideration for such events.

This ex-Councillor and the NSS are making something out of nothing and starting to sound more like the religious fringe whack-jobs they deride.

5 December 2011 at 11:15  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Dreadnaught,

If I read His Grace correctly, this has been put to the vote in that particular council. The text of the post shows that the unfortunate chap had no joy at the ballot, so he went to the NSS.
What that means, of course, is that he isn't interested in the process of democracy, but in the imposition of his opinion on everyone else - very much the natural position for a group like the NSS.

5 December 2011 at 12:04  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

So the 'Misery Rights Movement' are at it again.

Will the requirement to swearing an oath on the bible before giving evidence in Court be banned next? I mean, having to openly admit being an atheist must surely cause offense and lead to embarrassment.

More money wasted on vexatious legal proceedings. The lawyers will be laughing all the way to the banks - if any are left.

bluedog
You numpty! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are one and the same.

5 December 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

I call Rebel Saint a LIAR.

As a member of the NSS all we want is to LEFT ALONE.
If yoyu want to practice religion, as consenting adults, in private - get on with it.
DO NOT shove it in our faces.

Dodo the dude - bollocks - I would have thought being a follower of an invisible big Sky Fairy would be more likely to cause embarrasment

5 December 2011 at 13:46  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Doh! And I would have got away with it if it wasn't for the pesky, forensic mind of G Tingy-mi-bob

5 December 2011 at 13:56  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 December 2011 at 13:56  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

G. Tingey said...

DO NOT shove it in our faces.


Ex-cllr Bone did not have religion "shoved in his face".

He was not obliged to attend prayers; he chose instead to find offence where none was offered.

5 December 2011 at 14:06  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey said ...

"Dodo the dude - bollocks - I would have thought being a follower of an invisible big Sky Fairy would be more likely to cause embarrasment."

Very eloquently put!

So, if this be the case why all the fuss and bother? You and your pals in the 'Misery Rights' movement could all take off somewhere and have some fun.

5 December 2011 at 14:11  
Blogger William said...

Why can't the NSS just keep their beliefs to themselves? I mean fine if they want to practise their National Sucularism from the privacy of their own homes, but they insist on bringing their beliefs into the public sphere.

5 December 2011 at 14:23  
Blogger Oswin said...

'Moonpie' Tingey @ 13:46 :

You Sir, are a damned disgrace!

Rebel Saint's opening comments describe YOU to 'a T' - and your response confirms this.

Dreadnaught is a fellow atheist, but remains both reasonable, and a gentleman; why can't you?

5 December 2011 at 14:24  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Too kind Mr O, but I confess I do have low pain threshold for the vies and opinions of the bumptious or obnoxious.

In general I do support the core principles of the NSS and the the BHA but it has always struck me as strange as to why they feel the need to compete against each other. I would have expected them to have more about them when their common premise, allegedly born from reason and logic should remain a constant.

We were once proud to be a forward thinking nation where individuality and freedom were the byewords and that was sufficient to allow everyone to rub along together in the spirit of tolerance - sadly not any more.

5 December 2011 at 15:57  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Nibor:
YES
The NSS are agin the "muslim council of Britain" and are very much against Shari'a anywhere at all, and certainly here.
Otherwise, they wouldn't be, erm SECULAR, would they?

You lot really don't get it, do you?

And neither does Oswin:
I am neither mean, nor petty-minded.
I'll leave that to people who fight bloody wars over the interpretation of mistranslated copise of 1500+ year-old Bronze-Age goatherders' myths.

Windsor Tripehound:
WRONG
The councillor was present, as he should have been, at a meeting, where a specific sects' set of sayings-to-an-imaginary-friend were imposed.

There isn't ANYONE AT ALL'S "special" BIG SKY FAIRY ....

William:
I have altered TWO words in your piece ... as follows ...
Why can't the religious just keep their beliefs to themselves? I mean fine if they want to practise their National Fairyism from the privacy of their own homes, but they insist on bringing their beliefs into the public sphere.

Dodo the Dude:
NO
Whatever is appropriate for the INDIVIDUAL is accaptable - though it can STILL be difficult to be able to "affirm" in some courts, because of religious prejudice.

5 December 2011 at 16:22  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Tit for Tat.
Believers; Don't waste your time with these infidels. You are casting your pearls before swine. They will only hear what they want to hear and distract believers from their main purpose.

5 December 2011 at 16:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'The NSS are agin the "muslim council of Britain" and are very much against Sharia.'

Don't forget all the so called Islamic 'charities' who leech off the taxpayers.

Why is the NSS wasting scarce resources tilting at windmills in the backwaters of Bideford - afraid of having their offices firebombed perhaps? - they would certainly rally far more popular support if they began to vociferously demonstrate against outside Regent's Park or East London mosques and challenge the real elephant in the room.

Never know - might even gather support from a few Christians still in possession of a spine.

5 December 2011 at 17:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "Can you give me an example of the Christian Institute's "legal silliness" please?"

Is there one that isn't? To be fair, I'm lumping the CLC etc into all of this as they seem to cross-reference much of the time. His Grace put up a list a week or two ago and they were just a bunch of chancers as far as I could see. How many actually win their cases?

5 December 2011 at 17:30  
Blogger Oswin said...

'Moonpie' : You call too many folk liars, for your continued good health. Of course, in the real world, you are probably a simpering coward.

Further, you will never advance your opinions until you learn some manners; but of course, I suspect your only purpose here, is abuse.

5 December 2011 at 17:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "A secular mind such as your own could not conceive the other point, that actually they may make better decisions about dog crap on pavements if their proceedings are started by acknowledging our Creator."

