Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Richard Dawkins forgets On the Origin of Species



To remind the eminent evolutionary biologist, the full title of Darwin's work is: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

And if he doesn't even know that, by his own logic, he's not a true evolutionist!
Dawkins had claimed that Christians who aren't familiar with the Bible aren't Christians. He claims he was 'ambushed' on Darwin's work, despite giving an unequivocal 'yes' when asked if he knew the title. All very amusing.

110 Comments:

Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Fair enough Cranny, can't duck this one -

He (Cheap)-shot himself in the lower extremity of the vertebrate leg that is in direct contact with the ground there alright.

14 February 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger Vanished_Jo said...

Dear God, welcome back, I've been waiting patiently. Amen

14 February 2012 at 18:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Dawkins clearly hoped that no one would actually ask him to give the title, so he said yes he knew it. Even after all the struggling, he still didn't get it. Even I know that after "Origin of Species" comes "by means of natural selection". Presumably Dawkins doesn't know that Darwin always refused to be called an atheist.

I would recommend that Christians go to the IPSOS Mori pages and see the questions and how they are being interpreted (see here and here).

As a pretty committed and orthodox Catholic, I find that the answers I would have to give to the questions are often those being interpreted by Mori as meaning I am not really a paid up Christian and am really secular. This is because the questions are often framed poorly (or if not poorly, then leadingly). It makes Mori look bad.

This is not to say there isn't a problem: years of a lack of proper apologetics and teaching - all in the name of toleration - is now intolerantly being turned against the Church by those who benefited from that toleration.

14 February 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 February 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

He knew the full title well enough, he mentioned it with some embarrassment when denying that Hitler had been influenced by Darwinian thinking in his polemic 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. He even said the title was slightly regrettable. I keep my study copy of 'The Origin of Species by Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of FAVOURED RACES in the STRUGGLE for Life' next to that other world changing book with the word 'STRUGGLE' in the title. Mein Kampf (My Struggle) which had a lot to say about FAVOURED RACES. Next to them both is 'From Darwin to Hitler' by Richard Weikart, professor of European History at the university of Califoria who demonstrates the links all right.

Bet he wasn't expecting that from the liberal BBC vicar Giles Fraser, a Darwinist who used his Thought for The Day slot to attack creationists.

Not very quick on his feet is Tricky Dicky, no wonder he wouldn't debate Stephen Meyer.

14 February 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger William said...

The Dawk strikes again. Very funny. I loved the way the Beeb commentator tried to cover for him. Maybe Auntie could give him a prime time slot. Here's hoping.

14 February 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger MrsG said...

Because titles are more important than content? How pathetic of you.

14 February 2012 at 19:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Dawkins is a silly arse, but not every Christian believes in the LITERAL word of the bible on our origin. A very good analogy non the less. Jesus loved his analogies, or parables as we call them...

14 February 2012 at 19:28  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Darwin was reading the book of life, concerned with the present; a book that can be read by anyone. Christians read The Book of The Dead, concerned about the Here-After, and need a Father to interpret it for them.

14 February 2012 at 19:29  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

@MrsG - Umm, if he hadn't said he knew it it wouldn't have been an issue. But he said he did and in oing so set himself up to destroy his own argument. Only pathetic thing Iis Dawkins, particularly with his claim of being "hijacked"!

14 February 2012 at 19:33  
Blogger Albert said...

MrsG,

Because titles are more important than content? How pathetic of you.

Indeed, and that is the point being made. Dawkins was trying to draw some kind of conclusion from the fact that most Christians questioned didn't know what the first book of the NT is called. It follows that some kind of conclusion ought to be drawn from the fact that Dawkins doesn't know the title of the Origin of Species (except that it doesn't because as you say, content is more important than titles).

14 February 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Surely Dawkins has taken Darwin's original idea, promoted it, and expanded on it? No-one treats Darwin's book as a continuing source of interpretation and inspiration for the original idea, it has its place in the history of science and that's pretty much that. The same can't be said for the Bible at all, can it? One would expect Christians to be poring over the book all the time, teasing out the meanings as they grow 'spiritually'.

14 February 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Btw, talking about militant atheists/secularists, the full text of Warsi's speech at the Vatican is here if anyone is interested.

14 February 2012 at 20:40  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I know we Christians aren't meant to rejoice in another's suffering, but it's hard not feel slightly smug when His unholiness, The Primate of Pompousness get's his balloon well & truly pricked. A slam-dunk I think it's called.

Of course, we all know it's of no significance at all really, and that a practising Christian really ought not to be ignorant of such rudimentary things. What it does illustrate wonderfully though is how thoroughly humourless & up himself Dawkins is that he won't simply say "You got me there" but has to come up with some ludicrous self-defence!

In the words of Mr T, "I pity the fool".

14 February 2012 at 20:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Thank you for the link. The Inspector couldn’t even make half way. Doesn’t she go on a bit...

14 February 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Doesn’t she go on a bit..."

That's the full speech and then some, I think some of it is duplicated. You didn't get down to the bit where she was advocating running Sharia Law alongside English Law in a multi-faith way then? ;)

14 February 2012 at 21:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Good grief. Was wondering why a muslim woman would want to see the Pope...

14 February 2012 at 22:15  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

If we're trying to establish that Dawkins is a prat and that the height of his and his disciples (are you listening, kinderling?) intellectual acumen is to sneer and jeer like the eternal undergraduate, I think we're all a day or two late to that particular party. Is there anybody left - even amongst atheists - who still takes Dawkins as a serious intellectual?

14 February 2012 at 22:51  
Blogger Dan said...

Listening to that, even Dawkins thought it was funny that he got caught out. Never say "yes" to a challenge like that!

What he should have said was, "People who identify as Christian and who are very religious, are surely likely to know what the books of the Bible are. The fact that when we asked people certain questions, they didn't know the answers to those questions, seems to indicate that people who self-identify as Christian are not necessarily very religious in a doctrinal or practical sense."

Dawkins got the set up wrong.

It's not about who is and who is not "really" a Christian. It's about what the beliefs and practice of people who identify as Christian really are, and what that tells us about the state of religious authority in this country.

Thus, when the census says, "X% of people are Christian", we cannot assume that means they will support everything the Christian churches say and do. (Well, actually you couldn't assume that anyway, but this is a rather starker point).

