Heaven and the Burden of Evidence

Stephen Hawking, great man that he is, seems to have upset a few people with his observations on the non-existence of heaven:

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,”

Good for Stephen. For far too long we’ve had to put with the banal maunderings of bone-headed religionists seeking to co-opt Hawking to their ’cause’ by virtue of their inability to comprehend the true character of his metaphorical reference to god at the conclusion of ‘A Brief History Of Time’:

In his bestselling 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking drew on… Read more »

The End is Nigh

From the file marked ‘Religion rots your brain”…

The end of the world is nigh; 21 May, to be precise. That’s the date when Harold Camping, a preacher from Oakland, California, is confidently predicting the Second Coming of the Lord. At about 6pm, he reckons 2 per cent of the world’s population will be immediately “raptured” to Heaven; the rest of us will get sent straight to the Other Place.

What.. The House of Lords…? Nah, the just aren’t enough stoats.

If Mr Camping were speaking from any normal pulpit, it would be easy to dismiss him as just another religious eccentric wrongly calling the apocalypse. But thanks to this elderly man’s ubiquity, on America’s airwaves and billboards, his unlikely Doomsday message… Read more »

Its Time To Scrap Religious Education

It seems that Michael Gove’s ministerial postbag is getting more and more interesting by the day:

Teaching unions, educationists, religious bodies and the British Humanist Association (BHA) have issued a joint call to the government to end compulsory worship in schools. The appeal has been made to the Secretary of State for Education the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and reported in the Times Educational Supplement and teaching news sources.

Scrapping compulsory collective worship in schools would certainly be a step in the right direction, but why stop there? Why should we not go the whole hog and get rid of compulsory religious education as well? At least part of the case for dispensing with compulsory religious education is… Read more »

My god is a jealous god

One from the file marked, ‘Nah… fuck off!‘…

A couple have taken legal action after claiming motion sensors installed at their holiday flat in Dorset breached their rights as Orthodox Jews.

Gordon and Dena Coleman said they cannot leave or enter their Bournemouth flat on the Sabbath because the hallway sensors automatically switch on lights.

The couple’s religious code bans lights and other electrical equipment being switched on during Jewish holidays.

They have now issued a county court writ claiming religious discrimination.

From smiting Canaanites by the thousand to fretting over an automatic light switch in the space of only 3,000 years or so – my how the almighty has fallen.

Small Gods

I came to the conclusion, quite a while ago, that whatever else Richard Dawkins may have achieved with the publication of The God Delusion, the one definite achievement of the book has been its successful exposure of the abject intellectual poverty of the majority of religious ‘thought’. Having long suspected that the study of theology was, for the most part, an academic fraud, the many attempts to respond to and rebut Dawkin’s polemic,together with the works of the other atheist ‘horsemen’ (Dennett, Harris and Hitchens) have confirmed my suspicions. Theology is, in intellectual terms, and certainly as an academic field of ‘study’, nothing more than a fraud; a point neatly made by the philosopher Anthony O’Hear:

“No theologian within… Read more »

The Adoration of the DJ

I do hope that Damian Thompson of the excellent ‘Counterknowledge’ won’t mind me borrowing a question he posed earlier this this year

[H]as anyone ever produced a theory in which computers recreate the night sky that hasn’t turned out to be bullshit?

The answer is, quite clearly, no – but that doesn’t stop some people trying, even those who should really know better like Dave Reneke, the News Editor of Sky & Space magazine:

‘Jesus was born in June’, astronomers claim Astronomers have calculated that Christmas should be in June, by charting the appearance of the ‘Christmas star’ which the Bible says led the three Wise Men to Jesus.

Oh puh-leeze.

They found that a bright star which… Read more »

Mything Links

If your eye’s are watering at the moment then that’ll be the effect of the smoke coming from the burning straw men over at the otherwise usually reliable Counterknowledge where Greg Stevens has decided to give evolutionists a lesson in faulty logic and reasoning… and not in quite the way he thinks he has:

A favourite parlor game of evolution supporters is pointing out examples of inefficient “design” in biological organisms. In mammals, the retina is actually backwards, forcing the optic nerve to pass through the back of the eye and creating a “blind spot” in the visual field. The appendix in humans appears to serve no function other than the possibility of becoming inflamed and (potentially) causing death. And… Read more »

For The Birds

It’s been a while, but Chris Sugden has succeeded in shaking me out my current torpor with this hilarious attempt to turn Comment Is Free into a pulpit…

There’s plenty of worry around at the moment – the governor of the Bank of England is worried about the imminent recession. People are worried about losing their jobs and negative equity in their homes. People will be worried about the pressure then on their relationships. Worry is destructive. It consumes energy. It distracts attention from getting on with life. It keeps you awake at night. It is always worse at night.

And your point is?

But it’s alright. Supported by Evangelist Dawkins, atheists are emblazoning an answer across our capital city for… Read more »

Picking Fleas

don’t know how many people, if any, have ‘converted’ to atheism after reading Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ but what if more and more apparent is that if his book, and other similar tracts, have achieved anything its that they neatly exposed the intellectual vacuum that is ‘theology’ and shown it up for what it is, an academic fraud. There is, on Dawkin’s own site, an absolutely delightful example of this reproduced at Dawkins’ own website, an essay written by Dr. Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus College, London for publication in yet another acre of screed designed to ‘challenge’ Dawkins, in this case a book entitled ‘Is God a Delusion?’, complied by Nick Gumbel. What makes this essay… Read more »

Bad Idea #103 – Defending the indefensible

If there’s one thing I try to make a point of, even though comes pretty easily to me, its that of never trying to defend the indefensible. There are certain things you encounter in life that are just plain wrong, no matter how you try to look at them – and Holocaust denial is one such thing. Of course that hasn’t prevented some commentators, on this occasion Dr Phillip Bounds from seeking to defend Nicholas Kollerstrom, or rather his alleged right to publish, without fear of consequences, ahistorical articles on the subject of the Holocaust of a kind that even Bounds concedes amount to no more than “execrable piece[s] of drivel” which repeat “most of the hoary old clichés… Read more »