tagged w/ dogma
Higgs boson theorist says he agrees with those who find Dawkins' approach to dealing with believers 'embarrassing.'
As public disagreements go, few can have boasted such heavy-hitting antagonists.
On one side is Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist who has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion. On the other is the theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, who this year became a shoo-in for a future Nobel prize after scientists at Cern in Geneva showed that his theory about how fundamental particles get their mass was correct.
Their argument is over nothing less than the coexistence of religion and science.
Higgs has chosen to cap his remarkable 2012 with another bang by criticising the "fundamentalist" approach taken by Dawkins in dealing with religious believers.
"What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists," Higgs said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind."
He agreed with some of Dawkins' thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist's approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins' approach "embarrassing".
Dawkins, author of the best-selling book The God Delusion, has been accused many times in the past of adopting fundamentalist positions.. In a 2007 post on his website titled "How dare you call me a fundamentalist", Dawkins wrote: "No, please, do not mistake passion, which can change its mind, for fundamentalism, which never will. Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may 'believe', in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will."
The criticisms have not led the biologist to soften his stance on religion. In a recent interview with al-Jazeera, he implied that being raised a Catholic was worse for a child than physical abuse by a priest. Responding to a direct question from the interviewer Mehdi Hassan, Dawkins related the story of a woman in America who had written to him about abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of a priest, and the mental anguish of being told that one of her friends, a Protestant girl, would burn in hell.
"She told me that, of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse, it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about hell, she took years to get over," said Dawkins. "Telling children such that they really, really believe that people who sin are going to go to hell and roast forever, that your skin grows again when it peels off, it seems to me intuitively entirely reasonable that that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares because they really believe it."
Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs's "fundamentalist" charge.
In the El Mundo interview, Higgs argued that although he was not a believer, he thought science and religion were not incompatible. "The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that's not the same thing as saying they're incompatible. It's just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.
"But that doesn't end the whole thing. Anybody who is a convinced but not a dogmatic believer can continue to hold his belief. It means I think you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past."
He said a lot of scientists in his field were religious believers. "I don't happen to be one myself, but maybe that's just more a matter of my family background than that there's any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two."
In 1963 Higgs predicted the existence of a force-carrying particle, part of an invisible energy field that filled the vacuum throughout the observable universe. Without the field, or something like it, we would not be here. The field clings to the smallest fundamental particles and gives them mass. The field, which switched on moments after the big bang, allowed particles to come together and form all the atoms and molecules around today.
In the interview, the physicist spoke about the announcement on 4 July that the Higgs boson had finally been found. He said he had received a call from a colleague at Cern a few days earlier who had told him he would regret it if he did not come along. At the announcement, Higgs began to cry.
"What was so overwhelming really was the response of the audience at Cern. It wasn't like a scientific seminar, it was like the end of a football match when the home team has won, and that was what was overwhelming to me, to be a part of that … It [bursting into tears] was a reaction to the emotions around me and the feeling that, well, it's arrived at last! That was hard to deal with."
Many scientists believe that the discovery means that Higgs is odds on for a future Nobel prize. He was relieved, however, that the Nobel committee had skipped over the discovery for the physics award this year. "I was relieved, simply because since the beginning of July I've been so busy dealing with requests to do this and that, that I was glad not to have that on my schedule as well, so I have described it as a reprieve."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/26/peter-higgs-richard-dawkins-fundamentalismHiggs boson theorist says he agrees with those who find Dawkins' approach to... more
"There are no ready-made answers on how this epochal effort should unfold. No comforting alternative dogma waits in the wings. Old ways of thinking seem immutable because new paradigms are not yet equipped with clear formulations or solutions. But what emerges from this period of introspection does not depend so much on dazzling original ideas. Realigning our worldly projects with civilizational purpose depends entirely on those whose honesty will not be compromised by ideology or held captive by prejudices and pet assumptions. Indeed, perhaps the most precious skill in this context will be the ability to live with ambiguity and ambivalence while cultivating self-awareness. This need not involve recourse to morally demanding philosophers like Gandhi. The sixth century B.C. Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, left behind the dictum that success depends on knowing yourself before you know your enemy. Recovery to business-as-usual is the enemy. Our current wilderness—economic and social—is a space where we can come to know ourselves better.""There are no ready-made answers on how this epochal effort should unfold. No... more
John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
By John Blake, CNN
February 27, 2011 1:48 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:
"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."
Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."
When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he's spreading about Jesus today isn't the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.
Crossan says Jesus was an exploited "peasant with an attitude" who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.
Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world's top scholars on the "historical Jesus," a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting.
"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."
