QED

The Age of Godless Credulity

science angel“Those who don’t believe in God will believe in anything,” is an apt epigram, no matter whether G.K. Chesterton coined it or something like it. From Chesterton to an Islamist is an unlikely leap. This fictional one is apropos. Here is Robert Rediger, president of the Islamic University of Paris-Sorbonne, in Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission.

“At the end of the day, isn’t there something ridiculous about some puny creature, living on an anonymous planet, in a remote spur of an ordinary galaxy, standing up on his hind legs announcing, “God does not exist”?

Put aside whether, as Rediger says, it is “ridiculous.” The assertion that “God does not exist,” is an expression of what isn’t. By definition, it leaves open the question of what is. Men and women aren’t, on the whole, the secular and profane creatures that assertive atheists would like them to be. They search for meaning. This is where science seizes its chance.

The receding belief in God, specifically the Christian god, has led to the fall of biblically-bound priests and the corresponding rise of unconstrained and, as it turns out, overly-imaginative and publicity-seeking scientists. God is a superstition. The new godhead is pseudo-scientific speculations about the universe. These are lapped up by audiences starved of spirituality. This is not to say that God exists (though I personally have faith He does). It is to say that nature abhors a vacuum and that absent God all kinds of funny ideas fill the void.

As Rodney Stark eloquently sets out in The Victory of Reason, Christianity from its early centuries extolled the God-given human faculty of reason. Reason leads to the search for scientific truth. But, seldom do searches lead to enlightenment without a reference point.

A logical and consistent creator God is a strong reference point. The search for scientific truth, as described by the former head of the human genome project Francis Collins, becomes a search for The Language of God. This imposes discipline as well as direction. Lose the discipline and the infinitesimal probability of our universe and our being (Fred Hoyle likened it to the chance of a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard assembling a Boeing 747) leads on to fanciful speculation dressed up as science.

One of these flights of fancy – for which there is and never will be one jot of proof – is that our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes. In turn, this leads to the absurd notion of an infinite number of parallel universes within which you, I and the lady next door are replicated an infinite number of times. And without missing a beat, scientists attest that the vastness of the cosmos pretty well guarantees that we are not alone.

One scientist of great reputation (I will keep his name secret to preserve his blushes) even went so far as to warn against us sending out signals lest intelligences vastly superior to our own learnt of our existence and dealt mercilessly with us inferior beings. Well, of course, superior beings exist and, as we speak, are dealing with us mercilessly. Boneheads! If there are an infinite number of universes no possible scenario is failing to occur.

Think this is phantasmagorical? Well, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees (“Why Alien Life Will Be Robotic,” Nautilus, Oct. 22, 2015) believes, as do other science notables, that our organic life is a transitory stage on the evolutionary path towards inorganic beings with IQs far surpassing our own. Believe it or not, this robotic life will apparently head spaceward and meet other inorganic civilisations in other worlds.

Imagine if Lionel Messi, the best footballer (soccer player) of his generation, looked into his crystal ball and prophesised that in future all of those playing for Barcelona would be robots playing the game much more skilfully than he could imagine. Hmm! Lionel, what you been smokin’, son?

This is all comic-book stuff. Believe any of it and you will believe anything. But people do. Welcome to godless credulity; to the age of science fiction made real. It has a prosaic side to it too. Global warming (GW) is the example, par excellence.

The symptoms of a belief in GW are everywhere to be seen as the worship of wind and sun totems. These, for some, fill the yawning gap, which belief in God might have previously occupied. People from every land and their governments have not only embraced a tenuous scientific theory that burning fossil fuels will bring catastrophe to the human race but, bizarrely, and against all reason, that it is possible to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar farms and, at the same time, preserve the prosperity that fossil fuels have brought to large swathes of humanity since the industrial revolution.

Something is going on to make otherwise sane and sensible people believe this kind of thing. And, again, my thesis is that ‘science’, in the case of GW allied with rent-seeking opportunists, is stuffing the empty space in people’s heads, occupied previously by religion, with unadulterated hooey.

