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← 2007, a bad year for God squadders

2007, a bad year for God squadders - Comments

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 3 by the great teapot

?

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #96920

USA_Limey's Avatar Comment 1 by USA_Limey

The only thing I hate more than the religious part of christmas is the pre-packaged quota of christmas articles that newspaper hacks spew out.

Boring.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #96918

Thanny's Avatar Comment 2 by Thanny

It started out not so bad, but just had to end with rubbish.

I've yet to see any screed remotely in favor of religion that showed any real consciousness of the fact that there have been thousands of belief systems invented on this planet, and that no religion (not even their pet one, whatever it may be) has ever held sway over a majority of the earth's peoples.

All these pro-faith nitwits come across as provincial ignoramuses.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #96919

cursor's Avatar Comment 4 by cursor

That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.

That spoilt it for me.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:05:00 UTC | #96922

Alex Malecki's Avatar Comment 5 by Alex Malecki

Wow, what convoluted, cliched nonsense.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:08:00 UTC | #96924

rev's Avatar Comment 6 by rev

????????

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:08:00 UTC | #96926

rev's Avatar Comment 7 by rev

?????????????????

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:08:00 UTC | #96927

Inferno's Avatar Comment 9 by Inferno

If we could be really, truly certain, about the existence of God, what, really, would be the point of it all?

Ummm, heaven, eternal life, being nice to everyone. I thought that was meant to be the point? Doesn't the bible say the only unforgivable sin is to doubt the holy ghost?

That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.

Oh, I agree. Same thing for all those people who claim to have been abducted by aliens - it's so unbelievable it must be true. In fact, scientology is even more unbelievable than christianity, so it must be even MORE true!

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:09:00 UTC | #96929

rev's Avatar Comment 8 by rev

It get bigger ???????????????????????????????

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:09:00 UTC | #96928

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Comment 10 by Eamonn Shute

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:14:00 UTC | #96931

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 11 by BAEOZ

But He chose instead to come in a way that ensured just about the maximum room for doubt; merely another barely noticed nativity in the most miserable of circumstances.

Underlying assumption is that the nativity is somehow historical. It's not. I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist, just the implausability of a Galilean travelling to Bethlehem, avoiding robbers, for a census that didn't take place.....

If you were lucky enough to be one of those shepherds on the hills around Bethlehem who got the news from the angelic host, or one of the wise men who followed that star, you were lucky.

To paraphrase the archibishop, stars don't do that sort of thing. Also, at this time of year, shephards wouldn't be out in the fields at night, being cold and wintery......

forced to ponder the complexity of our existence and the competing implausibilities of faith and unbelief

Where is the implausibility of not believing when there's no evidence. Faith in a myth does seem problematic though.

That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.

As Daniel Dennett says in his book, religion hit upon a good idea. The more implausible or difficult the belief, the more one has to sacrifice because it must be the true belief and the only provider of the afterlife*.... Doesn't require god existing in the slightest

*Religion is great. It offers services that it can't demonstrate exist. What a sham.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:17:00 UTC | #96932

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 12 by Richard Morgan

That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.

The unbelievable compels us to believe? Really? I must be the odd one out here then : for me, lack of evidence kind of compels me to NOT believe. Am I that weird? (Don't answer that, PK!!!)

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:27:00 UTC | #96935

Janus's Avatar Comment 13 by Janus

The unprepossessing brand of exclusive evangelicalism followed in some parts of America ( the "I'm Saved, You're Not" approach to salvation) has never been far from the headlines this year and is also very effective in turning people away from religion.


As opposed to what? If salvation is to be a meaningful concept at all, there are only three possibilities. Either some people are saved and others aren't, or nobody's saved, or everybody is. But if everybody's saved already, then what's the point of this kind of religious belief?


That faith, by its very nature, entails doubt. If we could be really, truly certain, about the existence of God, what, really, would be the point of it all?


You tell me. What IS the point of religion? Many people would say that a big part of it is to provide moral guidance. If that's so, then being certain about the existence of God would mean we would know how He actually wants us to behave. As it is, His believers have to guess. Does He want us to shun and oppress homosexuals, or not? How does God feel about stem cell research? Is belief in God important, or are good works all that matter? God establishing His existence and His will clearly would solve a lot of problems. Also, it might save the two-thirds of the world who aren't Christians from an eternity of suffering, if you care about such things.


That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.


There's nothing strange or inexplicable about it. It's exactly the kind of story you'd expect superstitious, uneducated people living in the pre-scientific age to come up with. I mean, c'mon. A guiding star? A virgin birth? A half-god prophet? Walking on water? Magically healing the sick and bringing the dead back to life? An impending end of the world? Eternal bliss for those who follow the guy? All the popular mythological clichés.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:49:00 UTC | #96940

kipton's Avatar Comment 14 by kipton

Nothing better measures the retreat of religion in our postmodern society than the diminished intensity of the war over Christmas.


Our society is postmodern? Since when?

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:11:00 UTC | #96944

SRWB's Avatar Comment 15 by SRWB

If we could be really, truly certain, about the existence of God, what, really, would be the point of it all?

Then you wouldn't need to have FAITH would you? And we could could all go merrily on our knees praying every waking moment of the day knowing that He's listening and watching. Honestly, is there a large warehouse of columnists in the UK who get paid to churn out this crap?

