It has been a while since Glen (@CarriganGlen) and I attended Dr. Singh’s lecture organised by the Preston Faith Forum. The UCLan lecture room was speckled with people. As we entered we were greeted warmly by the organisers. Some of the Bahá’i Faith, (which I will come too later) others of the multi-faith forum based here in Preston. I was apprehensive, as I always am at such events, as the saccharin sweetness of the religious seems to signal some impending offer of spiritual salvation from my sad, soulless, existence. No such offer came, no initial prayers were uttered, I settled a down a little more comfortably in my chair.
Dr. Singh started by reeling off his credentials, of which are numerous and impressive. Then he gave a brief outline of what the Bahá’i faith is (which neither Glen or I had ever heard of.) Information on this religion can be found online but here are the primary tenants:
Unity of God
Unity of religion
Unity of humankind
Equality between men and women
Elimination of all forms of prejudice
Harmony of religion and science
Independent investigation of truth
Principle of Ever-Advancing Civilization
Universal compulsory education
Universal auxiliary language
Obedience to government and non-involvement in partisan politics unless submission to law amounts to a denial of Faith.
I have heard this been said a few times before in a number of different contexts. Be it a girl attacked while leaving a club in Leeds; to institutional sexual assault in the US army.
This statement is a sword with no handle, in that, it insults the wielder and the one it’s aimed at. It suggests that men cannot curb their sexual appetite, they float toward a scantly dressed girl like a cartoon on the fumes of a freshly baked pie on a windowsill. The cartoon is powerless to power of the fumes beckoning, inviting them to take a slice of that pie. The analogy turns sour and darker when the pie is a women and the hunger is forced sex. It is insulting to the entire male gender. I feel uncomfortable when my group of friends ogle a girl, making incomprehensible sounds comprised of only vowels at one another. There are many men that upon seeing a naked girl walking out of a club in Leeds would, admittedly, feel a little exited but then comment “Jesus, I bet she’s cold.”
The other side of this story is blaming the victim. The suggestion that a rape victim is some how responsible for his or her rape is sickening. Think of the message that sends to future victims that will suffer in silence in fear of being blamed for being complicit in their own rape. The feeling of shame, guilt and fear for this attitude favours the perpetuator not the victim. All women are insulted by this. The suggestion that women should feel shame or responsibility for such acts is repulsive.
This guardian article is an interesting article about a “church” of the godless or skeptical. The “clergy” consists of standup comedians, science professors and musicians.
There is something about an atheist church that makes be feel a little weird. I will liken it to a what is called the “yuk reflex” in bioethics, an intuitive feeling that-something’s-not-quite-right about that. There is one word that stimulates that reaction. I’m sure you have all guessed it: church. The religious connotations of this word make the most militant atheist shudder. I certainly did. Yet let us look at the reasons why it shouldn’t: Continue reading →
In the last few months I have not really thought about my atheism. It’s may come as a shock to any theists reading this that religion, or the distinct lack of it, in our lives doesn’t enter into the average secular person mind from day to day. Yet it is often falsely said by those whom, to quote Tim Minchin, “fire off clichés with startling precession, like a sniper with bollocks for ammunition” that “There’s a God shaped hole in all of us.” Queue the groans from every atheist reading this.
The reason I haven’t thought much on my lack of belief in God is quite simply because I haven’t needed too. There was one point Continue reading →
Collingwood, as stated in the historicism section of this blog claims that all statements (those that can be true or false) arise from questions. Those questions arise from presuppositions. Those presuppositions can be relative, as they themselves can be statements, or absolute, things such as causation which Collingwood claims should not be critiqued or it is a mistake to do so.
My proposal is what if two or more absolute presuppositions cause cognitive dissonance as they are mutually exclusive or cause the ‘owner’ of them to question the cognitive consistency of holding two contradictory absolute presuppositions. For example:
Absolute presupposition A: you cannot hold two contradictory things to be true.
Absolute presupposition B: belief should be proportioned to evidence.
Absolute presupposition C: God exists.
Now let us say a person holds A, B and C. Then when looking for the evidence that there is a God, or the absence of evidence, a question rising from B brings in the question “should I believe that God exists?” Or “should I proportion belief to the evidence?” or “can I hold that two contradictory things be true?” Does it fit into Collingwood’s proposal of the purpose of metaphysics to decide which of these absolute presuppositions should be ‘dropped’?
Will email this to P.Lucas to see his opinion what’s yours?