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 Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.

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Tim of Aclea
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:03

Hi Nordmann

Quote :
When very young children are taught by what appear to be responsible adults that two thousand year old rabbis come back from the dead they tend to believe it.

How many 2,000 year old rabbis is it claimed have come back from the dead?

However, given that you seem to have returned one particular rabbi, Jesus, to history, I would note that the particular RE teacher that I had for 6 years did not teach that that particular 'two thousand year old rabbi' did come back from the dead. He believed the conviction that the disciples had that Jesus had risen from the dead was due to them seeing visions of Jesus after he died.

That Jesus' disciples were convinced that he had risen from the dead is something that virtually all scholars, who have studied the subject, agree on.

Quote :
Your point in what you say about the universe escapes me in the context of the conversation.

Your previous query was

Quote :
Give me one religious definition of "the universe" which has not had to be revised after intelligent investigation.

My point was that scientific definitions of the universe have constantly had to be revised after ‘intelligent investigation’ so if religious definitions of the universe also have had to be revised that is nothing unusual. However, to answer your question 'that the Universe was created by God' is a religious definition of the universe that theists would see as unchanged despite the scientific change in the understanding of the universe. So you have your one definition of the universe that has not required to be revised. Someone as 'intelligent' as Prof Simon Conway Morris FRS, noted for his study of the Burgess Shale fossils, would not disagree with that, to quote

Quote :
Perhaps now is the time to rejoice not in what Darwin got right, and in demonstrating the reality of evolution in the context of entirely unexceptional natural processes there is no dispute, but what his inheritance is in terms of unfinished business. Isn't it curious how evolution is regarded by some as a total, universe-embracing explanation, although those who treat it as a religion might protest and sometimes not gently. Don't worry, the science of evolution is certainly incomplete. In fact, understanding a process, in this case natural selection and adaptation, doesn't automatically mean that you also possess predictive powers as to what might (or even must) evolve. Nor is it logical to assume that simply because we are a product of evolution, as patently we are, that explains our capacity to understand the world. Rather the reverse.

But wait a moment; everybody knows that evolution isn't predictable. Yes, a rich and vibrant biosphere to admire, but no end-product any more likely (or unlikely) than any other. Received wisdom pours out the usual litany: random mutations, catastrophic mass extinctions and other mega-disasters, super-virulent microbes all ensure that the drunkard's walk is a linear process in comparison to the ceaseless lurching seen in the history of life. So not surprisingly nearly all neo-Darwinians insist that the outcomes – and that includes you – are complete flukes of circumstance. So to find flying organisms on some remote planet might not be a big surprise, but certainly no birds. Perhaps all life employs cells, but would anybody dare to predict a mushroom? In fact the evidence points in diametrically the opposite direction. Birds evolved at least twice, maybe four times. So too with the mushrooms. Both are among the less familiar examples of evolutionary convergence.

Convergence? Simply how from very different starting points organisms "navigate" to very much the same biological solution. A classic example are our camera eyes and those of the squid; astonishingly similar but they evolved independently. But let's not just concentrate on the squid eye, from molecules to social systems convergence is ubiquitous. Forget also the idea that in biology nearly anything is possible, that by and large it is a massive set of less than satisfactory compromises. In fact, paradoxically the sheer prevalence of convergence strongly indicates that the choices are far more limited, but when they do emerge the product is superb. Did you know eyes can detect single photons and our noses single molecules? Evolution has reached the limits of what is possible on planet Earth. In particular our doors of perception can only be extended by scientific instrument, enabling a panorama from the big bang to DNA.

Yet how the former led to the latter, how it was that complexity emerged and is sustained even in that near-miracle of a chemical factory we call the cell is still largely enigmatic. Self-organisation is certainly involved, but one of the puzzles of evolution is the sheer versatility of many molecules, being employed in a myriad of different capacities. Indeed it is now legitimate to talk of a logic to biology, not a term you will hear on the lips of many neo-Darwinians. Nevertheless, evolution is evidently following more fundamental rules. Scientific certainly, but ones that transcend Darwinism. What! Darwinism not a total explanation? Why should it be? It is after all only a mechanism, but if evolution is predictive, indeed possesses a logic, then evidently it is being governed by deeper principles. Come to think about it so are all sciences; why should Darwinism be any exception?