If you are Richard Dawkins et al you are inwardly sated with the view that we, along with cockroaches, sprang spontaneously and meaninglessly, by sheer chance, from inorganic primeval mud. Find this disquieting? That’s nothing, be alarmed. Aliens out there might want to do us in if they found us according to Stephen Hawking (oops, sorry didn’t mean to mention his name). At the same time, be consoled. We are not alone.

Our show is just one of an infinite number of similar shows except, to be sure, to be sure, where robots run the show. Unlike us, fit for purpose and unafraid, they boldly go to explore the cosmos and shake antennas with other robots living light years distant. Meanwhile, on our little corner of the vast cosmos, Aeolus and Apollo lend their dominions of wind and sun to save and power us. Though why they bother with our pissant world in the vastness of the godless infinitude is beyond me.

Pass the bong anyone.

44 comments
  • Jody

    I remember being at a funeral a few years ago for a family friend who had hung herself at 40 years of age. We were sitting in Newcastle Christchurch Cathedral and my father (who had industrial deafness) said at the top of his voice, looking heavenward, “why do people built edifices like this”? (He was obviously a non-believer but married my Catholic mother). I turned to him and said (loudly enough for the next pew to hear the answer), “because people are the only species on the planet who know they’re going to die”.

    • ianl

      > ” … because people are the only species on the planet who know they’re going to die”

      And from a very early age. This colours everything we do and think for our entire lives, without reprieve.

      Spot on, Jody – but of course it’s no reason to indulge in the stifling minutiae of (any) organised religion. Nonetheless, you have expressed exactly that which I think pertains most significantly to the human condition.

      And from the opening salvo of this essay:

      “Those who don’t believe in God will believe in anything” is often quoted, but it is self-serving pap.

      • Jody

        Not to be confused with that excellent epithet: “a belief in everything is a belief in nothing”!

    • denandsel@optusnet.com.au

      A very good answer Jody, and to my mind very accurate. I am an atheist/agnostic and my thoughts on religion/god and the supernatural and the follow on bits like ‘everlasting life’ etc. are that god and religion were invented/evolved because humans found it difficult to cope with the concept of death.

      • Jim Kapetangiannis

        We learnt at school that matter is neither “created nor destroyed”. It changes state. Death is both a change of state (some of our matter remains matter, some liquefies and some turns into a gas and evaporates)and a cessation of a particular form of consciousness. But I am just absolutely flabbergasted by the idea that unconscious matter should coalesce into a conscious being that recognises it’s temporal and physical limitations only to return to unconscious matter once the realisation is made. Is “matter” really capable of having a cruel laugh at itself?

        I can’t prove whether man invented God or God invented man, but mankind without God is, I think ultimately of no value. So rather than the difficulty of coping with death (which is not really that difficult to cope with – the grim reaper will knock on everyone’s door in due course), God is really about us coping with the ultimate meaninglessness of life.

        • denandsel@optusnet.com.au

          Jimbob, thank you for an answer to a spiritual/religious/god matter that goes deeper and more insightful than the ‘I believe because I believe’ type of discussion, yours was a well reasoned reply and is appreciated. I don’t agree with you on the ‘ultimate meaninglessness of life’. I have 10 grandchildren [who certainly give my life meaning] – and while I am conscious and able to think I will always believe that life as such has its own inherent meaning [whether or not there is a god] and that conscious life is preferrable to any alternative. I also learned at school that matter could not be ‘created nor destroyed’ but many nuclear scientists may quibble with that. Matter may be/is converted into energy in a nuclear explosion, and that begs the question ‘what is matter’? Is matter ‘solid’ energy? Maybe that question may need a ‘god’ to supply the answer.

  • Patrick McCauley

    Awaiting the apocalypse I separate my garbage and turn the lights out – light a candle ..as prayers to the ungod hole in my head (where God used to live) … to grant me an easy death ( my Mother was granted an easy death) …. but now they come for my ‘gender’ … and I am stripped naked in front of a full MCG crowd of feminists … and I am genderless before death … naked and genderless – they flog me with the crimes of my ancestors … they push needles made from the patriarchy ( it’s sheer beauty) … made from its finest thoughts and achievements … from its poetry … and they drive them into my eyes. And the enlightenment dies.

    • Jody

      Absolutely every single thing you’ve identified is a consequence of an affluent society which has not faced a serious, existential threat in its lifetime. There are quite a few of us.

