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Oct 07 2009

Mega Churches

Mega Churches are recent to our time.  It is defined by experts as a church having 2,000 or more members. 

Mega churches offer a degree of anonymity that younger congregants desire.  They also offer a high tech style of worship with on screen display, high tech music, a quality that smaller churches cannot deliver. 

Worshipers are seeking a technological quality that simply cannot be delivered by a small congregation.  Pastors in a mega church are unable, due to the sheer numbers of congregants, to know the flock that they are charged with  shepherding.  Sure, small groups are created but unless a member makes an effort to join a group, they remain an anonymous face in a sea of faces.

What is the purpose of a Congregation?

For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25 (ESV)

A pastor is likened to a shepherd whose job it is to know his flock and care for them as a shepherd knows and cares for his sheep.  A shepherd in the field knows his sheep, notices when one wanders off or one is ill.  This is not possible in a congregation of thousands that in some cases, the amount of congregants rival that of a rock concert such as in the above photo of a service in a mega church.

On the other hand, why are Christians seeking large congregations so that they may remain anonymous?  Why are they seeking a quality of technology instead of seeking quality preaching?  Why are Christians seeking anonymity?

There is a lack of intimacy in a mega church.  A shepherd cannot not know his flock of thousands.  A congregant can come and go in if they are merely a face in a crowd with no one noticing if they are in need or hurt or missing. 

Sadly, our technological advanced society has touched our congregations.  People come and go anonymously with no one noticing.  Pastors do not know what is going on with members of their flock.  The flock has little access to their pastors in mega churches.  Advances in technology has made worship impersonal as worship songs are sung to the beat of a rock band.  Sermons are broadcast on a big screen.  The sense of belonging and community is lost.  We are technologically advanced but the price we have paid is loss of community.  It has now come into our churches and many congregations and community worship have become impersonal as well.

I wonder what happened.

 

 

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72 comments

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  1. Repent Harlequin

    Hey Blog Master T.,

    I think there are a lot of things to be said for small congregations and I wish you would have said some of them. In fact, if we were to go back to tradition the home church (something I toyed with for a while when Jennifer and I were leaving our small congregation on our way to what would be considered a mega-church) would be the rule of the day.

    I would point out, however, that the model of dealing with a large congregation was given by Jethro to Moses. I believe the purpose of elders is to help the pastor shephard the flock.

    “On the other hand, why are Christians seeking large congregations so that they may remain anonymous? ” and “Why are Christians seeking anonymity?”

    If you frame it his way then I guess we are only supposed to believe that this is the only reason people flock, if you’ll pardon the expression, to mega churches. We’ve been in two small congregations and while in each I knew everyone’s name it was still a small number of people who got into church business, ministry and the social life that went with it. Our Sunday school classes were heavily attended by kids and lightly attended by adults. In other words, even in the small setting one could have a degree of anonymity in that they showed up before the first hymn and left some time after communion.

    ” Why are they seeking a quality of technology instead of seeking quality preaching? ”

    Okay, you know you are one of my favorite people, don’t you? You’re using a false dichotomy in that these two things are not mutually exclusive. We’ve been attending our church for a year and a half and never walked out of there without thinking, “I needed to hear that”. This has been true whether our senior pastor or one of the other pastors or someone else has come to speak to us. (Including, you may be interested, one Abraham Sandler who is a pastor of a Messianice Church here in Pittsburgh). The preaching has been decidedly of high quaity in that is faithful to Scripture and edifying.

    ” Sure, small groups are created but unless a member makes an effort to join a group, they remain an anonymous face in a sea of faces.”

    Well, yes, one has to make an effort in any setting. If they choose to merely come to worship and leave, something they can do in any size congregation, then I think we serve them by being there and pray that they mature in faith. In other words, those people are not making the commitment they really need to make in Worship, Study and Service (as far as we can know – they could be studying elsewhere and serving elsewhere) but they are getting the opportunity to hear God’s word and to hear a good message. I remember once, in my small congregation, the pastor talking about people who just come for worship and that’s it and I pointed out that we need to serve them as well. I was a little put off when that statement did not meet with agreement, but there you go. The pastor was the shephard, so who am I?

    I would not pass off small groups as inconsequential. Our group meets after worship every Sunday with few exceptions (Thanksgiving week, Christmas week, New Years week and Easter). With sermone notes and additional resources and suggestions for “homework” the experience has been extremely helpful in focusing on growth in the faith. Our group is made up of people from different backgrounds of race and socioeconomics, and so offers different perspectives. Also, we’ve found that predominantly the people we meet are very serious and knowledgeable about the faith in Jesus Christ.

    Our church specifically asks us to do three things: Worship, Study and Serve. Jennifer and I do all three (we also serve elsewhere) and through the group and doing children’s ministry through our church we’ve met lots and lots and people and gotten to know pretty well one of the pastors and most of the elders.

    Finally, I’m sure people have different reasons for attending or joining a particular church, but we can’t make hasty generalizations based on size. We sought this particalur church out because we had been involved with urban ministry for at risk kids and this place offered a lot of opportunities and support to do that; they just need people. We then visited and tested what we were hearing from the pastor with Scripture and talked with people we knew who had been in that congregation and denomination and did some research of our own to make sure that what they believed in writing aligned with Scripture (notice I didn’t say “with our opinion”).

    So, if you’re in a small congregation where you feel at home, can study, serve, and worship our Savior Jesus Christ then stay there. But let’s not assume the other side can’t have the same commitments.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Kent

  2. Tishrei

    I will say, after reading your response, that I can think of a couple of large churches off the top of my head that are great theologically.

    Before I wrote this post, I had been reading about mega churches and even saw a survey about why people seek out mega churches. It seems that people want the anonymity that goes along with belonging to a mega church. Some people want the technology that a large church can provide that a smaller congregation simply cannot provide. There were lots of reasons listed and as I read these different surveys and sites, I kept wondering about the priorities when choosing a church.

    However, like you pointed out, and I agree with you, just because one belongs to a large church does not mean that it is a hard and fast rule that this is the reason they go to that large church.

    I think in a large church, the pastor is not really a pastor but more of a teacher and an administrator. Jesus painted the picture of a pastor to us in scripture — a person who looks after his sheep knows his flock and even knows when one is missing (I’m referring to animals, not humans). That is what they would have understood back in those days when Jesus talked about flock, sheep, care for the flock, etc. They guy looking out for the sheep knows his animals, when one is missing, when one is sick, when one acts differently, etc. and can take measures to protect his flock.

    And I could not agree with you more — small groups are not only not inconsequential, but I think they are vital. And they become even more vital in a large church where the pastor cannot, because of the sheer size of his flock, know his flock.

    1. Repent Harlequin

      Tishrei,

      For the second time in a little over a week a great opening like ” Blog Master T” has gone unacknowledged. Am I losing my touch or what? :-)

      We are in agreement that people choose a church for a variety of reasons, many of them meaningless or even silly.

      I think the challenge for a large or mega congregation is accountability for the congregants. Our pastor often preaches in such a way to challenge this very thing in his listeners, and the take home and group discussion topics are often geared toward that.

      In speaking with others we’ve come to know many have been drawn to our church for theological reasons. In fact, I would say the majority have. They’ve left “traditional” denominations who have seemed to lose their way (as Jennifer and I has in a kind of roundabout way). One lady in our group left a rather large WordFaith church.

      “…in a large church, the pastor is not really a pastor but more of a teacher and an administrator…”

      Actually, our pastor has administrative pastors on staff, one of whom we’ve come to know. (I had considered a similar career move several years ago), but you are right on the teacher designation.

      Again, I understand what you’re saying but I still look at the model of Moses. I would also draw your attention to the limits of smaller congregations in some cases. If there were nothing but small congregations I don’t think we would reach as many people. I’m not being critical here, but I would say it is not easy walking into a church for the first time.

      We were at some friends for dinner last night and the husband had asked me what I thought of the Christmas Eve service. He finally got around to one of the video displays and I thought of you immediately as we then got into a discussion of some of the other things are church is doing technologically. Neither of us fully buys into all of it, but I think it’s something we just kind of accept as part of the whole. After all, if I ever found a perfect church it would be wrong of me to join it because then it would no longer be perfect.
      In Christ,
      Kent

      1. Tishrei

        I saw it … LOL … and you’re not losing your touch. I replied on the other post (reading the bible post) but I may just have to change my name to BMT :)

        Okay, back to to your post — I agree with you — but with a caveat — unless someone is outgoing, they could completely fall through the cracks. That did not happen in Moses’ time. There’s a local church in my neck of the woods — a rather large church (and theologically sound). I went a few times a number of years ago and to be honest, because I was just another face in the very large crowd, I went virtually unnoticed. It was up to me to seek out groups, etc. If I did not make myself known, I could have come and gone, dropped dead at the congregation would not have known about it. That doesn’t happen in smaller congregations and that did not happen in the close knit community in the days of Moses. I just don’t think it’s a fair comparison to use the days of Moses and their very tight knit community to our society and our large churches.

        Just as a side, I don’t have anything against technology. It would be great if the smaller congregations could provide or afford some things that the larger congregations can provide. What I was getting at is some people (according to surveys) have chosen larger congregations based on the technology that they can provide. In my opinion, that’s not a good reason to choose a church.

        p.s. I’m enjoying this discussion with you — :)

        1. Repent Harlequin

          Okay Blog Lady T,.

          I agree that the average shyness of the individual is an obstacle for some, as well as the face in the crowd thing. jennifer and I went virtually unnoticed the first time we visited our current church. I remember her remarking on it and then adding, “We’re outgoing people. We can do this.” But remember, we were motivated.

          We’ve been in three congragations, the first two small, 70 to 80 people. In the first, which we left because they were on their way to apostacy, we were rather well known and connected. I used to approach specific people to get them involved in things, whether it Bible study (which bombed at that church) or being involved in ministry. You don’t really have that in a large congregation. The second small congregation was rather closed, frankly speaking.

          Anyway, a healthy large congregation is well aware of these limitations and we do try to deal with it. We are encouraged to introduce ourselves, there are open growth groups where people can try out the experience without committing themselves, and there are opportunities to meet the elders for prayer after every service, as well as two information hubs. I understand that it is not perfect.

