My legend avatar Boris and UK creationism

Boris the Creation Dinosaur

My legend avatar, Boris the Creation Dinosaur, was in G2 yesterday in The Guardian. Even his cousin, Denver the Last Dinosaur, didn't get in G2.

Boris the Creation Dinosaur gets a full page devoted to himself (p.6) in the 6-page feature on creationism in the UK in yesterday's Guardian G2 article Defying Darwin. Unfortunately he isn't on the web version of said article.

Boris looks terrifying but friendly - one of those sort of 'is really happy and nice most of the time but if you spill his pint he will eat you' types. But of course he wouldn't do that, because he's a friendly creation-dinosaur and was a vegetarian and lived with humans frolicking in the Garden of Eden and just chillin' generally. Until Eve ate the apple, introduced sin into the world, and made animals start eating each other.

Unfortunately he died because him and his dinosaur pals couldn't cope with the falling oxygen levels after the Global Flood. Noah had him stuffed though, and the Genesis Expo in south England's famous shithole Portsmouth now sports his majestic physique. He is definitely accurate and definitely a real-stuffed dinosaur. According to Genesis Expo's site 'children are fascinated by him'. Probably because he is real and accurate.

Boris shares the museum with a variety of exhibits, including a can of soup with a hand coming out of it (which proves life-from-non-life can't happen and therefore God is real)*, a mouse trap with a very realistic mouse (because complex functional items can't just assemble themselves, and therefore God is real), and a food-takeaway box with Chinese calligraphy, as popularised by Chinese takeaways you get your noodles from (which proves that ancient Chinese wrote about Genesis and therefore God is real)+.

If you don't believe how amazing the museum is, just read some visitor comments:
-Very mind touching. Will visit again.
- An extremely interesting exhibition – definitely confirms for me that Creation is the overwhelming factor.
- Excellent displays very well presented. Shows clearly the fallacy of evolution. All schoolchildren should visit!
- Thank God that someone is trying to tell the truth at last.
- An amazing place – much needed. We are home educators from Windsor and come whenever visiting family in Bognor. The information is fantastic. I don’t know how to write thank you and just how much this is what we need today.
- Wonderful to see some dinosaurs in Portsmouth. You saved the day for my two boys.

The article details the variety of creationist groups in the UK, including Answers in Genesis (who've done a few talks near me in the last year or two), the Creation Science Movement (who own Genesis Expo), and Creation Research. Bizarrely it ignores Truth in Science (TiS), the group responsible for the single biggest attempt to undermine the teaching of evolution in UK schools. In 2006 TiS sent an intelligent-design (the idea that some aspects of the natural world are so complex they cannot be explained without recourse to a designer, who in the case of every known ID-advocate is God #) resource pack to every science department in the UK, and of the 80 or so schools that returned the comment form, 59 reported using the pack in their teaching.

A survey this month by 'theology think-tank' Theos suggests that 33% of 2000 adults surveyed think young-earth creationism, that 'God created the world some time in the last 10000yrs' is true/probably true, an astonishing 51% think intelligent design is true/probably true, while 44% support theistic evolution (god invented evolution and let it take over) and 34% are lean toward atheistic materialism.
[Note: the figures don't add up because respondents were asked about each separately and therefore could indicate that more than one of the options was true/untrue]

An Ipsos Mori poll for the BBC in early 2006 indicated that of the 2000 adults surveyed, 39% support creationism(17%) or intelligent design(22%). Later that year a survey of UK university students found that 31% support creationism (12%) or intelligent design (19%). Another 2006 paper by Miller et al in Science, reports that around 20% of the UK population do not accept evolution. For all the flaws of the various polls, they consistently hit upon a figure close to 30% not accepting evolution, give or take a few.

A study of teachers last year indicate that 29% of science teachers support the teaching of some form of creationism in the science classroom and a further study by Teacher TV last November suggests 33% of teachers generally felt creationism should be on equal-footing with evolution in the classroom. Of this sample of 1200 primary and secondary education professionals, only 248 were science teachers, and it was self-selecting so not representative, but 18% of the science teachers responding supported creationism in the science classroom. Bizarrely, the poor design of this study may actually underestimate the amount of science teachers willing to teach creationism alongside evolution under the guise of 'teaching the controversy'. A 2007 Journal of Biological Education paper found that many science teachers lacked a scientific conception of evolution and around one-third were willing to either accommodate ‘alternatives to the theory of evolution’, or to present evolution as ‘just a theory’.