      • Patrick McCauley

        The existential threat of the father facing the Family Law State; the existential threat of being a dead white male: the existential threat of the powerlessness of fatherhood over the lives of their children; the existential threat of Islam; the existential threat of global warming; the oscillating and continuous existential threat of nuclear war; the existential threat of the brazen march through the Institutions by the Gramsci/Marxist left….. etc – The price of an affluent society is the suppression and invisibility of real and present existential threats in favour of manufactured ones… the constant feeling that somewhere, somehow the water is coming to the boil.

        • Jody

          I meant an existential threat like the people of Syria are currently facing. I wonder if they’ve got time for the fads and fashions of the bien pensant – perhaps they’re just eeking out an existence and hoping their children survive another day.

          Decadence provides us with a self-absorbed, narcissistic society. Light years away from cultures which face crises of war, famine and disease.

      • ian.macdougall

        I have been through military training, but have never been in a situation where I have found myself fighting for my life: ie against an attacker bent on killing me. However, I am old enough to remember the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and going to bed that night wondering how much of the world would still be there in the morning.
        That IMHO was a serious existential threat, with bells on.

    • ian.macdougall

      This is definitely getting serious!

  • bemartin39@bigpond.com

    Hear, hear Peter!

    The world view expounded by Richard Dawkins and his ilk is of a barren, sterile world which exists for no reason, serving no purpose. Makes one wonder how seemingly intelligent, astute, “reasonable” people can be so utterly unreasonable. The fact that they are less than secure in their “non-believer” status is demonstrated by their enthusiastic proselytising for the creed of atheism. Dawkins never misses an opportunity to ridicule the belief in a Supreme Authority and extol the virtues of being certain of there being no reason whatsoever for existence. The misery of that attitude has well and truly permeated our world.

    • ian.macdougall

      Bill:
      Greetings.
      With all due respect…

      Dawkins never misses an opportunity to ridicule the belief in a Supreme Authority and extol the virtues of being certain of there being no reason whatsoever for existence. The misery of that attitude has well and truly permeated our world.

      In Dawkins’ defence, I venture to say that THE impossibility is that all the religions are right. Every believer is an unbeliever in relation to every other religion than his or her own. Dawkins says that in his own (atheist) case, he just takes this position one religion further.
      In my high school days many moons ago now, had a very religious friend who became a noted amateur astronomer, and a very good one. When he looked up at the night sky, he saw the wondrous majesty of God’s creation. I look up at the same universe and see endless black space, punctuated infrequently by those diamonds in the sky we call stars.. and globular clusters…. and galaxies. And its vastness is incomprehensible.
      Consider this:
      According to Serge Brunier of Sky and Telescope magazine The Milky Way, which is otherwise known as ‘Our Galaxy’, contains around 100 billion stars, and he adds:

      In asking the question “How many stars are there in the universe?” it is important to distinguish between the universe as a whole and the observable universe. Because the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago, we can only observe objects up to a certain distance from Earth — light from more distant objects hasn’t had time to reach us yet. To answer “how many stars are there,” we must limit the discussion to what we can observe. Astronomers estimate that the observable universe has more than 100 billion galaxies. Our own Milky Way is home to around 300 billion stars, but it’s not representative of galaxies in general. The Milky Way is a titan compared to abundant but faint dwarf galaxies, and it in turn is dwarfed by rare giant elliptical galaxies, which can be 20 times more massive. By measuring the number and luminosity of observable galaxies, astronomers put current estimates of the total stellar population at roughly 70 billion trillion (7 x 10^22).