          On the other hand, we reach a lot of people and offer a lot of assistance. Those who are just seeking can come in and not feel that uncomforatbleness about entering a church for the first or very long time. It happens all the time at our church. There is value in that.

          Why would you say the Moses model is not applicable? Doesn’t a large congregation somewhat resemble a community. TRUE as you will no doubt point out, it was not as transient as a modern church, but still for those like us who worship there regularly and realize the limitations, it certainly resembles that model.

          I will be honest too. The biggest thing we both had to deal with was that we would not be big shots in this church the way were before. But then, that’s more about us and less about Jesus.

          In Christ,
          Kent

      2. Rawle Daisley

        God bless
        I just want to make a small response. In understanding the word one has to interpret scripture in the context that it’s written, or the entire truth becomes distorted, this is a big problem with Church’s today. In saying this, a careful study of the word,( not a superficial view or my pastors feelings or my feelings) points to the truth that the mega church was not the intended focus that scriopture had in view, and the truth of the Shephard caring for the sheep comes in loud and clear and to the point. It takes a deep knowledge of scripture to see the truth here.
        Why do people join mega church’s? I am not a judge but can give you answers from people that I have known for over 4o years. Firstly, the bible talks about “Itching ears” and this simply means that peoople join themselves to places that tell them exactly what they want to hear. I know of a place like this. I was invited 5 years ago to a christmas concert, I wasn’t interested, but nevertheless reluctantly went since a great friend invited me. The gentleman (not the pastor ) who was leading the singing and praise kept saying, “this is the church of what’s happening now” What does that nonsense mean? then the audience responds by clapping and shouting hallelujah. What is the clapping for? hallelujah for what? for the guys silkly comments? Then to add insult to injury, the pastor gets up and says “You thought you were going to hear amazing grace, we don’t sing those songs, do you think that was coming from a heart that was totally committed to Christ. These songs were written by people who knew what it meant to suffer for the Lord. Folks who were imprisoned for the word of christ, and in the face of danger can say that the amazing grace of christ has saved their souls.
        So what I say says something about me. Where I worship says something about me, my understanding of the word, and my desire to follow truth.
        At this church, they ask you promptly to clear the sanctuary, to use the side doors, why? because they have to get prepared for the next session. where is the opportunity to be personally guided if one desperately needs it? I said to a young lady who I knew for ages, I hadn’t seen her at the time for 16 years “How is the Lord treating you” her response was well I wear my pants all the time to church so it’s good. You see, I know the Lord looks at the heart, but the Pastor had already made it clear to his audience that as long as they come he didn’t care what they wore. Granted, but we must be careful, because I get dressed for the new job, for the wedding, for the party, for the prom, but for christ it doesn’t matter. But when Christ is the center of my heart every thing I do reflects whose I am, including my conversation. I actually sent the pastor some topics that I had written. Never got a response. I believe I’m responsible for teaching that I give my audience. Therefore it needs to be right, correct and can be varified by the word
        A few weeks ago Charles Stanley was speaking and talking about “God has given us free will” either to accept him or reject him. Now this is far from the truth. God gaveme a will. Not a free will. His will is that all my come to repentance. In luke 15 we have the parable that says, what man having 100 sheep, loses one, does not leave the 99 and search for the missing one until he finds it This is the will of God. That none should be lost. BUT THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY. This is the will, SO IT’S NOT MULTIPLE CHOICE. I on my own decide that I want to enjoy the pleasures of sin, and decide that I’m not ready to choose Christ. but this is my decision, and has absolutelty nothing to do with Christ. You see the mega church lets the whokle world break bread. the man who sins all week can come in and take the bread and wine. To the world taking these emblems seems to have a saving affect to them. But this is a dangerous thing that church’s take for granted. Look at the church of corinth. The bible warns us of partaking in someone elses sin. This is the consequence of allowing the world to break bread. we must be seperate. A lady on my job says she is the head of the usher board, and some other committee, but full of curse words etc, how is it possible? Am I missing something? This seems to be the norm with many church people today. Is it that my teaching is loose? my members ought to reflect who I am. When I’m at work I ought to be a representive of my assembly.

        love in christ
        rawle

        1. Tishrei

          Hi Rawle,

          What an EXCELLENT comment. For me personally, I am most comfortable in a smaller congregation. The bottom line is what the church is teaching. Is it entertaining the masses? Do people show up because of the entertainment and hi-tech projections. Is the Word of God being preached instead of watered down or even worse, teachings that tickle the congregants ears?

          You brought up a slew of excellent points that each of us, individually and privately before our Redeemer, must ask ourselves.

          Thank you for your excellent thoughts on this subject.

  3. Bill Davison

    The endeavours of the religious community to exalt Religiosity by the erection of ever more imposing ‘Places of Worship’ merely highlights, in a MONUMENTAL fashion, the benighted phases of Man’s early years.

    Is there any real purpose in praying or eulogizing some ‘Heavenly’ being that exists ONLY in the mind.

    Man’s consciousness eventually departs to the place from whence it came – Oblivion. A lot of people just refuse to face that obvious fact.

    Thoughts of green pastures or fiery furnaces cannot bear scrutiny.

    Let’s have done with all of this pure HUMBUG. Vast volumes of impotent religious rhetoric has been generated over the centuries by self-righteous charlatans who use their dominant & deceitful acumen to sublimely charm the susceptable to wander in an unreal ‘Spiritual Wonderland’ that is totally unworthy of any HONEST contemplation.

    Consider one of the most popular of hymn tunes ‘How Great Thou Art’, Both music & lyrics are entirely Man-made; the music is indeed ‘out of this world’ but the lyrics need some serious editing to reflect only, the wonderful universe that we occupy.

    No need to laud some invisible & silent entity, dreamt up & blessed with existence only by impostors who have long preyed on the naivety of the credulous.

    The use of common-sense should be our prime practice.

  4. Tishrei

    I don’t know even where to begin in answering your comment. You deny the existence of God despite numerous scientific evidence from the best scientific minds of our time stating and proving that the world could not have come into existence by mere chance. It wasn’t that long ago that the scientific evidence was beyond our grasp but not anymore.

    1. Bill Davison

      Tishrei – One of the greatest scientific minds of our time does not agree wih you.

      Prof Stephen W Hawking’s latest scribe ‘The Grand Design’ has concluded that there is no need of a God to set things in motion & create life. The book is a very complex read & I myself would never claim to follow his treatise precisely.

      But for me, at a much more basic level, I could have enlightened dear old Prof Hawking long ago re the question of belief in an Almighty Being. He only had to ask.

      May I refer you to my web pages for a common sense assessment of the true initiation & evolvement of Religiosity. I would challenge anyone to refute any of the facts contained therein. At the ripe old age of 90 years, I’ve never been taken in by impostrous people claiming to know the mind of a God.

      Humanity can well manage without silly beliefs that should have been discarded long long ago. If we can’t yet appreciate the difference between right & wrong & without consulting books of ancient fairy tales, common sense does not exist!

      1. Harlequin

        Well I suppose if Stephen Hawkings says so, that settles it.
        Let’s all go home.

        On the other hand, Newtonian physics held sway for centuries, we even used it to get to the moon even after it was superseded by Einsteinian physics. I love science so if you’d like to engage in a focused, intelligent discussion I’m here, man.

        Let’s begin with something easy. How about gravity?

        Looking forward to hearing from you.

  5. Bill Davison

    Tishrei- The link to my web-pages has been disabled.

    It would appear that this Christian blog is no place for anyone looking for answers to Creation.

    If one doesn’t toe the Christian line; if one tries to follow a logical path in order to explain the behaviour of Mankind & investigate the truth, the revelation of the workings of this truly Wonderful World will be relegated to the illusive transcendental & spiritual fantasies that intrude on common sense.

    If that link to my web-pages is not restored, I’ll get the message.

    Christians are blind to reality!

    1. Tishrei

      I don’t know what you mean by “if the link to your web-pages is not restored,” you’ll “get the message.” I did NOT delete anything from your comment nor did I modify anything in your message.

      As you may have noticed, I have not been on my blog that much. I am just now getting back into the swing of things, so to speak.

      Rest assured, I did not do anything to your comment. I will go take a look in the admin area and check any links that you may have made and make sure that they are restored if they were deleted somehow.

      The only time I have ever modified a comment is removing nasty or cuss words. I have never not approved a message because it does not agree with me or my views. If you read back, you’ll see others who are atheists who have spent a lot of time debating me here.

      You’re getting a bit testy with your last sentence. If you want to dialogue, I am happy to do so.

      p.s. I just checked your message from my WordPress dashboard. Your link is still there and is available to anyone to click on. I also checked it on my site and it’s available.

      1. Harlequin

        Blog Lady T,

        Don’t knock yourself out. There is no intellectual pursuit there to be had (I tired); just an angry man. We can pray for him for now.

  6. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – “The web address you entered could not be found” – that is the message I get on clicking my name at the top of my post.

    I’m afraid my regard for religious people is not very high, hence, the apparent false conclusion that I jumped on. Must apologise profusely if there is another cause. I assumed that you may have been upset at the way the dialogue was going but I suppose that the nature of this medium can produce a wide variety of faults. I’ve probably reacted much too quickly.

    So very sorry. I’m on my knees praying for forgiveness from your God. My own God, conscience, has already given me a hearty kick – & it hurts!

    **************************

    Harlequin – I must return the compliment of “no intellectual pursuit” I note that your claim – to have tried to combat the logicality of my thoughts on Religiosity – did not last more than a couple of posts. If insults are in line, you’ve little stamina.

    If you can refute anything I’ve stated on those pages, I’m still waiting patiently for a response, & please keep an eye on your spelling. It’s offputting.

    Not angry at all Harlequin, but truly amazed that anyone nowadays can allow themselves the luxury of kowtowing to some false benign creator whilst witnessng such horrendous happenings to humanity on a global scale. You MUST know that praying to ANY God is quite obviously, FUTILE!

    The consciousness of us all will eventually depart to the place from whence it came – OBLIVION – There is just nothing there.

    Theosophies? – created by the score
    Beliefs? – We doubtless need no more
    Suffice to say – “We’ll NEVER know
    What REALLY makes the green grass grow”

    1. Tishrei

      I wish you would knock off the sarcasm. “I’m on my knees praying for forgiveness from your God.” Because you have taken a sarcastic tone as well as come off hostile, I don’t feel like engaging in a meaningful discussion with you like I have with other people that come to my blog who are atheists.