But there is more. How to explain mind? Darwin fumbled it. Could he trust his thoughts any more than those of a dog? Or worse, perhaps here was one point (along, as it happens, with the origin of life) that his apparently all-embracing theory ran into the buffers? In some ways the former possibility, the woof-woof hypothesis, is the more entertaining. After all, being a product of evolution gives no warrant at all that what we perceive as rationality, and indeed one that science and mathematics employ with almost dizzying success, has as its basis anything more than sheer whimsy. If, however, the universe is actually the product of a rational Mind and evolution is simply the search engine that in leading to sentience and consciousness allows us to discover the fundamental architecture of the universe – a point many mathematicians intuitively sense when they speak of the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics – then things not only start to make much better sense, but they are also much more interesting. Farewell bleak nihilism; the cold assurances that all is meaningless. Of course, Darwin told us how to get there and by what mechanism, but neither why it is in the first place, nor how on earth we actually understand it.

To reiterate: when physicists speak of not only a strange universe, but one even stranger than we can possibly imagine, they articulate a sense of unfinished business that most neo-Darwinians don't even want to think about. Of course our brains are a product of evolution, but does anybody seriously believe consciousness itself is material? Well, yes, some argue just as much, but their explanations seem to have made no headway. We are indeed dealing with unfinished business. God's funeral? I don't think so. Please join me beside the coffin marked Atheism. I fear, however, there will be very few mourners.

I picked the example of the evolutionists v astronomers conflict, in part because it interested me at the time, I often wonder how the Soapy Sam v Huxley debate would now be viewed if Soapy Sam had raised apparent problems such as that instead of what he did, when, as Huxley put it, the Lord delivered him into Huxley’s hands. Additionally, in the God Delusion, Dawkins, who I presume did not study the history of Astronomy, unfairly maligned Lord Kelvin on this topic due to Dawkins failure to understand the level of Astronomical knowledge at the time together with aversion to Kelvin's religious views. Atheists do seem to have a bad habit of maligning theists when in fact it actually comes down to the atheists own lack of knowledge of a particular subject.

Quote :
This evolution has occurred with minimal useful input from any religious source, namely because religious doctrine tends to abhor its assertions being tested at all except in terms that the doctrine allows. In fact our understanding of the universe (or anything understood through scientific principle) has occurred almost exclusively in spite of religious objection to its process, and when that objection fails, the pseudo-scientific tagging of unsupportable assertions on to those findings. That you could deduce a causality where none is suggested by the evidence, for example, is simply one example of that religious tendency.

This is really nothing more than tedious stone throwing Nordmann, I wish you could refrain from it, but you do not seem able to. What is the most recent ‘objection to its process’ that Christianity, or religions (if you prefer), as a whole has made as an organised mass, as distinct form various ‘flat earthers’?

''Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night;
God said Let Newton be! and all was light.''

Quote :
As a statistics A level student you will appreciate that even if the conservative estimate of 60 million people in China is doubled it still represents just under 9 percent of the country's population.

It was actually ‘Pure maths with Statistics’. I did not claim that it was a large % of the Chinese population but merely pointed to the incredible rate of growth in belief in Christianity which you have not disputed and so I presume you accept. 60 million makes it a considerably larger number than the entire population of all the Scandinavian countries put together.

Quote :
It would appear therefore that not teaching fantastic claims such as resurrection from the dead as fact in the state educational system does in fact inhibit mass superstitious adherence to the precept as fact, so I would still stand by my earlier statement.

