Friday, February 08, 2008

starting the pre-empted debate

Those of you who read comments on this blog will note that Dave has made reference to the comments made by Rowan Williams about Sharia law. Unfortunately I've not yet had time to read up properly on it, and my beloved Metro wasn't up to the challenge of equipping me for educated debate. Blame the fact that I've been very busy in the last couple of days*.

I'm bound to wade in and have my say at some point but in the meantime I'd like to start with what Dave had to say.

"Interesting. If ever there was good evidence as to why any religiously biased character shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Parliament, this is it."

Like it or lump it, atheists are also "religiously biased". Food for thought...

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*And the fact that Dave agreed with me for once on something; I've been in a state of shock.

8 comments:

dave said...

You are right JP, atheists are biased. All opinions/facts/inclinations are biased. The key is where the bias is derived from.

In the case of atheists, the bias is derived from looking around and investigating the world we live in to find answers that are relevant to now, and to the best of our ability, correct.

Adam said...

Some of the reporting of the Archbishop's statements has been pretty horrific. I strongly suggest you read what he actually said (preferably the entire lecture, but at least the World at One interview) before jumping to conclusions based on the press reports.

Anonymous said...

Like it or lump it, atheists are also "religiously biased"

The key difference is that there aren't any atheists in parliament because they are atheist, in contrast to the Bishops in the House of Lords.

JP said...

Noting Adam's comment, I intend to read up before dropping myself in it.

Continuing this little mini-debate I think that Dave you were slightly arrogant with your first comment. If the human race had proven to the best of its ability that there is no God then I would not be a Christian. At the end of the day, atheism is as much a faith as Christianity.

I spent four years studying physics at university, which negates your bizarre implication that as a Christian I don't bother to investigate the world around me. The fact is however, science might be able to answer a lot of questions, but it doesn't deal with "why are we here?" or the existence - or not - of God.

I'd also like to argue that when you do "investigate the world around you" you inevitably come across all sorts of aspects of inherent "design" and an underlying beauty which could quite easily point to the existence of God (but note that I say "point to" and not prove. I can't prove that there is a God, and as such I don't think you're stupid for believing that there isn't).

The anonymous comment is an interesting one. If one were to set up a society today then to elect a quota of people to the governing body based purely on one religious belief would probably be seen as unfairly biased. The fact is, however, they are there and to remove them purely on the basis of their religious belief risks casting unfair aspersions on their faith and setting a dangerous precedent.

If you are going to take the line that any belief is valid, then we should accept that the people in the House of Lords have something valid to say, whatever their background.

One would presume also that you see hereditary peers in the same way. Why should they be there based on family background?

Personally, I think that the House of Lords - with unelected representatives from all sorts of backgrounds - is a good thing, but we can save that debate for another time.

dave said...

"Continuing this little mini-debate I think that Dave you were slightly arrogant with your first comment. If the human race had proven to the best of its ability that there is no God then I would not be a Christian. At the end of the day, atheism is as much a faith as Christianity. "

No, no, no and more no. Did you even read what I wrote? I could have just wrote "God doesn't exist silly.", which is what most people feel like saying but I even made it Christian friendly.

In the case of atheists, the bias is derived from looking around and investigating the world we live in to find answers that are relevant to now, and to the best of our ability, correct.

It is not proved that there is no God, ok, true. But, to use your term, to the best of our ability, the correct judgement to make is that the existence of any form of higher power is more than unlikely.

Similarly, it's more than unlikely that kidney beans don't grow on the moon.

dave said...

Yeah that should say:

Similarly, it's more than unlikely that kidney beans grow on the moon.

JP said...

"In the case of atheists, the bias is derived from looking around and investigating the world we live in to find answers that are relevant to now, and to the best of our ability, correct."

If the answers are correct to the best of our ability, why is only a minority of the population atheist? (apparently as low as 3.8% of the population according to Wikipedia: Demographics of Atheism).

"the correct judgement to make is that the existence of any form of higher power is more than unlikely."

What makes you say that? Let's have something to back up your confident assertions.

Anonymous said...

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