      In any event, I figured out why the link is broken. I took a closer look at your link and the fault is yours in how you entered your site.

      First of all, WordPress automatically supplies the “http://” but you added one as well but with an error. Instead of a ” : ” you typed a ” . ” — the address came out as follows:

      “http://http.://” followed by your web address. Obviously I had nothing to do with your site not showing up. I have taken the liberty of correcting your site address for you. Here is what appeared on the system which is why the link did not work: (http://http.//www.absurdbelief.info)

      You’re welcome to comment here but I shall not respond to you if you are hostile or sarcastic.

    2. Harlequin

      Dude,
      The last time I gave you three god opportunities to answer one simple question. What I got was unreadable screeds like the above.

      I’d still like to talk science with you :-)

      1. Bill Davison

        Harlequin – Unreadable screads? – Something wrong with your eyesight or brain function?

        I’m a avid reader of scientific literature. Always have been. I would never claim to thoroughly understand most of it, but the interest is there, in all subjects.

        The questions you asked were answered in no uncertain terms, but your response was as above, you conveniently chickened out of it.

        I repeat – Read my web pages, choose whatever section you like & I’ll respond. It appears that you’ve not managed to rid your mind of the infantile religious brainwashing that all impregnated youngsters have to cope with.

        *************************

        Tishrei – That link to my web pages was working a week or two ago. How the error crept in is a mystery to me. Arriving at the site within the last few hours, I note that the faults are still present. I’ve corrected them – I still suspect interference.

        I note also that e-mail of follow-up comments do not seem to be activated, despite being checked.

        As regards the sarcasm you note in my last post, this was inevitable after reading Harlequin’s comments which accused me of being intellectually deficient. You need a word with this person, who seems only capable of sniping from behind the blog-lady’s skirt.

        You will not find a more thoughtful person than I. If humanity is to understand the basics of this Wonderful World, we must ALL be prepared to face facts & discard the dogmatics of early thought, born of ignorance & fear of the unknown. That statement is surely civilized.

        1. Tishrei

          Bill,

          I have huge time constraints right now so I am unable to respond to this comment in full but I did want to address the issue of your broken link. First, I am the only blogger on this blog and, as such, I am the only one who has access to editing of your comments. The only other folks that have access to my dashboard would be the owners and employees of WordPress. I am sure they are not going around to people’s blogs and changing links to make them inoperable and broken. I assure you that I have not interfered in any way with your comments or links. Again, I will go and fix it for you.

          This is how your link looked when I opened up your comment in my administrator dashboard: http://http//www.absurdbelief.info — I cut and pasted it here so you can see what it looks like and why the link is broken.

          If you are typing in the “http” please don’t do that. Start typing at “www”

        2. Harlequin

          Actually Bill, the deal was you support your statement and I would read your site; you didn’t do that but did exactly what you’re doing now. Lots of words but not saying anything, and now you want to argue about arguing.

          Getting back to science: So what do you think of the work of Mordehai Milgrom?

  7. Bill Davison

    Tishrei -

    I find the link is still not working from my end. Another possible cause of the fault could be the performance of AOL as I have had a bit of trouble with this provider of late.

    But there’s no need to get too bothered about it. It’s not the end of the world. It can wait. I’ll try a few things at this end.

    All the best.

  8. Bill Davison

    Harlequin – Why must we get back to science. I wasn’t aware that that subject was under discussion. Religiosty (churches in particular) is the current topic. You seem to be trying to impress readers on this site that you have something to offer. To date, I can’t make anything of your waffling. You’re way off beam.

    I’ve heard about the bloke you mention (Scientific American a few years back) but what on EARTH has dark matter & such topics got to do with primitive God belief & churches.

    My recent mention of Prof S W Hawking was in response to Tishrei’s claim that scientists had authenticated the status of a God. Some silly beggars do of course but I think they are way down in %tage terms.

    Stick to the relevant subject Harlequin & tell me where my reasoning is at fault. Lots of words, full of FACTUAL TRUTHS.

    Now come on. Get cracking & let’s have something from you that makes sense.

    Have a go at this – - -

    Temples & Cathedrals Grand
    Very impressive – but as they stand
    Forget thee not – These Sacred Places
    Are but MONUMENTS to Man’s benighted phases

    1. Harlequin

      You brought up science with Hawkings. I just thought you knew something about it.
      Nothing, huh?

  9. Bill Davison

    Still waffling Harlequin?

    I am not a scientist but have an intense interest in anything of a scientific or technical nature.

    Retired with the job of operating & maintaining an Analysing Electron Microscope. The only claim I am able to make is that I utilize common sense always.

    I do my best to find out how things work. There are so many avenues to investigate, one would need a brain the size of a house to cope fully.

    I take it that you don’t wish to comment on my perambulations into Religiosity. Does that mean you haven’t any interest in the latter or you can’t find an item for objection in my treatise? If so, why are you so Bolshy?

    There’s no connection between Religiosity & Science. The former takes no heed of logicality – the latter relies on it.

    No wish to make enemies Harlequin. Let’s be constructive.

    Probing the Atom or ‘Heavenly’ Space
    We do indeed come face to face
    With INFINITIES galore
    & probably a good deal more!

    1. Harlequin

      Bill,

      You’re commet on Milgrom (ie, dark matter) doesn’t even scratch the surface of his work and frankly demonstrates that you simply did a quick wikipedia search on his name.

      As to infinite universes, the theoretic positing of such is, by definition, not science. We cannot do falsifiable/veriable work on infinite realities in that we could never know empirically that they exist. Belief in them would require, if you’ll pardon the expression, faith. It appears you are engaging in the belief in fairy tales. Ironic, isn’t it?

      Normally, I don’t engage in debate with emotional people. I like facts. But I thought since you’d expressed and interest in science you may find it interesting to discuss.

      I guess I was wrong.

  10. Bill Davison

    You’re an awkward geezer Harlequin, Did I ever claim to be anything other than a follower of science matters. I definitely remember an article on dark matter written by Milgrom – had to look up the article again to confirm the name – in Sci Am a few years back but if you are ‘up’ in this subject, I could never converse with you as to it’s merits or otherwise. I find it just very interesting. The only reading I do is related to science. You’ll not find much in the way of novelish crap in my abode.

    If you’ve ever perused Sci Am, you must know it covers a wide range of subjects. A general reader tries to take in the info presented. Some of it is absorbed but most of it doesn’t stick in the gray matter for long. Still well worth the price.

    Back to the reason we are on this board. What gives you the feel that I am ‘emotional’ about the subject of Religiosity. The whole subject is of emotion. My essay is an attempt at trying to steer the misguided – you seem to be one of them H – away from it’s total humbug & the brainwashing of infants.

    You will not comment on it’s content because of it’s truth. The elevated stance you are taking seems a trifle snooty. I wonder why you are here at all, dealing with mere mortals.

    1. Tishrei

      Dave,

      I am not speaking for Harlequin but did want to say something. The “science” talk/issue came up back when I first replied on your comment. You then made the comment mentioning Stephen Hawking. I can show you science where scientists are coming to the conclusion that there is an “intelligent designer” who created the world. And so that you don’t think I am cherry picking Christian scientists, many of these scientists are not Christians but some are, in fact, atheists. This is science and information available to us today that was unavailable not too long ago. I’m talking about even the study of cells.

      I realize that you are not going to believe by faith and that you believe we Christians are believing in fairy tales like little children. If you would like to make that claim, fine but you have to refute the science. I am willing to provide you the information by giving you the names and book titles so you can check it out yourself.

      You also said in your comment to me that “one of the greatest scientific minds of our time does not agree with me.” Actually, it’s not me that he either agrees with or disagrees with. I am not one of the multitudes of scientists that have come to the conclusion that we did not come to being through some primordial soup. Something else that I learned that took me by surprise was even Darwin stated that for his theory to hold up, it would be dependent on finding further fossils to make the connecting links he believes needs to happen. He was sure that at some point, it would be found.

  11. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – I know there are men of science who, for me, are way off beam. I’m not really concerned about whether or not scientists proclaim a need to postulate a necessary God in order to fulfil their theories. I mentioned Prof S W Hawking merely in response to your claim that most sciencific minds were believers.

    I’ve managed to more than satisfy myself that this ‘God belief’ lark originated from basic ignorance & fear of the unknown & has been perpetuated ever since by Charlatans.

    It is a basic human trait that certain individuals amongst us have a need to assume leadership &/or look for an easy way of life. Only natural. The opportunity to exercise that trait was provided by the less cognitive of early society, allowing themselves to be brainwashed by those with a little more acumen, the Witch-Doctors & Sorcerers of the time.

    Evolution in this field now provides us with the Archbishops & Ayatollahs of today. Uttering a few pious words keeps the ‘faithful’ following. One can liken religiosity to a drug. Very difficult to get rid of, especially if absorbed in childhood. A lot of us are very reluctant to ditch what is taught by parents & leaders. Minds vary considerably. A lot are very retentive.

    Since retirement, I’ve had much more time to think over what I’ve never really had time for during my working life. No wish to repeat myself. I have laid out my very well-considered thoughts on web pages that are modified now & then to emphasize the point that all of this God-belief is purely Man-made. I’m quite sure we can manage to live life without the humbug of multifarious ‘Beliefs’.

    We all live using basic common sense, We certainly don’t need any ancient ‘Sacred Texts’ to keep us on the straight & narrow.

    I have to say that I just shake my head in amazement when I hear a preacher of whatever ‘Faith’ broadcasting sanctimonious ramblings as though he/she KNOWS the mind of a God.

    Sorry Tishrei, but I fear that such a display borders on sheer imbecility!

    1. Tishrei

      I mentioned Prof S W Hawking merely in response to your claim that most sciencific minds were believers.

      I did NOT make such a claim. In fact, go back and read my response to you for what I ACTUALLY said, not what you think I “really” meant. I distinctly stated that I did not “cherry pick Christian scientists.” I also stated that some of these scientists are atheists.

      If you choose to read my conversation to you for what you want them to say or what you assume that I really am saying as opposed to what I really really state, then there can be no discussion. Read my last comment to you and show me where I said most scientific minds were believers.