In another time, Crossan's views would have been confined to scholarly journals. But he and his best-selling books, including the recent "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography," have changed how biblical scholars operate.
Crossan believes the public should be exposed to even the most divisive debates that scholars have had about Jesus and the Bible. He co-founded the Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of scholars who hold public forums that cast doubt on the authenticity of many sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus.
John Dominic Crossan says even the writers of the Bible disagreed about Jesus' message.
The 77-year-old Crossan has built on the seminar's mission by writing a series of best-selling books on Jesus and the Apostle Paul. With his silver Prince Valiant haircut and his pronounced Irish accent, he's also appeared on documentaries such as PBS's "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" and A&E's "Mysteries of the Bible."
Crossan's overarching message is that you don't have to accept the Jesus of dogma. There's another Jesus hidden in Scripture and history who has been ignored.
"He's changed the way we look and think about Jesus," says Byron McCane, an archaeologist and professor of religion at Wofford College in South Carolina. "He's important in a way that few scholars are."
CONTINUED…John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
By John Blake,... more
Funny weed smokers marijuana comedy show. This part has pot scenes in movies from Dogma, 30 Days Of Night and The Warriors, plus Kirsten Stewart caught toking.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9fxSdq7Bc4Funny weed smokers marijuana comedy show. This part has pot scenes in movies from... more
Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity
--LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice.
Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God.
Mohler said he objects to "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine."
"That's just not Christianity," Mohler told The Associated Press.
Mohler said feedback has come through e-mail and comments on blogs and other websites since he wrote an essay to address questions about yoga he has heard for years.
"I'm really surprised by the depth of the commitment to yoga found on the part of many who identify as Christians," Mohler said.
Yoga fans say their numbers have been growing in the U.S. A 2008 study by the Yoga Journal put the number at 15.8 million, or nearly 7 percent of adults. About 6.7 percent of American adults are Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Mohler argued in his online essay last month that Christians who practice yoga "must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga."
He said his view is "not an eccentric Christian position."
Continued at LINK - - -
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101007/ap_on_re/us_rel_southern_baptists_yogaSouthern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity
--LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A... more
Kevin Smith, the director of such acclaimed movies as Clerks, Dogma and Chasing Amy, is once again in the spotlight for a rant on his Twitter account (now apparently referred to as a “twrant”) regarding the harsh criticism of his latest movie, Cop Out received. Just recently, he turned to Twitter to vent his frustrations over an ugly spat with SouthWest Airlines after their two-seat policy for overweight patrons led to Smith being ejected from an L.A.-bound flight before takeoff. As a follow-up rant, Smith is targeting film critics, those same folks who generally hated the director’s Bruce Willis-Tracy Morgan cop comedy.Kevin Smith, the director of such acclaimed movies as Clerks, Dogma and Chasing Amy,... more
Brett Erlich gives a sermon on cinematic versions of the afterlife.
The Rotten Tomatoes Show is a movie review show that airs on Thursday nights at 10:30 e/p on Current TV. From reviews of the newest releases to commentary on cult favorites and movie trends, each episode of The Rotten Tomatoes Show is a fast-paced, comedic journey through the week in cinema.
For more from the Rotten Tomatoes Show: http://rottentomatoesshow.com
For more about movies from Current: http://current.com/moviesBrett Erlich gives a sermon on cinematic versions of the afterlife.
The Rotten... more
With all of this talk about Atheism and Christianity, I thought it only fair to describe what I and some others believe in. For me, a once Evangelical Lutheran who attended church, sang in a choir as a soloist, and even at twelve years old thought of going to Seminary to become a minister because I was so blown away by the teachings and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it took quite a revelation for me to then understand "organized religion" and the subjugation of the mind and spirit it brings as I grew older. Through the years since I was a young girl, I have seen how religion can constrict the mind to the will of many for their own ends and actually put up barriers between the believer and their relationship with Christ. So, eventually I found a far more enlightening way to seek a closer relationship to the Christ without all of the middlemen driving fear and dogma into my heart and mind. I turned to Gnosticism, which I believe allows a greater freedom of heart, mind, and spirit.
To some however, the ancient beliefs of Gnostics will sound like something out a science fiction novel, but when you put it into perspective of how society works, it does on some level make sense. Gnostics believe that this material world we live in is an evil diversion set upon us by the Demiurge, or false god. In this material world we live in there are Aeons, or 'angels' (Jesus /Christ and Sophia being the first) who were non material spirits sent to lead us to gnosis, or knowledge of the divine light within all of us. In other words, to enlighten us to the fact that we are not shaped by the material world, but transcend it. Archons are seen as the 'demons' who are the gatekeepers of the material world we live in that provide the distractions to us attaining the knowledge to ascend back to the Pleroma, or universal God and who do all in their power to make this world a place that is opposite of what it should be. As I stated, equate that to the actual way our society works, and it does make some sense, though I myself do not use those terms in my daily life. However, analogies can be made.
