Thursday, November 14, 2013

Church schools: The Times says... Lambeth Palace says...


Apparently, the Archbishop of Canterbury told Ruth Gledhill of The Times that he supports church schools which abandon their religious selection criteria and open their doors to all pupils. He said there is a "deeper and deeper commitment to the common good" within church schools and a steady move away from faith-based entry tests. Allowing children the chance to apply to faith schools helps the church achieve its mission of alleviating poverty, he added.

Ms Gledhill (or her sub-editor) chose to make something of this which is not only unhelpful, but a little misleading, for nothing quoted here signifies that the Church of England is intending to "move away" from school selection on the basis of faith. It is perfectly possible to support schools which impose no faith-based selection criteria as well as those that do, and for those which do select by faith to be committed to the common good and the alleviation of poverty: in other words, selection by faith and the Christian mission are not mutually exclusive.  

The wonderful Venerable Jan McFarlane, Acting Press Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury, had to interrupt her Horlicks at midnight last night to issue the following statement:
In the course of a wide ranging interview for The Times on the subject of tackling poverty, the Archbishop of Canterbury was asked about the role of schools. He praised the work of church schools especially in areas of highest deprivation, and stressed the importance of home, family and excellent school leadership.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued the following statement regarding selection criteria for church schools:-

“I fully support the current policy for schools to set their own admissions criteria, including the criterion of faith. Nothing in my wider comments to The Times on this subject should be seen as “revealing” any changes nor dissenting from current policy.” The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Church of England schools are among the best state schools in the country, and are frequently oversubscribed. Of course, as Archbishop Justin says, it is not necessary to select to get a really good school: "There are unbelievably brilliant schools that are entirely open to all applicants without selection criteria apart from residence, where you live, and which produce staggeringly good results."

And he is astute enough to know the reason for this: "It's a question of - and you can point to them all over the place - it's a question of outstanding leadership."

Mission belongs to God and flows from the heart of God: it is not an exclusively human activity. There is perhaps no more vital a role for a mission-orientated church than engagement in the task of education, to help impart truth, forge peace, renew creation and tell of the redemption of humanity and the coming Kingdom. It is distinct from evangelisation - indeed, it is much bigger: it is not the task of church schools to convert children: it is, as Moltmann puts it, to embrace all activities that serve to liberate man from his slavery. Evangelism has to be the focus of mission, but expressed through love and transmitted and fostered by moral leadership.

A Christian education is values-orientated: poverty is alleviated and ignorance dispelled through pastoral care as much as classroom learning. Archbishop Justin is concerned with children's spiritual development as well as their intellectual and physical development, and that ministry is certainly not confined to the children of believers. Church schools sow seeds; some of them fall on stony ground, others on fertile soil. But make no mistake, a church school that is well led and based securely on a Christian ethos, manifesting a culture of values, inculcating character virtues, will equip children of all faiths and none for life.

One might almost say that church schools exist for the unbelieving and non-believing: there is no "move away" from faith-based admissions. In truth, in very many Church of England schools, they never really existed. Some of them are now filled with very happy Muslims, Sikh and Hindu children, and their parents are very happy indeed.

116 Comments:

Blogger Jane McQueen said...

In 2013 we should no longer be selecting a school for a child based on which belief that their parent has, this should be scrapped as soon as possible. Along with religious exemptions to equality laws too.


And remember these are not church of england schools, they are state schools that are run by the church and funded by the taxpayer. So to use my taxes in a discriminatory way is well wrong, and i am sure many other people would agree on that point.

14 November 2013 09:39  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

As Your Grace notes, it was either
"Ms Gledhill (or her sub-editor)". But which? Whodunit? With or without accomplices? And what was the motive?

14 November 2013 10:15  
Blogger Len said...

It is wrong to use my taxes as a Christian to indoctrinate my child in school in 'evolutionary' theories and to promote 'gay agendas'.

How un- liberal are 'liberals' when it comes to a 'level playing field'?.

14 November 2013 10:22  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Mrs McQueen:

I pay taxes too, and decry the use of them to support ardently-secularist assumptions being rolled out in state education. In one instance known personally to me, a local church school was run by a headmistress with precisely the same views as your own who sought to efface all traces of religion in "her" school. As a taxpayer, I wholly objected to her discriminatory approach, which I regarded as being "well[,] wrong", and found many other people agreed on that point.

The best solution, it seems to me, is to allow people to make up their own minds in local communities. Since faith schools often receive substantial support from the local religious community (both in terms of hours of time given freely, and financial support) it is hardly surprising that many families find their ethos, outlook, and way of doing things preferable to the soulless dross that is offered up in other more enlightened parts of the country. Even if a good few of them don't believe themselves.

14 November 2013 10:25  
Blogger Martin said...

Like others I object to children being taught the doctrines of other religions than my own as 'facts'. That includes the Atheists who think it their right to have the pseudo-science of Evolution taught as a fact with no questioning of its claims. I, too, am a tax payer & should have a say in what is taught.

As for the sexual perversion we are supposed to allow 'rights' these days, it is justifiable to discriminate against such.

I also worry that the ABC seems to think it is the job of God's Church, or even his little part of it, to alleviate poverty. The task of the Church is to be faithful to what we have been taught and spread the good news of God's offer of salvation. Perhaps the ABC missed the reading of the first part of John 12:8.

14 November 2013 10:46  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Martin:

"I also worry that the ABC seems to think it is the job of God's Church, or even his little part of it, to alleviate poverty. The task of the Church is to be faithful to what we have been taught and spread the good news of God's offer of salvation. Perhaps the ABC missed the reading of the first part of John 12:8."

Why should the two things be mutually exclusive? Perhaps you might consider Matthew 25:31-46. That poverty will always exist until Jesus returns merely tells us how long our commission to serve the poor will last.

14 November 2013 10:53  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Martin

It is certainly the task of the church to proclaim the gospel to all the world, but part of that does involve bringing good news to the poor, freedom for captives, and sight to the blind.

These are all part of the church's mission, and one aspect does not nullify the others.

If God's own people, who are called by his name, do not concern themselves with alleviating poverty, who is going to do it? Not the secularist lobby, for sure.

You do not get many soup kitchens at the National Secular Society.



Frater minor

14 November 2013 10:56  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

Oh dear Martin, once you start claiming evolution is a pseudo-science you lose all credibility. Even the church of england accepts that evolution is scientific fact, hell so does the bloke in the funny hat in Rome. We have mountains of evidence to substantiate evolution and well you have nothing really to say that your version of creationism is right.


Religion imo, has no place in schools it belongs in your home or your place of worship and no other place, and most defiantly not funded with taxation.

14 November 2013 11:08  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

pseudo-science of Evolution

What a Numpty - who needs an atheist to discredit a religion with guys like this on the loose?

14 November 2013 11:16  
Blogger Martin said...

Janet

You do realise that science does not deal in facts, but in the best available current knowledge? To say that something is a scientific fact reveals that you don't know what you are talking about.

As far as Evolution is concerned I've yet to see a demonstration of the descent of all life from an original form, that's the evidence I require of Evolution. Curiously all we have is just-so stories from believers in Evolution who carefully interpret and manipulate the evidence to support their claims.

