Or separation. One of those.… Read the rest
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Welcome to the Jesus Surf Classic, for those who are into waves, God, baggy shorts, and crucifixes.… Read the rest
Curious about the latest rash of misrepresentations of Dawkins, I’ve been re-reading The God Delusion in order to compare what he says with what people like John Cornwell and Mark Vernon claim he says.
First of all there’s the ‘he ignores sophisticated theology’ complaint, the ‘God is not an old guy in the sky, God is the ground of all fzzzwrkklppp’ complaint. He says right at the outset that he’s not talking about the more rarefied or ‘sophisticated’ ideas of god. Page 20:
… Read the rest
My title, The God Delusion, does not refer to the God of Einstein and the other enlightened scientists…In the rest of this book I am talking only about supernatural gods, of which the most familiar to
Not everyone who reads this page reads comments, so I’ll comment a little on Mark Vernon’s reply to He doubted doubt out here.
Did I ever say that atheists per se can’t do doubt? It’s the militant sort that apparently find uncertainty so offensive in relation to religion – hence, for example, the argument that a liberal faith is a cover for religious terrorism. But since, obviously, you won’t believe me, try Julian Baggini’s Very Short Introduction for a reference on why this matters to the state of atheism, let alone anything else.
I have tried Julian’s book (and have said good things about it here), and I’ve known him to use the modifier ‘militant’ of atheists in other places … Read the rest
As Jean Kazez mentioned in comments, Mark Vernon has an article in TPM about doubt and agnosticism. He does indeed, and I disagree with much of it, in some places quite strongly. I always did, but I kept it to myself.
First he was a priest, then he became an atheist. And then –
… Read the rest
I found I was actually becoming an agnostic. Over time, I came to feel that the triumphalism that too often seems to be part and parcel of atheism entails a poverty of spirit that is detrimental to our humanity. It tends to ignore or ridicule the “big” questions of life – those questions of existence that are natural to ask, if never finding conclusive answers –
Dawkins cannot afford to entertain the possibility that Fascism fills a deep-seated need in people.… Read the rest
‘Causing offence does not belong to the concept of freedom of speech,’ said Iran’s ambassador.… Read the rest
No thanks.… Read the rest
Tuesday and Thursday are offended, Wednesday is an apostate, Monday has become a Mormon.… Read the rest
They were hauled before the Inquisition for their scientific views as well as their theological views.… Read the rest
Stephen Law, Frank Furedi, Ruth Gledhill. October 27, Upper Gilbenkian Theatre, the RCA, London.… Read the rest
So, my curiosity renewed about Vernon’s much-recycled trope that only theists doubt while atheists are full of certainty, I amble over to his blog and find an even more ridiculous example. He’s praising John Cornwell’s book on Dawkins:
It is a gently written, precision riposte to The God Delusion. Cornwell used to be an agnostic and so appreciates the place of doubt in life. He also ‘doubted his doubt’ and returned to the Catholic faith…
Ah – so he’s a doubly wonderful fella because he doubted not once but twice, thus returning to ‘the Catholic faith’ which of course as is well known is all about doubt and always has been. That’s what the pope is for, that’s … Read the rest
Mark Vernon is annoying. Again.
But if you speak to people who believe literally in the six days of Genesis, they do so in part because they fear the moral nihilism they see as implicit in a Dawkins-style Darwinism. Dawkins’ approach is pretty nihilistic because he insists on the meaning-lite doctrine of ‘science as salvation’, as Mary Midgley put it. He will never win the Creationists over. Rather, he is likely to confirm them in their belief.
Notice the complete absence of substantiation for that silly accusation. Notice the failure even to say what it’s supposed to mean – notice the obnoxious combination of the emphatic verb ‘insists’ with the labeling via someone else’s unexplained epithet. Does Dawkins ‘insist’ … Read the rest
Says head of U.S. government agency that pays benefits to disabled veterans.… Read the rest
The Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq shelters women who are threatened by honor killing.… Read the rest
It is extremely common for journalists to take money from pharmaceutical companies.… Read the rest
The zeitgeist overlooked features of Russell Jacoby’s argument that did not fit into a simplified history.… Read the rest
Pope warns Europe not to ’embrace’ abortion, urges it to embrace Xianity.… Read the rest
His neighbor was ill, he helped her, so he was accused by religious police of immoral behaviour.… Read the rest