Friday, 26 September 2008

The Atheist Creed

The Atheist Creed:

  1. There is no God.
  2. I hate him.

Keeping these two together is very difficult, and you're likely to end up mad if you start taking your atheism seriously.

Which brings us to: "State Senator sues God" -

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Royal Society, Creationism and Atheist Fundamentalism

All is not well in the state of Denmark the scientific academy...

What many will find worrisome is the intolerance of eminent scientists to the suggestion of engagement with the questions of children. Yet they are far from alone. Fundamentalism is spreading across science, with zealots ready to attack anyone who dares question the accepted teaching - be it the unquestionable importance of animal experiments or the unimpeachable evidence for dramatic global warming.

Read the whole article: "Royal Society or Rotten Society?" -,opinion,royal-society-or-rotten-society

Personally I'm glad that this latest ridiculous episode has given us another demonstration of that secularist fallacy, that science is the domain of objective truth, that scientists' pronouncements are all the results of careful sifting and peer-review, and that scientists don't have their own ideological agendas (whether atheistic, Christian or something else depending on how the scientist is), etcetera...

Monday, 15 September 2008

To a theistic evolutionist

An edited version of an e-mail to a brother in Christ who believes that God's mode of creation was through evolution:
My point is that theistic evolution, whilst it may not be hard theoretical deism (you believe that God is powerfully at work in the  upholding and progressing of history via predictable laws, rather than saying that he endowed creation with those powers so that it could look after itself), it is certainly functional deism. Deistic-type thinking, by the way, is not a product of the enlightenment; it was well articulated by the Greek philosophers a couple of millennia before - I don't like the present tendency of some theologians to assign every theological position they don't agree with to the Enlightenment as if it were supporters of certain theologies alone who are uniquely able to think outside of those categories!).

Theistic evolution is functional deism, because it teaches that God's mode of creation is naturalistic. Or, as we might want to put it to make clear we're not confused about God's immanance, it is through God's ordinary and predictable workings, as opposed to his supernatural and extraordinary workings. The category of supernatural intervention is not an inherently Enlightenment idea; it is throughtout the Bible - the moon stands still, water turns into blood, the dead are raised, etcetera. Any theology that doesn't recognise this distinction is not a superior one that's climbed out of the Enlightenment straitjacket - it's simply heresy.

Genesis 1, when analysed in light of this Biblical distinction, presents us with a creation that was through distinct, immediate, supernatural interventions that are in the past: not through a long, gradualistic process that is still ongoing. It does not only refute the pagan idea that some god of the Babylonians did it and that in fact it was Yahweh. It also refutes the naturalistic idea that the material world has sufficient inherent powers in itself as to be able to organise itself, whether the theoretical basis of that idea is full-blown deism or through God's immanence. That's why I say that theistic evolution is really deism.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Original sin, again

I don't know this guy or his music, but here's an extract from Justin Taylor's blog:

Former Contemporary Christian Music singer Ray Boltz--known for his song "Thank You," as well as "Watch the Lamb," "The Anchor Holds," and "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb"--divorced his wife last year and has now gone public with the news that he is gay. The LGBT newspaper, Washington Blade, has the exclusive profile and the story.

The profile closes with Boltz saying, “This is what it really comes down to,” he says. “If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself."


There are many things that could be said in response to arguments like the above. But the most glaring problem is that Mr. Boltz's argument for adopting a homosexual lifestyle entirely bypasses the whole doctrine of original sin. i.e. The idea that there may be more to way we are now than how God originally made man in his perfect state. i.e. What you happen to desire is not automatically right just because you desire it.

Ultimately Boltz's words above are pure Pelagianism - he assumes that it's not possible that his desires in any way could be corrupted by sin, and so he reasons that if he desires something then this must be part of God's purpose for him. How far does this argument go, we wonder? If Mr. Boltz found his desires wandering towards theft, adultery, polygamy or paedophilia is that OK too?

This kind of reasoning is just totally off-the-wall if you began studying Christianity earlier than 2 minutes ago...

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The (consistent) atheist's ten commandments

The (Consistent!) Atheist's Ten Commandments

  1. You shall look after yourself. You've got to look after number one, because Nobody else will.

  2. You shall only ever worship what you can see. Nothing else exists, remember! Worship money, worship possessions, worship power, worship fame, worship your career, worship sex. Never ask why it is that humans have this in-built need to worship something; that won't get you anywhere!

  3. You shall not blaspheme the name of Darwin by questioning his theories. If anyone starts looking critically at Darwin, mayhem may break loose. Do you want to live under the Taleban?

  4. You shall use all your time as you see fit. Even though you cannot explain where time came from. Or why it exists in the first place! Just take it for granted and do whatever seems right with it.

  5. It was blind chance that gave you your parents, and they are less highly evolved than you in any case. Once they get old you should shove them into some dreadful hole where nobody will look after them. Better still, be a more consistent Darwinist and bump the weaklings off before they use up any more precious resources. Human beings are ultimately just super-evolved maggots – they have no unique dignity – so put the old dears to some use and make their remains fertilise the garden. Haven't you heard of evolution through the survival of the fittest?

  6. You can and should kill anyone and everyone you can, because if they can't defend themselves then their genes didn't deserve to survive in any case. Unless we rid ourselves of the inferior genes, evolution will be much delayed. Off to the gas chambers!

  7. You shall fornicate like a rabbit. You really need to, because the only way you'll survive after death is via your offspring. Your genes are selfish, and demand to be replicated. Sticking to your spouse will limit your chances greatly! Try out whatever takes your fancy, and don't bother with wondering why you feel so degraded afterwards.

  8. There is no such thing as stealing. Nature favours the strong, and resources are limited. Fill your boots with what you can!

  9. Truth and falsehood are illusions. We came from nothing and are going to nothing; don't let yourself be shackled by fantasy notions such as ultimate right and wrong. We humans can make our own truth! Don't listen to your conscience. It is lying when it tells you that you'll be held accountable for your deeds. Except that I said lying is an illusion. I think I need to think about this one a bit more.

  10. Greed is good! You are the ultimate reality, and desire is what drives the evolutionary machine. Rape, pillage and plunder, my friend! Never ask why it never seems to satisfy you – this too is an illusion.

Happily most atheists aren't very consistent. Atheism can't actually work in the world that really exists – the one that God created. Therefore most atheists have to live some other way instead. They have to live mostly as if something like the Bible's set of rules was right after all. Wouldn't it be better to believe something that actually makes life work? There's a reason Christianity works in real life: because it's true.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Viva la evolution?

Here's a response by me to a piece by Dr. Denis Alexander in "Third Way Magazine", promoting his new book "Creation or Evolution - Do we have to choose?":

Viva la evolution? -

Dr. Alexander teaches that science may provide results which can be treated as divine revelation, equivalent to Scripture, and may then be used in order to control the exegesis of Scripture itself. This teaching is wrong, and contrary to the teaching of the historic Christian church. It is unbiblical, and its results disastrous, as man's blundering efforts to investigate creation then muffle out the clear testimony of God in the Bible. Go follow the link and read to find out more!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Original sin, illustrated

Two small children are playing in the garden. They are the children of the lady doing some of our washing. As I walk past, I notice that they're both wanting to play with a single push-car. The bigger child is keeping the smaller one off it. Inside the house we have another, so I get it out.

What happens? Yup... now both children abandon the first push-car, and squabble over the second instead!

In what does children's innocence exist? The answer of Augustine of Hippo was that it does not exist in their selfish, unspoilt or unfallen natures... it exists in their limbs not being big and strong enough to carry out all that they'd like to!