Curiously I'm not over inclined to believe what any bishop says, unless supported by the Bible. Bishops, whether of Rome or Canterbury, have a reputation of talking through their funny hats.

You seem quite happy to have your own religion taught in schools despite claiming it is no place for such.

14 November 2013 11:31  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Frater Minor:

"You do not get many soup kitchens at the National Secular Society."

Or for that matter, fairly consistently high-performing schools.

Mrs McQueen:

"Religion imo, has no place in schools it belongs in your home or your place of worship and no other place, and most defiantly not funded with taxation."

Since I am unable to so divorce my religious self - I am religious everywhere I go, it "infects" (to use a popular phrase) every aspect of my life and actions - I can only take your persistence in associating tax paying with secularism to imply that you won't be wanting my religiously-tainted pounds in this secular pool of money.

No? Then accept that you have one voice amongst many, and that you can no more dictate that the religious have no place in modern society than the religious can dictate that the irreligious and the atheistic can hold no public office.

14 November 2013 11:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Fascinating. When Rowan Williams wanted to clarify a point he published in the New Statesman, presumably in the sure and certain knowledge that the Bishops and Clergy were all subscribers.

When Justin Welby wants to set the record straight...

14 November 2013 11:33  
Blogger Martin said...

For those who think that I was hard on the ABC for concentrating on 'alleviating poverty', when has he spoken on sin and the need for salvation? I've certainly seen nothing on his Twitter account.

14 November 2013 11:34  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 November 2013 11:35  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

@Dreadnaught. Children in UK state schools are already being taught to disbelieve in evolution because they are force-fed the nonsense of people being "born gay". That is not compatible with evolution or science.

14 November 2013 11:37  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

I sent my children to Church of
England schools so i can't deny the right of others to do so. I was very happy with the results.

14 November 2013 11:39  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

NB They both believe in evolution!

14 November 2013 11:40  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

@ Anonymous in Belfast.
Well said!

14 November 2013 11:41  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

Oh martin, a scientific fact - an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true. Which is what Evolution, Gravity, Hubble's law of cosmic expansion, Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, Newton's Laws of Motion, Laws of Thermodynamics and so on. That's what a scientific fact is.


Plus there is no "religion" of evolution, we don't all congregate in a cold dusty building on a Sunday and praise Charles Darwin. Evolution is on par with all the above laws and theories in science yet i don't see you or other fundamentalists questioning those?


But on another point, do keep up the nonsense, as its fundamentalists who are the greatest asset when it comes to achieving a totally secular state. And as you seem to put such great standing in your old book, i do hope you follow all the rules in it we wouldn't want you to be considered a pick'n'mix sort of person now would we.

14 November 2013 12:05  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

Oh and people have been going on about "oh there is no secular this or that". You do all know the largest humanitarian charity movement, that being the International Red Cross Movement, is a secular organisation and was set up by an atheist.


And not only is responsible for massive amounts of good around the world, but played a key part in the foundation of international law surrounding war and the treatment of POW's and the injured.


And on top of that 70% of all charities are secular in nature. But yeah secularists and atheists do nothing to help people do they.

14 November 2013 12:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Julia Gasper,

Brilliant point !

Gave me a chuckle.

14 November 2013 12:14  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Mrs McQueen:

Given that my wife works for them, I know better than most the kind of work done by the Red Cross/Crescent/Diamond. However, you have misunderstood and misapplied the quite developed sense of neutrality which the ICRC promotes in aligning it with your more aggressive secularist worldview.

The Red Cross deliberately avoids affinities because its purpose is to avoid enflaming local sensitivities. It is not "secularist" in the sense that it promotes, or wishes to produce a secular society, it is secular in order to maximise the number of people who it can reach. This leaves it open to many forms of criticism on a political front: it will not, as many other NGOs now do, specifically condemn political movements, even when they are responsible for much of the violence it seeks to alleviate in war-torn countries. This does not, naturally, imply that it supports or condones them either (although its refusal to "take sides" has often resulted in it being accused of tacitly doing so).

So in that sense it is a deliberate and conscious form of detached secularity - and certainly not one that shares much with your aim to have a "totally secular state". If such secularism was actually being advocated by most secularists, I would be inclined to agree with them - but I would also recall that such an idea of secular as being distinct from but not necessarily in opposition to religious or political beliefs has its roots in medieval political thought, and as such, is very much bequeathed to us by Christendom.

14 November 2013 12:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Incidentally, Moynier - one of the co-founders of the Red Cross, thought that the development of the rules of law were "the direct fruit of Christianity".

14 November 2013 12:29  
Blogger David Hussell said...

As one who has studied Geology, and specifically Paleontology, I think that evolution, as a hypothesis, offers a reasonable rough and ready sort of explanation for the mechanism of the development of physical life on our planet. However it is certainly not a "fact," and neither is any scientific theory. They are merely useful models for taking us forward towards other discoveries, and have to be constantly modified as our knowledge expands and changes. The fragility of Newtonian Mechanics, that the Victorians considered solid, safe and "the answer" to all Physics, but was heavily modified by the work of the theoretical Physicists such as Einstein and beyond up to us now, with the Hadron Collider, illustrates all that.

How it does amuse me that it is usually the Arts graduates, not those with a smattering of science, as myself, who place such utter, almost religious faith in the "facts" of science. Read some History and Philosophy of Science to see the broader and much more interesting wider perspective, I would urge. It's all much more uncertain than that, and more interesting. Science provides possible explanations, answers the "how", but never yields "facts", and certainly not values or answers to "why".

14 November 2013 12:30  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I looked this up to check, and yes, as I thought I had correctly remembered, Henry Dunant (generally acknowledged as the principle founder) was not an atheist - he was in fact a Bible-believing evangelical. Or, as you might say, Mrs McQueen, a religious fundamentalist.

14 November 2013 12:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jane McQueen

Believe what what you like, but at least be consistent. Don't try to steal religious concepts like virtue and meaning simply to make your life more palatable. Admit they don't exist and take your place in the ranks with Nietzsche.

Oh, and don't complain when the Vogons show up to harvest you for food. After all, you are nothing but a glorified hydrocarbon chain.

carl

14 November 2013 13:21  
Blogger Martin said...

Jane

Evolution may be accepted as true but it has never been demonstrated. So no, it is no sort of fact. Those who promote it are snake oil salesmen, not scientists.

As to religion, did you not know it is the creation myth of the Atheist? The way of the Atheist is not to meet with fellow believers and worship one outside themselves but to describe to each other how clever they are and boast of their accomplishments. To do whatever they wish for they are their god.

And that is, of course, why a secular state is doomed to disintegration. Selfishness abounds as it is the main reason why you abandon your knowledge of God.

14 November 2013 13:26  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Ms Gasper - Are you obsessed? Not a thread goes by without you trying to divert it in to your own forte.

14 November 2013 13:28  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Evolution may be accepted as true but it has never been demonstrated

Blatant lie.

14 November 2013 13:30  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

As one who has studied Geology, and specifically Paleontology

You need a more appropriate 'ology may I refer you to study Genetic Biology.