It would be rash to suggest that one-third or so of people are ardent creationists, they probably aren't. Given that UK weekly church attendance is at only 10% and only 15% monthly, although over three-quarters still identify themselves as belonging to a religion, it's unlikely that the relatively high amount of people who still don't accept evolution are religious nutters. It suggests instead, either a misunderstanding/lack of knowledge of the science involved (indicating a failure of education) or a residual religiosity amongst people who aren't particulary bothered about public worship but still like to think there's a personal God who interacts with them and had a hand in their creation. Or perhaps a distrust of certain aspects of science and a feeling that evolution undermines their place in the universe. Maybe all three.

But forget all the details about UK creationism, it's all about Boris.


Books, with words, written by people with letters after their names, proving evolution is wrong, .

# Some defenders of ID aren't necessarily advocates of it - sociologist of science, Steve Fuller, while he defends ID as a legitimate scientific enterprise, and thus appropriate for teaching in science class, does not actually believe it per-se, he says he's a secular humanist.

*PS - it defo couldn't come from peanut butter!

you'd never just see a hand randomly come out of soup!

+
'The Chinese picture language we see on takeaway shops goes back 4000 years,.'

Credit: pics stolen from a mate who I hope won't mind wink

Comments

Anarchia
Feb 19 2009 02:09

"33% of teachers generally felt creationism should be on equal-footing with creationism"

shouldn't one of those be "evolution"?

Choccy
Feb 19 2009 06:24

it should!
fixed wink

Moral Order
Feb 21 2009 00:48

The distrust in evolution comes from a more general (very healthy) distrust of science.

Eugenics, DDT, Fluoride, Genetic Modification, Food Additives, Autism from Vaccines, Computerization (and thus job losses) of Industrial Processes have lead many working people to distrust the scumbag in the white coat. Quite right too. Virtually very claim that science has made post WW2 has seemingly turned bad - see the Tower Blocks of East London with their scientific design and structure.

And what harm does belief in a personal creator(s) do? It is entirely possible that Slartibardfast made all the Fjords for the Mice, and one day the Vogons will turn up to build a hyperspace bypass.

The days when Creationism was the core of a whole imperial world control movement are long gone. It is as harmless as modern Paganism. Freemasonry, Zionism and Globalization are far more terrifyingly dangerous.

jef costello
Feb 21 2009 00:51

A lot of these things are not science, but rather the misuse of scientific knowledge. You can't blame science for eugenics any more than you can blame aesthetics for shit paintings.
ps vaccines don't cause autism.

petey
Feb 21 2009 02:03
Moral Order wrote:
The distrust in evolution comes from a more general (very healthy) distrust of science.

no, it doesn't.

Moral Order wrote:
It is as harmless as modern Paganism. Freemasonry, Zionism and Globalization are far more terrifyingly dangerous.

no, it isn't.

Choccy
Feb 23 2009 00:52
Moral Order wrote:
The distrust in evolution comes from a more general (very healthy) distrust of science.

Care to back this up with any evidence? Just about every study on attitudes to evolution indicates that religion is one of the most significant predictors of attitudes to evolution (see Miller et al's 2006 paper in Science, or anything coming from those involved in the evolution education project at McGill, or if you are interested a million other papers).
Many objectors to evolution don't actually have a deep distrust of science, they accept much of what engineering, medicine, and technology, namely applied sciences (e.g. Salman Hameed's recent paper on islamic creationism in Science), have to offer and studies indicate either a perceived clash with religious beliefs, or a reluctance to accept materialist explanations for their own existence.

Also the assertion that distrusting science is healthy is lunacy. If i didn't trust science I wouldn't go to hospital, or fly in planes. It's possible to have a positive view of science without being an uncritical moron.

Quote:
Eugenics, DDT, Fluoride, Genetic Modification, Food Additives, Autism from Vaccines, Computerization (and thus job losses) of Industrial Processes have lead many working people to distrust the scumbag in the white coat. Quite right too. Virtually very claim that science has made post WW2 has seemingly turned bad

Now you're just piling together a bunch of shite and scaremongering. Undoubtedly eugenics and the use off DDT were horrendous things, but they're more to do with science (since it is a human activity) being corrupted by social forces (as any human activity can be).
The rest is nonsense, I've no problem with computerization, i am using one now, and apparently you are too. Computers should make our lives easier - social relations may dictate that computers are put to uses that result in attacks on the working class, but it's the social relations we seek to abolish not useful products of social labour. A pen can be used to sign a death warrant, but we don't distrust pens.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
Genetic modification is not objectionable per-se.