Well, you're right about the first bit. Your quote from Proverbs rather suggests that councillors are religious Christians. Perhaps that's one of the underlying points in this ... if there actually is one.

Mr Bone seems to be very similar to those Christians who cause an unnecessary fuss over very little. He'd have been better drawing a pentagram and lighting some black candles during the prayer interval. Afterall, the others could hardly complain about it in the circumstances.

5 December 2011 at 17:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

Time to put a brake on our increasingly litigious society. The Inspector proposes that silly arse cases like these should not proceed unless a hefty bond is lodged with the court. If the judge throws the case out, or if it does go ahead and the judge believes it was mainly a waste of time and money, the bond should be forfeit. This to be on top of any costs awarded against the plaintiff.

The Inspector’s own personal opinion is that the National Secular Society is yet another organisation dedicated to dismantling the British way of life and the membership should be routinely horse whipped. (…Tingey excepted, I think we can all agree he suffers enough merely by waking daily…).

5 December 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

YG:

You may, or may not,recall that I am an out-and-out Atheist (we've also taken opposing views on abortion), so I suppose I could be expected to take the NSS view. However, I think they're worked up about nothing; no one is being compelled to do anything, and no one is compelled NOT to do anything. It's entirely a free choice. What's the problem? I think the believers are being fair enough here.I am not a believer but to be honest, I am rather envious of those of you who really are believers. At least must share one thing with me: we all must die. that will be easier mentally for you than for me; for me it is the end of everything, for you ... well you still have hope.

5 December 2011 at 18:21  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"Big Sky Fairy."
Gosh, that's a witty idea!

5 December 2011 at 18:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

G Tingey

There isn't ANYONE AT ALL'S "special" BIG SKY FAIRY ....

You speak as if you have authority, G Tingey. As if repeating this pet phrase over and over again will somehow make it true. How galling it must be for you to realize you have no authority at all.

carl

5 December 2011 at 18:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I can't help but be impressed with Mr Tingey's ability to elicit a string of similar responses every time he posts. He could almost be a reincarnation of Ivan Pavlov given his success. :)

5 December 2011 at 18:37  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I can't help but be impressed with Mr Tingey's ability to elicit a string of similar responses every time he posts.

Or perhaps G Tingey's contributions represent little more than intentional flatulence at a social gathering, and people find it tiresome. The 'Big Sky Fairy' routine was old and over-used months ago. There is nothing new here, or even original. It's just contempt for the sake of contempt.

carl

5 December 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...'we all must die, that will be easier mentally for you than for me; for me it is the end of everything...'

Sign on the dotted line of choice then Sir Henry if you are so convinced. This life is all too short to be wracked by uncertainty either way - all the more reason to enjoy the life you have in this world while you can. :-)

Nothing I have found to date suggests to me that there is any evidence of anything to be looked forward to - or, to be afraid of after death.

For as long as I am in control of my faculties, I will do as much as is possible to enjoy all that is in nature; value my friends and loved ones; and preferably die with dignity {meanwhile, I'm in no particular hurry to test my hypothesis :-)}.

5 December 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Or perhaps G Tingey's contributions represent little more than intentional flatulence at a social gathering, and people find it tiresome."

Best ignored then, I'd have thought.

5 December 2011 at 19:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dreadnaught and Sir Henry. Before you two pop off, the Inspector says goodbye, if he doesn’t get the chance beforehand...

5 December 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I've googled around and found out Leicester council meetings used to rotate the prayer slot between the local religions. The last Lord Mayor decided against having any prayer slot and the latest one has reinstated it from a broadly Christian perspective. I'm intrigued now about whether a quick "Allahu Akbar" was recited during the Muslim one and whether anyone else minded. I suppose not.

5 December 2011 at 19:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Just thought some of you might want to know...

Speaking of religion: My country, Canada, quietly and politely announced that it will not be renewing its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol of the Church of the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption Passion or whatever it's called now. Conservatives, those who have clued on to the stunning pseudocience behind the UN attempt to institute world-wide taxation, and those who've been following the recent Climate Gate II releases are overjoyed.

Unlike Australia, which is about to throttle its own economy with imposed carbon credits on its public, key industries and resources, Canada will proceed with development of its industries, oil sands and shale gas fields and will save billions by not "transferring" so-called "equalization" baksheesh to to freeloader dictators who've been hoping to fatten up on "carbon credits" indulgences.

This is a hefty kick in the kisser of the biggest international scam in living memory and a loud rejection of the the most important secular religion of our times. Way to go PM Harper!

To celebrate, I'm just about to pop a can of Coke, symbolically sticking it to the carrot-juice-sucking greenies by joyfully liberating a hiss of life-giving CO2 to feed our growing forests and greening countryside. Here we go: Pop-hiss-pfffffffft! O, and that can's going into the plain trash container, not the bloody "blue box"!

5 December 2011 at 19:31  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0 said...
Carl said ...

"Or perhaps G Tingey's contributions represent little more than intentional flatulence at a social gathering ..."

No perhaps about it. Best stay down wind of the blighter.

5 December 2011 at 19:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. Posting from an unheated room. Brrrr. Bits of the Inspector feel like they’ve turned blue. He’s too afraid to look you know. Global warming my hole...

5 December 2011 at 19:48  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 12.26, I was trying to be deliberately silly, rather than congenitally so.

Absolutely agree with your definition.

5 December 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

G.Tingey.

And don't you shove your atheist secularism into my face.....

5 December 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog, apologies but these atheist swine could get the wrong idea.