14 February 2012 at 23:54  
Blogger David B said...

How do I read that?

That Dawkins was a bit nonplussed by it, not because he didn't know the answer, which more or less came out at the end, but because of the 'favoured races' bit, which at first sight would appear to show that Darwin was a racist.

In fact, in his early work Darwin tried very hard to avoid the implications of his theory for humans, and he was using the word more as a synonym for what we would now call 'sub species' rather than as we would understand the word 'race' in human terms.

Let us remember that Darwin, though a man of his day, was much more sympathetic to enslaved people than the rather ultra religious (great man that he was, in his way) Fitzroy.

Dawkins got a little bit confused by a clever question, and HG follows up with a knee to the nuts, but both blows, to my mind, aare rather below the belt.

David B

15 February 2012 at 00:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

What a shame! We really shouldn't laugh at how silly this made him look - Ha Ha Ha - no really we shouldn't - He He He. But he did look daft, didn't he?

Time for one of your *Gufaws* Ernst.

15 February 2012 at 00:53  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I am not a Dawkins supporter ...in fact from seeing a number of interviews I can only reach the the conclusion that all he is,is a good entrepreneur on the money making trail.

However he does make a point that I have addressed myself even before I read this post. Can a Christian call himself a Christian if he has doubts or disbelief in some of crucial concepts of Christianity such as the virgin birth, transubstantiation, the resurrection, the ascension.

Can one be a Christian with reservations? Cultural Christians follow Christian ethics and not necessarily belief in all the teachings of Jesus.

15 February 2012 at 01:18  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Cressida
You are asking the right questions. Don't expect all the answers at once. They willcome,sooner or later. Just do your best and keep on asking. From the little I know of you,you are more than a "cultural Christian".

In the words of Jesus:

"Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.

For every one that asks, receives: and he that seeks, finds: and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.

Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone?

Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?

If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?"

15 February 2012 at 01:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida: "Can a Christian call himself a Christian if he has doubts or disbelief in some of crucial concepts of Christianity such as the virgin birth, transubstantiation, the resurrection, the ascension."

Transubstantiation is a crucial concept of Christianity? I think there might be some dispute about that.

The results of that Ipso Mori are surely devastating if they have captured the truth of it. Especially over things that cause so many ructions here, such as abortion, pre-marital sex, and same-sex politics.

15 February 2012 at 07:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo said to Ernst

"Time for one of your *Gufaws* Ernst." Wish Ernst could see the funny side of secular atheists telling him and anybody else WHAT or How they should believe, Lad. Thought we had Freedom of Conscience and Assembly? Obviously not for others who it appears are not so persuaded by the Atheist/Secularist mantra but they (Atheist/Secularist) can tell Ernst what he must believe and how he should believe it to be considered genuine! You could not make this rubbish up!

What must atheist believe to be classed as bona fide to their non religious beliefs from other peoples perspective?

Define their understanding of biology, chemistry, cosmology, the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics. What about the study of valid inferences, be able to generalise about the formation of hypotheses, theories, and laws etc..., and decently display it in oral or written context of reasoning that shows there must be no God and demonstrably so! (That would mean a F for the Grey Tingey Ghoul, would it not) *Guffaws and Titters*.

Ernst just acknowledges that they suffer from a Dis-Ease of the soul in the matter of all things not verifiable without a test-tube and lab and no further clarification is needed from them to Ernst to justify their position!

Danjo pontificated 'Transubstantiation is a crucial concept of Christianity? I think there might be some dispute about that.' Indeed there is as the rascal damned well knows as a constant blog irritant on a Christian Discussion Blog from comments here and on a myriad of other issues. SO WHAT! You do not even claim to be unsure/agnostic but are an outright God Denier.

Who are you or anyone else to deny people the right for them to believe in whatever they want (if someone wants to call themselves a Jedi can they only do so under criteria set by your ilk..must have watched all Star Wars movies and read the books, able to name all members of the Dark Sith etc or else no thumbs up from A C Grayling, Dawkins, Danjo etc.)

Ernst is not a making a justification for Christianity , just that, who are they to tell people what is acceptable, as if their comment/acquiesce holds such weight and without, well, the opinion is invalid!
It is stated not for the stater of the beliefs benefit but merely a tool to show sophistry is very much alive and part of this new 'inquiring' body that sets itself up as 'The Only Way'.

It appears your ilk are no better than others throughout history, telling others what is acceptable.

Surveys are a matter of personal statement and conscience or do you despise the.. err.. How did Dawkins condescend those he felt were too stupid to make a qualified judgement about their beliefs.. Oh Yes, Hoi Polloi in the Greek.. The Great Unwashed “the many".

Welcome to the new Inquisition!

Ernst

15 February 2012 at 08:19  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Let' see
Origin of Species was published in 1859, and began modern biology.
It is an important HISTORICAL text, and a very good read.
BUT
It is no longer used as a reference work.
Science ADVANCES, you know?
Meanwhile the bible, a 2000+ year-old collection of Bronze-Age goatherders' myths is still regarded as current and relevanbt and true in every respect, with no modifications?

You what?

Now bloody grow up, the lot of you!

Oh, and what Dawkins could not remember in full was THE SUB-TILTLE.
SO wrong again, lying again, but then, you are religious bleievers - and you lie, just like George Pitcher did not so long ago.

15 February 2012 at 08:32  
Blogger Gary said...

"Dawkins had claimed that Christians who aren't familiar with the Bible aren't Christians."

Personally, I'm somewhat sympathetic to Dawkins on this point. A Christian who has access to a Bible and never studies it, or reads it, must surely ask himself if he is truly in the faith. It is by scripture alone that we grow closer to God, and learn what it means to be a Christian (what it means to be human, in fact) and someone who claims to love God would logically be drawn strongly to his word.

15 February 2012 at 08:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"A Christian who has access to a Bible and never studies it, or reads it, must surely ask himself if he is truly in the faith (Is he maturing in his/her faith!). It is by scripture alone that we grow closer to God, and learn what it means to be a Christian" But does this means you are not until you do what you describe. Yes they should but they do not..it's called being 'a babe in Christ', not that they are not believers!

