Monday, February 13, 2012

Will the Archbishop leave Dawkins an empty chair?

105 Comments:

Blogger seanrobsville said...

There can be no strictly logical 'scientific' argument for ethics, because you can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'. The whole field of ethics (together with aesthetics), although not irrational, lies beyond the scope of the rational, and is in the realms of the metarational.

13 February 2012 at 11:10  
Blogger William said...

Dawkins is a song and dance man. However, when the hook finally appears to yank him off stage, it will, no doubt, come from the new atheists waiting in the wings. After all attacking religion is one thing, but exploring the consequences of a godless universe is quite another.

13 February 2012 at 11:30  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Will the Archbishop leave Dawkins an empty chair?

Why not. No better way to generate wider attention than through a bit of controversy, deliberate or otherwise.

Love him (Dawkins) or loathe him he stimulates people to listen and think for themselves about humankind's relationship with the sentient world and the religiously endorsed Supernatural one.

In his favour, he unlikely to call for your death or take you to court for failing to appreciate his emotional sensitivities if you express disagreement with his propositions and arguments.

He may well be a self promoting egotistical businessman, but he claims no mandate other than to represent himself. I admire his commitment to his beliefs and agree with much that he says (if not entirely his modus operandi), that challenge the often arrogant claims to knowing the ultimate 'Truth' through religion.

13 February 2012 at 11:56  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Perhaps we should be grateful to Dawkins for showing so openly where atheism leads.

13 February 2012 at 12:00  
Blogger William said...

Dreadnaught:

"he stimulates people to listen and think for themselves about humankind's relationship with the sentient world"

I think you have him confused with James Lovelock. I had fogotten that you are an occasional follower of the godess Gaia.

Little Black Sambo:

Indeed! Let's keep him on stage as long as possible.

13 February 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Totally incorrect William - no confusion in me at all between Lovelock and Dawkins.

Unsurprisingly, judging by your comment, I think it is you who can't differentiate between belief in the 'extinct' Goddess Gaia and Lovelock's application of the name to his theory of the Earths' system of natural regulation.

The Racist LBS, points his ignorant and grubby finger at the prospect of where an imaginary atheist future would lead while ignoring where violence backed theo-fascism has already led in a place regarded by some as an Earthly paradise.

'The constitution prohibits any religion other than Islam being practiced or preached in the Maldives and specifies that it be governed according to Islamic principles'...

http://news.yahoo.com/maldives-leader-names-conservatives-cabinet-111055181.html

13 February 2012 at 13:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

seanrobsville Well said.

Dreadnaught
In his favour, he unlikely to call for your death or take you to court for failing to appreciate his emotional sensitivities if you express disagreement with his propositions and arguments.

He may not call for my death (for the sake of balance, I don't think I've called for anyone's death recently - I'll let you know if that changes though), but he is quite willing to support the use of the law to back up the effacement of religion from public life. This isn't a case of "we're protecting people from religion", it's a case of "we think religion has no place in public life, and we're not prepared to entertain alternative views on the subject".

Let's be clear here: I'm not in favour of anything beyond simple democracy. You want to run a campaign that drives religion from public life? Get a mandate to do so. If everyone is as hostile to religion as Dawkins seems to think, and us nut-jobs really are a minority, you'll win one easily, won't you?

13 February 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Little Black Sambo:
"Showing where atheism leads"
It is called RATIONALITY
and
FACT
and
REASON
and
TRUTH
as opposed to obscurantism, lies, torture and blackmail, as produced, so far by every religon on the planet.i
[ Remember that communism is a classic religion, please! ]

William:
"Dawkins is a song-and-dance-man"
Sorry, but you are either incredibly ignorant, or stupid or a LIAR, or some combination of the above.
May I remind you of Dawkins' professional work as a biologist, ethologist and writer in the Natural Sciences, or, for a more recent example of his work in this field ....
Start here: http://bigthink.com/ideas/42304
You MAY be able to find a copy on C4onDemand (I'm not sure) but do read the commentary on Dawkins on the anatomy of dead whales ....

The Natural world is bigger and more interesting and better than any peurile imagination of a collection of ignorant Bronze-Age goatherders myths can stretch to.

Why do you deliberately limit yourseleves?
Real science in action.
Come to that, read: "The Ancestor's Tale"

13 February 2012 at 15:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

Love him (Dawkins) or loathe him he stimulates people to listen and think for themselves about humankind's relationship with the sentient world and the religiously endorsed Supernatural one.

There must be a remarkably large number of thoughtless people out there then. The only thought I had when reading Dawkins' sections on the arguments for the existence of God was (slightly gleefully) "This man doesn't know what he's talking about, he hasn't even begun to think through these issues."

13 February 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

AiB -
'I don't think I've called for anyone's death recently' - Right glad I am to hear that - but can you say the same for 'Religion(s)' as a whole? I seem to recollect a bit of a kerfuffle in your hometown if I'm not mistaken.

The argument is about the appropriateness of religion - any religion in influencing the Legislature whose deliberations and endorsements affects all (hence my example). My argument and that of Dawkins, is not with people being Christians, Jews, Muslims or Jedi Knights or whatever.

I don't give a hoot what they believe in or what and how they wish to dress or define themselves - but simply argue that they should not be granted special privileges and benefits beyond those of others.

Sadly, must leave today's discussion here.

13 February 2012 at 15:55  
Blogger David B said...

Craig quotemines Dawkins rather dishonestly, IMV.

To present a choice between a god-given absolute morality and no morality at all is a false dichotomy.

David B

13 February 2012 at 15:59  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Dreadnaught You'll hopefully have noticed that my own position didn't deny you the right to such views, merely that they needed to be excercised via democratic mandate. I simply question the appropriateness of the non-religious dictating that their own position on the place of religion in public life should be taken for granted.

There is a difference between achieving the agreement of electorate to remove particular religious aspects from public life, and attempting to introduce a system of law that refuses to accept the possibility of religious aspects of public life.

