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Paul Caira's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
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Go to: In case you didn't know I'm a fool, here's an article to prove it.

Paul Caira's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Paul Caira

Have you noticed that Dooley's CV: shows him to be a big fan o Postmodernism, justifiably another of Richard's pet hates.

Another reason to 'dislike' him?

Thu, 14 Dec 2006 09:24:00 UTC | #11061

Go to: O Come All Ye Unfaithful

Paul Caira's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Paul Caira

Comment #11124

Exactly right. People have been led to believe that disrespecting religions is one of the worst things to do, indeed akin to racism. Richard is pointing out that it isn't - or at least it shouldn't be. People find Richard offensive because he doesn't respect their religion, but actually, he always does so politely, and I've NEVER heard him sneer.

Sun, 03 Dec 2006 11:44:00 UTC | #9709

Go to: The faithful have departed

Paul Caira's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Paul Caira

I'm beginning to agree with Sam Harris that there is more consistency in being a fundamentalist. All those people who just put 'C of E', or even those many vicars who are actually ministers of that particular faith will go all woolly minded on such questions as 'Was Christ born of a Virgin?' 'Does the bread actually become the body of christ during the Eucharist?' and even 'Did Jesus really rise from the dead?' They don't really believe it, but they won't admit it. They want to have a vague cosy notion that somewhere all of this is being overseen by a benign being, and that ultimately everything will be okay, but they can't be bothered with thinking through the ramifications of everything that's supposed to go with it.

On the other hand, a nation of such people is probably much easier to liberate from religion than one constituted from even the more liberal muslims or bible-belt literalists.

Wed, 29 Nov 2006 11:38:00 UTC | #9567

Go to: Our Teapot, which art in heaven

Paul Caira's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Paul Caira

What is most shocking is that a paper as respected and 'Independent' as 'The Independent' should allow such a poorly thought out review of a book. It is flagrantly clear that the reviewer hasn't understood it, or any of the rest of Dawkins work, in the least.

From whom were the reviews that they turned down? In fact, is the problem of the negative reviews due to the fact that book editors go 'Ooh, look a book with God in the title - sling that at the religious affairs consultant' - who are inevitably theists?

Mon, 27 Nov 2006 17:10:00 UTC | #9388

Go to: To be Read at my Funeral

Paul Caira's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Paul Caira

I'm not convinced that it's any comfort to know that my atoms will become 'star stuff' - especially since that will constitute me then won't (unless my death is much more imminent than I'm guessing!) be the atoms that constitute me now. We are beings of change, ever-changing in our constitution and our minds.

I am persuaded by one thing - though my death will mean the complete extinction of my identity and my consciousness and memories, I will not 'suffer' non-existence, because all that happens to things which don't exist is that they don't exist. I won't be lying in my grave, inert, wishing that I could re-join the party, I simply won't exist.

I'm intrigued by one question. The time after my death will not exist for me, same as the time before my birth did not exist for me. But there is the problem of other minds, which I believe to be real, by induction with my own - I would guess that most rationalists do. The only reason that I'm not someone else is that I'm me. When I'm not me, I won't exist. But someone else will. To say 'I will be someone else' would be wrong (and meaningless) since there is no continuity (compared to some kind of reincarnation). But to not exist is impossible, as there is no mind there experiencing the non-existence. So if I'm not me, I'd have to be someone else - maybe at a a completely different time (past or future), or maybe even someone whose life overlaps my own.

So, if the alternative to being me is to be someone else, anyone else from history or the future, should I be optimistic? Since I am a comfortably off member of an advanced Western democracy, and (statistically speaking) almost everyone in the world in the past and present is worse off than me, no I don't suppose I should...

Ooh, I seem to have talked myself back into a fear of death.

Is this incoherent babble, or just something I'm failing to express?

Fri, 24 Nov 2006 10:59:00 UTC | #8941

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