Were there no christians, new or old, whilst The Roman Catholic church had the bible only in Latin within our shores, by your terminology...how can you read what you cannot comprehend in another language?
Christians help convert others by word of mouth testimony by something so simple as 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved' so what other myriads of theology must we know to accomplish this. Is a christian not someone who believes this, not what they know of the Holy Bible.

Satan knows the Bible yet is not saved. Hundreds of Bible Scholars know and study the bible but are not saved. Is going to church the sign you are saved?? Jesus tells us many strange birds occupy the branches of the church and that there are tares with the wheat..are the tares Christians by your understanding?

How much of the OT did the thief on the cross know or heard before he made his statement and got the famous response from Our Blessed Saviour? Is he not saved?

We are told we do not have to give in to sin as Christians yet we all do from time to time and must repent (1 John 1:9).

Have you stopped being a Christian because you have sinned?
The majority of things in the Bible are for maturity and strengthening of faith and are essential but running the race as St Paul said does not guarantee you have successfully completed all that you should..
"According to the commission of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble---each man's work will become manifest (openly visible), for the Day (of the Lord) will disclose it, because it will be revealed (unveiled) with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

and

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men..." (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

or

"None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So each of us shall give account of himself to God. Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." (Romans 14:7-13)

But it is obvious that some Christians have little desire to serve their Lord fervently and whole-heartedly in this present life. Others serve God their entire lives, hardly ever faltering or compromising, giving to Him all they have to give, even losing their lives if that is required of them.

Ernst

15 February 2012 at 09:19  
Blogger David Tyler said...

The Ipsos MORI survey concluded that: "UK Christians are overwhelmingly secular in their attitudes on a range of issues from gay rights to religion in public life". This is not surprising, as alarm bells have been ringing about this for years in many church gatherings. Last year, a survey by the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life put secularism as the biggest threat to Christianity.
So the stance taken by Giles Fraser was not a strong one. Nevertheless, he came out the victor, because Richard Dawkins over-reached himself.
Fraser threw out a challenge to RD: "If I were to say to you 'What is the full title of the "Origin of Species"'? – I am sure you can tell me that".
RD: "Yes I could".
GF: "Go on then".
That seems to be a perfectly reasonable challenge: to make the point that human beings should not be labelled by instant responses to survey questions.

15 February 2012 at 09:22  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Tingey, back in your box!

Interesting thought on this, given how post-modernity has led to people thinking that they can redefine marriage could we soon be at a stage where people are redefining what Christianity is and at what point people can rightly put their name to it?

15 February 2012 at 09:32  
Blogger Duck said...

Of course The Origin is not exactly equivalent to the Bible - so much work and theorising has been done on evolution since then that you could believe in a concept of evolution whilst disagreeing with a lot in Darwin's work.

15 February 2012 at 10:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Old Grey Tingeymebobs

What an old duffer you are and pretentious too.

What he should have been asked, using your usage of statement when comparing Christians and their scripture was ;

The Origin Species by Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of Favoured Races ;

What is chapter 4 titled.

What is the relevance of chapter 8 and how could you best summarise it?

All without looking for the book, mind you.

You apply criteria to us that you ignore yourselves from your scripture!

Hypocrites!

Ernst

15 February 2012 at 10:24  
Blogger William said...

Duck

"you could believe in a concept of evolution whilst disagreeing with a lot in Darwin's work."

Then why can't you be a Christian without going to church every Sunday or knowing what the first book of the NT is?

Mr B + T

More wise comments from the man/cat duo.

15 February 2012 at 10:36  
Blogger Gary said...

To Blofeld & Tiddles:

I don't have time this morning to deal in detail with your long and thoughtful reply, but I will add this: The elect are, of course, saved by the spoken gospel and the actions of the Holy Ghost. In my previous post, I was speaking specifically about Christians who have ACCESS to a Bible but seldom read it. The Bible tells us to test ourselves. James indicates that faith without works is dead, and that works (e.g. Bible study) follow on from faith as a sign of our love for God.

15 February 2012 at 11:05  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Forget the book for a minute. If the statistics show that these people don't even believe that Christ was the son of God, then are they Christians? The real point is, as expected, the mythical 70 odd percent "Christians" are exactly that: a myth.

And the comparison is specious anyway: Darwin's book, whatever it's called, is not a holy book written by God, spelling out exactly what one has to believe in order to be called an evolutionist. The comparison is as between apples and pears. Some of Darwin's book is just wrong, and not relevent to "belief in" evolution.

15 February 2012 at 11:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 February 2012 at 11:16  
Blogger non mouse said...

It's all good deconstructionist practice. It's just another ploy for destroying Christianity, isn't it? "Just define Christianity for the idiots. That'll show they don't belong, that'll keep them out. We can even get the zealots to kick out the uncertain. They'll be completely discouraged then, and ..."

Never mind that Christianity is about individual consciences working their way to acceptance of Redemption through Christ.

Never mind that we've spent centuries getting it into our own language, in our own country.

Just tell us idiots who and what we are, and what we're allowed to think, and we'll all roll over in the slime and turn into whatever they tell us.

Lord, help me. I thought they were only taking us back to paleolithics.

....

Wakey, Wakeeeeeeee....

15 February 2012 at 11:26  
Blogger William said...

LTinA

"The real point is, as expected, the mythical 70 odd percent "Christians" are exactly that: a myth."

Who are you to say that someone who describes themselves as a Christian is not one? Are you a Christian? What are your criteria?

"Some of Darwin's book is just wrong, and not relevent to "belief in" evolution."

So what are the requirements for a "belief in" evolution?

15 February 2012 at 11:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "Indeed there is as the rascal damned well knows as a constant blog irritant on a Christian Discussion Blog from comments here and on a myriad of other issues. SO WHAT! You do not even claim to be unsure/agnostic but are an outright God Denier."

The comments section is currently open to blogger account holders, and I refer you to His Grace's Bottom Line over to the right which is to the blog owner's credit.

As for god denier, I say yet again that I am not certain whether a god or gods exist. As an atheist, I have looked at various god hypotheses, including the Christian one, and I have found them wanting. I think Christianity and Islam unlikely enough to be true that they may as well be ignored as explanations of the human condition.

"Who are you or anyone else to deny people the right for them to believe in whatever they want [...]"

