Sunday School

Sunday School May 12th 2019

This topic contains 37 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    A record 60% of Americans say they could vote for an atheist president. Conservative columnist Max Boot thinks it would be a good idea to have one. Secular morality does not depend on faith. A secular society gives everyone the right to have endless garlic bread in the afterlife should they want that. If not, then no problem. Maybe the Secularism Bill in Quebec should move at a slower pace. Sweden has a “religious market model” that evolved over many years. Secularism is a necessity for society to flourish.

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    Dozens of countries have banned America’s ‘kill the gays’ hate pastor, but Ireland may let him preach.

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    Have a great week everyone!!

    Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.”

    – Friedrich Nietzsche.



    Thanks, Reg!



    Jim Bakker Bucket Taste Test


    Simon Paynton

    Secular morality does not depend on faith.

    I agree with Jerry Coyne, secular morality does not depend on faith, but on a preference for human thriving and justice or fairness.

    These two concepts are wrapped up in Jesus’ command, “love God, and love your neighbour as yourself” although it is a crude way to state it.  So the heart of Christian morality depends on exactly the same idea as the heart of secular morality, although they might not be immediately recognisable as equivalent.

    I think the crudity of Jesus’ statement, although the statement is genius, is still a shortcoming and the concept needs to be examined further to make it more useful in people’s everyday lives.

    Learning anything about genuine morality itself, rather than the pointless going-round-in-circles of normal moral philosophy, is helpful to everyday life, precisely because it is a form of a science of everyday life.

    Coyne reels off a list of philosophers at the end, but I don’t know if any of them really contributed to the secular morality we have today.  Rather, I think it has arisen as a “natural” morality after centuries of hard slog through inhumane practices.  Some people say that Christianity contributed the idea of the dignity of the individual.  I wasn’t there so I can’t say for sure, but it is a plausible idea.


    Coyne reels off a list of philosophers at the end, but I don’t know if any of them really contributed to the secular morality we have today….

    John Rawls certainly contributed to the discussion on secular morality. His ideas about designing societies based upon his “Liberty Principle” and “Difference Principle” have plenty of merit. His greatest work “A Theory of Justice” improves on the ideas of other philosophers and can sit on the same book ledge as the works of Thomas Hobbes or Kant.

    Hegel once said that the study of philosophy is the introduction to philosophy. I have read the works of Socrates and smiled. When I read some of the works of Peter Singer I might notice the same smile on my face. I like dangerous ideas and those that prod the status quo.  When they are presented with reasoned argument and backed up with supporting evidence I like them even more.

    The works of both Rawls and Singer are well worth exploring. They would be keenly listened to in the School of Athens. (the Sunday School picture above).


    At least if the world is on fire there will be no problem heating the food up. Those buckets would not be on my…er..bucket list. It looks so revolting that eating it might keep the zombies away long enough to make sure all your zombie defenses are working.


    Simon Paynton

    I’ve got a lot of time for Rawls, he seems very well thought out, and most importantly, all he’s doing is thought experiments and asking questions.  Someone did an experiment to test his “veil of ignorance” and see what happens, Rawls wasn’t really vindicated on what he thought the result would be.  However, the experiment teaches us a lot about fairness and justice.

    Peter Singer isn’t normal in my opinion.  He thinks that kids over the other side of the world are as important as his own, which suggests he has no feeling for his own kids.  Also there was the tuk-tuk lecture where he repeatedly, pornographically, showed a little girl getting squished by a tuk-tuk over and over again just to demonstrate some point.  The audience was virtually throwing up; he was gaily rewinding and showing the video.  I truly believe he’s a psychopath, but not an anti-social one.



    I agree with Jerry Coyne, secular morality does not depend on faith, but on a preference for human thriving and justice or fairness.


    But what thriving, justice, and fairness mean isn’t written across the sky.

    The Spartans had concepts allowing the to murder malformed or imperfect babies, for example. That was just, fair, and absolutely essential, in their view, to the thriving of their culture.

