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Mat's Profile

Mat's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: Science can't explain the big bang - there is still scope for a creator

Mat's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Mat

If you don't know something - i.e. what was going on before the big bang - the scientifically honest (actually, just the plain-old-honest) thing to say is "We don't know."

Saying "Well, it could have been God" is simply irrelevant - why not the Hamster, then? All we can really say is "dunno, sorry." Maybe we'll never know - maybe there never will be proof. But there has to be proof of some kind before we can say "well, this looks like a feasible explanation."

I'd be prepared to bet my (vanishing) pension that The God Hypothesis will not get the proof.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:16:00 UTC | #299545

Go to: Britain is 'unfriendly' for religious people

Mat's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Mat

Weirdly enough, I don't have a great deal of problem with at least 7 or 8 of the 10 commandments. Obviously, the ones relating to the profound importance of acknowledging a non-existent god and worshipping him/her/it make me struggle somewhat. But what I don't like is that you can't pick and choose - Christians say you have to take the whole package, all 10, no splitting. So it's Sky Daddy or No Morality.

Which is obviously bullshit.

I am an athiest, but it's very easy for me to work out from fundamental principles that I shouldn't murder people. Would I want to be murdered? No. Would I want my children murdered? No. Should I murder... No. Why do I need a "Christian" set of values to work this out? I don't. It's rubbish. Religions are just political parties that don't even have the need to deliver on promises. "You'll get your reward after you're dead." Wow. That's a biggy. And humanity has swallowed it for tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of years.

Is there hope?

Sun, 07 Dec 2008 01:03:00 UTC | #284088

Go to: New British Petition: Stop the Nightmares

Mat's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Mat

I was terrified by extreme tales of pain, hellfire, damnation etc as a child at school (an American school). They worried me greatly at the time, and yes, I believe they ARE abusive. However, in my case it hastened my conversion - the severity of the punishments were just totally crazily wrong for pretty much anything a normal 8-year old could get up to. So I realised that it was all bull - helped by having 100% athiest parents of course!

But I also think that it is the wrong place to start, trying to involve the government. More dubious laws to go with the severe restrictions on privacy and liberty that the UK already suffers? I'm not entirely convinced that it's the right point of attack.

Although I DO believe this issue should be publicised and debated openly, far and wide, because mental cruelty is as bad, if not worse, than physical.

I even took my 4-year old daughter out of a school here in South Africa because she came home scared of the devil, and had difficulty sleeping etc. So I've seen the effect it can have - on me, and on my daughter. But to turn to the government? Not sure.

Wed, 11 Jun 2008 11:05:00 UTC | #182077

Go to: Islam's Silent Moderates

Mat's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Mat

I completely agree with Ms Ali. If Muslims cannot and should not feel compassion in these circumstances, then they are not and cannot be moderate.

And it's worth remembering, that just because some individual Muslims are moderates, doesn't mean that Islam as a whole is or can be moderate.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 04:07:00 UTC | #91717

Go to: A New Flea in Town!

Mat's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Mat

I have a tendency to agree with _J_; I will begin work on my book "A Completely Uncritical and Frankly Sycophantic Paen of Praise in Favour of the Mighty Prof Dawkins (May No Radiant Angelic Light Ever Shine Upon Him) and All His Eloquent Utterances" immediately.

Mind you, after just writing the title I'm exhausted. Better have a bit more of a browse among His Most Perfect Words... :)

Mon, 03 Dec 2007 04:01:00 UTC | #89092

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