5 December 2011 at 20:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, I feel for you. Genuinely. To my simple pre-teen brain, leaving Europe and arriving in Canada, in late December, was not rejoycing in freedom and democracy, but in the magic of heating. Over-heated apartments with warm parquet and tile floors you could walk barefoot on. Having to open windows because even though it's -20 C outside, inside it's a sauna. Hot running water with big, dual kitchen sinks, a big tub and a powerful shower, a fridge with a freezer in every kitchen. Free plastic bags to carry your plentiful and cheap food out in comfort and dignity and, later, affordable cars, low insurance rates and cheap fuel. The "little things" we are all starting to lose even here. Years later, after adopting more mature appreciations, I nevertheless came around to realize that what really matters is...well, heating and cheap food and fuel. Because without these our economies are crap, our lives are crap, recycled crap even, and we become over-regulated, barely sustainable serfs to the ever-heavier state and its set-for-life cronies. O, well.

5 December 2011 at 20:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. Blessed be the warm. Fortunately the Inspector earns his living and is not dependent on a state pension. The governments here have never given much more than a damn to our aged, struggling to survive the cold. Tis wickedness in a Dickensian way. Now, if our aged were bankers, it would be different...Anyway, I’m off back to my one warm room.

5 December 2011 at 21:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi Barzel

You're not fooling anyone, you know. All this high-minded rhetoric opposing the Religion of Environmentalism is nothing but spin. You just want to make sure you have an economically efficient means to dispose of this toxic sludge you call 'herring and onions and crackers.' Just remember that we all have an interest in protecting the water table.

carl

5 December 2011 at 21:48  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Dodo

"Or perhaps G Tingey's contributions represent little more than intentional flatulence at a social gathering ..."

No perhaps about it. Best stay down wind of the blighter.

You mean upwind, I think. I hope.

5 December 2011 at 21:50  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector said ...

"Bits of the Inspector feel like they’ve turned blue. He’s too afraid to look you know."

Remember the days of our youth? No central heating or double glazing then.

Warm hat and good thick socks will keep you warm. Should your nose turn blue, give it several quick rubs to keep the blood circulating.

5 December 2011 at 21:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Yes indeed. It was character building they said. Anyway, the Single Malt has kicked in now. Dun Leire from Ireland, 8 yrs. Special offer at Sainsburys, £ 15 (a fiver off)...

5 December 2011 at 22:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector,

We read about it, about old people actually dying of exposure in their own homes and it's still surreal and unbelievable here. Relatives in Eastern Europe were made to give up their pulluting wood and coal stoves a while back, were switched onto gas and "energy efficient" equipment which craps out, and now they can't even scrap around for coal dust and wood junk when the gas gets turned off for non-payment or the super-stove needs a part that costs three months' salary.

Like I said, the Americas beckon, but don't go down to the US, because they're all nasty, like Carl here. And it's bad there. They drink this thing they call "bourbon" made out of...get this...corn, as in maize...and their beer would sink you into a clinical depression before you empty the can. It's called "beer" by custom, it's kind of yellowish like beer and a few other liquids, but it's entirely flavour-free, which is fine, because they chill the swill to asolute zero first and pour it for you into a frosted glass to strip any tooth enamel you still might have. No appreciation for finer foods either, like say, shmaltz herring, and if any of them have ever tasted fish, they think the fish in the ocean look like Macdonalds fish filet patties. With tartar sauce for roe.

5 December 2011 at 22:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I'm less sympathetic to your plight, now Inspector. Well over $100 CDN here for what you described.

5 December 2011 at 22:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

Good man and Sláinte chugat!

Avi

Fuel poverty is a disgrace in this day and age, I agree. Those making the weak and vulberable suffer because of greed, selfishness and cold-heartedness will be called to account.

Do they have Guiness anywhere near you? It's an acquired taste but what a super drink. It leaves you contented, mellow and satisfied. Give it a go if you've never tried. The Irish will welcome you in their midst. Tell them you have friends in the UK who hail from the Emerald Isle and say:

"Céad míle fáilte romhat!"

Or to build religious bridges:

"Rath Dé ort!"

5 December 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Well, I don't actually drink Bourbon, but I think it should best be considered an example of American innovation. And I must admit you are right about major brand American beers, although there are several micro-breweries that produce good stuff. But there is not a civilized country in the world that serves beer at room temperature.

carl

5 December 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi.. Carl Jacob’s Calvinism is interesting from a Briton’s point of view, as the Inspector has never come across them here. However, it seems to be reminiscent of Scottish Presbyterianism of which he does have experience. Uncompromising is the word. Still, you can’t take a chap’s religion away from him. Roman Catholicism is much more fun. As soon as you can walk, they tell you what an undeserving sinner you are, so
you never get above yourself. Rather delightful really....

On the subject of unpalatable liquid, what passes for draught lager is chilled over here. The colder it is, the less you taste. For British lager, this is a blessing. If you ever come over, ask for 'Real Ale'.

5 December 2011 at 22:40  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Sam Vega said...

"Dodo .... You mean upwind, I think. I hope."

Indeed, Sir. Many thanks for pointing this out. Goodness me; the very thought.

Actually, given the amount of methane he produces, perhaps we could stick a pipe in him and help reduce fuel poverty.

5 December 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Men used to buy Guinness for pregnant women, and also for women who were about to become pregnant !

5 December 2011 at 22:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo,

Yes, Guines is available in liquour outlets and most bars have it on draft. We progressed from the two Toronto breweries, Molson's and Labbatt's somewhere in the 80s when imported beers and microbreweries came up. I like Guiness mostly with food...for some reason it makes me hungry... especially in the winter, with a hunk of juicy roast beef, hot or cold with sharp horseradish. Aye.

