Important Research into Sophisticated Theology
We are conducting serious research into the nature of theology and kindly request readers of RichardDawkins.net to take a few minutes of their time to read the following questionnaire in an effort to establish their propensity for understanding what has come to be known as sophisticated theology.
The questionnaire is in the form of a remark by a prominent theologian followed four possible understandings or reactions to his remark. Simply select the one which is closest to your own. Two of these categories (the third and fourth option) are explained in short video excerpts to assist you in making a choice.
We thank you for your interest and help in this important research.
BEGINNING OF QUESTIONNAIRE
The Archbishop of Canterbury, leading theologian of the Church of England, describes his faith as a “silent waiting on the truth, pure sitting and breathing in the presence of the question mark”.
- Indeed. There we have it, atheists. In plain, simple, clear language, our very existence explained; thus goes the grace of God.
- What on earth does this even mean? Presence of the question mark!
- Brrrrrriiiiiiiiizzzzzzzpppppzzzzzttt! (for an explanation of this category of responses, see this short video)
- You’re 'avin’ a larf intcha? (for an explanation of this category of responses, see the beginning of this short video)
Sophisticated theologian John Haught can transcend the religious/science debate over a cup of tea. He says (in a debate with Jerry Coyne) “a simple example would be a teapot. Suppose a teapot is boiling on your stove and someone comes into the room and says, explain to me why that's boiling. Well, one explanation would be it's boiling because the water molecules are moving around excitedly and the liquid state is being transformed into gas. But at the same time you could just as easily have answered that question by saying, it's boiling because my wife turned the gas on. Or you could also answer that same question by saying it's boiling because I want tea.”
- Exactly! You see atheists? Theology is as simple as asking if someone wants a cup of tea.
- Jesus wept! ALL of these answers could be posed scientifically and not all questions are even worth asking!
- I’ll ‘ave a cuppa!
Top theologian and darling of philosophical theology William Lane Craig thinks that the Israeli soldiers sent to butcher all that was alive in Canaan should receive psychological counselling (my emphasis) “So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing"
- If only atheists could have such Christian compassion!
- Good grief! You’d think that a man with a modicum of intelligence could see that this is utterly at odds with a loving all-powerful god who couldn't make an omelette without breaking eggs. Don’t you think it is more likely that this is just a story? For heaven’s sake, man, couldn’t you just admit that what God ordered is indefensible? Really, you need to see a psychologist.
- Braaaaaapbraaaapbraaap! Uoughalahahahah!
- Wot! The! Bleedin’! You! I! Wot! Do Wot!
That splendid fellow, the Archbishop of Canterbury, describes god as a very complex being.
- Ah! So here we have a being that can do all the necessary things to create complex biological beings here on earth as well as devise naturalistic physical laws! Game over, atheists.
- So how did such a being arise, you goon?
- Where’s me doberman!
Ubertheologian Alvin Plantinga quotes Aquinas in describing god as a very simply being: “… is God complex? According to much classical theology (Thomas Aquinas, for example) God is simple, and simple in a very strong sense, so that in him there is no distinction of thing and property, actuality and potentiality, essence and existence, and the like”, easily overcoming naturalistic objections to arguments from complexity and thereby demolishing Dawkins’ arguments (in The God Delusion) that God probably doesn’t exist.
- Ah, essence and existence! Actuality! Potentiality! See, atheists? God is mysterious – he can be complex and simple whenever we need him to be!
- Ah, good old Christian doublespeak! We should get the archbishop to debate Plantinga on the subject!
- Fenton. FENTON!
END OF QUESTIONNARE
In order to establish your propensity for understanding theological babble, determine which answers you tended to agree with and see below for an explanation of your result:
You mainly selected the first option
You’re unable to discern metaphor from plain reality. You really should try to understand that what these men are saying is not even remotely congruous.
You mainly selected the second option
My, my, you’re quite the militant atheist aren’t you? While you may have initially believed that there was something serious in sophisticated theology, you have long since come to the conclusion that it is utter rubbish. You can’t understand how grown men can get away with it.
You mainly selected the third option
You are unable to articulate the cognitive dissonance you feel arising in your mind when you hear supposedly intelligent men spouting nonsense and utter bollocks. This results in you feeling as though your face is being slapped and your nose tweaked somewhat like Moe from the Three Stooges. You cannot refrain from uttering unintelligible responses.
You mainly selected the fourth option
You are a plain talking fellow who calls a spade a spade. Hearing theological nonsense makes you descend into a cockney type figure who “ain’t 'avin’ nuffink”! You own a Doberman. Or a Bulldog. And you think Mrs. Thatcher is wonderful. Oh, and you like the Queen of England too. You "fink" she's bleedin' marvellous.
To further help us with our research, please feel free to post similar questions and responses so that sophisticated theology can be understood better for what it really is.