Sunday School

Sunday School April 1st 2018

This topic contains 36 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    Verily I say unto thee that the twerkers shall inherit the dance floor.


    Simon Paynton

    I thought it was just the last one standing 😉


    Simon Paynton

    Steven Pinker talks about the legacy of the Enlightenment (he says it’s good).  Are we not continuing the Enlightenment project right now?


    Only if you can still work it work it work it.


    Simon Paynton

    Before the police come.


    Simon, I think you would like this book. I did mention it in the previous Sunday School. I am almost finished it.

    The Enlightenment principle that we can apply reason and sympathy to enhance human flourishing may seem obvious, trite and old-fashioned. I wrote this book because I have come to realize that it is not. More than ever, the ideals of reason, science, humanism and progress need a wholehearted defense…………………(He then goes on to talk about our advances)………..We ignore the achievements of the Enlightenment at our peril.

    The ideals of the Enlightenment are products of human reason but they always struggle with other strands of human nature: loyalty to tribe, magical thinking………

    Basically the book is his “attempt to restate the ideals of the Enlightenment in the language and concepts of the 21st century”.

    I think he does a good job at doing so. (I have taken a few of his courses online over the years).


    Simon Paynton

    Is that Steven Pinker’s book?

    I’m also sympathetic to the view that religion goes right along with science, and they don’t have to be contradictory.  If the origin of one is “logical and rational”, and the origin of the other is somewhat “magical” – that’s kind of OK, because after that, they both can follow the same path.


    Out of curiosity what answers has Religion given us in the last 500 years that Science has not been able to address? What religiously inspired revelations has it given us recently?

    Science deals with the natural world while religion deals with the supernatural. However there is nothing supernatural, only things that Science has not yet explained so religion is bunk.


    Simon Paynton

    Mindfulness meditation came to us from the East.  Recently, the Church was behind the Black civil rights movement.  Before that, it was behind the anti-slavery movement.

    It’s true that religion deals with the supernatural, and it also deals with the spiritual.  These don’t have to be the same thing.  Spirituality can be defined as the art of living well – of thriving ethically.  Self-care is a spiritual practice.


    Tom Sarbeck

    Self-care is a spiritual practice?

    For you, Simon.

    For me, self-care is entirely pragmatic.



    Simon Paynton

    self-care is entirely pragmatic

    – I agree, and I also think we don’t tend to have atheist words for spirituality.  If we were religious, we would have all kinds of words to call it.



    What is atheist spirituality?  It sounds like an oxymoron to me



    Thanks for the Sunday School Reg!!! As always, very Enlightning.

    Head of security, at the building I work at in Manhattan, recently passed away. He was a pastor at a Protestant church and an avid believer. He heard me talking about evolution with an acquaintance of mine and piped in that “all you ever want to know about science and the universe is in the Bible”. I know Reg, what an opportunity to set this yokel straight. Alas most of my communications skills have the word “fuck you” interspersed with “asshole” and “dumbass” when my patience is spent. I just walked away.

    About four months ago he was diagnosed with cancer. He decided that if it was gods will for him to die then he would do nothing to stop it. He decided to try curing himself holistically. About a month and a half ago he decided that holistic medicine was not doing shit for his cancer and he decided to try chemo. Doctors pretty much told him what everyone else knew. In the words of the Colonel, from the movie First Blood, “It’s over Johnny!”. Doc pretty much told him to cancel Christmas. He died last week.

    He was so adamant that god was going to ride in and rescue him. He refused chemo. His faith was gone by a month and a half ago cause he decided, a little late, to undergo chemo. Guess he even realized living is a whole lot better then dying.



    “Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death”.

    [Annie Lennox]


    Simon Paynton

    @noel – that poor guy, he had it all wrong.

    @strega – there are definitely at least two different kinds of spirituality.  One involves “spirits” and the supernatural, which I’m not talking about here.  The other is “the practice of self-transformation” (according to one definition).  So self-care comes under this definition.  Think Bruce Lee (for example).

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