One by its democratic nature reflects the views of the population, the other seeks to insist that certain views are to be held as anathema to the State. The latter, if taken to the practial limits campaigned for, privileges the non-religious.

The present situation also privileges religion in partiular ways, of course. So when these mutually exclusive ideologies meet and clash, the proper arena to settle their differences is perpetually that of democratic politics.

13 February 2012 at 16:21  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

Craig quotemines Dawkins rather dishonestly, IMV.

Can you give us some examples? I've got my copy of The God Delusion at the ready.

13 February 2012 at 16:23  
Blogger Oswin said...

Oh 'Moonpie' you're back to being very rude and aggressive again; doing for Dawkins what Dodo sometimes does for Catholicism - not a lot. Why must you call people 'liars' when they display an opinion contrary to your own?

On a wider note, my concerns re' Dawkins are not, as Dreadnaught reasonably suggests, that he ''stimulates people to listen and think for themselves ...'' but that he is too readily accepted by those who don't want to 'think' at all, but want a convenient hook on which to hang their coat of idle indifference/laziness, as a sort of default position for 'not bothering'. Or worse still, in removing inconvenient restraints from their self-interest.

I reckon that the majority of such people do not read Dawkins, any more than they read the Bible; but I suspect that they do seem to prefer the far less exacting 'sound bites' of Dawkins, than of the alternative(s).

13 February 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Oswin,

but that he is too readily accepted by those who don't want to 'think' at all, but want a convenient hook on which to hang their coat of idle indifference/laziness, as a sort of default position for 'not bothering'. Or worse still, in removing inconvenient restraints from their self-interest.

Exactly. Need I quote those atheist philosophers to show that Dawkins does not know what he is talking about? (Or theistic philosophers who think he has done us a favour?) An atheist who cites Dawkins with approval inevitably compromises himself as someone who hasn't properly thought about the arguments for God's existence, in other words, he shows he is an unjustified and irrational atheist.

13 February 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger William said...

Tingey

I appreciate Dawkins the science populist. It's Dawkins the philosopher/theologist that is so lame. If you want to dance to his tune that's up to you, but you are dancing on very thin ice.

"Why do you deliberately limit yourseleves? Real science in action."

I don't. I love real science in action. In fact I have spent half my working career in scientific research, which is why I know that anyone who uses science to solve questions of philosphy/theology is barking (up the wrong tree).

13 February 2012 at 16:45  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

William quite right.

---

My problem with Dawkins' excuse of "theology is not real therefore I don't need to understand or engage with it" was not the essential position, which is perfectly understandable from one who has so comprehensively rejected the possibility of God. It's that when he did deal with theological issues he very often misrepresents and misunderstands them.

Case in hand: he discusses "Divine Simplicity" in The God Delusion, making reference to apophatic theology (essentially, theology of the negation, or "via negativa"). He proceeds to treat the subject as if it sought to characterise what God was. This is precisely the opposite of apophatic theology, which expressly exists on the assumption that one cannot "know" God, but only what-He-is-not.

Whether this kind of theology is justified, mystical nonsense, or whatever is neither here nor there. Dawkins (and others) shouldn't be getting the opposition's argument flat out wrong as a point of intellectual integrity. I'm afraid I finished reading The God Delusion feeling that Dawkins had been quite successful in disproving "God", but that the "God" he disproved bore little to no relation to the one I recognised, even on a basic theological level.

For the same reason though, I try to be very wary about people like Craig. I've never taken the time to read or listen to his stuff, but if he too misrepresents or treats Dawkin's argument with the same intellecutal-defecit that Dawkins demonstrates, then I'd not worry about holding back on criticising him either.

13 February 2012 at 17:06  
Blogger David B said...

@Albert 16,23

Actually in this case it is the youtuber Birdieupon who is doing the quoteming. My second point, that morality does not necessarily depend on a God, holds.

I could easily find you examples of Craig dishonestly quoteming other scientists. Shall I?

David B

13 February 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger David B said...

Further to my post above I find
http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/2008/06/02/introducing-stupidology-william-lane-craig-pinker-and-dawkins/

From which I quote

'EDIT: Craig also quotes a passage from the end of “God’s Utility Function”, a chapter in Richard Dawkins’ /River Out Of Eden/, saying there is no design, purpose, good or evil in the universe. Read in context, it’s not clear Dawkins was commenting on morality at all, rather than just the forces that have shaped life on Earth, and assuming he was commenting on morality runs against the pro-morality currents in /The God Delusion/. Does anyone, though, know of anywhere where he’s explicitly resolved the issue of what he meant there?'

Craig also dishonestly quotemines a number of cosmologists when defending the KCA. Shall I post a link to a demonstration of that?

David B

13 February 2012 at 17:18  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Wat these geezers talkin bout. Dont understand a word of it. Wats it all about Alfie? They don't aff go on. Load of old cods wallup if you ask me. They are all talking out their rear ends. If they keep on hifoluting like that,They will disappear in their own vapour.
When the post gets back to plain old simple stuff ta
Hat geezer can understand, give me a shout.

13 February 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

David B
Sounds like Dawkins and Craig are pretty well matched then!

13 February 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I could easily find you examples of Craig dishonestly quoteming other scientists. Shall I?

When Craig spoke in the UK on one occasion one of his atheist opponents attempted to show that Craig had mis-represented a particular scientist. On the face of it, it looked like this atheist had finally got Craig. But Craig was able to go and quote further from the scientist in order to show that he (Craig) was right all along. The atheist promptly dropped his argument.

I don't see any point therefore in you looking for such misrepresentations. I don't have the sources in front of me. But I do have The God Delusion which is why it would be good to hear from that.

I think the edit you have posted is interesting. I don't have that Dawkins book, so I cannot check it. But I do know that Craig's argument would not require Dawkins to be talking about morality.

Similarly with Pinker: remember Craig is talking about objective moral values. In the article linked through the link, Pinker talks about moral realism (which I assume is much the same thing as objective moral values). Now, I haven't got time to read the whole article properly, but as far as I can see Pinker reduces moral realism to two theories: divine command theory and Platonic forms. It looks to me like he rejects both and therefore settles for a kind of pragmatism (which he seems to be calling rationality). And that would be enough to support Craig's view that he does not have the metaphysics for moral absolutes. As a result, it is not so much Craig who is misrepresenting Pinker as the blog who is misrepresenting Craig.