14 November 2013 13:37  
Blogger Martin said...

Dreadnought

So can you tell me when anyone demonstrated the descent of all life from an original form? Else you can stop talking about 'blatant lies'.

As to genetics, since it is primarily about information you need to demonstrate how new information can come into existence from thin air.

14 November 2013 13:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Charity's a tricky thing. It's not just the giving, but the motive. Those who donate anonymously might not show up in statistics.

In 'Down and Out and Paris and London', Orwell observes that kitchen plongeurs were given two bottles of wine a day. That sounds generous, until he continues that the Management knew that if a plongeur is not given two he will steal three.

Generous giving, but from self-interested motives.

14 November 2013 14:06  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB, with respect, the taxes you pay in NI don't pay for NI. England even pays for your water. However, as to your point of the red cross being secular "... in order to maximise the number of people who it can reach" isn't this precisely the point of a secular education? It doesn't say "God doesn't exist" or "Christianity is wrong", it just says, "believe what you like, we're just trying to equip you to get a job and pay for Northern Ireland's water supply here..."

Martin said "As far as Evolution is concerned I've yet to see a demonstration of the descent of all life from an original form". Perhaps you could ask God to repeat his act of creation in front of your eyes before you accept Genesis, then? Then you could hassle Adam and Eve for being brazenly nude.

Carl but surely God created the Vogons and our collective harvesting was in his plan? When Golgotha is consumed to make way for a motorway, where is your salvation?! I'm being silly, but I suggest Christianity (and indeed any other faith that suggests we're the absolute cat's whiskers) would collapse into irrelevance in the event of discovery of extra terrestrial intelligence.

Or even terrestrial intelligence, come to that.

14 November 2013 14:19  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen,
Dreadnaught,
and
Martin

Am I in a minority of one on this thread? Am I the only one to find it annoying that the three of you have got together to hijack the real issue and turn it into a petty squabble about creationism and evolution?

Like millions upon millions of my fellow Christians, I find this a non-issue. Fundamentalists who reject evolution as being supposedly incompatible with the early chapters of Genesis are a minority within the Christian churches. In Judaism, interestingly, where the the five books of the Torah (the Pentateuch) are accorded a privileged status aproximately equivalent to the status of the four Gospels in the Christian churches, you don't seem to hear very much at all about this supposed incompatibility.

Can we please move on now to the next point?

14 November 2013 14:34  
Blogger Martin said...

Jon

The not so subtle difference between Evolution & Creation is that Evolution is claimed to be science & science requires repeated observation. Creation was a once only miracle & we have the eye-witness account of it.

14 November 2013 14:36  
Blogger Len said...

There is a new book out 'Darwins Doubts'(even Darwin was not as sure as some of the Evolutionists?)When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.

(Unlike Darwin I have no' doubts' at all about the Creator God.)

14 November 2013 14:40  
Blogger Martin said...

Uncle Brian

I would suggest that you would also like to exclude Jesus from your majority. He certainly regarded Adam & Eve as real people who lived at the Beginning.

14 November 2013 14:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

No need to get all high and mighty UB - I can assure you there is no collusion - it happens in all public threads. Surely you don't support unchallenged statements of stupidity.

In 2008 the CoE website published:
‘Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still.
But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests.’
The article has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the director of mission and public affairs of the Archbishops’ Council, the Church’s managing body, which is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Origin of Species - Revolutionary: Darwin's best-known book, published in 1859.

Dr Brown writes: ‘People, and institutions, make mistakes and Christian people and Churches are no exception. When a big new idea emerges that changes the way people look at the world, it’s easy to feel that every old idea, every certainty, is under attack and then to do battle against the new insights.

‘The Church made that mistake with Galileo’s astronomy and has since realised its error. Some Church people did it again in the 1860s with Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

'So it is important to think again about Darwin’s impact on religious thinking, then and now.’
Dr Brown argues that there is nothing incompatible between the scientific theories adopted by Darwin and Christian teaching


In his article, Dr Brown writes:
‘His [Darwin’s] theory caused offence because it challenged the view that God had created human beings as an entirely different kind of creation to the rest of the animal world.
But while it is not difficult to see why evolutionary thinking was offensive at the time, on reflection it is not such an earth-shattering idea.’










14 November 2013 14:53  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Martin

I would suggest that you would also like to exclude Jesus from your majority. He certainly regarded Adam & Eve as real people who lived at the Beginning.

That's an interesting point you raise, Martin. To the best of my knowledge, the name Adam occurs six times in the New Testament: twice each in 1 Cor. and 1 Tim., once in Romans, and once in Jude. Not even a single solitary mention in any of the Gospels.

The name Eve, on the other hand, occurs nowhere at all in the New Testament. Not in the Gospels, not in the Epistles, not in Acts, not in Revelation.

So may I invite you to adduce some evidence for your assertion about what Jesus "certainly" believed?

14 November 2013 15:30  
Blogger Martin said...

Brian

Try:

“And Jesus answered and said to them, "Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. "But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."” (Mark 10:5-9 NKJV)

14 November 2013 15:46  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Martin. As I said, Jesus doesn't actually mention the names Adam and Eve. Ever since living creatures first appeared on earth, there have been two sexes, male and female. I don't think even the most radical secularist-Darwinist would claim that there wae ever a time when there were three sexes, or four sexes, or only one sex.

I would however like to take the opportunity to correct an error in my earlier post: the name Adam does in fact occur once in the Gospel of Luke, at the end of the genealogy presented in reverse chronological order (Luke 3:38).

May I repeat my earlier appeal to everybody posting comments here, to drop this creationism v. evolution argument for the time being, or to take it somewhere else, possibly a poorly lit alley behind a pub somewhere in the neighbourhood of the Millwall football ground, where you can all fight it out to your hearts' content. The question of state schools administered by religious groups -- whether Anglican, Presbyterian, Cetholic, Jewish, Muslim, or any other -- is a much broader and much deeper issue that deserves the airing that His Grace was trying to give it before the thread got hijacked by fundamentalists on both sides of the Darwin divide.

14 November 2013 16:35  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

Well Brian, that all depends what you consider to be the way we measure what sex someone is. If you take the genetic markers, well then there are numerous different combinations of sex chromosomes; aside from the XX or XY. So no there is not just 2 sexes if you look at it from a biological point of view.

14 November 2013 17:12  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

I'm sorry my appeal fell on deaf ears. To back up your assertion about the number of sexes, would you kindly name a species, either animal or vegetable, in which reproduction requires copulation between three or more individuals, each one of a differet sex.

14 November 2013 17:28  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

"And as you seem to put such great standing in your old book, i do hope you follow all the rules in it we wouldn't want you to be considered a pick'n'mix sort of person now would we."

First find your witch, then cook to 200 degrees...