  12. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – No need to get too excited. It would appear that I got a minor point of your statement slightly wrong but it is of little consequence.

    Your quote – “You deny the existence of God despite numerous scientific evidence from the best scientific minds ot our time stating & proving that the world could not have come into existence by mere chance. It wasn’t that long ago that the scientific evidence was beyond our grasp but not anymore” end quote.

    You’re trying to justify the unjustifiable m’dear.

    I contend that the opinion of ANY person willing to weigh up the matter seriously has as much authenticity as ANY scientist can produce, to give credence to such a ridiculous assumption as to the existence of an Almighty One!

    No doubt at all that as Humanity approaches extinction, questions re this awesome Wonderful World will still be present.

    As I’ve oft-times stated, it would appear that some ‘believers’ just do not want anything to do with viewing matters in a common sense light. Their world of delusion is sacrosanct – impregnable.

    Floundering in the mud of transcendent thought excludes reality.

    Faith in covert Gods I fear – Can’t be taken serious here
    Common Sense Alone sheds light – Let’s put ALL pious B’s to flight!

    Sorry again Tishrei – Conscience INSISTS that FACTS just can NOT be ignored!

    We’re sitting here at our computers, nice & comfy, arguing over silly faiths & beliefs, whilst literally, on this Earth, millions of our fellow humans are dying & suffering untold agonies due to natural catastrophies. Nature is indeed, raw. – Consider this – - -

    The Universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom – NO design – NO purpose – NO evil – NO good – nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. – How true!

    I pride myself in that I had come to that exact same conclusion, years before reading it in the literature of Richard Dawkins.

    Common sense is all one needs – Not passe’, shrouded, Man-made creeds
    Common Sense – ??? – Get off thy perch – Use Everyday Knowhow – Plus Research

    1. Tishrei

      You said “Conscience INSISTS that FACTS just can NOT be ignored!”

      That’s exactly what I’m trying to give you — NON biblical information from scientists that are NOT Christians. You say I am quibbling over a minor point but it’s not a minor point — that has been my whole argument or point. I have purposely stayed away from discussing the bible with you because you are an atheist.

      I am willing to discuss science with you based on science alone, not the bible. However, you revert to the condescending attitude you take with Christians and their beliefs. I have been willing to discuss these issues with you on a scientific basis and leave faith/bible out of it. It is you who have not been willing for you keep bringing it up.

  13. Bill Davison

    Don’t really know what you’re on about Tishrei.

    I certainly don’t need any instruction as to the beliefs or non-beliefs of the scientific community. On my journey through a long life, reading loads of scientific literature, I doubt very much if you can enlighten me in that repect. I’ve noted some of the anomalies.

    Now I don’t class myself as an Atheist. To do that would mean I had given God-belief some serious credence.

    Scientific research is useless when the authenticity of a fantasy is called into question. Fantasy is the very essence of ANY ‘Faith’.

    As mentioned before, when you delve into the Transcendent & philosophize, the fertile mind can come up with almost anything. There are no limits.

    One needs to be pragmatic in order to arrive at what any ‘normal’ human intellect can truthfully regard as genuine.

    Believing in something that is out of this World HAS to be sheer fantasy. If you can’t discern it by your God-given(?) senses – ie – see it, hear it, smell it, it’s merely a product of the imagination.

    So simple, really. No need at all for argument. Let’s keep our feet planted firmly on terra-firma!

    When we depart this Existence, nothing more than Oblivion awaits. Our lifetime’s thoughts all disappear with our consciousness. By & large, the best of our ideas are passed on to future generations for their benefit. Part of the evolutionary cycle.

    Tishrei – The belief in any form of Religiosity is not for me. Conscience just does not allow it.

    So let some light into the brain – Resolve to think – & think again
    Is A Religion all THAT fateful – Oh please come off it – All Ye Faithful !!!

    You know Tishrei, you can surely see that I treat this subject as a prime source of amusement. I really should not be on this site. It is for believers only. I’m just gumming up the works. That damned conscience of mine is still very alive.

    1. Tishrei

      Since you are very much aware of these scientific findings from credible, secular scientists, who are well respected in their respective fields, and have decided that they are incorrect, it is tragic that you are correct and they are incorrect because much of our medical field and other technology is based on their work.

      In any event, I don’t know what you are doing here. You seem only to want to tell us how stupid and childish we are but are not willing to discuss anything of meaning or value. You don’t want to discuss religion. Okay, I understand since you do not believe in the existence of God. You don’t want to discuss science because I now learn that you have deemed that the research by credible secular scientists is simply useless because you have determined that their research is based on authenticating a fantasy. Unbelievably you make such a claim without even knowing which scientists I am referring to.

      To be honest, I am incredulous that you would dismiss as outright fantasy what is credible science. And most incredibly, you have named me one scientist where I have offered to provide you numerous names and books for you to read. These are not religious books. In fact, some of these scientists hold to your belief that God does not exist yet they concede that an explanation of our existence is inexplicable.

      Unless you have something intelligent to add, I will not reply any further to you. It is obvious that you cannot hold an intelligent conversation in these matters so you are left to resort to what is seen in grade school playgrounds — and that is name calling.

  14. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – I’m doing my very best to pass on intelligent thoughts – & truth. I don’t know your age but I fancy I’ve been in this world much longer than you & It would be surprising, surely if I hadn’t observed some of it’s anomalies.

    At the ripe old age of 90 years, you’re asking me to consult quasi-scientific literature with religiose leanings. I must say that I’ve much better things to do with the rather limited time I have at my disposal.

    Life for me has been anything but a breeze. Had it been left to a God such as yours, I’d have been pushing up the daisies some 55 years back.

    Scientific research has provided me with the necessary knowledge & utilities to still have a reasonable existence. I have not, as yet, lost my marbles; I still recognize the difference between delusion & reality.
    —————————————————————–
    Humanity is never going to grasp the true reality of this awesome Universe. As science gets ever closer to that unreachable target, some researchers are bound to get caught up in the tangle of philosophical thinking that is little more than speculation. At that point, their views are no more valid than any deep thinker not blessed with a science degree. That includes me – I’ve been thinking for a very long time.
    —————————————————————–
    You m’dear, it seems to me, have a lot to learn. You & your cohorts on this site seem to live in a cosy dreamworld that you don’t want disturbed. Quite content to natter on trivial questions . As you grow older, you’ll find that things aren’t all that cosy. Near the end, most people require the expertise of science to allow them to depart this life in a pain-free manner.

    I am very aware of the power of the mind, but no amount of prayer to fictitious Gods would ever allow them an easy release.

    Also, have you noticed the catastrophies bestowed on Mankind of late – Haiti earthquake – Pakistan floods etc. Just how do you equate happenings such as those with a loving God? What on Earth is IT playing at?

    & witness the very recent near-disaster at a Chilean mine. I’ve little doubt that you’ll find some role for your God in the rescue of the 33 miners, but if you are honest, you have to look at the pure logic of the situation – & credit the rescuers in devising the necessary gear & effort for the much desired result.

    We live in a DIY world Tishrei & it’s high time that you & those that follow your airy-fairy line of thought got to grips with it. Humanity, & indeed all forms of life, have to provide their own salvation. You & your like are merely indulging in mind games.

    I do hope that you find that these remarks show a LITTLE intelligence. All are based on what has been learned throughout a long life.

    PS – Perusing the latest copy of Sci Am. “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” – a layman’s quote.

    1. Tishrei

      You said “At the ripe old age of 90 years, you’re asking me to consult quasi-scientific literature with religiose leanings”

      NO I AM NOT. I wish you would just read what I write. I am stunned and incredibly frustrated with you. There is no having a conversation with you because you make up your own mind what I am saying. Doesn’t matter that I tell you different — it’s like you’re having a conversation with yourself and then acting like you had a conversation with me. You’re just making up stuff and I have no clue where you are getting this information. I NEVER EVER said nor did I imply that I am asking you to read quasi-scientific literature. To the contrary, I said the opposite.

      I can’t believe you are responding as you are. Do you not read my responses to you?

      I’m not going to bother to respond to the rest of your comment because it’s clear that you are not reading mine and it’s a waste of time. Why bother taking the time to read your comment and then respond only to have you respond with stuff that makes no sense in light of what I wrote.

  15. Bill Davison

    So sorry to get you frustrated Tishrei but I get the gist of your writings without any doubt at all. Your message is clear.

    Truth is, no matter with how much passion you care to promote & defend God-belief, there is just no way that my conscience will allow me to accommodate any of it.

    Throughout life, my conscience has troubled me greatly. Thinking back over my own performances in certain matters, though none of very serious content, I should have performed much more sensibly in particular situations. At a much higher level, I’m very disturbed when I read of the many injustices that occur daily in all scenarios, highlighted thro print or broadcast media.

    Religionists don’t help the situation at all. The recent revelations re the Catholic church, with their attempts at trying to throw a veil over paedophilic actions that should have been publicised years ago is beyond belief. It must be recognized that these people are human beings, like ourselves, with all of the good & bad points of ‘normality’ BUT claiming some Divine commitment.

    It should be noted that the circumstances in which they operate is conducive to their appalling behaviour. Allowing themselves to fail is just another example of Nature in the raw.

    Sorry Tishrei – My ‘scribulations’ are only common-sense truthfulness.

    1. Harlequin

      Bill,

      Why do you think you have a conscience?

      1. Bill Davison

        Me specifically? Or anyone? I don’t think I’m much different to others in this respect. Just a matter of degree.

        A rather surprising question to ask. I’d have thought that the answer is self-evident.

        Conscience has evolved due to the necessity for Humanity to conform to rules that further it’s existence, A wrong action elicits a feeling of guilt. A quite natural development. To keep on the straight & narrow requires the need to exercise a little thought.

        If one has no conscience, things can & do go haywire.

        Common sense & conscience, One is born of the other. Both are important attributes. That’s why I am naturally against beliefs that have no practical proof of their authenticity.

        I await your learned treatise to inform me of the contrary.

        Nice to hear from you again Harlequin. Thought for a while you’d been made redundant.

        1. Harlequin

          Bill,

          It’s good that your brought up the problem of beliefs that have no proof.

          Please provide proof on the statment that conscience evolved.