Carl, ok, I will confess, the taste of the US for me is a six-pack of cold Bud and a chocolate-sweet Marlborough on a hot day, prefferably on a quiet beach on the east coast of Florida. Or canoeing in the Everglades with a cooler-full of the stuff. The Czechs, a very civilized folk I'd say, don't chill their Pilsner, the genuine Plzensky Prazdroj from Pilsen, below cellar temperature. It's arguably the best beer in the world and if you chill it to fridge temps, you lose the much fine hoppy flavour.

Thanks for the lager-alert, Inspector. I'm fond of lager only because people here screw up ale. They don't know the difference between a beer and an ale and a lager...everything is, "give me brewski, eh?"

Ok, enough, people. Have mercy. I can't have a beer now, and truck stops and roadside diners in rural Manitoba still don't cook and serve hot kosher meals. The antisemites; just because there are only three kashrut-observant long distance truckers in the whole of North America is no excuse, I say.

5 December 2011 at 23:07  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

In bottles, dear man - referred to as stout.

I'm talking draught. Hairs on your chest, so I hope the gentle gender are not partaking of the black brew.

5 December 2011 at 23:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, yeah, for your trusty Atlas, Inspector, here's a pretty but lonely corner of the world. Heading east on on the Trans-Canada, just veered off Falcon Lake, heading NE through Whiteshell Provincial Park, and about to cross Ontario border. Picked up a stranded and fixed and empty company truck with a cabin and a sleeper that smell like a mkix of a curry shop and a perfumerie. I think I'll find a motel, probably near Dryden. Bugger security; they can have this piece of smelly junk. I should provide GPS coordinates, spread out a welcome mat and leave the keys in.

5 December 2011 at 23:52  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Correct in one respect
It is contempt.
That supposedly intelligent people can refuse to accept simple evidence, and believe in things for which there is NO evidence.
Usually because they have been brainwashed.
Sad, really, or would be if the consequences were not so vile.

6 December 2011 at 07:58  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

G Tingey.

You say that "supposedly" intelligent people believe in things for which their is no evidence.

Well don't you believe there is no God? Where is your evidence?

As for "vile" - sounds just like the consequences of atheist societies like Communist Russia, China, Korea etc.

6 December 2011 at 08:31  
Blogger Albert said...

This whole thing is daft. In my experience, Councillors regularly attend religious gatherings. When there's a new Vicar - the Mayor turns up to the installation. Is there a faith based project in the community? A councillor will be there to show his support. Does the Archbishop visit a parish - the local politicians are there to welcome him to the community. Is there any kind of event gathering people of different faiths together? - the Councillors will need to be part of it. This is part of what it is to be a local politician. It is to be part of the community, to be supporting the work of the community. Therefore, a Councillor must be ready to hear prayers, even if he doesn't join in with them. If he won't do this, he can't do his job.

Of course, local people can still vote for a Councillor whose unbelief and embarrassment at prayers prevents him from doing his job. What a Councillor cannot do, I think, is be elected without informing his electorate that he will not be able to be involved in the religious aspects of the local community.

But then, as so often with secularists, with this particular secularist, the democractic process seems to mean nothing. All that matters to them is to proclaim how thin-skinned and intolerant they are.

6 December 2011 at 10:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's interesting to compare aspects of this with the Queen, the Turkish visitors, and the halal food. It's just food at the end of the day whether or not some has used a religious method of slaughter yet the fuss made in that thread about it shows that intolerance works across the board.

6 December 2011 at 12:50  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey has just wasted more methane. We really must tap this flatulence and put ittogood use. Has anybody got suitable pipe line to hand?

6 December 2011 at 16:40  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

I've said it beore - this is so tiring ...
We can detect everthing from massless particles (photons) to very-low-mass ones (neutrinoes) all the way up to vastly distant supergalaxy clusters, visible i n deep time.
No "god" anywhere.
Where is it/he/she/they, then?
Show please, or shut up.
Ditto the supposed coimmunications between the BSF and humans - we really ought ot be able to detect THAT - but we can't.
Because it insn't there!

7 December 2011 at 11:04  
Blogger Oswin said...

'Moonpie' : your argument is fallacious, and unscientific...the big missing word from all your statements is 'YET'!

Your ''because it isn't there!'' is a pure piece of medieval denial.

'Atheism' is anti-science. At least being an 'agnostic' allows some room for manoeuvre, until the consequences of ''yet'' is proved one way or another; is this not so?

7 December 2011 at 16:01  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey

More flatulance ... such a waste!

7 December 2011 at 17:28  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey said ...

"I've said it beore - this is so tiring ..."

Now that is the most sensible and coherent statement you've made.

Answer?

7 December 2011 at 17:30  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Personal abuse, and name-calling.
BUT NO ANSWERING OF MY QUESTIONS.
Typical.

Many posts back Dreadnaught remarked that the NSS seems "frightened" of criticising islam.
He is completely wrong, and I suggest he visit their web-site.
The NSS don't like Dark-Ages camelherders' myths any more than they like Bronze-Age goatherders' ones.
They are all cruel and misleading fairy-stories.

8 December 2011 at 09:09  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey

Tiresome .... Flatulance ...

8 December 2011 at 11:57  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Dodo - personal abuse.
Answer the point(s) raised, or shut up, please?

8 December 2011 at 13:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

Answer the point(s) raised, or shut up, please?

I assume you are referring to this:

Where is it/he/she/they, then?
Show please, or shut up.


This question is about as sensible as a prime number denyer saying to someone who believes in prime numbers "Well where are the prime numbers then?" and thinking that this is a knock down argument. All it shows is that such a person doesn't know what prime numbers are. Just as you don't know what God names.

You're just assuming materialism. Now by your own standard, if you are to set up materialism as a truth claim, you need to be able to provide evidence for it.