    And for a while, attitudes like this were crazy successful in preserving their culture.


    That vile Christian hate preacher has now also been banned from preaching his faith in Ireland.


    Simon Paynton

    But what thriving, justice, and fairness mean isn’t written across the sky.

    The point about thriving is that it doesn’t need to be defined closely, beyond “doing well”.  Everyone knows when they are thriving and when they’re not.

    Isis presumably think it is “justice” to throw gay people off buildings.  I think that fairness is a softer concept in that it implies some care for the person.  You’re right, justice can be very inhumane, and so can fairness.  That’s why I think a more humane definition is the maximum benefit and minimum harm available to somebody.

    absolutely essential, in their view, to the thriving of their culture.

    Cultures, or groups, are not individual organisms.  The dynamics of their thriving and even cooperating with each other are different.  The Spartans were more group-oriented than most groups, since they were basically one big army.  We don’t act morally or ethically “for the good of the group” usually, except generally in conflict situations.



    That vile Christian hate preacher has now also been banned from preaching his faith in Ireland.

    Inciting people to commit crimes is a crime in all of Europe/Canada/Aust/NZ. Inciting murder can get you locked up and for good reason.

    A country is absolutely insane to allow a person who incites murder to come into their country for any reason. Canadians with even the tiniest shoplifting offense on their ancient criminal record cannot enter the US. Why should a person who regularly does what is a crime in non-American countries be permitted to enter Ireland?

    The fact that he is a religious preacher, a hate mongerer and that he targets LGTB is somewhat besides the point, though there is no surprise in the least there. Homophobia overwhelmingly comes from Abrahamic religions and there is an undeniable correlation between how religious a country is with an Abrahamic religion is and how homophobic they are.

    In any case I’m sure he will play up this being banned as yet “more evidence” that there is a big gay atheist conspiracy to silence the real victims (faithful Christians) and that it is an attack on freedom of speech or some other bullshit. Doesn’t matter that the real problem is he is inciting criminal activity. As long as he gets to “rile up good Christian folk to go out and slap around some fags.”



    Penn Jillette seems to confuse race with religious commitment and terrorism with implementation of sharia.  Terrorism is not the issue. Homegrown right-wingnuts are just as bad. I have noticed that most of those who would let waves of Muslims immigrate legally or illegally have not studied Islam and have no examples of large Islamic population integrating and reallocating their allegiance from Allah and Mo (the child molesting warlord who is the “perfect” human being) to the government and populace of the country they aim to ruin. If boatloads of Muslims immigrated to the US instead of the Irish,Poles and Germans decades ago the US would be a liberal’s nightmare.

    Oh and Penn. Why not move to Saudi or Turkey even and bad mouth the government or talk atheism like you do and you will find out how good everybody really is.


    @davis – Yes, I agree. I heard a few radio discussions about it today. Most callers agreed. There were a few who had to “virtue signal” about how we need to be careful about “going down the slippery slope” that could end up banning free speech in the future. They could not grasp the difference between “free speech” and “incitement to hatred”.

    A few evangelical leaders (someone has to lead the sheep) came on to say that they did not support in any way the sentiments of this Baptist  preacher. They did not know where he got his ideas from. I was going to phone in to mention that as a preacher he got it from the Bible (Leviticus 20:13) but I was too busy looking for a safe space to escape to 🙂


    On a number occasions over the last 4 years I have been told by ex-Muslims – from Pakistan, Turkey and Kurdistan that Europe should not give visas to any Muslim cleric doing a ” European tour” to preach in various mosques. This is because most of the time they are spreading militant Islamic ideas. Saudi Arabia is spending millions “donating” books to Muslim schools around the world.

    All the liberals I hear talking of tolerance have no idea about what is happening. I do because I help some ex-Muslims with asylum applications when they are on the run from the militants.

    But but they are raising their children as Irish – or American or British. They will grow up respecting western values. Yeah, sure they will.

    But the majority of them are peaceful. Yeah, of course they are.

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