          Looking forward to reading your answer.

        2. Tishrei

          I’m not answering for Harlequin but wanted to answer this from my perspective.

          Conscience is not necessary for humans to keep on the straight and arrow. All other species stay on the “straight and arrow” without feelings of guilt

          *** update ***

          most of my comment did not get posted. For some reason, only a very small portion of this comment was posted. I am reposting it below as I have opened up a help ticket and am waiting to hear why only a portion was posted.

          Conscience is not necessary for humans to keep on the straight and arrow. All other species stay on the “straight and arrow” without feelings of guilt — they have no conscience. Look at the animal kingdom and how they operate. They keep each other in line by force. There’s no feeling of guilt. They are not bound by morality. Humans are that it is morality that brings out the feeling of guilt when we step outside the bounds of moral behavior.

          We also keep each other in line by force, so to speak as well. For instance, I have no feeling of guilt if I drive 40 in a 35 mile an hour zone. I try and stay within the speed limit because I don’t want a traffic ticket. Yet, I would not even think about walking into my neighbor’s house and stealing something. If I did, I would feel a lot of guilt because of my conscience. If I accidentally killed someone, I would feel an intense amount of remorse and guilt. An animal that kills has no feelings of remorse.

          I have and have had different animals all my adult life. They live by the standards that I set not because of any feeling of guilt if they break my rules but because they don’t want to suffer the consequences. My macaw knows not to bite me. When he does, he suffers the consequence but there’s no feeling of guilt on his part.

          Humans are moral creatures, animals are not. We have a sense of right and wrong. Animals do not have a sense of right and wrong, they have a sense of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Huge, huge difference.

          1. Harlequin

            Blog Lady T,

            That’s why I asked why he THINKS he has a conscience rather than for proof of the he or anyone has one. I’m willing to stipulate or spot him that.

  16. Bill Davison

    T & H – The pair of you leave me standing on my head, totally disoriented. Hang on till I feel my feet on the floor.

    Waffling is the game you both play. Aimless, misleading verbiage.

    Have either of you done anything in your life of which you had a doubt. When doubt is in the mind, one has to concentrate hard to resolve it. Until it is resolved, a feeling of guilt is present. Conscience is working.

    T – don’t you realise that in this respect, the difference between animals & humans is ‘merely’ of mental capacity. That is why we are the boss & animals, the subjugated.

    Play with words as you like. All airy-fairy Gods & different flavours of Religion are pure HUMBUG, generated by the ignorant & fearful minds of early Mankind. Not a lot of common sense or conscience was present in those days.

    Some of us grow up. Common sense & conscience are essential to negotiate our way thro life & play fair with our fellow beings.

    Please don’t complicate SIMPLE matters!

    1. Tishrei

      You said: “Waffling is the game you both play. Aimless, misleading verbiage.”

      I can’t believe you said that. That’s all you have been doing here. You have offered nothing more than your own personal opinion. You have stated that you don’t to read other material. You have offered one scientist’s opinion — well, you didn’t offer his opinion but merely stated that he would disagree with me. In just about every one of your comments, you state your opinion on how Christians believe in fairy tales, how dumb we are, etc. I have been trying to engage you in conversation but you come back with your opinions as to what you feel about Christians. Then you have the unbelievable moxie to claim that we are waffling.

      As to your statement about animals, that’s MY POINT. We have a MUCH GREATER mental capacity than they do and yet, you claim that we need a conscience in order to stay on the “straight and arrow.” Yet, they stay on the “straight and arrow” without a conscience. We are moral creatures, they are not. We are moral creatures because we have a conscience which defies your claim that the ONLY difference between humans and animals is mental capacity.

      Do you even read the comments in their entirety before you respond?

      It’s getting a little old to read your digs towards Christians when you have nothing to offer except your own personal opinions. That is all you have offered thus far.

      In any event, back to the claims that you are making. You stated that we have a conscience because we need it stay on the “straight and arrow” and that our conscience “evolved.” Do you have anything that you base this on or is it your opinion. In other words, what science are you basing this on — that is what science shows that humans did not have a conscience and it eventually developed over time.

      You correctly stated that we have a higher intellect than animals. If that is the case and based on what you have stated, why would we need to develop something else in order to stay on the straight and arrow when other animals did not need to do so in order to stay on the straight and arrow? Is it your contention that at some point, humans did not have a conscience and were therefore doing bad things and a conscience evolved so that we would quit doing bad things? Remember, it is you who stated that a conscience is necessary for us to stay on the straight and arrow and that it evolved.

      Please prove your statements. I have been trying to prove mine but you have refused to consider secular, non religious scientific sources. Otherwise, if you simply make these blank statements, they are nothing more than your personal opinions. My personal opinion, your personal or anyone elses’ personal opinions are not worth a nickle unless there is some sort of proof. The best you have been able to do thus far is resort to schoolyard tactics and call Christians derogatory names.

  17. Harlequin

    Bill,

    I must have missed your answer.

    Please provide proof on the statment that conscience evolved.

  18. Harlequin

    Also, are you sure it’s not you who are waffling? Just asking.

    “Common sense & conscience are essential to negotiate our way thro life & play fair with our fellow beings”

    You seem often to fall back on ‘common sense’ when you don’t know the answer to something. That’s interesting. But your statement also begs another series of questions: What is fairness and what is the objective standard by which it is measured? Is there such a thing as fair? From where do we get the concept of that thing called ‘fair’ and how do we know what its parameters are or is it possible to agree on them if we do not have an objective standard?

    This is a great discussion.

    By the way, as implied above, ‘common sense’ is not an answer. Common sense tells me not to wet my finger and put it in a ligh socket, but I’m certain i could find an electrical engineer whose friends will testify has absolutely no common sense but would never wet his finger and put it in a light socket because has a superior knowledge of electricity to my simple understanding.

    If you are going to engage, Bill, you need to challenge yourself a little and speak up to the level of those you are debating with.

  19. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – Please – I’m doing my level best to posit the state of play between a mind full of fictional characteristics & a mind that has used LOGIC for all of a very long life.

    Much more than a personal opinion, We ALL live using logic. We just could not get by without it.

    Mankind has been profoundly caught – In devious realms of religious thought
    One needs understand it’s Institution – & follow through, it’s Evolution

    Now I don’t know whether or not the following is also introducing difficulties.

    You keep quoting the word CONSCIOUS – aware – alert – deliberate – intentional – purposeful – etc

    I am quoting the word CONSCIENCE – morality – ethics – judgement – fairness – sense of right or wrong – etc.

    Also, not of much consequence, but I find offputting your reference to “Straight & Arrow”. Don’t know if that idiom is used in the USA but in the UK, It’s “Straight & Narrow”.

    And Harlequin – Only one answer to your long & shallow diatribe – You’re STILL on the WAFFLE! Let’s have some honest & serious criticism, if you’re able!

  20. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – I note that you have corrected conscious to conscience.

    No responses for a good few days. It looks as tho you have left me to wallow in my own ignorance re God belief.

    I still have the greatest difficulty getting my head around some Divine benign Creator that allows Nature & the human race itself to perpetrate such a multitude of horrendous happenings, past & present.

    Much easier to accept the obvious fact that Nature is quite indifferent to ANY individualistic form of life & that we are merely pawns as Creation plays out it’s future game.

    In our lifetimes, we get but a glimpse of it’s wonderful workings.

    From Quantum to Astronomical matters, we will probe until the very end of Human endeavour still asking for explanations.

    At the age of 90 years, I hear a gurgling sound as I near the plug-hole of OBLIVION – awaiting all of Earthly life.

    It’s being so cheerful that keeps ME going!

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Bill, The reason I did not respond was because I had nothing left to say. We were going in circles. Your position is that Christianity is fairy-tales. In fact, you made a point to say that in just about every single one of your comments. I attempted to stay away from discussing scripture but instead, wanted to talk about science, etc. In all cases, you accused me of directing you to religious sources even though I emphatically stated that I was not. You stated that your mind was made up based on your reading of one scientist’s work and your many years of life’s experiences.

      There just was not anything left to say so I exited the conversation.

      That all being said, I will discuss the rest of your comment as you did ask a lot of questions and to be honest, even though you were being sarcastic, your statement ” It looks as tho you have left me to wallow in my own ignorance re God belief” got to me.

      If you’re willing to stick to the topic and keep the snide remarks to yourself, we can continue.

      p.s. As the administrator of this blog, I have the ability to respond to comments via email and as such I use spell check. I clicked on the wrong word and did a global change and you know the results; I globally changed it to the wrong word. Thanks for pointing that out as I was able to go back and change it.

  21. Bill Davison

    Tishrei -

    It looks as though we must stay at odds re Celestial matters. It’s not only your particular version I’m criticizing. I am just not comfortable at all with religiosity in ANY form.

    Snideness is merely a Natural ploy in order to emphasize a point.

    It appears neither of us would ever give ground. We could prattle on for ages. There’s no compromise between us so I’ll leave you in peace.

    Hope dear old Harlequin is still praying for me. Could you tell him to raise the volume a little. The aches & pains of old age are not abating.

    Meanwhile, thanks for the entertainment – oops – sorry – There I go again.

    All the best m’dear, sincerely – Bill

    1. Repent Harlequin

      Hello Bill,

      I’d not considered raising the volume but I will try that. You know, it’s recently been on my heart that I haven’t been praying enough and you are the second reminder this week.

      At the young age of 48 years (I’m rounding up, I still have a few weeks to go) I think smetime *I* have pains in the morning. Are you telling me it’s twice as bad? Four times? What?

      I know you’re just being facetious and you probably don’t care but I’ll raise the volume.

      So…. what else would you like to talk about?

      1. Bill Davison

        Harlequin – I can confirm that ‘things’ just get worse as you age.

        Bits keep falling off you know, & it’s very sad.

        Gut I’m afraid we just HAVE to rely on scientific endeavour to hold ourselves together for as long as we can. For ANY conscious being, it’s ‘merely’ a DIY world.

        Eventually, as with all forms of life, consciousness gradually departs & the pains of existence fade as we approach the total peace of OBLIVION.

        Now, In your praying sessions Harlequin, please don’t treat me with any precedence. You mustn’t forget the millions upon millions of individuals inhabiting Earth who are much more deserving of prayer than myself. Each one should have a specific mention.

