Ten Predictions for 2019 – Confusion, China and Christ.

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.59.33
Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Last New Year I tried to look ahead and predict what would happen in 2018 – https://theweeflea.com/2017/12/30/war-poverty-the-rise-of-the-machines-10-prophecies-for-society-in-2018/   I think I got 9.5 right!  So let’s have another go for 2019.

1) ) We will continue to live in a confused culture – on sex and gender 

Our society has the MeToo movement – supposed to be a protest against mistreatment and sexual abuse of women.  I thought of this when watching  Little Mix appearing on the Graham Norton show –

But if you look at the video it is nauseating.  Showing beautiful girls being pawed by men.  Yet Little Mix are role models for prepubescent girls in our culture.  What message is being sent to them?

There will continue to be confusion about gender and the Trans agenda.  You would think it couldn’t get any madder than children being taught in school that boys can have periods, women being replaced by Womxn and male rapists being sent to female prisons….but our elites will find a way!

https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/12/26/the-year-of-trans-tyranny/

2) Immigration will become even more of an issue. 

As the internet, ease of travel and people smugglers enable the middle classes from poor and more dysfunctional countries to travel – there will be continual pressure on the more developed countries.  The whole issue is incredibly complex, without simplistic solutions  – but there must be solutions – or we will end up with those who believe in The Final Solution, coming to power.

The Strange Death of Europe – 3 – Islam

3)  There will be growing turmoil in the EU

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.49.45The Belgian government has just been forced to resign after its Prime Minister signed up to the EU migration pact.   Italy is being bullied by the EU.  Greece, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Austria and Sweden all have difficulties, but the big issues for 2019 will involve Germany (as Merkel prepares to leave) and France – where Macron is turning into the most unpopular democratically elected leader in the world.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/protesters-are-violent-racist-hate-filled-liars-says-macron-xrf5wsr0w

4) In politics Brexit will not happen in any meaningful form –

Mrs May could well get some form of her deal through parliament, there could be a no deal Brexit, or parliament could force another referendum (you can forget the Labour party coming to power this year and being able to change anything – in effect they want the same as May’s deal – they just won’t support it because they want her out).  If it is the latter it will be a disaster for democracy in the UK.   My own view is that a no deal Brexit would be the best option.

5) The SNP will pay the price for focusing on Brexit.

There are some within the SNP who are beginning to see this.  The trouble is that Nicola Sturgeon keeps promising jam tomorrow (in the form of Indy Ref2) whilst seeking her own jam today (keeping the UK in the EU).  Her ill-considered decision to support a second EU referendum, without consulting her party, has done that party a great deal of harm.   The trouble is that if she succeeds in this latter policy she will have killed Indy for at least a decade, if not longer.  Furthermore there are growing tensions within Scotland and frustration caused by failures in the NHS, education and transport system.  If the SNP go ahead with their ill thought out virtue signalling Gender Self-Recognition Act, then I suspect there will be a popular backlash against it, which if the Tories will reap the benefit from, if they have enough suss and courage to oppose it.

6) The Battle for Marriage and Family will continue –

Our Western liberals, in their hubris and arrogance, seem to think that their pushing means that SSM is inevitable throughout the world.   But that is not the case.

It was interesting how last year the most pro-gay country in Asia voted against SSM. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/how-taiwans-silent-majority-blocked-same-sex-marriage-momentum

Screenshot 2019-01-02 at 16.11.56

You can also expect significant pushback in Brazil and even in Europe.  Merkel’s successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as a conservative Catholic is strongly opposed to SSM.

The trouble for the liberals is that although they largely control mainstream media, the academy and the state institutions, they do not yet control the internet or social media.  But I suspect that the tech giants – who are all run by silicon valley liberals, will continue to seek to censor socially conservative views.  Facebook for example have just apologised for banning Franklin Graham over his comments on transgender.

It is possible that this coming year I may find more of this happening to me as well – Dear Twitter – Why Have You Banned Me?

7) Education  will be a key battleground

As education in our culture moves away from being about education and more about social engineering and the indoctrination of children into the new doctrines of the political classes – the classroom will be a key battleground.  It was fascinating that Nicola Sturgeon felt she had to, for the first time, make a special Christmas message to Scotland’s Catholic community – promising them that their State Catholic schools would be safe.

http://www.sconews.co.uk/news/57102/political-leaders-issue-christmas-messages-to-catholic-community-and-all-scotlands-christians/

The problem for the Scottish government is that, now they have turned the non-denominational schools into either non or anti-Christian centres, there will be those of us who are not Catholics who also want our children to be educated in schools with a Christian ethos.  How could they deny us that, whilst offering it to the Catholic church? Would that not be discrimination?