I would say that I look forward to read your evidence that the rest of the Chinese population, not having been taught about Christianity at school, for that reason, have actively rejected the idea that Jesus rose from the dead. The fact that they are not Christians does not demonstrate an active rejection. However, I am aware that you rarely if ever provide evidence to substantiate your claims. The Chinese are after all still taught the, to my mind, far more fantastic claim that Mao was largely a great leader - all the disasters he was responsible for, notwithstanding.

regards

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:07

Ferval

I think you are approaching this from too earth centred an approach, I was thinking in terms of the entire universe, not one planet where, as you say,

Quote :
it's been too much of a close run thing when, on several occasions, those very conditions nearly killed off all the life

regards

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:11

I'm tempted to mention Ewetopia, but I won't.

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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:22

Baaaaah .. humbug!

Yes indeed, Temp, this thread need More jokes, like that!
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:27

Quite right, I'm off to source a copy of "God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis" by Tom Hickman or less controversially "How Tea Cosies Changed the World" by Loani Prior.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 14:40

Could this be a possible new avatar for someone? He's actually rather cute.

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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 15:34

Surely it can't be? ... but yes! Praise be!

It's the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, PBUH!

He has truely come!

The Creator of Life the Universe and Everything

... and all you say is: "he's actually rather cute". Blasphemy!
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 15:49

Calm down, MM. It's just something Priscilla knitted during a lull in the proceedings.

Ferval's last post led me to this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9888055/Oddest-book-titles-top-ten-of-all-time.html


My favourite from the list is Truncheons: Their Romance and Reality – Erland Fenn, but I also like this title (in the comments) from the Telegraph reader named Shorne:

Shorne

02/23/2013 04:08 AM




I have a copy of "If Your Rhubarb is Backward Bend It Forward, 0r the
Ill-Tempered Garden" by Bennington Marsh.

But apologies, ferval; I am abusing your thread. Blame MM - he eggs me on.


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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 15:58

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This is really nothing more than tedious stone throwing Nordmann, I wish you could refrain from it, but you do not seem able to. What is the most recent ‘objection to its process’ that Christianity, or religions (if you prefer), as a whole has made as an organised mass, as distinct form various ‘flat earthers’?

Strange that you might interpret valid objection to your assertions as undergoing a stoning by me - a very biblical analogy I would like to say, except there are some religious communities even yet who see it as a valid modern method of "correcting" those who differ from their values. If you really want to experience a stoning maybe you might care to venture the opinion to these religious thinkers that a young rape victim may in fact be just that, a victim, and not a valid target for painful execution. For that matter a female who has sex outside of marriage, or even has sex with a man who is married to another, does not deserve corporal or capital punishment either.

But you ask about religious objection to the scientific process and wonder what on earth I am talking about. Well, if I am a doctor facing parents who refuse to allow me to give their child a life-saving blood transfusion I do not need to ask them what they do with their Sundays, do I? Nor for that matter need I ask a pathologist who attempts to convince me that no disease is germ-based what he may think of Tom Cruise. Anyone who earnestly informs me that evolution can only be deemed scientific only if it is "guided" by an "unseen hand" is either stark raving bonkers or - as is actually the case - the current pope. And I need not ask anyone who tells me that the evidence of the efficaciousness of the humble condom in saving millions of lives in Africa is worthless compared to the same pope's unscientific edicts against their use what he then reckons about the chances of resurrecting rabbis either - despite your own apparent misgivings about the assertion. Or for that matter I need not ask a man who dismisses the notion that evolution is a wasteful process because, as he avers, "God does not do waste" what his immediate career plans are now that he is retiring from his Canterbury post.

These are all views representative of a broad slew of religious opinions which are voiced daily by many around us. None of them are scientific. Some of them are blatantly anti-scientific. And some of them are bloody deadly.

If it's "evidence" you want for them just take a look around you.

Now I'm off to eat some spaghetti - having first of course asked its advice concerning the morality of pasta sauce with garlic.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 16:08

Temperance wrote:
But apologies, ferval; I am abusing your thread. Blame MM - he eggs me on.

