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My friends beg me, in the interest of our common ideas, and to remove any pretext for slander, to make my opinion known on the divinity and Providence, and at the same time to explain certain passages from the System of [Economic] Contradictions, that the reactionary tartuffes have for a year constantly exploited against socialism with simple and credulous souls.
I surrender to their solicitations. I will even say that if I have for so long let the Constitutionnel and its consorts make of me a Vanini even more ferocious that the original, attacking at once God and the Devil, — the family and property, — I had my reasons for that. First I wanted to lead certain schools, up to then considered enemies, to confess themselves their perfect resemblance; I wanted, in a word, it to be demonstrated to the eyes of all that doctrinaire and Jesuit, it is all one.
Tag Archives | God
This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.
William Lane Craig has a pretty dispiriting take on the atheistic view of life:
If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value or purpose.
Embedded in this short quote are a number of important claims. The first is that in order to avoid futility and meaninglessness we need our lives to have ultimate significance, value and/or purpose. The second, perhaps more important, is that we cannot have these things unless two conditions are met:
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Craig’s Two Conditions for Meaning: Our lives are without ultimate significance, value or purpose unless (a) there is a God (who, among other things, determines objective value, purpose and significance); and (b) we are immortal.
They’re using half measures, as usual. And now they also think that casual dress and priests looking like slobs will garner more respect. They’re still insisting on preaching dualism and dividing society. It’s either they discard Satan from their preaching or they embrace the Biblical scripture and the vital presence of the Satanic in their religion. All they’re doing is alienating people and not satisfying people who would welcome changes. Christian Politics, as usual.
John Bingham via the National Post:
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The Book of Revelation speaks of the Devil being vanquished and cast into a pit of fire and brimstone at the end of the world.
Yesterday, however, the Church of England consigned Satan to a decidedly less dramatic fate – being quietly designated as an optional extra.
Instead of requiring an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil, the move was approved with a polite show of hands at the General Synod, the Church’s decision-making body, which has been meeting in Westminster.
What if all visions and hallucinations of “God” are simply a result of brain malfunctions? Is God merely a neurological construct?
In The Brain Hack, a computer science student enlists a student filmmaker to document his attempts to trigger religious hallucinations with hypno induced temporal epilepsy.
This is probably one of the best short films that I’ve showcased on here. It’s amazingly shot and packs a lot of plot and detail into 20 minutes while then topping off with a somewhat expected self-referential ending. Some of the tech dialogue became corny, but overall the film works and it’s definitely worth the 20 minutes to watch.
For the full ‘Brain Hack’ experience, visit the website: thebrainhack.com
Follow us at facebook.com/thebrainhack
And listen to the soundtrack: itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-brain-hack-ep/id963432873
WINNER – Best Short – Best Music – Best Actor – The British Horror Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION – London Sci-Fi Film Festival, Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, LA Indie Film Fest, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, British Shorts Berlin.… Read the rest
Paul Chiariello writes at Applied Sentience:
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I want to start with a disclaimer and a qualification.
First, this post isn’t about bashing God. This post is about understanding humanity. It’s about finding joy as flourishing individuals and friends. It’s about exploring meaning and morality in a difficult world. In this way, this post isn’t about God at all – it’s about you and me. With this goal in mind, I’m hoping to explore someone I see as a literary figure, just like Aesop’s Tortoise and Hare, Heinlein’s Valentine Michel Smith, or anyone else from the infinite list of fictional characters out there. Regardless of whether you love Him or hate Him, whether you’re a theist or an atheist like me, God is probably one of the most interesting and novel characters of all time, and certainly the one with the biggest fandoms and fanfics ever.
Second, as to my qualification, there are a wide range of nihilisms. Someone might be called a nihilist for their skepticism of external reality or for their refutation of any legitimate political institutions or for their dismissal of certain religious beliefs. Here I’ll be referring specifically to moral nihilism, or at least certain kinds of moral nihilisms. And just so I’m being clear and up front, I’m specifically arguing that God doesn’t believe in objective or non-arbitray ethics or values, or, at very least, simply lives in a world where He knows about these things but yet cannot take part in them.
For those of you who thought God funded the NRA, sorry, turns out s/he might be on the other side of the gun debate. From The Daily Beast:
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“Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” Leviticus 19:16
That Biblical passage is the guiding principle for the grassroots organization “Do Not Stand Idly By,” created in 2012 to counter gun violence. Sure, we’ve recently seen a host of new groups tackle this issue, but Do Not Stand Idly By (“DNSIB”) is different for two big reasons.
First, it’s a faith-based initiative spearheaded by Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders (although it welcomes people of other or no faiths.) Framing the argument of the need to reduce gun violence in religious terms will undoubtedly move many—possibly even some on the right.
Second, the focus of DNSIB is going to the source. No, I’m not talking the Book of Genesis.
Are you surprised? From i100:
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Today in unnerving statistics, a poll has found more Britons believe in aliens and ghosts than God.
The survey of 1,500 adults and 500 children, carried out online for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! by OnePoll, found more than half of adults believe that there is alien life, while only a quarter believe in God.
Of the children polled, 26 per cent believe aliens are disguised as humans while one in 20 thought they knew an alien – and of those, one in 20 suggested their mother as the likely culprit.
In the 2011 census 59.3 per cent of the population described themselves as Christian – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they were believers. A YouGov poll of 1,500 Anglican clergy this week found one in 50 priests believe God to be a human construct, while 16 per cent of priests say they are unclear on what they think about God.
Because my Tarkovsky post got more interest than I was expecting, I’ve decided to share this one.
Also, I’m going to be shameless and plug a film review I wrote of The Passion of Anna awhile back, which is the only Bergman film on Netflix.
Outer space has been lodged in my soul since my youth. This led me to write the first edition of UFOs: God’s Chariots? in 1977. In more recent years, I’ve invested considerable academic energy in the dialogue between science and religion with a special focus on astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). One thing I learned is that SETI scientists and UFO researchers do not attend the same barbecues. Rather, they sneer at each other in each other’s absence. Each accuses the other of not being scientific enough. I find this curious, but not boring. So, after writing a few treatises on astrotheology and astroethics, I’m returning once again to the UFO question with a focus on the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
As I return to prepare the second edition, I find today’s media right where they were a half century ago. Unfortunately, the media still thinks that the entire UFO pie can be divided into two slices, people who believe in UFOs and skeptics who do not believe.
Esquire’s Caty Enders writes that Cliven Bundy is telling his admirers that he is receiving revelations from God concerning what should be done in America.
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The crowd, fresh off their victory at the Battle of Bunkerville, gives Bundy a standing ovation. But he doesn’t seem pleased. He reproaches the crowd for failing to follow the word of God – to the letter – which he says is being delivered through him. They failed, for example, to follow his instructions to tear down the toll booths at Lake Mead and disarm the Park Service.
“The message I gave to you all was a revelation that I received. And yet not one of you can seem to even quote it.”
Cliven continues, sermon-like: “The records of our bible — how long have they been kept? Thousands of years. They’ve been turned over generation after generation, buried, and all kinds of things happen to ‘em.