Sunday School June 4th 2017
June 4, 2017 at 10:08 am #2915
The number of non-religious college students has tripled in the last 30 years to 31%
Could thinking about the Big Bang tend to lead people toward atheism?
The new Irish Prime Minister is the openly gay son of an Indian immigrant.
This weeks’ Woo: The children of anti-vax campaigners are easily spotted.
Climate Change: A look at the possible impacts of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
Religions have nothing to offer but taboos without a clue when it comes to meaningful moral discussion but would Science consider robots deserving of human rights in an age where we seem to be seized by anxieties over various forms of Armageddon.
Aristotle said “All human beings by nature desire to know” but what constitutes “human nature”.
Einstein is proved right again about Spacetime as gravitational waves are detected for the third time just as the upcoming total solar eclipse will again prove his Theory of Relativity but could thinking you just figured out how the Universe was created be an overly inflated idea?
While you are waiting for the kettle to boil.…..June 4, 2017 at 10:11 am #2919
Have a great week everyone!
What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?
– Sherwood Rowland, climatologist.
June 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm #2935
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Reg the Fronkey Farmer.
Thanks Reg!June 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm #2937
Superstitious Somalis bringing back the measles. Soon we will have bananas and measles in Minnesota.June 4, 2017 at 11:48 pm #2956
I think about the “Big Bang” therefore I’m an Atheist? Yeah, no! I’m an Atheist there for… is it like saying I play a Fender Stratocaster there for I’m Eric Clapton? (LOL… didn’t we use to call Clapton god”. ) I swear I grabbed his name out of thin air just now…yeah, good to be back.
And thanks Reg for the Sunday SchoolJune 5, 2017 at 12:22 am #2958
Your very welcome Noel. It’s funny the way theists try to create even more gaps to fit their god into. Which sound better, a fender or a Harley?June 5, 2017 at 12:42 am #2960
Where is the “like” button people? Lol….I like to “like” Sunday school in support of our Fronkey Farmer…I feel naked without it! Lol…June 5, 2017 at 7:40 am #2962
“Religions have nothing to offer but taboos without a clue when it comes to meaningful moral discussion”
– I think the author is being too simplistic, religious morality is a bit more sophisticated than he makes out. At least in Christianity, in the idea of God and through Jesus, there’s the idea that each individual is valuable and loved by God.
The real problems with religious morality are, I think: 1) it’s really confusing and can be made to say whatever you like; 2) it tends to go against human nature. Or rather, there’s one aspect of human nature that dominates all others: the repression of women by men.
The article about “what constitutes human nature?” forgets that contained within human nature is a core set of ethical principles. The idea of “men dominating women” belongs to this ancient aspect of human nature, but that doesn’t make it an ethical principle, and we can reject it in favour of more ethical behaviour.June 5, 2017 at 7:45 am #2963
About the terrorist question:June 5, 2017 at 9:51 am #2964
“At least in Christianity, in the idea of God and through Jesus, there’s the idea that each individual is valuable and loved by God”
How can the idea of feeling valued and loved by a non-existent god offer anything of substantive value? At best it is an attempt force people to behave in certain ways. It is based upon the reward and punishment system of Heaven and Hell. Even introducing the “naughty step” concept to small children, which might compel them to think about the outcome of their actions is of more use.
The idea of “men dominating women” was not always the case. These ideas permeated into societies because most governments were religiously dominated by kings appointed by gods and religion was and still is, a useful tool for controlling large groups of people. In recent times religions have begun to move towards the concept of equality but this was not inspired within their own organisations. It was driving by having to accept the ideas of modern ethics formulated by Humanist and non-religious movements.
Now I hear churches, most still entirely male dominated, talk about the concepts of equality that they were forced to adapt in order to survive as if it was all their idea. This happened without people feeling valued and loved by a god that does not exist.
June 5, 2017 at 11:39 am #2969
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Reg the Fronkey Farmer.
A Harley of course… But with the radio blasting Jimi singing and playing Voodoo Childe on his left handed Strat through the fairing installed sound system as the Harley’s “Potato,Potato” cadence keeps perfect time!June 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm #2972
I was getting a bit jaded towards the end of a solo 10k last thanksgiving weekend. This song (who Jimi said was a better guitarist!) just started on my Walkman and half way through blended with the band of Harley’s that breezed past me and parked up here. I covered the last mile planning another move to another country.June 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm #2973
“How can the idea of feeling valued and loved by a non-existent god offer anything of substantive value?”