I have never seen an atheist successfully argument that it is possible to have an absolute morality without God. But, I'm happy to hear such an argument, if you can be bothered that is!

13 February 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Albert
You ASSUME that the arguments for Big Sky Fairy require theology
They do not - you are suffering from the actions of Morton's Demon.
He has thought through the issues.
YOU are the one claiming Big Sky Fairy exists - show, please?

David B.
Craig quotemines Dawkins - yes, this is normally called LYING.

William
No, I'm not.
I too have been doen that road.
Try again
Ditto Anonymousin BElfast
Theology is totally inadequate
It ALREADY ASSUMES the existence of BigSkyFairy - which is what is in dispute.
Start again, preferably with Physics.

Craig who btw
The rantin Evangelical, who always uses the Gish gallop?
He's a well-known liar, I'm afraid, if I have identified him correctly (I may not have)

13 February 2012 at 18:04  
Blogger David B said...

@Albert.

I've never seen a theist successfully resolve all the problems of an absolute morality with god, either.

I've seen a number of of intra-atheist discussions on whether there is or is not an absolute morality, in fact I used to argue for an absolute morality myself, but now I can't find a foolproof argument that convinces me, leave alone anyone else.

The same sort of problems, I think, occur in such questions of absolute knowledge. I can't disprove solipsism or last-Thursdayism in an entirely waterpoof way. Can anyone?

I don't adopt a nihilist stance, though.

I am content to live as if there is an external reality to myself which was not created last Thursday, and to take such things as genocide as morally wrong, even if Craig does defend them when commanded by the God of the Bible, as he does.

David B

13 February 2012 at 18:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

What I actually get from youtube videos like this is that some people are rather scared of what Richard Dawkins is doing. No-one would really care if he were just a mouthy berk flapping around Oxford University dissing religion.

13 February 2012 at 18:09  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

I used to argue for an absolute morality myself, but now I can't find a foolproof argument that convinces me, leave alone anyone else.

Interesting. I would recommend Stephen Law's approach: it just seems that there are moral absolutes (just as it seems the world is real and last Thursday really happened). Disarmingly simple!

I've never seen a theist successfully resolve all the problems of an absolute morality with god, either.

If God is absolute good, then we have at least one absolute good from which the others can be derived.

13 February 2012 at 18:17  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

What I actually get from youtube videos like this is that some people are rather scared of what Richard Dawkins is doing. No-one would really care if he were just a mouthy berk flapping around Oxford University dissing religion.

Yes and no. From an intellectual point of view Dawkins is no threat to anyone except his fellow atheists. The fact that such a prominent and mouthy atheist can be so easily debunked serves theism rather well. But on the other hand Dawkins is a problem because he promotes such sloppy and ill-informed thinking and passes it off as reason. That's a danger to everyone.

13 February 2012 at 18:19  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, what about the problem of evil?

David B

13 February 2012 at 18:55  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

What about the problem of evil?

13 February 2012 at 19:34  
Blogger David B said...

Epicurus

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

Back to an earlier point of yours, Albert

"I would recommend Stephen Law's approach: it just seems that there are moral absolutes (just as it seems the world is real and last Thursday really happened). Disarmingly simple!"

I do that regarding solipsism and lat Thursdayism, but to me it just seems that morality generally is people using some sort of heuristic to seek out some sort of optimum of conflicting goods, using the human capacity to make value judgements, which I further see as part of the extended human phenotype,

At the extremes, it seems to me, there is a great deal to be said for one good - like avoiding genocide - with nothing to be said for it, and so it seems absolute.

But I don't think it is really. Close enough for all practical purposes, though.

Just as so much points against last Thursdayism, and nothing to be said for it, and there is so much for the universe not being geocentric and so little against that they seem absolute truths.

I wonder if you have been following Richard Forte's TV series on catastrophes?

To me it just seems that a god who was absolute good would, if he could, have come across a less wasteful method, with less suffering involved, to put a good plan into place.

David B

13 February 2012 at 20:19  
Blogger David B said...

I meant

'At the extremes, it seems to me, there is a great deal to be said for one good - like avoiding genocide - with nothing to be said agaist it, and so it seems absolute'

What a difference a little slip makes

David B

13 February 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

I think that the Euthyphro Dilemma works well in Plato's context, in which deities are just bigger versions of ourselves. As a number of philosophers have pointed out, it doesn't really deal with Classical Theism. But in any case, the question of the PoE is different from the question of morality. Unless the PoE works in its strongest logical form (and I think there is wide agreement that it doesn't), then we can still ask if God could be the ground of moral goodness. Of course, one can even do what Craig does and say that since there are no moral absolutes without God, there is no evil without God. As there is clearly evil, there is also God.

morality generally is people using some sort of heuristic to seek out some sort of optimum of conflicting goods, using the human capacity to make value judgements

I don't think morality is reducible to that at all. That's accountancy, as far as I can see!

I can think of a use for genocide on an accountancy model. Supposing the particular race carried some deadly virus which would kill huge numbers of the rest of humanity and inflict huge suffering. Wouldn't an accountancy model of morality say the right thing would be to commit the genocide? You would need a moral absolute above that to avoid it.

But Law says "It seems that it just is absolutely wrong to torture small children for fun". I like that response. It indicates that we can know something to be true without knowing all the metaphysics behind it. It's that kind of thing that makes Law an extremely stimulating philosopher.

To me it just seems that a god who was absolute good would, if he could, have come across a less wasteful method, with less suffering involved, to put a good plan into place.

I cannot see how you could know that. But in any case, you are working on an accountancy model of goodness there, and I really don't think God could be absolutely good on that model.

13 February 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, do you really think that God (presuming, for the sake of argument only, that there is some sort of God) could be absolutely good, if God is the NT, OT, or Koranic version of God?