14 November 2013 17:32  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Ever since living creatures first appeared on earth, there have been two sexes, male and female. I don't think even the most radical secularist-Darwinist would claim that there wae ever a time when there were three sexes, or four sexes, or only one sex.
Now who’s going off thread - Never heard of an hermaphrodite Uncle Brian? Pay attention and sit up straight!
‘Hermaphrodite
An organism (plant or animal) having both male and female reproductive organs.
Or
An organism having both male and female organs, therefore, is capable of producing both male and female gametes.
A plant hermaphrodite for instance has both staminate and carpellate organs. In animals such as some pulmonate and opisthrobranch snails and slugs can act as either the male or female in a sexual reproduction. In humans, the term is used to describe an individual possessing both male and female organs. However, that individual may not be considered a true case of hermaphroditism since usually one of the two gonads present may not be functional. A true hermaphrodite refers to an individual in which both gonads are functional.
Hermaphrodites may be: simultaneous hermaphrodite - organism with both male and female reproductive organs at the same time.
or
sequential hermaphrodite - organism having one type of reproductive organ early in life and then the other type later in life.
What does your Bible have to say on this Uncle Brian?

14 November 2013 17:56  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Dear Jane

You said:
"And remember these are not church of england schools, they are state schools that are run by the church and funded by the taxpayer. So to use my taxes in a discriminatory way is well wrong, and i am sure many other people would agree on that point. "

Let's bring the truth in here.
It was the Church that paid to build these schools, not the government. When the government belatedly decided to get involved with schools then the Church and the state cooperated, and continue to cooperate.

So let's tell the truth here: They are Church schools. If the government wants to build their own schools they can.

The Church built schools as part of its care towards society when and where the government was doing nothing. A bit disappointing to have such care and love abused.

14 November 2013 18:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jon

I suggest Christianity (and indeed any other faith that suggests we're the absolute cat's whiskers) would collapse into irrelevance in the event of discovery of extra terrestrial intelligence.

Subjects in Christian apologetics that I don't lay awake at night worrying about: "The appearance of aliens in the skies over New York."

But let's assume for the sake of argument that it happens. The primary impact wouldn't be the radical diminution of religion so much as the radical diminution of man. We would be revealed as the irrelevant accidents of existence that we are. And nothing would bring that home faster than less-than-benign aliens who come to exploit us for their own benefit. Movies present heroic man repelling the alien invaders. The reality would be starkly different.

Star Trek became popular because it presented an image of man standing awthart the universe as peers of other species. It's underlying message was "Man is destined to dominate." People resonated with that vision because it flatters all men and so by extension themselves. But that is the fiction part of science fiction. When space-travelling aliens come looking for a food source, man will resist as effectively as cows in the meat processing plant. That is what we would become in your vision.

You live in a world of hopeless contradiciton. Where life is meaningless but still has purpose. Where men are not subject to moral authority but right and wrong still exist. Where man is an accident but still has significance. To make your life palatable, you have borrowed from religion certain concepts that you cannot justify in terms of your own world view. But to preserve your moral freedom, you have rejected the God that makes those concepts comprehensible. And you do this because if you ever once had to consistently face the terrible silent empty dead universe that you choose to inhabit, you would recoil in horror. You would follow Nietzsche into insanity. So you pretend instead.

You never answered my primary point, you see. Why shouldn't the Vogons harvest us for food? What significance do we possess that would bind them against their interest? Evolution provides us with none. We haven't the power to enforce our own will. So what remains but being an appetizer on a menu?

carl

14 November 2013 18:27  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Dreadnaught

Of course there are hermaphrodites. I would imagine that even in Judea in the Herodian period that fact was already known, so that your argument has no bearing, as far as I can see, on the question of what Jesus did or didn't say about Adam and Eve.

You list various forms of hermaphroditism, including snails which may be male at one time but female at another time. In each case you are describing an individual that in one way or another, or at one time or another, presents both male and female characteristics. "Female": let us label that "Sex A". "Male": let us label that "Sex B". For there to be a third sex, there would have to be a "Sex C" whose characteristics are also found, either synchronically or diachronically, in the same individual. Is there such a "Sex C"?

This argument about hermaphroditism, like Jane McQueen's argument about X and Y chromosomes, boil down to a question of language. We all know that the great majority of individuals can easily be classified as either male or female and that there are also some individuals that are not so easily classified. Whether these other individuals are to described as belonging to a "Sex C" or a "Sex D", or whether they should properly be described as somehow possessing an unusual combination of "Sex A" characteristics and "Sex B" characteristics, is a question of language, not of biology, not of religion, and not of Darwinism or creationism. I truly wish that this thread could get back to the question of schools.

14 November 2013 18:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jon

If you don't know them, may I recommend two essays by C S Lewis: 'The Seeing Eye', and 'Religion and Rocketry'?

The second, in particular, deals exactly with the issue you raise.

14 November 2013 18:46  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

See this is the one thing you can guarantee when you talk to religious people and it gets on to sex; in that they think to reproduce you need one male and one female. Which is well biologically a nonsense, there are 100's of species that reproduce through an asexual method not requiring a partner to reproduce at all. Yes, most of these animals are relatively simple in there cellular make up, there have been documented cases of parthenogenesis in some rather complex organisms, sharks are a good example of this.


Along side this reptiles have been known to reproduce with either partners of the same sex or opposite sex and produce healthy live offspring.


So this idea that you need a male and a female to make a new baby is not actually correct. Plus with the advancements being made in the field of IVF along the lines of artificial sperm and eggs, produced from human stem cells its probably not going to be to long in the scheme of things before we could, hypothetically, do away with the need of males in reproduction all together.

14 November 2013 18:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



The Times isn’t what it was, you know. Used to be a damn good read, and a broadsheet too. And what’s more, this kind of supposition would never have been tolerated in the past. Questions would have been asked in the House. Blasted journalists, making it up as they go along, what !

One hopes that ++Welby is concerning himself with spiritual poverty rather than material. This being with the sound knowledge that there are a multitude of agencies concerned with the latter, but almost nothing with the former. Priorities, old chap. One does suspect you peep at this blog, so there you go. Your business told for you…

One notes that dreadful woman Miss McQueen is back again. Her atheist sermons and general bullying manner chills the blood, don’t you think. Lord knows what these intolerant types would have done to us believers if they had their way. Having said that, the literal bible loons are just as bad. God did not petrify Lot’s wife. She had a stroke, you clowns, it happens to old people…





14 November 2013 18:54  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

Oh dear, here we go again. The question I addressed to you at 17:28 was this:

To back up your assertion about the number of sexes, would you kindly name a species, either animal or vegetable, in which reproduction requires copulation between three or more individuals, each one of a differet sex.

Do you understand that your latest comment, posted at 18:51, does not answer this question? Or are you only pretending not to understand that?

14 November 2013 19:08  
Blogger Jane McQueen said...

Oh there are huge amounts of plant's that require a third party to allow for reproduction to occur. Take the list of plants that require pollination by bee's for example, without the action of the bee the male and female of that plant species would die out. So there is a list of a hundred or so of the bat which require a third party that is not of the same sex as the original; hell they are not even of the same species.


14 November 2013 19:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Something not quite right with queer people, but there’s no telling them...

Do you bat for the other side too, madam ?

14 November 2013 19:25  
Blogger Owl said...

Jane,

I can't quite make my mind up whether you are just trying to wind people up or if you are being serious.