– you’d have to ask them. I’m just saying it’s what they believe. It comes down to the two main kinds of love offered by God: the unconditional (which is amoral and belongs to the individual) and the judgemental (which serves morality and applies to social life). They’re complementary, in that we need to thrive both individually and socially. In theory, this is a good idea. In practice, as culture gets further and further away from basic humanitarian values, then in certain groups, all that is left is “sticking to the dumb stupid rules, otherwise God and the Church hates you”. Jesus offered a return to the pre-culture days of simple human values, in the way he treated people in real life, even though he was somewhat hung up on the vengeful God as well. On the other hand, morality needs a policeman, so even this was reasonable if his heart was in the right place.
“men dominating women”
– this is just standard primate behaviour, the only exception being, I believe, bonobos, which are matriarchal. In most other primates, the males seek to dominate as many females as possible, as much as they can get away with. Of course, this follows through into religion and culture, in a very dangerous way, getting enshrined as “God’s way”. In other words, mens’ way, and heterosexual men at that. It’s made worse by ownership and passing wealth down the male line. The males need to ensure that both their genes and their money get passed to the genuine offspring.June 5, 2017 at 6:12 pm #2976
It comes down to the two main kinds of love offered by God….
Simon, this sounds like you talking as if the Christian god actually exists rather than reporting what theists believe. Gods do not exist so “he” cannot offer anyone any kind of love. It might make theists feel all warm and fluffy to believe the Creator of the Universe loves and values them. However it is a delusion. Therefore developing a code of morality from what someone believes the Creator of the Universe would approve of is bunk.
“Morality needs a policeman”
Only if ones moral code is written in stone and considered to be absolute. The only people who think like that also think they are being constantly watched by the all-seeing eye in the cosmic sky. When Christians ask me “What is stopping you from committing murder if you don’t believe in (their) god” I am glad they have a moral policeman. They only prove how immature and unconsidered their standards are by asking such a dumb question. If their belief in a god stops them from murdering people, then please keep believing.
Unfortunately as shown one again in our old stomping ground in Borough Market, it also takes a belief in god to commit murder so easily. To quote Voltaire “Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. It is the self-appointed policemen that do this.
Morality does not need policemen. It needs teachers and informed conversations about it. A proper education on Evolution and Critical Thinking will allow us to become much more ethical people.
Victor Hugo — ‘There is in every village a torch – the teacher; and an extinguisher – the priest.’June 5, 2017 at 7:24 pm #2979
“this sounds like you talking as if the Christian god actually exists rather than reporting what theists believe.”
– I don’t believe it, since I’ve been a card-carrying atheist since the age of 5. I’m just imagining this contradictory viewpoint so that I can analyse it from my own perspective, which is evolutionary morality.
“Therefore developing a code of morality from what someone believes the Creator of the Universe would approve of is bunk.”
– I agree, and I see this as the fundamental problem with religious morality. The primary value in non-religious morality is “mutual thriving”, whereas the primary value in religious morality is “whatever I imagine it says in my holy book”. Luckily, most people are nice, so they find the nice things that are in it. Evil people justify their evil in the same way.
“Morality does not need policemen.”
– do you really believe we can do without the rule of law? That’s what you’re saying. By “policeman” I just mean that as soon as people start cooperating, i.e. not competing, but working together; suppressing their own needs for the good of the common goal; etc. then they need ways of keeping exploiters, free-riders, selfish bad people from taking advantage of this vulnerability. So we have evolved various instincts aimed in this direction, as a complement to our instincts to cooperate: such as a sense of commitment and responsibility to treat others fairly; an internalised self-monitoring; guilt and shame; worrying about our reputations; moral anger and resentment; all kinds of ways to keep the situation cooperative and not selfish and competitive.
The monotheistic “vengeful God” is just an extension of this which is useful when groups get bigger and we can no longer regulate cooperation just through personal relationships and instincts. Of course, in secular countries this job is done by the state.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.