As you would say:

Show please, or shut up.

8 December 2011 at 14:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Tingey

"Where is it/he/she/they, then?
Show please, or shut up."


The Catholic Church has always taught that "no real disagreement can exist between the theologian and the scientist provided each keeps within his own limits. . . . If nevertheless there is a disagreement . . . it should be remembered that the sacred writers, or more truly ‘the Spirit of God who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men such truths (as the inner structure of visible objects) which do not help anyone to salvation’; and that, for this reason, rather than trying to provide a scientific exposition of nature, they sometimes describe and treat these matters either in a somewhat figurative language or as the common manner of speech those times required, and indeed still requires nowadays in everyday life, even amongst most learned people" (Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus 18).

The Catechism puts it:

"Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things the of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are"
(CCC 159).

You will not be able to find God with your telescope and scientific method.

8 December 2011 at 14:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I still find it astonishing that there are Christians of different types, all utterly convinced that their particular sect or beliefs are true and convinced they have a personal relationship with a monotheistic god. One would think alarm bells would be ringing, klaxon-like, at what that suggests but no.

8 December 2011 at 17:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

I can see neither why you are surprised, nor why alarm bells should necessarily ring. Please explain.

8 December 2011 at 18:16  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

The answer is in the Bible. This warns of false teachings, false prophets, delusion and the power of Satan to spread lies.

Combine this with man's fallen nature, greed and lack of love for others and is it really surprising God Himself is used to justify evil by the principalities and powers of this world?

8 December 2011 at 18:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "The answer is in the Bible. This warns of false teachings, false prophets, delusion and the power of Satan to spread lies."

You're saying that only Catholics can have a personal relationship with god and the rest who claim to be Christians and believe wholeheartedly that they have a personal relationship with god are merely deluded? It's not the first time I've heard a Catholic claim that on the Internet of course.

8 December 2011 at 19:48  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Now just where did I say that you silly, silly man?

8 December 2011 at 20:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, how come different people with a personal relationship with the same god don't end up with the same core details? Weird, huh?

8 December 2011 at 20:28  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0, not really.

Does having a personal relationship mean everything is revealed equally and immediately "at once"? You can love somebody without fully understanding why - and this doesn't stop them loving you back.

Reading, understanding and teaching scripture is different and we're all given different gifts and different responsibilities. This is where the denominations part company.

8 December 2011 at 22:28  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Err...
Materialism WORKS.
Science WORKS
Engineering based on science WORKS
You are sitting in front of a computer-screen that could ONLY have been made by following those principles.
And you claim it isn't true and does not work (maybe) ???
Err - reality check on your brain, I think.

8 December 2011 at 23:57  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

G. Tingeyy

Yep, and so does God!

9 December 2011 at 01:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Does having a personal relationship mean everything is revealed equally and immediately "at once"?"

No. Though I'd have thought that would save a lot of bother in the long run. Other than to your St Paul, revelation doesn't seem to reveal a great deal of substance at all though there's no obvious reason why it shouldn't. At least as far as steering people to the core details. Curious, that.

"You can love somebody without fully understanding why - and this doesn't stop them loving you back."

Look at your behaviour towards other Christians on this area of the blog. There's nothing Christian about it at all is there? In fact, one might say it's almost the opposite. Does this personal relationship not result in your being poked with a very sharp stick on a regular basis?

9 December 2011 at 05:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

reality check on your brain, I think....and so does God!

Are you a spoof atheist trying to show just how daft some atheists can be? Your arguments are beyond parody.

Surely it's obvious that God, if he exists, has no brain, for God, if he exists, is immaterial.

Materialism WORKS.

This is the Oxford definition of materialism:

the theory or belief that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

It's not a theory that can work or not work, it is a metaphysical claim about the nature of reality. You seem to be some kind evidentialist. So please defend materialism - as defined - on evidentialist grounds (without being circular).

Science WORKS
Engineering based on science WORKS
You are sitting in front of a computer-screen that could ONLY have been made by following those principles.
And you claim it isn't true and does not work (maybe) ???


Where on earth have I denied all that?

You are profoundly ignorant of what other people believe. We have had this discussion before, and you shut your ears to it. I can only assume therefore, that your atheism is necessary to you for psychological reasons.

9 December 2011 at 11:41  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

You have a strange understanding of biblical revelation and the human endeavour to understand God.

Love isn't all nicey, nicey and cuddly, now is it? My way on this blog, is my way. Are we all expected to be 'politically correct' and use kind, motherly, soothing words to one another?

Go away and grow up or, as the saying goes, "man up". There's a good little poppet.

9 December 2011 at 12:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, I expect you to behave like a good Christian. Whenever you post, and as a topical point, ask yourself What Would Jesus Do? I have no doubt at all that he wouldn't do what you do. Or anything remotely like it. I'm sure you know that too but you simply don't give a crap ... and that is very telling I think.

9 December 2011 at 13:31  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

I do what I do and say what I say.

Christians are not required to be nicey, nicey all the time. Now do stop whinging.

9 December 2011 at 16:52  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Does "materialism" using your/Oxford definition include radiation - which can be converted to/from matter, but is separate?

I think my definitions/expectations are slightly different.
Namely that "the laws of physics" in their widest sense are always true, and never broken - which leaves no room at all for "supernaurality" of any sort.
Real, physical events, have real, physical causes.

If you are claiming that a real physical event can have a non-physical cause, then good luck to you - please provide a demonstration.
If you cannot, then either go back and try again, or give up.

Many on this ( & other ) discussions claim that "god" is in some sense "real" &/or that said being can influence events and people.
To produce such an effect, the agent must itself be, in some sense real, or it cannot act on the physical universe.
Again, a disproof by yourself should be simplicity itself - just produce a demonstrable effect from a non-physical cause.
Until you do your claim is not validated.