Actually see if you're just going to spout bullshit scaremonger assertions, you should probably back them up with some evidence and stop being a nutcase.

Quote:
see the Tower Blocks of East London with their scientific design and structure.

What has this got to do with science that it doesn't have to do with social and economic forces?

Quote:
And what harm does belief in a personal creator(s) do? It is entirely possible that Slartibardfast made all the Fjords for the Mice, and one day the Vogons will turn up to build a hyperspace bypass.

If a person wants to believe in a creator, well aside from indicating that aren't the most critical of thinkers, there's very little any of us can, or indeed should do. I mean, my parents are religious, i don't particularly give a fuck, they're still amazing. When someone takes this belief into the public sphere or use it as a rationale for social or political action, then there's problems and grounds for challenging them.

Quote:
The days when Creationism was the core of a whole imperial world control movement are long gone. It is as harmless as modern Paganism. Freemasonry, Zionism and Globalization are far more terrifyingly dangerous.

well I've no experience of freemasonry or zionism so I'm not sure how relevant they are or what evidence you have for any of the assertions you're making.
I do however have experience of creationists in schools, and it frustrates me wink

Paddy White
Mar 18 2009 16:51
Quote:
If a person wants to believe in a creator, well aside from indicating that aren't the most critical of thinkers,

Again with the ad hominum! Stop it. It makes my Philosophy bone hurt.

Some of the most respected academics of our day and the last century have concluded or mused that the universe may have an intelligent origin, (via evolution I might add)

John Polkinghorne, Russell Standard, Bernard Carr, not to mention Keith Ward, T. S Elliot, Wittgenstein. The list goes on. That in no way makes it true, however it does suggest that belief in intelligent origins of universe is not a case for intellectual inferiority.

Rant over ^^ just get so sick of Dogmatic Dawkins esq rubbish. There are people as intelligent or more intelligent than anyone here today on both sides of the theistic fence. The creationist is the straw man, (although as the article implies a disturbingly large straw man)

As to the article disturbing! I had no idea creationism was so large in this country.

To moral order. I'm not sure what your talking about. Are you saying people are right to doubt individual scientific theories; if so yes, then this is plausible as it leads to progress and not dogmatism. Or are you saying it is healthy to doubt the Scientific method as a source of knowledge. If it is the latter I think your position is indefensible as history has shown you wrong. You could argue that it does not have an exclusivity of knowledge. The third option is your ranting like a lunatic because you dislike some applications of scientific knowledge and/or want to be controversial.

Choccy
Mar 18 2009 17:09

Well your patronising as fuck excuse for what constitutes the average religious beliefs soeaks for itself. The examples you gave represent a minority of 'sophisticated' religious people and their conception of God is often with odds with how most people actually conceive of their religion. It's amazing that you have to go out of your way to find a few 'sophisticated' types, because in my everyday experience, most people's idea of the creator God is nothing like that espoused by Polkinghorne or Wittgenstein, and to be honest, I'm more interested in what regular people think.

It's actually depressing when anarchists go out of their way to placate religion with this relativistic shite. Any definition of a creator God that is compatible with a naturalistic understand of the universe is one so at odds with common conception as to be either a) meaningless and therefore not worthy of the title God, or b) so diffuse as to probably piss off most religious people who do actually think their God can have a direct impact on their lives.

When my ma prays that my flight goes well, it's becasue she has a genuine belief that God will keep me safe.

You're sick of 'Dogmatic Dawkins rubbish'?
Well most oif us are sick of patronising religious apologetics. Any belief in the supernatural is irrational and certainly incompatible with a materialist analysis of the world. It's not dogmatic to state that, and it's not dogmatic to say religion's a load of shite. Grow a spine.

Also, make clear who you are replying to - quote my name.

Then when addressing the poster 'Moral Order' make that clear, it looks like you're addressing the concept of moral order rather than a libcom user. Just for clarity, cheers wink

Paddy White
Mar 18 2009 22:25

I didn't mean to be patronizing just clear. I apologize if it comes across like that, if I spell it out it is just to aid my own clarity of thought.