8) China will face a turbulent year

I listened to this brilliant ‘World this Weekend) programme from the BBC – which was almost entirely devoted to China.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001sxk

downloadCommunist China will be 70 years old this year.  It will become increasingly authoritarian (controlling its people through ‘social credit’ as well as money and the police) and militaristic.  There is every possibility that the situation in the South China Sea and with Taiwan could lead to armed conflict with the US.   If the Chinese economy falters (as it did in the latter part of 2018) then trade wars could easily turn into military wars.

9) The battle for democracy

There is a real battle for democracy.  In this brilliant commentary from Australia (an essay well worth reading) we are warned of the dangers of turbulent areas in the world – like Brazil and above all of the clash between Western democracy and the Chinese version of capitalism.  https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-01/stan-grant-2019-the-end-of-history/10675572

“It is 30 years this year since a then-little-known US State Department official and emerging political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, declared “the end of history”. In 1989, he surveyed the crumbling Soviet Union and the final days of the Cold War and penned an essay for the National Interest magazine, where he crowned western liberal democracy as humanity’s high point.It may constitute, Fukuyama argued, the “end point of mankind’s ideological evolution — the final form of human government”.

This hubris became the doctrine of the West and resulted in disasters like the Iraq war and the failure to take seriously China.  Surely everyone would want to be like ‘us’?!  It has not turned out that way and indeed there is a real possibility that rather than China becoming democratic, it will be the EU and the USA which become more autocratic.  The world could easily become divided into great power blocs, rather than individual nations.

10) Atheism will decline and a spiritual hole will be left –

The Times recently reported a decline in the number of people in the UK who profess to be atheists – from 35% five years ago, to 33% today.  They even suggest that the number of people going to church has increased (although they don’t go as frequently). https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/atheism-is-down-as-uk-gets-spiritual-z00nxczn7

I don’t think this indicates a renewal of Christianity.  It just shows us that atheism is a wholly unsatisfactory belief system on which to base your life.  The ‘God-shaped’ hole may be filled by other religions and cults, but the truth is that it gives biblical Christians a wonderful opportunity to get out there and not only say there is a God, but that he can be known, loved and served through Jesus.  May 2019 be a year of Gospel renewal – wherever you are based.

The trouble with atheism is that it is a blind belief based upon a faith which is intellectually vacant.  Christians don’t hold to a blind faith approach.  We don’t think that just having faith is enough.  It is who we have faith in that matters.  Which is why we need to argue that our faith in Christ is based upon evidence, rationality and reality.  In that respect I leave you with this video of my meeting Dawkins from six years ago – in which Dawkins, unwittingly, gives us the best description of Christian faith – it is belief based upon evidence.  Enjoy ….

 

 

Quantum 22 – 2018 – End of Year Review

 

 

 

 

 

44 thoughts on “Ten Predictions for 2019 – Confusion, China and Christ.

  1. “It just shows us that atheism is a wholly unsatisfactory belief system on which to base your life.”

    Please tell us what are the tenets of the belief system that is atheism.

    The vast majority of atheists are agnostics, which means they actually have NO beliefs at all.

    Once again strawmanning, David.

    1. Atheists have NO beliefs at all? Really….think about it. All atheists I have met are naturalists – they believe there is only the material. Most also have incredible faith in themselves and their own abilities to judge even the greatest matters.

      1. Moving the goalposts, David.

        Lets talk about atheists not methodological or philosophical naturalists.

        Atheism is a lack of belief.

        Strawman again and you know it. What it really tells me is what you think of your regular audience. You think they are stupid going by the logical fallacies you pump out day after day.

      2. But you have yet to show one logical fallacy….indeed you have yet to show any logic. Atheism is a lack of belief in God based upon a set of beliefs….take your time…and come up with some evidence for your accusations…

      3. “Atheism is a lack of belief in God based upon a set of beliefs” – which set of beliefs – take your time.

        No! Wrong. Atheism is a lack of belief in God(s) based upon a lack of evidence.

        You might as well say that not collecting stamps is a hobby. The stupid is truly strong with you.

      4. Naturalism, scientism (note not science) and the belief that they have the capacity to examine and judge on the evidence.

        Yes I agree that atheism is based upon a lack of evidence….

        And are you really repeating the none stamp collecter meme?! I suspect if you can’t work out the difference between not believing in God and not collecting stamps you probably should not be engaging in this discussion!