Since many attempts have been made, and none sucessful, I presently conclude that my modus operandi is the one that should be followed.

As stated previously - it works - EVERY TIME.

9 December 2011 at 17:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey

Does "materialism" using your/Oxford definition include radiation - which can be converted to/from matter, but is separate?

I think the Oxford definition is a fairly standard one. Here's the Collins dictionary "the doctrine that matter is the only reality". So if your question is "Is materialism consistent with scientific observation?" then I would say, that that is a very good question. But as I don't believe in materialism, it's not one I am terribly troubled by.

I think my definitions/expectations are slightly different.
Namely that "the laws of physics" in their widest sense are always true, and never broken - which leaves no room at all for "supernaurality" of any sort.
Real, physical events, have real, physical causes.


Okay, but that's not materialism is it? After all, your definition relies on "laws of physics" and laws naturally raise the question of what imposes the law. As Wittgenstein observes:

6.371 The whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena.

6.372 Thus people today stop at the laws of nature, treating them as something inviolable, just as God and Fate were treated in past ages. And in fact both are right and both wrong: though the view of the ancients is clearer in so far as they have a clear and acknowledged terminus, while the modern system tries to make it look as if everything were explained.


You see, the problem with your position is that it isn't atheistic as you think. The evidence could equally be explained by a kind of deism. In fact, as atheism doesn't offer an explanation for the laws of nature, it is clear that the evidence isn't equally explained by deism, but better explained by deism.

Namely that "the laws of physics" in their widest sense are always true, and never broken

How do you know they are never broken? What's your evidence?

If you are claiming that a real physical event can have a non-physical cause

You appear to be claiming that each physical event always has a physical cause. Can you offer a demonstration?

please provide a demonstration

Given that laws of nature are not themselves causes or explanations, but merely descriptions of regularities, if there is cause of these regularities, it cannot be physical. If there is no cause of these regularities, then at least part of every event lacks a physical cause. So, I think you are wrong both ways.

just produce a demonstrable effect from a non-physical cause

If I point to a miracle, you will deny it, because it has no physical cause - but that's just arguing in a circle.

As stated previously - it works - EVERY TIME.

Sorry, are you saying that all events are entirely predictable?

9 December 2011 at 18:21  
Blogger len said...

Danjo, Dodo has given up all pretence of being a Christian.
And he doesn`t want anyone else to be one either......poor fellow.

What he ultimately desires is to pull everyone down to his level.(which is pretty low)

9 December 2011 at 20:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Dodo has given up all pretence of being a Christian.

There are some pretty unpleasant things said on this blog, but that is probably among the nastiest. You should be ashamed of yourself, and continue to consider whether you really believe in one God and whether the Son of Mary is the Son of God.

9 December 2011 at 20:50  
Blogger len said...

Albert I am merely returning Dodo`s sentiments. Surely he cannot object to that?.

9 December 2011 at 21:07  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

See also this article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8931518/Islam-Charles-Darwin-and-the-denial-of-science.html

9 December 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger len said...

Albert(20:50) ,when you start rebuking Dodo for his outrageous comments your sense of 'outrage ' at mine might be taken a little more seriously.

9 December 2011 at 21:11  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

len

The difference is I'm prepared to openly share my faith with you and the doctrine on which it is based. You are not.

From what you've said on here and what you've refused to say, you are either totally confused about Christianity or following some sort of wierd escoteric sect. I doubt it is the latter given your evident lack of intellectual ability. Either way, it is a version of Christ's message and the path to salvation that I don't recognise. This is patently clear to any who followed your earlier conversations with Albert.

I say what I say openly. Yes, sometimes I'm offensive. Sometimes I say things in a way to provoke. So what? It's a tough world out there. What do you contribute? Apart from an obsession with organised religion, with the 'end times' and with Roman Catholicism as the source of all evil, you say little! When have you ever engaged in a debate about homosexuality, abortion, creation? No, you lurk about in the background waiting for an opportunity to slip in and knock the Church. The name weasle suits you.

I may not be the type of 'christian' you find acceptable. Actually, I thank God for that.

9 December 2011 at 21:56  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

when you start rebuking Dodo for his outrageous comments your sense of 'outrage ' at mine might be taken a little more seriously.

There is a difference: you condemn Dodo to not being a Christian on account of what you perceive are his sins, he condemns you on account of your unscriptural doctrine concerning the Trinity and Incarnation. Who am I to condemn a man for his sins? St Paul said he was the chief of sinners, so what does that make me? But as for denying the very basis of the faith, that is a different matter altogether - for it is by faith that we are saved.

9 December 2011 at 22:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

Which part of that article is relevant to this discussion?

9 December 2011 at 22:12  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

The religious believers claiming that the science is false, because their fairie's book says different.
And just how wrong they are....

9 December 2011 at 23:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Danjo, Dodo has given up all pretence of being a Christian."

He has a known history of pretending to be what he is not so I take it all with a pinch of salt. As time goes on, he is becoming more and more Catholic, which is quite telling. His modus operandi here is to try to form forum cliques to protect himself from attack whilst attacking others. It's playground stuff really, and quite risible. I'm not at all sure he's actually a Catholic at all. His behaviour is also manifestly and knowingly and unapologetically unchristian. If he's a practicing Catholic and he goes to confession then his priest must be really chossed off with his descriptions of his sins here. In fact, I'm surprised the priest has not recommended avoiding this place. Perhaps he has already and Dodo has told him to sling his thurible.

10 December 2011 at 00:14  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Albert

You need to understand that according to len no member of an organised church is a actually a christian.