Quoting Choccy

Quote:
Well your patronising as fuck excuse for what constitutes the average religious beliefs soeaks for itself. The examples you gave represent a minority of 'sophisticated' religious people and their conception of God is often with odds with how most people actually conceive of their religion. It's amazing that you have to go out of your way to find a few 'sophisticated' types, because in my everyday experience, most people's idea of the creator God is nothing like that espoused by Polkinghorne or Wittgenstein, and to be honest, I'm more interested in what regular people think

.
There is a scale of scientific sophistication as well, how 'regular' people think of science is at odds to scientists on the cutting edge of Physics. The science they talk about is miles apart apart from the science that taught to a GCSE level. Some of it is so comparatively simplistic as to seem almost to be directly in contradiction. For example light as a wave or a particle. You cannot disprove a theory by pointing out how most people view it. If most people had a mistaken view of how gravity works that would not make its actual more or less true.

As to going out of my way I didn't go out of my way for those names, I do philosophy at university and physics and English at A level, all names came up there.

Quote:
It's actually depressing when anarchists go out of their way to placate religion with this relativistic shite.

I was not placating religion and I am not an anarchist. I see the question of God as a genuine question and in no way solved. Nor is it a relativistic position. Both positions are not equally right, what we call God either is or is not, its not a matter of opinion. I just do not think we have enough information to insult the intelligence of those who disagree with us, or imply they are stupid. That seems like the least patronizing position to take.

Quote:
Any definition of a creator God that is compatible with a naturalistic understand of the universe is one so at odds with common conception as to be either a) meaningless and therefore not worthy of the title God, or b) so diffuse as to probably piss off most religious people who do actually think their God can have a direct impact on their lives.

and

Quote:
Any belief in the supernatural is irrational and certainly incompatible with a materialist analysis of the world. It's not dogmatic to state that, and it's not dogmatic to say religion's a load of shite. Grow a spine.

I agree a real God would probably piss off a huge amount of religious people. But then a huge amount of religious people get angry if God exists in any form, as most disagree what form this entity would take. To your first part I deal below
I agree a belief in the supernatural, is irrational. But then if God does exist then it wouldn't be supernatural. Physicists fully admit to have limited working models of the universe and its workings, especially at quantum and massive macro scales. They would be far more cautious to say what is and is not possible than you have been. I mean at quantum level you have particles that actually remain constant, until observed and then they change, particles moving without provocation from one place to another without apparent cause or path through space
The early 20th century models of 'materialism' are not complete. At the risk of sounding patronizing (hell you already think I am might as well go for it), it seems your science is about 50 years out of date if you think we really understand how the universe works well enough to show God does or does not exist. I'm not even sure what you mean by supernatural, most quantum phenomena seems supernatural on classic 'materialistic science'

To say all theistic beliefs are incompatible with empirical observations without proof or rational supporting argument and that to disagree is a

Quote:
load of shite

is the very definition of dogmatism and ironically incredibly patronizing.

I don't need to say the above is an attack on your argument not you! So keep it cool and friendly. Nor is any of the above a support of creationism! I think we have enough information to safety put that in the realm of rubbish!

Choccy
Apr 7 2009 13:39

What? How is telling someone they are talking shite patronising?
Do you understand the meaning of the word patronising?
Telling them they 'have a point', or 'I personally don't believe in it but I can see why lots of people do', or 'should maybe know better' is being patronising. Telling someone you think they are talking shite is being honest, and pretty much as far from patronising as you can get.

Paddy White
Mar 19 2009 01:36
Quote:
What? How is telling someone they are talking shite patronising?
Do you understand the meaning of the word patronising?
Telling them they 'have a point', or 'I personally don't believe in it but I can see why lots of people do', or 'should maybe know better' is being . Telling someone you think they are talking shite is being honest, and pretty much as far from patronising as you can get.

That was more a post note, rather than the point of the post but very well.

The apple mac definition of patronizing ^^

Quote:
patronizing
adjective
your patronizing mother just told me how "adequate" my dress is condescending, disdainful, supercilious, superior, imperious, scornful, contemptuous; informal uppity, high and mighty.

I would agree that this definition does not capture the full meaning of the word, but saying someone is full of shite for particular intellectual position and then saying they have weak critical thinking skills is
1. disdainful
2. superior
3. imperious
4. scornful
5. contemptuous..
well it seems to cover most the bases.

I can see what you were getting at (and that is not being patronizing thats a genuine understanding). If you tell someone they are entitled to their opinion, and do not take them seriously enough challenge beliefs you have reason to think are false then you are patronizing them. You are implying they are beneath your concern, as is their opinion. I was not arguing against holding a position and holding it passionately; telling people they're wrong. I was speaking specifically about belief in God, and arguing that in this unique case the evidence and philosophical reasoning is not decisive enough to necessarily hold people as intellectual inferiors for theism Argue the merits of atheism freely, tell people why you think it is unlikely; even impossible just do not be so arrogant to generalize stupidity and lazy thinking, on anyone who disagrees. In the same way two physicist might disagree on superstring theory (and thus the foundations of the entire universe), but they would not sensibly call the other a moron for their position.