You were the one who suggested taking on the 'it seems' idea. It rather strongly seems to me that the God of the Abrahamic scriptures is either bad, mad, or both.

David B

13 February 2012 at 22:05  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Tingey @ 15.41 & 18.04 and previously, do you concede that all human societies existing today have a spirituality which manifests itself in some form of clearly defined religious belief?

13 February 2012 at 22:13  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

do you really think that God (presuming, for the sake of argument only, that there is some sort of God) could be absolutely good, if God is the NT, OT, or Koranic version of God?

In view of the fact that I am a Christian, I would have thought the answer was obvious: I believe the God of the Bible is absolutely good.

13 February 2012 at 22:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Interesting article in the Torygraph this evening. Warsi etc are visiting Ratzinger tomorrow on government business, and she is echoing Ratzinger's recent line about secularisation.

13 February 2012 at 23:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Just a moment chaps. For any atheists following this, you don’t have to understand God or Christ to be a Christian. Just go with the spirit. No point in analysing to the ‘nth’ degree what must remain a mystery to us earthbound folk. A bit like a television. We can see, yet we don’t understand the full physics behind it.

Just thought you might appreciate this bit of wisdom. Do carry on....

13 February 2012 at 23:03  
Blogger David B said...

Well from where I'm sitting it looks very much as if you are doing a lot of cherry picking, and a lot of either ignoring or doing mental gymnastics to explain away all sorts of morally appalling stuff attributed to the God of the Bible.

Starting with the Garden of Eden, moving on through the flood, all the bizarre rules about shellfish and different sorts of cloth, the heart of Pharoah in order to lay plagues on him and the little Egyptian kiddies, toying with Job, seeing Lot as a righteous man, ordering genocides, and having to have a blood sacrifice in order to atone for Adam's sin.

Keeping in mind that the creation accounts are mutually inconsistent and in opposition to all evidence, Adam didn't exist, the Exodus as described didn't happen, lots of genocides were ordered by him according to the Bible, and he demanded a blood sacrifice in order to forgive the descendants of the fictional Adam for what an omnipotent God could easily have foreseen and prevented, had the Garden of Eden been true.

It's hard for an outsider to understand how someone could view such a God as good.

David B

13 February 2012 at 23:08  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Inspector; Just what I was saying!

13 February 2012 at 23:12  
Blogger Albert said...

A bit late to get into this, but let me make two observations:

1. What is meant by saying "God is good"? I cannot see that it means God is morally good (or bad, or morally anything). You said God was either bad or mad. But these terms imply a standard by which to judge God, and then I have to say that you are not talking about God.
2. What is the proper meaning of a biblical passage? Always assuming it must be literal and abstracted from the Bible as a whole does not seem the way forward. I am quite certain that whoever put the contradictory creation stories together in Genesis knew they were contradictory. He expected us to use our minds.

13 February 2012 at 23:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "A bit like a television."

What I do know is that TVs offer viewers lots of different channels and that the channels depends on where people are in the world.

13 February 2012 at 23:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Once again you miss the point. But then then again, that’s you !

13 February 2012 at 23:26  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert said:-

'I think that the Euthyphro Dilemma works well in Plato's context, in which deities are just bigger versions of ourselves. As a number of philosophers have pointed out, it doesn't really deal with Classical Theism.'

Then I came upon this collection:-

Genesis 1:27

New International Version (©1984)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

New Living Translation (©2007)
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

English Standard Version (©2001)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

American King James Version
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

American Standard Version
And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.

Darby Bible Translation
And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

English Revised Version
And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Webster's Bible Translation
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

World English Bible
God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them.

Young's Literal Translation
And God prepareth the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him, a male and a female He prepared them.


Now this to me suggests, as the old song goes

'the things that you're lible to read in the Bible just aint necessarily so' -

QED

13 February 2012 at 23:29  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector, some people just don't have the reception or are unable to tune into the correct channel. Sad but true.

13 February 2012 at 23:30  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Dreadnaught, have you always been so dense?

13 February 2012 at 23:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good man Integrity. We have a lot in common, don’t you know...

Dodo. I think we were a lot better off just listening to the wireless.

13 February 2012 at 23:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Once again you miss the point. But then then again, that’s you !"

Or, I got it fine but used it to jump to make another point, leaving you behind in the process. But hey, that's you etc.

I suppose your TV is mostly tuned to Men and Motors too, rather than the God Channel. See what I did there? No? Oh.

13 February 2012 at 23:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. You are far too clever for your own good, but we suspect you’ve been told that. Many times. Many many times...

13 February 2012 at 23:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector, I do enjoy the box though. God's gifts should be enjoyed even though some miss the benefits and are inevitably drawn to the seedy side of life.

Vainity is so tedious too! Is a certain person after my hard won title?

14 February 2012 at 00:17  
Blogger len said...

I think(might have said this once or twice before) that Atheists do not so much disbelieve in God but more to the point just do not like Him!.

Whenever anything 'bad' happens the cry goes up "why did God allow this"?.
(Never "why did Satan cause this")
Also the question as to why does evil exist if God is so good?.
Well as darkness is the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat so evil is the absence of God.

So who caused evil...we did when we embarked on the madcap scheme of a World without God.

As for the harshness of God in the Old Testament this was to contain sin which was spreading like a virus and eventually would have consumed everything and everybody in the World.If God had allowed sin to reign unrestrained there would have been no World and no Humanity left of His Creation to redeem.

14 February 2012 at 00:24  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Dawkins as someone referred to earlier is a song and dance man.He focusses on the sensational bits of various religions. His hollywood approach is not at all intellectual or thoroughly investigative which is surprising for a scientist.

His golden rule or raison d'etre is
"do unto others...'a quote from Matthew. He never mentions that is Christian . Interviewers are obviously instructed not to mention it either..unless they are completely ignorant.