      5. Only you bring up naturalism and scientism. And of course scientism is a vast mis-characterisation of nothing in particular. Merely a term that religionists wheel out when they have no cogent arguments against the logical position of atheists.

        David, when will you understand that the other beliefs of people – their belief in the efficacy of science, methodological or philosophical naturalism – have nothing directly to do with their lack of belief in a creator god?

      6. “Scientism is the belief that the material is all there is and that science can explain everything.”

        No it isnt. Refer to Wikipedia for a full explanation of scientism.

        What you are referring to is “philosophical naturalism”. This is the problem with you and your ilk, David – you want to to redefine stuff to suit your narrative. It wont wash.

      7. No – I don’t refer to Wikipedia – I prefer to read real books like dictionaries….So Scientism is as I said “excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques” “: an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities)” (Merriam Webster) . If you don’t know what ‘philosophical naturalism” is then I suggest you try some reading and learn some things before you attempt to come on here and insult people!

      8. Wikipedia is a well referenced encyclopedia that is less likely to date than a hard copy. It also will be written and amended by more than just a few experts.

    2. “The vast majority of atheists are agnostics, which means they actually have NO beliefs at all.” That sentence doesn’t make sense.

      Oxford Concise Dictionary, 11ed:

      “agnostic
      noun – a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
      adjective – relating to agnostics or agnosticism.”

      “atheism
      noun – disbelief in the existence of a god or gods.”

      Either way, one expresses a belief (or its negative – disbelief).

      The current definition of “atheist” on the Oxford dictionaries website shows the shift in meaning of the word which has happened over the past few years, mainly through atheist usage (as you demonstrate):
      “Atheist – A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.”

      Atheism is being redefined as a “lack of belief” in an attempt tp avoid the rational conclusion that atheism itself is a worldview – a belief system. By denying “belief” and even “disbelief”, atheists seek make their position impregnable, when for any practical purpose it is only made meaningless.

      On the whole, atheists behavoiour towards Christians seems to indicate that they are functionally disbelievers (ardent ones) rather than functionally “lacking belief” – else why put in all the time and effort against something they “lack belief” in at all? I have yet to hear an atheist express lack of belief in unicorns, fairies or invisible friends.

      1. “The vast majority of atheists are agnostics, which means they actually have NO beliefs at all.” That sentence doesn’t make sense.

        Are you serious?

        The vast majority of atheists ARE agnostic. They have no evidence or knowledge that would allow them to form a belief. They are a-gnostic.

        The commonly held definition, never mind the Oxford Concise Dictionary, 11ed:’s poor wording, is that agnostic means a person who believes that nothing is known of the existence or nature of God. The notion that nothing can be known is an entirely different proposition. Certainly one that the OED may believe to be so or that some people may believe that to be so. But it is certainly not a commonly held view to compare with the vast majority of atheists who are of the opinion that they are atheist simply because they have no evidence that compels them to belief.

        “Either way, one expresses a belief (or its negative – disbelief).” – There are a small minority of atheists who are pretty certain that god(s) do not exist. There is a subtle difference in case you hadnt spotted it. These are known as hard atheists. (7, I believe on the Dawkins scale.) Certainly in the regard of a Christian god, I consider myself as a hard atheist. As I said we are in the minority.

        “The current definition of “atheist” on the Oxford dictionaries website shows the shift in meaning of the word which has happened over the past few years, mainly through atheist usage (as you demonstrate):” – Utter tosh. The change in meaning is a perception only in the eyes of those who havent bothered to look at the wider gamut of philosophical terminology. Those of us who bother to make the distinction between weak and strong atheists are deeply pained when we hear it uttered by David and other theists. These are basic philosophical definitions.

        “Atheism is being redefined as a “lack of belief” ” – NO it has never been redefined except in the mind or rhetoric of theologians.

        “in an attempt tp avoid the rational conclusion that atheism itself is a worldview – a belief system.” – Atheists, of whatever flavour, as David points out are wedded to methodological naturalism and empiricism and the notion that en-masse they would avoid rational conclusions is patently absurd. And you know it.

        “By denying “belief” and even “disbelief”, atheists seek make their position impregnable, when for any practical purpose it is only made meaningless.” – Utter nonsense. If I were a “weak atheist”, it would be highly illogical to on the one hand honestly claim that I didnt know either way that a god existed and on the other to have a desire to know definitively that one did. And just as illogical to hold the opposite proposition. If i had no idea either way the most logical position would not be to try to make my position impregnable but rather to find out more.