      http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/how-many-stars-are-there/
      That last number, 7 x 10^22, give or take a few, can be written out in long form as:
      70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
      If each of those stars was represented as a grain of sand, a cube of side of say, 1 mm, then they would jam into a volume of 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic millimetres. And as one cubic metre contains 1,000 x 1,000 x 1,000 cubic millimetres, the sand grains representing all those stars could pack comfortably into a slab of suitably cemented sand of volume 70,000,000,000,000 cubic metres. All those cubic metre blocks of sand formed into a line would stretch for 70,000,000,000 kilometres (7 x 10^10 km). As the mean distance from the Sun to Pluto is roughly 6 x 10^9 km, we would only be able to fit about 10% of them in such a line within the radius of Pluto’s orbit of the Sun.
      However, they still occupy a volume of 70,000,000,000 cubic kilometres. That is the volume of a rectangular prism 70,000,000,000 km x 1 km x 1 km, or of one 70,000,000 km x 1,000 km x 1 km, or of one 70,000 km X 1,000 km x 1,000 km.
      So a beach stretching for 70,000 km along some coastline, and stretching 1,000 km inland, and downwards towards the centre of the Earth 1,000 km would contain a number of cubic sand grains each of side 1 mm to represent all the stars in the observable Universe; but not the observable Universe itself, because that is mainly empty space.
      In my now somewhat distant youth I believed for a short time in the Christian story of sin and redemption. But the more I learned about science, the harder it was for me to continue in that belief, and particularly that the whole Universe was created by a bloodthirsty sky-ogre, obsessed with the supposed fact that the woman he created got tempted by a talking snake do something she had been forbidden to do: namely to eat an item of ‘forbidden fruit’, and so start all of humanity on a downwards slide to perdition.
      Modern theologians have a non-literal interpretations of that story (and I have mine.) But a helluva lot of them still take it literally.

      • bemartin39@bigpond.com

        I’m speechless!

        • ianl

          Oh noes !

          • ian.macdougall

            ianl:

            Oh noes !

            Care to elaborate on that?

  • mags of Queensland

    When I see the decline of our hard won civilization being denigrated by people who have never been in a position where their lives depend on the goodwill of others who have some crazy idea that our humanity is some inborn faculty and not a learned response to thousands of years of belief in some supreme being, I am glad I am old. Our system of justice is founded on a set of principles that transcend millennia. The basis of our community is the shared beliefs and practices of those who have gone before us and paved the way for the good things that we enjoy without question. How can reasonable people not think that there must be something to these beliefs that have stood the test of time and favour thought bubbles that have no serious foundation and serve to reduce our status as a being no higher than a stone?

  • Jim Kapetangiannis

    Peter, you are spot in claiming that there is “receding belief in God, specifically the Christian God” if you consider the “West” only. However, it is hardly the case elsewhere and if one were to believe the research of social scientists it is only in the United States and France where atheism will make strident progress (Pew research, 2015) but will decline elsewhere. Christianity will continue to grow at a much faster rate than average population growth but the gravitational centre(s) will shift from the West to the far east and sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, according to The Economist’s Intelligence unit, there are now more Christians in China than there are in the United States and their influence is spreading into every layer of Chinese society, including the upper echelons of the Communist Party. Not since the Christianisation of ancient Rome have we seen such a movement.

    (http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/)

    But what does all this mean?

    Yes, it is true that in the West we have given away our traditional beliefs and as we have abandoned the God of our fathers, He too has given us up in many ways and the empty hole in the head and heart left by His desertion has been filled in part by inane secular humanism (the belief that man is his own god). But even more frightening is the colonisation of Western hearts and minds by the god of Islam. For example, there are now more Muslims in Britain than there are Christians and don’t even get me started on France! The end result is that the “West” will slip back into barbarism brought on by the unholy alliance of Marxist humanists and Islamic religionist who only have their mutual hatred of the Christian God as common ground. The “light” however will shine elsewhere and though it may take some time, we ought to watch for the sunrise in the East where enormous political power, maybe greater than any ever seen – greater than even the British Empire and 20th century America, mixed with an underlying (but not necessarily, state endorsed) Christian sense of mission, will see the fulfilment of the promise that “first this gospel must be preached to all the nations, and the will come the end..”

    Forget the aliens. The greatest existential threat to human existence beats in the human heart and the only solution has been mainly rejected in the West. If it is “darkness” we want, it will be “darkness” we’ll get.

    • Druemac

      Yes..Our academia love the black cards! but as a former commentator quipped on decadence,it reminds me of a Jewish prophets statement that the sin of Sodom was it lack of wont!

  • Rob Brighton

    It would be nice if humanity stuck to provable facts then I could be free of religion, the religious and AGW hysteria. What a happy day.

    • gary@feraltek.com.au

      Provable facts are boring, bland, mundane, meaningless, accessible with minuscule effort. They’re not worthy of being born and living my life.

