Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just helping atheism - its the BBC of course !

The BBC has been trying to drum up support for Polly Toynbee's Humanist association ( yes they have her as a sort of Archbishop ! ) for a while.

The report above is about the BHA trying to scape together a few quid to tell everyone that God probably doesn't exist ( though they're of course not sure ) so you might as well get on with hedonism.

The hopeless ones have managed to scape together £21k ( a drop in the ocean as anyone who raises money for Churches etc will tell you ) to put their logo on London's cyclist culling bendy buses.

You have to wonder if any of them ever read The Screwtape Letters ( extract of the CS Lewis's fictional letters from a minor devil to a senior one below - its the bus that forms the link and also the challenge that thinking is anti-Christian - far from it ), this will be counter productive from their viewpoint.

    Remember, he is not, like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (Oh that abominable advantage of the Enemy's!) you don't realise how enslaved they are to the pressure of the ordinary. I once had a patient, a sound atheist, who used to read in the British Museum. One day, as he sat reading, I saw a train of thought in his mind beginning to go the wrong way. The Enemy, of course, was at his elbow in a moment. Before I knew where I was I saw my twenty years' work beginning to totter. If I had lost my head and begun to attempt a defence by argument I should have been undone. But I was not such a fool. I struck instantly at the part of the man which I had best under my control and suggested that it was just about time he had some lunch. The Enemy presumably made the counter-suggestion (you know how one can never quite overhear What He says to them?) that this was more important than lunch. At least I think that must have been His line for when I said "Quite. In fact much too important to tackle it the end of a morning", the patient brightened up considerably; and by the time I had added "Much better come back after lunch and go into it with a fresh mind", he was already half way to the door. Once he was in the street the battle was won. I showed him a newsboy shouting the midday paper, and a No. 73 bus going past, and before he reached the bottom of the steps I had got into him an unalterable conviction that, whatever odd ideas might come into a man's head when he was shut up alone with his books, a healthy dose of "real life" (by which he meant the bus and the newsboy) was enough to show him that all "that sort of thing" just couldn't be true. He knew he'd had a narrow escape and in later years was fond of talking about "that inarticulate sense for actuality which is our ultimate safeguard against the aberrations of mere logic". He is now safe in Our Father's house.

    You begin to see the point? Thanks to processes which we set at work in them centuries ago, they find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes. Keep pressing home on him the ordinariness of things. Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defence against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can't touch and see. There have been sad cases among the modern physicists. If he must dabble in science, keep him on economics and sociology; don't let him get away from that invaluable "real life". But the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is "the results of modem investigation". Do remember you are there to fuddle him. From the way some of you young fiends talk, anyone would suppose it was our job to teach!

    Your affectionate uncle


The Secret Person said...

I think that counts as a related internet link.

People on the Guardian thread seemed to be suggesting the Beeb had tried to hide the story away.

I forgot Toynbee was involved with the BHA, I've never believed in humanism anyway, always seemed like CofE soft christianity but without the God.

I had considered Toynbee might be evil! She's too fickle for religion, one moment Blair is the saviour, then Brown, then Milliband, back to Brown...

Still, there is no God, whichever crazy lefties might agree with me.

Man in a Shed said...

I can only imagine Polly's shock on judgement day.

Of course with no God, there is no moral basis for right or wrong.

As I'm also pointing out if there's a God (at least the Christian description), then there's a devil one of whose prime tactics would be to persuade us he doesn't exist.

The Secret Person said...

Yes the look on Polly's face would be priceless, although given I'd be in the same queue for hell I guess I wouldn't be that happy.

I don't believe morals do derive from God. They are cultural though and until recently we lived in a religious culture so I don't deny the influence.

But the changing with time? God used to think gays were evil, but know he's changed his mind? I can't follow a moral code that follows society but claims absolute divine blessing for its latest interpretation. And which one of the many religions to follow?

I believe morals are necessary for the working of society, and we develop them through being brought up in that society, and from our natural evolved emotions of empathy and sympathy.

But you are right in that I can't defend my morals logically and from first principals. I just do what makes me feel good (and luckily for society, being nice often makes me feel good).

I believe most religious people do the same, perhaps backed by their favourite bible verse or hadith. Except the literalist extremists, and they may be logical and consistent but they terrify me.

Man in a Shed said...

The interesting thing about Christianity is that its based on revelation ( the practice, not the book ). Whilst some authority is given to believers - which implies free will and ability to make own judgements - its within a framework that's pretty clear, and given from a point of higher authority.

I don't think it has ever been the case that it is against gays, but rather homosexual practice.

I always imagine its the same way as Jesus was against adultery, but saved the woman caught in the act from death by stoning by pointing out what a bunch of hypocrites those planning on doing the stoning were.

From a logical point of you God doesn't change just because our beliefs change.

Personally I think there's a great problem now that people, and especially our leaders, don't fear God. Those who lie think they've got away with it. None of us have, our only hope is to be forgiven.

( Sorry this is a slight ramble - but after an evening trying to read the government guidance on Trade Marks you bound to be a bit off form. )

The Secret Person said...

Well I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this.

You seem a good person, but then Blair (who I assume you refer to when you mention the moral leader) seems to think he's in with God. Maybe it's the Catholicism, do wrong then get forgiveness?

I do believe belief in God can make some people act better, but it can also make some people do wrong.

I think like you I'd like to see a return to some good old fashioned values, even if I don't believe they come from God. Service, duty, even a bit of patriotism would do our elected leaders no harm at all.

Man in a Shed said...

Your very kind.

From my view point what would be unacceptable would be to believe these things and then not tell anyone. ( The criticism that could be levelled at Christians is why, if you believe what you say you do, are you so quiet about it ? )