I wasn't actually seeking to convince that God exists, just that you cannot assume weak critical thinking skills on anyone who thinks he/it does.

Tarwater
Mar 19 2009 01:57

I agree with Paddy on this; religion is a devisive point, why argue it on a politically focused forum?

Not attacking anyone here...

Choccy
Mar 19 2009 14:11
Paddy White wrote:
Quote:
What? How is telling someone they are talking shite patronising?
Do you understand the meaning of the word patronising?
Telling them they 'have a point', or 'I personally don't believe in it but I can see why lots of people do', or 'should maybe know better' is being . Telling someone you think they are talking shite is being honest, and pretty much as far from patronising as you can get.

That was more a post note, rather than the point of the post but very well.

The apple mac definition of patronizing ^^

Quote:
patronizing
adjective
your patronizing mother just told me how "adequate" my dress is condescending, disdainful, supercilious, superior, imperious, scornful, contemptuous; informal uppity, high and mighty.

Yes, notice your own example was of someone saying something was 'adequate' - it's an apparent endorsement laced with actual contempt.
This very different from honestly saying soemthing is shite. Sp even your own example is complete bollocks.
Telling someone they are talking shite is talking to them on an honest level - high and mighty is when it's cloaked ina language of civility, which calling some a 'shite-talker' certainly isn't.

Quote:
I can see what you were getting at (and that is not being patronizing thats a genuine understanding). If you tell someone they are entitled to their opinion, and do not take them seriously enough challenge beliefs you have reason to think are false then you are patronizing them. You are implying they are beneath your concern, as is their opinion. I was not arguing against holding a position and holding it passionately; telling people they're wrong. I was speaking specifically about belief in God, and arguing that in this unique case the evidence and philosophical reasoning is not decisive enough to necessarily hold people as intellectual inferiors for theism Argue the merits of atheism freely, tell people why you think it is unlikely; even impossible just do not be so arrogant to generalize stupidity and lazy thinking, on anyone who disagrees. In the same way two physicist might disagree on superstring theory (and thus the foundations of the entire universe), but they would not sensibly call the other a moron for their position.

I wasn't actually seeking to convince that God exists, just that you cannot assume weak critical thinking skills on anyone who thinks he/it does.

That the only examples of 'critical' religious thinkers were fucking Wittgenstein and Polkinghorne shows how utterly bankrupt and detached from reality your patronizing (and it really is in the truest sense of the word) your view of reliion is. Again, your conception of religion is of a 'sophisticated' type so at odds with how most people conceieve of their religion to be useless beyond words. A God that pushes itself further into obscurity is no God at all.

Choccy
Mar 19 2009 14:13
Tarwater wrote:
I agree with Paddy on this; religion is a devisive point, why argue it on a politically focused forum?

Not attacking anyone here...

Eh, you do realsie people's religion impacts on many areas of social and political life?
Everything from attitudes to sex, abortion, education etc can have religious dimensions - ignoring their pertinence is stupid.

I hate this patronising wank. People DO need to be challenged if they bring their batshit beliefs into the public domain.

Paddy White
Mar 19 2009 16:19
Quote:
That the only examples of 'critical' religious thinkers were fucking Wittgenstein and Polkinghorne shows how utterly bankrupt and detached from reality your patronizing (and it really is in the truest sense of the word) your view of reliion is. Again, your conception of religion is of a 'sophisticated' type so at odds with how most people conceieve of their religion to be useless beyond words. A God that pushes itself further into obscurity is no God at all.

Ok I notice that if you had actually read everything I said I wouldn't have to type this again, so please for Gods sake (ironic huh), read the below carefully and either respond to the individual points or not at all.

If you actually read about Wittgenstein or Polkinghorne's work you would know that their God is not that obscure at all. Wittgenstein religious belief were orthodox and Polkinghorne is an anglican. Its gets very complicated on how it all works mechanically, but they share most the core pieces of the Christian faith.
They are not the only examples, I gave you a list, I can give you more! Quoting as examples of critical thinking atheists like Bertrand Russell and Darwin would not imply they are the only ones. W and P are just well known examples to illustrate that the religiosity is not necessarily correlated with lazy thinking. I can hardly quote the two guys I live with doing degrees in maths and engineering as evidence of intelligent Christians can I?