        “On the whole, atheists behavoiour towards Christians seems to indicate that they are functionally disbelievers (ardent ones) rather than functionally “lacking belief” ” – WRONG!! completely the opposite. I believe you are referring to the atheist anti-theist which is a small percentage of the atheist population.

        “…else why put in all the time and effort against something they “lack belief” in at all?” – See above re anti-theists. Active anti-theists are a very small percentage of atheists. If you confuse them with the vast majority of atheists, I suggest you might need some education on the matter, or you might be persuaded to stop fabricating a semantic shift for “strengthening your own position”.

        ” I have yet to hear an atheist express lack of belief in unicorns, fairies or invisible friends. ” – How many times have you asked an atheist that question? Exactly! NONE! If you did ask it of the vast majority of atheists most maybe would say no. Some wouldnt, And this is relevant how? Anecdote is not evidence of anything.

        The vast majority of atheists I know dont care if youre Christian or not.

        The reason that some people put in the effort is usually because somehow they feel aggrieved by religion or by the religion’s claims which are felt to be an affront to human intellect.

        I suggest you read about atheism from another source.

  2. “The problem for the Scottish government is that, now they have turned the non-denominational schools into either non or anti-Christian centres, …. ”

    Please tell me which schools are anti-Christian, David. Id like to know so that I can tell them that their behavious does not promote inclusion as government law and guidance requires.

    I suggest rather, in the absence of any answer, that you are merely lying for Jesus.

    1. Yes, I am serious. It is that “NO beliefs at all” part which makes no sense. None, nothing, nada, zip, zilch? Are you serious?

      ““in an attempt to avoid the rational conclusion that atheism itself is a worldview – a belief system.” – Atheists, of whatever flavour, as David points out are wedded to methodological naturalism and empiricism and the notion that en-masse they would avoid rational conclusions is patently absurd. And you know it.”
      Yes, I do know it is absurd to suggest that atheists en-masse would avoid rational conclusions. I was meaning that non-atheists would be the ones who might come to the rational conclusion that atheism (wherever on the Dawkins Scale it sits) is a world view – a belief system (at the very least, that atheism would be a substantial factor in a worldview or belief system). Why? Because:
      “The vast majority of atheists ARE agnostic. They have no evidence or knowledge that would allow them to form a belief. ”
      Maybe they believe that to be the case because they actively reject as evidence or knowledge anything that might contradict their worldview?

      ““Atheism is being redefined as a “lack of belief” ” – NO it has never been redefined except in the mind or rhetoric of theologians.”
      From the introductory page to the American Atheists website:
      “Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

      Older dictionaries define atheism as “a belief that there is no God.” Clearly, theistic influence taints these definitions. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as “there is no God” betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read “there are no gods.”

      Here we have an atheist writer talking about a semantic shift – one which has largely been brought about by atheist usage. Just search on Google for “atheism as lack of belief” or similar search strings and look at the way atheists have changed the way they define their atheism over the last decade or so – thus changing the meaning of the word itself.
      All conscious humans have a worldview which is based upon empirical results, observation, experience, knowledge, learning, “living” in general, even dare I say it – beliefs. Its how we navigate through life. The worldview of an atheist is as profoundly shaped by that atheism as mine is by my theism. That is why atheists so often seek to define themselves by their “lack of belief” – it enables them to convince themselves that their atheism has no effect on their worldview while pointing to what they see as the negative effects of theism on the worldview of those who hold to it.

      “”I have yet to hear an atheist express lack of belief in unicorns, fairies or invisible friends. ” – How many times have you asked an atheist that question? Exactly! NONE! ”
      Do you know that I have had no such interaction with atheists (at least, people who self-identify as such)? Or is that simply your belief about me? It is relevant because Christian belief is very often mockingly compared to belief in unicorns, fairies and invisible friends; the implication is of course that since such things don’t exist, so neither does God. Anecdote? Yes, if personal experience counts as anecdote.

      “The vast majority of atheists I know dont care if youre Christian or not.”
      I wouldn’t be so presumptious as to dismiss this as anecdote. If I had responded to that with “How many times have you asked an atheist that question Exactly! NONE!” you could rightly conclude that I am utterly ignorant about you.

      “I suggest you read about atheism from another source.”
      Again, you speak as if you have knowledge of me, of what I read. Or is this your belief in what I have read or not read, based on how theists fit into your worldview? Maybe I shouldn’t have read Richard Dawkins, James Randi, Poly Toynbee, Susan Blackmore, Sam Harris, Cristopher Hitchens, Steven Hawkins etc. Would you care to suggest other sources (with their positions on the Dawkins Scale, if possible)?