        I realize that this process will take a very long time indeed; probably approaching eternity. You will therefore need a pretty large collection of very good-quality knee-protectors to see you through.

        The more one surveys the ludicrous nature of Religiosity, the sillier it gets. Large sections of the Earth’s population – Haiti – Pakistan – Iraq – Afghanistan, & a multitude of others are experiencing untold horrors; literally millions of poor souls involved, & it seems a continuing process.

        With regard to these facts, the thought that a benign Creator would put itself about to ease the rather minor pains of one ageing member of planet Earth is so bizarre, it just deserves one loud guffaw.

        Your somewhat misguided thoughts are greatly appreciated Harlequin but, PLEASE – COME ON -– Let’s be REAL! We must use SOME of that Natural sense that is so VERY common!

  22. Repent Harlequin

    Helo Bill,

    Much of what you write is what makes m question your assertion that ethics and morals are evolving. In fact, the more I lear of the world the more I agree that it is fallen and man is capable of depraved evil.

    Now it is interesting that you would say there are many more deserving than yourself. I remind myself of the very same thing any time I come to Jesus and thank Him for everything He’s done for me and given me. That kind of awareness keeps me for that pony I never received as a child.

    There are literally billions of us misguided Christians and I know a lot them who make it a regular habit of praying for people all over the world. I’ve been keeping some people in Spain in my prayers as well as other support for most of this year. I’m sure I can spare some time in prayer for you and just count on others covering the bases for me.

    So, it gets much worse? Well, I suspected as much.

    Hey thanks for writing.

  23. Bill Davison

    RH – We shouldn’t be at all surprised that the Earth seems populated by lots of unethical people. Nature is raw & quite indifferent to individualistic circumstances. It is therefore quite normal that everyone tries to make their own particular situation as easy-going as is possible & I’m afraid that will continue. It’s the way of the World & entirely ‘normal’.

    You cannot claim that religious people are anything other than ‘normal’. To illustrate that fact forcefully, you only need consider the leaders of religious groupings & the fact that they claim contact with a ‘Holy Presence’ in some form. From the Witch-Doctors, Sorcerers & Soothsayers of old have evolved the Archbishops, Ayatollahs & Popes etc of today.

    Leaders of ALL of these groups are, quite obviously, blatant IMPOSTORS, They only need to utter a few pious words in a serious manner to cajole the uncritical & naïve sections of society to follow them & thus give them a higher social status than normal. They are not honest.

    These persons are all living a lie. NONE of us will EVER be aware of a supreme creator. No facts are present to corroborate it. To claim so is merely indulging in transcendent thought, giving credence to fantasy.

    Most of us, secular & pious alike, take heed of the needs of people with less resources & try to help each other thro the complexities of life. In other words, we use basic common sense.

    For a good proportion of humanity, whether religiously inclined or not, morality & ethics continue to evolve as conditions change & knowledge advances – but –

    There will ALWAYS be those trying to gain an advantage. That is NATURE’S way. Witness the present difficulties we are in, as of now, caused by the greed of certain people in the banking community. Dishonesty is in every walk of life, not least in the religious community.

    The consciencious need to be alert re every human activity because egotistic behaviour is apparent everywhere. We must face it – survival of the fittest in any particular environment is Nature’s way of working. That thought does not give many of us an easy mind but you just cannot ignore what is fact.

    RH – For me, praying to a fictional God is merely a rather forlorn plea for help. HE is just not with us, either in body or spirit!

  24. Repent Harlequin

    Hello Bill,

    Of course I’m not surprised that we live in a morally bankrupt world, the Bible says we do and the evidence all around supports the biblical teaching of the depravity of man. I am surprised to read your saying so since you’ve maintained, until now, that ethics and morality have evolved. That seems rather incongrous.

    I do not agree with blanket statements. I am neither as cynical as you are nor do I see things as black and white, in stereotypes as you do.

    So I’ll keep praying. I’m not worried about wasting my time. I’ve seen God work many wonderful things in my life and the lives of others. I believe He can do the same for you. ONe of the things I pray is that He would take away your anger.

    Have a good night.

  25. Bill Davison

    RH – What is incongruous about my statement that ethics & morality have evolved? You must know that EVERTHING evolves, ie, changes. Nothing is forever.

    Egoism is endowed as a natural part of life – one needs to be selfish in order to survive – Think about it RH – The gene is basically selfish. Now, over the lifetime of Humanity, thro the use of common sense & scientific thought, our understanding of the ways of Nature allow us to grasp that a certain amount of co-operation between individuals can help to further our longevity. Hence the evolvement of ethics & morality. In the ultimate however, any individual must exercise selfish behaviour in order to survive. It will always be so & comes in all degrees.

    Do not kid thyself RH – No one is or ever will be, immaculate! The conscientious amongst us do our best but we’ve a lot to contend with.

    ************
    Anger is not present to any great degree RH. Just total amazement that anyone can persist in believing something that is patently UNREAL.

    I believe I am much more aware of the grand picture of the Universe than any stereotypical ‘religious believer’.

    When a mind has been ‘programmed’ since birth to believe in Adam & Eve, Santa Claus etc, logic just goes out of the window, or indeed, up the chimney. REAL life however, MUST include logic in order to survive.

    ‘Believers’ are programmed to an aspect of life that is ‘Out of this World’. Correcting that specific aspect of their neurosis is not easy. Some see the light eventually. Others are trapped & revel in it.

    Children’s minds should not be contaminated with Biblical, Koranic or any similar trash. This literature is of a long-gone ignorant era & should have been consigned to the world of fairy-tale, myth & fantasy donkey’s years ago. We’ve grown up – I think?

    1. Repent Harlequin

      Hello Bill,

      I’m not arguing with you or trying to put you on the spot here; these are observations from reading your own posts, and rather simple ones to make. Almost, if you’ll pardon the expression, common sense.

      Most of your posts contain some lamenting on the state of the world; people doing bad things to other people, people suffering. I agree that what you are describing in these areas is consistent with reality. The idea that morality and ethics have evolved is inconsistent with these statements. That is clearly not arguable.

      The other thing I noted is anger. You are constantly harping on “The Leaders of Religion” (I’m not a followerer of the pope, by the way) and in that lumping all believers in any religion together. What are they to you but surrogates for God? And it is not them you are angry with’ it’s God.

      But how can that be when you say you don’t believe in God? Then again, how is you don’t want belief in ANY form (your emphasis) pushed on you, yet you continue to come back here again and again?

      I am not telling you anything you don’t know and haven’t said. You’re coming to the end of your life. You don’t know when that will happen but I’m betting you purchase only ripe banannas these days. You’re thinking about your own sins of omission and commission (you’ve mentioned this yourself, Bill), this is what is on your mind.

      The fact that you are old doesn’t mean we’ve ALL haven’t been where you are now in unbelief. I don’t think you’re hanging around this blog is a coincidence; I think its the Holy Spirit working in you.

      You don’t need to tell me anything, or tell me anything true. But now is the time for you to be honest with yourself, and really reflect on these things.

      In Christ,
      “RH”

  26. Bill Davison

    RH – You’ll need to look far & wide to find a more honest person. Not for me the impostrous psychometry of any pious belief.

    Re ethics & morality – You didn’t get the point I made in my last post. Despite the fact that there are still many people who do not follow the evolving rules of a fair & peaceable society does not mean that E & M has not evolved to suit most of us.

    It definitely has. Witness the last two great wars of not so very long ago & compare with the situation today. Wars between nations are VERY remote as of now. Much more co-operation is apparent; Nations & people at large are getting the message. What more proof do you need than that?

    People are surely getting much more aware. We live & learn, but I repeat, none of us are immaculate or ever will be.

    Bananas are ordered for delivery every week. Their state of ripeness is of little concern to me at the moment.

    It matters not how sinful you are. The consciousness of everyone eventually ends up in the same place – Oblivion. The solid components are recycled. Damn all to do with Heaven or Hell!

    I detest hypocrisy wherever I come across it. This blog is not the only one blessed with my presence. I ‘hang around’ on quite a few. The Web supports loads of similar tosh.

    Can’t you see the picture. The MAIN reason I’m on sites of this type is that I find it very entertaining. Religious belief is so incongruous, it amuses, amazes & intrigues me in equal measure.

    Since retirement, the origins of Man-made religiosity has been nailed well & truly. Far too late for any Holy Spirit to gain my support,

    Give your kneecaps a rest RH & rid your mind of fruitless devotions!

    1. Harlequin

      Bill,

      Well if that’s al true then my initial instinct that you are a small person and time waster is correct. Is this what you are admitting to?

      Either way, you’re problem is not a lack of belief in God; the problem is your anger with Him. I’ve seen more like you than you could imagine. “I don’t believe in your fantasy God and I should know because I spend inordinate amounts of time obsessing over it.”

      I’m still not buying your ‘morality has evolved’ so you’ll have to do better with your ‘proof’, and I did not ‘get’ your point because you failed to make it stan’. Merely saying something is not supporting it.Perhaps you could stop contradicting that view with everything else you write about.

      I read very well, Bill, what you are saying. Do you?

  27. Bill Davison

    RH – When a bona fide reply can’t be made to sensible criticisms, ridicule has to suffice. We are all rather insignificant in the great scheme of things. I don’t see anything in your posts that indicates you are at all superior. Very prone to insults & you still have that tendency to waffle. Little in the way of anything concrete.

    Wasting time? – Consider this – Far too much reverence is devoted to the abstract of Religiosity. Vast volumes of impotent bombastic rhetoric has been generated by self-righteous Con-Men who use their dominant & deceitful acumen to sublimely charm others to wander in an unreal Spiritual Wonderland that is totally unworthy of any HONEST contemplation.

    I’ve never been taken in by fairy tales or is ever likely to be.

    If you cannot see the evolvement of the human conscience as ongoing, you just don’t WANT to see it.

    Faith in something as intangible as a GOD is really not on, except for those whose mental processes are stretched or where the programming in early childhood still holds sway.

    Repeat yet again – In order to form a valid judgement on ‘figmentary Gods or Heavenly matters’ a reasonably healthy state of mind is essential. Unease results in the urge to look skywards.

    A connection with the Transcendental seems a necessary requisite for those trapped in this ‘Faith’ business. A pure mind game. The HUMBUG of it all is so apparent. .