I don't, of course. I say that again, and again, and again, and again. You're indulging yourself with Straw Men.

"It appears your ilk are no better than others throughout history, telling others what is acceptable."

I'm a member of our society and actions of individuals have consequences. I don't care what (say) Christians or Muslims believe, I care about their actions in as much as they adversely affect other people.

The Ipso Mori thing is interesting because it suggests that the label 'Christian' is largely meaningless in political discourse. One can't assume that Christians are against abortion, or for sexual morality gleaned from the Bible, or against same-sex marriage.

Of course, that's a double-edged sword to some extent as people like me can't really argue against using Christian justifications for our ethics when there doesn't appear to be a shared Christian justification anyway. The label appears to be as meaningless as 'Tory' if Ipso Mori have captured the truth of it.

15 February 2012 at 11:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Erm, let me rewrite that bit: "As for god denier, I say yet again that I am not certain that a god or gods does not exist."

15 February 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

It is not for me to say who is or isn't a Christian - in fact that is a game more often played by Christians than anyone else. I'm just saying that there are reasonable grounds for questioning the 70 percent figure that is waved about like an enormous religious willy in every debate. When closely examined, I suspect that willy disappears up its own jumper, so to speak. I know countless people who put "C of E" on the census form who never go to church, don't own a bible, don't even believe in God. Christians desperately want that high figure, even though they know hardly anyone goes to church - it sounds more impressive in a debate, and it sounds as though you have more people behind you than you have.

As it happens I was baptised a Catholic, have a few Bibles, a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, and more books on Christian Theology than probably any other subject. And I love churches. I probably better qualify for putting myself down as a Christian than millions of the people who did, but I didn't.

There are no requirements for a belief in evolution. None.

15 February 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Non Mouse 15 February 2012 11:26

Exactly, my fine lass

"Never mind that Christianity is about individual consciences working their way to acceptance of Redemption through Christ."
Ernst would rather the have a vague notion of Christianity rather than defiant ignorance..It leaves the door open for us to say 'Who He really was/is and What He does for those He came to save in the past and today!

St Paul used what the Athenians declared about the Unknown God knew to reason with and try to evangelise amongst them.

William said 15 February 2012 11:30

Excellently argued in a concise manner but "So what are the requirements for a "belief in" evolution?" Don't hold your breathe for an answer from Atheists on that one. Only others and their statements can be reasonably challenged!

Ernst, Lad.

DanJo 15 February 2012 11:38

"Erm, let me rewrite that bit: "As for god denier, I say yet again that I am not certain that a god or gods does not exist.""
Then Ernst declares publicly and genuinely his apologies for making such an assertion against you lad.

Ernst Blofeld

15 February 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

>"So what are the requirements for a "belief in" evolution?" Don't hold your breathe for an answer from Atheists on that one.

Hm..seven minutes holding his breath. Not so bad, eh Ernst? Would have answered sooner but God for some reason decided to create humans that have to suffer the inconvenience of going to the toilet..just like animals! Funny that.

15 February 2012 at 11:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I accept evolution by natural selection as the best explanation I've heard for the existence of species and biological complexity in general. I think the evidence across many fields of study is compelling. The underlying mechanism which was subsequently discovered supports the core of the original idea. However, we're not inextricably tied to the text in Darwin's book.

Am I a believer in it? Well, in one way of using the term I am. But belief of this sort is not the same as religious belief. Moreover, I'm entirely happy for the theory to be changed to accomodate discoveries, including a rejection of it in extremis. That shows the form of it: a symbiotic and developing relationship between our perceived reality and the explanations of it. Religious belief is rather different.

15 February 2012 at 12:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

LTiA made Ernst giggle out loud

'Hm..seven minutes holding his breath. Not so bad, eh Ernst? Would have answered sooner but God for some reason decided to create humans that have to suffer the inconvenience of going to the toilet..just like animals! Funny that.' To misquote Darwin 'Oh the Joys of 'Arrival of the Fastest' and the wonders of 'Natural Ejection'..He He He.

DanJo @15 February 2012 12:06

"But belief of this sort is not the same as religious belief." The Terms of what you think you are can be defined by what you hold dear and value. Or is your supposed agnostism an irrelance.

If so, why bother anyone here with your opinions. Ernst has opinions about fine coffee but is strangely absent from forums used by fellow coffee lovers!

"Religious belief is rather different." How so, if the only difference supposedly is a Deity and response to those claims but the terms of life and death and what happen to you at the end and your dealings with others determine how you live/lived are as relevant for you as they are for old Ernst.

WV' POUPS..* sound of undignified chuckles*
Ernst lad.

15 February 2012 at 12:28  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJo

'As an {atheist}, I have looked at various god hypotheses, including the Christian one, and I have found them wanting.' Oops

Definition lad www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

Atheist-One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods; the 'doctrine' that there is no deity.

Will you apologise to Ernst for misleading him or is your grasp of english vocabulary that poor or do you suffer from Dawkinitis?

Ernst

15 February 2012 at 12:53  
Blogger scottspeig said...

@Larks Tongues "There are no requirements for a belief in evolution. None."

That is not true - You must believe that life came from non-life. That the universe came into existence without an eternal personal cause.

@DanJ0 - Really? natural selection is the best explanation you've heard?? Even accepting that it could be codswollap? That is strange as after looking into it myself, I find it lacking a great deal in origins and philosophical arguments as well as empirical evidence. Personally, while I accept there are concerns on both sides, I find the christian God to have the better explanation. Interesting no?

15 February 2012 at 12:53  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

>That is not true - You must believe that life came from non-life. That the universe came into existence without an eternal personal cause.

Well, the last part of that certainly isn't true, and therefore, neither is the first. Was that that best you could do? I made an effort there - I gave you a 200 word answer and you give me less than thirty words of untruth in response? Come on, I'm bored. Entertain me!

15 February 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

oh sorry you aren't the same person [sheepish grin].

15 February 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Dawkins is a poor philosopher and not much better as a scientist either; his theory of 'memes' is a joke.

For professional destruction of his claptrap I would recommend anyone to read the criticisms penned by the Christian philosopher/historian David Bentley Hart, or by the atheist Australian philosopher David Stove. Mary Midgley manages to put a refined boot into his nonsense too.