If you are being serious then you are out of your depth.

For example, Henri Dunant was born in Geneva and surprisingly enough was Calvinist.

None of the reports that he became an agnostic in his last years have been substantiated. Even if this was true, the Red Cross was founded over 40 years previous to his supposed change of heart, i.e. at the time he was a professing Christian.

He never was an Atheist.

Do you get your facts from Wiki?

14 November 2013 19:29  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

Your latest comment, posted at 19:19, I take as your final admission that you have no answer to my question. It would have saved us all a lot of time and trouble if you had conceded defeat earlier.

Back to the question of schools, now?

14 November 2013 19:34  
Blogger bluedog said...

Carl @ 18.27, that's a very good post on a topic that really is the elephant in the room. Our species patrols the near-abroad of the Universe in a desperate search for life that we might recognise. But what if?

14 November 2013 19:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I would imagine that even in Judea in the Herodian period that fact was already known...

I would too; I would also imagine the human ones would be warmly welcomed into the fold or not. Are there any could you say, biblical references to such natural phenomena that would enable creationist schools and teachers to address this question.

14 November 2013 20:24  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Jon:

With regards to tax, I am not Northern Ireland, you are not England. We both pay tax - you probably (almost certainly) pay more than me, because you earn more, but that's about it. When the pounds get into the exchequer they don't depreciate according to origin.

On the subject of secular schools, the point you make is a good one - and indeed you will see in my post that I am sympathetic to that kind of approach. The issue I take is with insisting on it as a political ideology: it would be rather like insisting that all charities ought to be identical to the Red Cross. It's also a slight sleight of hand to move from determining how public money is spent (in which the religious, surely, have a say, despite secularists' attempts to deny them it), to assuming that the default ought to be along particular lines. My solution, outlined above, is to devolve to local communities and not issue a decree from on high that may well sit very comfortably in the part of Southern (I assume) England that you are typing from, but may not in, say, Tower Hamlets, or even God's own Isle.

14 November 2013 21:10  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Re the Red Cross.

A strange symbol, surely, for an atheist to choose?

14 November 2013 21:29  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Dreadnaught

I don't know the answer to your question, I'm afraid. I've just been on the phone to an Israeli friend who tells me that the word for hermaphrodite in modern Israeli Hebrew is "androginos", which looks like a word recently introduced -- a borrowing from Greek. If there is a word for it in the Old Testament, which she says she supposes there probably isn't, it would presumably be a word of Hebrew origin rather than a foreign borrowing.

14 November 2013 21:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack is very, very confused. What has all this talk about how babies are made, if men are men or not, snails and slugs, and even people from outer space got to do with schools run by churches?

14 November 2013 21:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Does anybody think that we should be talking about the "Common Good", the concept underpinning the C of E's rationale for the criteria for entry selection into their schools ?

We, including me, seem slightly off topic. Time for a end of watch, compass check and course correction perhaps ?

14 November 2013 21:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Explorer

A strange symbol, surely, for an atheist to choose?

Not for a Swiss.

Uncle Brian

I think it was the progeny of Hermes and Aphrodite - those naughty Greek Gods and Goddesses.

14 November 2013 22:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught @ 22:12

Good point; although he Swiss flag is white on red.

Since he was a Christian when he set up the Red Cross, that may have trumped everything else.

Interesting to speculate what his symbol might have been if he HAD been an atheist (I suspect something involving a circle), but I suppose we'll never know.

14 November 2013 22:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

*opens blog door and peeps in*

" Martin said...

For those who think that I was hard on the ABC for concentrating on 'alleviating poverty', when has he spoken on sin and the need for salvation? I've certainly seen nothing on his Twitter account. " It is truly mytifying and Ernst weeps that this crucial part of the message of salvation is lost on Lameth palace.

and

" Martin said...

Jane

Evolution may be accepted as true but it has never been demonstrated. So no, it is no sort of fact. Those who promote it are snake oil salesmen, not scientists." Global warming and it's certainty of scientific fact springs most readily to mind in comparison..all in opposition are extinct Dinosaurs (are there any other kinds of dinosaur?) *chortles in a Prehensile manner - able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.* and Deniers!!!

Old Dreaders repeated..

" Dreadnaught said...

Evolution may be accepted as true but it has never been demonstrated

Blatant lie." and "No need to get all high and mighty UB - I can assure you there is no collusion - it happens in all public threads. Surely you don't support unchallenged statements of stupidity."
Of course not, old fruit..That why all statements of stupidity stated by you are and must be immediately challenged!!!


"Am I in a minority of one on this thread? Am I the only one to find it annoying that the three of you have got together to hijack the real issue and turn it into a petty squabble about creationism and evolution?" well you appeared to be until... "Uncle Brian said...

Martin

I would suggest that you would also like to exclude Jesus from your majority. He certainly regarded Adam & Eve as real people who lived at the Beginning.

That's an interesting point you raise, Martin.... "

and

" Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Martin. As I said, Jesus doesn't actually mention the names Adam and Eve.... "

Then " Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

I'm sorry my appeal fell on deaf ears. To back up your assertion...."

but also

" Uncle Brian said...

Dreadnaught

Of course there are hermaphrodites. I would imagine...."

Finally??

" Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

Oh dear, here we go again. The question I addressed to you at 17:28 was this:..."

Errr, NO!

" Uncle Brian said...

Jane McQueen

Your latest comment, posted at 19:19, I take as your final admission"

How about " Uncle Brian said...

Dreadnaught

I don't know the answer to your question, I'm afraid. I've just been on the phone"

The term hook line and sinker is what Ernst sees was used as bait to drag you in, my deer chap! Good intentions but a lack of willpower and discipline to stick to principles whilst surveying blog's comments* Huge Guffaws and chuckles*
Is this the endddddddddddddddddd.?? We shall see.

Blofeld

" Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack is very, very confused." This can sometimes be the obvious reaction whilst reading through the blog, my boy...Confusion naturally follows!
(Closes blog door quietly and goes back to The World at War episode 4:
Alone: May 1940-May 1941...How appropriate) *sniggers to self*

14 November 2013 23:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack thanks Blowers for clearing things up for him!

15 November 2013 00:06  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Blofeld

Hello again Blowers. Did I let my good intentions run away with me? Well, it was fun while it lasted.

How's the health, Blowers? What did your MRI scan reveal? Surely you must have had the results by now?

Regards
Brian

15 November 2013 00:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

"Happy Jack thanks Blowers for clearing things up for him!" Always a delight to help me young apprentice grasp the realities of this log.
Never forget,Lad..Whatever happens to you, it will have previously happened to everyone you know on this blog, only more so. *Chortles, my boy*

Uncle Brian

"Blofeld

Hello again Blowers. Did I let my good intentions run away with me(Ever sooo slightly but not that much that anyone should notice *cackles*)? Well, it was fun while it lasted.(It tickled old Ernsty!). Old Ernst would not class his commenting on such matters as definitive as the only true 'experts' here on the blog is atheists such as old Dreaders..They show that an expert is a person who avoids the small errors in their arguments while sweeping on majestically to the grand fallacy.
The atheists prove the line that an easily understood, workable falsehood is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth. We have a right to our opinions. They just don't want to hear them."

