Dan Ariely, behavioural psychologist, reports on research that concludes that we select our view of God’s opinions to fit with our own. It seems that as our own opinions change so does our description of God’s opinions. The conclusion then is that God is a blank slate, onto which we project our opinions. “Overall these … Continue reading Is God a blank slate?
Just about to write something about the recent restatement of the Catholic Church's opposition to the ordination of women - I realised, effectively, I already had. Add only this: it's not actually very easy to be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. Few people have ever met anyone who has been (militant atheists have been … Continue reading Excommunicating Women priests
Victor Stenger, is the author of God, the Failed Hypothesis – How Science Shows that God does not Exist. The book claims: Not only does the universe show no evidence for God, it looks exactly as it would be expected to look if there is no God. I would frame this slightly differently and suggest … Continue reading Is it necessary for God to be doing anything different from the laws of physics?
“Groups fortified by religious belief would have prevailed over those that lacked it, and genes that prompted the mind toward ritual would eventually have become universal.” An article in the New York Times, In Search of the God Gene, flies a kite for religion as an evolutionary benefit. But it takes a very particular view … Continue reading Fortify your group with religious belief! Homing in on the God Gene
At Crooked Timber there's a nice reference to Italo Calvino's great book Invisible Cities, in which there's an allusion to the different ways we try to make sense of the world.
Much of the supposed conflict between science and religion may well be imaginary, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any conflict. How then should this conflict be characterised? Gregory Bateson once noted the distinction in playful animals between the nip (playful) and the bite (serious). It’s clear that animals, including ourselves, can tell the difference, … Continue reading Nipping and Biting: Characterising the Conflict between Science and Religion
Philosopher A.C. Grayling writes about the illiterate roots of religion. The 'roots' of religion may be illiterate, but this is hardly a cogent argument since the roots of everything, including writing, are illiterate. Further, it's unhelpful to disparage illiteracy in a generalising way. Australian Aboriginal culture, for instance, has been 'illiterate' for most of its … Continue reading Is God literally real?
Try searching for "God is now here". Then try seaching for "God is nowhere". Spot the difference. Discuss...
The Battle of the Bus Adverts has begun in earnest. Now the Christians have taken up the challenge and responded with ads of their own, including the Russian Orthodox Church who, with tongue firmly out of cheek, produced 'There IS a God'. There is probably a geographical or cultural specificity to the effectiveness of these … Continue reading Room for One More on the Atheist Bus
The Atheist Bus Campaign story just keeps rolling along. The latest is that after more than 400 complaints, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is considering an investigation. Meanwhile in Australia no such problems have been encountered, since the advertising industry is already censoring itself by refusing to work with anti-God ads. It seems the ASA … Continue reading Is it misleading to say there probably isn’t a God?