The title is properly reserved to those "born again" in line with his specific definition of this. It is only those who meet his criteria that gain salvation. Indeed, as Roman Catholics he sees us as opposed to Christ; as part of anti-Christ.

So I was neither surprised nor offended.

DanJ0

You really are an irritating little boy. So now you're an expert on Catholic ethics and on the sacrament of reconciliation?

Pray tell, are Christians supposed to be meek and mild when defending the faith from attacks by liberals, homosexuals, atheists and anti-Catholic "born againers"? I don't think so.

As I've said, I'm not going to waste my time being all lovey-dovey and kind and sympathetic with you and your 'Miserable Rights' friends.

10 December 2011 at 01:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

The religious believers claiming that the science is false, because their fairie's book says different.

So because some religious people oppose science on the basis of a misinterpretation of what they take their holy book to teach, therefore materialism is true? Even if their interpretation is correct, there's no logic resulting in that conclusion.

This is where you started:

Show please, or shut up.

and you then moved to:

"the laws of physics" in their widest sense are always true, and never broken

So, in order for you to remain rational on your own "Show please, or shut up" terms I asked you to provide evidence that the laws of physics are never broken. And your response is to point out that some (not all) Muslims and Christians oppose evolution on the basis of what they think their respective holy books say. How on earth is that a demonstration that the laws of physics are never broken?

10 December 2011 at 09:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You really are an irritating little boy."

You know I quietly laugh when you try to do that, right? I internalised Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis years ago. All this "Grow up!" stuff you throw around at people is actually quite indicative, I think.

10 December 2011 at 09:33  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

They are not - they are separate.

The various believers in Bronze-Age/goatherders & Dark-Ages/Camelherders myths are claiming that their "scriptures are true, and that all the scientists in biology since 1859 are wrong.
Well - err, no.

As for the other section, it is a similar mindset.

IF the laws of physics are onserved to be disobeyed, because of a truly supernatural event, then it is game over - you win.
But, so far, that has not happened.
The undelying assumption od=f all the sciences has always worked, every time without fail.
I am asking you to either show that that assumption is false - itself a scientific task (falsification)
OR
Produce some evidence for some sort of supernatural (?) being, through communcation or observation.
Again a scientific task, actually.
You keep claiming that this beiong exists, and there is evidence for it.
OK - please produce.

10 December 2011 at 09:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

They are not - they are separate.

I don't know what that refers to.

and that all the scientists in biology since 1859 are wrong.

I don't think that. The overwhelming majority of Christians in this country do not think that. Pope John Paul II - leader of over half of all the world's Christians said he didn't think that. So what's your point? But even if they did, it would not provide any evidence whatsoever, that materialism is true.

IF the laws of physics are onserved to be disobeyed, because of a truly supernatural event, then it is game over - you win.

Not at all. People could be observing miracles all the time, but what happens is that their claims are dismissed on the assumption that the laws cannot be broken, or that it is highly unlikely that they are broken. Now the question is how correct is the assumption that that they cannot be broken or that it is highly unlikely that they have been broken. That's why, in order to maintain your position you must defend your faith that the laws cannot be broken - or else find reasons to show why it is highly unlikely that they should be broken.

So, to put the question back to you, what evidence would you accept that a law has indeed been broken? If you cannot answer this, your position is unfalsifiable and thus (on your terms) unscientific.

But your materialism is unjustified anyway because you are unable to show why the laws of nature hold. For example, it may be that they hold for no reason at all (a position consistent with your materialism) or that something makes them hold (a position consistent with theism and deism).

Produce some evidence for some sort of supernatural (?) being, through communcation or observation.
Again a scientific task, actually.


The idea that religious experience ("communication") is accessible to science is dodgy. Science needs to be able to test things, but there's no way to test whether God is communicating with people. It's a philosophical (or perhaps theological) question.

or observation

That's just truly hopeless. How many times does it have to be said that God is not a being within the observable universe? Obviously, then he cannot be observed!

You keep claiming that this beiong exists, and there is evidence for it.

You are the evidentialist, it is up to you to provide evidence for your materialism. So far you have provided evidence of only (a) You do not really know what materialism is (b) you do not know what "God" names. Why then should I accept to be judged by a standard you wish to apply to me, but which you will not apply to yourself in the context of a discussion in which it is evident that you do not even understand the terms - not even those that describe your own position!

I have asked you several times for a defence of your belief that laws of physic are never broken and cannot be broken, but none is forthcoming. You're the evidentialist! Can't you see the enormous contradiction in your own position?

The undelying assumption od=f all the sciences has always worked, every time without fail.

Tell me, how do you think scientists correct inaccurate descriptions of the laws of nature? How does quantum physics fit into your world-view?

10 December 2011 at 11:39  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Inaccurate descriptions, or more usually, incomplete descriptions, are corrected by the collection of anomalous observations (and experiments) which then require a re-think.
Classical examples are the 1: Michelson-Morley experiments, which showed that the "luminiferous aether" either could not exist, or in Albert's words "is not detectable" - no-one now thinls the LAe exists.( Yes, that's where I got the idea from )
and 2:
The revision to Newton's laws, which were shown to be a "special case" of releativity, where masses ase "small" and speeds "low".

There are of course, presently-unsloved problems - there always will be, I suspect.
Prime example.
QM is "true" to umpteen decimal places.
Relativity WORKS.
The two don't match up - this is usually referred to as the "Renormalisation Problem", presently unsolved.

The other case, happening in my life-observation is the complete revolution in Geology with the discovery of a mechanism for the match of the land-masses - Plate Tectonics.

