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Godless PMs Down Under March 16, 2011

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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I probably just missed the buzz (if any) about this when Gillard became PM over the ditch but I hadn’t realised she was openly atheistic.  Below is an interesting video of her discussing some aspects of this. (more…)

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Where is church in the bible? March 4, 2011

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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The bible is often referred to as the “instruction manual for life” (and numerous other similar phrases) and today over lunch it occurred to me that the bible should be fairly clear about the one act that is almost definitively Christian – going to church.

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Too much credit February 21, 2011

Posted by Ian in Religion, Science.
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Science is often given far too much credit for offering understanding of the world.  What science is very good at is describing the world we see around us in almost incomprehensible detail and while we have a long way to go to fully describing it, we have done a very good job of this so far and science should, in my view, be regarded as the systematic method we have adopted for managing this process.  If you want to know how things are, ask science. (more…)

God’s Outside the System March 1, 2010

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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69 comments

A common argument defending God’s existence is that god somehow transcends the normal bounds of existence, which is to say that god exists beyond existence.  I think this argument is weak and fails in several ways. (more…)

Bus Campaign Hits NZ December 11, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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The atheist bus campaign has finally made New Zealand after it’s high profile beginnings in the UK and subsequent uptake across the US and other countries.  I am in support of the campaign in New Zealand.  Many religious opponents claim it is proselytising but it is more about bringing the debate to the surface in a country that is largely secular. 

The ad says “There is probably no god.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” (more…)

Genesis 1: What does it actually say? April 13, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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Christian creationists claim that genesis trumps science for an explanation of origins.  While the general claims of genesis are well known it has been a while since I sat down and actually read the thing so today I did just that.  All of genesis 1 is repeated below along with my commentary on a verse by verse basis.  Since all the versions of the bible seem to say similar things I chose the King James Version (taken from the bible gateway here) as the version to analyse.  Some scholars say the original texts are the only relevant ones, while others say that the most recent are the closest to gods intention.  The KJV sits right in the middle and seems to be quite commonly referred to.  Not being a biblical scholar I don’t have much more basis for my choice than that but ultimately it shouldn’t make much difference – the story is pretty much the same. (more…)

The Paradoxes of God April 10, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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One of the peculiar things about religion, and specifically about various descriptions of gods, is the number of paradoxes that seem to pop up when trying to have proper discussions about it.  This post explores some of the ones I have come across in no particular order.  While of course they don’t “prove” anything, they are fascinating to think about and also provide some interesting challenges for theists. (more…)

Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism April 7, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion, Science.
4 comments

This is another excellent video series on youtube by youtube user AronRa along the lines of the Made Easy and Why Do People Laugh at Creationists series I have blogged on earlier.  This video series sets out to highlight fundamental falsehoods underlying creationism rather than addressing the specific claims of individuals.  (more…)

Freudian Slip? February 5, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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I had to laugh at the NZ Christian News site header image (cropped here):

logo2

Chuckle.

Religion as a Club January 9, 2009

Posted by Ian in Religion.
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One of the biggest problems that I have with religions is not that they exist, but that they expect their existence to warrant special attention.  There is not really any justification for this however despite a long tradition of society giving religion a special place in the world.  This begs the question of why we do so, and whether or not we should do so. (more…)