It seems ironical that a man bases his life's conduct on Christian ethic which he says he does not believe in.He calls Catholics at a Lourdes prayer meeting "a benign herd" . He obviously has not encountered Albert or Dodo:)

He is absolutely desperate not to believe in God or have faith in anything that cannot be scientifically proven, and behaves nervously as if someone might catch him out at having doubts about his stance...which someone did...Andrew Denton did at the very end of his interview with Dawkins.

I feel sorry for him.He is desperately trying to rid himself of his intrinsic Christianity. His has a big dose of ' God bothering'.

14 February 2012 at 01:37  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

Dawkins is a man who can just be ignored.

What execises me is the complete silence from Canterbury on issues like Abu Quatada, the banning of Christian prayers in public meetings, banning the wearing of crucifix's etc etc.

Why is it that only Sentamu and Carey speak out whilst their spiritual leader remains silent?

14 February 2012 at 05:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Dawkins is a man who can just be ignored."

But he doesn't get ignored, does he, religionists get all stressed by him instead. They make videos like this and post them on youtube. They write counter-polemics. They invite him to debates and make a big thing of his not turning up. They even sponsor bus-side slogans in the style of the ones he endorses. In short, they appear to be running very scared of him. Curious, isn't it?

14 February 2012 at 06:41  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

My previous post got eaten ... but in response to bluedog.
NO
Societies HAD a "spirituality", and we don't want to go back to heretic-burning thank you - ask HG?
Saudi now has spirituality"
Oh dear.

I note Warsi wants to make common cause with the pope against people who can think straight.

Which reminds me ...
The argument agaionst Dawkins is that he (quite rightly) ignores theology as irrelevant.
At the same time, apparentl;y, Abu Quatada is regarded as "dangerous" - because his theology is good (!)
You what?
Sorry, but, since there isn't a BigSkyFairy, his theology is irrelevant - like yours.

No god, no allah, Muhammed wasn't a prophet, case collapses, doesn't it.
But, of course, you won't go there, will you?
Your BigSkyFairy is true, and his isn't, and he says the other way around.
A MAXIMUM OF ONE BigSkyFairy case can be true - which one?
Or, none of them?

This is the core of Dawkins' (and my) case.
PRODUCE YOUR EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CLAIM.
Rules are court of Law, or laboratory rules, either will do.

Erm.

14 February 2012 at 07:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

DanJo is right, Dawkins cannot be ignored.

Dawkins appears quite serious about the possibility of Intelligent Alien Design and has mentioned it on a number of occasions. From a recent documentary called "Expelled" we have:

BEN STEIN: What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?

DAWKINS: Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.

14 February 2012 at 08:19  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Dreadnaught, have you always been so dense?

If I am, as you so eloquently infer, you will have no problem in explaining the reason for your assertion.

But in the meantime I'm sure you will join me celebrating the success of Dawkins'(and others) in their campaign to eliminate Government funding of schools that teach Creationism.

14 February 2012 at 10:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

What does it mean that God made us in his own image? One thing it doesn't mean is that God is made in ours.

14 February 2012 at 10:23  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert:-

What does it mean that God made us in his own image?

You're asking ME to explain your own religion's fundamental assertion? I doubt if I am really the one qualified to help you and your chums interpret what you already hold as the irrefutable Truth. All I can offer is yet another question which is:-

Why would a perfect Creator send a message so clearly then allow for such a distracting cloud of interpretation to develop.

Sorry Unc - If it doesn't mean what its says 'on the tin' - why is it as it is and at the heart of creationist opprobrium for the theory of evolutiuon?

14 February 2012 at 10:54  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Tingey; You ask for evidence! Going by the Latin root of Proof, I would say 'the proof of the Pudding is in the eating'.

14 February 2012 at 12:28  
Blogger Jon said...

I was going to write that if Dawkins is so patently wrong, why do you all get in such a tizzy about him, but realised that DanJ0 had already made the point. Serves me right for working this morning...

Also - the video features a man who is clearly adept in the art of word- twisting. Here's another:

Can God create a rock that he can't lift?

He's trying to conjure God through rational argument. Where does this leave faith?

14 February 2012 at 14:38  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'Can God create a rock that he can't lift?'

He doesn't do anything that is inconsistent with His character.

14 February 2012 at 14:49  
Blogger Oswin said...

Mr. Singh - welcome back! :o)

14 February 2012 at 15:35  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

You're asking ME to explain your own religion's fundamental assertion?

Well, it was your argument, I assume you have reason for applying it. If you cannot defend it, then the argument fails.

Why would a perfect Creator send a message so clearly then allow for such a distracting cloud of interpretation to develop.

Breadth of interpretation isn't necessarily a bad thing. False interpretation is, and that's why we have a magisterium. At most, your argument counts against some forms of Protestantism, not Christianity per se.

14 February 2012 at 16:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jon: "I was going to write that if Dawkins is so patently wrong, why do you all get in such a tizzy about him, but realised that DanJ0 had already made the point."

I was picking the low-hanging fruit there. :)

14 February 2012 at 17:18  
Blogger Jon said...

D. Singh. Wasps and the Anopheles mosquito. The prosecution rests.

DanJ0 - If I was reaching for it, it must have been pretty low!

14 February 2012 at 17:24  
Blogger Jon said...

Also - i think you somewhat missed the point - but to extend the metaphor to yours, if he can't do something that's inconsistent with his nature, he's not omnipotent is he?

14 February 2012 at 17:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As the topic is Dawkins, I saw the Beeb is linking in the Warsi story to an Ipsos Mori survey commissioned by his Foundation today. Blimey.

There's a summary of it here.

This was the technique used: "Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 2,107 adults aged 15+ across the United Kingdom. From this sample, a total of 1,136 adults defined themselves as Christians. Interviews were conducted face-to-face over the period 1st April to 7th April, 2011. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population."

14 February 2012 at 17:28  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

D. Singh @ 8.19
PLEASE don't quote Ben Stein
He has already been proven a deliberate public liar, he also quote-mines in the most weaselling manner possible, etc ...
In fact, by using Stein, I am gald to say, you make Dawkins' case stronger.
As for "Alien Intelligent Deasign" - purlease! It is a non-starter.