As for this bit about the BSF being "not in this universe" - sorry won't wash.
Because if the BSF is not "here" in some sense or form, then we can have NO interaction with it, can we?
Look, for the BSF to be able to interact AT ALL with humans (or any other intelligent species for that matter) then BSF must have some "physical" manifestation in this universe, so that messages can be transmitted.
That is an absolute minimum requirement.
In other words, SOME part of the BSF must exist inside our visible constraints, somewhere.
That is what you should be looking for, if you want to prove me wrong.

11 December 2011 at 09:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

Inaccurate descriptions, or more usually, incomplete descriptions, are corrected by the collection of anomalous observations (and experiments) which then require a re-think.

Exactly, they need to be tested. Was a new observation a strange result, a mistake or similar, or did it indicate the universe operates in a different way from before or that our previous beliefs we wrong? Now, if our view of laws is so fixed, as you imply, we would have to reject such anomalies. But instead, we recognise that what we thought we had observed may not be the whole story, and thus our previous observations may need to be corrected. However, on this basis, they can only be corrected if the anomaly is repeated. But a miracle is a one off, and even if true, will not be repeated (or if it is repeated will be mistaken for a new law). Thus science is entirely unable to adjudicate on the question of miracles, and so, at this level at least, the existence of God is not within the competence of science. But that also means that the non-existence of God or the truth of materialism is not within the competence of science. So your position is a faith position and not scientific at all. Since you are an evidentialist that ought to be something of a problem for you.

Because if the BSF is not "here" in some sense or form, then we can have NO interaction with it, can we?

Yes, but you said that if God exists, he MUST interact with us. As far as I could see, this was the basis of your materialism. But there's no reason requiring God to interact with us if he exists - indeed you haven't provided any - and thus you have literally no evidence for your materialism. Again, if your evidentialism is true you ought to be able to show that laws of nature can function without a cause - you haven't given any evidence of that. So either materialism is false, or your evidentialism is. Which are you going to cling on to?

In other words, SOME part of the BSF must exist inside our visible constraints, somewhere.

Not at all. Theism claims that the whole universe is simply an effect of God. It's not that he is responsible for this or that bit (as Paley may have held) he's responsible for all of it. Thus there is no way of knowing whether or not God exists on your terms. This means your terms are simply the wrong way of trying to find out. A negative result on your terms is inevitable even if God does exist. Your position is like concluding that there is no such thing as light because a blind man cannot see any light.

What we do instead is look to see if the universe is sufficient unto itself. For example, it seems profoundly implausible to believe that throughout the universe everything mindless is abiding by very precise laws of behaviour and that there is no cause or explanation to that at all. Thus it is reasonable to suppose there is a mind that causes or explains the behaviour.

Now where's you evidence for materialism? Where's you evidence that no cause is needed to guide things in the regularities we observe? And while you're about it, would you care to define your position on evidentialism?

11 December 2011 at 10:03  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

No, not a problem at all.
If the BSF exists at all, even aprtially in this universe it should be detecatable.
How is this a problem for an evidentialist?

YOU are claiming that the BSF interaxts with us.
OK - show please?

12 December 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

Do you even read what anyone else writes? The problems for you, as an evidentialist are many. Firstly, does your evidentialism meet its own standard? Secondly, does your materialism meet your standard of evidentialism? Thirdly:

If the BSF exists at all, even aprtially in this universe it should be detecatable.

How many times does it have to be said, the deity does not exist at all in some part of the universe? The universe is caused by him, he can hardly be part of what he has caused or he would cause himself. He exists in his world, only as a cause exists in its effect.

YOU are claiming that the BSF interaxts with us.
OK - show please?


Well, I'm not an evidentialist so I don't see why I have to fulfil this burden. You are an evidentialist and a materialist, you must show your evidence for materialism, including your superstitious belief that the regularities of nature have no cause.

As for claiming that God interacts with us, I have given two examples: miracles and religious experience. I have shown that your methodology is the wrong one for accessing the reality of such things. You have not responded. I have also given other reasons for thinking there is a God. So I conclude this post with the last two paragraphs of my previous one (which you have not addressed):

What we do instead is look to see if the universe is sufficient unto itself. For example, it seems profoundly implausible to believe that throughout the universe everything mindless is abiding by very precise laws of behaviour and that there is no cause or explanation to that at all. Thus it is reasonable to suppose there is a mind that causes or explains the behaviour.

Now where's you evidence for materialism? Where's you evidence that no cause is needed to guide things in the regularities we observe? And while you're about it, would you care to define your position on evidentialism?


Now I have more than met your challenge. You haven't met mine or even your own! Arguing with you is like arguing with a flat-earther! You have what you think is a knock down argument (but the world looks flat/show please) and you continue to shout that long after it has been addressed. It just gives the impression that you don't know what you're talking about (an impression confirmed by your bizarre use of BSF - okay Dawkins uses it too, I think, but you need to learn to think for yourself).

12 December 2011 at 10:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Albert dear fellow. Don’t despair with Tingey, even though he appears to be in a ‘state of denial’. Has to be one surmises, lest his ordered scientific world falls apart. However, the Inspector is closely following your rationale for God’s existence, and is lapping it up !

PS. You do indeed have the patience of a saint…

12 December 2011 at 17:58  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

If you are not an "evidentialist" then why are you reading this blog?
Or is it merely a solipsistic creation of your own brain, and how can you tell?

Do grow up.

12 December 2011 at 19:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tingey, who are you addressing., Albert or the Inspector. Can’t have this ambiguity you know, not scientific....

12 December 2011 at 19:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey,

Do you know what "evidentialism" means? I fear not (even though you are, apparently, an evidentialist).

12 December 2011 at 20:30  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older