      • Rob Brighton

        I am sorry you feel that way. Sunrise and the beauty of nature, the intricacies of life’s wonders are far from the adjectives you have used, at least in my estimation. What a sad and limited world you inhabit.

        • Lo

          Thank you Rob. Add the spider’s web strung with diamondlike raindrops and the tiny baby praying mantis. Life is wonderful.

        • gary@feraltek.com.au

          Earth revolves, that’s a fact. The sun doesn’t rise.

      • Jody

        You have ‘provable facts’ confused with ‘data’.

    • ian.macdougall

      Rob,
      The most profound insight into religion that I have yet encountered is that of the French sociologist Emile Durkheim, who said that in worshipping whatever god, the group is actually worshipping itself. The religious ‘service’ is all about affirmation of the group and its identity.
      If humanity stuck to 100% ‘provable’ facts we would have a vastly different civilisation. For examnple, houses would have no rooves. (Although it rained yesterday, that is not 100% ‘proof’ that it will ever rain again.) And just because the glaciers are retreating and the ocean level is rising, it does not 100% mean that the heat content of the atmosphere and hydrosphere is also rising. Could all be down to…. I dunno…. submarine volcanoes.
      It’s possible.
      😉

      • Rob Brighton

        I think you misunderstand, I spoke to hysteria. I have insufficient knowledge to honestly question the science but I can see someone on the make as clear as day. Those who claim knowledge in the absence of understanding are those who make acceptance of AGW a difficult proposition.
        SHY will tell you it’s real, she also thinks TV shows are real, how does anyone expect to be taken seriously? That sad and pathetic little man Brandt will tell you it is real, then blame the fires in Victoria on it contrary to any support of his statement. Let alone the serial imbecilic contributions to the discussion voiced by Flannery.
        When the coterie of rent seekers hose millions up the wall on carbon efficiency centers and AGW is blamed for everything including your dog suffering from depression I have to stop listening, the stupidity….it burns.

        • ian.macdougall

          Rob,

          I accept the science behind AGW. (Not very fashionable around here, I know.) However, it is a ‘new’ idea, originally floated by John Tyndall around 1850, and supported by Arrhenius around 1890. And like the ideas of Copernicus and Darwin, it has its critics and misunderstanders. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between political ‘conservatism’, and both right-wing politics and AGW ‘scepticism’. For many, their science flows from their politics; or to be more precise, their position on the science flows from their politics. But fortunately, Nature does not order herself according to the needs of whatever players in whatever area of the human economy. Likewise, it is always possible for someone of oppositionist politics like SHY to latch onto whatever ideas floating by to use agin the government.

          But mainstream climatology is not founded on politics, even if the opposition to it largely is.

          https://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change/transcript?language=en

          • Rob Brighton

            Would you consider that the opposition is not related so much to one politics but rather to one’s BS barometer?
            That is not to say AGW is definitely BS, but what is presented to us as AGW exhibiting itself is to a very great extent.
            Flannery, SHY, Brandt, the names are synonyms for telling lies to support AGW action, they play politics with professors who agree with them but disagree with the method of resolution.
            Those of the left who broadly speaking believe in big solutions are less likely to apply any critical thought to what is stated, this is the same group of people who believe in safe schools, that men are inherently violent and that boy’s must be taught to care for others.
            When you surround yourself with bull shitters nobody is surprised when you are viewed in the same light. When The Guardian claims that AGW sank the titanic when polar bears are trotted out as the latest example, when dams are never to fill again and when most of our capital cities have desal plants mothballed when you hear this the only sensible answer is to tar them all with the same brush.
            The argument to support AGW would be well served if those who are responsible for arguing for its existence called out the BS. Their credibility would improve and many like I who can smell a con job might just get the rotting stench from our noses and pay some attention.

  • DRTBLYNCH@MSN.COM

    Life is information that can organize it’s own copying. e.g. Shakespeare’s plays are alive but they need a complex substrate – intelligent people who speak English. Scientists used to wonder whether viruses, which can be crystallized, were alive or not? Well they are, but they require the substrate of a living cell, which they proceed to kill! Actually you, dear reader, are presently alive, but you likewise require a complex substrate – at least the whole Milky Way Galaxy, if not the Universe.
    God the Father copied Himself as His Reflection, God the Son. The force between them is the Holy Spirit. It is all a bit like the hydrogen atom with a proton, an electron and a photon. It is not hydrogen unless all three are present.
    The big bang was discovered by a Jesuit Mathematician George Le Maitre, as a necessary corollary to Einsteins General Theory.
    Dirac, who predicted antimatter, said that God is the greatest mathematician ever.