15 February 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger William said...

LTiA

"I'm just saying that there are reasonable grounds for questioning the 70 percent figure"

and yet you also say that it is not for you to say what those grounds are! How confusing. How convenient!

"waved about like an enormous religious willy"

How strange.

"I know countless people"

Do you? That sounds like a lot of people. Perhaps we didn't need a census. We could have just asked you?

"There are no requirements for a belief in evolution. None."

Cool. I'm a believer.

15 February 2012 at 13:29  
Blogger William said...

LTiA

"As it happens I was baptised a Catholic, have a few Bibles, a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, and more books on Christian Theology than probably any other subject. And I love churches. I probably better qualify for putting myself down as a Christian than millions of the people who did, but I didn't."

This would be risible if it wasn't so pitifully sad.

15 February 2012 at 14:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "Will you apologise to Ernst for misleading him or is your grasp of english vocabulary that poor or do you suffer from Dawkinitis?"

No apology. However, I invite you too look into atheism a little more than inferring stuff from a simplistic online dictionary.

15 February 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Ernst

You're doing remarkably well and I'm pleased you appear to have made a miraculous recovery. Been to Lourdes, old boy?

Seriously, your posts make a lot of sense and I enjoyed reading them especially your wading in against the heathens.

It is time we Christians united around what we believe in rather than pulling our faith apart over what we disagree on. Time we professed our faith in Christ resurrected snd salvation through His atonement and a relationship and union with Him. We all agree on this. That way we can put these irritating atheists back in the box where they belong and stop them damaging the faith of others and coruppting the Christian message through malice.

15 February 2012 at 14:10  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

William:

>and yet you also say that it is not for you to say what those grounds are! How confusing.

I said it is not for me to say who is and isn't a Christian. I didn't say it wasn't for me to suggest what the grounds for questioning the 70% figure might be. You have asked me a question, and then ridiculed my answer based on the fact that it wasn't a good answer to a different question that you hadn't asked. It's only confusing if you can't follow a logical train of thought old chap.

>Do you? That sounds like a lot of people. Perhaps we didn't need a census. We could have just asked you?

That would be noooo because the census has to cover eveerrryyoonee, not just the people I know.

>This would be risible if it wasn't so pitifully sad.

Now now, don't cry. Or at least explain yourself first.

15 February 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

scottspeig: "That is strange as after looking into it myself, I find it lacking a great deal in origins and philosophical arguments as well as empirical evidence."

Origins? Philosophical arguments? It's about speciation. Possibly this is where you are going wrong.

"Personally, while I accept there are concerns on both sides, I find the christian God to have the better explanation. Interesting no?"

Not that interesting, to be honest. Or rather, as interesting as a Muslim claim Allah is a better explanation (of whatever you think you're explaining ... it's not clear whether we're still talking about speciation or not).

15 February 2012 at 14:14  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

>It is time we Christians united around what we believe in rather than pulling our faith apart over what we disagree on.

That's great. So is the Catholic Church about to announce that the Anglican one IS a real church after all? I wouldn't bet on it.

> ..and coruppting the Christian message through malice.

Atheists don't need to do that old chap, Christians have cornered that maret!

15 February 2012 at 14:15  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

or even market..

15 February 2012 at 14:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

scottpeig: "@DanJ0 - Really? natural selection is the best explanation you've heard?? Even accepting that it could be codswollap?"

It is the best. Religious explanations require people to take on way too much on blind faith before the explanation can be used. By codswollap, you mean we find something it not only doesn't explain but that the something irretrievably undermines the theory? Such as finding evidence of biology much more complex than the time ought to allow?

15 February 2012 at 14:22  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I think Blowfart has completely lost it and believes he really is his own avatar.

15 February 2012 at 14:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dreadnaught said, ever so childishly!

"I think Blowfart has completely lost it and believes he really is his own avatar."

Avatar - Definitions!
1. In Hinduism, an avatar is (from Sanskrit avatāra, meaning "descent") is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being.

2. In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character.

3. Movie regarding a paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi....Do make your mind up, there's a jolly dandy old chap.

and old Ernst was going to say what a decent, if slightly irrational human being for a god denier you were, you were.. Oooh, Shut that Dour. *Humongous Titters*

Ernst, young man.

15 February 2012 at 15:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo asked Ernst?

"Been to Lourdes, old boy?"
Many times, young bird but Ernst prefers to watch his cricket at the Oval..Closer to the crater and the old dears there a make pretty fine cup of char ('Char' you maybe inclined to know is in fact quite a close version of the Chinese word for tea, 'tcha'..).

Ernst, me fine dickie.

15 February 2012 at 15:39  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

That lad DanJo stated..

"Blofeld: "Will you apologise to Ernst for misleading him or is your grasp of english vocabulary that poor or do you suffer from Dawkinitis?"

No apology. However, I invite you too look into atheism a little more than inferring stuff from a simplistic online dictionary."

Merriam-Webster Inc. is an American company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).

You maybe inclined to further consider that Merriam-Webster Inc. has been a subsidiary of the Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. since 1964

But then, what do Merriam Webster know, hmmm.

Ernst trusts that you completing an IPSOS survey form regarding atheism and it's true definition would be out of the question? *Titters*

Ernst, you silly boy.

15 February 2012 at 16:11  
Blogger Oswin said...

Cressida de Nova @ 01:18 :

''Can a Christian call himself a Christian if he has doubts or disbeliefs in some crucial concepts of Christianity...?''

Well, I certainly hope so. My own, simplistic belief, is that a Christian follows the words, and exhortations of Christ; that is, as far as they are known.

Christ does not much comment (?) on the questions/circumstances that you proffer. Thus to my mind, it is fair to question, to wonder at etc.

You go on to say: ''Cultural Christians follow Christian ethics and not necessarily belief in all the teachings of Jesus.'' Which rather hints, if you'll forgive me, at some measure of contradiction, from that of your earlier premise; yes?

What is not to be believed of Jesus' 'teachings'? It's what comes next, that evokes response; yes?

Many will disagree; but really, just what are we worshiping? Is it the Word of Christ or, as some may perhaps preceive it, as being the 'window dressing' that surrounds the beginnings of the 'Church'?

I don't know; no one really does; but perhaps it's a safer bet, to keep Christ's teachings well to the fore; hopefully then, we'll not go too far astray.

