This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Jesus and Mo ... and Templeton

Jesus and Mo ... and Templeton - Comments

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 1 by Agrajag

A great morning treat!


Steve

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:36:58 UTC | #600028

maria melo's Avatar Comment 2 by maria melo

I would say there must be some candidates whose work was specially conceived to win a templeton award.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:39:19 UTC | #600032

josephor's Avatar Comment 3 by josephor

Give me a million quid and I'll sware on the bible that I saw Moses wiping his arse behind the burning bush....can I have the million quid??

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:50:06 UTC | #600034

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 4 by Mark Jones

It's funny 'cos it's true.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:53:47 UTC | #600035

The Plc's Avatar Comment 5 by The Plc

I'm waiting for the day a serious scientist 'does a Sokal' on the Templeton Foundation.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:03:13 UTC | #600045

Aztek's Avatar Comment 6 by Aztek

They've proven themselves. Give them the million pounds.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:31:32 UTC | #600052

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 7 by Rich Wiltshir

Careful folks! The one on the right looks like Mohammed and the one in the middle looks like god.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:38:31 UTC | #600055

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 8 by DocWebster

I looked Rich, epic win

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 15:23:04 UTC | #600083

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 9 by Hendrix is my gOD

ROGL

"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."

-George Bernard Shaw

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 16:23:36 UTC | #600126

njwong's Avatar Comment 10 by njwong

Reading this strip reminds me of the "Give Me Your Money" song from Avenue Q :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0wV9UECLiU

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:04:43 UTC | #600174

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 11 by Hellboy2

Fantastic! Now, if I can just brand a picture of Jesus onto my toast.....

Incidentally, has a muslim ever seen a picture of Mohammed on anything - edible or otherwise - ? If so, how would that work, considering you aren't supposed to depict him?? How would they know it's him?

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:18:16 UTC | #600179

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 12 by Neodarwinian

True. People will shill for money. Even those people!

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:39:08 UTC | #600189

Bravenewworld's Avatar Comment 13 by Bravenewworld

I've seen mohammed, he lives two doors up...bit of a nobhead if you ask me. cheers.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 21:27:35 UTC | #600255

ridelo's Avatar Comment 14 by ridelo

A miracle! Jesus has blinked an eye at me in the last picture!

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 22:25:34 UTC | #600274

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 15 by Steve Zara

Sometimes, just sometimes, questions answer themselves. It may not always be clear that they do at first sight, but when this is finally realised it leads to a much simpler view of the situation.

This is the case with the Templeton Foundation. Their proposition is that science and religion can co-exist and worth together to help us understand reality. The question is, are they correct? The answer is no, they aren't. When the reason for this is pointed out, it is, in hindsight, wonderfully obvious.

What is the religion that the Templeton Foundation is primarily asking questions about? It is theism, the belief that the universe is created by a God and that God interacts with the universe through miracles. It is a theism that insist that God is all-powerful and everywhere and every-when.

There is an interesting question about alien civilizations that was asked in the last century by the physicist Enrico Fermi: if alien civilizations exist, then where are they? They should be visible. They should be here. This is known as the “Fermi Paradox” (a rather strange name, as it's not a paradox but a mystery). The Fermi Paradox is a major problem for SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). Supporters of SETI often say that we haven't been looking long enough for the signals of alien intelligence, that it will be many decades or even centuries before we should start to give up.

There is an equivalent “paradox” regarding theism. “The God Paradox” is this: if God exists, where is he? Why hasn't he sent an unambiguous signal? The God Paradox is far more serious than the Fermi Paradox, as God is supposed to be right here, not hidden on some distant planet. Miracles are no more a serious sign of God's presence than reports of alien abductions are a serious sign of the presence of aliens. Also, the SGI (Search for God-like Intelligence) has been going on not for decades, but millennia.