  • Keith Kennelly

    Mags, your timeline is somewhat flawed.
    The original monotheists were the Hebrews and their book was compiled from stories of the past and included fables such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Thie Hebrew book dates from about 600bc and was compiled by a couple of scribes in Nabylon.

    The ancient Egyptian civilisation lasted at least 4000 years and had multiple gods.

    Why is belief in one god likely to make civilisation more sustainable than mutiple gods? … or none?

    I think we are seeing the end of monotheism. Whatever it’s form.

    It will be replaced by a higher authority. The constisancy of the logic of the universe and science and the inner good of individuals.

    One thing is becoming more and more apparent with the passing of the latest generations:

    The purpose of life is beginning to be understood, it is to learn, to become all knowing … or as the Christians say “godlike”, as god is all knowing.
    That might be their unintended recognition of what might well become a basic truth.

    Radical? Probably.

  • brian.doak@bigpond.com

    The god Allah of the ancient Arabians may have have been figured in the crescent moon but the subsequent god of Mohammedans is not much more defined. Mohammad apparently saw him as a frightening tyrant, somewhat like himself perhaps, to whom one can only relate as a slave and hence the popular name Abdullah meaning Slave of Allah.
    Christians know they have the best revelation of God ever. Jesus Christ is the representation of God on earth and that knowledge has been such a blessing to the Western world that now the Eastern world wants to be part of this peaceful relationship religion.
    The Middle Eastern world is locked into the master-slave connection and with violence and coercion expand the warlord’s territory. The expansion is helped with Saudi largess for university chairs and for mullahs, mosques, and donations to the Clinton Foundation.

  • Keith Kennelly

    Bran

    The monotheist religions, over their histories, share many other things in common and have been characterised by these.

    Hate, violence, misogyny, envy, greed and tyranny.

    Take an objective look at The monotheist religions of Judaism, Mohamadism and Christianity. Little good has come from them.

    The philosophy of Christ, not the religion of the Christians, is fundamentally good and has been part of the formation of the base of western liberalism and democracy.

    And liberalism put the Christian church in a corner and said sit there and don’t interfere with our running if our society. Sadly today we’ve seen the attempted re introduction of the domination of the monotheists right across the world. The reaction will again be rejection and a final discard of these religions to the dust bin of history of all three.
    They just cause us all too much trouble.

  • Jody

    I remember some years ago watching our school’s rehearsal for “Rock Eisteddfod”. I was standing at the back of the hall, bored out of my wits and with my ears on overload, but on duty – trying to keep the kids quiet. They would not remain quiet and wriggled in their seats, talked and laughed. The show lasted about 15 minutes!! A colleague walked up to me and shouted into my ear: “years ago these kids would have all learned how to sit quietly for an hour each week – at church on Sunday”.

    A change doesn’t necessarily mean an improvement.

    • ian.macdougall

      Years ‘ago’ those kids might have been sitting quietly and bored out of their brains in church, but the children of their pre-Christian ancestors would have been hunting and gathering, or else racing round giving their growing bodies a workout, as Nature designed them do.

      • Jody

        What’s your point, Ian? We are now living in a world where being “bored out of their brains” is verboten and, unfortunately, this all translates into a lowered academic expectations (such as in STEM subjects) and precludes many of those same students from having the necessary self-discipline to engage with them. My colleague was suggesting that sitting still and quietly for one hour a week could work wonders on students who otherwise get few (or no) other means of developing self-discipline. The Jews already know this and it’s a major reason why they succeed. Their children are forced by their parents to be “bored out of their brains” through the regular rituals of Judaism.

        • Jody

          PS: I’d add another fact; the teaching profession is actively encouraged to change teaching strategies to avoid kids “being bored”. I often wondered how these same students will grow and develop in life when they have to attend “boring” funerals, talks, work-related meetings and weddings, do the ‘boring’ washing up and attending to other ‘boring’ life activities. If they had learned to sit still for just one our as children they may have developed some skills to overcome the need for constant gratification and learn to be quiet.