(now reaching for the old ARP helmet!)

15 February 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "Ernst trusts that you completing an IPSOS survey form regarding atheism and it's true definition would be out of the question? *Titters*"

For'goodness'sake Blofeld, just read around the subject instead of waving trivial dictionary stuff around. It's hardly a tough ask of someone.

15 February 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...
'Dreadnaught said, ever so childishly!'
then proceeded to say nothing but simply resorted to the last refuge of the scoundrel - 'Cut and Paste'

You see here Blowfart, why when you make a statement in your third party referenced, cyber-atavistic persona, you not only appear to me as slightly foolish but also a little disingenuous. You may of course, as I am sure you are (at least in the real world), a believer that imitation can be regarded as the highest form of flattery, but in my view, what you do, is simply a rip-off from the originality of another.

His Grace keeps a uniquely open comment policy and accepts without discrimination, comments often diametrically opposed to his own views; where your alter ego would have them excluded. It appears that you don't really understand the essence of the Blog at all - you say things like:-

...'a Christian Discussion Blog'...

Where as HG states its purpose as:-

'Examining religio-political agendas with politico-religious objectives'

You see - you are more concerned with exercising your own fantasy image than even reading the strapline.

And as for 'childish' - don't even go there, just you carry on stroking your pussy old chap - no offence.

15 February 2012 at 17:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dreadnaught fought his corner..poorly.

"'Dreadnaught said, ever so childishly!' then proceeded to say nothing but simply resorted to the last refuge of the scoundrel - 'Cut and Paste'" Would you have Ernst type it out instead?
3 definitions of Avatar to help you with that empirical learning of yours and you get all huffy and prissy. There really is no pleasing you, is there?

"but in my view, what you do, is simply a rip-off from the originality of another." There is nothing new under the sun lad, only the means of extending the idea further. Is there some copyright that Ernst should be made aware of?

"His Grace keeps a uniquely open comment policy and accepts without discrimination, comments often diametrically opposed to his own views; where your alter ego would have them excluded." Where has Ernst ever declared such a thing, merely the expressed wonderment at why Atheists like yourself are interested if all is such things are nonsense!

'...'a Christian Discussion Blog'.... Is His Grace called Imam Cranmer, Rabbi Cranmer, Guru Cranmer, Brahmin Cranmer...Well then?!

"'Examining religio-political agendas with politico-religious objectives' " See above!

"And as for 'childish' - don't even go there, just you carry on stroking your pussy old chap - no offence." HeHeHe. Q.E.D.

It's good to be back fighting the heathen. LOL.

Ernst, you poor unfortunate soul.

15 February 2012 at 18:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Ernst, you poor unfortunate soul

Quite!

15 February 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dreadnaught said

" Ernst, you poor unfortunate soul

Quite"

Oh goodness me, am I now my evolved brother's zoo keeper ?

Ernst 'it's all my fault' Blofeld

15 February 2012 at 19:15  
Blogger Oswin said...

Gentlemen - 'nuff said, please.

16 February 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oswin the concepts I referred to are all contained in the teachings
of Jesus in the Bible otherwise how would we know about them.

I think Christians gloss over the
difficult concepts that require leaps of faith and probably understandably don't address those issues at all.

This is not a criticism.Life is busy,we all have a need to belong and if you are born Christian of a Christian family going back for generations it is for some too difficult and painful to break away.

Being a Christian for some is in your DNA and the idea of conversion to another religion is an anathaema.
I suppose this view would apply to those of other faiths as well.Especially those faiths that inculcate (brainwash) their very young.

I have often wondered why some Christian homosexuals are so keen to stay in the Church and be accepted. It is probably for the same reason.

I know Levicitus says that homosexuality is an abomination but is there any mention of homosexuality in the NT.

As I understand it Christianity is concerned with the NT.The OT is a just a historical prelude.Why should OT hold any special significance for followers of the NT.Are Christians required to believe in the OT?

For the ratbag element of commentary on this blog.. I am not mounting a defence for homosexuality.A yes or no answer with a quote will suffice.This aside is not intended to spark another furore on the subject of homosexuality.

16 February 2012 at 02:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida: "I have often wondered why some Christian homosexuals are so keen to stay in the Church and be accepted. It is probably for the same reason."

The handful I have spoken to insist they have a personal relationship with the Christian god despite being practising homosexuals. They think it is the church that has got it wrong.

16 February 2012 at 06:27  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

There are some priceless and ridiculous comments here, funnily enough all to do with atheism!

First off, atheism IS the belief in the non-existence of a deity/deities. Agnosticism IS the unsurity of the existence of God/gods one way or the other. If you are 100% convinced that God/gods do not exist then you are an atheist. If you are between 1% and 99% then you are an agnostic.
Just to add, having doubts in your faith (and yes, atheism is DEFINITELY a faith as it is based upon a premise that cannot be proved) does not make you agnostic, it merely means you are having a moment of doubt before reverting to your normal way of belief (unless, of course, such a moment of doubt leads to you making a definitive change in stance on your beliefs).

Second, evolution. Evolution is about the progression of the species from one stage to the next. It deals with fish turning into reptiles, reptiles into birds and so on. If we take this in reverse we find that eventually we are lacking about the idea of organisms being formed from molecules that "just happen to merge together" and then we look even further back and we get to the Big Bang. TBB is one of 2 things. It is either an explosion of nothing into something or it is the explosion of some things that were lying dormant or simply not interacting with each other from eternity to that specific point in time. Either way this is set independent from any personal causation. Listen to any debates by William Lane Craig and you will find his argument along these lines there. Personally, I can find no flaw in either his logic or his conclusions.
In addition, TBB does not offer any explanation of how TBB came to be able to happen as it neither explains how an explosion can happen from nothing nor how the things that might have caused it happened to come into existence.
And as for the suggestion of multiverses and a repeating universe, as has been suggested by various atheists in recent years, that is still not dealing with the argument that evolution dictates we need to ask, which is "where did they come from?". Atheists tend to say "well, you believe in an eternal god, so why can't you accept an eternal molecule?" but given that they have issues with bother accepting and understanding the true nature of eternity (not to mention the question of why, after an eternity, they decide to change and bring about TBB) it is a fairly crass argument to make.