...hmmm, but who was first: the chicken or the egg?

But I fear I'm diluting our own Great One's thunder ....

... so I'll now hold my tongue ... and keep very quite... like a mouse.........
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 16:15

You are unfair, nordmann. There are lots of people who go to Church of a Sunday who do not oppose sane medical treatment or contraception or evolution. And the stoning of rape victims or of women taken in adultery says more about the morality - or rather lack of it - of vicious, bigoted men than anything else. Didn't Christ deal with that last issue with great compassion and wisdom?

As for resurrection - does it always have to mean literal bodily resurrection? There are surely other interpretations of the Easter Sunday story.

Don't have meatballs with the pasta sauce, whatever the spaghetti thing advises.

EDIT: I did put a smiley smiley after the egging on comment, mon petit souris.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 16:50

Temperance wrote:
You are unfair, nordmann.

No I'm not. I was not inferring that all religious people are bonkers, illogical or deadly to those around them, and I am disappointed you seem to think so. The point is that religion faciltates those who are. Tim wanted instances of religion opposing science and I listed the most obvious examples.

I notice by the way that you omitted to iterate my example of the Catholic doctrine currently consigning thousands daily to an early grave through painful death, especially in Africa. Catholics go to mass too, I believe, and I am sure you would be hard put to find any of your Catholic neighbours who would willingly wish harm on anyone, let alone wish them an agonising death. Yet they are still contributors to the situation, whether they acknowledge their part or not, through their observation of a faith whose leaders have imposed this sentence on innocent people for no better reason than that it suits their dogma and doctrine. Nor have you iterated the outgoing incumbents of thrones in Rome and Canterbury and their very unscientific view on evolution - a view we can only assume they expect their brethren to share.

Resurrection - it appears these days - can be anything you want it to be, since you ask. Science and common sense have precluded its literal interpretation, and you are educated and at liberty enough to then adjust the story any which way you want and still call it a religious belief. Things were not always so, not even when the story first gained currency, and still not in many societies. But if you choose to interpret some things in the bible as analogous and some as fact you should at least be consistent in your selection criteria. Christian uniformity on these criteria, even among followers united under various off-shoot creeds (and these are legion) seems hopelessly unattainable.

I got permission to use the garlic. But only on Fridays.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:06

OK, OK, OK, so I was hasty in my reply. But forgive me - no that's too much to ask - but you do sometimes give the impression that you consider *all* those of a spiritual bent to be "bonkers, illogical or deadly" - or just plain stupid.


Oh, I give up. I'm going to my aerobics class.


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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 17:19

Tibi Ignoscitur, my child. Now go and aerobe in peace to love and serve the lard.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 20:20

Wound up, Priscilla? Moi?




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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 21:49

Sadly, most men who rape or abuse women don't need or use religious justification for it. I doubt if many of the rapists in my country have any religious beliefs at all. They are inadequate men who foist themselves on women to make themselves feel more powerful. If it were no religion to encourage these ideas, some other excuse would soon be found ("all's fair in war", "women are provocative", for instance).
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 22:36

Who said anything about religious men raping women? What I cited were those instances where religion is used in some societies to justify stoning rape victims to death or punishing them by other physical means. In that sense it encourages the act, but the cruellest application of so-called religious "justification" in the places I am talking about is in the direct secondary assault on the victim already raped.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 03:19

But surely that assault has its basis in protecting the man involved. If you can punish the woman with some justification, whether religious, war, 'she asked for it', provocation, etc you then lessen or completely deny the man's culpability. It's a strategy used in all sorts of situations and communities to put down women. In very recent times here we have had at least two bright nice young women stabbed repeatedly by men who seemed to think they were somehow entitled to do so because she had annoyed them in some minor way. Nothing religious about this, just narcissistic and very badly behaved men (and of course in this society the people in power do not condone this, but I don't think Pakistani rulers condone the stoning either, though they don't seem to show much strength in preventing it).
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 07:17

The discernible pattern in muslim countries in which this occurs is that national politicians, cognisant of international opinion, tend to condemn the practice. At local level politicians, sometimes even the same men, condone it.