Mr Integrity
Npo, won't do, unless you elucidate further - but please remeber I went to chiurch, almosy every Sunday between th agess of 4 and 14 - so I know all the bullshit.
When I say EVIDENCE, I repeat - court-of-law or laboratory rules.
No "I feel it in my bones" rubbish.

Oh dear, you really don't get it, do any of you, Morton's demon ghas got to you all...
"Faith" - DEFINED as belief without evidence.
And therefore worthless.

14 February 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

'Moonpie' : a bad day at the allotment then? Thinks - do the 'authorities' know that you're running an elicit 'still' down there? Top-Tip: never use rhubarb leaves; too heavy on the old Oxalic acid! Ok as as a 'de-wormer' though...

14 February 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“Doctor, Mr Tingey has got out of his room again and we can’t find him”

“Try the PC lounge nurse, he always heads there when he’s up to no good...”

14 February 2012 at 18:45  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

At one time I would have been mutely happy to classified as a white, CoE Englishman - all that changed when the Establishment threw in the towel and made the Islamic culture the moral equivalent of mine.

I'm no fan of his but Ian Paisley said - 'Never, Never, Never' - I would have more respect for them and the CoE if they had done the same.

14 February 2012 at 19:10  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Tinget

Explain: Science cannot do it, yet it exists. Or is it an imaginary artifact?

Scientists set out to "identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud (of Turin)." They concluded that the exact shade, texture and depth of the imprints on the cloth could only be produced with the aid of ultraviolet lasers – technology that was clearly not available in medieval times.

The scientists used extremely brief pulses of ultraviolet light to replicate the kind of marks found on the burial cloth.

They concluded that the iconic image of the bearded man must therefore have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)." Although they stopped short of offering a non-scientific explanation for the phenomenon, their findings will be embraced by those who believe that the marks on the shroud were miraculously created at the moment of Christ's Resurrection.

"We are not at the conclusion, we are composing pieces of a fascinating and complex scientific puzzle," the team wrote in their report.

Prof Paolo Di Lazzaro, the head of the team, said: "When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things like miracles and resurrection." "But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."

They concluded that the marks were not made by paints, pigments or dyes and that the image was not "the product of an artist", but that at the same time it could not be explained by modern science.

"There are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately."


The Telegraph December 2011)

15 February 2012 at 00:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh Dodo, surely you're not reduced to peddling that? Your lot dust off versions of that story before major religious dates in the calendar every year. It's to give the gullible one last shove towards the church or something to get the numbers up.

wv:bless <- probably as in "aww, bless"

15 February 2012 at 07:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Jon at 17.26

'if he can't do something that's inconsistent with his nature, he's not omnipotent is he?'

You need to think that through carefully.


And Mr Oswin - thank you.

15 February 2012 at 08:20  
Blogger Jon said...

D. Singh - I know, it's tricky right? Like thinking about infinity. Still - I'm just showing that meaningless sophistry isn't merely a method which works for American debaters with awful Youtube videos.

15 February 2012 at 11:01  
Blogger tertius said...

Mr Tingey has a style of rhetoric guaranteed not to win friends or influence people.

It involves shouting in capital letters, calling anyone he dislikes a liar - correction - a LIAR, constantly invoking some creature he refers to as the "Big Sky Fairy", and spraying the textual equivalent of foam-flecked spittle across posts riddled with misspellings, in which profound theological and philosophical concepts are reduced to simplistic and self-serving nonsense such as:
"Faith - DEFINED as belief without evidence. And therefore worthless".

This kind of comment should cause deep embarrassment to any thoughtful skeptic or philosophically sophisticated atheist who ventures here. Consider this typical Tingey statement:

"please remeber I went to chiurch, almosy every Sunday between th agess of 4 and 14 - so I know all the bullshit..."
[i.e. "all the bullshit" about God, Jesus, theology, religion, the Bible, faith, Christianity, philosophy, etc.]

It is the kind of inanity that borders on insanity.

Your Grace, I know you follow your Lord in being gracious and long-suffering towards children, fools and ranters but there is some serious unresolved baggage on display here. If I may "cherrypick" the apostle (to use another Tingeyism):

"When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."

Good advice methinks for anyone - believer, non-believer or unbeliever. (Strange, is it not, how many good and wise sayings come from THAT BOOK [Tingeyism] by ancient knuckled-headed, superstitious Middle-Eastern sheep herders? But I digress...)

Mr Tingey needs to calm down and get a grip. All this sound and fury over nothing (because to an atheist, surely it is "nothing") is bad for one's karma - not to mention one physical, emotional and mental health.

15 February 2012 at 11:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Jon 11.01

It's not tricky at all.

You're 'omipotent' when it comes to tying your shoe laces.

Would you tie a knot that you couln't untie?

15 February 2012 at 11:43  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Nobody, (name rhyms with Banjo) completely missed the point - as usual.

The Shroud of Turin may or may not be what the Catholic Church suggests - it's not an article of faith. The point is that it cannot be explained by science.

"We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."

The marks on the tapestry are "not the product of an artist", but cannot be explained by modern science.

The point is that science cannot explain all things and that philosohy and theology have a part to play in human knowledge.

I wonder if he now understands?

15 February 2012 at 14:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "The point is that it cannot be explained by science."

That's the bit I was actually challenging. Dodo, there's a story about the Shroud put out every Christmas and Easter making claims about its alleged wondrousness. People laugh about it online now. Well, people who aren't especially gullible anyway.

15 February 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

There's that annoying echo again.

Said Shroud may or may not be miraculous but having become the most tested artifact on the planet science concludes afterdecades of research - it just doesn't know!

It seems the image was created by some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength), was not the product of an artist and cannot be explained by modern science. It is therefore left to philosophical and theological considerations and ultimately to the belief of individuals.

It's a bit like creation and the existance of intelligent life, isn't it?

15 February 2012 at 16:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh lordy.

15 February 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Oswin said...

DanJo: as for the 'shroud' - there remain still many unanswered questions. (I believe Rome makes no claims; correct? Hell, am I letting Dodo off the hook here?!?!?)

