Sunday School

Sunday School March 17th 2019

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    The Irish Prime Minister meets Mike Pence for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

    A bill that would require public schools to offer elective Bible classes is still loitering with intent in Florida. What will Education Secretary Betsy DeVos do about that?

    President Trump and the salience of signing Bibles.

    President Erdogan accuses women’s march of disrespecting Islam, the religion that is known for its stance on being pro-women’s rights.

    The Cuddly One meets with Captain Magic Underpants.

    Can you spot the flaws in this apologist’s article?

    Hundreds sign useless petition after Catholic school bans child of gay parents.

    The DUP is the party that is keeping Theresa May in power in the UK.

    The Supreme Court is poised to save the Bladensburg Cross.

    This weeks’ Woo:  Policing online pseudoscience. Why do people believe in it? Now where did I leave my SugarBearHair pills?

    Climate Change: Is it possible to artificially cool the Earth’s climate?

    Science denial won’t end sexism.

    This is why the Multiverse must exist by Ethan Siegel.

    News, Pre-News, Fake News, and Statistics.

    Long Reads: Forgiveness of those who bear false witness against us.

    Some photographs taken last week.

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

    Coffee Break Video:  The Physics and Philosophy of Time – with Carlo Rovelli (or start here to read about it). Why is life the way it is? Michael Faraday Prize Lecture – Dr Nick Lane (starts at 4:50).



    Thanks Reg!

    Loved the Mike Pence breakfast story. Happy St Patrick’s Day !


    Thanks Strega. In case anyone was wondering – “Taoiseach” is the Irish word for Prime Minister and pronounced “Tee-Shock”.


    Simon Paynton

    Can you spot the flaws in this apologist’s article?

    I feel that this article is a lazy confused mess, but I’ll try to un-confuse it a little.

    So, in essence we are here by cosmic accident and there is no pre-ordained purpose for our existence.

    This is true according to atheists.

    If we are here by cosmic accident, who is right and who is wrong, and what rules should we live by?

    It depends on our primary values.  If our primary values are thriving, surviving and reproducing, then from this follow the rules of morality (cooperative thriving).  But Isis do this within their group.  More ethical people, who want to live peacefully in the world, will extend the privilege of thriving to out-group members as well as in-group members.

    Either one man who has an army behind him tells us what the rules are,

    … but then this “one man with an army” will eventually be slapped down by the rest of us, as a bully, because the human race doesn’t like bullies.

    or we vote on the rules and whatever the majority votes on establishes the rules.

    Democracy?  What’s wrong with that?  In the West, the rules include human rights for everybody.

    You say that there are some things inherent in us that define what is right and wrong, but if we are cosmic accidents is anything really inherent

    Moral foundations theory identifies six inherent moral foundations: benefit/harm, fairness, liberty, loyalty, respect for authority and tradition, and sanctity or purity.  All of these have clearly plausible evolutionary stories stemming from the need to thrive, survive and reproduce cooperatively.

    or does each of us have to figure out life and sometimes we discover similarities in our experience and we conclude that our similarities mean something is inherent.

    I can see the point that Dave Burrows might be implying: that our own experience is an unreliable guide to saying what is inherent.  But we don’t have to figure that stuff out, because academics led by people like Jonathan Haidt have already done a much better job than we could on our own.

    You insist you are certain there is no possibility of God, so who or what determines how we should live?



    I agree Simon, it is a lazy and confused mess. The writer still lives with the mindset of someone in the 15th century who had no concept of Evolution or any other scientific advance. That is because they use the same schoolbook for every subject.

    You insist you are certain there is no possibility of God, so who or what determines how we should live?

    We do.


    Simon Paynton

    I find it’s very difficult to debate Christians on that subject, because they won’t be pinned down.  I think it’s because they seek to justify God’s existence on the grounds of objective morality or whatever, so they have a lot riding on it.

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