  3. Dawkins states that your faith is belief based on no evidence .
    Hei s correct.
    No historian on the planet believes there is any evidence for the miracle working, character , Jesus of Nazareth as described in the bible.

    1. Hello Arkenaten,

      I thoroughly recommend the book in the link below.

      It will not only provide you excellent historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as shown by historians at the top of their game, but will also present you with the medical evidence, archeological evidence, sociological evidence, psychological evidence and personal testimony that prove 2000 years ago a man called Jesus Christ died on a Cross then rose from the grave!

      ‘That’s what this book is about. In effect, Im going to retrace and expand upon the spiritual journey I took for nearly two years. I’ll take you along as I interview 13 leading scholars and authorities who have impeccable academic credentials.’ Quote from Lee Strobel in the introduction of The Case for Christ.

      The evidence is there for all to see my friend……..the question is, do you really want to see it? You say there are no historians – this book proves you wrong. Are you sure that you are basing your view on ALL the available evidence? Lee Strobel, award winning American journalist and militant atheist changed his mind after 2 years of investigation and examination of the evidence and is now a committed Christian. The book shows ALL the evidence that changed his mind about Jesus.

      Why don’t you read it my friend and see? What have you got to lose?

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation-ebook/dp/B01863JLK2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546609647&sr=8-1&keywords=the+case+for+Christ

      1. ….”medical evidence, archeological evidence, sociological evidence, psychological evidence and personal testimony that prove 2000 years ago a man called Jesus Christ died on a Cross then rose from the grave!”

        Lee Strobel? Please.

        What possible “medical” evidence could there be that confirms Jesus Christ died and then rose from the dead?

      2. A good question John Van den Akker,

        The book answers this question (what is the medical evidence for the death of Jesus) in a couple of stages.

        (1) It establishes that the 4 Gospels are a reliable, historically accurate historical account of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection, as they satisfy the criteria Historians use to evaluate the reliability of a document. For example (one of many I could use) – there are approx. 25,000 copies of the different parts of the Gospels, all in accord with one another, the earliest of which is dated to within 30 – 50 years after Jesus Christs death. The go to document for the historical account of the life of Alexander the Great was written nearly 1000 years after his death! 🙂

        (2) He examines the historical medical evidence of what a human being suffered when they were scourged then crucified – hypovolemic shock due to huge lack of blood, leading to weakness and intense thirst as the body tries to replenish the amount of blood. And what do we see in the Gospel accounts? Jesus Christ too weak to carry his cross and collapsing under the weight of it and his shout of ‘I thirst’ where he is then given vinegar to drink.

        (3) It is a historical fact that Roman soldiers NEVER let someone down from a cross alive. If they did they would be crucified. The Roman soldier does not break Jesus’s legs as he does the other two crucifixion victims (this speeded up death because they couldn’t life themselves up to breath) and according to the Gospel accounts the soldier instead pierces a spear through Jesus’s side so that water and blood poured out. Water and blood gather round the heart cavity when there is cardiac arrest proving that Jesus Christ died.

        (4) He then goes on to logically argue why that Jesus Christ must have then rose from the grave. 1 reason given for example – The Romans and Jews never denied that he had died. They ALL claimed his body had been stolen past the armed guard of Roman soldiers who would themselves have been killed if they had let his body be stolen. This again proved that he had died and was gone – because otherwise the Romans and Jewish leaders would just produce his body and that would be the end of that. Aanother reason given (there are loads) why did every one of the twelve disciples except John die horrifically rather than say Jesus wasnt God and hadnt risen? If they had stolen the body, then they wouldnt die for a lie. They died because they were convinced he has risen.

        I hope that helps my friend.

    2. “Dawkins states that your faith is belief based on no evidence . He is correct.”

      I used to find Dawkins’ statement on faith compelling. What brought me into Christianity was the realization that there was indeed evidence of various kinds to support it. He was not correct.

      I’ll possibly save someone time by posting the sort of response that I have had already from self-identifying atheists (no idea where they were on the Dawkins Scale):

      “You weren’t a REAL atheist then. You were just an agnostic!”

      I’ll save myself some time by replying to that here:

      “Do you know that about me, or is that your belief about me?”

  4. The vast majority of people who claim to be atheists are in reality agnostics as Mark states but not for his reasons. It is because they have made no attempt whatsoever to look into the claims of Christianity and are totally ignorant of the facts behind it. They have dismissed it without thought or consideration and are completely ignorant. It is easier to claim to be an atheist than to bother to use their brain, even for an hour. (I acknowledge this does not apply to all atheists).