However religion-validated cruelty is by no means confined to muslims' application of what they call Sharia "law". The above-mentioned policy of denying access to condoms in Africa also employs religion as a validation, this time christian in the main and with the so-called "leader" of its largest church the principal instigator and supporter of such policy. Denial of access to birth control in Asia is also within this definition in many instances, though with the religious validation provided by various religious sects. When political ideology is used exclusively as such validation (as sometimes also happens) the international perspective and reaction is quite notably different. Religion, which demands "respect" for its mores no matter how cruelly these may be implemented, lends the sadistic much more liberty to pursue their policies with apparent impunity.

Identifying the root cause of institutionalised sadism is a worthwhile exercise, but if that examination does not include the role religion plays it is rendered absolutely worthless.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 08:24

nordmann wrote:


Identifying the root cause of institutionalised sadism is a worthwhile exercise, but if that examination does not include the role religion plays it is rendered absolutely worthless.

You are absolutely right to say that, but to suggest that "religion" - whatever that rather vague expression means - is the main cause of all the evil in this world is ridiculous. You do not, of course, suggest that - you know, as all reasonable people do, that (organised) religion has been used by the political, the power-hungry and the ego-driven throughout the generations to further their own wretched ends, a phenomenon which appears to have infuriated Christ himself, hence his angry warning: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness."

But what of ordinary "religious" people? If they are not the controlling and authoritarian sort, are they merely dupes - cowardly, needy and superstitious?

I've always liked the words of the old hymn, "My Song is Love Unknown". Verses 1 and 4 keep going round in my head this morning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Song_Is_Love_Unknown

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

Words that are no doubt embarrassing in their childlike simplicity - even their naivety - but I like singing them. I like the Taize hymn too, that lovely repetition of the words of the thief who died with Christ: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." Always makes me cry, sentimental old fool that I am.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 09:28

You would have to define what constitutes "ordinary religious people" in your view. To me it is too vague a term in any real application. I can readily understand how members of christian congregations in particular societies might interpret this in the manner which I think you are too (where one feature of "ordinary" is the freedom to privately interpret one's engagement with the local religions' precepts on one's own terms and according to one's own private views). However in other situations, other creeds, other societies, what constitutes "ordinary" is a very different thing indeed in a religious context.

The point I am trying to make anyway is not that religion - organised or disorganised - lies at the root of evil policies, acts and attitudes. Thank you for recognising that since any criticism of religion tends to evoke a reaction from the religious implying that just such an accusation has been made. History suggests that religion - organised or disorganised - steps in at the point immediately after such policies have been formed in the minds of their pursuers, normally as justification for those decisions. This could as easily be the provision of healthcare and charitable facilities as the decision to commit mass murder in the same religion's name. Which of course is my real point - as a source of guidance in the enacting of policy and the structure of society in which people will hopefully thrive and be free from the worst that life and their fellow human being can cast at them, it is too unreliable, and has been proven so historically as well as in actuality in the contemporary world.

Defending its right to exist is all very well, but it should come with a responsibility to then explain how that existence can be guaranteed only to produce good according to basic humanitarian principles. This is where religion's more vocal spokespeople - even the most well-meaning and sincere ones (and, let's face it, there are many who are not) - fail, even in the attempt. And when this failure is one of a religious organisation with political influence and the power to control how huge numbers should live then it often translates into actual crime against humanity. Any other such body or bodies politic would be subject to rigorous inspection and opposition and members rightly forced to justify their right to so treat their fellow human. Religious people tend to either demand exemption from such a challenge or disassociate themselves from their fellow religious while still adopting privately the creeds and codes utilised to inflict actual harm on others. Both attitudes are, in my view, indefensible if society is to progress to a form in which the bulk of its members can expect protection.