"How's the health, Blower (Getting worse by the day, now my neck is playing me up something terrible in conjunction with me spine)? What did your MRI scan reveal (Promised an urgent scan, awaited the appointment for nearly three weeks on Monday, still nothing and left many messages on MRI hotline answerphone begging them to contact me (Would have more success at getting an answer back from a complaint made to the BBC than this lot!! )...NADA! Good Lord. If this is how they arrange an urgent MRI, God only knows how the arrange a standard appointment..Undeniably the NHS is in crisis!)? Surely you must have had the results by now (See above)?" who would want to e old in this country..It's all ignoring or abusing its needy elderly...It makes you understand the true value of having and keeping your health..

Blowers.

15 November 2013 00:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Uncle Brian

Don't know if you have offspring but are they all the same?

Spent last two days helping me eldest boy put together his competencies statements for a promotion interview to work for the Home Office abroad as an Immigration Liaison Officer. Showed him how to present them structurally (The situation, his task set, his actions and the successful outcome arrived at) orally and to anticipate any problems in advance by having a list of any potential answers ready from his statement in front of him at the interview.

He rings tonight to go over them again before his interview tomorrow and I then discover he has altered it all!!!

Do we all suffer as Dads or is it just me hard luck?

Blowers.

15 November 2013 01:19  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack wonders where Blowers Jnr got his independence from? As Daffy Duck might say: "What is it with you and your son? You act like you're his father or something!"

15 November 2013 01:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack wonders where Blowers Jnr got his independence from? As Daffy Duck might say: "What is it with you and your son? You act like you're his father or something!"

Sufferin' Succotash, that's desthpicable.
Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin.

Blowers

Tied out me neu spell chequer elbow frum 99pea store.


Eye halve a neu spelling chequer
Gut tit feur my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

15 November 2013 02:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Happy Jack wonders where Blowers Jnr got his independence from?"

Things Ernst discovered about toddlers and independence from his children better known as;

Toddler Property Laws or The 10 Commandments written in Lego.

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, its mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way or you will know about it.
6. If I am doing or building something, all the pieces are always mine.
7. If it looks like mine, IT IS MINE.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, IT'S YOURS!!

15 November 2013 02:12  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Jane McQueen.
I would hate you or your crony co-conspiratorial atheistic stroppy folk to get your hand ever on my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren or great great...well you get it!! Because your way of thinking has no awe or wonder or gratitude attached but is Gradgrindian misery. You look pretty unsmiling, anaemic and miserabilist in your photo, and seem to be perpetually very far from gruntled on this blog too.

Children are born alive and sparkling with awe, wonder, enthusiasm and indeed an assumption of eternity, as Traherne points out. Unless you find a way to recover these you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven and nor will people become happier when you enter the room.

And you have failed to understand the relationship between Church and State is such that it is the Church which subsidises the cost of education, and if the Church pulled out your taxes would rise considerably. I could go into the minutiae of reversionary trusts and the ownership of the land but you probably do not want that!!

Indeed because many well qualified Christians go into lesser well paid service professions because of a sense of vocation I think you will find that actually non-Christians do jolly well out of their Christian neighbours.

In fact you could hardly be more wrong, or "well wrong" as you would no doubt (sigh for the days of literacy) put it.

15 November 2013 03:43  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

At Dr. Wortle's School (of which I am a governor) we teach that atheists and humanists descend from apes. It might not be good science, but it doesn't half make us laugh...

15 November 2013 08:43  
Blogger Len said...

How do atheists explain the origin of life?.I can understand an 'adaption' within a species but what about the origin?.
This is a genuine question.

15 November 2013 09:15  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

No one has yet scientifically explained how 'Life' as we experience the phenomenon came to exist on this planet. Personally, I can't say the issue troubles me too much.

I am glad that at least your good self Len has the intelligence to differentiate between evolution theory and creation.

15 November 2013 10:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says that is a good question, Len! Atheists don't feel the need to explain this. All they do is say science is still looking. Jack thinks science is important but it will never be able to explain life or how all the universe came from nothing in the very beginning. It is important to search for answers though, as the more we discover the more we see the sheer wonder of God.

15 November 2013 12:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Jack thinks science is important but it will never be able to explain life or how all the universe came from nothing in the very beginning."

Monotheistic religion doesn't bother to consider how god came into being from nothing. The issue doesn't seem to trouble its adherents, they just define the issue away.

15 November 2013 13:28  
Blogger Len said...

God is Spirit and if we consider this how much do we know of the spirit world?.
We 'see' in the spirit world by faith and this the scientist cannot evaluate.
We can' see 'in the material world by 'science' this is what the topic was.

15 November 2013 13:44  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo
It isn't explained away, it is just a question of first causes. God is the first cause: "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth" (Gen. 1.1) and "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (John 1.1)

If you attempt to alter that to "in the beginning was the Big Bang" you are absolutely no less, and I would argue more, in the position where an inquisitve mind can ask "What or who caused that?", "What was before that?" Enough of this type of questions and eventually all scientists say "I Don't know" or "It's a mystery" or "we don't know yet".

Christians claim that the World was created out of Divine Love, and Joy for Divine Love and Joy. Put otherwise out of the Holy Spirit, for the showing forth of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of which are love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness and self control. When we encounter these things we feel satisfied and as if purposes are being fulfilled. Now Love and all these abstract nouns aren't that quantitavely measurable, but seem exceptionally important to me and to many others here.

Interestingly originally the Big Bang Theory was unpopular with many scientists precisely because it was seen as being too close to a metaphorical interpretation of Biblical narrative, and as "creatio ex nihilo" or something exceptionally close to the same.

15 November 2013 13:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "It isn't explained away, it is just a question of first causes."

It's essentially defined away, just like you have done there. It's all very well asserting that our reality needed a first cause from which to proceed and that a god provided it but that doesn't say anything about how the god itself came about. Perhaps it doesn't really matter that the god could well be part of a horde of god-like beings for all we know, each creating realities of their own to manage.

"Enough of this type of questions and eventually all scientists say "I Don't know" or "It's a mystery" or "we don't know yet"."

In as much as science is about investigating the world around us, that's certainly true.

15 November 2013 14:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Self-Assembling Molecules Offer Clues to Life’s Possible Origin.
Len Just out of interest and before this thread expires or resumes the irritating chat-shop forum many of the TROLLS here would prefer, you may care to look (with HG’s permission of course) up this link.

Obviously the question of ‘Why’life? I suspect will remain a point of bifurcation between science and religion as long as we live in an open society.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/proto-rna/

15 November 2013 16:01  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"Church of England schools are among the best state schools in the country, and are frequently oversubscribed" - yes, but I bet both of these facts will change. When my children went to a CofE school (later-1980s) it was a Christian school, and had children of some well-known Evangelicals alongside mine, and an Evangelical headmaster (I'm not Evangelical, but who cares ...). When CofE schools get secularised, and the Christian ethos gets lost (as it surely will) they'll soon cease to be good schools and oversubscribed. The children will be all taught to masturbate and have lots of abortions. What a world!