    The etymology of agnostic is based on the Greek “agnostos” – “ignorant, not knowing”.
    The Latin equivalent is “ignoramus” – “we do not know, we take no notice of”

    But the term ignoramus is seen as pejorative so is not used, even although the meaning is the same.

  5. Christian belief is based on the God’s revelation to the world. The creation itself, Scripture, Christ and the Church. This is all evidence. This evidence leads some to have faith in God and Christ. Dawkins is not a theologian – what does he know?! He is incredibly spiritually dull and unable or unwilling to reason rationally. Scientific evidence is interpreted in different ways – some believing in intelligent design and some believing in natural selection. If you are not an eye witness to the scientific evidence but a hearer only – if you have no knowledge of the mindset of the scientist, his/her integrity or the bias or integrity of the peers whose reviews seem to be presented as the gold standard of truth – then you are simply believing the opinions of scientists – above the opinions of other scientists. The same goes for historians – their interpretation and bias. Ark you simply do not know what every historian on the planet – since the first century – believes about Jesus of Nazareth. That is just bluster.

  6. Trust in God. There is more to Christ than meets the eye. Let the bible speak for itself. It’s testimony is Jesus, what he came to do and what he has achieved. I have little faith in men but an overriding faith in God – it is not blind but thought out every day and my marvelling at His work increases as every day passes. Praise Him. If this is hocus pocus in the eyes of some, it is their position to be so for the time being – but if God wills it, they might not always see it that way. For me, scripture and the leading of the spirit is irresistable, God’s grace to me is awesome.

  7. Mark Gordon,

    You’re such an intellectual. If someone doesn’t realize how smart you are, all they have to do is ask you.
    Please stop ending so many sentence to Pastor Robertson with his first name, Mark. I’m sure you are sitting at your keyboard smirking each time, as in your mind it underscores how correct you are on all your points, but all it really does is accentuate your smugness. You are not going to change anyone’s mind, and no one is going to change yours.
    You come across as the classic angry atheist (I mean agnostic, pardon me). Please get with a group of your enlightened colleagues and you can all high five each other to celebrate your mental superiority. After all, all things non-physical or outside of the provable scientific realm clearly don’t even exist, which you realize above all others. Impressive.
    Yes, there have certainly been some gross injustices committed in the name of Christianity; however, let’s see how you would like to be treated outside the laws, morals and principles that come along with it. I personally believe in the Great Pumpkin. Does that bother you, as long as I don’t hurt anyone else, and in fact treat others with respect and kindness?
    Your superior intelligence isn’t being fully utilized on this forum. Since Christians are so in error, Muslims must be too. May I arrange for you to debate the leading proponents of Islam on stage and in a live setting, so you may properly enlighten them as to why they are so wrong; and please continue to use your snide and condescending methods with them too……I didn’t think so.
    Jackass.

  8. “If the SNP go ahead with their ill thought out virtue signalling Gender Self-Recognition Act, then I suspect there will be a popular backlash against it.”
    Sadly, there hasn’t been a popular backlash against any of the changes brought about since the repeal of Clause 2A. People just seem to be prepared to accept whatever the elite decide. I am hoping that they do eventually wake up but I am not optimistic.
    “which if the Tories will reap the benefit from, if they have enough suss and courage to oppose it.”
    They won’t do anything against, especially as along as Ruth Davidson remains the leader.
    “Merkel’s successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as a conservative Catholic is strongly opposed to SSM.” That is encouraging news if accurate. Mind you, Angela Merkel was also opposed to SSM and much good did that do. As to the description of A K-K as a ‘conservative Catholic’ I would suggest ‘orthodox Catholic’ as a more accurate label. If you are a Catholic you either hold to the teachings of the Church or you do not. If you do the former you are orthodox; if you don’t then you are heterodox.
    “It was fascinating that Nicola Sturgeon felt she had to, for the first time, make a special Christmas message to Scotland’s Catholic community – promising them that their State Catholic schools would be safe.”
    Yes, but safe from what? Safe from abolition? Maybe. Safe from being forced to push the LGBT agenda? Unlikely. It has been the strategy now for some time of those opposed to Catholic schools to make Catholic schools no different than other schools. The Catholic Church can run schools, so the argument goes, but it must not be allowed to use those schools to promote Catholicism. The Lib Dems were trailblazers for this strategy but other parties have now taken it on board.
    “a decline in the number of people in the UK who profess to be atheists – from 35% five years ago, to 33% today. “ I’m not a statistician but that change sounds as though it could be within the margin of error and may be statistically meaningless. There is also the difference between ‘atheism’ and ‘practical atheism’ to take into account. A practical atheist may not count himself as an atheist but, in effect, behaves as if he were an atheist. Incidentally, I have some experience of practical atheism as although I counted myself as an agnostic for 39 years, I lived as if God did not exist.
    As for ‘evidence’ that God exists, the very nature of the evidence which is demanded by atheists demonstrates a belief in materialism and scientism. Prior to those 39 years I did go looking for ‘evidence’ but I was looking in the wrong places.