    Back to you, RH

  28. Repent Harlequin

    What ridicule are you referring to?

  29. Reprnt Harlequin

    Hello Bill,

    I’ve read your post twice and think you are doing a lot of projection, particularly when it comes to your waffling comment. I’m not sure how one can waffle when one is not asked anything. You, on the other hand, have had your assertions challenged and have yet to defend them.

    As far as insults go, well, that’s definitely projection (you can look that up on wikipedia if you like).

    If you believe I am claiming superiority I think that you may want to examine your *feelings* rather than anything I’ve said. WHile I make no apologies for being a critical thinker I don’t believe this precludes humility on my part. It also does not require me to impute intelligence on others when it is unwarranted; just to be nice, as it were.

    On the time wasting – Well, yes, abosolutely your choices of explaining your continued presence is limited to two. I’m just using common sense, really. You’ve avoided answering which it it is.

    Back to you, Bill.

  30. Bill Davison

    RH – Some of your comments of late do not reflect well on a supposed member of the cloth.

    The banana issue. That is a straightforward jibe at the age issue, very comical & shows that a certain amount of logic is present. Remark entirely unwarranted in this case. I do hope you’re still praying for me.

    The reference to a small person & time waster. If I can’t put that down as an attempt at sheer ridicule, I’ve got to be really thick. No projections here, the imputation is obviously intended.

    Critical Thinker? I find it very difficult to comprehend that a person caught in the quagmire of ‘Spiritual’ spin can be such. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence – No REAL thought is needed for blind Faith.

    Unwarranted intelligence? Another projection? I’ve invited you a few times to comment on the material of my Web pages that you regard disdainfully as a screed. The facts contained therein are the product of pure logical thinking. You’ll not find any sign of waffling there. Hard indisputable facts only.

    In that treatise I’ve done my level best to expose the meandrine moonshine of erudite intelligentsia of the last few millennia. It has long been needed.

    Now RH, instead of continued waffling & time wasting, keep your mind on the subject in hand. This particular ‘debate’ is supposed to be about Mega Churches, not about the mental capabilities of the participants. I can justify my part. To date you’ve done nothing but insult, distract & waffle. You appear to be entirely negative. Not unexpected!

    Just been listening to a dispute between the Anglican’s different interpretations of Christianity, re the appointment of female bishops. Their wordy wranglings are reminiscent of politicians; Talk themselves in & out of ANY situation. Plenty of ammunition in the dictionaries of the World

    I wonder why these useless wranglers can’t ask the Almighty One direct for a decisive settlement – from the horse’s mouth ITSELF so to speak. Could it be that their God is of the mind only; the various fallibilities of minds need no emphasis here.

    If the female half of Humanity are allowed to progress in the organisation, a good few of the crackers intend to transfer their [b]allegiance[/b] to the Pope as a protest. Big Deal for their followers! What crass imbecility!

    RH – Let’s have your ‘proof’ of the Almighty One’s existence, together with the need of churches necessary to demonstrate loyalty, with all of the abso bul that goes with it.

    [b]Mankind has been profoundly caught – In devious realms of religious thought
    One needs understand it’s Institution – & follow through – it’s Evolution

    Temples & Cathedrals Grand – Very impressive – But as they stand
    Forget thee not – These ‘Sacred Places’ – Are but MONUMENTS to Man’s benighted phases[/b]

    I contend that Humankind can manage to get along quite well without all of the cant & complications of religiosity. Keep simple things simple. There are enough natural problems to overcome. Holiness is a drug & a drag on society.

    Let’s have your thoughts RH. My waffle machine is at the ready.

    1. Repent Harlequin

      Bill,
      It seems to me you are somewhat myopic, or perhaps disappointed that I haven’t made a big deal out of your consistent insults with which you pepper your posts. Maybe I should explain and put your mind at ease: I have a much lower standard for non-believers; frankly, i bleep right over them.

      I’m glad you mentioned logic. I wasn’t sure you held it in much esteem, preferring ‘common sense’ which even atheist philosopher David Hume contended was useless for science. (Think how it does not apply to quantum for example.

      Anyway, now to logic. Let’s talk about that.

      Option 1: The cosmos is an illusion; it doesn’t exist.
      Option 2: The cosmos is self-existent (and eternal).
      Option 3: The cosmos is self-created.
      Option 4: The cosmos is created by something that is self-existent.

      Are there any other options that cannot be fit into the four above? Bertrand Russell’s infinite series of first causes may be submitted, but this is only a not very well disguised version of option 3: self-creation carried out to infinity. The answer is ‘No’. We are faced with four options.

      Trimming out the possibilities we can immediately eliminate two of them.

      Option 1 is easy. In order for there to be an illusion there must be someone having the illusion. If someone is having the illusion then they must be self-created, self-existent, or created (caused) by something that is self-existent. Further, if the illusion is absolute in that nothing exists then we are done.

      Option 3 is formally false. For something (or someone) to be self-created they must be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship. This includes spontaneous generation “by chance”. Chance is nothing. Formally, chance is not. Chance is powerless, it can influence nothing. It is a probability in mathematics; not a force. If you flip a coin what are the chances (or probability) that it will come up heads? Fifty percent. What influence does chance have on the coin coming up heads? None at all; in fact even the question is nonsensical.

      So now we are left with 2 and 4. If something exists then whatever exists is either self-existent or created by something that is self-existent. The concept of self-existent reality is not only logically possible, it is logically necessary. If there ever was a time when there was nothing there would be nothing now, unless something can come from nothing, which puts us back at the logically impossible concept of self-creation.

      If something must be self-existent then what or who is it?
      Is the cosmos is the what that is self-existent? Is it all of the cosmos? If it’s all then I am self-existent and so is this community. Being contingent, dependent, derived entities this cannot be the case, so if it is the cosmos that is self-existent it is not the whole cosmos. We may argue that the cosmos is self-existent in part, and so creates or generates these other realities. That would place the self-existent portion of the cosmos in a higher order than the created portions of the cosmos. In other words, we have given the self-existent portion of the cosmos same transcendent attributes of God.

      This is fatal to the self-existent cosmos as we attempt to locate a transcendent self-existent being within the universe while attempting to avoid linguistic confusion; mistaking ontological status for geographic or spatial relationships. Which brings us back to the preceding paragraph.

      If the only way we can be here is via a self-existent reality and that reality must be transcendent then we are faced with the inevitable conclusion that there is a God and this God is transcendant and self-existing.

      That there is a God is not only logically possible; it is logically necessary.
      ________________________________________________________________
      Recommened reading: NOT A CHANCE The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology, by Dr. R.C. Sproul
      Argument condensed and summarized, quite astoundingly and originally I might add, by Harlequin!
      _______________________________________________________________

      Further Discussion

      The above should in no way be construed as an attempt to make a logical argument for God as described in the Bible, nor is intended to dismiss or minimize faith in any way, and certainly not the work of the Holy Spirit. What is intended is to establish there is, indeed must be, a God and to show what kind of God He must be; specifically, transcendent and self-existing.

      I have known this intuitively ever since I can remember thinking of these things and it had caused me philosophical difficulties to no end. In my later years prior to being saved I ‘resolved’ this pesky problem by ceasing to think about it.

      As I said, this is not a logical proof of the Biblical God as understood and known by Christians. But one should be prompted to ask: How would this God let us know what He desires of us? What does He desire of us? Why does He desire it? What are His attributes? The only answer to the first is Scripture and the rest are answered by Scripture.

      People are religious. We are hard wired to be religious. Some will say that this hardwiring is ‘proof’ that religious ideas in total must be false. I will not labor the absurdity, even silliness, of such a conclusion. Suffice it to say that there is something in everyone that seeks after God in some form; or better put, a void in all of us that gives us an awareness which promts us to fill it attempting to make us us whole. We know this from experience.

      But do any of these “gods” make sense from those vaying experiences?

      Religions such as Hinduism where there are warring deities and mythological athropomorphic/animalistic entities protecting their particular part of the universe and vying for the attentions of the people do not fit our logical conclusion of a Transcendent Self Existent Being who brought all into existence. Modern Hinduism may have attempted to fix these problems after the fact, but the baggage remains. Much the same can be said of other religions, from New Agers to Scientologists to Buddhists. Additionally, we can add to this list “Alien Hope”, my own term for those who look to outer space for some superior beingsthat will save us.

      Islam is unique in that it is not mythic in the sense of anthropomorphism or animalist tribal legends. However, besides the obvious problems that come about in light of the gospel there are certain problems we can readily see without reference to anything else other than the preceding article and its (Islam’s) own framework.

      The ‘god’ described in the Koran (and it is barely described; there is no real theology within its pages) is not a personal god, but rather an impersonal one. It is not a god of love who cares for its creation, inclusive of people, in any implicit or explicit way. It cannot, being impersonal. Ceratinly, it demands some variety of obedience, which in itself is problematic when speaking of an impersonal god because it begs the question: Why would an impersonal god care about obedience?

      But there are two more devistating questions.

      First, why would an impersonal god bother to bring about creation? For what purpose? Or rather, for what purpose that it would care about? The only answer I can imagine is entertainment but that leaves me unsatisfied.

      Second, the Muslim believes he will be rewarded for his works by being admitted to Paradise. Let us not trouble ourselves to define what works the Muslim is supposed to perform. Whether these works are giving to charity or murdering people is irrelevant. The salient issue is this:

      Why would an impersonal god care or desire to reward anything? Why would an impersonal god care to give anything – even if it is earned – to anyone. Let us assume for one moment that an impersonal god could desire obedience: There will always be someone else to obey and who is to know whether there are people going to Paradise or merely being annihilated at death?

      This (rewarding) is not a question of motivation, because motivation is not an issue with an impersonal god.

      We cannot know God through reason alone. Though I would caution all not to discount reason as somehow contrary or opposed to faith. Reason is another aspect of God, a communicable attribute He shares with us. Just as I would not discount science as that is one way we can explore His creation.

      What I am saying is that we can know that God exists logically, and that He is transcendent and Self-Existing, because we can know we exist and this universe exists. From there we can look at all the implications of this necessarily logical conclusion and. From there we look after the fact from our data experience and we may conclude the only thing that makes sense of our experience is the Personal God who surpasses all understanding.