16 February 2012 at 10:13  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Youthpasta. Just to take your first point, as I am about to go out, there is no "third way": you either believe in God, or you don't. Someone who is undecided cannot meaningfully be said to believe in God, therefore they are an atheist. An agnostic is someone who holds that it's impossible to know either way. Atheism / theism are about belief. Agnosticism is about knowledge.

I'm unsure exactly what your other points are due to typos. Perhaps you would care to express them more lucidly.

16 February 2012 at 10:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Looks like Dawkins is not an atheist afterall. Phew. No need for those youtube videos, bus-side slogans, and invitations to showmanship debates.

16 February 2012 at 12:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, an acceptance of evolution by natural selection is not necessarily mutually exclusive with a belief in some sort of creator or creating thing. There's some core confusion there, I thnk.

16 February 2012 at 12:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This insistance by some religionists on atheism meaning a certainty that no god or gods exist is rather transparent. We can have no such certainty therefore we are being irrational and we're holding it as mere faith thus reversing common criticisms of religious belief. It also equalises the burden of proof on both groups to their various assertions. Moreover, any nominally uncertain atheists are pushed into the agnostic camp which in common understanding either means wishy-washy or vague belief in something or other, or the state of simply not having thought about it enough to pins one's colours to the irrational atheists mast or to a specific religion. These people are then considered by some as 'seekers'. The whole thing is intellectually dishonest at its core. The various philosophical positions in atheism are available online to anyone honest enough to look.

16 February 2012 at 12:29  
Blogger Oswin said...

Cressida @ 02:38 : I don't think Jesus says a great deal about His death and resurrection, excepting what is related after the event, with some confusion.

However, whatever errors, anomalies, mistranslations, re-workings and gildings of the lily, I believe that a majority of the 'essence' remains as it ought to be.

16 February 2012 at 13:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Now who's keeping his powder dry?

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist."


So is it a rejection of belief in God, or a belief there is no God, or the absence of a belief in God?

Bottom line - atheists don't believe in God.

"Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims — especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims — is unknown or unknowable.

In the strict sense ... agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist. Within agnosticism there are agnostic atheists (who do not believe any deity exists, but do not deny it as a possibility) and agnostic theists (who believe a deity exists but do not claim it as personal knowledge)."


Good old Wiki to the rescue!

So next time an atheist posts we need to ask them to define their position.

16 February 2012 at 20:18  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Dodo. More or less what I said. Well, more.

16 February 2012 at 20:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "So next time an atheist posts we need to ask them to define their position."

That'd be an improvement on a religionist assuming the most comfortable position for themselves anyway.

Lordy, it feels like I do it almost every fecking week anyway. There's more straw men pitched here than at Warwick Castle.

16 February 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I do not claim that the proposition "A god exists" is false. However, I do not believe in the existence of any god. I am dissatisfied with all the god hypotheses presented to me so far. As such, I am an a-theist.

16 February 2012 at 20:44  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Not sure what I am. I am constantly changing my mind. I know atheists of the Danj0 sort, and of the other type you described. I dunno. I don't have a strong belief that there's a God, just the occasional sneaking suspicion.

16 February 2012 at 20:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Larks: "I know atheists of the Danj0 sort, and of the other type you described."

We're all atheists, just of different types. Our Mr Tingey (whose posts I almost always skip over) on the face of it seems to hold the strong version i.e. the proposition "A god exists" is false.

16 February 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Larks said ...

"Dodo. More or less what I said. Well, more."

I do like Wiki if one's careful with it.

"Not sure what I am. I am constantly changing my mind ... I don't have a strong belief that there's a God, just the occasional sneaking suspicion."

According to the definition from Wiki, that makes you an agnostic atheist with more of an emphasis on agnostic. I think so, anyway!

The Voice said ...

"I do not claim that the proposition "A god exists" is false. However, I do not believe in the existence of any god. I am dissatisfied with all the god hypotheses presented to me so far. As such, I am an a-theist."

I'm sure this rather self important position is one that God can take in His stride. As if God must prove His existance to any man. He could, if He so chose, make you believe!

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

16 February 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "I'm sure this rather self important position is one that God can take in His stride. As if God must prove His existance to any man. He could, if He so chose, make you believe!"

I'd welcome his doing so. Until then, I'm adopting as rational approach as I can. That approach leads me to think that a personal god like you have been brought up to believe in does not exist. In fact, I think theism is very probably just wishful thinking, leaving some sort of basic deism as my fallback position for cosmology if pushed. Even there, I'm inclined to think we probably can't form sensible questions about a not-universe.

16 February 2012 at 21:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

The Voice said ...

"I'd welcome his doing so."

Well, maybe He will.

"I think theism is very probably just wishful thinking, leaving some sort of basic deism as my fallback position for cosmology if pushed."

And then the invitation is withdrawn!

16 February 2012 at 22:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "And then the invitation is withdrawn!"

Dodo, the same invitation extends to Allah too. And any other contenders for the title. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a deity to make itself properly known if it wants a relationship. I'm not into playing pretend friends or even peekaboo, and I don't think a deity would set up a try-before-you-die gambling game for the hell of it, so to speak.

17 February 2012 at 05:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0 said ....

"I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a deity to make itself properly known if it wants a relationship."

Okay, I said I wouldn't addresss you again directly but I'll make an exception here.

If you wanted to form a relationship with another person you wouldn't leave the entire initiative with the other. Why do so with God?

That's why we've been given intelligence, the ability to study the world and the thinking of other men. Also an inbuilt sense of right and wrong. They speak of a God, some form of intelligence.

Accept this and then maybe you are available to begin a relationship. Instead of looking for proof of God accept He or It exists. Then ask yourself of all the religions in the world which best explains the human condition and God's purposes. And is there any 'evidence' for this?

Many faith systems have common elements. What are these and how can it be? What are the great divides between oriental and occidental systems. Which are most plausible? Look at the origins of their source sacred texts. Look at their prophets and sages.

Commit either to atheism or to agnosticism after the quest and not as your starting point. Just as you would after a 'blind date' or a casual encounter with someone. If you conclude you cannot know then 'ask' to know. In my experience you will get an answer if the question is genuine and your heart is open.

