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?
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
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
Do Egalitarians need Spirituality?
A thoughtful review by Graham Strouts of David Holmgren’s new book, Future Scenarios appears at his website, Zone 5. This provides an interesting angle on the predeliction of Egalitarian thinkers to foreground the need for a ‘reorientation of spiritual values’ or a ‘fundamental change of paradigm’. Note that while Holmgren himself is clear that under … Continue reading Do Egalitarians need Spirituality?
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?
Official: Top Search Engine reveals Atheist Bias!
Try searching for "God is now here". Then try seaching for "God is nowhere". Spot the difference. Discuss...
Good Intentions: is rational choice the only choice?
A new book called Good Intentions proposes that Christians should stop judging economic matters on the basis of pre-conceived moral positions and start judging them on the basis of what actually works. A prime example is the debate about the minimum wage... If the aim is to relieve poverty, say the authors, the minimum wage … Continue reading Good Intentions: is rational choice the only choice?
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
Room for One More on the Atheist Bus
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
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