Sunday School

Sunday School March 4th 2018

This topic contains 23 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 6 years, 3 months ago.

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    Let’s start with a quick visit to Church.

    Prayer Warriors will unleash Angel Armies to enforce their gods’ will on Earth from their HQ at Trump’s Washington hotel.

    Soon school children in Florida and possibly in other States, could be learning that the Earth is both round and flat.

    Atheists in Zambia can feel like they are surrounded by religious babblers.

    The majority of Britons see religious studies as unimportant.

    In Ireland another Catholic bishop has resigned after another child abuse controversy. In Melbourne Cardinal Pell will finally get to court. In the meanwhile the Vatican trains more exorcists as apparently Italy is in the grip of a demonic possession.

    Antisemitism: A history of the oldest hatred.

    This weeks’ Woo: Medicare makes no bones about this waste of money.

    Climate Change: Could Global Warming be the cause of Mass Mortality Events?

    Would you opt for immortality? It would allow more time indulge in idleness but would you have any justification for being so?

    Are cats liquid or solid and what is the body temperature of a chicken?

    The Universe’s first stars may have been detected.

    Some photographs taken last week. Some finalists from the Smithsonian.

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

    Coffee Break Video:  A Hitchens video! A funny look at the unintended consequences of technology.


    Have a great week everyone!!



    Thanks, Reg!


    Daniel W.

    Thanks Reg for a great list.  It’s really nice for me now, having some good stuff to read.  My partner had heart surgery (coronary artery bypass) and now I’m fulltime caregiver for a coupe of months.  These readings help with my sanity.


    Thanks Daniel. I am sure your partner is in good hands. I wouldn’t want one that was only a “part-time” caregiver :-). I hope you have time to take on board some of the ideas in the “idleness” story. Looking after yourself with some “me time” will allow you to give better care to others. It is too easy to overlook.


    Daniel W.

    Thanks Reg.  This enforced down time has had some benefits.  It’s also interesting to see how, approached thoughtfully, caring for someone after a major surgery and result in a type of tenderness and closeness that normal life somehow doesn’t foster.  I have also done exploring that I describe in part, in the “Survivor” group.   I will read through your links, and am grateful to have that as a focus for my thoughts and attention.



    so nice to listen to hitch again.


    Yeah, one from the early days of “New Atheism”. The eloquence of his delivery is unmatched.



    Very interesting assortment of stories…and, as always, we must “read between the lines” and recognize any “code words” used in order to separate honest fact from an ideological agenda.


    Hi sluggo and thanks. Welcome to Atheist Zone.


    Simon Paynton

    I can’t help thinking that learning about religion is important.  This is because, religion is important.  I know this sounds strange for an atheist to say, but when it’s done right I think it is one of the best things ever.  Atheists complain, rightly, when religion is not done in the spirit of religion.

    This is a good metaphor for religion:  the moon, which has a dark side and a light side, and one has nothing to do with the other, except of being two parts of the same overall object.  The light side is “angelic” in nature and the dark side is “medieval”.


    Simon Paynton

    We could probably say the same about society, the law, the economy, and individuals.

    Religion talks about society, the law, and individuals; among other things.

    Perhaps the light and dark sides of religion involve the light and dark sides of society, the law, and individuals.

    The dark side of the economy – in the sense of theft and fiscal corruption – is prohibited by all official religions.  But the dark sides of society, the law, and individuals, have all been fully endorsed and recommended by religion.  The “medieval” sides of all these have been promoted.

    Patriarchy doesn’t help the situation, in the sense of the controlling of women’s sexuality by society, the male sense of ownership over females, and the repression of homosexuality and femininity in men (just beCAUSE right).


    I would agree with you on the importance of understanding the role religion plays from a social or historical perspective. I have advocated that instead of indoctrinating school children into one religion we should teach them about all major religions without showing any preference for any particular one. This is important in a multicultural society (and a closed one too). That way they will grow up with a greater respect for “different” people.

    I once attended a talk by Dan Dennett where we discussed the idea of teaching the “4 R’s”, reading, riting, rithmetic and religion (but not speling).

    I am waiting to see what religion does right to see if it is going to be better than what we can do without have it. Someone once asked me “Well what would you replace religion with?”

    I answered “Nothing”. Losing your religion does not leave a void. It does not leave ” a god shaped hole in your heart”, whatever that means. It opens you up to a better world. What would you replace a ball and chain with? You don’t, you just get rid of it. You don’t replace supernatural beliefs with reality and then find you are missing out on something. You just mature as a person because you use reason and critical thinking.


    Simon Paynton

    The dark side

    – for example, look at those evil weirdo’s who hang around outside abortion clinics, and bully and harrass the women trying to get an abortion.  Who does that?  Why can’t they protest some other way?  What’s that, apart from modern-day witch-burning?

    It would probably be OK if they have just one nice little stand, a bit like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, giving plain information about some pleasant alternative to abortion.  In the US, there are actually Christians who will adopt an unwanted child.


    Tom Sarbeck

    @simon: “I can’t help thinking that learning about religion is important. This is because, religion is important.”

    C’mon, Simon; religion is important TO YOU.

    BTW, the moon’s halves require each other. I like the pic but the metaphor is poor.


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