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:22:00 UTC | #96952

quill's Avatar Comment 16 by quill

Radesq,

Price Alfred of England once disguised himself as a peasant to hide from the Vikings, but turned out to be not such a great cook and was scolded by an old woman for having burned her cakes, so the story goes.

History Channel. :)

I'm quite relieved to hear that Mother Theresa recovered her faith before she died. Presumably this was after the exorcism, which was performed two hours before prior to her death. Pretty stressful things, those exorcisms. I'm sure it wasn't easy in her condition. But the important thing is that her soul recovered its Catholic label just in time. Hooray for the Church!

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:22:00 UTC | #96953

SRWB's Avatar Comment 17 by SRWB

Not from the UK but "barmy" is Brit for crazy and the tale of Alfred and the cakes refers to King Alfred of Wessex in the 9th century. While hiding from the Danish viking invaders he was apparently left in charge of some oatcakes, and they were burned. This earned him the wrath of a peasant woman.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:26:00 UTC | #96955

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 18 by Dr Benway

That last sentence was a surpise: the fact it's all clearly such bollocks means it isn't.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:28:00 UTC | #96956

quill's Avatar Comment 19 by quill

No kidding. If the Jesus story is "so unbelievable, it compels us to believe", then get ready to be blown away because the Mormon story is even more so.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:32:00 UTC | #96957

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 21 by Dr Benway

We could have fun with this logic for hours, couldn't we. Each person trying to out-do the other in implausibility, and thereby proving their case.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:35:00 UTC | #96959

dlitt's Avatar Comment 20 by dlitt

...so unbelievable, it compels us to believe.


That credulous twit has just defined 'cognitive dissonance'.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:35:00 UTC | #96958

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve Zara

That last sentence was a surpise


I did not find it so much a surprise, as mentally unprocessable. It is almost like an attempt to see how much nonsense can be packed into a single sentence.

That God would choose


This is an omniscient God... choosing?

to come among us


Which seems a bit of a waste of time as He is supposed to be omnipresent as well.

in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable,


I assumed it was supposed to have been prophesied, so it should have not seemed that strange or inexplicable.

so unbelievable


Well, I can at least go for that

it compels us to believe


Apart from the fact that most don't, and that God is supposed to have given us free will, the real oddness is the idea that unbelievability should lead to believing.

I have just realised what this is all about. It is homeopathy! How do you "cure" rationality to let in faith?

Well, you take a bit of rationality - the like cures like principle of homeopathy (a baby was born long ago)
and dilute it (in a manger)
and dilute it (with all the animals in awe )
and dilute it (and kings came to visit bearing gifts)
and dilute it (something funny happened to the stars)
and dilute it (the baby was God)
and dilute it (well, sort of a third of God, but not quite)

And you have a high potency cure for rational thinking that compels you to believe! Amazing!

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:47:00 UTC | #96963

Scott McMeekin's Avatar Comment 23 by Scott McMeekin

*slaps forehead*

Scott.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:49:00 UTC | #96964

USA_Limey's Avatar Comment 24 by USA_Limey

We could have fun with this logic for hours, couldn't we. Each person trying to out-do the other in implausibility


It would end badly.

In an effort to come up with the most implausible stories we'd have to drop a few tabs of LSD to really get our creative juices flowing.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:59:00 UTC | #96966

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 25 by Dr Benway

The ontological argument revisited.

Imagine the most implausible God possible. What would make such a God even more implausible, if not His actual existence?

Therefore by definition, the most implausible God you can't believe in actually exists.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 17:57:00 UTC | #96979

Flagellant's Avatar Comment 26 by Flagellant

I began to find difficulties when I read this sentence

Seizing on the old Jesuit principle of getting them while their young, Philip Pullman went Hollywood this year with the Dark Materials trilogy.
I guess it should have been "they're" instead of "their". Almost excusable in a blog but not in a proper article.

Oh it is a blog, not a proper article, is it?

That explains the homophone - poor subediting - but not the degeneration in the last four or five paragraphs, changing the whole tenor of the piece, based on Mother Theresa's flip-flopping. Which part is meant to be ironic? Surely it's the ending...



Religion - an activity for consenting adults in private.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:00:00 UTC | #96982

Rational_G's Avatar Comment 27 by Rational_G

WTF???????????????

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:01:00 UTC | #96984

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 28 by Russell Blackford

What a dangerous article.

I nearly broke my arm when I reached the final sentence and fell off my chair, laughing.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:12:00 UTC | #96989

Haikuin's Avatar Comment 29 by Haikuin

"squadders" ?

Did I miss an OED entry somewhere?

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:29:00 UTC | #96992

Haikuin's Avatar Comment 30 by Haikuin

I did love this, though:

"But for the rest of us, forced to ponder the complexity of our existence and the competing implausibilities of faith and unbelief, that was surely the point of the manger, the stable, the ox and the ass. That God would choose to come among us in such a way is so strange, so inexplicable, so unbelievable, it compels us to believe."

Pity the poor bastard doesn't "come among us" in the teen pregnancies, youth gang murders, islamo fasciscists, democro fascists, M/I/B complex fascists, et al. Slacking bastard! Wot a fukkin ASS! Come on, GOD, let's find out if my weak-assed rational mind can put your face in the dirt! Arrrrghhh! You're too easy. I can burn you in my fireplace and not be bovvered.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:37:00 UTC | #96994