As far as I'm aware, no one has yet fully explained the 'pollen' quandary, inherent within the fibres; or indeed, the related, and also contradictatory, aspects of the 'Sudarium' - which although dated differently from the shroud, has corresponding pollen/blood deposits that link it to the shroud. Further pollen deposits highlight the different journeys to Europe, of both shroud and Sudarium.

Whatever either might be, their story has barely begun. All deeply fascinating.

15 February 2012 at 19:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The thing that jumps out at me is "it could not be explained by modern science." and not just because Dodo put it in bold. That's a pretty strong statement. Dodo then converts it to "cannot be explained by modern science" which makes it even stronger. Why not "tests so far have failed to identify how the image could have been made"?

I'm more interested at the moment in the body proportions, facial features, and the posture implied by the image. If those aren't right then the rest of the stuff takes a back seat to my way of thinking. It then becomes much more a case of: how did the artist(s) actually make the image?

15 February 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger len said...

Welcome back Mr Singh!.

The shroud is a mystery.We can speculate about its origins but the shroud is relatively unimportant compared to the Word of God.
We have much surer Words of prophesy relating to Jesus Christ.

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

len, sorry but that's a given! We're discussing the possible miraculous origins of the Shroud of Turin. But imagine if there is a burial shroud imprinted with the image of Christ caused by His resurrection.

Oswin, you are correct, the Catholic Church has no official position on the Shroud although clearly it is held in very high regard. It is a matter of private faith.

As to its origins this remains mysterious. It seems not to be open to scientific understanding apart from recent evidence the image is consistent with a sudden burst of electromagnetic energy such as a flash of light at short wave length. Apart from that other 'artistic' means have been discounted.

Science can never prove the image came from the resurrection but can attempt to rule out other causes and having done so we're left with the ultimate questions - how and is its origin Divine?

You like a good mystery and unpicking 'myth'. This one is most certainly worthy of attention.

15 February 2012 at 21:22  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

We're discussing the possible miraculous origins of the Shroud of Turin.

Sheesh - you just couldn't make this nonsense up ... er - oops!

15 February 2012 at 23:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Dreadnaught

I guess you might go to your grave asking the question you posed earlier:

"Why would a perfect Creator send a message so clearly then allow for such a distracting cloud of interpretation to develop."

Mystery isn't it?

It's a shame God gave us intelligence and a free will. It means we are responsible and accountable for the choices we make. Maybe He might make some allowance for you on the first count but I wouldn't depend on it.

And so non-commitable:

"At one time I would have been mutely happy to classified as a white, CoE Englishman - all that changed when the Establishment threw in the towel and made the Islamic culture the moral equivalent of mine."

With members like youno wonder the'Establishment' threw in the towel! God wants more from you but it sounds like you're unwilling to offer more. You've a fixation on creationism and dismiss Christianity because of it. Do grow up!

16 February 2012 at 00:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Oswin, you are correct, the Catholic Church has no official position on the Shroud although clearly it is held in very high regard."

I believe that's called "keeping your powder dry". If they fully back it and people get enough access to run tests which explain the phenomenon then they'll look pretty bad and, as we know, they'll do pretty much anything to avoid that.

"Do grow up!" <- said to Dreadnaught

It's surprising how many people you say that to, Dodo. You must imagine yourself a colossus
of maturity in a sea of childishness. It's curious because I'd have said you are the most childish person on here by a country mile.

16 February 2012 at 06:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

There's that annoying echo again.

The defender of all reason and virtue on the blog spouts forth. The 'man' who knows all about the Catholic Church - a cautious body that sees history in centuries not years. The armchair philosopher who boasts he enjoys testing the patience of bloggers.

The Shroud has been repeated examined by scientists and its origins cannot be explained and yet he thinks the Church is involved in duplicity. Instead it keeeps an open mind as with other unexplained phenomena and personal revelations.

Recent evidence concerning the Shroud is that the creation of the image is consistent with a sudden burst of electromagnetic energy such as a flash of light at short wavelength. Apart from that other 'artistic' means have been discounted. What are we left with?

Science can only rule out and discount certain hypotheses. So far it has been unable to discount the theory it is Christs burial shroud and the image was caused by the energy generated by His resurrection.

I can understand why heathens would want to mock its existance.

16 February 2012 at 08:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "What are we left with?"

God, right?

But anyway. As I'm sure you know really, access to the Shroud has been pretty limited.

"Science can only rule out and discount certain hypotheses. So far it has been unable to discount the theory it is Christs burial shroud and the image was caused by the energy generated by His resurrection."

This is a curious statement. Is that what happens then? When bodies which have been dead for 2-3 days are resurrected a short burst of short wavelength electro-magnetic energy is given off? Is that cause or effect? Perhaps we should be zapping bodies in the morgue like that to see what happens. Why would that energy be there anyway? To put a non-physical 'spirit' back into, or overlaid with, a body? Wouldn't a creator/sustainer of our reality just wish it so?

"Apart from that other 'artistic' means have been discounted. What are we left with?"

Have you considered an alternative theory: that the shroud was created by aliens using a sufficiently advanced technology? As far as I know, science hasn't been able to discount that yet either. However, I'm guessing you're not going to be running with that particular one. I have others if you like; I could drum up quite a lot if I set my mind to it.

16 February 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Jon said...

D. Singh - how am I omnipotent when it comes to my Shoelaces? I can't will them to become made of gold? You believe that God can though. So since you seem to misunderstand omnipotence, please try again - can God create a rock that he can't lift?

16 February 2012 at 12:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

A touch more on the Shroud thingy. Dodo, do me a favour: lie on your back and try to cover your bits with your hands crossed over. Now, I'm of normal proportions and I can't do it without pulling my shoulder in strangely and/or bending my back. Also, why would a dead body be wrapped like that in a shroud anyway? Modesty? Does that happen in shroud-oriented cultures? Might it not instead be because an artist producing an artefact was disturbed by the idea of casting an image of JC's unused wedding tackle onto some linen for others to see?

