17 May 2007

Acting On My Theory That Peter Burnet Drives The Juddosphere

I've posted this at Bryan Appleyard's blog.

16 comments:

monix said...

Brilliantly expressed. I agree with all you said.

David said...

If you only knew how careful I had to be not to mix up my astrology with my astronomy.

Harry Eagar said...

David, tsk, tsk, you are making the Platonist error that G-d exists apart from religion.

Even if he does, we atheists never encounter G-d except through the mediation of religionists.

And I believe this atheist, at least, has criticized any and all other religions besides Christianity.

If Appleyard thinks that theism is a non-issue in the UK, he isn't reading the same papers I am.

monix said...

Harry
Indifference is the only issue in the UK. Non-Christian religious groups may be on the increase but they are still monority groups. Most Brits are 'don't carers' rather than believers or even Dunnoists.

Peter Burnet said...

Excellent, David, and much more thoughtful than my musings about sex. Mom always warned me my dirty mind would leave me with philosophical blinders.

Taking your analysis a little further, the other similarity between Christianity and the militant atheism/secularism we are seeing today is the apocalyptic nature of their beliefs. I first noticed this with Mayr's On Evolution. The first 90% is full of gobbledegook and graphs and charts about slugs and other disgusting creatures. Then there is a whole chapter on man which drops all the science and reads a bit like Genesis (Man "burst out" of East Africa, etc.), but the last few pages are an excited, Dawkins-like celebration of how we can now (for the first time!!!) rise above Evolution and make choices, with the only acceptable choices being pretty much the same ideals promoted by the UN. They seem to have this universalist, Revelations-type image of a world to come where everyone has renounced his faith, country, family, etc. and loves everybody else equally with a burning, amorphous tolerance in his heart and a condom in his pocket. Perhaps their anger comes from the fact they really believe such a world is imminent, or would be if those crazy religions didn't keep spoiling the party.

David said...

Harry: That's exactly my error. In any event, you aren't my archetype militant evangelist atheist. Your materialism is too rigorous for that. The irony of Harry is that you've become everything your parochial school teachers could have hoped for, other than Catholic.

Peter: Yes, all the evangelicals, atheists and believers alike, promise that all that's standing between us and Heaven is G-d.

Peter Burnet said...

That's true, Harry. Your atheism is becoming as heterodox as your library. Appleyard isn't the only one reading different papers than you.

Hey, when did Plato become such a bad guy? But if you scorn those who distinguish God/Truth from religion, but still respect or practice or need the latter, I assume you also hold justice is an artifical platonic concept that is indistinguishable from what goes on in the courts and that you never encounter except through judicial mediation?

Harry Eagar said...

Monix, please. Nobody in Britain is worried about the preaching at the Finsbury Atheist Club.

Peter, Platonism is the antithesis of materialism. Even if it were in some sense true, what's the difference. We cannot manipulate these ideal whatever-they-ares. We have to deal with the drossical subideal iterations. People, in other words.

As for justice. Explain to me the justice of 'Cuius regio, euis religio.'

I am reading 'Kepler's Witch,' by Connor (a former Jesuit priest, now married but otherwise still a Jesuit). I'll take our imperfect enlightened and secularist attempts at justice, thanks very much.

pj said...

Harry - People may be worried about violence from the Finsbury mosque, but the threat of violence from Muslims would not be nearly so great were it not for appeasement, selfishness, and weakness from the atheist many.

Harry Eagar said...

Possibly arguable, but hard to square with the appeasement of the '30s, which was pressed by the religious.

It was, you may not recall, the godless Marxists who attempted to form a united front with Christians against the Germans. The Christians begged off.

Once, long ago, I interviewed Clark Kerr, who as a Quaker youth had flogged petitions for appeasement while at Oxford in the early '30s. I asked him if he had changed his mind by 1938.

'Of course.'

Also, the noisiest voice for appeasement I know in the UK now belongs to Rowan Williams.

It's true that since he is an Anglican prelate, the chances that he doesn't believe in a Big Spook any more than I do are better than 50:50.

Peter Burnet said...

but hard to square with the appeasement of the '30s, which was pressed by the religious.

Harry, give us a break! Please! What nonsense!

joe shropshire said...

Forget it, he's rolling.

Harry Eagar said...

Peter, ever hear of the Irish Blue Shirts?

The Cliveden Set were not very good examples of religiosity, but were at least impossible to mistake for atheists or secularists.

Who do you think the appeasers were?

Brit said...

(It's Nige, Appleyard's blog-sitter, not Appleyard himself. Sorry - carry on)

Hey Skipper said...

from Muslims would not be nearly so great were it not for appeasement, selfishness, and weakness from the atheist many.

Among whom you could not possibly include Dawkins, Harris, or Hitchens.

The recent Danish cartoons fiasco clearly demonstrated just how quickly and thoroughly Christians could become appeasors.

Harry Eagar said...

Here's my short list of '30s appeasers:

Pacelli, Astor, Daladier, Chamberlain, Lloyd George; and in America Lindbergh, Coughlin, Borah and Nye.

Heavy on the Catholics and Anglo-Catholics, and all Christians except L.G., who was, notoriously, heavily under the spell of his chapel upbringing though a thoroughly irreligious man.