    1. “As for ‘evidence’ that God exists, the very nature of the evidence which is demanded by atheists demonstrates a belief in materialism and scientism. Prior to those 39 years I did go looking for ‘evidence’ but I was looking in the wrong places.”

      If materialism and science are to be excluded as methods through which the truth can be determined then I expect all we have left is personal experience and bald assertion.

      I really have no quibble at all with personal religious belief. No sensible person should.

      The difficulty arises when those with religious belief attempt to impose it on others.

      1. No one is arguing that science is to be excluded as a method by which truth can be determined. Strawman. We are just arguing that it is NOT the only method and there are questions of truth it cannot be used to determine.

  9. Reason and logic are in the domain of science. I see no connection with religion. Revelation? Really? For revelation to be a valid method by which truth can be ascertained we must trust the source. Sorry, but many of us do not trust the source. Especially texts created by man.

    1. That tough…I don’t trust what you have just written – it is after all a text written by man! In what sense is logic in the domain of science? What experiments are you going to use to develop logic?

      1. Now you are being obtuse. The nature of scientific enquiry is that theoretically one can repeat the experiment.

        It is obvious you dont understand science.

        Where is logic in your religious narrative?

      2. It is not a definition of science David, (And you know it) it is that it is the way that science can proceed, by repeated testing.

        Is the big bang science? That question is “not even wrong” of course. The big bang is the name we give to something we have a tentative explanation for – an explanation based upon rational enquiry and observation as to how the cosmos works. Invoking god as an explanation does not take us any further in our understanding.

        Logic is central to Christianity? Really? As we all know “logos”, in the hermeneutical sense can be made to mean many things, but that is a digression. So I would be really grateful if you could point to one example where logic applies to Christianity. Give us your best shot.

      3. No – Logos cannot mean many things – unless you are a post-modernist who just like to make things up…Most things about Christianity are logical….but you want one. The Christian view that something does not come from nothing. Thats logical….

  10. Very gracious of Pastor Robertson – to engage in conversation with someone who continually interacts in a verbally abusive and bullying manner. Surely someone who has to resort to insults, mocking and abusive ridicule – cannot claim any intellectually higher ground? He sounds like one of Dawkin’s recruits for his puny anti-Christ army – blinded and deceived by – but serving the purposes of – their god.

  11. I always find the level of dishonesty displayed by the ‘religious’ breathtaking and quite disturbing. I used to think the only difference between the religious and atheists was simply that one group believed in a creator (or creators) and the other group didn’t.

    Whilst that is still one difference, I have since concluded that a far more important difference is that atheists accept that they don’t yet know how, why or where we came from or what happens after we die – whereas the religious don’t really want to know – UNLESS it fits their predetermined, yet unproven beliefs.

    This inevitable conclusion only came to the fore recently after watching a documentary program involving some ‘Z’ list UK celebrities who embarked on the ‘Camino de Santiago’ pilgrimage. One of the group was a vicar who, when asked, “Do you really think that St. James was buried under the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia?”, replied, “I don’t CARE if he is or is not”.

    Not knowing what the truth is (yet) is something we all share and always have. However, not caring about what that truth is, unless it’s what we want to believe it is, is shocking to me. So, the worst the atheist can be is ‘wrong’. The religious would still have been dishonest even if it turns out that God or Gods exist.

    I’m sure most, if not all, atheists would like to know the truth (whatever that is) but it is not correct to say that they think that their preferred ‘bet’ on science to eventually reveal the truth is akin to a religion.

    It’s a perfectly rational, odds-based conclusion as the historical weight of evidence overwhelmingly shows that science has provided incontrovertible proof of many holes in millennia of religious ju-ju and claims while religion has not disproven ANY science – not even once.

    Introducing agnosticism into the discussion only confuses matters. Atheism and agnosticism address two different questions.

    Q1. Do you ‘know’ that a God or Gods exist?
    If one could ‘know’ then to whatever extent it is possible to ‘know’ it could be objectively proved beyond reasonable doubt. If one could ‘know’ in that way, then everyone could and would, ‘know’. As it can’t (and even the most devoutly religious acknowledge that no one has ever been able to prove that God exists), we are all agnostic.