16 February 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

*sigh*

To whomever ...

There is no issue that I'm aware of with the bodily proportions of the image on the Shroud of Turin. The wounds on the image are also consistent with a Roman crucifixtion and the portrayal of this in the Bible.

Having never been resurrected or witnessed one I don't know personally if a burst of energy is required but again I believe the Gospels refer to aglowing light and certainly the Transfiguration suggests this.

Who knows the image may have been formed by aliens, a time traveller or some other way that cannot be scientifically verified. We're then left with choosing the most plausible based on other sources of evidence such as written accounts of those witnessing the risen Christ.

16 February 2012 at 18:40  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

How can anyone believe that the image is that of Jesus when no one know what he looked like. The image merely resembles all the other religious images produces for the Church in the 'Italian' style of the 16th Century.

16 February 2012 at 23:29  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Dreadnaught

In fact, the facial image of Christ has a much longer history than the 16th Century.

Ever considerd these may have been inspired by the Shroud and the Sudarium of Manoppello or Veronica's veil?

17 February 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Surely it's up to the proposers of the assertion to deliver the proof of evidence.

It's Russels flying tea-pot theory - If he says it is - is it right hat you have to prove him wrong.

17 February 2012 at 11:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

I'm not using an appeal to ignorance and claiming it hasn't been disapproved so therefore it is true!

Nobody has claimed anything for the Shroud. It's being studied and remains a mystery. Some accept it as a matter of faith - not as a matter of empirical knowledge.

All that is being said is that there is insufficient information to prove the origins of the Shroud. It may or may not be the burial Christ Shroud of Christ and may or may not support the resurrection. We may never 'know' in the formal scientific sense.

There is now some evidence that may suggest or be used to infer or deduce a certain things. As the scientists have said:

"We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."

It is the same with the existance of God.

17 February 2012 at 12:07  
Blogger Jon said...

Dodo - you are claiming something for the Shroud by implication - that it's worthy of study. You specifically said "All that is being said is that there is insufficient information to prove the origins of the Shroud". That's one claim.

"It may or may not be the burial Christ Shroud of Christ and may or may not support the resurrection. We may never 'know' in the formal scientific sense." Isn't a claim, but since you aren't making a claim, the imposition of one very narrow possibility with the fact that it might be almost anything else seems a bit weird if you aren't making a claim. I mean, for all we know, it *might* be Alfred the Great's duvet cover, too, right?

Then there's the rest of your post, which is basically scientists saying "we don't know, as you were" but yet you still bring it up like it's something? So, why bring it up as you did at 15 February 2012 00:04?

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

My main criticism [1] is about the assertion that science couldn't or can't explain how the image was made. The actual situation is that we don't yet know how it was made. We may never know. However, we can't jump from that to a state where we can say science will never be able to tell us how an image like that can be produced, and we can't say that it's therefore supernatural in origin.

All that said, the Shroud is intriguing. It seems very unlikely to be a coincidence that an image of a man with exactly those injuries appears on a burial shroud. Therefore, in all probability it is either the burial shroud of Jesus or it is a deliberate forgery. Yet the image seems more likely to have been naturally caused than to have been created by a forger. It's still a huge stretch to go from that to an unknown but nevertheless supernatural process.

[2] The secondary one is that the media always seems to get given or put out a Shroud of Turin story around Easter time, and occasionally Christmas, every year. That's what is laughable. It's playing the masses.

17 February 2012 at 16:58  
Blogger Oswin said...

Apropos of nothing in particular:

I have a 'conker' shaped stone, died the colour of a conker, excepting for a pale area, at the top, as is the case with regular conkers etc. It looks as if it had been dyed recently; it even has a wee patch of colour that has dripped out of line slightly.

I could have made it myself, it looks so vibrant, and recently done; but it came from a late Mesolithic site, of around five to six thousand years ago.

Without the 'find location' information, probably no one could prove it older than eighteen months, or last week even. Not making any sort of a point here, just saying...I mean, how old is a stone?

17 February 2012 at 17:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin

Remind me never to play conkers with you. I has a 'sixteener' once. Apparently schools ban the game now for health and safety reasons!

Jon
What's up, is the Shroud discomforting?

The Shroud is self-evidently worthy of study because it attracts human interest and curiosity.

It has an image on it consistant with a man crucified. The wounds on the body image are consistent with Gospel descriptions of the punishments inflicted on Christ e.g. the crown of thorns. The Shroud has been in the Church's custody for centuries with claims it dates back to the time of Christ. The way the image was formed is consistant with a short burst of electo-magnetic light and artistic forgery appears highly unlikely.

All this and you criticise the statement:

"It may or may not be the burial Christ Shroud of Christ and may or may not support the resurrection. We may never 'know' in the formal scientific sense."

And you offer instead that it *might* be a duvet of Alfred the Great's! And I have offered some alternative suggestions:

"Who knows the image may have been formed by aliens, a time traveller or some other way that cannot be scientifically verified.
"


Isn't this how the 'scientific method' works? Sometimes we're left not 'knowing' in the verifiable sense.

"We're then left with choosing the most plausible (explanation)based on other sources of evidence such as written accounts of those witnessing the risen Christ."

Why did I bring it up? Simply in response to Tingey saying if we cannot prove the existance of God then He does not exist:

"Science cannot do it (prove the origins of the Shroud), yet it exists. Or is it an imaginary artifact?"

And like the Shroud we hit a barrier in our search for proof of God, leaving us in the position of:

" ... openimg up a philosophical and theological debate ... leave(ing) the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."

17 February 2012 at 19:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If I found an image of JC on a piece of toast then I'd get it on ebay straight away, hoping that wacky casino would buy it. Just sayin'.

18 February 2012 at 10:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "And like the Shroud we hit a barrier in our search for proof of God, leaving us in the position of: [...]"

Or: leaving us with an open mind and further tests, depending on whether we're science-educated or religiously-indoctrinated.

18 February 2012 at 10:56  
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 12:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 February 2012 at 13:59  

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