Atheist Saturday

4 11 2006

Just in case you were thinking about going to church tomorrow (or the synagogue today), here are some stories to make you think again ;).

First we have an incredibly inane statement from one Vincent Cheung (“president of Reformation Ministries International […] author of more than twenty books and several hundred lectures on a wide range of topics in theology, philosophy, apologetics, and spirituality”):

Science has its place in a Christian philosophy, an important place. But science is never to be seen as a means of learning truth. Truth is found in the Scriptures alone; the Bible has a monopoly on truth. It is God’s Word that must be believed, not the experiments of men. As Robbins has said: “Science is false, and must always be false. Scripture is true and must always be true. The issue is as clear, and as simple, as that.”

So, I guess, Galileo was wrong after all, and the Earth stands still at the center of the Universe, amen.

This ties in well with the refusal of the Archbishop of Genoa, Angelo Bagnasco, to visit Geona’s Festival of Science, denouncing its program as too secular and one-sided. In other words, science is meaningless without the guidance of religion, as the Pope itself noted, which is just a more palatable way of stating what Vincent Cheung was writing above. Ratzi and his minions are not being so blatant just because they couldn’t get away with it.

Over at Kill the Afterlife we then have this interesting thought experiment, or challenge if you prefer, directed to believers of the religions of the book (that is Judaism, Christianity and Islam):

First, we acknowledge that you are an Abrahamic theist (Christian, Muslim, or Jew). Second we assume that you have a child (if you don’t have one in real life, let’s pretend that you do for the sake of argument). Third, let’s imagine that God came to you and told you to sacrifice your child on the peak of the nearest mountain, a la Abraham at Moriah.

Of course, in the story, God stopped Abraham at the last minute and allowed Abraham to kill a ram instead. But Abraham didn’t know that God would stop him. And more importantly, Abraham was about to carry out the infanticidal act with total faith and conviction.

So the question to you, dear theist, is: Would you do it?

Read the comments to see how the theists try to duck the question or, in some cases, assert that killing your child is the right thing to do.

Personally, if God came to me and made it perfectly clear that he is indeed God, I would just tell him to fuck off. Why give me free will if I can’t use it?

If you believe in God, I encourage you to leave a comment here describing what would you do and why.

Last but not the least, here’s a wonderful piece by Daniel Dennett, who had a very close brush with death, but didn’t come away from it with any sort of religious sentiment. Quite the contrary, he is asking his friends not to pray for him, but rather do something actually useful. Good reading.

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One response

8 11 2006
Nicola Piccinini

scusami la risposta in italiano ma in inglese non riuscirei ad esprimermi con la dovuta precisione (e mi porterebbe via troppo tempo).
Il punto che mi piace commentare è questo:

> if God came to me and made it perfectly clear that he is indeed God, I would just tell him to fuck off. Why give me free will if I can’t use it?

in tutta sincerità, non so dire quale sarebbe la mia reazione se Dio mi si manifestasse in maniera inequivocabile. Converrai infatti con me che un tale evento metterebbe in seria discussione molti dei principi atei con cui abitualmente ragioniamo e cambierebbe conseguentemente alcune nostre convinzioni.
A quel punto la tua sarebbe una risposta estremamente dignitosa ma non di certo l’unica sensata. Ad esempio non biasimerei chi invece si inginocchiasse a chiedere perdono dei propri peccati.

Non penso comunque che valga la pena di ragionare oltre su una tale ipotesi 😉

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