Sunday School

Sunday School July 5th 2020

This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 month ago.

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    The FFRF celebrates July 4th with “Celebrate Our Godless Constitution” adverts. Tony Perkins, another Liar for Jesus, blames LGBTQ people for ruining the day because they have human rights.

    The separation of Church and State Is breaking down under Trump. Forcing Montana to fund religious schools destroys it further. Could recent Supreme Court rulings cost him white evangelical votes? What would Black liberal Jesus make of that?

    A court in New York is to allow Catholics to lift restrictions on church gatherings because “The idea that houses of worship are some deadly viral vector unlike anything else is just superstition because   there’s no science to support that.” Catholics will be allowed to stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel, sit, walk around, kneel, open their mouths wide, stand, walk about, kneel and shake hands with strangers and then touch their own faces as they bless themselves as part of their religious freedom. That Church also needs to get in as much money as it can given the large increase in lawsuits against it. 6000 Catholics clergy in America alone have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of little children.

    Mike Pence attendance at a pro-pandemic event in Dallas is nothing to sing about as 87% of the choir contracted Covid19 at the rehearsal.

    Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs?

    Germany: Catholic Church sees record drop in membership.

    This weeks’ Woo: What makes people prone to believing conspiracy theories?

    Climate Crisis: What warmer summers mean for Arctic wildlife.

    15 Logical Fallacies you should know before getting into a debate.

    Can you spot the fallacies in this argument?

    A glossary of ethics.

    The Moral Arc: How thinking like a scientist makes the world more moral.

    The probability that we don’t understand the Schrodinger’s Cat idea.

    Why good teachers allow a child’s mind to wander and wonder.

    Unmasking social change behaviors.

    It’s easy to forget that we’re a single species within the genus Homo because everyone else is dead.

    Long Reads:  America’s next Civil War. How can we ban facial recognition when it’s already everywhere? Racism is real. But Science isn’t the problem.

    This week I am reading this book: Our Not So Intelligent Design.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video: The Psychology of Religion with Steven Pinker. Ray “Bananaman” Comfort vs Matt Dilahunty get it on. Understanding various types of logical fallacies.


    Have a great week everyone!

    “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”

    – Anita Roddick.




    Thanks Reg!



    Coffee Break Video: The Psychology of Religion with Steven Pinker is fascinating…

    Well I am sure a few people around my town are without fingers or eyeballs this morning because I now know what the ‘London Blitz’ must have sounded like. Window-shaker fireworks.


    @_Robert_  Glad you liked it 🙂 I have another one lined up for next week. I saw him at a discussion not so long ago on his book “Enlightenment Now”.



    Simon Paynton

    It’s easy to forget that we’re a single species within the genus Homo because everyone else is dead.

    early art indicate that ancient humans were culturally complex and behaviorally flexible, which likely helped them adapt to a wide range of environments. Furthermore, Bailey argues, demographic changes related to an increase in population size drove Homo sapiens’ innovations, which could have helped them occupy regions no one else wanted to go to.

    This is very interesting, and it suggests that somehow, culture is a large factor in what enables the success of Homo sapiens.  We left Africa and arrived in Europe to find the Neanderthals, not the other way round, after all.  We spread around the planet; they did not.

    Maybe it is to do with group size and tribal organisation.  Larger groups need more coherent cultures, to stay coordinated and organised.


    @simon, one of our greatest advantage is that we are very good at inventing what we need to help us adapt to any environment. After we invent something the next generations will continue to improve on the original, be it a hunting spear, a cultural meme or a quantum theory to describe the world. We, who have open minds, will discard ideas that are no longer useful and care not for obsolete creeds. That keeps us “fitter”.


    Simon Paynton

    Maybe the Asbergers gene has something to do with it, maybe that provided the edge of sapiens over the Neanderthals: skill in technology.


    Yes, I think so. Once we view it as a syndrome on the autistic scale and not as a disorder or some kind of illness. I think many of our most gifted people often are. They have a unique and singular talent and they are as important to us collectively as any polymath is.  They have to be special to do something like this.




    Hey Reg, @regthefronkeyfarmer,

    I don’t know Perkins personally, but I’m no supporter.  As I said in another post, it’s really bad when “evangelical types” syncretistically blend nationalism with theology.

    You also talked about Catholics meeting in their church buildings and holding “Mass”, denying the reality of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.  Months ago when the pandemic really began to spread, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “will people listen to the science“?  (Sure, me and Tyson have our differences, but I really like the guy and would love to meet him personally – he’s funny, and he says the Star ship Enterprise would easily beat the Millennium Falcon in a head-to-head fight!  I’m a big StarTrek TOS fan.  I confess my evil way’s… I laughed at this video… but I digress, back to the topic)

    Steven Pinker’s talk was indeed fascinating – thanks for sharing.  Much of what he spoke about impacts much more than ancient or modern religion.  For example, appealing to “family solidarity” through manipulation and the “appeal to peoples kinship psychology” runs way beyond religion from communities, military training, martial arts training, secular fraternities, all the way up to nation states, and thus it is clearly beyond a Judaeo-Christian domain.  We are all but advanced sheep, right! (I need to buy Dawkins “Selfish Gene” book.  I’ve read his book, “The Greatest Show on Earth”.)

    Finally, I’ve been getting your “Sunday School” links for years, but I never really have had time (taken/made the time) to read/respond.  Of course, recently (the last two weeks or so), I’ve been pretty active in the AtheistZone…. It seems that I’ve found some time to explore.  Not sure when my time will run out, but I look forward to our other interactions.  I really do learn a lot and as @jacklafort said to me in another thread, I better be careful or I might get de-converted!


    @Fullmingjr  – Thanks. The Selfish Gene is a great book to read. I have a DNA / Tree of Life tattoo on my right arm that he once admired.

    The Millennium Falcon or the Enterprise? I am with Tyson on that. Who takes an Uber when you own a Limo?

    I find Catholics to be very strange people indeed. But then I grew up in Ireland surrounded by them and their incessant chatter. A local teacher once suggested to my parents (also Catholics) that I might need an exorcism if I “continued down the road” I was on :-). I so regret that not happening!! 40 year later I still got the attitude 🙂 When it comes to listening to them its a case of “Captain, its the engines here, Scotty can’t take it anymore”.

    I will get to posting our discussion on faith \ atheism very soon.

    I better be careful or I might get de-converted!

    Just remember that is something you do for yourself. We can’t make it happen 🙂



    Simon Paynton

    The Moral Arc: How thinking like a scientist makes the world more moral.

    This is a really interesting video that I watched through to the end.  I like the way he gives a lot of concrete reasons why the world has overall become more caring and fair, and less violent and unfair, steadily since around 10,000 years ago.

    These examples are compatible with my hypothesis that the pressure to thrive, survive and reproduce cooperatively provides the “ought” to human endeavour.


    To refer to Steven Pinker again, he once gave a Ted Talk on the decline in violence. He wrote more about it a few years later in the “Enlightenment Now” book mentioned above.


    Simon Paynton

    Thanks, I’ve seen some of his stuff, he and Michael Shermer are on the same page.  I need to flesh out my account with concrete reasons, so it doesn’t look so “mystical”.

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