I’ve got a theory

Some of you are apparently riveted by the postings on religion. I’ve not been discussing much on LJ lately, but the monster thread on uk.religion.gjm11 continues, and I’ve been taking part in that.

cathedral_life posted a response to gjm11‘s original announcement, and we got into a discussion about why evangelicalism is often attractive to scientists. We also talk about what I see as the inevitable conflict between science and religion when they both make claims about the physical universe.

There’s also a fair bit of talk from various people about cathedral_life‘s statement that salvation is a corporate rather than individual affair, so much so that she feels individuals don’t have the authority to say they are no longer Christian. (From the thread link, you’ll have to scroll the left frame to see the arrow indicating the point in the thread where cathedral_life posted. Google is a rubbish interface for reading Usenet news, so if you’re really interested in the group, get a proper newsreader.)

I also assert that evangelicalism is like bunnies.

8 Comments on "I’ve got a theory"


  1. We also talk about what I see as the inevitable conflict between science and religion when they both make claims about the physical universe.

    What do you see to be the inevitable conflict between science and religion?

    You post seems to suggest that you think miracles are something science denies. But I thought in a previous discussion you agreed that we could only assume that miracles didn’t happen if we started with a a priori assumption that miracles didn’t happen and therefore discarded all evidence with miraculous claims in it, as being unreliable??

    Reply

    1. What do you see to be the inevitable conflict between science and religion?

      Religion makes claims about the physical world, as does science. In some places, those claims conflict. Creationism is an obvious example. Contemporary reports of healings would seem to be another (although I’d have to be more careful there because of the placebo effect, but I think we can discount that in cases where raising of the dead is reported, say).

      In those places where religion and science do not directly conflict, religion is superfluous (theistic evolution, say), although that’s not quite as bad as someone might have other reasons for believing it.

      But I thought in a previous discussion you agreed that we could only assume that miracles didn’t happen if we started with a a priori assumption that miracles didn’t happen and therefore discarded all evidence with miraculous claims in it, as being unreliable??

      Actually, that dicsussion was with pseudomonas and the man of the hour, gjm11. My response was to ask we do not see such evidence today. Arguments about natural law aside, an abundance of the sort of thing that were told happened in NT times would certainly provoke people to examine Christianity.

      Reply

  2. Since I’m not sure who has the authority to declare themselves no longer Christian, I also wonder who has the authority to declare anybody Christian in the first place…

    Reply

    1. Please could you explain what you mean by this.

      Are you saying that no one but God can declare who the elect are? Or are you saying that you do not think it is possible for anyone to meaningfully say “X is a Christian”? Or are you saying something else?

      Reply

      1. I am saying something else. I am suggesting that, if becoming a Christian is a communal enterprise (and that is my argument) that the description “Christian” is one better given by other people than chosen for oneself. To understand better what I mean, Google for an article on religion-online by Stanley Hauerwas called “The Testament of Friends”. The first couple of paragraphs narrate the idea that one’s own salvation is not something that I can be assured about, and is something better named by acquaintances.

        Reply

  3. Y’know, that appears to be the only newsgroup in the history of the universe ever that isn’t just a glorified pissing contest. People having civil conversations with each other and acknowledging where they may have said things badly, rather than aggressive disagreement – wow.

    Reply

    1. uk.r.c is moderated, but in a slightly unusual way. The moderators don’t review every post to ensure that it’s OK (which is typically what newsgroup moderators do), but rather allow posts through from people who’ve demonstrated that they’re civil until such time as they demonstrate that they’re not. The punishment for breaking the “personal abuse” clause in the charter is usually a week or so on manual moderation (which is slightly more inconvenient for the poster because it means their posts will appear more slowly). Repeat offenders can be banned, although that’s only happened twice in the history of the group, to my knowledge.

      The other reason for the good atmosphere of the place is that a lot of the posters are actually nice people. This is, of course, extremely rare for a newsgroup full of Christians 😉

      Reply

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