But that is beside the point. The original point was you said that a belief in a creator meant they had weak critical thinking skills. I said not necessarily and quoted a few WELL KNOWN examples.
All I was seeking to show is you cannot assume a religious person isn't a sophisticated thinker any more than you can assume that an atheist is! One might have read keith ward, one might be an atheist because they find church an inconvenience and are two intellectually lazy to think about it. What part of that statement do you disagree with?
As to normal religious thought being miles away from 'sophisticated' thought, the two examples W and P are not nearly as far away as you implied on some core concepts such as a personal God. But more poignantly I have already shown quite clearly, how there is an identical pattern in science (read above if you skimmed over it). A tiny tiny minority have sophisticated scientific knowledge, most people have impressions and half remembered concepts. Me included I forgotten most of the specifics of Chemistry and Biology. Most people are presumably wrong in vast chunks of there scientific assumptions and understanding.
Even if they remembered everything taught to them at school most of it would be oversimplified or wrong! I've already said all this but you seemed to miss it the first time. Showing a gap in a field or thought system between the less educated and the more educated does not in any way invalidate the theory or imply that to belong to it means your a weak thinker! Anyway its somewhat a mute point as I said, if you had actually read some of those religious critical thinkers you would realise a lot of them aren't so different in the core concepts than what your parents believe.

Again to reiterate all I was trying to show, was that being religious didn't necessarily make you a weak thinker. To speak strictly philosophically all you have to do to invalidate a theory is show a single counterexample, just one religious person who was critical thinker!

As to the definition of patronizing. Your right, if I did have contempt for the religious and I pretended otherwise it would be patronizing, but I don't so its not patronizing is it? I don't even have any contempt for those who have accepted it on simple fatih as I know that there are strong philosophical underpinnings to it even if they are unaware of them, as I do not have contempt for anyone who accepts particle physics are probable because they are aware there a good arguments supporting them even if they do not fully understand them (I don't). I won't accuse you of being patronizing again, because its not getting us anywhere. So lets focus on the interesting bit above.

Choccy
Mar 19 2009 16:57

Oh please I've heard Polkinghorne and his ilk speak a thousand times, don't fucking patronise me. His, and plenty of other anglicans (say Richard Harries) conception of God is one so diffuse as to defy any real justification, and leaves me thinking 'why the fuck do you even believe in God at all?' - it leaves religion only to answer either uninteresting or meaningless questions.

Also, it's pretty daft the notion that because someone, say polkinghorne or Wittgenstein has excelled in another field, that they can't be completely utterly irrational and foolish in another field.

I work largely with postgraduate students who show a distinct lack of critical thinking skills. And apparently 'smart' people have been shown to use a variety of mechanisms for reconciling total irrationality with their 'expertise' in another area:
- compartmentalisation (which is irrational in itself)
- deceit (lying about the contradictions/conflict)
- honesty (accepting that there is conflict and not really caring)
- accomodation (acknowledging supposed tension and attempting to come to some sort of conciliatory position)

Polkinghorne, from the numerous interviews and talks of his I've watched, like many anglicans, seems to combine compartmentalisation with accomodation, in that he recognises that others perceive a tension and attempts to reconcile science and reiligion, but refuses to apply the same logic he uses in his scientific career to his own beliefs about the nature of reality and creation.

Choccy
Mar 19 2009 17:15
Paddy White wrote:
Again to reiterate all I was trying to show, was that being religious didn't necessarily make you a weak thinker. To speak strictly philosophically all you have to do to invalidate a theory is show a single counterexample, just one religious person who was critical thinker!

Well to clarify, it means you are a weak thinker when it comes to the nature of reality, when you can't even take a step back and realise that the notion of a personal God is so completely lacking in evidence as to be complete fucking shite. This isn't a question even requires rigorous analysis - everyday life has never presented to me any reason to assume a personal God, creator, or any supernatural agent.

You could be the most rigorous thinker in any single field of research, but when you can't even apply that logic to the question of God or the supernatural, it shows you are a either dishnoest, or struggling with some real fucking compartmentalisation.

Paddy White
Mar 19 2009 18:38

What is it with you and an obsession about patronization!? Did you have a complex about not being taken seriously as a child, or serious self esteem issues? Can you not get a point acros without descending into emotive swearing. Ehm anyway to the point.