        • Warty

          I don’t know that they’d necessarily be bored out of their brains: close study of the scriptures focuses the mind, improves clarity of mind many fold and has resulted in countless generations of the most intelligent people in the world. Jews amount to about .2% of the world population, but have won 22% of the entire Nobel Prize awards, in addition have been awarded 20% of all Field Medals for mathematics, 676% of John Clarke Bates Medals for economists (under the age of 40), 38% of Oscars for Best Directors (a dubious award), 20% Pulitzer Prizes for non-fiction and 13% of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards. Quite an achievement, n’est pas? On the other hand Karl Marx was of Jewish origin, two of the scientists who worked on the atom bomb (having escaped Hitler’s Germany) were also Jewish, and most of the leading thinkers in Critical Theory at the Hamburg School in the 1930s, were either Jewish or Jewish parentage. To these we owe the current trends in Cultural Marxism (including gender fluidity, identity politics, entitlement, white male guilt, anti colonialism etc etc). George Soros, I believe is of Jewish descent.

        • ian.macdougall

          Jody:

          My point was not that children should never be ‘bored’, just that they are not wired up by Nature to deal with it so well. On the other hand, a galapagos tortoise in a zoo enclosure appears to have no trouble with boredom at all.
          Neither has nature wired us up to deal with other aspects of modern life, such as the exercise of political power. As Lord Acton noted, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Our neolithic ancestors probably lived all their lives inside extended families, each of 50 or so people, and each got to know everyone else in their universe rather well; power was fairly evenly distributed. But then came agriculture, civilisation, empires etc, etc.
          Cut to the 20th C. Joseph Stalin in Moscow can snap his fingers, and as a result someone in a Vladivostok prison 8 time zones away gets a bullet in the head. (I sincerely hope that Stalin turns out eventually to be the most powerful man who has ever lived.)
          As power is so commonly abused by those holding it, I conclude that we are not wired up by Nature to be yet able to do so.

  • brian.doak@bigpond.com

    Keith Kennelly replying to my comments in which I refer to Jesus Christ, and deliberately opt not to refer to ‘Christianity’, says: ‘The [3] monotheist religions, —, little good has come from them’. What a bald statement I say without wishing to be unkind. The implication that ‘Mohamadism’* is somewhat equivalent to Christianity is only slightly less absurd than to say Mohammed the expansionist Arabian warlord is somewhat like the self sacrificing Jesus whose kingdom was not of this world.
    Is the news not being read and was Sunday School missed? What a wonderfully modern relational movement was modelled by Jesus.
    *Google suggest the spelling is ‘Muhammadism’, Winston Churchill says ‘Mohammedism’, and others say ‘Mohammedanism’, but all use double’m’

  • Keith Kennelly

    Forgive me Brian but you did not actually make that distinction. And in fact you referred to Christians. So the religion of the Christians is in fact Christianity, therefore it is quite reasonable to think you were referring not just to Christ and his preaching but to the religion which based itself on him.

    This religion’s behaviour has been far from his truths of forgiving, loving and ‘doing unto others’ over its 2000 year history … and quite often and continues to exhibit the same base behaviours of Judaism and Islam.
    Especially in regard to greed, violence, mysogny, envy, hate and treachery not to mention it’s at times unforgiving nature.

    Straw men arguments don’t work with me Brian.
    I never equated Islam and Christianity. I equated a range of behaviours exhibited by both.

  • Keith Kennelly

    Christ never modelled a movement. He preached love, forgiveness and doing unto others. That was behaviour he espoused and displayed not a model for relationships. It’s a philosophy.

    The modern west, included the basics of his message in its ideas of justice, the prominence of the individual and of individual responsibility, and treating each other with dignity and respect. This society is also secular and excludes influence of or dominance by religions in its governance.

  • rosross

    Science is the new religion, under the name of Scientism. It was inevitable from the moment Science dictated that it had replaced God and set itself up in opposition to the worst forms of fundamentalist religion, creating that fanaticism as its Shadow and ultimately consumed by it.

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