So why is the Templeton proposition so obviously wrong? It is because the question of the compatibility of religion and science would not need to be asked if it were true. If theism was true then our world would be clearly saturated in God-ness. Prayers would work. Miracles would happen daily and so would be boringly normal. If there was a God that was everywhere in such a manner as to lead people to have a justified belief that he was everywhere, then his presence would be blindingly obvious. If theism were true and science worked then the Templeton Foundation would not be needed. If theism were true and science did not work, then, again, the Templeton Foundation would not be needed. We know science works, and indeed that is accepted by the Foundation. So, that the Foundation is apparently needed to ask questions about God, spirituality, and so on, effectively means that theism is false. SGI has failed.

To paraphrase Louis Armstrong: If you have to ask where God is, you already know the answer. The answer is “not there”.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 03:16:34 UTC | #600337

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 16 by Starcrash

If theism was true then our world would be clearly saturated in God-ness.

'Tis so true, Steve Zara. What does a world without God look like? I guess everything from planets to particles would have to move under some sort of natural forces. Life would've had to come from natural processes. And there would be a lot of people believing in false gods (even religious observers believe this, with their own personal exceptions).

What does a world without God look like? Easily answered, 'cuz you're living it.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 04:55:04 UTC | #600352

Barbarossa's Avatar Comment 17 by Barbarossa

How long until Mo's followers get offended and start damaging property and assaulting people?

Countdown begins...

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 08:50:05 UTC | #600376

rebro5's Avatar Comment 18 by rebro5

If theism was true then our world would be clearly saturated in God-ness.

Why? Is this one of the 10 commandments for higher order gods?

Prayers would work

Why? and what does that even mean anyway? How do you know whether it "worked"? Do you measure it with a dipstick?

Miracles would happen daily and so would be boringly normal.

Do you mean to the point where people wouldn't even recognise them as miracles because they ARE normal? So how would this normal look different to the other normal?

then his presence would be blindingly obvious

Why? Is this another one of those commandments?

then, again, the Templeton Foundation would not be needed.

This maybe true, but I thought (possibly wrongly) the Templeton prize existed because some bloke wanted to give his money away on a cause he liked - nothing to do with need.

I wonder if evolution dictates that humanity is needed? If not then we should be careful lest we all disappear in puff of logic (to adapt a line from Douglas Adams).

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:03:12 UTC | #600403

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 19 by TheRationalizer

Absolutely brilliant!

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:22:38 UTC | #600409

Charisma's Avatar Comment 20 by Charisma

Comment 14 by ridelo A miracle! Jesus has blinked an eye at me in the last picture!

Haha. That scared the bezeesus out of me! I had to watch it twice before I realized what it was. lol.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:54:03 UTC | #600414

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 21 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 15 by Steve Zara

if God exists, where is he?

He's buried at Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, Washington.

Well, I gotta evangelize my own religion, don't I?

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 14:50:09 UTC | #600463

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 22 by Starcrash

Rebro, these things you're mocking... they're not commandments... they're just logical. You're well-aware that there are millions of Muslims in the world who believe they see Allah's works every day. They're delusional. Even you agree, I'm sure, that they're looking at the world in such a way that they "see" Allah, who is blatantly not there. We say Christians are doing the exact same thing.

Imagine if God were real. When you prayed, you'd expect to get an answer back. Perhaps vocally, because this same God who is answering knows how we communicate. Even a human is smart enough to answer a question in a way that removes all doubt or ambiguity through a recognized form of communication. This current system of looking for God's answers in coming events is pure silliness. It's the same way that the Muslims believe their prayers are answered. Any fake entity can answer prayers with a "yes, no, or maybe" in this same way that God is expected to.

Or you'd expect to see miracles regularly. Because it's a commandment? Of course not. When God was supposedly on Earth in the form of Jesus he regularly performed miracles, and you believe that God is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. Why do believers take medicine? Don't they expect God to heal them immediately and perfectly? No, even believers don't expect miracles. Again, even Muslims believe that Allah performs miraculous healing on a regular basis, but it's only because when they're ignorant of the cause, they label it "Allah" instead of "God". We label it "science that still has yet to be discovered".

