Sunday, 17 June 2018

What shall we do with the ‘God’ signifier?

I’ve started rereading The Case for God by Karen Armstrong which moves away from the Christian Fundamentalist-New Atheist false dichotomy towards a more measured approach to the unknown and how it relates to our shared human condition. Karen Armstrong is a religious historian and writer who has published many books about the Abrahamic tradition and its place in the wider context of other historic and extant religions. The Case for God is a grand history of how humans have related to God/Allah/Brahman/Dao starting over 30,000 years ago and finally bringing us to the present day and our own predicament and inscrutabilities.

Early in the book, she asks an unanswerable question (which puts butterflies in my stomach if I stand on the edge of it for too long): Why is there something rather than nothing? (ponder what ‘no thing’ is, how it lies beyond comprehension and what could have been):

Sunday, 1 April 2018

The Catacombic Machine

I have been aware of The Catacombic Machine podcast for about a year and up until recently only listened to a few of them, mainly when they had a guest I already knew a bit about. With a lot of the others I couldn’t really make out where they were coming from and I wasn’t really up to speed with the background information needed to follow a lot of the discussion. Anyway I persevered and now I really like what they do and enjoy listening in. I’ve downloaded a significant portion of the back catalogue and am working my way through them. The last one I listened to was a discussion with LeRon Schults a professor who is American but lives in Norway and is an atheist working to understand aspects of religion at the University of Agder.

I was particularly taken by a part of the conversation that happened just under an hour in (if you look the podcast up and want to dive in then it starts at 58:33). It starts with Josef, the interviewer and the gist of what they said went like this…

Monday, 26 February 2018

Antony Flew

"Since the beginning of my philosophical life I have followed the policy of Plato's Socrates: We must follow the argument wherever it leads." – Antony Flew

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Parable of the Invisible Gardener

I'm doing Atheism for Lent again this year. The first couple weeks of which provide daily thoughts that are intended to question widely received ideas about "God", especially the Theistic God of many Westerners. The intent is that the thought is from a respected and intelligent individual and is therefore supposed to be considered with an open mind rather than dismissed out of hand as one might ignore someone talking about something about which they have no specialist or professional connection.

The latter part of Atheism for Lent moves on to what I think are more interesting ideas about what I would describe as a non-theistic god (i.e. a god that is not necessarily a conscious agent or that has a mind).

Anyway, back to the earlier thoughts and the Invisible Gardener...

Thursday, 7 December 2017

On Ignosticism

'The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as “My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false,” or Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead.”'

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Do I believe God exists?

Recently I was talking to a Christadelphian I’d not met before. It wasn’t long before the question came up, “Do you believe God exists?”