"pseudo-science of Evolution
What a Numpty - who needs an atheist to discredit a religion with guys like this on the loose?"
- The chances of evolutionism being totally discredited in the next 100 years must be very high ... what a pity people like Dreadbaught won't be around, then, to have to eat there words ...

15 November 2013 16:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

John Thomas

THEIR not there.

15 November 2013 17:08  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 November 2013 21:30  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

I've said this before but my older kids were "taught" RE by a militant atheist who put forth her ideology with the same warmth of humanity as our "friend" Jane McQueen.

They later said that this RE teacher strengthened their faith a great deal. My 5th child was removed permanently from RE lessons. He refused to be cowed argued from a Biblical perspective and write what he did not believe was true.

Atheists like Jane who think we should go back to the days of Stalin or Mao are like gold dust. Treasure them and give them a platform at every opportunity. They are some of Christianity's best recruiting sergeants.

Got a youth group? Put on a Dawkins video. Especially the ones where he describes how life began....which average 14 year old can see he clearly has no idea.

Don't argue, let them rant, it works every time!

Phil

15 November 2013 21:31  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Jane

I have to respond to this one

"But on another point, do keep up the nonsense, as its fundamentalists who are the greatest asset when it comes to achieving a totally secular state. And as you seem to put such great standing in your old book, i do hope you follow all the rules in it we wouldn't want you to be considered a pick'n'mix sort of person now would we."

I'm a Christian fundamentalist, but I don't really follow the rules in the old book. Nobody does, that is the main point of the "old book". Jesus followed the rules, but poured scorn on those that fastidiously followed the rules or were pic and mix.

Work that one out

Phil

15 November 2013 21:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hello Danjo, Happy Jack has just noticed your comment earlier today. Jack says no, he doesn't consider how God came into being. That's because he just is and has always been and will always be. And God didn't make himself he decided to reveal himself. And he can't be omnipotent if there are other gods, can he?

Happy Jack agrees with you that science and religion are different and when scientists say "we don't know" they should carry on looking. But how can they look behind this Big Bang when matter never existed and even time didn't exist? That takes some explaining!

Happy Jack thinks nobody can prove or disapprove God exists or what he is like. Jesus did show us but not everybody saw him or believe what his friends said and still say about him. This is about faith and not about evidence.

Don't you believe in God at all or even wonder about him?

15 November 2013 22:12  
Blogger non mouse said...

Exactly Happy Jack - That's because he just is and has always been and will always be.

The concept of the "WORD" points us in the direction of linguistics --- and to the meaning of "IS" and the verb "TO BE."

God IS; He is the "I AM."

In that existence: He is Omnipresent, as well as Omnipotent, Omniscient.

In Old English, "God" also means "GOOD" --- and our God indeed presents for us such abstract qualities as Goodness and Truth -- the measure of which our limited perceptions can only glimpse.

And then there's Love, for He is that. Within our miserable earthly capabilities, tradition limits human love to a scale of cupiditas to Caritas. Now those whose etymology is less limited may recognise the links to the Mod. English "Cupidity" and "Charity." That is: Love of physical and earthly things --> Love of Godly things.

If we can move towards the latter, in this life, we may hope for better things hereafter. But none of us will know for sure until we get there. That's the Faith bit.
---------------

Your Grace: I'm interested that when I was at school, all schools were in some sense CoE --- though perhaps Interdenominational in application. It was the Law, they told me when I didn't want to be bothered with RI. And I'm very glad they did insist on that.

Also, we were required to begin every day with an Assembly at which we sang hymns and said prayers. It was a wonderful adjunct to our studies, especially in terms of music and English -- the Language in which we conducted them (yes, even science and maths involve language).

However, one memory remains very dear to me ... of the Anthem we sang at the close of the meeting, when we turned outward to that challenging world. It is a prayer that still moves a person to accept His Guidance and His Presence:
God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.


Amen.

16 November 2013 04:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"That's because he just is and has always been and will always be."

You've just defined the god like that for convenience. For sure, relative to our reality one would think that would be the case but how did the god come about before our reality came into being?

"And he can't be omnipotent if there are other gods, can he? "

If you define your god as being the thing that maintains our reality moment by moment then I suppose it is indeed omnipotent as far as our reality goes but that doesn't necessarily imply that there aren't more gods wherever your god hangs out. Doesn't it bother you that a being so powerful must have got its power from somewhere else? There's the potential for an infinite regression there, albeit with differing types of existence in each case.

" Don't you believe in God at all or even wonder about him?"

I'm an atheist, so no to the first bit. Monotheism has defined its god and in your version it has a particular set of attributes, including some human-centric stuff. I find that all a bit weird. However, I'm a little more comfortable with the notion of a god as a creating thing, if only as a placeholder given we don't know and may never know the full nature of our reality. My problem with religion is that it leaps in superman bounds from that to something that (say) cares deeply about female priests. As for wondering, of course I wonder. Our reality fills me with wonder, our world is a fascinating and beautiful place in a universe which is beyond imagining in its size and potential.

16 November 2013 05:19  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hello again Danjo. Happy Jack doesn't know if its convenient or not to say what he thinks God is. As Jack said, he believes God just is. When he gave his name to Moses he showed us this so its not Jack's idea or anyone else's. Unless Moses made this all up, God's name tells us something about his nature. Nobody can know the full truth about God. Our minds are not equipped to do this. And God doesn't get his power from somewhere else or he wouldn't be God, would he?

Happy Jack doesn't understand what you mean by God as a "creating thing" as a "placeholder" but agrees we can't know everything just now. And if God just made things and walked away he wouldn't have been in touch with us, like Jack believes he has. And religion is not the same as God. It's man's attempt to try to understand the wonder of nature and the meaning of life which on our own we couldn't. Jack believes God made us for a reason and revealed himself and his reason to us.

It is good you appreciate the fascination and beauty and sheer awe of our universe. Jack cannot comprehend how some people think it all just happened by chance. It must have all come from somewhere or from someone and science will never find out.

16 November 2013 12:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "And God doesn't get his power from somewhere else or he wouldn't be God, would he?"

Perhaps your god got its creative power from its god? A bit like us here if religionists are to be believed.

16 November 2013 12:34  
Blogger Len said...

Thanks for the link Dreadnaught I will have a look.

16 November 2013 12:55  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack doesn't think God can give "creative power" to another being. Any power like this would have to come from God and not that being on its own. Jack understands God did create other beings who are not people and one of them wanted to take over from God and so was thrown out of God's home with some others who sided with him. God allows this being to have influence but not "creative power" and that's why there is so much trouble in the world.

Happy Jack did not understand when you said this: "A bit like us here if religionists are to be believed."

16 November 2013 13:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack, I'm just trying to get you to think outside your religion's box.

16 November 2013 17:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, but Happy Jack is not a 'Jack-in-a-box'!

16 November 2013 18:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Dreadnaught said...

Self-Assembling Molecules Offer Clues to Life’s Possible Origin.
Len Just out of interest and before this thread expires or resumes the irritating chat-shop forum many of the TROLLS here would prefer, you may care to look (with HG’s permission of course) up this link."