Quote:
Oh please I've heard Polkinghorne and his ilk speak a thousand times, don't fucking patronise me. His, and plenty of other anglicans (say Richard Harries) conception of God is one so diffuse as to defy any real justification, and leaves me thinking 'why the fuck do you even believe in God at all?' - it leaves religion only to answer either uninteresting or meaningless questions.

Richard Dawkins would actually disagree with you there. He said of Polk

"good scientists who are sincerely religious", but says "I remain baffled ... by their belief in the details of the Christian religion." Polkinghorne replied that is next book should stop Dawkins being so baffled. It seems Dawkins disagrees with you on him being to diffuse as does Polk himself. Again Wittgenstein was a very orthodox Christian. Keith Ward a rather good Philosopher would subscribe to mainstream Christianity (as your implying there is) without great qualification. Your the one who says it is not patronizing to point out when someone is talking rubbish. You are. If you had any degree of familiarity with the serious works of your intellectual opponents you would probably still disagree with them but you would not be so dismissive, or misrepresent there views for your own ends

Even Richard Harris who you referred to

Quote:
Well to clarify, it means you are a weak thinker when it comes to the nature of reality, when you can't even take a step back and realise that the notion of a personal God is so completely lacking in evidence as to be complete fucking shite. This isn't a question even requires rigorous analysis - everyday life has never presented to me any reason to assume a personal God, creator, or any supernatural agent.

You could be the most rigorous thinker in any single field of research, but when you can't even apply that logic to the question of God or the supernatural, it shows you are a either dishnoest, or struggling with some real fucking compartmentalisation

You keep implying that a belief in God is somehow already been proved false, or illogical or unscientific without quoting any science or putting forward a single argument! As the devils advocate in supporting religious thought have quoted far more science; you keep vaguely mentioning 'materialistic' word views which are not only out of date but vague.
Clearly some people disagree, I was not setting out to prove to you that God exists, so I do not feel a burden of responsibility to argue his corner. Ignoring all the emotive swearing; your making a fallacy of induction. It hasn't happened to me therefore It does not happen; a significant enough % of people claim to have experienced God or the divine to make it worthy of attention, and not instant dismissal just because it hasn't happened to you. Religious believers quote, aesthetics, morality, self awareness, reported interaction and existence itself (being as opposed to not being) as good reasons to at least suggest it. I am not trying to prove God exists only that to say there is no reason to even consider it is naive.

You seem determined to attack the straw man of religion rather than its strongest proponents and arguments. If you cannot argue with fundamentalists and fanatics you say it is somehow not a valid argument; if that an argument is put forward that you cannot easily dismiss you quote the word 'diffuse' as if that is a get out of jail free card, but actually implies that the argument is just to complicated for you to deal with. If you took a lack of complexity or 'diffuse' as your acid test to cutting edge science you wouldn't have much real science left ^^

To quote Harris (who does actual maintain God exists, he is loving personal and caused the birth of a son in ancient Palestine doesn't sound that diffuse to me ^^)

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A previous generation knew religion had to be taken seriously, as we saw with the Marxist James Klugman and the debates between Archbishop Anthony Bloom and Marghanita Laski. Where have all the serious atheists gone?

I think I am going to go find myself a serious atheist to argue with ^^.

Choccy
Mar 19 2009 21:50
Paddy White wrote:
What is it with you and an obsession about patronization!? Did you have a complex about not being taken seriously as a child, or serious self esteem issues? Can you not get a point acros without descending into emotive swearing. Ehm anyway to the point.

it was rhetorical given your previous shit about patronising, it's fairly obvious

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Oh please I've heard Polkinghorne and his ilk speak a thousand times, don't fucking patronise me. His, and plenty of other anglicans (say Richard Harries) conception of God is one so diffuse as to defy any real justification, and leaves me thinking 'why the fuck do you even believe in God at all?' - it leaves religion only to answer either uninteresting or meaningless questions.
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Richard Dawkins would actually disagree with you there. He said of Polk

"good scientists who are sincerely religious", but says "I remain baffled ... by their belief in the details of the Christian religion." Polkinghorne replied that is next book should stop Dawkins being so baffled. It seems Dawkins disagrees with you on him being to diffuse as does Polk himself. Again Wittgenstein was a very orthodox Christian. Keith Ward a rather good Philosopher would subscribe to mainstream Christianity (as your implying there is) without great qualification. Your the one who says it is not patronizing to point out when someone is talking rubbish. You are. If you had any degree of familiarity with the serious works of your intellectual opponents you would probably still disagree with them but you would not be so dismissive, or misrepresent there views for your own ends

I'm basing my opinion on what I've actually read of Polkinghorne and seen him lecture, not what Dawkins says. And I've never described Polkinghorne as liberal in his theology, I did say that when it comes to specfic say re: the supernatural or a personal God, the thinking is weak, becuase it fails to apply the rigour demanded of all other areas of his academic life to his religious beliefs.