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 15:52:37 UTC | #600482

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 23 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 13 by Bravenewworld

I've seen mohammed, he lives two doors up...bit of a nobhead if you ask me. cheers.

I live a few doors down from Jesus. Strange how the gospels never mention his last name was Rodriguez.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:24:35 UTC | #600491

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 24 by quarecuss

Jaysus, I hope they do mo' of these!

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:02:32 UTC | #600501

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 25 by I'm_not

Comment 17 by Barbarossa :

How long until Mo's followers get offended and start damaging property and assaulting people?

Countdown begins...

This was covered in an earlier strip - it's not Mohammed it's a body double.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:30:06 UTC | #600510

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 26 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 7 by Rich Wiltshir :

Careful folks! The one on the right looks like Mohammed and the one in the middle looks like god.

The one in the middle IS God.

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 23:42:12 UTC | #600602

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 27 by scottishgeologist

Steve Zara

Good questions as ever.

Regarding the "evidence" for "god" a lot of theists would be in agreement with this highly irritating cartoon from "After Eden"

Give me sign

Awful isnt it?

:-) SG

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 10:43:33 UTC | #600726

rebro5's Avatar Comment 28 by rebro5

Starcrash, thanks for response, and quite a reasonable one at that. I was mocking, but just because that seems to be the order of the day on this site. I usually try to avoid it but sometimes the opportunity is just begging for it and I can't resist.

As for the logic, whether this particular discussoin or any other, its only as good as the quality of the assumptions or presuppositions it sits on top of. I'm just challenging those assumptions, thats all. Steve Zara's conclusions (and yours?) are only "logical" if the assumptions you have made about God or how he reveals himself are true. If God doesn't conform these in the first place then the logic won't follow either.

Even a human is smart enough to answer a question in a way that removes all doubt or ambiguity through a recognized form of communication.

. . . you're pretty optimistic about human communcation there, most of what I see from humans falls a bit short of that, my dog is less ambiguous about what he thinks and wants than any human I know - maybe I should propose a hypothesis that the dumber we are less ambiguously we communicate:-) but seriously, you point out what God could do, and of cause you are right, these things would easily fall within the gamit of devine capability, but (and there is always a but) that doesn't mean he is compelled too, and without compulsion, the absence of his audible voice only proves that he doesn't like talking to you (and me). This post proves I can type at a computer, but you've only got to visit my facebook page and personal email account to realise I regulary ignore some other communication. Putting boundaries around who we interact with and how we do it, shows good social judgement, and I sure you agree that the ability show social judgement would also fit within the capabilities of any devine being (even ones reaching only the lower ends of human intelligence). Again, I'm just challenging the assumptions behind the logic.

I have learned from my marriage that logic and only get you so far, and that aint very far at all. Which is tough break for me, as tend toward the logic (like a lot of guys). For a quality relationship (in my case at least) it takes a different way of thinking, that is often counter-intuitive to "logic", like holding my tongue when the solution to the problem is so obvious.

As for the miracles, I'll think about that after some beauty sleep.

Anyway I'm way off track here with the cartoon about the Templton prize, but on that, its their money so let them waste it in what ever way floats their boat. Some people drink their money, some people smoke theirs, if they wont to give theirs away on real science or pseudo-science thats up to them. If they get hard up for ideas on where it should go they can ask me cause I plenty of ideas of how it could get put to good use too.

rebro5

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:20:46 UTC | #600736

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 29 by Hendrix is my gOD

Comment 27 by scottishgeologist

Give me sign

Awful isnt it?

:-) SG

Reminds me of the Soviets' 20-year, $5 billion project to develop a joke. I'm still waiting

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 16:07:12 UTC | #601476