Please don't come back with a long philosophical response. I haven't the time, the patience or the facility to reply. Just read what I've said and leave it be.

17 February 2012 at 11:49  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Normally one seeks a relationship with someone one already knows to exist. I suppose God answers to cosmic lonely hearts ads?

17 February 2012 at 12:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 February 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Larks: "Normally one seeks a relationship with someone one already knows to exist."

Well, quite.

17 February 2012 at 16:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Larks

But God is a bit different from the ordinary because another person's existance can be established empirically..

If you don't know whether He exists or not a different approach is required.

If you are sure He doesn't exist, well fine.

17 February 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

>But God is a bit different from the ordinary because another person's existance can be established empirically..

Well, that's rather the point, isn't it. You could propose the existence of anything at all and then say its existence can't be established empirically. The question is, how can "existence that cannot be established empirically" be distinguised from mere non-existence?

By the way, I have your original rather silly response in my email inbox, but as you've deleted it, presumably realising its silliness, I'll leave it alone ;o)

17 February 2012 at 19:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Larks

Do read my post @ 17 February 2012 11:49.

The dividing line between absolute atheists and agnostics is that one rules out the possibility of a God and the other does not. My comments were addressed to the latter and to theists.

17 February 2012 at 21:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Commit either to atheism or to agnosticism after the quest and not as your starting point."

Been there, done that. As I have explained here in the past, once or twice. Perhaps there's an Elect as some Christians claim and I've had no chance of being one since the beginning of time.

17 February 2012 at 23:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0 said ...

Larks: "Normally one seeks a relationship with someone one already knows to exist."
Well, quite."


"Dodo: "Commit either to atheism or to agnosticism after the quest and not as your starting point."
Been there, done that ... Perhaps there's an Elect as some Christians claim and I've had no chance of being one since the beginning of time."


Do you not see the contradiction in these two posts? It's also a bit of a cop out because its puts all the responsibility on God. They are also suggestive of some passive aggression.

As you will have gathered, I'm opposed to Christianity that assumes either pre-election or a sudden, life changing encounter with God that instantly reforms and changes a person and guarentees them salvation.

Faith is a gift. However, it is freely available to all. If you have seriously considered Christianity then you'll be familar these words:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

And also:

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

Don't expect a sudden, over whelming revelation. It might come that way; it might not. It may be a long, hard road where you face daily doubt. To look for verifiable proof is pointless. To compare different faiths in order to discredit all faiths is setting your face against God and simply an attempt to justify your lack of faith.

Like it or not, as Saint Paul said:

"We live by faith, not by sight."

Your choice; your responsibility. The 'God Delusion' or the 'God Reality'.

"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

18 February 2012 at 00:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Do you not see the contradiction in these two posts?"

No.

I was told that I needed to talk to god and 'open my mind' and read the Bible and look for signs. So I did as an experiment, even though it was pretty abnormal stuff.

What did I discover? That it is the basis for a mild form of brainwashing, actually. It was the alleged signs that did for it in the end.

18 February 2012 at 00:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Don't expect a sudden, over whelming revelation. It might come that way; it might not. It may be a long, hard road where you face daily doubt."

Brainwashing

18 February 2012 at 00:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Incidentally, I probably spent 6 months or more talking daily. I don't want to make it sound like I was wearing a lab coat and holding a clipboard. I'd read Hello Mr God, This Is Anna by Fynn you see, and I had been discussing Christianity with an American cell church man over the 'Net for a while. Proper discussion, I mean, not forum fighting. I'd also just finished Black Girl In Search Of God by George Bernard Shaw.

18 February 2012 at 00:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Who on earth guided you and suggested all this?

A whole six months of 'talking', a few 'interesting' books and a discussion over the internet with a fringe church? Oh, and looking for 'signs'?

Wow, that's commitment!

"In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God."

18 February 2012 at 01:44  
Blogger len said...

If you search for God with all your heart and mind and soul you WILL find Him.

However if you do the reverse then God will probably just leave you alone and you by your actions deny yourself the only path to salvation .

Are intellectuals clever?.By God`s standards....... not really!.

18 February 2012 at 08:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Who on earth guided you and suggested all this?"

A Christian [1], as I said. I've had lots of suggestions along similar lines to do with prayer and reading the bible.

Dodo, I was quietly raised CofE and attended Sunday School. I know you're famously 'theatrical' but don't overplay your part eh?

[1] Whatever one of those is these days. As that Ipsos Mori poll showed, it could mean anything.

18 February 2012 at 10:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "If you search for God with all your heart and mind and soul you WILL find Him."

A god which intentionally created a rational, self-aware species would hardly set up hoops like that to jump through. It's practically an invitation to join a series of cults until one is brainwashed/assimilated. Meeting halfway seems about right, I'd say.

18 February 2012 at 10:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

" ... seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand ... By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive."

18 February 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger Oswin said...

Len @ others: 08:19:

Re' ''intellectuals'' - read ''How to be an Alien'', by George Mikes (Georges Mikesh; Hungarian). He gently 'sends-up' the British, or more particularly, the English. He hilariously explains the English attitude to 'intellectualism', set against the more prosaic, organic 'trial and error' English methodology of applied common-sense.

Well worth a read; very funny, and now rather sad, as it delineates Britain as it once was, and now largely nonexistent.

18 February 2012 at 14:28  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Why indeed bother with rational argument when you can fall back on mocking your opponents for being too clever?

18 February 2012 at 17:26  
Blogger Oswin said...

Larks : Was that for me? 'Intellectualism' is not necessarily 'clever' - and anyway, that wasn't my point; I'm not even sure that I made such a point, per se; merely indicating that traditionally, the British distrusted 'isms' as a 'foreign' concepts, likely to lead to trouble etc.

After all, logic and reason are not the preserve of 'intellectuals'; many of whom display precious little of either, as I'm pretty sure you might agree?

However, give yourself a treat, and read ''How to be an alien''; it really is very funny. Mikes continued his theme with ''How to be English''; well worth a read too. Illustrated by Nicholas Bently.

19 February 2012 at 17:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unitarians are said to believe "There is at most one God". Where do they fit in the agnosticism-atheism
debate?

26 February 2012 at 11:39  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Anon. I would've thought they were theists.

26 February 2012 at 12:05  

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