Posts Tagged Religion
Five Bad Reasons to Believe in God
by Mike Hall
When: Thu, Aug 19, 2010 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines (aka the Big House), 81 Lime Street, Liverpool
Apologetics is the systematic defence of a position. Religious apologetics specifically is a field of theology which seeks to present a rational basis for religious faith, defend the faith against objections and support the claim “God exists”. But are the arguments made by apologetics sound?
Mike Hall takes a look at five common apologetics, deconstructing the arguments presented and exposing any flaws.
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As you may all have noticed, the Catholic Church has recently been creaking under the weight of its own paedophiles. That’s what happens when you keep hiding them. The glare of the media must have spooked the Church, because in the tradition of all large amoral institutions they’ve been trying to distract us with a story about virtually nothing. Well, I think they have… maybe I’ve just assumed it was down to them because it was so perfectly timed. It could just be coincidence that one moment everyone was shaking their heads in disgust at the sexual abuse of children and the next they were shaking their heads in disgust at a civil servant making a condom joke. I don’t know. There’s been a lot of Catholic-originated disgust and anger about in the papers, denouncing this affront… a few weeks ago every prominent Catholic was quiet for fear that the righteous fire of popular anger would burn their face off.
I really can’t get to grips with the psychology at work here. Read the rest of this entry »
Seventies rocker Gary Glitter yesterday spoke out against the ‘petty gossip’ surrounding his convictions for child molestation, while announcing his surprise conversion to Catholicism.
Speaking at a lavish baptism ceremony, the paedophile singer decried the idle chitchat regarding his many proven offences against children from the UK, Cambodia and Vietnam.
“It saddens me that my critics feel the need to tarnish my name with this petty, entirely-accurate and demonstrably-true gossip regarding my repeated crimes against children.”
“Just because something terrible definitely happened, doesn’t give you the right to go on and on about it all the bloody time.” Read the rest of this entry »
With the coming of a very low-key, very gentle pro-atheism awareness campaign on facebook in ‘A’ week (http://www.aweekonfacebook.com/, Facebook event, #aweek Twittertag ), I’ve been reminded of the hesitation that many atheists feel towards the promotion of atheism in any way. Talking about any type of promotion or advocacy in favour of atheism as annoying because “this is the sort of thing that X-, Y- or Z-ians/-ists/ers do” may not be exactly how the majority of atheists feel, but I’d say, and only from my own feeling (not very skeptical, but still), that a large majority of atheists either couldn’t care less in trying to spread ideas and grow our mostly merry, but sometimes quite grumpy band of disbelievers, or are very uncomfortable with the thought of trying to actively or passively win people over to the idea that, maybe, they should give up the idea of an invisible Daddy In The Sky who grants wishes a little less frequently than you see the evil evidence of His Divine, or more humanly – if not humanely – divined, Will
But when you see the damage that religion does, and the toxic effect that a supreme, unquestionable authority and unquestioned afterlife can bring – from the banality and stupidity of the penny candle, crap wine and drain-filtering devices (pieces of The Christ’s Holy, suspiciously bread-like, Flesh must be saved from the insult of the sewers) of Catholicism (though after 2000 years on a bread and wine diet, I’m certain Jesus could make excellent use of modern facilities) to the horrendous tradition of wife-burning in Hindu ‘Sati’, thankfully both illegal and much reduced in modern India, or the unholy union of extreme Christianity in demonising a contraceptive layer of latex that could do so much to help the AIDS crisis – doesn’t this, shouldn’t this drive anyone with a rational bent and compassion for humanity towards doing what we can to reduce the influence of The Beast, even to simply kick the giant’s toe? Read the rest of this entry »
Pope Benedict. Cardinal Ratzinger. Il Papa. God’s representative on Earth. Call him what you like, one thing remains clear: He’s an idiot. That much is indisputable. The only real question is what kind of an idiot is he? Is he an insane, people-hating idiot (see Mother Theresa)? Or is he perhaps a power-mad moron (I hear he’s amending the Ten Commandments to add an eleventh one – “Thou shalt stand on one leg when Ratzy says so”)? Or is he just a common-or-garden out-of-touch, ancienct, backward-thinking lunatic? The debate rages on. Here’s some fuel for the fire:
Pop Benedict attacks government over Equality Bill
The Pope has urged Catholic bishops in England and Wales to fight the UK’s Equality Bill with “missionary zeal”. – Source: BBC Online
Yep, the Holy One believes that a bill aimed at protecting people from discrimination based on sexuality and gender is an evil law that must be fought with the kind of zeal missionaries have. I’m not 100% sure what missionary zeal is – I think it’s where the zealot is on top and the infidel is underneath, thus allowing the zealot to look the infidel in the eyes while he fucks them (metaphorically speaking). I do think it worth pointing out that had a leading figure in the Muslim faith uttered the phrase ‘fight with missionary zeal’ we’d be talking terrorism – but because the only people the Pope is condemning to death are countless Africans (more of that later) we see him as something of a weird but harmless old man. Go figure.
What’s more, the Pope has said the legislation “violates natural law” – a pretty clear reference to the fact that it would allow homosexuals more freedom from discrimination from, say, religious organisations. The very use of the phrase ‘violates natural law’ is immensely telling, if you ask me – it’s so homophobic I’m surprised Jan Moir hasn’t had it tattooed across her forehead. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m about to do something a lot of you will likely frown on. I’m aware of this, and I do apologise. I don’t know what I was thinking. Perhaps all of those sugar pills last weekend scrambled my brain. Perhaps aliens visited me at night and implanted this wild, crazy and completely inappropriate idea into my mind (hey, at least they stayed up THAT end this time). Perhaps I’m just spoiling for a rumble. In any case, there’s no getting away from it, this is happening:
I’m going to talk about football.
I know, I know, IknowIknowIknow. You guys, our lovely readers, are scientists, science fans, and generally science types. As am I. But when I’m not talking Cold Reading with psychics, organising mass non-suicide or generally being a good-for-nothing skeptic, there are few things I love more than settling down to a good match. The poetry of movement, the grit of teamwork, the drama, the excitement, the cliches.
Oh, and the batshit lunacy.
I’ve spoken elsewhere about the superstition rife in football (it was my handy hook to hang the story of Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie’s horse placenta treatment on, you may recall. If you can’t recall, please head over and have a read. Horse placentas. Lol. Etc.), but this time I’m bringing things back home. We are, after all, the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and no amount of International campaign-running (yes, I’m going to milk 10:23 for all of the kudos I can get, what of it?) will change that. Which is why when I was sent this article by a listener to our podcast, I just had to take a look at it. Read the rest of this entry »