Being "privately" religious or "ordinarily" religious does not absolve the individual from a responsibility to actively engage in challenging others who ostensibly share their faith but who participate in anti-humanitarian policies, directly or indirectly, at least in my view. In fact I would imagine it enforces that responsibility. At least I know if it was I who found that whatever superstition or philosophy I had accrued from a religious adherence and felt intrinsic to my being was being used by others to do things which appall me, I would be first to demand to know and understand how this came about, if not actively work to stop it.
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 10:32

nordmann wrote:


Being "privately" religious or "ordinarily" religious does not absolve the individual from a responsibility to actively engage in challenging others who ostensibly share their faith but who participate in anti-humanitarian policies, directly or indirectly, at least in my view. In fact I would imagine it enforces that responsibility. At least I know if it was I who found that whatever superstition or philosophy I had accrued from a religious adherence and felt intrinsic to my being was being used by others to do things which appall me, I would be first to demand to know and understand how this came about, if not actively work to stop it.

I agree completely with that, hence my admiration and respect for that courageous man of God, Bishop John Spong.

This is an interesting essay, especially the comments on Bonhoeffer:

http://www.bigissueground.com/atheistground/ash-germanchurchesnazis.shtml

An exception to this was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Famous as a modern day martyr, Bonhoeffer recognised prejudice against the Jews as wrong and was determined to resist the Nazis, tragically being executed a few days before war ended in a concentration camp. So uncompromising was he that - despite his earlier pacifism - he participated in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Though this involved lying, disobedience and the prospect of murder - seemingly in violation of many Biblical commandments - Bonhoeffer has been held up as an example of how the Christian church should have behaved. So what ought the churches to have done in resisting Nazism? Was Bonhoeffer's approach an acceptable option for Christians, and if not what was?

The nature of Christian ethics is hard to pin down, and there is little consensus on the subject. However, there has been an element of keeping the spiritual separate from - and higher than - the earthly throughout history. Jesus refused to take part in the Zealot movement which sought to overthrow the Romans by violent means, and said in the Sermon of the Mount: "Do not resist one who is evil."[6] When the Roman Catholic church signed the Concordat with Hitler guaranteeing ecclesiastical freedom, it may simply have been following Jesus' call to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's". [7] Both Catholic and Protestant churches paid most attention to their own survival - a not unnatural reaction when faced with Nazism - and the wellbeing of their parishioners, with baptised Jews generating much more concern than others. Politics was not seen as the church's domain.

This was a stance that Bonhoeffer could not accept, condemning it as "cheap grace."[8] He thought that even the Confessing Church was too concerned with its own spiritual purity, and advocated a more worldly approach. In his Ethics he said that Christians should be actively involved in the world, calling it a "penultimate" to the kingdom of God that could not be ignored. This tied in with his concern for Jews as well as Christians: "If the hungry man does not attain to faith, then the guilt falls on those who refused him bread."[9] Perhaps the strongest expression of his thoughts comes in his talk of "the living God who has set me in a living life and who demands service of me within this living life." Against this he contrasted the notion of "the individual, desiring to achieve a perfection of his own", something he emphasised Jesus was not. Bonhoeffer thought that people should be concerned and actively involved with their community, rather than just being concerned with their own personal salvation (a worrying trend he saw gaining strength in America).
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 11:55

Here are two quotations from Bonhoeffer which I think confirm what nordmann has said. I hope they are not viewed as mere platitudes.

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Dawkins v Williams - the rematch.   Fri 09 Oct 2015, 21:49

Not knowing where to post, but I was thinking at Nordmann when I read this yesterday and today:
http://historum.com/general-history/95914-history-theory-evolution.html

Kind regards, Paul.

PS: The endless "evolution" debate, where I was so stupid to take part in on the ex-BBC messageboard about "the greatest man" in Britain: re: Charles Darwin...
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