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Friday, May 06, 2011

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Laura

"The Unholy Qur'an"! Hahahaha! Love it!

thgdbk

Have you read any of his book?

Check out daily snippets from it at http://thgdbk.net

Carl E. Olson

Yes, I've read a fair amount of it on amazon.com, and just downloaded the Kindle sample. What I've read so far strikes me as a mixture of basic proverbial observations, some quotes you might find in "Reader's Digest", some pompous and laughable tripe ("Dare to know: that is the motto of enlightenment"), most of it delivered with a sort of sincere smugness that comes off like the work of an ardent undergraduate (possibly named "Joseph Smith, III"). For example, "There was but one course left, at the dawn of true science: To try the whole anew on a better plan, and to commence a reconstruction of human knowledge on proper foundations." Wow. That's deep.

It appears that the word "ignorance" is a favorite; it is used repeatedly. I recommend Grayling venture forth and appropriate a thesaurus.

Here's one of my "favorites" so far:

"Fear holds dominion over people when they understand little, and need simple stories and legends to comfort and explain; But legends and the ignorance that give them birth are a house of limitations and darkness."

Kudos to Grayling for describing modern atheism so well. But he gets marked down for not realizing this is best applied to atheism, not Christianity.

Paul Rodden

Jim Gaffigan looks like Jeff Cavins... :)

Howard

I think it would be interesting to have a debate, not between an atheist and a Christian, but between an atheist and a pantheist. I think the pantheist would wipe the floor with the atheist, mostly because I strongly suspect that the vast majority of "atheists" are really irreligious pantheists: they believe the universe is all that is and all that matters, and consciousness itself is a latent property of matter (though most matter is "comatose" because it is not arranged to have the sensory or computing power for that latent consciousness to be fully developed). In spite of this, they do not wish to be bothered to pray or participate in liturgies -- they are irreligious, not unbelieving. Occasionally the mask slips, and we see Carl Sagan participating in an ad hoc quasi-liturgy.

Howard

The Bible is full of the failings of its heroes -- Jesus being, of course, the notable exception. The apostles were frequently weak, vain, and stupid. King David was an adulterer and murderer. Abraham was so cowardly that on two occasions he presented Sarah as his sister rather than as his wife. Jacob lied to his father and cheated his brother. Moses was not allowed to enter the Holy Land because of his disobedience. Noah got drunk and made a fool of himself. Solomon, although a very wise man, stupidly married a thousand women, and he fell into idolatry. The list goes on.

This could be explained away if these were failings only by our standards, not the standards of the day, but that isn't the case. The writers of the Gospels -- including the Apostles Matthew and John -- understood clearly that they were depicting the apostles as having been weak, vain, and stupid, but that was OK for two reasons: (1) it was true, and (2) the Gospels were not written to glorify the apostles in the first place.

Somehow, I suspect that the histories of an "atheist's bible" will be much more reluctant to show the failures of atheism's heroes.

Trebuchet

Wasn't it this very same "I can do it better" attitude that got Lucifer in trouble?

Alex

To hear you tell it Carl, atheists are almost as obsessed with religion as Catholics are with sex. I think their strident tone can, however, be primarily attributed to their outrage over the evil that has been done and continues to be done by religion. And while I cannot join them in their disbelief I am in complete accordance with their aim of a secular society and I think they do a world of good by continuing to point out the continuing evils of organized religion. You do yourself a great disservice by so pettily speaking of them here. You do little more than prove their point by flaunting your arrogance and your obvious anger at them. If they're so unimportant that their numbers are shrinking while yours are growing one wonders at your level of spite and attention. I found your article to be very ugly but, given what I know of you now, entirely expected.

peter l

I used to take exception to these "New Atheists".Hitchens and Dawkins in particular when they seemed not to argue their case for non belief but their sheer arrogance towards anyone with belief.I have watched a lot of debates that these characters have been involved in and after being ruffled slightly by their gusto and verve,i have concluded that they are not to be taken seriously by anyone.

I used to watch in dismay as every hammer blow they dealt against God or His Church was met with thunderous applause by those in the audience.But now these "Characters" resemble Jerry Springer more than serious commentators.They seem to play to the crowd and become hostile to their opponent when they have no argument.Hitchens is especially clumsy when met with intelligent and articulate debate,he often becomes personal and boorish when faced with challenges his limited argument cannot meet,i have always hated a bad loser lol.

PS
I WILL NEVER LOOK AT A VEGGIE BURGER THE SAME WAY AGAIN :-)

LJ

To hear you tell it Carl, atheists are almost as obsessed with religion as Catholics are with sex.

That's hilarious Alex. Have a look around, at the internet, at advertising, at television, at movies, at any and every media form you wish and then tell me who is obsessed with sex, the culture or the Catholic Church.

Turn that around a little and you'll have it right. If the culture were not so obsessed with sex, the Church would have to spend very little time on the subject. The only reason you notice it is because the Catholic Church teaching has not caved to the culture the way almost every other religious organization or communion has. We stand out.

Put another way, if the culture were not obsessed with sex, the Church's teaching would pass with hardly a notice.

The proof is everywhere evident. The culture is so obsessed with sex that it has spent billions of dollars and sacrificed millions of babies on the express purpose of removing commitment and consequences. Catholic teaching loves sex, but in the context of commitment and the open armed acceptance of its natural consequences. Call it a natural or "holistic" approach to sex.

And the Catholic Church also teaches something very radical about sex. It is possible to say "no." In fact, some people have built their entire life on that premise of free-will regarding sex, exercising it to choose a celibate life, and to be a constant thorn in the side of the culture.

So who's obsessed?

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