Tuesday 28 June 2011
Friday 24 June 2011
Sunday 19 June 2011
Monday 13 June 2011
"But is there not the uncomfortable worry that religion -- theology -- is always going to play second fiddle, having to give way in the face of science? ... It may be true that this is a one-way process, but in no way does this imply that theology is inferior."
Yup, it does kind of imply that actually.
Religion seems to have at least four stances with regard to science.
Science as heresy. See christianity's history in Europe with astronomy as a prime example. Arguably creationists fall in this category too, though I'm more thinking of when a religion has the temporal power to kill or imprison those it decides to define as heretics.
Science to be denied. Creationists are the prime example. Their strange twistings of science, but only of those parts that are problematical, are a wonder to behold. I look forward to somebody showing that something like gravity is incompatible with the bible and seeing how they deny that...
Science to be impugned. As religion surrenders its explaining power to science, it attempts to belittle science. The attitude is that science may be able to explain questions like how we came about, the laws of physics, how to fly, how to make effective medicine etc, but that they still hold authority over important questions like the kind of sex God wants to see in bedrooms around the world (He's a bit of a prude apparently). More seriously though, they try to claim morality and ethics as their own, disenfranchising anybody coming from a non-believing scientific background as having anything worthwhile to say about these subjects.
Science to be pwned. This is the attitude of those who realise the truth of science and so have to demonstrate that their religion already knew all of science before science existed. Thus we have Hindu Science and Islamic Science, amongst others no doubt. It is bizarre to read how the Rig Veda has amongst other things the correct value for the speed of light, while a new one to me, the Koran had geology sorted out long before Lyell et al did.
Sunday 12 June 2011
- Reform of education – it will make publicly-funded schools with a secular ethos available.
- Constitutional Review – will “consider the continued relevance of religious references in the Constitution”, whatever that means.
- Blasphemy – It should not be a criminal offence.
- Religious ethos of hospitals – no interest in addressing.
- Equality Law – agree that religious bodies should be treated no different to other bodies
- Tax – no intention to make churches pay their fair share of tax.
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin says that it “does not make use of baptismal registers for calculating the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It relies solely on the data from the Central Statistics Office, obtained through the census, by which citizens themselves choose to record, or not, their religious affiliation.”These numbers feed into decisions on funding for schools for example and if they can be used by the Catholic church to defend their control of most of our schools, they will be, even if the church knows they do not represent the number of genuinely devout Catholics (if we use regular mass attendence as a criteria).
If the census asked a less leading question than "What is your religion?", such as "How religious are you?", then we might get a better picture. Unfortunately Atheist Ireland was unable to get the question changed for the 2011 census. I think the census results will be published in July and it'll be interesting reading. However it is unlikely to be an accurate reading, as far as religion is concerned.