Excommunicating Women priests

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

Fortify your group with religious belief! Homing in on the God Gene

“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

Nipping and Biting: Characterising the Conflict between Science and Religion

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

Is God literally real?

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?

Virtual Goods and the Greatest Story ever Told

Virtual goods make money In a recent post about the profitability of online social networks in the US, China and Japan, venture capitalist Bill Gurley presents evidence that the more financially successful social network sites are those that downplay advertising revenue and focus on revenue from virtual goods. He points out that Users in Second … Continue reading Virtual Goods and the Greatest Story ever Told

Grid-group cultural theory and hierarchical churches

It came to my attention recently that there are still churches which don't let women preach or lead worship. Choosing the leaders because they are men is a hierarchical approach to social organisation and needs to be set in a context. The other ways of choosing leaders should be noted: Egalitarian - 'priesthood of all … Continue reading Grid-group cultural theory and hierarchical churches

Is it misleading to say there probably isn’t a God?

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?