In some extreme sects of Gnostics it was even believed that the human body in and of itself was an evil distraction and trap to the light within us devised to enslave the soul and true light. That for me is still debatable as I believe humans are divine as was Christ. It is believed that the only way to reach ‘gnosis’ or knowing is through inner reflection and through looking beyond the material distractions of the Demiurge. Gnostics in some sects were also known to be ascetic, though there is mention of the "Bridal Chamber" in the joining of man and woman, though not much if anything is known specifically of the ritual. It is believed by some as well that spiritual transcendence and seeing the light are reached through the joining of man and woman spiritually through the physical. Personally, I am more in favor of that latter ritual myself ;-).
continued.With all of this talk about Atheism and Christianity, I thought it only fair to... more
For years, Jesus Christ had kept quiet while his “followers” had killed and committed horrendous acts of intolerance in his name. They were the “birth pangs” of a new religion, his surrogates would say. One day he would be accepted by all as a liberator.
But in an announcement that has left his followers shaken, the Christ himself has come forward to announce that he is leaving Christianity, effective immediately. The reasoning: The 2008 Republican Platform. Reached for comment at a West Hollywood coffee shop, Christ said that he couldn’t deal with a world that so misinterpreted his words and actions.
“They mention the word ‘faith’ 12 times in their platform,” said Christ. “Do they think we’re idiots or something?”
Christ went on to say that he had grown tired of being portrayed as a “marauding archangel of vengeance,” and that he held out little hope that the world would ever accept his message of peace.
“There’s a new breed of Christian out there that seems to think I represent free-for-all capitalism and slaying my enemies,” said Christ, munching on an arugula quiche. “I mean, they made Isaiah into a Cold War-era strategist, for Dad’s sake. Did they even read the New Testament?”
With the 2008 U.S. Presidential election coming up in short order, many have expressed skepticism over the timing of Christ’s announcement. Reached for comment, John McCain’s campaign lobbyist Rick Davis said that his candidate would not be responding to the “obvious liberal smear.”
“John McCain has made it clear that he will not speak to or about Jesus Christ until Christ shows him the respect he deserves,” said Davis. “John McCain was a POW and deserves respect. Jesus obviously can’t understand the kind of sacrifice John McCain made.”
For his part, Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama has said he plans to stay above the fray.
“This is above my pay grade,” said Obama during a campaign stop in Canton, Kansas. “Way, way, way above my pay grade.”
The reaction from many political entertainers was swift. Sean Hannity of Fox News made clear his disappointment in Christ.
“Seriously, let him go,” said Hannity to co-host Sean Colmes on the popular show “Hannity & Colmes” on Fox News. “If he doesn’t have the courage to face up to the Republican platform, how can he ever stand up to Osama bin Laden. This is a partisan attack, plain and simple.”
In response, Colmes vehemently disagreed with Hannity.
“But, but, but … , ” said Colmes.
The major religious corporations of the world have yet to comment on Christ’s decision. At the Vatican Web site, a simple message appeared: “Thank you for allowing us time to reflect on this matter. Pray for us, and know that we need your tithing now more than ever.”
Many devout Christians have stated that Christ’s abandonment will not affect their faith.
“Jesus Christ is the one true savior and those who don’t accept him into their heart will perish in eternal damnation,” said religious entertainer Joel Osteen. “That is the truth, regardless of Christ’s actual involvement.”
A thoughtful Christ said he had yet to decide what would be next for him, but expressed pride in his philosophy and accomplishments.
“We had a good run,” said Christ. “It really far exceeded anything I had hoped for, but humanity was supposed to become more evolved over time, not less.
“It’s just time to pull the plug.”
Christ said he would likely dedicate his time to working on an autobiography that will focus on his philosophies and work with people from all walks of life.
“I figure after 2,000 years it’s about time there was a book about me,” said Christ. “You know, from someone who was actually there.”
When pressed for details, Christ said he wasn’t allowed to reveal anything about the upcoming tome due to a contractual commitment with But Christ did allow for one tidbit to be released - what the “H” stood for in “Jesus H. Christ.”
“Hector,” said Christ, walking out the door.
–WKWFor years, Jesus Christ had kept quiet while his “followers” had killed... more
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE Kevin responds to a fan who busts his chops about his penchant for rehashing old characters.WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE Kevin responds to a fan who busts his chops about his... more