All 6 entries tagged Religion

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May 11, 2008

An Experiment II: The Sequel

Follow-up to An experiment from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Follow-up to Creationism Gets You Nowhere from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Writing about web page http://revver.com/video/877410/affiliate/194516/i-have-a-problem-with-creationism-part-2/

Before you ask: no, they're not all going to be based on my blog entries that you'll have read already...


March 31, 2008

Creationism Gets You Nowhere

The argument "God did it" is an intellectual dead end.

For example, if your answer to the question "How is fire created?" is "God does it" then that tells you nothing about how fire is created, and the chances of a prayer for fire yielding fire in a short enough time are very small.

If, however, you don't simply attribute fire to God, then the thought process may go something like this: Fire is hot; I can tell that by approaching it. Perhaps heat is required. How can I generate heat? When I'm cold I rub my hands together to warm them; rubbing obviously causes heat. My hands have never caught on fire; hands must not be able to create fire. Perhaps something that burns can create fire. Wood burns; what happens if I try rubbing two sticks together?

And so on.

"God did it" is only a problem if the entirety of your explanation is "God did it"; it is still possible to believe God made something if your next thought is trying to figure out how God made it work. For example: How is fire created? God does it. Through what mechanism does God create fire? Fire is hot; perhaps God uses heat to create fire. Fire is a useful tool; how can I generate heat to create fire? etc.

As I explained in an earlier post, there is no doubt in my mind that the Universe works as Science describes it. However, although I do not believe in God, if I did then I would believe he created the Universe with the intention that it functions as we have discovered.


March 22, 2008

It's all our fault…

As I understand it, the story behind most Holy Books is that God(s) dictated them to men; that is to say that it was men that created the physical books.

I can see one major flaw with this: ask any* woman "What's the one thing that irritates you most about men?" and she'll probably say we're crap in bed. Say to her, "No not that one; the other one" and she'll probably reply "You never put the toilet seat down?" Then say "OK, the third most irritating thing about us" and she'll probably say we never listen.

And that is the problem with Holy Books: men did the physical writing, and men never listen. Surely, therefore, they are poor records of the points God was trying to get across...

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* OK, so probably not any woman; I'm sure sexual orientation will have an effect on how the irritants are ranked.


February 25, 2008

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Here's something amusing I just found out: apparently making a promise in God's name - such as in the stereotypical US courtroom line in the title of this entry - is (ironically) un-Christian, because as Jesus said:

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord." But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.


September 21, 2007

TROTT's Theory of Browser Theology

(Disclaimer: I am using the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - a wonderfully useful term I came across on Wikipedia) as the primary analogues because the UK is officially Christian. It isn't a commentary on other religions, except one which you'll see at the end...)

Firefox is a lot like one of the Abrahamic Religions. Opera, which is just as good but with some extras and some omissions compared to Firefox, is like one of the other two (it doesn't really matter which you assign; I'm classing all three as being at the same level as each other).

Safari is like an Eastern religion; theoretically just as likely to get you in the good books of however many gods you believe in, but significantly different to the "western browsers".

Internet Explorer, on the other hand, is most definitely Scientology...


July 17, 2007

European Religions

(This entry was supposed to be called "European Religions, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying But Start Being Confused When I Found That Our God Is Apparently Telling Them To Kill Us", but it complained that the title was longer than 100 characters...)

I've always known that Christianity sprouted off from Judaism, but I only recently discovered that Islam did the same (I think about 400-ish years later). Here's a handy diagram:

Judaism (Black), Christianity (Blue), and Islam (Green)

A timeline with black for Judaism, blue for Christianity, and green for Islam.

There's no explicit start date for the timeline, but one can assume that it ends at "now". Jesus turned up at point A, which is about the year 0 in the Christian calendar, and started preaching. His followers (technically Jews) believed him to be the son of God, but the rest of the Jews didn't accept him as the Messiah but did accept him as a prophet (like Moses and the rest of them). So:

  • Jesus is the Son of God in Christianity.
  • Jesus is just a prophet in Judaism.
  • It's the same "God" in both.

Then at point B (about year 0 in the Muslim calendar) Mohammed comes along and starts preaching. However most of the Jews want nothing to do with him. Obviously he won over some Jews to his cause but, unlike with Jesus, Judaism wants nothing to do with Mohammed - it doesn't accept him as a "real" prophet. So:

  • Jesus is the Son of God in Christianity.
  • Jesus is just a prophet in Judaism and Islam.
  • Mohammed is The Prophet in Islam.
  • Mohammed is a "false prophet" in Judaism.
  • Mohammed doesn't have any connection to Christianity because it had already split before he arrived.
  • It's still the same "God" in all three cases, it's just we can't agree on what he wants from us...

So Jews are Jews, Christians are Jews that accept the Old Testament but tweak it to reflect the preachings of The Messiah, and Muslims are Jews that said, "Ah, yes. We weren't quite right with the Old Testament. Here's how it should have been..."

It's also important to note that, I believe, all three religions have it as fundamental to "love thy neighbour" or words to that effect; I'm 99% sure that none of them have "killing the infidel"*. In fact, one of the fundamental precepts of the Islamic faith is giving to charity; how much do you give to charity Mr I'm A Racist Christian Who Thinks The Muslim Scum Should Sod Off Back Home, eh? Think about that the next time you blame all Muslims for all Terrorism. 

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* A note to the people who shout religion at you on the street: I'm also 99% sure that Christianity has nothing about "convert the infidel"...


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