      And He tells us just that in the pages of His Scripture.
      __________________________________________________________________

      There you go. After you answer my question about the USSR you can attempt to refute the logical argument for a Self Existent Necessary Being above and the presence and origin of the universe. This will be fun and interesting, I’m so glad you brought it up.

      RH.

      1. Bill Davison

        Hells Bells & Christ Almighty RH – Now why didn’t I think of all that. Could it be that I am loath to venture too far into the jungle of the sanctimonious foliage in which you forage & seem to revel.

        My Waffling Detector is in serious danger of being overloaded. Reading all of that cobblers was a REAL time waster. How many ‘normal’ people do you think are going to absorb ANY of that utter clap-trap. Your lofty attitude impresses me not. For me, you are part of that erudite intelligentsia who have sought to clobber normality with meandrine moonshine for millennia.

        I am proud that your lofty attention has been drawn to my remarks. Bleep away RH. I am well protected with a solid coating of LOGIC & COMMON SENSE. Myopic I am not. I can visualize the situation we are in without any need to ellicit the help of characters of fiction.

        I am well aware that the common sense logic of our everyday existence runs into trouble when Quantum matters are considered. The deeper one delves into ATOMIC structure, the more one is confronted with an INFINITY. Please don’t claim any precedence in that regard.

        I must remind you once again, we are dealing here with the practicalities of human life & it’s a crazy notion that we could EVER appreciate the creation of this total immensity of which we are but a very small element. YOUR God is of conceit. Praise & devotion are essential. Heads down & Backsides up in total submission; just how damned comical & farcical can you get?

        Your wanderings in the Transcendent World are weird. That part of our body providing consciousness is fundamentally prone to the generation of ANY illusion. Common sense MUST be used to assess the validity of any thought. In this practical World, our efforts must be focussed on the prolongation of life. Gods are superfluous. I repeat, at the comprehension of existence, it’s purely a DIY business.

        I reject utterly your assertion that we are hard-wired to be religious. Of course, everyone is infected with an imaginative ‘Spiritual’ tendency, sentimentally induced, that is merely the natural wonderment of our existence & surroundings. This fact has been taken advantage of by Charlatans, from Witch-Doctors & Sorcerers to Archbishops & Ayatollahs. Impostors all, who have long preyed on the gullibility of the unthinking to spread the preposterous idea of a caring God!

        If we continue to fertilize the infant brain with this twaddle, we’ll be lumbered with puerile nonsense for a very long time to come.

        RH – The Waffle Detector is still fully operational.

        1. Tishrei

          Hi Bill,

          I have been reading some of the discussion but have pretty much stayed out of the discussion between you and RH. I would like to butt in here. One thing I pointed out was that you ridicule Christians and their beliefs. That has been a theme of yours. Yet, when you bring up something of substance, you bow out of the conversation. For example, you brought up that man has a conscience to keep us humans in line. I responded to that line of thinking and your only response was to point out my spelling errors. You did not discuss your thoughts or beliefs with any substance.

          You also mentioned in one of your responses to RH that you visit several Christian sites. Why? I get that you believe we’re silly for believing in God but ridicule is not going to work to prove your point of view. That may work in a grade school school yard but you’re not going to get anywhere in any debate if all you have to offer is ridicule. I’m left wondering if you are even able to articulate why you believe as you do. I have offered on numerous occasions to discuss science with you and your only response is that you do not need to read science because what I have to offer is science from Christians and therefore, tainted. I said no, that’s not the case. You then backed off and returned to your standard tactic – ridicule.

          I don’t know how to respond to what you want for I do not know what it is you want to gain on this blog. If you want to convince us that we’re in error, you need a different method. You need to stick to a topic that is of substance. I am willing to discuss science, conscience, or whatever it is that you believe shows that we are in error. I gloss over the ridicule and scan your comments for substance. I would like to enter into a conversation with you.

  31. Repent Harlequin

    ‘I contend that Humankind can manage to get along quite well without all of the cant & complications of religiosity.”

    Really? How did that work out with the former USSR?

    1. Bill Davison

      The USSR seems to be getting the message as we all are.

      All part of EVOLUTION.

      Don’t know why you ask such silly questions.

      1. Harlequin

        So the 100 million dead is just … what? Collateral damage from the survival of the fittest?

        You’ve been given ample opportunity to engage and shown yourself unable, Bill. Your other post up above was just another meaningless screed without focus. It’s like you’re having an entirely different conversation.

        I’m sorry for you, man.

  32. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – You can surely appreciate that my natural aversion to religiosity is not limited to Christianity. I regard ALL silly ‘beliefs’ as sheer indulgence in fantasial thought in which believers live in a airy-fairy rite-ful World. Logic is only considered when it is essential, ie, for normal daily tasks & especially when illnesses or accidents happen. They much prefer the illusion of a caring God but know that science (common sense) must be consulted in the final rescue attempt. Within the religious community, reason takes a back seat until necessity calls.

    I’d have thought that my purpose in visiting various religious sites on the Web was pretty obvious. Surely you can see that I use religious criticism as a natural form of therapy. I’ve no wish to insult, my dear, but my limited intellect is quite amused when reading the comments of the devout. Much more entertaining than gawping at most of what TV has to offer. A useful diversion to my other interests, including music & science. Responding keeps the mind occupied. I don’t kid myself that I change many of the minds I converse with but surely a llittle of the straightforward thinking I deliver must register.

    There is no need to discuss Science in relation to the anomaly of Religiosity. My last post in response to the lengthy treatise of RH should suffice to clarify that point. Scientific people are, like the rest of us, faced finally with an empirical decision.

    As I state in my reference to Prof S W Hawking, re his latest book concluding that no Maker need be postulated in the creation of the Total Immensity in which we dwell, I could have enlightened him donkey’s years ago if only he’d asked, poor soul.

    Tishrei – I cannot make my points any clearer. If you cannot see any substance in my posts to date, there’s no chance you ever will. Quite willing to converse, but MY conscience dictates that ANY belief in transcendent beings is a non-starter. On that basic point, It would appear as though we would NEVER agree.

    ***********************

    RH – My earlier meaningless screed is a well-focussed reply to the VERY long & boring analysis you gave on the possible existence of a caring God.

    Waffle Detector again reads positive! Please direct your sorrow inwards. Your Transcendent World is not the place that I inhabit; facts are ignored.

    USSR – Nature takes it’s course in any event. Just when ARE you going to accept REALITY for what it TRULY is. History is littered with catastrophies, Natural & Man-made.
    Why does YOUR God allow it? What’s IT playing at?

    MY early observations of the Universe were endorsed much later in a very lucid statement by Prof R Dawkins – ie

    “The Universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom – No Design – No Purpose – No Evil – No Good – Nothing but BLIND PITILESS INDIFFERENCE”.

    1. Tishrei

      Bill,

      You’ve made your points loud and clear. The problem is that you’re just pontificating, you’re just rambling with absolutely no substance. You bring up a point and when we try to discuss it, you have no ability to discuss the very points you bring up. You ignore the very points you bring up because it appears you are unable to. The only thing that you have been consistent with is to throw out insults.

      You keep bringing up science including this comment that I am responding to. Yet, when I have tried to engage you in conversation about science, you won’t and that’s because you are unable. It is YOU that have brought up certain topics and when we respond to you NOT using religion, you are unable to hold up your end of the conversation with topics that YOU choose. You are only left with the tactics that children use, insults. That is the tactic that is used by people that do not know what they are talking about.

      You said “but surely a llittle of the straightforward thinking I deliver must register.?” You’re not serious are you. Who are you kidding except for yourself? You have offered no straightforward thinking. You simply pontificate and offer your own personal opinions and when we respond, you exit the conversation. You keep bringing up science yet you refuse to discuss science.

      I don’t believe you even bother to read the responses to you. You said “There is no need to discuss Science in relation to the anomaly of Religiosity?” Are you kidding me? Are you really saying that with a straight face? I have offered numerous times to discuss science with you based on science alone. I have offered to cite scientists that are NOT Christians and you actually have the moxie to state what you just did? In fact, I did just that. You brought up conscience as a necessity to keep humans in line and I responded. That was YOUR topic and I responded not using any religious reasoning at all. You did not respond because you are unable to sustain your view because you don’t even know what you’re talking about. You did not counter my argument with science. You did not even counter my argument at all. So you did what children do when they can’t respond, you insulted. Your only response to my response to you was to point out my spelling errors.

      You mentioned in this comment that you visit religious sites and criticize as a natural form of therapy. I don’t know about anyone else here, but I’m not going to feed your need for therapy. Perhaps you should find another site for your therapy. This is a site for discussion, not therapy. I am tired of reading the rantings of a child in an adult body.

      I was willing to discuss any subject you chose but you do not have enough knowledge about the subjects YOU choose. That became obvious in the beginning.

      Please find another site for your therapeutic needs.

  33. Repent Harlequin

    Nope, Bill, not going to do it.

    *You* brought up science and when T wanted to talk science you ran away, flinging insults in your wake.

    *You* brought up logic and when I wanted to talk logic you ran away.

    Well, there you go. Have a nice life. I’m done.

  34. Bill Davison

    Tishrei – When WILL you & RH admit that you know perfectly well what I am on about. The pair of you seem to be very conveniently immune to substance.

    If you require it even more bluntly, I’m accusing both of you of deliberation in a subject that is plainly ‘Out of this World’. The Transcendent nature of the God you worship can NEVER be proven to exist. IT is purely a Man-made conception of ancient times, kept alive in minds that have been brainwashed since birth.

    In this respect, you are both refusing to use the natural common sense that any normal person needs in order to get thro a conscious period in the REAL world.

    That is straightforward thinking, with a VERY straight face. not the rantings of a child in an adult body.

    Everyone needs a therapy. You get yours through irrationality. Mine is striving for sanity.

    Truth is, I’m pretty certain that the pair of you HAVE got the message; has been apparent for a while. Neither of you however, are going to be honest & admit it. Your attempts to cover your tracks can only be labelled as WAFFLING – standard practice with the religious when confronted with irrefutable fact.

    RH – I’m not running away from anything, especially logic. Nothing in these exchanges scares me. Fact & truth is my line. Indulging in FANTASY is not for me!

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