Sunday School

Sunday School July 14th 2019

This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 year ago.

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    Here is an in-depth look at the growth and decline in American Religion over the last decade. Americans rarely seek guidance from clergy. Just 12% of Brits are affiliated to the Church of England a major survey reveals. There is no panic in Heaven over these figures says one delusionist who knows these things.

    The sins of Benny Hinn, an extraordinary liar for Jesus.

    Pastor at a homophobic church had an “affair” with an underage boy.

    American evangelicals fall out over politics. If only they had a spiritual advisor in the White House.

    The Satanic Temple adopts a park in Pensacola so followers of Jesus start to vandalize it. Brevard County in Florida can no longer discriminate against some citizens participating in civic affairs.

    This weeks Woo: Microbiome madness.

    Climate Crisis: Has your doctor mentioned the climate to you during a health check-up?

    God, creation, science, religion: the conflicts. Can religious belief inform science? No. It’s a fake question. Religion is simply irrelevant to science.

    Just how many extinct types of humans did our ancestors meet and would Humans evolve again if we rewound Time while a 210,000-year-old skull is the oldest Homo sapiens fossil found outside Africa.

    Louis Theroux returns to meet America’s most hated family; The Westboro Baptist Church.

    On religious liberty: You can believe what you like if you do not act to harm others.

    How your brain invents morality.

    Dear Voyagers: How your billion-year journey carries true love.

    Einstein’s ‘spooky’ phenomenon caught on camera for first time.

    Why do gravitational waves travel exactly at the speed of light?

    Trigger warnings don’t help snowflakes.

    Long Read: Why so many people still think the moon landings were faked?

    This week I am ordering this book:  Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video: Sean Carroll on morality and rationality. The future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. To end, The River.

    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer. Reason: Found a missing, not that one!

    Have a great week everyone!!

    “One day when I was praying, it suddenly occurred to me that I was talking to myself.”

    ― Peter O’ Toole



    Thanks, Reg!


    Simon Paynton

    I couldn’t get on with Patricia Churchland’s ideas.

    How your brain invents morality.

    I think she doesn’t specify how the conscience gets into our heads.  She just claims, moral sentiments = having a conscience.

    I think there is a governing and monitoring going on.  The conscience is tied up with the human sense of “ought” – the conscience says we “ought” to behave a certain way.

    We are governed by the collective or joint “we” to which we relinquish some self-control.  If “we” is made up of “I” and “others”, then the attitude of “we > me” is internalised as a responsibility towards others, a feeling that I ought to behave a certain way towards them.

    Our behaviour is monitored by each other (reputation) and ourselves (conscience) to see that we are conforming to moral and social norms.  Christians would say, it’s also monitored by God, the ultimate voice of conscience.


    Christians would say, it’s also monitored by God, the ultimate voice of conscience.

    That is irrelevant to a science based topic.

    She just claims, moral sentiments = having a conscience.

    I read it that she claims moral sentiments are a set of community norms that evolved because they were useful.






    Since Homo sapiens emerged, seven or more human types inhabited the planet. Today, we’re the only ones left. It’s an odd time in human evolution.

    Now that is an understatement. I am fascinated by our fellow extinct humans. The fact that white Euro Christians are the ones with Neanderthal contributions is well…delightful.


    Simon Paynton

    a set of community norms that evolved because they were useful.

    Then she’s not so far off what I said.  Norms are standards to be upheld, and we are governed and monitored in that direction, by the community and by ourselves.


    The publication “Scientific American” has some great editions that can still be purchased. Here and Here.

    I enjoy telling racists that we are all descended from Africans, especially the Christian ones. There is more research to be done on this topic but I too am fascinated with the story of human evolution.

    This is funny.

    There are plenty of videos by Alice Roberts on YouTube too.




    Alice Roberts is a treasure and a great educator. In a way young people have such great resources if their families would just allow them access. I remember the struggle to learn back in the 60’s. When I went missing my poor Mom knew to check the library first, the little local museum second and then the ocean pier where everything from bottlenose dolphin to manta ray could be spotted. I could not wait for the Sunday TV show “Wild Kingdom”. The highlight of my young life was going to the world’s fair in NYC; the theme was dinosaurs. I nearly lost my mind.


    I went to see the Titanosaur one month after the exhibit opened.

    This did nothing to cure me of my secret crush on Alice 😉


    Of course it is important to listen to both sides of “the debate“.


    Simon Paynton

    the human sense of “ought”

    On reflection, I really think this idea has legs.  We can use Atheist Zone as an example.  The theory as set out by Michael Tomasello unfolds as follows:

    1. identify with “we” because it fits in with one’s cooperative identity (“I am a cooperative person and I choose to cooperate with a cooperating body, therefore I identify as a member of Atheist Zone”).
    2. voluntarily relinquish some control to the “we” as the joint agent (“I agree to abide by the rules of Atheist Zone”).
    3. this produces a feeling of “we > me”.
    4. since “we” = “me” + “others”, this in turn is internalised as a sense of responsibility towards others and self (“I have a responsibility to treat the other members well, and also, demand to be treated well myself”).
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