Showing posts with label Richard Dawkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Dawkins. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fatal Friends: Dawkins and Calvin

Hey, look — John Calvin and Richard Dawkins are riding on the same bus!

To be fair, I think neither is likely to be very happy the other has come along for the ride. They’re probably sitting at opposite ends, looking away from each other, and maybe pretending to read an outdated copy of The Times. But they’re riding to the same station.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

You Don’t Know My Father

Let me tell you a story about my father.

Once upon a time (actually, more than once), a very badly behaved little boy sat in the back seat of the family car during a long road trip, deliberately provoking the driver by ramming his pointy little knees into the small of the driver’s back. It was a source of great pleasure to the boy, who disliked long car trips, had become bored and was looking for something fun to do.

From the front seat of the car came a series of calm responses something like this: “Stop that, please” … “I believe I told you to stop that” … “If you don’t stop that, there are going to be consequences”, and eventually, “The next time you do that, we’re going to have to pull over.”

Finally, after the third or fourth transparently intentional provocation, the car eased over to the shoulder of the highway, and child and parent made a trip into the woods together for some clarification as to who was in charge.

Keep this story in mind, if you will.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

He was a walking nightmare — tall, balding, all angles-and-bones, a vulture of a man. His beady eyes peered out predaciously over his hawk-like nose, and his battered tweed jacket emanated chalk dust clouds as he strode up and down the aisles. We students cowered in fear, praying he would not ask us the next question. Chances are we couldn’t answer it.

Hey, chances are we couldn’t even understand it, so high over our heads was his vocabulary.

But cowering would not save us. He would pick someone at random. “You,” he would say. “What does ‘ephemeral’ mean?” His respondent would not know. He would repeat the question, stepping closer to the cringing child. No answer.

He would persist: “Don’t you have a dictionary? … Can’t you ask anyone?”


Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Atheist’s New Clothes

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ”

Sometimes the Bible just hits the nail on the head.

You run into a lot of people who pride themselves in being atheists. They rattle on about how they are the only intellectual option … that every scientist is an atheist … that no one who has any sense would be anything else … and so on. Their smugness, their self-satisfaction, their certainty seem so great that the unprepared believer is often blown back on his heels.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Anonymous Asks (26)

“Why is God so morbidly violent in the Old Testament?”

This is certainly God’s Old Testament reputation among unbelievers and the aggressively anti-Christian, isn’t it? I love to quote Richard Dawkins on this subject, since his description is possibly the most vitriolic I’ve ever encountered: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Well, at least he said “arguably”. Good. I’m going to argue it.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Real Paul and Fake Paul

Marcus Antonius Felix was the procurator of the Roman province of Iudaea between A.D. 52 and 58. Secular history tells us he was a Greek, known for his cruelty and fond of bribes. His rule was characterized by political unrest, which he put down ruthlessly. He married three times, his middle wife being a Jewish divorcee named Drusilla who died two decades later in the famous first century eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

It would not be wildly out of line to suggest Felix’s “rather accurate knowledge” of The Way was likely a direct consequence of this second marriage.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

The Atheist’s New Clothes

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fatal Friends: Dawkins and Calvin

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Inbox: The Worst Possible Answer

Bernie continues to muse about suffering from a biblical perspective:

“Some other things to consider:
  • Of the four identified types of suffering [see previous post], Christians get all four (yay!), non-Christians only get the first two.
  • Suffering of types two and three is not the mark of a failing Christian, it is the mark of a succeeding one. The more we do for God and the more we get serious about bringing Christ-likeness out fully, the more we will feel the knife — or, a better image — feel the weight of the cross. Opposition grows as we mature and become productive. This is (I think) why the people closest to God seem to suffer the most and endure the greatest hardships.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Inbox: Dawkins and Calvin Go to Hell

Or not. Tertius writes:
“Our Lord spoke three parables in Luke 15. They form His three-pronged answer to the criticism, ‘this man receiveth sinners and eats with them’ found at the end of the previous chapter. Jesus protests that anything lost (a sheep, a coin, or a son) evokes grief but the finding of them calls for celebration. I have heard subpoints of teaching made from the illustration of the two sons which miss that emphasis and I remember a discussion as to whether the prodigal was a lost sinner or a backslidden Christian!”

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fatal Friends: Dawkins and Calvin

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

You Don’t Know My Father

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Atheist’s New Clothes

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Science Redux

David Berlinski does what I can’t (but certainly tried to) in a Peter Robinson interview appropriately entitled Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. He quotes from his book The Devil’s Delusion:
“In many respects, the word ‘naturalism’ comes closest to conveying what scientists regard as the spirit of science: the source of its superiority to religious thought. But what reason is there to conclude that everything is, to quote philosopher Alexander Byrne, ‘an aspect of the universe … revealed by the natural sciences’? There is no reason at all.”
He comments on the validity of certain scientists’ claim to authority:
“The comparable claim would be, ‘(a) I’m a scientist; (b) I’m an expert on contract law’. You’re an expert on contract law because you’ve studied particle physics? Give me a break. An expert on the existence of God because you’ve studied particle physics? I request the same break, the same suspension of belief, the same absence of commitment to whatever it is you’re saying.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lies, Myths and Misinformation: Smart People Are Atheists

Are more intelligent people atheists? Bill Maher certainly thinks so:
“We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think that religion stops people from thinking ... I think religion is a neurological disorder ... I am just embarrassed that it has been taken over by people like evangelicals, by people who do not believe in science and rationality.”
So does Richard Dawkins, unsurprisingly:
“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” 
And of course the atheists network calls itself “the Brights”, presumably in contrast to those who are not.