    Q2. Do you ‘believe’ that God or Gods exist.
    If you don’t, then you don’t – and ‘atheism’ is just the name given to those people to distinguish them from the ones who have ‘chosen’ to believe – despite that admitted lack of proof.

    Unfortunately, because a label has been assigned to that group, it is all too easy for the religious to claim that it (atheism) is just as much of a belief in ‘something’ as any religion – resulting in nonsense being written such as: “blinded and deceived by – but serving the purposes of – their god”.

    Just because a label of ‘Atheist’ exists, does not make legitimate the claim that the absence of a belief is just as much of a belief in ‘their god’ or a religion. However, some religious zealots seem to see it as an excuse to engage in that intellectual dishonesty.

    For instance, like most kids, I was fully indoctrinated into the existence of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. It was a genuine and devout belief/faith in the existence of these entities who had supernatural powers not possessed by any human. Is there a label for not believing in Santa or the Tooth Fairy with ‘atheist’ equivalency’ No! – there is not. Would anyone expect to be taken seriously if they tried to claim that the non-belief in either (or both) of those two fictional, altruistic benefactors was as much of a ‘religion’ as believing in their existence? I’ve never heard of anyone daft enough or dishonest enough to even try.

    So if, as stated in a previous post above that, ‘atheism is a lack of belief in God based upon a set of beliefs’ (with the predictable, snide implication that this non-belief is just as much of a religion), then on what set of (equally zealous/religious?) beliefs do we all eventually base of our lack of belief in Santa or the Tooth Fairy?

    Before answering something along the lines of: “A new belief that we were lied to and that the gifts under the tree and the money under the pillow were placed there by our parents”, etc. – understand that would only be a belief that those ‘items’ were not left there by these supernatural beings – NOT necessarily that the supernatural beings themselves don’t exist. To continue to believe (or not believe) in their existence – even after discovering that you were lied to is still possible and is ‘a choice’. (FWIW, It’s a very similar choice Remoaners make no matter how much evidence/proof is provided about the EU’s habitual lies and its true, long-term goals).

    Your choice to believe in a God, despite the absence of ANY proof or repeated instances of science disproving long-held beliefs in the fairy tales that were once peddled, does not make those who choose to not engage in the same stubborn, self-delusion just as ‘religious’ as you with their non-belief.
    e.g. It would be beyond ridiculous to try and sell the notion that not believing in Santa Claus is just as much of a religion as believing that he does exist. Changing ‘Santa Claus’ to ‘God’ doesn’t make it any less absurd.

    To draw a comparison: If someone still believed in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, even after discovering who really left the gifts, it would be like them accusing you of being just as consumed by an unprovable ‘belief/religion’ in their non-existence because you stuck to your rational conclusion based on no proof – not even a shred – that Santa or the Tooth Fairy exists.

    So, instead of providing proof (which they can’t do) or acknowledging that your conclusion is actually perfectly rational in the absence of ANY proof, they engage in defensive ‘projection psychology’. They try to accuse YOU of an irrational belief because you can’t prove your claim of God’s non-existence any more than anyone can prove that Bertrand Russell’s proverbial teapot is NOT orbiting the earth.

    Requiring extraordinary proof for extraordinary beliefs is readily accepted in all other realms of discussion. Only charlatans, who are unable to produce that proof, resort to vilifying the one making the request.

    1. Mark – Can I suggest that if you wish to add discourse its probably better not to make up things about those you are arguing against? To do otherwise is to be guilty of the same dishonesty you accuse others of. Lets just look at some of the areas you get it wrong.

      1) I know many atheists who say that it is precisely because they DO know where we came from – that they do not believe.

      2) To extrapolate from one vicar on a reality tv show that the religious are dishonest and don’t want to know is irrational and dishonest.

      3) You set up a false dichotomy between religion and science.

      4) Your theory of knowledge actually proves too much. It means that ultimately we can know nothing.

      5) Your equation of belief in God with belief in the tooth fairy indicates the level of ignorance in which you are so smugly operating.

      6) I don’t choose to believe in God because of a lack of proof. It is because of the proof. YOu have it as an item of faith that there can be no such proof.

      7) Your recitation of Hume’s adage ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs’ is weak. I suggest you do some thinking for yourself. Have a look at John Lennox’s refutation of Hume. And also have a think about this – you make the extraordinary claim that all the order in the universe either came from nothing or mindless eternal matter. In other words your mind is a product of a mindless process. That is an extraordinary claim. Do you have extraordinary proof?

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