Sunday, October 17, 2010

Is There Room for Divine Intervention in the Age of Science?


October 17, 2010 on BBC Sunday Live Morning
(Thanks to The Rationalizer for the video)

20 comments:

  1. If they really believe that then let the hospitals to the atheists.

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  2. I wish I were in God's place, taking credit of others deeds.

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  3. god is like the bankers, gets all the credit, but none of the blame.

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  4. Algeron WaterschootOctober 18, 2010 at 5:12 AM

    Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin is to be commended for being honest about the things she doesn't know or doesn't understand, but why did she get invited on the panel in the first place? Anyone could've sat there saying things like "as long as you have faith, every miracle is an act of God in your perspective".

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  5. Very true Sam.

    Why even bother with the engineers next time? Just have god work out a miracle for them. Or just help the atheists.

    "I would like to believe I'm rational", well I'd like to believe I look like Brad Pitt. Doesn't make it anymore true.

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  6. Your are either a gob-smacked medieval peasant or you are not. 

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  7. The believers seem to be saying that a belief in god gave theses miners hope and that this hope kept their spirits up. If I was buried in a mine disaster and had the choice of hoping that some sort of god would save me or that the engineers could figure out a way to save me, I would go with the engineers. They do, afterall, have a better track record in these sorts of things.

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  8. Well she's giving us ridiculous reasons for why the miners survived, why not give us ridiculous reasons for why people in tsunamis die? I'll give her a good reason why both happen: there is no god. People die.

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  9. What kind of a reply is "we have to wrestle with that"?!

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  10. This 'grand designer' considering his last full weeks work was 2000 years ago. I'sn't exactly being fair in the way he dishes out the miracles. Anyone else would be sacked for descrimination, indifference and laziness!

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  11. I managed to get to 7:45 when I couldn't take it any more. This kind of discussion is verging on the ridiculous. How can any rational person believe this miracle shit when every "miracle" is just some arbitrary act of some wished-for being. No wonder we want to ridicule the religious. Next thing you know BBC will be debating about whether this miracle came from which of the thousands of human created gods. Or maybe it was from Santa Claus (as this is probably his slow season and I sure the elves can take care of the reindeer while he went off to Chile).

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  12. The nurse who they spoke to over the phone made the best point.

    What about the disappointment. If you believe a 'God' performs 'miracles' (nonsense) then when no 'miracle' takes place, not only do you have to suffer your fate, but you also have to live with the thought that you were not worthy, that a 'loving' 'god' has rejected you.

    Anyone who has spent time working with the terminally ill will tell you, is that many of them need to be assured that their illness is not a punishment, nor a rejection by 'god.'

    The point made by the journalist that the chilean miners believed god would rescue them, and their families believed it also - well what if they had not been able to have been rescued? What then? There belief in miracles would not be consoling but depressing. Not only have their loved ones been trapped in a mine, but they have also been deserted by a 'loving god.'

    god belief is good for nothing!

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  13. What about the Chinese miners who's outcome was not as miraculous? Or those trapped Russian sailors aboard The Kursk submarine? Those trapped people on the World Trade Centre? What a chance for the almighty to shine on the world stage that was. Complete and utter nonsense. To quote Gustaf Lindborg, The Sailor deos not pray for wind, he learns to sail.

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  14. It is mind numbing, the intellectual hoops they jump through to rationalize their divine intervention.

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  15. I am ashamed for the vicar. I could only stomach about half of this but the discussion was totally ridiculous and an isult to any intelligent person. Was it a miricle? You have got to be kidding me. The BBC should be ashamed to host such a empty topic. What does "we have to wrestle with that" mean? Why was she there? Since her views represent the religious viewpoint how can they expect NOT to be mocked when they go around espousing such nonsense!

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  16. She is sure it's her gods doing when it's a POSITIVE outcome, but not a NEGATIVE outcome. Even though both positive and negitive outcomes in this world have an equal lack of evidence that it was her god or any god who was behind it.

    What is her train of thought, how does she come to the conclusion that it is her god for SURE when something good happens? How is she sure it was a god at all, let alone her god who helped out.

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  17. Also...

    At 8:59, talking about the success of the rescue, the host asks:

    "Do we undervalue that achievement, by saying that miracles are from god? I mean do we undervalue what the engineers managed to do."

    The priestess answers:

    "Absolutely not. Because I believe the know how - the ability comes from god."

    So how does this make us special? We're simply vessels of her god, that have no abilities of our own. We owe everything and anything to this god. Makes it hard to reconcile that with having free will. If all our abilities are controlled by god, how are we able to do whatever we want?

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  18. Yes I agree Peter was excellent but that lunatic lady is very lucky. The angry, strident Hitchens or Dawkins would have shown much less restraint bless 'em.

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  19. There's just no point in these debates. These people believe anything they can to make their lives feel better, and to explain things they can't explain. They are that kind of person. It's just the way they are.

    The only way to combat this is to offer specific viable, positive alternatives to faith - taking what people need from religion and offering it without gods. The atheist community needs to work hard in this area.

    But these debates are just dumb. I would have liked to see Peter Tatchell mocking her more.

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  20. Jameslondon74

    Agree that this is really an existential angst problem for belivers then a rational one. They perceive the irrationaloty of the situation - 'but hey, god moves in mysterious ways.'

    What is needed is not rational arguments, but positive, meaningful answers.

    There is some good stuff out there adding this dimension, The Atheist's Way by Eric Maisel is one of the best - highly recomeended. However, those who want rational philosophical arguments will find it a bore, Miasel assumes there is enough books out there answering that need - this is all about finding 'meaning' without god. Which I suspect is what many theists are searching for 'meaning.'

    Miasel explains meaning is not something one can receive from someone or something else, it is not a second-hand commodity. His arguments on that shows that meaning cannot be provided by god - even if such a being existed.

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