Goodness...and the No Gooders..sorry..No Godders, wonder why we Christians on here decide to talk about other things as well as the threads topics rather than at their weak ineffectual arguments laid out by them, lacking intellectual or subject specific rigour.

HG appears to only attract the bargain basement store type of atheist..Typically, the detailed label tells a much different story than the actual contents it refers to on inspection or in use.

Utterly disappointing and they then blame us for a lack of interest in their bland statements as we talk of other things personal to we H G bloggers.

Blofeld

Whilst visiting his grandparents, a small boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages of the Book of Genesis.

Suddenly, something fell out. He picked it up and found that it was an old leaf that had been pressed flat between the pages.

"Mama, look what I found," he called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked."

With astonishment in his voice, the boy answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

16 November 2013 21:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack jumped out of his box and chuckled at Blowers joke!

Here's a funny one Jack came across:

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that evolution had created. "What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!", he said to himself. As he was walking he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. When he turned he saw a 7-foot grizzly charging towards him. He ran as fast as he could. He looked over his shoulder and saw the bear was closing.

The atheist cried out "Oh my God!" Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Even the river stopped moving.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, "You deny my existence for all of these years; teach others I don't exist; and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"

The atheist looked directly into the light "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as Christian now, but perhaps could you make the bear a Christian?" "Very well," said the voice.

And then the bear dropped his right paw ..... brought both paws together...bowed his head and spoke: "Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful."

16 November 2013 22:39  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

Truly outstanding and hit me funny one right where it tickles.

You are truly becoming a master wordsmith and witticist‎ that old Ernst is proud to call apprentice/protégé.

Not long now until Ernst can send you on your way as a fully fledged journeyman.

Only another 34 and a half months to go..Doesn't time fly when you are having fun, my boy!!*chortling and guffaws*

Blowers

16 November 2013 23:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Strewth, whats up with Ernst. Keep missing me 'B's'.

Mind you, better than missing a pee, which can cause all sorts of sanitary problems.

16 November 2013 23:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Uncle Brian said.

Just wanted to say a big thank you for prompting Ernst to do something about MRI scan.

Mrs B had to go to hospital re ingrowing toenail and once Ernst sat her down in her clinic I toddled down to MRI center, to be informed they had no record of me requiring a mri..Ernst then stormed down to Orthopedics..(after 10 meters me back played up and became more of a spasmatic mince along the long corridor..MRI-Orthopedics = at the opposite end of the corridor. NATURALLY!).

Orthopedics blamed typists, typists blamed secretary to consultant, consultant was moronic locum who appears to shag up serially but still blamed MRI center anyway.

Muttered a kind of mumbled apology like a snakes hiss. GOD BLESS THE NHS and all the poor souls that rely on her.

Ave Improbus Ille Bureaucrats, Morituri Te Salutant!

Blofeld

16 November 2013 23:49  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oh Mr. B --- you're talking here to another back veteran, who well knows what you mean about the spasmatics.

And the MRIs. And the orthopods.

You make me wonder, though, if you're confident about the specialist --- If he can't run an outfit that schedules tests (including nerve conduction ones, of course), can you trust him to take metal instruments and/or lasers to your backbone?

My own bone grafts/spinal fusion are holding up well, btw. I'm grateful to a very good surgeon.

17 November 2013 01:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

non mouse said...

"You make me wonder, though, if you're confident about the specialist --- If he can't run an outfit that schedules tests (including nerve conduction ones, of course), can you trust him to take metal instruments and/or lasers to your backbone?"

You maybe onto something, non mouse..He did keep referring to himself in our conversations as 'the defendant'!

The last time Ernst had surgical treatment on the NHS at Croydon University Hospital it all went terribly wrong after going in for a vasectomy, my dear.

Shortly after Ernst recovered from his an anesthetic, his surgeon comes in and tells him:
"Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news for you, Mr Blofeld."

"Give me the bad news first, Doc." says Ernst stoically.

"I'm afraid that we accidentally cut your testicles off during surgery, old fella."

"Oh my god I'm a eunuch !" a shocked Ernst cried, breaking into tears like a little girl.

"Aah, but the good news," the locum doctor adds, "is that we had them biopsied and you'll be relieved to know that they weren't malignant!"


What do atheist mean when they say Equality for all?

"We don't necessarily discriminate against anyone. We simply exclude certain types of people."

17 November 2013 02:15  
Blogger rallentanda said...

My commiserations on the loss of your balls dear Ernst. Cressida de Nova will be pleased to hear that she is not being held responsible for this sorry state of affairs !

17 November 2013 05:46  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

@ Jane.
If the Red Cross was so secular why was it called the Red Cross? And why do some of those doing similar work now prefer to call themselves the Red Crescent? Just wondered.

19 November 2013 16:33  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

@ Danjo. "Our reality fills me with wonder, our world is a fascinating and beautiful place in a universe which is beyond imagining in its size and potential." That's why you hang around here being nasty, abusive, foul-mouthed, spiteful, patronizing, contemptuous and malicious towards everybody else. Also because you've got nothing to do since taking early retirement.

19 November 2013 16:35  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...


@Dreadnought.
I was simply replying to what Len said earlier on the thread.
"It is wrong to use my taxes as a Christian to indoctrinate my child in school in 'evolutionary' theories and to promote 'gay agendas'."

19 November 2013 16:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Grasper: "That's why you hang around here being nasty, abusive, foul-mouthed, spiteful, patronizing, contemptuous and malicious towards everybody else."

Good grief, take a long, hard look in the mirror luv. It's just as well people don't have milk deliveries these days because you'd probably curdle the milk in the bottles as you walk down the road in the morning.

"Also because you've got nothing to do since taking early retirement."

Huh?

19 November 2013 19:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, that was rude but funny and it made Happy Jack laugh.

19 November 2013 20:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Heh. I more often than not ignore Ms Gasper's bile, especially the homophobic stuff, bless her. It's quite easy as I just think of her various election results and chuckle to myself.

20 November 2013 17:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack thinks that's very bad as you shouldn't really chuckle at another person's misfortune. Did the poor lady lose these elections by much?

20 November 2013 23:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm afraid she did. In fact, I'd have thought candidates would get more votes simply by being on the ballot paper so I can only assume she went personally door to door to canvass..

21 November 2013 06:31  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

That was bad Danjo and reminds Happy Jack of an old Les Dawson joke. He was a funny man.

Mrs Gasper went to Madame Tussard's Chamber of Horrors, and one of the attendants said, "Keep moving madam, we're stock-taking."

(Apologies Julia, Happy Jack means no offence. Just a bit of fun)

21 November 2013 11:58  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

That was bad Danjo and reminds Happy Jack of an old Les Dawson joke. He was a funny man.

Mrs Gasper went to Madame Tussard's Chamber of Horrors, and one of the attendants said, "Keep moving madam, we're stock-taking."

(Apologies Julia, Happy Jack means no offence. Just a bit of fun)

21 November 2013 11:58  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

So good Happy Jack said it twice! What on earth happened there? Jack only pushed the button once!

21 November 2013 12:00  

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