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You keep implying that a belief in God is somehow already been proved false, or illogical or unscientific without quoting any science or putting forward a single argument!

Well this is just pure shit.
You can't disprove a negative.
I also never put up a 'scientific argument' for the non existance of a fairy up my arse or Betrand Russell's celestial teapot. I'm genuinely baffled that you even think that's a reasonable line of argument.
The complete lack of any evidence for something is reason enough not to take it as a valid way of navigating the world. it requires no 'scientific argument'. What would a scientific argument against something for which there is no evidence even look like?

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It hasn't happened to me therefore It does not happen; a significant enough % of people claim to have experienced God or the divine to make it worthy of attention, and not instant dismissal just because it hasn't happened to you. Religious believers quote, aesthetics, morality, self awareness, reported interaction and existence itself (being as opposed to not being) as good reasons to at least suggest it. I am not trying to prove God exists only that to say there is no reason to even consider it is naive.

This is fairly indefensible nonsense.
Aesthetics, morality, 'existence' etc are not the preserve of religion, and in fact a defintion that sees them as characteristic of religion is one so useless as to admit football team support (aesthetics/belonging), communism (a code/set of beliefs) and even atheism (worldview).
Durkheim had the problem in defining religion because when trying accomodate say Therevada Buddhism the defintion would be so loose as to accomodate simple political affiliations. Most definitions of religion that resonate with anyone who identifies as religious, and are of any use in a discussion of the topic, pertain to to some of supernatural realm, the transcendental or 'spirituality'.
Sure, you can keep redefining religion so it's at odds with how most people conceive it and so diffuse as to be useless, but then this conversation becomes pointless.

And 'reported interaction'?
Are you fucking serious?
People 'report interaction' about the effectiveness of wijja boards and UFO abductions!!! In the absence of ANY reasonable evidence I'm quite happy to characterise them as bullshit.

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You seem determined to attack the straw man of religion rather than its strongest proponents and arguments. If you cannot argue with fundamentalists and fanatics you say it is somehow not a valid argument; if that an argument is put forward that you cannot easily dismiss you quote the word 'diffuse' as if that is a get out of jail free card, but actually implies that the argument is just to complicated for you to deal with. If you took a lack of complexity or 'diffuse' as your acid test to cutting edge science you wouldn't have much real science left

Well i should point out I have far more intellectual respect for fundamentalists than 'sophisticated' types. They are at least internally consistent and honest, though wrong. Someone like Kurt Wise is a brutally honest example of someone who realised that if they were to be in any way true or consistent, they had to make a choice - he did, and he made the wrong one.

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To quote Harris (who does actual maintain God exists, he is loving personal and caused the birth of a son in ancient Palestine doesn't sound that diffuse to me

Well, of course he maintains an apparent 'belief in God', he's a fucking anglican bishop. The point is when pushed on specifics he's so liberal as to be indistinguishable from just 'moral philosophy' which is NOT the same as religion. Watch his interview with Dawkins, or his recent talk at the recreation of the 1860 BA debate and it just leaves the impression 'does he even believe in god?' Dawkins has repeatedly made this observation too. By the way I find Harries very interesting, but it just looks like Spinozan religion when he's pushed.

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A previous generation knew religion had to be taken seriously, as we saw with the Marxist James Klugman and the debates between Archbishop Anthony Bloom and Marghanita Laski. Where have all the serious atheists gone?

I think I am going to go find myself a serious atheist to argue with ^^.

I DO take religion seriously! wink
It's pivotal to my own work, i'm fascinated by it.
That doesn't stop thinking that it's intellectually bankrupt and completely irrational.

Also the notion that you need an in depth knowledge of something that is so obviously stupid is just moving the goal posts. Taking a step-back and even just acknowledging the vast vast plethora of modes of religiosity should send a message that:
a) they can't all be right
b) which one do I need an 'in depth knowledge of the theology' of to be able to comment on it?

Your argument is more piss poor than Terry Eagleton's woeful review of the God Delusion.

Tarwater
Mar 22 2009 18:39

I was HAMMERdrunk when I posted here. What the hell was I talking about??

I dont care about god!

Choccy
Mar 22 2009 19:49

wink